"Dignity: An Adventure with Stephen Colbert" (Sx67) is a special one-shot fundraiser helping Red Nose Day to provide much needed assistance to children living below the poverty line. Game Master Matthew Mercer guides an adventure shaped by Critter donations to the Critical Role Foundation, starring special guest Stephen Colbert.
Guest Stephen Colbert appeared in cosplay and brought two swords: one of the four hero versions of Sting and a replica of Andúril, both from The Lord of the Rings movies. Stephen introduced his character Lucky Jack, a human fighter and former acolyte to Arioch, Duke of Chaos, and briefly discussed the versions of Dungeons & Dragons he played in the past.
On the Exandrian continent of Wildemount, tensions rise between warring factions, empires posture, and rumors of coming war cast a dark cloud over the central region, bisected by the Ashkeeper Peaks. You, Jack, have grown a strong and pious man, a warrior acolyte in the temple of Arioch. You have studied the intersection between drive and virtue, and work to display and teach your philosophies to those who needed guidance and protection as you saw fit, within your philosophical endeavors in the city of Bladegarden. This life, quiet sometimes, tense at others, but kept you busy and content.
But conflict and tragedy were still looming beyond your doorstep. In the dark, rain-soaked night, mysterious figures swathed in shadowed leather stole into your temple, carving a trail of violence. As the cries of your compatriots shattered the evening stillness, you rushed to the temple atrium to find your mentor Laelia already left slain and the holy jeweled relic known as the Spirit of Virtue or, colloquially, as Dignity, taken. You lost your dignity.
You rushed out as the temple caught flame and caught up to the cackling leader of this murderous brigand group under the storm. The fiendish woman stood before you. Emerald of skin, with long, jet-black hair, her gnarled curling horns and viper-like eyes look toward you with a gleeful grin as she chuckled, otherworldly power brimming from her that made your skin and blood run cold.
The horned woman confronts and taunts Lucky Jack before cutting him down and leaving him unconscious and bleeding before disappearing into the night. He slowly recovers from his wounds while developing a plan to seek the recovery of the lost artifact Dignity, and realizing the attackers "moved with infernal blessing". After months of training and research, he hears they are in a tower deep within the Wastes of Xhorhas. Lucky Jack sets out accompanied by a brave armored bee named Eric the Second and carrying a sentient holy relic called the Battleaxe of the Gentle Path. After weeks of travel, he finds the tower of Desolace, with a small camp of three adventurers (Beau, Yasha, and Nott) at its base.
Sneaking near, he throws a pebble at one of the party, igniting an argument among the group and remaining unnoticed hiself. The party figures out that they're being watched and draws their weapons nervously. From hiding, Lucky Jack asks them if they serve a woman with horns, and they reply they do not. Lucky Jack demands they lower their weapons but only Nott complies. Jack comes out of hiding anyway, loudly and heroically introducing himself and explaining his quest to find Madrak, whom (it develops) the party has been pursuing as well. The noise alarms Nott, who tells him to keep his voice down, but it is too late: two stone gargoyles on the entryway come to life and attack. Roll initiative!
Yasha bamfs out her skeletal wings, frightening the gargoyles. Beau whacks one with her staff and fists, killing it. Jack then seriously wounds the other with his longsword and a crit on his hand axe and Nott finishes it off by pouncing on its face with a Shocking Grasp crit.
Jack then explains that he is an acolyte at the temple of Arioch, which Madrak destroyed, and that he is seeking the return of the Spirit of Virtue (and the recovery of his own dignity). Nott wants to know if there's a Mrs Lucky Jack, and Jack explains he is under a vow of celibacy. The storm at the top of the tower grows more intense and they sense that time is growing short. Deciding to join forces, Nott picks the lock on the iron gate and the party enters.
As they do, a series of runes begins to glow filling the space with infernal energy and damaging everyone, Beau severely. The trap now expended, Yasha's Light reveals a small thin humanoid creature with leathery bat-like wings skittering across the room. Huddled against one wall, it greets them, pitifully asking if they are new friends. It tells them cruel people have taken the upper floors, one a woman with green skin and horns, who have hurt him a lot. It is called Bozyn, and asks if they will be its friends. Cautiously, Jack replies that they're not Bozyn's enemies.
They ask Bozyn about a grate on the floor. Bozyn saw the bad people kill someone and take its heart before climbing the tower to make a ritual with it. The rest of the body was dumped under the grate. Beau and Yasha investigate, finding corpses of varying ages and a single-use spell scroll of Dispel Magic.
Bozyn urges them upward, but Eric the Second seems upset and does not trust the creature. Urging them to follow him, Bozyn goes up one of the twin staircases leading up. Nott and Lucky Jack sense something not right and most of the party (except Yasha) take the other stairway. When Yasha and Bozyn arrive at the top, she takes serious damage from a lightning trap there, which Bozyn unconvincingly denies knowing about. They all take their healing potions.
They have reached what seems to be a combination of a dining room and torture chamber with signs of recent cannibalism. Jack realizes the dinner was a mockery of a sacrament marking the initiation of a twisted ritual, the runes on the floor being used to bind something large. It lacks only salt to complete the ritual. Bozyn draws their attention to the faint sounds of chanting coming from the floor above, and Yasha intimidates the creature into admitting that he's been working for Madrak. The ritual upstairs is to bring a "big scary demon thing through".
Avoiding a trap Nott points out, they rush up the stairs to the ruined top of the tower. There, a large pulsing intricate rune on the floor is surrounded by four cultists in dark robes holding blades, standing on scaffolding above it and looking even further upward at Madrak holding her arms aloft to a strange tear in reality. In her hands is the Spirit of Virtue. Bozyn screams out, alerting the cultists and halting the ritual. Still holding the reliquary, Madrak pulls her blade as burning red eyes peer through the rift and a massive clawed red arm emerges.
Yasha is immediately charmed by Madrak but is disarmed by Jack. He throws the Battleaxe of the Gentle Path at Madrak, but misses and he charges up to face her. Nott tries and fails to use the found scroll to dispel Yasha's charm. Beau pulls an acolyte off the scaffolding to fall below, and he screams as his blood is drawn upward into the tear in the sky above where a second arm emerges. The other acolytes rush into the circular rune as well, giving themselves to the ritual as the blood is pulled out of them, further widening the rift where two massive horns now emerge.
Madrak laughs as the reliquary continues to draw energy, but Nott's Hideous Laughter against her succeeds. Jack jumps for the reliquary and would have missed, but uses his Luck and succeeds. He tears the relic from her hands. The tether of blood dissipates. The rift slowly begins to close as the emerging beast withdraws, the cultists turn to dust, and the rune fades. Suddenly, a gigantic hand emerges from the rift, grabs Madrak, and drags her through into its realm just as the tear disappears. The Spirit of Virtue falls to the ground, restored.
His quest completed, Jack thanks the group and offers them a tour of the temple of Arioch sometime. They make their way back westward to safer lands.
- Arioch, Duke of Chaos
- Laelia, a priestess at the Bladegarden temple of Arioch
- Jester Lavorre
- Madrak: What delightful arrogance! What brings this pup before me? Delusions of vengeance, perhaps? Oh, how I do love the bravery and ignorance of the faithful. Come then! Show Madrak how loud you can scream.
- Lucky Jack: Hello!
Nott: The forest speaks!
- Nott: Is there a lucky Jill? A Mrs. Lucky Jack?
Lucky Jack: No. We take a vow of celibacy. [...] Celibacy means you don't have physical contact. You don't have romantic entanglements with other creatures.
Nott: But c'mon, just a little bit?
Lucky Jack: We do a little, because it's a temple of chaos. But it's in the book, so we have to-- at least lip service to it.
- Beau: I think you're being too hard on yourself.
Lucky Jack: I don't think I'm being hard enough.
- Bozyn: Are you Bozyn's friends?
Yasha: We can be.
Lucky Jack: We're not Bozyn's enemies.
- Lucky Jack: This is my friend Eric the Second.
Beau: What happened to Eric the First?
Lucky Jack: ...It's too sad of a story for me to remember.
- Lucky Jack: I have achieved my quest. How can I thank you for your help?
Nott: (seductively) I can think of something.
Lucky Jack: Is there anything else?
|1||Spell scroll of Dispel Magic||Under a grate in the Tower of Desolace||Nott||Nott used it to try to dispel the Charm effect on Yasha, but failed.|
|Expended||4||Healing potions||The party||The group started the adventure with one potion each.|
|Recovered||1||The Spirit of Virtue||Madrak||Lucky Jack|
- This adventure marked the second time that Critical Role partnered with Stephen Colbert to raise funds for Red Nose Day, the first being "Stephen Colbert's D&D Adventure with Matthew Mercer" (Sx43). Through their contributions, Critters chose that Stephen's character would again have a bee companion, Eric II following in his father's footsteps; would be able to cast Polymorph once during the adventure; would be on a quest to recover his dignity; and would begin his journey with a living weapon that despises violence.
- The show raised over $190,000 for the charity.
- The player characters all were at level five for this adventure.