Hamid and Grizzop are a couple miles down a pipe looking at the underwater river. Azu, Sasha, and Wilde are all having a bit of a barbecue on the still-smoldering plate. Wilde looks immaculate, sitting there very still and staring off into the distance. Sasha is currently frying food on the volcanic plate with her daggers.
Azu goes over and sits next to Wilde, noticing that he seems a bit off. She says that they don’t really know each other at all, and Wilde agrees. She mentions that the others say that he doesn’t seem like himself, and Wilde says that he knows the others don’t really care. Azu says that Grizzop seemed to care, but Wilde just says that Grizzop seems a lot of things. Azu asks what he means by that, but Wilde brushes her off, asking what he can do for her. She says that she wanted to make sure that he’s alright, and he says that he is; she doesn’t really buy it, and says as much. Wilde just thanks her, clearly not wanting to engage, and Azu says that if he needs anything, he can ask. Wilde thanks her again, giving her his best condescending smile. Sasha calls out that the burgers are up, and Azu offers to bring him one, but Wilde declines, saying that he’ll get his own. They all get a small sandwich from Sasha, and tuck in to their breakfast.
Sasha, awkwardly, thanks Wilde for helping them all with the heart back in Cairo, and Wilde very sarcastically thanks her in return for giving him some vital information. There’s a pause, and then Sasha says that she hopes Wilde enjoyed being mean like that, asking if it was good for him. Wilde comments that people call him the life of the party, and Azu asks if he’s sure. It throws him, and he frowns a bit. Sasha says that she doesn’t know what parties he goes to, but that he should find better ones. Wilde opens his mouth to respond and then lets the moment pass. It’s clear he’s on his last legs, completely exhausted.
Hamid and Grizzop are standing at the end of the pipe, looking at this cavern. It looks like a stereotypical underground cavern; about 30 foot across, and the roof is about 15 foot up. There’s walkways across the water on both sides; the water level is probably lower than it used to be, based on where the walkways are. In terms of roofing, they can see metal reinforcements. It’s a fairly major project. For the length of Grizzop’s darkvision and Hamid’s dancing lights, the water seems to go off downriver and the walkway just ends.
In the other direction, both of the walkways have a crossover, and then the stairs continue upwards. Grizzop explains that it must be connected into a facility, so they should look at it. Hamid says that they should get the others before investigating. They should be able to get to the walkways easily; there are access ladders up to the walkways from where they are, and the walkways are large enough to walk two across, and have metal grilles on the side, so they’re not going to be inherently dangerous to walk across. Grizzop stays there while Hamid heads back to the party to get them to come down into the factory with them.
While Hamid is going back to get the party, Wilde has basically been workshopping puns. He’s been getting steadily more hack-y as he goes; Azu really doesn’t get them, and so he’s moved on to arbitrarily working on metal puns with Sasha. It seems to be helping him feel better as he and Sasha basically riff off each other with puns.
Hamid makes it back and explains what he and Grizzop have found, saying that they should all come down together. Wilde calls down that it’s probably not a good idea for him to come with them; he thinks that he’s going to have to go and deal with the fact that a bunch of people just saw Apophis make the flight over to glass the complex. Azu asks him to sleep, if he can, and Wilde is slightly dismissive but says that he’ll try. Hamid also tells him to look after himself, saying that he can’t keep going forever. Sasha says that it’d be really inconvenient if he died and they had to do the paperwork. Wilde doesn’t acknowledge either of them, and just walks away as fireworks explode behind him with the words “Wilde’s fine! Stop asking!” Sasha says that’s the closest they’ll get to him admitting he won’t be alright.
Hamid asks if Azu will be alright in the tunnel; if she takes off her armour and crouches, her back will be brushing against the top of the pipe. She doesn’t like it, but she says that she’ll make it down. Hamid leads, with Sasha behind, and Azu at the back. They head on; it’s a long tunnel, about as tall as Sasha is. It’s vaguely comforting for her. It is not as pleasant for Azu; she gets as close as she can to the edge without breaking down and running back out. It takes about an hour for them to make it down the end of the tunnel. The only saving grace is that they’re slightly going up rather than down. Azu has to stop every now and again because she’s crouching and her muscles ache, and does her best to not show that she’s struggling.
They make it to the other end of the tunnel and meet up with Grizzop again. Grizzop is sitting on the edge of the pipe, swinging his legs. Sasha notices the underground river and mutters that these always go well for them. Azu stretches as they make it out of the pipe, and there’s audible cracking as she does so.
Grizzop says that it’s really boring in here, and then they all make it up to the walkway. Sasha says that having walkways and light is actually really helpful when dealing with an underground river. She mentions that nothing’s hunting her, either, which is a real bonus, and asks Azu how great it is. Azu agrees, but sounds tense. Grizzop asks if Wilde actually went to go and get some rest, and Hamid says that he hopes so; Grizzop calls Wilde an idiot.
They keep going down the walkway and head up the stairs. There’s a closed door, which Sasha checks for traps. It’s a metal, grilled trapdoor, but she notices that disguised in the lock, there is a poison release system. She realizes that the lock has been coated in poison, and that there’s a vial inside that would release poison when unlocked. Grizzop recognizes the poison as twister root, which would slowly incapacitate a person over time so that they don’t notice (Meta game: does mounting dex damage over and over again). She successfully disables it, opening the door, and then appraises it; she can’t get the exact price, but it's probably worth around six hundred gold.
They head up through the trapdoor into a corridor that looks similar in style to the one they just left, although without the running water. It runs in both directions, relative to the river below, so they can head up or downriver. They decide to head upriver to find the source.
After a while, Sasha spots another trap. The trap that she sees is brutal, efficient, and would have been living hell for Azu. It covers the width of the corridor and is almost flawless in terms of how it has been described. Sasha tells the rest of them to back up while she checks it out. She triggers the trap, but doesn’t get caught by it. The floor in front of her disappears; she’s only ever read about this type of trap. It’s called a sinking coffin trap - people would have stepped on this, fallen into a tight metal box that would have been sunk in the water, and been washed away. Someone can survive in one of the boxes for about 10 minutes; breaking it open is nearly impossible, and you can’t lift the box out of the water. Someone who gets trapped in it knows that they’ll only have 10 minutes to live.
Sasha explains to the rest of the party what it is, and they all realise they they need to be incredibly careful around the factory. Grizzop says that he looks forward to taking down the rest of this factory, and maybe killing the people running it. Hamid says that he’s all in favor of that plan, considering how dangerous that trap was. They all leap across the gap.
Everyone is on high alert for traps now; Azu is jumping at nearly everything that they come across, and she’s muttering in Orcish. They continue along, and don’t seem to encounter any other traps in that time. The sinking coffin following the poison trap makes sense to her, since dealing with the sinking coffin trap while already clumsy seals your fate. Whoever put this place together knows what they’re doing.
They keep moving, until the corridor just stops at a door with an inbuilt lock. Sasha tells everyone to stand back again and checks it for traps, along with Grizzop. She asks if Grizzop doesn’t trust her to check on her own, and Grizzop explains that more people checking means less of a chance of her being dead. Sasha’s still a bit hurt; Grizzop checks, and sees nothing, and Sasha feels vindicated. The door, to her eye, doesn’t appear to be trapped, but it can slide open and shut automatically. It takes her up to an hour to jimmy open the lock, and then they can push it open. It doesn’t want to be opened manually, but Azu helps Sasha get it open.
They see, inside the room about twenty feet away, a carbon copy of this door. Between the two is a cubed room with large metal tiles, about 5x5ft each on the walls and ceilings. It’s the same type of lock on the other door. Hamid says that it’s a strange room, and both Grizzop and Azu say that it’s definitely suspicious and definitely a trap. Sasha calls for everyone to back up again and checks for traps, but doesn’t sense anything. She still isn’t sure that there isn’t a trap there, however, so Grizzop offers to shoot a tile. Sasha backs up until she’s behind Grizzop, and they all back up until they’re one hundred foot away. He asks Hamid to cast dancing lights down the corridor, and he does. He fires an arrow at a tile on the floor and nothing happens. He aims for one on the wall next, and it makes a hollow noise when it hits. Both Grizzop and Sasha grumble about it, clearly distrusting it.
Hamid says that they’re going to need to get through it somehow, because they have to get to the other side, and Sasha says that if he wants to go, he can lead the way. Azu and Grizzop immediately shoot that idea down, and Grizzop offers to go instead, since he’s got the hardiness and the agility. He explains that he’s got the best chance of surviving; he says Azu won’t be any good in there, and Azu takes a moment before agreeing. Hamid says that Grizzop doesn’t mean that Azu won’t do any good, just that this trip might not be built for someone with her skillset. Grizzop agrees, saying that if someone needs intimidating, he wouldn’t be the one to do that. Sasha says that Grizzop can get pretty angry; Grizzop says he’s not even 4’ tall, but Sasha counters that he’s stabby. Grizzop says that Sasha is better at getting out of the way but might not be able to take the hit. They all decide Grizzop will go in. Sasha ties a rope around his belt before he goes.
Grizzop steps very carefully into the room; nothing happens. He waits ten seconds. Hamid starts to speak, and Grizzop shushes him, listening for any mechanical noises moving around in the room. He only hears some water drips from the edges of the room. Hamid asks if they can open the door on the other side of the room, but Sasha knows it has the same lock as before, so Sasha will have to go in and unlock it.
She starts to go in, but Grizzop comes back out and ties the rope around her as well, saying that it might have a weight trap that he didn’t set off. Hamid says that it’s possible that there’s nothing in the room, but both Sasha and Grizzop are less sure, saying that it’s a weird room to build if it doesn’t have the stats. Hamid says that it may just be there to psychologically torture people who came through, but Grizzop says that if there’s a chance of being overcautious or dying, he’ll pick the former. Hamid mentions that if he was building a factory like this, he’d put the trap in a very subtle place instead of in the suspicious room.
Sasha stands up and goes in, saying that it can’t be more painful than this conversation, and Azu holds onto the rope. She walks across the room and checks the door for traps. It’s absolutely going to trigger a trap, and its clear that the reason the doors have the complicated mechanism is to lock someone in and do something, but Sasha doesn’t know what. The trigger, unless she disables it, is going to go off when the door opens. Sasha tells them all to get back, saying that the trap is going to be the door. Grizzop asks what’s going to happen if the trigger goes off, and Sasha says that they should probably go back further than the other door so that it only catches her up. Hamid asks what will happen, and Sasha says that she assumes there’s a reason that there are two strong doors on each side of the room.
Hamid asks if there’s a way for them to prop the door open, and Grizzop wonders if an adamantine dagger would be enough to keep the door open. Sasha is not at all alright with this idea, since she doesn’t want her dagger to break. Grizzop says that there’s an entire factory down the road full of adamantine daggers that they would be happy to give her, but Sasha says that this one is hers. Grizzop asks if it’s worth her life, and Sasha doesn’t say anything. He tells her to stick it in the door, but Sasha’s still reluctant, saying that it’ll get blunted. Grizzop yells at her to sharpen it, and Hamid makes an offhand comment that it’s pretty hard to sharpen adamantine daggers.
Grizzop, getting more stressed, says that they’re in Damascus and someone probably has a way to do it or they can just get another dagger. Sasha asks if they can put their armour there instead, and Grizzop says that it’s steel and that the doors would crush it immediately. He tells Sasha to give him the dagger again so that she doesn’t die, and then repeats it when she doesn’t. Hamid tries to convince her as well, saying that if she opens the door correctly then the dagger will be fine anyway. Grizzop repeats himself again, and Azu echoes him, saying that she doesn’t want Sasha to die. Sasha finally gives the dagger to him, and he hands it to Azu, telling her to jam it under the door so that it can’t close. Grizzop leans in to Azu and whispers to her to hammer it in with her axe. Azu doesn’t hammer it, watching how Sasha is stuttering and watching them, clearly hating this, but does kick it in a bit with her foot. Sasha whimpers a bit.
She successfully unlocks the door, and nothing happens. She turns and tells them to give her her dagger back, and then a mechanism in the walls starts to move; panels start to vibrate on each side of the door and flip up, exposing four huge pipes pointed at both doors. She hears the sounds of a torrential rush of water, and Sasha starts to back out through the front doors.
- Azu: (sits near Wilde) "We don’t know each other very well."
- Wilde: "Nope."
- Azu: "The others don’t seem to think that you’re yourself."
- Wilde: "Let’s be honest, the others don’t really care. But that’s fine."
- Azu: "I’m not sure that’s true, Grizzop seemed to care."
- Wilde: "Yeah, Grizzop does seem a lot of things."
- Azu: "What does that mean?"
- Wilde: "Nothing. What can I do for you, Azu?"
- Azu: "Just wanted to see how you are."
- Wilde: "I’m fine. How are you?"
- Azu: "You don’t seem fine. That’s all."
- Wilde: (sighs) "Okay. Good to know. Thank you Azu."
- Azu: "If you need anything, like, to sleep for a few days, or eat several thousand calories, I can try and help."
- Wilde: "Thanks."
- Alex: "He gives you his best condescending smile, which because of the glamour, it’s really good! It’s someone in their prime, looking fabulous, just really condescending."
- Wilde: "I think I’m fine."
- Azu: "If you say so."
- ―Azu tries to talk to Wilde about his health.
- Sasha: "I want to say, Wilde, uhhh, about the being alive thing. It’s uh, good. So…thanks for your part in that. That was good."
- Wilde: "Good to hear some vital information from you."
- Sasha: "Yeah, well. Alright. Good. You know, I hope you enjoy being mean like that. Like, was that, was that good for you there? Being…being mean like that? I don’t…"
- Wilde: "I mean, people say I’m the life of the party."
- Azu: "Are you sure?"
- Alex: "That throws Wilde. He just gives that frown of like, that’s not how puns are meant to be received, they’re meant to be loved or hated. That’s an incorrect response. Input not accepted."
- Sasha: "I don’t know what kind of parties you go to, mate, but you should go to better ones."
- Alex: "Wilde just kind of opens his mouth to give a pun, just draws nothing, because he’s on his absolute last legs, and is just like, sure."
- ―Azu and Sasha don't appreciate Wilde's puns.
- Alex: "He’s abandoned trying with Azu, and he’s been just working on puns with Sasha as a way of passing the time. Let’s say you’ve arbitrarily got onto metal puns."
- Wilde: "Well, you know, studying metal takes an iron will."
- Sasha: "Yeah, it does, uhhh, like…I mean, that’s a good copper, ey? Copper, yeah. Coppered out there. Right. Wonder when the others are gonna be back."
- Wilde: "Maybe you should steel yourself."
- Sasha: "Yeah! Uhhh, there’s um…you know, ironing. We could do some ironing while they’re there."
- Alex: "He winces a bit but he’s still on board."
- Sasha: "We could send them some chain mail! Alright, yeah?"
- Wilde: "Yeah, yeah, it’ll be difficult to get the filing together."
- Sasha: "Oh, that’s good, that. You’re nailing it."
- Alex: "He seems genuinely happy with that one!"
- Hamid: (returns) "Hey guys! Everyone alright?"
- Azu: "Have you sobered up?"
- Hamid: "Yeah! I’m fine. I mean, that was yesterday, literally."
- Sasha: "As you get older, Hamid, these things hit you harder. Like metal. Metal hits hard."
- Alex: "He just holds up a “nearly, nearly.”"
- Azu: "I don’t know what’s been happening."
- ―Sasha and Wilde make puns.
- Wilde: "It’s probably worth me going back because I suspect the entirety of Damascus may have just seen Apophis turn up and glass a place."
- Hamid: "Oh, yeah, they might want an explanation."
- Wilde: "I might have to deal with that. It’s, it’s not exactly a...staple event, so uh, yeah, I’m probably gonna.."
- Sasha: "You should be adamantine with them that it was not really a dragon."
- Alex: "Wilde’s super chuffed. Wilde’s super happy with this development."
- Sasha: "I meant adamant, did you get that?"
- Wilde: "I did! I did, I liked that."
- Hamid: "These jokes are gold."
- Alex: "Wilde’s face just drops and he just looks at Hamid and shakes his head just a little bit."
- Bryn: "Hamid smiles."
- ―Sasha and Wilde exchange puns.
- Azu: "Will you make sure to go to sleep?"
- Wilde: "Sure, why not."
- Hamid: "Do look out for yourself, Oscar. You can’t keep going forever."
- Sasha: "It’d be really inconvenient if you died and we had to do all the paperwork instead."
- Alex: "Wilde just sort of starts walking off, clicks his fingers and then the illusion of a fireworks display appears over the hole that just says, “Wilde’s fine! Stop asking!” And then he just walks off to the road."
- Sasha: "I think that’s the nearest we’ll ever get to him admitting he’s not fine."
- ―Wilde is fine.
- Alex: "It’s called a Sinking Coffin trap. People would have stepped on this, they would have fallen into a tight metal box which would have sealed behind them, then dropped them into the river where they would have sunk and sunk and been washed away. You know that someone can survive in one of those boxes for about 10 minutes. To open the box once it’s closed and someone’s in it is near impossible, and to lift the box when it’s in the water is effectively impossible. It is someone who has 10 minutes knowing that they will die in 10 minutes. It’s horrific."
- Sasha: "Oh guys, this one! This one is incredible, let me talk you through it!"
- Lydia: "Sasha enthusiastically tells you of the ways in which she nearly died."
- Sasha: "Right, and then you would be stuck in it, right? So, the thing is it’s a bit of an odd one they would use here, because it’s a preventative device, right? Cause if you hear that that’s happened to someone, you ain’t going down that thing, right?"
- Alex: "Actually, you have one anecdote of, the only time you’ve heard of it being used in Other London, someone did it just as a demonstration to others and they made them fall into the outflow from a slaughterhouse of the cold ice water, so they were also freezing when it happened."
- Sasha: "So, it’s very useful as a like, it’s less of a trap more of a kind of like, repeatedly settable torture device. Like, distance torture, if you think about it, that’s pretty effective."
- ―Sasha is impressed by the trap they encounter in the factory.
- Sasha: "You guys stand back and I’m gonna check this [door] for traps."
- Hamid: "Be careful!"
- Sasha: "Further back!"
- Ben: "I’m also going to be looking for traps just for like, a level of security."
- Lydia/Sasha: "Okay, you don’t trust..."
- Grizzop: "It’s not that I don’t trust you, it’s just that, if you make a mistake, based on the severity of that last trap you might just be dead. So, rather than the chance of you just being dead, I want to maybe try and make it higher chance that you’re not just dead? I think you’re much better than me at this, but…"
- Lydia: "Sasha is hurt."
- ―Grizzop helps check for traps.
- "I think that you guys should probably go back further than the other door, so that if anything happens it’s only me that gets it."
- Hamid: "Well, what if we wedge this door open?"
- Grizzop: "Wait, hang on a minute, how hard is adamantine? It’s very right? You’ve got an adamantine dagger, right?"
- Sasha: "Not my dagger!!"
- Grizzop: "There is a factory full of them, like five miles down the road, and they seemed really happy to give it to you!"
- Sasha: "This one is mine!"
- Grizzop: "We’ll go get you more daggers! Is it worth your life?"
- Sasha: "I mean…"
- Grizzop: "Just stick it in the door."
- Sasha: "But he gave me this one!"
- Grizzop: "Adamantine’s job is it’s really hard!"
- Sasha: "It’ll get blunted…"
- Grizzop: "Then sharpen it! Can we please get on with this and not die!!"
- Sasha: "Can you put, like someone’s armour instead? That seems bigger."
- Grizzop: "That’s all steel! The door will crush it! The point of adamantine is it’s really hard!"
- Sasha: "This dagger’s really small though!"
- Grizzop: "Just give me the dagger! Give me the dagger! Sasha, give me the dagger so you don’t die."
- Sasha: "But…"
- Grizzop: "Give me the dagger so you don’t die. Give me the dagger so you don’t die, please?"
- Azu: "Please Sasha. I don’t want you to die."
- ―Sasha is reluctant to part with her dagger.
Dice rolls and Mechanics
- Everyone takes 10 to get up to the walkway.
- Sasha makes a Perception check: 27
- Sasha makes a Disable Device check: nat 20 (35)
- Grizzop makes a Knowledge (nature) check on the poison: 19
- Sasha makes an Appraise check: 21
- Sasha makes a Disable Device check: nat 1
- Sasha makes a Reflex save: 25
- Everyone takes 10 to leap across the gap in the floor.
- Everyone makes a Perception check to search for traps: Grizzop gets 10, Azu gets 8, Sasha gets 17, Hamid gets 25
- Grizzop and Sasha make a Perception check to search for traps: Grizzop gets 10, Sasha gets 30
- Sasha makes a Disable Device check to unlock the door: nat 1
- Sasha takes 20 to unlock the lock.
- Sasha makes a Disable Device check on the room: 18
- Grizzop takes 20 to fire an arrow at a metal tile
- Grizzop makes a Perception check: nat 20
- Sasha makes a Perception check on the other door: 31
- Sasha makes a Disable Device check on the door: 22