"Manifold Morals" (2x74) is the seventy-fourth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. Joined by a new, lawful ally, the Mighty Nein delve deeper into the disks of Uthodurn in their search for mythril and the whereabouts of a white dragon...
Returning from Indianapolis and back in their home studio again.
- First, our sponsor for the entirety of Campaign 2: D&D Beyond.
- D&D Beyond wanted everyone to know that a few Critical Role cast members participated in a series called Fandom Uncovered in their D&D episode.
- Sam has to show people how the election last week really ended, playing a video showing what happened after the show: partying, drinking, dancing, and push-ups. Adam Bradford, the person actually in charge of D&D Beyond, then fires the bi-presidents of the party planning committee because they've already spent the year's budget.
- Critical Role is headed to Austin, Texas November 23 for a special live-show one-shot, The Adventures of the Darrington Brigade.
- The season premiere of Between the Sheets with Amanda Palmer is now available on YouTube.
Previously on Critical Role
"So, last we left off: The Mighty Nein had found their way to the northern realm of the Greying Wildlands, in search of answers regarding Caduceus’s visions he’s been granted multiple times through the Wildmother, and the pursuit of fixing the broken halves of this blade, which you discovered has some ancient power attached to its historical lineage. You made your way across the mountains of the Flotket Alps into the subterranean dwarven-elven city of Uthodurn, where you acquired a room to stay and then made your way to the forge of what seemed to be the one individual responsible for previously reinforcing this blade, a very talented blacksmith, legendary, if you will. However, upon arriving there, discovered that he had passed away four years previous, and instead were met with his son, who was an apprentice of his, and is hoping to eventually climb to that level of notoriety and skill.
"A brief discussion between him and you unveiled that this weapon requires a certain material to be re-created, called iceflex, which is a form of mythril that has to be enchanted, essentially, by the breath of a white dragon. Not knowing where one might be found, you’ve stepped out into the alley on the side of the smithy, to where a hooded, cloaked figure approached you from the shadows. And that’s where we’re going to go ahead and pick up."
The hooded, cloaked figure approaches the party: a brown-skinned aasimar with golden eyes and freckles, long white hair, and a halo above her head. She overheard their conversation with "Umi" and wanted to make sure everything was okay, but then heard the talk of a dragon and wants to come with them. She introduces herself as Reani, and she's Umi's friend-- they tell each other secrets, garden together, and she leaves him flowers. He comes to the door, embarrassed, and tells her that some things should stay between friends. Jester gives her a cupcake and they bond over love of sweets.
Reani invites them to to her house for tea, thus winning over Caduceus immediately, and confirms to Nott that she also loves whiskey. As they walk and talk, she tells them she's a crime fighter, keeping Uthodurn safe. She's been in Uthodurn about five years, but was originally from Nicodranas, where she was raised by her foster father Landon. She doesn't know her real father. She has a really nice angel, Samliel, who comes to her in her dreams and tells her what to do (which she always does), and he's been telling her about a white dragon.
They reach Reani's house, which is filled with plants. She explains she can keep them healthy because when she was a kid, she ran into some fey who gave her cool druid powers, like making flower crowns and turning herself into animals. She makes tea and serves wine and cookies to everyone, and they tell her that they have an aasimar friend who might be bad now. Reani sees this as very simple: if she's bad, Reani would have to kill her, because the rule is that evil dies.
They decide to visit Ava Endlewood at the Plexus Post on their way to the Vellum Steeple Archive, even though Reani warns them that Ava is mean because she doesn't like flower crowns. The shop is an organized hoarder's paradise guarded inside by two imps, with a little of almost everything. To their surprise, Ava produces a miscellany of mythril knick-knacks and they buy them all, hoping that it will be enough. They also ask about refined residuum, and she offers five elongated shards of it, which Caleb privately recognizes from his time with Trent Ikithon. They discuss the possibility of trading for the residuum the recovery of a magic ring that Ava says was stolen from her by the wealthy Tumblecarve family. The party leaves with the mythril and an echo stone that Fjord purchases.
On the way to the Archive, Jester learns that Reani had seen her mother perform when Reani was five years old, and wanted to be her when she grew up because she was so beautiful. When they reach the Archive, they learn that it's 10 gp per book per hour of closely supervised study. As they're waiting, Reani tells the clerk that she's been sent by the Ivae'ess, which immediately gets the clerk's attention. Reani explains to the party that the Ivae'ess, or "The Lightbringer", is something of a superhero in Uthodurn, using various animal forms to track down evildoers. She is convinced that no one knows that she, Reani, is actually the Ivae'ess, even though all the animal forms have golden eyes and halos as well. If anyone in the Nein tells anyone else about her secret identity, Reani will have to kill them.
They request their books: Beau on local legendary creatures, Caleb on advanced transmutation magic, Fjord on the deities, Nott on alchemy, Jester (at Caleb's request) ancient arcana, and a picture book for Caduceus. Reani gets a book about using poison to kill people. When Beau introduces herself as Beauregard Lionett with the Cobalt Soul (using her last name for the first time), she learns there's another Cobalt Soul researcher there, Archivist Demid Sunlash, studying the moons of Exandria: Catha, the main moon, and Ruidus, its small dull brown sister. When he leaves, Jester confides she's always felt kind of sorry for Ruidus, because it has this big flashy sister getting all the attention.
They receive their books and begin reading. Nott's book gives her knowledge that may reduce the costs of alchemical components for her. Caleb's book discusses the possibility of a permanent form of Polymorph. Fjord's book delves deep into the history of Exandria, the Betrayer Gods, the Calamity, and creation of the Divine Gate. Done studying, Fjord, Reani, and Caduceus head back to Umagorn's. Beau's book discusses the animals of the Flotket Alps, including an ancient white dragon named Gelidon, the Nightmare in Ivory, who lived at Mythburrow 350 miles northeastward but hasn't been seen in 100 years.
Caleb notices one of the pages in his book has an enchantment on it which holds items in a pocket dimension. He passes the book to Nott, telling her that the page is not your average Modern Literature, which Nott understands is a reference to one of her and Caleb's old routines which they have used before. She passes a note to Jester, telling her to rip the page out of the book once Nott's created a diversion. Nott then pulls out her crossbow and shoots Caleb, unfortunately missing the book strapped under his arm and wounding him. In the resulting hubbub, Jester succeeds in tearing out and secreting the page. The party is thrown out and Nott and Caleb are banned from the library.
Umagorn melts the mythril down into an ingot while Fjord, Caduceus, and Reani wait -- they actually have a small bit more than is required. He gives it to Fjord, telling him it will change color when it becomes iceflex. He warns them not to try to kill the dragon in the process.
The party regathers and shares information, including that the myths about the dragon have been around for 250 years. They discuss how to travel the 350 miles to Mythburrow: horseback or goatback, through the Flotket Alps or the Rime Plains. Minimum travel time is 10 days, which none of them (except Reani) is eager to tackle. After a struggle to be heard, Jester suggests going back to Rosohna and having Essek take them to Mythburrow. However, they still need to get back to Uthodurn, which as a fairly major city might have its own Teleportation Circle. Hearing that elves seem to know about this kind of magic, Reani suggests that she knows an elf they could talk to in the Glassblades, Fen, and they decide to try that.
They head back up through the Volition Disk to the Glassblade Kaserne just beneath the large pit entryway to the city and find Fen, a young elf with dark hair, practicing archery. Reani tells her they need to find a dragon and Fen is horrified. She tells Reani not to do this, because last time in the Savalirwood, she was almost killed. They argue and Reani storms off. Out of options, the party decides to try mending their fences with the Vellum Steeple Archive. On the way there, Reani explains that she and Fen had a serious romantic relationship, but when Reani couldn't agree to keep herself safe, they argued and the two separated.
Beau and Reani go to the Steeple Archive, where Beau makes a lovely apology (aided by 300 gold Caleb gave her to offer to them). She and Reani then try to persuade the Scribewarden to allow the party access to the Teleportation Circle that the Archive has. Persuasion and intimidation fail, but cash is acceptable-- at the rate of 100 platinum for a month of access or 500 platinum for permanent access. They try to bargain her down unsuccessfully, until Reani offers 200 platinum and six months of her service accompanying an Archive expedition to Molaesmyr in the Savalirwood. This is accepted by the Woodset Auditors and a contract is signed.
Meantime, Caleb tries and fails to figure out the magic on the page they stole. When Beau returns, he repays her half the cost for the circle. Jester send a message to Essek, and he agrees to transport them. She also sends to Yeza instructions to change Nugget's diet. Caleb and Beau return to the Archive where he memorizes the circle there, which can also be used to travel to Palebank Village further north. They return and the party eats dinner before Caleb transports them all to Rosohna.
They go to the Xhorhaus and send to Essek asking him to join them there. Dairon is fine, but bored, and warns Beau to run from the dragon if things go poorly. When Essek arrives, he tells Caleb the captured Scourger will be executed in two weeks. He also uses Dispel Magic on the stolen page, which releases two pouches and a round case. He then Teleports the party to Mythburrow, a cavern in the mountainside surrounded by spiraling unnatural white-blue faceted ice crystals.
- Ava Endlewood
- Scribewarden Ressia Uvesic
- Archivist Demid Sunlash
- Chief Auditor Keenash (not named)
|Acquired||Unknown||Various mythril knick-knacks||Ava Endlewood||Umagorn|
|Acquired||1||Echo stone||Ava Endlewood||Jester||Fjord bought it and gave it to Jester.|
|Expended||200||200 gold||Beau||Vellum Steeple Archive||Apology money|
|Expended||200||200 platinum||Beau and Reani||Ressia Uvesic|
|Acquired||3||two pouches and a round case||Torn Page||Caleb|
- Reani: (talking about Yasha) Oh, well then, if she was bad, I’d have to kill her. Sorry, those are the rules.
Fjord: Sorry, what rule is that?
Reani: The rule is that evil dies.
- Jester: I always felt kind of sorry for Ruidis, you know?
Caleb: Less noticed than its sister.
Jester: Well, it’s got this big flashy sister always trying to take all its attention. I don’t know.
Caleb: Little sister feeling practically invisible.
- Beauregard: (in response to Caleb asking why she never revealed her last name before) "You never asked."
- Caduceus: I think the higher powers have the best interests of everything, and sometimes the best interests of everything don't necessarily line up with the best interests of each of us.
Fjord: Or what we want.
Caduceus: Or what we want.
- Caduceus: It's important not to get angry at people for what they don't know.
- This episode marks the first time Beau has revealed her last name (Lionett) in-character.
- Caleb now knows Teleportation Circles in Asarius, Rosohna, Nicodranas, and Uthodurn.
- The party met Reani on 20 Misuthar 836.