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Summary[]

The party attend Aziza's funeral. Hamid ensures everyone is dressed appropriately. Azu works out. Sasha and Grizzop spot a familiar figure.

Synopsis[]

It’s the day of Aziza's funeral.  

Hamid, upon waking up, starts helping everyone else with their outfits. He’s bringing three people, and wants to make sure that they’re all dressed appropriately. Since he’s in his own home, he has his own suit that he can wear, a suit he can probably loan to Grizzop, and he can give someone his magical sleeves and someone else some magical robes that they got out of Newton’s vault - Living Garments. Grizzop woke up early and polished every bit of his armor, sorting his outfit out himself. 

Sasha intended to wake up early, but she’s incredibly hungover from the orcish moonshine. She wakes up to Hamid knocking on the door. She is coated in her own blood once again. As she opens the door, Hamid realises that she looks clearly undead. Her face is incredibly gaunt, her clothing is bloody, and she looks like she’s been injured in her sleep. Hamid asks hows she’s feeling and what he can do to help, and Sasha says she doesn’t know anymore, other than waiting for her to pass away. She says she’ll wash the blood off and not bother anyone, and then turns around and shuts the door. 

Azu got up early and has been doing her morning calisthenics with the two servants from the day before, lifting the halflings and doing sit ups with them around her ankles. 

Hamid, once he’s satisfied that everyone is dressed, spends the rest of the morning going through some mementos of his sister. He has a program of an opera that he attended in London, among some other things. Saira is there with him, and he notices her put aside a flyer from the show Aziza died in, hiding it from the rest. Hamid doesn’t draw attention to it. 

Grizzop goes to see if he can find Sasha. She’s gotten the robe of living garments from Hamid; what they basically do is read the user and their needs to see how to best magically change. For the funeral, Sasha looks extremely well-dressed, probably the best she’s looked since Grizzop has met her. He pulls her aside and asks for a quick chat, apologizing for his behaviour and conversation the day before. He explains that Azu got his hackles up a bit, but that Sasha has been through something really shocking and has only had a day to really deal with it. Sasha says that she never really expected to live that long anyway, but a month is really short. Grizzop says that she still has people who want to keep her alive, and Sasha laughs bitterly. For someone who’s been used as a tool her entire life, it’s not a new sensation for her. 

Azu is outside in the garden when Hamid finds her. He lends her his sleeves of many garments; she will be able to wear her armor, but she adds a cloak and a veil over top of it to mute some of the brightness of the pink. 

Time skips to the funeral. The party and the rest of the funeral attendees are standing at a rise overlooking a river. The close friends and family are standing around a wrapped body - Hamid’s sister - on a plinth that will be lowered into the ground. There is a field of flowers surrounding them, with some tombstones interspersed throughout them. It’s much less demarcated than the rest of Hamid’s family home has been so far, and is relatively informal. There’s no tomb or anything for the bodies. At a far distance, there is a huge crowd of the public. They aren’t there to ogle - Aziza was a well-known singer and the family is incredibly famous, so it being a public thing is to be expected. However, they are keeping a respectful distance. Breaking with funereal traditions, there’s music playing, with close colleagues singing. At one point, Saira sings Aziza's favorite song; she’s not professional, but she’s good. 

As the ceremony continues and the body begins to be lowered into the ground, Grizzop and Sasha notice that, among the trees, there is a single, tall cowled figure standing next to a tree, in between the distance the close families and the public. It’s clear that they are trying to appear unnoticed. Grizzop realises that, if they are a human, their proportions are all strange, and Sasha realizes that it’s the same figure as the cowled person who stood behind Barret in Other London. Weapons are not permitted at the funeral, but considering that the party all has bags of holding, they all are able to have their weapons tangentially on them. The figure isn’t doing anything other than watching. 

Sasha, upon noticing the figure, has gone pale, and Grizzop nudges her and asks if she knows them. She whispers that this is bad news back to him, and Grizzop looks around, realising that Saleh has also noticed the figure and starts to go to pieces even more. He’s intentionally not looking at the person, and Grizzop says just as much to Sasha. Sasha says that this has gotten worse, and then Azu leans over to ask what they’re speaking about. Sasha explains that there’s a powerful underground criminal network that she knew she wouldn’t be able to escape, clearly starting to panic, and that they’ve reached her here. Hamid notices them speaking and leans over, asking for them to wait until later and not be speaking during the service. Grizzop whispers to keep an eye on it to Sasha, and then they fall silent. 

Aziza is finally laid to rest. Everyone in attendance drops a bit of dirt on the grave, and then the family each plant a flower that will grow later. Everyone goes their separate ways. Hamid’s father turns and leaves, along with Hamid’s brother; his father has been stone-faced the entire time. His mother lingers for a bit, before being led away by Saira, and the twins head off along with them both. The rest of the party find themselves together; throughout the entire ceremony, Sasha hasn’t taken her eyes off of the figure, and neither has Grizzop. Once Saleh headed off, the figure stepped behind a tree and vanished from view. The second it does so, Sasha runs after it, checking to see where it is. Grizzop and Azu follow behind her. Hamid lets this happen, assuming that there’s a good reason for this. He lingers for a moment to make sure that everyone else has left, and then follows as well.  

They all head over to the tree; a pair of footprints are there, but no figure. Sasha looks in the tree, but there’s no one there. The footprints are strange - they are just depressions in the ground, rather than the shape of a foot. Hamid apologises for interrupting them earlier, and asks what it was. Sasha says that Barret has sent people here, and Grizzop describes it as a spooky hooded figure. Hamid asks if it’s what they saw when they visited Barret in Other London, and Sasha says she isn’t sure if it’s the same one. Grizzop mentions that Hamid’s brother noticed it as well, and Hamid says that they need to have a conversation with Saleh about the entire situation. Grizzop asks how Hamid is doing, and Hamid says that he feels better; seeing his family and the ceremony has helped loads, but he says that it’s still best to keep busy, and he wants to make sure his brother is safe. 

Saleh has arrived at the carriage with the rest of Hamid’s family. He’s fine, although it’s clear to see that he has been spooked. Hamid is invited to come with the rest of them, but he declines, saying that he’ll stay with his friends and follow them in a carriage. They decide that they’ll pull Saleh aside for a conversation at some point in the near future. Sasha asks if Hamid’s heard any more from Barret, but he says that he hasn’t; he mentions that Saira said that Saleh fell into a bad crowd, and has racked up some gambling debts - something that their family isn’t unused to. Sasha asks what amount of debt they wouldn’t be able to pay off, and Hamid says that he isn’t sure of that, or of how much his parents have helped. They’ll keep an eye on Saleh and make sure he’s safe. Grizzop says that they have a few other pressing matters to deal with as well and looks at Sasha, mentioning that they should try to schedule an appointment with Apophis sometime soon. Hamid says that Saira is the best option for that, still, and that they should be able to wait until tomorrow for that. Sasha mutters that she only has 28 days left, and Hamid says that they’re moving as quickly as they can. 

Time skips ahead a bit as the wake progresses. They’ve all returned back to Hamid’s house, heading off to their respective bedrooms. Hamid says that he’d like at least one of them to be around Saleh at all times just to be safe (at a discreet distance), but that they can change if they’d like, as there are no conventions about what to wear to a wake. Hamid asks for his sleeves back as well, and Azu hands them back over, glowing bright pink again.

Azu is the first person looking out for Saleh. He immediately returns to his room, so Azu will linger at the end of the corridor, trying to be unobtrusive, and she hears him crying. Sasha decides that she’ll wait outside to cover the window to make sure that nothing gets in that way. She disguises herself as a gardener and hides among the foliage. 

Time skips ahead again to the evening. Everyone is around as the preparations are being set up. The wake itself is huge and bright, a lot of paper lanterns that move around magically, with lots of food and colorful clothing. There are a lot of smiling photos of Aziza around. It’s completely different than the funeral.

Sasha notices the figure again, standing at the edge of the preparations. She grabs Grizzop and together they move toward it. They sneak toward the figure, as Grizzop carefully pulls a bow out and nocks an arrow. He’s covering her approach as she moves in. As they approach, the figure is looking right at Saleh’s window, not at them. Sasha reckons that she’s gotten the drop on them, and she gets immediately behind them with weapons drawn. She sneak attacks with the fire and ice daggers; the first one misses as the figure screams an inhuman scream, but the second one connects, burying between the figure’s shoulder blades. It twists its head around, the whole way, and before she can see what’s under the cowl, Grizzop shoots it as well, and both of his shots connect. It screams again.  

Greyscale fan art of Sasha stabbing the already-dead squizzard. She’s on her knees, leaning down into its corpse with both hands on the hilt of a dagger that’s buried into a mound of dark clothing and tentacles. She is sobbing. The art is captioned: “Why?! Why?! Everywhere I go! This isn’t about you!”

Sasha stabs the squizzard repeatedly. Art by @srapsodia on tumblr. Used with permission.

Hamid has just wandered into Saleh’s bedroom, but the second he starts to talk, he hears the scream. He runs to the window, opens it and leans out to see what’s going on, spotting the figure. Azu hears the scream and turns toward it, and the party enters combat. They all attack it, and the creature falls before it can even make one attack. Sasha continues stabbing the creature even after it’s dead, telling it to tell Barret how little he matters, punctuating each word with a stab. 

Quotes[]

Alex: "First thing in the morning, she looks clearly undead. She has a gaunt aspect to her, her clothing is bloodied, she looks like she’s been injured slightly in the night. She looks tangibly awful."
Hamid: "Oh, Sasha! Umm…how are you feeling? What can I do to help?"
Sasha: "I don’t know anymore, do I? And I suppose, just wait for me to pass away quietly."
Hamid: "No, no no…"
Sasha: "I’ll wash the blood off. Don’t worry, I won’t bother everyone."
Hamid wakes Sasha up the morning of the funeral.

Grizzop: "Oh hey, Sasha, do you mind if we have a quick chat?"
Sasha (tiredly): "Yeah. What’s up?"
Grizzop: "Uh, I’m sorry about what I said yesterday. Um…it’s a bit of a sore subject for me and Azu got my hackles up with, you know…but yes, you’ve been through something really shocking, and…yeah. I’ve had a long time to come to terms with this, you’ve had all of yesterday."
Sasha: "I never really expected to…live that long. It’s not really traditional in my line of work. But…a month is pretty, is pretty short."
Grizzop: "Yeah."
Sasha: "Yeah, oh well."
Grizzop: "But, look. You’ve got people who want to keep you alive, so, we’ll do our best."
―Sasha laughs bitterly at Grizzop's attempt to reassure her.

Sasha (shakily): "Alright, um, right ok, there’s some bad news."
Grizzop: "Is that to do with Barret?"
Sasha: "Yeah, so, I think, um that this had gotten even worse, okay, right."
Azu: "What are you two talking about?"
Sasha: "So, there’s, you know, there’s an underground criminal network that I always knew was far too powerful to escape. And, uh, they’ve reached even here. They’ve reached us here."
―Sasha recognises the cloaked figure that the party had encountered at Barret's.

"This is the first time in her life she’s had the chance to directly attack something of Barret’s."
Lydia, about Sasha

Alex: "You [Sasha] may have picked this fight, but you’re getting all of the support this time, it’s lovely, people are doing what they should be."
Lydia: "It’s probably quite emotionally meaningful for her."
―Grizzop, Azu, and Hamid immediately attack the creature with Sasha.

Alex: "It does twist it's head round, and at that exact moment—"
Lydia: "Uh, the whole way? Uh!"
Alex: "No, not the whole way—y'know what, y'know what? Yes."
Lydia: "Okay. Aaah! Genuinely afraid!"
―Sasha confronts the creature.

Alex: "And I'm gonna find out whether the incredibly horrifying, terrifying creature is more scared of you than you are of it."
Helen: "Oh no, it's just a spider!"
―Sasha confronts the creature.

Sasha: "Why has Barret sent you? Why are you always here?"
Alex: "I’ll allow you to have the flavour for the final killing blow."
Lydia: "I mean, she just keeps hacking at it."
Sasha: "Why! Why! Everywhere I go! This isn’t about you! YOU (stabs) TELL HIM (stabs) HOW (stabs) LITTLE (stabs) HE (stabs) MATTERS!"
―Sasha screams at the creature, continuing to stab it.


Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • Sasha rolls a Fortitude save upon waking up: 9.
  • Hamid rolls a Perception check: 25.
  • Everyone rolls a Perception check: Grizzop gets a nat 20, Hamid gets a 15, Sasha gets a 22, Azu gets a 12.
  • Sasha and Grizzop roll a Perception check: Grizzop gets a nat 20, Sasha gets a 16.
  • Hamid rolls a Perception check to hear Sasha and Grizzop: 18.
  • Sasha makes a Perception check: 21.
  • Sasha & Grizzop make a Stealth check to sneak up on the figure: Sasha gets 36, Grizzop gets 26.
  • Sasha makes a Will save: 19.
  • Azu makes a Perception check to notice the location of the fight: 13.

Combat Breakdown[]

Surprise Round

  • Sasha: Sneak attacks the figure, 16 on the first dagger, which misses, 25 on the second, dealing 16 damage plus 4 fire damage.
  • Grizzop: Attacks the figure, the first is a nat 20, the second is a 20. He confirms a crit on the first with a 17, and deals 12 damage with the first shot and 3 on the second.

Initiative: Grizzop (24, nat 20), Hamid (20), Azu (18), Sasha (15), cowled figure

Round 1

  • Grizzop: Takes another full-attack action. The first attack misses with a 14, and the second hits with a 28, dealing 3 damage. 
  • Hamid: Casts magic missile at the figure, with three missiles. He deals 2, 3, and 4 damage respectively, for a total of 9 damage.
  • Azu: Runs over to the correct area of the gardens, and charges the figure. She rolls a Strength check to charge through the tables and gets 13, not completely destroying the party. She attacks with her ominous greataxe, which wails as it attacks. She rolls a 24 on the attack, dealing 18 damage - the creature is not terrified. The cloak caves in on itself but doesn’t collapse, and it screams again. A number of tentacles emerge from the creature.
  • Sasha: Asks why Barret sent it, and then stabs it again twice. She rolls a nat 1 on the first attack, and a 22 on the second. The entire thing warps away from her first attack, and Sasha screams as it disarms her knife and throws it away. The second attack deals 16 damage plus 1 fire damage.
  • Cowled figure: Dies, having taken 82 total damage before getting an action.

Plot Notes[]

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