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Summary[]

An ultimate evil is ended. Grizzop and Sasha leave the basement, as Bertie is short of words and Hamid takes a breather.

(at the beginning of the episode, Alex notes that the recording is lower quality due to several tracks being lost)

Synopsis[]

During combat, Kafka leans in to Bertie after Bertie has been frozen in place, and asks why he should spare Bertie. Bertie says that he’s a hero, and Kafka gestures to the wings. There’s a cut-off cry, and then Aziza is pulled onto the stage and lifted up. Kafka offers Bertie a choice: Bertie can either sacrifice himself and save Aziza, or he can sacrifice Aziza and save himself. Everyone in the auditorium is still unable to move, completely frozen in fear. Kafka says that as long as Bertie really begs, he’ll kill her instead of him - but if Bertie doesn’t, he’ll be such a hero that Kafka will have to dismiss him. Bertie runs some calculations in his head: if he lets Aziza die or begs pathetically in front of all of these people, he’ll have his third strike and be consigned to the flaming poo dimension. 

A digital drawing of Grizzop, Kafka, and Bertie. Grizzop, a goblin male, is in the foreground. He is standing on a stage that looks out into a theater and is back facing the viewer and pointing a bow and arrow at Kafka. There's a quiver of arrows on his back and he is in a collared brown coat. Kafka, a human male, is floating over the stage. He is in a long brown cloak with brown pants and black boots. He is holding open a red book towards his chest. Bertie, a human male, is floating beside him over the seats. He is in full yellow armor and holding a long sword. He is positioned upside down.

Grizzop shoots at Kafka, holding Bertie aloft. Art by @Berry05880063 on Twitter. Used with permission.

Kafka begins to suffocate Bertie, and says that all he has to do is nod, and then all of it will pass onto Aziza. At this moment, Sasha and Grizzop smash into the auditorium and slam the door behind them. They see Kafka floating in the air, and Sasha starts feeling a strange effect in the room (not fear), and Grizzop starts succumbing to the fear effect. Grizzop also notices the remnants of Hamid’s clothes in the wings. 

a digital drawing of Hamid. Top half: Hamid, a brown halfling male, is kneeling down on one knee with his head in his left hand. Behind him is a red sun and he is under an orange arch. There's hands reaching down towards him from above. Bottom half: flames are rising from below as well as a clawed dragon like hand reaching up and surrounding a red anatomical heart that's in the center of the frame.

Feebleminded Hamid. Art by @planetsandmagic on tumblr. Used with permission.

Bertie nods, agreeing to pass the pain onto Aziza, and right before he falls unconscious, hears Kafka laugh and say “no.” Grizzop doesn’t notice him nod, but Sasha does. 

Meanwhile, Hamid has found a buttress and is curled up under it as the rain softly falls around him. The skyline of Prague is beginning to shift, as the clouds have begun to spiral around this building, and zombies are starting to rise all around Prague.  

Grizzop nearly destroys the book, and the audience begins to stir a bit as the zombies around them stand still. Sasha, dangling from Kafka’s exposed leg bone from where his foot was severed, notices the power strands connecting between the books. The power in the room is lessened again, and the audience starts to scream and scramble away, knocking Grizzop over.

The suction force pulling the power out becomes incredibly strong, and as Kafka and Sasha begin plummeting toward the ground, the pages of the book begin to plaster against him, looking as though they’re crushing him. A few of them catch Sasha’s hand, dealing 12 damage, and she lets go, dropping onto the stage. Kafka struggles a bit, and then the pages continue to press inward as he gasps, disappearing as the rest of the pages floats to the ground. 

The suffocation effect on Bertie ends, but it doesn’t matter - Bertie is already dead. 

Quotes[]

Alex: "So, he starts rising up, and you basically baseball swing it in order to get as much power behind it—"
James: "Cricket! Cricket swing!"
Alex: "He's a little dweeb."
Lydia: "Lacrosse sometimes."
James: "I'm very la-cross indeed!"
Bertie attacks Kafka

Alex: "He just does a backward somersault, with all of the grace that Bertie, normally flying, lacks. Turns out going vertically up was okay."
Bryn: "Spraying Bertie with ankle blood in the process."
Ben: "My final move, the blood pin-wheel!"
Alex: "It's not even my final form!"
―Kafka flies around the stage.

Kafka: "And who pray tell, are you?"
Bertie: "I am Sir Bertrand MacGuffingham."
Kafka: "MacGuffingham…hmmm…interesting. And why shouldn’t I immediately disintegrate you, MacGuffingham?"
Bertie: "Well, I am the hero of this narrative, and without me, this whole narrative world collapses."
Kafka: "The hero?"
Bertie: "The hero of this narrative yes. Literally, the only protagonist I’ve ever met."
―Bertie faces off against Kafka.

Kafka: "The hero, are you?"
Bertie: "Yes, I am the hero."
Kafka: "Well, what would a hero be without the hero’s choice, am I right?"
Bertie: "Hero’s choice?"
Kafka: "So, what I’m hearing is that if you were to say, I don’t know, be asked to sacrifice yourself quite nobly, you’d do so being, such a hero?"
Bertie: "I mean,…"
Kafka: "In front of all of these people."
Bertie: "Hello fans!"
Kafka: "So here’s what we’ll do, if you beg, you know, really beg not to die, I’ll kill her. Of course, if you don’t, you’ll be such a hero that I’ll have to dismiss you. What do you think?"
―Kafka offers Bertie a choice.

"So, Bertie is—he's damned if he does—literally damned if he does, and literally damned if he doesn't, so he's going to stall for time."
James

Kafka: "Tick, tock, tick, tock."
Alex: "I am going to have to be blunt with you. You are quite literally one round from being unconscious and another round from being dead."
James: "If Bertie gives up Hamid’s sister, then he’s dead anyway but dead in an eternal horrible way, but if he stays being choked he also dies, but dies in a less awful way because he’s a hero so it’s like normal death…Bertie looks to the sword for guidance."
Sword: "I’m really sorry, but, well, it’s been fun?"
James: "Bertie looks daggers at the sword."
―Bertie struggles with deciding whether to save himself or save Aziza.

Alex: "I, in my infinite kindness, am gonna give you one last chance—you will be unconscious either way. Are you going to nod and pass the buck or are you going to go unconscious? But genuinely, you are unconscious at the end of this either way, but the thing will stop if you just nod and pass the buck. Just let someone else take it, just let someone else handle it, the thing is, dead is dead, but a poo dimension, you might even be able to get out of it. You don’t know. You can probably mess around with those contract people. I mean, you can’t blag being dead, but you can blag a contract."
James: "The thing is, Bertie is ultimately a terrible person and he won’t have clocked the whole, ok, then there will be gratitude and so people will try and revive him, blah, blah, blah. So, he, while choking, he’s put under this much stress, he nods."
―Bertie makes the decision to save himself, and sacrifice Aziza.

Alex: "You hear the distinct sound of someone smashing into stuff in the wings."
Bryn: "Probably a drum kit ... probably really dramatic sounding."
Alex: "Bum-tsh, but in a bad way."
Bryn: "Cymbal-ism."
―Aziza is thrown into the wings by Kafka.

Alex: "At the last second you [Sasha] manage to let go and you drop onto the stage. However, you hear [groaning sounds] and then he [Kafka] just disappears and all that’s left are these pieces of paper that suddenly drift towards ground. And with that Bertie…dies. At the very last moment, the last ebbs of Bertie’s life ebb away and just as the suffocation effect ends…Bertie’s already dead."
James: "Bertie’s final thought is, “this is worse than Rag Week.”"
―Bertie suffocates and dies.


Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

Grizzop and Sasha make a perception check: Grizzop gets a 14, Sasha gets a 30.

Bertie makes a will save: 12.

Bertie makes a fort save: 17.

Grizzop and Sasha make a perception check: Grizzop gets a nat 20, Sasha gets a 17.

Sasha makes a will save: 9.

Grizzop makes a will save: 14.

Grizzop makes a will save: 19.

Bertie makes a fort save to not choke: 13.

Grizzop and Sasha roll a perception check to see if they notice Bertie nodding: Grizzop rolls a 10, Sasha rolls a 16.

Hamid rolls a perception check: 26.

Grizzop and Sasha make perception checks as Aziza is thrown: Grizzop gets an 11, Sasha gets a 26.

Sasha makes a perception check: 29.

Sasha makes a reflex save: 14.

Combat Breakdown[]

Combat continued from previous episode.

Initiative: Grizzop (23), Hamid (23), Bertie (22), Sasha (18), zombie horde, Kafka.
Alex is playing fast and loose with the order and the timelines during this battle.

Round 6

Kafka: Stumbles backwards and asks Bertie what he is. He then rises 15 feet in the air and his attention is focused on the book, about 20ft to the left. Bertie gets an attack of opportunity and hits with a 27, he deals 18 damage and chops off Kafka's entire left foot. 

Grizzop: Uses rapid shot and shoots the other giant zombie in the eyes; hits with 17 and 12, but only one hits in the eyes. One attack does 5 damage to the eye and the other does 10 damage. 

Sasha: No longer nauseated, she throws another alchemist’s fire down at the zombies. Rolls a 15 to hit and deals 5 damage plus 1 splash damage.

Zombie horde: Starts to climb stairs somewhere else in the basement.

Round 7

Hamid: Runs off into the darkness, heading upwards.

Bertie: Makes a fly check to raise to Kafka’s level and rolls an 11. He swings his sword at Kafka’s torso, but misses with a 15.

Kafka: Makes a concentration check to cast defensively and succeeds. He casts a spell on Bertie, who fails the will save with a roll of 11. Bertie is frozen in place.

Grizzop: Leaps down on top of the giant - he misjudges it with an acrobatics roll of 7, and lands in the water. He draws his sword, and channels positive energy, dealing 6 damage. All of the smaller zombies explode and the bigger zombies also take 6 damage. 

Sasha: Throws down a rope for him. 

Zombie horde: One of the big zombies swings at Grizzop and misses. A bunch of zombies burst into the corridor Sasha is in and start shambling toward her.

Round 8

Bertie: Remains frozen in place, but Kafka has allowed him to continue speaking. 

Kafka: Floats down and grabs the book, and then goes back up to Bertie. He magically pulls Aziza out of the wings and holds her in the air.  

Grizzop: Makes a strength check to climb up, but rolls a 3 and slips back down 

Sasha: Delays her action to pull Grizzop up with the rope once he's tied it to himself.

Zombie horde: Shambles up to Sasha.

Round 9

Bertie and Kafka continue to have a conversation (see plot synopsis).

Bertie: Tries to stall and keep Kafka talking, uses pomp and pageantry and rolls a 23.

Grizzop: Has tied the rope around himself and waits for Sasha to pull him up. He readies an action to shoot the zombies starting to get close to Sasha.

Sasha: Rolls a 13 on strength to successfully pull Grizzop up. As he gets on the ledge, he shoots two zombies, hitting on a 28 and 16 respectively. He deals 8 damage to the first (it explodes), and 5 damage to the second which falls over and is prone.

Zombie horde: Several zombies attack but only one hits Grizzop, dealing 5 damage.

Round 10

Kafka: Casts a spell (presumably suffocation) on Bertie. Bertie rolls a will save of 12 and a fort save of 17; he immediately begins suffocating.

Sasha and Grizzop are running away. Sasha throws a Tanglefoot bag over her shoulder to attempt to entangle the zombies. She rolls a 13 and successfully entangles most of the zombies.

Alex skips ahead until Sasha and Grizzop burst into the auditorium with some zombies hot on their heels. They both fail their will saves against Kafka's fear effect and cannot move.

Round 11

Bertie: Cannot move, apart from nodding, and he is still suffocating. Kafka taunts him. 

Grizzop: Makes a successful will save and breaks out of the fear effect. He shoots 2 arrows at the book. He hits on a 15 and a 22, and deals a total of 7 damage from both arrows. The first tears the binding, and the second buries itself in the cover. The power in the room starts to lessen. 

Sasha: Is able to move again and runs up to a weighted cord. She rolls a nat 20, 32 total, to disable device and cuts two ropes, one sending her up into the air, and the other sending a piece of scenery crashing down toward Kafka.

Zombie horde: Bursts through the door behind Grizzop.

Round 12

Bertie: Fails another fort save and nods, meaning he will pass the pain onto Aziza to try and save himself. Bertie falls unconscious.

Hamid: Has curled up under a small overhang on the roof.

Kafka: Throws Aziza into the wings and she collides with something backstage. He turns a page in the book. 

Grizzop: Reactivates his divine bond and shoots two arrows at the book, hitting with a 19 and a 21. He deals 13 damage total to the book - the first arrow tears the binding and the book starts falling apart as it catches fire. The second arrow knocks the book out of Kafka's hands and separate pages start falling away. 

Sasha: Somersaults through the air, rolling a 19, and grabs onto the exposed bone from Kafka’s leg.

Round 13

Bertie: Is unconscious and dying. 

At this point Alex drops out of combat time, see plot synopsis.

Plot Notes[]

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