"Fair-weather Faith" (2x123) is the one hundred twenty-third episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein must contend with eye-opening revelations and ever-shifting power dynamics as they continue to forge towards Aeor...

Synopsis

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Previously on Critical Role

So, last we left off, the Mighty Nein has been traveling closer and closer to the ruins of Aeor, and along this path they found themselves having to travel alongside the quarry they were following, as Lucien and the Tombtakers head them off, and decided to keep each other close, like you would with a proper untrusting enemy.

Through some conversations and some travel and a couple of dangerous encounters along the way, you've bonded a bit, shared some things, one of which involved requesting and persuading Lucien to show the tome which began his journey as the Nonagon long ago. Both Caleb and Beauregard took point to read through this book to ascertain information, and gleaned quite a bit about where a lot of this seemed to have begun, learned some information about Aeor, Cognouza, and where these Somnovem may have come from. But also seemed to find something far more sinister and unexplainable deeper into the book before it was snatched back by Lucien.

Fan art of Caleb and Beau's eyes, by Stephanie Brown.[art 1]

You found yourselves lost in an ice fog and lost a day of travel right on the cusp of arriving at your destination, and took one more night's rest where you invited the Tombtakers in to sleep. They found their quarters, you found yours, and began to plot what to do in the near future for the safety of yourselves and/or halting the plot of Lucien the Nonagon. You all went to sleep. In that night's rest, Caleb and Beauregard began to see familiar patterns that they had from the book they had read before, and in that darkness, a single glowing red eye came to them, bid them welcome along with a chorus of hundreds of distant buzzing screams. You both shot awake and found on your person a newly apparated red eye not unlike those upon Lucien and your friend Mollymauk.

So, as you return, you have both shot awake. Caleb has disrobed a little bit to look for and finding the eye, and the rest of you are starting to come to in the midst of this chaos, this tension, and look up to see this point of recognition between the two of them, and Fjord who was awake through this, also taking in the repercussions or the connotations of what has just transpired.

Part I

The party questions Beau and Caleb about their new eye markings, which are smooth and imporous. Jester has Caleb use Fabricate to crush a diamond into dust, then casts Greater Restoration with no effect. Veth uses acid on Beau's eye mark, and Caduceus tries casting Blindness on it. Neither works. Caduceus suggests they could cut Beau's hand off and then regrow it but they decide it probably wouldn't work. Caleb casts Identify on the mark but can learn nothing. With nothing else to try, they go back to sleep.

In the morning, when Jester asks Caleb if he's going to look at the book anymore, he hesitates before agreeing that he won't, that they will wait a day to see what happens. They go down to breakfast with the Tombtakers and head out. The day is clear, and they make good progress. After about four or five hours, however, they spot a pack of wolves running, pursued by a massive white dragon. The party quickly hides in the snow but the dragon lands nearby and sniffs the air, saying menacingly, "I can smell you. I told you I had your scent." The dragon, who they can now see is Gelidon, begins sweeping snow away with her tail, searching for them.

Fjord uses Star Razor's Fly spell to move away from the rest of the party, followed by Caleb using the Stormrider Boots and Beau running, each at different angles. Gelidon starts after Fjord, and Veth shoots her with a Cataclysm Bolt,[1] but it causes freeze damage which fails to harm Gelidon. Yasha uses her Zealous Presence. Beau activates her Maelstrom Gloves while Jester Dimension Doors them both onto Gelidon's back and Beau attacks, forcing the dragon to use a Legendary Resistance to avoid being stunned. Gelidon immediately uses a wing attack to dislodge Jester but Beau hangs on. The dragon then uses her Frightful Presence to frighten Beau, and attacks the not-yet-raging Yasha, doing significant damage.

Fan art of Gelidon in Eiselcross, by Bethany Berg.[art 2]

The parties continue to hack away at the white dragon, and in the fight Lucien reveals he has Legendary Actions. Fjord uses Divine Smite on a critical to achieve 69 damage on one hit, with 106 total for his turn. Gelidon retaliates with a crit on a tail swipe, but misses because of Fjord's Armor of Hexes. Jester copies Cree's successful Fire Storm. Gelidon does another wing attack, knocking Fjord, Yasha, and Otis prone, and flies upward with Beau still on her back, hitting Tyffial, Otis, Jester, and Fjord with her cold breath, damaging Fjord significantly.

With the dragon in the air, the fighters are limited. Otis hides behind Fjord. Caduceus casts Harm on Gelidon, copied later by Cree, and the dragon is beginning to look hurt and show some wear and tear. Veth shoots her for 78 points of damage and then joins Otis hiding behind Fjord. In frustration, Yasha throws Skingorger at the hovering dragon, and with two natural 1's narrowly misses Beau, still clinging to the dragon's back. Jester casts Heal on the badly wounded Fjord.

Gelidon, surprised by their numbers and the intensity of the attacks upon her, claws Beau off her back and then bites her, but Beau manages to cling on as the dragon begins flying away. Lucien sees this as a good thing, and is quite willing to let the dragon have her. The Tombtakers begin moving in the opposite direction, while the Mighty Nein run toward it. Caleb uses Cat's Ire to grapple Beau and pull her off Gelidon, but she is able to use her Maelstrom Gloves to take a few parting shots, and Caduceus casts Heal on her. Gelidon's tail immediately knocks her off the cat's claw, but Veth catches her with Feather Fall.

Gelidon goes into full flight mode, disappearing into the horizon.

Break

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Part II

The parties watch Gelidon fly away. They take a short rest, and the Nein confront Lucien about his willingness to let the dragon have Beau. Lucien is pragmatic, reiterating that they are not friends. Fjord walks over and kisses Jester, thanking her for the Heal. Veth notices, and Fjord matter-of-factly says he's mad about Jester before walking off. Veth excitedly questions Jester, who lies and says it's their first kiss. Jester tries Dispel Evil and Good on Caleb's eye marking, without success.

Caduceus notices Dagen Underthorn is still following at a distance, and they (discreetly) discuss sending a message to him to meet with Essek and bring him to help. Jester takes a bathroom break and messages Dagen to go to the east side of Aeor. He agrees if he's paid the rest of his wages, 2000 gold. They put the money in a pouch and leave it along the trail with a long note telling him everything.

They stop for the evening and Caleb puts up the Tower. Jester Sends to Dagen and confirms he got the money and will go to Essek. Caduceus casts Commune and learns that Essek does plan to help them and that the Tombtakers do not plan to sacrifice the Nein once at Aeor. Jester Communes with Artagan. He is certain Beau and Caleb's eye marks could be removed, but doesn't know if the party would be able to do so now, and knows very little else about them.

Fan art of the owls approaching the Tombtakers, by BlackSalander.[art 3]

Fjord suddenly notices his Bag of Holding is missing and realizes Otis stole it from him while hiding behind him. They run downstairs and see footprints leading away from the tower into the snow (with a thirty minute head start). Jester, Yasha, and Caleb Polymorph into owls and carrying the party, fly in pursuit. Soon, they see the Tombtakers ahead, and decide to sneak up on them to try to snatch at least one of them carrying a threshold crest and the Bag of Holding.

Jester aims for Zoran, while Caleb and Yasha target Otis. As they approach, however, Lucien stops and turns toward them. Caduceus uses Command to freeze Tyffial and Otis in place, but Lucien uses his antimagic ability to render Caduceus's borrowed Goggles of Night inert, effectively blinding him, and dispels Caleb's Polymorph, tumbling them both into the snow just feet from the Tombtakers. Owl-Jester manages to grab Zoran's backpack holding the threshold crest and Owl-Yasha seizes Otis, but he no longer has their Bag of Holding.

Fan art of Lucien attacking Beau, by Toby Sharp.[art 4]

Beau jumps off the owl, landing between Zoran and Cree, but when she attacks, Lucien uses Blood Curse of the Eyeless to put her at disadvantage. He grabs her by the throat and lifts her off the ground. Blood pours from her ears and eyes as she takes massive psychic damage. Without darkvision, Caduceus tries to light his staff with a cantrip but it fails and he realizes he can use no magic. Zoran also attacks the seriously wounded Beau.

Otis escapes Owl-Yasha's hold and rejoins the Tombtakers. Yasha swoops down, seizes Beau, and flies off. As Tyffial approaches Caleb to attack, the magic on her sword fades but she strikes anyway, hitting him twice and then again when he retreats. Lucien hits Caduceus for significant psychic damage, and Otis magically drags Owl-Yasha back towards him causing enough damage to knock her out of owl form. Fjord is attacked and branded, but uses Dwueth'var's new ability to teleport backwards 15 feet away.

Fan art of Lucien vs. phantasmal Caleb, by Sofía Sombra.[art 5]

The party realizes that they cannot win this fight and need to get away. Yasha is able to get just outside Lucien's antimagic cone, use Radiant Soul to summon her wings, grab Caleb, and fly off. Beau uses Step of the Wind to grab Caduceus, taking him to where all of the rest of the party except Fjord are. Veth casts Phantasmal Force on Lucien to create an illusion of a fleeing Caleb on the other side of the battle field, which draws his fire on his next turn. Caleb Polymorphs Beau into a giant mammoth.

Cree tries to cast Slow on the fleeing party, but is Counterspelled by Fjord, who is counter-Counterspelled by Otis, who is counter-counter-Counterspelled by Caleb. Owl-Jester grabs Caduceus while Fjord casts Far Step to join the party and keep running forward. The Tombtakers continue to pursue as they flee, with Cree successfully Slowing Jester and Beau, and the others sniping at the rest of the party. Fjord uses Major Image to create an illusion of Gelidon returning, and Veth wounds Cree just enough that Slow drops. The party slowly begins to gain ground and the Tombtakers let them go, at least for now.

Featured Characters

The Mighty Nein

New

Returning

Mentioned

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Converted 1 Diamond to Diamond Dust Jester Jester Worth 500 gp. Caleb converted the diamond to diamond dust for Greater Restoration.
Expended 100 gp Diamond Dust Jester For Greater Restoration.
Expended 1 Cataclysm Bolt Veth Gelidon The random roll produced cold damage to which Gelidon is immune. Veth still has two. From Vokodo's lair.[2]
Expended 2000 Gold pieces Caduceus and Beau Dagen The balance owed to him, left along the trail for him to find.
Transferred 1 "Potion of Rhino Sex" Veth Jester In reality, the "potion" is merely petal water.[3]
Stolen 1 Mighty Nein's Bag of Holding Fjord Tombtakers Contained a threshold crest, the amber vault, the body of Vess DeRogna, and the Cloven Crystal, among other things.
Borrowed 1 Goggles of Night Beau Caduceus For tracking purposes at night.
Stolen 1 Backpack Zoran Jester Snatched during the battle, has been used to hold a threshold crest.

Quotations

  • Veth: (to Beau and Caleb, after they discover the eye markings) Are you evil in some way?
    Caleb: In some ways.
    Veth: Well, I mean more evil?
    Caduceus: If they were, would they tell you?
    Veth: Can't you sense that? Don't you have ways of sensing evil?
    Caduceus: Not just general... iffy-ness. I don't know how to cast a spell to see if someone's a little iffy.
  • Beau: (to Caleb) I'm glad we're in this together. For better or for worse.
    Caleb: We said we would keep each other in check.
    Beau: Yup, I think that's about to be the thing.
  • Gelidon: I can smell you. I told you I had your scent.
  • Lucien: (as Gelidon flies off with Beau still clinging to her) Ah, well, that's a good turn of fate. Let him have her.
  • Fjord: I'll go over to Jester and give her a kiss. "Hey, thank you."
    Jester: Oh, well, you know, anything... for my Fjord.
    Veth: (stuttering)
    Fjord: What? I'm mad for her.
    Veth: Where did that--? Uh--? We--? What--?
    Fjord: I just leave Veth stuck stammering in the snow.
    Veth: That's a thing now? (no answer) Did you--? Have you--? Have you kissed him often?
    Jester: Um... no. That was the first time he ever kissed me.
    Veth: Just now?
    Jester: Just then. You witnessed it.
    Veth: That was such an anticlimactic...
    Jester: Apparently he's mad for me.
    Veth: And just said it like that? Matter-of-factly?
    Jester: Guess so. Weird. I know.
  • Sam: (during the Gelidon fight) Do you guys ever get that feeling when we're playing where suddenly you're like, "Ah, fuck, I hope this doesn't end."
  • Sam: (later, during the Tombtakers fight) Remember when I said I didn't want it to end? I want it to end now. I want it to be over. You can stop. Please.


Trivia

References

  1. See "A Fog Lifted" (2x106) at 2:18:34.  The bolts, called only "dwarven bolts", were found among Vokodo's loot pile.
  2. See "A Fog Lifted" (2x106) at 2:18:34.
  3. See "Wood and Steel" (2x58) at 1:44:51Nott stole the potions anyway.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Caleb and Beau's eyes, by Stephanie Brown (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Gelidon in Eiselcross, by Bethany Berg (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of the owls approaching the Tombtakers, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Lucien attacking Beau, by Toby Sharp (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Lucien vs. phantasmal Caleb, by Sofía Sombra (source).  Used with permission.


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