"Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) is the one hundred seventh episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. With less than a week until Traveler Con, the Mighty Nein put on their party planning hats to prep Rumblecusp for the unruly event.

Synopsis

Announcements

  • As always, before we get into tonight's show we have Sam with our first sponsor--but there are two Sams letting everyone know about Elderwood Academy's special deal: use code CritRole2020 for 15% off. After questioning both possible Sams, the real one is the one who knows that URL because Sam's the best at corporate shilling.
  • The second sponsor tonight is, of course, D&D Beyond. Their new Avrae Discord bot is available to make playing D&D through Discord easier. Plus, it's their third anniversary! To celebrate, they're giving away a free online Dice of Healing set to subscribers in August.
  • Vox Machina Origins Volume 2 trade paperback is currently available online and in local shops, while the limited edition hardcover edition is available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia critrole.com stores.
  • Shoutout to Popup Dungeon currently running a special giveaway on Twitter, and featuring some familiar voices.
  • Frumpkin mini-plush hanger/keychain/Christmas tree ornament is now available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia critrole.com stores. Liam is excited.

Previously on Critical Role

So, last we left off: the Mighty Nein, after spending some time on the island of Rumblecusp in anticipation for the coming preparations for TravelerCon. You discovered a people that lived here who had lost their memories over time, and some seemingly ancient entity known as Vokodo, that had taken residence beneath the mountain. Upon learning about the different mysteries and dangers throughout, you discovered a cavern full of abandoned ships. You fought dangerous creatures around and eventually went beneath the mountain itself to fight this Vokodo creature. You learned as it was dying of what it was it seemed to be fleeing from within the Astral Sea.

You escaped the boiling waters with the treasure that you had accrued from its hoard, and, it seemed, freed the people of Vokodo from this clouding fog that removed the memories from them. As they returned, many of them realized who they once were, and decided to return to their old life. Some chose to stay with the new life they had made here. But nevertheless, a night of final celebration for the villagers of Vokodo as the village that it once was was brought forth around a large bonfire. You all helped them into this final night. You saw some early arrivals to the TravelerCon event begin to try to find their place amongst the vicinity, and, after saying your bits before the next day, you went and crashed up in Vilya’s room and went to bed. And that was where we left off.

Part I

In the morning, there is much activity in the village with people readying to return to their original homes. Jester has calculated that if everyone in the party gives back 112 gold, they will have enough to give each of the sixty departing villagers a goody bag containing 50 gold. Veth, Jester, Caduceus, and Yasha each contribute fifty additional gold to be given to Vilya specifically. Veth shames Beau into contributing, and peer pressure caves Fjord and Caleb as well.

They decide they need to start setting up for TravelerCon, and look to Jester for instructions on what to do. Jester has an idea to ask for human sacrifice volunteers-- at which point the Traveler reveals himself as an extremely interested eavesdropper. Jester hugs him, and explains that they could separate the volunteers and alter their memories to believe they were sacrificed, resurrected, and witnessed his ascension. The mildly horrified party workshops this. Caduceus thinks it sets a dangerous precedent, and Beau thinks people that come back from the dead, like Molly, can be insufferable. Veth suggests audience participation, instead, such as beating on drums-- maybe during the week, the attendees can make their own drumsticks in the shape of dicks and at the end of the week they all beat their dicks.

The idea of moving the attendees to worship an alternative god is floated, and Jester likes this because people would be left with an actual god in their lives. Caduceus suggests the Moonweaver. Jester has the idea to hide all the little dick-shaped Traveler statues she's made and have the attendees try to find them while they are on the island. Beau suggests an ultimate pilgrimage to the top of the volcano to toss in all the found statues. The Traveler is excited by the idea that over hundreds of years, Sehanine will possibly have had to absorb a dick festival into her worship because of TravelerCon.

Caduceus suggests that Jester could become the avatar of the Traveler, and she's not opposed to the idea until Fjord points out that everyone would then come to Jester, and many of them also know Sending. Jester tells Artagan he should take the spell away from the others, and he immediately does so. This makes her feel good. During the discussion, Artagan receives word of a ship dealing with a turtle thing and abruptly departs.

Eventually they settle on the following activities:

  • A stage on which Yasha will play music (which they will leave for the villagers)
  • Have the attendees make their own dick-shaped drumsticks
  • Beat drums with the drumsticks
  • Have a dance-off
  • Hide all the dick-shaped Traveler statues for a dick-hunt
  • A fighting pit
  • Closing ceremony where everybody throws their dicks in the volcano and magical illusions take place revealing that the Traveler is actually the Moonweaver

Vilya comes in to tell them the first batch of departures is leaving for the Menagerie Coast. There will be five batches: the Menagerie Coast, the east side of Tal'Dorei, Asarius, Zadash, and the western coast of Marquet. The party accompanies her in order to give those leaving their goody bags. Fjord notices Kotho (the former Terra) is among them, and approaches her. There is someone he wants found, and she agrees to do this in exchange for a 200 gold down payment and 100 on completion. The person he wants found is Sabian, his former fellow crew member under Vandran. Vilya opens the tree and the villagers run through.

Going back to TravelerCon preparations, the party uses magic to build the stage and smooth a safe path to the top of the volcano. On each day, Caleb uses Programmed Illusion to create a Traveler-themed image in a different location that will last indefinitely, thrilling Jester (and the village children). They hide the dicks, including a golden one, build the fighting pit and an arts and crafts area, make multiple large drums, and upgrade the housing.

You live for the natural order of life. Not just your philosophy, not just your legacy, but what you believe to be the deepest purpose of your soul is tied to maintaining and helping the natural order of the world continue and flourish, and while many things can dampen or oppose the Wildmother's wishes, she understands that mortal hubris is part of this balance; that where things are built, things then crumble. What you saw in these visions though-- it haunts you in these quiet moments. You, above all else, feel and understand things with an instinctual insight few others can achieve, and what you saw was a perversion of all that you hold sacred. You struggle to make sense of the vision, of what you felt as it carved through your mind, but you are only left with a primal coldness and fear. You touched something truly alien and entirely removed from the cycle of nature, both on Exandria and the natural order of the cosmic weave. You perhaps know more than any of your comrades the terror that drove a creature like Vokodo to desperation.
– 
Caduceus recalling Vokodo's vision[1]
[!h]

The first evening, as Caduceus is meditating, he has a hard time as his mind keeps wandering back to the visions they received as Vokodo died. He realizes they saw something truly alien and entirely removed from the natural cycle of the cosmic weave. The following day, as Caduceus clears the path up the volcano, he uses Commune to contact the Wildmother and ask about the vision. She does not know and cannot sense this entity.

Jester uses Sending to contact Orly, confirming the crew is alive and found the hidden ships, although they haven't figured out how to extricate them yet. The party realizes they will need to feed a lot of people and decide hunting the T. rex they saw earlier would be the best answer.

Break

Part II

Fan art of the white T-rex, by BlackSalander.[art 1]

Jaina/Ashelyn and Pono/Kieran decline to join them on their hunt, and the party sets off with Jester helming the search. Rather quickly, they locate the region and find two set of tracks and a mostly eaten carcass. They follow the larger, fresher set, eventually finding a sleeping albino tyrannosaurus rex surrounded by small symbiotic birds. Although Veth manages to fall out of a tree, they are able to surprise the creature.

The tyrannosaurus is old and easy to hit, and the party is able to inflict significant damage before the creature can even move. Caduceus hits it with a Ray of Enfeeblement, weakening its attacks, and Jester creates a Blade Barrier about fifteen feet off the ground directly above the twenty-foot tall creature. Caleb Polymorphs into a bengal cat-patterned tyrannosaurus, avoiding the blade barrier. Their damage against the seemingly-hapless creature is enough that the party begins feeling sorry for it-- until its turn, when a single critical bite against Beau would have caused 136 damage points but was halved twice by both the Enfeeblement and Caduceus's Sentinel at Death's Door reaction. The creature has Beau grappled in its mouth, and also hits on a tail attack against Yasha, while succeeding against the Enfeeblement ray. However, the party continues to whack it hard. Caduceus re-casts Ray of Enfeeblement but the creature never gets another attack, as Fjord gets the How do you want to do this? with his Eldritch Blasts.

Fan art of the T. rexes with their kill, by Myrling.[art 2]

Caleb (still in dinosaur form) starts eating the fallen foe while the party considers how to get the carcass back to the village. Jester Polymorphs into a blue tyrannosaurus, and she and Caleb are able to drag it back to town.

The next day, more TravelerCon attendees arrive, including Covak. Jester greets him excitedly. Beau is horrified to discover there is no alcohol on the island, when a new arrival introduces himself as Kent Plucker, a traveling lute player. He came prepared with a pony cart full of dark-brown glass jugs holding rum.

The party continues preparations for the Con. Jester brings up their shared vision of Vokodo's memories when he died. Caduceus suggests that Jester ask the Traveler about it, since he asked the Wildmother and she had no knowledge of it. Yasha brings up Mollymauk's nine eye tattoos similar to the "Eyes of Nine" referred to in the vision, and they discuss possible connections and theories but can reach no conclusions. Yasha remembers that Molly didn't know where his nine eye tattoos came from, and that he had tried to cover them but couldn't, so worked them into the design of his other tattoos. They decide to table the issue for now, and come back to it after TravelerCon.

TravelerCon Eve arrives, with over a hundred attendees now present. The final groups of departing Vo villagers have been sent off by Vilya and the village is happily bustling, filled with music, activity, and chaos. That evening, a familiar red-haired figure saunters up, in disguise to everyone but the Mighty Nein. He is quite pleased with the preparations and plans, telling Jester it will soon be just her and him... and a couple of other people, but she's his favorite. He wants to show his appreciation to all of them, and asks if they all have cloaks, but says nothing more.

Fan art of Jester with Artagan, by kawaiiideath.[art 3]

Jester takes him aside and they walk into the village to talk. He tells her how much she's changed him for the better, and how much she's grown. The conversation seems to quiet all Jester's recent fears and uncertainties about him, and she tells him he is her best friend and always will be. He cautions her that he doesn't expect things to last forever, and they should appreciate the time they have, then wanders off to enjoy the party.

When she rejoins the group, Fjord, as is often the case, is concerned about potential security. The rest of the group is more inclined to let chaos reign.

Veth wanders over to talk to Vilya, who is sitting alone at one of the tables. Her work is complete, and the celebrations aren't really her scene. Veth reminds her she has a child out there that she must be missing, and while Vilya agrees, she is nervous to return. Veth sympathizes. She herself is still not sure if she belongs at home or out in the world. But you can't delay forever. At some point, you have to go home.

Vilya Druidcrafts three flowers: a pink one for Caduceus in gratitude for protecting the green, a blue one for Fjord to remind him nature is there to protect him, and a white one for Yasha to press in her book. She tells Veth to thank all the others, and thanks Veth, asking her to give the 350 gold to Anola instead. Then she turns towards a tree:

[Vilya] turns towards the tree, takes a deep, visible breath, and marks the front of it with the staff. You watch as the doorway opens up. And there beyond it, it’s a sunset, wherever it is. You can see oranges and purples and a dark blue that is taking the sky with bits of white cloud that have been swallowed by the same hues in the air. You see reddish-brown rock, like a mountainside, a precipice of some rocky range. You see over the top of the branches what looks almost like cherry blossom-like leaves, framing the exterior of the doorway, as there are these long benches, like an amphitheater setup that is arranged around it. A few figures stand up curiously. You see a female figure about twenty feet away, this heavy mantle of transitioning colors, long red hair, and these branching pointed antlers, just turn. As Vilya steps through and into the space, the people back up, and the female figure clasps her chest and begins to run for her. And the doors close.
– 
Vilya's return to Zephrah.[2]
[!h]

Fan art of Keyleth and Vilya, by Toby Sharp.[art 4]

Fan art of Vilya returning to Zephrah, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 5]

Featured Characters

The Mighty Nein

Fan art of Vilya's return to Zephrah, by Yettinim.[art 6]

New

Returning

Mentioned

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Transferred 112 each Gold pieces The party Jester To be distributed to departing villagers
Expended 50 gp each Cash Jester/the party Departing Vo villagers Gold added to the other coinage recovered from Vokodo and 50 gp each given to 60 departing villagers in a little bag.
Transferred 50 each Gold pieces The party Jester To be given to Vilya
Transferred 5 Bottle rockets Beau Treece To use during TravelerCon
Transferred 3 Pink, blue, and white wildflowers Vilya Veth To be given to Caduceus, Fjord, and Yasha

Quotations

  • Jester: What if I asked people, "Hey, guys, we need a few human sacrifices"? And what if a few people volunteered for that-- maybe one of you guys would be one of the volunteers?
    Veth: You're going to kill one of us?!
    Jester: Listen, Veth--
    The Traveler: This just got extremely interesting.[3]
  • Caduceus: There's room for a lot in this world and if you have a whole planet of carpenters, then nothing ever gets done. You need a bit of everything and we're fine.[4]
  • Caduceus: I'm literally descended from people who buried a head somewhere and this is sort of how we ended up where we are.[5]
  • Orly Skiffback: (replying to Jester's Sending) Marius - still alive, still pointless.[6]
  • Artagan: (to Jester) As much as I’ve guided you through the years, don’t think you haven’t guided me. [...] You tend to change those around you for the better. Those that matter, anyway. [...] Not everyone takes the freedom and the guidance that I offer and twists the world with it in the right way. There’s too much stuffiness, too much self-aggrandizing. It seems that mortality leads people to feel like they’re rushing to some end.
    Jester: Yeah. It does. Maybe you should make me immortal.
    Artagan: (long chuckle) Sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh so hard. That was just quite funny.[7]
  • Jester: (to Artagan) You’re my best friend. And no matter what, you always will be.
    Artagan: For now. [8]
  • Artagan: (to Jester) I’ve lived a very long time. I’ve made many friends and lost many friends. So I don’t expect things to always last. With the time that I’ve had, I’ve learned to appreciate it, the temporary things. I mean, there’s a good chance that even I’m not as eternal as I believe. When things are temporary, and you know it and you understand it, you tend to truly savor it. Even we might be temporary. So let us appreciate the time we have.[9]
  • Veth: (to Vilya) I’ve felt the same way many times, not sure where I fit into the world, really. Whether I’m meant to be out exploring and traveling, or meant to be home caring for someone else, or a little of both. And for you, it must be impossible. You don’t even know if your little one’s-- where she is or what she’s up to or if she’s okay. [...]
    Vilya: I feel, in my heart of hearts, in my soul, that my husband and daughter are okay. That dread has never crept in. Just nerves. Maybe to wait is just delaying the inevitable.
    Veth: Yeah, I’ve been thinking the same thing, too. But you can’t delay forever. At some point, you have to go home.[10]
  • Matt: (as Vilya, after Druidcrafting three flowers) She takes the pink one and says, “Give this to your tall lanky friend, Caduceus. Tell him that whether it be just nature itself or the Wildmother’s guidance, he protects the green that keeps those like me alive.” Hands the blue one to you, and says, “Give this to the newbie, Fjord, who’s beginning his journey, to remind him that the nature that I myself represent is always there to protect him.” And she takes the white flower and goes, “And give this to the quiet one, Yasha. I know she likes to keep these in a book. And tell everyone else thank you.”[11]

Trivia

  • The in-game date at the end of this episode was 25 Unndilar 836, TravelerCon Eve.
  • When the halfling TravelerCon attendee Kent Plucker was introduced, Sam immediately (and amazingly) recognized him as one of the members of Dr. Dranzel's Spectacular Traveling Troupe from Campaign One. Kent became the fourth character from the first campaign to appear in the second, along with Captain Adella, Allura Vysoren, and Artagan.
  • This episode marks the first visual sighting of a Campaign One Player Character in Campaign 2, with Keyleth appearing briefly as Vilya opened a tree portal to Zephrah. This arguably makes Keyleth the fifth character from the first campaign to appear in the second although she was only glimpsed through the tree portal rather than making an actual appearance, somewhat similar to Kima being heard in the background as Allura spoke to the Mighty Nein through the magic mirror while they were in the Happy Fun Ball.
  • Thanks to CritRoleStats, we know that the word "dick" was used 99 times in this episode, with synonyms being used an additional 12 times.[12]

References

  1. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 1:18:22.
  2. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 3:50:45.
  3. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 0:20:17.
  4. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 0:34:03.
  5. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 0:37:20.
  6. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 1:20:41.
  7. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 3:34:37.
  8. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 3:38:37.
  9. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 3:39:32.
  10. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 3:44:14.
  11. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 3:47:13.
  12. @CritRoleStats's tweet.

Art:

  1. Fan art of the white T-rex, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of the T. rexes with their kill, by Myrling (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Jester with Artagan, by kawaiiideath (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Keyleth and Vilya, by Toby Sharp (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Vilya returning to Zephrah, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of Vilya's return to Zephrah, by Yettinim (source).  Used with permission.


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