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Join Alex, Helen, Bryn, Lydia and Ben as they share stories while waiting out quarantine. This week Cel has creative ways to fight boredom, Zolf has more conventional ideas, Azu prefers to handle sticky human stuff, and Hamid tries to explain.


The party has been locked up in the room underneath the inn, along with Barnes and Carter, where they will be waiting for a week as they ensure that they aren’t infected. They have not been confined to the cell, but will be expected to be down there the whole time. The room itself is not anti-magic - it’s localised on the cell itself. With six people in the cell, it’s incredibly crowded, and will be a struggle for a week. One or two people will have to be on the stairs. Cel constructs a hammock out of clothes that they suspend in the cell. 

A digital four-panel comic, sketched in purple. In the first panel, Zolf, a dwarf man with a long beard and short hair, holds up a playing card and says: “right so it’s gonna get a bit boring.” There’s a close up on Cel, a non binary half-elf with spiky hair and goggles on their forehead, who says loudly “speak for yourself.” Cel then glugs down a potion. In the last panel, they are a rat.

Cel turns into a rat. Art by @art-heap on Tumblr. Used with permission.

Zolf starts off saying that he knows it’s going to be a very boring week, but to demonstrate how not boring they’re going to make it, Cel transforms into a rat. They run into the cell, where they immediately pop back into a half-elf, and then look confused. Zolf explains that there’s an antimagic field, and so Cel steps out of the cell and instead turns into an octopus. Zolf is a bit taken aback, but kind of just runs with it. He reaches under the chair against the wall and pulls out a drawer filled with cards, games, Cambell novels, and other ways to pass the time. Cel reaches in with one tentacle and grabs some of the cards and books, with Zolf unsuccessfully trying to stop them. Hamid thanks Zolf for showing them, and then the party all falls asleep for the night. 

A doodle of Cel as an octopus. The octopus is a light red, with six visible tentacles. Their eyes are black, and Cel's goggles are situated atop their head, similar to how they wear them normally. One tentacle is raised in a wave.

Cel turns into an octopus. Art by @iwillsithereandtrytocontribute on tumblr. Used with permission.

The first night doesn’t go well. Carter sleeps on the guard side of the cell, and Barnes takes first shift sleeping on the stairs to be nice, and eventually switches places with Carter so he can get some real rest. Hamid is fine, and snuggles up with Azu. For everyone else, it’s a tight fit in the small space.

The next day, Hamid and Zolf have a conversation where Hamid apologises to Zolf for not following the rules, and explains that he is unused to the rules and that he doesn’t know all of the protocol. He says that he was worried about his family, but that he’ll try to be better in the future, and that he trusts Zolf and Wilde’s caution. Zolf cuts his apology off, saying that there’s no need for it and that he doesn’t expect one; he understands why Hamid did what he did and that Hamid hasn’t had as much time to get used to it. He suggests that Hamid puts the stone in the cell to be safe - it’s already in Hamid’s bag in the corner of the cell. They both stumble over each other for a moment, slightly awkward, until Zolf says that he left weirdly, and says that Hamid can ask questions if he wants. Hamid says he has some, but instead says that they need to get better at working together again, referencing the tension in the institute. Zolf says that they never worked all that well together anyway, and Hamid deflates a bit, saying he didn’t think it was that bad. Cel gasps. Zolf references Kew and Paris, and Barnes says it didn’t seem bad in Dover. There’s a pause, and Azu mentions that maybe this should be a private conversation. Both Zolf and Hamid disagree, and Zolf says that he doesn’t mind - he’s spent so much time not talking about things that he seems tired of it, and says he doesn’t have anything to hide anymore. 

Cel leans over the hammock and asks if Zolf has ever been involved romantically with Oscar Wilde. Zolf laughs, but then assures them (for the third time) that he hasn’t been. He cares about Wilde, but also reminds them that Wilde is an ass, continuing to laugh a bit. Cel says that that hasn’t stopped them, and Barnes interjects, saying that Carter tried but that it didn’t go well. Carter makes a rude gesture but goes back to playing cards. 

Hamid goes back to his previous statement, mentioning Kew, and saying that it made sense that Zolf called the shots, but that after he left, Hamid sort of stepped into that role, and that this confusion led to some friction in the Institute. Azu says that she’s happy they’re having this conversion, and then Carter jumps in, saying that they could fight it out. Azu quickly denounces that idea, saying that they don’t have space for it. Carter tries to get it going anyway, with other people making suggestions for how Hamid and Zolf can sort it out (Cel suggests a card game); Carter takes 4 to 1 on Hamid. Zolf rounds on him, saying that if Hamid actually tries to fight with magic, they’ll all die, and that if it’s just a fistfight, of course Zolf will win. Carter ups it to 8 to 1, and Hamid mentions that some of his abilities aren’t strictly magical. He goes into the cell and pops his claws out, and Zolf reconsiders his previous statement, but then says that they’re not fighting. Carter goes back to 4 to 1, and Azu and Zolf tell him to shut up. 

Hamid moves past the fighting thing, saying that they’re adults and can talk it out. He says that Zolf knows the mission and world better than he does, so it makes sense that Zolf is calling more of the shots. He asks that Zolf would take into account that they tailor their strengths to the group they have better, which is why he was frustrated. Zolf says that that’s fine, and Hamid says that he understands it might not mean as much to Zolf, but Hamid seems sort of lost without the structure that their previous mercenary group had. Zolf does understand, but says that they’re all just doing their best in the situation, because so much is still unknown and he isn’t going to pretend he completely understands the situation. He refers to Hamid casting fireball and blowing out the windows, saying that that gave away their position; Cel leans over and gives Hamid two thumbs up at the mention. Hamid agrees that it might not have been the best decision, but he mentions that there were multiple occasions where Zolf would treat him like a child and be passive aggressive, and that he isn’t the same naive adventurer from before. He didn’t appreciate the comments, and wants to address it now while they have the time. Cel whispers to Azu to ask if they’re always like this, and Azu admits that she doesn’t know, not having seen them together often. 

Zolf says that he understands where Hamid is coming from, but counters that sometimes he feels like Hamid doesn’t take things seriously as he should - for example, calling all of this an adventure. Hamid admits this, and says that it’s more of how he copes with things and keeps himself going even when things seem impossible - otherwise, the scale will just overwhelm him. Zolf accepts this, understanding that they all have their own coping mechanisms (giving a look to Azu). He continues, saying that he knows this isn’t going to be something that’s solved instantly and they’re both going to have to work at it and it’s gonna be difficult. Zolf mentions that they aren’t the only people here, referring to Azu and Cel; he also mentions that him, Barnes and Carter have worked together for longer than they ever did.

Carter pipes up, then, saying that generally they just let Zolf be grumpy when he wants and it works out, and Cel mentions that they see how that would work. Carter asks if they’ve just given Zolf a problem and let him solve it, and Cel says that that’s a good idea. He clarifies that they need to give Zolf a physical problem rather than a logical one. Azu steps in, then, saying that Zolf and Hamid need to give each other more credit, with Barnes agreeing. Hamid thanks Zolf for letting him speak through that, and wanted to clear the air. He has a lot of complicated feelings about everything, including when Zolf left, saying that it was very difficult, but that he did miss Zolf and he’s glad to be working together again. Zolf apologises for all of it, and that he still doesn’t really know if he should have done it, but that he stands by what he said, although he’s changed (gesturing at the hair and legs). 

Cel asks (quietly) whether he got a haircut or something, and Zolf says that something happened (although he doesn’t sound completely sure of what it was) - he stammers for a bit, but then explains that he used to be a cleric of Poseidon, and became one because they saved his life and felt like he owed them something, but he never really was that into it. Barnes cuts in, then, and mentions that the Poseidon lot are a bit of a nause. This turn of phrase causes a bit of confusion, but Barnes explains, with Azu offering up her own idiom, a camel in the pants. Zolf continues to explain, saying that he never really fit, and that neither he nor Poseidon understood each other, and that he never really believed in Poseidon or that Poseidon ever believed in him. Azu says that Poseidon must have had faith in him if Zolf was able to do magic, but Zolf says that maybe he only ever saw Zolf as a project. He goes on to say that he didn’t want to be treated like that, and Cel mentions that it sounds like several of their past relationships, which Zolf summarily ignores, saying it was one-sided. Barnes chimes in saying that Posiedon has also indirectly killed a number of people they know, and Zolf says all the gods have; as a Navy commander, Barnes explains that it’s affected him more, and Zolf agrees. Cel congratulates him for standing up for himself. 

Azu says that she had a different journey; Zolf says it’s all individual, and says that now he actually does have faith, not faith in a god. Hamid says that Zolf does seem better and that he’s happy for him. Barnes says that Zolf is more chill, to which Cel, Azu, and Hamid all agree, although delicately. Zolf reminds Barnes that the first time they met, he tried to court martial Zolf, to which Barnes responds that he didn’t try, he succeeded - Zolf gives him the point. Hamid tries to defend Zolf, but Zolf says that it did work, he just got off by having to pay his commission instead. Zolf tells Barnes that it’s water under the bridge, but Barnes just mentions that he did succeed again. There’s a pause, and Zolf says that he doesn’t enjoy how proud Barnes sounds. 

Cel cuts in, saying that they would really appreciate a run down of the events, since they really don’t know much about the backstory of anyone in there. They retell the story completely wrong, and Hamid keeps trying and failing to interrupt to correct them. About halfway through, Carter loses track of what the original point of the conversation was, and starts offering suggestions for how to make the story better, which doesn’t help with their confusion. Cel references Sasha, asking about who she was, and this is about where Hamid jumps in to retell the entire story correctly. 

When he gets to the Mr. Ceiling bit, Zolf runs over to his bag, that has Shoin’s brain in it, and hammers on the trap door to get Wilde’s attention. Zolf explains that he has Shoin’s brain, and Wilde asks why. He and Hamid explain that Shoin removed his own brain, which Wilde questions, and Zolf says that he was a mad alchemist. Cel gets a bit offended, saying one day they might be able to remove their brain too, and Zolf says he rests his case. Hamid adds that he used similar tech as Francois Henri, and Wilde opens the trapdoor, asking them to show him the brain. Zolf tells him that he’ll have to isolate himself too, because the brain is infected, and Wilde immediately turns and leaves, shutting the door. Zolf explains through the door that half of the brain is infected, and Cel says that one of the adventurers that came through must have been infected and infected Shoin. Zolf asks if they have the diary, and Cel says yes, getting it out and accidentally elbowing Carter in the face. Zolf asks Wilde to open the slot so that he can give it to him, but Wilde declines, saying instead to keep it with them and not read it out. Zolf hands it back to Cel, who’s happy because they say they’ve nearly got to the end of the romances novels. That prompts Zolf to kick in a wall, revealing even more Cambells. Cel very diplomatically says that they are more interested in the technical journal than in the romance novels; Azu, however, says she liked the romance novels, so Zolf hands her a box. 

After this diversion, Hamid continues telling the story. He doesn’t give a lot of detail about Kew, Cairo, or Prague, which is when Zolf left, and then Cel apologises for Hamid’s sister. They ask if he wants to talk about her, and Hamid says that he would like it, but that he needs to focus. Cel asks pointed questions about the weather regarding Cairo, and then also questions them not robbing the pyramid. Carter is also upset they didn’t rob the pyramid. Azu says he still got a spike in him, which is what he deserves. Zolf asks why they didn’t, and Hamid says it wasn’t as important as the mission, which Zolf then asks about as well, and Hamid continues, moving on to Damascus. Barnes mentions that they should keep some of this down, because there are rumors that the blue vein infection is a gestalt entity. Cel suggests that maybe they shouldn’t talk at all, which Azu doesn’t seem that enthused by. 

At that, Carter stands up, mentioning that he might have a way of helping make this all better. He asks if they will close their eyes, but no one wants to, so he shrugs it off and heads into the cell. He pulls on one of the bricks, and then pulls out about 12 bottles of booze and a pack of daggers. Cel asks why he needs so many daggers, Zolf asks why he has any of this, and Azu asks if these are his emergency rations. There is quite the selection of alcohol; they look really posh, with a few halfling wines, human ales, elvish mead, orcish whiskey, mundane stouts, and more. Azu asks if he stole them - Carter doesn’t answer, but Zolf answers yes for him and grabs a bottle of stout. Carter says that if everything is a hivemind and they all get smashed, then the hivemind will too if they’re infected. Zolf says that that doesn’t make sense, but Azu thinks it does, and Zolf says he doesn’t care anyway and opens the stout. Azu takes the orcish whiskey and starts to drink it as well, aiming the cork at Carter. Carter retreats to the corner of the cell, and Zolf goes over, trying to comfort him and get him to come out and talk with them. He looks at Azu, deadeyed, and takes a long swig of alcohol. Azu says she normally would say to be careful, but Carter just takes another drink. Zolf tells him not to get alcohol poisoning to make a point, and Carter drinks again. 

Cel takes the elvish mead and stares at it for a while; they recognise that it’s genuine American-made mead, and asks where Carter got it. Carter, already quite drunk, doesn’t have an answer, and Azu tells them to ask when Carter is sober. Carter drinks again. Hamid takes the halfling wine. Cel puts the mead away and starts on the stout as well.


Azu reveals how she got called to the Cult of Aphrodite. Art by @coralreefskim on tumblr. Used with permission.

Fast forward 15 minutes: Hamid has only taken a few sips, but Carter is completely sloshed. Barnes has gotten some rum and seems to be reading the room and loosening up a bit. He’s crouched up on the stairs, shirt unbuttoned. Cel puts the elvish mead away in their Bag of Holding, and starts on the human stout. Zolf says that he’s talked a lot about himself, and asks about Azu and Cel, if there’s anything you want to share. Carter asks if they got pushed into a pit, and Azu reminds him that no one pushed him into the pit in Cairo. She says that she has fallen over before, though. Azu asks what Zolf wants to know, and Cel interjects, asking where she grew up. Azu tells them about growing up on a farm in Kenya; the settlement has been there for as long as people can remember, so it doesn’t have a name. Zolf asks why she joined up with Aphrodite - Azu explains that there was a traveling paladin that came by, and then Aphrodite gave her a dream. Zolf asks if she chose, and Azu says that she thinks Aphrodite chose her. Zolf and Hamid say that it was a mutual choice, with Azu choosing to act on it, and Azu reaffirms that it was the right choice. Zolf says that that’s good, and Azu adds that she’s never regretted it. Zolf says that’s good again, a little saltily this time, but then apologises. Azu says it was something she wanted to do, and Carter asks if it was a camel in the pants, and then falls over. Hamid places a pillow under his head. Azu continues, saying it’s been a long time, and she’s been working for Aphrodite for three years. Zolf says that he’s glad that she’s sure of what she chose, and Azu says that Aphrodite is the one thing she’s sure about, prompting Zolf to give her two thumbs up. 

Azu asks Cel how they learned alchemy, and Cel says it was a very long time ago. Zolf cuts in, saying that he knows it might be rude, and asks how old Cel is. Azu immediately says that he probably shouldn’t ask that, and refers back to when she asked Grizzop how old he was and how it went very badly. Barnes tells him to read the room, and Zolf stammers for a bit, saying he’s just asking, and Cel can answer if they want. Cel says that they don’t mind at all, but that they lose count; they end up saying that they’re around 97. They’re the oldest half-elf they know; Zolf asks how many they know, and Cel says that they don’t know any at the moment, and that they did know some of the half-elves in their village back in America, but that they left. 

Azu asks what America is like, and Cel says it’s lovely. Barnes says it takes in more trade than it gives out, for the most part, and Zolf mutters that everything is shipping and navy with Barnes. Azu offers Cel some more whiskey. Hamid asks about megafauna, and Cel says that there is some there, and that what you need to figure out is how to live with the fauna and the trading. They say that their father was a merchant sailor who met their mother in the town, and then other people came around and settled there. The settlement had to learn how to defend themselves from the very large fauna, but then trade cut off and the defenses failed, and it wasn’t able to survive. Hamid and Azu apologise to Cel, but they put on a brave face, saying towns don’t last forever. They describe how they moved around a lot, going where there’s trouble, and Zolf says that he and Hamid know how that feels, having accidentally crashed the world’s economy after taking down Mr. Ceiling. Hamid tries to minimise it, saying that it wasn’t completely crashed, but Zolf reminds him that all the messaging shut down.

The party all talk, with the help of alcohol. Art by @notmadetopleaseprinces on tumblr. Used with permission.

Azu says that money is overrated, and the party then starts sharing their opinions on capitalism. Zolf says it’s unnecessary, but that people want it, and Hamid stays true to his roots as the son of a banker as he says that it’s helpful for administrating trade. Zolf doesn’t seem convinced, and neither does Azu, asking why they can’t just give a person something and they can give something back. Hamid says that that works for smaller things, but it wouldn’t work as well between countries; he says that banks are useful for generating wealth because the bank doesn’t have to have all the money it lends out, which leads to Zolf asking if it’s fake money and Barnes making a very good point about how the bank doesn’t have all the money but seems to end up having it all anyway. Barnes asks people to put their hands up if they have multiple houses; Hamid does, and tries to explain, but Barnes ignores him, telling people to put their hands up if they’re directly responsible for controlling wealth - Hamid keeps his hand up. Barnes says to put a hand up if they were the one doing hard work and watching all their friends die by choice instead of necessity. Azu and Zolf raise their hands, Cel is looking at their hands confusedly, and Hamid isn’t sure what Barnes means by choice versus necessity. Barnes says that Hamid had a choice, and Hamid says that he didn’t, really, because his family had cut him off - Azu asks if he would have been homeless, but Hamid says he wouldn’t have been because his parents had bought him a flat. Azu, Cel, and Barnes all very knowingly acknowledge this, but Zolf actually defends Hamid, saying he knows it’s easy to get down on him but that he’s actually trying. Azu says that she’s proud of him, and Zolf tells Barnes to give Hamid a bit of a break. He says that they’ve all done things they aren’t proud of, and Azu tells Barnes that she’s sure he has some regrets. Barnes goes further up the stairs, away from everyone. 

Zolf reveals his greatest secret. Art by @skraak on tumblr. Used with permission.

Zolf, voice cracking a bit, says that he’s never told anyone this, but that the reason he joined the navy is because he killed his brother, Feryn. Everyone is clearly taken aback, and Cel asks if his brother was evil. Zolf immediately says no, and says he just wanted to be a miner like the rest of their family. His voice continues to crack as he talks about the ring he wears, mentioning that Feryn wore it because he was the older brother and their father wanted him to pick up the family business, but Zolf didn’t want to.

He was never interested in mining, but one day he was down there with Feryn and, bored, kicked a support post, causing a cave-in. Hamid and Azu rush to reassure him that it wasn’t intentional, but Zolf says that he should have been more careful, and that he knows how dangerous mines are. He accepts that it’s his fault, and that he can’t undo it. 

Hamid goes over and hugs Zolf; Zolf hugs him back, and keeps hugging him while continuing to speak. He says that you can’t save everyone, and tells Azu about how with Sasha and Grizzop, sometimes things happen. Hamid cuts in, saying that he hasn’t given up on them, and Azu seems sad that Hamid is still not accepting what happened. Zolf says that sometimes you make mistakes, and that you can’t always blame yourself - he still blames himself for Feryn’s death, saying that he’s finally come to terms with it, and that it’s simply cause and effect - he kicked the post, and the mine caved in.


Zolf discusses his life history. Art by @coralreefskim on tumblr. Used with permission.

Cel cuts him off, saying that maybe whoever designed the mine didn’t put enough failsafes in, but Zolf tells them that it was his family who put all that in, so it’s still his fault. They say it’s a shared responsibility, and Zolf says that he gets that, and that he spent so much time blaming himself and running away from all of it, going from job to job and place to place, and finally became a cleric of hope or what comes next. He says that this is the point, because he’s a cleric of what he is, and no god is giving him power. So said, he casts searing light into the ceiling, and a piece of stone hits Carter; Zolf quickly heals him and tells him to go back to sleep. He then asks someone else to say something, clearly feeling a bit awkward. 

Hamid says that he had a similar experience, taking part in a (subjectively) much more serious incident, but doesn’t go much into detail. He says that he’s had to come to terms with it as well, but that you have to look at the bigger picture and realise you can’t take the full responsibility on himself. Zolf says that he knows, and that it’s okay - he can’t let himself be paralysed by what he did, but has had to go on and make a difference. Hamid says a friend told him if you keep trying, that’s what matters, and Zolf agrees. 

Cel cuts in, saying that they all can be extremely wordy, but that they have been thinking and wants to stay with them and help. All of the party is happy to hear that [note: Lydia makes a very good bottle episode joke], and Cel says that they feel like they should get back out there.

Slowly, the party realises that they have six more days in the cell, and that they need to conserve the alcohol; Carter just says they can break into the second stash, and the episode closes with Zolf leaning over and telling Carter that he’s alright.


Hamid: "Z— Zolf, I feel like I should a— a— apologize. I know I haven’t really been, um… following the rules, exactly, and I’m sorry but… I know— I am sorry, and I know I should— I’m sure that these rules exist for a reason. It’s just, it’s really hard being… thrust into them suddenly, without having lived through it all and I still don’t feel like I know every protocol, and I just… I was really worried about my family, I was very defensivve about that, and I— I wanna apologize and I— o— I will try and… and be better and I— I’m gonna try and maintain th— the operational security, ‘cause it’s— I trust you and I trust Wilde—"
Zolf: "Hamid. Hamid. Hamid. Hamid."
Hamid: "— that these rules exist for a reason."
Zolf: "Hamid, there is no r— there is no need to apologize. I don’t want— I don’t expect an apology like, I understand you are going through an awful lot. We’ve had, you know, like a year and a bit to… adapt to this, so don’t worry about it."
―Hamid and Zolf try to clear the air.

Hamid: "We need to…"
Zolf: "Yeah, left— we— I left— I left weirdly, right? D— I did that. That and so, I don’t know, got any questions about… stuff?"
Hamid: "Well…"
Zolf: "Something like that?"
Hamid: "I mean everything, yeah, but I mean— we need to get better at working together again, ‘cause it— it— it didn’t go very smoothly in the, um— lighthouse"
Zolf: "Yeah, well, honestly, we were never that good at working with each other, anyway."
―Zolf and Hamid discuss the past.

"Wha— What I was referring to, Zolf, and I guess maybe Kew was a good example of it, is, [inhales] you know. [short exhale] You used to call the sho— when we were working as a team before, you used to call the shots most of the time, and that did work reasonably well, and then when you left, I had to do that. And now, we’re both used to being the one who calls the shots and it led to some friction while we were uhm..."

"He's very explodey, which I respect!"
Cel, about Hamid.

Hamid: "I feel, multiple times, that you would start to treat me as a child and make passive aggressive comments at me, and I want you to know that since we worked together, I’ve come a long way and I'm not the same— what I am, fundamentally the same kid that you knew, and you know, I'm still not that old, ‘cause I guess I haven't lived through the 18 months, but. I have come a long way, and I don't appreciate being talked to in that way, or those comments being made, Zolf, and I— I just, I wanted to air this out while we've got this time, because it did, I think, not necessarily help us all work together and I just feel like that it's worth addressing now while we've got this enforced, you know, down time before the next hairbrained adventure."
Cel: "Are they always like this?"
Azu: "I don’t know, I’ve not seen them together before."
Zolf: "Alright. Fine. I get it. You've… done stuff. You have experience with this kind of stuff. I don't know, I just. Hair brained adventure, all that kind of stuff, I don't— Sometimes, I feel like maybe you don't take things as maybe seriously as you could. Fundamentally, I think, you’re still a bit— you’re still a bit of an adventure— this isn't an adven—. The fact that you referred to it as an adventure I think, kind of."
Hamid: "That's— no, that's a fair point, I guess. [sighs] It's not so much that I don’t think it's serious, is that's how I cope with things and how I force myself to keep going when stuff seems, you know, impossible is, I have to try and convince myself it's worth it, and I have to treat it that way because otherwise, th— the s— scale of it and the scope of it will just leave me... a nervous wreck."
―Hamid and Zolf try to clear the air.

Carter: "Yeah, generally we just— we just let him... be grumpy when he wants, it just makes life a lot easier. [Zolf sighs]"
Cel: "Yeah, I found that. Yeah."
Carter: "Yeah, I know, right?"
Zolf: "Yeah, alright, I get it."
Carter: "Have you done the thing where you invent a problem for him to solve?"
Cel: "Ah— that’s a great idea actually. We had enough problems, it turned out, we were not short."
Carter: "Ma— make sure it’s a punchy problem, not a thinky problem, he doesn't like the second half."
Cel: "Oh no, he does not like those."
Carter: "No, he does not."
―Carter and Cel discuss Zolf's coping mechanisms.

"It wasn't a good choice, but I think it was the right one."
Zolf, about leaving the group in Prague.

Zolf: "Right, so basically, I became a cleric of Poseidon because… they saved my life, and I felt I owed them something. And I tried and I tried and I just didn’t. Get it."
Barnes: "In fairness, the Poseidon lot are. A bit of a nause."
Zolf: "I mean they are."
Azu: "Bit of a what?"
Barnes: "Bit of a nause?"
Azu: "What's a nause?"
Barnes: "You know, like, ehm."
Zolf: "Pain in the arse."
Barnes: "Yeah, nause."
Azu: "Huh."
Cel: "Huh. And you learn something new. Huh"
Barnes: "Like, like, like, like nauseating I guess? Bit of a nause?"
Azu: "We— we— we would call that a, a camel in the pants."
―[add context]

"Yeah, so, I mean— that— basically, something that was irritating and didn't fit and that was Poseidon. And I didn't understand him and he doesn't understand me so… I stopped. I don't think I actually ever really believed in him. I don't know if he believed in me? Something was going on there but it was..."
Zolf, on his new powers.

Barnes, about Zolf: "Used to be… used to be a lot more, uhm."
Cel: "Wait— just. More?"
Zolf: "Yeah, but the first time we—"
Barnes: "Bit more intense."
Zolf: "First time we met, you tried to co— court martial me."
Barnes: "I didn't try, I succeeded."
Zolf: "I— Yeah, you did."
Hamid: "Wha— I mean, not entirely."
Zolf: "You got— You got me court martialed. I— no, got off. Wasn't executed."
Barnes: "Hey. Wha— What happens with the higher ups: not my concern."
Zolf: "Look. Water under the bridge."
Barnes: "Did I not— Just saying, did succeed."
Zolf: "I don't like that you were so proud of that."
Barnes: "You were wiley."
―[add context]

Wilde: "How'd you remove your own brain?"
Zolf: "By being a mad alchemist."
Cel: "Hey!"
Zolf: "What? You didn't remove your own brain!"
Cel: "I know but one day I might be able to!"
―Zolf tells Wilde that they have Shoin's brain.

Cel: "I'm really sorry about your sister, buddy."
Hamid: "Thank you, yeah. It was difficult, it feels… simultaneously ages ago and… last week. And weirdly, that is an accurate thing as well."
Barnes: "Yeah, time travel will do that."
Hamid: "Yeah."
Cel: "You— You wanna tell me anything about her? Do you get to talk about her much? That’s really sad."
―Hamid gives Cel a recap of the story so far.

"Why would anyone need that many knives?"
Cel, about Carter.

Azu, about joining the Cult of Aphrodite: "There was a— a travelling paladin. Who came by. And then Aphrodite gave me a dream."
Zolf: "Oh right!"
Azu: "And then I went with her."
Zolf: "So you just sort of chose."
Azu: "No no, I was— I believe that she chose me because she came to me in my dream."
Zolf: "Yeah but you— you— you actually chose, you could—"
Hamid: "Well you chose to act on it. Like it's— it’s— it’s a mutual choice. She chose you, but you chose to respond to that."
Zolf: "'Cause you— you could've chose and tell her go do one."
Azu: "I could’ve but why would I?"
Zolf: "No but it’s— but that’s what I mean— if— if— if that’s what you think then you made that choice right? So you chose. It’s not— [stutters]"
Azu: "It was the right choice."
―[add context]

"I’m sure of Aphrodite, that’s— she is the one thing I’m sure of."

Cel: "No, it’s one of those strange things, I— I— I was the— the first— I’m the oldest half elf that I know? Ah—"
Zolf: "I mean, uhm, how many half elves do you know?"
Cel: "Oh well I— [stutters] no, not— not any at the moment—"
Zolf: "Oh."
Cel: "I did know a few back in the— back in the town, but, they left. Uhm."
Zolf: "They were in Japan too?"
Cel: "No. This is before— long— long before that. Back in— Back in America."
Zolf: "Oooh right."
Azu: "What’s America like?"
Cel: "Oh lovely, really."
Azu: "What does it look like, is there…"
Cel: "It’s a— a— a country? Solid. 3-dimensional. 4-dimensional really as it moves through time as well. But only at the same pace that we do, so, you know, you can’t really—"
―[add context]

Hamid: "Are there megafauna there? I heard there were megafauna there in America."
Cel: "Yeah, some really enormous fauna, gigantic. Some of it friendly, some of it not. Uh, the complicated thing, of course, is how you decide to live with the megafauna and live with the, you know, the— the tradings so I mean I— There was a town. My— My d— My dad was a… a merchant. He was a sailor, and… uh… he met my— my mother in the town and then more and more people settled there and… There w— Yes. We had to defend ourselves from the— the... the large fauna, the very large and the gigantic and the m— megafauna and it uh, it uh… and then trade cut off and— and the defenses failed and it wa— it wasn't a town anymore. Yeah."
Zolf: "Oh right."
Hamid: "I’m sorry, Cel."
Azu: "So am I."
Hamid: "Must’ve been really difficult."
Cel: "Yeah well, yeah. You know towns don't last forever and it, uh, yeah. Those are things, you know. Uh, I've seen a lot of towns since. Some of them have been around for a long time. [...]"
Hamid: "You said you travelled all over the place."
Cel: "Some of them… Some of them— not anymore. I mean I tended to go where there was trouble, so."
―Cel shares a bit of their backstory.

Zolf: "Hey look it’s— it’s— here’s the thing alright, I've never told anyone. Hm? Reason I joined the navy was because I... killed my brother."
Hamid: "Zolf!"
Azu: "What?"
Cel: "Okay buddy that is quite a thing."
Azu: "By accident?"
Zolf: "Yes."
Cel: "Yea— there was a pi— there was a hesitancy there?"
Zolf: "Right."
Cel: "Was he evil?"
Zolf: "N— [sighs]. No. not at all. Just wanted to be [wet inhale] a miner like my family was. And then— look I know. [sighs] You know— you know the— you know the ring, right, Hamid?"
Hamid: "Yeah."
Zolf: "This— This ring. This, he was, I, he was wearing it 'cause, older brother, right and Dad wanted him to sort of pick up the family business and he wanted me to be part of the family business but I didn’t. Mining. [sighs]. Mining sucks? It’s so boring. And then—"
Azu: "And it’s underground."
Zolf: "Yeah and I was down there, and I… was working with Feryn and then. And then  I... was bored so I was mucking about and I kicked a. You know. Post and. Cause—"
Hamid: "Zolf, that’s an accident."
Azu: "That’s not— that’s not killing him."
Zolf: "No but I— ah— but I didn’t need— look. Mines are dangerous and dangerous places and I didn’t follow the rules and so someone got killed and it were my fault. And that— that— and that's that— and that's that. It’s— was— I said and I and I… I can't. Not. I can't undo that. But it's what I said you can't always—"
―[add context]

Zolf: " You don’t— you make mistakes and stuff happened and you can't always just be forever blaming yourself— I mean— I do blame myself obviously because I d— I did it, but I've come to terms with it."
Azu: "Then maybe you shouldn't—"
Zolf: "No, I've come to terms with that. 'Cause it was like— it’s not— it’s nothing ambiguous— it were my fault and I did it? And that was that, was just cause and effect— I kicked the thing and it fell down and I knew I shouldn’t’ve done that 'cause you kick the thing and it causes a cave in and it caused a cave in and then Feryn—"
―Zolf reveals that he accidentally caused Feryn's death.

"I spent... so long running away from that... and like, I joined the navy... I became a pirate, became a cleric, became a mercenary... stopped being a mercenary, stopped being a cleric of Poseidon, became a cleric of... (makes an 'I don't know' sound) I dunno... um... hope? What comes next? I dunno. I haven't really called it anything... I just... kind of... am that. And I think that's the point, right?"

"Okay, you— you folks, you can be extremely… wordy and that's coming from me, but I— I think… I think you know, this— this, I've— I’ve had— I've been thinking and— and I— and I think I’ll… I think I’ll stick around and help?"
Cel decides to accompany the party on their mission.

"I never thought I'd lose party members to booze!"
Alex, as everyone gets drunk.

Dice rolls & mechanics[]

  • The party levels up overnight. 
  • Zolf makes a Knowledge (nobility/history) roll on the alcohol: 12
  • Azu makes a Knowledge (nobility) roll on the alcohol: 14
  • Cel makes a Knowledge (history) roll on the alcohol: 15
  • Zolf casts searing light at the ceiling. 
  • Zolf channels positive energy to heal Carter. 

Plot Notes []