"The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood - Part II: A Faulty Foundation" (Sx58) is the second part of Critical Role's planned The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood series, sponsored by Bethesda and ZeniMax Online Studios. Game Master Marisha Ray leads a group of restaurateurs on their second adventure inspired by The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood.
It has been about three months since their encounter with a Daedric beast. The group got plenty of money from their adventures, and can now afford additional upgrades for the tavern:
- Tavima bought a beautiful stained glass window through which to throw misbehaving folk. It shatters under the impact, then reforms like it had never been damaged before.
- Slaughter used his money to get a levitating tray named Rex
- Mallory installed an extra thick set of double doors to make it harder to reach him. He also hired a sous chef, Timothy, who resigned a short time after.
- Hoa built a small coop for her bird friends and gave each one of them an individual number/name. When patrons enter the tavern, they receive a bird, who will help them in tracking their orders. She also added a guestbook made of the hide of Daedric beast the party slew a couple of months ago.
- Grelnok upgraded the bar top to an elegant mahogany slab, as opposed to the previous cracked wood.
At 11 am, the group lets patrons come inside. Mallory starts cooking, Slaughter takes orders, and Hoa brings up the food, until a familiar face enters the building: Diven, the tax collector. Diven now works for the Health and Safety department. In his inspection he finds many flaws: sconces set too low which he claims are a fire hazard; the floorboards are soft; the foundation can crumble at any moment; Hoa's birds are potential disease transporters; and there is a gas smell in the kitchen.
Diven's tells the party that their tavern is not up to code and that he must shut down the business due to the faulty foundation. Tavima is not fond of Diven, who for the second time is trying to collect the money from them, and she throws him out of the window. Strangely, this helps to win over the inspector. He tells them the location of the stonemason Orimen Granoth, a couple of hours journey north through the Grahtwood.
The party closes the tavern, but before they leave, Hoa writes a note to inform all the patrons about their temporary leave and their intentions to reopen shortly. The group then begins their journey towards the stonemason. Some time passes before Mallory first notices that the usual forest sounds are gone. Grelnok, who is more perceptive at that moment, also learns from this silence that there must be a predator nearby. At that time, trees start to rustle and a stick breaks, as a large lizard creature reveals itself. Others follow.
Tavima and Mallory heavily damage one of them. Grelnok then cracks her whip around his neck and decapitates it. Hoa sets her Barbed Trap — little bugs come out of her fingers and make a little line, a straight black line behind the second creature. Tavima pushes the lizard forward through the line of bugs, who crawl into its mouth and tear the body apart.
As they took significant damage, the group rests and then continues forward. After hiking for some time, in the canopy opening before them, the party sees a hill with a small stone cabin embedded into the base of it. There are rusty tools scattered around, and the smell of spoiled food inside the hut — all clues indicating the home has been abandoned for some time. They find no other signs of the Orimen Granoth as they investigate the cabin, but do find that while it has three normal walls, in place of the last wall is a cavern entrance with fresh footprints leading further in. The group follows the footprints and enters the cavern. They notice the sound of stones, and two large boulders roll toward the party, pinning down Mallory and Tavima. Four humanoids ambush the group.
As the three attackers, two nords and an orsimer, run down the hill, Slaughter casts Trapping Webs on the two of them who are leading the charge. One of them is grappled and poisoned, and collapses dead on the ground. Mallory, using Lightning Splash, fries another one. After Tavima gets free from the boulder, she casts Sun Fire, and the flame pierces the nord's throat. The nord falls dead in a pile of ash. The last foe, surrounded by the party of five individuals and grappled by Tavima, goes limp from the final blow by Grelnok.
After the dust settles, Tavima and Grelnok loot the bodies. They find 500 gold and a rolled parchment on the leader's corpse. The parchment notes that gold is an upfront payment, with the promise of an additional award upon the final "dispatchment". Slaughter finds an old ledger by Orimen with the last entry dated to about seven years ago. Mallory notices a similarity between Orimen's and Diven's handwriting. The group now has a few alarming clues against Diven, and they hurry back to Grelnok's Skull Tavern.
When the party returns, they see two guards in red, flanking the front door, each with little globules of fire in one of their hands. The group moves around the perimeter to reach the back door, but they alert the guards at the front. Grelnok shifts to plan B and pretends to be Diven, but this further alerts the guards. Fortunately, a female Dremora rushes out of the cellar at that time, shouting about the missing "Ambition" as she enters the tavern. On her way, she furiously scorches one of the watchers, which distracts their attention away from the group.
Following the previously failed infiltrations, Mallory comes down to the two stationed guards and invites them into a Barbed Trap, cast by Hoa earlier. Although they do not follow him, the guards shout a warning to their compatriots on the roof, which compromises the snipers' positions. Tavima climbs on to the roof and tosses down the closest sniper, making him an easy target for Mallory. Then, with some difficulty, she Backlashes the second one. He bursts into flames, and the party finishes off the rest of the cultists on the outside of the tavern. They then decide to lock up the tavern and burn their enemies within it. Slaughter webs shut the back door, while Grelnok, using a torch, attempts to catch the wooden parts on fire.
Tavima Sun Firesthe daedroth inside the tavern through a hole in the roof, and painfully jumps down to the ground. Mallory, looking through the window, concentrates a Lightning Splash spell on the center of the building, hitting the daedroth. In an attempt to escape, the daedroth roars and unleashes his fire breath on the already partially burned wall, burning a rectangular hole on the side of the tavern.
Through the opening, the group now has a better view of the inside of the tavern. They see that the entire wooden floor is demolished, revealing a glowing red hole with a staircase spiraling downward. Tavima can see the daedroth and Shield Charges the beast, killing them by sinking her sword between his scale-plates. The last cultist, shaking in fear, prepares to flee. However, Grelnok swings her axe and strikes him with such force that he is launched into an opening in the floor.
Through that opening, the party sees a 50-foot drop and a staircase spiraling around a statue of the Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon. He has four arms attached to his torso: three of them are embracing a giant rock, erupted from the ground; the fourth arm is holding a large battleaxe. The party takes some time to heal their wounds, then hurry downward. As the group descends the stairs, they hear a voice calling to Mehrunes. The speaker is a woman with pale skin and pointy ears, with blood dripping from her eyes. At this time, a voice resonates in the chamber — the daedric prince warns her and two other present cultists of intruders. The cultists turn around and see the party, and the fight begins.
Grelnok rushes forth and slams her axe in the ground, releasing a force of energy and crushing one of the cultists. Tavima sets another cultist on fire, pushes down with her shield, and stabs her to death. The corpse tumbles into the circle formed by engraved runes associated with Mehrunes Dagon. The runes glow red and soak dry the body of the Dremora.
The group once again hears the voice of Daedric prince:
The last cultist, terrified by the recent events, quietly starts to climb the stairs in an attempt to escape but bumps up into Mallory. They recognize each other, as the cultist turns out to be Timothy. Mallory pushes him down in the circle, feeding it once more.
"This new emergent silence, quiet. You, the tavern keepers, are now alone with the remnants of your tavern that must now need a bit more renovations and repairs to get running again. The good news, however, your property just expanded by about 350 square feet. [..] And that is where we will close Part Two of our three-shot of Elder Scrolls Online."
- Grelnok Nightbringer, an orsimer dragonknight
- Hoa Sen, an altmer warden
- Mallory Klaxton, a dunmer sorcerer
- Slaughter Grimm, an argonian necromancer
- Tavima, a redguard templar
- Diven Leson, an Aldmeri health and safety inspector
- Rex, Slaughter's enchanted food platter
- Timothy, a former sous-chef of the Grelnok's Skull Tavern
- A dremora cultist
- A khajiit family
- Marty, a neighbor boy
- Orimen Granoth, a stonemason
- A third and final installment of the Elder Scrolls Online One-Shot series was announced on 13 August 2021 to be scheduled for September or early October 2021. It aired on October 26th, 2021.
- See "The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood - Part II: A Faulty Foundation" (Sx58) at 17:32.