98 King of the Badger
King of the Badger
Air Date: February 6, 2017 Episode Link
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Hosts: Arnie, Usidore, Chunt Guests: Talbot the Badger
Producers: Arnie Niekamp, Evan Jacover, Ryan DiGiorgi
Editor: Ryan DiGiorgi Theme Music: Andy Poland Episode Art: Justin Osterling
Audio Assistance: Jason Knox
Production Assistance: Garrett Schultz

Sponsored by: Squarespace (code: TAVERN) and Blue Apron


"I do want to talk about badger stuff."


Arnie introduces Chunt as usual, and is confused when all he does is chatter. Usidore and Arnie are both concerned. Usidore casts a spell of true sight, and determines it’s just a regular badger. They’re fairly embarrassed. The real Chunt arrives, and they say they *definitely* knew that was just a regular badger wearing his crown. Chunt explains Talbot is his one remaining badger friend (with benefits), who is taking his place so he can go undercover among the badgers. Usidore then admits he couldn’t tell it wasn’t Chunt, claiming Arnie corrected him; Chunt points out that Talbot is very badly burned so it should’ve been obvious. Usidore hits Talbot with the healing rock, which regrows his fur, but has the downside of apparently having killed him. Usidore hits him again and he revives.

Arnie is training now they have the Lunar Sword; he’s also clearly disappointed the bards have been singing the song of its recovery and it doesn’t include him, though he admits he didn’t do anything. Usidore and Chunt sort of try to persuade him otherwise.

Arnie asks Chunt what he’s learned by going undercover; he confirms that everything he’s heard is bad. Arnie’s a little surprised they don’t recognize him, but removing his crown, going on all fours and chattering instead of talking is apparently enough. He proves his point by having Arnie close his eyes for a moment, and he incorrectly guesses which is which.

Usidore brings out a cake, and Arnie has clearly forgotten they are supposed to be celebrating Blemish’s birthday, as per their cover last week when he overheard them discussing the quest. Blemish shows up abruptly, and claims they’re his favorite friends while both admitting he’s creepy and continuing to be so. They present him with the dark chocolate cake. Blemish gets carried away in his own narrative about his rise from his lowly origins to a seat at the table and co-host of the podcast. No one is very pleased with this, especially Chunt and Usidore, who object at calling it Arnie’s podcast.

Blemish says that per Dwarven custom (as he is half dwarf), he’s been given a wife for his birthday. He says she’ll be waiting in his “increasingly opulent hovel”, now that he’s owner of the Vermillion Minotaur since Otok is dead. The others insist they don’t know Otok is dead, and that they are definitely going to go look for him. Blemish is exceedingly excited about his cake, so they tell him the whole thing is for him and fling it outside so he’ll leave.

They all agree that Blemish is extremely creepy, and momentarily consider voting with their money and going elsewhere, but then remember that Arnie is supposed to be co-running the tavern. Usidore goes into the wizard state while trying to remember anyone with cats coming out of their mouth who wasn’t evil, finally remembering one wizard he knew at the Great Halls of Terr'akkas. Arnie asks if he misses being there; Usidore says of course, as that’s where he met Jyn'Leeviyah, as well as Spintax… and Can. Chunt fantasizes about using the cursed water bowl (purchased from Traach the Kobold) on Can, and Usidore mentions that he’s finally come up with a way to use it as a trap. He suggests playing mortally wounded in front of your enemies while moaning that your only weakness is water, so they’ll use the bowl and drown.

Arnie thinks this plan has a lot of holes in it, and doesn’t think the bowl is worth bringing on the trip. Chunt and Usidore rib him for not knowing what a wizard bag is (a bag magically larger on the inside). They joke about putting Arnie in the bag, which may or may not be a joke about being drunk. Chunt is in charge of carrying all the food, which he’s putting in a coconut just so they can suggest about putting a lime in it.

Usidore agrees to spar with Arnie so he can practice with the Lunar Sword. Surprisingly, he doesn’t lose even though he’s still sitting down; but Usidore explains all they’re doing is stage fighting, and you’re supposed to try to hurt the other person. Arnie accidentally injures Usidore on his first real swing. Usidore fixes the damage with the magic healing rock, and they comment that they’ve gotten more mileage than they expected out of the junk they bought from Traach. Usidore has been going through the mystery bags they bought from him all week, but it’s mostly just clay pots and assorted basic armor and weapons, though he has found a helmet with a night-vision visor.

Arnie expresses concern about their friendship surviving on a road trip, but Chunt and Usidore insist it will bring them closer together; except for anyone who dies horribly. Arnie’s not so sure about that part, and asks how many quests Usidore’s been on. He replies he goes on a Grand Quest about every 20 years, interspersed with smaller quests; the fatality rate on a Grand Quest is 50-60%. It varies on smaller quests, which seem to largely revolve around rescuing various creatures from the tops of towers. Arnie is confused how you’d know that a fish needs to be rescued, but Usidore explains it’s mind control.

While giggling uncontrollably, Arnie has the sudden realization that anyone could be mind controlled by a fish even now. As they try to determine whether Usidore could be, Arnie spirals into an existential crisis over whether HE might be mind controlled by a fish. Usidore casts a spell of True Vision and confirms that Arnie is not being controlled by a fish, but he might be on a par with one. They take a break to talk about less unsettling topics, like recipe boxes (during which Arnie does a pretty good impression of Chunt and Usidore).

Arnie is still concerned about the mortality rate on quests. Usidore confirms that this is the most important, grandest quest he’s ever been on. After Arnie accidentally asks Talbot instead, Chunt confirms that the only quest he’s been on was a late-night snack run, on which 17 people died and Chunt was the only survivor. He did get his food. Chunt is annoyed by Arnie incessantly playing with a tiny treasure chest that creates bubbles.

They discuss whether Chunt might change shapes for the quest, but agree that this seems to be the one he’s settled into, and since he’s “always armed to the teeth” it should be fine. Chunt asks for Arnie’s top three helpful quest animals: 1) horse; 2) bear; 3) plankton, because then they could eat him, which is troubling on several levels. Usidore’s animals: marlin; snapper; bass. Arnie, Chunt and Talbot huddle to discuss again whether Usidore might be a fish, but mostly conclude they don’t know what’s real anymore. They put the trap bowl in front of him, thinking he’ll try to dive in, but he recognizes it immediately; only to then talk about how much fun it is to put small pebbles in your mouth.

Chunt runs off and locks the tavern door; then calls Blemish over to play what he tells him is a game he’s invented for his birthday, which they name “A Fish Called Wonder” on the spot. They ask him to determine which of them is a fish. Blemish goes on a creepy rant about everyone in Foon being tiny fish, then says it’s Usidore. The others grab him and hit him repeatedly with the magic healing rock. Usidore explains why their reasoning is ridiculous; Blemish is just there for the beating anyway.

To cover for their upcoming quest to fight the Dark Lord, they tell Blemish that they’re leaving soon to look for Otok. Blemish questions why anyone would want him back, uninterested in arguments about how kind Otok was to him. Chunt, Usidore and Arnie try to take the cake back as punishment. Chunt uses the moment to challenge Blemish about what he’s been doing in the basement, and he fumbles over something very suspicious about his wife being down there.

In an uncharacteristically commanding moment, Arnie notes that since Blemish was only there by Otok’s grace, who made him co-owner of the Vermillion Minotaur; so he’s firing Blemish and banning him from the tavern. In a less impressive move, he declares Talbot will be in charge of the tavern while they’re on their quest. Everyone is very surprised, including Talbot, and he immediately feels bad for not asking Mundle. Blemish ominously declares that it doesn’t matter what they do, but accidentally admits that his wife is 52 sacks of flour he stuffed into some clothes. He offers further clarification, but they decide against it.

Arnie again tells Blemish to leave and never come back, and Chunt ceremoniously extinguishes the torch with his name on it. Usidore suddenly tells them they need to go rescue an octopus from the top of a tower.

Additional Appearances

Earth References

  • "Coconut" — Harry Nilsson
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • Night vision devices
  • Survivor
  • "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle"


  • Talbot is voiced by show editor Garrett Schultz.
  • Usidore has at least one object from another world: a star shaped like an egg.
  • Everyone apparently speaks badger except Arnie.
  • There are wizard fish.

Behind the Scenes

King of the Badger
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Arnie, Usidore, Chunt, Talbot, Blemish
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