Critical Recap: Critical Role Campaign 2 So Far: E50 – E72
Written by Dani on July 1, 2020
Hello! Welcome to Critical Recap! In honor of the return of Critical Role and Episode 100 this Thursday, I (Dani Carr, your CR Archivist) will be distilling all 99 episodes of Campaign 2 into four digestible recaps! Join me in recounting the exploits of the Mighty Nein (so far) with this look at Episodes 50-72!
STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND
After a few days underground, in which the Mighty Nein meet a kobold named Spurt before he is immediately killed in a battle with fire giants, the group finally emerges on the Xhorhasian side of the Ashkeeper Peaks. They are drawn into a fight with some Kryn soldiers, whose mage escapes. They travel through the wastes, where they avoid a roc and meet a bugbear, Gluzo, who guides them to the city of Asarius.
They disguise themselves to look more Xhorhasian and enter the city, discovering it filled with beasts and creatures normally hunted in the Empire, but here have made a respectable community. Taking a job, they dispose of a demon and seal an abyssal rift. The Nein bring news of this rift to the city’s leader, Lady Olios, who hires them to investigate the rifts that have been appearing around the city.
The Nein discover Beau’s mentor, Dairon, disguised in the city and spying for the Cobalt Soul. Their investigation into the rifts lead to a bugbear being haunted by a succubus and an incubus, which they chase down a well to another rift. Jester closes the portal, but an intense battle ensues that kills Caduceus. Luckily, Jester is able to cast revivify, bringing him back to life.
They explore the cavern, finding an abyssal anchor – an item created to punch holes between the planes and causing the rifts. After emerging, Jester meets a gnoll who is also a worshiper of the Traveler. She reveals to the party that in a few months, the Traveler wants to have a gathering of his worshipers – Traveler Con. They bring the abyssal anchor to Lady Olios, who agrees to take them to Rosohna, aka Ghor Dranas, in order to seek a favor from the Bright Queen.
HEROES OF THE DYNASTY
Utilizing a teleportation circle, the Nein arrive at the palace. They are presented to the Bright Queen and ask for the release of Yeza. Their escort turns out to be the mage that escaped from their earlier fight and informs the Bright Queen, who begins to arrest them. Caleb then presents the dodecahedron, formally renouncing the Empire and returning the Dynasty’s relic.
The Bright Queen, shocked by the beacon’s appearance, explains that the beacon is the body of their god, The Luxon. There are many beacons – the Dynasty knows of four, and the Empire still holds one of two that were stolen. The Kryn have a rite known as consecution, a form of resurrection. The Nein urge the Bright Queen to end the war, but she does not trust the Empire to cease their attacks.
She assigns Shadowhand Essek Thelyss as their steward and directs them to Professor Waccoh for work. They head to the prisons, where Nott is reunited with Yeza, who accepts her and loves her in her goblin form, knowing that she’s still Veth inside. Yeza is released from prison after telling Essek everything he knows about the Assembly’s experiments on the beacon.
Caduceus meets a half-orc blacksmith and asks about a pre-Divergence broken sword hilt that he purchased from Pumat Sol. The blacksmith, Wursh, recognizes the hilt as being created in Uthodurn, the only place it could be reforged. Beau and Caleb meet Professor Waccoh, an eccentric orc inventor who hires them to go to the Deepriver Mining Camp, which has been taken over by giants. Nott opens up to Caleb, worrying if Yeza will continue to accept her and how she’s not ready to stop adventuring.
GIANTS IN THE MINE
They journey to the steelworks, finding the workers’ encampment and embarrassing the foreman, by Waccoh’s request. Upon arriving at the mine, they attract the ire of the giants, but Caduceus diffuses the fight with conversation, discovering that they were run out of their mountain home by something evil. The Nein investigate with the aid of the giants’s druid leader, Soorna, fighting various demons before closing two rifts and discovering another abyssal anchor. It holds a small swatch of torn fabric which Jester scries upon. She sees a blond Zemnian man scheduling a meeting at the Overcrow Apothecary in Rosohna and writing in a book about the Crawling King.
At night, Yasha dreams of the Storm Lord and a red demonic entity. She attempts to break her chains, drawing on the strength of her loved ones. Though she fails, the Storm Lord encourages her to fight. The next day, Yasha tells everyone about her wife, the gaps in her memory after Zuala’s murder, and the Storm Lord saving her from the brink. The Nein send the giants home and return in success to Waccoh, receiving some magic items, including a broken sword blade, as reward.
Fjord, who has been plagued by dreams of a vengeful Uk’otoa, awakens and finds he can no longer use his powers, though they return later in the day. Essek informs the group that they have been granted a house in the Firmaments. The Nein decorate it with a hot tub and a giant tree and name it the Xhorhaus. Jester and Nott confess to Caleb that, months ago, they sent a letter to Astrid, his former girlfriend at the Soltryce Academy. Knowing they need to reunite Yeza and Luc, Jester uses Sending to ask Shakäste to escort Luc safely to Nicodranas to stay with Jester’s mother.
Jester scries on the blond man again, seeing him in a royal meeting and discussing an attack on the Ashguard Garrison that will utilize the Scourgers, the royal assassins. Caleb reveals he had been training to become a Scourger while under Trent Ikithon’s tutelage. They inform the Bright Queen of the upcoming attack on the Ashguard Garrison and of the meeting at the Overcrow Apothecary. She appreciates their intelligence and wants them to bring her whoever will be at the Overcrow. However, their attempt to infiltrate the apothecary results in a fight, during which a drow calls Yasha Orphan Maker – a name that only her tribe has ever known. When he escapes, he tells them to bring Yasha and follow him north.
The Nein chase the drow, Obann, across the Barbed Fields, a wasteland devastated by the Calamity. They learn that Obann worships the Angel of Irons and is heading to a tomb beneath the village of Bazzoxan. Needing respite, the Nein camp beneath an enormous tree: The Arbor Exemplar, the Wildmother’s last stand in the wasteland. Caduceus dreams of the Wildmother, who shows him a vision of a volcano and an anvil, and a jungle oasis. Fjord dreams of Uk’otoa, but the Wildmother pulls him away from the leviathan’s influence, protecting him. Beau tells Yasha of her own forced separation from her first love and partner in crime, Tori.
The next day, they climb the tree, disturbing a roc but managing to lose both it and Nott’s flask before arriving in Bazzoxan. They find the entrance to the tomb, guarded by angel statues that weep blood. The Nein wind their way down, encountering many disturbing traps and creatures. Nott’s flask is returned to her by Jester, who had taken it in hopes of sobering her friend. They finally arrive at the base of the tomb and there, Obann reveals his true form – the red demon from Yasha’s dreams. He tells Yasha that she was once his right hand in destruction. He releases the Laughing Hand, a terrifying creature whose undying form was sealed away in this tomb. The Nein slay Obann, but his death awakens his hold on Yasha, who loses her true self and becomes his puppet. She attacks the Nein, who must leave their friend behind in order to escape.
They run from the tomb, heartbroken by their defeat. Jester scries on Yasha, seeing her bring Obann back to life. Meanwhile, Caduceus learns that the broken hilt from Pumat and the broken blade from Waccoh are halves of the same magical sword: Dwueth’var the Star Razor. The Nein return and tell the Bright Queen what happened and she informs them that their intelligence stopped an assault at the Garrison. Caduceus describes the volcano from his dreams, called Kravaraad. He wants to travel there to reforge Dwueth’var, as he thinks it could help defeat the Laughing Hand.
DUST TO DUST
Before leaving, they visit a captured Scourger in her cell, who is not Astrid, to Caleb’s relief. Caduceus tells them the story of his family – The Stones, The Dusts, and the Clays, and how each were given a holy place to protect. The Dusts hold the kiln in the volcano and the Stones hold a menagerie in an oasis. Caduceus needs to go to both to save his family’s holy place, the graveyard. They teleport to Nicodranas, reuniting the Brenatto family. Nott, encouraged by Yeza, stays with the party, hopeful that Caleb can return her to her former halfling self. They learn from Yussa that Abyssal rifts have appeared in Zadash.
They return to Xhorhas and set up Dairon as their housekeeper so that the spy can continue spying and giving Beau advice. Essek takes them to Kravaraad, where they meet the Dust Family within the Cinderrest Sanctum. Through experiments and visions, Caduceus realizes that he must find refined residuum and feed it to the kiln’s lava pool to unlock the next step of his quest.
Fjord has Jester cast Sending to Vandran, who replies that he is retired on an island. Hurt by Vandran’s indifference, Fjord opens up to Jester about losing his powers, fearing Uk’otoa, and hoping the Wildmother will help him. That night, he dreams of Uk’otoa’s threats and awakens without powers again. Angry, he goes to the kiln and tells Uk’otoa that he doesn’t need him. He demands his powers back and nearly kills himself. Instead, he flings the falchion into the lava, renouncing his pact with Uk’otoa, but now fully powerless. Fjord tells the others, who support his rejection of Uk’otoa and offer him magical items to offset the loss of his powers. At Fjord’s request, Caduceus begins guiding the half-orc on opening himself to the Wildmother.
That is it for today’s full campaign Critical Recap! I’ll be back tomorrow with Episodes 73 – 99. Is it Thursday, yet?