"The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) is the eighth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The group decides upon a name and leaves Alfield, heading back on the open road to Zadash... though not without having to deal with the dangers of the road.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Featured Characters
- 3 Inventory
- 4 Quotations
- 5 Trivia
- 6 References
- D&D Beyond returns as a sponsor! Sam reads stories from critters...all of which somehow revolve around Sam covering himself in mayo.
- Amazon Prime users can get a free Twitch subscription every month with Twitch Prime.
- Brian W. Foster hosts Talks Machina every Tuesday! Matt promises to foist this announcement onto Marisha in the future.
- Podcast for Hush is up on the G&S website.
- Emerald City Comic Con is this weekend! Dark Horse will be selling the limited print run of Vox Machina Origins there. Travis and Laura will get there around "noon-thirty" on Friday, March 2.
- Issue #5 of Vox Machina comes out digitally on March 7.
- The cast recommends you check out, support, and/or volunteer for 826 LA or local branches near you.
- Matt will be at Lexington Comic and Toy Convention next weekend.
- We're Alive: Frontier just began on Project Alpha, hosted by Ivan Van Norman. Marisha's new show with Matt Key, Key Questions, begins next Tuesday (March 6).
- Laura and Travis are having a baby! Sam suggests having a naming contest (Laura shoots him down).
Previously on Critical Role
"Where we left off, you guys have been traveling northward into the Marrow Valley, eventually making your way towards the city of Zadash. Along the way, you were passing by the city of Alfield just past the sunset as an incursion of a gnoll warband began to set fire to a number of the buildings.
"You rushed in to aid some of the denizens there, jumped in under the watch of Bryce, the Watchmaster there, and managed to slay a few, but they managed to escape with a number of bodies and living members of the community. You were then given the opportunity to make some money and to wreak some proper vengeance for this town by finding out where these gnolls were and retrieve those who were still living and/or the bodies of those that needed to at least be given a proper burial. Along that path, you discovered this underground network of what was an abandoned mine where they had been holing up. While you were traveling down there and battling with these gnolls as you did, you encountered a new ally: this individual named Shakäste and his amazing little dark hummingbird.
"All of you together managed to make your way through, save a number of lives, encounter the priest of these gnollish creatures who had been using these members of the town to help feed a mother manticore. To retrieve some of the living members, you managed to get into battle with it. Nott slew the baby manticore, drawing its ire, and you all, by the skin of your teeth, took both the priest and her out, and in doing so saved the lives of those that were within, retrieved a small bounty of things that were caught within the nest and the priest's corpse, and made your way back to town.
"Upon returning, the sun had set. A number of members of the city of Alfield began to thank you for what you've done. They began to come out into the streets and began to make small campfires and play music and basically take this moment to both grieve and be thankful that there are individuals who will stand up and show strength in the face of darkness even this far out on the edges of the empire."
The Gratefulness of Alfield
The party notes the disappearance of Shakäste and expresses concerns for Caleb's withdrawn state and wellbeing before Mollymauk suggests the best way to prove that Caleb is okay is to get really really drunk on some really expensive liquor. They proceed to drink and party at the Feed and Mead for several hours. During this time, Caleb Identifies several of the items that the party has acquired, including a Wand of Smiles, some nonmagical manacles, the gnoll pack leader's glaive Fleshrender, a Ring of Water Walking, and a glove that can cast Scorching Ray. Beau learns that her new goggles give her darkvision and make her look like a nerd, according to Caleb.
The party ends up renting additional rooms for the night. In Nott and Caleb's room, Caleb resummons Frumpkin and immediately calls him over, then wears him as a scarf, which Frumpkin purrs at. Jester writes in her journal to The Traveler, noting that she misses him and wonders if he can still be with her this far from Nicodranas. The Traveler comforts Jester psychically, and Beau comforts her with hugs and tissues. Beau opens the stolen Baumbauch packages, finding two inventory updates, one complaint, and a coded letter about a future shipment to Demedan Baumbauch. Caleb investigates the pouch Nott stole from Shakäste and shares the gold inside with her. Nott stays up late, crafting acid with the supplies she bought earlier. Molly passes out early, and Fjord stays downstairs to people-watch.
Bryce presents them with a thank-you gift from the town of Alfield: a new, clean cart. Jester asks to see Starosta Kosh and blackmails him into writing a letter of recommendation for Fjord to attend the Soltryce Academy. While they are waiting for the letter, Jester tells the party about her mother, the Ruby of the Sea; which prompted her to sing an impromptu song, then she spoke of her exile from Nicodranas; and her quest to find her father.
All of their business in Alfield now concluded, the Mighty Nein set off north toward Zadash.
- Journal promo for "We're Alive: Frontier."
- Dry erase marker promo for Key Question
- How to Play: Grimm Forest
Bandits in the Night
The first day's travel on the Amber Road is uneventful, and the party spends a night camping on the side of the road. On the second day, they pass a cart with three well-dressed individuals who do not respond to their hail.
On the second night, a group of bandits sneaks past Mollymauk's watch and triggers Caleb's Alarm spell, prompting Caleb to wake up the camp. The bandits are led by a man named Trevor, whom Caleb charms using Friends. They convince the bandits (with some added help from Nott) that they're all infected with a terrible form of syphilis and that they should just leave. The spell ends before Caleb can convince the bandits to take the offer, and so Caleb fires three bolts of flame at the leader while the bandits begin to fire crossbows at him. Beau moves by Caleb to try and catch them. Jester summons her spiritual weapon (a huge pink/purple lollipop) and whacks Trevor into the sky where he is burned to ash in midair. As Trevor falls, Caleb is hit by three arrows and - despite Beau catching one of them - he falls unconscious immediately. The rest of the party damage two more of the bandits and prepare for a fight, but the bandits have seen enough and call a truce. Jester then intimidates them into giving her all of their stuff, including their clothes, and they comply. The party finds that all of the bandits appear to be thin and poor townspeople, not professional or impressive thieves of the night.
Molly uses Charm Person to convince the bandits to keep their clothes but leave their weapons and strive for a more honest way of life. He also forces two of the bandits to play Parchment, Boulder, Shears to decide the new leader, which turns out to be a young man called Zenny. Then he gives them each a gold piece, and, with some prompting from Beau to spread the word about the Mighty Nein, the reformed bandits leave for Felderwin. Caleb regains consciousness and immediately begins to pull out the arrows, much to everyone's opposition. The resulting holes are covered by Jester; two with her hands, and after failing to convince Caleb to not pull out the third, the last with her knee. She heals him and he passes back out from pain and blood loss. Meanwhile, Nott has stolen four of the bandits' horses, which she names Loo, John, Crapper, and Toilet. Jester takes Toilet, Beau takes Crapper, Fjord takes John and Molly takes Loo. Caleb and Nott use WC and the horse from Alfield, which are pulling the cart. Caleb rests in the back while Nott drives the wagon. Later on, Caleb wakes up with a sudden shout and heavy breathing, then responds to everyone's concerns about it with unconvincing statements that he is fine. This prompts Beau to say that they will need to have a long talk about all of Caleb's problems.
The next morning brings a cold rain. The party passes an old graveyard dating back to the Julous Dominion along the Amber Road and arrives in the afternoon at the outer wall of Zadash. Passing through the gates, they are hailed by a stranger who offers to show them around the city. They hire the man, Ulysses Stanneras, and he tells them where to find all of the shops and inns they are looking for.
Once Ulysses has left at dusk, Beau guides the party to the Pentamarket. She and Molly go to look for mulled wine while the rest visit The Invulnerable Vagrant. Inside, they meet the proprietor, Enchanter Pumat Sol, and his three magical duplicates. The party purchases several healing potions, fine inks and paper for Caleb, and a Fantastic Haversack, relinquishing the gnoll's magical glaive for trade-in value. As Spark Hammer Smithing is closed for the evening, the party then goes directly to The Leaky Tap.
- Jester Lavorre
Yasha Nydoorin(absent, mentioned)
- Mollymauk Tealeaf
- Caleb Widogast
- Pumat Sol
- Ulysses Stanneras
- Trevor (dead; killed by Caleb and Jester)
- Zenny (New leader of the gang of bandits).
|Transferred||1||pearl ring||Nott||Caleb||as a spell component|
|Expended||3||gold||Molly||various villagers||payment for drinks|
|Transferred||1||Glove of Blasting||party||Fjord|
|Transferred||1||Ring of Water Walking||Fjord||Nott|
|Transferred||1||Wand of Smiles|
|Expended||6||silver||Beau||Crute||payment for 2 additional rooms|
|Acquired||113||gold||Shakäste's pouch||Caleb||discovered in pouch|
|Transferred||60||gold||Caleb||Nott||Caleb shared the contents of Shakäste's pouch with Nott|
|Crafted||1||vial of acid||alchemy supplies||Nott|
|Converted||1||pearl||brass ring with pearl||Caleb||brass ring discarded|
|Relinquished||1||jar of gnoll and hyena ears||Jester||Bryce||contained 14 sets of gnoll ears, 5 sets of hyena ears; exchanged for 570 gold|
|Acquired||570||gold||Bryce||party||payment for 19 sets of gnoll ears|
|Acquired||35||gold||payment for bringing back 7 villagers' bodies|
|Acquired||300||gold||payment for saving 12 villagers|
|Transferred||150||gold||party||Beau||the 905 gold from Bryce was split into 150 gold apiece with the remaining 5 gold unspecified|
|Acquired||1||horse-drawn cart||town of Alfield||party||as a thank-you gift, to replace their current cart|
|Acquired||1||letter of recommendation||Starosta Kosh||Fjord||for application to the Soltryce Academy|
|Relinquished||8||gold||Molly||bandits||as incentive to reform their ways|
|Acquired||1||rusted helmet||Molly||graveyard||a relic from the Julous Dominion|
|Relinquished||1||silver||Beau||boy outside Zadash|
|Relinquished||2||Gold||Caleb||Ulysses Stanneras||telling Caleb about the bookstore|
|Relinquished||1||Gold||Molly||Ulysses Stanneras||telling Molly about the bath house|
|Relinquished||2||gold||?||Ulysses Stanneras||for his services|
|Acquired||?||paper and inks||The Invulnerable Vagrant||Caleb||150 gold worth|
|Acquired||2||potion of healing||Fjord||for 50 gold apiece|
|Acquired||2||potions of healing||Nott||for 50 gold apiece|
|Acquired||1||Fantastic Haversack||Jester||exchanged for Fleshrender and 200 gold|
|Expended||150||gold||Caleb||The Invulnerable Vagrant||for paper and inks|
|Expended||50||gold||Fjord||for 1 potion of healing|
|Expended||100||gold||Nott||for 2 potions of healing|
|Relinquished||1||Fleshrender||Jester||exchanged for Fantastic Haversack|
|Acquired||12||pastries||vendor||Jester and Nott||2 for Nott, 6 for Jester, the rest eaten|
|Expended||6||silver||Molly||vendor||for pastries and mulled wine|
- Molly: Would you agree that the previous leadership of this group has probably failed you on some level?
Zenny: Erm... Ya know... I would say so, yeah.
Molly: Look where you are right now.
Zenny: I know, Trevor's turned to ashes.
Molly: It was a bad decision!
Zenny: It was very bad (almost crying) he was a very bad man.
Molly: Perhaps you should rethink your line of work.
Zenny: Yeah... Yeah, you're right.
Molly: Put your clothes back on, this is embarrassing. All of you!
- Molly: This means that your terrible bandit days are behind you, cos you're really not good at this. I mean, we were barely paying attention, this is pathetic...
Beau: Well, you were barely paying attention.
Molly: Well, let's not, let's not... cast aspersions on new management, it's only been two days.
- See "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) at 1:04:18.
- See "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) from 1:11:29 through 1:14:44.
- See "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) at 1:17:27.
- See "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) at 2:19:09.
- See "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) at 3:26:55.
- See "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) at 2:11:55.
- See "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) at 2:18:30.
- See "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) at 1:04:18.
- Fan art of Caleb reuniting with Frumpkin, by Elaine Tipping (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Molly and the bandit, by Sam Hogg (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Mighty Nein arriving at Zadash, by GalacticJonah (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Nott's first interaction with Pumat Sol, by Elaine Tipping (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Enchanter Pumat Sol changing the color of Jester's Fantastic Haversack while Nott looks on and Caleb counts gold, by Carlos Lerma (source). Used with permission.