Critical Recap: Critical Role C2E91 (Stone to Clay)
Written by Dani on January 22, 2020
Hello! Welcome to the written Critical Recap! I’m Dani Carr, Production Coordinator and Worshiper of Ioun. Let’s dive into our recap of Critical Role Episode 91 Stone to Clay!
AN UNEXPECTED GUEST
Recovering from the “concert” earlier, the Mighty Nein discuss their goals while Nott reminds them of their to-do list. As they discuss both peace talks and basilisk oil, Essek arrives; it seems Jester’s final invitation charmed him enough to take her up on their offer of dinner. He even stops floating, explaining that the act has become a bit of an expected gimmick. They ask him about himself and continue the topic of goals. Nott tells Essek of her hopes for a new body; this leads to a discussion on consecution (which Essek has undergone), though he has no use for either faith or the Luxon. He respects the beacon’s power but not its religion — Essek’s ambitions lie in studying the mysteries of dunamancy. He sees that same spark of magical curiosity in Caleb.
The Nein open up to Essek, revealing much about themselves and their adventures. Jester, who tries to say that her goal is reaching Traveler Con, finally admits to wanting to find where she fits in. She attempts to sway Essek towards the Traveler, but only succeeds in making it sound even more like a cult. Some of Essek’s past is discussed, and they continue to talk about the beacons and the importance of keeping the relics close by so that souls can be properly transmitted. Beau tells Essek about the Empire’s withholding of beacons — which would anger the Bright Queen and continue the war (which Essek is strongly against). Essek’s theory is that the Cerberus Assembly started the war in order to continue their secret research into the beacons. They reveal that the Assembly has successfully distilled dunamancy, and Caleb gives him the vial as both a favor and a sign of trust. Essek in turn offers to help Caleb and Nott decipher Halas’ transmutation notes.
Now in the hot tub, Beau asks Caduceus why he doesn’t scry on his siblings. Caduceus admits to being worried and is afraid of what it might mean if his family is gone. He doesn’t feel ready. Caduceus explains the corruption in his home to Essek, and that he no longer truly understands what he has been sent to do. Clay simply wants to be useful. Essek offers his aid if they need it. Grateful for the invitation and the company, Essek takes his leave and Caleb and Beau walk him home. Caleb notes their shared interests and hopes to trade notes with Essek soon.
GARDENS & TRUST
The party try to coach Jester on how to recruit people for the Traveler, as her efforts have left her disheartened. Fjord adopts a persona named ‘Jeff’ to walk Jester through better tactics — like discussing cool powers and acceptance, but leaving out volcanoes and murder. Attention is turned to Caduceus, as everyone wants to help fix his home. Caduceus shows them the purple residuum crystal from the forge. He believes he needs to go to “the garden,” a menagerie sacred to his family, and take something back to his home. Caduceus re-tells them the story of the Stone family, causing Fjord to reveal that Stone is the last name that the orphanage had given him… He never used it, but the coincidence is staggering. Names have power, as they discuss, and Caduceus feels even more drawn to the garden.
Caleb talks to Jester as the group gets ready for bed. He doesn’t want his tiefling friend to be down on her abilities; she changes and moves people just by being herself. Caleb shows Jester a new spell, casting major image of dancing hamster unicorns. Jester is touched, and the Traveler appears when she goes to her room, telling her that Caleb’s assessment of her is correct. He reminds Jester that she is his first and his favorite, and that he is always there for her. Her responsibilities for Traveler Con are simply whatever she wishes to do, and he trusts her inspiration. Caduceus goes to Yasha to talk about her pit fight. He reminds her she is not alone, and urges her to share the burden with others — no matter how she chooses to process her grief and anger. She asks to sleep in his room out of fear of sleeping alone, and he welcomes her.
Yasha finishes her fitness book before immediately dropping into an exhausted slumber. In the morning, the group is astounded by her overnight physical change: finishing the book has given her a +2 to Strength. The party heads off to pick up Yasha’s bracers, helping her purchase them, though she is not sure if she wants to part with her breastplate. Nott and Fjord broker a deal with a middle-man, who sells them a diamond worth 300 gold and some potions. Caleb keeps working on Halas’ notes before having another breakthrough that shows the spell being close to completion.
Jester receives several messages from the Martinet, explaining that Vence has been incarcerated and that the parley will take place in four weeks on the Lucidian Ocean. Caleb excitedly tells Nott about his progress on the spell, and the group head to Essek’s house to seek his help with the rest of the equation. Essek takes Caleb and Nott to his laboratory tower to continue working, whereupon they complete the spell. They now know how to turn Nott back into a halfling! It will require 50 pounds of raw clay, 100 gold pieces worth of gem dust, and an hour to cast. Everyone is ecstatic: they have an answer to Nott’s problem, and they’ve created new magic.
Nott wants to take some time to reflect upon everything, as she is surprised by the suddenness of the spell’s completion. She explains her fears of no longer being able to contribute to the group. The Mighty Nein tell her that she will always be a part of them, and that they will not judge her whether she decides to go home or stay with the group for awhile. The M9 gather the materials and themselves in Essek’s tower. Nott is still unsure, and Fjord relates his own difficult choice that changed who he was at his core. He and the others promise to support Nott through any decision she makes.
Buoyed by the love of her friends, Nott decides that she is ready. She and Caleb share a tender moment before he sets up the spell and the ritual begins. As the enchantment materializes, Caleb finds his abilities blocked by something dark. He tries to push through, but the darkness shoves back and shatters the spell. A shadow looms as Caleb and Nott hear a terrible laugh — the same laugh that Veth heard when she was drowned. The reincarnation spell came with a curse, and they must break it if they hope to change Nott back.
That is it for Episode 91!
- Holy Shit, Y’all! Nott’s cursed! Now they’ve gotta find that evil woman and break a curse!
- I wonder if the women from Nott and Molly’s backstories and Beau’s father’s fortune teller are all the same person… hmm…
- Essek was a lonely prodigy and now he has this big group of dorks to take care of and I love him so much. Stay forever, Essek!
- Nogvurot got explained! It was a battleground, and Kryn souls were sent into Empire newborns. The adolescents began to remember their previous lives, and were guided back to Xhorhas!
- Aww, the Traveler said Jester was his favorite! And his first, which is an odd choice of phrasing. Another hmm…
- I hope they don’t forget about Caduceus’ garden during this hubbub. And what is up with that “Stone” coincidence?!
- Oh Mighty Nein.
Anyway, catch Episode 92 on Thursday, January 23rd at 7pm Pacific on twitch.tv/criticalrole, or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday, yet?