"An Open Window" (2x114) is the one hundred fourteenth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. Having arrived in Eiselcross, the Mighty Nein get acquainted with their allies even as threads and fates begin to cross...
It's the Halloween episode! This year, it's all Campaign Two NPCs:
- Travis: Orly Skiffback (with bagpipes)
- Laura: The Gentleman (with wine glass)
- Liam: Astrid (with arm tattoos)
- Sam: Kiri (with sword)
- Ashley: Henry Crabgrass (Always ask for consent!)
- Taliesin: Archivist Zeenoth (with a book and a scowl)
- Marisha: Celia Ovesso (with censored golden dick)
- Happy Hackoween, web crawlers! Except Sam's candy has been hacked, and Nord VPN would have protected it. Right now you can get one additional month free with every 24 month plan - use code CriticalRole at checkout. The USB drive the hacker left behind calls Sam "Latex Dork", but that's Matt's Playa name, and the missing candy is at Matt's seat. Is Matt now evil? Find out next time!
- Critical Role now has their own publishing company, Darrington Press. Ivan Van Norman makes a guest appearance as a cut-out puppet. Their first game, "Uk'otoa" ("Uk'otoa"), will release 1st quarter 2021.
- Ashley thanks everyone for their support of the Critical Role Foundation. For more information, go to criticalrolefoundation.org.
- Merch Alert! Nicodranas joggers, Critical Role pajamas, Vox Machina puzzles and Chibi pins, and Swolregard's Gym and Tal'Dorei Republic tank tops now available - check out your favorite Critical Role shop!
Previously on Critical Role
So, last we left off: The Mighty Nein, after making a deal with the Archmage of Antiquity of the Cerberus Assembly, Lady Vess DeRogna, to escort her to the northern region known as Eiselcross, to head towards what seems to be possibly an excavation for the long-lost pre-Calamity city of Aeor...
You made your way northward to the very final precipice of the Greying Wildlands, chartered a ship known as the Midnight Hammer, and made your way across the dangerous Frigid Depths. For days you journeyed with some chance encounters, along with an ambush by the apparently raised undead Captain Avantika, seeking one such item that you still carry, the last remnant required to unleash Uk'otoa. After she escaped with this artifact, you gave chase as orcas, and through some ingenuity and some quick movement managed to head her off at the curb, and in doing so, dispatched her undead form deep beneath the waves.
Returning to the ship, you made your way to the final elements of this journey, and we left off as the Midnight Hammer began to slowly dock into Balenpost on the southern edge of Foren, the central largest island portion of Eiselcross.
Under Vess DeRogna's conjured green tri-diamond symbol of the Cerberus Assembly, the ship pulls into the rudimentary docks and is greeted by Wardlow Akron, the appointed overseer of Balenpost. The party heads into the fort, finding a primitive main chamber filled with a few rickety tables and chairs, and a few of the inhabitants. There, they encounter Dagen Underthorn, their hired guide for the forthcoming journey. They learn that Lady DeRogna plans to set out in about forty hours, after she has a few meetings in Balenpost.
Fjord asks Akron if he's seen a purple-skinned tiefling come through, but he hasn't. Lady DeRogna tells the party to take the day to prepare and gather supplies for the journey and they will leave tomorrow mid-day, weather willing. She heads upstairs to her quarters, saying she'll see them at dinner.
The party goes shopping for food, locating Oweda, a female goliath meat seller, and buy wolf and mammoth meat for their journey. She hasn't seen a purple tiefling, and starts flirting with an oblivious Caduceus after he makes a bad pun. After the encounter, Caduceus tells the party that romantic relationships just really aren't his thing. Jester builds a snowman and picks up a conversation with Keylen, one of the inhabitants who she draws into helping her and rewards with a pastry. Caleb tries to build one as well, but Beau starts a snowball fight. Caleb wins by casting Telekinesis on Beau to throw her into a snowdrift and complies when an excited Jester asks him to throw her as well.
They return to the fort around dinnertime and find Lady DeRogna in the common room. She invites them to join her at her table, and tells them they will be going to the primary excavation site across the river of flame, the crossing of which she will handle. She anticipates the journey taking a week and a half. She reiterates the dangers of using teleportation magic, and shares that other forms of magic occasionally have unexpected aftereffects. She also reveals that the Assembly filters the information they give King Dwendal about Eiselcross, through Ludinus Da'leth. Veth "offers" to pay for the meal, and is incensed when Lady DeRogna graciously accepts and takes one of the bottles of wine with her upstairs to her quarters on the third floor. When they try to pay, however, they learn that the Assembly pays for Balenpost and there's no bill.
At DeRogna's repeated urging, the party also talks to a steadily-drinking Dagen Underthorn who gives a run-down of native beasts, including "Ol' Demarog", a mutated winter wolf. He introduces his axe, Sheila.
The party heads to their ground-floor rooms and Jester Scrys on Mollymauk/Lucien/Nonagon. She sees a warmly-lit chamber, with the purple tiefling searching through its contents, methodically looting. He turns; the eye on his peacock tattoo flashes and emits a dull red light. The tiefling looks directly into Jester's scrying orb and greets it as a return visitor, telling it that without their scent, he wouldn't have been able to follow "her". He'd been trying to watch "this one's" path for a while; he saw the threads and made a detour. As Jester watches, he finds a book and exults that he once more has what "she" took from him, then climbs out the window with the words, "To Alpha and Alpha, we trek till homeward bound we be." As he leaves, he ends Jester's Scry with a snap of his fingers.
The Nein are confounded, speculating that "she" is Vess DeRogna and that the tiefling has now recovered the book used in the ritual that resulted in his apparent death and Molly's inheriting of his body, and that his final clue mentioning the "Alpha" was given to them because he wants to be followed. Fjord notices that the map Vess DeRogna gave them has several locations marked with "A" and a number, where smaller chunks of Aeor scattered and fell: A2, A5, A?, and A4. A2 is northwest of Aeor proper; A5 could be on the way to the lava river.
Caleb casts Widogast's Nascent Nein-Sided Tower, and they go to their rooms. Caleb goes to talk to Veth, telling her he's not the leader of the group, but that it's an ensemble. She agrees, and they share a hot cocoa brought by the cats. Jester wants to read the copy of Der Katzenprinz in her room and is incensed that it is in Zemnian. She confronts Caleb about it in the morning and he agrees to read it to her some time.
They go to the common room where Beau approaches Yasha for a chat, telling her she realizes how hard it must have been for Yasha to have Trent Ikithon talking in her head at their dinner with him. They talk about Yasha's time with Obann, and Yasha tells Beau she doesn't know what she would have done if anything happened to Beau because of her. Yasha then confesses she wrote Beau a poem and gives it to her to read later.
Time wears on and Lady DeRogna does not appear. Jester and Fjord go up to the third floor to find her and knock on the door, but there is no answer. Jester Sends her a message, but again, there is no answer. Fjord intimidates four soldiers into getting Akron, suspecting a problem. The Nein decide to break in, finally realizing that the purple tiefling may have been breaking into DeRogna's room when they Scryed on him the previous evening.
When Veth picks the lock, they enter, and Jester sees a familiar open window. It is the one she had seen Molly exit through in her Scry. The room has been tossed, and the lifeless body of Vess DeRogna lies on the bed, streams of blood pouring from her eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, and an expression of horror and pain on her face. On the right side of her neck is a red eye, and another on her palm and the back of her hand. All of her jewelry has been removed, and the party finds a total of nine eyes tattooed on her body which appear to be old rather than new, and which she had apparently kept hidden with a glamour. Caduceus casts Gentle Repose on her as a group of soldiers summoned by Akron arrives downstairs.
- Clips from "Talks Machina #149: Discussing up to C2E113 - A Heart Grown Cold" (TMx149).
- New episode of Critter Hug now on YouTube.
- Merch Alert! Vox Machina puzzle is now available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia critrole.com stores and wherever fine puzzles are sold; Swoleregard tank tops, Critical Role pajamas, Nicodranas joggers, and Vox Machina Chibi pins now available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia critrole.com stores.
- Dani just wants her Critical Role! Taliesin suggests joining the Twitch Subscription Zone.
- Critters' art montage.
Fjord uses Major Image to summon an image of Vess DeRogna standing behind him and Jester on the stairs as the soldiers come up. Fjord tells them that Lady DeRogna got food poisoning last night and blames them for not hearing her fictitious cries in the night, and the image backs him up. He is very convincing, and the soldiers and Akron leave apologetically.
Investigating, they learn Lady DeRogna died on her feet and fell backward onto her bed. There are no tracks under the window. Caleb casts Widogast's Nascent Nein-Sided Tower and they drag the body in while Fjord stays outside in case the soldiers return.
They discuss what questions to ask Lady DeRogna under Speak with Dead. Caduceus casts the spell and asks what the eyes on her body mean. "They are my connection. They are my right to be the Nonagon." What was the book that Lucien took from her? "Something found. Something wasted on those who discovered it. And something I was so close to unlocking." He asks what "To Alpha and Alpha" means and she is uncertain, though, she says, many pieces of the city lie strewn, one to the next. He asks what it is to be a Nonagon. "A Nonagon is a vessel. It is a key to Cognouza. It is the one to free the Somnovem." A bit over two years ago, something went wrong with Lucien. Something he was trying to do changed him. Does she know what that was? "Yes. I'm the one who did it."
The party theorizes about the possible meaning of this information, but can reach no conclusions. Caleb quickly goes out and trades three pearls for a piece of amber to replace the one shattered by the deep scion mage searching for the Cloven Crystal. When he returns to the Tower, he places DeRogna's body in the Vault of Amber.
Fjord finds Dagen and tells him that Lady DeRogna will meet them all at the location on the map marked "A5" and the party will leave with him immediately. He tells the guards at the fort that Lady DeRogna doesn't want to be disturbed for the next 24 hours. Jester forges a note saying that Vess was called away and when the Mighty Nein return they should send Vess a message. They meet Dagen, who requests his agreed-upon payment of 1000 gp up front and 2000 upon completion, which Caduceus and Beau pay. They head out the massive gates leading north into Eiselcross.
- Beauregard Lionett
- Caduceus Clay
- Caleb Widogast
- Jester Lavorre
- Veth Brenatto
- Yasha Nydoorin
|Acquired||Wolf and mammoth meat||Oweda||the party||Paid 40 gp for enough for 6 people for 1 week, plus some information.|
|Transferred||1||The poem Yasha wrote||Yasha||Beau|
|Acquired||1||Piece of amber||Unnamed Balenpost citizen||Caleb||Traded three pearls for it.|
|Transferred||1000||Gold||Beau and Caduceus||Dagen||500 from each.|
|Apparently Transferred||1||Corecut Dagger||Fjord||Veth||Veth uses the dagger in the middle of the next episode, so she was apparently given it either in this episode, or the beginning of the next, offscreen.|
- Veth: Caduceus! She was into you! Did you not read that? She was into you!
Yasha: Big time. Even I read it.
Caduceus: Huh. Naw, I don't have time for that. That's all right.
Veth: What do you mean you don't have time for that? We have forty hours. You guys could have sex forty times.
Caduceus: Yeah, no, that's just not-- I get it. It's just really not my thing.
Veth: Are you just not... not...?
Caduceus: Naw, not really.
Veth: Not into her, or just not into...?
Caduceus: Oh, not into anybody. I enjoy what you all have going on. That's a lot of fun to watch. I mean, not... there... specifically, but the way you all bounce off each other is kind of great. But naw, it's not really for me.
- Dagen Underthorn: Sometimes, scavenging isn't worth what you find.
- Mollymauk/Nonagon/Lucien: To alpha and alpha we trek 'til homeward bound we be.
- Caleb: (to Veth) In the beginning, when we were traveling together, I was from side to side, top to bottom, a mess, and I think you were trying to give me a bit of confidence and help me get back on my feet. I have confidence. I am back on my feet. And I have surrounded myself with experts in their fields, very accomplished people. And I am confident to rely on them and not lead. I don't want to be a leader. I never have. But helping, I like, and confidence, I enjoy. So you have done me a great kindness and bolstered my resolve. You have helped bring me back into my own. And now, I am here. So let's just be here.
- Beau: No one's ever written me a poem before.
Yasha: Well, they should've.
- Matthew Mercer: I wasn't hired to keep her safe!
- During this episode, the total running stream time of Campaign Two surpassed that of Campaign One.
- This episode was not sponsored by D&D Beyond, for the first time in the second campaign since the episodes immediately following the COVID-19 Hiatus.
- See "An Open Window" (2x114) at 1:36:11.
- See "Fleeting Memories" (2x14) from 1:04:31 through 1:06:50.
- See "Fleeting Memories" (2x14) at 0:19:02.
- See "The Chase Begins" (2x112) at 1:39:10.
- See "The Chase Begins" (2x112) at 4:13:51.
- See "An Open Window" (2x114) at 0:45:28.
- See "An Open Window" (2x114) at 1:31:31.
- See "An Open Window" (2x114) at 1:37:55.
- See "An Open Window" (2x114) at 1:51:35.
- See "An Open Window" (2x114) at 2:09:25.
- See "An Open Window" (2x114) at 3:34:29.
- CritRoleStats's tweet.
- Fan art of the arrival at Balenpost, by Cyarna Trim (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of the snowball fight, by Yettinim (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of the purple tiefling, by HeartofPack (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Beau's poem, by Alyssa Plaia (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Caduceus's Speak with Dead, by @hierothraxs (source). Used with permission.