Critical Recap: Critical Role C2E101 (Mysteries, Memories, and Music)
Written by Dani on July 15, 2020
Hello! Welcome to Critical Recap! I’m Dani Carr, Production Coordinator and lore hunter. Let’s dive into our recap of Critical Role Episode 101 Mysteries, Memories, and Music!
Jester explains to the villagers of Vo that she and the Mighty Nein have heard wonderful things about the island and wanted to come here to have a festival for the Traveler. Viridian and Lukash aren’t super pleased about the idea, but they are open to discussing it with their third leader, Terra, when she returns from hunting. They offer hospitality and shelter to the Nein and explain a bit more about the island, calling it a ‘strange collection’ of odd landmarks and unusual beasts that have all amalgamated here at the so-called core of the world.
As they detail some of these locations, the Nein are especially intrigued by The Ruin, where sit structures that are unnatural to Exandria, and The Heavenfalls, a site of mystery – both are north of the volcano. Vokodo, the fire god, is described as both the mountain itself and the mountain’s projection. While the three leaders have no problem with the gathering, the Nein need Vokodo’s permission, and the must bring a precious item, either a gem or something on their person, to give as an offering.
The Nein try to ask specific questions about the people’s lives before Vo, but are met with a continual chorus of ‘I don’t know,’ even in regards to names of locations within Exandria. The leaders chalk up the memory loss to being a trade with the island – what they give up in order to partake of the island’s gifts. Most denizens of the island have special gifts, like Viridian’s druid abilities, and many of the children that are born inherit special talents as well.
THEORIES AND MYSTERIES
The Nein agree to stay for the night and offer to help prepare dinner and provide some entertainment. Lukash leads them to a home in a hollowed out tree trunk, where a dwarven family cheerfully vacates despite the Nein’s protests. Now alone, Jester declares it to be the perfect spot for Traveler Con, but the others are more worried about the potential memory loss and the creepy villagers. They reach out to Orly, as some villagers are coming down to see about the dragon turtle, and the tortle assures them that he and the crew are well hidden.
The Nein theorize about what could be causing the memory loss (modify memory gone wrong, choosing to forget, sacrificing memory as a ‘precious item’) and worry about the various dangers that the island presents (food, island layout, creepy villagers who might not let them leave). Few of the Nein believe that Vokodo is an actual god but are determined to meet him to see who or what he really is. The Traveler, too, is intrigued by another would-be deity.
As they take a short rest, they realize that their sense of being watched, that Presence that they have felt since entering the woods, has not abated for a moment. Fjord casts See Invisibility, but nothing appears. Beau climbs up the trunk of the tree, finding a chest and an old but utilized jeweler’s kit. Within the rusty chest, they find two silk outfits, a doll, and a silver pocket watch engraved with the initials ‘B.V.’ Jester fixes the watch with mending and Veth steals it, despite Fjord telling her to put it back in the chest. They wonder if the watch could be connected to Vandran, but Fjord never knew of any B in his name.
They go talk to the villagers, seeking whatever information they can find. Jester paints portraits, unable to find a villager with ‘B.V.’ initials, while Caduceus keeps an eye on the food, checking for strange ingredients. Beau gives bottle rockets to a child, creating a budding pyrotechnic, and Fjord helps Pono and Jaina prepare the displacer beast for the meal. When Terra and her hunting party arrive with two enormous, unusual lizard beasts, Jaina is upset and competitive, even referring to the group as ‘sons of bitches.’ They meet Terra, who is brusque and rough around the edges. Beau recognizes the lizard creature as a deinonychus, a beast from the time of the titans that was wiped out except in the far reaches of Exandria.
As the sun sets, the meal is served, and the Nein are seated with the three leaders of Vo. They decide to visit Vokodo with Viridian tomorrow, to ensure they can have Traveler Con here before exploring the rest of the island. North of the volcano intrigues them, but the leaders warn them that the area is mostly untraveled and volatile. Viridian explains that Heavenfalls, where water flows up to the sky, is especially dangerous, as it guards the ocean entrance to Vokodo’s lair and is not meant to be passed by any mortal soul.
The evening winds down and Yasha plays her harp for the crowd, performing a lovely, haunting melody that impresses her friends and herself. Upon returning to the treehouse, they pop up Caleb’s hut to talk in private. Even within the dome, that Presence has not abated and neither Eyes of the Grave nor Divine Sense picks up on anything. Jester casts commune, learning from the Traveler that Vokodo is definitely not a real god, that he’s somehow watching them from everywhere on the island, and that the island has some influence that is enticing people to stay. Before bed, Caduceus proposes a ritual of saying their names and some personal facts to ensure that they’re not forgetting anything important.
After low investigation rolls upon waking, Matt asks Jester, Yasha, and Caduceus to pick an item from their inventory – a bottle of hair oil, a blanket, and a tinderbox are respectively chosen. Yasha notices her blanket missing and finds it under one of the beds, despite having no idea how it got there and not having left the bubble in the night, as verified by Frumpkin. They ponder what items to give the volcano god – Veth has a small diamond and Beau has some gold rings, though she is worried about Vokodo wanting her beloved bracers, despite Viridian telling them that Vokodo is not greedy.
They meet with Viridian and she leads them into the jungle, which grows cold and dense and strangely metallic smelling. The Presence follows them, neither growing nor abating. Viridian points out various jungle dangers, but it is the pools containing a sticky substance that prove the most difficult to overcome. Caduceus especially has a hard time, getting stuck in these pools twice. A many mandibled creature tries to pull him down and eat him, but Yasha is able to free him both times. Unhappy, Caduceus allows a giant owl Caleb to carry him through the forest.
Jester, using her new Charm of Plant Command from Caduceus, asks the trees to move some limbs and foliage to help make their passage easier. As they travel, Beau notices the sounds of wildlife vanish as the temperature keeps dropping. Noticing that the colors are muted, the group realizes they have reached the Shaded Tangle, one of the strange locations that Viridian mentioned. Jester uses her charm again and the plants tell her that it has been like this for decades, a land devoid of light and life. She offers to help the trees as best she can.
Beau can hear the sound of sobbing in the distance, leading her to a tree trunk, where she can see eyes gleaming within. The sobbing ceases and she attempts to entice the creature out, pretending to sob as well. She calls for the others and Caduceus casts eyes of the grave, seeing something near Beau. She turns and stares into the face of a shrouded humanoid with sunken eyes whose mouth is a gaping, elongated void.
That is it for Episode 101 of Critical Role!
- Holy shit y’all, what is that creepy crying creature!!
- Sam’s assessment of Vo being the Bermuda Triangle meets Professor X is ringing all the bells.
- Yasha finally revealed her last name to be Nydoorin and that she too has never known her parents, so that’s just deeply upsetting.
- Is this the island Vandran referred to? Who is Viridian?? Either one could be ‘B.V.’
- “Help it’s again” is a solid 2020 mood, Caduceus, and I hope everyone can fight against the sadness of the swamps.
- Oh Mighty Nein.
Anyway, catch Episode 102 on Thursday, July 16th at 7p Pacific on twitch.tv/criticalrole or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday, yet?