Relationship

Fan art of Veth hugging Caleb, by BlackSalander.[art 1]

Caleb and Veth are best friends[1] and love each other unconditionally, often referring to themselves as part of a family. They met when they were both going through very difficult times, and have supported each other throughout their journeys, helping each other overcome many obstacles. The two have been overly protective of each other since before they met the Mighty Nein.

Caleb cares a lot about Veth. He has taught her many magic tricks, and when she started creating her own spells, he was very impressed and proud of her. He tirelessly helped Veth find a way to be a halfling again, and was the one who finally transformed her back into her true self. He has also supported her and helped come up with solutions when Veth shared her doubts about staying with the Mighty Nein versus living with her husband and son. Veth has a lot of love for Caleb, often checking up on him and looking for ways to make him happy. Veth once described Caleb as being like a son to her.[2] Later, she said she had been attracted to him when they first met, but no longer feels that way about him.[3] Veth has told Caleb that he was the "second love of her life", to which Caleb responded, "I love you too, Veth the Brave."[4]

History

Fan art of Nott and Caleb, by Ana Fedina.[art 2]

Caleb was Veth's traveling companion before they encountered the rest of the Mighty Nein. Veth, previously known as Nott the Brave, met Caleb in a prison where they were both held prisoners.[5] Caleb used Frumpkin to bring a piece of wire into their cell, which Nott used to pick the lock. Caleb proceeded to set the jail on fire and scream for help. The guards promptly fled, and Caleb and Nott walked out of the jail together. The two traveled together for awhile, at first out of convenience, but then out of genuine friendship.[6]

Caleb more than once mentioned that Nott had saved his life the day before the events of "Curious Beginnings" (2x01). The day before they joined the party (and the stream began), Nott saved Caleb's life[7] when he was knocked unconscious by a band of gnolls. The two of them covered each other's expenses throughout their drinking escapades in Trostenwald and their trip to the Carnival.[8][9] In their first scene in Critical Role, Caleb and Nott shared a room at the Nestled Nook Inn[10] and they roomed together multiple times thereafter.[11]

The two are very protective of each other. When Caleb had the slightest impression that the other members of the Mighty Nein had figured out Nott's goblin identity, he said that she was a goblin, but that it was not a big deal.[12] Later, during the trial held by the notably anti-goblin Norda, Caleb stood between Nott and Norda and vouched for Nott's moral character. Caleb has stated that they're best when they work together.[13]

Fan art of the astronomy lesson, by GalacticJonah.[art 3]

After joining the Mighty Nein, Nott and Caleb considered themselves separate from the rest of the group for a long time. Caleb told Nott while they were alone that he thought the group was "interesting, and great—and untrustworthy, but great".[14] Nott was prepared for the two of them to go off alone if Caleb wanted to. By the time the Iron Shepherds kidnapped Jester, Fjord, and Yasha, Caleb and Nott both cared enough for their friends that they were no longer concerned with finishing the job for The Gentleman.[15] The two of them now think of the whole group as their new family.[16]

Nott and Caleb apparently had a number of practiced cons that they engaged in to procure coin. After coming under scrutiny for the incident at the carnival, Caleb asked Nott to refrain from any cons for the time being. Some of the ones that have been mentioned are "The Money Pot", "Rat Food", "Prince and the Pauper", "Spider Eyes",[17] and "Modern Literature".[18].

Caleb initially saw Nott as a younger sister figure[19] and has often referred to her as his best friend.[20] In the beginning of the campaign, Nott said she saw her relationship with Caleb as that of a parent and child, with herself being the parent of Caleb; however, this wasn't known to him[21]. She said that she was protecting Caleb because she saw potential in his magic abilities, wanting him to become powerful enough to revert her back into her natural halfling form. Nott encouraged and praised Caleb every time he got a new spell. She often put her life at risk to help Caleb acquire magical books and items. Nott has explained that she loves Caleb and wouldn't leave his side for anything[22], and that she sees herself as a protector to him (and to the rest of the group, too).[23]

Fan art of Nott with Caleb, by Sam Hogg.[art 4]

After Beauregard insisted Caleb tell her about his fear of fire in exchange for access to the Cobalt Soul archives, Caleb wanted Nott to be present for his story. Nott listened to the story of how Caleb killed his parents, then immediately hugs him, saying over and over that it wasn't his fault and that she will be at his side until he can forgive himself.[24]

When the party searched the burned ruins of the Brenatto Apothecary in Felderwin, Nott realized that it wasn't the Kryn Dynasty that might have her husband, it was Caleb's former people, and became angry when he tried to keep her quiet about it because only Nott and Beau, at that point, knew his history. Seeing his oldest friend turn on him, and the potential crumbling of the wall of secrecy he had maintained, Caleb vomited in the middle of the floor. Caleb was stunned when Nott found Luc at Old Edith's and referred to him as her son.[25]

After Nott shared her history of being transformed into a goblin and hiding from her family, she asked Caleb to share his own story, saying that they might need his knowledge to help find her missing husband. In obvious terror, Caleb told everyone a partial version (omitting that he killed his parents and spent eleven years insane in a sanitorium), and shared his real name of Bren Aldric Ermendrud for the first time.[26] Caleb told Nott that he would do everything he could to help her, though he acknowledged that he needed time and study for it to work.[27] Nott was sorry for not telling Caleb the truth about her past life earlier. She kept it a secret because she did not want to distract Caleb from his path.[28] She forgave Caleb for lying about his name and his past when they first met. She understood why he did it, because she did the same thing herself.

Once Nott and Yeza Brenatto were reunited, Caleb seemed to be rather lost for a while, finally admitting his jealousy to Beau in "Reflections" (2x68). He described the unique dynamic they had developed before meeting the Nein, saying that he now felt foolish about their relationship, and that he didn't quite know what to do with himself. Nott revealed that she had a crush on Caleb while they were in jail at the beginning of their time together in a conversation with Beau.[29] While she stated that this crush was only until she got to know Caleb, she referred to the reasons for this crush in present tense.[30]

Fan art of Nott and Caleb, by Aurex Aldori.[art 5]

In "Titles and Tattoos" (2x84), Caleb told Nott he had found among Halas's papers notes on a permanent transformation spell that could turn her back into a halfling. The two of them spent a lot of time researching together. One night, as they were doing this, Nott asked Caleb if he wanted to talk to either Astrid or Eadwulf, and he replied he wasn't sure what he'd say. Caleb asked Nott if she still wants to be adventuring, and she told him it was a good distraction. Caleb realized that Nott was very scared of what the future may hold for her.

Over time and with help from Nott and Essek, Caleb was able to complete the spell, Widogast's Transmogrification. Before performing the ritual, Caleb knelt down to offer her reassurance, and she kissed him sweetly on the lips, thanking him for his devotion. In response, Caleb cupped the side of her cheek, saying, "This will be our best trick yet."[31] The transmogrification failed because of a curse that had been placed on Nott by the old woman who had transformed her from halfling into goblin. After Jester tricked Isharnai into lifting the curse in "Misery Loves Company" (2x93), Caleb was able to transform Nott back into a halfling in "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97). Prior to the transformation, Nott once again thanked him for being by her side, referring to him as the "second love of her life." Caleb responded, "I love you too, Veth the Brave."[32]

Caleb was impressed by Veth's spellcraft upon seeing her cast Brenatto's Voltaic Bolt for the first time. When he cast Programmed Illusion in "Maritime Mysteries" (2x103), he asked her to follow him when he created the dome full of memories, and they reminisced together about how far they had come.

When Veth showed signs of worry about leaving her family often to go on adventures with the Mighty Nein, Caleb told Veth not to worry about it, because he could use a Teleportation spell to reunite them whenever necessary. He also showed her the living quarters he had created for her family within his tower, saying that if Yeza and Luc were to tag along with them, they would have a place to stay. Caleb made sure to place Veth's quarters on the same floor as his own. These gestures made Veth feel a lot better about her situation, and she thanked Caleb for helping her.

After Caleb received a dinner invitation from Trent Ikithon in Rexxentrum while Veth was in Nicodranas with her family, Caleb stated that before the dinner, he needed Veth.[33]

After Veth claimed to Wardlow Akron in Balenpost that Caleb was the leader of the Mighty Nein, Caleb came to her room in the Tower to talk. He said that, while he had found it charming in the past, he wanted her to stop calling him the leader, that he no longer needed the confidence boost she had been trying to provide him. She agreed, and Caleb ordered each of them a hot cocoa from a servant cat.[34]

After beginning to travel with the Tombtakers, Veth and Caleb took watch together. Caleb said that he felt guilty about encouraging Veth to come to Eiselcross with the party. She expressed her guilt as well, and talked about how important the Nein were to her, but her husband and child were also important. Although she didn't want their adventures together to end, "this journey will come to an end at some point," and that if they all survived to the end, then it would be goodbye. Caleb said that he didn't want to think about that, to which Veth responded, "Think about your guilt, and I'll think about mine. And that will keep us company." Caleb pulled her into a hug, apologized and told her that he loved her, to which she responded "I will always love you."[35]

Trivia

  • Liam and Sam, who play Caleb and Veth, are best friends in real life. They often call each other "work husbands".
  • Caleb and Veth's playlists all feature songs about their relationship with each other.
    • In Caleb's first playlist, the song I’m Sticking with You by The Decemberists was labelled "Caleb & Nott". In his second playlist, the song Why Would I Now, also by The Decemberists, has a longer description about their relationship: "It’s doubtful that kind of love is in the cards for Caleb at this point. But what he still can manage is loyalty. After years of isolation, he finally knows the familiar comfort of friendship. And Nott.. Veth… has earned so much of both. She was there by his side when they had zero prospects. No power or influence. Bren would not have made it anywhere near as far with out Mrs. Brenatto. Ultimately, there is nothing that could shake his loyalty to Veth the Brave."
    • Nott's playlist featured two songs related to Caleb. The first, I Will Follow Him by Little Peggy, points out that "Meeting Caleb ignited a flame of hope in our skittish goblin. She quickly pledged herself to his protection and care. Where he goes, she will follow." The following song, The Wizard and I by Stephen Schwartz, focuses more on Nott's personal goal of becoming a halfling again. The description reads: "Remarkably perfect song reflecting Nott’s dream of being saved by the magic of a wizard. Favorite line: “Would it be all right by you if I de-green-ify you?”"
    • Veth's playlist includes the cover Heart In A Cage by Chris Thile and hints at Veth's possible romantic feelings for Caleb: "For so long, Veth’s inner feelings have been secondary to her outward goals. But now, with her newfound freedom, her heart might be wandering a little. She misses her husband, but Caleb is right there, lying next to her, and he doesn’t smell too bad anymore… "
  • Caleb has twice attempted an impression of Veth. The first instance was in "Well Beneath" (2x54), where he imitated Nott by saying, "I am a little goblin. I like buttons," in a raspy voice.[36] The second instance was in "Fond Farewells" (2x141), where he imitated Veth by saying, "It's me, your old friend: Veth Bren-at-to," in the same raspy voice.[37] Veth seemed confused by his mispronunciation of her surname.

Other Intraparty Relationships

Mighty Nein's Intraparty Relationships
Beauregard Caduceus Caleb Fjord Jester Mollymauk Veth Yasha
Beauregard Beauregard Caduceus & Beauregard Caleb & Beauregard Fjord & Beauregard Jester & Beauregard Mollymauk & Beauregard Veth & Beauregard Yasha & Beauregard
Caduceus Beauregard & Caduceus Caduceus Caleb & Caduceus Fjord & Caduceus Jester & Caduceus (not applicable) Veth & Caduceus Yasha & Caduceus
Caleb Beauregard & Caleb Caduceus & Caleb Caleb Fjord & Caleb Jester & Caleb Mollymauk & Caleb Veth & Caleb Yasha & Caleb
Fjord Beauregard & Fjord Caduceus & Fjord Caleb & Fjord Fjord Jester & Fjord Mollymauk & Fjord Veth & Fjord Yasha & Fjord
Jester Beauregard & Jester Caduceus & Jester Caleb & Jester Fjord & Jester Jester Mollymauk & Jester Veth & Jester Yasha & Jester
Mollymauk Beauregard & Mollymauk (not applicable) Caleb & Mollymauk Fjord & Mollymauk Jester & Mollymauk Mollymauk Veth & Mollymauk Yasha & Mollymauk
Veth Beauregard & Veth Caduceus & Veth Caleb & Veth Fjord & Veth Jester & Veth Mollymauk & Veth Veth Yasha & Veth
Yasha Beauregard & Yasha Caduceus & Yasha Caleb & Yasha Fjord & Yasha Jester & Yasha Mollymauk & Yasha Veth & Yasha Yasha

References

  1. See "Refjorged" (2x76) at 4:40:53.
  2. See "Lost & Found" (2x13) at 2:42:08.  "Caleb and I have a very special relationship. It is that of a parent and a child. But I am the parent. You do understand that, correct? I protect him. He's my boy, and I keep him safe."
  3. See "The Threads Converge" (2x85) at 2:22:53.  "When I was in that prison cell with Widogast over there, for the first few days, I was kind of attracted to him... Had a little bit of a crush. But then I got to know him."
  4. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 1:45:32.
  5. See "Talks Machina #55: 'Hush'" (TMx55).
  6. See "Talks Machina #61: 'Lost & Found'" (TMx61).
  7. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 0:24:46.
  8. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 1:06:08.  Caleb covers Nott's bet for Crick Queen's Call.
  9. See "The Midnight Chase" (2x03) at 1:19:08.  Nott gives Caleb money to buy books.
  10. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) from 0:19:54 through 0:22:01.  Caleb and Nott shared a room at an inn in their first scene.
  11. See "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) at 0:40:33.  Caleb and Nott get a room of their own at the Feed and Mead Tavern.
  12. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 0:43:30.
  13. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 0:24:56.
  14. See "Labenda Awaits" (2x20) at 3:22:27.
  15. See "The Journey Home" (2x30) at 1:24:04.
  16. See "O Captain, Who's Captain?" (2x36) from 1:23:26 through 1:25:09.
  17. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 0:37:46.
  18. See "The Gentleman's Path" (2x19) at 2:36:15.
  19. See "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) at 1:26:41.
  20. See "Refjorged" (2x76) at 4:40:53.
  21. See "Lost & Found" (2x13) at 2:42:00.
  22. See "Family Gathering" (2x71) at 2:25:49.
  23. See "Refjorged" (2x76) at 4:36:53.
  24. See "Whispers of War" (2x18) at 3:0:54.
  25. See "Homeward Bound" (2x48).
  26. See "A Game of Names" (2x49).
  27. See "Family Gathering" (2x71) at 2:28:04.
  28. See "A Game of Names" (2x49) at 29:13.
  29. See "The Threads Converge" (2x85) at 2:22:45.
  30. See "The Threads Converge" (2x85) at 2:25:08.
  31. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 3:47:57.
  32. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 1:45:32.
  33. See "Dinner with the Devil" (2x110) at 00:36:45.
  34. See "An Open Window" (2x114) from 1:49:13 through 1:55:19.
  35. See "Ice and Fire" (2x121) from 1:12:12 through 1:17:05.
  36. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 47:00.
  37. See "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 49:50.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Veth hugging Caleb, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Nott and Caleb, by Ana Fedina (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of the astronomy lesson, by GalacticJonah (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Nott with Caleb, by Sam Hogg (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Nott and Caleb, by Aurex Aldori (source).  Used with permission.
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