Critical Recap: Critical Role C2E121 “Ice and Fire”

Written by on January 20, 2021

Hello! Welcome to Critical Recap! I’m Dani Carr, the Critical Role Lore Keeper. Let’s dive into our recap of Critical Role Episode 121 Ice and Fire!


The Mighty Nein are desperate to finish their long rest, but Lucien is not so accommodating. As they get ready to leave, Caleb tells the Nein that he can still Teleport them away in an emergency. It’s a gamble, but an option if they’re in imminent danger. They discover Dagen hiding under a pile of snow and he quietly tells them he will be following at a distance, as he wants the other half of his pay. Veth gets the Tombtakers’ names: Zoran the goliath, Otis the halfling, Tyffial the elf, Cree and Lucien. While talking to Lucien, Beau gets the sense that he needs the Nein in some way – they have a use to him.

The Nein and the Tombtakers begin their travel together. Veth talks to Otis, claiming to be happy to see a fellow halfling. Veth tells her she’ll have Otis’s back when things go down and gets a mild agreement from them in return. Eventually, they make it to the cliff that leads down to the lava river, stopping to camp for the night. The Nein take in the sight of the river, which flows from south to north, and test its magical properties – water, like rain, turns to steam, but snow and ice float on the lava without issue. They ask Lucien how he plans to cross it and he says he’ll show them in the morning.


During supper, Caleb brings up the Living City, asking Lucien for more details. Lucien explains that he and the others were members of the Claret Orders but later struck out together, forming the Tombtakers. Some time later, Lucien found a book that he couldn’t put down – it promised knowledge, a peek into something beyond. Lucien wonders what the Nein are truly doing here and Caleb explains that it’s a lot of coincidences they can’t ignore – Lucien being Molly, the entanglement with the Cerberus Assembly, their own visions of the Living City. They are curious about all these tangles of fate.

Lucien explains he was limited in his understanding of the journal. At first, he was only reading the book for fun, but then the dreams began. Something wanted his help, and with each dream, a different mind came to him, bestowing a new eye tattoo. The Somnovem showed him what the city was – the collection of minds becoming one under the eyes of nine. Vess was supposed to help him learn more but sabotaged the ritual. As opposed to placing his spirit whole into the Astral Sea, he was shattered into many pieces, a prison of thoughts and screaming voices, blown across the Astral Winds. Vess took the book for herself and attempted to take his path. But the Somnovem found him and put him back together.

Lucien recognizes that the Nein have also seen visions of the Living City. He thinks they have a part to play in all this somehow. The Nein have all received proper visions, whereas the Tombtakers have only received visions that Lucien has granted to them. Caleb offers to help with the book and Cad offers the gift of perspective. Lucien shoots down both offers but Caleb counteroffers with a trade – allow Beau and himself to look at the book and they’ll give him the crest. Lucien will consider this, if they prove trustworthy.


At the lava river, Beau & Yasha agree that it is too awkward to have their date right now, especially without access to Caleb’s tower. They’ll put a pin in their date, stay alive, and plan for the next time they’re in the tower. When they go back, Veth also grabs Yasha and takes her to the lava. She apologizes for their hang out falling through and gives Yasha a sweet and silly poem that she wrote. Yasha is touched – Veth wanted to make sure that someone out here told her she was special and hopes that Yasha always remembers that Veth was the first person to ever write her a poem.

While Caleb puts up the dome, Jester recalls the Claret Orders – a group of outsiders, warriors that deal with dark magic that either help fight against monsters or are the monsters themselves. Veth and Caleb take first watch and Caleb apologizes to Veth for convincing her to come back out here with them. Veth says she wanted to be here, but is still split between two families. They both feel guilty for the danger they’re in. None of the Nein function well on their own and they had to come together to feel whole. If they come out on the other side, it will likely mean goodbye – a prospect neither of them are ready for.

Jester and Yasha take the next watch. Yasha tells Jester about Beau asking her out and Jester tells Yasha about Fjord kissing her. They’re both very happy for each other, though Jester is surprised by how comfortable her feelings are, so unlike the books she’s read. Yasha promises her that real love is much better than the books. They watch Lucien watching them and express their hope to take the City down. Beau and Fjord take the third watch. Fjord tells Beau that he confessed his feelings to Jester and Beau tells Fjord that she asked out Yasha. Both were of the opinion that time is limited, so seize the day and act on your feelings. Beau in particular wants a fresh start with Yasha, after all the time spent fighting.


A clear day greets them in the early morning, so Cree casts a snow storm from a scroll. The snow gathers on top of the lava river, coating it enough to let them walk across. They get about halfway across when Zoran trips, alerting several fire elementals to their presence. When the Nein attempt to polymorph and carry their party over, Lucien dispels their forms, forcing them to stay with the Tombtakers. They run across the snow bridge, jumping across dangerous lava paths. Both Yasha and Cad struggle with the lava leaps, so Caleb and Jester polymorph themselves again into birds, helping the injured over the fiery gaps.

While Beau tries to use her monk speed to distract the fire elementals from the party, eagle!Jester attempts to use her claws to break the strap of Zoran’s bag (which carries the Tombtakers’ threshold crest) – though she is successful, he maintains his grip on the bag, unaware of the attempted sabotage. Veth attempts to cast phantasmal force on Otis, who notices the botched incantation. Eventually, they all reach the other side, forced to work together to make it across safely.

Lucien apologizes for negating their polymorph but he does not like being abandoned. Jester says that he could have just included them from the beginning and they could have flown across together. They continue traveling, but the day brings a heavy ice fog and low visibility. They get lost, adding a day to their journey. Lucien is irritated that he has been forced to show limitations to his abilities and his frustration is egged on by Beau.


They find a place to rest and Caleb decides to set up the tower away from the Tombtakers. Inside, the Nein discuss what to do with the crest and come up with the idea to teleport it to Nicodranas and tell Allura Vysoren where it is. Before they can enact this plan, Lucien knocks on the door. Caleb explains that the tower is his home and that there is only room for them. Lucien dispels the tower, forcing the Nein outside. He claims he was just curious, but the tower makes him uncomfortable and trust must be earned. It is clear that Lucien’s patience is thinning.

Caleb tells Lucien that while they may not like each other, they are working towards the same thing. Tomorrow the Tombtakers may stay in the tower, but only if they work together. The Nein have been held captive for several nights now and it was Lucien who started this off poorly. Lucien balks at holding them captive but Beau points out that he has dispelled everything they have used to protect themselves. They can’t just leave – he’s too powerful. Lucien claims he is just being careful, having an inherent distrust of spellcasters.

Caleb gives Lucien an offer – show him and Beau the book tomorrow, share some knowledge, then sleep in a warm bed. Lucien will consider it. Beau pushes and Lucien snaps at her – the monk is on his last nerve. Jester offers Lucien a tarot card reading, which he happily accepts. His first card is his past – History and the Dream. The second is his present – The Tyrant. The third is his future – Death. Or rebirth: something must end for something new to begin. Lucien is clearly affected by the cards, returning to the Tombtakers in contemplative silence.

That is it for Episode 121 of Critical Role!


  • Lucien doesn’t sleep but can still dream, which isn’t creepy at all, thanks.
  • That tarot spread is WILD. What pulls! What could they mean to Lucien? Does he expect to sacrifice himself to bring the Somnovem back?
  • How long can an “alliance” of this nature last before one or both parties escalate things? It’s been two days!
  • Oh Mighty Nein.

Anyway, catch Episode 122 on Thursday, January 21st at 7pm Pacific on or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday, yet?

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