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"Stephen Colbert's D&D Adventure with Matthew Mercer" (Sx43) is the forty-third special episode of Critical Role.

Noticing strange disappearances, Capo the book-learned bard grew frustrated when no one would listen to him. He gathered his belongings, weapons, and bee companion Eric to find the root of this terrible series of disappearances.

Synopsis

Introduction

We begin in the hot summer months of the Menagerie Coast of Wildemount, the temperate kind of jungle, coastal home of the beautiful city of Feolinn. It's a wine city known for its affordable timeshares and tourist boards. But also the nearby forest, the Plumgroves, where it gains most of its wonderful fruit for its wines. But you, Capo, you've been collecting errant bits of lore of the history of the Plumgroves. And there was once a dark history that cast a shadow over this beautiful forest. Where once there was a dark mage who went mad, named Zathkira, who was trying to corrupt an ancient artifact known as the Crimson Sphere of Generosity. In his attempts to convert this artifact, he began to draw various tourists down into a subterranean layer beneath this forest, never to be seen again, or to become his terrible corrupted minions. However, he was defeated by a great hero named Shiona, who was wielding the Exalting Blade of Favor. However, upon defeating this mage, this laboratory vanished and was never found again, nor was the hero or the sword that she wielded. Now, this is just interesting information for anyone to have. And you being such a book-learned bard, you've been noticing strange disappearances recently, very similar to this very tumultuous time in Feolinn's history. No one else listening to you, you grow frustrated. You gather your belongings, gathering your weapons, and gather your companion friend Eric, your bee, to go ahead and see if you can find out the root of this terrible, rash series of disappearances. So, gathering your things as you leave your home heading towards the Plumgroves.

Summary

Trying to find the source of the disappearances, Capo and Eric make their way deep into the Plumgroves and are attacked by a growling black furred panther with part of its face scraped off to the bone and its clouded eye dangling out of the socket. Missing his first strikes at the panther, Capo manages to keep it at bay. To finish it off, he casts Thunderwave at the panther, causing its flesh to shake of its bones and revealing the entryway into the subterranean regions beneath the Plumgroves. Hearing a distant echoing whine from deeper within the caverns, the duo heads in.

The pathway within leads to an endless pit crossed by a 60-foot rope bridge and two stone imps on the walls of the cavern. Capo throws a rock at the imps causing one of them to fall into the ravine into the water below. He then ties his 50-foot rope to the bridge post and begins the crossing. Halfway across, he notices glowing imp eyes and begins to run, but reaches the end of his rope. As he stops to untie himself, he is hit by an energy blast from the remaining imp, almost throwing him off the bridge. It fires another blast but he ducks and tumbles out of the way reaching the opposite side, and heads into the next dark cavern.

In the next chamber, Capo finds some dull red spheres. As he approaches, one of them rolls in his direction and stops. He steps backwards and sees a little line appear across the front of it and it rolls a little faster in his direction. As he runs towards the tomb, six or seven of the spheres begin to roll out of the piles of bones and where the crack was opened he can see small rows of serrated teeth. Capo discovers that the spheres are discarded, failed attempts to recreate the magic of the Crimson Sphere of Generosity. Capo is hit by two of the spheres before he can get to the tomb where the final one leaps towards him and latches onto his chin. When he throws it, it shatters against the crystal floor, and all the rest of the spheres come to rest.

As he begins to look at the tomb, he hears a faint, strange, ethereal voice. A ghostly apparition appears of a female knight, her golden armor and beautiful dark skin bathed in a pale blue ethereal glow. He recognizes this as Shiona, the warrior that previously defeated the mage. When Capo reaches for the sword, the spirit flares angrily.

"Walk this path towards your own destruction. Beware, for this tomb will claim you as it has claimed many. As it has claimed me, the fool, the victorious. He has risen in unlife, and I am bound to my grave, my shame. This blade has brought down the terror of Zathkira once, but I will not see it in the hands of one unworthy. You tell me, what do you fight for? What is so precious that you would throw your life away in these pits of despair?"
– 
Spoken by the ghostly apparition of Shiona[1]

Capo's answer is simple — he fights to alleviate children's poverty, proving to the ghost his heart is pure and driven to finish what she could not. Capo removes the Exalting Blade of Favor and is surprised as it begins to talk to him as he continues beyond the tomb. He listens through the door but hears nothing and tries to pick the lock with his thieves' tools. Willing his sword to give light, it lights his way with bright torchlight into the next chamber.

Entering the laboratory, he finds fresh-ish decaying corpses, and Zathkira hunched over, pulling apart one of the corpses. He tells Capo about his search for the source of a strange relic’s power, named "generosity". Convincing Zathkira to give him the orb, Capo tells Eric to scan around the back side. When he concentrates on the orb he knows that where humans keep their generosity is in their heart and he puts the orb on his nose. The effect of the nose settles and the sword hypes Capo up to fight Zathkira. He gives in.

Failing to dodge the first attack, Capo almost dies from a Lightning Bolt, but heals himself back and commands Eric to attack Zathkira. Zathkira casts Inflict Wounds in reprisal and kills the bee. Seeing this, Capo turns invisible and heads towards the bed. Not knowing where Capo went, Zathkira casts another bolt of lightning toward the corner of the room. Capo searches the bed finding a glass tube that contains some sort of faint blue energy and smashes it, and the body of Zathkira falls limp.

Featured Characters

Player Characters

New

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Expended 1 rope Capo Used trying to cross the bridge
Acquired 1 Exalting Blade of Favor Shiona Capo
Acquired 1 Crimson Sphere of Generosity Zathkira Capo

Quotations

Trivia

References

  1. See "Stephen Colbert's D&D Adventure with Matthew Mercer" (Sx43) at 0:31:49.

Art:

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