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"Reflections" (2x68) is the sixty-eighth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. Continuing their crawl through the tomb, the Mighty Nein must tackle a bridge of terrors and come face-to-face with familiar foes...

Synopsis Edit

Pre-Show Edit

Sadly Laura Bailey is ill, so Travis will stand in for her.

Announcements Edit

Previously on Critical Role Edit

So, last we left off: the Mighty Nein had found themselves somewhere underneath the Penumbra Range mountains to the west of Bazzoxan, chasing down this figure known as Obann, this mysterious drow who seems to have been involved with these strange devices that are causing portals to the Abyss to open up in locations across Xhorhas. You have given chase across the Barbed Fields, found the entrance to this strange series of underground tunnels and this sealed off citadel/tomb. You’re really not entirely certain what its purpose is, although you have encountered a number of angelic pieces of imagery and statues themselves bleeding from the eyes as these elements have been breached. You’ve gathered a few clues, you’ve made your way through, dealt with some sort of demon-twisted spiders and destroyed their brood before it hatched. You proceeded to find your way down a massive fog-enclosed tower of sorts, setting off a trap that caused a repeating and escalating electric field to burst through, as well as being attacked by some invisible force, some unseen assassin that seems to flow through the mist unwatched. You managed to escape that into a chamber in which you found a pedestal with three empty bowls and a seemingly endless supply of corpses beneath, upon two ramps. Upon which triggering it, some of these corpses began to come to life in waves, and you dashed them aside, fought them off as they attempted to swarm you, some of them seeming to carry some form of glowing enchantment upon the leftover heart temporarily.

Passing this, you made your way now to the precipice of a cliff side that falls into a lightless chasm below, and an iron bridge that disappears into the darkness before you. You’ve since decided to take a night’s rest as you found yourselves rather spent. But loud noises seem to call some strange cacophony of whispers and voices and screams that you are uncertain of the source, so silence seems to be golden for the night. Last we left off, you had created yourself a Tiny Hut, and you all had been attempting to go to sleep.

Part I Edit

Keeping Watch - BlackSalander

Fan art of Keeping Watch, by BlackSalander.[art 1]

Yasha and Nott take first watch, and Nott asks Yasha if she thinks the others would be upset with her if she rifled through their belongings looking for her flask. Yasha asks who she suspects, and Nott says Caleb's shifty because he's killed his own family members, also listing reasons not to trust the others. Yasha asks what she means about Caleb, and Nott tries to backtrack unsuccessfully, finally telling Yasha she didn't mean to tell her that and please not to mention it in front of the others.

Beau and Caleb take second watch, and Caleb brings up the afterlife, saying he assumes that where he's going is not great. Beau says she's pretty busy worrying about this life, but she'll probably be joining him there in not-great. They share berries and Caleb's whiskey, and Caleb says that he misses the relationship he and Nott shared before they found her husband. Caduceus and Fjord take the last watch, and Fjord says he hopes he can continue to serve the Wildmother-- it's a good feeling.

When everyone wakes, they decide to tie themselves together, 15 feet apart, to cross the bridge. Caleb send vulture-Frumpkin ahead to scout, and he spots two cages halfway across the bridge, 20 feet off to either side, containing skeletal corpses wearing armor. The bridge ends 150 feet off in a hallway leading to another chamber. They move across slowly and stealthily to the center point, directly across from the first cage, and as the whispers rise they all make wisdom saves, which Beau and others fail, causing Beau to walk off the edge, being hauled back by the rope. They continue, making stealth checks on each move and periodic wisdom saves against the whispers. Most failures cause catatonia or dashes in random directions, and both Nott and Caleb ineffectually try melee attacks against the party. Nott panics and cuts the rope, stealthing ahead of the party.

They reach the second cage, where Fjord is fascinated by the possibility of something amazing in it when it pings on Detect Magic. Caleb sends Frumpkin inside the cage and he finds what appears to be a magical tightly bound piece of cord. Just then, a roper on the ceiling attacks. Its tendrils grapple and begin pulling in Beau, Caleb, and Fjord, who are roped to the others and pull them with them, but Jester Banishes it, dropping the party to the bridge, taking damage but not tumbling over.

They continue, occasionally falling victim to the whispers but without serious issues until Nott dashes off the bridge into the mass of whisperers below. Jester dives after her and Dimension Doors them both to safety at the end of the bridge. When they reach the end, Caleb has Frumpkin deposit the magical cording on the outside edge of the cage, and then go back to retrieve it. It is a whip.

They move into the chamber on the other side and discover that at least some of the walls are reflective.

Break Edit

Part II Edit

The chamber across the bridge is filled with many mirrors and mirrored surfaces, in a series of branching hallways. At the opposite end is a blue-white, glacier-like wall, different from the dull gray of the others. Fresh footprints in the dust lead up towards the wall. Blocking the hallway is a crystal barrier in a brass frame, with five egg-shaped vase-like protuberances around it.

Caduceus uses Speak with Dead on the skull that Jester brought with them, learning that it was slain by those it was charged to contain, but succeeded. It was charged to contain "The Laughing Hand, timeless and seeking the torment of all, the Undying Chosen," who cannot be defeated, only sealed, and this was his tomb.

Fjord catches movement out of the corner of his eye while they're investigating. He touches the mirror, but nothing changes. Yasha puts her hand to a mirror and her wrist is seized and she is pulled into it, facing a doppelgänger self in a backwards version of the room the group was in. She cannot get back through the mirror, and attacks the creature. Moments later, Fjord puts his hand to the mirror, and he too is pulled through by a twisted version of himself. The creatures have grapple, claw, and acid bite attacks. Yasha manages to kill her feral version, and moves to help Fjord, when a feral Caleb attacks her from behind.

Caduceus Casting Spirit Guardians - Josh Ketchen

Fan art of Caduceus Casting Spirit Guardians, by Josh Ketchen.[art 2]

Outside, the others are trying everything they can think of, but touching the mirrors (and everything else they try) does nothing, although Beau notices a humanoid shape through the glacial barrier. In a reflection, Caduceus sees an ivory-handled dagger jammed into the stone of the wall, that does not exist in the "real" world they are in. When he goes toward a mirror, he is then pulled in facing his own creature, but his Spirit Guardians quickly finish off all three remaining doppelgängers, leaving Fjord and Yasha wounded and Fjord and Caduceus down several spells. Caduceus leads Yasha and Fjord to the dagger in the wall, and Yasha pulls it out. It is not bladed, but more like a stiletto with spiraling grooves.

Caduceus then discovers they can go back through the mirror to the normal world, putting his head out. Fjord pulls Jester and Beau through the mirror with them and they all investigate, but find nothing more. Fjord goes back out through the mirror and sees through the glacial wall the same angelic porcelain figure standing with its hands clasped on its chest, creating a hole. The rest of the party rejoins them in the normal world.

They discover that tapping the egg-shaped protruberances around the door creates varying tones, and Jester is able to re-create the song she heard thrumming through the statues when they first entered this cavern. The wall cracks open, revealing about five feet beyond another door, split in the center, and the carved angel with clasped hands. Nott uses Mage Hand to place the blade of the dagger in the angel's hands, and the door splits open, revealing another chamber beyond.

Featured Characters Edit

The Mighty Nein Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 1 Dagger Mirrored Halls Yasha A finely crafted stiletto style dagger, with a pearl carved handle and a blade of Damascus steel. It has spiraling grooves along the blade.
Transferred 1 Dagger Yasha Various members of the Mighty Nein Yasha passed the dagger to Caduceus who used it to get free of the mirror dimension and then to Nott who placed it in the hands of the angel statue.
Relinquished 1 Dagger Mighty Nein Statue of an Angel It was the key to open the door guarded by the statue.
Acquired 1 Whip Hanging cage Caleb Caleb directed Frumpkin to collect the whip from a cage suspended near the bridge.

Quotations Edit

  • Yasha: I’m sorry, I just– I was trying to do the thing. Like “I killed my family”– “I’ll throw you under a bridge.”
    Nott: I get it.
    Yasha: I’m learning how to people.
  • Caleb: You know, I spent so much time with her [Nott] on the road, and I have not known her off of it, until we got her husband back to her. And it’s been nice to see her with him. I a little bit don’t know what to do with myself as much, you know. It’s very awkward. We developed a unique relationship, and I feel awkward. You know, she used to– we slept on the side of the road a lot, and would sleep next to each other in the cold, and I feel strangely foolish about it now. It didn’t seem foolish before, but it does now.
    Beau: Feeling replaced? (pause) Are you–- jealous?
    Caleb: Yeah, probably a little bit.
    Beau: That actually makes me feel kind of reassured. It’s like the most basic human emotion, so... you’re not a total lost cause.
  • Caduceus: (Questioning the skull) What happened to you?
    Matt: "I was slain by those I was charged to contain. But succeeded."
    Caduceus: Who were you charged to contain?
    Matt: "The Laughing Hand, timeless and seeking the torment of all, the Undying Chosen."
    Caduceus: What powers should we call upon to aid and assist in the defeating of that darkness?
    Matt: "The darkness you speak of cannot be defeated, only sealed. This was his tomb."
    Caduceus: Who is the Angel of Irons?
    Matt: "I do not know."
    Caduceus: How do we protect ourselves from the chamber of mirrors?
    Matt: "Don't continue."
     

Trivia Edit

  • When Nott has fallen from the bridge and is screaming in pain and fear,[2] Sam screams to the tune of The Immigrant Song.[3]
  • This episode set a new record for the number of dice rolls at 232, beating "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114)[4]

Link to Episode TranscriptEdit

References Edit

  1. The Search For Bob on YouTube.
  2. See "Reflections" (2x68) at 1:41:35.
  3. The Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin.
  4. See "Talks Machina #117: 'Reflections'" (TMx117) at 0:08:29.  Stats taken from Critical Role Stats.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Keeping Watch, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Caduceus Casting Spirit Guardians, by Josh Ketchen (source).  Used with permission.


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