Spoilers for Critical Role Campaign 2 Episode 13 (obviously). Check out the recap for Campaign 2 Episode 12 here.
Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
The Mighty Nein deals with the aftermath of the attacks in the Tri-Spire.
The Mighty Nein found themselves involved with The Knights of Requital in an attempt to discredit Lord Sutan and High Richter Pruseen. While trying to plant evidence to an assassination attempt, they fought obstacles in Lord Sutan’s estate. In High Richter Pruseen’s home, after sneaking in, Ulag discovered papers proving his wife’s innocence. When they were caught by the High Richter herself, Ulag sacrificed himself to save the others. However, shortly after their escape, they saw other attacks go off around the Tri-Spire. The group fled into the sewers and met their own adversary, presumably one of the people behind the attacks.
Beau, unable to understand the assailant’s language, throws the grappling hook and rope around the stranger, capturing him.
He reaches out his hand and creates a ball of pitch darkness. It surrounds the area, totally encompassing Beau. Caleb sends two of his dancing lights into the darkness, but they are swallowed by the darkness. Frumpkin peeks into the black absence of light.
Nott casts message in the darkness at the creature.
Nott: “Do not fight us. We are no friends of the empire either. You can reply to this message.”
No reply comes.
Jester prepares to cast hold person when she can see the assailant.
Fjord runs in the darkness, telling the others he’s going to see how far it goes. In the darkness, he a blade swing at him right before it lands. The ice in his armor blasts back at the person attacking him. Beau feels the cold blast from where she stands.
He reaches the light of the rest of the tunnel and stops.
Beau pulls the assailant out of the darkness to Fjord. He swings around and hits her twice with his blade. A shadow clone appears off to the side of them. Beau notices that the second hit left a glowing brand on her chest.
Nott scurries around the edge of the darkness. Seeing the scene in front of her, she shoots her crossbow at the shadow creature. It dissipates in front of her. The others rush over as well.
Jester casts healing word on Beau.
Fjord hits the assailant with his blade. Another shadow clone appears.
Beau hits him, breaking his mask. They see beneath the mask dark blueish purple skin and prominent white incisors.
The creature hits Beau, knocking her unconscious. The rope around him goes loose.
The shadow creature hits Fjord and vanishes into thin air.
The creature hurries over to Jester. He hits her with his weapon. In infernal, she tells him that she’s not the enemy and casts hellish rebuke.
Molly goes up to the creature. He swings his scimitars. However, he suddenly magically switches places with his shadow. The scimitars slice though the shadow, dissipating it. Molly rushes over to the real creature and swings his other scimitar, hitting him. The assailant falls to the ground, unconscious.
Jester rushes over to Beau and heals her. They tie up the mysterious figure. As they do, they loot him. Pulling off his helmet, they see that he is a drow.
They quickly discuss their next move. Caleb goes over to the floating dodecahedron. He casts identify, but is unable to identify its magic source. As he continues to focus on it, his brain begins to fill with endless nothingness. He pulls back, realizing that whatever they are dealing with is very powerful.
They realize that this attack may be related to what they read in The Courting of the Crick.
Jester, because both she and the drow are blue, decides that she will be the one to wake him up. She pats his cheek and calls him Theo, the name of a character in the book. The drow wakes up and begins to angrily call them Empire scum. Caleb casts comprehend languages to figure out what he is saying. He relays this to the others.
Caleb takes one of the crownsguard helmets from their bag, places it on the ground, and pisses on it. Frumpkin goes over to pee on it as well.
Jester tries to offer him a pastry, but he refuses.
He doesn’t seem to understand their messages, and he remains hostile. However, after some more questioning, he reveals he can speak common. Molly casts devil’s tongue. His eyes glaze over as he listens to Mollymauk.
Molly: “We’re not with the empire. We’re private individuals.”
They question the drow about his motives and what went on in the Tri-Spire, but he refuses to give them any information. He asks about the dodecahedron, and they assure him it’s still around but ask what it is. He says that it is The Beacon and it allows for the rebirth of his people. He says that they will find more beacons and will be reborn until they are perfect.
They offer to let him go if he tells them who he was working with. They begin to name members of The Knights of Requital. They also ask about The Gentleman.
They discuss what they’re going to do with The Beacon. Molly uses his sword to tap the side of the dodecahedron. The drow growls at them, but nothing happens.
As they talk, they discover that the drow’s name is Thuron and The Beacon was stole from them by wizards. Emperess Leylas Kreen sent him on a mission from Xhorhas to retrieve it.
They decide to let him go. Molly begins to fray the rope with his sword. As they do, they realize that Thuron’s ropes have been getting progressively looser their entire conversation.
Thuron breaks out of the ropes and grabs his things, including The Beacon. He runs off into the sewers.
They hear footsteps coming towards them from the other part of the city. Running out of options, they rush back to the Tri-Spire. As they exit the sewer, two crownsguard appear and draw their swords.
They tell the crownsguard that they ran into the sewers when the attacks happened. The guards believed them and move them along.
The tower is listing, but arcane energy holds it in place.
They walk out of the city the traditional way. Fjord mentions to the others that he saw Thuron’s nostrils flare when they mentioned Ulag. They suspect that he was involved in more than they knew.
As they walk, they see a small commotion. Caleb sends Frumpkin over to see what’s going on. He sees guards pull Thuron’s corpse and the dodecahedron from the sewers. Beau climbs up onto the rooftops to keep an eye on the situation from above.
Jester pushes into the crowd. She sees that Thuron is covered in deep lacerations. Caleb casts disguise self and makes himself appear like a crownsguard.
Jester trips the guard carrying The Beacon. Caleb grabs it from the crownsguard and says to not drop it. He walks with the crownsguard for a moment before slipping away. Nott casts silent image to make the object appear on the ground.
One guard goes to investigate the object on the ground and the other goes to Caleb, who lies that he was trying to keep it away from the crowd. He casts friends on the crownsguard. He tells the guard to walk ahead because The Beacon is so dangerous. He insists he must take it by himself. Caleb turns down an alley.
Two curious kids begin to follow Caleb down the alley. Beau drops down from the roof in front of them. She warns them to stay away, and they reluctantly agree.
Away from the crowds, they meet up once more. They talk about what to do next. They need to conceal The Beacon most immediately.
Nott changes the illusion. The dodecahedron dissipates into steam.
Beau and Fjord decide to go to The Song and Supper while the others go to the Leaky Tap. Beau recommends they hide in the cellar where they found the skeleton.
When Beau and Fjord reach The Song and Supper, none of The Knights of Requital have returned. They worry that they may have been tricked. They ask at the bar where everyone is. The bartender says that they left in a hurry, but it’s unclear where they went.
They make their way to Dolan’s house. There’s no lights on the inside. However, they notice movement on the inside. Fjord knocks on the front door while Beau goes around back. Seeing it’s Fjord, Dolan and Horace let him in. They immediately begin to panic, saying that they don’t know what to do.
Fjord explains that Ulag is dead and took the High Richter out with him. They both begin to panic again, quickly packing. Fjord tries to talk them down, but Horace continues to argue that they should just leave. Dolan tries to calm him.
Fjord explains that they have a chance to do some good in the city. Horace agrees to stay, but Dolan says that he needs to be the one to stay while Horace flees, just in case. Horace sadly agrees, but promises to come back soon.
They let Beau in. Fjord broaches the topic of payment. They give them Ulag’s and their contributions. They suggest that Horace travel to Alfield.
Before they part, Beau asks if they know anything about Ulag’s possible involvement with an invasion, but they don’t know.
They leave, taking Horace with them to the Leaky Tap.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group walks to The Leaky Tap basement. Caleb spends the time identifying the stone from Lord Sutan’s estate. He discovers it is a sending stone.
When they reach the cellar, Molly examines the skeleton. He is able to tell that it’s humanoid. Caleb installs magical precautions to warn them of intruders.
They try to make sure no one will magically spy on The Beacon. Caleb says that he will stay with dodecahedron. Nott decides to go upstairs with Molly. She says she will message him if they need anything.
Upstairs, Jester goes to see Claudia. She asks Claudia if she has a safe. Claudia answers, but doesn’t open the door. She knocks and asks Claudia if she’s all right and what’s going on.
Jester looks under the door. She sees Claudia running back and forth from her desk. Claudia finally lets her in. She asks Jester what she knows about The Knights of Requital.
Jester: “Who are that?”
Claudia explains that her connections to this group and the recent chaos means that she will selling off the tavern, bringing all of the attention to herself. Jester asks who she is selling it to, but Claudia simply says it’s a friend.
Claudia gives Jester her safe after she empties it out. She says she will be gone in the morning. She promises Jester that the woman she’s selling it to is a good person.
Later, the group meets up again. Jester shows them the safe and asks Nott what it is made out of. Nott licks it. She says it is ironic and not what they want.
Nott: “You did very well considering it’s after midnight and you got a metal box for free.”
They ask about Caleb. Nott sends a message asking if the skeleton came to live and killed him.
Caleb: “Everyone is dead down here.”
Nott: “He’s a prankster. Good old K.”
Jester reveals that Claudia is selling the tavern to someone named Lauren. Horace walks in after getting a drink.
Nott offers her room to Horace. She says she will stay with Caleb. Fjord sets Horace up in a room before going back to the group.
While this happens, Molly splits the gold and currency up among everyone else. They take the loot and examine it. Jester looks at the sword. It’s wicked-looking and it appears to be able to easily tear through flesh. Nott offers to take it down to Caleb. Molly pulls on the boots. After a moment, he feels more alert.
Jester pulls out the daggers. She licks them to discover their properties, but is unable to determine what kind of metal they are.
Molly swings around the sword. Beau spars with him.
Jester asks Nott to send Caleb a message about potentially fleeing with The Beacon. Caleb says he’s not going to run off with it. Nott tells the others that he says yes, they will abscond with it.
They discuss the incident at the High Richter’s where Caleb tried to steal a scroll. Nott draws a difference between taking things and leaving no trace. She also points out the ways in which they left a trace. Molly tells them that even though they are untrustworthy, they must trust each other. However, he also points out that Nott has tried to steal from them twice. Beau says that she doesn’t mind Nott doing skeevy stuff, but she doesn’t want Nott’s actions to get her into trouble.
Fjord makes a comparison, saying that Nott counts on Caleb. However, she says that her parent-child relationship features her as the parent and Caleb as the child.
Nott: “I want him to thrive and get better and better and more powerful and stronger because he can achieve great things.”
She tells them that she loves him and she’s his protector. It’s not the other way around. Molly explains that even if it is so, she should still tell Caleb that his actions almost had the group turn on him.
They hand Nott the things for Caleb to identify. Jester worries that they’ll run away with it because everyone was mean. They recognize that they just have to trust. Nott points out that Molly cast friends on her, which wasn’t very trusting. They point out that she was stealing from them.
Nott heads down to join Caleb. She pulls out the scroll and gives it to him. She assures him that no one knows about it. He kisses her on the forehead and thanks her. Nott gives him a potion to replace the one he used on her earlier.
Caleb casts identify as a ritual. He starts with the scroll case. He asks Nott to put it on the other side of the room. He identifies the case. He sees a magical aura. He bring Nott outside and summons an unseen servant. He has Schmidt go inside the cellar and open the case. From outside, they hear a muffled boom. Upstairs, the group feels a slight shift in the ground. Jester wonders if they’re dead. Molly decides that, if they’re dead, they’ll find out in the morning.
Caleb opens the door to the cellar. Dark purple fume spews from the cellar. They wait for it to clear out.
When they return to the cellar, Caleb casts identify on the other objects. He sees two scrolls in the case. The longsword, the boots, and the satchel with the beacon emanate magic as well. He picks up the scrolls first.
He gets teary eyes as he examines the scrolls and pulls Nott into a hug. He explains that these scrolls will help him with what he learned. Caleb tells Nott that the sword would be good for Fjord and Molly and the boots are good for anyone.
Nott tells Caleb what the others discussed with her about trust. She tells him a biased account. Still, she suggests trusting the “weirdos.”
Caleb brings up the Solstryce Academy. Caleb says he was once going to go there, but something happened. Nott asks if he didn’t get in, but Caleb says he didn’t get anywhere near it. His small town tried to rally support for him, but he “fucked it up.”
Nott asks if he did something that can be forgiven, but Caleb says it’s not for him to say. Caleb says that he will learn, but he will learn with Nott’s help. They will make their own academy together.
Caleb: “I haven’t had a friend in a very long time. The last few months have been… unexpected.”
Nott says that she appreciates that they don’t find her teeth off putting. They both somewhat reluctantly admit that they do like the group. They go to bed. Nott says she prefers the skeleton.
Caleb lays down to sleep. He dreams, seeing beacons of light coast by. Ahead, he sees a dark sphere. He sees a flash of light and then, the beacon is in his hands. It’s welcoming. He looks into it for a moment, and sees an endless row of slightly different versions of himself. He looks away for a moment, and they’re gone. He feels himself hypnotized by it’s movement. There’s something wonderful and ancient about the beacon. It’s scale is both too large and too small. The Calebs from before are all inside him and pulling him in different directions. The stars above him are held in place. For the first time in a long time, he is at peace.
He wakes up in the cellar below The Leaky Tap. Nott is next to him.
In the morning, they meet with Horace. Fjord offers to escort him out of the city.
In the streets, they see almost no crownsguard. However, when they see the gates, they see why. Everyone exiting or entering is undergoing extensive interviews. Fjord tells Horace to stay calm, and they go back to the tavern.
Fjord assures him that there’s a way out, but they’ll have to search for it. They go back to The Leaky Tap Tavern.
When they regroup, Jester wonders what happened to Kara, the missing Knight of Requital. Horace says that they split up on purpose. She works at The Evening Nip. They realize they have much to discuss and send Horace up to his room.
They figure that Pumat or a blacksmith will have a lead box for the beacon. They head to the Spark Hammer Smiths. Yannick is outside, hammering some armor. Jester lies that her mother loves things made out of lead. He says it’ll take a few days to make, and will cost one gold and five silver. To add to the lie, Jester asks him to engrave “love you so much” for an extra silver. They give him extra gold to make it faster.
They decide to also go to Pumat Sol to see if he can get them something faster.
Caleb also pulls them in close as they talk. He shows them the sending stone, and he explains what it does. He suggests putting it in Jester’s bag.
They head to The Invulnerable Vagrant. As they enter, they see that one Pumat is knitting and one is reading. They are greeted by Pumat Sol.
They ask Pumat for lead boxes. Jester lies again that it’s for her mother’s birthday. He says that he has boxes for magical shielding. The others shop around the store, looking for various articles of magical clothing. Nott asks him to enchant her flask so it will have endless alcohol. He also sells them more healing potions.
Caleb asks about scrolls and Pumat reads him some prices from his ledger.
They buy a lead-lined box for 15 gold.
Fjord asks to speak to Pumat prime. Fjord asks how he got the store. Pumat explains that he wasn’t accepted by his peers. He was, however, accepted by The Cerberus Assembly. He points out the headmaster in particular as someone influential to him. He mentions the headmaster likes small critters before realizing he has said too much and scurrying off.
Before leaving, Nott asks Pumat Sol what he’s reading. He reads the title to her: The Daring Trials and Tribulations of Taryon Darrington. He says that most of it must be fiction, and he explains some of the premise to them, including Vox Machina. Caleb says he will look for it in his travels.
They head back to The Leaky Tap Tavern. They rush to the cellar and put the beacon in the box.
They divvy up the loot.
They decide to stop at The Evening Nip, searching for both Kara and The Gentleman. Along the way, they wonder if the missing rug will lead to the discovery of the planted evidence. Caleb suggests simply leaving Sutan alone at this point.
They go to The Evening Nip and realize that it is exactly how it was when they first arrived. Beau goes up to the bartender and whispers the passcode. After a moment, he opens a door to the back of the bar. They enter a room, and the bartender opens a trap door leading to stairs. They go down the stairs, and they hear the trap door close. Something is placed on top of it.
They hear music, laughing, and clinking glasses from below. They finish going down the stairs and see a tavern filled with people.
However, before they go in, they see a black tabaxi, who stops them and says he doesn’t recognize them. The Mighty Nein are nervous for a minute before the tabaxi’s eyes land on Molly. He gasps and exclaims that “Lucien” is alive.
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!