"In Love and War" (2x57) is the fifty-seventh episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein face the ramifications of Caleb's decision, and Nott is faced with a tense reunion...



We're back, after two weeks of rest! We missed you Critters terribly! We missed each other, and the game...HOLY SHIT, what a Hell of a "hangercliff" to hang onto there!


  • Beginning with our fantastic sponsors at D&D Beyond...and our "friend"...Paulie:
    • Sam comes out dressed as a shark...full name is "Paul Vincent D'Onofrio". It's...it's bad. Really bad. Laura asks if Sam has literally jumped the shark, but Matt points out that Sam has done that long, long ago. Marisha states that Sam *is* the shark.
  • Denver Pop Culture Con: If you could hear it through Paulie's accent, Critical Role and D&D Beyond are coming to the Mile High City! Super excited to head out and meet you Colorado Critters soon on Saturday, June 1, 2019 and Sunday, June 2, 2019! Photo op tickets are now available at denverpopculturecon.com. Go to critrole.com for more information!
  • The Legend of Vox Machina: In case you missed it, Critical Role released a special animatic preview of our animated "The Legend of Vox Machina" series on Monday, April 1, 2019. It was a sneak peek, and you can check it out right now on our YouTube channel! Laura says the animation is looking really good. A huge special thanks to Mike Morris (DIsney storyboard artist and revisionist) for designing the characters in that animatic. The campaign is still going strong, and you can join it to help fund this animated SERIES at critrole.com/animated! The crew asks Sam to give a little insight on how the video came together. ...Sam called up Mike Morris! (They work together on DuckTales.) Mike put it together (including all the designs and the wacky sound effects), and he crushed it! It was both a fun April Fool's joke and a fun little taste of animated goodness! Travis says Matt's "Nyah!" was A+.
  • Sam asks Matt if he needs Sam to put on the shark costume to do some more announcements? Laura says any time.

Previously on Critical Role

"So last we left off: The Mighty Nein, having traversed the dangers and wastes of Xhorhas (in search of the recently captured husband of Nott...long estranged since her separation with her previous life), you made your way to the city of Asarius: the "City of Beasts". You did some deeds for one of the local power figures, it seems, of the city: Lady Zethris Olios. And one of them was in trade for a favor from the Bright Queen...

You were, faster than you expected, whisked away to a teleportation sigil, and brought to the Lucid Bastion in the center of the city of Rosohna, it seems, or Ghor Dranas, as you've been hearing it referred to. There, as you were brought before the very court that the three ruling dens of the Kryn Dynasty, you were given an audience with the Bright Queen Leylas Kryn herself.

Upon approaching, you made your case to meet with this mysterious prisoner that you had been seeking, and it seemed that one of the individuals who had traveled with you, this Lythir VaSuun, seemed to recognize you on your way towards this destination, and piped up during this audience to notify the Bright Queen herself that he had been assaulted by you with intent to kill him and his companion on the borders of Xhorhas across the Ashkeeper Peaks.

In trying to defend yourselves and make a convincing argument, unfortunately due to the stress and terrible perpetual die rolls, it did not go in your favor. The guards were called, and you were to be chained and brought to some form of imprisonment. Amongst the chaos, a few knowing glances amongst the group and a silent agreement, Caleb approached Jester with clearance to make one final bid for peace, reached into her Handy Haversack and pulled out the dodecahedron, the beacon of which you've been carrying for so long. Upon its presentation, the room fell silent, weapons clattering to the marble-stone floors, and as the Bright Queen took the object from your hands, tears in her eyes, proclaimed that you've brought hope, to some degree, back to these people, and in this moment, at least, you're heroes of the dynasty."

Part I

The Bright Queen gives the Beacon to a knight, telling him to take it to its vault in the Darkshire and double the watch. The Queen asks how they came upon the Beacon and why they have returned it, and Caleb responds that they have come looking for Yeza, who the Queen confirms the Dynasty is holding in the Dungeon of Penance. The Queen explains that the Beacon is the body of the Lord of Light himself. A long time ago, before the gods came, the Luxon came to the cold, dark world and scattered himself to bring fire and life that gave birth to the elements and the seas. Many parts of the Luxon still reside buried within Exandria. The Dynasty has found four, of which the Empire is still holding one.

Skysybil Abrianna Mirimm, an ancient female goblin, explains that those who have proved themselves are consecuted to the Luxon. If a consecuted person dies within range of a beacon, the beacon draws the soul back, and when a child is born within range of the beacon, the spirit is given another life. When the child reaches adolescence, they begin to recall memories of that past life (or lives), and are returned to their dens. The beacons also act as funnels for dunamis power from the Luxon.

Fan art of the Bright Queen and the Shadowhand, by nelmdraws.[art 1]

Caleb asks what it would take to end the war, and the Queen answers, "A lot of death on either side." She now wants retribution. Caleb, Beau, and Caduceus all urge her to consider acting only against those responsible for actions taken against the Dynasty, and not the common people of the Empire, but she is adamant that she cannot stop the war because the Empire would not stop. She asks if they will join the Dynasty, and they answer that they need to learn more before making a decision.

She gives them her emblems, warning them not to lose them. She also suggests Professor Waccoh may have work for them. Shadowhand Essek Thelyss is assigned to be their steward. He takes them to the antechamber and leaves them alone to talk. Jester Sends to Yeza, saying that they're here, and that Nott looks a little different. Essek then leads them to the Dungeon of Penance.

Fan art of Yeza meeting Nott, by Malény López Alvarez.[art 2]

Outside Yeza's cell, Nott uses Disguise Self to look like Veth again. Jester enters first to introduce her. Yeza is in bad condition and very hungry and thirsty, but is happy to see Veth. She explains that she was turned into a monster by the goblins. Yeza touches her, slowly feeling the goblin body hidden under the halfling disguise, and Nott drops the spell. To her surprise, he accepts her new appearance, and she introduces the rest of the Mighty Nein. Essek says that information from Yeza is the means of his release, and Yeza explains that he was hired to take the weird ethereal film pulled out of the Beacon by mages and bond it to a compound so it could be used. They succeeded in making one vial, and Lady DeRogna then took the Beacon back from Yeza two days before the Kryn attack that captured him. Essek then releases Yeza from the prison.


  • D&D Beyond ad
  • "The Twitch Subscription Zone" (Critical Role Twitch promo parodying "The Twilight Zone")
  • Travis Willingham's Yee-Haw Game Ranch promo (Tet'nus Terry)
  • Pub Draw promo
  • "The Making of 'Your Turn To Roll'"
  • fan art reel
  • Wyrmwood giveaway winner: @slyeladrin

Part II

[Before getting back into the game, Matt announces that the cast found out during the break that the Kickstarter campaign reached the final stretch goal of $8.8 million before the end of the first half of the game. The cast celebrates with a champagne toast to the Critters.]

The Mighty Nein, with Yeza, are led by Essek through the city to the Dim's Inn, where they are to be housed at the Dynasty's expense. They eat, feed the starving Yeza, and take four rooms, meeting in one to discuss their plans for the next day. They have shopping to do, Caduceus wants to find a blacksmith, and Caleb and Beau want to go to the Marble Tomes Conservatory to see Professor Waccoh.

Their discussion turns to their larger goals and direction. Caleb proposes that they try to stop the war by "cutting the cancer" out of his homeland, the Empire. The others are reluctant to commit at this point, with Jester mentioning TravelerCon, and Caduceus bringing up the kiln he's searching for, and they go to bed without resolving anything.

Fan art of Nott and Yeza, by Anna Landin.[art 3]

Nott and Yeza go to their room, and Nott sleeps on the floor next to the bed. In the middle of the night, Yeza joins her there. In the morning, Caleb ask Beau to trust him, saying that his desire to kill Trent Ikithon is in line with the things that Beau and Dairon want. She asks him to start trusting himself.

At the end of the episode, the party reaches Level Nine.

Featured Characters

The Mighty Nein





Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 7 Emblems of the Bright Queen Leylas Kryn Each party member Silver medallions a bit larger than a gold piece. Carved with a dodecahedron with a circle around it, but the circle is broken in places and twisted inward to form a protracted, sideways eight that merges with it.


  • Empress Leylas Kryn (on what the Beacon is): "This...object that you so unknowingly brought to us is known as a 'Luxon Beacon'. It is...the body...of the Lord of Light himself. A long time ago...before the gods came...the Luxon - the First Light - came to this cold, dark world. And in his solitude, not understanding what he was, saw this...lonely ball of rock as...lonely as he...as she...as whatever. It is trying to discover [what] *it* is. And it embraced it...and scattered itself to bring...fire and life. That gave birth to...the elements. Gave birth to the seas. And the many parts of the Luxon still reside, buried within Exandria..."[1]
  • Empress Leylas Kryn (explaining her symbol and the symbol of the Luxon): "The lines represent the cycle of souls, continuing forever. It is within the Light of the Luxon...that there is no end to it. We don't become collections. We don't become...bartering pieces for...entities...and gods that argue and fight. We forge our own path. And in his divine light and warmth, we live, and live, and live again. And learn, and teach, forever. Those lines are the paths of the souls to infinity, within the Luxon."
    Beauregard: "Well...I would just urge you to consider...that a woman so adherent to cycles...I believe you also have the power to break them as well."[2]
  • Yeza: "It's still you, though. Right?"
    Nott (cringing): "...Yeah."
    Yeza: "That's all that matters."
  • Caleb: Yes, I was trained to be a terrible person. Yes, I was a student of the Cerberus Assembly. Yes, I murdered those most dear to me, yes. And yes, I want to see specific people dead. If that lines up with something that can save where you and I are from, where Veth and Yeza are from, where our friends live... then all is one.
  • Caleb: "We can do some good. All of us. We can do some good."
    Beau: "I think that's the best retribution for 'Caleb Widogast'. Two pieces of shit like us, doing some good?"
    (Caleb and Beau clasp hands.)
    Caleb: "Holla...!"


  • The episode title may be a reference to the 1987 TV film "In Love and War", about a U.S. Navy Commander's imprisonment in North Vietnam and his wife's efforts back in the United States to get more information on his location and treatment.
    • It may also be a reference to the 1971 memoir "Love and War in the Apennines" by Eric Newby. Newby is an English special forces operative who was captured in Sicily and held in a prison camp in the Po Valley. After the Italians made peace with the Allies, his Italian guards released all their prisoners, and the memoir chronicles his adventures as he escaped and evaded German forces. During one such adventure, he met and was aided by a local Italian girl, Wanda, who would later become his wife.
    • It may also just be a reference to the common saying "All's fair in love and war", a proverb attributed to John Lyly's Elizabethan work Euphues.
  • All of the Mighty Nein reached Level 9 by the end of this episode. In rolling for hit points, Nott rolled a 7, Caleb rolled a 6, Caduceus, Beau and Jester rolled a 5 and Fjord rolled a 2.


  1. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 0:21:19.
  2. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 0:44:50.


  1. Fan art of the Bright Queen and the Shadowhand, by nelmdraws (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Yeza meeting Nott, by Malény López Alvarez (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Nott and Yeza, by Anna Landin (source).  Used with permission.

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