Critical Recap: Critical Role Campaign 2 So Far: E73 – E99
Written by Dani on July 2, 2020
Hello! Welcome to Critical Recap! In honor of the return of Critical Role and Episode 100 TODAY, I (Dani Carr, CR Loremaster) 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 73-99!
THE BLADE THAT WAS BROKEN
The Mighty Nein travel to Uthodurn to find Umagorn Smeltborne, son of Duethvar’s original forgemaster. He can reforge the blade if they find the materials: iceflex, or mythril cooled by a white dragon’s breath. They meet Reani, a vigilante druid with a strict sense of good and evil, and purchase some pieces of mythril, which Umagorn melts into an ingot. In the Archive, Beau learns of a white dragon in Mythburrow. After some groveling, they gain access to the Archive’s teleportation circle and convince Essek to take them to Mythburrow.
They confront Gelidon, an ancient white dragon. The iceflex is formed and they barely survive a chase with Gelidon before safely returning to Uthodurn. They steal back a ring from the Tumblecarves, a family of slave traders in cahoots with the Jagentoths, and return it to the shopkeep they purchased the mithril from, procuring pieces of refined residuum for Caduceus.
Returning to the Cinderrest Sanctum, Umagorn begins reforging the blade while Reani and Beau spend a romantic evening together. Caduceus throws his residuum into the kiln’s lava pool, where it forms into purple crystals with roots, fulfilling part of his vision. Fjord dreams of the Wildmother offering her aid and freedom from Uk’otoa if he promises to protect what is hers. He accepts and awakens with new strength. Caduceus gives him the newly reforged Dwueth’var and Fjord accepts his new role as warlock and paladin of the Wildmother.
They return to Rosohna, where they interrogate the Scourger in her prison. Caleb confirms that his former classmates Astrid and Eodwulf are alive before she attacks him. Essek kills her in retaliation. When Beau details her plan of ending the war by finding the missing beacon to Dairon, they promote Beau to Expositor. Jester shows Dairon the mystery blond Zemnian man and Dairon recognizes him as Vence Nuthaleus, assistant to the Martinet Ludinus Da’leth.
Jester scries on Yasha, seeing her crying among slain Cobalt Soul Archivists as Obann discovers the location of the bisected body of Jourrael – her heart in the Lotusden and her body in the Savilirwood. Upon returning to Zadash, they engage in a massive research session about their enemies. The Laughing Hand and Jourrael are undying assassins, while the Angel of Irons is a new cult that incites its followers to release it from its shackles. Another scry leads Jester to believe that Yasha and Obann have acquired Jourrael’s head. A race for the heart ensues in the sky and woods of the Lotusden Greenwood, but Obann beats them, absconding with the heart after a battle. The more Jester scries, the more she believes that Yasha is mind controlled, forced to commit these atrocious deeds against her will.
INTO THE UNKNOWN
Defeated, the Nein return to the Xhorhaus. Dairon confirms that the stolen beacons that incited the war were given to the Empire by a mole within the Dynasty. They tell Essek this before heading to Nicodranas in search of an unbiased ally in Yussa Errenis. They discover that Yussa is inside the Happy Fun Ball and hasn’t returned in weeks. His servant summons Yussa’s ally – a wizard from Tal’dorei, Allura Vysoren. After finding a map drawn by Yussa that mentions the Perma-heart, Beau realizes that this chamber contains the Laughing Hand’s heart – the key to making him mortal.
Armed with the map and a mirror so they can talk to Allura, the Nein re-enter the Heirloom Sphere (the Happy Fun Ball). Chased through various dangerous rooms by anti-magic golems and fighting off deformed clones of Halas, the party eventually uncovers the Perma-heart chamber. After the Nein destroys the glyphs that protect it, Beau and Caleb destroy the heart together. Allura scries on the Laughing Hand, reporting that he is still alive but falling apart.
Now tasked with finding Yussa, they travel through an Astral Dreadnought, discovering the body of Halas and a ruby trapping his soul. They take his body, the gem, and his notes along with them, and release Yussa from his prison, returning to the real world. Nott, who momentarily died in the sphere, is nearly swayed by Halas’s promise to return her to her body if she releases him, but Caleb begs her to trust him over Halas. Allura leads a ritual, where they discover that the Angel of Irons is a guise for Tharizdun, the Chained Oblivion.
Horrified by this discovery, the Nein realize that the abyssal rifts are weakening the veil between the worlds and making Tharizdun’s return easier. They head to Zadash to seek out the one member of the Cerberus Assembly that Yussa trusts: Oremid Hass. They inform him of the threat of Tharizdun, the Angel of Irons cult, the rifts, and the theft of the beacons. Oremid agrees to investigate, swayed by evidence of Vence’s treachery. While visiting Pumat Sol’s, the party is attacked by Jourrael, fending her off with Pumat’s help.
They retreat to the Evening Nip for sanctuary. Jester confronts the Gentleman, who privately confesses to being her father. He loved Marion, but when he went to make his fortune, he fell down the wrong paths and felt he could never return to her. That night, Beau confesses to Nott that she has feelings for Jester. In the morning, Pumat scries on Yasha, discovering her group in Rexxentrum. The party informs the Cobalt Soul of an imminent attack and teleport to the city.
They discover that the cult is using a Kryn attack on Rexxentrum as a distraction. With a cathedral as battlefield, they fight cultists, Yasha, and the Laughing Hand. Yasha nearly kills Beau and Fjord before Caduceus dispels the charm on her, restoring her mind. Caleb incinerates the Laughing Hand and the reunited Mighty Nein chase after Obann. Deep below the cathedral, Obann tries to sacrifice them for his ritual but is killed by Yasha. Tharizdun forces him into a new, grotesque form as punishment, though it too is destroyed by a restored Jourrael, who vanishes.
The Nein are escorted to King Dwendal, where they detail the cult’s attempt to free Tharizdun. Allura and Oremid vouch for them, aided by Beau’s status as a Cobalt Soul Expositor and their inability to reach the accused Vence. When Allura reached out to the Bright Queen, she stopped attacking at the mention of the Nein. The King balks at this, so Beau explains that the Queen just “wants her fucking beacon back.” The King has no interest in the beacon and tasks the Nein with getting the Bright Queen to parlay in order to end the war.
The Nein accept Yasha back into the group, not blaming her for her actions while controlled. They support Caleb, who must work with Trent Ikithon in order to inspect the beacon that he claims to have recently uncovered at Pride’s Call. They meet with the Martinet and suggest the Menagerie Coast as the parlay’s rendezvous point, to the Martinet’s approval. He takes them to Trent’s sanitorium to inspect the beacon. Trent maintains that this is the first beacon he’s studied.
Caleb studies Halas’s notes for guidance on restoring Nott. He visits Astrid and they have a distant, tender reunion. Beau confirms that the Pride’s Call beacon is legit, meaning that the Empire still has another beacon. They let out some steam at a fighting pit and a bath house before returning to Rosohna. Essek tells them that the attack on Rexxentrum was planned by Taskhand Adeen Tasithar, but when the Nein interrogate him, Adeen claims to have no memory of any treasonous actions, despite a confession.
They suspect that Adeen was mind-controlled and Nott notices that Essek is on edge. They convince the Bright Queen to parlay with the Empire, where they will trade prisoners (Vence for Adeen) and the Dynasty will recover their beacon. The Empire accepts and the date of the parlay is set. It is close to Traveler Con, which worries Jester, who is having trouble contacting her god. The Nein spend time getting to know Essek, who begins to accept their friendship. He assists Caleb and Nott in perfecting the transformation spell, but upon the attempt, it is revealed that Nott’s goblin form is a curse set upon her by a hag.
Nott’s predicament reminds Beau of her father, who made a deal with a hag to become successful. Caduceus confirms that the two hags are the same and their research points them to Isharnai the Prism Sage. At her family home, Beau confronts her parents and meets her baby brother, TJ, for the first time. Her father is proud of her, but does not understand why his actions were harmful. He directs them to the hag’s hut, and the Nein comfort Beau.
They eventually find the hut and Isharnai entices them one by one, learning what they will offer to restore Nott, as she feeds on misery. Beau offers to walk away from her life, but the Nein will not let her. Jester offers her hands, but gives the hag a cupcake first. She casts modify memory, making Isharnai believe that she loved Jester’s company so much that she removed Nott’s curse out of kindness. Her gambit works and the curse is lifted.
Nott wants to take her time before completing the transformation, giving her flask to Yasha so she can contemplate sober. Essek teleports them to the Whitedawn Lagoon, the site of Caduceus’s oasis and the next part of his vision. There, Jester is contacted by the Traveler, who reveals that he is an Archfey named Artagan and not a god. He is in over his head with his many followers, so Jester and the Nein concoct a plan to use Traveler Con to convince everyone that he has ascended.
The Nein arrive at the oasis and discover that Caduceus’s family has been turned to stone by a gorgon. They manage to kill the creature and slowly unpetrify the denizens of the oasis, including the Clay family, who are happily reunited. Caduceus and his sister Calliope discover that dropping the purple crystals into the water causes them to bloom, thus completing the vision. The Nein take the Clays to Uthodurn and ask Reani to escort them back to the Blooming Grove to cure the Savilirwood.
LAST TIME ON CRITICAL ROLE…
Nott decides that she is ready to become a halfling again, so the Nein return to Nicodranas and complete the ritual at Marion’s home. Now Veth again, she is reunited with her husband and son, though Yeza supports her continued traveling with the Nein as long as she comes back safely. At the docks, they talk with the Martinet and a Lord Thain, who are preparing the Empire’s ships for the parlay. Lord Thain turns out to be Essek in disguise – Essek has been the mole the entire time!
They confront Essek at a fancy party and he confesses to being the one who gave the beacons to the Empire, wanting them to be researched without the Dynasty’s religious interference. He did not anticipate the war and has come to truly regard the Nein as his friends, feeling guilty for putting them in danger. Caleb sees Essek as a kindred spirit, telling him that this is his moment to change and improve himself.
After coming to a stalemate over how best to hand out justice and vengeance, the Nein set sail to the parlay on the Balleater. On the way, they are attacked by followers of Uk’otoa. Fjord and Orly are killed in the ambush, but Caduceus and Jester are able to revive them. Through greater restoration, Caduceus removes Fjord’s final Cloven Crystal, thought destroyed. Interrogating the corpses, they learn that Uk’otoa will not stop until he has Fjord.
The parlay lasts a few days but ends with a tentative peace declared, though Essek does not believe it will last long due to the tension between the nations. The Mighty Nein point their ship to Rumblecusp so they can prepare for Traveler Con, but as they sail, they find themselves pursued by a dragon turtle…
And THAT is where we left off! Holy shit y’all! Almost 100 episodes in four recaps! If you’d like a detailed recap of Episode 99, check out the regular Critical Recaps here, and tune into tonight’s episode on twitch.tv/criticalrole at 7pm Pacific because it is FINALLY Thursday!