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Critical Role Recap: C2E11 – “Zemnian Nights”

Spoilers for Critical Role Campaign 2 Episode 11 (obviously). Check out the recap for Campaign 2 Episode 10 here.
Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!

The Mighty Nein further explores Zadash and gets involved with the political systems of the city.


The Mighty Nein ventured into the sewers to defeat whatever was capturing and killing guards. They found a giant spider, and successfully slayed the beast. Along the way, they came across a halfling who gave them information on the beast as well as The Gentleman. They returned to the surface and received their award.


Jester announces to the group that she is tired. They decide to go back to The Leaky Tap, abandoning their plan to stay at The Pillow Trove. They go back to the tavern, head up to their rooms, and sleep through the storm outside, sometimes waking from the thunder and lightning.

In the early hours of the morning, Jester and Beau wake to see Yasha staring out the window at the storm.

Jester shows Yasha the pictures of rat balloons she drew for The Traveler. Yasha barely smiles and compliments Jester’s artwork. Jester asks if Yasha wants to be drawn in her notebook. A flash of lightning interrupts their conversation and brings Yasha’s attention back to the storm. Yasha tells Jester and Beau to try to sleep.

Jester draws Yasha lit up by the lightning before going to sleep.

The thunderstorm is still passing through in the morning, but it is far less violent. Yasha is gone.

Jester: “Maybe she just wandered off into the rain and lost her memory.”

Nott: “Does that happen?”

Jester: “Yeah!”

Nott: “I knew I didn’t like the water.”

They wonder about the possibilities that could have taken place before heading downstairs.

Caleb stays in his room and prepares the ritual to bring Frumpkin back.

They discuss their plans to meet with the other group in the basement. They decide that Nott will go down, in a disguise, with Beau and Fjord. She happily declares that she will be disguising herself as Fjord again. Fjord interrupts her, saying that perhaps its best that she branch out from her Fjord disguise. However, Nott worries about the sheer number of options. She says that she becomes overwhelmed with the possibilities and just wants to stick to disguising herself as Fjord.

Nott begins to list different types of noses and eyes, and the group helps her create a totally unique look for her disguise. Caleb suggests just doing a simple halfling woman, but the others interrupt him, adding more visual quirks for Nott’s disguise.

They discuss Yasha and her sudden departure. Molly simply says that she is currently going through some personal issues.

Molly worries that he, Jester, and Nott will bring too much attention to themselves at the meeting. They decide that Fjord, Beau, and Caleb will go to the meeting, and Jester, Molly, Nott, and Frumpkin will stay upstairs.

They discuss what they want to do for the day. Jester wants to return her key to The Pillow Trove while Fjord wants to visit Pumat Sol. Beau suggests seeing what the people of the city think about the empire.

Fjord, Molly, and Nott head to The Invulnerable Vagrant, while Jester, Beau, and Caleb go to The Pillow Trove.

Along the way, Beau looks for a tailor. Caleb offers to lead her to the tailor where he bought his cloak. Beau picks out one of their cloaks, and asks for a new blue liner to make the cloak reversible. They charge her four silver and say it will take about a day to complete.

Fjord, Molly, and Nott head to The Penta Market. They head to the warm exterior of the Invulnerable Vagrant. They go inside. They see one other patron looking at goods in glass cases. One of the Pumat Sols greets them. Fjord comments on how wet it is outside, hinting that he’s hoping Pumat Sol will magically clean him up. Instead, Pumat Sol begins to breathe heavily on Fjord in an attempt to dry him.

Fjord shows him the armor they found in the sewers. He asks Pumat Sol if he recognizes the usage of sea and sailing symbols in the armor. Pumat Sol calls another one of himself over.

Pumat Sol introduces himself to Molly and greets Nott. Nott tells Pumat Sol that she also has a request, and Pumat Sol tells her that he will get to her in a moment.

Two other Pumat Sols examine the armor. One closes his eyes. There is a brief flash of arcane light from the armor. Pumat Sol explains that there is a simple enchantment on the armor. He says that, for a price, he is also to transfer the enchantment to another piece of equipment. He offers to provide for service for 80 gold pieces. Fjord is shocked by the price and asks for a moment to consider.

Pumat Sol turns his attention to Nott. She explains that she saw Jester’s pouch had small side pouches. She asks if she can just have an enchanted pouch. Pumat Sol explains that he is unfortunately unable to enchant just the pouch, but he is willing to sell them another bag. However, after thinking for a moment, he offers to attempt to create the item Nott is describing, provided that she fund the research and development aspects to the tune of two weeks of time and 250 gold pieces. Nott thinks about how many buttons that pouch can hold, and tells Pumat Sol that she will consider this.

Nott then asks how there’s so many Pumats. The Pumat Sol to whom she is speaking kneels down to her level. His face tenses for a second, and then he smiles at her.

Pumat Sol: “Aw. I like an inquisitive little girl.”

He pats her on the head.

He points over to a framed symbol. He explains that he’s an annex of the Cerberus Assembly. He says that he provides them favors in exchange for additional Pumat Sols. He says they are the most powerful magical assembly in the empire. He goes on to say that each of the Pumat Sols other than Pumat Prime are simulacrums.

Nott asks how she can also get simulacrums of herself from the Cerberus Assembly. Pumat explains that she probably should get to know some powerful members and provide them with services. He says that she can find them in the Tri-Spire.

Fjord informs Pumat Sol that he will purchase their services. He also buys a healing potion. After unsuccessfully trying to haggle, he pays full price for both items.

As Molly looks around, he finds a roughly sculpted locket priced at 150 gold. It has the ability to stop its wearer from bleeding out. It also helps heal its wearer when they rest.

He finds another interesting piece: a marble that stores spells.

He also finds a finely made cloak. It’s labeled 800 gold. It protects its wearer from various influences.

One of the Pumat Sols comes over to him. Molly points out the pendant. He explains that it’s a periapt of wound closure. Molly decides to treat himself and purchase the locket. He tells the others that he’s never spent this much at once in his life. Fjord compliments Molly’s new jewelry.

Fjord asks Pumat Sol what he thinks of the governing bodies in the city. He says that he’s happy with them, but some folk have more coin than others. He says that they are protected from outsiders who would want to steal for them. Fjord asks if the members of the Cerberus Assembly comes in often, but Pumat Sol says that they don’t come in, but they order items to be sent to various locations.

He adds that The Cerberus Assembly keeps the crown in check and supports education of the middle and lower classes.

After getting everything they need, they say good bye to the Pumat Sols, and they go on their way. After an hour, Fjord returns to pick up his chestplate with the mariner’s enchantment.

Meanwhile, Jester tries her best to clean up  Caleb. She tells him to keep his cloak tight around him. As they approach, they see two guards stationed at the entrance.

They approach the gate cautiously and are waved in. They walk in and see all the beauty of The Tri-Spire. Jester asks if they should ask directions to Chastity’s Nook. A guards points them in the correct direction.

As they walk, they take note of the large spires. Beau gives them a brief history lesson as they walk through the city. They come across the scent of warm baked goods as they approach Chastity’s Nook. They see a small building with a thatched roof. It clearly stands out among the other buildings. A sign states that it is Chastity’s Nook.

Before going into the book store, they go into The Meal Hearth, the bakery next door. Jester asks Caleb to order her some bear claws. Caleb orders some hot bread as well. Because the goods aren’t ready, they pay in advance and head next door.

Caleb leads the way to Chastity’s Nook. Jester promises to buy him some porn. A middle age human woman greets them. She introduces herself as Iva, the owner of the shop. Caleb says that the shop has been recommended to him. She points to the back of the room. There are large scrolls with beautifully done nude paintings. They see stacks of books with painted covers. Several patrons thumb through the books.

Caleb explains that his tastes are varied, and he’s always looking for something new. Iva lists a few books, including Zemnian Nights, The Enchanting Tryst, The Scent of the Sea, and Tusk Love. Jester announces that she wants to buy Tusk Love.

Caleb tells Iva that he is also interested in historical fiction and is hoping to find something that combines the two genres. She leads Jester and Caleb over to some books. Beau follows the group.

She asks Caleb to elaborate on his desire to read historical romance.

Caleb: “I like to learn something while I’m being titillated, I suppose.”

She whispers to him that, though the book has been banned for fifteen years, she possess a copy of The Courting of the Crick. Because it is banned, she asks for 15 gold for the book. She assures Caleb that it is in mint condition.

As she walks away to fetch the book, Caleb casts detect magic. He senses a faint source of magic on one of the patrons.

Jester approaches one of the reading patrons. He jumps and quickly puts the book away as she approaches. She sees that the book he was reading was called Shallow Breaths.

Jester: “What’s your name?”

Man: “I need to go.”

The man rushes off and out of the store. Jester quickly begins to flip through Shallow Breaths. She discovers that it is a book about smutty fairy tales.

Iva comes back over to Caleb with The Courting of the Crick. He flips through the first few pages. The book starts off with an in-depth discussion of historical events. As he continues to flip through the book, he decides that the illegal nature of the book combined with the high prices means it is not for him. He asks for a copy of Shallow Breaths instead.

Jester asks for a copy of Tusk Love. She then whispers that she would like to purchase The Courting of the Crick as well.

After they complete the purchase, Iva reveals that she’s just completed the third chapter of the romance series she’s writing. Beau immediately asks to see a sample. Caleb asks Iva what her niche is. Iva reaches behind the desk and hands Beau a part of her manuscript. Beau eagerly reads it.

Though she is unable to gather the full story, she reads a scene where a farmer is haggling down a price, at any cost necessary. The piece isn’t very well written and is a bit heavy-handed.

Iva asks Beau if she likes it. Beau lies that she does and points out how in-depth it goes into descriptions of heavy machinery.

As Beau is talking to Iva, Jester scrawls “we’re watching you. We saw you come in here” in a copy of Guard of My Heart.

Smut in hand, they head back to the bakery. Caleb points to something behind the baker. When he turns around, Caleb slips the smut under a tray.

They head to The Pillow Trove. At the top of the staircase when they enter is an older female elf. She wears a lacy red dress. Jester asks the clerk who she is. The clerk explains that her name is Madame Luana, and she calls her down to meet Jester.

When she descends the stairs, she greets Jester, who tells her that she thinks she is very beautiful. She tells Jester that she owns The Pillow Trove. Jester responds that she is currently checking out, but will be back very soon because she is expecting a package.

Before turning in her key, Jester leads Caleb and Beau up to her room. Caleb feels the sheets on the bed and Jester opens up the curtains to the window. They look out to see the interior of The Tri-Spire. Beau sees two figures at the top of the Zauber Spire looking out onto the city.

Beau asks Caleb what he thinks of the empire. He says that it is there, but agrees that it isn’t great. Beau laments that the people in The Tri-Spire have so much more than those in the rest of Zadash.

Jester gives Caleb the book she bought for him. Caleb says that it actually isn’t something he wanted. Beau flips through the book instead. Caleb tells her to read through the book first and then he will read it. Caleb thanks her anyway and tell her that he appreciates the gesture.

They head back to what Jester refers to as “the stinky part of town.”

They all gather in the tavern, rejoining with the others. Fjord pulls Molly aside and asks what Nott was looking for in his things last night. Molly says he honestly isn’t sure. He tells Fjord to just keep a closer eye on his things.

Caleb heads back up his room to copy the last spell into his spellbook.

Fjord tells Beau that Pumat Sol is part of The Cerberus Assembly. He reveals that they act as a counter-balance to the empire. Beau tells him that she ended up not asking around because they were in the Tri-Spire, which is far fancier than the other parts of town.

Fjord suggests checking for multiple exits in the basement. Beau adds that they should be cautious of a potential sting operation. They go around the building, looking for any secret entrances or exits. They find a chained cellar entrance. Beau goes back to grab Nott so she can pick the lock.

Nott attempts to pick the lock, but badly bends her lock picks in the process. Beau hands the goblin some of her own. This time, the lock easily comes off.

Looking down, they see darkness. They head down the stairs and see that the room is mostly empty. Beau looks for some wine while Nott searches for valuables. Beau finds nothing, but Nott finds several silver bracelets around the wrist of a human-sized skeleton.

Nott alerts the others to the skeleton. Fjord acts as lookout above while Beau lights a torch. They don’t find any other bodies or anything else particularly interesting. They leave. They put the lock back, but don’t lock it.

The storm begins to pass and the rain ceases.

Beau, Fjord, and Nott rejoin the others. Nott asks the group if it’s time to kill The Gentleman. The others say that going straight to killing The Gentleman probably isn’t wise. Jester speculates that he has a network of people ready to come after anyone who attacks him.

Beau changes the subject to the meeting tonight. Jester offers to draw pictures of everyone in the bar so they will have something to bargin with in case they get caught meeting with those who wish to overthrow the empire. Fjord suggests that Molly, Nott, and Jester make a distraction if anything happens so they can get away.

While they wait for the meeting to occur, Jester reads Tusk Love. She frequently looks over to Fjord, thinking about him as she reads the story of Oskar, a half orc, and a merchant’s daughter.

Beau reads The Courting of the Crick. It discusses the conflict between The Julous Dominion and The Dwendalian Empire. She reads about a crick assassin (Beau learns that the word “crick” comes from the cricket-like sound that’s created when the wind moves through their armor) sent to kill General Theo. The assassin was caught and was revealed to be from Xhorhas with dark blue skin and pointed ears. The assassin was a female dark elf.

The book then goes on to describe a love affair between General Theo and the assassin.

Ulag enters the bar. He nods towards the group and heads into the basement. Cara enters soon after, heading into the bar. Dolan and another human male do the same.

Nott goes up to Fjord and asks if he knows Dolan’s last name. When Fjord asks her why, she reveals that she knows someone named Dolan Diversky.  She says that she has something of his, but he wouldn’t know her.

Fjord promises he will try to find out. Nott says she will cast message to warn them if any guards or anyone tough-looking comes into the bar. She then casts disguise self, turning herself into the halfling described to her by the group earlier. She goes outside, ready to send message to Molly and Jester inside and then to Beau, Fjord, and Caleb downstairs.

Beau, Fjord, and Caleb head downstairs. As they descend, the group in the cellar nods at them and gestures for them to take a seat. They introduce Caleb to the group. The group greets him. Fjord asks Dolan’s last name. He says it is Thrym. He introduces the other man as his partner, Horace Thrym. Then, he introduces Caleb to the rest of the group.

Horace explains that they’ve put two months into planning something that requires certain skills. Ulag goes on to explain that they’ve intercepted documents to Lord Zutan. He’s been doing business with a criminal. They believe he might be involved with The Myriad. They tried to bring the information to The Lawmaster, but they were stopped by High Richter Pruseen. She said she would deliver the information, but they have heard nothing since. Moreover, some of their members are being watched more closely by guards now.

Their plan is to turn the High Richter and Lord Zutan against one another and then expose them to The Lawmaster. Then, they would attempt to take over the role of High Richter.

The specific plan is to infiltrate Lord Zutan’s quarters in the Tri-Spire. Then, they would steal a copy of his wax seal and handwriting. They would then forge a letter making it seem like Lord Zutan was planning an assassination attempt on The High Richter. Then they would break into The High Richter’s home and toss the place while she is out to scare her. Then, the Knights of Requital would take the forged letter to the Lawmaster, claiming to have found it. Then, they are hoping to have created enough turmoil for both Lord Zutan and the High Richter to be arrested.

Fjord asks how they will guarantee that the High Richter won’t simply make Lord Zutan disappear. The others consider this and ask if they have an alternative plan. Fjord says that they will likely need a different plan to get rid of the High Richter in addition to Zutan.

Fjord suggests framing Pruseen as the head of the Knights of Requital. They agree that this is a stronger case against arresting Pruseen. They discuss fabricating some symbols or secret correspondence.

Beau asks about The Myriad. Ulag says that they don’t mind The Myriad other than that Zutan’s real and forged connections will be sure to incriminate him.

They agree to meet again tomorrow at the Song and Supper Inn after discussing the plan with the others in The Mighty Nein.

They all meet again inside. Fjord, Beau, and Caleb explain what they discussed downstairs. They worry that they may accidentally replace a corrupt position with someone even more corrupt. Nott decides to follow Horace and Dolan to their home.

When they go inside their home, they begin to argue. The blonde man breaks down crying after the argument, and the other comforts him. Nott sees a staff used for defense or as a walking stick. He also sees a short sword inside. Nott knocks on the door and then runs away.

Nott returns to the group and reports her findings. They decide to follow The High Richter next to find out what kind of person she is.

Caleb asks the group what kind of payment they are getting in exchange for their services. Fjord admits that they forgot to ask.

Jester suggests asking the owners of the tavern where The High Richter lives. She tries to ask the bartender where to find the High Richter. They discuss a few options, guessing that she lives in The Tri-Spire, or that people in The Tri-Spire would know where she is. But, for the time being, they decide to rest.

Fjord pulls Molly into their room. He tells his tiefling friend that he is still very bothered that Nott was going through his things. He says that he wants to set a trap for the goblin girl, and Molly agrees. Fjord uses minor illusion to put a bundle of buttons and a shiny flask covered in jewels in the center of the room. He and Molly hide out of sight.

Meanwhile, Caleb knocks on Jester and Nott’s door. Jester answers dramatically, influenced by the smut she has been reading. Caleb says that he feels badly that he rejected Jester’s gift and asks if he can read it tonight. Beau hands it over to him.

Nott walks past Fjord and Molly’s room. As soon as she walks in, Fjord slams the door behind her. He tells her that Molly told him she was going through his things and demanded to know what she was looking for. She lies and said she was looking for seafood.

Molly casts devil’s tongue on Nott. She is charmed by Molly and begins to spill her secrets.

She admits she was looking for his letter to the Solstrice Academy. She wanted to give it to Caleb so he could be the one to study and learn magic there instead. She says that she needs him to become very powerful.

Fjord: “Why, Nott? Why do you need him to be powerful?”

Nott: “So he can save me.”

She explains that it is more dangerous for her the farther north they get. Molly tries to assure her that they can all protect her, but she simply says that they can’t.

Fjord makes her promise that she will no longer go through his things, but she still asks him for the letter. She says if Caleb goes, he can change what she is. Fjord says he can relate to that want. He says that he wasn’t always very handsome.

Fjord promises that if he misses his chance at The Solstrice Academy, he’ll do his best to have Caleb go in his place.

Molly breaks the spell. Nott begins to panic again and scurries out the door.

When she gets back to Caleb’s room, she asks him if he trusts Fjord or Molly. Caleb tells her that he doesn’t.

Caleb knocks on Beau and Jester’s door in the morning. He leaves the book propped up against the door. At breakfast, Beau asks about the book. He tells her that he isn’t sure how accurate the depiction of the Xhorhas society is. At the end of the book, the assassin is killed and the general is left reflecting on how their relationship could never be.

Nott comes down grumpily and asks if they’re a book club now. Jester gives her Tusk Love to read.

They decide to disguise themselves as wealthy people looking for help from the High Richter. They decide to lie that they are the Timault family, and that the Baumbachs have refuse to fill their order. Jester suggests adding that the Baumbachs stole their puppies. They pick up Beau’s cloak, and they head to the sewers.

Fjord sneaks up to one of the guards protecting the sewer. He casts crown of madness on one of the guards and commands him to attack the other guard. Nott tries to unlock the lock before the guard can shake off the spell. However, she is not quick enough, and Jester just breaks it open with her bare hands.

They hurry down into the sewers before everyone figures out what has happened.

They begin to sneak through the tunnels to The Tri-Spire, hoping to not notify any rats to their presence.

As they walk, Beau fashions some bottles to her belt to make her look more like a brewer. Fjord casts disguise self to make himself look like a human with a goatee and a black cloak. Nott also casts disguise self and makes herself look exactly like Fjord’s disguise but shorter and with longer hair. Jester disguises herself as an elven woman, and gives herself a similar dress to the one she saw yesterday. Caleb uses disguise self to make himself look like the male version of Jester’s disguise. Molly simply puts his hood up.

They reach the surface. After they climb out of the sewer and get out onto the street, they stop the first person they see who looks like they know where they’re going. They ask where they can find The High Richter. They are pointed in the direction of her estate.

Fjord, Beau, Jester, and Molly approach. Caleb, Frumpkin, and Nott stay behind. Fjord lies to the guards, saying they were directed to come by The Lawmaster. The guards believe him, and call High Richter Pruseen down to them.

When she arrives, Fjord lies again, saying that they met once before years ago at a gala for her reelection. She believes him. He explains to her that they have been the victim of corporate espionage. Beau hands her the invoice. Jester adds dramatically that their puppies have been stolen as well.

She says that she has no interest in the case, as she has no jurisdiction, and she doesn’t want to go out of her way for it. Fjord and Beau attempt to bribe her, offering additional coin in exchange for her services. She makes it clear to them that she is doing them a favor and not accepting a bribe.

On their way out, Molly spills a bit of his waterskein on her lawn. He apologizes. He looks up to her, secretly waiting for her reaction. She orders them to deep the demon bloods away from her.

They rejoin the group and let the others know what has occurred. Caleb points out that they have no guaranteed payment, no sense of if this woman is more corrupt than normal, and no solid plan. He says that he does not like the government, but he has major concerns about this plan. He says they need to figure out payment at least before they can continue.

Before they leave, Jester slips a pamphlet of The Traveler in a bench.

They travel to The Song and Supper Tavern. Their disguises gone, they look around for The Knights of Requital. They sit down with Dolan when they see him. Jester introduces herself as Tonya Fancybottom.

They are clearly uncomfortable with the new additions. Beau asks if it’s because they’re tieflings. Dolan says that it’s just because they’re new faces.

Fjord poaches the topic of money. Dolan says that he has managed to scrounge up about 115 gold. Another member donated an additional 50. Ulag says he is putting in his entire life savings: 513 gold.

They hand Fjord a fake Knights of Requital sigil. Beau compliments its design. Dolan asks for a final time if they’re really in. They discuss for a moment.

They decide to agree to the plan. They have time to find out more information, and they agree to run if necessary. They tell Dolan that they are in.

Dolan excitedly tells them to meet him back in the basement of The Leaky Tap at sundown tomorrow.

He finishes his drink and leaves. Ulag follows shortly after.

The Mighty Nein decides to follow Lord Zutan. Fjord rushes after Ulag to find out where Zutan is. Ulag doesn’t know, but suggests looking at his estate.

They decide to plan what they will do when they wake up the next morning.

To be continued…

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About the Artist: Nick Uroseva (@Nick_Uroseva)

Nick is a professional graphic artist from Youngstown, Ohio. He has a BA in Multimedia Technology. When he isn’t doodling for one thing or another, he spends is his time writing and Dungeon Mastering several D&D games, enjoying craft beer, shooting zombies with Nerf blasters, and tweeting about #CriticalRole. Buy him a coffee!

Fiona L.F. Kelly (@FionaLFKelly)
Fiona L.F. Kelly is a writer, editor, and podcaster. She has published numerous articles about all things gaming and pop culture on websites all across the internet, was also a writer for Trinity Continuum: Aberrant 2e, and has been published in books and magazines. She is an editor for the pop culture and media website GeekGals.co. In addition to her writing and editing, she has also been a guest and host on several podcasts. She hosts the Project Derailed podcast Big Streaming Pile, produces and performs on Fables Around the Table, and plays the githyanki pirate Rav’nys on Tales of the Voidfarer. Buy her a coffee: ko-fi.com/fionalfkelly

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