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Summary[]

The party reunites. Azu, Grizzop, and Sasha attempt to convince Howard that all the ills of the world are not, in fact, his fault. Then, they introduce him to Hamid and Hamid's brother, Saleh, leading them to make some interesting discoveries.

Synopsis[]

Howard Carter has just announced who he is, followed by Grizzop asking if he knows about the brain machines under Paris. Carter is confused, and wonders how his curse could reach so far and so wide. Grizzop asks if he’s mainly worried about the weather, and Carter says that the weather is only a part of how far his curse has affected the world.  

Sasha interrupts, saying that Carter needs to realize that this isn’t all about him. Carter says that she can’t prove it, and continues weeping and moaning about the curse. Grizzop says that she probably can, but Sasha shrugs, saying that it’s possible that Brock being killed and having his brain taken out could be Carter’s fault, and that all the gangs in London in France being connected over hundreds of years could be his fault as well.  

A pencil drawing of Carter. He is a white man with neatly parted short hair, wearing a vest and tie. He is leaning against a bar, one hand resting on his glass and the other forming a claw in despair, as he yells “the curse! It’s all my fault.” The speech bubbles and movement are outline d in blue pencil, and the image has a circular border.

Carter wails about his curse. Art by @sketch-cat on tumblr. Used with permission.

Carter wails again, saying that he never knew his curse could work backward through time. Azu and Grizzop are trying to settle the situation down, but Sasha continues, saying that Hamid’s brother killing someone could be Carter’s fault, and that all the tentacle monsters could be his fault as well. Carter agrees, saying that they are, and apologizes more. Azu tells Sasha to stop, and Grizzop goes up and kicks Carter in the shins over and over, punctuating each word as he yells at Carter, saying that it isn’t about him. 

Carter yells for Grizzop to kick harder, and Grizzop backs off, slightly disgusted. Azu starts slapping him gently to try and snap him out of it, but Carter again yells for her to really lay into him, because he deserves this. Grizzop reaches up and drags Carter down to his level, yelling at him that this isn’t about him and he needs to sort it out. Carter says that he’s right, still a little weepy. He goes to reach for a drink, but reaches past him and grabs a glass of water instead, splashing it into his face as he announces that they’re all going to go to the Tahan branch and solve what happened. Grizzop convinces him to go to the Tahan house instead, and Azu summons Topaz to carry them all to the house. 

Time skips forward: they’ve made it to the gate of the house, but there’s a huge crowd of paparazzi and onlookers around the front gate. Sasha tries to get through the crowd by saying that they have a large delivery, and are lucky enough to get spotted by one of the guards who let them in originally. He directs them around to the side so that they can get in; meanwhile, Carter is yelling about how everyone has the right to be upset and sad, since this is his fault. Azu maneuvers Topaz over to the side of the house, and they all get around the reporters and make it in through one of the service entrances. 

Hamid is in the dining room, and the party all come in. Carter sits down, quietly, and starts dozing. Hamid asks where they’ve all been, and Azu says that they’ve been around, and that they found a new friend. They explain that Carter keeps blaming himself for the weather and the other bad things happening, and Sasha mentions that it’s something connected to the Tahan family. They ask if there’s a Tahan family curse, and Hamid says that he doesn’t think so; Grizzop explains that Carter wanted to go to the Tahan branch, but Hamid isn’t sure why. 

Sasha asks Hamid what he’s been doing all day, and Hamid explains that his father has been arrested. They all ask why, and Hamid says that he turned himself for Saleh’s crimes. Sasha isn’t surprised by this, but Grizzop is confused, asking what Saleh did. Azu asks how bad it is, and Hamid says that it’s pretty bad. Grizzop says that he isn’t following why his father got arrested for what his brother did, and Azu says that it isn’t justice. Hamid hedges a bit, saying that families are complicated, but Grizzop, Sasha, and Azu disagree.  

Azu says that if someone does a bad crime, you turn them out into the wilderness, and Grizzop walks that back, saying that at the very least people need to deal with the consequences of their actions. Grizzop again asks what Saleh did; Hamid explains that he became involved with a gang, but Grizzop keeps pressing, saying that being involved with a criminal isn’t necessarily bad. Sasha mentions that they’re all involved with her, but Azu says that she’s not a criminal - Sasha doesn’t say anything, and Azu asks if she is. Hamid says that they’ve all got a past, and Sasha tells everyone that Grizzop just cut off a man’s legs.  

Grizzop reacts strongly as he yells a bit, explaining that it was an accident, and Sasha takes a drink from the cup she’s been carrying back from the bar. He says that he thinks he put them back on, anyway, and Hamid asks how he isn’t certain. Carter stands up, saying that it wasn’t his fault, and Grizzop tells him to sit down, which he does. Hamid asks what happened again, but Grizzop doesn’t answer, saying that they can’t change the subject when they still don’t know what Saleh did. He asks again what Saleh did. 

Hamid admits that Saleh killed someone, and Grizzop asks how he’s getting away with it. Hamid says that he isn’t, and Grizzop and Sasha ask if he’s been arrested, or accused, or what. They ask if people know, and Hamid says no - Grizzop pauses, and then starts to ask how this is facing consequences, but Sasha interrupts, explaining that Hamid’s family is rich. Grizzop understands, saying that Hamid covered it up. Hamid says that it’s not entirely being covered up, and Azu says that she expected better of Hamid. Hamid explains that it wasn’t really his decision, and Grizzop says that Hamid could go out there and tell the crowd that it wasn’t his father, that his brother was the culprit instead.  

Azu asks if that’s why the paparazzi are out there, and Hamid explains that his father is a well-known and respected figure in the community, who just admitted to a crime. Grizzop clarifies that his father admitted to a crime he didn’t commit, and Hamid asks if none of them have ever had to cover up for someone they cared about. He asks if this is so out of the ordinary, that a man wants to protect his family, but Grizzop says not if it’s murder. Hamid says that it was accidental, and Grizzop says that you can’t accidentally murder a person - Hamid yells that Grizzop just shot a man’s legs off accidentally, and Grizzop says that he healed them and that they’re still alive. Hamid asks what he would have done if the man hadn’t survived, and Carter stands up once again, saying that it would be the fault of the curse. Hamid and Grizzop both yell at him to shut up simultaneously. Carter sits down. 

Grizzop explains that the man broke a chair over his head first, and Azu says that it was self-defense. Sasha asks if Saleh killed this person on a job for the Meritocrats or in self-defense, and Hamid says that it’s slightly self-defense. Grizzop asks for the context, and Hamid explains that Saleh was in the middle of committing a crime, and that this person was trying to stop him. Azu says that that isn’t good context, and Hamid yells that he knows, and that he’s not defending this. Grizzop yells that Hamid is, because he’s helping to cover this up and not making Saleh pay for his crimes. He asks how Hamid can’t see that this is a bad thing, and Azu says that she agrees with Grizzop. Hamid yells that his father has just been arrested and that his family is falling apart. Grizzop says that that’s not the point - the point is that Saleh isn’t facing consequences. Hamid asks what they should do, and Grizzop says that Saleh should be arrested. Hamid says that his father already has been, and that they can’t arrest two people for the same crime. Grizzop says that they need to arrest the right person, and Hamid says that there are other ways to pay for a crime other than being arrested. 

Sasha asks if Hamid going to send Saleh to a flaming poo dimension, and Grizzop and Azu ask what she means - Hamid explains quickly that it was a thing with Bertie, but then asks for their help in figuring out a different way. Grizzop says that he should be put in prison for doing a murder, and Hamid asks how that would help. Grizzop says that it’s a consequence, and Sasha says that he won’t be able to kill other people.  

Hamid says that doing a bad thing and being put in prison doesn’t help you make up for the crime, that it’s a punishment, not a penance. Grizzop tells Hamid that throughout this thing, he’s only thinking about himself and his family. He asks if the person who died had a family, and Hamid says yes. Grizzop asks how they’ll see justice, and Hamid says that his father is going to prison, and that they’re going to be paid three times the guard’s salary for their entire lives. Grizzop asks if Hamid really thinks that they care about money when their family member has died, and Hamid yells that they can’t bring them back. Grizzop says that someone needs to pay for the crimes, and Hamid says that someone is. Azu says that this isn’t how it works, and Sasha says that Hamid is just another one of the rich guys who gets to choose who suffers. Azu says that this isn’t how the world works, and Sasha laughs bitterly, grabbing another bottle and saying that it is, starting to walk away.  

Azu asks where Hamid’s brother is, and Hamid says he’s upstairs. She starts to walk out as well, to go find Saleh, but Hamid yells for her to stay back, saying if they can’t work through this, they may as well abandon the company here and now. If this is their attitude toward his brother, then they won’t want to work with him either. He raises his finger and points it at Azu. Grizzop steps in between them, drawing his bow. Azu looks down at Hamid, sadly, but Hamid just says that he thought they were friends and asks them to stay in this room and help him figure out what to do; Grizzop says that he refuses to be complicit in this miscarriage of justice. He says that he understands the point of helping the people you love, but that sometimes they need to do the right thing instead. He echoes what Sasha said earlier, about choosing the person who goes down, and says that Hamid needs to make the right choice. He says that he thought better of Hamid than this, and Hamid says that the decision has been taken out of his hands. Grizzop says that he can still choose the right thing, but Hamid refuses to go against the sacrifice that his father made. Azu says that the sacrifice is worthless if his brother doesn’t learn, and Grizzop asks what his father is even protecting. Hamid says that his father is protecting his son, but Grizzop says that his son murdered someone. Hamid admits that he’s murdered someone as well. 

Sasha says that they’ve all killed people, but Hamid says that it wasn’t for the Meritocrats, it was the reason he got kicked out of university. Sasha laughs again, bitter, and takes another swig of alcohol. Grizzop asks how long Hamid was in for, and Hamid says he wasn’t. Grizzop makes a sound of understanding, now, and Azu gets why Hamid thinks it’s alright. Hamid says that none of this is alright, and Azu tries to get him to see that he’s letting this continue. Hamid says that he doesn’t want to let it continue, but wants to find another solution. He explains that his father going to prison is worse than his brother, and Sasha asks why he’s doing it, then.  

Hamid asks if the idea of sacrifice is that foreign to them, and Grizzop says that Hamid is the only one in the room who thinks this is okay. Sasha says that this is always how it works, but Grizzop says that he and Azu are paladins to change that. Azu asks if Saleh agreed to this, and Hamid says that he doesn’t even know yet. Grizzop laughs in disbelief, while Azu says that they need to tell Saleh. Grizzop suggests that they give him the choice.  

Hamid says that he was planning on going to Saleh to talk about it, after consulting with his friends to see what the best option was. Grizzop says that they should go talk to him right now, but Hamid refuses, saying that he doesn’t trust them right now. Grizzop laughs again, repeating that Hamid doesn’t trust them, and Hamid explains that none of them are willing to see any other route beyond throwing him in prison for making a mistake. Grizzop says that Saleh murdered someone, and that it wasn't a mistake. Hamid says that he murdered someone and it was a mistake. Grizzop laughs again and says that it’s not. Hamid says that Grizzop had no idea what the situation was, and Azu asks for him to explain it to them. 

Sasha interrupts, mentioning that Saleh was working for Barret, and says that that just doesn’t happen accidentally. Everyone notices that Carter looks up at that one, and asks what they said. He asks if they’re with them, and then says that they brought this on everyone’s head. Azu remarks that this is a change, and Grizzop says that he thought it was Carter’s fault. Carter explains that if they’re with Barret, then they’re part of the group that brought this on them, and they all say that they’re not working with him. 

Carter says that this is good, and again says that they need to go to the Tahan branch. Sasha asks if Hamid can make him sleep, and Hamid says maybe, attempting to cast sleep on him. It doesn’t work. Carter says that he has a job to do, saying that he needs to find the Tahans - Hamid says that he is a Tahan, and Carter calls him a destroyer, saying that he’s the reason that everything went wrong. Sasha mutters that it’s always the nice rich posh ones, and Carter says that he knows. He explains that they told them that there was a tomb right there, and that no one listened to him anyway. Hamid asks what he means by tomb, and Carter asks what he thinks, and Hamid says that he has zero idea what’s even going on. Carter, brandishing a spoon, says that he has something to tell him, and Hamid asks him to tell him. 

Carter says that it’s Hamid’s fault, and that if they’d listened to him, none of this would have happened, and that it’s their fault that he fell in with bad crowds and curses and then says that it’s all his fault except for the bits that are Hamid’s fault. Hamid says that none of that made any sense.  

Grizzop asks what happened, and Azu asks what crowd - Sasha says that he means Barret. Carter says that Sasha should leave, as the only innocent here, and Sasha says alright, grabbing a bottle off of the table and walking out of the room to have a nap. Carter calls for her to sleep well. Sasha plans to go up to the roof and hang out with the gargoyles.  

Carter says that he’s hungry, and Hamid points out all the food on the table. He goes over and starts to eat, and Hamid says that he has no idea what’s going on. Azu says that Carter is connected to the Tahans somehow, and asks if Hamid knows anything about new buildings. Hamid says that he’s been away from the family for a while, and Azu turns back to Carter, asking him to explain. 

Carter explains that it was him, an inside guy, an outside girl, and the muscle. He never got their names, and says that he was called the brains. Grizzop asks what the inside guy looked like, and Carter says he looked like Hamid. Grizzop mutters that they finally found the context, and Hamid asks if Carter was involved with the raid on the Tahan vaults. Carter says yes, but that he never wanted to be involved, he just wanted to get into the tomb. Hamid asks if the main Tahan bank is built over a tomb, and Carter says yes. Hamid says that he could have made that a lot clearer than he did. Carter says he just did. Azu asks who’s tomb it was, and since there’s been shouting, Sasha climbs back in through the window to see what’s going on. Carter says he doesn’t know, and that he wasn’t able to get in. He says that a massive curse went off, and that that it’s all his fault again. Azu says that curses aren’t physical, and Carter asks what she knows about curses.  

Hamid knows that that’s not how curses work, and Grizzop knows that anyone who has that amount of magical protection must have been important. Carter says that they all went in, and it was going great, but that the curse went off and now they’ve doomed all of Cairo and the world. Hamid says that he would like to hear the whole story from someone who’s sober, and Carter says that they’ll need to grab one of the other people from the job. Grizzop says that he thinks they already have the insider, and Sasha says that he hasn’t sober and hasn’t been in a long time. Grizzop tells Carter to lay down, and Carter reaches out to Grizzop and Azu, saying that he doesn’t deserve them, and that he’s sorry for the fates that are going to befall them. He collapses on the couch, and everyone decides to go get Saleh and try and figure out what happened. 

Hamid says that he understands that they fundamentally disagree on what needs to be done next, and he thinks that his brother needs to face consequences. He says that his father has already taken certain steps, and that they’re different to reverse. Azu says that it’s not impossible, and Grizzop says that if his father made a mistake, he should face the consequences, as should Hamid. Sasha mentions that there’s a crime for lying to the police, and that if you’re trying to get someone off, you get yourself on the hook for the crime.  

Grizzop says that Hamid’s father finally found a solution that he couldn’t solve with money. Hamid says that if they are going to keep working together, they need to find a compromise. Grizzop refuses, saying that they have a divine mandate to ensure that justice is being done; Azu chimes in, saying that justice cannot be done without the truth. Hamid asks if they all will agree to get the full, unfiltered version of events before making any further decisions. Grizzop and Azu agree, but Grizzop says that he’s starting to think of Hamid’s family as a potential threat. Sasha laughs, without humour, and says that he and Barret aren’t that different after all; she mutters that she isn’t that surprised, and says that that’s probably why Barret gave him the ring. Hamid says that it isn’t, but Sasha doesn’t listen. 

Azu goes to the door and opens it; Hamid tries to speak again, but Grizzop cuts him off, telling him to move. Hamid agrees, halfheartedly, and the entire party heads up to Saleh’s room. Everyone but Sasha hears Saleh quietly muttering about how this is all his fault, in his room. Azu asks if someone can be cursed to think everything in the world is their fault, but Grizzop says that he’s probably just realized that everything is. Sasha says that maybe it’s Carter’s fault, but Grizzop counters, saying that it’s probably both of their faults, and Barret, and the rest of the Tahans. Sasha muses on whether it might be her fault as well, and then Saleh opens the door. Hamid asks him to join him in the dining room, and Saleh agrees, following along quietly. 

Saleh enters the dining room, sees Carter asleep on the sofa, and asks who he is. Grizzop calls him the brain, and Saleh starts panicking, asking if Grizzop is serious, and goes over to Carter, pulling him up off the couch.  

They both start yelling about how it’s all their fault in sync, almost like they’re fighting for it to be their fault. Hamid casts detect magic, and notices a magical enchantment with a necromantic aura around the both of them. He says as much to the rest of them, and Grizzop asks if he can dispel it. Hamid admits he can’t, and Grizzop tries casting lesser restoration on Saleh. He stumbles back, and for a second it seems as though it works, but then he slips right back into it. Carter again blames the curse, destroying their lives, and Grizzop suggests going to see Apophis about this; Hamid says that they probably don’t need to bother them with this, but Grizzop reminds him that they need to go visit on Sasha’s behalf anyway. Hamid agrees that they need to go see them, but for this particular situation, they can probably just go to the town and buy something magical. Azu knows that they can just go to the temple of Aphrodite, and suggests that they go and visit Eren Fairhands to get the curse removed. 

Time skips forward: they make it out of the house and through the crowd; Carter has been gagged by Grizzop (although, really, he took the gag out of Grizzop’s hand, and gagged himself), and then they make it to the temple of Aphrodite. They walk in on a mass healing, and Azu is able to walk through the temple and escort the rest of them through.  

Eren Fairhands is finishing up the healing as they wait, and he excuses all of the people who were just healed. Azu calls out to him, and Fairhands’ eye twitches a bit. She says that she’s brought some people through who need his healing hands, and he steps down through the crowds of people toward them. He explains that he’s already spoken to Sasha and given her options for her affliction; Azu says that they’re here for something else. She pulls the blanket off Carter and Saleh, explaining that they’re under some sort of enchantment. Fairhands asks how they know, and Hamid mentions that he detected a necromantic enchantment around the both of them. Fairhands mutters a few divine words under his breath, and says that Hamid is correct. He escorts all of them into his office, and Hamid asks if he will be able to help them so that they can sober them up, that would be wonderful.  

Fairhands says that he can, and asks for them to remove the gag from Carter’s mouth. Sasha explains that he put it there himself, and Azu reaches over and pulls it out. Fairhands asks for Carter’s name, and asks him about the curse. He goes on for about a minute, and Hamid says that that’s why they used the gag. Fairhands, on the other hand, is a remarkably attentive listener, thanking Carter for his explanation and heavily sympathizing with him. Grizzop makes gagging noises. 

Fairhands pulls them away to the other side of the room, and says that he’s heard of this before. He mentions that he’s going to attempt something that should help both of them, and as Hamid asks what it is, says that he’ll explain if it works. Azu asks what will happen if it doesn’t, and Fairhands says that simply nothing will happen - that it’s not high-risk.  

Fairhands reaches a hand out to both Saleh and Carter, and they both lean in. He starts chanting in divine speech (celestial) and the room fills with white light. It’s an incredibly powerful spell, and Azu is impressed while Grizzop stands there with his arms crossed and foot tapping. The spell finishes and both Saleh and Carter sit up, looking sober for once. They look at one another, and then look back, and Fairhands asks for them to tell him about the curse.  

Carter speaks first, saying that he thought it was his fault, and Saleh brightens up as well, seeming a little shocked and relieved. Fairhands turns to the rest of them, saying that they can have the room, and that they should have a much greater command of the facts now. Hamid thanks him. Grizzop pushes his way through and points at Saleh as he says that he committed a murder, that his father is taking the fall, and asks what Saleh is going to do. The moment of brightness drops a bit, and Saleh says that he really didn’t murder anybody.  

Quotes[]

Hamid: "He got involved with a gang, a criminal gang."
Grizzop: "Well, what did he do? Cause getting involved with naughty people is not a crime, is it?"
Sasha: "Well, you’re all involved with me."
Azu: "You’re not a criminal. Long pause. Are you?"
Hamid: "We’ve all got a past, Azu. We’ve all done things that we’re not particularly proud of."
―Hamid tells the rest of the party what Saleh has done.

Hamid: "Well, technically it was self defense, in a way."
Grizzop: "Okay, no, that’s not a good way to say that."
Hamid: "He was in the middle of committing a crime and this person tried to stop him."
Azu: "That’s not good context."
Hamid: "I KNOW! I’m not defending this!"
Grizzop: "Well, no you are! You are! Because you’re covering it! You’re covering it up! He’s not paying for his crime of doing a murder while doing another crime! How do you not see that this is maybe a bad thing?!"
Hamid: "My father has just been arrested! My family is falling apart!"
―Hamid and Grizzop clash over different ideas of justice.

Hamid: "Look, if you cannot accept that sometimes there are different paths to punishment and penance, then we are just going to disband this company right now! Because, frankly, if this is your attitude toward my brother, then clearly none of you want to work with me either. So, let’s just go our separate ways and I will defend my family."
Bryn: "I literally raise my finger and point at you."
Ben: "I step in front of Azu and draw my bow."
Helen: "Azu looks down at you very sadly."
Hamid: "I thought we were friends. If you can’t just at least stay in this room and help me figure something out, calmly, without rushing off to do something about it…"
Grizzop: "I am not gonna be held complicit in this horrific miscarriage of justice. I get the point of helping the people you love. But sometimes, they need to pay for what they’ve done. Properly. You are in the incredibly lucky position, as Sasha says, of being able to choose who goes down. So you make the right choice. I thought better of you than this."
―Hamid and Grizzop clash over different ideas of justice.

Hamid: "He’s protecting his son!"
Grizzop: "Who murdered somebody!"
Hamid: "And so have I!"
―The truth of Hamid's past comes out.

Sasha: "Ohhhh! You’re a murderer too. Okay. Rich people, man."
Grizzop: "So, how long were you in for?"
Hamid: "I wasn’t."
Grizzop: "Oh."
―Hamid confesses that he faced no consequences for his actions at university.

Hamid: "I don’t trust you right now."
Grizzop: "You don’t trust us?"
Hamid: "No! Because you can’t see any route to a solution other than to just throw him away for making one mistake!"
Grizzop: "He murdered somebody, that’s not a mistake."
Hamid: "I murdered someone, and it was a mistake!"
Grizzop: "It’s not."
Hamid: "You have no idea about the situation was! How can you possibly know?"
―Hamid refuses to let the rest of the party speak to Saleh.

Grizzop: "We’ll listen to him. But right now, the pack ain’t just your family. It’s your community, and it’s society, alright? And honestly, I’m starting to think of your family as a threat."
Sasha: "Yeah, mate, them and Barret, it turns out…"
Grizzop: "Not so different."
Sasha: "No, all along. All along. I shouldn’t be surprised really. I thought I’d escaped, but I was with them all along. All along. That’s why he gave you the ring, isn’t it?"
Hamid: "What?"
Sasha: "All along."
Hamid: "No! Sasha, no!"
Grizzop: "Looks like you’re reaping what you sow. So, let’s go talk to your brother and find out the truth."
Azu: "Shall we?"
Hamid: "I’m just…asking…"
Grizzop: "Move."
―The party continues to clash over Saleh.


Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • Azu makes a Diplomacy check: 5.
  • Grizzop makes a Diplomacy check: 23.
  • Everyone makes a Perception check: Azu gets 22, Grizzop gets 18, Sasha gets 25, Hamid gets a nat 20.
  • Grizzop and Azu make a Knowledge (religion) check: Azu gets a nat 1, Grizzop gets 20.
  • Hamid rolls Knowledge (arcana): 19.
  • Everyone makes a Perception check: Azu gets a nat 20, Grizzop gets a nat 20, Sasha gets 20, Hamid gets a 27.

Plot Notes[]

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