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"Stalker in the Swamp" (2x21) is the twenty-first episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. A new ally joins the Mighty Nein as they head deep into the Labenda Swamp to investigate the Gentleman's mysterious safe house...

Synopsis Edit

Pre-Show Edit

Announcements Edit

  • Tonight's sponsor is D&D Beyond! "Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes" is out now. That's "Morden-KAY-nen's TOME of Foes", not "Morden-KYE-nen's TOMB of Foes" like Sam has been calling it. Sam then premiere's D&D Beyond's new fully-animated commercial (now with synthesizers), based on his 1980s-themed ad from two weeks ago. It is so good that the cast demands to watch it again, which they do.
  • The hardcover trade paperback of the entire "Vox Machina: Origins" comic book run is now available on the Geek & Sundry and Project Alpha online stores.
  • Stream of Many Eyes begins tomorrow (Friday, June 1, 2018)! Ashley will be playing in the Force Grey game, DMed by Matt, at 6:00 pm PDT. Taliesin, Sam, and Ashley will be playing in a game DMed by Mark Hulmes at 11:00 am PDT on Sunday, June 3, 2018. Later that day, Matt and Marisha will be playing in a game DMed by Deborah Ann Woll at 4:00 pm PDT, and Travis and Joe will be playing in a special "Jocks Machina" game DMed by Mike Mearls at 6:30 pm PDT! There will be cool reveals and crazy stuff all-day during the stream!
  • Talks Machina, hosted by Brian Wayne Foster, is 7:00 pm PDT on Geek & Sundry's Twitch and Project Alpha. This week's episode will be discussed next week on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Check it out: it should be fun!
  • Matt will be at A-Kon in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX on June 8-10, 2018. He will be doing panels, signings, and trying to talk/hang out with people as much as he can.
  • Merch update from Laura: The d20 spinner rings are back in the store...for maybe like five more seconds until Critters buy them the entire stock again! Liam also mentions new items available in the store, as he holds up the "Vox Machina: Origins" TPB. Look at the color and the paper! You can hold it, taste it, and smell it! Matt mentions that Olivia Samson ("fireStash") did a fantastic job on the art for the comic series.
  • Liam gives a shout-out to Jordan Shiveley ("Dread Singles"), who is hospitalized and in critical condition. He says "Hi!" and "Feel better!".
  • Travis plays synthesizers as we cut to the intro.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

"To catch up on what previously occurred: The Mighty Nein had decided to leave Zadash, in the wake of the now-declared war between the Dwendalian Empire and the Xhorhasian hordes to the east.

"You decided to side with The Gentleman: a purveyor of various darker and underhanded deeds throughout this side of the Empire, who offered you two possible contracted options. You chose both and proceeded onto your first leg of this journey - to the northeast, to the Labenda Swamp and to the city of Berleben, where you were tasked to discover what had happened to a safe house (of which various local goods would be stored and then transported through) that had gone dark for a number of weeks.

"You packed up, made your way in that direction, traversed through the outskirts of the swamp, managed to save a tiny bird friend from being consumed by a few large crocodiles, and scoured the swamp city of Berleben - in search of some means of information to find the individual that the Gentleman says would be able to help you in this journey: Febron.

"Febron was found - drunken, disorderly - in the Keystone Pub (so "sexy"). So, you managed to interrogate him, made him an offer he couldn't refuse, and he agreed to lead you on to where this safe house exists within the swamp. You rented out the rooms and subterranean chambers of the old and almost collapsed pub. You separated yourselves for the evening, completed your rest, and we pick up as morning comes to greet you..."

Part I Edit

There are no windows in the light-less rooms, so the party just assumes that they all got a full evening's rest. Yasha glares at Febron while she gathers her things, as she woke up to find him creepily watching her as she slept. Jester and Beau had slept in a "little cuddle pile" with Kiri, who awakens them with: "It's sharp!" Kiri had gone to bed still holding the dagger she got from Fjord. An amused Jester tells Kiri that she doesn't want to sleep with the dagger: she needs to remove her knife belt before going to bed.

The Mighty Nein make their way up the ladder and through the hatch into the Keystone Pub proper. It is not bustling: there are three patrons are having their morning ale as Dent Bonswallow continues cleaning up from the night before. Dent offers to make breakfast for the party, telling them to find some seats and it will be ready in an hour. Fjord suggests maybe taking a look around Berleben while they wait for their food?

In the far corner of the chamber, near the stage (still under construction), a hooded figure starts walking toward the table the Mighty Nein has started to approach. Jester and Beau run forward to get the table first. Beau lays her bo staff on the opposite bench to mark it as taken. The cloaked figure stops, takes in the physical display by Jester and Beau, and then continues to approach the table. Caleb commands Frumpkin to walk onto the edge of the table, lift up his tail, and show the cloaked figure his butthole.
Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 21

Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 21

Calianna, having noticed the Mighty Nein last night, had been waiting for all night for the party...only for them to groggily claim a table, stare at her, and show her a cat's butthole. She apologizes for bothering the party, but she couldn't help but overhear their conversation last night. She asks if the Mighty Nein are headed into the swamp today? A suspicious Beau asks why Calianna was listening into their conversations? Calianna explains it wasn't on purpose: the Mighty Nein was speaking really loudly. Beau admits that is accurate. Jester likes the green ribbons in Calianna's hair. Calianna is surprised that Jester is blue, and tells the Tiefling that she is "so cute". Fjord asks if Calianna is headed into the swamp too? Calianna confesses it's a long story, to which the party replies that they have an hour to wait.

First, Calianna checks to see if the Mighty Nein had been hired to go into the Labenda Swamp by any "creepy people in dragon masks"? Fjord says no. Beau replies, "Not for several years, and for a different reason." Molly claims that it's been a long time since he's dealt with anyone in a dragon mask. Jester has never seen anyone in a dragon mask before. Nott admits that they've been hired by creepy people, she is wearing a mask, and Nott *is* creepy, but Nott's mask is not a dragon mask. Jester states that Kiri is just a bird. Calianna, who has never seen a Kenku before, is amazed that "it" walks around like a humanoid and talks. Jester explains that Kiri is a "she", to which Calianna exclaims that Kiri is adorable.

Calianna realizes she's getting off-track and explains that she needs to get into the swamp. There is a "smuggler's holdout" deep inside, to which the party realizes she is talking about the Gentleman's safe house. Jester nervously asks what is it that Calianna needs with that? Calianna explains that there is an item she has been looking for, and she believes it was being transported through there. She is kind of stealing it, but she is stealing it for a good reason. Fjord asks if Calianna is getting paid to retrieve it, to which Calianna explains that it's for personal reasons. Nott asks what the item is, which Caleb was just about to ask. Calianna says that it's a bowl: used for a ritual and about the size of a soup bowl.

When Molly claims to be a worshiper of the Platinum Dragon, Calianna reveals that the creepy people in dragon masks are a cult to the Scaled Tyrant and Calianna is actually a tenth dragon...revealing her black dragon features. She mentions that the group can call her "Cali", if they would prefer.

...

The group comes upon two bodies pinned to trees near the safehouse. Jester decides to cast Speak with Dead to find out more about the attackers. This disturbs Febron enough that he backs away from the group and is snatched up by the Venom Troll. Roll initiative!

Break Edit

  • D&D Beyond animated ad
  • Twitch Prime VHS "Additional Knowledge Acquired" PSA
  • Starter Kit: Phoenix: Dawn Command
  • Muting hashtags VHS "Additional Knowledge Acquired" PSA
  • How to Play: Citadels
  • "This is Critical Role. This is Twitch Prime." "Additional Knowledge Acquired" PSA

Part II Edit

The party has taken their short rest and recovered from the chaos of the swamp. They've lost their guide, but they've survived thus far. Caleb casts Detect Magic on the bodies they had found, but doesn't detect anything unusual. However, Caleb does see a mild glow on Cali's bracelet. Based on what Jester learned from Speak with Dead, Fjord suggests that the location might no longer be above-ground. It is late afternoon, but it won't be dusk for a few hours.

Jester asks Cali about the usage of the bowl, and Cali explains that it's one of a set.

Featured Characters Edit

The Mighty Nein Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Relinquished 1 traveler phamflet Jester Calianna
Relinquished 2 shurikens Beau venom troll
Acquired 4 gold dead halfling Jester
Acquired 12 silver
Acquired 1 charm Nott made from dried animal foot
Acquired 1 fish skin safehouse Jester
Acquired 17 gold dead smugglers Beau
Acquired 5 silver
Relinquished 2 shurikens Beau merrow
Acquired 185 gold safehouse Caleb
Acquired 210 silver
Acquired 65 copper
Acquired 2 vials with something thick, purple, oily substance
Acquired 1 jewelry Jester worth 250 gold
Acquired 4 manacles Fjord spatterd with blood
Acquired 1 bowl Nott used for rituals
Destroyed 1 bowl Nott The Magician's Judge
Acquired 1 Scroll of Invisibilty Cali Nott

Quotations Edit

  • Calianna: "What kind of magic do you specialize in, Mr. Caleb?"
  • Jester: "Okay, um...hey you, dead person...hey. Um...I would like if you would come to life again a little bit and tell us something that we want to know! ...Bata-lata-lata-la!"
  • Calianna: "If it bleeds, we can kill it."
  • Yasha: "DROP IT!!!"
  • Beau: "It's fish-kabobs!!!"
  • Calianna: "Can we be pen pals?"

Trivia Edit

  • Sam's giant flask bears a message in this episode that reads "THE BAGEL KNOWS" above a picture of a bagel.

References Edit

Art: