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Zolf is arrested by naval police for going A.W.O.L. and the rest of The Rangers plan his legal defence.


The party accompany the naval commander to the officer's mess, and are offered hospitality and a meal as an appreciative gesture for their aid in quelling the riot at the docks. On the way, they briefly discuss the current social tensions in Dover, and the commander explains that they are the result of the abnormal storms, and the local chapter of the Cult of Poseidon's lack of intervention there-in. The cult previously set precedent by easing and averting rough weather on the coast, utilising the favour of Poseidon, to leave trade and communication of Dover uninterrupted, but are now taking a passive stance to the matter. The commander assumes this is an attempt to break said precedent, and in response, the merchants of Dover are demanding the cult intervenes.

When asked what their business in Dover is, Zolf responds honestly that they only are passing through, but got held up by the storm. The commander suggests they take the train to Calais, but explains that they’ll have to stand by until the tunnel opens again in the morning. Zolf also mentions wanting to pay the Temple of Poseidon a visit in order to address his current issues of faith.

The entourage arrive at the naval academy, and the party is invited into the lounge. Bertie attempts to get Brutor to greet the commander properly, whereupon Brutor bites the commander's hand.

Settling into the lounge with the party, the commander admits that diplomatic help in the conflict with the cult would be appreciated, as he is unable to act with his current influence, and reaching an understanding would greatly ease the current situation.

The party settles in and make themselves comfortable in the academy’s lounge. The commander offers the party cigars, and Hamid and Bertie adjust their attire accordingly.

The commander expresses his intense boredom under the current circumstances, with the ongoing storm and his own ship currently in dry dock. He explains that the weather is highly unusual, being the fourth persistent storm Dover has seen this month.

Zolf suggests involving the meritocracy, at which the commander admits he assumed Zolf to have served in the meritocratic navy. Zolf responds evasively that he has indeed been on boats in a professional capacity, which prompts further enthusiastic questioning about the profession from Sasha. Zolf asks about the commander's own vessel and its capacity.

Hamid points out that the commander never actually gave his name, and the commander finally introduces himself as Barnes, and the rest of the party give their full names. Barnes comments that Hamid's full name is 'a mouthful'.

The party is then served a pretty decent dinner, during which Sasha gains more experience with the intricacies of seafood. Following the commander's example, she puts an excessive amount of spicy sauce on her food, causing her to sneeze violently. Barnes nonchalantly hands her some water.

Barnes keeps questioning Zolf about his experience as a sailor, to which Zolf gives increasingly vague answers, claiming to have been a freelance merchant, and stressing that it was not in a military capacity. Barnes explains his interest as that of a seafaring dwarf in Dover, stating that they do not see many. Zolf appears a bit dumbstruck, apologising for his people’s lack of enthusiasm.

The commander asks about the party's plans again, and they tell him they are moving on to Paris as a stop on a more worldly tour, mentioning Damascus. Sasha speculates as to what the world outside of London is like, amusing Barnes. Barnes expresses admiration for getting oneself somewhere through hard work, having no time for people having put no effort into their positions.

As the dinner conversation goes on, Barnes displays significantly more interest in Sasha and Zolf, while still giving Bertie and Hamid the necessary politeness. He also keeps prodding about Zolf's career as a sailor, knowing he is dodging the questions.

As the wine loosens Sasha’s tongue, she asks Barnes about the unusual sword he carries, which she noticed earlier in the evening. They move back into the lounge, and he gladly draws it, showing it off, and answers her questions. It is a dueling sword made out of old adamantine, with elaborate fractal patterns, gifted to Barnes by a merchant trading adamantine that he at one point rescued. To Hamid, it displays no sign of magic and appears to be mundane. When the sword’s effectiveness is questioned by Bertie, Barnes displays its sharpness by slicing clean through one of the fire pokers.

Bertie expresses interest in owning the sword, offering Barnes the service of dealing with the cult and the tensions in Dover in return for it, to which the commander responds, with a wink to Sasha, that there are some things that cannot be bought. Sasha, somewhat inconspicuously, agrees.

Zolf asks about the general origin and trade of old adamantine. Barnes tells him the merchant’s name was Croesus, and that they generally deal around Turkey. He also discourages Zolf from trying to obtain adamantine through that route, as it is sparse and he’s unlikely to get his hands on any.

Barnes invites the party to spend the night in the academy's guest rooms as another reward for their help, as they will have to wait out the storm before proceeding to Calais by train. Zolf also wants to stop by the temple, and suggests acting as a sympathetic party in the conflict.

Before Barnes leaves, he states explicitly to Zolf that he finds him interesting, not being quite able to place why. The commander then bids them goodnight, and leaves for his rounds.


Left alone in the lounge, Sasha once again admires the adamantine dueling sword, which Barnes appears to have left behind. Examining it, she estimates its market price at 3120 gold. Sasha swings the sword around for a bit, testing its balance, which has Hamid and Zolf nervously floundering. As she puts it back, Hamid polishes the sword, and Sasha sweeps back in and smudges it to make it look perfectly untouched.

Hamid and Bertie then retreat for the night, leaving Sasha and Zolf hang back in the lounge, indulging in some more drinks.

The party members spend the night in separately provided rooms. In the morning, Sasha and Zolf wake up hungover, and Hamid is suffering an odd itch on his arms and legs. He finds he has a sheen to his skin, and appears to be flaking with a metallic discolouration. Taking a bath stops the itching, but leaves his skin peeling.

Sasha and Zolf both wash up in an attempt to quell the consequences of their actions, and Bertie wakes up with Brutor peacefully sleeping at his feet.

As Zolf attempts to leave for breakfast, he is faced with two naval police outside his chambers, sternly telling him to remain inside. The rest of the party appears to have the run of the place, but the guards refuse to let Zolf leave, telling him to wait for Commander Barnes to arrive, barring his way and refusing to give any more information regarding the situation.

Hamid and Sasha both question the guards as to what is going on, and Zolf asks if it is the commander's doing. The guards only tell Zolf to wait inside until the commander arrives.

Zolf tells Hamid and Sasha to go for breakfast and to avoid making a scene in order to not worsen the situation. Hamid immediately sets out to find the commander, while Sasha and Bertie go for breakfast.

Sasha escapes the crowded canteen, and finds a secluded room in which to eat in peace.

Hamid finds the commander, and demands that he explain why Zolf is being contained in his room. Barnes insists that this to be a conversation most suitably held with Zolf alone, and keeps a very calm and polite demeanor.

The commander arrives at Zolf's room with Hamid in tow, and asks Zolf to be permitted inside. Hamid asks Zolf if he should come with, at which Zolf asks Barnes what this whole deal is about. Barnes hands Zolf a note, in response to which Zolf simply sighs, and resignedly tells them both to come inside, leaving the guards outside.

Zolf, exasperated, expresses having had suspicions at the commander's lines of questioning the night before, to which the Barnes apologises, telling Zolf he knows a former navy person when he sees one. It is revealed that Zolf is currently A.W.O.L, having been declared M.I.A six years prior. According to Barnes, Zolf having been assumed dead becomes irrelevant in face of his reappearance, and the commander intends to keep him in temporary holding while awaiting court-martial. Being unable to provide paperwork or evidence for the party's current service being in a meritocratic capacity, Zolf offers instead to buy off his commission. Barnes tells him they will have to wait a week for the court-martial all the same.

Hamid questions the validity of an A.W.O.L declaration in the face of the legal status of M.I.A, but Barnes denies the relevance of such technicalities. Hamid insists that the case would have been closed as of Zolf's legal status being declared, but Barnes simply displays a direct meritocratic order of the detention of ‘Zolf Smith’. When Hamid asks how much the commission is, Zolf says he doesn't care, and Barnes repeats that they will have to await the court-martial either way and that he refuses to bend the situation. However, he doesn't think Zolf is in danger of being deported. He admits that the Cult of Poseidon holds certain pull in the situation, but remains adamant that Zolf currently is under his jurisdiction.

The commander gives Zolf five minutes to pack up, leaving Hamid and Zolf alone in the room. Zolf asks Hamid to quickly go gather up the others.

Meanwhile, Sasha has found herself a cubbyhole to breakfast in, feasting on the free food. A servant named Clive-Gerald, having found her, is sequestering food from the breakfast buffet for her, and Sasha is greatly enjoying the situation until Hamid drags her away.

Hamid brings Bertie and Sasha up to Zolf’s room. Having had the situation explained, Sasha confidently states that she can bust Zolf out of jail, being somewhat confused at the prospect of deportation to Australia and the distances involved. Zolf suggests skipping the temple visit and making a run for the train instead. Sasha wonders if he can claim religious freedom, and Zolf tells her he's already tried. Bertie offers his legal knowledge as advocation, but Zolf seems currently set on running. When Barnes knocks to urge them on, Sasha grabs Zolf, making for the room's window as Bertie attempts to buy them time with excuses. Barnes is growing impatient, and as she looks out, Sasha notes three men on guard at the base of the building.

Zolf then resigns to instead face the situation and accept the delay. The party exits the room through the door, facing an apologetic Barnes. He attempts to offer Zolf a deck of cards as they begin escorting him, but Zolf only responds with dismissive exasperation. As Zolf is escorted out of the academy, Sasha pointedly hands Zolf her own deck, to which Barnes looks dejected.

The episode closes with Bertie noticing 'something strange' going on with Hamid as they make their way out of the academy, and discreetly asking Hamid if his body is going through some unexpected changes.


"I’m gonna go to another country! I’m very excited, I hear that they don’t even have, like, Londoners in Paris."

Commander Barnes: "I’m very sorry that I’m inconveniencing you, but nonetheless the case remains that you are A.W.O.L."
Zolf: "That was six years ago!"
Commander Barnes: "That’s worse, that’s not better. I don’t understand how that’s meant to ease the situation."
―Barnes arrests Zolf for deserting the military.

Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • Zolf, Sasha, Hamid, Bertie: a Perception check on Commander Barnes' unusual sword. Sasha notes that it's made out of adamantine: Zolf (9), Sasha (26), Hamid (11), Bertie (12)
  • Sasha: Appraise check on the sword: 15
  • Bertie: Handle Animal check to have Brutor behave: Natural 1
  • Sasha makes another Appraise check on the sword: 26
  • Sasha: Dexterity check to try the sword out: 11
  • Zolf, Sasha: Fortitude save for excessive drinking: Sasha (5), Zolf (8)
  • Sasha: Perception check on guards outside and around the base: 24
  • Bertie: Bluff check for buying time: 11
  • Zolf, Sasha, Bertie: Perception check for noticing something strange going on with Hamid: Zolf (20), Bertie (Natural 20; 19), Sasha (17)