Spoilers for Critcal Role Campaign 2 Episode 4 (obviously). Check out the recap for Campaign 2 Episode 3 here.
Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
The party attempts to prove their innocence.
After being put on house arrest during an investigation, the group sneaks out to find out what really happened at the circus. After discovering that Kylre, the devil toad, was the real culprit, they sought him out on the islands of a nearby lake. They face him in battle, successfully killing him and rescuing Toya, though they knock her unconscious in the process.
Jester: “Does anybody need any healing?”
Caleb: “I’m really shabby at the moment.”
Jester: “Oh. That’s too bad because I don’t have any spells left.”
They decide that they need to go back to their boat, and they need to bring at least a part of Kylre with them. Molly beheads the devil toad, hoping it will prove their innocence.
When Kylre’s head is successfully detached from his body, they begin to walk back to the shore. Molly carries Toya, who slowly begins to wake up. She looks up at him, disoriented and confused. She asks him what happened. He explains that Kylre turned on them, but everything will be okay. She squirms around, trying to break free from his grasp and find Kylre. After fighting him for a moment, she settles down.
Toya: “I’m scared.”
Molly reassures her again that everything will be fine, but he does not go into much detail about the events that occurred.
When they reach the boat, the fisherman panics upon seeing Kylre’s head.
Jester: “We told you we were having a party, man!”
The fisherman demands to know what they’ve done. Beau tells him they were frog hunting. Toya, noticing Kylre’s head for the first time, lets out a high pitched squeal from the shock of seeing her friend’s decapitated head. Jester throws her cloak over the head to try to hide it.
Caleb pulls everyone aside and points out that the man has seen them when they are supposed to be on house arrest. Nott suggests killing him, but Beau suggests simply paying him to forget what occurred. They begin to pool their gold to have Fjord hand it over. However, at that moment, they realize that Fjord’s disguise self has faded, and he has returned to his normal form, one unfamiliar to the fisherman.
Caleb goes up to him instead, carrying both the gold and another bottle of wine.
He explains that they have just done Trostinwald a great service. He tells the man about the circus and how they stopped the monstrous creature who had turned the townsfolk into the undead. Jester adds that, though their deeds are heroic, they prefer to remain anonymous.
The fisherman takes the bribe and makes them promise he will never see them again.
Molly: “If you see us, we won’t make eye contact.”
Jester: “Yeah. We’ll pretend we don’t know you.”
They all board the boat and sail back to Trostinwald.
As they sail, they discuss how they will transport the head once they reach shore. Caleb suggests that he take the head to Lawmaster Norda. He says that he will tell her that they don’t need accolades, but they will accept gold. Nott points out the leaps in logic that plague the plan. She asks how the head will free the others from suspicion and reminds Caleb that, though he is not suspected of a crime, he will be bringing the severed head of a circus performer to the town guard with no other evidence that he is telling the truth.
They also discuss Toya, but Molly insists she knows what to say when guards come around.
Caleb begins to question Toya, but she still claims that she doesn’t know what happened. Molly says that Kylre suddenly snapped, but he had been feeding off of her for a long time. Jester asks if she has ever heard of nergaliids, but Toya says she hasn’t.
Toya asks about Gustav. Molly says he’s been arrested, and Fjord adds that he is innocent. They question her about her relationship with Kylre, but it becomes clear that she’s telling the truth about not knowing anything. Caleb tries to convince her that she needs to be quiet about what has occurred, but she keeps looking back at the head of her former friend.
Beau interrupts and apologizes for choking Toya with her stick. Nott makes Beau promise that she’ll never do it again.
After a few more minutes, Toya falls asleep. Shortly after, they reach the docks.
As they step off the boat, Fjord waits until the fisherman is distracted, and then he uses disguise self to turn into a crownsguard.
Fjord asks the group what they have done. The fisherman, not wanting any trouble, quickly gives up the group. He lies, saying that the group forced him to take them to the island. Caleb claims the kill for himself. Fjord says Norda will want to see the beast straight away. The fisherman quickly finishes tying up the boat and runs off.
Nott: “We’ll stop by your house with your share of the reward!”
Nott and Jester take the head from the boat and put it on the dock.
Caleb tells the group that he’s going to turn in Kylre’s head on his own while they sneak back to the inn. Nott protests, saying he is too weak to travel on his own, but Caleb insists. He reminds Nott that the others are their new friends, and she should travel with them for the night. Molly leaves to take Toya back to the circus. Fjord stays with the head, standing guard in disguise.
Jester, Nott, and Beau sneak back to the tavern. They enter the alley to climb up the rope back into their rooms when they are stopped by a crownsguard. Jester yells out that she dropped her shoe. Beau drops to the ground, pretending to search for a shoe. The guard, unconvinced, calls over other guards and makes his way over to the group.
Jester quickly casts duplicity, and her double appears behind one of the guards. The other two, making their way over, see the duplicate. The duplicate Jester waves her arms around and runs away, trying to get the attention of the guards. The real Jester drops one of her rings so the others will have something to find.
However, the guards are not fooled by the duplicate. They continue towards the group. Beau picks up the ring, pretending to have found the “shoe” (Nott and Jester explain that she calls them the wrong name because she wears them on her toes). The guards begin to arrest them. Despite Jester’s begging and Nott’s insistence that she isn’t with the rest of the group, they are all arrested.
Molly and Toya sneak through the tall grasses surrounding the circus. He drops her off in her tent. He reminds her again to not tell anyone what has occurred.
Caleb stumbles up to the guard’s barracks. He demands to see Norda. The guards tell him that she is gone and won’t be back until morning. Assuming he is drunk, they tell him to drink some water and come back later.
As they are telling him, however, Norda exits the building. Caleb yells out to her, saying that the beast’s head is at the docks.
She sighs and goes over to him. He repeats what he said and adds that the rest of the group is innocent and should be released from house arrest. At that moment, Jester, Nott, and Beau are led to them in chains. Norda asks him sarcastically if these are the people to whom he was referring.
Caleb is surprised to see his companions, but sticks to his story.
Caleb: “I’m either a clown or a toad killer. Let’s see what it is.”
Norda orders that everyone is taken to the docks. She threatens to arrest Caleb as well if what he says isn’t true. Fjord uses disguise self to make himself appear as an old man when they begin to approach.
When they arrive, the head is still there, laying in the boat. Norda examines the head. Caleb tells her that any holy person would confirm a fiendishness. Norda responds that what it looks like is that he has murdered one of the witnesses and suspects in the investigation she’s performing.
Mollymauk returns to the docks to see most of his friends in chains. He sneaks closer, trying to figure out what has happened. Deciding to abandon his plan to sneak around them, he decides to simply walk up to the group.
Molly: “There you are! You weren’t supposed to leave the inn!”
He feigns shock at seeing the guards. He willingly holds his hands out, waiting to be handcuffed. Norda tells him and the others that if more criminals were like them, she would be able to go home a lot earlier.
A guard comes jogging up to them, bringing a hooded figure with him. When they reach the others, the figure pulls back the hood to reveal that he is an elven male: an expert from a nearby library, Xenoth. Norda tells him that Caleb claims the head in the boat belongs to a fiend. Xenoth leans in, closely looking at the head. He confirms to her that it is the head of a nergaliid.
Xenoth asks who slew the creature, and the group points to Caleb. Looking over, he sees Beau and smiles, though she pretends to not see him.
Caleb asks Xenoth about his career at the library. Xenoth responds that he is an archivist for the Cobalt Soul.
Norda orders that they all go back to the stockades for a trial. Caleb offers her the book he found containing information about nergaliids.
Once they leave the area, Fjord, still in his disguise, rushes back to the inn. When he gets there, he drops his illusion and asks the guards where his friends have gone. The crownsguard tell him that the others have been arrested. On Fjord’s request, they lead him to the stockades as well.
When they reach the stockades, they are brought into a large room with a stone interior. In the center of the room is a pit for the accused. Above the pit is a desk. Norda makes her way over to the desk and sits down.
Norda orders that the others be brought in for their trial as well. The guards bring in Gustav, Bo, and Yasha, who was caught fleeing from the circus shortly after the incident.
Norda orders Caleb to plea his case. He starts by pointing out that he and the others obviously don’t work for the circus. Norda, seeing that Nott is a goblin, begins to stare her down. Caleb steps in front of his little goblin friend.
Caleb: “I’m confused about why you’re going to such lengths to defend the rights of this large, oversized frog skull.”
Norda yells that she isn’t defending anyone. She says that she knows that these sorts of things don’t happen by a single person. Norda then adds that circus people protect one another, and there may be a conspiracy unknown to her. Caleb asks why someone would create a conspiracy to turn the crownsguard into the undead. She tells Caleb to sit down and demands that someone else begin to plead their case.
Mollymauk steps forward. He says that it’s true that the circus people protect one another. He admits that the circus performers assumed they were being framed until it was revealed that one of their own was the culprit. He throws done one of his swords, filthy with the blood of the devil toad.
Norda considers this. She asks why Yasha ran. Yasha responds that she just didn’t feel as though she should be there any more. Molly adds that they all thought they would be unfairly executed.
Nott draws attention to herself by urinating on the floor. She apologizes profusely, claiming it is the result of nervousness. However, she uses the opportunity to point out that her hands and Jester’s hands are also covered in the blood of the creature.
Norda leans forward and looks Nott in the eyes.
Norda: “I’ve known friends I grew up with who were carved down by your kin. Convince me why I shouldn’t hang you tomorrow.”
Nott nervously apologizes for her loss and asks where her people are from. When Norda names the place, Nott says it’s not where she’s from, so her clan had nothing to do with it.
Norda: “Maybe we’ll send some folks to pay a visit to your clan.”
Nott: “You can. Feel free. I’ll even tell you where they are. I’m no longer associated with them, and I can help you hunt them down if you’d like.”
Norda is not swayed by Nott’s offer. She asks Xenoth for his opinion on their story. He says that he is confused by Nott’s demeanor, but it’s not unheard of for goblins to turn against their own.
Norda demands that Gustav and Bo are brought forward. Gustav reiterates to her that the circus is his and his alone. He begs her to bring any negative judgement on only him.
Norda orders that the investigation is closed and everyone is free from the charges against them. However, she declares that Gustav has a debt of 2,645 gold pieces that he owes to the city and must work off. She says she will decide what his work will be tomorrow.
She tosses Caleb’s book back to him upon his request and hurries out of the room.
The guards remove everyone’s chains. However, two guards stay with Gustav. Beau quickly gathers her things and leaves.
As she exits the stockade, she sees a hooded figure standing outside the door. She tries to quickly pass by the mysterious figure, but the figure intervenes and steps in front of her. Their face is obscured by the hood.
Beau curses and flips off the figure as she goes back in.
Beau rejoins the group. They all welcome Yasha back before leaving the building.
Fjord asks Molly what will happen to the carnival. They all worry about the steep price of the debt, speculating that it will be a life sentence.
Gustav and Bo join them. Gustav thanks them for helping clear their names. He remains optimistic about his sentence, saying Trostinwald is a nice town. Better than prison, at least. They discuss acquiring the funds somehow, but Gustav insists that he will take care of it himself.
The group departs after agreeing to meet at The Nestle Nook Inn.
They crowd into several tables in the empty tavern. Fjord tells Yasha that, as a patron of the bar, she needs to surrender her sword, referencing when she stripped them of their weapons at the circus. Yasha laughs and tells him she thinks she can take him in a fight.
Gustav orders a round of drinks for everyone. Toya, who has arrived with the other performers, asks if they will no longer be a family. Orna and Bo tell her that the three of them will stick together. Desmond, however, says he will go off on his own.
Gustav apologizes for all the pain the recent events have caused everyone. They all assure him that it isn’t as bad as it seems.
They begin to discuss what to do with the tent. Jester suggests making a bunch of dresses with the fabric or perhaps making a hot air balloon. Nott says that they should open up a private investigator service in the tent, but Jester says that she wants to move on from the town. Gustav asks Bo if he’ll take the tent, and he agrees.
Caleb asks what everyone plans to do. Jester says she and Fjord are going to try to find out more about the Solstrice Academy. Beau says she’s doing a walking tour of the continent. Fjord asks if it’s a vacation. She says that it is, but he doesn’t believe her.
Gustav excuses himself for the night. Jester stops him before he leaves. She pulls off one of her rings and says it is an old family heirloom.
Jester: “I hope it can help you pay some of your debt.”
Gustav: “It looks just like the one I lost off my pinkie.”
Jester: “Oh, that’s so weird that you and my family have the same looking ones!”
He thanks her for the ring. He says goodbye to Yasha, Mollymauk, the rest of the performers, and the others.
The others depart for the night as well. Bo warns Fjord that it gets tougher for half-orcs up north.
Fjord, Beau, Caleb, Nott, Jester, Mollymauk, and Yasha remain at the table. Jester asks the group if they want to travel north with her and Fjord. The others ask what’s up north, but they aren’t able to describe it in much detail. Jester tells them that they should find a map in the morning.
Nott worries about traveling with Yasha, since she is fearful of the barbarian.
Yasha: “I thought you were Nott, the Brave?”
Nott: “Oh, there’s no comma. I’m just Nott the Brave.”
Beau asks how long ago Nott and Caleb broke out of prison. Caleb says it’s been about six months.
Caleb asks Molly if he’s comfortable leaving the circus. Molly says the days will be the days they’re going to have. He adds that he wants to keep off of certain radars.
Jester tells the others that she is going to wash her cloak. She loudly points out to Caleb that there is a place in the tavern where he can wash up.
Caleb asks if they have plans in the morning. They discuss traveling and shopping together.
They hear a familiar voice call out to Beau. Xenoth asks if they can speak in private. He promises that she will be returned later.
He leads her outside.
Caleb goes up to Yorda and asks if there is a bathhouse in the city. She tells him there is, but it’s pricey and not open this late. She gives him directions, but she again warns him that it is usually used by the upper class.
When Beau exits the tavern, another figure flanks her. It is the hooded figure from earlier. Xenoth informs her that they will be traveling to a nearby warehouse. Beau complains about how shifty the hooded figure looks, and the dark-skinned elven woman pulls back her hood over her shaved head. She walks ahead of Xenoth and Beau.
They walk northward towards the Baumbach Family Brewery. They gesture for her to enter through a side entrance. A single glowing lantern hangs from the ceiling. The door closes behind her. The female elf sets a chair in the middle of the room for Beau. She tells the woman that she prefers to stand.
The elf leans back onto a crate. Xenoth says that Beau has been a problem student though she has shown great promise. He reminds Beau that when she was taken into the archive at the behest of her family, she agreed to conform to their lifestyle. Beau rejects this, saying she didn’t agree to everything.
The woman says that Beau’s dislike for authority will keep her alive.
Beau: “Thank you, authoritative figure.”
The woman dismisses Xenoth from being Beau’s teacher. He begs the expositor to reconsider, but she stays firm in her decision. She says she sees much of herself in Beau, and she cannot be reached by Xenoth.
Xenoth exits through the warehouse doors. The expositor steps forward.
Beau: “That made me feel like an asshole.”
Expositor: “Maybe you are an asshole. But that’s all right because so am I.”
The woman introduces herself as Expositor Dairon. She tells Beau about the goals of The Cobalt Soul. Dairon says that they are the spies, hunters, and watchmen weeding out the wicked from society.
Beau: “I’m sorry. I just have this burn in my butt from all the smoke you just blew up my ass.”
Out of nowhere, Dairon’s fish connects with the side of Beau’s face. She stumbles onto the ground.
Dairon: “Are you listening now?”
Beau: “Do I have a choice?”
Dairon asks Beau what she wants to do now. Beau says she wants to punch her new teacher. Dairon tells her to do it.
Beau: “Now you have my attention.”
She punches Dairon in the face, but her teacher easily dodges it. She slaps Beau in the back of her head. They begin to fight, Dairon hitting Beau in response to almost every hit. Dairon shows immense control, though she makes it clear that she can overwhelm Beau easily. With each hit, Beau feels a burst of numbness. Her hand becomes totally numb.
Dairon compliments her ability. She tells Beau that brute strength is useful, but precision gives her an advantage. Beau attacks her once again.
As they fight, Beau sees Dairon assessing her weak points. Beau hunkers down into her stance. Dairon runs around her, leaping off the nearby crates, but Beau doesn’t let it distract her.
Dairon lands another blow that stuns Beau completely. Dairon walks over to her disoriented new student.
Dairon: “I can start you on this path. You can return to your wanderlust. Your allies. Our kind learns more in the world than in a library. Agree to my instruction–to use the skills I teach you as you return throughout your journeys–and one day, you too can become an expositor.”
As Beau regains her senses, she agrees to Dairon’s proposition. She admits that she has been beaten. Dairon says that Beau’s first lesson begins now. She beckons Xenoth to the middle of the room. Xenoth’s eyes go wide as he realizes he is about to become the lesson. Over the next hour, they beat up Xenoth during their lesson.
When they are finished, Dairon tells her to take what she has learned and use it to root out corruption.
Beau asks why Dairon is doing all of this for her. Dairon responds that it is because someone did it for her.
Beau makes her way back into the tavern and goes to sleep.
The next morning, Beau comes down to breakfast completely beaten up. She asks Jester to bandage up her wrist. She tells the others that she has joined a secret society. Molly tells her that if her friends beat her up, they aren’t really her friends.
Molly, Yasha, Jester, Fjord, and Beau leave the tavern to find a nap. Caleb and Nott go their own way. Nott suggests going to Natural Remedies to steal healing potions. However, Caleb brings them to Burnished Biblos first.
He greets Ogden, saying that the book was extremely useful. He offers to sell it back to Ogden for a single gold piece. He tells Ogden that he can still turn a profit that way and sell it again. Ogden agrees. Caleb thanks him for the knowledge the book has imparted on him.
Meanwhile, Nott wanders around the store looking for things to steal. She steals back her flask she left the other day.
They exit the shop and head to The Warm Dew Bathhouse. Caleb uses disguise self to appear like a wealthy, well dressed man with vomit down his front.
They enter the bathhouse. Marble busts line the entrance. A young human man greets them. Caleb tells him that a stranger vomited on him and he would like a bath with a partition for him and his daughter. He adds that his daughter (Nott) is very shy. The man charges them 8 silver.
They are led back to a private bath with a partition. It smells very clean with hints of lavender. Nott tells Caleb how nice it is. They are let into the room and left alone.
Caleb explains to Nott that they might not be able to have this experience again, so she should enjoy it. She worries that he won’t be the same Caleb when he’s done bathing.
When Nott goes to the other side, he disrobes and goes into the bath. He takes his book and begins to happily read.
On the other side, Nott gobbles up the cucumbers from the cucumber water and begins to steal everything in sight. She takes a vase and even the doorknob.
Back at the tavern, the others ask Yorda if she knows any cartographers in the area. She says there aren’t any in the city, but they can try some of the book stores or the general store. Jester asks her to draw a map to those places.
They head to the general store, even though their first meeting was not positive. When they enter, they are greeted by the owner who asks what they are looking for.
Jester asks for pickles, but the store carries none. They then, more seriously, ask for a map. The owner goes to the back to look for one. Jester begins to look around for ways to cause chaos.
Fjord: “Don’t. Put your hands in your pockets.”
Jester: “Don’t put my hands in my pockets. Got it.”
Jester immediately begins rearranging price tags and inventory while they are left alone.
When the owner returns, she says that she does not have a map of the local area, but she does have one of the Dwendalian Empire. They purchase it and another healer’s kit.
They exit the general store go to Natural Remedies.
When Caleb is finished with his bath, he goes over to Nott, who has only splashed a bit of water on her face. Nott happily sees that Caleb has not washed his face or hair, so he more or less looks the same. Caleb casts disguise self again and they head to Natural Remedies.
Jester, Fjord, Beau, Molly and Yasha arrive before Nott and Caleb. They enter, looking for healing potions. The shop owner looks like they have four potions. Molly starts trying to subtly ask the shop owner if he can sell them more illicit substances. He bring back a dried fungus that will help them “see the weave of time.” He offers to sell it at a gold “per experience.” Molly buys one. Several others buy one as well.
Fjord offers to buy a healing potion, but haggles the price down to 50 gold pieces instead of 75.
As they exit the shop, they run into Caleb and Nott. Jester asks Caleb why he doesn’t smell as bad. Caleb changes the subject, asking what they bought. Jester proclaims that they bought drugs and healing potions. She warns Caleb to not pay the full price of the healing potions.
Nott suggests that they simply rob the store. However, they cannot figure out an adequate plan. They agree to travel with the others instead.
They all huddle around the map of the empire, looking where to go next.
Nott goes over to Yasha and hands her the flowers she stole from the bathhouse.
Nott: “Maybe you won’t kill me now.”
Yasha: “I’m not going to kill you.”
Nott: “I know. I gave you the flowers. Girls like flowers.”
Jester: “I love flowers. Did you get any for me?”
Nott: “I didn’t because you’re less of a threat.”
Yasha takes out a book she has and presses the flowers in between the pages.
They decide to travel to Zadesh with one another at least for two weeks to see if they enjoy traveling together. They agree that they are all free to leave at any point. Yasha says she needs to stay in town longer, but she will meet up with them later.
Jester writes a letter to her mother.
Jester: “Dear Mom: All of the money is gone. I don’t know what happened, but I am very broke, and I need more. Please help me. I’m going to Zedash. That’s where you can send it. Just send to it to, like, the inn that is the biggest one, and I’ll find it there. Just address it to me. Your loving daughter, Jester. Please. Thank you. I need help. Thank you.”
Beau also talks to the courier. She asks for incoming mail for the Baumbachs, lying that she is there to retrieve it for the family. The courier hands her three small parcels.
Caleb walks over to Fjord. He mentions that the group is rough around the edges, but says that Fjord seems clever. Fjord commiserates with him about how he watches Jester and Beau like Caleb watches Nott.
After some coaching from Fjord, Nott orders the horse on the cart to move forward. They rush after it, heading northward.
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.