"In Hot Water" (2x43) is the forty-third episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein face a showdown with Avantika and her crew in Darktow, and the possible wrath of the Plank King for breaking pirate law...



Liam got in a good one just pre-stream. They've missed everyone during the two week break, since they left it "a little chaotic" last time.


  • D&D Beyond sent Sam a lot of talking points, so he reads them disguised as everyone else - and discovers that reading copy while holding a photo over your face is harder than he thought it would be. Rehearsals are Good.
  • Check out Sam's Fireside Chat (and Sam's thighs) from earlier that week.
  • During the month of November, Critical Role is raising money for OSD, an organization supporting U.S. veterans. Contribute at critrole.com/OSD.
  • They've also teamed up with friend Patrick Rothfuss and Worldbuilders to create Vox Machina single use buff cards. DM's, please honor if a player has some!
  • New Merch, including a Tusk Love notebook. Check it out at the CritRole.com Store.

Previously on Critical Role

Last we left off, the Mighty Nein had allied themselves with Captain Avantika of the Squall-Eater, a pirate making her way through the Swavain Islands in search of ways to unlock this entity that she was fanatically obsessed with, this Uk'otoa, which was revealed to be the patron to Fjord's abilities.

After retrieving one of these sought-after orbs from this long-reused temple by the snake folk on the island, and apparently unlocking one of these seals, you made your way back to Darktow on her ship, did a bit of piracy. Arrived, were introduced to the Plank King, who looks over the Revelry, the band of pirates that helm this side of the Lucidian Ocean.

You then decided to have a plan to break into the Squall-Eater at night while everyone was at rest, or some of you at rest. Some were distracting the captain. In doing so, you managed to uncover a well-hidden journal of Avantika that was written in some sort of a cipher.

Your entrance was solid. Your exit left a couple of signs of disturbance, but nothing implicating. You returned, and through the evening and the luck of a ridiculous roll, you managed to, via Caleb, break the cipher on it, after knowing what information was there through your spell, and write a cipher to allow anybody to read the contents of this journal and see what's within.

However, the morning in which you awoke, you discovered that the crew, at least, had seemed to have noticed all these strange events through the night. The ransacked chamber pointed to some tomfoolery. You were all asked to make your way to the shipyard to meet with Avantika and the crew on the Squall-Eater. With not far behind you on the docks the rest of the crew of The Mistake being brought as well. Upon you stepping up and encountering this moment of tension, it seems that, through Vera's glance through some form of divination magic, while some people have guarding objects or items against themselves being sought through divination, certain objects in pockets are not free of it. They glanced over in Caleb's direction, and in that moment, you cast Wall of Fire.

Part I

Fan art of Caleb's Wall of Fire, by GalacticJonah.[art 1]

With the Wall of Fire raging, Beauregard decides to stick to the plan. Rushing to Caleb, she takes the notebook and, with Jester, teleports to the middle of the city of Darktow. Running up the street towards the Plank King's roost, Beau is stopped by guards who see the commotion in the Docks. The leader makes his way to fetch the King, but Beau convinces the other guards to escort her up personally. Jester casts Disguise Self and starts a whisper campaign against Avantika.

Meanwhile on the Squall-Eater, the fighting commences. Seeing that they are outnumbered and surrounded, and following their plan, the remaining members of the Mighty Nein retreat to the docks. Fjord casts Thunderstep taking himself and Caleb away. Caleb proceeds to Expeditious Retreat away from the battle. However, a crew member is able to hit him with a heavy crossbow, knocking him unconscious. Vera reveals herself to be a formidable mage, causing an Ice Storm which slows Nott, Caduceus, and Yasha and casting Mass Suggestion on the Guards to arrest them. Fjord, seeing the tide turning, summons a demon onto the ship to distract the crew while himself rushing to the aid of Caleb. Waking from a health potion, Caleb rises and turns to the carnage on the ship, sending a Fireball at the mast which incinerates most of the crew including Vera. With that display, all sides lay down arms and surrender themselves to the guards for the judgement of the Plank King.

Fan art of the battle at Darktow, by Janibitz.[art 2]


Part II

Beau makes it to the Plank King who is displeased with the clear violation of Revelry law. However, with the journal as evidence and the reveal that Jamedi Cosko was an informer, Beau convinces him to descend and investigate Avantika's plans for treason. Meeting at the docks, all parties begin to present their case. Avantika feigns ignorance of Uk'otoa or having a journal, pinning all misdeeds on the Nein. However, with Beau dropping her Cobalt Soul connections, and Caleb providing the key to decipher Avantika's journal, which Solon immediately begins translating, the Plank King is convinced to allow Beau to use Extort Truth on the Captain. Her silence in response to the King's questions confirms her guilt. Snapping her neck, the King puts an end to Avantika's life.

As punishment for breaking Revelry law, the Mighty Nein are given the damaged Squall-Eater, but are banished permanently from Darktow. Their crew from The Mistake is given back to them, but they must leave immediately from the island with whatever provisions were left on board, with the damage inflicted from the battle, and with the ship's colors being burned.

Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 43

They begin making what repairs they can since the ship can only move at half speed. Caduceus uses Divination to determine that the best place to obtain the more extensive repairs they need is Bisaft Isle and Orly steers them that way.

Beau, Nott, and Caleb investigate Avantika's quarters and find maps indicating the area where Fjord's old ship went down. Caleb points out that Fjord is going to find all this difficult to handle. Nott asks Beau about her claim of being an Expositor for the Cobalt Soul and she admits it's partially true, impressing Nott who thinks that means she's a secret agent.

Meantime, Jester talks to Fjord about finding Vandran, and asking him if they find him, will he stop talking like him? She offers to use Sending to ask the Plank King if he knows where he is, but Fjord puts her off. Using Control Water they are able to speed the boat along and when they approach the area of Fjord's shipwreck, take a few days using Locate Object to find it. Caleb turns Frumpkin into an octopus and he is able to pinpoint the location.

The next morning, Fjord casts Underwater Breathing on the party and they dive in, sinking to the bottom. After some searching, they see the forgotten shipwreck ahead.

Featured Characters

The Mighty Nein





Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes


  • Marisha: I powerwalk like a grandma at a mall. It's 9am, the doors just opened.
  • Beau: (after using Extort Truth on Avantika) You have 60 seconds, but I have more knuckles.
  • Fjord: (Speaking about Vandran and the shipwreck) It hurts to see so many react to a name that only meant so much to me, but-- I don't even know if he's alive. We might find him down there.
    Jester: Wow. Do you think if we find him, you'll stop talking like him?
    Fjord: We'll see.
  • Caleb: (to Frumpkin) You are the most important member of this team and don’t let Beauregard tell you different. Or Nott.
    Beauregard: Do you ever feel like your relationship with your cat is hindering building stronger relationships with human people?
    Nott: I've told him that a lot of times!


  • The in-game date at the beginning of this episode was 4 Duscar 835.[1]


  1. See CritRoleStats' running game calendar.


  1. Fan art of Caleb's Wall of Fire, by GalacticJonah (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of the battle at Darktow, by Janibitz (source).  Used with permission.

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