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Summary[]

The party wake up surrounded by Lads and Blokes intent on taking the Heart of Aphrodite from Azu. Grizzop and Hamid re-join the fray, helped by team Aphrodite. The party then stagger back to the temple to prepare for Sasha's ritual.

Synopsis[]

The party were transporting the Heart of Aphrodite when they were attacked by cultists. The episode starts in the middle of the chaos of the combat between the cultists and the paladins and clerics of the Temple of Aphrodite.

Grizzop, Sasha, Azu and Hamid all wake from unconsciousness, heavily injured. Grizzop wakes up in the middle of the fight between the Aphrodite lot and the cultists, and starts shooting cultists. Hamid wakes up in a haberdashery shop window, spots Grizzop and attacks the cultists around him using magic missile. He then scampers into battle and climbs onto the coach to try and spot the rest of the party.

Azu wakes up surrounded by cultists searching through all her belongings, but to her relief she finds that she still has the Heart of Aphrodite. Unfortunately, she immediately gets knocked out again. Grizzop tries to reach her through the crowd to heal her. Hamid spots Sasha surrounded by paladins who are threatening her and he runs over to tell them to help Azu instead, and to leave Sasha alone, which they do.

Grizzop reaches Azu and notices that, although many of the cultists are now fleeing, one mysterious figure is not. With the help of Grizzop's healing, Azu manages to get to her feet again and also heals herself. The remaining cultists flee as the Aphrodite paladins and clerics chasing them. Grizzop sees the sinister, lone figure he noticed suddenly disappear in the crowd of fleeing cultists. The party is left standing, heavily injured, in the middle of the street, surrounded by the bodies of cultists and unconscious Aphrodite paladins. They decide to walk the rest of the way to the temple.

BREAK

The party walk to the temple, picking their way through the battered remains of both sides of the battle. The party check whether the Aphrodite casualties are still alive, which they are. Grizzop decides to kill any of the groaning cultists who are still alive. Azu intervenes, telling that it's unnecessary to kill them because they are no longer a threat. Grizzop disagrees, and wants to kill them so he can get all the Aphrodite casualties up using a wave of healing energy, without running the risk of healing any cultists. Azu does not want Grizzop to murder them, and Sasha comments to Hamid that paladins are more brutal than she thought. Hamid agrees. Grizzop agrees to not murder the cultists, and instead gets up five Aphrodite paladins by using Lay on Hands.

Azu and Grizzop continue their discussion, Azu tells Grizzop they need to get the cultists into custody and await trial instead of just executing them, especially because they might be under the effect of mind control. Grizzop is unsure, but reluctantly agrees. Hamid is pointedly not getting involved in this discussion of morality.

One of the clerics of Aphrodite runs over to Azu, and tells her to get to the temple as quickly as possible. The party make it without any further incident. Only clerical staff without magical powers have been left in the temple. The party is ushered into a side room and offered healing potions.

All the members of the party gain new scars because they were knocked out during the battle. Grizzop now has a broken nose. Hamid has several new scars on his back from where he was thrown to the shop window. Sasha has lost a tooth. Azu has two new scars, a broken tusk and a scar across her eyebrow where she was kicked in the face.

Sasha gives her healing potion to Hamid. Grizzop asks whether the clerics have any potions of inflict wounds, which they do. Sasha asks whether Grizzop is sure that would heal her, Grizzop says he is 90% sure, and Sasha doesn't think that's good enough and refrains from drinking it. Hamid drinks his healing potions.

Eventually the clerics and paladins return to the temple with several cultists in custody. Eren Fairhands asks the party to see him in his office. Eren looks like he's been in a fight and actually got his hands dirty for once, which is surprising to Azu. Azu shows the Heart of Aphrodite to Eren, which he takes reverently and then concentrates on, making it glow.

A black-and-white full-body sketch of Sasha, a white human woman with messy black hair, wearing her usual coat and belt of daggers. She is holding a dagger in each hand and has her arms crossed over her chest. Her eyes are closed and her expression is vaguely distressed. Beside her it reads “*Hugs self with emotional support daggers.*”

Sasha prepares for her healing by hugging her daggers. Art by @nilim on tumblr. Used with permission.

Eren turns to Sasha and asks whether she is ready to be healed. Grizzop walks towards the door to block Sasha from potentially leaving. Sasha is unsure, but stands in front of him, closing her eyes and holding her daggers for comfort. Eren places the Heart of Aphrodite around Sasha's neck. He tells everyone this will take a few moments, and asks the party not to interfere. Eren turns away from Sasha and explains how delicate the procedure is just as Sasha disappears. The party freak out, telling Eren that Sasha has disappeared. Hamid casts detect magic and identifies that the spell baleful teleport has been cast.

Sasha, still holding her daggers with her eyes shut, doesn't realize she has been teleported and continues standing as she slowly becomes aware of the scene around her. It's very quiet, cold and windy, and she feels dampness on her cheeks. She still thinks this is part of the healing process. She keeps standing for two minutes before she finally opens her eyes.

She's standing on top of a mountain in the blistering cold, although, being undead, she is not hurt by it. The surrounding landscape is beautiful, and she enjoys the quiet and the mountain vista for several minutes. She gradually convinces herself that she died and is in some sort of afterlife or purgatory.

She notices she's not at the actual top of the mountain, and a short walk above her she can see a pair of figures standing at the top looking down on her. She recognizes them as the two gnomes from Harkness, Harkness, Darkness & Sphinx, and wonders whether they're there to welcome her into heaven. She takes a moment to look at the sunset, and eventually slowly walks over to the gnomes, with her daggers drawn.

Sasha greets Bertie's lawyers and asks whether she's in heaven or purgatory. The gnomes greet her and seem a little bit awkward, not understanding the question. They tell her she requested to be present at the final execution of Bertie's will, and then pull out Bertie's sword. Sasha continues trying to gain more information about the process of getting into heaven, but the gnomes ignore this and request someone to step forward. Sasha notices a figure approaching from the far side of the peak. They have a rippling, humanoid physique. Sasha thinks it's Bertie and laments the fact that she's in the same afterlife as Bertie, and that this is definitely not fair.

She suddenly realizes it's not Bertie, but that it's Brutor in a slightly furrier version of Bertie's body, wearing a golden wreath around his head. He greets Sasha and apologizes for the awkwardness. The lawyers request Brutor to kneel, and Sasha automatically kneels as well. The gnomes dub Brutor 'Sir Brutor MacGuffingham' with all the legal ramifications thereof, and then hand the sword to Brutor. Brutor thrusts the sword into the air and gives a big cry that echoes across the mountain tops.

The lawyers thank Sasha for her cooperation and immediately whisk her back to Eren Fairhands' room in Cairo. The party freaks out when Sasha reappears, and ask her what happened, what she saw, and who abducted her. Eren asks Sasha whether she saw Aphrodite, but Sasha confirms she definitely did not.

Quotes[]

"...Judgy Mcjudgy..."
Sasha, after waking up surrounded by Aphrodite paladins pointing weapons at her face

"Remind me not to anger you, Grizzop..."
Sasha

Ben: "Does Eren have froyo?"
Bryn: "Froyo fo sho, mofo!"
Helen: "Never do that again."
―[add context]

Lydia: "She’s got her eyes shut and she’s holding her daggers. She hasn’t realised."
Alex: "It’s gotten very quiet."
Lydia: "Well, they would be respectful, wouldn’t they? They are caring friends."
Alex: "And now that you’re concentrating, it sounds like you’re outside, like a wind’s picking up. It might be part of the ritual, you don’t know."
Lydia: "It’s probably part of the ritual."
Alex: "And you feel yourself getting really cold, like, really really cold."
Lydia: "This is probably part of the process."
Alex: "And you feel some dampness on your cheeks."
Lydia: "It’s a weird process, but it’s part of the process."
Alex: "And you hear the cry of some distant eagles."
Lydia: "Okay, this is getting weird. But, I’m sure that’s part of the spell. Sasha stands there for a couple minutes before opening an eye."
Alex: "You find yourself on top of a mountain."
Sasha: "Oh for goodness sake!"
―Sasha finds herself on a mountain

Lydia: "I mean, it's Sasha so she walks out with daggers drawn. You don't want to get surprised!"
Alex: "Heaven? If you were going to mount a surprise attack on someone, it's the LAST place they'll expect!"
―[add context]

Sasha: "Hi, uh, so, is this heaven?"
Gnomes: "Greetings, Sasha. Thank you for joining us."
Sasha: "Or…purgatory? I probably didn’t really…I mean, I did a lot of things. Some of them were good though."
Gnomes: "We’re not quite sure what you mean, Sasha."
Sasha: "So, obviously, I’m dead, right? The ritual went wrong. Or, like, it was all a hoax."
Gnomes: "There may have been a miscommunication."
Sasha: "Oh, right, am I being sent to the wrong…I mean, if you want to send me to heaven, that’s good, that’s fine."
Gnomes: "You requested to be present at the final execution of Sir Bertrand MacGuffingham’s will?"
Ben: "Alex!"
―The gnomes follow through on the promise they made to Sasha after the opera.

Alex: "They pull out Bertie’s sword."
Sasha: "Look, if this is some kind of challenge before, like, I get accepted into whatever afterlife, I’d rather do it with short blades than a long one."
Gnomes: "We apologize for the inconvenience, if you would just bear with us. Please step forward."
Sasha: "Look, no, I know that you’re trying to be generous giving me a good blade for it, but honestly, I’m better with two short blades than I am with one."
―The gnomes hand off Bertie's sword to his beneficiary.

Sasha: "Oh, wait, no, no, no, look, I did some bad things but I cannot be in the same afterlife as Sir Bertrand MacGuffingham. That is not right!"
Alex: "They step forward, it’s almost certainly Bertie."
Sasha: "This is not fair."
Alex: "Wait, wait, no, it’s not. Oh no…no it’s not Bertie."
Lydia: "Is it the spirit of the sword?"
Alex: "You know what it looks like?"
Lydia: "Is it, is it Brutor in a suit?"
Alex: "Mayyyyybe."
Bryn: "You monster! Why are you like this?"
Brutor takes the sword as Bertie's successor.

Brutor, awkwardly: "Uhm. Hello Sasha."
Sasha: "...Okay, this is not what I expected."
―Brutor takes the sword as Bertie's successor.

Eren Fairhands: "Did you see Aphrodite?"
Sasha: "...Unless Aphrodite is a dog with a sword.... then no."
―Sasha reappears in the Temple of Aphrodite.

Alex: "I’m gonna end the episode there. Just a special little treat for all of you there."
Ben: "Fair enough…you are…."
Bryn: "You are the worst, just the worst."
Ben: "Impressed and angry."
Bryn: "I no longer respect your craft."
Alex: "Happy episode 100."
―[add context]


Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • Grizzop Perception check after waking up: Natural 20
  • Grizzop Perception check to find his party members: 18.
  • Azu Perception check after waking up: Natural 20.
  • Azu Sleight of Hand to find the Heart of Aphrodite: 19.
  • Hamid Perception check after waking up: 15
  • Hamid Perception check to find his party members: 19
  • Sasha Perception check after waking up: 23
  • Azu Intimidate check of the cultists: Natural 1
  • Hamid Reflex save to get through the crowd: 15
  • Hamid Perception check to find Azu and Sasha: 15
  • Grizzop Reflex save to get through the crowd: 12
  • Hamid Diplomacy check to convince the paladins to help Azu and leave Sasha: 31
  • Grizzop Perception check to see lone cultist: 23
  • Grizzop Stealth check to heal Azu: Natural 20
  • Sasha Perception check to notice she has been teleported: 18
  • Sasha Perception check on top of the mountain: 24

Combat Breakdown[]

An indeterminate amount of time has passed since the entire party was knocked out last episode and the party is initially acting out of combat time.

Alex starts the episode by asking everyone for a Fortitude Save. Grizzop: 22, Azu: Natural 1, Hamid: 14, Sasha: 9.

Alex asks for another Fortitude save. Grizzop: 28, Hamid: 18, Sasha: 15, Azu: 26.

Grizzop: Wakes to pandemonium. Rolls a nat 20 Perception to asses the situation. He finds himself in a battle between Aphrodite's lot and the cultists. The battle appears to have turned in the party's favour. He tries to find his party members (Perception check: 18).

Azu: Wakes up and rolls a nat 20 Perception check. She rolls onto her back and is surrounded by cultists, and they are searching her. She checks whether the Heart of Aphrodite is still on her (Sleight of Hand: 19).

Hamid: Wakes up to the sound of distant battle (Perception check: 15). He has been thrown through a haberdashery shop window away 50 yards from the fight. He is covered in mannequins and hats. He tries to find the rest of the party (Perception check: 19). He can see Grizzop in the middle of the fight. He casts magic missile (1 Missile each at the 3 people closest to Grizzop). He kills two of the three.

Grizzop: Sees two of the cultists go down and shoots the third (attack: 27). As the third falls over, he sees Hamid in the shop window and gives him a wink and thumbs up. Hamid tips his hat. Alex notes they both look absolutely awful and are only on 1 hp.

Sasha: Wakes up and rolls Perception check (23). She is surrounded by three Aphrodite paladins who are pointing their swords and spears at her.

Azu: Still has the Heart of Aphrodite around her neck. She attempts to intimidate the cultists surrounding her (natural 1) and is immediately knocked out again.

Alex requests a new initiative order: Hamid (15), Sasha (12), Grizzop (10), Azu (4)

Round 1

  • Hamid: Tries to find Sasha and Azu, but cannot see them. He scampers through the crowd and climbs the carriage to gain a better vantage point (Reflex save: 15). He successfully makes it. He tries to find Azu and Sasha again (Perception check: 15).
  • Grizzop: Tries to find Azu and Sasha, and uses lay on hands on himself to heal 4 hit points. He tries to move through the crowd (Reflex save: 12), he fails and is attacked by cultists, but they miss. The cultists follow him. He finds Azu unconscious on the ground, surrounded by cultists.
  • Sasha: Is also on 1 hitpoint, she tries to talk to the paladins, awkwardly; "...Alright?". She stays down.

Round 2

  • Hamid: Sees Azu is swamped by enemies and Grizzop is moving to help. He can also see Sasha surrounded by paladins. The battle seems to be turning in favour of Aphrodite. Hamid runs towards Sasha and convinces the paladins to go and help Azu. (Diplomacy: 31). The paladins leg it. Hamid checks in with Sasha. Hamid: "You all right?", Sasha: "No.".
  • Grizzop: Looks around and sees everyone is legging it except for one cultist (Perception check: 23). He sneaks his hand between the cultists and uses lay on hands on Azu (Stealth: Natural 20). She heals 6 hit points.
  • Sasha: Crawls to her feet, she laments the fact she can't heal and decides to stab some things instead. She stumbles towards the fight.
  • Azu: Wakes up and is still surrounded by three cultists. She climbs to her feet to intimidate them, two of the cultists immediately run away, the third one attacks her and hits her in the face (5 damage). Azu has lost her axe and has no weapon. She uses lay on hands to heal herself for 10 hit points.

Plot Notes[]

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