The episode opens with the bulk of the party in the lounge, while Hamid speaks to his family. Grizzop asks Sasha if things are going well up there, and Sasha says probably not, considering Aziza is dead, and Grizzop starts to explain himself. Before he can, Azu cuts in, asking what happened, and Grizzop explains that Aziza was thrown against a wall and killed. They start discussing how Aziza’s body is getting there, and Grizzop talks about how a body is just a body - the soul is gone. Azu disagrees, saying that the body is a sacred vessel - in her village, it would be used to nourish the crops, and Grizzop agrees with that, but still says that what makes a person a person is gone. Sasha remarks that a lot of the identifying features stay for long after death (fingerprints, hair, etc.) and Grizzop says it depends on how you use them. Azu asks if they create mementos in their culture, and Sasha says not on purpose.
Hamid, meanwhile, has stopped hugging his mother. His sister is the only one who looks composed, his brother has finished his first drink and is on to a second, and his two youngest brothers are not in the room. Hamid goes over and gives Saira, his older sister, a hug, and she gives a meaningful nod toward their father. Things are more tense than expected; the family are all excellent communicators, but they weren’t always good at communicating with each other. Hamid passes by his brother, Saleh, and gives him a solid pat on his shoulder, before heading over to his father, standing next to him. He reaches out with one hand to put it around him, but then withdraws it, placing it on the nearer shoulder. His father doesn’t react, beyond saying that he’s glad Hamid could make it. Hamid thanks him, and says that he’s glad he’s here, wishing that it could have been under better circumstances. He apologizes for not keeping in touch recently, and Saleh says that he’s sure Hamid has been busy, but that this may not the be the best time to discuss it. Hamid agrees, and Saleh continues, saying that they have a public face to maintain. Hamid says that he had some questions, but that it’s not the right time for them.
Back in the lounge, Grizzop is explaining that they don’t really create mementos. Azu says that she grew up in the mountains and isn’t sure about the culture of other people. Grizzop explains that it’s a Cult of Artemis thing: once something has outlived its usefulness, you get rid of it. As he’s speaking, he and Sasha realize that the two halfling attendants in the room are doing their best not to engage with the conversation. Grizzop turns toward both of them, and says that he understands how much pain everyone here is going through, and that the Artemisian way is more practical than some might like. He doesn’t say that what they’re doing is wrong, and explains that from their perspective, Hamid’s sister should be honored, but the body is no longer the person. Azu chimes in, saying that both are important, and asks if Grizzop’s perspective is a goblin thing - he says that it’s not, it’s an Artemis thing.
Back with Hamid - his father is giving him nothing, continuing to stare out the window. He says that he wishes it could have been a clearer day, and Hamid mentions that he’s heard the weather has been acting up recently. Saleh says that, barring another storm, they should be laying Aziza to rest tomorrow, if Hamid has the time. Hamid says that of course he’ll be there, and that he would never be anywhere else. Saleh says that Hamid’s guests are welcome as well, but that he asks that they maintain a discreet demeanour during the funeral. Hamid opens and closes his mouth a few times, and then bows his head and heads back over to his sister. He nods at the door, and Saira nods back, agreeing to head off into another room.
Their brother, Saleh, has finished his fourth drink, but he notices as well, and gives them a pleading look. Hamid successfully hides his reluctance but lets Saleh come with them; Saira looks over at their mother, who gestures for them to go on - she’s fine to let this happen. All three of them head outside; the second the door closes, Saira gives him a genuine embrace. Saleh tries to get involved, and he absolutely reeks of alcohol. Saira says that she’s glad Hamid was able to make it. None of them had any idea how to contact him, and that she’s happy to see him. Hamid says that he’s happy he could make it, and Saira mentions that she’s proud of him. They heard what happened at the opera, and how awful it must have been. Hamid thanks her, but says he’s not sure that there’s much to be proud of. Saleh, completely drunk, says that Hamid did good. Hamid asks if there’s somewhere that they could go to talk, and he looks around, spotting the butler who led him in. He asks for some coffees, and the butler agrees, saying that he’ll bring them to the smoking room.
Back in the lounge, neither of the halflings are responding to Grizzop. Sasha pulls out her fire and ice daggers and performs knife tricks and the two halflings wince. They’re not impressed, and more worried that they’re going to break something. Grizzop asks Azu what Aphrodite or orcish customs are with respect to death. Azu mentions that orcs are also rather short-lived, and Grizzop says that depends on perspective. He explains that goblins only live about 30 years; by comparison, orcs live about 60 years. Azu asks how old Grizzop is, and he says that he’s 10, which is why he’s so keen to get things done. Azu says that the Artemis thing makes sense to her, now, since a very practical goddess will get things done quicker. Grizzop says very slowly that Artemis isn’t a goblin thing. He explains that his entire clutch died, and that he was adopted into the Cult of Artemis by humans, who will live longer than he will. The two halflings (both of whom have decent lifespans) are both looking quite awkward. Grizzop asks if Azu joined up with Aphrodite because she liked kissing.
Saira and Saleh and Hamid have headed into the smoking room; Saleh is surprisingly with it for how much he’s drank, but both of them are listening intently to Hamid. He says that he isn’t sure how much they all know, and Saleh says that it was at the opera - everyone saw what happened, it was in the newspapers. Hamid says that that was one of the reasons why he invited his friends as well. Saira leans in and asks about the spell that Kafka cast on him; she asks if he’s okay, and if there were any long-term effects. She asks if it was a polymorph, and Hamid says that it was an unusual spell that interacted with him strangely. Saleh says that Hamid isn’t being very clear, and that Hamid needs to use his words, that he’s falling back into bad habits, and Hamid says fine as he pulls off the light cloak he’s wearing. It fades into dust, and he turns around, showing them the family tree on the back of his robes. Saleh makes a noise of shock, and Hamid asks if Saira knew any of this. She says she didn’t, and says that she went to work for Apophis to try and get away from the family business. Hamid weakly says that she didn’t get very far.
Azu says that her romantic life isn’t any of Grizzop’s business, and explains that joining up with Aphrodite was about healing everybody. Sasha quietly says that they don’t heal everyone, and Azu pauses before saying that Sasha is an unusual exception. Sasha says that it’s her own problem, but Azu disagrees, saying that it’s all of their problem, because they need to save Sasha. Since they’re speaking about lifespans, Sasha mentions that at least they’ve all got more than a month to live, and Grizzop says that at least that’s exceptional. Sasha very sarcastically mutters that it’s grand. Both Azu and Grizzop say that it can be fixed, and that they’re going to work to save her. None of the halflings are moving or engaging with this in any way. Sasha says that when she becomes a necromancer, maybe she can do something about all of their lifespans, but Grizzop says that he’d have to draw the line there. He says that Artemis has a pretty strict rule about the undead, but that Sasha is fundamentally a good person, and Azu says that Sasha is their friend.
Jumping back to Hamid: Saleh asks what all of this means. Hamid explains that he’s a sorcerer, and that they may not know what that is, but Saleh says that he thought Hamid dropped out. Hamid says not exactly, and Saira says that they all could use a minute to work this out. She says that it’s interesting, but it might need to be dealt with later, and says that they all could all do with a lie down, nudging toward Saleh. It’s been a long day, and tomorrow will be even longer. Saleh, in the corner, is nodding and agreeing with them, eyes half-lidded. He pulls out a flask and takes a swig from it, calling it a night cap, but it’s only about 10 in the morning. Saleh finishes the night cap, gives them both a clumsy bow, and heads out of the room as the butler helps him away. Hamid says he doesn’t realize he’d gotten that bad, and Saira says that Saleh fell in with a bad crowd and that they’d all thought he’d gotten over it, but apparently not. He says that he knows Saleh missed competition, but that he thought he was adjusting. Saira explains that Saleh started going to casinos a lot, and that they sorted it out, but that Saleh is more nervous than before, but won’t talk to Saira about it. Hamid quietly says that they’ve never been very good at talking to each other.
Saira says that she’s glad Hamid is here, and he asks about the banks. He says that he hasn’t seen any of them in six months, and that he feels so out of the loop, and starts to talk about Aziza, saying how excited he was to see her, but starts to break down crying. Saira reaches out and pulls him into a hug as Hamid starts to sob, telling him that it’s okay. He says that he tried, and Saira says that she knows, that mum and dad know, and Hamid says that he missed them all so much. Saira asks where he’s been, and Hamid says that he got kicked out of university. He explains that the university kicked him out and that their parents smoothed things over. Saira asks if it involved Gideon, and Hamid answers that it did; Saira says she hates him, and asks what Hamid ever saw in him. Hamid says that he doesn’t know, but that he feels like it was such a different time and that he was young and stupid. He explains that their parents smoothed it over, saying that he wasn’t allowed to come back until he made something of himself. Saira says that the entirety of Prague saw him fight to save his sister, saw him stand up to a powerful necromancer, and that that can’t be nothing. Hamid thanks her, and Saira continues, saying that if all Hamid’s doing is going around trying to please their father, he might be wasting his time. She says that it’s not that he can’t, but she doesn’t think he should want to. Hamid says that the weirdest thing of all is that he hasn’t even thought of that. He still wants them to be proud of him, wants all of them to be proud of him, and he wants to make up for his mistakes as best he can. He wanted to be a hero so that he could be famous, but now he just wants to help people, and now he thinks he can. He says it’s a lot of pressure, and Saira says that doing the right thing kind of always is.
Back in the lounge, Sasha is doing knife tricks near the window (which greatly stresses the halfling servants out) and Grizzop is pacing. Azu wants to comfort Sasha, but knows that maybe leaving her alone is the best idea, and decides to distract everyone instead. She tries some halfling wine from the magic table that the two attendants brought, but it doesn’t even slightly affect her. Instead, she tries to summon orcish moonshine from the table. A crystal decanter appears, completely clear; it is sized for orcs and fills nearly the entire table, and Azu asks if anyone else would like some.
Back to Saira and Hamid: Saira says that their parents are being their parents, Saleh is being like that, and the boys (the twins, Hamid’s younger brothers) are alright. She explains that their parents decided that they didn’t need to be around this, and Hamid says that they’re not that young anymore, and that they should be here. Saira agrees, and says that they’ll both be around for the funeral tomorrow.
Hamid asks how Saira is doing; she asks if he really wants the entire truth, and he says yes. She says that until now, she was doing really well. Branching out was the best thing she ever did, and Hamid says that he’s proud of her. She asks if he wanted to know anything else, and he asks about the banks. Saira says that they’re bad, and asks him not to speak about it while he’s here. Hamid agrees not to, and Saira asks if they’ll all be staying there tonight. Hamid says that he was planning to, and that his friends will probably stay in the guest wing. He starts stuttering a bit as he talks, and Saira tells him to breathe. He explains that they were there too, and helped, and Saira says that they’re welcome as well. She says that she’s going to need to get back in there, and Hamid says that he’ll come with her as well - he wants to do what he can. He says that he hopes he isn’t the screw up he used to be. If he can, he wants to share some of the burden with her. Saira says, in the nicest way possible, that she appreciates that and is proud of him, but that today isn’t about Hamid. Hamid says that he didn’t mean it that way, but doesn’t say anything else, agreeing with her.
Time accelerates to early evening. They’ve all had a decent amount of moonshine, and have been given a really good lunch. One of the halfling attendants has been trying to clean up after all of them, and the second attendant is absolutely sloshed, laying on the couch with them. Hamid shows up - nothing else happened in the drawing room apart from sharing comfort - to see Sasha and the one attendant drunk out of their minds. The other servant seems like they have a panic attack when they see him enter. Azu and Grizzop seem like they’re alright. The halfling is drunk, and rambling about how they have to be fun, and Azu says that they’re incredibly fun. Sasha decides to do another knife trick, throwing the knives in the air, and neither of them come back down, embedded up to the hilt in a magical mural over the lounge. Azu attempts to remove them, while the drunk halfling claps and the other halfling passes out. It’s a bit much for them. Grizzop runs over to them to check.
Hamid greets all of them, and the drunk halfling stands up, saying that Hamid is fun in a way that the rest of his family aren’t. Grizzop steps in, explaining that they got her drunk, but she keeps talking, saying that she loves working there. She apologizes, still very drunk, and Azu asks if Hamid wants a drink as well, saying that he looks very tense and might want to decompress. Sasha says that it's great and that she found out that she’s a zombie earlier but it doesn’t matter now. Grizzop asks what he should do with the passed-out halfling (the drunk one says that they should draw on his face) but Azu budges up and they lie him down on the chaise lounge, on Azu’s lap. The drunk one pulls out some lipstick, but they all jump in to stop her drawing on his face.
Hamid says that the funeral is tomorrow, and that all of them are invited if they want to come, but asks that they be a bit more subtle than this. Grizzop says that there will probably be less drinking at the funeral, and the drunk halfling giggles and says not if they’re Saleh. Grizzop goes over and knocks her on the head a bit, and she lays down. There’s one halfling on each side of Azu, heads on her thighs, and she’s just patting them on the head. Grizzop says that this should be more like what Aphrodite is about, and Azu asks what he means. He says that they should all be more like this, instead of being all stuffy like Eren Fairhands. Hamid cuts in and asks how much everyone has had to eat, and Grizzop says that they all ate half an hour ago.
Time accelerates forward again - every single party member other than Hamid is unconscious, from the moonshine, in the guest wing. Hamid is back in his old room, and the first thing he notices is that he did grow up a lot since then. He feels that everything is slightly trivial, now. He casts prestidigitation to clean the room, and then starts pacing around the room. He looks at the ring and starts speaking into it; logically, he knows that this isn't how the ring works, but he tells Barret that he won’t be giving the ring to his brother. Knowing the state that Saleh is in, he won’t add this to his load. He says that Saleh probably has debts to him, and he isn’t going to take them on, but he’s willing to work with Barret to clear up Saleh’s problems. The episode closes as Hamid goes to bed.
- Alex: "And who are you playing?"
- Ben: "Grizzop drik acht Amsterdam."
- Bryn (sobbing): "Hamid Saleh Haroun al-Tahan."
- Lydia: "Sasha “does not have the tools to deal with this” Racket."
- Helen: "Azu is being very comforting."
- Alex: "And welcome to another exciting, action packed…really sad, really low key…"
- Lydia: "It’s the grief safari! Wooooo!"
- ―Character introductions.
- Grizzop: "I don’t know if she’s there. Her body, I mean."
- Azu: "What happened to her body?"
- Grizzop: "Oh no, she got thrown against a wall and had her neck broke."
- Azu: "Is it still where she…"
- Grizzop: "No, they’re probably shipping it actually."
- ―Grizzop explains what happened at the opera to Azu.
- Saira: "I’m so glad that you made it, Hamid. I was really worried, we didn’t know how to contact you and we’re just so happy to see you. I just wish it could have been…"
- Hamid: "I’m just glad I’m here."
- Saira: "And, we’re so proud. We heard that you did what you could at the time, and you were there, and you…"
- Hamid: "Well, I tried."
- Saira: "I know, it’s awful and we’re so proud of you."
- Hamid: "Thank you. I don’t know if there’s much to be proud of, but thank you."
- ―Saira greets Hamid
- Azu: "Well, as you know, we are also fairly short-lived, and so…"
- Grizzop: "Well, you know, that’s a matter of perspective."
- Azu: "No, it’s a matter of numerical perspective."
- Grizzop: "It depends if you’re coming at it from a human perspective, or a goblin perspective. You’re pretty long-lived, actually."
- Azu: "How long do goblins live?"
- Grizzop: "Oh, you know. About thirty."
- Azu: "Oh! How old are you?"
- Grizzop: "Ten. So, I’m pretty keen to get stuff done."
- Azu: "I gather. That would explain the…ahhhhh…I understand. A very practical goddess will get things done quicker!"
- Grizzop: "No, Artemis isn’t a goblin thing. So, I was adopted by the church of Artemis because my entire clutch died. My adoptive parent is a human, so will live a lot longer than me. My general thought is that of all the people that I know I am pretty, you know, short on time. And the whole Artemis thing, maybe that’s informed the decision, but that’s not why. So, you know, did you join up with Aphrodite ‘cause you really like kissing, or…"
- ―Grizzop and Azu have an awkward conversation.
- Sasha: "I mean, when I turn into, like, a necromancer, maybe I can fix all of our short life problems?"
- Azu: "You will not become a necromancer."
- Grizzop: "I mean, I’m gonna have to draw the line at that, I mean, we’re really making an…usually Artemis has a pretty anti-undead situation."
- Sasha: "Yeah, well, good for you being the exception!"
- Azu: "You are our friend."
- Grizzop: "You’re a good person."
- Azu: "Exactly. And we battle against evil. But you are not evil. Very clear-cut, I think."
- Sasha: "It’s fine, the undead people that you’ve met, you think alright, but…other undead people."
- Grizzop: "If I’m quite honest, I haven’t met any other undead people. Oh, wait, except for all of those zombies and that necromancer who tried to kill the population of Prague."
- ―Grizzop and Azu reassure Sasha
- "Hey, I'm stealing this joke from someone else, but a necromancer is just a healer that never gave up."
- Bryn: ""Play D&D," they said. "Fight monsters, win treasure," they said."
- Lydia: "Leave your emotional crises and escape from them into a spectacular—"
- ―It's an emotional episode.
- Saira: "He started hitting the casinos quite a lot. Presumably he gets it from Mum’s side, I don’t know. But, either way, we cleaned it up, we sorted it out, but he’s been…I don’t know, he’s very nervous now. There’s something up, I don’t know. He won’t talk to me. I mean, he won’t talk to anyone, that’s kind of his thing."
- Hamid: "Yeah, we’ve…never been very good at talking to each other."
- ―Saira explains that Saleh has been acting strange.
- Saira: "I’m glad you’re here, Hamid."
- Hamid: "How’s everything else? I know that the bank’s not doing well, none of them are, are Mum and Dad coping? I want to know everything! I feel like I’ve…I haven’t seen any of you in six months, I haven’t heard anything in six months. I was so excited to see Aziza and then…I couldn’t. I couldn’t!"
- Saira: "It’s okay."
- Hamid: "I tried, I…"
- Saira: "I know, I know. And they know, Mum and Dad, they know, they don’t…"
- Hamid: "I missed you all so much. I didn’t know if I’d be welcome to come back."
- ―Hamid starts crying as Saira reaches out and holds him.
- Hamid: "I got kicked out. They kicked me out."
- Saira: "It was Gideon wasn’t it."
- Hamid: "Of course it was Gideon!"
- Saira: "God, I hate him. I don’t know what you saw in him, Hamid."
- Hamid: "I don’t either. I feel like it was all a different…I was so young and stupid, and maybe I still am, but…I’ve changed. I’ve changed a lot. I feel like I see everything a bit more clearly now. Mum and Dad they smoothed it over, they sent me a letter, they said…“Don’t come back until you’ve made something of yourself.”"
- Saira: "Well, look at it this way, Hamid. The entirety of Prague saw you risk your life to save your sister, saw you stand up to something that all of them fell to, and that’s got to be worth something."
- Hamid: "Yeah…thank you."
- Saira: "And I think…if all you do is run around, trying to impress Father, I think you might be wasting your time. And not because I don’t think you can do it. I don’t think you should want to."
- ―Saira gives Hamid advice.
- Azu: "Moonshine for you!"
- Hamid: "No, no thank you. Thank you, no."
- Sasha: "But it helps, Hamid! I found out earlier today I’m a zombie and I’m gonna die in a month. And now I feel fine! Absolutely fine."
- Azu: "Because we will save you!"
- Sasha: "Yeahhh! We’ll totally defeat Barret, that’s fine! I won’t get locked up again. It won’t matter if I get locked up again, ‘cause I’ll be dead."
- Grizzop: "As I said, it’s been quite tense, so we’ve had a drink."
- ―Grizzop, Sasha, and Azu get drunk in the lounge.
- "I think we’ll end the episode there. It’s a soft end, it’s a gentle end, but I feel like if I try to do anything else it’ll go wrong in ways that hurt me again, and I’ve been hurt before, and I just can’t let that happen. I think we need to end this, calm ourselves, and come back next week."
Dice rolls and Mechanics
- Hamid rolls a Sense Motive to read the room: 4.
- Azu, Sasha, and Grizzop roll a Perception check: Azu gets 10, Grizzop gets 26, Sasha gets 19.
- Hamid rolls to hide his reluctance: 22.
- Sasha rolls a Perform check while doing dagger tricks: 30.
- Azu rolls a Sense Motive check: 25.
- Azu makes a Fortitude save: nat 20.
- Azu rolls a Use Magic Device check: 22.
- Azu, Sasha, and Grizzop roll a Fortitude save against the moonshine: Azu gets 21, Grizzop gets 15, Sasha gets 5.
- Sasha rolls a Perform check while doing dagger tricks: 16.