Critical Recap: Critical Role C2E110 (Dinner with the Devil)
Written by Dani on September 23, 2020
Hello! Welcome to Critical Recap! I’m Dani Carr, the Critical Role Lore Keeper. Let’s dive into our recap of Critical Role Episode 110 Dinner with the Devil!
The Mighty Nein discuss Caleb’s letter and the dinner invitation from Trent, asking if he wants to attend and confront his former teacher and torturer. Caleb says yes – he doesn’t know why Trent wants to see his “failed experiment” but Caleb has to see Astrid and Eodwulf to know if they are redeemable in any way. Beau wonders if this is about something bigger and they plan for this to all be a trap. It becomes clear to Caleb how much his story is held in bits and pieces by the others, so he takes them to a small, shabby inn and confesses the tightly held secret of his past – that he was manipulated into killing his mother and father.
The group, especially Jester, comforts him and he apologizes for lying. Caleb has come back to the Empire in the hopes of atoning – he doesn’t want anyone to see what he has seen ever again. Beau asks if he thinks Astrid and Eodwulf are worth saving – he has to try. He himself never wavered until the final act and he speaks on how comforting it was to know his place and to be serving the Empire, the greater good. But it was the people who failed him, not the other way around. Beau thinks that his core beliefs of helping the greater good, whether it’s the Empire or not, is what led him to the Nein and led him here.
They discuss more about his former friends, learning that the three of them were Trent’s proteges and that all three came from humble backgrounds. Eodwulf was capable and strong, Astrid was ambitious, Caleb was incredibly gifted. The eventual goal is to stop Trent’s experiments and protect the future children of the Empire from him, either through exposure or disposal. First, they have to figure out what the Cerberus Assembly knows about his actions. They wonder how deep the corruption in the Empire runs, whether the poison has tainted the whole of the government and whether it’s a case of cure or removal.
PREPPING FOR THE NORTH
No matter what, tomorrow is the first step, and Jester messages Trent to accept the invitation. Caleb’s first time casting teleport sees them successfully return to the Lavish Chateau in Nicodranas. Jester is reunited with Nugget the dog and the Nein barge in on Veth cooking dinner with her family. They share an evening with the Brenattos, telling tales to Luc about their adventures and filling Veth in on everything with Trent. Caduceus and Jester cast word of recall on the Wildmother’s lighthouse and Jester’s childhood bedroom, to give them both anchors to Nicodranas in an emergency situation.
After a delightful breakfast buffet, they return to Rexxentrum via the teleportation circle. Everyone scatters to commission very specific winter clothing from the local tailors, paying premium prices for the week turnaround requests. Beau spends time in the library, researching Aeor and Foren. She learns much about Foren’s geography and weather, as well as the strange pockets of wild magic along the land. As strange relics from the area began to be traded south, the Empire’s interest became piqued. They set up Balin Post to take part in the central excavation, where it is believed that the main portion of the city of Aeor exists within.
As for Aeor itself, it was a magocracy, and one of the most powerful of the pre-Calamity arcane societies. The massive city was populated by people who believed that the gift of magic to mortals was both a challenge by the gods to show them that mortals could surpass their creators by acquiring the power to destroy them. However, most of the Assembly’s knowledge is hearsay from other cities, as there were no survivors of the fall of Aeor. Beau is visited by Yudala, whose archivists have done a sweep of the libraries and have uncovered no information on the Eyes of Nine.
DINING WITH THE ENEMY
Donning their fancy formalwear (and a few choice pieces of armor), the Nein arrive at Trent’s home in the Candles. An intimidating elevator foyer leads to the dining hall, where Astrid, Eodwulf, and Trent are waiting. Trent welcomes them and invites them to sit and the Nein arrange themselves strategically at the dining table. Trent asks about the nature of their mission with Vess, but they refuse to divulge any information, though he assumes a tomb raiding excavation in Shattengrod.
As they speak with Trent about his advisory role to the king, Caduceus comments on Trent’s ability to doublespeak, answering their questions without answering them. When Astrid tells Caleb how much they’ve missed him, Veth asks if this dinner is about inviting Caleb back into the fold. Trent simply wanted to express his pleasure with Caleb’s work, taking credit for Caleb’s success and claiming that the pain that Trent put him through is what made him who he is. Trent reveals that Caleb’s escape from the sanatorium was orchestrated by him and claims that he did what he did out of love, to show him what he was capable of, and to honor his parents’ wishes to uphold the Empire’s glory.
Caleb needs clarification on this long con that made him he loath his teacher. Trent tells him that the plan wasn’t to use him, but to give him trauma to overcome and pain to build him. The sacrifice of his parents, humble people from nothing, was worth it in Trent’s eyes. Caleb tries to inspire dissent in his former friends, seeing a glimmer of the Astrid during their discussions. He asks how Trent would feel if Caleb were to one day kill and supplant him, but this seems to be exactly what Trent wants. Caleb was under the impression that Astrid was being groomed as his replacement, but this is a touchy subject with Astrid. Trent is aware that he is surrounded by people plotting his demise.
Caleb makes it clear that he wants an end to bloodshed but Trent warns him that not everyone in the Empire shares that wish. Other questions are met with his same brand of doublespeak until Caleb asks what would happen if he just chose to walk away. Trent tells him that’s fully his choice…but he knows that Caleb won’t leave this life. As Trent gets up to leave for the evening, Caduceus stops him. He tells Trent that while he is incredibly powerful, he’s a fool. Pain does not make people – love does. Love is what saves them, but Trent has no love around him and therefore cannot understand that. Caduceus only wishes that Trent is one day able to find someone who will mourn him when he is gone.
MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS
Trent disappears as the others reel from Caduceus’s verbal take-down. Jester and Caleb invite Astrid and Eodwulf out for a drink, but only manage to convince them to walk the group outside. Caleb has some bonding with his former friends, trying to convince them to come with him but without success. Eodwulf thinks that the Matron of Ravens keeps bringing them together, while Astrid asks him if he was serious about taking Trent’s place. When Caleb confirms, she tells him she will “race (him) to the top.”
The Nein head to a bar and discuss how much it sucks to have manipulative jerks taking credit for their accomplishments. Caduceus thinks Trent has set up his own destruction and Jester brings up the possibility of resurrecting Caleb’s parents, but he doesn’t have their bodies. Caleb is unnerved by Trent’s plan – he feels trapped, that whatever he does is part of a bigger scheme. Beau brings up Trent’s comment on tomb raids in Shattengrod, linking it to Molly/Nonagon’s former cult, the Tomb Takers, and the group discusses a few theories.
Jester casts Sending on Cree, hoping to set up a meeting, but her mention of Nonagon has Cree tight-lipped and she refuses to respond to other messages. They decide to go to Zadash tomorrow to see the Gentleman and figure out if they can find her and question her about Molly. Seeking rest, Caleb takes them to an inn and casts an elaborate spell that he’s been working on for ages. A magical, amber doorway appears and Caleb welcomes them home.
That is it for Episode 110 of Critical Role!
- I could write an entire essay about all the ways that Trent sucks, but I think I can distill it down to: WOW FUCK HIM.
- Everyone had incredible takedowns for the group of Evil Wizards but I think Caduceus’s thorough dressing down of Trent will stand the test of time.
- Eodwulf and Astrid showed everyone their residuum tattoos and I can’t stop thinking of what this might do for them! Can they cast spells without needing materials?
- I am so proud of all the conspiracy theories. We’re on the cusp of something BIG!
- Oh Mighty Nein.
Anyway, catch Episode 111 on Thursday, September 24th at 7pm Pacific on twitch.tv/criticalrole, or a week later on our podcast! Is it Thursday, yet?