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"The Diver's Grave" (2x44) is the forty-fourth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein investigate Fjord's shipwreck, and their underwater adventure takes a spooky turn as they head deeper into the Diver's Grave...

Synopsis Edit

Pre-Show Edit

Announcements Edit

  • Backblaze
  • D&D Beyond
  • The new intro debuted. It was animated by siblings Kamille Areopagita & Kevin Areopagita (Twitter). The new intro's song was co-written by Sam Riegel and Jason Charles Miller, with vocals contributed by Laura Bailey and Ashley Johnson, backing vocals by Sam Riegel and Travis Willingham. Jason Charles Miller did the instrumentation, and Colm McGuinness (Twitter) contributed a violin portion. Peter Habib of Mr. Fantastic did the final mix of the song.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 44b

Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 44

So last we left off, the Mighty Nein, after being pulled through a series of pirate adjacent and straight up pirate adventures across the Swavain Islands here in the Lucidian Ocean, on the ship the Squall-Eater, under Captain Avantika's rule, you made your way to Darktow where you attempted to find a way to discredit her, find a way to not be dragged into her business in the future. It got a little messy, but you managed to avoid it coming to too terrible a head until you are brought into her ship last week where a battle unfolded, in which most of you managed to skitter away with the contents of this journal that you had taken from her as well as the translation for the cipher that was used to write it.

[You] managed to make your way to the Plank King in time and have him bring his resources to the docks before any more of you could be further destroyed. Summoning a demon helped as part of the distraction, as well as patiently waiting. [...] You managed to just break enough laws to be put not in favor of the Plank King but managed to have done a large favor enough to be let leave and never return. Taking the hobbled ship that you guys had busted with you, you made your way out into the open ocean, heading northeast from Darktow and the Dragshallow Reef, in search of the possible shipwreck that started Fjord's destiny in the direction of Uk'otoa.

After days of travel and a few location spells cast, you managed to find a blip at the base of the sea. Using your newfound ability to instill the ability to breathe water within the party around you, you sunk to the bottom, holding onto cannonballs, and began to walk the bottom floor in search of the shipwreck, eventually coming upon a valley caldera that slowly sinks down. You noticed, aside from the whale that just skimmed your presence, the bow of a derelict, wrecked ship sitting there, surrounded by seaweed in the barely-visible, creeping daylight making it this deep in the waters.

Part I Edit

Tide's Breath WreckEdit

Deep waters and shallow priests - Blacksalander

Fan art of approaching the wreck, by BlackSalander.[art 1]

The Mighty Nein head towards the shipwreck. They see signs of an explosion through the hull. Fjord tells the party more about what happened when the Tide's Breath exploded: he saw Sabian go belowdecks and start messing with a package. After seeing Sabian light a fuse, Fjord confronted him. Sabian threw a dagger into Fjord's chest and ran, with Fjord chasing him. Sabian ran to the bow of the ship and jumped off just before the ship exploded. Fjord does not know why Sabian sabotaged the ship or where Sabian is now.[1]

Caleb sends Frumpkin in octopus form ahead to scout, where he sees warped metal, burned boxes, and other evidence of an explosion. Fjord asks Jester to explore the captain's quarters with him. The inside of Vandran's quarters were ransacked. The table and bookshelf were knocked over; all the decorations Fjord remembers being in the cabin are gone. However, Fjord is too distracted by his memories to do a thorough investigation.[2] He seems angry at the idea that someone looked through Vandran's things. He goes to get the rest of the party while Jester makes a thorough search. She finds a metal box underneath a table in the corner. Its lock had been opened by brute force leaving claw marks on the sides of the box. The inside looks like it once held something spherical, about the size of a small apple. Jester casts Locate Object focusing on an orb similar to Fjord's. She feels the presence an orb away from the ship.

Fjord wants to immediately head towards the orb, but the rest of the party wants to investigate Vandran's cabin further. Caduceus determines the creature that left claw marks was the same one that forced the box open. Beau reminds the party that Dashilla, the creature they were warned haunts the area, is said to have "claws that grasp".[3] Looking through the rest of the ship, the Mighty Nein realizes the wreck was salvaged after it sank.

Merrow AttackEdit

Fjord vs Merrow - Omegasama

Fan art of Fjord fighting the merrow, by Omegasama art.[art 2]

Attracted by Caleb's Dancing Lights cantrip, two merrow and a shallow priest attack the party as they leave the shipwreck. After seeing the two merrow fall, the shallow priest attempts to flee, but is finished off by Caleb's third-level Magic Missile.[4]

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Fan art of Caleb and Frumpkin in octopus form, by Ebony Inkstone.[art 3]

Jester compares the merrow claws with the claw marks on Vandran's box. They don't match. Whatever opened the box had slightly larger claws. Caleb douses his Dancing Lights cantrip and has Frumpkin's octopus form wrap around his head so he could see using its darkvision.[5]

Diver's GraveEdit

The party continues in the direction Jester sensed the orb through Locate Object, but her spell fades. As they move further towards it, other wrecked ships come into view, some appearing to be decades old. The group begins to see a light flickering on and off ahead. Fjord worries it could be Dashilla's "lantern lure" as described in the sea shanty.

Caleb sends Frumpkin ahead to look, following the light to a large cluster of dead coral surrounding a rocky stone shelf with an open cavern entrance underneath the shelf. The Mighty Nein move quietly towards the cavern, Beau and Jester using seaweed as camouflage. Reaching the entrance, they see the shimmering caused by some unknown light passing over coins scattered about the cavern entrance. Fjord suggests to the still-intoxicated Nott that she go first. When Nott appears to take him seriously and Fjord encourages her further, Beau reminds Fjord of her promise to check him when he was "being a dick".[6] In her opinion no one should go in this cavern entrance. It looks like a trap.[7]

After a few minutes' discussion, the Mighty Nein moves around into positions on the shelf on top of the cavern entrance. They plan to send Jester's illusory duplicate[8] to pretend to pick up the coins and ambush whatever attacks the duplicate. After nothing responds to the duplicate's presence, Fjord jumps down into the cavern entrance. Nothing happens. Looking inside, the shimmering light that reflected off the coins is no longer there. A tunnel leading down into another chamber is just visible.

Fjord summons his falchion and the eye in the sword hilt casts a bright light as Fjord feels an eagerness building in him. Jester holds Nott as they walk past the coins so Nott is unable to grab any. The rest of the group move slowly into the cavern.

Break Edit

Part II Edit

Cavern EntranceEdit

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Fan art of The legendary Buttonbeard, by Amy King.[art 4]

Caduceus casts Detect Magic once he is inside the cavern. There is Illusion magic by the cavern entrance, but nothing in the cavern or the tunnel in the spell's range. Nott casts a Silent Image of a dwarf man in a pirate outfit with a beard made of buttons[9], making fun of Fjord's attempt to convince her to come underwater.[10] While most of the party stand just inside the cavern entrance, "Buttonbeard" walks sixty feet ahead of the group. Caduceus warns the seaweed[11] in the cave that they're going to be moving through.[12] Nothing reacts to either Caduceus or the illusion. The chamber is empty except for a large clump of seaweed in the center. Seeing two passages, Fjord decides to head towards the one on the right.

As Fjord takes his first step forward, a glowing figure comes out of the wall, floats across the right tunnel, and melts into the other wall. Caduceus uses Eyes of the Grave[13] to confirm his suspicion that the creature is undead. He casts Light[14] into the seaweed clump in the center of the chamber, revealing pieces of cloth and the remains of both humans and merrows tangled in the seaweed. As the party moves around the cluster in the center of the chamber, the seaweed reaches towards Caleb. It catches him and pulls him into the wall. Fjord casts Eldritch Blast at the seaweed, forcing it to free Caleb.

Ghost TunnelEdit

The party continues towards the tunnel on the right. The tunnel slopes up 15 feet then levels out into another chamber. The walls of the tunnel and next chamber have chunks of the same type of seaweed as well. Further down the hall, Caduceus sees a shadowy figure move. Eyes of the Grave[13] shows the figure is not undead. Caleb lights up the chamber and tunnel ahead with Dancing Lights, revealing a ghostly white male figure. The figure moves away from the light and vanishes into the wall. The party continues into the chamber. Seaweed once again reaches for Caleb in the back of the group. This time he casts Expeditious Retreat on himself, dashing forward to avoid getting caught again.

The party passes through the chamber and continues down the tunnel on the other side. Jester and Fjord lead the party through the tunnel around a curve to the left. After the curve, the tunnel backs downwards to another large chamber. The seaweed appears to be thicker on the walls towards the entrance. Caleb's Dancing Lights illuminates coins glittering on the floor of the larger chamber.

Beau turns behind her to see a ghostly figure of an old man. It leans towards her, causing her to feel cold and her vision to go black. Caduceus uses Turn Undead,[15] forcing the ghost out of Beau. The party turns around to see about twelve more ghostly figures in the tunnel behind them. Jester and Caduceus both cast Sacred Flame on the seaweed clusters closest to the entrance of the chamber, clearing it back enough for the party to rush through. Caleb, still sped up by Expeditious Retreat, enters the chamber first. Seaweed reaches for Yasha, now in the back, but she is too strong to be caught.

Dashilla'a LairEdit

Finding Dashila - BlackSalander

Fan art of the search for Dashilla, by BlackSalander.[art 5]

The party enters a much larger chamber with walls covered in the same type of seaweed they just came through. Silverware, tools, and coins looted from ships are tangled in the seaweed near the bases of the walls all around the chamber. The Mighty Nein realize that the floor they are walking on is almost completely covered in humanoid bones.

A pedestal with a two-foot wide stone disc sitting on it at an angle sits in the center of the chamber. Carved runes spiral around the edges inwards towards a single sigil. Caleb investigates the pedestal, determining that it is an ancient Age of Arcanum magical object that is currently dormant. Its power is beyond anything he has ever cast. If the right physical material is brought to the table, it can be used to summon an elemental force. He touches some of the buildup on the table, determining it to be coagulated blood. On the opposite wall from the entrance, a slightly crooked throne sits against the wall. Caduceus casts Locate Object again and detects the orb near the throne.

Dashilla by Stephen Oakley

Fan art of Dashilla, by Stephen Oakley.[art 6]

Looking above the throne, Caduceus sees a female humanoid with one open yellow eye and one half-open eye holding onto seaweed against the wall. She scuttles along the wall into the seaweed out of sight. Sprits of dead sailors and scavengers rise out of the floor around the party. Dashilla reappears and immediately knocks Caleb unconscious with her Death Glare. The rest of the party leap into battle. Some strange cold feelings felt earlier by Fjord[16], Jester[17], and Caleb[18] are revealed to be Dashilla ensorcelling them and sneaking away before they noticed her. Dashilla may cause a creature she has ensorcelled to react to a false image. She forces Fjord to chase a false image of her, then attack Beau.

Dashilla is able to severely damage Beau and Jester with her claw attack, but has to come out of hiding to do so. After most of the Mighty Nein resist her attempts to frighten them and she takes critical hits from Fjord's Eldritch Blast and Jester's Guiding Bolt, the tide of battle turns against Dashilla and she flees.[19]

Beau, Nott, and Caduceus move into a chamber further back to see if they can finish off the severely wounded Dashilla. Caleb, Jester, Fjord, and Yasha stay in the room with the pedestal.

SuccessEdit

Fjord searches the area around the throne. The yellow orb is inside the remains of the throne's red velvet cushion. He holds the orb up to his chest and his vision flashes to images of the same dark ocean from previous dreams. The bright yellow eye of Uk'otoa opens along with two more eyes on either side. The endless row of teeth smiles at him and the vision ends. The rest of the party in the room see the orb absorbed into Fjord's chest. His falchion now has two eyes- one in the hilt and one in the pommel.[20] Jester convinces Fjord they should not pursue Dashilla and begins to take coins from the lair. Fjord expresses a desire to find out what the pedestal with the runic disk does.

In the other chamber, Beau sees seaweed shifting and follows it down another passage to a fork. Going towards the movement, she finds a pile of merrow corpses with their throats cut. Beau can no longer see Dashilla and tries the other side of the fork. As soon as she enters the room, another ghostly figure appears and stares at her. Beau instinctively punches the ghost. The noise attracts Nott and Caduceus, who help her finish it off. After the ghost dissipates, Nott discovers a tiny hole in the wall that looks into the room where the rest of the party is still exploring.

Blood BrothersEdit

Fjord again appeals to Caleb about the pedestal, wanting to know what it does. Caleb seems hesitant and suspicious of Fjord's intentions and points out that the table is covered in blood. Fjord pushes Caleb further, appealing to his curiosity about unknown magic. Caleb asks for a favor in return if he helps figure out this pedestal. Fjord agrees.[21]

Caleb cuts his palm and places it on the table. The runes where the blood touches begin to glow, along with more runes carved into the wall. Fjord adds some of his own blood to the table, causing more runes to glow. Realizing it will take a lot of blood, Fjord and Caleb begin aggressively slicing into their hands. Each time blood hits the table, another rune in the wall begins to glow as well. The entire room soon is bathed in a red glow, as the table appears to be about two-thirds full of blood.[22]

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Fan art of Fjord and Caleb[23], by Jas.[art 7]

Fjord pauses, wondering if they are giving blood to Dashilla and possibly healing her. Caleb responds that he will follow Fjord's lead on this, but he has other things to do that he will need help with. Fjord said he understands, shakes Caleb's hand, and decides to leave the chamber.[23] Jester and Yasha watch Fjord and Caleb uncomfortably but do not interfere. Jester picks up handfuls of coin from the floor as the party comes back together and leaves the cavern. The party makes their way out of the cavern without issues, looking out for Dashilla. There is no sign of her. As soon as they get outside the cavern, Caduceus casts Water Walk, bringing the whole party quickly to the surface and able to walk back to the Squall Eater.

After traveling for about an hour, the sky grows much darker around the area the party had gone underwater. Heavy rain begins, but the Squall Eater is far enough away to avoid the worst of the storm. The Mighty Nein realize that after they left, Dashilla completed the ritual filling up the table with blood and summoning the storm they are currently seeing.[24] During his rest that evening, Caleb spends hours alone writing in a mysterious "other book".[25]

Post-Show Edit

Matt announces Deborah Ann Woll's guest appearance in "The Stowaway" (2x45).

Featured Characters Edit

The Mighty Nein Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 1 pearl necklace shallow priest Nott
Acquired 1 rusty key merrow Mighty Nein (possibly Jester) No one said out loud they were taking the key, but Laura appeared to write it down
Acquired 1 Cloven Crystal Dashilla Fjord
Acquired 3 platinum Dashilla Jester
Acquired 6 gold
Acquired 12 silver
Acquired 65 copper

Quotations Edit

  • Fjord: "Wait, Nott! We're about to cross the area of the button graveyard that lies beneath the waves."
    Nott: "Can you hear yourself right now? You sound pathetic. Pathetic!"
    Fjord: "I'm just looking out for you, Nott. I don't want you to-"
    Nott: "I understand when I'm being condescended to, even when I'm drunk!"
    Caleb: "All right, let's treat this situation with the seriousness it demands."
    Liam(ooc): "I douse the lights and bring Frumpkin down onto my own head like a mask, so I can see through Frumpkin vision."[26]
  • Sam(ooc, to Liam): "You're wearing an octopus; he's talking to seaweed; there's a Buttonbeard in front of us. This is totally normal."[27]
  • Taliesin(ooc): "Fuck off, ghost!"[28]
  • Beau: "Go fuck a ghost!"
    Marisha(ooc): "I punch it."[29]

TriviaEdit

  • Logic was in the studio at some point and left Matt a note to be read as soon as the game started. The note says "You, Sir Matt, are the sexiest being in all of Neverland. Sincerely, your boo, Logic."[30]
  • Sam's flask had a drawing of Kiri wielding a dagger. The caption said "Your post was flagged as explicit", a reference to Tumblr announcing it would no longer support adult content.
  • The ghostly figures in the tunnels leading to Dashilla's lair seem to have the statistics and abilities of the Ghost from the Monster Manual.
    • The figure of an old man that looked at Beau causing her to go unconscious was likely using the Possession action. Beau rolled a 12 on a Charisma saving throw before her vision went black. Caduceus using the cleric's Turn Undead ability brought Beau back to consciousness.[31] When a ghost takes the Possession action, a target humanoid within 5 ft must succeed on a DC 13 Charisma saving throw or be possessed. Once a ghost is possessing a humanoid, it cannot be targeted by any attack, spell, or other effect, except ones that turn undead.[32]
    • Later in the episode, Beau sees a similar figure and punches it. She hits with an attack roll of 11.[33] The Monster Manual Ghost has an AC of 11.[32]
  • The battle against Dashilla was the first time Nott's intoxicated state helped her in battle. It was revealed that while intoxicated, Nott is immune to fear. [34]
  • In recognition of the battle with Dashilla being underwater, Jester made her Spirit Guardians[35] appear as seahorse unicorns.[36]

References Edit

  1. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) from 24:34 through 26:10.  Fjord's story about Sabian sabotaging the Tide's Breath
  2. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 35:06.  Travis rolled a natural 1
  3. See "A Hole In the Plan" (2x42) at 54:42.  Sorris Cade sings about Dashilla
  4. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) from 46:13 through 1:23:19.  The Mighty Nein defeat two merrows and a shallow priest.
  5. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 1:25:56.  Caleb uses "Frumpkin vision" for the first time
  6. See "O Captain, Who's Captain?" (2x36) at 1:11:23.  Beau and Fjord agree to check each other when they see the other one abusing power.
  7. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 1:43:54.  Beau calls Fjord out for trying to convince Nott to do something dangerous while drunk
  8. See D&D: Player's Handbook, 5th ed., p. 63.  Trickery Domain Channel Divinity
  9. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 1:58:11.  Nott casts a Silent Image of "Buttonbeard the Pirate"
  10. See "In Hot Water" (2x43) at 2:51:57.  Nott plays along with Fjord's convincing her to go underwater, inventing Buttonbeard the Pirate as motivation to go on the salvage mission
  11. See D&D: Volo's Guide to Monsters, 5th ed., p. 107.
  12. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 1:59:00.  Caduceus talks to seaweed in The Diver's Grave
  13. 13.0 13.1 See D&D: Xanathar's Guide to Everything, 5th ed., p. 20.  Grave Domain feature
  14. See D&D: Player's Handbook, 5th ed., p. 255, available online at D&D Beyond.
  15. See D&D: Player's Handbook, 5th ed., p. 59.
  16. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 2:08:02.  Dashilla uses her ensorcel ability on Fjord
  17. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 2:12:19.  Dashilla uses her ensorcel ability on Jester
  18. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 2:31:45.  Dashilla uses her ensorcel ability on Caleb
  19. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) from 2:36:34 through 3:24:48.  The Mighty Nein battle Dashilla
  20. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) from 3:34:42 through 3:35:57.  Fjord absorbs the Cloven Crystal found in Dashilla's lair
  21. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) from 3:45:08 through 3:45:59.
  22. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) from 3:46:00 through 3:48:02.  Caleb and Fjord take a combined 29 damage attempting to fill the disc with blood
  23. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) from 3:48:03 through 3:48:54.
  24. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 3:53:58.  The Mighty Nein understand the purpose of the runic table
  25. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 3:55:50.
  26. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) from 1:25:34 through 1:25:56.
  27. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 1:59:31.
  28. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 2:22:37.
  29. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 3:41:08.
  30. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 17:36.
  31. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 2:21:49.
  32. 32.0 32.1 See D&D: Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 147.
  33. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 3:41:22.
  34. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 2:44:08.
  35. See D&D: Player's Handbook, 5th ed., p. 278, available online at D&D Beyond.
  36. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 2:42:08.

Art:

  1. Fan art of approaching the wreck, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Fjord fighting the merrow, by Omegasama art (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Caleb and Frumpkin in octopus form, by Ebony Inkstone (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of The legendary Buttonbeard, by Amy King (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of the search for Dashilla, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of Dashilla, by Stephen Oakley (source).  Used with permission.
  7. Fan art of Fjord and Caleb[23], by Jas (source).  Used with permission.


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