"The Gift Among the Green" (E1x06) is the sixth episode of Exandria Unlimited Prime. Finally arriving at Niirdal-Poc, the surprised adventurers discover something more ancient and thriving than the simple ruins of a lost city...
- First sponsor is Nord VPN, now offering a two-year plan plus a bonus gift at a discount with code "EXU".
- Ravensburger's new immersive board game ALIEN: Fate of the Nostromo will release 1 August 2021, and is available for pre-order now. For a chance to win a copy, visit their Twitter page.
- Critical Role streams live on both Twitch and YouTube. The moderated live chat is on Twitch.
- Aabria compliments Matt's home-made outfit, stiletto nails, and make-up. Past-Matt is suffering on behalf of Future-Matt.
Previously on Exandria Unlimited
The six of you have spent weeks traversing the jungles of the Rifenmist Peninsula. You've had dreams and experiences and bits of temptation along the way. But you've come through it, and you've reached what very well could have been your goal. You found some of that runic writing, a ruin in the jungle, but you were pushed, asked, begged by the Wildmother herself to keep going forward, to seek some deeper truth.
And now more time has passed.
After four more days of travel, the terrain begins to shift, becoming rockier and hillier as it slopes downward. The party is three and a half weeks out of Byroden and two and a half months from Emon. Opal asks Fy'ra Rai if she knows anything about the purple lady Ted has told her about, and the group realizes it may be Myr'atta Niselor, the leader of the contingent of Syngorn elves they encountered earlier.
They reach the edge of a cliff and look down upon a city surrounded by a low fog. Fy'ra Rai welcomes them to Niirdal-Poc and they move to a waterfall where most of the party jumps into the water which carries them toward the city. Orym keeps an eye on Dorian, who carries the party's clothing (including the Circlet of Barbed Vision), to make sure nothing happens to it.
Fy'ra Rai seems familiar with the city, giving a pass sign to the guards at the gate to be admitted. She warns the party to be respectful as they enter the ancient fortress, explaining that although she is not originally from the city, she is now of it, and she leads them to a small home where she knocks. She is greeted by an older earth genasi, Elam Genar, who welcomes them in and cooks them a meal.
Fy'ra explains that the city is ruled by the four tetrarchs, and it has remained hidden in the jungle for uncountable years. She herself found her way to it with the aid of the Wildmother when she heard of her sister's death. Elam tells them that Niirdal-Poc was once the capital of the five cities of the Qoniira Tetrarchy, but is now the only city remaining.
Fy'ra tells Elam she wishes to bring the party before the tetrarchs, and asks how things have been. There have been rumors of bad omens and one of the tetrarchs, Umejii, has gone south over the Beynsfal Plateaus to scout potential activity by the Iron Authority, but Elam knows nothing more. Dariax shows Elam the copied rune from the plateau near the Flamereach Outpost, and she says it roughly means "place of burning".
Elam asks the names of the party members. Dorian admits his real name is Bronte and that "Dorian Storm" is a stage name, and Opal admits that her real name is "Georgina" while Ted's is "Theodora".
After their meal, Fy'ra leads the party to the central plaza of Niirdal-Poc, which holds a massive statue of a feline humanoid, the Observer. As Dariax approaches it, his compass pendant begins glowing.
- Cubeamajigs are reusable gaming card boxes that now come with pre-assembled decks, and Podamajigs are storage systems to hold them. More details at cubeks.com.
- Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn coming late 2021/early 2022. Learn more at DarringtonPress.com.
- Merch Alert! Exandria Unlimited t-shirt, Exandria Unlimited journal, new bumper sticker sets, and ceramic camping mugs for Nicodranas, Tal'Dorei, and Xhorhas available in all four Critical role shops; Isharnai's hut puzzle in the US, Canada, and UK shops and wherever fine puzzles are sold.
- The Legend of the Voices of The Legend of Vox Machina
- Commissioned art montage.
The head of the statue of the Observer tilts down to look at Dariax, and her voice telepathically greets him, telling him she likes what he's doing and he will continue to have her favor. The party moves on to the civic hall on the far side of the plaza, in front of which are two massive three-faced panther-like statues. Inside, they are greeted by Thrascuur, a Pachydan and one of the tetrarchs of the city.
Dariax shows Thrascuur the runes they have copied but while both their hands touch the paper, his pendant flashes with a strange light. Thrascuur tells them the rune is a marker of a place too full of energy, and ripe for creation, for potential. It is proof that something is deciding what it will be, and people are likely to be hurt by it. Fy'ra Rai is willing to bend the focus of her life to stop this happening again. She starts to panic, speculating that as a fire genasi, she was drawn to the party to protect them from the rising power of the fire. When Thrascuur asks her what she really wants, it is to see her family again, and she sees a vision of her sister, alive, waiting for her far northwest of Emon.
When Opal sees herself in a mirror held by Thrascuur, she notices that her hair is white and her eyes are different colors. She becomes angry, saying that she has no magic of her own, and Thrascuur explains that the person she saw in the mirror was her mother who abandoned her when she was a young child. The Tetrarch assures her that her life and choices are her own.
Fy'ra is torn, wanting both to protect the party and to seek her family. She tells Thrascuur that she believes Myr'atta Niselor is following Opal. When Thrascuur touches Opal, Opal feels Ted relax, and Thrascuur says it will prevent Scrying, for now. The Tetrarch gives Orym a seed, telling him to make it grow, and asks all of them to remember this place if it turns out that it is meant for change, growth, or destruction. Thrascuur does not want it forgotten.
When the rest of the party leaves the room, Fy'ra runs back and tells the Tetrarch she fears one of the party is being drawn south for the wrong reasons. Thrascuur agrees, saying he is losing himself to the thrall of something great and terrible.
When they leave the building, a tiny dart fletched in purple hits Opal. As the group senses invisible figures attacking, Opal loses consciousness and is slung over one of the attackers' shoulders and carried off. The party begins to give chase, Fearne wildshaping into a dire wolf, when the three-headed feline statues outside the civic building wash with purple magical energy, come to life, and join the fray.
As the chase continues, Opal regains consciousness but is still being carried. Dariax uses his Hat of Disguise to turn into a duplicate of Opal and begin running in another direction. Eventually they catch up and the battle begins in earnest, with Fearne killing one of the elves and Orym and Fearne one of the beasts each. The attackers are wearing the robes of the group of Syngorn elves led by Myr'atta Niselor they had encountered, and when the final attacker is cornered, she turns and says to Opal, "I will take away everything you hold dear. You don't deserve it!" then casts Dimension Door and disappears. In the aftermath, Opal feels Ted slump into sleep and senses her magic is gone again.
Fy'ra Rai tells the party she must go search for her sister and says her goodbyes. She then goes to Dorian, takes his head in her hands, and pulls their foreheads together. She tells him that she knows something drove him to a terrible choice, making him think it was better to be alone. She urges him to stay with his new found family. He tells her not to worry, he would do anything for his friends. She realizes that they must do the next part alone, but when the time is right, she will return. With that, she moves on her way and is lost to darkness.
A liminal darkness, a place between places, where she has been alone for so long waiting for that little bit of glimmering light that is her sister. And yet, she hears the echo's footfalls, impossibly loud, slow, methodical, approach her. And swirling into her field of vision, a woman wreathed with purple energy, smiling, grinning, baring her teeth at her. "I've been looking for you for so long. And I'm so close. And I will burn the world apart to have you." And Ted screams.
- Thrascuur: (about magic) The power of this candle is nothing against the thought that I have to put it out. So what is a thought, against something that turns and burns in the world? All of this place, all of Exandria, holds potential, holds energy, grabs it, takes it, makes it and gives it. But it is the decision of you, reaching into a place full and ripe, and deciding to bring something into being. That is the power that some call of the gods, that some call the arcane. It is power and it is beautiful, and for you to know that, to have seen it up close-- I understand now why you are here. You are incredible. All of you.
- Thrascuur: (to Opal) You feel divided between you and the one who resides within. But you are special, because you are part, half, whole in yourself but you are more. Just as your mother was. A rarity in this world. Georgina, you and your sister will always walk this world together, but where you go is your choice, your choosing, and she follows you, becomes a part of you because she loves you. And that is her choice, and her choosing.
- Fy'ra Rai: Not all family is blood. Much family is chosen.
- Fy'ra Rai: (to Dorian) I know you know, little brother. I know you remember. You made a choice once. You thought you were unrecognized, unloved. Something drove you to a terrible choice and you were willing to risk anything because you thought it was better to be alone. I am here to tell you, it is never better to be alone. Stay with your family. Not all family is blood. Much family is chosen. I cannot protect you again. Only you can do it this time. Stay in the light. Please.
Dorian: Thank you, and don't worry. I would do anything for my friends.
|Transferred||1||Seed||Thrascuur||Orym||To be planted later.|
|Transferred||1||Ring of Invisibility||Syngorn elf attacker||Opal||Grants Greater Invisibility to wearer.|
- See "By the Road" (E1x04) at 1:57:43.
- The continent of Issylra, where Vasselheim and the Fire Ashari village of Pyrah are located, is northwest of Emon across the Ozmit Sea. This may be the location referred to.
- For the official rules for chases, See D&D: Dungeon Master's Guide, 5th ed., pp. 252–255.