"Maritime Mysteries" (2x103) is the one hundred third episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. Wrestling with the dangers of spending too much time on Rumblecusp, the Mighty Nein travel to the Heaven Falls, seeking a weak point in the island that could be used against Vokodo...

Synopsis

Announcements

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Previously on Critical Role

So, last we left off: The Mighty Nein. You had made your way to the island of Rumblecusp to prepare the coming of TravelerCon, where all the various followers of the Traveler are to convene and celebrate him, and, as the Traveler would want it, probably also convince them to stop following him in such a large number. He can’t quite deal with the responsibility. It’s driving him a little insane, and as an archfey, not his thing anymore, as much.

Fan art of Vilya, by @thetaterart.[art 1]

Upon arriving, you set your crew to watch the ship, you head into the village of Vo, where you discover there are people who live on this island, an entire village of individuals, from different walks of life, different age groups, different backgrounds, and all seem to have lost their memory. But they live as a positive community, they support each other. A very simple lifestyle, bereft of trinkets and wealth, and you find it’s because these are given to the god of the island, a fire god known as Vokodo, that lives within the volcano of Rumblecusp. You wanted to go speak to this god, to get permission to bring the Traveler here and have this event, and as such, you had Viridian, the druidic spiritual guardian of the Vo, guide you through dangerous territory to the exterior or the volcano itself, traveling through the tunnels and the various challenges that await.

You met with Vokodo, this strange entity that existed in the breathable warm waters underneath the mountain itself, gave gifts that were accepted eventually for some of you, and were given permission to, "Yes, bring them here. Bring everyone to be part of this event." You all then exited the mountain, and decided to stay the night at the cusp of the tunnel’s exit. As you all began to bed down, sneakily placed a Greater Restoration spell upon Viridian, cleansing her of the foggy memory that has kept her from understanding who she was and where she was from for well over two decades, and it was revealed that Viridian was not her name. Her name is Vilya, and apparently is from Tal'Dorei. And that was where we left off.

Part I

The people that I belong to, the Ashari, are disparate druidic tribes very much tied to the elements themselves and the planes beyond Exandria. And I had gone on a journey to prove myself as the next to become leader of my people. I nearly completed it, and one of the final tasks I was to attempt involved a dangerous journey and avoidance of a terrible beast in the Plane of Water. It was a kraken. I failed, as I was unable to complete the trial, and nearly lost my life in the process, instead, losing my leg. I almost lost my life. I was cut off from the gateway that was my entrance, and I, in trying to flee, just followed the currents as best I could to keep at bay from this creature, transforming into whatever I could to keep myself alive. Going into the dark depths, and using my final bit of conserved magics to find the right path, I managed to come upon a small entrance or exit, a doorway, a tear between realms, and was, I guess, jettisoned here. I was unconscious for the better part of a week, and when I came to, the people of Vo had found me by the base of the mountain on the eastern side, and by then, my memory was already fading. Whatever magic takes this island, whatever this Vokodo is capable of shrouding upon this island, works quickly.
– 
Vilya's story.[1]

Vilya tells the party that she's been on Rumblecusp at least twenty-five years. She is a member of the Ashari, and was on her journey to prove herself to become her people's leader when, while facing a kraken in the Elemental Plane of Water, she was seriously wounded, losing her leg. She managed to flee, being drawn by the currents to a tear between realms, and was jettisoned onto the island near the Heavenfalls. She was found there and brought to the Vo village where she was unconscious for more than a week, and when she woke her memories were already fading.

Vilya believes that shards of other planes are either being created or expanding on the island under the influence of Vokodo. She believes there are now close to 120 Vo villagers, and Jester worries that all of the TravelerCon attendees will also be at risk of losing their memories and joining the villagers in the worship of Vokodo. They discuss various possible ways to proceed. Everyone is agreed that Vokodo must die. Jester suggests the Traveler could tell his followers to aid the attack. They discuss the possibility of the villagers themselves being recruited, or approaching Terra about joining them.

Fan art of the giant owls, by JadeQ.[art 2]

Beau suggests to Jester that the Traveler may have known about this island and suggested it in order to offload at least some of his followers. They all eventually agree they need more information, and since Vokodo forbids going to Heavenfalls, that's where they should go. They decide to use the Ball-Eater for transportation there, and Jester uses Sending to contact Orly, who tells them the crew is safe, but the dragon turtle has destroyed their ship. They decide to change into giant owls, and transport the party via flying to Heavenfalls.

Fan art of the fall, by Haven Burley.[art 3]

Reaching the Falls, they set up camp on the nearby beach. In the dark, Fjord summons his sword and makes it glow, noting that reclaiming the gift he offered Vokodo may anger him. Jester, still a giant owl, carries Beau fifteen minutes out to sea, but the feeling of being watched does not subside. They do, however, notice that the volcano is now glowing red at the tip and there are angry rumbles from it. On the way to shore, they misjudge the ending time of the spell and find themselves plummeting, but Jester is able to grab Beau's hand and Dimension Door them both to safety on the beach.

Fan art of the tusktooth moon, by Silver.[art 4]

Veth and Beau go to check out the Falls, leaving Fjord and Yasha to guard Caleb as he sets up the dome, and Jester and Caduceus as they Commune with their respective gods. Jester summons the Traveler, who admits that he knew the island would steal the memories of his followers, but assures Jester that he was not planning to abandon her or leave her there. She makes him promise and he does, but it's unclear exactly what that promise is. He seems unworried about the prospect of leaving his other followers on the island, however, and Jester begins to realize his true, self-centered nature. When she asks if he will fight with them against Vokodo, he refuses. She is in tears when in an effort to comfort her, he creates an image of the googly-eyed tusk-toothed face on Catha, the full moon, and disappears. Caleb, noticing her distress, assures her the party will support her in whatever she decides to do.

Fan art of the dome, by Nikoreru.[art 5]

Fan art of the dome, by Harriet Bisley.[art 6]

Caduceus also casts Commune, learning from the Wildmother that Vokodo's influence extends over the whole island and beyond, and that he knows where they are. Beau and Veth's exploration of Heavenfalls, an upside-down waterfall or water spout, reveals that its source is a large crack deep within the pool from which the water rises with great force. The rest of the pool is undisturbed by the water rushing up from beneath.

When they rejoin the party, Caleb asks for Veth's stolen jade rabbit statue,[2] uses Fabricate to crush it, then casts Programmed Illusion to create on the inside of the dome a kaleidoscope of amber-colored images of the party's adventures together, and bits from their pasts before they all met, in an effort to have their memories before them during the night and possibly stave off their loss. Those he has seen personally are clear, and the others are in silhouette. The whole party is entranced, and deeply moved. Yasha requests the image of her and Zuala be placed where she can see it as she falls asleep, and Vilya requests an image of herself with a man beside her as she walks on two intact legs, and a red-haired fourteen-year-old with them.

Break

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Part II

In the morning, they begin their new ritual of running through their names and parents, and Caduceus, Yasha, Jester, and Fjord find that large portions of their memories are gone. Vilya repays Caduceus for her own restoration by casting Greater Restoration on him, and he is able to restore Jester, who restores Fjord. Vilya takes care of Yasha. In addition, Caduceus and Fjord each lose a minor item, and Jester notices that she had lost her hair oil the previous day. She does, however, finally remember to give Fjord the beard oil she purchased for him weeks ago in Rosohna.[3]

They explore the area, including the inlet of the sea from which the reverse waterfall shoots and the cliff high above on which it crashes. Caleb and Jester search the bottom of the inlet for pearls, and Caleb finds two. Caduceus investigates the rock behind the waterfall and notices that there is a slight gap there that looks odd. Veth uses Levitation to rise up so she can see the top of the cliff where the water splashes down.

Fjord uses Dwueth'var to cast See Invisibility, and joined by Yasha and Beau, dives down to the rift from which the powerful waterspout originates. Yasha is sucked in by the current created by the force of the water rushing in and finds herself shot upward about 180 feet in the spout, past Veth. In a panic, and remembering her dream, she shoots out her wings but they are still skeletal and do nothing. She crashes onto the top of the cliff suffering some damage, but then notices that around the tips of the edges of her wings, soft white feathers are starting to emerge. She finds herself at eye level with the levitating Veth, and although they look around a little, they find nothing interesting beyond a few small man-made stacks of stones.

Fan art of the ships, by BlackSalander.[art 7]

Meanwhile, Fjord and Beau continue to explore the rift. With his See Invisibility, Fjord notices a faint flickering aura around the edges of the rift. Beau finds a long piece of wood resembling a plank or board, but finding nothing else, they re-surface, joined shortly by Jester and Caleb. Caduceus mentions there's something odd about the wall behind the waterspout. and when Fjord inspects, he notices the same thing. Jester uses Control Water to part the water revealing the wall behind, and when Fjord swims over to it, he disappears through into a pitch black cavern. When he lights up his sword, he can see that the cliff face is almost entirely hollow, holding an immense cavern hundreds of feet across filled with twenty or so ships with furled sails and of different sizes, ages, and purposes.

Fjord shouts for the others to join him. Caleb turns into a giant shark and powers past the currents still swirling around where the now-divided waterspout breaks the surface, frightening the startled Fjord who Eldritch Blasts the shark. Beau is pulled into the rushing water and shot up to the clifftop, where Yasha is able to help pull her out as she rockets by and reduces the damage they both suffer to a minimum. Veth offers to Feather Fall all of them to the ground again, but Beau leaps off the cliff, angling so that she passes into the false rock hiding the cavern entrance, and her Slow Fall negates the damage she would have taken. The others pass through safely and the party re-gathers (with Vilya) in the ghostly ship-filled cavern.

Vilya comments that some of the ships are the ones that previous newcomers to the island arrived on, and that they were told by Vokodo to sail their ships into here. Beau begins exploring the edges of the cavern, while Fjord dives beneath the water and notices a faint orange glow on the far edge of the cavern about 120 feet away. On closer inspection, it is caused by torchblooms such as lined their previous passage to the lair.

Fan art of "Stop fighting me", by Haven Burley.[art 8]

Caduceus sinks down to also inspect and casts Detect Magic, sensing a faint magical aura surrounding him. At that moment, he is overtaken by an intense compulsion to swim into the tunnel, as Fjord watches in horror. Fjord immediately goes after him, managing to resist the same compulsion, and Commands him to "Stop", but the effect is only momentary and Caduceus tries to swim off again. Fjord grabs him, and they notice the water has changed from salt to the freshwater found in Vokodo's lair. Caduceus is still compelled to swim to Vokodo as quickly as possible, and casts Blindness, which Fjord manages to Counterspell but in order to do so has to release Caduceus, and he tries to swim off again.

Fjord seizes him once again and drags him back to the tunnel entrance, but Caduceus casts Blindness again and this time it succeeds. Fjord tries to Command him to swim back to the group, but he resists the spell and breaks free, swimming away back into the tunnel. The blinded Fjord has no choice but to surface and shout for the others to help. Vilya casts Lesser Restoration to cure the blindness. When they all swim down, Caduceus is nowhere to be seen.

Featured Characters

The Mighty Nein

Fan art of Caduceus Blinding Fjord, by @ambikyu.[art 9]

New

Returning

Mentioned

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Regained 1 Dwueth'var Vokodo Fjord When Fjord summoned it, it appeared in his hand, apparently angering Vokodo.
Transferred 1 Jade rabbit statue Veth Caleb
Destroyed 1 Jade rabbit statue Caleb Crushed into powder using Fabricate, then used in casting Programmed Illusion
Lost 1 Hammer Fjord Vokodo
Lost 1 Hat Caduceus Vokodo Possibly an error since Caduceus's straw hat was given to Clarabelle in "Family Shatters" (2x96)
Transferred 1 Beard Oil Jester Fjord Purchased at Turmin’s Tinctures and Tonics in Rosohna in "Stone to Clay" (2x91)
Acquired 2 Pearls Heavenfalls Caleb 1 worth 50 gp, 1 worth 150. Over 100 gp needed to cast Fortune's Favor

Quotations

  • Veth: Captain, how long, in your esteemed nautical mind, would it take us to sail around the island?
    Fjord: Such knowledge can only be gained after years upon the sea, the wind in your face, the brine in your gums. I have no clue.
  • The Traveler: (to Jester) "Please, don’t ever think I’m not looking out for your best interests. And I wasn’t planning to leave them all here. It was more of a backup plan if things didn’t work out well with the TravelerCon thing. You have to have a series of layers for something like this. Oh, dear thing. I don’t mean to put you through this. I was never going to abandon you or leave you to this. If things went sideways when we arrived, I would have just plucked you and everyone else of import and–"
    Jester: Everyone else, too?
    The Traveler: "Everyone else of import."
  • The Traveler: "I don’t fight. I hedge my bets on those who fight for me."
  • Caleb: (immediately after Jester's conversation with the Traveler) You okay over there?
    Jester: (tearfully) Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just drawing.
    Caleb: Maybe it didn’t go as well as you were hoping.
    Jester: Um... in some ways it went better. But no.
    Caleb: I can’t speak for him. But you do have us.
    Jester: I know.
    Caleb: So whatever you land on, Jester, we’ll make it happen.
    Jester: I have to figure out what I want to land on.
  • Caleb: (showing Veth the Programmed Illusion) Look at what two small-town kids have accomplished. To date. Much more to do.
    Veth: Sure. But it’s nice to look back every once in a while.
    Caleb: Impossible not to.
    Veth: No, it’s good. It’s good to look back. Even back on the painful stuff. That’s how you know you’ve moved forward, and you’re different and better. It’s good to look back.
  • Beau: (handing Caduceus the board she found) What is that?
    Caduceus: That’s wood.
    Beau: Yeah. I know.
    Caduceus: Then why did you ask?
    Fjord: What kind of wood?
    Caduceus: Wet wood.
    Fjord: Wha...
    Beau: Wet wood...
    Fjord: What about wood?
    Caduceus: It’s wet. It’s wet wood.
    Fjord: Why did you grab the wood?
    Beau: We found this wet wood.
    Caduceus: Where?
    Matt: The wet wood is well-worked.
  • Fjord: (trying to stop the Vokodo-controlled Caduceus) Why are you doing this? This is ridiculous!
    Caduceus: I've got to go there.
    Fjord: Nothing but danger lies ahead. Stop fighting me!
    Caduceus: I've got to go there.

Trivia

References

  1. See "Maritime Mysteries" (2x103) at 0:14:39.
  2. See "Home is Where the Heart Is" (2x92) at 4:07:49.
  3. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 2:47:54.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Vilya, by @thetaterart (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of the giant owls, by JadeQ (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of the fall, by Haven Burley (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of the tusktooth moon, by Silver (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of the dome, by Nikoreru (source).  Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of the dome, by Harriet Bisley (source).  Used with permission.
  7. Fan art of the ships, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  8. Fan art of "Stop fighting me", by Haven Burley (source).  Used with permission.
  9. Fan art of Caduceus Blinding Fjord, by @ambikyu (source).  Used with permission.


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