"Aeor" (2x132) is the one hundred thirty-second episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. Having located the secret entrance to Aeor, the Mighty Nein take stock of what waits for them both above and below the ice...
- Tonight's episode is sponsored by Skillshare, an online learning community with thousands of classes available. The first thousand people to sign up at the above link get a free trial of premium membership. Sam signed up for "Caring for Your Houseplants" where he learned to talk to them... and flirt with them, somehow getting into a three-way sexual affair with a fern.
- Second sponsor is Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood, starting in June 2021. The first DLC is out now and the free play event lasts until 2021-04-13. Critical Role will be sharing a year long collaboration with ESO (starting with Laura and Liam building Vex and Vax and beginning a playthrough).
- D&D Beyond is the online digital toolset for organizing and building characters and campaign notes. Check out the mobile app at the above link.
- Critical Role is now livestreaming on both Twitch and YouTube, but the moderated community live chat is on Twitch.
Previously on Critical Role
So, last we left off: The Mighty Nein, after setting your affairs outside of Eiselcross into a comfortable place, you gathered yourselves to make your way northward once more. With a brief goodbye to the Clays in the Blooming Grove, a vision and proving ground for Yasha in the name of the Stormlord in which you have fully embraced your mission currently as an extension of his power, and have taken the Holy Avenger as your blade. You all transitioned yourselves northward through the risky expanse of teleportation magic to a land that seems iffy when it comes to such transportation incantations, and arrived safely at the outpost of the Dynasty, where Essek awaited your arrival.
After sharing some information about the current circumstances and the timeline that you are on, you all convinced Essek to come with you, as you had discussed previously, and make your way in a northwestern direction, toward the secret entrance that you expect Lucien and the Tombtakers are heading towards, that Caduceus had uncovered through a successful use of his Divine Intervention. So, as you all have gathered your things, you begin to trek out from the outpost, into the cold snow powder-covered expanse that is Aeor's sunken ruin.
Essek suggests changing their clothing in order to blend in, and when they agree, uses Seeming to make them look like the Kryn outpost rangers. Fjord mentions Lucien's brand on his chest. Essek tries and fails to remove it with Dispel Magic, but Jester succeeds. She then attempts to Scry on Lucien, but fails.
Eventually, Caduceus recognizes that they are near the location of the secret entrance to the ruins of Aeor. Essek uses Sending to contact the guards there and the guards send up a flare to mark their location. The party climbs down a cliff on the edge of the crater and meets up with them, including Dagen. They have seen no activity as yet, and Essek gives them a sending stone to keep in contact. The party explores near the small hole leading into the ruins when Caduceus hears a noise behind them. They turn to look just as a massive blue hand thrusts up through the snow revealing three huge undead frost giants, and one seizes Yasha in an enormous fist.
The giants cause cold damage by proximity with their numbing aura but Yasha is immediately able to break free. Veth runs up one of the giants' arms, shooting it with her crossbow as she flies past its head (just like in the animated opening), seriously wounding it. Jester is paralyzed by a giant's freezing gaze, and another then attacks her with its greataxe, causing massive damage. Fjord uses Thunder Step to transport himself and Jester away, damaging the nearby Caleb and Yasha. Caleb Polymorphs one of the giants into a sloth and Yasha kills another with the Holy Avenger. Beau then polishes off the third.
Essek uses the sending stone to request the rangers to come fetch the polymorphed sloth and carry it away to a ravine. The party takes a short rest to heal and try to disguise the signs of battle before pushing on into the narrow entrance.
- Trailer for Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood, releasing in June.
- Everything you need to know about Dwarven Forge in 60 seconds.
- Clips from "Talks Machina #157: Discussing Up to C2E131 - Into the Eye" (TMx157).
- Dani Carr's Recaps available on CritRole.com every Wednesday.
- Merch Alert! "Hello, Bees!" and Orphanmaker t-shirts available in the U.S., Australia, and U.K. shops; Vox Machina dice sets in all four shops; Pub Draw pencil case and All Work No Play raglan shirt in the U.S. and U.K..
- Marisha wants you to subscribe to the Critical Role Twitch channel.
- Critters' art montage.
Entering the narrow tunnel, the party finds heavily damaged and partially collapsed natural stone walls leading to a somewhat larger chamber. About 150 feet in, the passage narrows again to a crawl space requiring single file. Veth takes the Goggles of Night and goes first, stealthily, reaching an abrupt, deep drop-off into a large pit. A single ice-coated rope dangles into the darkness. She Messages Caleb to join her and his Dancing Lights globules reveal the pit opening up slightly about 85 feet below.
Rejoining the others, they discuss potential strategies and decide to explore further before making a final decision. Caleb Polymorphs into a giant spider and carries Yasha while Veth casts Spider Climb on herself. They climb down into the pit and reach a large chamber holding the ruins of ancient buildings and towers.
Veth and Yasha decide to explore a precariously still-standing two-story tower and pass through an area of extreme cold on the way. They explore the tower, and on the second floor find a shimmery silk robe on a skeletal body crushed in the rubble. They also notice brown mold growing and shifting on the walls. Veth wants to leave before the building collapses and edges back downstairs, but Yasha is entranced by the robe. She snatches it, setting off the collapse of the tower, but they both escape without damage.
Hearing the noise from the top of the pit, Jester Polymorphs into a giant spider carrying Beau, Fjord casts Fly and carries Caduceus, and Essek floats to the bottom of the pit. They join the others, realizing the floor is made of bones covered in patches of brown mold which radiates extreme damaging cold. It is drawn to and consumes heat, and can be destroyed by cold.
They notice an archway leading deeper into Aeor at one edge of the chamber, and discuss the potential strategies of setting ambushes in this chamber. Eventually, they decide to explore further, with Essek clearing a way with his Ray of Frost through the mold, and reach the archway. Text chiseled into the metal reads, "Praesidis Ward, Convocation Grounds, Central Deliberations". They enter the metallic hallway and proceed to a four-way intersection.
While Jester starts casting Commune, Beau talks privately to Fjord. They agree the room they just left looks like a good place to try to ambush the Tombtakers. Beau mentions she's trying to figure out an emergency exit, and Fjord tells her there is no exit. They are going to fight to the end.
Meanwhile, Caduceus looks down the hall behind them and notices a shape on the ceiling climbing out of a hole. It drops to the metallic floor with a clang and they see a massive lizard-like creature with multiple limbs and deep blue cerulean skin edged with frost crystals. Its drool immediately freezes and its breath gives off a cloud of frost.
- Beauregard Lionett
- Caduceus Clay
- Caleb Widogast
- Jester Lavorre
- Veth Brenatto
- Yasha Nydoorin
|Transferred||1||Sending stone||Essek||Dagen||Essek kept the corresponding stone.|
|Acquired||1||Silk robe||Ruins of Aeor||Yasha||Shredded.|
- Fjord: We've definitely had the tables turned on us before, but for the moment, we're at least between [Lucien] and what he wants. But we are going to win this thing. We're going to fight until the last second, and we're going to win. There is no leaving. Maybe for some, but not for me.
- Fan art of Veth shooting the frost giant, by @hierothraxs (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Veth and Caleb above the pit, by RedCatStudio-Sam B (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Essek descending, by Soulnova Alizrak (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of the frost creature, by ArtByMikuTee (source). Used with permission.