"Home is Where the Heart Is" (2x92) is the ninety-second episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein chase a lead on Nott's curse, but that lead brings Beau face to face with a past she would rather leave behind.
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Previously on Critical Role
So, last we left off: The Mighty Nein had brokered a coming negotiation between the warring nations of the Dwendalian Empire and the Kryn Dynasty, set to occur somewhere in the Lucidian Ocean between Nicodranas and the Whitedawn Lagoon, roughly four weeks out is when they had confirmed it. You also learned that they had acquired and arrested Vence, the fugitive who was part of the Angel of Irons cult. And in the interim, you made your way back to Xhorhas. You made it to your home, the Xhorhaus, and had an evening to rest after an extended period of extreme duress and stress, the recovery of your friend Yasha, some underground pit fighting, and a dinner with Essek after an invitation in which you got a chance to know each other a little better.
You then, in discussing your plans moving forward, some possibilities and pursuing some of the various goals that still remain looming for a few of you, you were greeted by Essek and he offered at one point to help you with this strange problem you were having with the equation for the spell that you had been developing since discovering its early sketches, essentially, or the first half of its development by Halas within his Happy Fun Ball, as you put it. With the aid of Essek, both Nott and Caleb, up in his tower, finished the development of this spell. You all rushed to gather your materials that were required for its casting and watched as Caleb prepared the ritual to bring Nott back to her original form, the body she was meant to have. The ritual progressed, seemingly without issue until the moment in which the transition of the body was meant to happen. Reaching towards it, however, the magic was balked by some sort of dark power, a curse that remained laid upon Nott, preventing it from succeeding, locking her still to the current goblin body that she’s grown to loathe. Well, maybe grown a little more comfortable with it since then, but...
As the ritual comes to an unexpected end, you look as the clay element of the tub that Nott had been placed upon has shattered and scattered across the room, the magic itself suddenly flaring out, the sigil that marked the ritual going cold, and all of you look down to see Nott there, sitting atop the broken sections of hardened clay, a goblin as she’s always been since you met her.
Nott and Caleb realize that none of the others heard the woman's cackling laughter when the spell failed, and Nott shares that it sounded like the woman who changed her into a goblin. She tells the party that when she woke up, changed, the goblins had taken her to the woman's home in a wooded mountainous area a few days away from Felderwin. Looking at the map, Nott remembers that it was somewhere at the edge of the Marrow Valley, and Beau suddenly realizes that this story of a strange woman sounds very like the stories her father told of the old fortuneteller who advised him to buy his farm and grow grapes, promising him riches and the woman he loved. Beau feigns illness as an excuse for the party to leave Essek's home and go back to the Xhorhaus.
Once home, she tells them again about the deal that her father made with an old fortuneteller woman in the woods near Mount Mentiri. He sought her out and asked how he could find his own wealth, and she told him he would have a successful winery, marry, and have a young "beau" to inherit the family business. Her father took it so literally that he named his daughter Beau and trained her in the business. They argued because Beau wanted to travel and try to sell their wines in other cities, and her father was terrified that fate would come knocking for her if she did. Beau feels that was selfish of him; that if something happened to her, her father's dynasty would crumble. He gave Beau the piece of jade she wears around her neck because he believed it would protect her.
While the party discusses their next steps, Caduceus casts Commune, learning from the Wildmother that the woman that cursed Nott is still alive, that that woman has conversed with Beau's father, and, after some hesitation to pose the question, which he regards as a weakness, that his family waits for him at the Menagerie. He is convinced they need to visit Beau's father to learn more about the old woman. While Beau is extremely reluctant, she eventually agrees, and they decide to use Teleportation Circle to go to Zadash to do what research they can at the Cobalt Soul before heading west towards Kamordah in the morning.
At the library, they learn of a soothsayer named Isharnai the Prism Sage who lives among the Cyrios Mountains woods near Kamordah. For a price, she weaves boons and hexes for those who seek her out. Nott uses Disguise Self to show Jester what the woman who cursed her looked like, and Jester casts Scrying on her. She sees a cluttered house and the woman casting runes there, moving in an odd, inhuman way, with exceptionally long arms and fingers. Isharnai looks up, straight at Jester's scry focus, and says, "Hello, who's this I see?" She peers into it closely, saying she hopes this means she's having visitors before crushing it. Jester is terrified.
They head to the Evening Nip for drinks. Jester talks to the Gentleman, her father, in his private office, telling him everything that's happened and what's coming up next. He seems slightly confused by the whirlwind that is Jester, but charmed nonetheless. He agrees to give them free drinks and a room for the night and Jester excitedly runs out to tell the group how much her dad loves her.
Fjord goes over to talk to an increasingly withdrawn Beau. She tells him the Mighty Nein has become her family now, and she doesn't like looking at her past that didn't contain them. She doesn't like that she still finds herself trying to be something to please her father. And part of her is convinced that destiny or inevitability will indeed someday come knocking for her, even if she tries to ignore it.
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In the morning Jester gets The Gentleman to write a note for them, and when they present it as directed at the Kiefer Stables, it produces seven horses complete with food and tack, free of charge. Kiefer apparently owes the Gentleman a debt. Beau pays him 50 gold to give her the Gentleman's note so she can see what was in it, which is simply “Give them many gifts. Whatever they ask. Gentleman.”
They travel uneventfully and as they set up camp for the night, spot a campfire in the distance. Nott and Jester go to investigate, discovering the same bandits they had encountered twice before who have taken the Mighty Nein's advice and turned over a new leaf by becoming hunters. The second day of travel is also uneventful.
In the middle of the night, neither Caleb nor Yasha can sleep. She admits she doesn't like sleeping because she might dream, and asks him how he deals with it. He asks how she knows of his story and guesses correctly that Nott told her. Yasha shares that the party's forgiveness is harder to deal with than anger would be and she doesn't know how to handle it, and Caleb suggests that all they can do is try to leave something better in the world. When she asks him, "Do you love her?" he appears to panic, and tells her "It's too late."
Near sunset the following day, they reach the blighted area of geo-thermal activity that Kamordah is built upon. Beau's family home is a large, gated and guarded three-story estate on the edge of town. They are admitted by a servant, and welcomed by a startled Clara Lionett, Beau's mother. Beau and her mother exchange warm but stilted hugs, and Clara invites them to dinner. Beau requests a bottle of rare, expensive wine be opened for them. Her two-and-a-half year old brother Thoreau Junior runs in, and Clara tells him that this is his sister. He hugs Beau, and when he tells her his favorite color is green, she gives him the jade necklace she has worn through the entire campaign that her father had given to her to protect her. Beau asks Clara if she knew she was pregnant when they sent Beau away, and Clara remains silent.
Clara apologizes for how the situation when Beau was sent away was handled, saying that she knows it doesn't mean much and that Beau is right, it should have been handled differently. When Beau's father Thoreau arrives from his day's work, he sees her and looks like he's seen a ghost. He welcomes them all, however, and congratulates Beau on becoming an Expositor. With a high insight check, Jester sees that he is genuinely proud and that both her parents truly love her.
Beau asks him about the story of the old hag that foretold his rise to fortune, and he confirms that it's true. He had nothing and nothing to lose, so he wandered the mountains till he found her. She said she could help him in exchange for just a fragment of his fortune, and he agreed. She told him to buy land, and wherever he picked, the ground would grow. A young beau would take on the name to continue the success, "until everything eventually will humble me by that which I desired most." It happened as she foretold, but he worries that he doesn't know what else she took or what's coming to humble him, and he just wants to protect his family. He tells her that he and her mother have loved her from the depths of their hearts the entire time, and apologizes if they didn't show it properly. Jester takes her aside for a moment and encourages her to listen to them with open ears.
Beau tells Thoreau they're going to go find the old woman. When he learns that she gave TJ the jade necklace, he runs out nervously and brings her a replacement that belongs to Clara. He tells them to look for a partially grayed and petrified bramble tangle and tarry ground straight north. On the way out, Beau swipes another bottle of wine on display, and Nott steals a jade rabbit sculpture. Once outside, Beau cries a little bit, grabs everyone and brings them together in a group hug.
- Beauregard Lionett
- Caduceus Clay
- Caleb Widogast
- Jester Lavorre
- Nott the Brave
- Yasha Nydoorin
- Isharnai, the Prism Sage (via Jester's Scrying)
- Clara Lionett
- Thoreau Lionett Jr.
- Jeanine (servant)
|Transferred||7||Horses (with gear and food)||Kiefer Stables||Party||Provided pursuant to a note from The Gentleman.|
|Transferred||1||Jade necklace||Beau||Thoreau Jr.||Beau has worn since start of Campaign Two.|
|Transferred||1||Jade necklace||Thoreau||Beau||Belongs to Clara. Thoreau believes it will protect Beau.|
|Stolen||1||Bottle of Lionett wine||Lionett Estate||Beau||Swiped on the way out.|
|Stolen||1||Jade rabbit||Lionett Estate||Nott||Swiped on the way out.|
- Caduceus: There is something to be gained by seeing one’s parents once we’ve matured enough to see how fragile they are.
- Beau: I think I’ve worked so hard because I scripted this day in my inevitable future, that I would go back to him, a successful woman, respected member of society, Cobalt Soul, and Expositor, the thing he threw me away to, and I embraced. And then I would get mad at myself, because I felt like I was doing exactly what he was doing to me my entire life, scripting me to be something else. And I’m still doing it. I haven’t seen him in three years and I’m still trying to be... something, and I think what’s scary is that I like this and what I’ve found. And I don’t think it was until Nott started talking about having to go home and go away that it truly started terrifying me. Because for the first time, I’m happy. And what if that goes away?
- Caleb: While we are never going to wash our hands, we can use them to leave something better in the world. And maybe the curtain never rises from our eyes, but what else do we do? You either lose yourself to it and forget, or you do your part.
Yasha: Do you love her?
Yasha: I don’t need to tell you who. (long pause) I’m sorry, I– As someone who has lost someone that they love very much, I know how important it is to say things before it is too late.
Caleb: (whispering) It’s too late, Yasha. It’s too late.
- Thoreau Lionett: I know we've had our differences and I've not been the pinnacle of a father in the same way that you've not been the pinnacle of a daughter. I accept my responsibilities and the things that I've maybe been a bit harsh on. But look what you've become.
Beau: That feels like a weird justification of your behaviors, but I'd like to hope that what I became had nothing to fucking do with you, but maybe I'd be lying to myself. Yeah, I was difficult. I have my onus in everything that happened, but I thought a dad was supposed to stay by their kid when they're having a fucking hard time. Mom already fucking mentioned that life gets difficult and it's hard. So you're right, maybe it's easy to justify the easy way out. Just get rid of the problem.
Thoreau: That's not what this was about. You were on a self destructive path. We didn't know what to do. I've never been a-- No one teaches you how to be a good father. I regret choices I've made and you don't think I don't hold myself responsible for--? I thought I was doing what was best for you. Truly.
Beau: You did. It's probably the best thing you could have done for me. So thank you. Tell me the story again and then I'll go.
- Jester: There's not a lot to be gained from holding grudges, you know? It feels like poison inside of you. How much better would it feel if you could just be clean?
Beau: But I'm so good at holding grudges.
Jester: I know, you're really good at it.
- Yasha: Hyaaaa!
- The group of hunters the Mighty Nein encountered on the road was formerly led by Trevor and had met the group in "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) and "Have Bird, Will Travel" (2x23). Neither previous encounter had gone well for the bandits.