Spoilers for Critcal Role Campaign 2 Episode 3 (obviously). Check out the recap for Campaign 2 Episode 2 here.
Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
The party continues to investigate the mysterious deaths in Trostinwald.
After being taken into custody, the group is allowed to stay in The Nestlenook Inn with the orders that they not leave in case they are needed for questioning. Naturally, the group slips out in the night to investigate the circus and clear their names. After questioning a few circus workers, Kylre, the devil toad, emerges as the villain behind these murders after the group sees him turn two crownsguard into the undead.
Two figures emerge from the tents. They begin to lumber towards Caleb and Fjord.
Beau whispers to Jester and Molly that they probably shouldn’t kill crownsguard, even if they have turned into zombies. Instead, she suggests that they go after the devil toad. However, Jester points out that the zombies turn other people into zombies as well. Beau agrees, though she states for the record that she does not want to be a guard killer.
She sprints out of the circus tent towards the zombies. She sweeps her staff, trying to take out one of the zombies at his knees. However, the zombie’s armored form stands firm against the blow. Her staff cracks against the armor.
Beau: “You fucking broke my stick.”
She elbows the zombie in the face. She tries to punch him as well, but he catches her fist.
Caleb steps towards the carriage. He pulls a diamond out of his pouch and a small, magical prismatic ball forms over it. He throws it at the zombie attacking Beau. Ice shards fly from the sphere as it slams into the zombie.
Frumpkin darts into the tent with Molly and Jester.
Molly comes out of the tent, spinning his swords. He brings them down onto the zombie nearest to Beau. His swords sink into his shoulders and cut through his abdomen. His arms fall to the sides while the rest of his body slumps forward.
The other zombie swings at Molly and pushes him into Beau.
Nott runs across the courtyard, firing her crossbow at the zombie. Her bolts hit the zombie, and she hides behind a nearby crate.
Jester sits on the floor and peeks out of the tent.
Jester: “Oh, shit. I shouldn’t have used all of those spells earlier.”
She casts sacred flame, but the spell has no effect. She tries to call Frumpkin over to her, so she can pet the animal.
Fjord charges into the fray and pulls out his falchion. He casts casts Eldritch Bolt on the remaining zombie.
Beau vaults off of the other zombie and leaps down onto the still-standing zombie. She swings her staff and roundhouse kicks him. His neck snaps, but he remains alive.
Caleb, running out of spells, backs up to a nearby tent. He casts firebolt. The flames shoot from his hand and hit the zombie, but he still pushes forward. Caleb ducks into the tent.
The zombie stumbles towards Molly. He swings once, hitting the blood hunter hard. The zombie swings again, this time knocking Molly unconscious. He drops to the ground.
Nott, peeking out from behind her crate, sees Molly drop. She assumes he is dead, which makes her nervous. Screaming, she runs from her hiding place and shoots her crossbow bolts at the zombie once more. She runs into another tent before seeing if her shot even landed.
The crossbow bolt pierces through the back of the zombie’s kneecap. The zombie looses his balances and tumbles backwards into the fire. He screams out as he burns to death.
Jester comes running out of the tent and rushes to Molly. She casts spare the dying on her new friend. She pulls out pastries and painting supplies from her bag, searching for some sort of medicine to help Molly.
Beau: “You have a six pack of donuts in there, but you don’t have a healer’s kit? And you’re the cleric? I’m confused.”
Jester argues that she’s never needed one before. Beau sighs and gives Jester the healing kit from her bag.
Jester holds it above her head and cries out in victory. She rummages through it, asking how to use everything in it. She attempts to use the kit on him, but he remains unconscious.
Seeing that the danger has passed, the circus workers emerge from their tents. Nott, realizing she is in the tent where Toya and the devil toad stayed, looks around for the dwarf girl, but only finds the scent of brimstone. Frumpkin sneaks into the tent and jumps onto Nott’s shoulder.
Outside, Beau and Jester search the guards. They find that one of the sets of armor is still usable. Fjord suggests dragging the bodies to the lake before running back to the inn. Nott suggests stealing a horse to get back quickly. Jester adds to the plan, saying that the carriage can carry the bodies and Molly. She elaborates, saying that dropping the bodies off at a separate location will bring suspicion away from the carnival workers.
Jester, Fjord, and Beau begin to drag the bodies into the cart. Nott points out that, until this moment, though they have been detained, they have been innocent of any crimes.
Molly wakes up as Fjord drags him to the wagon.
As they begin to load the carriage, they notice the Knot Sisters run from the carnival into the night.
Orna goes up to the group. She tells them that she will tell the guards what really happened, but will leave their names out of it. She asks only that they solve the case quickly.
They decide to track the toad for a short while before heading back to the inn to rest. Caleb volunteers Frumpkin as a way to watch the toad if they find him.
As they travel, they see two figures in a boat on the horizon in the lake. As they go to dump the bodies, they realize that they have left tracks leading directly from the carnival.
After some discussion about their plan, they dump the bodies on the shore. Jester positions the bodies as if they were having a romantic tryst. Beau and Jester then try to clear the wagon tracks while Fjord looks for toad prints.
Beau suggests driving the wagon along the embankment so the water will clear their tracks for them. Molly is impressed with Beau’s ingenuity. Jester tells him that Beau is all about “shady shit.”
They discuss what to do about the two figures in the boat. While it seems that Toya and Kylre may have escaped into the water, the people in the boat do not reach Kylre’s massive size.
Caleb suggests to the group that if they wait an hour, he can change Frumpkin into something else and he can fly over or swim in the lake.
Molly takes a look at the devil toad’s tracks. He speculates that Kylre went into the water to make himself harder to track.
Molly suddenly remembers demonic toad-like creatures that exist to the far east in Xhorhas. He wonders how he’s never notice it before.
Caleb considers what he will turn Frumpkin into when he realizes he does not have the necessary spell components. Molly offers him some incense, but it isn’t enough. Molly and Fjord point out that Caleb and Nott are not confined to the tavern and can go shopping later.
After some issue, they send the horses away with the cart and make their way back to the inn. They sneak back in and go to sleep.
In the morning, two guards knock at Jester and Beau’s door. They tell the two women that they will be needed for questioning later today. The guards go to Fjord and Molly next and tell them the same thing.
Caleb tells Nott that he saw her steal the platinum flask. Nott sheepishly takes it out of her pocket, admitting she stole it. Caleb explains to her how valuable the flask can be. Nott doesn’t want to get rid of it, but starts to be swayed when Caleb promises her that it will buy them books and booze and they won’t have to steal any of it.
However, Nott doesn’t want to get rid of her flask, so she counter offers just giving him the 13 gold the books are worth. Caleb is shocked, but accepts the offer.
They make their way to Burnished Biblos. He buys the two books and happily dances with Nott down the street.
They return to the inn. Joining the others in the tavern area, Caleb eagerly begins to read the book about fiends.
Jester asks what he’s reading. When he tells the group, Molly asks if he’s come across anything that sounds like Kylre. Caleb tells them that there’s something in the book that talks about a demon that matches Kylre’s description. It says that it feeds on people in the night and leaves behind undead corpses known as husks.
Caleb asks Molly if he’s ever heard of a Nergaliid. Molly says that he has. In fact, it was the creature he was thinking of the night before.
Caleb goes on to say that the Nergaliid has two ways of feeding: one is a slow, imperceptible feeding on the energy of others. The other is much faster, and produces husks.
The guards rush over to their table. They say that the group is absolved of questioning this afternoon due to a series of crownsguard murders. However, they will be questioned later. The group feigns shock at the news of the dead crownsguard.
When the guards leave, the group discusses their next move. Caleb reiterates again that Frumpkin is more than a cat: he is a fey creature who is able to transform into other beings. He adds that Frumpkin cannot die.
They pool their resources to gather 10 golds worth of incense. Caleb purchases the necessary materials to turn Frumpkin into a sparrow. Frumpkin transforms into a sparrow and lands on Caleb’s shoulder. He returns to the group with sparrow Frumpkin. He flies from Caleb’s shoulder to Molly’s horn.
Jester: “This is the lumpiest little bird I’ve ever seen.”
Caleb warns the others that he will be blind and deaf while seeing through Frumpkin. They go back up to Fjord and Molly’s room. Caleb tells Frumpkin to fly to the island on the lake. Releasing the bird from the window, he begins to see through Frumpkin’s eyes. Jester pokes Caleb in the forehead.
Caleb: “Don’t do that, please. I’m trying to concentrate.”
Jester: “Can he tell who did it?”
Nott: “No, he can’t.”
Jester: “That’s wonderful.”
Frumpkin flies high into the air. He soars over Trostinwald and flies over the lake. He looks over the land masses in the lake, but finds nothing of interest.
Back in the inn, Nott whips out her chemistry kit and begins to make acid. Beau wraps her staff where it was cracked the night before. Jester braids Caleb’s hair.
Caleb: “I feel that, and it feels good.”
Nott burns herself and drops the vial of acid she’s creating. It begins to eat through the wood. The others begin to scold her, and she spits on the acid to try to neutralize it. Then she pours water on it, making it worse.
Frumpkin, finding nothing, begins to return to Caleb. When he’s most of the way back, Caleb returns his senses to himself. The first thing he sees is Nott and the others frantically trying to stop acid from totally eating through the floor.
Caleb places his hand on the wood and begins to transmute it into iron. The others, upon seeing this, realize that this is the coin trick.
Caleb tells them what he saw as Frumpkin. He suggests going searching the largest landmass more carefully.
Deciding to leave again, Caleb pulls out his spool of silver thread. He stretches it across the doorways of everyone’s rooms, to alert them if there are any unexpected visitors.
Beau asks Molly once more how the circus plans out its acts. He says that most people audition for Gustav and he writes a narrative for the performers. He reiterates again that it is all an act. She asks if Kylre and Toya always performed together. Molly responds that they have, but Jester and Nott interrupt that the two told them a different story when they were questioned the night before. Molly wonders what changed for Kylre that he only just started creating husks.
As they go to sneak out the window again, they see a crownsguard stationed at the end of the alleyway.
Fjord and Caleb cast disguise self and attempts to distract the guards. Fjord, disguised as an old man, tells the guards that others are being attacked. While the guard are distracted, the others quickly climb down the rope and into the alleyway.
When they get several blocks away, Fjord, still disguised, begins to act confused. He asks the guards why they’re following him. The guard puts his sword away and tells him to stop wasting their time.
Fjord rejoins the others and they make their way to the docks. Fjord asks around the fishermen. One of them offers to sail them around the lake in exchange for a bottle of wine.
When they board the boat, Caleb asks about the islands in the lake. He tells them that one of the islands, Crooked Stone, was once the home of an old witch. As a result, no one travels there. Jester tells him that it sounds like fun. The fisherman takes a swig of the wine before setting sail for the island.
As they dock on the island, the fisherman asks what they’re doing. They tell him they’re planning on having a beach party. Beau adds that nighttime is the best time for “frog giggin’.” The fisherman warns them that if it’s something illegal, they’ll have to swim back to shore.
They exit the boat and approach the treeline, looking to see if something big lurks in the forest. Seeing nothing, they venture into the forest. Because Beau and Caleb are human, they have trouble seeing. Fjord guides Beau and Nott guides Caleb.
Fjord notices some empty crab shells on the beach. He points them out to the others. Beau notices a ruined building in the distance.
They venture over to the building. Beau climbs up to the top of the building. She sees two red eyes looking back at her.
Molly hears a growl. He pulls out his swords. He slices one across the back of his neck, coating the blade with ice. He dashes up to the building.
Kylre looks down and Toya and warns her about the others.
Kylre: “They’re trying to take you away. Come. Sing for us. Stop them.”
Kylre leaps into the air. It lands on the other side of the group. He summons three imps. From the abandoned building, Toya begins to sing. Jester is distracted by her song.
Jester summons her double and begins to run away.
Beau takes her staff and uses it to pin Toya by the throat. Beau tries to push into Toya’s throat in an attempt to silence her singing, but the dwarf girl manages to maneuver enough to keep her windpipe from being crushed.
Fjord pulls out his blade. It begins to drip water and barnacles form along the metal. The shadows near the devil toad swirl into black energy and begin to attack it. He casts Eldritch Blast at the toad.
The imps fly around them. One attacks Molly, jamming its stinger into him. Molly swings his sword at it. It poofs out of existence.
The toad jumps again. It stares at Caleb and begins to slowly siphon the life from him to heal itself.
Jester casts guiding bolt on Kylre.
Beau tries to silence Toya once more. However, Toya continues to sing. Beau tries instead to elbow her in the head and knock her out. The blow lands and she falls unconscious. The singing stops.
Fjord swings his blade at the demon toad. It carves through its hide, and his skin burns with ember. He looks at Fjord with fear in his eyes.
An imp attacks Caleb with its stinger. The attack renders him unconscious. The other imp attacks Jester.
In Infernal, Molly intimidates an imp using vicious mockery.
Kylre begins to flee. The group attacks him as he tries to escape.
Beau holds up the unconscious Toya, and tries to get his attention, but Kylre doesn’t notice.
Fjord goes up to Kylre. He casts Eldritch Blast on the devil toad again. A crack begins to form across its body. His scales begin to burn as his tries to hold his body together. Slowly, he begins to smoulder until he becomes a corpse.
One of the imps comes up to Fjord and stings him, knocking him unconscious.
Jester calls out to The Traveler and casts word of radiance. The imp over Nott burns away. She instructs her illusion to charge at the imp near Fjord. The imp tries to attack the illusion, but it has no effect.
Beau rushes over to the final imp and kills it. Its body burns away.
Jester runs over to Fjord and casts cure wounds. Nott rushes over to Caleb and gives him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He wakes up and sees Nott right in front of his face.
The two Jesters dance in the circle to celebrate their victory.
Molly and Beau rush over to Toya. He insists that he be the first thing she sees when she wakes.
Jester begins to search Kylre’s body. She finds a flesh pouch containing some jewels and coins. She takes the valuables out and gives the flesh to Fjord.
Jester shows Nott the shiny rings she retrieved from the bag. Nott asks for one. Jester agrees to give her one. She closes her eyes and holds her hand out. Nott manages to slip one off of Jester’s fingers without her noticing.
Nott: “I did it!”
They sit down, resting from their battle. Crickets sound around them. The moonlight becomes brighter as the moon goes higher in the sky. They hope that their recent battle will be enough to clear their name.
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.