Critical Recap: Critical Role C2E102 (Ghosts, Dinosaurs, and Stuff)
Written by Dani on July 22, 2020
Hello! Welcome to Critical Recap! I’m Dani Carr, Production Coordinator and Sprinkle Cheerleader. Let’s dive into our recap of Critical Role Episode 102 Ghosts, Dinosaurs, and Stuff!
The Mighty Nein launch directly into battle with the undead specter, which drops Beau to 0 hit points immediately after she stares at its horrifying face. Will o’wisps join the fray as Fjord and Yasha use their healing abilities to restore Beau back to consciousness. Veth uses a new spell, called Brenatto’s Voltaic Bolt, which imbues a crossbow bolt with lightning damage. The will o’wisps are no match for Jester’s destroy undead, while a combination of a hasted Beau’s fists of fury and a hex-casting Fjord’s Star Razor destroy the specter.
Viridian, who aided in the fight, has heard of this specter before. It’s usually sighted near the Ruin and she has no idea why it traveled this far south. Returning to the path, Yasha carries a still-recovering Beau while Jester draws them in her sketchbook. Eventually, they make their way out of the Shaded Tangle into a more correctly tropical jungle, though bothered by bugs. While taking a short rest, Fjord talks to Jester about possibly curing Viridian of her memory loss the same way he cured Jester earlier of a disease caused by the bugs. Jester is more focused on the fact that the Traveler’s abilities are very similar to Viridian’s and wonders if he’s just a powerful druid. Fjord speaks up about his own worry for Jester’s well-being and the Traveler’s contradictory ideas on godhood.
Turning to Caduceus, Fjord explains his idea about the memory loss, so the cleric casts commune, confirming with the Wildmother that Vokodo is the Presence that is still watching them, that Vokodo/the mountain is the source of whatever is robbing people of their memories, and that Caduceus has the capability to cure the memory loss through his powers. Yasha tends to Beau’s injuries as everyone discusses whether the island could be alive in some way.
As the short rest winds down, the party hears the distant sound of wood cracking and heavy footfalls getting closer. Caleb casts major illusion, hiding the party from view in magical foliage. A draegloth, a being of drow and demonic blood that exclusively live in the underdark, comes running into the clearing. It is pursued by a tyrannosaurus rex, which eats the draegloth in one bite. Between Caleb’s illusion and Caduceus casting thaumaturgy as distraction, the Nein narrowly avoid an encounter with the terrifying dinosaur.
The Nein reach the mountain as dusk hits, locating the cave opening. Fjord attempts lay on hands, but Viridian still remembers nothing, so he passes off the spell as friendly healing. They enter the cavern and wind down, passing orange torchblooms – dangerous flowers from the fire plane. As they wind, the toxic air requires them to hold their breath. They arrive at a luminous pool, swimming beneath its surface and breathing in the magical water. Jester, Veth, and Yasha feel a strange, intense curiosity that propels them forward. When they all find themselves in a gargantuan underwater room, that driving curiosity fades. Yasha asks how Viridian originally found this place and she explains that Vokodo calls them here.
Viridian then calls out to Vokodo, telling him she has come with new friends. The group feels a presence in their minds, not speaking a language but creating words out of a jumble of images and sensations. Vokodo “speaks,” referring to this place as the center of the world. Viridian explains that they seek a favor. Opening with presents, Veth offers her tiny diamond. When she throws it through the water, the shadows on the ceiling shift and the diamond disappears. Beau gives two gold rings and a shadowy tendril snatches the rings from her hand. Fjord throws 10 gold to the ceiling, where the coins are caught by these same dark tendrils.
After 10 gold from Caduceus and a gold ring from Caleb, Vokodo tells them they have earned a discussion. Jester explains Traveler Con, saying that she has a god who thought it would be fun to get together with Vokodo and have a big party at his island. Vokodo has not heard of the Traveler but states that all are welcome here. He cares less about the party and more about the ‘shinies’ the party wears. Vokodo lowers from the ceiling, revealing himself to be a massive creature made of dark flesh and tentacles, with a fiery center. Across his back sits a horde of treasure – chests and coins and gems and objects that adorn him like a cape. He calls himself both the lord of the island and the lord of Exandria and demands that they offer their shinies.
Viridian can tell that Vokodo is displeased with what they have offered thus far, but the others are reluctant to give more. Platinum is handed over as they say they can offer more once the Traveler’s followers arrive. Their small offerings are taken but are not substantial enough until Fjord offers Star Razor – the sword is accepted, but only the half-orc is cleared. The others scramble to pick something precious while the water grows warm with his frustration. Jester offers some elven chainmail, which is accepted. Caleb gives his amulet of protection and Vokodo accepts it, recognizing it as a precious item to Caleb.
Beau offers her bag of suude, something that Beau does hold very precious, and she convinces Vokodo to accept the bag of wondrous drugs. Caduceus, leaning into the items being precious to them, offers the original shield made by his sister, but Vokodo rejects the shield and grows greedier. He then gives over the Periapt of Wound Closure, which is accepted. Yasha offers the Skingorger blade, which is accepted, but she explicitly states that she would like it back eventually. Veth struggles with her items, offering many things that Vokodo does not fully accept (like her flask,) until she hands over the Dagger of Denial.
Finally sated, Vokodo calls these ‘initial gifts’ sufficient and wants them to bring the Traveler’s followers to him, along with more items of their own. The Nein leave his cavern and Viridian calls them stingy. They question what exactly Vokodo does for her and the villagers. She claims that Vokodo keeps the dangers at bay but the Nein disagree. They offer evidence that Vokodo isn’t actually helpful, but Viridian thinks that the villagers haven’t been able to provide enough to keep him happy, despite giving all their possessions and mining from the island itself.
Jester and Viridian argue, with Jester pointing out that gods don’t ‘need’ things while Viridian says that every temple has offerings. Jester says people want to honor their gods with gifts, not because their gods demand and threaten. Viridian states that, in exchange for the gifts, the island provides food and shelter. They have dreams of the horrors they would endure if the fire god didn’t protect them. Jester argues that mining from the island is just mining pieces of Vokodo itself to give to him. Viridan, frustrated, says they don’t question Vokodo.
They finally make it out of the mountain and into the night air. Caleb pops up the dome and Viridian asks to join the dome’s safety. Caduceus explains that they have a ritual they do that they’d like her to join. Despite her hesitation, Caduceus casts greater restoration on Viridian. Her memories return and, in shock, she apologizes to the Nein, telling them they must stop what ‘this thing’ is doing. They pepper her with questions and learn that Viridian has been here for 25 years, that she is from Tal’dorei, and that her name is not Viridian – it’s Vilya.
That is it for Episode 102 of Critical Role!
- Holy shit y’all! It’s VILYA! (Major spoilers for Campaign 1 in that link!)
- Vokodo is a deeply creepy eldritch being of some kind and I, for one, am not a fan. They gave him so much good stuff!!
- Rumblecusp keeps going after Caduceus, who struggled with the toxic air, and I demand that the island lay off my sweet nature boy.
- How do you fight a monster that watches your every move, communicates via Telepathy, and lurks in an underwater cavern that it can boil with a thought?
- Oh Mighty Nein.
Anyway, catch Episode 103 on Thursday, July 23rd at 7pm Pacific on twitch.tv/criticalrole, or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday, yet?