Spoilers for Critical Role Campaign 2 Episode 10 (obviously). Check out the recap for Campaign 2 Episode 9 here.
Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
The Mighty Nein explore the sewers of Zadash.
The Mighty Nein traveled to Zadash to seek opportunities. In the city, they faced some drawbacks. They found that their achievements in Alfield had been attributed to the empire, and they discovered the militant enforcement of the laws of the empire. However, they also found their friend, Yasha, and wondered if anonymity was perhaps better for all of them. After a short amount of time, they received a job searching through the sewers for something killing guards who wander below.
Caleb and Jester enter The Leaky Tap. Fjord and Beau ask Jester what her mother has sent. Jester sadly says she received nothing, but quickly changes the subject to her meeting with The Traveler.
She tells the others all about The Traveler, saying that it’s probably all right for her to worship him openly since he isn’t very well known. Fjord asks if The Traveler will ever introduce himself, and Jester calls out to The Traveler, telling him he can appear if he wants.
Fjord looks around the room, but no one appears.
Still, this doesn’t deter Jester, who assures the others that The Traveler is still with them. She goes on to tell them how handsome The Traveler is, even though she has never actually seen his face.
The others ask Yasha about the one she worships. She says that he does not appear to her, but she still has faith. Jester suggests trying to commune with him in a quiet place.
Jester asks how long it took them to travel from Port Demali to the southern edge of the empire. He tells her it took about two weeks. She thinks for a moment, and she announces that her mother probably did not even receive the letter yet. The others agree that this is probably correct.
In any case, Jester tells the others that she has a room in The Pillow Trove for the night. However, it was difficult to get in at all. Caleb was rejected for being too shabby. Caleb says that he has been thinking of getting a new cloak anyway. The others try to talk him into also getting an entirely new set of clothes, but Caleb wants to stick with just the cloak.
Nott changes the subject to their recently acquired job. Molly says that they will throw a party in Jester’s fancy room at The Pillow Trove after exploring the sewers.
Jester shows the group her key from The Pillow Trove. They see if they can replicate it to gain entrance to the Tri-Spire, but the key in intricately designed. They try to think of other ways to get through to The Pillow Trove.
Beau: “Caleb, why are you so hung up on changing clothes for 10 minutes just to get through the door?”
Caleb: “It seems like you are hung up on it.”
Caleb holds his ground, insisting that all he wants is a cloak.
They leave The Leaky Tap, ready to run errands and start their mission.
Caleb stops in a clothing shop and buys a plain brown cloak. Nott asks for some earmuffs to protect her large ears against the cold as well. Caleb buys some for her as well as another small cloak before leaving.
They approach an intersection in the road. Jester tells the others that they are about two blocks away from the Tri-Spire. Two crownsguard are stationed in the area, and the group sees the entrance to the sewer.
One the crownsguard approaches. Beau states their business and asks the guard if he’s heard any rumors. The crownsguard begins to stammer, clearly frightened by whatever is in the sewers. Beau keeps pushing on him, but the guard doesn’t know anything that the group doesn’t already know.
Fjord: “When people ask you ‘who were those brave souls that entered into the sewers,’ you tell them The Mighty Nein.”
The guard wishes them luck and tells them to yell if they need anything.
They descend into the sewers. Yasha enters first. She lights her torch and quickly scans the area around her, finding nothing. The others quickly follow down, and the entrance is closed above them by the guards.
As they travel through the tunnels, they begin to wonder if they’re going the right way. Nott begins to look around and sees some of the waste left behind by the creatures.
They realize that the water is carrying the waste away from them. If they travel towards the source, they may find more clues. They begin to ascend, and they guess that they are under the Tri-Spire.
They reach a t-intersection. On the right-hand side, Jester spots some webbing. As they head down the tunnel to the right, they hear scratching sounds. They all begin to prepare for an incoming attack. Beau sees a pile of refuse begin to move. She tosses a ball bearing at it. It begins to move more, and she sees matted fur across the creature. The creature opens its mouth and they see horrible fangs. Other creatures emerge from nearby and begin to converge on The Mighty Nein.
Fjord sees two rats approaching Caleb. He quickly steps in front of the wizard. A rat bites into his armor, but explodes into ice when its teeth sinks into the magical protection. He swings his falchion, killing the other rat. Noxious fumes emerge from the rat corpse, but Fjord manages to hold his breath.
Nott runs past and fires a bolt at the rats, successfully hitting one. The same fumes come out of this rat as well. The fumes overtake Beau and Yash, and they cough and sputter as the poison burns their lungs.
Pushing through the pain from the poison, Beau swings her quarterstaff at a nearby rat. It hits and the rat is slammed into the wall. Some of the gas begins to leak out of its body, but it doesn’t explode into the air like the others. Beau kicks another rat.
Yasha, seeing that blunt force doesn’t make the creatures explode, punches another rat.
The remaining rats swarm on the group and attack. Several jump on Yasha and begin to bite her.
Jester runs up to the rat that attacked Yasha. She swings her handaxe at the rat and kills it. The fumes rise up from the rat. Caleb and Jester cough from the poison.
Molly turns around and punches a rat with the hilt of his sword. He swings again and hits the rat once more.
Nott, who doesn’t see why everyone is coughing so much, kills the last rat with her crossbow bolt. Beau breathes in the poison once more and begins to cough.
With the last rat killed, Beau examines the remains of one of the rats. She sees that most of the body is simply made of refuse. On the inside, she sees decaying and infected rat organs. The rat was not undead, but it would not have lived much longer anyway.
As they continue on, they discover a large web with a large knott of webbing in one corner. Jester looks closer to see if something inside it is moving. She finds that it is completely still.
Looking past it, Fjord sees two other larger clusters of webbing.
Caleb suggests sending in an unseen servant to examine everything more closely. Jester suggests poking the knots of web. If they wiggle, they will know whatever inside is still alive.
Caleb summons his unseen servant. He sends it over to the knots, where the servant pokes at the masses. A pair of bracers fall. The unseen servant brings them back to Caleb. Caleb slowly begins to set the webs on fire.
Both of the dead bodies are freed from the web. Their cheeks are sunken and the bodies are decayed. Fjord looks on the bodies for any puncture marks. He finds one on each body.
Jester begins to carve through the web. However, her handaxe gets caught in the webs. Molly carves her axe out of the webs and Caleb burns the remaining web on the axe. As they break through, they see light from the setting sun in an exit above them. Along the walls, they see more figures confined to web knots.
Jester walks closer to the bodies on the wall. She notice that one body is less webbed than the others that also seems to be alive.
Jester quietly notifies the others of the body. She also says that she’s worrying about venturing further, as her feet are beginning to stick to the ground.
Beau sneaks ahead, looking at the halfling. She notices that the halfling has a band of tattoos around their neck. The unseen servant tries to slap the halfing awake on Caleb’s instruction.
A sense creeps over Nott and Fjord. They look behind them, and see a massive pale white and blue arachnid creature.
The creature bites into Fjord. However, Fjord’s armor deals cold damage back to the creature. Then, the armor disappears. He feels venom pulse into his body, but he resists the poison.
The creature then disappears.
Nott screams as loud as she can.
Jester casts spiritual weapon. A giant lollipop appears. She casts sacred flame on the area where the spider last appeared.
Caleb backs up towards a box and climbs into it. He casts blur on himself and calls his unseen servant over to him.
Fjord casts eldritch blast at the place where the spider once was. It slams into the wall. The spider appears on the other side of Fjord and lunges out to him again. Th fangs dig into him and a burst of venom courses through his body. He starts to lose consciousness, but he summons his last bit of strength to remain awake.
Despite the webs, Beau manages to leap over towards the spider. She doesn’t manage to reach the arachnid, so she sinks into a defensive pose.
Yasha goes into a rage. She drops her torch and pulls out her sword. She swings between its eyes. With a large arc, she swings her sword down and cleaves through its head, destroying two of its eyes. However, it remains standing.
Nott: “I think this is the monster!”
As it opens its mouth, Nott fires a bolt, and it goes straight through its throat. Nott runs over and hides behind the webbed halfling.
Jester sends her spiritual weapon over to the arachnid. She casts sacred flame on the monster. It slams into the creature.
Caleb crawls out of his box. He casts firebolt, but misses the creature.
Fjord casts hex blade’s curse on the spider. With his glove of blasting, he fires three shots of scorching ray. The first two go wide, but the third finds its mark.
The spider turns its gaze on Yasha. Molly immediately casts a blood maledict on the creature. The creature bites into her, and she feels the venom pulse through her veins. However, in her rage, she manages to shrug it off. The creature then vanishes.
Yasha lifts her hand to her chest, and a glow emanates from her. She heals slightly.
Jester rushes over to Fjord. She casts cure wounds on him.
Jester turns around just in time to see the spider reappear and then scurry up the wall.
Beau runs over to the creature, but it is on the wall above her. She leaps into the air, thrusting her staff upward. It screeches at the impact.
Molly uses vicious mockery on the arachnid. He screeches out in infernal. The arachnid, distracted by the words, falls from the ceiling. The magical effects of the words still pierce its body, and its legs curl inward.
Molly binds the spider up for transportation. Jester grabs the torch Yasha dropped and goes over to examine the halfling. Caleb begins to go through the other corpses. After a moment the halfling wakes up. Jester informs him that his saviors have come.
Nott: “You’re safe now.”
The halfling begins to panic. Caleb starts to burn the corpses. In halfling, Nott tries to reassure him as she cuts him free.
He tells them that he’s an ale hand, which is why he was in the sewers. He promises them a key to the surface if they cut him free. Beau stops them and asks his name. He tells them that it’s Thed. Nott continues to cut him out. Jester looks through his pockets before he’s freed, but she finds no key.
Once he’s freed, he looks over and points in horror to a quivering sac of web. Jester casts sacred flame as the other toss weapons at the sac of eggs. Baby spiders rush out of the sides, and scatter, though they are all killed almost instantly from the flames.
After the dust settles, Beau turns to the halfling and asks who The Gentleman is. Thed tells her that he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. In Theive’s Cant, Nott tells Thed that he can trust them. In response, he asks if he can trust all of them.
Switching to common, he says that he can only reveal that there is a place in which they can inquire.
Thed: “There’s a dive not five blocks from here called The Evening Nip. Don’t say his name. Just walk up to the old man behind the counter, mention you’d like a drink and, while you have no coin, you’d be willing to offer ‘many gifts.'”
He bids them farewell, and then rushes away from them further into the tunnels.
Jester suggests calling up to the surface and showing the guards the writ.
Caleb calls Jester over to him. He tells her he doesn’t feel well and pulls her into a more private area of the sewers. When they are alone, he offers her the gold he found before. He tells her that she needs it and, at the very least, she’s stronger than him. Jester thanks him and also apologizes. He tells her that he has just had a bad day, and he apologizes as well.
When they reconvene, Yasha and Jester lift the spider and begin to climb up to the surface. Nott climbs up first and begins to yell.
Nott: “HELLO. WE’RE STUCK DOWN HERE AND WE WANT TO COME UP. LET US OUT OF THE SEWERS.”
Looking up, she sees that they are in a dark alleyway leading to a fine cobblestone streets. No one seems to be around to hear them. She picks the lock.
One by one, they all emerge from the sewers, forcing the spider through the narrow entrance.
Jester recognizes this area immediately as the Tri-Spire district.
They decide that the risk is too high to try and use their writ to stay in the Tri-Spire longer than they have to. Instead, Caleb and Nott disguise themselves as best they can before the group goes to leave the district.
Along the way, they are stopped by two guards who ask their business. Jester explains that they are staying at The Pillow Trove and shows them the writ. The guards accept this and escort them out of the opening gate.
When they leave the Tri-Spire, they head straight for the hall where they first received the job. Upon arrival, the only guard to have survived the encounter with the monster is sent to verify that The Mighty Nein did in face defeat the correct beast. The guard confirms it, and they are paid their gold.
Suddenly, the Lawmaster, a human woman in her early 60s, emerges. She introduces herself as Lawmaster Orentha and extends her thanks to the group. She shuffles back into the hallway and goes back to bed.
Nott wonders why those people wanted to rebel against her, since she seemed nice. Beau explains that she still a part of an oppressive system.
As they leave, Caleb pulls Fjord aside. He tells Fjord that he would like to make a trade. Caleb pulls out a set of armor he found while looting the corpses in the sewers. The armor would allow Fjord to move freely through rivers and lakes and otherwise keep him safe in water. In exchange, he asks for the glove. Fjord asks if he can also add why Caleb has such an adverse reaction to fire.
Caleb says he has hurt people, though not in a long time. He gives a vague answer.
Caleb: “Ask me again in a couple of days. I will prepare an answer that is better than this. I promise.”
Fjord agrees and thanks Caleb for the armor.
While Fjord is cleaning up, Nott sneaks into Fjord and Molly’s room. However, she does not notice Molly as she begins to search for the letter from the academy in his bag. When Molly makes his appearance known, Nott yelps in surprise and lies that she was only searching for liquor.
Molly holds up a folded piece of paper and asks Nott if that is what she was looking for. Nott eagerly asks what he wants for it. He says he wants something. When Nott offers a gold piece, he declines, saying he wants something. Nott offers two gold pieces, but is declined again. She begins to search through her pockets for what she has. She hands him a vial of acid and trades it for what she thinks is the letter.
When she receives it, she opens it to find that it is merely a blank piece of paper. Molly hands her the vial of acid back.
Molly reminds her to only steal from grumpy people.
He exits the room and on the way downstairs warns Fjord that Nott is going through his stuff. He rushes back into the room wearing just a towel.
Eventually, they all meet downstairs fully dressed and bathed. About two tables away, Fjord and Beau see Ulag sitting and drinking. He walks over to the group. He asks for a moment of their time.
He leads Beau and Fjord into the cellar once more. He says that he’s been watching them. He says that they are a curious lot and much larger of a group than attended the meeting. He asks if they have revealed to the others what was discussed at the meeting. Beau says they have not.
He asks about their skill sets. Fjord says he’s handy at sea. Beau says that she’s talented with her bow.
He reveals that they are moving on something larger soon. He’s willing to provide pay, as few of the Knights of Zadash are useful fighters.
Ulag: “You don’t have to answer now, but tomorrow at midnight, me and a few others from the group–the decision makers–are meeting back down here. If you’re in, bring your friends.”
Fjord says the details of the plan will dictate their involvement.
Beau asks why they are planning to move soon. He simply says that there’s a shift coming.
Beau and Fjord head back upstairs just in time to hear the end of one of Jester’s stories about her mother’s clients.
They explain to the other what Ulag offered them. Fjord says it may be worth taking if the money is right and the plan isn’t stupid.
Caleb: “‘If the money’s right and it’s not stupid’ is a good philosophy for this group.”
Jester asks who will keep watch in case it’s a trap. They decide that Fjord and Beau will meet in the cellar while everyone else keeps watch.
They wonder how they will get to Jester’s room. They walk over to the Tri-Spire. Once again, Jester is the only one let in. They decide to instead go scout out The Evening Nip.
They come across a rough-looking dive bar. A bouncer stares them down as they enter. Oddly enough, it’s very quiet. The bar smells of dried beer and rotted wood. Two patrons sit in booths, both drinking alone. The bartender looks at them and asks if they need anything.
Beau asks for a round of beers. They explain that they recently killed a giant spider, and they are looking to celebrate. After Fjord asks, the bartender introduces himself as Clive Binns.
As they speak, Clive’s eyes remain fixed on Fjord. Beau asks why, and he explains that he doesn’t get many of Fjord’s type in the bar.
They notice that one of the other patrons has the same tattoos as Thed.
They finish the beers and leave.
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!