Bertie is a human statue. The Rangers manage to fool the guards outside the complex containing the Arsonists.
Hamid has succeeded in drawing both of the guards away from their post, leading them to where the party is waiting in ambush. Bertie "living statue" MacGuffingham looks perfectly like a statue of himself; his armour has been buffed up, he’s pulled his helmet down to hide his eyes, he’s added some polish to the hinges so that it looks as though he’s been there a while. His sword and shield are drawn, and the falcon eyes of his armour are aglow. Zolf hides behind a rock that's next to the pool Bertie’s stood in, braced and ready to attack. Hamid is hidden in some nearby shadows, having repurposed his and Sasha's eel keesh to throw to the dog. Sasha hides nearby Bertie, so that they will pass by her and not notice as their attention goes to Bertie.
The guards and dogs approach carefully toward Bertie, but their carefulness disappears as they notice him, and drop their guard. They go up to the ‘statue’ and pose with it, clearly amused. Zolf, at this point, steps out from behind cover and attacks the guard, followed quickly by the rest of the party.
The guards, completely taken by surprise, are easily overwhelmed. They make an attempt to fight back, but are quickly felled by the party while Hamid distracts the dogs with the keesh. One guard is knocked unconscious, and one of them surrenders to Zolf, apologising. It’s clear that these aren’t the brightest guards. Sasha ties up the surrendered guard as Zolf stabilises the downed one, before dragging them back toward the other one. Bertie, meanwhile, makes one of the dogs, a bull mastiff, friendly towards him. It flops over onto his back as Bertie plays with it. The other dog returns, and Bertie is able to tame it as well; it’s not as into Bertie, but it starts munching on the eel keesh.
Zolf interrogates the guard, who says they are working for the Serpentines. The guard clearly hasn’t been prepped for interrogation, and is very badly lying about not remembering anything about what the Serpentines did. Sasha and Zolf both try to intimidate him, which doesn’t work. Hamid plays good cop to their bad cop, and ‘convinces’ them to lean back. This treatment gets the guard to open up, and he finally tells them that there are three men inside the compound: Guy and two brothers: Carl and Carlton. There would have been four, but Jeremy, a mysterious figure, left when they got back yesterday. The guard admits that they had gone after the Simulacrum; Hamid asks if Jeremy had taken anything when he left, but the guard doesn’t know. He does say that Guy is furious, and that they’re going to probably kill him. Hamid asks where they are in the complex, and the guard says that they should be in the same room. Sasha asks how they fight, and the guard says that they’re good, before saying that they want to go home. Zolf asks how long he’s been a member - the guard says it’s only been a few weeks, and explains that he knew about the simulacrum plans because Guy gave a speech about getting rid of robots that can take the place of people, thus returning power to Other London. He also claims that machines caused the massive London flood.
Hamid asks what his name is, and the guard, clearly lying, says Bob. No one believes this, but doesn’t push. He reveals that Guy is the leader of the group, and that they can use any weapon. Sasha asks what deal the Serpentines made, because there’s no way that three of them and a few guards could have pulled off that heist. The guard doesn’t answer, and Hamid thanks them before saying that they’ll come back for him when they’re done. The guard promises to stay there; Zolf reminds him that he’s tied up, so they don’t need the promise. The guard, clearly trying to angle to get out of the ropes, says that there are a lot of traps - trip wires and magic - and then says that the other guard has keys to the gate that Sasha finds (along with a few other items that she pockets).
Zolf knocks the guard unconscious, and then turns to ask the party what they want to do with the two guards before announcing that he’s planning to drown them. Hamid is completely taken aback, but Zolf explains that they were both part of the group who killed the people at the manor. Hamid is completely against it, saying that there should be a trial and that they’ve been hired by the police. He argues that these two weren’t even at Edison’s house, but Zolf says that they deserve it and will be a fitting tribute to Poseidon. He says that making sacrifices is what gives him his cleric power, which neither Hamid nor Sasha realised. Hamid continues to say that these two guards aren’t responsible; Zolf argues that they’re still part of the group, and that they’re benefiting from the plan at Edison’s. Hamid says that sometimes, people can do bad things without being aware of them; Sasha says that it’s true, and that bad circumstances can lead a person to do bad things. Zolf relents, although he clearly isn’t happy about it, saying that the next time they come across someone who is hurting others, he’s drowning them in the Thames. Hamid is conflicted, but doesn’t disagree. (Sasha cuts the tension, asking if everyone’s seen how many daggers she has.)
Bertie introduces the rest of them to the dogs, and decides to take the dumber dog along with him. He inspects the dog, and notices a collar on him, with the name Brutor on the label. Bertie takes the collar off and Brutor licks his face. He feeds the dog some brandy, and then Zolf interrupts the moment to plan out how they’re going to storm the manor. They’ll be able to handle the traps with Sasha there, and will be able to handle most of the fighting, thankfully. They decide on getting close to the house before making any moves, and Zolf heals Sasha up before they start to move.
- Zolf: "What do we do with these two? I don’t know about you, but I’m planning to drown them."
- Hamid: "What?! You can’t do that."
- Zolf: "I mean, I can. They killed people."
- Hamid: "Not these people! I mean, part of their group did, but not these specific people."
- Zolf: "He knew people were going to die in the raid…Eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. They deserve it."
- Hamid: "You can’t just drown them after we’ve already beaten them. If you kill someone in a fight that’s one thing, but they should have a trial."
- Zolf: "Trial? But it’s fine to kill them in a fight?"
- Hamid: "If they’re trying to kill you and you kill them first that’s one thing, but once the fight is over you have to deliver them to the authorities."
- Zolf: "They’ve already done the deed. They’re responsible for the deaths."
- Hamid: "Not this person! There’s a difference between accessory to murder and murder!"
- ―Zolf and Hamid argue about what to do with the guards.
- Zolf: "They deserve it."
- Hamid: "I disagree!"
- Zolf: "They deserve it and they will make a fitting tribute to Poseidon."
- Hamid: "What?!"
- Sasha: "Oh, does he give you anything in return for that?"
- Zolf: "You’re all benefiting from it. You seem happy enough when I’m healing you. Where do you think that comes from?"
- Hamid: "I didn’t realise it came from killing helpless people!"
- ―The party learns where Zolf's healing comes from.
- Zolf: "He is not taking responsibility."
- Hamid: "He has an opportunity to learn and take responsibility and change."
- Zolf: "What? Just because he says he’s sad and wants to go home?"
- Hamid: "Look, it’s very possible to do things that you didn’t mean to, that you didn’t agree with, because someone else bullied you into it or did it without your knowledge."
- Sasha: "That’s, uh, like, that is true. Zolf."
- Hamid: "Exactly! Exactly!"
- Sasha: "Sometimes people make you do, sometimes circumstance makes you do things."
- Zolf: "Being sorry will not bring those people back."
- Hamid: "Oh...I, I know that. I’m not, I’m not an idiot."
- ―Zolf and Hamid argue.
Dice rolls and Mechanics
- Everyone apart from Bertie makes a Stealth check to hide: Sasha gets 15, Zolf gets 2, and Hamid gets 15.
- Sasha takes 10 to tie up the guard.
- Zolf stabilises the guard that Sasha knocked unconscious.
- Bertie rolls a Handle Animal check with pomp and pageantry on the first dog: 20
- Bertie rolls a Handle Animal check on the second dog: 17
- Zolf makes an Intimidate check, with Sasha aiding. Zolf gets 15, Sasha gets 8
- Hamid makes a Diplomacy check: 14
- Sasha makes a Perception check to search the guard: 16
- Zolf heals Sasha.
Initiative: Sasha (17), Hamid (10), Bertie (7), Zolf (5), dog 1, dog 2
- Sasha: Charges the first guard as he walks past her. She hits on a 15 and deals 4 damage.
- Hamid: Steps out from behind cover, whistles, and tosses two eel quiches toward the dogs.
- Bertie: Bellows and attacks one of the guards, but misses on a 9 on his attack.
- Zolf: Take a 5ft step around the rock and stabs his trident into a guard's spine, but he misses on a roll of 8.
- Both of the guards are startled and one is knocked prone. The guard nearest Bertie falls down in panic. The other guard stabbed by Sasha screams "Ghosts! GHOSTS!"
- One of the dogs hears Hamid’s whistle but turns to face the wrong direction (having rolled a nat 1 initiative). The second dog turns, fails its Will save, and turns to the quiche.
- Sasha: Stabs at one of the guards twice. She rolls a 15 and a 6, only hitting on the first attack, and deals 8 damage, knocking the guard unconscious.
- Hamid: Holds his action.
- Bertie: Attacks the prone guard; he rolls a 13 and hits, dealing 9 damage.
- Zolf: Grabs the guard and yells “Stay down and you won’t be hurt!” The guard agrees, and Zolf leans on him with his shield.
- Dog 1: Trots off to look for some quiche.
- Dog 2: Goes over to the quiche and begins eating.
- Brutor joins the party.