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"The Howling Mines" (2x06) is the sixth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The group questions the crownsguard for clarity about last night’s attacks, and their hunt for the gnolls leads them to a descent down a mysterious mine.

Synopsis Edit

Pre-Show Edit

Announcements Edit

  • Once again this week, our sponsor is our fantastic partner for this campaign: D&D Beyond. They invite Critters to check out "And Beyond": the monthly developer update and Q&A session, hosted by Adam Bradford (D&D Beyond Product Director). The next stream is tomorrow (February 16, 2018) at 11:00 AM PST, at www.twitch.tv/dndbeyond.
    • Sam has another contest: the first to be able to create a Level 3 character on D&D Beyond wins. Laura is first, but she forgot it had to be level 3, so Taliesin wins. The prize is a $1 dollar bill on the bottom of Sam's mug...Taliesin grabs it with his teeth.
  • A reminder to those with Amazon Prime: you can get a free monthly subscription to one Twitch channel. If you want early access to the VODs, subscribe to Geek & Sundry's Twitch channel.
  • Talks Machina is next Tuesday at 7:00 PM PST on Twitch and Project Alpha. Laura interrupts because she and Sam are rolling all 1s while resetting her dice.
  • The podcast of last week's episode ("The Open Road") is available on the Critical Role Podcast. For those who missed last episode or want to listen to it during your commute, you can let the audio create your imaginationscape!
  • Liam announces #ScarvesForCaleb. A Critter named Courtney tweeted out a picture of herself wearing a scarf she had made for Caleb. Liam retweeted it, and the Critters decided to all make scarves as well...not for Caleb, but to donate to homeless shelters, veterans, etc. They are also making hats and mittens.
  • The fantastic charity 826LA is continued to be supported by Critical Role, as they have since the beginning of the show almost three years ago. They do fantastic work, and if you have the opportunity to give your time to it or donate, Matt recommends it.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

"Last we left off: Our gathering of friends had been traversing northward along the Amber Road, with the distant destination of Zadash - one of the larger cities of the Dwendalian Empire - as your destination.

"Upon traveling, you passed a caravan and spent an evening amongst trees, where you found a wayward cluster of wandering buffalo-like creatures. You continued northward for a second day - rushed on past sunset, to rest in the city of Alfield: a small farming town that's along the way to Zadash.

"However, upon noticing that some of the buildings on the eastern side of town began to light up with what appeared to be flame, you began to approach rather rapidly, seeing members of the city's citizens fleeing, screaming, and apparently there seemed to be some sort of attack. Upon going into the town, you realized that a number of these buildings were being set fire by an incursion of Gnolls. You were immediately brought in by the Watchmaster, Bryce, who offered to pay your for each set of Gnoll ears that were brought to them, and you jumped into the fray - managed to kill quite a few. Many of them still left with their quarry, it seems, which happened to be quite a number of bodies and/or citizens (still living)...that were dragged off into the ashen and cloud-covered night.

"Upon returning - many of you bruised, beaten, and (at one point) in danger of worse - you were given an evening's rest at the Feed & Mead Tavern, and were told that if you were interested in pursuing future coin and helping with the current conflict nearing the city, to go ahead and meet Bryce out by the Broad Barn..."

Part I Edit

Helping Out in Alfield Edit

The party wakes up after a somewhat less than comfortable night's sleep in their single room at the Feed and Mead Tavern in Alfield. Molly opens up a little bit about his backstory and his relationship with the swords he carries. Eventually they go downstairs and help Crute, the innkeeper, prepare breakfast, before going out into the town.

Finding the halfling Thadeus Candleglow at work in the ruins of his inn, the party helps him shift rubble. They chat about his plans for the future and learn a bit more about last night's gnoll attack from his perspective. Thadeus points them to the Broad Barn for supplies.

At the Broad Barn, the party finds Watchmaster Bryce involved in an argument with one Starosta Kosh (whom Jester happens to recognize as a former client of her mother's) about deployment of the local crownsguard. As they approach, Kosh storms out, and Bryce greets them with an offer of further work: 30 gold per gnoll ear, 25 for a returned living villager, and 10 gold for a dead citizen's body. Bryce mentions that the gnolls have a deity they seem to worship, Yeenoghu.

The party purchases some supplies at the Broad Barn, then convinces a crownsguard that they find on the road to loan them a horse. Thus readied, they head out of town, following the tracks they find of about 18 gnolls.

Tracking the Gnolls Edit

The tracks take them to a barren valley scattered with abandoned carts and other junk. The party hides their cart and horses in some tall grass before entering the valley on foot. They find a mineshaft entrance being guarded by three hyenas, which they quickly dispatch.

Nott (after several swigs from her flask for courage) and Frumpkin scout ahead down the mine shaft. Nott accidentally triggers a trap, the noise of which summons a pair of gnolls to investigate. She calls for help, and the rest of the party hurries to help her kill the two gnolls. They scavenge what they can find from the room. Nott then scouts further ahead down the two tunnels leading out of the room. She finds a pit trap down one and nothing down the other, so the party decides to proceed down the trapped path.

 

Break Edit

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Part II Edit

Worshippers of Yeenoghu Edit

Episode-121-Yeenoghu-by-Callum-Lyall

Fan art of Yeenoghu, mentioned in "The Howling Mines" (2x06), by Callum Lyall.[art 1]

The path they have chosen takes the party, after 150 feet or so, into a long, multi-leveled chamber with a stone altar in the middle of it. Six gnolls are gathered around the altar, along with a seventh, smaller humanoid that conducts a short ritual using human hearts. After the ritual, the priest figure leaves, along with two of the gnolls and the now-visible pack leader.

This leaves four gnolls and four hyenas in the room, although a fifth gnoll enters as the party is debating their plan. Caleb sends Frumpkin ahead, but the bird gets spotted and shot by one of the gnolls. Seeing that, the party leaps to attack.

They kill two gnolls before the creatures have a chance to react. When the remainder do react, two hyenas are immediately killed by Fjord's Armor of Agathys. Fjord and Molly carve through a third gnoll while Jester and Beau take out the fourth. Molly and Fjord kill the last two hyenas as they are attempting to flee. Nott uses Hideous Laughter to prevent the last gnoll from leaving the room before finishing it off with her short sword.

Their enemies defeated, the party examines the room. Nott finds and picks open a chest containing various medical supplies. They find a symbol to Yeenoghu on the altar.

As they pause to discuss their next steps, the party hears a woman's voice from deeper in the mine yell, "No! My baby!" With that, they drop their discussion and charge ahead.

Featured Characters Edit

Player Characters Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
relinquished 1 donut Jester Thadeus Candleglow as a blessing from the Traveller
transferred 5 sticks of incense Fjord Caleb as spell components (roughly 5 silver worth of the at least 15 gold needed)
acquired 2 pickles Broad Barn Jester paid 3 copper
2 bags of incense Caleb paid 16 gold (after agreeing to 17)
 ? components for acid Nott paid 12 gold
acquired 1 horse Reggie party on loan from the Crownsguard
acquired 2 sets of gnoll ears mine entrance Jester
acquired 1 hooded lantern mine entrance Beau
1 sledgehammer Jester
1 crowbar Jester
1 stick of TNT Fjord
lost 500 ball bearings Beau ritual hall floor
acquired 5 sets of gnoll ears ritual hall Jester
4 sets of hyena ears
acquired 1 potion of greater healing locked chest Caleb
2 healer's kits Nott
 ? medicinal herbs & fungi Nott

Quotations Edit

References Edit

Art:

  1. Fan art of Yeenoghu, mentioned in "The Howling Mines" (2x06), by Callum Lyall (source).  Used with permission.


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