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Critical Role Recap: C2E15 – “Where the River Goes”

Spoilers for Critical Role Campaign 2 Episode 15 (obviously). Check out the recap for Campaign 2 Episode 14 here.
Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!

“I was sick this week so I apologize in advance for the recap only featuring half as many doodles as usual. I will try to add more later!” -Nick

The Mighty Nein explores an underground complex to fulfill their agreement with the Gentleman.


The Mighty Nein enter The Evening Nip with the intention of meeting The Gentleman. Upon arrival, they are immediately stopped by a tabaxi who seems to know Molly. Calling him Lucien, she explains that she and their other former companions thought he had died. Molly later admits to the others that two years ago, when the tabaxi says Molly died, he simply woke up in a grave with no knowledge of who he was or what anything was. The group was asked by The Gentleman to investigate a facility uncovered by his minions. They traveled to the facility via an underground river.


Jester offers to paddle the boat.

Fjord: “That’s why you’re on the boat. Did you think it was for another reason?”

Jester: “NO.”

With each row, the oars splash against the water. The further down the tunnel they go, the colder it gets. They travel another mile before reaching their destination.

The river splits and then divides into two tunnels.

Nott: “I know something about sailing. The right one is the ‘bow’ and the left one is the ‘stern.'”

Jester: “Should we go in the bow or the stern?”

Yasha, rowing the first boat, follows the right path. The water picks up speed. As they row, Yasha and Jester carefully avoid the rocks jutting out of the water.

Caleb asks Yasha to test how deep the water is using her oar. She puts it in and measures. She puts almost the entire oar it before it reaches the bottom, about five feet below. Jester assures Nott that she would be fine in five foot deep water. Nott angrily protests. Yasha offers Nott a ride on her shoulders in the water.

Nott: “I’m fine. Don’t worry.”

Beau: “Have you been practicing the techniques that we tried out?”

Nott: “Yeah. I’ve been practicing one technique. It’s called wearing this ring of water walking.”

Caleb suggests Nott use the ring to scout ahead. She gingerly puts a foot out of the boat onto the water. The water holds her aloft. She clumsily starts to climb out of the boat, hitting her knee on a rock in the process.

Darkness falls over the boat. Caleb pulls Nott back into the boat. Right as he does, a stalactite above them detaches from the ceiling and falls, opening like an umbrella along the way. It lands on top of Nott and attaches. The group sees that it is a darkmantle.

Fjord casts eldritch blast. He then casts a hex on the beast. Suddenly, another darkmantle falls from the ceiling and lands on top of him.

Nott manages to wriggle out of the creature’s grasp. However, the darkness still surrounds her.

Beau whacks the darkmantle attached to Fjord. She hits it two more times.

Molly takes out his swords. He begins swings at the darkmantle attached to Fjord. He cuts off its tentacle, and it slides into the water, dead.

Jester tries to move their boat closer to Yasha and the others.

Caleb raises his glove and blasts, even though he is unable to see the darkmantle. Even blinded, all three blasts hit. The darkness flickers away, and the creature flies into the air.

Another creature swoops down. It lands on Caleb.

Beau swings back to strike the creature. Right as she does, Nott kills it with her crossbow bolts.

From the riverbank, two creatures appear and begin to crawl towards the boat.

Jester and Yasha quickly row away from the creatures. Soon, they outrun the creatures.

The river begins to slow. Caleb sees a cave-in on the side of the river. He tells Jester and Yasha to stop. He casts detect magic. Beyond the rockslide, he senses magic. He relays this to the others. They moor their boats on the riverbank.

Yasha and Jester begin to move the stones out of the way. As they move the rocks, they see a faint purple glow. As they continue to move, they see a 10 foot gap leading to a chamber beyond.

They look in and see that they are at the center of a spiral staircase. In the corner, they see a wrought iron cage holding a crystal-like stone. This is what is emitting the purple light.

They decide to descend the stairs. Nott takes the lead, checking for traps.

They hit the base of the stairs before the ground evens out. The hallway in front of them is lit only by the torch they are carrying.

Frumpkin darts ahead of Nott. The goblin follows behind with the torch. The cat sees a triangular raised platform in the center of the room.

As Nott runs after Frumpkin, she steps on a trap. A long metal bolt fires out of the wall towards her. It sticks into her thigh. She cries out in pain and begins to look for any other traps in the hallway. As she investigates, she hears the trap reset. She goes forward out of the next pressure plate.

She dodges out of the way when the next bolt flies out. She yells back to the group that there’s lots of traps.

Eventually, she makes her way back up to Frumpkin. She hears the traps resetting. She jams her doorknob into the hole from where the bolts are emerging. The bolt fires, but the doorknob jams it, breaking the device. She tells the others that there are no more traps.

Looking through Frumpkin’s eyes, Caleb sees symbols carved into the triangular surface.

Yasha, hearing the okay from Nott, rushes ahead. The first trap goes off again. The bolt pierces her calf. She runs past the trap Nott broke without issue. As she gets to the end of the hallway, a third trap fires. The bolt sinks into her ribcage.

The rest run after her. The bolts fire into them. Nott apologizes, saying that she missed many of the traps and that this one is her fault. Jester assures her that she’s still learning.

They find themselves in a tall octagonal chamber. In the center, there’s a pillar held aloft by the ceiling. On each of the sections on the ceiling, there is a different symbol. Fjord and Beau realize that that each of the symbols are representatives of each of the eight schools of magic. Beau guesses that it’s a puzzle. She wonders if they have to somehow rotate the raised platform to correlate with the symbols on the ceiling.

They examine the raised platform. It doesn’t seem to move, but they guess there may be a ways to move the platform or the symbols of the ceiling. Beau suggests going up the stairs to see what they find.

Nott takes a handful of ball bearing from Molly. She starts jamming ball bearings into the traps to break them. When she goes to shove the ball bearings into the last trap, the bolt deploys and shoots through her thumb and wrist.

Molly: “We can fix that.”

Nott cries as she tries to stuff ball bearings into the trap. The bolt deploys again, but it misses her. Finally, she is able to stuff the ball bearings in and break the trap. She calls the others forward.

Sending Frumpkin up first, they ascend the stairs.

When they reach the top of the stairs, they see that the floor has a checkerboard pattern. The opposite side of the chamber has collapsed. There’s a decline towards the left side of the chamber.

Jester casts cure wounds on Yasha and Nott.

They make their way inside the chamber. Caleb doesn’t immediately notice anything arcane in the chamber. Jester and Beau keep an eye out for will-o-wisps. Built into the marble, they notice a carving of a figure with one body, but two faces. The eye sockets are empty and staring upwards. Above them they see chains holding a red clay urn above the room. Something metallic is in the rubble.

Fjord starts walking to the other side of the room. As he moves forward, Caleb notices a faint aura of abjuration around the metallic object.

Nott looks into the alcoves around the room. She scurries up, as each is three feet off the ground. She sees another red clay urn like the one hanging from the ceiling. Molly investigates another alcove and finds the same thing.

Buried in the rubble, Caleb and Fjord find a metallic rod. Fjord moves the rocks and manages to pull it free.

Jester goes over to the face carved into the ground. It’s a robed figure. One face is male and the other is female. They look up emotionlessly. Jester asks if she should stick something in their eyes.

Yasha pulls out one of the urns. Nott readies her crossbow. Inside, she sees that the urn is halfway filled with ash.

As Yasha turns, a small glowing orb comes out of the urn and comes towards her. Nott fires a bolt from her crossbow. Before the orb can zap Yasha, the bolt hits it and it dissipates. Suddenly, other will-o-wisps emerge from the ceiling and alcoves as well.

The will-o-wisps move closer to The Mighty Nein. One hits Molly. It zaps him with lightning. Nott gets hit with one as well.

Beau punches one of the will-o-wisps. It stings as she connects with her fist, but it doesn’t seem to hurt it as much as she hoped.

Jester casts sanctuary on Nott. She then uses sacred flame on the will-o-wisp next to Molly. However, the will-o-wisp quickly evades the attack.

Yasha moves over to the will-o-wisp near Nott. She goes into a rage. Swinging her great sword, she slashes through the will-o-wisp. It splits for a second before mending itself back together, clearly seriously injured.

Molly goes over to the nearest urn. he pulls it out with his blade and bisects it with his other scimitar. The will-o-wisp fizzles out.

Caleb sends a spell over to an urn. The urn explodes and the will-o-wisp disappears. He sends another spell to the urn at the ceiling. The same thing happens.  He sends the final explosion behind him. All of the will-o-wisps are gone.

Nott yells to the group that she’s desperately injured, but that she doesn’t want to impose. Jester offers to heal her. Nott accepts if Jester if offering of her own accord.

Yasha goes over to investigate the urns. She sees that the bottoms are actually metal bowls. Looking closer, she sees marking matching the eight symbols on the ceiling downstairs.

Fjord places gold coins in the eyes of each of the empty sockets on the marble faces. The coins fit perfectly. Suddenly, the floor opens up below him and he falls. Nott suddenly casts feather fall to save her half-orc friend. He slowly descends down the tunnel.

His feet land on something soft and crunchy. He smells decay, dust, and ash. His feet sink into a pile of rotting clothing. Charred bones remain in the pile. Jester yells down to Fjord asking what he sees. She tells him that they will get him out, but that he should also look around for any money or items.

Nott: “Also, take the buttons off of the clothing.”

As he pulls through the skeletal corpses, he finds some jewelry. In one of the pockets, he finds a small leather case. Inside, he finds a diamond-shaped vial. Fjord pockets it and the jewelry.

Fjord climbs back out of the hole. He joins the others. They decide to take a short rest before going back downstairs.

They go back downstairs to see if the rod they found will fit into the platform below. They take the bowls as well.

When they get back down the stairs, Caleb casts unseen servant. Schmidt takes the staff and inserts it into the hole in the center of the platform. It locks into place. Caleb commands Schmidt to rotate it, but nothing happens.

Molly and Beau go upstairs to see if anything will change in the chamber above. Molly pokes at one of the stone cages lighting the way. He calls Beau over to open it. Using her staff, she forces it open. He takes out the crystal.

Jester casts toll of the dead on a bowl on the floor. Necrotic energy attaches itself to the top of the lever. They here stone shifting and a faint slithering sound. It suddenly stops. The large square pillar opens up. A cube-like creature falls down from the pillar: a gelatinous cube.

Caleb casts Maximillian’s earthen grasp. A giant cat’s paw made of soil swipes at the cube. Its claws sink in and hold the cube in place.

Jester casts sacred flame on the cube.

Beau tries to punch into the cube. Her arm goes numb.

Yasha goes into a rage and channels her divine fury. She swings her great sword at it. Her blade cuts off a section of the cube.

The cube slams into Yasha, covering her in acid. She starts feeling numb where the acid hit.

Fjord runs to the other side of the cube. He sends an eldritch blast to the cube. The cube takes the damage, absorbing the spell and the crossbow bolts from Nott.

The cube moves over to Beau and Jester. The cat’s paw tries to sink its claws into the cube once more.

Jester casts toll the dead on the cube, but she misses. She tries to back away from the cube towards Fjord. However, before she can, the cube hits her, knocking her out.

Yasha rushes over to the cube. As it goes to draw the unconscious Jester into the cube, Yasha slowly sinks her sword in before slicing through the gelatinous mass.

The entire cube suddenly liquefies and splashes everywhere.

Fjord runs over to Jester. He gently lifts her head and pours a healing potion into her mouth.

Jester: “Oh, Oskar.”

Fjord: “Fjord.”

Jester: “Thank you for saving me.”

Fjord: “It’s Fjord.”

Jester apologizes for causing trouble.

They discuss their next moves. Jester suggests casting spells on the bowl somewhere else to see if something else will happen.

Caleb asks Jester if she is alright. She tells him she thinks her ears are bleeding. He goes to offer her a healing potion despite Nott’s protests. However, she stops him, saying that she has her own healing. He tells her to stop complaining, to which she incredulously responds that he was the one who brought it up in the first place.

Jester casts spare the dying, Nott casts shocking grasp, and Caleb casts identify. They let the spells loose at the same time,but there is no effect on the bowls.

Caleb wonders about the fact that each of the bowls was filled with ash. They hold fire to the bowls. As the fire subsides, parts of each of the symbols are left glowing for a moment.

They realize that they need a transmutation spell, and illusion spell, and an enchantment spell. Jester, Nott, and Caleb all decide on which spells they will use.

When they go back to the chamber, they set themselves up around the platform. they prepare to cast their spells. They simultaneously release their spells. Energy disperses and hits the center rod. On the opposite side of the chamber, a false wall opens, leading to a hallway.

Before proceeding, Caleb casts detect magic once more. Fjord crosses the threshold into the hallway. He sees a chamber ahead divided into three sections. Inside, he sees a cold, abandoned arcane circle.

Nott asks Yasha if she knew she would be with them tonight after her long absence. Yasha says that she did know.

Nott: “How and when will I die?”

They all step into the room. They see two braziers, cages, unlit candelabra, and the arcane circle.

They check the cages and find nothing. They realize that the circle is a teleportation circle. However, the circle is scarred and closed.

Nott climbs a bookshelf, seeing a sword at the top. Jester pulls it out after Nott searches for traps. The golden, curved handle has runes inscribed in it. The blade looks dangerous.

Caleb sees a discarded book by a brazier. He flips through it, and he realizes that it is the journal of Siff Duthar. It speaks of foolish people who follow their gods into destruction and the armies of Ghor Dranas. It talked about experiements of refugees and if the soul was bound to flesh. It speaks of He who tunnels beneath the world. There is mention of a bounty hunter who cost Siff his legs and then was burned in the brazier. A trophy, the sword they assume, was taken. The journal goes on, getting more and more paranoid. All, it claims, must come to ash before it can rise again.

Suddenly, a cloaked figure emerges from the circle in the center of the room. They see ghastly flesh stretched against a skull. It calls out to them.

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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