"Harvest Close" (2x17) is the seventeenth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein attend the Harvest Close Festival, taking part in sweets and games of skill, and entering the challenging Victory Pit...
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Previously on Critical Role
The Mighty Nein in the city of Zadash. Long in the Dwendalian Empire, [they have] made a small name for [themselves] in a few factions. [They have] done a deed or two for the King's Hall here in service of the Crown. [They have] done a deed or two with the Knights of Requital, that involved getting caught up briefly in a manhunt, as [they] were loosely responsible for the death of the High-Richter, the high judge of the local court. Managed to make an introductory trade, a deal if you will, with The Gentleman, this subterranean figure of not the most legal of maneuvers. You delved deep into one of the subterranean river tunnels beneath the city of Zadash for him, managed to clear out and recover materials from a long-buried research facility from the Age of Arcanum.
Upon returning, the deal was solid. [The Gentleman] managed to smuggle out Horris [Thrym], who needed to be away from the town for the time being while this investigation was happening. In doing so, also managed to clear [their] names of the death of the High-Richter. Upon returning back, getting a few deeds done, now waiting for this to blow over, and hearing word that there is no longer a manhunt for a number of [the Mighty Nein] in cahoots to this, [they] begin to prepare for the coming Harvest Close Festival. Now we're getting close to the third of the month of Fessuran, [they've] all managed to prepare in the ways [they] want, got a few things on [their] side. [Caleb has] delved into some of the mysteries of the Beacon that [he] maintain[s]. [Nott] retrieved [her] Forever Alcoholic Flask. That's where we'll begin today.
In the morning, Jester focuses on the Beacon and tells Beau about it. Although not knowing anything about the new owner of The Leaky Tap, Lauren Schvine, Beauregard has a negative opinion of her and doesn't want to get to like her, apparently due to wanting to someday own the tavern herself.
They head out into the streets of Zadash, in full RenFaire revelry. Nott and Caleb head towards the King's Vault booth, and the rest of the party goes to play Trebuchet, which involves throwing a sandbag through a basket. Fjord rolls three natural ones in a row, failing miserably to get the sandbag anywhere near the hoop, but Molly does well, and wins a strawberry. King's Vault is a shell game, at which Caleb succeeds and wins a silver, which Nott promptly loses. The party buys mead and caramel apples, then goes to play Titan's Grasp.
The elevated platform is manned by four soldiers of the Righteous Brand, with a starting pot of 43 gold. Yasha hits the bar with her first strike, and slams it to the side with her second swing, winning 44 gold. The four soldiers reset the game and put 5 gold back into the pot. Fjord and Molly each add a gold, bringing the pot to 7 gold pieces. Jester tries her best to hit the metal bar, and causes the stone to impact with the ground and roll over twice, also winning the meager pot of 7 gold. After the second win, the soldiers take a 30 minute break to inspect the hammer, the fulcrum, and the stone used for the game, wondering if they have somehow been cheated. However, they cannot find anything, and Jester skips away.
Molly buys a huge, silly tapestry of the Platinum Dragon. Nott and Caleb find an archery range, and posing as father and daughter, try it out. Caleb fails embarassingly, but Nott hits the bullseye on all three targets, winning a crude doll of King Bertrand Dwendal, two wooden swords (which she gives to Beau), and two rats in cages (one of which she gives to Yasha, since it's her favorite food). Meanwhile, Jester, disguised as an old lady, paints pink hearts and "The Traveler was Here" on the central anvil in the Hearth of the Allhammer, leaves some Traveler pamphlets, and gets away successfully.
On a large, central platform in the middle of the Pentamarket are a number of members of the Righteous Brand and a human male (Recruiter Leopold Wanstiker) challenging onlookers to arm wrestle each other. Beau goes against Kendall, a grizzled-looking beastly man, who wins. Kendall plays against Gunther Prast, and loses. Yasha challenges Gunther to a match. After a long, intense duel, Yasha emerges victorious. Since this is a recruiting tool, Wastiker approaches them about joining the Righteous Brand for a gold a day pay, but is turned down. Yasha is approached by Darrow, the leader of the mercenary band called the Stubborn Stock out of the Menagerie Coast. They've been hired by the Empire and invite Yasha to join. They'll be competing at the Victory Pit later that afternoon.
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The Mighty Nein pay Yadaka Brigman the 20 gp per person entry fee to compete in the Victory Pit later that day. There are three rounds; 200 gp reward for each victory, and those who survive all three split a 2000 gp purse. Including them, four groups will compete.
A page rushes in and says he needs to speak to the Starosta immediately, on orders from King Bertrand Dwendal himself. Nott uses Silent Image to create a box around her and stealths over to eavesdrop, only hearing part of the conversation, learning that the Empire has declared war on Xhorhas although it will not be announced until tomorrow.
They are taken to the holding area for the competition, but Beau falls behind with Caleb and asks what he's heard at the Cobalt Soul. She's noticed his interest. He tells her he wants entry to the library, and she shows him her Cobalt Soul belt saying she can get him in.
In the audience for the competition are Lawmaster Orentha Stonegrasp, Dolan Thrym, Starosta Wyatt Fedar, and Headmaster of the Zauber Spire Oremid Hass, one of the two mages who attacked the two fleeing Kryn warriors a few nights earlier. Next to him is the other mage from that night, an older human man with longer gray hair, bald on top, wearing white and gold robes. Caleb puts his hood up.
The first competitors are the Last Line, who defeat a banderhobb. The Mighty Nein face and defeat an otyugh, poisoning Beau and Yasha (which Jester cures once the fight is over). They heal up a bit and watch as the Mountain Makers defeat an ice troll, and the Stubborn Stock defeat a giant crocodile.
Second round: The Last Line are defeated by two minotaurs. The Mighty Nein face and defeat two winter wolves without serious problems, although most are injured. Jester casts Prayer of Healing while they rest. The Mountain Makers are defeated by two owlbears, and the Stubborn Stock defeats two displacer beasts.
In the third and final round, with only two teams remaining, the Mighty Nein enter the arena, and watch as a Hill Giant barrels in.
- Yadaka Brigman
- Darrow Allocke
- Starosta Wyatt Fedar
- Oremid Hass
- Archivist Jennah
- Jermai Kull
- Gunther Prast
- Lauren Schvine
- Leopold Wanstiker
|Acquired||1||platinum dragon tapestry||tapestry cart||Molly|
|Acquired||1||doll||Eagle Shot||Nott||of king Bertrand Dwendal|
|Acquired||1||small copper platter||Darrow||Yasha||with "The Stubborn Stock" printed on it|
|Relinquished||20||gold||Yasha||the Victory Pit|
|Relinquished||1||potion of healing||Fjord||Beau|
|Relinquished||1||potion of healing||Yasha||Jester|
- Nott: Do not respond to this message!
- Sam's giant flask bears a message that has a picture of a pigeon and the words "COOO! COOO! USE MAGE HAND! COO! COO!" in this episode.
- The Mighty Nein learn that Xhorhas has taken the Ashguard Garrison to the east. In response, the Dwendalian Empire has issued a formal declaration of war on "the Kryn Dynasty and the wastes of Xhorhas".
- The in-game date at the beginning of this episode was 3 Fessuran 835.