Critical Recap: Critical Role – The Mighty Nein: Echoes of the Solstice
Written by Dani on November 1, 2023
Hello! Welcome to Critical Recap! I’m Dani Carr, the Critical Role Lore Keeper. Let’s dive into our recap of the Critical Role live one-shot The Mighty Nein: Echoes of the Solstice!
It has been roughly 7 years since the Mighty Nein helped broker the peace that ended the War of Ash & Light, a war between the Dwendalian Empire and the Kryn Dynasty. The Mighty Nein have kept in contact over the years but have followed their own individual paths to the sea, to family, and to removing corrupt government officials. Beauregard Lionett, an Expositor of the Cobalt Soul, and Caleb Widogast, a powerful mage, followed the trail of Ludinus Da’leth to the Tishtan Excavation Site during the Apogee Solstice.
Beau and Caleb were captured, with Caleb locked in a silence collar, and then shunted away during the activation of the Malleus Key. They find themselves transported to a graveyard battlefield known as the Incanter’s Rest within the Miskath Strand, or Blightshore. Caleb can speak, which means the collar was deactivated. Caleb transmutes the metal collar into balsa wood and Beau breaks it off his neck, freeing him.
A fear strikes Caleb’s mind – Trent Ikithon’s same collar may have been deactivated, as well. Trent was Caleb’s former teacher who tortured him and manipulated him into killing his own parents as a teenager. Caleb and the Mighty Nein placed Trent in a similar silence collar before turning him over to be imprisoned in Rexxentrum. Beau wants to return to her wife, the warrior Yasha Nydoorin, before they brainstorm, so they teleport to the Blooming Grove – the home of their friend and healer Caduceus Clay, whom Yasha visited while Beau was in Marquet.
Beau and Yasha reunite immediately, overjoyed to be safely back together. Caduceus can tell that he needs to pack a bag. Caleb declares that it is time to get the Mighty Nein back together, due to everything that happened during the solstice and his own worries about Trent. They teleport to the ship the Nein Heroez, which is docked in Nicodranas. Admiral Fjord Stone, a hexblade paladin, is below deck making repairs with his partner Jester Lavorre, a cheerful healer. Jester is relieved to see her friends, as her sending spells have not been working.
Caleb and Beau explain what occurred at the excavation site and Caleb’s worries that Trent may have broken out of the Rexxentrum prison. Fjord and Jester agree to come along and the team takes to the streets of Nicodranas. Sea beasts have wandered into the city, causing chaos that the Zhelezo have been able to tamp down for now. Jester is worried about her mother Marion, so she tries to cast sending again but fails. They do run into Marion’s bodyguard, Bluud, who reassures Jester that Marion is just fine.
Their last stop is at the home of Veth Brenatto, a retired thief who now runs a camp for children adventurers and is a full-time wife and mother. Veth is stressed, due to dealing with her son Luc and his teenage antics. Luc keeps running away to go adventuring, at one point getting all the way to Alfield, so Veth grounded him. She is also taking care of the kids at her camp, ensuring their safety until their parents arrive.
The Mighty Nein, together again, try to figure out what their plan is. Ruidus is tethered to Exandria, magic has gone haywire, Trent and others could be free. There is a lot to check in on. Jester attempts to scry on Trent, but her attempt fails. Caduceus thinks that stopping Trent is perfect right now. It’s something they can fix at this moment, which is the best thing to do in a crisis. Trent is powerful and if he joins with Ludinus Da’leth, it could spell danger for everyone.
Veth loves her friends, but she is unwilling to join them this time. She needs to take care of these kids and keep her son safe. Luc breaks out of his room and admonishes his mother for her cowardice, while Caleb admonishes Luc in turn for taking his mother’s love for granted. Veth locks Luc back in his room and again states that she can’t go with her team. Not this time. Caleb reluctantly activates his teleportation circle to the Cobalt Soul in Rexxentrum and the other members of the Mighty Nein leave Veth in Nicodranas.
However, as the circle begins to fade, Luc busts out of his room once more and hops in. They arrive in the archives with Luc in tow, to the group’s shock. Caleb is horrified – Veth is going to kill him, Luc, and all of them. Luc tries to prove that he knows enough to join them; after all, he’s a senior counselor at the camp. Caleb traps Luc in a wall of force and Luc pleads with each of them one by one. Eventually they all acquiesce, with Caleb vowing to send Luc home the second it gets too dangerous.
WORDS FROM BEYOND
Ovedo, a Cobalt Soul member, comes to Beau. He explains that the wards of the high level Masked Vault have been dispelled and the vault has possibly been infiltrated, as there are new traps within. An investigator named Aggie has been sent ahead of them. The Masked Vault houses items with the potential to destroy Exandria, so its infiltration is deeply worrisome.
The Mighty Nein head down to the Vellum Basement and discover that magic mouths have been placed by Trent, taunting Caleb by telling him that solitude has made him stronger and encouraging him to explore the vault. They then meet Rab “Aggy” Agg (he/him, played by Daniel Sloss), a dwarven monk armed with only a foul red tonic wine and the head on his shoulders. Fjord casts see invisibility, discovering a shimmer behind a tapestry, and the combination of his eldritch blasts and Aggie’s headbutt opens a stone wall.
Aggie immediately activates a necrotic trap and another magic mouth speaks, with Trent threatening to reveal the past crimes of Caleb’s partner, the mage Essek Thelyss, to his leader the Bright Queen. Caleb is now of the belief that they were too easy on Trent and Jester assures him that this time, Trent dies. As they move deeper into the basement, Aggie trips two more traps, the final of which is a disintegration trap. Aggie is disintegrated immediately.
WHAT WAS TAKEN
With Aggie’s sacrifice, the group reaches the Masked Vault. They discover an empty vial and a piece of paper. The last magic mouth activates, explaining that Trent was called here to release a forgotten nightmare and beckons Caleb to Blumenthal – an illusion of Caleb’s childhood home in flames is left to bait him. Beau comforts Caleb, reminding him of how far he’s come, but Caleb doesn’t care about the taunts. He needs to end Trent before he can harm anyone else.
Beau takes a look at the lockboxes that held the vial and the paper. The vial contains Adreenis Sap and the other held a binding stone called Athtiri-Mentaal. Adreenis Sap is an unholy ichor distilled from abyssal primordials that can bind the worshipers of abyssal lords to dark powers. The Athtiri-Mentaal is a binding stone that captures powerful entities for study, siphoning, or imprisonment. They usually contain entities from the Calamity or before. This means that Trent is likely going to bind something of great and terrible power to him.
The Nein are running out of time. Trent won’t wait and he could hurt Essek or other loved ones. They decide to set up Caleb’s magical tower in Beau’s office and rest for the night, then teleport to Blumenthal in the morning. Jester prepares a heroes’ feast and Caleb gives Luc his luck stone and casts wish to create a simulacrum to watch over Luc. The young Brenatto thanks Caleb for being such a good teacher to him, unlike Trent ever was for Caleb.
A long rest is taken and Luc drinks the experimental potion that he stole from his father, Yeza. This potion gives Luc an arcane boost to his constitution and his confidence soars. Caleb and his simulacrum cast fortune’s favor on everyone and the simulacrum polymorphs into a saber-toothed tiger to protect Luc. They teleport to Blumenthal and see Caleb’s childhood home standing whole once again, despite it having been torn down and rebuilt differently years ago.
Caleb telepathically tells Trent that he is here. Trent invites him to breakfast, saying that his parents miss him. Caleb tells Beau that he has done what he needed to do in this world. If he doesn’t survive, get Luc to safety. Beau tells him they’re all walking away from this. Fjord senses two undead entities within the home as Caleb goes inside – Fjord and Jester follow while Beau and Yasha go around back.
Trent Ikithon, gaunt and still wearing the collar around his neck, sits at the table with Caleb’s parents, looking as they did before their deaths at Caleb’s flames. His mother says that Trent has gifted them a second chance. Jester apologizes to Caleb and channels turn undead, revealing the parents as undead entities. Trent then explodes the house, though luckily Fjord, Jester, and Caleb all have fire resistance.
NO HOLDS BARRED
The Mighty Nein fight against Trent Ikithon, but despite landing numerous hits against him, he continues to evade and take no damage. They realize that he is not physically present within the destroyed house, but must be close. He casts a meteor storm, injuring everyone and knocking Caleb unconscious. The Caleb Simulacrum turns into a T-rex, with Luc riding him. Jester notices a spell cast near a tree and Luc casts see invisibility, seeing the invisible Trent in that spot.
Caduceus casts Mass Heal, healing everyone back to full health. Jester casts anti-magic field, revealing Trent to all, and Beau and Yasha surround him. Trent chooses to break the Athtiri-Mentaal stone and push it into his chest, creating a shadowy portal from which a massive entity of swirling darkness emerges. This is Omentis, Scion of Ruin, and it is heading towards the small town of Blumenthal. Townsfolk begin to fall just from the aura of its necrosis.
The group chases after Omentis, with Fjord flying and Caleb polymorphed into a white dragon. Luc casts enlarge on his T-rex and Caduceus casts holy weapon on Yasha’s sword Scaldsaber. Jester casts gate, pulling her best friend, one-time god, and archfey Artagan to the fight for assistance. Yasha does an incredible amount of damage to the entity, backed up by her wife Beau, who lowers the dragon’s resistance to ice damage.
Caleb spots the strange, egg-like shard still pulsing in the chest of Omentis. Fjord dodges numerous attacks from the entity while Caleb!dragon vomits ice onto it and scares the townspeople away to safety. Luc strikes that egg with his mother’s spell and crossbow, causing the entity to flicker. Caduceus gets a divine intervention from the Wildmother, making the ichor clear and allowing everyone to see the egg and the hanging shadow of Trent within its chest.
Beau climbs the side of Omentis and attempts to rip out the artifact. She successfully pulls it out and throws it into the mouth of Caleb!dragon. The tendrils hook into Trent’s body and pull him into the egg as Caleb catches it with ice and slams it to the ground. The ice shatters, the egg remains intact, but the entity is resealed and captured. Caleb #2 casts demiplane and places the egg within it for safekeeping.
The group welcomes Luc to the Mighty Nein. Luc had a great time, but that was extremely scary. He requests to go home, but also to rejoin the Mighty Nein in the future. Caleb says he gets 9 days a year with them. Tonight, they will party, and then take Luc home. Fjord proposes to Jester, who happily accepts. Caleb casts Widogast’s Nascent Nein-Sided Tower, preparing a feast for the Nei and the townspeople. They celebrate their victory, but the sky still holds the leylines of the solstice – this is only the beginning of the work still to be done.
That is it for this special Critical Role one-shot!
- Yasha and Beau have an amazing conversation in which they consider opening up their relationship, all because Beau finds Imogen of Bells Hells cute. Crossing the streams!
- Luc Brenatto, welcome aboard. Sam Riegel, you are dastardly and brilliant.
- Fjord & Jester wedding one-shot?? Please???
- Congratulations to Daniel Sloss and Aggie on holding the new record for shortest guest character stint on Critical Role.
- Oh Mighty Nein, I’ve missed you so much!
This week, catch the final episode of Candela Obscura: Needle & Thread on Thursday, November 2nd, then catch back up with Bells Hells and Campaign 3 in Episode 77 on Thursday, November 9th. Both air at 7pm Pacific at twitch.tv/criticalrole and on youtube.com/criticalrole, or a week later on our podcast! Is it Thursday yet?