"The Neverending Day" (2x125) is the one hundred twenty-fifth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. Having escaped the frozen fields of Eiselcross, the Mighty Nein search for allies and assets to help them in their fight against the nine eyes...

Synopsis

Announcements

  • This week's episode is sponsored by Fandom Tabletop and their just-announced tabletop RPG Tales of Xadia. Pre-order the physical copy and get the digital version free. More details at bitly/CRXadia. Sam has therefore used Cortex to make his own brand-new RPG, Cyberpunk 1977, with items including mood rings, platform shoes, and dot matrix printers. But it takes a lot of floppy discs to run. Sam's chest hair not included.
  • Second sponsor is Hit Point Press and their new book Hexbound, a witchy supplement for 5e with new subclasses, adventures, maps, creatures, and magical items.
  • Shout out to D&D Beyond, the official digital toolset for 5th edition D&D.
  • While Critical Role is now livestreaming on both Twitch and YouTube, the official moderated live chat is on Twitch.
  • Vox Machina Origins Series III is out now, and it pretty much follows Matt's notes about what happened in their pre-stream home game.
  • Upcoming content: Mighty Vibes Episode 4 on 12 February; new episode of Narrative Telephone Tuesday, 16 February at 4 pm Pacific with storyteller Liam O'Brien and special guest Dani Carr; new Talks Machina episode on 16 February at 7 pm Pacific

Previously on Critical Role

So, last we left off, the Mighty Nein had found themselves in a bit of a quandary. Their travel companions in Eiselcross, the Tombtakers -- the source of all of the rising tension and danger, and their intent, it seems, to summon forth from the Astral Plane the shifting, ever-devouring, maddened minds that are the Cognouza Ward and the Somnovem of the ancient city of Aeor -- stole your bag of holding, and you gave chase. You had an intense battle in which the tides turned and you managed to just barely flee with one of the two threshold crests they required to complete what they needed to do.

Upon charging into the darkness of night and eventually finding hopeful safety along a mountainside, you got a night's rest, averted a small avalanche, and then headed towards the actual exterior ruins of Aeor, where you met up with Essek, the Shadowhand himself. After sharing some pleasantries, some not-so-pleasantries, and a bit of a tense discussion -- themes of regret, themes of rising danger and wanting to help prevent this coming dangerous arrival-- led to you all needing to search for allies.

And so, we had left off as you had created a Teleportation Circle leading you back to the city of Nicodranas, where some of you had begun this adventure, and to the tower of Tidepeak tower, and Yussa Errenis, the mage within.

Part I

The party arrives in Tidepeak Tower in Nicodranas and are greeted by Wensforth who takes them to Yussa. They tell Yussa about the events in Eiselcross, leaving him somewhat speechless. He knows little more about Aeor than they do but is willing to contact Allura Vysoren on their behalf. Caleb suggests they could speak to Halas Lutagran and Yussa warns them it is dangerous.

Caleb holds the gem and questions Halas, with the others standing by to stop him if Halas possesses him. Halas tells him that Aeor crumbled before his time, but he offers to trade information in return for Caleb allowing him to occupy his body. Caleb counteroffers that Halas will answer three questions, and if he answers honestly, they will see about answering another three "in different circumstances." With two natural 20's, Halas is persuaded to agree.

Halas tells Caleb something of his past in the floating city of Zemniaz and how he came to begin building his home accessed through the Happy Fun Ball. He also speaks of Aeor, its "tumult within" and eventual destruction by the gods, and of the Somnovem and their fanatical belief in the power of the mortal imagination, closing the Cognouza Ward off from the rest of Aeorian society. To Halas's apparent knowledge, there were no survivors from the fall of Aeor after its annihilation by the gods.

Caleb drops the gem after these answers, resisting Halas's effort to possess him. He tells the others what he has learned and that he believes it would be unsafe to proceed further with Halas. Yussa returns the gem to its pocket dimension for safekeeping. He is not willing to travel to Aeor with them, but he offers two potions of superior healing and the loan of a Blast Scepter.

Fan art of Jester casting, by Hugo Cardenas.[art 1]

They ask about how to locate the threshold crest that apparently went off-target. Yussa leads them to a room containing three brass tripod structures holding residuum crystals pointing inward, which he tells them is an amplification chamber that will allow the extension of the abilities of the Locate Object or Scrying spells, although such chambers are not smiled upon and he asks them to keep its existence a secret. When Jester casts, she sees the crest in the middle of a deep, dense, cold forest - definitely neither Eiselcross nor the Cobalt Soul library in Rexxentrum.

They ask Yussa about hiding themselves from the blood-locating magic of the Tombtakers, and he suggests more amulets like the one Jester is wearing. Jester suggests Astrid and Eadwulf might have access to more of them and Caleb agrees.

Yussa contacts Allura, then casts Teleportation Circle and transports the party to her tower in Emon. Allura greets them, joined shortly by Lady Kima of Vord. The party tells them about Lucien, the Tombtakers, and the Somnovem, again withholding information about the eyes now on Caleb and Beau. Allura spots a Scrying sensor in the room. When Fjord summons Dwueth'var, Allura recognizes it as a Vestige of Divergence and urges them to keep it secret for their own safety.

Fan art of Kima and Allura, by Ilona.[art 2]

They invite Allura and Kima to join them in the coming fight, but Allura thinks she would be of more use gathering others to help. Kima wants to come, but Allura doesn't want to lose her. She loans the party two Arcane Field Generators which fill a space with floating glowing arcane motes, revealing the limits of antimagic fields. Jester asks for and receives the loan of a tuning fork for the Astral Sea, mentioning Artagan, and Allura recognizes the name with displeasure. She also gives the party some residuum and loans them her Staff of Power. Kima loans Yasha her Holy Avenger, a platinum greatsword, in exchange for Magician's Judge as collateral.

Allura tells them a little about the Astral Sea, warning them to watch out for yellow-skinned creatures arriving via ship. Veth takes her aside and privately asks for and receives a spell scroll of Intellect Fortress before Caleb draws a Teleportation Circle taking them to Rexxentrum.

Break

  • Mighty Vibes Friday, February 12, 2021 at 4:00 pm Pacific on Twitch and YouTube.
  • Merch Alert! Doom Eternal: Assault on Armaros Station PDF adventure for 5e available for download in the U.S. shop; Nott the Brave Flask and Vox Machina and Mighty Nein Chibi pins in the U.S., U.K., and Australia shops; Critical Role face masks and Mighty Nein Chibi decals in all shops.
  • Liam and his pet skull have a serious discussion about the merits of a Twitch subscription.
  • Critters' art montage.

Part II

They emerge in the basement of the Cobalt Soul Archive in Rexxentrum. Beau asks to talk to High Curator Yudala Fon and Yudala speaks to her privately, telling her there have been conversations around the King concerning the investigation of connections between the Cerberus Assembly and the Kryn Dynasty. This was the subject of Dairon's investigation as well, and they are concerned there is either a leak, or the Augen Trust has been quietly working on its own. The suspicion is not a bad thing as it could sow conflict between the King and the Assembly, but the Soul had hoped to control how it was weaponized against certain Assembly members.

However, what Yudala wanted to tell Beau is that the Cobalt Soul has arrested Archivist Zeenoth. Dairon had been investigating Beau's story of being kidnapped and forced into the order, and had determined that Zeenoth had taken payment from Beau's father and overseen her capture, in addition to other briberies and illegal activity. Yudala sincerely apologizes to Beau for what happened to her. While Beau has now found her place within the Soul, it should have been her choice. The trial will be in two months and Beau is welcome to participate.

Fan art of Beau thanking Dairon, by @RysaieArts.[art 3]

When Beau rejoins the Nein, she tells them that there had always been a part of her that didn't fully trust the Cobalt Soul because they had been capable of kidnapping her for money. She now feels both relief and confusion. Beau also shares the news of the Augen Trust investigation into the Assembly. She checks in with Dairon and thanks her for following up on the investigation into Zeenoth. Dairon apologizes for having been vengeful and emotional about the Kryn Dynasty, and tells her that her time there taught her that all people are pretty much the same. Beau admits that the Nein sort of lost a giant ancient magical artifact in the woods somewhere, and if the Soul could locate it, that would be good. Dairon agrees to send out a few teams to look for it, and heads out to continue her mission.

Beau procures chambers for the party for the night within the Cobalt Soul, and they gather together in one to discuss what to do next. They plan to do some shopping, talk to Astrid and Eadwulf, travel to the Dynasty to speak to the Bright Queen, and then to Nicodranas to see Jester and Veth's families. Jester asks why Caleb and Beau told no one about the eyes, and they are both worried about people's reactions and whether they would be deemed too dangerous to remain free. They agree, however, to show the eye markings to Yussa the following day.

They begin distributing the magical items they have received. Caleb takes the Staff of Power. Veth takes the Blast Scepter, and in order to attune to it, tries but fails to put down the Corecut Dagger. Caleb then starts to cast Identify on the dagger, but Veth pulls it back and changes her mind about having it identified. Caduceus notices her odd behavior and draws attention to it, and Jester Commands her to drop the dagger. When Yasha picks it up, Veth aims her crossbow at her, but Jester quickly casts Greater Restoration on Veth and she is released from the dagger's curse. Yasha realizes she cannot attune to the Holy Avenger because she is not a paladin.

Beau asks Caleb if the following night, she and Yasha can have Widogast's Nascent Nein-Sided Tower to themselves for their date night. He agrees, with the proviso they will not go poking about the eighth floor, and Beau promises. Beau also requests some alterations to the Tower, asking if some of the cats can be ninjas so they can fight them. She'll get him a list of her other changes.

The Dreams

Fan art of Caduceus's dream, by Cers @Cersonality.[art 4]

They all go to their respective rooms to sleep. Caduceus dreams of his home in the Blooming Grove and his family, but he senses something odd. The trees seem to be getting closer and the light choked and fleeting, and bark becomes flesh, branch becomes arm, stone and skin twist and push and break the boundaries. Cobblestones flow up from beneath the ground, a city street made of teeth, as it devours his family. The forest of flesh consumes everything.

Fan art of Yasha's Dream, by Rebecca Snowden.[art 5]

Yasha dreams of herself walking aimlessly in the broken fields of Xhorhas, with nothing to protect and having failed to have protected. The bare fields give way to grass and she sees the Holy Avenger before her. As thunder rolls, she sees the others of the Mighty Nein calling to her to save them, but as she runs toward the Avenger, it moves further away. Lightning strikes beside her and she sees the face of the Stomlord, saying, "You found your strength, Yasha. Now, you must learn to use it. [...] You are an avatar of the Storm Lord. I work through you, but your strength is your own. You've begun the first steps, but you must earn this one."

Caleb and Beauregard dream of two red eyes and whispering, echoing voices saying, "Another finds us, finds their way home. Welcome. We dream with you. Dreams are the first step. We can make dreams into anything. Into everything. Together." More eyes appear around them until there are nine, and they hear the sound of shadowy whispered screaming.

Featured Characters

The Mighty Nein

Fan art of the second dream of the eyes, by Hantie Engelbrecht.[art 6]

New

Returning

Mentioned

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 2 Potions of Superior Healing Yussa Beau and Veth Distributed the next day.
Loaned 1 Blast Scepter Yussa Veth Resistance to fire and lightning. Casts Thunderwave at 4th-level (DC 16).
Acquired 3 Pieces of Amber Yussa Caleb Worth about 50 gp each.
Transferred 2 Arcane Field Generator Allura The party When activated, shows for 1 hour where a magic negation field is located, and sheds low light. 100 ft radius. Has a chance of becoming inert after use.
Acquired 500 gp worth Residuum Allura Caduceus
Loaned 1 Allura's Staff of Power Allura Caleb
Loaned 1 Kima's Holy Avenger[1] Kima Yasha A platinum greatsword.
Transferred 1 Magician's Judge Yasha Kima As collateral for the Holy Avenger.
Expended 1 Celebone Caleb Ivory Tower Left on a floating tray.
Transferred 1 Tuning fork for the Astral Sea Allura Jester
Acquired 1 Spell Scroll of Intellect Fortress Allura Veth
Transferred 1 Ioun Stone of Fortitude Caleb
Fjord
Caduceus
Fjord
Caduceus
Jester
Transferred 1 Ring of Fire Resistance Fjord Jester
Expended 100 gp worth Diamond dust Jester Veth For Greater Restoration.
Relinquished 1 Corecut Dagger Veth

Quotations

  • Halas Lutagran: In seeing the world, I began to realize one continuous truth: Everyone else is worthless, petty, frustrating, self-obsessed, and weak.
  • Beau: You told me on our first lesson to trust no one, even you and the Soul. And early on I took that advice and ran with it. It's good advice.
    Dairon: I don't know. Eventually, you have to trust someone.
    Beau: Yeah. I trust you.

Fan art of Beau and Dairon, by Elaine Tipping.[art 7]

  • Dairon: (about the missing Threshold crest) Is it dangerous? (Beau thinks about it) HOW dangerous?
    Beau: It's hard to say. It kind of feels like it needs to be in the right place at the right time with people who know how to use it. Other than that, it might just be a really big, super magical rock. Like this big. (indicating) Like a cheese wheel, but if it was worth 40,000 platinum and is irreplaceable.
  • Beau: Do you know that feeling where, um, you didn’t know something was wrong until someone told you, and you just lived with it this whole time? I’m relieved but also reckoning with it at the same time.

Trivia

References

Art:

  1. Fan art of Jester casting, by Hugo Cardenas (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Kima and Allura, by Ilona (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Beau thanking Dairon, by @RysaieArts (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Caduceus's dream, by Cers @Cersonality (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Yasha's Dream, by Rebecca Snowden (source).  Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of the second dream of the eyes, by Hantie Engelbrecht (source).  Used with permission.
  7. Fan art of Beau and Dairon, by Elaine Tipping (source).  Used with permission.


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