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"Mysteries, Memories, and Music" (2x101) is the one hundred first episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein explore the island village of Vo, uncovering strange mysteries about the island itself and its unusual inhabitants...

Synopsis Edit

Announcements Edit

  • No sponsor again tonight, so Sam sells himself and his ability to sell stuff. Like kale chips: ♪ Set sail, set sail, set sail with kale... ♪. "When you're thinking of insincerity, think of Sam Riegel."
  • The next episode of Mighty Vibes premieres 10 July 2020 at 4:00 pm Pacific. Next episode of AWNP: Unplugged (featuring Marisha) will be 14 July at 7:00 pm Pacific. Marisha gets ensnared in the time vortex of pre-recording.
  • Merch Alert! Limited edition 12" incredibly detailed figure of Mollymauk Tealeaf is now available in the U.S. and U.K. critrole.com stores. All Taliesin had to do was traumatize the audience to get an action figure of his very own.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

So, last we left off, the Mighty Nein, after helping aid the negotiation between the Kryn Dynasty and the Dwendalian Empire, come to a momentary close. You separated yourselves to head around the island of Urukayxl and the Inkclaw Reef, making your way towards Rumblecusp, where you had planned in the near future to hold TravelerCon. Along the way, you drew the attention of a dangerous entity in the sea, what turned out to be a dragon turtle, a massive, massive threat. You managed to keep it at bay, fire towards it, only sustain a bit of damage to your hull, before miraculously transforming it into a regular sea turtle and then eventually a sea slug, leaving it in your wake - literally. And heading a bit off course, taking a little more time in your travel, but eventually making your way to the island of Rumblecusp, unscathed any further.

Upon planting yourself on the outskirts of the island and taking your ships to the shore, you left the rest of the crew there on the beach to keep an eye, while you began to enter the jungle proper. There, within the tangled tree mass, heading into the jungles, a short time in you found yourselves being hunted. As these creatures, these black panther-like beasts you’ve seen before in the past, began to present themselves ready to pounce and attack, they themselves were assaulted by a small hunting party of two individuals in what appeared to be a semi-humanoid bear state. Upon killing one of these creatures and setting the others scattering, they began to prepare it for bringing back to their village, which you discovered exists on this island, a commune known as "Vo." And they were eager to tell you about it. They were excited to meet newcomers to the island, and to show you the safest route back to the place that they call home.

These individuals, named Pono and Jaina, carried the corpse of this displacer beast, and alongside you, you were brought to this makeshift, driftwood, patchwork village, some buildings looking much older than others. You could see large bridge networks that connected different structures held aloft in the few trees that still remain in this clearing in the center of this dense jungle on Rumblecusp. People who lived here began to come out excitedly and whisper about the new arrivals, until eventually you were brought to bear and meet two of the three leaders of this village, one of which is a tall, lanky male orc figure with grey skin, bright smile, multiple tools hanging from his belt that clangle as he walks, his hair pulled back into braids into the mid-point of his back, and a half-elf woman that you saw being brought down by a cluster of moving vines from atop a structure higher up in the tree. This half-elf female, tanned of skin, sun-bleached long wild hair, with a leg made of vines, steps down onto the ground, and approaches before saying, "Welcome. So, what brings you here?"

Part I Edit

The party explains that they were hoping to hold a festival on Rumblecusp in honor of the Traveler. Jester is sure that the islanders' god, Vokodo, will like him too. Viridian invites them to share the village's dinner that evening and spend the night, although any decisions must await the return of the third member of the village council, Terra, from hunting.

Viridian explains that the island, as the central focus of Exandria, is home to many strange slivers of other parts of the world harboring strange and dangerous beasts. Neither she nor any of the other Vo villagers can remember their lives before arriving on the island. She tells them that all who arrive must meet Vokodo within the mountain to gain his acceptance, and describes several of the various locations around the island.

They are led to a hollowed-out, broken-off tree stump holding a small abode, which the occupying villagers are vacating for them to stay in that night. When left alone, Jester Sends to Orly back at the beach to warn him there are inhabitants of the island who may be hostile. Concerned about possibly losing their memories as have all the villagers, they designate Beau to keep notes. They search the abode, and locate a chest and a jewelers' kit hidden on ledges high above them. Beau is able to retrieve them, and the chest proves to contain a pocket watch engraved "B.V." (which Veth surreptitiously steals), two fancy silk outfits from Port Zoon, and a bedraggled child's doll.

Caduceus's skills - Fael draws

Fan art of Caduceus's skills, by Fael Draws.[art 1]

They head out to join the villagers. Fjord gets roped into helping Jaina and Pono butcher the displacer beast they killed earlier. Caleb sits by a fire and gets out his spellbook and the wand he received from Calianna,[1] spending time with both. Caduceus volunteers in the kitchens, while Jester draws caricatures of some of the villagers. Yasha practices her harp. Beau picks up a conversation with a village child, giving them six bottle rockets, then joins Caduceus.

Eventually, Terra arrives with one of the hunting parties, bearing two dead deinonychus - almost mythical beasts rumored to only still exist in the Shattered Teeth. She interviews Fjord, Beau, and Caduceus briefly about their skills and returns to her work.

Yasha playing her harp - JustHustina

Fan art of Yasha playing her harp, by @JustHustina.[art 2]

At sunset, the feast begins. Viridian offers to move forward slightly her regular gift-bearing visit to Vokodo in order to escort the party there in the morning and introduce them. The three leaders agree that TravelerCon can move forward if Vokodo agrees. After dinner, Yasha plays her harp to the enthralled villagers beautifully and sadly, but healing.

Back in their borrowed lodgings and safe under Caleb's dome, the party discusses what their potential offerings to Vokodo could be. Caduceus gives Jester his Charm of Plant Command. Jester Communes with the Traveler and learns that their sense of being watched is from Vokodo and that he is not a god. In order to determine if their memories are slipping, they each state their names, home towns, parents, and some brief facts from their histories, which they agree to do regularly from here on. Caleb continues to focus on his wand as the party takes a long rest.

Break Edit

Part II Edit

In the morning, they all must roll investigation checks, and Yasha, Jester, and Caduceus fail and must name one object in their inventory each (Jester chooses her hair oil[2], Caduceus his tinderbox, and Yasha her blanket). Yasha discovers her blanket is missing and eventually locates it outside the dome under a bed. Frumpkin saw nothing throughout the night to explain this.

They meet Viridian after agreeing to call Vokodo "Guacamole" from here on so as not to offend Vokodo. Together, they travel northeast, and Viridian points out carnivorous vines and pools of viscous, tarry liquid exuded by creatures dwelling beneath them. She warns them not to touch the pools. Viridian then transforms into an owl, and leads them onward. Caduceus fails a dex save and one foot slips into a pool, which grabs it and begins pulling him under. He calls for help as his legs are being gnawed from beneath. A combination of his Spirit Guardians and Yasha's strength succeed in freeing him, but not without some damage.

Help It's Again - Dylan Chinn

Fan art of Caduceus in the tar pool, by Dylan Chinn.[art 3]

Caleb uses his transmuter's ability to Polymorph into a giant owl, and Jester uses her new Charm of Plant Command to ask the local trees to move some of their branches to make it easier for the party to move through. They are still surrounded by the tar pools, however, and on the next dex save both Fjord and Caduceus fail. Fjord steps in a pool which turns out to be only water, but Caduceus again slips into a tar pool and is pulled out by Yasha and Jester. Caleb in his giant owl form flies down to grab him in his claws and fly with him, and Caduceus dejectedly lets it happen.

After about another hour of travel, they reach an area of cold, presumably the Shaded Tangle, where the colors seem to fade from the plants and the sounds of birds and insects disappear. Jester uses her ability to talk to the trees, but they know little beyond the fact that they feel drained and sallow. During the conversation, Beau hears faint sobbing and moves off toward it, finding it is coming from a large hole in a moss-covered tree trunk. The sobbing stops, but within she sees the reflection of two points of light, like eyes. She throws a ball bearing into the tree with no reaction.

The Bodak - Mel Paisley

Fan art of the Bodak, by Mel Paisley.[art 4]

Moving within thirty feet of the tree, she tries sobbing in sympathy with the creature, then throws her pocket bacon down in front of the tree, but there is again no reaction. Caleb as a giant owl hears her calling and flies toward her, followed by Viridian in owl form and the rest of the party. They fan out around Beau, who asks them all to cry loudly. Caleb sets Caduceus on the ground and drops his owl form, while Caduceus casts Eyes of the Grave and picks up an undead presence, not in the hollow, but right where Beau is. His reflex Turn Undead fails, and Beau turns to look right into the face of a tattered brown hood-shrouded humanoid body with long arms and black, gem-like eyes shining in sunken eye sockets. The skin is dark, gray, and rubbery, there is no nose, and the mouth is a large, open, dragging, gaping, black void maw.

Featured Characters Edit

The Mighty Nein Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 1 Silver pocket watch Chest in Vo home Veth Inscribed with the initials "B.V." Stolen by Veth.
Relinquished approx. 6 Bottle rockets Beau Treece Presumably part of the firecrackers Beau bought in Hupperdook.
Lost 1 Charm of Plant Command Jester 3x/day can speak with plants. Advantage to CHA checks to influence their behavior, demeanor, and attitude.
Lost 1 Hair oil Jester Vokodo Purchased from Maruo at the Overcrow Apothecary in "Agreements" (2x61)
Lost 1 Tinderbox Caduceus Vokodo

Quotations Edit

  • Viridian: "There is something about this island that gives and takes away. By finding your destiny here and being a part of the important presence of Vokodo, and keeping these people safe, and gathering from the island’s many rewards and boons, it also takes from you the things that are less important in life. So many if not most of us don’t quite recall where we were from. But in the long run, that’s not as important, anyway.” . . . “Vokodo is the mountain, and yet is a projection of its essence within the mountain. You see fire and flame, but there is water. There are caverns, woven, plants. It’s a place of life, brimming with creation within. And in the midst of that is where Vokodo is.”
  • Caleb: We are going to have many questions unanswered until we find this Vokodo.
    Jester: What if it’s just a giant avocado?
    Caduceus: That would be delicious.
  • Caduceus: Plenty of reasonable people I know haven’t killed anybody.
    Fjord: Name one.
    Caduceus: (pause) Okay, that’s a fair point.
  • Matt: The bonfire flames begin to fade a bit, as now the central focus is Yasha’s performance. With each pluck resonating and echoing and growing louder, the movements become more fluid, and for a woman who is so known amongst you for the volumetric rage and forceful brutality, there is an unexpected grace to the moments, the gentle shifting of the wrist, the swaying with each progressive pull, and as the eyes are still closed, and the lightning is still flashing, you see Yasha in a vulnerable light you’ve not really seen before. In a healing light.
  • Caduceus: You know, you’ve kind of got a weird little cult going, and that’s okay. To be fair, I’m in a weird little cult. There’s nothing unusual or weird about that. All a god is, really, is a cult with a franchise.
  • Jester: (about Vokodo) He’s just a dude pretending to be a god. Let’s just figure this out. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
  • Caduceus (after stepping into a tar pit a second time) Help, it's again!

TriviaEdit

  • This episode marks the first time that Yasha mentions her surname: "Nydoorin".

References Edit

  1. See "Family Gathering" (2x71) at 2:41:54.
  2. See "Agreements" (2x61) at 2:51:11.  Purchased from Maruo at the Overcrow Apothecary.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Caduceus's skills, by Fael Draws (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Yasha playing her harp, by @JustHustina (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Caduceus in the tar pool, by Dylan Chinn (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of the Bodak, by Mel Paisley (source).  Used with permission.


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