Zolf Smith is a dwarven cleric, formerly of Poseidon. He describes his new religion as "not hope, exactly" and says that he does not know why he can still cast in Violent Reactions.

Description

Personality

Zolf Smith is a wise but gruff dwarven cleric of Poseidon, and the leader of The Rangers.

As the group's leader, Zolf does his best to keep the group on task, making sure his teammates stay focused and their employers come through with timely payment.

Zolf is older than the rest of the party, being somewhere around 50 (essentially around 30 in dwarf years), and has had several careers in his life. He is a religious dwarf, converting after a near-death experience. He does grow to question his faith as events unfold.

Appearance

Zolf used to be a sailor and pirate, and he lost his left leg to a misadventure during his seafaring days. His leg was replaced with a metal peg leg. A rather grizzled, salty sea-dog. Wears cheap off the peg scale armour, and a large brown oilskin coat. Blond haystack hair, green eyes, beard is like a pair of muttonchops that have gotten way out of hand and have been braided.

In combat, he wields a shield and trident (the favoured weapon of his deity) and has a driftwood dolphin as his holy symbol.

Changes in Appearance

Loses his second leg in Rock Bottom, and finds metal ports in his legs, where Mr Ceiling offers to attach new legs.

In In Seine in the Membrane, Zolf receives briny water legs from Poseidon.

Upon returning to the party in Tadaima, Zolf's hair is snow white and shorter, and his beard is now in one big plait down the middle, tied together with a golden circlet with an emerald set in it. He wears breastplate armour with engravings, but it does not have any Poseidon iconography on it, and does not have his driftwood dolphin. Additionally, in Violent Reactions, he reveals in he no longer has the water legs that Poseidon gave him, but rather prosthetics made with technology from the Simulacrum.

Puncture wound on right temple from spike in Blobs, Spikes, Spiders & Booms. Looks like a bullet wound.

Relationships

Hamid Saleh Haroun al Tahan

Sasha Racket

Bertrand MacGuffingham

Cel Sidebottom

Azu

Equipment

  • Trident
  • Heavy Wooden Shield (which floats)
  • Scale Mail
  • Mace
  • Adventuring kit, Mining lantern, Compass and Whistle
  • Rapier (looted in ep 56)
  • Glaive (RQG 128 - Tadaima)

History

Family

Zolf and his family worked as tin miners in the town of Herefordshire (near to Somerset). His father, Hirald Smith, was a brilliant tactician and strategist in the Harlequins, but after the Harlequins began to be associated with the separatists (and tactics began to get a bit more violent), Hirald seemingly retired from the Harlequins and became a miner, expecting both of his sons to follow in his footsteps. Zolf, however, was not a fan of mining, finding it boring, and did not want to be a miner along with the rest of his family. 

At some point, Feryn also joined the Harlequins; although Hirald wasn’t enthused about his son joining the group, he did not stop him. Feryn’s ring (which Zolf wears in the campaign) is a symbol of belonging to the Spades, one of the branches of the Harlequins. Zolf was unaware that either of them were members of the Harlequins, and it is unknown if his mother had any stakes in the group. 

Zolf’s brother and parents all died prior to the campaign beginning. Feryn was killed in a cave-in, but the cause of death for his mother and father is not stated.

Pre-campaign

Digital art of Zolf Smith. He is a white dwarf with blonde hair and two braids in his beard. He is wearing a loose-fitting pirate blouse, trousers with one side rolled up over a wooden peg leg, two thick belts, and a long coat. He is standing on the edge of the boat, holding onto rope and smiling. The sun is setting over the sea.

Zolf during his pirate days. Art by @skraak on tumblr. Used with permission.

In episode 153, Zolf reveals something that he has never told anyone: he accidentally killed his brother, Feryn. When he and Feryn were working in the mines one day, Zolf was bored and kicked out at one of the posts, causing a cave-in in the mine. Feryn was killed in the collapse, and Zolf blamed himself for the entire situation.

After this, about 13 years before the campaign began, Zolf left home and joined up with the navy. Six years before the campaign began, the ship Zolf worked on was shipwrecked in a unusually terrible storm off the coast of Norway. The official records show that the ship collided with a rock outcropping, but there are conflicting stories from the three survivors. Ten crew members were confirmed dead, 25 were marked missing in action, two are still in service in the navy (Tallulah and Jonah), and one (the captain, Samael) retired. Zolf himself almost died in the wreck, and woke up on a piece of driftwood. He was picked up by a pirate ship that he then worked on for a few more years. While working on the ship, there was an incident in which he lost his leg, about three years before the campaign started. Eventually, Zolf left the pirate ship, returning to London and starting his own mercenary company.

Prologue

London and Other London

At the beginning of the show, Zolf is working with Figgis to hire new members for the mercenary company that he is the leader of. Bertie is the first member that he hires, after having turned away a young kid who doesn’t seem to have any relevant skills, and then the three of them head off to begin crowd control around Thomas Edison’s mansion, on behalf of Sergeant Richard Haringay. It’s clear that Haringay and Zolf have some sort of history, and seem to be amicable. 

On the way there, they run into Sasha, who is escaping two thugs who are trying to force her to come back to Other London, and they summarily trounce them. After the fight is over, a crowd has rocked up, and that’s when Hamid steps in, helping them to convince the crowd it was all a joke. Zolf hires both of them on the spot and they all begin to work crowd control at Edison’s.

Zolf notices the waitstaff acting strange before others do, and then the lectern at the front of the room explodes, killing most of the people in the room. Zolf and the rest of the party start to fight the group of arsonists, but they either escape or are killed before they can be questioned. The party continues to follow the trail left behind by the arsonists, and they end up in the sewers. Zolf spots pieces of the Simulacrum in the sewage and jumps into the water to retrieve it. He’s successful, but he does get pulled further down into the drainage system, prompting Hamid to help him climb out with some rope. 

After walking further down through the sewers until they nearly run into Other London, they decide to return the parts of the Simulacrum to Haringay and figure out what they need to do next. They head to the Central Precinct, the local police station, and go to speak with Haringay, revealing everything they found in the sewers. Zolf and Hamid take turns explaining, and then Haringay pays them for the information, requesting that they continue into Other London to see if they can find out anything about the arsonists or the simulacrum. Sasha is visibly upset at the idea of going to Other London, and Zolf pulls her away to try and figure out why she doesn’t want to go down there. He’s brusque, and Sasha doesn’t answer his direct questions, but he puzzles out that she has a history there, and more or less tells her that they still have to go, as this is their new mission. She agrees, although it’s clear that she isn’t happy, and they all head back to Hamid’s to rest before heading to Other London.

The next morning, the party stocks up and makes their way to Other London; Zolf looks like he could easily be from Other London. The group is beset by a group of men, who all seem to have some sort of history with Sasha. Zolf tries to defuse the fight before it can start, saying that there’s no need for it, but no one listens. The fight doesn’t go well; they’re outnumbered by the men and the dogs. Hamid and Bertie are knocked unconscious, and Zolf is deafened. He listens to Sasha when she repeats the orders the men give, and he and Sasha follow along behind the men as they escort the entire party further into Other London. Bertie and Hamid, both still unconscious, are carried along. Eventually, they come upon a mansion and head in, meeting with Barret Rackett, Sasha’s uncle. He and Sasha speak for a while, and then he offers them a copper ring; Zolf is hesitant to let anyone take it, saying they don’t know what it is, and then before any of them can do anything, Hamid takes the ring. Zolf isn’t pleased, but since the ring is magic, there’s not an easy way for them to get it off. Barret hands Zolf a map after Hamid has taken the ring, explaining that it will take him to the arsonist’s base. The party leaves, following the map as they head further into Other London.

They stop in at an inn for the night; Zolf buys them all a round of alcohol while they all order meals, and they discuss their plans for the next day. Zolf heals all of them while they’re there, and once they’ve finished, they all head to bed.

The next morning, they make their way through Other London to the base of the arsonists, and decide to lure the two guards away from the complex and attack so that they can easily sneak into the complex. It’s easy enough; the party attacks them, and Zolf and Sasha begin interrogating the sole member still conscious. Zolf manages to wrangle out that they work for a group called the Serpentines, and then they learn more about the group and their motives. 

Once the interrogation is over, Zolf announces his intentions to drown the two guardsmen - as a cleric of Poseidon, he is expected to provide tributes to the god in return for the magic that Poseidon provides. The rest of the party is staunchly against Zolf drowning them, and they argue about this until Zolf finally gives in, telling them that he may struggle to heal them in the future because of this decision. Mollified, they all move on, discussing the plan for breaking into the compound. The fight doesn’t last long, as everyone inside the complex is handled by the party. Zolf, heading up the stairs, accidentally triggers an explosion, and throws himself backwards onto Hamid, protecting him from the blast. They both retreat, along with Bertie, and then Zolf sets the building on fire before he begins to stabilise Guy Fawkes, the leader of the arsonists. The fire doesn’t burn for long before Zolf puts it out, allowing Sasha time to grab the notebook on the upper floor with the evidence in it.  

They search the rest of the complex, and then Sasha goes off on her own to inspect a small shed, where an explosion goes off. Zolf hears the boom, and starts running toward the wreckage, panickedly trying to find her. He puts the fire out and eventually finds her laying a ways away from the shed. He heals her, begging to Poseidon to give him more power, and, when that doesn’t do as much as he’d like, gives her his healing potion and she wakes. Relieved, he goes to tie Guy Fawkes up, and then they begin to head back to Other London. They go to the official entrance, where Zolf drops Haringay’s name, and they are able to return to London quickly. They go back to the police station and show Guy to Haringay. Once the interrogation of Guy is over, Zolf offers to take care of her for Haringay (namely, drown her) but Haringay declines. Instead, he slugs her, and she passes out.  

They recover overnight, and then return to the station, where Lady Starling - the new head of the Meritocratic forces, gives them a new contract with the Meritocracy to investigate the Simulacrum.

Season 1

London

The party heads to Bi Ming Gusset’s antique shop to get some more leads on some of the clues that they found in the notebook. While there, Gusset recognises Zolf’s signet ring, comparing it to Rakefine’s - the emblem is similar. Sasha immediately thinks that this is one of Barret’s plots, and that he’s behind all this, which Zolf tells her isn’t true. Gusset grabs Zolf’s hand to get a closer look. Zolf isn’t happy about this, but does eventually let Gusset examine the ring, at which point Gusset realises that it isn’t Rakefine’s, and asks if Zolf knows the history of the emblem on the ring. Zolf says that the ring came from his hometown, and says that he doesn’t care about the history of the ring. While they’re waiting in the back room, Hamid asks if Zolf wants to talk about the ring, but Zolf shuts it down, clearly not eager to talk about his past. 

They leave Gusset’s shop and head to the British Museum to speak with the curator there and see if there’s more they can find out about the clues in the notebook. There's a brief skeleton fight in which Zolf slays the Skeleton King to end the battle, and then heals the party afterwards. After some issues with Bertie's lawyers, Zolf asks him if this is going to impact their party at all, but Bertie just brushes it off. Hamid then confesses that he was kicked out of university, and when Zolf asks why, Hamid says he doesn’t want to talk about it. 

When asked to speak to the press, Zolf and Sasha come up with the name The London Rangers as their temporary mercenary group name, with the final decision being The London Rangers (We’re Still Working On The Name). 

After the museum, the Rangers head to the Tahan bank branch in London, trying to see which branch the safety deposit key belongs to, and if they will be able to access it. The manager adheres to bank rules, even when Hamid brings up that he is a Tahan, and so Bertie and Zolf successfully intimidate him into providing them with information. When the party gives chase to Figgis, disguised as Byron, a chase ensues but Zolf stays back at the bank, steadily getting more and more drunk from the whiskey. When the party returns with Figgis in tow, Zolf is properly sloshed, and waits outside the bank room, beginning to fence with his peg leg against Bertie. As they go to leave, he takes a step forward, forgetting his peg leg is off, and falls flat on his face.

The party recovers overnight - Zolf doesn’t have much of a hangover when he wakes the next morning, luckily, and they all decide to head out to Kew Gardens and see if they can meet with Doctor Mendeleev and learn more about the seed they found in the notebook. Once they arrive, Zolf notices Sasha is uncomfortable with how open the space is, and offers her his coat to put over her head.

When looking for Mendeleev in the Kew Gardens basement, the party is set upon by a swarm of bugs. After Bertie gets knocked out, Zolf stabilises him, and then goes to find Hamid. He finds him close to the extremely cold mould, and uses his trident to carefully pull him away from the mould. Once he’s out and the layer of frost has disappeared from Hamid’s skin, Zolf picks him up and walks back to where Brutor and Bertie lay, dropping him on top of the pile. He heals all of them, but the healing is less effective than it should be - he’s clearly starting to fall out of favour with Poseidon. Bertie becomes conscious but Hamid doesn’t, so Zolf tries slapping him awake. When this doesn’t work, he gets ready to carry Hamid out of the room as they try to escape, but Bertie notices Brutor laying on the other side of Hamid, and he begins to have a breakdown, clutching at Brutor’s body. However, Zolf gets Bertie moving, having him pick up Brutor while Zolf carries Hamid to the next room, where he tosses him on top of a crate.

Sasha goes to investigate, and then returns, spooking Zolf to the point where he almost attacks her on instinct. Bertie is clearly eager to leave, but Zolf refuses, saying that they need to finish up their mission. He eggs Bertie on, convincing him to stay and be a hero, and then directs Sasha to investigate a bit more. She doesn’t seem that eager, but does listen, and they see another plant creature. Zolf outlines a plan to beat the creature, and the party all get into position. The fight itself doesn’t last long, and then they return to Hamid and Brutor. Zolf, who’s all out of healing spells, and Bertie is reminded by Sasha that he has a healing potion. He struggles over whether he wants to give it to Hamid or Brutor more, and when he won’t give it to Hamid, Zolf walks over and knocks Brutor’s body off of the crate, ordering Bertie to give the potion to Hamid. While Bertie does that, Zolf checks to make sure Brutor is actually dead, and realises that he’s just unconscious. Furious at Bertie, he stabilises the dog, asking him why he didn’t think to check for a pulse. 

Hamid, realising that Brutor isn’t dead either, hands Bertie a healing potion; Zolf tells Bertie that they aren’t going to waste it on the dog, but Bertie ignores him and heals Brutor. With the entire party conscious again, they keep moving. They investigate a little bit more, but don’t find anyone or any information. Zolf is ready to pack it up and head back to the surface and then continue on to Paris when they hear Morse code being tapped out against the pipes. They decide to search for whoever it is, but Zolf is trying to avoid the monster-infected rooms. This causes an argument between Zolf and Hamid; Hamid wants to fight off the monsters, and wants to be a hero, but Zolf wants to keep them all alive. Zolf wants to leave and let the authorities deal with the horrors lurking under Kew Gardens, while Hamid wants to explore the rest of the place themselves and save anyone they can. 

He explains that Poseidon is angry with him Hamid walks away, and Sasha and Zolf hang back, walking behind Hamid and Bertie. They find another room and enter it, running into a dead body. Sasha asks if Zolf would be able to drown some of the mandrake things that killed the person, but Zolf says no. Hamid asks what they should do next, and Zolf gives him the reins to the mission, saying that if Hamid wants to be a hero, he can. He’ll listen to whatever Hamid tells him to do; he isn’t being intentionally belligerent, and is sincerely going to listen to what Hamid says. They continue to head through the basement, following the tapping, and finally find a the man who has been tapping on the pipes behind a glass tank. Hamid gets spores blown into his face and basically becomes catatonic; Zolf notices and checks that he’s alright, but doesn’t know how to fix it. They fight off the plant monster for a bit and then, once it’s fallen, the man leaves the tank, identifying himself as Doctor Mendeleev. Zolf digs out one of the corpses and has Dr. Mendeleev identify the mould. 

With Mendeleev found, the party makes their escape from the basement; they return to the ground floor. He looks at the seed as they ask, and mentions that they will need to go to Svalbard, specifically the seed bank, to learn more. Svalbard is the gateway to the Dwarven realm, and he asks if Zolf has ever been there. Zolf says that he hasn’t, and Mendeleev mentions that Svalbard will not be accepting to non-dwarves. After getting this intel, Mendeleev gives funds to the party, which Zolf correctly identifies as a bribe - he isn’t happy about it, but doesn’t turn it down. They do take it, in the end, and make a quick trip to the bank to deposit the funds into their accounts before returning to Hamid’s. 

Upon making it back to the flat, they notice that the door is open, and enter, meeting Oscar Wilde for the first time. He is aware of most of the party’s movements since Edison’s, although Zolf tries to stonewall him and not reveal anything more. Eventually, they all come to an understanding, although Zolf clearly doesn’t like Wilde any more than he did, threatening to drown him if any sensitive information gets out. Wilde boops him on the nose, which Zolf reacts to by headbutting him in the chest. Then, Bertie punches Zolf, laying him out. Wilde finally leaves, and Zolf gets to his feet, displeased with Bertie but not addressing it further. 

The conversation turns to Kew Gardens; Zolf isn’t happy that they took the bribe and are letting the higher-ups at Kew get away with everything that happened there. Sasha is on his side, but Hamid doesn’t share this opinion, saying that they needed to stay and help where they could. Zolf still thinks that they should have left and found professionals, but Hamid counters that, saying that it would have taken too long. Zolf tells Hamid that he can’t get hung up on the what-ifs, and they both argue about the morality of having taken the bribe; Zolf (and Dr. Mendeleev) viewed it as a bribe to not share what really happened, but Hamid sees it as a reward as opposed to anything else. They don’t really reach an agreement, but eventually Zolf says that, regardless of everything else, he doesn’t want them to get killed, as he is the one who is responsible for them. Hamid agrees with him to try and be less reckless in future. 

Dover

The next morning, the party heads to Dover via train (first class). In Dover, everything is stormy. They head to a restaurant and come upon a group of merchants complaining about the Cult of Poseidon, saying that they aren’t doing anything to help with the weather, and then start an argument with Zolf in their frustration. Zolf throws a glass of water at one of the merchants, and a fight nearly starts before Bertie rises, standing in between Zolf and the merchants. Zolf explains that they were going to help, but may not, now, and Bertie continues to intimidate the man until he stands down.

Zolf decides to make a stop at the local Poseidon temple, but they are soon waylaid by an angry mob gathering on the beach and docks. The merchants clearly aren’t the only angry ones; Zolf realises that his presence, as a cult member, will only make the situation worse and continues standing back while the situation escalates, eventually casting a mist over the crowd to try and defuse the situation. He gets out of the crowd, and then Bertie succeeds in quite literally shouting the rioters down. Eventually, the head guard, Commander Barnes, comes over and thanks them, before inviting them back to the officer’s mess hall.

Barnes basically repeats what the merchants said as they walk; apparently, the cult has helped with the weather in the past, so their lack of assistance this time around has been met with some anger. He asks what the party are doing in Dover, and Zolf explains that they are simply passing through while on the way to Dover, and that Zolf will pay a visit to the temple to see if there’s anything more than can be done about the storms, and to address his own problems with Poseidon. Barnes clearly appreciates this, and he and Zolf get talking about ships and the navy. Barnes mentions that Zolf seems like someone who has experience with the Meritocratic navy, but Zolf evades the question. He, Barnes, and Sasha all talk about the ship Barnes commands, and the three of them bond over the discussion, clearly enjoying each other’s company. Throughout the night, Barnes continues to press Zolf on his sailing experience; Zolf keeps his answers vague, talking only about his work as a freelancer and avoiding any naval implications. Barnes mentions that it’s strange to see a seafaring dwarf, and Zolf mentions that he knows it’s not common - dwarves do not stereotypically want to be sailors. All through the conversation, Barnes pays more attention to Zolf and Sasha, being polite but a bit cold toward Bertie and Hamid. Before heading to bed, Barnes mentions that he finds Zolf interesting but can’t put his finger on why. Sasha and Zolf stay back in the lounge as Hamid and Bertie go to bed, indulging in a few more drinks.

The next morning, when Zolf goes to leave his room, he finds that there are two naval officers stationed outside his door, and he is not able to leave. He steadily gets more and more irritated as they tell him to wait for Barnes, who will explain what’s going on. Barnes eventually arrives, having been brought by Hamid, and Zolf welcomes them both inside. Barnes explains that he had a hunch that Zolf was ex-navy, and did some research the night before. He found information saying that Zolf was AWOL from the military after having been declared MIA six years ago. Now that Zolf has reappeared, he is going to be court-martialed for the time that he was AWOL. Zolf tries to use the fact that their current employers are the Meritocrats to get out of the court martial, but he isn’t able to prove it, so he asks if he will be able to buy his commission instead. Barnes says that he can, but he will still have to go through the trial - either Zolf will be able to purchase his commission, or he will be deported to Australia as a prisoner. Barnes seems genuinely regretful over the situation, but says that he still needs to follow the law as it stands. Hamid challenges the order, saying that Zolf’s MIA status should still stand, but Barnes doesn’t budge, giving Zolf five minutes to pack up before taking him down to the local police precinct.

He starts packing, and Hamid goes to find Sasha and Bertie, bringing them up to Zolf’s room. Sasha seems unconcerned, confident that she can break Zolf out, until he explains that if he gets deported to Australia, she won’t be able to break him out. Zolf considers making a run for the train, and Sasha wonders if she can sneak Zolf out through the window, but there are guards in the street, so Zolf just decides to accept his fate. Barnes escorts Zolf down to the precinct as the party follows; he attempts to give Zolf a set of cards, but Zolf declines, and Sasha offers instead hers instead, which he accepts.

When they make it to the cell, Zolf is searched, and has to surrender his trident. He gives it to Sasha, asking her to take care of it. Sasha waits outside with trident while Hamid and Bertie join Zolf in a consultation room, discussing what happened six years ago so that they can begin to build a legal defense for him. Zolf explains that he joined the navy and his boat sank off the coast of Norway, an accident in which he nearly died. Instead of returning to the navy, he was picked up by some free traders (read: pirates) and worked with them for a while before returning to London. Hamid and Bertie tell him that they’re going to do some research and get more intel from Barnes before starting to build Zolf’s legal case. They leave, and the jailor escorts Zolf to a holding cell, giving him a romance novel to read, written by a local author, Harrison Campbell (the books are incredibly trashy local romance novels).

Hamid and Bertie are successful in getting more information from Barnes; he explains that the reasons the crew was listed as MIA was because of conflicting stories from all the survivors who they were able to find, including Zolf’s captain, Samael, and two other crewmembers. While Hamid and Bertie are getting information from Barnes, Zolf is finishing the first Harrison Campbell novel, enjoying them a lot. That evening, Hamid returns to the jail cell to speak to Zolf and update him on the status of his defense and sneak him some brandy.

The next few days, Hamid, Bertie, and Sasha work on creating Zolf’s legal defense while Zolf waits in the prison, reading Campbell novels and discussing them with the friendly jailor. The rest of the party returns to further discuss the incident. Zolf explains that the ship went down before anyone could really do anything, and the lifeboats were gone. Many people were dragged down with the rest, but Zolf lost consciousness and woke up on a piece of driftwood, where he was picked up by another ship. As he’s speaking, they’re interrupted by a Navigator, a tall priest of the Cult of Poseidon who is furious that Zolf has been arrested. Zolf convinces him that the navy has reason to arrest him, and the Navigator demands that Zolf finish up this business here and immediately report to the local chapter of the Cult. Zolf agrees, appropriately cowed, and the Navigator leaves. They comfort the jailor, and Sasha offers to bust Zolf out of jail again, which Zolf is thankful for but ultimately declines.

Barnes comes over that evening to let Zolf know that the trial has been moved up. He leads the party back to the naval academy and into the courtroom. Zolf casts Enhanced Diplomacy to help Hamid deliver an impassioned defense on Zolf’s behalf, which he does. After the trial, the judges all decide to be lenient, reducing Zolf’s commission to 3,000 gold, and send him on his way. Zolf gives them Hamid’s flat address for further communication, and then accepts Hamid’s loan of 500 gold to pay off the entire amount and have the debt squared away.

With this settled, they head off to the local chapter of the Cult of Poseidon, where Zolf (amidst a number of borderline offensive fish-related puns) is escorted down into a ceremonial room where he is confronted by the local high priests of the Cult. He steps underneath the waterfall in the room, and the water curves away from him, leaving him standing there completely dry. The Navigator asks Zolf to explain why he has taken on so many duties in addition to his duty to the Cult; Zolf explains that these jobs allow him to travel and ensure that justice is being properly dispensed. The Navigator, however, indicates the way that the water is refusing to touch Zolf, and explains that his view of what Poseidon expects from his followers is incorrect. He gives Zolf a task in order to prove his loyalty to their god: he’ll be expected to both find information on the tempestuous storms and return it to the cult, and travel across the Channel in a boat provided by the cult. He thanks them and returns to the rest of the party, where they are led down to the cliffs, at which point they come upon a small dinghy that Zolf will need to use to cross the Channel as a test of faith. He refuses to lie to the party, saying that it’s incredibly dangerous but that he has to do this; Bertie decides not to come, leaving to take the train instead, but Hamid and Sasha stay, willing to travel with Zolf.

The trip itself is terrible, with Zolf being the only one who actually knows how to sail, but Sasha provides some well-needed support while Hamid is nauseous. Zolf is letting his faith in Poseidon guide their journey. About halfway through the trip, the storm reaches a tempestuous peak, and Sasha is knocked off the boat. Zolf immediately drops his armor and throws his trident into the sea, diving after her, and eventually they return back to the boat in the eye of the storm after Zolf has promised to do better in the eyes of Poseidon. They begin to paddle away while they’re still in the eye of the storm, run into and escape a large metal tentacle and then finally make it to the coast, where they decide to camp for the night. Zolf thanks both of them for coming with him, and finds that his trident has returned, a sign that Poseidon does still have faith in him.

Calais

The next morning, they wake up and head toward a small village south of Calais and stop into a grocer’s for food before getting to a tavern. They run into two old ladies there who are racing each other around Europe, with tricked-out automobiles. Hamid flirts shamelessly, and in the end, Zolf mentions the bet that he has with Bertie to convince them to give himself, Hamid, and Sasha a ride. On the way, the car with Zolf and Sasha crashes, and they end up hitching back to Calais. They make it there eventually, and the old woman kisses Zolf square on the mouth; he stammers a bit, shocked, and Sasha teases him while they walk through Calais. They make it to the hotel and join back up with Hamid and Bertie. Together, they make a plan for getting to Paris and what they’ll need to do once they make it there. After breakfast the next day, they head out toward Paris.

Paris

Upon reaching Paris, the party notices a mechanical man standing there holding a placard with Sasha’s name on it. She’s clearly distressed, and Zolf does what he can to comfort her, letting her hide behind him. It leads them to an incredibly grandiose hotel; both Zolf and Sasha are incredibly suspicious, but do go up to the room. The concierge offers a chance to speak in private in one of their magically-protected rooms, which the party accepts. While the room blocks all types of magical observation, Zolf still doesn’t lose his connection with his god. In the room, Bertie confesses that he’s only doing this because he faces an eternal poo dimension if he doesn’t continue trying to help save the world; this leads to Sasha asking if all of them are only there because they’re being forced to be, which Zolf and Hamid vehemently deny, saying that they like being friends with Sasha. Zolf lectures Bertie, telling him off for being a terrible human being even with the curse over his head. He is still willing to help Bertie and let him stay with the party, even if only because his morals and ethics are directing him to. Sasha opens the note that Brock had left her, and it’s a list of names - they decide that they’ll figure out what they all mean later and that the next thing to do is send a note to Francois Henri.

They return to the hotel room; as they leave the room, Bertie is badly burned from breaking the contract and Zolf heals him quickly. Bertie’s lawyers reappear and tell the entire party that they are not allowed to speak of the contract. They leave, and the party goes to sleep to get ready for the meeting with Henri the next morning. Upon waking, they receive a note that he is too busy to meet, so they decide to go to Arc de l’Ordinateur and visit him anyway. Upon arriving, Zolf gives the fake name Robert Hodson and they go on a tour. Sasha slips away, and then they all reunite outside the hotel as Zolf and Hamid realise that Sasha’s memories have been modified in some way. They aren’t sure how to help, but decide to keep an eye on it. Instead, they head toward a newspaper office to get more information on Amelie Rose, and begin to chase down an old man fleeing the office. Zolf moves slower than the rest, but comes upon Sasha, Brutor, and Bertie, having all tried and failed to jump across the roof (Brutor having been thrown). He quickly casts Channel Positive Energy to heal the three of them and then helps Sasha to her feet, healing her more. While he’s healing, Bertie leaves, and Zolf and Hamid discuss the fact that Brutor ran off before Zolf tells Sasha that Bertie’s only sad because the dog ran off. They leave Bertie alone and go back to the newspaper offices to explore; Zolf looks for different lockboxes and safes. After investigating, they determine that Amelie had been looking for the same thing, and decide to visit the address listed on her file.

They return to the hotel, and Zolf has received a telegram from Lady Starling, the head of the Meritocratic forces, asking for information on their mission. He busies himself with responding to her before settling down for the evening, turning in early. However, someone knocks on their door and tells them that Wilde has come calling, prompting Zolf to wake Sasha and head down to a private conference room. They workshop puns on the way down, but Zolf greets Wilde by handing him a champagne bottle, dropping it, pours the ice out of the bucket, casts create water, and then pours the bucket over his head, before threatening to drown him if he writes another article about the team. He tries to headbutt Wilde, but the man steps back and tells them that Bertie has been spotted leaving Paris without the team. They all go after Bertie, but he leaves on the train before they can stop him. Zolf tells the rest of them that they can’t linger on Bertie being gone, and that they need to continue on with their mission.

The next day, they start reading the papers to see what all is going on. Zolf, reading one of the English papers, lets the others know that there have been some riots in Other London, which Sasha finds hard to believe. After, they head to Amelie’s house, where they find an American construction worker, who gives them a forwarding address. Zolf attempts to pay him for the information, which he takes as a personal offense, convincing Zolf to take a swing of the alcohol he has. They leave and head to Amelie Rose’s mothers house, where Zolf and Hamid go up to the door. They’re asked inside, and Sasha joins them. They learn that Amelie is most likely dead, and that as far as Madame Rose knows, her daughter has moved to America. Zolf explains that they’re mercenaries, not working with the military, and Mme Rose asks that they case a truth spell to ensure no one can lie. She asks them all to share their most embarrassing moment - Zolf’s is being courtmartialed back in Dover. After she’s satisfied, she shares what she knows of the Ordinateurs, and recommends that they visit the catacombs.

They return to the hotel; the next morning, they make the trip to Notre-Dame, where they set off on a tour around the building to see if they can learn more about getting into the catacombs. The paladins giving the tour are largely unhelpful, and once it’s finished, they head toward the construction site to find another way in. They make their way past the construction and end up in the catacombs proper, when there’s a loud noise and it collapses under them, burying all of them. Zolf struggles, stuck under the dirt, and eventually makes an air pocket so that he can breathe, but Sasha and Hamid still don’t find him. Pain shoots through his Achilles tendon, as Hamid’s claws scrape against it, but that’s dwarfed a moment later as Hamid accidentally pulls on the wrong stone, and a slab of masonry crashes down, smashing onto Zolf’s good leg and Hamid’s arm, as Zolf shouts in pain. He yells to Poseidon and channels positive energy to heal himself and Hamid, but is still stuck under the dirt. He finally grabs onto Hamid and is pulled out of the dirt before healing Hamid’s arm as best he can; they all realise that they’re stuck in the catacombs.

Zolf instructs Sasha to go explore - not too far in either direction - to see if there’s another way out. His remaining good leg is unmoveable, and he won’t be able to support himself on it. Zolf, noticing that Hamid is beginning to go into shock, turns to him and tries to help bring Hamid back to himself, talking to him and encouraging him to clean himself up. Hamid asks for a sea shanty, but Zolf declines, mentioning that they’re mostly about death. He starts to play I-Spy instead, which is hard for Hamid because he can’t see in the darkness.

When the party hears a roar, Zolf looks up to see Sasha running back toward them, and calls out to her because he can see a number of tendrils all around her. The party begin to flee; Zolf is limited in his movements, but situates himself upon his disk as Sasha begins to push him. He tells them that the second it ends, they need to leave him and go, which neither of them agree to, and Zolf seems frustrated that they won’t save themselves. They continue running, but before long, a tendril wraps itself around Zolf’s ankle and a barb sinks into the skin, yanking Zolf off of the disk. He throws his trident at it but misses, plummeting into the dark ravine below.

An undeterminable amount of time later, Zolf wakes up in a tank of liquid with a breathing tube stuck down his throat. His one good leg has been removed at the knee, both his legs have ports on the end, and there are pipes running into his left shoulder. He surfaces above the water and carefully removes the breathing tube before hauling himself out of the tank. The pipes attached to him break off as he does so, and he makes his way over to Sasha, who is laying on a table with her organs outside her body. In a feat of miraculous healing, Zolf pieces her back together perfectly, and she wakes up as he finishes healing her. Together, they try to puzzle out where they are and what’s happened, but they’re interrupted by the sound of footsteps, and Zolf hides behind the table Sasha was on, until they both recognise that the footsteps belong to Bertie. Zolf questions whether or not it’s really Bertie, but quickly believes that it is, and then goes over to Hamid to heal his arm and wake him up as well. They all try to figure out what’s going on, and Zolf has a bit of a breakdown as no one listens to him, with Bertie trying to tell a story and Sasha panicking over the state of her organs, and yells that they need to figure out what’s going on and where they are. Everyone quiets down, and Bertie explains where they are - under l’Arc de l’Ordinateur. Hamid notices that Zolf’s lost his other leg and, upon realising that he was the cause, apologises profusely before crying into Zolf’s shoulder. Zolf seems to be incredibly tense, and once again reassures Sasha that her organs are all in the right place and that she’s fine. They go to search the room, and find a pair of cybernetic legs and a mechanical hand, which Zolf realises were probably intended for him, but he refuses to use them, instead asking for crutches or a chair or something.

Eventually, a strange metal limb comes out of the ceiling, observing them (Bertie dubs it ‘Mr. Ceiling’) and it gestures for them to follow them. Zolf relents and takes the legs, attempting to put them on as he figures that it will be helpful to be able to run out of the room if needed; however, the legs don’t quite fit, and are more complicated than he originally thought. Instead, he casts the disk again, and climbs up so that Sasha can push him. Zolf doesn’t trust the creature leading them at all - he is aware that it runs on a mix of positive and negative energy, and that it’s behind the memory editing that Sasha and others have been exposed to. He’s incredibly testy - understandably so - and the creature doesn’t seem to understand what it’s done wrong.

They’re led up about ten floors, and all along the way, Zolf is getting more and more tense; he explains again that he’s healed Sasha, and that she’s fine, and continues to question Mr. Ceiling’s motivations behind all of this. They enter a room and all of them notice tall, glass tanks filled with brains. All of them are clearly horrified, and Zolf starts to interrogate Mr. Ceiling, asking about their lifespan, the Meritocrats, and a few other topics - including whether or not they want to help humanity. They learn that Mr. Ceiling isn’t allowed to be known - Francois Henri ordered it to stop anyone from sharing news of its existence. It brings up a walking corpse, and Zolf is clearly disturbed by it, but brushes it off to continue questioning Mr. Ceiling. It leads the party up to Henri’s office at his request, with Zolf getting a piggyback ride from Sasha; upon arriving, they realise that Henri’s brain has been broken beyond repair from the constant memory modification. Zolf continues to try to show Mr. Ceiling the harm it’s causing by constantly rewriting people’s memories, and how its bad, but it doesn’t seem to understand. He holds a conversation with Henri, who is unable to respond intelligently to what is being said, repeating the same things over and over again, and Zolf tries to use this to demonstrate what Mr. Ceiling has done. It gets a bit philosophical, as he introduces the concept of a soul, which turns out to be a bad idea; Mr. Ceiling then wonders if he would be able to go to the astral plane and retrieve souls, which Zolf tries to discourage.

He changes tacks, trying to illustrate that even though Henri isn’t physically dead, Mr. Ceiling has killed him. He uses the idea of Theseus’ Ship to demonstrate the point, and Mr. Ceiling seems to understand - to a point, though, and still doesn’t realise the actual, applicable nature of the thought experiment. Sasha and Hamid try to get Zolf to stop talking, as Mr. Ceiling seems to be unable to understand fully and the discussion is doing more harm than good.

Mr. Ceiling directs the zombie to kill Henri, and Bertie lunges and kills the zombie, as Zolf tries, unsuccessfully, to stop him. They all agree that Mr. Ceiling needs to understand that Henri is beyond saving, and that Mr. Ceiling is the reason he’s truly dead. Zolf continues trying to get Mr. Ceiling to understand, but it lacks the capacity, and eventually Bertie just kills Henri himself. Mr. Ceiling isn’t affected by it, and Zolf tries, instead, to convince it to break the gag order that Henri put on it. It doesn’t seem interested, but offers to fix Zolf’s legs again, which he declines; he doesn’t want something that this thing created attached to him if he can help it. They leave the office, and Zolf asks about the ordinatists that have been wandering around the l’Arc, trying to suggest to Mr. Ceiling that continuing to modify their memories will end up with them just like Henri. He doesn’t seem to understand, and leads them to where they are able to stay as they figure out what to do.

The party remains there for a week; Zolf spends his time praying to Poseidon, informing him of the machine and also asking for guidance about the legs. He doesn’t feel as though he’s earned the legs with his actions, and is concerned about them running on negative energy, which is diametrically opposed to his entire creed. At one point, he is looking in the mirror, above a pool of water, and the water in the pool reshapes itself into a horse. The rear legs of the horse disappear, and then it drops back into the water. Zolf doesn’t find this helpful, and continues to pray. He hides a romance novel under the slats in his bed. Later in the week, he also asks Bertie about what happened while he had been away, and is genuinely impressed that Bertie accomplished something.

At the end of the week, they reconvene, and Hamid makes a grandiose speech about how Mr. Ceiling is harmful, and start shutting down everything he can. Mr. Ceiling shifts and turns into a mechanical monster, attacking the four of them in self-defense. Zolf yells for everyone to come over to him, and casts Hide from Undead on Sasha, Hamid, and Bertie, before telling them to get out and leave him there. It’s instantly ruined by Bertie, who goes and attacks, and Zolf just continues healing and buffing people throughout the fight, feeling completely useless without any mobility. After the fight is over, everything starts to crumble around them, and Sasha pushes Zolf out of the room as they escape. He casts protection spells around her, but not around himself, to keep her safe as they flee. Sasha and Bertie again try to convince Zolf to retrieve the legs - both with very different motivations - but Zolf stands firm, saying that he doesn’t want anything to do with them, but that if they want them so bad, they can go and get them. Bertie does, and then all four of them escape successfully, to cheers from the crowd that has gathered. Sasha, tempted to go back into l’Arc as it collapses, slips, and Zolf desperately casts a stepping stone disk under her to catch her; the disk returns to him.

Everyone stays on solid ground, and Zolf directs the paladins surrounding them to bring him to Wilde so that he can make a full report.

They return to the hotel and immediately go to the magically-protected room. Zolf, Hamid, and Sasha all brief Wilde and bring him up to speed. Sasha still seems upset about Brock, so Zolf goes over, intending to comfort her - however, even though he’s genuinely trying to help, he comes off as harsh, telling her that she got more of a chance than most, and Sasha shuts him out, getting more upset. As they return to the room, Zolf and Sasha are left in an awkward silence, both stewing, while crowds continue to cheer outside. Zolf, reading a paper, notices an announcement that Barrett has been captured, and tells Sasha, who is still grumbling under her breath. He convinces her to look at it, even though she doesn’t want to speak to him, and after she has, Zolf gives her a genuine, if awkward, apology, and they seem to be more comfortable with each other. After, the servants of the hotel come up and bring them sacks of fanmail - Zolf clearly thinks the entire thing is ridiculous, and isn’t best pleased that loads of people now know where they’re staying. They look through the mail, and the topics of the legs come up again - Zolf still refuses to use them, and reiterates that he doesn’t want anything that Mr. Ceiling made, and he especially doesn’t want a reminder of what they did. He seems to be conflicted over having essentially murdered Mr. Ceiling and the brains.

They decide what to do next - Prague, Cairo, and Svalbard are all floated as options, but as Bertie has been released from his contract, Zolf doesn’t want Bertie to be part of the conversations. While they’re chatting, Wilde enters the room, with loads of good news for the party, immediately making Zolf (and Sasha) incredibly suspicious, especially when he mentions that their job is over. Sasha ends up asking Zolf if their memories are real, and Zolf comes to the horrified realisation that it’s completely possible that none of this has actually been real. He asks Wilde about his legs and, upon learning that a bishop will be able to perform a full restoration on them, tests him one more time, asking for a letter from his parents. Wilde mentions that he suspects they’re proud, and Zolf tells him that they’re dead - he completely agrees with Sasha and thinks that this is all a simulation. He and Sasha attempt to convince the rest of them that this is fake, and while Bertie and Hamid agree, Hamid doesn’t want to leave. Zolf tries to convince him to come with them, but Hamid is despondent, feeling as though there isn’t a point because it can control them regardless. Zolf tries to get him to go to the null room so that he can prove that its a simulation, but Hamid mostly ignores him, offering cheesecake to Wilde. The party moves to leave, and Zolf tries once more to get Hamid to come with them, saying that if he stays, this could be it, and that they need to try, but ultimately gives up when Hamid is reluctant, and seems to be disappointed that Hamid is giving up so quickly.

He, Bertie, and Sasha leave, with Hamid staying behind, and head quickly toward l’Arc. It’s mostly caved in, but Sasha carries Zolf down a staircase that they find, and they realise that all four of them are stood, frozen in place, inside the control room. Bertie goes through the door and disappears, and Zolf tells Sasha to leave him here and go get Hamid, which she does after giving Zolf a dagger. Zolf waits, getting steadily more nervous. When they arrive, all three of them step through the door and find themselves in the same positions. Hamid shuts the machine down; Zolf is the only one who can still see as it’s plunged into darkness, and he starts to explore the room as he hears a hiss coming from a grate in the center of the room.

The party go to explore; Zolf tells them to leave him up in the control room, as he can’t go down the stairs, and doesn’t want to be a burden on the rest of them. He sits there while they explore, feeling useless. Sasha eventually convinces him to come down and gives him another piggyback ride, but it’s clear that Zolf is still unhappy. They discuss what to do with the elementals they find, and eventually they decide to bring Zolf back upstairs if they need to run. He waits, ashamed of himself as he hears his friends yelling, while the party deals with the situation. Bertie reappears, then Hamid, completely naked and singed, then Sasha, soaking wet. Her and Bertie want to go back for the legs again, and Zolf seems frustrated but doesn’t stop them. Suddenly, Sasha passes out, followed quickly by Brutor, and then Bertie. Zolf starts to panic, because he and Hamid can’t get all three of them out safely. Hamid drops unconscious, and Zolf spirals further, yelling into the air and trying to think up a solution, but before long, he also falls unconscious.

Some time later, he wakes up, exactly where all of them collapsed, and they decide to get out as quickly as they can - although, Sasha and Bertie do go back for some notes, the legs, and the arm. Zolf and Hamid wait at the top - Zolf offers to heal Hamid, since he’s still burned, but Hamid backs off, leaving Zolf confused and slightly sceptical.

Sasha and Bertie return with loads of papers, and both Hamid and Zolf work their way through them as the other two go after the legs and arm; they decide to burn the papers once they’re through, instead of bringing them to the surface. Zolf is incredibly on edge, worried that someone will try to use them to rebuild this thing, and won’t budge when Hamid says that they can just keep it to themselves. Zolf, being the only one who can see in the dark, reads the notes off to Hamid as best he can. After, they burn the papers before Sasha and Bertie return.

They leave l’Arc through a different catacombs route, and eventually make it up to the surface before heading back to the hotel. Zolf thanks Sasha for carrying him through all of this, and it’s clear that he’s still upset with himself for not being more of a help. Sasha, however, notices that her back is bleeding around the scar, and Zolf pulls her aside so that he can heal her privately, out of the sight of the hotel staff. Before they go back, he confesses that he’s considering taking the legs, now, because if he can walk, he won’t be useless in a fight. Sasha immediately disagrees with him, pointing out how Zolf helped all of them in a fight, but Zolf is still incredibly despondent, mentioning that he’s not helping anyone like this, and hints that he doesn’t much care what Poseidon thinks about the whole thing, either.

Conversation ended, they head to the nearest Meritocratic office, where they slowly make their way up the chain of command until they run into Wilde; Zolf threatens him, clearly over all of it and on the verge of snapping, and they brief Wilde on what’s happened. He’s uncharacteristically serious, and they finish up the briefing as Zolf asks if he knows a good prosthetic surgeon for his legs. Wilde tells him that he’ll handle it, and then the party returns to the hotel, exhausted and spent.

Season 2

Zolf is spinning in circles at the beginning of season 2, and spends most of his time alone in his room at the hotel brooding. He’s feeling guilty over shutting down Mr. Ceiling, both because the action broke a number of the world’s economic systems and because he isn’t completely convinced that it was fully evil or could be redeemed. After having injured his only remaining leg in the catacombs and having it removed by Mr. Ceiling, he’s confined to a wheelchair and conflicted about whether or not he should use the metal legs or wait for Poseidon to provide him with some.

He spends most of the first day trying (unsuccessfully) to commune with Poseidon and get some sort of answer about the legs, and Hamid and Bertie walk in on Zolf crying afterward. Hamid and Zolf argue about the situation, with Hamid trying to convince Zolf that they’re only four people, and don’t have enough power to completely change the way the world works, as Zolf seems to have feared. Zolf retorts that its the powerlessness that he fears, describing how useless he’s felt at trying to do nearly everything since shutting down Mr. Ceiling. He feels guilty for not being able to help in the power room, and having to be carried around by Sasha, and doesn’t know how he will actually be able to help the team the way he is. 

After the argument, Zolf returns to his room, not speaking to anyone, and ignores Hamid, who spends the night sitting outside of his room, crying slightly. He has a dream; Poseidon appears to him in a dream, being unclear as always, and Zolf stares him down, refusing to bow to him. He’s thrown into the water at the end of the dream, and wakes up, throwing a glass through the window in his room in frustration. Hamid hears the noise and rushes in, but Zolf ignores him, hiding under the covers and refusing to speak until Hamid comes and sits next to him. Zolf is sulky throughout the conversation, stonewalling Hamid even as he tries to help Zolf focus more on the positives instead of wallowing in the mistakes he’s made. 

Zolf doesn’t leave his room for the rest of the day, and has another dream; again, it’s unclear, but Zolf reaches out and takes Poseidon’s hand. He wakes up with a searing pain in his legs, shouting, and Hamid rushes in to see the sink in the bathroom flooding over as Zolf is screaming in pain. He pulls the covers off, and Zolf realises that the water from the sink has made it all the way over to the bed and reformed into water legs.

Zolf leaves his room, fielding questions about his new legs, and then they all decide to try and leave Paris, among the riots. Zolf, on the way out, pulls Hamid back, and apologises for the way he’s been acting. It’s gruff, but heartfelt, and Hamid says that Zolf’s been given the legs so that he can choose what’s next; Zolf doesn’t seem to agree, and it’s clear that he’s still harboring a lot of guilt from a number of different situations. He doesn’t think he deserves the legs. 

As they begin to flee Paris, Zolf is very on-edge, with no patience for Wilde’s snark as he joins back up with the party. He tries to stop Hamid from going toward La Gourmande, but Hamid argues with both him and Wilde until a team of assassins shows up, clearly going after Wilde. Zolf is unamused through the whole fight, frustrated and annoyed with the situation. He has more flexibility than before, since he now has two working legs, and spares no mercy for the assassins. He tries to check what poison has been used on Wilde, but is unable to puzzle it out and the party retreats into a nearby locksmith’s shop. He and Sasha begin to interrogate one of the gnome assassin’s that they were able to capture; Zolf refuses to humor Bertie’s idea of torturing the gnome, and eventually they get the story out of him (with Hamid translating for Zolf, since the gnome is speaking French). After they get the information, Zolf advocates for killing the gnomes that are still alive, but the other party members disagree with this plan and they decide to leave them tied up. 

Zolf and Hamid take the first watch shift, and discuss some of the weird abilities and spells that Hamid has been showing recently. Zolf isn’t completely sure what it is, and wonders aloud if Hamid’s started unknowingly worshipping a god, as that’s the only method he is aware of for getting power without learning spells or magic. The watch ends, and both go to sleep. 

Upon waking, Zolf is informed by Sasha that there are multiple people surrounding them, and they need to find a way out. Zolf works on this, and then they reconvene as a group, discussing what should be done with the gnomes. Everyone argues different outcomes and Zolf, to settle matters, stabs them both through the neck. He then recommends that Wilde be put in the bolthole to be safe, and everyone else agrees with his decision, even if they aren’t happy that he killed their hostages. 

After Hamid has let the man knocking on the door in, Zolf is hostile, asking what he wants and telling him that they don’t know where Wilde is or why he’s important, and that even if they did, they wouldn’t allow Wilde to be tortured for information. Hamid kills the man, and a fight breaks out. Zolf alternates between healing the rest of the party and attacking where they can, and eventually all of them follow Sasha out of the back door, avoiding archers on the way. 

They split up, with Sasha, Zolf, and Wilde going one way while Bertie and Hamid go another. Sasha is knocked unconscious, but Zolf wakes her up and she runs back to help Hamid with Bertie while Zolf and Wilde work on taking out the rest of the attackers. Wilde is fundamentally useless for the fight, and Zolf is clearly frustrated with him, even kicking him when he fails to cast anything. 

The party finally reunites and they keep escaping, while Wilde escapes. Zolf is still very on-edge, but convinces Wilde to provide them with funds for when they land in Prague so that they can get kitted out and restock their potions stores. They successfully make it to the aeroport, where Zolf threatens two gnomes to let them onto the ship without having to pay. They eventually come to an agreement, and buy tickets for the airship flight to Prague. Wilde is not allowed to come, being physically kicked off of the ship by the captain, but the rest of the party continue on, and he promises to meet them in Prague. 

Airship

Traveling by airship is not something Zolf seems thrilled by; he has a grim look on his face as they board the ship, and it’s almost immediately clear why. The moment they take off, Zolf gets airsick, and spends most of their takeoff leaning over the side and vomiting. He stays above deck for most of the trip to Prague.  

At one point, the captain, Amelia Earhart, pulls a gun on Sasha and demands to know why they were traveling with Wilde. Zolf comes over to try to defuse the situation and explain why they were with him without revealing that they’re Meritocratic agents, and lands on the half-truth that Wilde was Bertie’s ex-lover, refusing to expand. During this confrontation, Amelia notices Zolf’s ring, and asks for his brother and father’s names. Zolf answers and is confused by why Amelia seems to know them, and she invites the entire party to dinner. 

Over dinner, she explains that the ring Zolf has bears the symbol of the Spades, a branch within the Harlequins (a rebel group that is dedicated to taking down the Meritocracy). She tells Zolf that his father was an important tactician and strategist for the Harlequins; once the group became more tied together with the separatist movement, however, he had left and cut his ties with the group. Unbeknownst to Zolf, his brother had also become a member; Hirald hadn’t wanted him to join, but hadn’t stopped Feryn from doing so. Feryn’s exact role in the organization is unclear. 

Zolf isn’t completely sure how to take this news; his family is all dead, so this is something he’s learning about them posthumously, and he’s currently working on behalf of the Meritocrats, an organization that his parents and brother worked against. It causes a lot of internal conflict, with him feeling even more lost and confused than before. 

He sleeps on it, after having watched the aftermath of Guivre glassing Eiffel’s Folly, and wakes up the next morning to go sit in the exact center of the lounge and do his best not to look around. Sasha finds him there, and asks him to go somewhere more private so that she can ask him about a medical problem. Zolf learns that Sasha’s been waking up covered in blood, and she wants to know what it could possibly be. He isn’t able to puzzle out what it is, exactly, but says that it’s most likely a strange, degenerative illness, but that as long as Sasha stays with him, she’ll be alright. Sasha doesn’t seem cheered by the news, and so Zolf seeks out Amelia, asking if she has any medical texts that he could look through. She doesn’t have many, but while he’s in her cabin, she presses him a bit more on the Harlequins. 

Zolf more or less refuses to engage with this line of conversation, reminding her that he didn’t know they existed before this, and Amelia lets it go. She offers to help provide equipment and food to Zolf and his friends, saying that Harlequins help Harlequins, but Zolf declines, not wanting to be in debt to an organisation he knows next-to-nothing about. He does offer his services as a cleric for the duration of the trip. 

The next day, Zolf tries to pull the entire team together to discuss what their next steps will be when they dock in Prague, but Sasha is nowhere to be found. He goes to search for her, and eventually finds her sitting with Harrison Campbell on the deck; Zolf doesn’t realise that it’s Harrison Campbell, and is curt but polite as he gets Sasha to follow him for a team meeting. They discuss the fact that Amelia offered to help them, and Zolf explains his reasoning, which Hamid and Sasha accept but don’t agree with. 

During this conversation, Bertie wonders aloud about Harrison Campbell being on the ship, and Zolf has a slight freak-out when he realises that the author he idolises is on the same ship as he is. He and Bertie argue about Campbell, and even Hamid gets involved, being very dismissive of Campbell’s status as a good author. Zolf, frustrated and angry, storms off to the lounge, ignoring Hamid even as Hamid sits in the lounge, reading a Campbell book he found. 

At some point, Zolf sees Campbell swing in front of the window, attached to the ship by a guideline, and runs out of the lounge up to the deck, nearly frothing at the mouth with how furious is. When he learns that Bertie is the cause, both Sasha and Amelia come over to try to talk him out of murdering Bertie. He doesn’t listen, blind with rage, and tries to cut Bertie’s guideline. The crew of the ship has to come over and hold him back, but he breaks out of their grip and only stops when Amelia points a gun at his head. He’s still furious at Bertie, and begins listing out all the times he’s endangered the lives of people Zolf cares about and loves, but he’s only talked down when Sasha tells him that killing Bertie would make Hamid upset. As a compromise, Amelia lets Bertie swing under the ship for a while. 

When Bertie finally makes it back on deck, Zolf starts to yell at him, threatening Bertie until Bertie challenges him to a duel. Zolf, wisely, does not accept the terms and, ignoring a lot of yelling coming from the back of the ship, fires Bertie. (This interaction is the last time that Zolf speaks to Bertie.) They notice that Bertie’s lawyer gnomes have shown up amongst all the arguing, and Amelia pulls Sasha, Hamid, and Zolf into her office, where Zolf explains the situation and explains that he’s fired Bertie. He doesn’t listen as Sasha and Hamid try to get him to reconsider, and leaves. On his way back to his room, he overhears Hamid and Bertie talking, and gives Hamid a hurt look as Hamid insults the Campbell books, but walks away before saying anything, not listening as Hamid tries to apologise. 

They spend the night in silence; upon waking up, Sasha asks Zolf to heal her, as she’s started bleeding again, and they realise that they’re getting closer to Prague. Zolf avoids Bertie and leaves the ship with Sasha. Amelia tells him that he’s always welcome back, as Harlequins help Harlequins, and Zolf thanks her for the help. She informs him that Prague is Spades territory, and warns him to be careful, but Zolf brushes off her warnings. 

He asks Hamid and Sasha if they’re coming with him, and neither of them seem willing to choose sides - Sasha suggests getting Bertie out of the way before he can cause a scene, and Hamid wants to have a conversation about everything. Hurt, Zolf storms off, showing the border agents the Meritocratic papers that Wilde had provided them with. He ignores Hamid as he chases after him, and doesn’t speak with anyone else. Despite having never been to Prague before, Zolf manages to find a distillery and starts drinking as Hamid and Sasha try to find him. Hamid finds him first, heading into the distillery after him, and Sasha follows, but hides up in the rafters after sneaking in through the ceiling.

An increasingly-tired Zolf tells Hamid that he needs to leave the party, citing an inability to work with Bertie and the fact that if one more thing happens to him, he will break. He’s disappointed in himself for trying to kill Bertie, and says that he’s cracked under the pressure of the past few weeks; after losing his sole remaining leg, the entire ordeal with Mr. Ceiling, the reveal that his father and brother were working against the Meritocracy, and losing faith in his god, he just can’t do it anymore. He no longer trusts himself to be a leader, and doesn’t think Hamid or Sasha should either. Sasha comes down from the rafters, startling Hamid. 

Zolf says again that he needs to leave, and Hamid tells him that he doesn’t want him to leave; Sasha doesn’t either, but tells him that no one should be forced to stay somewhere they don’t want to. He sticks by his decision to leave, and gives Hamid the information to access their Meritocratic contract and their bank account. Hamid hugs him, and Zolf hugs back, before leaving the pub, telling Hamid and Sasha that payment enough was meeting them. (This is the last time that Zolf speaks to Sasha.)

Timeskip

Zolf leaves the party in Prague, feeling lost and confused and on the edge of a breakdown. He wanders around Eastern Europe for a while, looking for some sort of purpose, and on this journey stops being a cleric of Poseidon after having not spoken with the cult in a while. He loses his water legs, but has new, metal ones, built from the remains of Simulacrum tech. However, even though he is not of the church of Poseidon, he’s still able to use magic for some reason. 

In the time before the infection hits, he decides to go and work with the Harlequins. While there, he learns more about what his father and brother did with the organization; his father was not a full member with the organisation, but was more of a logistical freelancer, but doesn’t share what his brother’s role was. The Harlequins send him out on a mission to research the strange weather phenomena occurring around the globe. While out on this mission, he runs into Wilde again after hitting a dead end on his own research.  He, Barnes, and Howard Carter become Wilde’s “B-team”, researching more about the infection. They end up in Japan, working out of an inn. 

At some point during the 18 months, he writes, but doesn’t send, letters to Sasha, Hamid, and Bertie. These letters are available to $10 donors on Patreon.

Season 4

Shipwreck, cult of Poseidon Formation of the Rangers Loss of other leg Angst Fight with Bertie Left for some soul searching

Additional Information

  • prepared caster

Skills

Languages: English, Dwarven, Ancient Greek

  • Profession: sailor, cook, airship crew
  • Salt-beard
  • Healing
  • Endure Elements
  • Mechanically Sad (Grief-filled)
  • Not good at acrobatics, stealth and climbing

Traits:

  • +2 save against poison
  • +4 combat manoeuvre defence against Bullrush and Trip
  • +2 appraise on all treasure found in or under water
  • +2 perception stone-based works, traps and doors
  • +2 sea survival
  • Dark vision (60 ft)
  • +1 to attack and +2 to dodge against aquatic and water types

Feats:

  • Iron Will

Special Abilities:

  • Worship Poseidon (domains are water and islands)
  • Stepping stones
  • Icicle

Zolf's domain spells are: Obscuring Mist, and Air Bubble

Knowledges:

  • Arcana
  • History
  • Nobility
  • Planes
  • Religion

Post Timeskip

Bull's strength Freedom's Call (Liberation Domain)


Main Ability Scores

Stat Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 8
Hit Points 11 82
Strength 12 16
Dexterity 11
Constitution 16
Intelligence 12
Wisdom 18
Charisma 8
Fortitude Save 5
Reflex Save 0
Will Save 8
Initiative 0
Base Attack Bonus 0(?)

Weapons

Trident: 1

Post Timeskip Magic glaive

Quotes

  • "The only law that I... adhere to is the law of my god, and my god demands that eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Justice and balance in things." (RQG 13)
  • "Having finished both his whiskeys, he wanders off in search of more." (RQG 20)
  • (Drunkenly, to Hamid) "Alright Squeaky McShortarms, we'll do what you say." (RQG 20)
  • (About Oscar Wilde) "He did have a really nice bum." (RQG 25)
  • (In response to being asked if he's served in the navy) "I've been on board... boats." (RQG 27)
  • (To Hamid) "Do a grief later, deal with problem now." (RQG 50)
  • “Okay, so, Harrison Cambell, right? He writes, just, the most amazing romance novels! Like, seriously, you need- [stammers with excitement].” (RQG 63)
  • “Uh, no, I think you’ll find With the Passion of the Sun is the greatest romance novel ever written!” (RQG 63)
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