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For the location this episode is named after, see The Folding Halls of Halas.

"The Folding Halls" (2x80) is the eightieth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein recover from their encounter with Obann and head to Nicodranas to seek Yussa's guidance, but find more than just a meeting awaits them...

Synopsis Edit

Announcements Edit

  • Skybound Games will be releasing multiple classic D&D-based RPGs soon, including Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. Find out more at their website. Best wishes to Sam for a speedy recovery.
  • Also returning as a sponsor as they have since the beginning of Campaign 2, D&D Beyond.
  • The first six-issue run of the comic book series Vox Machina Origins will be released in trade paperback on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at local and online retail shops. The hardcover version is also available in both the U.S. and U.K. stores.
  • UnDeadwood, a four-part supernatural Old West mini-series GM'ed by Brian Wayne Foster premieres Friday, October 18 on Twitch. VOD will be available on YouTube the following Sunday.
  • The "unofficial" $10,000,000 stretch goal for The Legend of Vox Machina Kickstarter campaign, Travis's exploration of a haunted house, is now available on YouTube and will also be shown during the break of tonight's show.
  • New merch alert! Brand new chibi pins for Caleb and Yasha, and both the Mighty Nein and Vox Machina pins are in stock in the US and UK stores.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

So, last we left off: the Mighty Nein, having long lost one of their compatriots, Yasha, to the will of some entity or cult under the name of the Angel of Irons, you’ve been seeking out the individual Obann who seems to be gathering figures of Exandria’s past, champions of the Betrayers. Having collected one called the Laughing Hand unintentionally with your aid, you began to hunt down the next venture after an attack on the Cobalt Soul’s archive in Zadash, discovering the intent of Obann to raise another champion, apparently one known as the Inevitable End, the Caedogeist. You transported through the aid of your ally, Shadowhand Essek, to the center of the Lotusden Greenwood, where you managed to work your way pretty much at the same pace or overtake their trudging toward the Wraithroot Tree, which you had discovered held the last portion of the long-sealed entity, this Caedogeist. Unfortunately, crashing through the trees was enough to alert them of your presence. A pre-dawn chase took place thereafter, upon which you had managed to temporarily Charm the Laughing Hand and send him off the scent. Chasing down Yasha and Obann to the Wraithroot Tree, Obann threw a very lucky roll, managed to draw the heart from the center of the tree that he required, and a failed attempt to pick the skull from his side meant that he had acquired both artifacts he required. Reaching down, grabbing Yasha, in all of her fallen aasimar glory, they both vanished, leaving you to deal with the Wraithroot Tree. Fleeing from the center of this darkened pre-sunrise battlefield, you teleported yourselves towards the capital Dynasty city of Rosohna, where you, the Mighty Nein, have to figure out the next step in your journey.

So, returning to the center of the dark elf city here in Xhorhas, quietly trudging your way past the guards who have become familiar with your comings and goings by this time, you make your way quietly back in the wee hours of the morning to your home in the Firmaments. Entering your abode in the Xhorhaus, you close the door behind, and exhale for what seems the first time since your arrival.

Part I Edit

Regrouping in the Xhorhaus, the Mighty Nein discuss what's happened and what to do next. Caleb suggests maybe it's time they trust someone else and Caduceus immediately agrees, saying they need allies. They agree that the ally should be a neutral third party, belonging neither to the Empire nor the Dynasty. Beau mentions that the Cobalt Soul didn't offer any help. Caleb suggests that talking to Essek first would be a good idea. The only neutral third party they can think of is Yussa Errenis, the wizard in Nicodranas.

Dairon appears, telling them that she's confirmed her suspicions that the Luxon Beacon that started the war was given to the Empire by an agent within the Dynasty. In finding this information, however, she was nearly found and apprehended. The Nein become extremely paranoid that she has been followed and they are being watched. Fjord summons the Star Razor and uses it to cast See Invisibility, which lasts for an hour. A few minutes later, he notices a glowing orb drifting down the stairs toward them. He suggests going up to the roof, and as they head up the stairs he fires two Eldritch Blasts at it, which go through it and blow holes in the wall. It continues to follow them as they head to the roof.

Once there, he tells the party what he saw and Jester recognizes the sphere as a Scry focus. They "discuss" going to Rexxentrum next, hoping to mislead whoever's watching. Caleb heads towards the sphere and holds up his Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location and the sphere is dispelled. Caduceus casts Commune and the Wildmother confirms that they were being watched by a member of the Dynasty, that it wasn't Essek, and that the Bright Queen asked that they be watched.

Dairon gives the medallion of the Bright Queen back to Beau and begins training her in her next ability. The party sleeps together in Leomund's Tiny Hut in the study/laboratory. In the morning, Caleb buys more chalk, plus components for Nott, while Jester uses Sending to ask Essek to join them for a report. Fjord casts See Invisibility again and after a while sees another Scrying orb. He alerts the others and the sphere remains through the ensuing conversation.

Essek arrives with two guards who wait outside, telling the party that there had been a break-in the previous night and more care is being taken. The Nein confess that they were unsuccessful again, and Essek suggests that they put finding the missing beacon on hold while they deal with this new threat. He has been researching and attempting to infiltrate the cult of the Angel of Irons, and he apologizes for his attitude the previous day-- he's been under pressure. He tells them that their usefulness to the Bright Queen is in providing information on military movements. Caduceus and Caleb reiterate that they believe the Empire and the Dynasty have been manipulated into war by a third party, and Essek says he'll pass it on. The Scry sphere dissipates shortly after Essek leaves.

Caleb casts Teleportation Circle to Tidepeak in Nicodranas, and accompanied by Dairon, they all transport there. Dairon leaves for Zadash.They are joined shortly by a very nervous Wensforth, who tells them that his master Yussa has been exploring the Happy Fun Ball and has been missing about three weeks. He has an emergency contact number, but isn't sure if it's time to use it. The party assures him it is, and he uses a sending stone to contact an unknown ally of Yussa's, who says they're coming.
Allura - @blacksalander

Fan art of Allura, by BlackSalander.[art 1]

A few minutes later, a blonde human woman in her mid-fifties arrives, introducing herself as Allura Vysoren. The party explains that Yussa is missing within the Happy Fun Ball and introduce themselves. Allura tells them that the Happy Fun Ball's real name is the Heirloom Sphere, the key to the Folding Halls of Halas, also known as the Archmage Bane. She can't accompany them to rescue Yussa because of the wards against magic-users the ball contains, but she gives Jester a mirror which will allow communication with them three times per day, and two health potions. Nott finds a rough map of the interior and they notice the Perma-Heart chamber on it has received a lot of attention from Yussa. It clicks for Beau that "Perma-Heart" may relate to the legend that the Laughing Hand's heart is in another plane. If it is destroyed, he can be killed.

Caleb starts manipulating the Happy Fun Ball and bright blue light flashes from it.

Break Edit

Twitch Version

Part II Edit

The Mighty Nein find themselves in a diamond-shaped chamber with two archways: one silver and one gold. Caduceus notices on the ceiling a relief sculpture of a curving tower encircling a humanoid figure without a face. Beau smells earth and greenery from the gold arch. Based on the map, they decide they need to head toward the Garden, probably through the gold arch. Beau notes that on the map, both the Arcane Armory and the Study were heavily pored over. They decide to go to the Garden through the gold archway.

Frog - @blacksalander

Fan art of the froghemoth, by BlackSalander.[art 2]

The Garden is a lush tropical jungle. Ahead, a waterfall pours down a massive mountainside cliff of rock and there are soft little motes of dancing light like little fireflies. Beau recognizes them as Scribe Mites, attracted towards magic for food. They move forward to the waterfall cascading into a small murky pool. Behind it, there seems to be a slight opening. They begin to hear frogs croaking. Suddenly, Nott uses her Ring of Water Walking to dash across the pool toward the waterfall, where she is swallowed by a giant frog-like creature rising from the depths of the pool.

Widogast's Web of Fire - Linzer art

Fan art of Widogast's Web of Fire, by linzer art.[art 3]

The party attacks. Caleb casts Fireball, hitting not only the frog creature but apparently also several other lurking figures on the other side of the pool. His use of magic also draws the glowing scribe mites to lightning attack him. Fjord summons the Star Razor, using the command word "galasvar" to cause it to light up and damage anything that hits him in the fight. Caduceus also is swallowed. The multiple lurking figures attack from the jungle, causing Caleb to cast a new spell, Widogast's Web of Fire, hitting four of the smaller frog-men as well as the giant one. Although the magic-users take damage from the mites each time they cast, Jester gets the How do you want to do this? with Inflict Wounds on the giant frog. The two surviving frog-men run off.

The party discovers a red-painted doorway behind the waterfall that apparently leads to the Study that they found on their first trip into the Heirloom Sphere.[1] Fjord dives into the pool, discovering another pathway out to what they surmise is The Nest, although he is nearly sucked through and has to cast Control Water to escape. Through this, they find out that the magic-retaliating mites won't enter water. There is a third doorway at the base of a tree that they believe goes to the Crystal Mines, and a fourth at the top of the cliff that they believe will lead to the Tower. While they search, Caleb sends Frumpkin through to the Study and discovers that the books it once held are gone.

Allura - Shalizeh7

Fan art of Allura Vysoren, by shalizeh7.[art 4]

The party takes a short rest to heal on the top of the cliff, and then uses the mirror to contact Allura. It's been three days there, and she believes that the ratio is that one day passes in the Material Plane for each hour spent in the Folding Halls, although the various chambers may not be consistent. She's found a divination spell that may pierce any veil of secrecy the Angel of Irons may be using if they can provide the belongings of a member of the cult. She warns them that if there's a Golem Workshop within the Folding Halls, there are also probably roaming golems.

They hear heavy approaching footsteps as a 10 to 15-foot-tall stone and metal golem (resembling the figure on the ceiling in the first room) approaches below, and quickly dive through the archway while hopefully maintaining the mirror connection with Allura. They find themselves standing on a stone ledge on an immense curving clockwork tower in the middle of an endless expanse of nothingness. As a flash of purple lightning illuminates the area, they recognize its shape as being the shape drawn through the center of their map.

Featured Characters Edit

The Mighty Nein Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 1 Mirror of Infinite Transpondence Allura Vysoren Jester Communication 3X daily @ 10 minutes with holder of corresponding mirror

Quotations Edit

  • Caduceus:There’s a tiny bird that lives on the back of larger animals, and just eats the bugs that live on the specific larger animals, rhinoceroses and otherwise, and the birds require the insects that live on this specific animal, and the insects require the animal they sit on. I think we need an ecosystem. I think we need somewhere that feeds us and supports us, and I think we need allies, real allies, people that we’ve invested in other than ourselves--
    Jester: We need a rhinoceros.
    Caduceus: We need a rhinoceros.
  • Allura: (speaking of Yussa and the Heirloom Sphere) “Of all the multitude of individuals you could have entrusted it to, you have made one of the better choices.”
  • Liam: I know it’s meta, but that is such a point of favor for Yussa, that he is friends with her.

Trivia Edit

References Edit

  1. See "The Stowaway" (2x45) at 2:17:07.
  2. See CritRoleStats' running game calendar.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Allura, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of the froghemoth, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Widogast's Web of Fire, by linzer art (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Allura Vysoren, by shalizeh7 (source).  Used with permission.


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