Delicious in Dungeon: Driad/Cockatrice
April 17, 2024 12:28 AM - Season 1, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Trapped in the Mad Mage's ever shifting labyrinth, Team Touden is on the verge of starvation - until finding a nest of dryads provides a potential meal - and miserable allergies. And then, the party is forced to deal with a monster that makes the basilisk look tame...

After our brief sojurn with Team Kabru, it's time to get back to our protagonists, who are learning what being on the Mad Mage's shit list actually means - with his control of the dungeon, the Mad Mage can alter the structure to his desire - and with that has placed Team Touden in a trap. Chilchuck tries to ascend the walls - but a blood wyvern flying overhead rules that out. The halffoot notes that it feels like there are people watching them, to which Laios notes that with the red dragon gone, the monsters who normally make the floor home are reasserting themselves - the've been lucky to avoid contact, though. As Laios stands, his hunger pains causes him to collapse on Marcille, which has Senshi worried for "the young'ns" not eating right based on his assessment of their ages (which is wildly off, and will lead to an incredibly hilarious moment later.) With that, the dwarf is determined to get them fed - and when Chilchuck smells a sweet floral scent, he leads them to a graveyard where a trio of dryads are lounging together. Senshi responds by covering Chilchuck's eyes (which is hilarious for reasons that will be explained later), but his outburst gets the attention of the dryads, who respond with murderous intent.

Laios reacts, cutting one of them down - but with that a cloud of dryad pollen is released into the air, causing both the tallman and the dwarf to be affected with horrific hayfever, their eyes and noses gushing fluids as they gasp and sneeze, blinding them to the attacks by the dryads. Chilchuck fares better with his scarf filtering his mouth, but his eyes are blinded - but with his senses he manages to direct the blows by the dwarf, cutting down the remaining two dryads. Meanwhile, Marcille looks over Ambrosia, now severely damaged and needing repairs to save the staff - only for her to be scared as she sees the three others looking absolutely miserable with their hayfever. But now that the dryads are dealt with, the water in the graveyard lets them flush out their eyes and noses as Laios gets overly excited about eating the dryads, finding dryad fruits that look like human faced pumpkins. That said, beggars can't be choosers, and Team Touden hasn't had a proper meal in several dryad's on the menu tonight!

As they look over the "flower" bodies, Senshi notes that the last one had no pollen, which Laios notes that means it was the female of the set. Chilchuck finds dryad flower buds, though Senshi tells them not to pluck too many, so the dryads can regrow. Chilchuck also finds mandrakes, which he deals with using Senshi's technique (and needles Marcille a bit as well.) With a chop from an orcish axe, Senshi begins to cook, using the fruits to make a soup, while cooking the buds with some mushrooms and cheese. Marcille is a bit unnerved by Senshi using the fruit as a bowl, but the soup she winds up devouring as she finds it deliciously sweet. Meanwhile, the others enjoy the buds, while discussing their next moves. Marcille notes that the Mad Mage can't close the dungeon off, as that would starve it of mana, so there has to be a way out - and the changes have to have a pattern, as they plan to map things out. And with that Senshi smiles - with the party now having full tummies, they are able to work out their next steps.

With her mana restored, Marcille tells Laios and Senshi that their wounds are next to be healed - but it's going to be Laios who does the healing. As she points out, he is Falin's brother, which means he likely shares some degree of her aptitude for healing magic, and she knows Falin did try to teach her brother - besides, if Laios could use basic healing and abjuration magic, it would make the party more effective - a point that the tallman can't argue with. The elf notes that Falin was trained in gnomish magic, with is similar but different to the elven magic that she knows, but they're close enough that what Falin taught him will serve as a base. Watching them train, Chilchuck comments they're overly optimistic, getting a headpat from Senshi who notes that young people should be optimistic. Chilchuck then complains about being treated as a kid, and then asks why Senshi covered his eyes - which leads into one of the most hilarious scenes in the series - Senshi teaching Chilchuck about the birds and the bees. What makes this so hilarious is the context of it all - Chilchuck is 27, which for a halffoot puts him well into middle age. More importantly, it means that he's actually quite old enough to have had kids - which he does, having three daughters. Which means that Senshi is giving this lecture to the one party member who least needs it.

Now relocated to a house, Marcille directs Laios to heal her injured ear, and the tallman carefully lays hands on her, using the healing spell she taught him, guiding him in connecting his mana to hers then casting the spell - then knocked him over as her ear itches - a sign the spell worked. Now with him getting the hang of it, Marcille directs him to heal Senshi as she uses the dryad wood to repair Ambrosia - an experience the dwarf is understandable nervous about given the last time he was healed. Touching his chest has Senshi freeze up, to which Marcille tells them they can't be shy. Chilchuck counters that healers treating others can cause a lot of drama in parties, to which she notes that he's talking about Falin and Shuro there - to which Chilchuck points out that what Laios really needs is some work on interpersonal communication. The two then start bickering over black magic, which leads Marcille to explain how she resurrected Falin - she used ancient magic to link her to the dungeon to draw on its power, which while it did bring her back wound up bonding her with the dungeon - and thus left her vulnerable to the Mad Mage.

With that, there's another eathquake - and the party can see the dungeon rearrange itself. They move to check out the change - but Laios keels over, suffering from mana sickness, which appears to be akin to a bad trip. Sans Laios, the three observe the changes, but soon find the shifting has exposed a cockatrice - with petrifying venom, it's a greater threat than the basilisk they faced before. But it's similar in behavior, and so Marcille gets sent out to distract the monster (which she does, using a kabuki pose and explosions in doing so.) This allows Senshi and her to take it out, but unfortunately Marcille does take an envenomed bite. Back to Laios, he has her sit curled up, so she would petrify safely, but her outburst has her in a bad pose when she gets petrified, which is risky as she could fall over and break. Unfortunately, letting it wear off naturally could take years - leaving them with the choices of finding the right medicinal herbs or having Laios heal her. In the meantime, she can't stay in an unbalanced state, but Senshi has an idea, setting her up as a pickling weight so she can sit firmly. And with that, she's safe, letting them try to find a way to heal her - a process that takes four days. But in the end, Marcille is restored, and Senshi's prep lets them enjoy a celebratory mean as they recap to the elf what happened. And with that, Marcille has something she needs to say from the bottom of her heart - don't ever use her as a pickling weight again.
posted by NoxAeternum (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So, a bit of a programming note - with this, we've officially caught up with the show's release schedule. As such, I'll now just be doing Delicious in Dungeon recaps on Friday (as the episodes come out on Thursday.) This will open up space to cover another series, and I'll be recapping The Apothecary Diaries - another standout series, built around Imperial Chinese court intrigue and medical drama.

And again, Swamp Jawn has his episode breakdown, with an interesting discussion on Japanese vs. American style smear frames.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:34 AM on April 17

TIL what a "pickling weight" is. The more you know!
posted by SPrintF at 6:48 AM on April 17

The 'nobody can judge the age of other races' bit is a running gag. (It's noteworthy that Japanese people are frequently assumed to be younger by foreigners.)

The scene of Senshi defending Chuck "breaks the line" of the shot, emphasizing the disorientation.

The piercing blue eyes on the Dryad fruit is a nicely disturbing touch.

Marcille may still get cranky about eating new things, but she's completely adjusted to the mandrake heads.

Marcille can dish healing out, but she can't take it. Also, Senshi can't get married now.

Any half-foot Chuck knew who dabbled in black magic was kidnapped by elves...

Marcille's explanation of "ancient" magic casually shows why it's so dangerous. How do you boil a lake? She also reveals that she rewrote the dungeon herself (for a moment.)

Laios' manna sickness includes auditory hallucinations.

"Inappropriate Pickling Weights" is a minor Japanese trope.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:14 AM on April 17

Any half-foot Chuck knew who dabbled in black magic was kidnapped by elves...

As it turns out, anyone who does gets kidnapped by elves. Which will become a problem for Team Touden soon enough.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:53 AM on April 17

As it turns out

Did we decide we were doing spoilers?
posted by zamboni at 7:23 PM on May 24

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