Summary

Hamid starts a party with the demonstrators, Azu facilitates negotiations between the orcs and the goblins, and Grizzop and Sasha play cards and talk with Wilde.

Synopsis

The party is still split two ways: Sasha and Grizzop are by the warehouses, and Hamid and Azu are at the demonstrations in Damascus town.  

We begin with Grizzop and Sasha, watching over the warehouses; it’s past mid-day. Sasha asks Grizzop to play cards, betting for Grizzop’s arrows and Sasha’s knives. 

Back to Azu, who’s mid-conversation with a very elderly orc. Azu respectfully suggests that he speak to the goblin leader, and that they make their complaint together, because the employers are the problem, not the goblins. The elderly orc reluctantly agrees. After a brief stare-off, the elderly orc and the goblin leader go with Azu to the Meritocratic offices, elbowing each other as they go. The orc and goblin crowds are milling about, so Hamid starts encouraging them to play their instruments. He rolls up his sleeves and starts dancing.

Returning to Sasha and Grizzop’s card games, Sasha is cheating a lot and winning. Grizzop, however, is just happy to be doing something, and doesn’t mind that he has to hand over a lot of his arrows to Sasha, who is very confused by his technique.  

Cut to Azu, with the elderly orc and the goblin leader, outside the Meritocratic offices; both are annoyed with each other and Azu. A young clerk opens the door and leads them to the mayor’s office. The mayor is a middle-aged severe-looking human woman with lots of paperwork on her desk and several aides. The orc smashes the wall to get the mayor’s attention; she’s very confused. Azu explains that there’s a potential riot outside, and that the mayor should listen to the representatives of the goblins and orcs. The mayor sighs, and lets them into her office. 

The discussions between the elderly orc, the goblin leader, the mayor, and Azu begin. Azu encourages everyone to talk respectfully, but gets a little out of her depth when they start negotiating specifics. The talks go on past mid-day. 

Sasha and Grizzop teasing Wilde. Art by @sat_urn on twitter. Used with permission.

Smash cut to Hamid, who is conducting a combined orchestra of orcs and goblins, who are competing to see who can be louder. The demonstrations now have the mood of a carnival, not a riot.

Back to Sasha and Grizzop, where it’s mid-afternoon, and Grizzop’s out of arrows. Wilde teleports in, and hurriedly gets them to show him inside the warehouses. Once he’s checked, he tells them they need to start walking away immediately, as he’s arranged for the factory to be destroyed, but can’t teleport them away. Sasha and Grizzop tease Wilde for not simply bringing transportation with him when he teleported in. 

Jump to Azu. Negotiations have ground to a halt, and centre around the water shortage. The goblins claim that although they have access to water, it’s just because they’re higher up the mountain, and they’re taking the minimum amount of water possible, as the Meritocrats requested. The orc are convinced that the goblins are taking all of the water. The Meritocrats believe either the orcs or the goblins are taking too much water. 

Azu asks if people can’t just cast 'Create Water', and the mayor replies that the clerics are doing that as much as possible. Azu says that clearly there is a fourth party that’s taking the water, and that they need to find them. The elderly orc and goblin leader head out of the room, unwilling to talk further until she’s found it. Azu is alone with the mayor, who just hopes that they manage to keep the peace somehow.  

BREAK

Hamid dancing in Damascus. Art by @starr65748 on tumblr. Used with permission.

Back to Hamid and “utter pandemonium of the best kind.” Everyone is having a fantastic time dancing to the music, and the market is being destroyed by the party. Orcish moonshine is flowing while guards look on, looking lost. Hamid tries to convince them to join the party, but only one of them takes part. 

In the mayoral office, Azu suggests the mayor send more people to investigate the water shortage; the mayor says she already has. Azu offers her help — she thinks the issue is with the main employer. According to the mayor, however, they haven’t been able to investigate Crank’s, because they’ve got an injunction from the higher-ups. If Azu can prove that Crank’s is taking the water, that would solve the problem. Azu says she’ll try her best, and warns the mayor that she almost had a massacre on her hands. 

Azu leaves the Meritocratic offices to see the market razed to the ground. A quarter of the people are catatonic while everyone else tries to dance. Hamid’s in the middle, looking disheveled, and Hamid excitedly encourages her to dance. Azu refuses — they need to go back up the mountain. 

Cut to Sasha, Grizzop, and Wilde, walking down the mountain. Wilde is sweating and frustrated at Sasha and Grizzop’s comments. A carriage shows up, and they get in; Sasha tries to sleep as Grizzop and Wilde talk. Grizzop is annoyed with Wilde’s attitude. Wilde says that things have gotten much bigger than the bad blood between Grizzop and himself. Whatever’s happening in England and France is spreading, Wilde’s no longer getting support from his organization, and he only trusts the LOLOMG. They have to progress both quickly and carefully, because things are accelerating and he’s not sure what’s going on. Grizzop says that because the Meritocrats are compromised by the Cult of Hades, they need to “go rogue.” He mentions that they have Einstein on their side and Wilde is shocked. 

Back to Azu and Hamid, the latter of whom is drunk. Azu summons Topaz and they head back up the mountain. Hamid falls asleep on the way, cuddling up to Azu on the camel. 

Grizzop in the carriage and Azu on Topaz see each other on the road. Azu carries Hamid into the carriage, and tells Grizzop about the riot-turned-party. Grizzop continues telling Wilde about Einstein’s teleportation help, and reassures Wilde that Einstein, “the necromantic collaborator,” “isn’t collaborating with anyone — he can hardly collaborate with himself.” Grizzop also suggests that the Cult of Hades might have been behind Kafka’s ritual, given its connections to undeath, and Wilde agrees. Sasha has woken up, and mentions that Mr Ceiling was also necromantic and that the Cult of Hades was involved in procuring the brains for it. Wilde ask the party whether they’ve run into any Separatist who’s actually been involved with Simulacrum before — they haven’t. 

Azu spots Apophis flying over Damascus, and points it out to the rest of the party. The carriage tips over from the force of Apophis’s wings as he flies overhead. There’s a huge flash followed by a heat haze and mushroom cloud of dust as Apophis breathes fire on the factory, and Apophis turns back, away from Damascus. 

Quotes

  • Hamid: very drunk Azu, Azu, Azu, oh my god, I’m having so much fun, come and dance with us, come and dance with us Azu! Ahhhhhhhhhh!
  • Azu: No.
  • Hamid: Awwwwww.

--

  • Sasha: Do you play cards, Grizzop?
  • Grizzop: Uh, yeah.
  • Sasha: Alright.
  • Grizzop: What game?
  • Sasha: We don’t have anything to bet, do we?
  • Grizzop: Uhhhh, I got arrows. You’ve got knives!
  • Sasha: You are not taking my knives.
  • Grizzop: Well, not if you win.
  • Sasha: You’re on.

--

  • Lydia: Sasha cheats a lot. So, she is winning, I assume.
  • Ben: Grizzop’s mainly playing for fun.
  • Lydia: The thing is, Sasha wouldn’t look sneaky, because to her, the way you play cards is that you cheat. What is the other way? That is how you win, that’s part of the rules.
  • Alex: Sasha is obliterating you at cards.
  • Ben: Oh, I’m just happily handing over arrows. I’m having a nice time.
  • Lydia: It’s almost not fun anymore. Is he even playing? Why would he play those cards? What does he have up his sleeves? Maybe something much bigger is coming later.
  • Ben: I’m just putting down hands and cackling to myself.
  • Lydia: This is probably actually disturbing her much more. Like, the conversion attempt was just like, “oh that’s just what Grizzop does, but I don’t want to talk about it right now.” This! This is unsettling. Why would you play…
  • Grizzop: cackling Three twos! Yes! Very good.
  • Sasha: Do, do goblins have a diff…no, don’t worry. Okay.

--

  • Grizzop: Well, I’m out of arrows. It’s been quite a while.
  • Sasha: Yeah, I hope they’re alright.
  • Grizzop: Do you think…
  • Sasha: Well, now you’ve gotta teach me how to shoot your bow. Oh wait! Bet your bow.
  • Grizzop: Ahh…ummm.
  • Alex: You hear someone teleport in.
  • Grizzop: Arrows, arrows, arrows, arrows…
  • Sasha: hands over an arrow You owe me an arrow.

--

  • Wilde: We need to start walking now. A carriage is on its way up.
  • Sasha: Why didn’t you teleport with a horse? Long pause. And we could ride it down?
  • Grizzop: Good point, teleport with a horse.
  • Wilde: Come on. He starts walking out the front entrance.
  • Grizzop: Just saying, Sasha’s got a good point! Teleport with a horse! Why are we walking?
  • Sasha: Or, he could even do with with, could you do it, maybe, with like…
  • Grizzop: Get a carriage, right?
  • Sasha: Yeah, get a carriage! Or teleport with someone that has a magical beast, like the way Azu does!

--

  • Grizzop: See, if you just teleported a carriage up, like…
  • Wilde: exasperated: I know! I know, if I could teleported a carriage, I should have teleported a carriage! I couldn’t do it, time was of the essence.
  • Grizzop: Well, if time is of the essence, it’d be better if we had fast transportation! We could save time! Also, what’s the radius on this glassing, because I’m not leaving until I see that place flat.
  • Sasha: Yeah. Or at least a slope, because it is built on a mountain. 
  • Alex: Wilde stops. He turns around, and he looks at both of you.
  • Sasha: About here then?
  • Wilde: breathes in and out very slowly Look…
  • Alex: At which point the carriage turns up behind him, just cresting over the nearest rise.

--

  • Wilde: so incredibly done Get in the carriage, now.
  • Grizzop: Okay. You get in the carriage too, and we’re gonna have a little chat.
  • Alex: He goes over, opens the door, and climbs into the carriage.
  • Grizzop: Were you just about to say you were having a very hard day?
  • Alex: He just kind of sits there quietly.
  • Grizzop: Were you just about to lecture us on the meaning of hard work and how difficult things are? Were you just about to do that, because you forgot to bring a carriage?
  • Wilde: Are you done?
  • Grizzop: Are you? Cause I’ve had it right up to here with you and your terrible attitude.
  • Wilde: Then leave, because things have gotten way more important than he gestures between them whatever this has become, it’s far more important than that now.

--

  • Wilde: Whatever’s happening in England and France is spreading, okay? And now the only support that I’ve had up to this point is gone. It is you, me, and the rest of your group, and they’re pretty much the only people I think I can trust at this stage….I mean, we don’t really know what’s happening yet, still.
  • Grizzop: Well, what we do know is the Meritocracy is probably compromised by the Cult of Hades, innit?
  • Wilde: Yes.
  • Grizzop: So, it’s obvious.
  • Wilde: Is it?
  • Grizzop: We go rogue! Come on. Well, I don’t go rogue, I’m still with the Cult of Artemis, it’s great.
  • Sasha: I was trying to have a nap. It has been so long since we had any rest. Do you have a quick answer about what we’re gonna do?
  • Wilde: No.
  • Grizzop: Go rogue! Go rogue. Just go rogue! Can’t trust the Meritocrats, so we just do it on our own. We got Einstein!
  • Wilde: What?!

--

  • Grizzop: Hey, Wilde, stop the carriage. As he sees Hamid’s disheveled state. What happened to him, has he been poisoned?
  • Azu: Only with alcohol.
  • Grizzop: What happened? We were waiting for ages.
  • Azu: There was, um, almost a riot, but then it turned into a party. It’s been a very long day.
  • Grizzop: Right, we’ve got Wilde in here. I think we’re gonna go rogue! Oh, we were having a conversation about Einstein! Alright, yeah, basically Einstein teleports us around.
  • Wilde: Einstein, the criminal? Einstein, the necromantic collaborator?
  • Grizzop: So, riddle me this, Wilde, how did we get to Damascus so fast? And how did we get from Prague to Cairo so fast?
  • Wilde: You didn’t...
  • Grizzop: We did. Bearing in mind as well, as the lead investigator on that little mission, right, Einstein hasn’t collaborated with anyone, he can hardly collaborate with himself! Right? So, he’s just a nice strange man who teleports us around. Like, Curie and the rest of them, well, whatever, but…
  • Wilde: Tell me you haven’t been working with Curie as well.
  • Grizzop: No! It’s just Einstein, he seems to be acting on his own, he went to the beach.

Dice rolls and Mechanics

Azu makes a diplomacy check with the orc leader: nat 20

Hamid makes a diplomacy check to get the two bands to play together: 31

Sasha makes a sleight of hand check against Grizzop: 31

Grizzop makes a bluff check against Sasha: 17

Grizzop makes a sense motive check while playing cards: 12

Azu makes a diplomacy roll with the mayor: 11

Hamid makes a diplomacy check to get another dance off starting: 31

Azu makes a diplomacy check with the orcs and goblins: 6

Hamid makes a diplomacy check to get the guards to dance: 16

Azu makes a diplomacy check with the mayor: 21

Hamid makes a fort save: 21

Everyone makes a perception check (sans Hamid, who's drunk): Azu gets 24, Sasha gets 20, Grizzop gets 22

Everyone makes a reflex save: Hamid fails, Grizzop gets 27, Azu gets 21, Sasha 13

Everyone makes another reflex save: Hamid gets 14, Grizzop gets 22, Azu gets 24, Sasha 30

Plot Notes

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