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Summary[]

Join Alex, Helen, Bryn, Lydia, and Ben as they face the shadows of the past. This week Azu holds firm, Hamid talks a big game, Cel becomes the monster, and Zolf detects a shift.

Synopsis[]

Each member of the party is in an unpleasant situation involving a dead loved one.

After Mean Grizzop has has told Azu, in a distorted version of Rome, that maybe being trapped here is what she deserves in the previous episode, Azu responds by saying that she doesn't think he's the real Grizzop. He responds that he doesn't care hat she thinks, but he cares what she's done. Tears leak from his eyes. Azu tries to approach him, but he backs off. He says that because of Azu letting do, his life was wasted and he's now trapped here for eternity, unable to do anything useful, and it's all her fault. Azu disagrees that his life was wasted and says she has it on good authority that it wasn't. Mean Grizzop retorts that there was so much more he could have done with the time left in his natural life, but that it was cut short becasue of Azu. Azu agrees that he could have had more time, but that it wasn't all on her. He says that she shouldn't have let go and held her hand; that she took away his time in the world. She responds that he made choices too (leading to his death), and he says that Azu put him in the situation of going to Rome when he didn't even want to, and that she killed him. When Azu asks him what he wants her to do, he says he just wants her to have been better. She says that she can't do that.

Azu then notices a very distant rumble and shudder, and the sound of something collapsing. She decides to put it out of her mind, and tells Mean Grizzop that she did her best, just like he would have done. He retorts that if it had been up to him he would have done better, but it was up to Azu and she failed. Azu says again that she doesn't think this is the real Grizzop, because Girzzop was too practical to have blamed someone else for his problems. A very loud, distant rumble from a different direction.

Cel keeps reading Haley's diary. "Running low on food now; I'm having to convince them to stay-they'd do the same for me". Cel isn't impressed and tells the void that the contents of the diary isn't a very good character study of Haley. There's a distant roar, and Cel goes on, saying that Haley cared more about the town than them, and that she wouldn't have turned back to find Cel. Haley was a very strong person and would have been able to get the others somewhere safe rather than risking them all to find Cel. A loud roar is heard again, and there is a tremor of something coming closer. Cel takes a potion to turn into a parrot. It feels strange, however- the potion tastes rancid and they turn not into a parrot but a vary large beast (far larger than they have been in real life). They can now hear screams and cries, and Cel remarks that this is much closer to what actually happened 60 years ago. They have claws the size of machetes etc, and many familiar faces are fleeing from them as the village burns. Cel turns in the direction of the roaring and congratulates them on making the nightmare much more accurate to what actually happened that day.

Hamid's last action had been to hug Mean Aziza. Hamid tells her that he loves her and misses her and that he always will. She retorts that that's not enough; that he always just tries to talk enough to make a problem go away and that it won't work. He responds that he's not trying to do that; that he's just trying to tell her how he feels; that he did everything he could, everything in his power to save her, and that he would do the same again. He says he's sorry that that wasn't enough, and that he'll always feel terrible about it. Aziza just says 'good'. Hamid says that if his apology is all he needs to hear, then he won't be arguing. The spotlight then grows dimmer, and the view of the back of the theatre dims slightly. Mean Aziza then pushes Hamid away, and doubles down on him just spewing words and hoping they'll change things when they don't. Him feeling sad doesn't change the fact that she's dead. She says he was the same at university, messing things up, talking his way out of consequences, and leaving others to pick up the peices.

He agrees that he made an awful mistake and should have known better. Mean Aziza says that he didn't learn from that mistake and let the same kind of thing happen again and again. Hamid agrees, saying it's happened more than once. She says she loves Hamid, but that he keeps saying he feels bad and will change but keeps repeating his behaviours. Hamid says that he's done more good than harm, and that his heightened power from his inheritance gives him a responsibility to do good in the world, and that despite his mistakes, he has to keep working to make things better. Mean Aziza asks what makes this speech different from the others; he's talking but not fixing the problem here. He says he has been fixing things, and that if there's a great reckoning where his accomplishments and failures are weighed up, only then will he know where the balance is. Mean Aziza scoffs at his mention of a 'great reckoning', and calls him arrogant for talking like that; he's just a child that goes through the world, repeating mistakes and making more and more grandiose lies about himself; that he is just justifying himself to himself. Hamid agrees, saying he knows himself much better now, and he knows what he's become. The light dims further, and the audience fades from view.

Mean Aziza won't let go, saying she won't let him talk himself out of this, that this is his fault. She repeats these words again and again, All Your Fault, as her voice grows deeper and more monstrous. Hamid says, sadly, that many things are his fault but not this, and nothing she can do will change that. He says goodbye to Aziza. the light grows darker and darker until Hamid is just left alone in the dark.

Mean Feryn tells Zolf that if he'd upped has game maybe Feryn wouldn't have been left in the mine. Zolf incredulously says that he had been bored, kicked a beam, and it dislodged, causing a cave-in in which Feryn was crushed to death. Mean Feryn then blames Zolf for leaving him and not fixing things. Zolf, exasperated, asks what Mean Feryn wants him to do, and he replies that he wants Zolf to have been the brother that Feryn was to Zolf, always watching out for him. Zolf, annoyed at himself for being dragged into this discussion, says that according to their parents, Feryn was the 'golden boy' and could do no wrong, would take over the mine. Mean Feryn is angry at Zolf for trying to turn this against him, and Zolf retorts that that's not what he's trying to do- that's just what happened. Anything that Mean Feryn could say to Zolf is something that Zolf has thought thousands of times over his life, and that he's had to come to terms with this. Zolf challenges Mean Feryn to say something that will upset him, and Mean Feryn replies that he's not the only person that Zolf has killed. Zolf says that no, he's a professional murderer! Mean Feryn tries to qualify that by saying that he's not the only one that Zolf has killed through incompetence or weakness, to which Zolf replies that he probably isn't- they crashed Europe and North Africa's economy!

Mean Feryn tries to make him feel bad about that, that maybe the wrong brother was crushed in the mine. Zolf replies that he doesn't know but that what happened was that Feryn got crushed and Zolf didn't, and that neither of them had control over that, it was just luck. Mean Feryn tries to blame Zolf- he was the one that caused the cave-in- and Zolf agrees, but says that the rockfall could just as easily have fallen on himself instead of Feryn. Zolf says he's never pretended that he wasn't responsible for Feryn's death. The distant rumble is louder, and sounds like a cave-in. Zolf is annoyed, and rebukes Mean Feryn for now trying to cave him in. Mean Feryn says it's not him, that it's essentially Zolf's fault. Zolf replies that a cave-in might actually work in making him feel bad given that he's claustrophobic. Mean Feryn then tries to berate Zolf for being too stubborn, digging in his heels and planting his flag in random places. Zolf asks Feryn what he should do. Mean Feryn says he should do better, and Zolf presses him for the specifics, rather than just generalised guilt-tripping.

Zolf notices that the longer he talks to Mean Feryn, the less he looks like Feryn, somehow alien. The rumble grows louder. Mean Feryn says that Zolf just says he's doing the right thing, but actually he's the reason things go wrong. Zolf replies that he doesn't think he's doing the right thing and has never pretended that. Mean Feryn asks him why he bothers, then, and Zolf replies that you have to try. mean Feryn asks why, and Zolf says he doesn't think a reason is necessary- you just try, that's what people do- if you don't try, things won't get better. Mean Feryn asks about what happens when you try but things get worse instead, and Zolf replies that that's just life. Mean Feryn doesn't even look like a dwarf any more, and the rumble is very close. Zolf sits down, and asks Mean Feryn to just shut up and sit with him. Mean Feryn asks why, and Zolf says that at the moment he's just shouting at him for no particular reason. Mean Feryn replies that he's shouting because it's Zolf's fault. It's all Zolf's fault and it's always been his fault (the voice grows more monstrous). All Your Fault. All Your Fault. Zolf sits, eyes closed, trying to still his breathing, waiting for the cave-in. He knows it's probably not real, but he's still terrified and there's nothing else he can do. The cave-in sweeps upon Zolf.

Azu looks at Mean Grizzop for a while, and he looks back, tears leaking from his face. Azu tells him, for what it's worth, while there's someone that looks like him here, that she's really sorry. Mean Grizzop says that no, it's not worth much- He's here, Sasha's gone. He says that Azu can't save anyone, can't so anything right; Eren knew this, but thinks Azu's good for nothing. Eren has faith in Aphrodite because he's such a powerful spellcaster, but Azu can barely get a spell off in difficult circumstances. He says that Azu may have faith in Aphrodite, but Aphrodite doesn't have faith in her. Azu asks Mean Grizzop if he'd like to leave this room with him or just stand there shouting. Mean Grizzop retorts that he can't because he's trapped here, and that Azu trapped him; that Sasha was here but that she left. She's gone. Azu replies that Sasha had a good, long life, and hears a big rumble in the distance. Mean Grizzop tries to cast doubt on the reliability of Sasha's letter to try and imply that Sasha also died horribly. Azu doesn't buy it and tells Mean Grizzop that she's going to go, and try and fix things, and that he can come too. She asks him if he thinks she'll be able to do any good, and Mean Grizzop says no. Now thoroughly convinced that this isn't the real Grizzop, she turns and walks from the room. The room starts crumble, , and Azu's last impressions are of Mean Grizzop shouting "It's all Your Fault" repeatedly, the voice becoming more monstrous.

Break

The people in Cel's situation seem more scared of Cel than of the approaching monster. They look down at their claws, which are covered in viscera, and come to the conclusion that this is accurate to their nightmares about what happened to the town. The screaming townspeople split into two groups, with one group running from the town inland (followed by the sounds of a beast feeding on them), and the other half form up a militia or mob against Cel. Haley is at the front of the mob. Spotting Haley, Cel remarks that this experience is harder than they thought it might be, and that due to their beast form, Haley probably can't understand them. They also remark that if the Void is trying to use their memories to construct this scenario, the Void must understand that memory isn't a fixed thing and can change over time. The other beast comes from the woods inland, and is the spitting image of Cel's bestial form. Cel notes that the Void has been very efficient in just replicating Cel rather than making a whole new monster. Through the fangs of the beast, Cel can make out the words All Your Fault. Cel tries to reply, but it charges them, growling All Your Fault at them. Cel finds themself retrained, unable to move, as the beast pushes them to the ground and starts to savage them with claws and fangs; with Cel's claws and fangs. Everything goes dark as Cel sees their own face looking back at them as it rips into their flesh.

Hamid comes to, tumbling through a starless void. The void is full of shards, apparently falling with him. Each shard shows a different thing: fire, water, screaming [Lyd asks if this is the element of surprise; a Bryntermission ensues], cogs... they are moving chaotically. Hamid is covered in ichor and he is bound by a tentacle. Looking towards the rest of the beast, it appears to be made up of an amalgamation of limbs, wings, tentacles, and faces. Everyone in the party is grappled, and the only other person awake is Wilde, who is struggling against the tentacle wrapped around him. Each member of the party wakes and tries in vain to escape the tentacle they are bound by. Hamid then breathes dragon fire at the central mass of the creature, damaging it immensely. The three torsos of the creature pull apart, pulling the party in different directions. Azu and Hamid manage to grab hold of one another as the party members are thrown apart and slammed into different shards.

Quotes[]

Mean Grizzop: "You could have just held my hand and not let go! I wanted more time, and you took that away from me!"
Azu: "You made choices as well though, Grizzop."
Mean Grizzop: "What, to come with you, to Rome, when I didn't want to even go?! You put me in this situation, and then you killed me."
Azu: "No, I didn't."
Mean Grizzop: (scoffs) "You can pretend to yourself that you didn't but you let go. There's nothing more to say."
―Mean Grizzop tries to blame Azu]p for his death and apparently hellish afterlife.

Cel: (to the void) "This- this is not a very good character study of Haley. Just- just to give you some notes, she- she cared about the town more than-"(A distant roar sounds in the wilds)
Cel: "Yeah, this is what I'm getting at; I- I just- if you... She cared about other people; she had big dreams, she- she wasn't someone to turn back, you know? I kinda wish she would, but I- of all the things I feel bad about, the idea that she couldn't look after herself and look after the others? No."
―Cel, about their fiancee Haley.

Mean Aziza: "No! You can say what you want, I'm not going to let you talk your way out of this the way you talk your way out of everything else. This is your fault. This was all your fault."
Hamid: (overlapping) "I'm not trying... I'm not trying to persuade you, I guess I'm just... explaining it to myself at this point."
Mean Aziza: (overlapping) "This was all your fault, Hamid. All your fault. All your fault, Hamid. All Your Fault."
Hamid: (overlapping) "A lot of things... are my fault."
Mean Aziza: (overlapping) "All Your Fault Hamid, All Your Fault."
Hamid: "But not this..."
Mean Aziza: (overlapping) "All Your Fault, Hamid."
Hamid: (overlapping) "And nothing..."
Mean Aziza: (overlapping) "ALL YOUR FAULT."
Hamid: (overlapping) "...I can do will change that."
Mean Aziza: (overlapping) "ALL... YOUR... FAULT... HAMID."
Hamid: (overlapping) "Goodbye, Aziza."
―Mean Aziza becomes more and more of a monstrous form as she blames Hamid for everything.

Zolf: "Give me your best shot, go on. What can you say to upset me?"
Mean Feryn: "You want my best shot?"
Zolf: "Yeah, go on."
Mean Feryn: "I'm not the only person you've killed, am I?"
Zolf: "No, I'm a professional murderer!"
―Mean Feryn tries to make Zolf guilty.

Alex: "You are tumbling through a void. There are no stars in this void but it is full of shards, shards falling along with you as if slivers of glass, and each sliver of glass showing, to your eye, a different state. Some fire, water, screaming. One over there seems to have all cogs."
Lydia: "Is that the element of surprise?" (Everyone laughs and Bryn particularly starts to lose it)
Helen: "Very good, very good."
Lydia: "Fire, water, earth, and then someone going 'Aah!'"
Alex: "Lydia, I am very, very, very impressed. That's the best joke we've had in weeks. I'm sorry but that's fan-[Beep]-ing fantastic. You leave that in and you bleep it! That was amazing."
―Lydia is a comedy genius.

Dice rolls & mechanics[]

  • Azu makes a Perception check for noticing changes in reality: 29
  • Zolf makes a Perception check to notice changes in Feryn's appearance: 28
  • Reflex save from the previous episode comes into effect: Zolf (15), Cel (17), Azu (23), Hamid (23), Skraak (18)

Combat breakdown[]

Ongoing effects:

  • Skraak: +2 to attack rolls, +2 to saving throws, +2 to skill checks from heroism.

Initiative: Hamid (22), Zolf (21), Azu (17), Cel (10), Sumutnyerl, Wilde, Skraak (5)

Round 1

  • Hamid: Rolls a 25 Perception check and sees the tentacle monster that is grappling him. He tries to escape the tentacles and makes an Escape Artist check, 13 (fail)
  • Zolf: Tries to escape the tentacles and makes a combat maneuver check, 19 (fail)
  • Azu: Tries to escape the tentacles and makes a combat maneuver check, 23 (fail)
  • Cel: Tries to escape the tentacles and makes an Escape Artist check, 9 (fail)
  • Sumutnyerl: Is still a bear and tries to escape the tentacles but fails.
  • Wilde: Also fails to escape the tentacles.
  • Skraak: Tries to escape the tentacles and makes an Escape Artist check, 23 (fail)

Round 2

  • Hamid: Uses his dragon breath, 33 (55 fire damage). The creature fails the DC 21 Reflex save and takes the full damage. 

Plot Notes[]

Trivia[]

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