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The party continue their quest to save Sasha. Leaving Apophis', they go shopping, while Azu has a nap. Hamid gets a call. Grizzop writes a report. Sasha throws daggers. Then they go to the Meritocratic vaults where Azu proves problematically honest.


Their meeting with Apophis concludes, with Apophis having given their blessing for Sasha to retrieve the Heart of Aphrodite. Sasha is putting all of her knives back in her coat pockets as they get ready to leave, and everyone is congratulating her. Azu looks as though she’s going to hug Sasha, but stops at the last minute, giving her a thumbs up. The mage behind the desk is also giving her two thumbs up, and Sasha gestures back with two knives. Hamid brings up the fact that Wilde complimented them all, but Wilde just calls it a miscommunication.  

Grizzop asks Saira how they will go about getting the heart, and Saira says that they just need to go to the Tahan bank vault to get it - security is a bit on high alert, but this will supersede that. She asks if tomorrow will be an okay time to go and get the heart, and Grizzop looks at Sasha before cautiously saying that it will be fine.  

Hamid says that they’ll take it to Eren Fairhands, since he will be the best person to perform the ritual - Saira agrees, and mentions that they might want to perform it in a rather visible space to ensure Fairhands doesn’t try and steal the heart from them. Sasha mutters that they’ll have to kill him, and everyone says that that won’t be necessary, while the elderly mage behind the counter gives her another double thumbs up and mimes explosions. Sasha mimes a stab back. 

Saira says that she’ll need to head back to the house to work on paperwork, and invites them to come back to the house. She explains that the heart is in the Meritocratic vaults, and that they’ll be able to get it tomorrow, and then she congratulates Sasha and says that it’s clear Apophis likes all of them. She taps Hamid on the shoulder a bit, and Hamid gives her a hug goodbye, as she leaves. Wilde also heads out. Azu realizes that they’re the ones who gave them a ride to Apophis’, and the four of them head out as well, having a bit of an awkward carriage ride with the others.

Smash cut to the Tahan house - Saira has headed into the office, and Wilde has left without making eye contact with any of them. They decide to go to the bank early and see if they can figure out which box the key goes to, and also decide to do a bit of shopping - Hamid and Sasha buy a belt of Dexterity, Grizzop doesn’t buy anything, Sasha gets 2 potions of cure light wounds and 2 of inflict light wounds, and Azu has a quick nap.

Hamid also goes to the normal branch of the Tahan bank and opens his safety deposit box. There are some small mementos in there from his childhood, and he uses his time alone in that room to check whether the key they have works for the same-numbered box in the room. It doesn’t. He runs into a bit of trouble because his actions at the bank are under scrutiny, especially considering what happened with his father and brother, so he cries a bit over the mementos to distract them. Hamid spends the evening writing a letter to Zolf. Grizzop spends the afternoon writing a report back to Eva. Azu naps, and then does a quick workout using the staff as weights. Sasha throws knives at a tree for ages, a little shell-shocked.

Time accelerates a bit again - it's late at night. Hamid has just finished writing a letter to Zolf, and his eyeliner is really running. The finger bearing the ring starts to grow hot. He hears Barret ask what he did, and Hamid asks how he is; Barret asks how his family is, and when Hamid answers, asks how Hamid plans on making this right. Hamid says that he might start by ignoring Barret, and Barret says that he has no idea how bad this situation has become. Hamid retorts that he doesn’t care what Barret thinks, and isn’t scared of him at all. Barret admits that he doesn’t think he scares Hamid, but that he is refusing to run interference for him anymore. He tells Hamid to get the heart and he’ll leave them alone, but Hamid just laughs; Barret says that he won’t be the one calling the orders in the future, and that Hamid should remember it. Hamid remarks that he met with a Meritocrat and that they did everything they wanted him to do, and if there’s anyone who should be scared, it should be Barret. Barret tells him to have fun with the Cult, and the ring cools again. Hamid tests to see if it is still stuck on; it doesn’t come off. 

Time skips to the next morning. Sasha takes four damage from her cuts opening up again. They all meet up together at breakfast; Saira comes in and is looking better than yesterday, saying that the paperwork is done and they’ll be able to fetch the heart today. The bank will allow them to transport the heart to Fairhands, heal Sasha, and then bring it back. She also says that she has something to discuss with them: if they’re interested, the bank is willing to hire them as a mercenary company to explore the tomb under the pyramid. They need to know entrances and exits for security reasons. It’s an offer, not a request, and they can turn it down if they aren’t interested. She mentions that they have a fund set aside for emergency security measures that she would be willing to use in this circumstance.  

Grizzop says that they have a mission, and Hamid mentions that they have gone off-mission in the past; their overarching mission is to help people. Grizzop asks if it’s time-sensitive, and Hamid says that he doesn’t think that it is; at least, it’s never been specified. The idea was always that they would take other missions as a cover. Saira asks if she needs to know what this is, and if it’s going to affect anything else, but Hamid says that it shouldn’t. 

They decide to head out; Saira will not be accompanying them, citing the mounds of work she still has to do. Sasha thanks her, but Saira just says that she didn’t do much, and wishes Sasha luck. She gives a friendly nod to the party and then heads off to finish her business. Hamid turns to Grizzop and Azu and offers the key to them; he explains that they don’t trust Hamid at the bank right now, and that as paladins, they’ll be best set up to investigate something (since no one will expect that they are lying or stealing something). Azu ends up taking the key, and they head off to the bank.  

There’s a guard troop waiting for them at the entrances: two armoured fighters and two lightly armoured casters. They lead them past the offices to a set of double doors; the lead guard turns to them and waves her hand as the doors unlock. She says that they are allowed to take the heart and that is all - the guards have full permission to use lethal force. Azu asks if they’re able to use a key on something, referring to the key Hamid gave her, and the lead guard passes her hand back against the door as it locks again. 

The guard says that if there’s something that they need to tell her, they should, and Grizzop and Hamid try to cover it up by saying that it’s a Meritocratic mission, classified at the highest order. Hamid says that there’s a reason the mission being undertaken by paladins, and Grizzop says that they can do it without Hamid there - Hamid agrees to this. The guard asks for paperwork, and Hamid says that they don’t have any because it’s so high-level. Sasha says that they just saw Apophis yesterday, and Grizzop tells them to go and contact Wilde to explain everything. The guards agree, and escort them into a VIP room in the bank.  

After the guards leave, Hamid explains to Azu that while all of this is technically approved, they aren’t able to tell people about the mission because of how classified it is. Grizzop complains about how Wilde hasn’t pushed it through already, but Hamid explains that it’s completely off the books. Azu says that he didn’t explain that clearly enough, and Hamid apologizes, saying that he’ll do better in the future. It’s important that the mission stays classified so that people don’t speculate about the mission - this is also why they take cover missions. 

Azu and Sasha hear footsteps coming from behind the large, blank wall in the room; Azu goes over and presses herself against the wall, mentioning it to the rest of them. She reaches out and feels a faint tingle, and realizes that there’s an illusion on that wall. Sasha is right behind her as well.  

It’s a good illusion - the bit that Azu is touching doesn’t match up. Hamid tosses a coin at the wall and it bounces off. Azu attempts to push through the wall, and Sasha feels around for a door handle. Her hand slips through the wall and she almost stumbles, catching herself. Most of the wall seems to be actual wall, while the bit where Sasha is seems to be a hole covered by the illusion. They decide to investigate what’s going on, and Sasha steps through first.  

The sound of the footsteps has become a quick run, and they’re getting farther away. Sasha dashes through and Azu follows; they find themselves in a dim corridor, and it looks like someone has bashed a hole in the wall beside them. In front of them, they see a figure with a torch turn a corner, and they both run after them.  

Back in the room, Hamid and Grizzop are debating whether or not they should go after them. Hamid thinks they should, but Grizzop says that Sasha and Azu can handle themselves and that he and Hamid need to wait out for the heart of Aphrodite. Hamid sticks his head through the door and sees a dimly-lit corridor covered in hieroglyphics; he pulls back and mentions it to Grizzop, saying that he thinks the tomb is over here. Grizzop says that they’re doing that later, and Hamid says that someone is escaping. Grizzop disagrees, saying that Sasha is chasing them, and asks if Hamid can move faster than Sasha. Hamid sees the point and comes back in. 

Sasha is twice as fast as Azu; she doesn’t wait. She triggers a trap but dodges out of the way quickly enough, and the trap goes off. Azu triggers the same trap, but can’t dodge, and gets hit by the bunch of darts that shoot at her. She takes 13 damage. Sasha, meanwhile, is running in pitch black. She can hear the other person, and is gaining on them, although she can’t see them. She throws a dagger at them, but it misses. The footsteps stop, and then continue more slowly. Azu is trying to pull the darts out, and they’re large, so she’s able to. 

Hamid, back in the room, still thinks that they should go after them. Grizzop says that Sasha can handle herself, that she’s built for this, but Hamid counters, saying that Azu is there too. Grizzop understands what he means, and asks if he should go look for Azu. Hamid says that they were told that there was a lot of darkness over there, and says that he’s worried about their friends. Grizzop slips into the corridor and immediately catches up with Azu, who’s pulling the darts out of herself. He asks how she’s doing, and Azu tries to speak, but it comes out as a garbled mess. Grizzop realizes that she’s been poisoned, and Azu tries to say she hasn’t. He tries to convince Azu to come back to the room with them, and Azu continues trying to speak. Grizzop says that he can’t understand her, saying that it’s really obvious that she’s been poisoned. Azu collapses. Grizzop spits on his hands and casts lesser restoration

Sasha, meanwhile, calls after the stranger, who doesn’t respond. She throws another dagger, which misses, and then the footsteps get quicker. There’s a yelp, and then a thud, ahead of her. The footsteps stop. Sasha asks if it’s a trap, and says that she can pull them out of whatever trap they’re in. She hears them call back, realises it’s Howard Carter, and groans. He asks for some help, and Sasha says that this one is his fault. He admits that it is, and then says that he’ll give her some treasure if she helps. Sasha says that she has some, but asks what he’s got. 

Back in the VIP room, Hamid walks over to the fake wall, and then turns back and paces around the room, following this same pattern for a while. Grizzop and Azu are still struggling to return to the room. Grizzop’s lesser restoration works; instead of being paralysed, Azu is able to walk but she is still really clumsy. Mentally, she’s completely fine, but the poison is still affecting her physically. She says that there’s a person, and that Sasha can’t see, and Grizzop says that Sasha is capable of dealing with it. He convinces Azu to come back to the board room and have a nice sit down and wait this out. Azu agrees, but begrudgingly. She stumbles back to the VIP room as Grizzop guides her. Hamid hasn’t heard anything, and is still pacing. Azu suddenly stumbles through, and Hamid asks if they’re okay; Azu slurs a no, and Hamid asks what happened. 

Sasha, meanwhile, is trying to find where Carter is, and wants to drag him back to the board room and turn him in. He says that she needs to be careful in the darkness, and Sasha asks if there are traps. He says that there might be pit traps around, and Sasha asks if there are any spikes around; Carter, in a very stressed tone, says that he just thinks there might be.  

Sasha says that she’s gonna throw a rope to him, and Carter starts muttering some kind of spell to himself. Sasha asks what he’s doing, but the spell fails before anything happens. He explains that the darkness is there because of the magic, and then casts the spell again; the darkness vanishes, and they’re left in a dim corridor. There’s a giant pit in front of Sasha covering the whole corridor, and torchlight shining up from the pit. Sasha throws the rope across the remaining floor and into the pit, asking if it’s long enough. She asks if he needs her to pull, and Carter says that he does, asking her to be gentle. She says that she won’t be, and he says he knew that. She tries to pull him out, but fails, as Carter yells in pain. 

Back in the office, they all hear the sound of screams, and Hamid says that someone should help, but Grizzop just says it sounds like Sasha found the stranger. 

Carter says that it really hurt, and says that he’ll give Sasha more treasure if she makes it not hurt next time. Sasha gives it a go again; Carter is much more heavy than he should be, and she starts looking around for traps. She gently wiggles the rope across the floor, waiting to feel for resistance. She catches one of the flagstones that shifts to the right, and dodges it, heading over to the pit. Carter is impaled a little bit through the leg, although he isn’t bleeding out, and he’s got a load of treasure with him. Sasha suggests that he throw the gold back up here, and Carter says that he knows what will happen if he does.  

Sasha says that she’s got two paladins in the other room, so she won’t be able to show up without him and with the treasure. Carter, upon hearing paladins, says that he’s got it covered as long as Sasha leaves the rope. Sasha says that he won’t be able to get up, and says that she’s going to go get the paladins. Carter offers to toss some of the treasure up as long as she doesn’t get the paladins, and Sasha checks out the treasure; it’s a lot of unique items, some that she could definitely fence. She’s tempted, but says that she isn’t in a good position to upset the paladins. Carter offers to clear out the rest of the tomb with Sasha and split the goods 50/50. Sasha really doesn’t want to be a zombie, though, and says that she’s going to go get the paladins. It’s a nice offer, but she’s got other things on her plate. She says that the paladins are good guys, and Carter offers her 50,000 gold to not get the paladins; Sasha stammers a bit. 

Back in the office, Hamid is asking if they think Sasha is okay; Grizzop and Hamid say that they trust her to make the right decision. Azu says that they can’t leave her, and Grizzop says that she’ll be fine. Azu is worried that Sasha will end up like her, but Grizzop says there’s no chance Sasha ends up like Azu. 


Alex: "I’m so proud of you, you guys got these intros down! That means that when it goes wrong it’s ‘cause you’re actively sabotaging."
Lydia: "That’s the case, yeah. We come up and plan all the interjections before."
Bryn: "It’s the only way we can get you back for a percentage of the pain you’ve inflicted on us. You notice how we were perfect that time? It’s because last episode you gave us a nice thing!"
Alex: "I gave you a nice thing."
Bryn: "You let something nice happen, and look what benefits can be reaped."
Alex: "It’s gonna be so brilliant when you all suffer because of the nice…"
Ben: "No, no,  so basically, every time you’re gonna do a bad thing, just think about us looking at you saying: “Nice podcast you have here. Shame if it were derailed.”"
―Episode introductions.

Sasha: "That went alright!"
Grizzop: "Yeah! Could have gone a lot worse."
Azu: "I am so pleased for you!"
Helen: "Azu looks dangerously like she’s going to hug you, and then she remembers from last time."
Lydia: "Sasha is just holding two knives."
Helen: "She notices the knives and remembers what happened last time she tried to hug you and just gives you thumbs up."
Alex: "The mage behind the desk, by the way, is just like all smiles. His face is just a mass of wrinkles with a big grin, and he’s just double thumbs up like, “Yeahhhh, nice!”"
Helen: "I’m gonna hug him instead."
Lydia: "Sasha gestures back with her two knives, as if they were thumbs up."
Hamid: "So, Oscar. Indispensable, ey? Singular talent, ey?"
Wilde, deadpan: "You’d be amazed what kind of miscommunications can happen."
―The party celebrates the good news.

Bryn: "I’ve just finished my letter to Zolf and my eyeliner is really running."
Alex: "Yes, and it’s really awkward because then your finger starts to grow hot."
Barret: "What did you do?"
Hamid: "Good evening. How are you?"
Barret: "Oh, I’m fantastic, Hamid. And how are you?"
Hamid: "Yeah, also pretty good?"
Barret: "And how’s the family? Doing well?"
Hamid: "Doing just great."
Barret: "Yeah, I heard."
Hamid: "I imagine you did."
Barret: "How exactly did you plan on making this right, Hamid?"
Hamid: "Ummm…making this right. Making this right…well, I thought I might start by ignoring you? That seems right to me."
Barret: "You have no idea how badly you have turned this situation, do you?"
Hamid: "You don’t seem to realise just how little I care about what you think. I have walked through the fire. If you think you can scare me anymore, you could not be more wrong."
Barret: "Oh, I don’t think I can scare you anymore. Let’s just say that I’m not going to be able to run interference for you anymore. If you fetch me the heart, Hamid laughs, they’ll leave you alone. If you don’t, I’m not giving them the orders. Just remember that when things escalate."
Hamid: "Just so you know, today I met a Meritocrat. And he basically did everything we wanted him to do. And if there’s a person who should be worried here, it’s you. Because I can basically come and find you whenever I want, and trust me, I’ve grown a lot since we last met. Ta ta for now!"
Barret: "Have fun with the cult, Hamid."
―Barret threatens Hamid.

Azu: "She [Sasha] can’t see!"
Grizzop: "So? She’ll deal with it"
Azu: "She’ll, but, the trap…"
Grizzop: "She’s capable! Okay, look, you can see and what happened to you!"
―Azu has been poisoned by one of the traps in the tomb.

Sasha: "Alright, mate? Is that a trap? Are you…hey, I just want to know what you were listening for. It’s alright. I’ll pull you out of the hole? Is that a hole?"
Carter: "Hey, bar lady. How’re you doing? I’d really appreciate a little help. I might’ve made a mistake…again."
Sasha: "Really? Really? Right. This one really is your fault."
Carter: "I mean, yeah. No, yeah, yeah, this one’s me. There’s no one else here."
Sasha: "Can you see in the dark?"
Carter: "I’ll give you some treasure."
Sasha: "I’ve got plenty of treasure, but…what treasure?"
―Sasha finds Howard Carter in the tomb.

Sasha: "Can you climb up or do I need to pull you?"
Carter: "Um, I mean, if you’re offering to pull, I’d really appreciate it."
Sasha: "Alright, tie it around under your arms."
Carter: "Yeah, just be gentle please."
Sasha: "That’s not gonna happen."
Carter: "I know, I know."
Sasha: "I mean, however gentle it is however much you weigh."
―Sasha attempts to help Carter get out of the pit.

Carter: "That really hurt, I’m not gonna lie. That hurt a lot. I’ll give you more treasure if you make it not hurt next time."
Sasha: "There’s quite a lot of you is the problem."
Carter: "It’s quite a lot of treasure, sorry."
Sasha: "Wait, you weigh that much because you’re carrying treasure?"
―Sasha is unable to pull Carter out of the pit.

Sasha: "Alright mate. So, how about you throw that gold bag up here?"
Carter: "Oh, I see, this isn’t…I know what happens when I do that."
Sasha: "Right, well, look, I’ve got a lot of paladins waiting outside. So, if I come back with the treasure and not you, I’m gonna get an earful."
Carter: "You know what, paladins you say, I think I’m alright. I think I’ve got it. If you could just leave me that rope, I reckon I’ve got this covered. I appreciate it though, honestly."
Sasha: "Nah, mate, that’s not happening. And also, you ain’t climbing up this. Right, I’m gonna go get my paladin mates…who are big."
Carter: "Or don’t. Or, or, or, I throw you some treasure to not get the paladins."
Sasha: "That’s not gonna happen."
Carter: "Loads of treasure to not get the paladins."
Sasha: "Look mate, look, look, alright. Right now I’m not really in a great position to annoy the paladins."
Carter: "Listen, listen, I won’t say anything."
Sasha: "They’ve got quite a hold over me right now."
Carter: "You help me out and we can clean this place out. You and me. 50/50."
Sasha: "Right, okay, I am gonna get the paladins."
Carter: "Okay, I mean, you don’t have to."
Sasha: "I mean, I do. I mean, nice offer mate, but right now I’ve got bigger fish to cook. And, like, honestly, I think I’ve got quite a good…I mean they’re…they’re good guys."
Carter: "50,000 gold."
Sasha: "Okay, but I mean, it’s um…"
―Carter tries to bribe Sasha.

Hamid: "So, do you think Sasha’s okay? Should we go and check on her."
Grizzop: "Nah, she’ll be fine."
Hamid: "I trust her to, you know, take care of herself."
Grizzop: "Absolutely. Cause she’s, you know, she’s really learning. You know, she’s like you. Like, you know, she’s doing well."
Azu: "We can’t leave her!"
Hamid: "She’ll come back when she needs some help."
Grizzop: "Otherwise, we’ll all end up like you."
Azu: "She might end up like me!"
Grizzop: "Okay, you’ve met Sasha, right? She ain’t gonna end up like you."
Alex: "Ohhhh…and I’m gonna end on that really cruel, unnecessarily cruel note. I’m gonna end just beating Azu down for being nothing but lovely. Join me on this side of the fence, Ben, it’s great. We’ve got cake."
―Azu worries about Sasha.

Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • Sasha makes a Fortitude save: 5
  • Everyone makes a Perception check: Hamid gets 16, Grizzop gets 17, Azu gets a nat 20, Sasha gets 24
  • Azu makes a Will save: 29
  • Sasha makes a Will save: 17
  • Azu makes a Strength check: 10
  • Sasha makes a Reflex save: nat 20
  • Hamid makes a Perception check: 17
  • Sasha makes a Reflex save: 26
  • Azu makes a Reflex save: 11
  • Azu makes a Fortitude save: 13
  • Sasha rolls an attack roll on the stranger: 12
  • Grizzop makes a Reflex save: 15
  • Sasha makes another attack roll on the stranger: 16
  • Sasha makes a Perception check: 21
  • Grizzop rolls to heal Azu: 4
  • Sasha makes a Strength check: 7
  • Everyone makes a Perception check: Hamid gets 22, Grizzop gets 19, Azu gets a nat 23
  • Sasha makes a Strength check: 13
  • Sasha makes a Perception check: 23
  • Sasha makes a Diplomacy check: 6
  • Sasha makes an Appraise check: 19

Plot Notes[]