"The Ruby and the Sapphire" (2x33) is the thirty-third episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. Beach episode! The Mighty Nein explore Nicodranas and Jester reunites with her mother, the famed Ruby of the Sea...
- First and foremost, Critical Role has two wonderful sponsors tonight:
- First, our friends at D&D Beyond: Sam is actually nervous about this ad. The number "9" has been very important to Critical Role, and tonight, it's important for another reason. At 9:00 pm PDT tonight, the "Waterdeep: Dragon Heist" adventure releases on dndbeyond.com and will be available for purchase through the D&D Beyond Marketplace. Don't forget to pick it up in a couple of hours! Set your alarms, and the cast will probably remind the viewers when 9 pm comes around. But that's not all! The number 9 is special for another weird reason: this Sunday (September 9, 2018, or 9/9) is the first game of the regular NFL season for Travis's favorite team: the Dallas Cowboys. They are already ranked at the top of the National Football Conference (as much as it pains Sam to admit). Two years ago, the Cowboys won nine straight games, and last year, they only won nine games during the entire regular season (which Travis begrudgingly confirms). This year, at the training camp, the standout defensive player was Antwaun Woods...jersey #99. To honor this amazing concurrence of "9", Sam (who is a fan of the Washington-team-whose-name-he-will-not-say) has done the unthinkable: he is wearing a Dallas Cowboys T-shirt. Travis immediately rolls an Insight check to confirm whether it's an actual Cowboys shirt. Sam has to admit that it feels pretty outstanding. Actually, it starts to feel a little odd. Laura asks what's wrong? The cast starts to notice blood start leaking through the Cowboys shirt. Sam says it feels really weird. Oh God, Sam thinks his heart has exploded! Sam collapses on the table. Laura realizes he died because of the shirt, and declares they have to get the shirt off of him...quick! Travis asks if Laura is an accomplice in this? Once Laura takes the Cowboys shirt off, Sam gasps back to life...revealing a blood-soaked shirt in Washington-team-whose-name-he-will-not-say burgundy-and-gold colors, which says "Keep Calm and Hate Dallas". Laura angrily points out that Sam got blood on her clothes. Travis laughs and points out that now a blood-soaked Sam has to play like that all night. Marisha tries not to panic when she points out that there is now definitely blood on the Wyrmwood table. Laura angrily runs off camera upon seeing blood on her dice tray. Travis hopes this gag was worth it. Laura comes back claiming Sam had asked her to take off his shirt for the ad, but he never mentioned the blood. Sam is COVERED in blood, and lifts up his shirt to show that the blood soaked completely through. Sam says it's EVERYWHERE, and stands up to show his bloody crotch. Marisha asks if Sam has a change of pants. Sam does not. Travis declares that is the divine wrath for provoking the Cowboys. Matt states the point is that Sam is alive and D&D Beyond will have "Waterdeep: Dragon Heist" at 9 pm tonight. Sam reassures that he does in fact love Travis and Dallas. Travis realizes that's why Sam wouldn't hug him before they went live. Marisha had seen Producer Max holding all this tubing before the show...she realizes she should've asked what it was for, and she should've known what was coming. Dani Carr hands more paper towels to Sam and Laura. Travis asks Sam what the blood tastes like. Sam immediately licks his finger...it does not taste good! Matt is pretty sure that's probably not "mouth blood", and points out that there's actually different types of blood for on-camera stuff. Travis asks again if Laura was recruited for this whole disaster? Sam states that Laura immediately texted him back: "Is Travis going to be upset with me?" Sam texted back: "No, he's just gonna be upset with me." Laura defends herself by claiming he didn't tell her what was going to happen. Travis is actually very proud of Laura. Liam suggests that the rest of the cast will never understand the pressure of creating a D&D Beyond bit each week. Travis declares that Sam has finally snapped, to which Marisha agrees that Sam has jumped the shark. Matt decides to continue with the other announcements.
- Matt finishes up with our second sponsor, The Rook & The Raven: They are jumping into their Kickstarter, where they have these high-quality, disc-bound journals/gaming notebooks. They are all different designs, and Matt holds up Marisha's as an example. They have spaces designed for you to fill in all your character stuff, spells, etc. It's a really, really badass design, and they are really awesome. You can check out their stuff at therookandtheraven.com/criticalrole. Get there before the Kickstarter ends on September 20, 2018! The Rook & The Raven is amazing, and the quality of their stuff is fantastic!
- Critical Role Live: Travis announces that Critical Role will be doing a live show during their appearance at New York Comic Con (NYCC)! East Coast: this show is for you! Take a plane, train, automobile, or whatever it takes to get to Washington Heights at 9:00 pm EDT on Thursday, October 4, 2018! VIP tickets are sold out, but there are plenty of general admission seats still available (Laura states that there's actually a few orchestra seats still open too). They will be at the United Palace Theater, which is a gorgeous proscenium arch theater (if you're a theater nerd like the cast is). Liam backs this up, saying the theater is covered in gold. It's going to be raucous and amazing. If you're a Critter who hasn't yet been to a Gen Con live show or one of the ones the cast did in Los Angeles, THIS is the live show you don't want to miss! Matt corrects Travis that there was only one live show in Los Angeles, and both he and Marisha insist that it will be the first and only live show they ever do in L.A. Live shows are frenetic, crazy, and uh-may-zing! Travis is sure that Sam will dress entirely normal. Go to critrole.com to find all the information and links to Ticketmaster.
- Handbooker Helper: Marisha reminds the audience that there was a new episode of Handbooker Helper yesterday, and it's Liam giving the first Quick Build: "How to Build a Rogue". Super-quick: to address why people are confused why they went straight from dice basics to character sheets, Critical Role wants to show that they're doing a little bit of everything. Handbooker Helper will be rolling out tips as well as character stuff: that way newbies can get playing as quickly as possible. In Marisha's experience, the first thing someone does for a new player is push a character sheet over to them. As Travis puts it: Critical Role gave new players their very first swimming lesson ever, so jump right in! Liam points out that they're only two weeks in, and they have a whole year of episodes already planned. So a year from now, there will be an entire library of Handbooker Helper content that new players can access forever (or at least until Internet-based civilization ends). Marisha asks people to be patient: more rules are coming. The new studio can only produce as fast as Producer Max's little hands can manage.
- Pablove Foundation: Sam (still covered in blood) gives a quick update on the charity drive for the Pablove Foundation. They hit their first two donation goals: $20,000 and $50,000! Sam will be running a one-shot with the "Crash Pandas" RPG, and an actual research grant to cure childhood cancer has been fully-financed by the Critters. A new donation goal of $100,000 has been added: not only will Sam do his own Fireside Chat (complete with robe and fancy wine), but that $100,000 will fully fund the Shutterbugs Summer Photography Camp (an incredible week-long summer camp for children suffering from cancer to learn photography and artwork). More details and links on how to donate are all available on critrole.com. It was hard for Marisha to watch Sam talk about such wonderful things while looking like a criminal who just murdered someone in cold blood. Sam asks if all this fake blood will wash out?
- Matt gives a quick congratulations to all Critters in India, especially those who are members of the LGBT community. The cast loves them very much, and the court's ruling is a step in the right direction!
- merch update from Laura: Same announcements from last week. All the stuff that was available at Gen Con is now available in the Critical Role store. You can check out some amazing maps (the really beautiful Wildemount maps by Deven Rue). They've got pins and they've got T-shirts and they've got bumper stickers that are praising The Traveler's name!
Previously on Critical Role Edit
Last we left off, the Mighty Nein had completed a number of ventures within the Dwendalian Empire since forming not but a few months before. Their friendship strengthened through victory and through loss, they've decided, after a few weeks of downtime, to take on the next route of their journey. Of all the different avenues that had come to their attention, it was decided to make their way towards the Menagerie Coast to pursue some threads that seem to tie into some of the directions that Fjord would like to travel, as well as Jester returning to her home.
[They] bought some supplies, got [their] wagon prepared, and made a trip south through previous locations that you first made your way up north through, going to Alfield and drinking with Bryce, heading to Trostenwald and paying off the rest of the debt for the previous runner, Gustav, of the carnival which had sparked this whole union of friends. Continuing southward, past the Wuyun Gates, and a brief encounter with two ettins, you managed to make your way to the Menagerie Coast itself, seeing the gorgeous shores, the eastern jungles, the waves in the distance, and on the way, actually purchased some pets as well, from a traveling merchant caravan. Mighty Nein, as you close the final miles to the outskirts of the northern side of Nicodranas, the first and one of the major port towns in the Menagerie Coast, what would you like to do?
Part I Edit
As they approach Nicodranas, Fjord is amazed to learn that four of the party have never seen the ocean before. They decide to detour slightly to visit the beach first before entering Nicodranas proper. Jester reminds them that in the city, she will need to stay disguised because a few months ago, she made herself look like her mother, lured a nude client (Lord Robert Sharpe) out onto the balcony, and locked him out. He wants her dead.
Most of the party is entranced by the ocean and the beach-- Nott is horrified. Beau jumps out onto a far rock and just meditates, focusing on the surrounding blue. Caduceus begins wading, building sand castles, and looking through the sand and rocks. Caleb takes off everything except one item (presumably his Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location), walks into the ocean and starts floating on his back. Nott puts out some meat and hides with her crossbow ready, waiting for seagulls, but has to do battle with a small sand crab first. She then manages to kill about eight seagulls. Jester starts teaching Nugget to blink on command, and is joined by Beau training Professor Thaddeus. Fjord uses Misty Step to appear next to Caleb in the water, startling him, and they're joined by Caduceus.
Jester Sends to her mother, asking if she's singing tonight. She is. They head into town towards sunset so they can see the show, and Jester casts Disguise Self. At the entrance, they're stopped by several Zhelezo, who ask their business and where they hail from. Jester says she's Fiona Fancypants, theater critic extraordinaire, then rolls a seven on deception. The guard tells them there's no entry after dark at this gate and they'll have to go all the way around to the main one. Jester gives him five gold and he lets them in.
They travel through the beautiful mixing pot that is Nicodranas, spotting some crownsguard along the way, and a slightly heightened number of Zhelezo around the small palace of the Marquis, suggesting several diplomats are currently staying there. They finally reach the beautiful three-story Lavish Chateau, Jester's home, an upper-end inn. Most of the party use Disguise Self to make themselves look wealthier, and less like unusual races. They leave the cart and the owl with the front hand of the inn and Jester tells him they'll be staying.
The Chateau is beautiful and luxurious, but strangely uncrowded. A wide staircase in the rear ascends toward the second floor, and Jester runs upstairs to her mother's room, where they have a warm reunion. Jester drops her disguise and excitedly tells her mother about her adventures and her friends, but it's soon time for Marion's performance, so Jester disguises herself again and rejoins the party. The room has now filled, waiting for the Ruby of the Sea.
Part II Edit
The lights shift and the beautiful Ruby of the Sea descends the staircase and begins gently singing, entrancing the audience with her enchanting voice. At the conclusion of the performance, she ascends back up the stairs to her chambers. Jester explains that Marion generally entertains clients after the performance, on a selective basis. Growing up, Jester had to stay hidden because people didn't really want to know about daughters, but Marion would come tuck her in, and sometimes they'd have breakfast or lunch together. Jester decides to go tell her mother they'll come back tomorrow when she's not busy, but when she knocks, she is told her mother has taken no suitors so that they can spend the evening together.
The party goes upstairs and Jester introduces them to Marion, who greets them all warmly. She is working to have the charges against Jester dropped, but for now, perhaps she should remain disguised in public. They show Marion the letter they found with Lorenzo, but none of the names mean anything to her. Marion tells them she's been having some problems with a client, Algar Dyomin, who has become too possessive and has said he wishes to show Marion his secret great servant beneath the city. Perhaps the Wharfmaster or Gladys, the Lightkeeper, would know more.
Beau mentions The Gentleman, and surprisingly, Marion thinks she knows him. He's come through Nicodranas before. He was very nice, very dashing, and she's told Jester about him before. She doesn't know the name "The Gentleman"; she knew a "Babenon Dosal". Marion draws the man she knew, Jester's father, and they compare it to Jester's sketch of The Gentleman-- they look very similar. Jester Sends to The Gentleman, "Oh my god, oh my god. Is your name Babenon Dosal? Have you ever been to the Menagerie Coast? Oh my god, do you know the Ruby of the Sea? Oh my god!" There is no answer, so she tries again, slightly more calmly, and after a palpable pause, he replies, "No, that's preposterous."
As the party gets ready to retire for the night, they talk about what they've learned. Marion had told Jester that her father was very charming, wore lots of rings, and lived on an island in the sea. They were going to get married. He went to prepare his house and never came back.
The next morning, they split the party. Beau and Fjord go to the Wharfmaster. Fjord asks about Vandran, but the records show he was lost at sea. Algar works in the Sluice Weave. The Wharfmaster has heard of Marius LePual, a dubious sort of prick, and he's probably hanging out at a waterfront dive somewhere.
The other party members go to the Mother's Lighthouse, where Gladys, the Lightkeeper, is a follower of Melora and admits them because Caduceus is, too. She tells them there are two submerged gates to the Sluice Weave, where Algar works, in the harbor. On the way back, they see an out-of-place tower in the Open Quay, Tide Peak, the home of Yussa Errenis, the mage who owns the district. They investigate but there is no entrance and Beau is unable to scale it.
Featured Characters Edit
- Caduceus Clay
- Jester Lavorre
Yasha Nydoorin(absent, mentioned)
- Caleb Widogast
- Captain Adella (New to Campaign 2)
- Algar Dyomin
- Gladys, Lightkeeper of the Lighthouse
- Marion Lavorre
- Orly Skiffback
- Jester: "Hello, Gentleman. This is Jester. Please respond. Just yes...if...you've...luh...seen the Ruby. Please. (looks to Caduceus) Was that twenty? (Caduceus shakes his head.) Oh. ARGH! SHIT! BALLS!! OH NO!!!"  (Jester, struggling to keep her Sending message under twenty-five words.)
- Jester: You should see how strong I've gotten.
Marion: I want to see how strong you've gotten.
Jester: Well... I mean... Okay... Do you want me to punch you?
Marion : Perhaps wait until after my performance, I've just applied my makeup.
- Fjord: Do you ever wish you could do what she does?
Jester: Be that pretty, and graceful, and sing really good, and have a bunch of people think she's wonderful?
Jester: No, of course not! I like myself just the way I am.
- Jester: I wonder if it looks like... you can still tell that there’s boobs from the inside.
Caleb: Maybe it’s built into the architecture of the rooms within.
Jester: Maybe you can sleep in one of the boobs. Let’s go!
- Beau: Okay, once again with the shade towards trying to climb the tower.
Caleb: It is open shade, Beauregard, because it has nothing to do with what we are trying to do today. I am not hiding my shade, it is out, I am providing shade for you. We have something to do! Yeah, I am blotting out the sun, we have shit to do!
- The song being played whilst Marion is singing is Vidit Suum Dulcem Natum from Stabat Mater by Pergolesi.