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The Rangers find that everything is perfect. Too perfect. Sasha surmises that they might be under some sort of mind control. They return to Mr. Ceiling's control room to find themselves frozen in place the second before Hamid turns off the machine. They step into the room and Hamid actually turns it off.


Hamid and Bertie emerge onto the balcony and the crowd below cheer them. Zolf and Sasha are not talking inside the room. Zolf sees the headline 'Barret has been captured in London', the article goes on to say that Haringay has arrested him with the help of Gragg Colson. Sasha worries that this power vacuum could be terrible for Other London. Zolf apologises to Sasha for his earlier outburst and they have an awkward reconciliation.

On the balcony, Hamid and Bertie are playing the crowd.

An unsaturated image of Zolf and Sasha sitting at a table in a hotel room in Paris, with light from the sun coming in through the window. Zolf is a white dwarf, with light hair and a beard tied into plaits; he has a dark jacket on. He is reading a newspaper, eyebrows furrowed in anger and upset. On the other side of the table, Sasha is eating a direlobster, cutting it with one of her knives. She's wearing a dark jacket, and has pale skin with short black hair and a scar stretching across her neck. She's resting her head in her hands, looking upset and sad. A wine bottle and half-full glass are in the foreground of the image.

Zolf and Sasha angrily not speaking to each other. Art by @satturn on tumblr. Used with permission.

The next morning servants arrive with sacks of fanmail and a telegram. Hamid reads the telegram, which says "DEAREST SON STOP SO PROUD STOP INBOUND STOP SO PROUD STOP", and Hamid starts to cry. Zolf says that he doesn't want the legs as it reminds him of the thousands of brains they destroyed.

The two gnomes of Harkness, Harkness, Darkness & Sphinx arrive and say that, thanks to Bertie's latest escapades, the contract has been completed and is now void: the MacGuffingham debt has been paid off. Bertie says that he will leave immediately after getting paid for the legs that he retrieved from the catacombs. Bertie leaves so that the rest of the Rangers can work out what they're going to do next.

A front facing drawing of Zolf, a white dwarven male with short blonde hair and a double braided beard. He is wearing a long green coat over a blue chestplate and has a driftwood dolphin necklace around his neck. The words: Do a grief later, deal with problem now. are above him.

Zolf encourages Hamid to put his feelings aside. Art by @areyouokaypanda on tumblr. Used with permission.

Oscar Wilde arrives holding a telegram for Sasha. Wilde explains that an Ordinateur was being built under London and Cairo, but there were no brains stolen yet, and the operations were shut down. Guivres, the French Meritocrat, is sending funds and aid to properly expand Other London and bring it into London proper. Gragg is starting his own bakery: Gragg's Bakery. Wilde starts to say that the Simulacrum plans were with the Ordinateurs. Sasha whispers to Zolf asking if these memories are correct. Wilde also tells Zolf that Bishop Julian of the Apollo church has agreed to perform a restoration on Zolf to restore both his legs. Sasha's telegram says "GO BACK STOP GET OUT STOP". The Rangers discuss that the possibility that these memories may be fake and that they could be living in a dream world, like the Ordinateurs. They decide to go back to the crater that contained Mr Ceiling, but Hamid decides to stay, asking what's the point in them going, if they can't trust their senses then how can they even get out or know what's real?

The Rangers, minus Hamid, head to the crater of l'Arc de Triomphe and back down into the ruins. They find the double doors that lead to the room with the brains in jars, which are all now there, undamaged. They go into the room with the central control panel, but where the control panel previously was, they find a wooden door. Behind it, they find the party frozen in the instant before Hamid turned off the machine. Bertie steps into the room and disappears.

Hamid, a male halfling, is running through an empty street. He is in a red suit. The building he's running towards has the words: look after her on it. The cafe behind him has the words: get out on the awning

Hamid runs to leave the simulation. Art by @miniti8 on tumlbr. Used with permission.

Back at the hotel, Hamid has eaten too much cheesecake. Wilde heads off, and there is a knock on the door. Behind it, there is Sasha's mechanical man, who says "Go back. Get out." and eventually convinces Hamid to pursue the rest of the Rangers. On the way back, Hamid sees a billboard with the message "Look after her for me." Hamid finds Sasha and apologises, saying that he should have gone with them. They don't have much time to speak, and so the two of them head back into the crater. They return to Zolf, who has been waiting anxiously, and explain that Bertie disappeared when he touched the doorknob. The three of them head into the room after Bertie.

After a flash, they all find themselves back in that frozen moment just before Hamid turned off the machine. His hand is resting on the button, just as it had been, and he hits the button just as he did before. Everything goes quiet and the lights go off. 


"Wait, what ... no ... like ... I don't understand ... that's ... I mean the thing is, Barret was evil and horrendous, but the thing is that while he was there, like, y'know the ceilings didn't cave in and there wasn't rot growing up the walls, and people generally if he's not there, are they gonna look after them? Are they gonna, are they gonna take care of people? Or is it just gonna be, is it just gonna be fighting again? Like, I mean, sometimes stable horror is better than what, what came before it, y'know? I don't understand ... what's going on ..."

Hamid: "H-have you never sent a-a note to a soprano after a particularly moving aria or something like that?"
Zolf: "Do I look like the kind of dwarf who sends a note to a soprano after a particularly moving aria?"
Bertie: "I prefer a good bass tenor myself."
―The party is surprised to receive fan mail after defeating Mr. Ceiling.

Zolf: "That's, that's not the point... they're the product of countless deaths."
Sasha: "We're all the products of countless deaths, Zolf! Like, we're all just the products of the people that managed to survive by slashing up as many other people as they could! Like, I mean, apparently, one of my parents was some kind of gang lord! I don't know how many people he slashed up, doesn't mean that I'm evil—probably, I mean... I don't know, maybe it does..."
Sasha tries to convince Zolf to take the prosthetic legs Mr. Ceiling offered.

"I mean, do you think I'm evil because me being alive is the product of that thing apparently fixing me up again? Like, sometimes you just gotta take what you can get ..."

Zolf: "Next thing on the list, we're gonna have to find a replacement for him."
Hamid: "Yeah, we'll probably need a..."
Sasha: "Fighter?"
Zolf: "Basically we need another one of those sentient bricks..."
―The party discusses solutions after Bertie leaves.

"Are these memories real? Because this is all working out spookily well ... I don't know if I believe all of this ... like, I don't, I don't know ... it's too, it's too right, Zolf."
Sasha, realising things are wrong.

"I'm feeling a bit like a gift horse here right now, would you like to check my teeth?"
Oscar Wilde

"I propose a test—if none of this is real, then I could murder Oscar Wilde with complete impunity."

Zolf: "Look we've had this discussion with Sasha—do a grief later, deal with problem now!"
Hamid: "What's the point?"
Zolf: "What do you mean "what's the point"?"
Hamid: "If it can control all our perceptions this strongly, how can we possibly fight against it?"
Hamid is despondent after realising it's all a simulation.

"If we can't trust our own perceptions of reality, then nothing we can do can make any difference."

"It's good cheesecake at least ..."

"Might I suggest that given past experience that I, Sir Bertrand MacGuffingham, go down first."

"I've got 14 daggers. It's a good dagger, look after it, it's one of my favourites. It's one of my 14 favourites."
Sasha gives Zolf a dagger.

Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • On the balcony, Bertie rolls 9 on Handle Animal, and fails to get Brutor to wave at the crowd.
  • Bertie rolls a 12 for Sense Motive on Wilde, and notices that Wilde slightly different from usual.
  • Entering the cavern with the brain columns, Sasha rolls 25 on Perception, Zolf rolls 16 and Bertie rolls 7.
  • Running out of l'Arc de Triomphe, Hamid rolls an 18 on Perception and notices the billboard.

Plot Notes[]