"Fetching Fables & Frosty Friends" (2x115) is the one hundred fifteenth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein head into the frozen tundra of Foren, led by their grizzled guide, and must contend with more than a few dangerous elements of the landscape...

Synopsis

Announcements

  • Tonight's sponsor is The Deck of Many, and Sam has built a deck of cards to create a classic Sam Riegel advertisement, including "offensive accent", "parody song", "dad joke", and "offensive". Picking three things randomly to create a character, he gets "Santa Claus", "France", and "doctor". This results in Dr. Pierre Santa Claus, announcing The Deck of Many's early Black Friday sales. Use code CR2020 for free shipping on orders over $50.
  • Merch Alert! Brand new Jester hoodie from the Mighty Vibes Jester video available for adults and kids, complete with squishy horn. Endorsed by Ronin Willingham.

Previously on Critical Role

So: The Mighty Nein have made their way to Eiselcross, after agreeing to be hired by Lady Vess DeRogna of the Cerberus Assembly.

You made your way across the Frigid Depths in an icebreaker ship known as the Midnight Hammer, did some battle, made your way to Balenpost, the Cerberus Assembly-handled outpost here for the Empire on the south end of Foren, the largest landmass within the region of Eiselcross. There, you made some friends, gathered some supplies, and prepared yourselves to journey northward with Vess and your hired guide, Dagen Underthorn, the following day. During the evening, you Scryed upon Mollymauk and discovered that he was taking some sort of a tome, a weirdly front-backless bound tome, from a comfortable room, and seemed to peer back at you -- could see you and converse back towards you in the middle of your Scry.

After this chilling exchange, you all bed down for the night and the next day begin to wonder why Vess hadn't come to meet you. When you went to inspect her area on the third and upper floor of the fort of Balenpost, you discovered her room had an open window, a thick layer of snow, and her body lay strewn across the bed, blood pouring from her head and various orifices. You inspected, gathered her body, set it within your amber and wore it to keep it under wraps. Using illusion, you convinced the individuals who were curious about why there was some commotion at Balenpost that Vess DeRogna was still alive and that they do not have to worry about anything. In these moments, you quickly gathered your things, met up with Dagen, and set out northward from Balenpost with none the wiser for the time being of what has transpired.

So, Mighty Nein, carrying your magically-sealed corpse of Lady Vess DeRogna, member of the Cerberus Assembly, and your fantastic guide Dagen Underthorn, you leave into the frozen expanse, the distant white snowy horizon of Eiselcross, northward.

Part I

Fan art of Yasha swordboarding, by ADodd Arts.[art 1]

Setting out through snow ranging from knee- to waist-high, Dagen uses his combat wheelchair as a snowplow to clear a way for the rest of the party so that the difficult terrain won't slow them down. He recommends heading to the Aeor crash site via the eastern, more inland route to location A5 on their map. He also clarifies that the locations marked "A" on their map are not the only known crash sites, but just those in the southern portion of Eiselcross. The furthest north he personally has been is "the crater", a place which mythically can change its appearance from forest to desert to volcanic nightmare.

Fan art of Dagen's first day, by Dylan Chinn.[art 2]

It will take five days of travel to reach their destination. The first day is uneventful, except for Dagen using his chair to sled out of view and the party members' various attempts to follow him. They decide to try camping that night without magical shelter so that they can learn how to deal with cold weather conditions. Dagen provides liquid antifreeze in the form of straight grain alcohol, and Veth shares her Flask of Perpetual Booze with him.

Dagen's done business with both the Cerberus Assembly and the Kryn Dynasty. He guided Martinet Ludinus Da'leth about a year ago when Ludinus came to see the initial discovery at location A2. The artifact sites seem to be subterranean, and Dagen doesn't go beneath the surface. And while the Mighty Nein aren't the worst party he's ever escorted, after they spend fifteen minutes speculating about his love life he admits they're getting close to it.

Fan art of Fjord's See Invisibility, by @ambikyu.[art 3]

That night, Fjord uses Star Razor to cast See Invisibility and spots a Scrying orb hovering near Jester. He wakes Caleb, who sees nothing, and Fjord tries to mislead the watcher by mentioning they're heading towards the most eastern location. The rest of the night is uneventful but hideously cold and Veth takes a point of exhaustion.

The next day, they find an ice-coated column protruding at an angle from the ground with a faint necromatic magical aura emanating from about four feet below the surface. It appears to have had multiple stones pryed out from it. Caleb is able to determine that its magic is designed to keep people out of something and uses Cat's Ire to dig out the ice surrounding it, finding a smooth emerald-like gem emanating strong necromatic magic still affixed to the pillar. They all back up fifty feet while Caleb uses Telekinesis (which has a 60-foot range) to try to remove it, triggering a necrotic blast from the stone with a 60-foot range that hits all of them. They move back at least another ten feet and Caleb tries again, this time moving within range and then casting it as he jumps out of range. Unfortunately, he trips as he does and gets blasted again. Frustrated and determined, he backs up even further and summons Cat's Ire (with a 120-foot range), but the gem does not come free. They now notice the pillar is surrounded by the bones of others who have previously tried to get the stone, and finally give up and move on... but Caleb throws a 6th-level Dispel Magic as they do. It has no effect.

Beau--
Yeah, this was a poem but then I realized it was a dumb poem and I can’t write poetry. Sometimes I have an easier time when I put the pen to parchment so here it goes.
I’ve watched you. I don’t mean that in a creepy way. I mean, I am a little bit of a creep, but I know that you know this by now. It takes me a minute to open up, so, I watch, I observe, I take it all in as opposed to letting it all out. I guess the only time I let it all out is when I fight which I’m not sure is the healthiest thing in the world. But here’s some things that I’ve noticed about you.
You’re strong. You’re a leader. You’re really smart. You’re really funny. You’re honest, even if it hurts. But the thing that really gets me about you is that you love so fiercely. And I know you feel like an asshole most days, but I kind of like that you’re an asshole. You stick up for the people you love. And you make me feel stronger. I can hold my own. I know that you know that. But you make me feel safe. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but I know no matter what, you’ll have my back, no questions asked.
Yasha
– 
Yasha's letter to Beau[1]
[!h]

That night, Caleb casts Widogast's Nascent Nein-Sided Mansion, and when Frumpkin survives a trip inside and back, the party goes inside for a night's rest and a dinner including cornbread waffles. After dinner, Fjord shares with Dagen that they're looking out for both Molly and Cree. Beau goes into her room and has a hot bath with cocoa, chocolate strawberries, and chardonnay, then reads the note from Yasha. The poem Yasha and Jester composed[2] has been erased and replaced by a heartfelt letter. After reading it, Beau cries a little and sinks under the water until she finally goes to bed.

Jester goes to Caleb's room, with her copy of Der Katzenprinz. As agreed a few days earlier, he reads it to her. It is a story from his childhood of a magical cat who visits a sick little boy and helps him learn to dance and recover, with a happy ending. Jester loves it.

The next morning they set out again, and Caduceus and Beau notice something moving under the snow a distance away, then to the other side as well. A large net suddenly descends, catching Fjord, Jester, and Dagen, while several yetis emerge from the snow including one hulking behemoth of a yeti holding a jagged hooked spear.

Break

Fan art of Der Katzenprinz, by Adrián Ibarra Lugo.[art 4]

  • Merch Alert! Jester unicorn hoodies for both kids and adults (complete with squishy horns), the complete Mighty Nein and Vox Machina chibi pin series, Marquet Market tote bag, and Fortune's Favor dice scroll are now available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia critrole.com stores.
  • Sam is a fan of a lot of things... very scary things, and also Twitch subscriptions.
  • Critters' art montage.

Part II

Veth hides in the snow and throws the Corecut Dagger at the large abominable yeti, learning that the dagger is cursed and seriously hurting the yeti who retaliates against her. Yasha manages to free Jester from the net, Beau stuns the large yeti, and Fjord lifts the net off himself and Dagen while using Channel Divinity to activate Fury of the Tides. Jester hits the stunned large yeti with Inflict Wounds.

Seeing the large yeti badly wounded, the other yetis rush to its defense. Caduceus is paralyzed by a Chilling Gaze but Caleb turns him into a mammoth and he successfully breaks free of the paralysis. The party continues to whack away but begins to feel bad for the yetis who are getting much the worst of the fight. They realize the yetis speak Common when one of them groans out, "Stop."

Beau asks what the yetis will do for them if they stop the attack, but it cannot immediately respond and Jester and Caleb hold their attacks. The yetis also hesitate, but mammoth-Caduceus doesn't realize what's happening and knocks one of them unconscious. Dagen calls out that he senses these are "Allowak folk" and Yasha gives the unconscious yeti her Healing Hands. Seeing this, the large yeti calls out to its party to hold -- the combat is done. Caleb gives them some of his beads of nourishment, sealing the deal.

Fan art of the yetis in Caleb's tower, by @hierothraxs.[art 5]

The yetis saw a purple tiefling in a party of five total come through about a day ago, but didn't engage because the party had "strange magic". Dagen explains the yetis are from Allowak's Sanctuary, and the yeti agree to escort the party if they'll agree to keep quiet about the Sanctuary. Jester and Caduceus heal the yetis and one of them starts writing in his diary and refuses Beau's request to read it. Caduceus gives a celebone to the one he knocked unconscious. Jester learns the large abominable yeti is named Gestaf and the yetis agree to escort the group onward for the rest of the day. At day's end, Caleb invites them into his tower for dinner and rest, and offers to read them Der Zauberlehrling (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) in Zemnian as a bedtime story. This puts them to sleep within five minutes.

The next day is non-problematic, escorted by the yetis who part from them in the late afternoon to return to the Sanctuary. Jester hugs the large one in parting. The next day also goes well as they approach location A5.

Suddenly, there is a voice in Jester's mind that sounds like two voices together, one Cree's and one Molly's, speaking in unison and saying, "Ah, I'm so glad you decided to come. We were somewhat worried I'd scared you off. It would seem curiosity always wins." Fjord uses See Invisibility and sees an orb just above Jester's head which she tries and fails to dispel.

Dagen escorts them into the ruins to a lightless cavern descending into the depths below, surrounded by slashed frozen corpses dragged from the cavern and thrown in the nearby ravine some time past. There are fresh footprints leading into the cavern.

Jester Sends to Molly, asking: "Why are you doing this? What do you even want from us? We just miss you. I thought you were our friend. Anyway, we're here." The Molly voice replies, "I don't mean you any harm. I'm just pursuing my interests, and if you have similar interests, well, I'm inviting you to come along. You don't have to."

Beau suggests they join them, but Fjord points out she doesn't know what she's joining. When Veth asks what if Molly's group is doing evil shit, Beau replies confidently that they are, and Veth says she doesn't want to join them then. Caduceus wants to be cautious. Beau wants to join to see what happens, saying that since Molly's group holds all the cards they can't go up against the house. Fjord admits Beau has a small point, in that the Nein don't know what the Tombtakers want or are trying to accomplish, even though it feels like something they should stop.

The bottom line is, as Fjord states, they're going in. Beau reiterates they don't know what they're chasing and they should join them. Caduceus, Veth, Fjord, and Caleb agree they don't necessarily have to fight them but will try to listen to them first and will see how it goes. Beau continues to argue for joining the Tombtakers, but Fjord starts walking toward the entrance, joined shortly by Caduceus and Caleb. Yasha and Jester stand outside the entrance for a minute, but eventually decide they don't really have a choice and reluctantly go in as well.

Featured Characters

Fan art of Beau in the bathtub, by LornArt.[art 6]

Fan art of Der Katzenprinz, by Tyrtato.[art 7]

The Mighty Nein

New

Returning

Mentioned

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Transferred 50 Beads of Nourishment Caleb The Yetis
Transferred 1 Celebone Caduceus The Yetis

Quotations

  • Yasha: (after sampling Dagen's flask) I've never had a drink that's crunchy.[3]
  • Jester: (to Dagen) Are you secretly in love with me?[4]
  • Beau: Who is the worst person you've ever escorted?
    Caleb: Is it one of us?
    Caduceus: Give it time.
    Dagen: Only been a day, friend. There was this rowdy bunch out of Syrinlya, Uthodurnian folk. I think I told you that's where I came from. Too boisterous. Too loud. When you're trying to make your way across landscape like this, you want to keep quiet. Just a bunch of fuckin' dwarves singin' about what they had for breakfast, about what they had for lunch, tales of mysteries to the north. I mean, they had beautiful voices, but they just wouldn't shut the fuck up. One day, we got ambushed and they all got torn apart. I was the only surivivor. I just feel bad for the poor halfling they dragged along.
    Fjord: Do you remember where they fell, and if that halfling had anything around his neck?[5]

Trivia

References

  1. See "Fetching Fables & Frosty Friends" (2x115) from 1:49:54 through 1:51:46.
  2. See "The Chase Begins" (2x112) at 1:39:10.
  3. See "Fetching Fables & Frosty Friends" (2x115) at 0:40:29.
  4. See "Fetching Fables & Frosty Friends" (2x115) at 0:41:06.
  5. See "Fetching Fables & Frosty Friends" (2x115) at 0:45:14.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Yasha swordboarding, by ADodd Arts (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Dagen's first day, by Dylan Chinn (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Fjord's See Invisibility, by @ambikyu (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Der Katzenprinz, by Adrián Ibarra Lugo (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of the yetis in Caleb's tower, by @hierothraxs (source).  Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of Beau in the bathtub, by LornArt (source).  Used with permission.
  7. Fan art of Der Katzenprinz, by Tyrtato (source).  Used with permission.


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