"The Pit" is the eighth installment of Tales from the SMP. It was streamed on March 20, 2021, at 7 PM EST. The episode takes place a hundred years into the future, a year before "The Lost City of Mizu", in the Subbin Empire. It follows Karl (Karl Jacobs), Emperor Porkius VII's new cameraman, as he watches gladiators fight in the empire's coliseum to become the new general.
Arriving in the empire
Karl arrived in the middle of a market in the Subbin Empire and immediately met Emperor Porkius VII (Technoblade). The Emperor, looking for a cameraman, hired Karl and took him to the coliseum. Afterward, both of them went down to the cellar to interview the gladiators and choose competitors for the first fight.
Emperor Porkius and Karl came across one of the first gladiators, Jackie (Tubbo), who explained that he was brought into the competition from the streets against his will. Then, they met Laggius Maximus (Fundy), and Jackie and Laggius were directed to the elevators that would take them to the arena of the coliseum.
Porkius and Karl went to the royal box. On the way, Porkius explained that the last cameraman was executed for filming the entire event in portrait mode, giving Karl more of a reason to record this event nicely.
During the round, Karl filmed in the arena. Porkius summoned a tower in the middle of the arena, where Jackie and Laggius headed on top to a duel. Porkius then added lava and removed the tower, and Jackie won.
In the cellar, Karl and Porkius met Bartholomew (JackManifoldTV), who was drinking beer. They also spotted Watson (Ph1LzA) practicing at the shooting range. The two were directed to the elevators. On the way back to the stairs, the two also saw Jackie throwing up in the distance, as he had drunk some of Bartholomew's beer. Karl asked Porkius whether this was legal, to which Porkius responded that the legal drinking age was 3.
During the round, Porkius slowed down movement in the arena, which caused Bartholomew and Watson to duel in a low-gravity-like environment and their arrows to fly very slowly. Bartholomew won and immediately asked for a beer before attacking the pair. He was then sent back down to the cellar.
In the cellar, Karl and Porkius met Levi (Punz). Levi described fighting in his past and stated that he was ready for battle. They then met John (Sapnap), whom they dismissed instantly for having a "boring" name. Instead, they selected Genevieve (Hannahxxrose) to fight against Levi, as she stated that she had been training for the event her entire life. She and Levi squared up before they were sent to the arena entrances.
During the round, Porkius conjured a water loop in the shape of an 8 for the two to duel in and replaced the floor with lava. Genevieve won the duel.
In the cellar, Karl and Porkius realized that they had an odd number of contestants. They met Ran (Ranboo) and decided to give him a bye for having a cool name. They then met Edward (BadBoyHalo), whom they selected for the next duel. Karl and Porkius encountered John again and mocked him for his name some more before Porkius used a royal decree to change John's name to Ugly. Karl suggested the name "Handsome", but his suggestion was ultimately dismissed. Ugly was then chosen to fight against Edward.
During the round, Porkius filled the arena with rabbits before flooding the arena and demanding a boat battle. Eventually, after both had fired many arrows, Ugly won against Edward and took the final spot in the semi-final rounds.
Before the next round of fights, Karl suggested that they get a story from all the competitors, so they sat those that were into the next round, around the table. They found Ugly sitting in the corner, and after deciding that Ugly was too harsh of a name to become of a general, they rename him to "Grievous," whilst those that hadn't won cleared the table and left.
Karl then interviewed each of the competitors one by one, starting with Jackie. When they got to Bartholomew, they found him asleep and drunk, so he was woken up by Watson. Once they had spoken to everyone, they selected who would participate in each fight, with Jackie and Genevieve going first.
For this fight, Karl took the powers from Porkius, and spawned an orb of water for the competitors to fight in over a pool of lava. Jackie won the fight and proceeded to the final. He headed back to the cellar, and was asked by Karl to send the remaining 3 competitors up to the arena.
For this fight, Porkius decided to activate both dive mode and the zombies for them to fight. Porkius then disabled dive mode, and after they all returned to the ground, all the Zombies started going for Grievous. Eventually, after Bartholomew was shot by Ran, Grievous shot Ran to proceed to the final.
Karl headed back down to the cellars to speak to the losers, where he found them all taking a group photo except for Laggius, who joined them afterward. Karl then locked them all in a cell, but Bartholomew escaped and started picking fights with everyone, until Watson tempted him back into the cell with more alcohol.
Karl then talked to and interviewed both finalists around the table, and talked about their chances of winning to become the next general. He then sent them to the arena entrances, before returning to join Porkius at the royal box.
After a quick break, Karl suggested a plan to Porkius to combine some of the previous arena layouts together for this final duel. He then summoned Jackie and Grevious to the arena, and once the layouts had loaded, commenced the final duel, continuing to activate and de-activate different layouts. After a few rather targeted layout changes, a gifted Power V bow, and a lot of bad luck in regards to mob targeting, Grevious was shot by Jackie, rendering him unconscious. But before Jackie could fully celebrate his victory and be officially promoted to general, Porkius stripped the losers of their weapons and summoned them to the pit.
To prove that he could become General, Jackie was asked to kill all of the losers, but they all retaliated and started to fight back against Jackie, despite having no weapons. To help, Porkius activated the lava floor, and Jackie managed to defeat the other contestants, other than Ran and Watson. Karl then spotted them sneaking around the outside of the area.
Jackie was given the position of General by Porkius. Porkius exclaimed that he and Jackie would go on to see success in the upcoming battles. Porkius then requested that Karl give him the footage. Karl obliged and handed over the camera. Porkius examined the footage but realized he was looking at a dark screen with only faint screams and other audio.
Porkius, enraged, ordered Jackie, the newly appointed General, to execute Karl. Karl tried to flee but was able to calm Jackie down with words. Karl then stated that there was a connection between Jackie and himself. After those final words, Karl let Jackie kill him.
Karl returned to the Inbetween castle, and was seen walking in the front area of the castle. He picked up a book right in the middle, which read:
So much has happened all round the world since youve been here There is much to learn about yourself.
Im glad to finally see you again :]
I see you have accidentally strayed from the path recently and I must remind you, don't stray from the path! :]
Karl walked up to one of the staircases around the side of the castle, and reached the birch tree. The scene suddenly changed, and looked a lot darker, whilst the usual music was heard in reverse. Karl dived into the water under the tree and into the room that he visited last time around. The room was completely dark, but in the middle lay a book which read:
|“||Go up the ladder, it has a surprise waiting for you.
Doing what the book said, he headed up the ladder to the second-floor room. The room was lit by torches around the side, and a message on the far wall which read STICK TO THE PATH :]. On the floor of the room were random splatters of redstone, presumably meant to be blood. He headed out of the room, and back up to the shore where the scene snapped back to normal. On the other side of the tree lay another book, titled “Stay and read”:
|“||Noticed you strayed from the path a bit there! Your mind seems to be playing tricks on you :]
Lets not let that happen again!
Go to the room where this all began
Looking towards the room directly in front of him, he saw another book right in the middle of the room, so entered the castle and went to read the book, which was entitled "Origins":
|“||This is where you first joined us in the inbetween :]
What a joyous time it has been!
I feel you have learned so much about yourself and the abilities you possess.
There is still so much to discover here in the inbetween, but I can see you are starting to doubt yourself!
How silly! :]
I can tell you aren't yourself as much lately... Must be having some crazy terrible and skewed imagination! I assure you, this is not a place to provoke harm, but a place to feel at ease.
Don't trust the illusions, they are only your mind deteriorating.
Don't trust anything except for the path.
Just stick to the path and read the books :]
He placed the book back, walked out of the room, and came across another book on the wall:
|“||PLEASE JUST GET TO THE PORTAL.
THE INBETWEEN ISNT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS.
He placed the book in his inventory, and as he did, the screen glitched, and the music had changed. Karl also stood in the previous room in front of the book. But this time, the book in the middle of the room read:
|“||Stop straying from the path, Karl.
I know you more than you do.
I know what is right for you.
These visions should not dictate your opinion on the inbetween. It is safe here.
He placed the book back and returned to the wall where he stood before he glitched. Fire and burning could be heard as he was walking to the wall, as he replaced the book he first found there.
Karl walked down a flight of stairs and through a corridor, with the fire still being heard, and other versions of himself could be seen walking around. He ran after them and came to the courtyard with the tree and swings; with the screen glitching again to a much darker setting that he first encountered at the large birch tree. In the courtyard, he picked up another book placed on the tree, and stood on the swings to read it:
|“||These versions of yourself have lost themselves.
They have stayed in the inbetween for far too long and have lost who they are, doomed to traverse this castle forever.
These are not just visions, this is reality.
Go to the portal.
As he read, the music built up, and once he had finished, the screen glitched again, this time showing a vision of the portal, before taking him back to the first room. This time, it was completely dark apart from two torches standing on either side of the book. Karl walked over to the book to read it, and as he did, the screen glitched again and different music started playing:
|“||Dont go to the portal.
I will see to it that you will regret it if you do so.
This is not even a warning.
We will come and make sure you don't stray from the path
Now scared and unheeded by the warnings, Karl turned back and started to run across the castle, all while the sky turned grey and started raining. And as he ran, the screen continued to glitch, whilst several messages appeared on the screen:
|“||Follow the torches
It can't follow you through the portal
You'll be home soon
Keep going! Hurry!
For your friends
Protect your stories
Following torches placed around the castle, Karl eventually made it to the portal, this time no longer fenced off, but instead there was a book standing directly in front of the portal:
|“||You may never remember your friends again if you go into this portal.
Don't be silly, the inbetween is here to keep you warm, comfortable, and most importantly, it is suppose to keep you in tune with the powers you possess.
Do not let these visions get to you.
This will not end well
You will lose everything.
Dont be silly :]
But unconvinced by what he had read, Karl placed the book back, took one last look around the Inbetween castle from the window, and stepped into the portal.
The Other Side
After entering the portal, Karl was taken to a new place, a much bigger castle than the castle of the Inbetween, with land swirling above it. It was also a much darker scene, using different shades of dark red, dark grey, and black blocks, with magma blocks and a lava river being the only thing lighting up the area. The weather was rainy and the sky was covered with grey clouds. This place was shown as The Other Side.
Karl started walking across the bridge to see this structure, through a gatehouse, and started to look around.
He walked into a castle, where he found himself in a large room with a flight of stairs at one end. After walking up the flight of stairs, he found a book in the middle of the floor, this time guarded by a white tulip, as opposed to a wither rose that guards books in the Inbetween, The book read:
|“||Welcome to The Other Side
You're home now.
Lets explore more soon.
Karl placed the book back into its item frame and the camera zoomed out of a shot of Karl standing in the middle of the floor of this castle. The screen faded out to the end credits, which repeated the line "Welcome to The Other Side".
- Poster: @Flowbytee
- End Credit Fanart: @smock_bear, @avantreoss, @zymbiie, @mushro0m_Head
- Storyline: Karl Jacobs
- Additional Art: @Lilypichu
- Build Managed: @Plutoren
- Additional Editing: @SkywalkerPrimeY
- Skins: @villainnap (other than Ranboo and Tubbo)
- End Credits: @jacketisyours and @brieggna
- All Music used: Derivakat
- The beginning of the VOD has been muted due to DMCA.
- Philza revealed that Techno and Karl were supposed to meet Ranboo's character, Ran, outside the coliseum before they first entered. This interaction was supposed to introduce Ran's backstory as well. However, Techno got distracted and skipped the interaction.
- Karl fell into the water surrounding the arena when Levi and Genevieve were fighting.
- Karl and Porkius VII were stuck in swimming position briefly during the three way fight and went into creative mode to get out of it.
- Karl missed Grievous killing Ran because he looked away.
- Porkius accidentally called Jackie by his username, Tubbo.
- During the credits, Karl accidentally forgot to play the music.
- Watson, who is played by Philza, is a reference to his real name, Philip Watson.
- Ran mentioned that the baby zombie following Sapnap's character would cause flashbacks to someone. This is a reference to Philza's infamous hardcore death to a baby zombie.
- Characters repeatedly said that they hated "puns" as a reference to Punz, who played Levi. Levi was the only one to say that they liked puns.
- While Jackie scurried away into the gladiator chamber after his semi-final duel, he hummed Trance Music for Racing Game. Porkius asked Jackie where the tune was from as he liked it. Jackie replied by saying he invented the tune.
- Laggius Maximus, who is played by Fundy, is a joke on "maximum lag", hence why Laggius is always twitching and late to respond.
- Fundy also posted on his alt Twitter account, @alsofundy, that his game was lagging the entire time (even seemingly lagging out at some point), which influenced the name.
- Philza confirmed on his stream that Tubbo also had terrible lag, which is why both Tubbo and Fundy went first in the first round.
- Originally, there were plans for GeorgeNotFound to be in this episode. However, he backed out last minute after being too tired after his own stream. This led to an odd number of contestants and Ran getting the first-round bypass.
- The skin that Tubbo used is the same skin he uses for CogChamp SMP.
- At the beginning of the episode, while Karl was walking to the coliseum, the fishermen characters from The Lost City of Mizu were spotted. In addition, he also passed by the skins of all the artists involved in Tales From the SMP.
- Fans spotted artist and friend of multiple Dream SMP members, CupToast, widely known as Crumb, in the stands of the coliseum.
- Karl revealed on Ranboo's stream that in order to show off the skins, in place of the characters wearing armor, he made all the weapons weaker so that the fights would last longer. He also said the fights weren't rigged.
- Ran's skin is most likely based on beta enderman, who have green eyes, the same as the enderman half of Ranboo's skin.
- Philza revealed on his stream that he had set up the target practice that Karl and Techno had met him by. He had also set up the beer mugs and camera within the basement once he had been eliminated.
- Whilst also being drunk in character, Philza revealed that Jack was also drunk in real life as well from a previous stream that night, which gave him the idea of the beer mugs.
- Philza also revealed that where he had created the camera, Karl had taken it and used it for the ending with Techno. Philza had also given the idea of Karl leaving the lens cap on for the ending.
- Philza revealed additionally, he originally intended for him to play himself but was changed last second when Karl said to play different characters.
- karljacobs (March 20, 2021). "Tales From the SMP: The Pit" (Archived Twitch VOD).
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