"Causatum" (2x70) is the seventieth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein come to terms with the consequences of their actions as they return to Rosohna and plan their next move...
Liam's here on an internet connection tonight as he's been out for the week with his family.
- Sam spoke about the D&D Beyond Encounter Builder being available for D&D Beyond subscribers.
- Sam, Laura, Matt and Travis ran a radio drama with Sam providing the sound effects.
- Matt spoke about:
- Laura spoke about new merchandise available in both the Critical Role US and UK online shops.
Previously on Critical Role
Last we left off: The Mighty Nein, upon investigating a series of strange occurrences where portals that seemed to open to various locations in the Abyss began to appear across Xhorhas, had found the individual responsible through scrying means, hunted down a meeting point, and when they fled northward toward Bazzoxan, you followed this entity, this Obann, into a subterranean tomb, known colloquially or historically as the King's Cage, as you came to discover. There, in the depths below, you went through all manner of dangerous traps, challenges, terrible creatures, and reflections of yourselves, even, before eventually coming to a chamber where you found some sort of a tomb itself. A sarcophagus was there and Obann had essentially been letting you do the hard work for him. Beginning to read from a tablet, the chains began to tear apart from this sarcophagus. Attempting to stop him but failing, it completed, and as such unleashed what you came to find to be The Laughing Hand, a champion of The Crawling King, Torog.
In the course of this battle, Obann seemingly was destroyed but in his final moments called out to Yasha, connecting to this past connection they seemed to have, and asking to avenge him. At which point, she began to be overtaken. So it was the Mighty Nein versus Yasha and The Laughing Hand. The battle began to turn rapidly and you all turned tail to flee with your lives, and through a series of very, very tight choices and tactical decisions, managed to all make it out alive, sealing the door behind you, running through the remaining dangers that led you into this chamber, and considering the terrible scenario of leaving your friend behind under the influence of this entity. You've made your way toward Bazzoxan for an evening's rest to figure out what and where the Mighty Nein are to go and do. So, as you all make your way to Bazzoxan, holding up for the evening, purchasing another night of rest at the top of the same shop, though seemingly to yourselves for this particular evening, what would you like to do?
The Mighty Nein reaches Bazzoxan, which seems much the same as when they left. They discuss their plans: whether they should warn the town about the release of The Laughing Hand; whether they should go to Caduceus's Kiln next; whether (and how) to tell the Bright Queen what has happened. It's clear there's no agreement on any of these. Although many of them initially feel responsible for the Hand's release, Beau, Caleb, and Caduceus point out that they were simply unable to prevent the release-- they didn't cause it. They decide to get a night's rest and discuss further in the morning.
Nott brings out the dagger used to lock the final room of the tomb, and Caleb identifies it as the Dagger of Denial (+2 dagger, can seal any keyhole until unlocked by the dagger). For now, Nott keeps it.
The next morning, Jester Sends to the Bright Queen, telling her that the Laughing Hand has been unleashed west of Bazzoxan and that the team is planning to head north in search of a solution they think might be there. The Queen wants more information, asking how quickly they can return as this should be discussed in person. The Nein are deeply split as to how to respond. Fjord is very reluctant to return, convinced that they will be immediately jailed, and Jester agrees. Beau mistrusts the Queen but Caleb and Caduceus argue for honesty and trust. They finally Send that they can return tomorrow and ask if they should warn the town. The Queen tells them not to warn anyone yet, so that the information can be framed to avoid hysteria. This deeply disturbs Fjord, Caduceus, and Beau.
Jester scrys on Yasha, and sees her apparently performing a ritual in a cavern. Firelight grows brighter until a red-skinned hand is placed on Yasha's shoulder and a voice says, "Very good. Thank you for your patience. Now this has been one fine reunion. Let's go see if we can find the others." Jester hears the lumbering footsteps of The Laughing Hand following Yasha and the returned Obann as they walk out. Jester is devastated, wondering if Yasha was bad all along.
Caduceus is almost panicky, convinced the Hand, Obann, and Yasha are coming to Bazzoxan and urging the party to get out of town right away. Nott urges them to at least see how strong the Umbra Gates defenses are first. Fjord calls a vote, and all but he and Beau are in favor of obeying the Bright Queen and returning. They decide to inspect the Gates, noticing increased military presence on the way, and are told that the Bright Queen has now told the army of a possible new danger. They agree that they can try to start a rumor amongst the army that this is the big one and not to cut the Hand.
Jester learns that the magical ballista they see were designed by Professor Waccoh and are partially made from something recovered up north in Eiselcross. Fjord disguises himself as a messenger and tries to warn a random ogre guard about the Laughing Hand. Unfortunately his words aren't taken seriously. Nott has Jester Send to Shakäste and learns that he has safely delivered Luc and Old Edith to Nicodranas. Caleb offers to Teleport Yeza there to join Luc, and Nott decides that's what she wants to do.
Before going to bed, Jester talks to the Traveler. He reminds her of the upcoming TravelerCon, and asks if she has any suggestions for a location. She suggests the volcano up north that holds the Kiln, and he agrees. She also shares her sadness over Yasha, and he comforts her, telling her that there is beauty in sadness, and that without sadness, it's hard to appreciate beauty. She'll be sad again, but she also gets to be happy. And there are powerful eyes watching Yasha that never left.
- D&D Beyond animation.
- Advertisement for the Critical Role heat activated mug.
- Clips from "Talks Machina #118: 'The King's Cage'" (TMx118)
- Pumat Sol advertises Amazon/Twitch subscription.
- Critters' Art Montage.
In the morning, the increased military alertness is still present in Bazzoxan, but there doesn't appear to be any sign of the Laughing Hand. Caleb casts Teleportation Circle using his last piece of jade and brings them back to the Underarches of the Lucid Bastion, where they are recognized by the guards and taken to the throne room. They decide Caduceus will take the lead in talking to the Bright Queen.
The throne room is bustling with activity and discussion. The Bright Queen welcomes them, and thanks them for their warning of the impending Dwendalian Empire incursion of the Ashguard Garrison, which has been successfully beaten back. The series of assassination attempts by the Scourgers has also been successfully dealt with, thanks to their warning, and the Dynasty has captured one of the Scourgers. Caduceus reiterates the dangers posed by the release of the Laughing Hand, and the Queen tells them that Den Duendalos is looking into historical research on it. Caduceus says that they believe there might be a weapon that can defeat this creature in the north and requests teleportation there, to which the Queen replies, "Perhaps." Fjord uses Major Image to show the court what the Hand looks like.
Nott asks about the Scourger the Dynasty captured. She is a female human, being held in the dungeon below for interrogation and execution. Caleb requests further training in dunamancy from Essek Thelyss, but the Queen does not trust them enough yet. He then asks to interview the captured Scourger, to which she agrees.
Caduceus returns to the subject of the Kiln, and Skysybil Mirimm recognizes the snowless mountain he describes as being named Kravaraad, in the Flotket Alps of the Greying Wildlands. Essek agrees to transport them there.
They are escorted to the fourth level of the dungeon in the Shadowshire, to a heavily guarded cell. Fjord looks in the small hole in the door and sees a badly beaten woman, hair covering her turned-away face, shackled to a chair bolted to the ground. Caleb takes his place at the door and sends in two dancing lights. He speaks in Zemnian, telling her to wake up, he needs her to talk to him. She is resigned and uncooperative. After a long pause, he says, "Astrid." She responds, slightly, and he can see she has scars on her forearms similar to his. Finally, he asks, "Do you know Bren Aldric Ermendrud?" "Very well... Is he you?" and the woman turns to look at him. It is not Astrid, but she is smiling, and says, "I've heard things about you, Bren. Welcome back." She will say nothing useful and he walks out, shaken.
Caleb agrees to teleport Nott, Yeza, and Jester to Nicodranas in the morning. Caduceus wants a day at home to prepare for the journey north. The party returns to the Xhorhaus, except for Caleb, who goes looking for Essek. Nott and Yeza (who has done a wonderful job keeping the house up) are reunited, and Yeza makes tea for everyone. Yeza is eager to join Luc in Nicodranas, agreeing to leave in the morning.
The party gathers in the rooftop garden and Caduceus tells them that the broken sword is named Dwueth'var, and that he believes it can be reforged in the Kiln. He tells them the story of how the day after the Raven Queen ascended, three of her champions, named Clay, Stone, and Dust, were given the task of disposing of the body of one of the heroes of the war. The Wildmother told Stone to feed the limbs to the beasts living in an oasis, creating a menagerie as a gift to The Changebringer. She told Clay to put the head next to a spring in a forest, creating a beautiful garden as a gift to The Archeart. Dust took the rest of the body and burned it in a kiln as a gift to The Allhammer. Since that time, those three families have guarded and accepted the dead at those three temples. He believes there is still a Dust in the north, ready to help. He has also created a small shrine for each of the Mighty Nein's deities in the rooftop garden.
Beau has Jester send to Dairon, telling her they are in Rosohna. Dairon responds, asking where exactly they are. Things are... difficult. Jester responds that they're in the Xhorhaus and for Dairon to be sneaky if she comes. Beau and Jester go to their room, and they agree Jester will sleep on the balcony, while Beau sleeps on the front stoop, in case Dairon comes that night.
Meanwhile, Caleb finds Essek, who agrees to do what he can to see that the execution of the Scourger does not happen for a few days and that Caleb can interview her again. Trying to hold it together and think of the group, he returns to the Xhorhaus, where he takes out his bottle of whiskey and awkwardly asks if any of the others want to join him, succeeding only in making them ask if he's planning to kill them in their sleep.
Later that night, Jester sees a figure silently arrive on the balcony. It is Dairon, in her drow disguise. She tells Jester to fetch Beau, they have much to discuss.
The Mighty Nein
- Caduceus Clay
- Jester Lavorre
- Yasha Nydoorin (through Jester's Scrying spell)
- Caleb Widogast
- Yeza Brenatto
- Leylas Kryn
- Abrianna Mirimm
- Obann (through Jester's Scrying spell)
- Shakäste (controlled by Matt, through Jester's Sending spell)
- The Traveler
- Essek Thelyss
|Transferred||1||Dagger||Nott||Caleb||Nott gave the dagger to Caleb so he could identify it.|
|Identified||1||Dagger||Caleb||Caleb||Caleb examines and identifies the dagger as The Dagger of Denial: +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls. While attuned to this weapon, you can place the point of the blade into any keyhole and seal it shut, and the lock can only be opened by placing the dagger into the keyhole once again.|
|Transferred||1||Dagger||Caleb||Nott||The dagger is returned to Nott.|
|Identified||1||Sword||Caduceus||Caduceus||Caduceus casts Legend Lore on his broken sword and discovers that it is a magical weapon called Dwueth'var (The Star Razor), a weapon forged through the union of two acolytes of Melora and Sehanine during the Age of Arcanum. It carries the blessing of the fiercest full moon and starlit night. Recovered by the elves and dwarves of Uthodurn and reforged and strengthened under the skilled work of the dwarven smith, Dulgrim Smeltborne.|
- Caduceus: Am I the only person here who doesn't instantly assume that they're the bad guy? Has anybody else here actually had any experience being just trusted and doing the right thing? Is this so alien?
- Caduceus: The only shred of guilt I feel about anything we've done in the last 24 hours is losing a friend. Everything else I know I did my best.
- Jester: There's so many things in the world. I thought it would be really cool to see it all. And some of it is really pretty... But a lot of it is just really sad, and a lot of people getting hurt, and...
The Traveler: "It is a very beautiful world. And it's a very sad world. But there is beauty in sadness, too.[...] Without those moments, it's hard to appreciate beauty.[...] You'll be sad again. To live is to be sad, time and time again. But you also get to be happy."
- Caleb: From what I understand, your time is limited. Very limited. Care to contribute anything to the conversation?
Unidentified Scourger: Not particularly. I’m just waiting for my sentence.
Caleb: It has a period on the end.
Unidentified Scourger: I will say it’s fascinating to see who is now working with the other side.
Caleb: Some of us get tired of macabre fairy tales. So you enjoy your mouthful of lies, when they choke it out of you.