"New Homes and Old Friends" (2x111) is the one hundred eleventh episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein explore a new magical haven before heading to Zadash to investigate some theories and reach out to previous connections...
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Previously on Critical Role
So, last we left off: the Mighty Nein, after heading their way towards the capital of Rexxentrum to meet up with Lady Vess DeRogna of the Cerberus Assembly, you discovered that there was interest in the north, the region known as Eiselcross, within the perspective of Vess, and she wished to hire you as both bodyguards and co-delvers within these apparently lost ruins of an ancient pre-Calamity mage city known as Aeor, to the Frozen Wastes in that way. You agreed to this, and upon exiting her tower it seemed that another member of the Assembly was aware of your presence, as a letter was sent to Bren, inviting him and his friends to dinner at the abode of Trent Ikithon.
So you went, gathered some supplies, dressed to the nines and showed up to his tower, where you had a very tense dinner with Trent and the two childhood trainees alongside Caleb as he grew up, Eadwulf and Astrid. This tension-laden dinner, while the food was delicious, led to many conversations, some darker reveals, and some harsh truth from Caduceus to cap it off. But upon exiting, drinks were had. Escaping to a nearby inn, you were all brought to your chambers, specifically going into one chamber that was rented by Caleb, who was assuring that there was a place to stay that would be comfortable. After paying to have a piece of furniture much like a closet of some kind brought to the room, you prepared a spell and briskly you watched as the space within this cupboard-like closet began to shimmy, and then reveal the interior. And as you all step through, invited by Caleb into this space, tell them what they see.
Caleb welcomes the party through the shimmering doorway, saying, "Welcome home." They find themselves on the ground floor of his magical wizard's tower, a nine-story, nine-sided extra-dimensional dwelling. The ground floor holds soaring stained glass windows of each of the nine schools of magic, and a hole in the ceiling allows one to look all the way up to the top of the tower lost in darkness and distance above. Thinking the words "up" and "down" allows visitors to float through the central holes between floors, which open and close with brass irises.
They explore the tower and its massive library and salon with a fireplace under a stained glass window reminiscent of the colors of Mollymauk's coat. When an impressed Fjord asks Caleb how long he's been working on this, Caleb responds that it was since he was not able to stop Fjord, Yasha, and Jester from being taken from them.
Each party member has an individualized bedroom with carefully-thought-out details designed to make them comfortable and happy. The kitchens are staffed with cats of all sizes with prehensile tails who do the cooking, serving, and cleaning up, and also provide background music. The party has a late dinner together while planning what to do next. Jester polymorphs into a cat and explores the network of visible and hidden cat-sized ramps connecting the various rooms.
Caleb waits an hour beyond when everyone else goes to bed and opens the iris leading to the eighth floor with the Zemnian phrase, "Fort, doch nicht vergessen" (loosely, "Gone, but not forgotten"). The floor contains nine closed doors, and behind the sixth is what is presumably a re-creation of the stone room where the residuum crystals were implanted into Bren, Astrid, and Eadwulf. It holds three straight wooden chairs with leather straps and trays of instruments and gritty green dust. Caleb sits in the center chair, looking at his arms and thinking about their dinner, and eventually falls asleep.
The next morning, the party uses Teleportation Circle to reach Yussa Errenis's Tidepeak Tower and Nicodranas, where Veth collects Luc and Yeza and they Teleport to the Cobalt Soul Archive in Zadash. While the others head to the Invulnerable Vagrant, Beau, Yasha, and Caleb stay and try to research Nonagon, Lucien Nonagon, Eyes of Nine, or the Tombtakers, but learn very little new.
The rest of the party head to the Invulnerable Vagrant, where they are greeted warmly by Pumat Sol. Veth re-introduces herself and her family. Caduceus gives Pumat his armor to add a +1 AC enchantment to it - it will be ready in four days. Veth arranges to have a flask enchanted to hold endless chilled rosé. Fjord buys an Ioun Stone of Fortitude, and Veth buys Luc a ring that creates unlimited temporary spinning tops. Pumat knows nothing about the Eyes of Nine, or Lucien/Nonagon, or Aeor.
They say goodbye to the Pumats and rejoin the rest of the group.
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Fjord gives Caleb the Ioun Stone, and Jester runs back into the shop to learn from Pumat that it had been originally commissioned by Jenna Iresor of the Cerberus Assembly. Although Caleb cannot pay Fjord the full price for the stone, he keeps three platinum and gives Fjord the balance of his funds, 180 platinum.
They head to the Evening Nip and are admitted by Clive Bens. (Yeza takes Luc for a walk around the block instead of going in.) The party is greeted by The Gentleman, who buys them drinks. Jester tells him that her mama said to say "Hi," but she doesn't miss him too much. But she looked really pretty and he could go say hi if he ever wanted to. His response is noncommittal and when Jester presses for a firm date, he evades.
They ask about Cree. He knew she was with the Tombtakers, and part of the reason he hired her was her cut-throat heritage coming from Shadycreek Run, and her skillset as a divine bloodcrafter. He was sad when she left his employment a month and a half or two months ago. While he does not know where she is, he gives the party their blood samples she had taken, including Mollymauk's. He knows nothing of Eiselcross beyond the fact that a slow but increasing trickle of trade in historical relics has been coming down through the Greying Wildlands, starting seven or eight years ago.
When they're taking their leave, Jester requests a hug from the Gentleman for his favorite daughter. He looks around the room and intimidates the interested watchers into turning away before giving Jester an awkward side hug. He does warn the party, however, that if Jester comes back with but a scratch, he will destroy them all.
The party talks about what to do next. Caleb suggests Teleporting them to Molly's grave to see if Caduceus could have a conversation with him. Jester confirms that if there's a body there, she could bring him back. They decide to first try Scrying on Cree. Jester is successful, seeing Cree trudging through heavy snow with a pack on her back, but nothing else.
That leaves the possibility of contacting Molly. Beau is reluctant, arguing Molly didn't know anything, but Caleb points out that while Molly didn't, Nonagon did, and without trying they won't know which person they would reach. Jester performs another Scry, this time on Molly's grave. She sees pouring rain, and mud, and the stick that marked his grave tilted to one side with no sign of his coat.
Beau is still reluctant and begins theorizing again. Although she has several of the underlying facts wrong, she believes that the caster who performed the ritual on Lucien was Vess DeRogna and that the ritual was designed to send Lucien to Aeor, but that the actual city of Aeor is no longer in this dimension and is the city they saw in the Astral Plane chasing Vokodo. Thus, the ritual appeared to fail, and when Lucien returned to his body as Mollymauk, he had nine eye tattoos on his body.
There is still no way to know if the body of Molly would have Lucien's memories or just the almost nothing that Molly himself knew, so they decide to go to the gravesite using Molly's coat to aid the Teleport so that Caduceus can use Speak With Dead. Veth takes her family to a decent inn in Zadash, the Lodge of the Eclipse in the Pentamarket, promising to be back in a few hours.
Once at the grave in the pouring rain and thunder, they begin digging, finding the ground a little looser than they expected. After some time of digging, they find nothing - no sign of a body remains in the grave. Investigating, Veth finds Mollymauk's coat about twenty feet away left to the elements, which she takes into her possession. Jester casts Scry once more, seeking Molly.
- Beauregard Lionett
- Caduceus Clay
- Caleb Widogast
- Frumpkin (mentioned, did not appear)
- Jester Lavorre
- Veth Brenatto/Nott the Brave
- Yasha Nydoorin
- Lucien (via Jester's Scrying)
- Yussa Errenis (via Jester's Sending)
- Yeza Brenatto
- Luc Brenatto
- Pumat Sol
- Clive Bens
- The Gentleman
- Cree (via Jester's Scrying)
|Acquired||1||Potion of Stone Giant Strength||Invulnerable Vagrant||Veth||Increases strength score to 23 for 1 hour. 1500 gp.|
|Acquired||1||Cloak of Billowing||Invulnerable Vagrant||The party||Blue crushed velvet with deep red lining. Wearer can use a bonus action to make it billow dramatically at will. 75 gp.|
|Transferred||1||Green beetle breastplate||Caduceus||Pumat Sol||To be enchanted to add +1 to AC.|
|Acquired||1||Ioun Stone of Fortitude||Invulnerable Vagrant||Fjord||Use an action to activate +2 to constitution score. 5500 gp.|
|Transferred||1||Ioun Stone of Fortitude||Fjord||Caleb||Caleb gave Fjord all his money, 1800 gp.|
|Acquired||1||Ring of Tops||Invulnerable Vagrant||Luc Brenatto||Creates a temporary spinning top with a finger flick. Unlimited uses. 25 gp.|
|Transferred (temporarily)||1||Wind Fan||Beau||Veth||Used by Veth to fan The Gentleman.|
|Acquired||1||Mollymauk's coat||Molly's grave||Veth||Found twenty feet away, exposed to the elements.|
- Caleb: (about his Tower) Right now we are about one centimeter off of our current reality. It's funny - we're actually very small right now. It doesn't feel that way, but we are.
- Caleb: (showing Beau her bedroom) "Go lie on the bed. Okay, there is a blue sash or rope hanging just above your shoulder. Pull it down. It actually slides forward." You are immediately looking at yourself in a mirror built in to the roof of the four-post bed. "We are friends, you and I?"
Yasha: I go peek under the canopy. "That’s going to be useful."
Beau: "You're my best friend, Caleb!"
- Caleb: Well, that’s an interesting question, asking Molly what he knows, because according to Molly, he was dead more than once. So who knows who inhabits the home of a dead man’s skull when there have been several personalities in there?
- The Gentleman: (to the party) If she [Jester] comes back with but a scratch, I will destroy you all.
- Caleb: Mollymauk didn't know anything, but Nonagon might have. And it's the same person.
Beau: But how does that work once they're dead?
Caleb: We don't know unless we try, Beauregard.
Fjord: We might get User 1, User 2, or the Admin Profile.
- The other names on the vials of blood held by The Gentleman that Jester was able to read were Milos, Miladen, Lech, and Jazna (possibly Jasna Bree).
- See "Divergent Paths" (2x25).
- Beau states repeatedly that the Tombtakers were running from Vess DeRogna who was chasing them to recover the book used in the ritual, whereas Cree actually said that after the ritual on Lucien apparently failed, they returned the book to the caster as previously agreed and scattered. See "Fleeting Memories" (2x14) from 1:04:31 through 1:06:50.
- See "Dangerous Liaisons" (2x37) at 2:29:46.
- See "New Homes and Old Friends" (2x111) at 3:31:17.
- See "New Homes and Old Friends" (2x111) at 0:20:37.
- See "New Homes and Old Friends" (2x111) at 0:32:10.
- See "New Homes and Old Friends" (2x111) at 1:36:13.
- See "New Homes and Old Friends" (2x111) at 2:49:14.
- See "New Homes and Old Friends" (2x111) at 3:02:16.
- Fan art of Caleb's tower's entry, by Joanna Johnen (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Jester sleeping with the cats, by Omegasama art (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Caleb, remembering, by Aquarisma Arts (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Widogast's Nascent Nein-Sided Tower, by BlackSalander (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Beau's theorizing, by Deramin (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of the tiefling in the snow, by heidzdraws (source). Used with permission.