"The Beat of the Permaheart" (2x82) is the eighty-second episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein continue their plunge into the Heirloom Sphere, seeking out a dangerous item whose destruction could change the tide in their fight against the Angel of Irons...



Sometimes, we play Dungeons & Dragons.


  • Since today was a chilly 91 degrees in Los Angeles, Sam recruits Liam for a snowball fight illustrating that D&D Beyond will warm your spirits with a series of games hosted on their Twitch channel in support of Extra Life, a charity for local Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across North America. Liam wins at snowball.
  • Second sponsor of the night is Hit Point Press and their new 5th Edition campaign guide, Humblewood. Check it out at The Deck of Many and get $5.00 off with the promo code "criticalrole".
  • UnDeadwood Part II premieres tomorrow, Friday, October 25 on Twitch. VOD will be available on YouTube the following Sunday. Spoiler: Travis says he dies.
  • Wednesday, October 30 is the premiere on YouTube of Will Friedle's Mini Primetime. It is a very normal show.
  • Merch update: New Beau and Caduceus Chibi pins plus a Critical Role sketchbook in the U.S. and U.K. critrole.com stores.

Previously on Critical Role

So, last we left off: the Mighty Nein, upon looking for help in the coming challenges ahead as Obann seems to grow closer and closer to whatever his intended goal may be with the Angel of Irons, you went back to Nicodranas to Tidepeak Tower and found that Yussa, the archmage you had befriended earlier in the campaign, had vanished for now going on three weeks into the Happy Fun Ball, otherwise known as the Folding Halls of Halas, or the Archmage Bane, the Heirloom Sphere. You called in an ally of his to help, which turned out to be Arcanist Allura Vysoren from Tal'Dorei, who has been acting as your point person as you journey into the sphere. You’ve made your way through a number of chambers using one of the map notes that was left behind by Yussa. You’ve battled through the Garden. You were chased by a Magehunter Golem across the bent, physics-strange machine tower that encompasses these Folding Halls. You made your way into a Golem Workshop, and assembled your own tiny golem companion, which you named Willi.

And then you stepped into the Experiment Chamber. Upon entering this room with a dull green light that suffused the vicinity, the somewhat wet floor is about an inch of some chemical liquid that seemed to permeate the entirety of the base floor line of the chamber, chains hanging from the ceiling, some broken, some bowed, seemingly used to move around about ten or so of these large glass cases that are now resting in the center of the chamber, a few of them jagged, broken, scattered across the floor, cracked. And upon inspecting one, you found a very decomposed corpse inside, overtaken by some sort of fungus. As you all were slowly spreading out into the opening area, Fjord went ahead to inspect one of three doors to the chamber, the one closest to you on the left-hand side, upon which you heard a loud splash immediately to your left. You turned to see some terrifying sight: a large humanoid hulking beast of rippling muscles and multitudes of various swollen or malformed and elongated humanoid arms, multiple heads that all seem to bear the same kind of glowing amber eyes, tattered facial hair, and long black hair of Halas himself all mashed together into this terrifying beast, as it roared into your face. Everyone please roll initiative.

Part I

Fan art of Fjord facing the creature, by Aurex Aldori.[art 1]

The multi-headed and -armed creature lands next to Fjord and the party immediately attacks, doing a large amount of damage in the first round, though both Fjord and Nott are grappled and restrained by it. Because it has so many appendages, it has six attacks each round and, although the party continues to seriously damage it, it heals itself slightly each round. To break her free, Caleb Polymorphs Nott into a giant green ape while Fjord teleports himself out of its grasp. Jester gets the How do you want to do this? with Guiding Bolt, but as Caduceus pokes it with a stick to make sure it's dead, it heals itself back to life and knocks him unconscious. Jester gets a second How do you want to do this? with Hellish Rebuke and the party begins frantically trying to damage the creature, while Jester brings Caduceus back to consciousness. None of their efforts are successful and it comes back to life again, this time severely wounding Little Willi. Jester Guiding Bolts it for her third How do you want to do this? of the battle and this time Fjord hits it with his fiery Glove of Blasting and it stays dead.

After a short rest, during which Giant Ape Nott searches for bananas, Caleb determines that the door with the purple gem is labeled "The Sea" in an older form of Draconic and that it probably leads to the Dreadnought. Caleb opens the other door with Knock and sends Frumpkin to investigate, losing contact with him as he descends the staircase within. The party follows and find themselves in a small room with a hardwood floor, shelves along the back wall, and a massive roller-top desk in the center. There is a pulsing heartbeat sound.

Caleb immediately investigates the desk, finding notes in Old Zemnian, presumably made by Halas. He reads of a simple extra-planar chamber Halas found drifting across the planes, shackled to the Tower, and investigated. Within, he found a swollen beating heart locked in a magical energy field, which he dispelled only to find the heart emitting a corrosive energy field. Halas managed to seal it in a case of runic imprisonment and experimented with trying to siphon its cursed energy into a cloned human body. After many failures jettisoned into the Astral Sea, he successfully developed a possible vessel. He planned to use soul transference via a magical jar in one of his ritual chambers within the Dreadnought.

Fan art of Nott with the banana peel, by Amy King.[art 2]

The party locates a trap door under the desk. In return for checking it for traps, the recently-ape-formed Nott demands a banana, which Jester uses magic paint to create for her. Jester finds a lantern on a shelf which, when moved, opens the trap door revealing a descending staircase. In preparation to descend, Caduceus and Jester split up their life-restoring diamond components.

As they descend, the heartbeat grows louder. They find themselves in a low-lit triangular room of dark red stone and glistening moisture, with a central case of reinforced glass containing the beating heart of the Laughing Hand.


Part II

The party enters a triangular dark red chamber with a giant heart in the center held by a containment glass bearing runic symbols. Chains that were once affixed to the glass are now broken and loose across the ground and heavy veins of flesh from the heart have rooted themselves into the stone throughout the entire chamber. There are faint glowing glyphs at each corner. The heart itself is beating, sending out a nauseous pulse with each beat.

Beau investigates one set of glyphs in a corner, identifying its weak point with a 25, and whacks it with her staff, destroying the glyph. The glass around the central heart cracks slightly. The Permaheart sends out a necrotic wave of damaging energy with each heartbeat and can Summon Tendrils that damage and grapple members of the party, but have fairly low hit points and armor class. As the encounter proceeds, the party takes continuing necrotic damage from the heart and bludgeoning damage from the tendrils, but succeeds in whacking down the tendrils as they appear and the clerics both maintain Bless.

Beau moves to the second glyph, followed by Caleb, and she helps him on several unsuccessful attempts to read the glyphs there. Nott moves to the third glyph and eventually destroys it. The party discovers that although the glass case around the heart is difficult to hit, it can be damaged, and continue to whack at it while Beau and Caleb continue unsuccessfully to try to decipher the second glyph. Eventually, the glass shatters and the heart is exposed and easily damaged. Beau gets the final hit, with Caleb adding a Web of Fire to ensure it doesn't regenerate.

They return to the Heart Study and Experiment Chamber and discover that every sliver of Permaheart flesh and the preserved bodies have turned black and are liquefying. Caleb takes Halas's notes. They move on to the Golem Workshop, where Caleb is able to slightly repair Willi. Jester uses the Mirror of Infinite Transpondence to contact Allura, who is able to Scry on the Laughing Hand and discovers him in poor condition, being berated by Obann for falling apart near the finish line. The party takes a long rest.

Caduceus Communes with the Wildmother and confirms Yussa is still alive. Jester then Communes with the Traveler and learns that Yussa is in the Prison of Soot. There is much discussion of how best to get there and whether to go through the Dreadnought. They eventually decide to just peek in the door to see what it's like, all holding hands.

Fan art of The Dreadnought, by Nikki Dawes.[art 3]

They find themselves drifting in space in a sea of silvery mists and curling winds with soft gray and white dots like stars in a night sky. The door through which they entered is on a massive island of cerulean rock, to which are tethered chains binding a terrifying behemoth creature covered in spiky armored plates, resembling a bulbous swollen serpent. Between the fleshy shoulders sits a gargantuan face crested with horned ridges along the brow. Noseless, a singular eye would sit above the mouth, were it not covered by a platinum plate bolted to its brow. In the corners of the immense jaw, where hundreds of two-foot teeth layer and tangle around the edges of a twelve-foot wide mouth, are two heavy chains that connect the sides of its mouth to two large levers to each side of the door. One of the levers appears to release all the chains, and the other causes the beast to open its mouth.

Fjord pulls the lever opening the Dreadnought's mouth while Caleb summons Frumpkin and sends him within its maw, where Caleb loses contact with him. The party takes a quick vote and the majority (except Nott) agrees to enter the beast's mouth, pulling Nott with them. They find themselves in an immense cavernous dark chamber containing a small set of arranged tables.

Featured Characters

The Mighty Nein





Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Crafted 1 magical banana Jester's magic paint Nott Nott keeps the peel "for comedy"


  • Caduceus: You know, I feel like you get overridden a lot, Caleb. I’m with you. I feel like we tell you “no” a lot. So, yeah, I’ll tell you “yes” on this one. I’m in it. Just be careful, and be careful with us.
  • Caleb: I would rather you put your faith in me for something more important than my curiosity. Let’s go the other way.


  • Within minutes of a joke being made about "fleshtree.com", the URL was claimed by a Critter and currently re-directs to the Rainforest Trust.
  • The Permaheart was destroyed on 26 Dualahei 836.[1]


  1. See CritRoleStats' running game calendar.


  1. Fan art of Fjord facing the creature, by Aurex Aldori (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Nott with the banana peel, by Amy King (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of The Dreadnought, by Nikki Dawes (source).  Used with permission.

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