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"Ghosts, Dinosaurs, and Stuff" (2x102) is the one hundred second episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein must traverse a dangerous path while seeking an audience with the mysterious being that claims dominion over the island of Rumblecusp… 

Synopsis Edit

Announcements Edit

  • First up, Liam recaps the adventures so far of Cryptonic Override and BlackWillow73@aol.com, who were were tricked by the Cereal Killer when they tried to defeat the Ultra Codex and were trapped inside the internet. We join them there dodging memes, hacking through virus firewalls, and taking refuge in Dani Carr's adorable Pinterest account while they wait for aid from a hack master using Nord VPN. And though Taliesin swore he was through with his hacker past, right now Nord VPN has a three year plan with 70% off plus a month free with coupon "CriticalRole" at checkout.
  • The second sponsor tonight is the wonderful and faithful D&D Beyond, an amazing online tool for all of your D&D campaign needs as a player or a DM. You can now pre-order "Icewind Dale - Rime of the Frostmaiden".
  • Marisha wades back into the time vortex of pre-recording to remind us that Travis's episode of Narrative Telephone will be Tuesday, 21 July 2020 at 4 pm PDT, which they have definitely already recorded. Matt liked the costumes. Marisha enjoyed the musical number.
  • Merch Alert! Vex Funko Pop will be available at Best Buy and Funko.com starting 22 July 2020.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

So, last we left off, the Mighty Nein had made their way toward Rumblecusp to prepare for the coming day of TravelerCon. Upon arriving at the strange island and noticing a strange mist and a dream-like quality to elements of its unexpected topography, you encountered a village of individuals there from all over Exandria that had a difficult time recalling their pasts but seemed exuberant and happy with their current-day lifestyle here on the island, worshiping a fire entity, a god, if you will, that existed within Rumblecusp's volcano itself.

You, after meeting with and staying the night with these individuals, learned a little bit about their culture, learned a little bit about the mystery of where they may have come from, and what they do not know or recall, and you chose to go ahead and travel on foot through the jungle path to meet with this Vokodo, this fire god of the island, to ask permission to bring the Traveler and the various other Traveler followers to the island, and you are being accompanied by the spiritual guardian of the village and the people there, Viridian, a druid figure that seems to be the protector of the people there.

Monochromatic forest - Gina Garavalia

Fan art of the shadowy jungle, by Gina Garavalia.[art 1]

You've traveled extensively for hours through the jungle, passed by various dangers, watched as the landscape itself grew darker and strangely colder, dark pits filling the space between the heavy root network and dark tar-like liquid, which most of you managed to avoid. Caduceus had not so much luck twice in a row, falling into the jaws of the creatures that existed within. But, pushing deeper into this darker-shaded portion of the jungle, and learning about different elements of the island itself, being an odd jigsaw puzzle of places that probably shouldn't exist on an island, let alone this one, you came across the sound of something creepy, almost like a sobbing sound in the distance. Upon going to investigate, Beauregard quietly threw some ball bearings towards the source of this creature, and then decided to join it in its sorrow, upon which it seemed a bit perturbed by your presence, and began to make itself very aggressively known. And that is where we left off.

Part I Edit

Will-o'-wisps - BlackSalander

Fan art of the bodak and the will-o'-wisps, by BlackSalander.[art 2]

Roll initiative!

The bodak is face-to-face with Beauregard, with the others all still back a bit. In addition, three will-o'-wisps rise out of the scattered tarry pools and drift toward Fjord, Yasha, and Caduceus, inflicting lightning damage on each of them. Beau fails her constitution saving throw against the bodak's Death Gaze, is abruptly dropped to zero hit points and is unconscious, but succeeds on her first death save. Fjord immediately runs over and uses two points of Lay on Hands to bring her back to consciousness, followed by Yasha using Healing Hands on Beau for twelve additional hit points.

The bodak wounds Fjord significantly with its Withering Gaze, but Jester's Turn Undead kills two of the wisps and sends the bodak moving away until an attack by the unaware Viridian ends it. Veth casts Brenatto's Voltaic Bolt for additional lightning damage on her crossbow shot at the bodak. After Beau hits it repeatedly, Fjord's Banishing Smite and attack with Dwueth'var get the How do you want to do this?. The remaining will-o'wisp is also quickly dispatched by Fjord.

Yasha carrying Beau - Elaine Tipping

Fan art of Yasha carrying Beau, by Elaine Tipping.[art 3]

Eyes of the Grave discovers no more undead nearby, so Jester heals Beau a bit. Viridian states that she's never seen a bodak (which she refers to as "The Specter") this far south - their normal territory is about two days journey north. Still seriously wounded, Beau asks Yasha to carry her and Yasha agrees, to Jester's (and Beau's) delight. Viridian is able to lead the party through the area of tar pools and out of the Shaded Tangle with no further damage.

As the temperature rises, insects attack the party, and Jester becomes diseased after Caduceus fails to convince the insects not to bite (although Viridian is unaffected by them). Fjord uses Lay on Hands again to cure Jester, and during a short rest, privately suggests to her that she might be able to use her ability to cure diseases to bring back Viridian's memories. She suggests talking to Caduceus. Jester is worried that Viridian seems to have many of the same powers that the Traveler does. Fjord gently suggests to her that possibly the Traveler is using her to help himself in becoming a god.

Fjord and Jester - @ambikyu

Fan art of Fjord and Jester, by @ambikyu.[art 4]

When Fjord approaches Caduceus, he wants to Commune first. The Wildmother confirms that Vokodo is what's causing their constant sensation of being watched, that he is what causes the people of the island to forget, and that Caduceus has the magical power to restore their memories.

Just then, they hear the approaching sound of breaking branches and movement. Caleb uses Major Image to hide the party behind a screen of foliage and they watch as a draegloth, a native of the Underdark, runs past pursued and then eaten by a massive tyrannosaurus rex. They crouch tensely behind their magical foliage as it turns searching for more prey, and as it seemingly moves toward them, Caduceus uses Thaumaturgy to create the sound of creatures moving away from them. The T. rex charges toward the sound, eventually moving off.

They reach the base of the mountain at dusk, but Viridian tells them that Vokodo never rests. Before they enter, Fjord casually puts a hand on her shoulder and casts Lay on Hands, but there is no effect and Viridian is puzzled by his action. She shares that she is immune to poisons. They enter the tunnel leading toward Vokodo's lair and plunge within.

Break Edit

T Rex vs M9 - Yettinim

Fan art of the T. rex, by Yettinim.[art 5]

Part II Edit

As they press inward, Viridian warns the party that the tunnels grow more confusing the further in they go, but that Vokodo keeps the waters breathable. However, the air will become toxic as they progress. Fjord, Caduceus, and Beau suffer minor accidents along the way, losing some of their held breath. Caduceus runs out of air before they reach the breathable water at the tunnel's end and becomes poisoned, but casts Lesser Restoration to rid himself of it. Sprinkle manages to shrug off the toxicity entirely.

Swimming to Vokodo's Lair - Heidi Jensen Low

Fan art of the swim to Vokodo's lair, by Heidi Jensen Low.[art 6]

They begin to see small glowing orange and red flower-like plants growing along the floor and walls, and the temperature is growing hotter. As they approach a pool at the tunnel's end, Viridian warns them that the plants are dangerous torchblooms native to the Elemental Plane of Fire and grow along the entire pathway to Vokodo, including the underwater portion from here onward. She dives into the pool and vanishes, followed by the party.

The water is warm but not uncomfortable, and breathable but oddly so. The tunnel continues underwater and they swim downward through it, surrounded by torchblooms. Jester, Yasha, and Veth succumb to a compulsion to hurry toward Vokodo as quickly as they can, pushing past the rest. The water grows warmer as they enter a gargantuan underwater chamber about a hundred feet wide, and behind them, the torchblooms grow to close off the tunnel back to the surface.

Around them are a few loose coins scattered about, but no signs of intelligent life. Viridian swims out and speaks to Vokodo, telling him she brings new friends seeking a favor. Within their minds, they feel the presence of Vokodo communicating with them without language, telling them to speak of this favor. When they ask if it wants gifts first, it responds eagerly, accepting a small diamond from Veth, two gold rings from Beau and one from Caleb, and ten gold each from Fjord and Caduceus, but rejecting Jester's sequined glove. This is sufficient to buy them a discussion.

Vokodo - Mike M

Fan art of Vokodo, by Mike M.[art 7]

Jester explains that they want to have a party on its island (although they don't know how many people will come) in honor of another god. Vokodo has never heard of the Traveler but welcomes them to bring him and anyone else they like. They then watch as a massive black-fleshed creature with multiple tendrils and thick tentacles descends from the ceiling, an underlying glowing yellow-orange layer of flame or lava showing through cracks in its skin. Across its back is a hoard of treasure of all kinds. It tells them that they must offer more of their treasures in order to leave, eyeing the "shinies" they are wearing. They begin giving it more gold and gems, but it is unsatisfied until Fjord offers the Star Razor, which is acceptable - but only as to Fjord himself. The others must give similarly.

Vokodo accepts Jester's elven chain, Caleb's Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location, Yasha's Skingorger, and (with a natural 20 persuasion roll) Beau's pouch of suude. It rejects Caduceus's family-made shield but accepts the Periapt of Wound Closure. Vokodo keeps Veth's large bag of gold dust and her Flask of Perpetual Booze but finds them insufficient, and the temperature of the water around her rises to injuriously scalding. She finally offers the Dagger of Denial and that is acceptable, and with relief, the party heads out of the now-unblocked tunnel to the surface, with Vokodo's warning to bring him both all the visitors to the island and more offerings.

They set up camp for the evening under Caleb's dome at the mouth of the entrance to the lair. Viridian agrees to accompany them briefly to scout the island, but she cannot be gone from her people for long. Caduceus tells her they do a nightly ritual before sleeping, and although Viridian notices he is actually casting a spell on her, she fails to avoid his touch. Under Greater Restoration, her hands dig into the rock beneath and her eyes glaze over and then close. When they open, she says, “Oh, no. I’m so sorry. This has to stop -- what this thing is doing to all of us. I've been here 25 years. I’m not Viridian. I’m from Tal'Dorei. My name is Vilya.”

Featured Characters Edit

Viridian's Greater Restoration - Olivia Hintz

Fan art of Viridian's Greater Restoration, by oliviahintz.[art 8]

The Mighty Nein Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Relinquished 1 Diamond Veth Vokodo Worth 50 gp
Relinquished 2 Gold rings Beau Vokodo From the roc's nest in "Beneath Bazzoxan" (2x66)
Relinquished 10 Gold coins Fjord Vokodo
Relinquished 1 Gold ring Caleb Vokodo
Relinquished 10 Gold coins Caduceus Vokodo
Relinquished 10 Gold coins Yasha Vokodo
Relinquished 5 Platinum coins Fjord Vokodo
Relinquished 1 Pearl necklace Beau Vokodo From the roc's nest in "Beneath Bazzoxan" (2x66)
Relinquished 10 Platinum coins Caleb Vokodo
Relinquished (temporarily) 1 Dwueth'var Fjord Vokodo Pact of the Blade weapon should disappear if Fjord is more than 5 feet away for 1 minute. Was "acceptable".
Relinquished 1 Elven chainmail Jester Vokodo Possibly an error since the Elven chain went to Liam in "Refjorged" (2x76). Was accepted.
Relinquished 1 Gold dust Nott Vokodo Worth 550 gp. From Halas's laboratory in "Dark Bargains" (2x83). Not "acceptable", although kept.
Relinquished 1 Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location Caleb Vokodo Was accepted.
Relinquished 1 Pouch of Suude Beau Vokodo From the Overcrow Apothecary break-in in "Domestic Respite" (2x62). Was accepted, with the help of a Nat 20 persuasion roll.
Possibly damaged 1 Shield Caduceus Made by Caduceus's sister. Rejected and possibly broken by Vokodo while inspecting it.
Relinquished 1 Periapt of Wound Closure Caduceus Vokodo Purchased by Molly from Pumat Sol in "Zemnian Nights" (2x11). Went to Caleb on Molly's death, then given to Caduceus. Was accepted.
Transferred 1 Flask of Perpetual Booze Yasha Veth Yasha confiscated the Flask from Nott in "With Great Power..." (2x94), but returned it upon her request.
Relinquished 1 Flask of Perpetual Booze Veth Vokodo Stolen by Nott in "A Show of Scrutiny" (2x02) and enchanted by Pumat Sol in "Lost & Found" (2x13). Not "acceptable", although kept.
Relinquished 1 Skingorger Yasha Vokodo Obtained in the battle at the Overcrow Apothecary in "Intervention" (2x63). Was accepted.
Transferred 1 Driftglobe Caleb Veth Found in the Temple in "The Second Seal" (2x47).
Relinquished 1 Dagger of Denial Veth Vokodo Found in the King's Cage in "Reflections" (2x68).

Quotations Edit

  • Caduceus: (to the swarming insects) Hey, do you all mind for a little bit? I'm sure that there's other things to eat, and honestly, we're probably bad for you. We're from way far away. I mean-- (He gets bitten on the forehead) All right, apparently we have to agree to disagree.
  • Jester: Sometimes I forget to remember that I'm supposed to heal people.
  • Fjord: (to Jester, about the Traveler) I just want to make sure that you're keeping your eyes open to any possibility. I know he's been with you your entire life, so I'm a little hesitant saying it. I just don't want you to get hurt.
  • Vokodo: “I have sensed you since you found paradise. You come to look upon the center of the world and kneel.”
  • Vokodo: “Yes! Presentssss!"
  • Vokodo: “Look upon the Lord of this island, the Lord of Exandria. And offer. You have such shinies.”
  • Vokodo: “One does not walk into the heart of a god, and present paltry gifts. I accept offerings, or I can take what is insufficient.”
  • Viridian: “I’ve been here twenty-five years. I’m not Viridian. I’m from Tal’Dorei. My name is Vilya.”

Trivia Edit

  • At the conclusion of the stream, Sam mentioned that he had read the chat reaction to Viridian's appearance online ten minutes before the current episode concluded. Since Viridian was introduced at the end of "Hunted at Sea" (2x100), that suggests they are currently recording episodes two weeks in advance in the same Thursday evening time slot as always.
  • This episode took place on the 18th of Unndilar 836, eight days away from TravelerCon.
  • The name of the episode was decided when Caduceus used the phrase, Sam suggested it as the episode title, and Matt agreed.[1]

References Edit

  1. See "Ghosts, Dinosaurs, and Stuff" (2x102) at 3:09:56.

Art:

  1. Fan art of the shadowy jungle, by Gina Garavalia (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of the bodak and the will-o'-wisps, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Yasha carrying Beau, by Elaine Tipping (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Fjord and Jester, by @ambikyu (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of the T. rex, by Yettinim (source).  Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of the swim to Vokodo's lair, by Heidi Jensen Low (source).  Used with permission.
  7. Fan art of Vokodo, by Mike M (source).  Used with permission.
  8. Fan art of Viridian's Greater Restoration, by oliviahintz (source).  Used with permission.


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