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"The Threads Converge" (2x85) is the eighty-fifth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role, and the 200th episode overall. The Mighty Nein find danger in an unexpected place when they're forced to contend with an assassin, and inch closer to uncovering truths about both the Angel of Irons and themselves...

Synopsis

Announcements

Previously on Critical Role

So, last we left off: The Mighty Nein, through the help of some allies they’ve gathered in different parts of Exandria, you uncovered the true form, the true identity, of the mysterious Angel of Irons entity that this cult was based around. And it turns out to be Tharizdun, the Chained Oblivion, no big deal. Uncertain if members of the cult are aware what they’re worshiping, or are along with this secret, it’s a very bad dude. So you’ve begun to gather information about this individual and elements of Obann’s possible plan. As part of this endeavor, you’ve made your way to Zadash, back in the Empire, to ask for some aid as you were sent to Oremid Hass, one of the members of the Cerberus Assembly, who has some sort of a connection or old friendship with Yussa, and you have started the process of disseminating the information of the dangers that seem to be mounting around you.

After which, you made your way to the Invulnerable Vagrant, to check up on the stock of items they have and to just check in on good old Pumat Sol. After looking around at the wares, which were a bit thin as it seems that him and his simulacra have been focusing on producing items that have been commissioned for the war effort by the Cerberus Assembly, and partway into this conversation, Caduceus felt a sudden terrible sharp pain in your back. All of you beginning to realize that a blade had penetrated him between the shoulder blades, you watched as this entity, this dark elf female figure with reddish hair pulled back a little bit by a black bandana, swathed in cloak and leathers, seemed to be halfway emerging from the ground, semi-spectral, and had stabbed Caduceus, smiling, then vanished back into the floor, out of sight. And that’s where we left off. So, Mighty Nein, roll initiative.

Part I

Jourrael vs Beau - BlackSalander

Fan art of the fight in the Invulnerable Vagrant, by BlackSalander.[art 1]

As the fight begins, The Inevitable End is nowhere to be seen. Nott jumps on a table, hoping that it will hide her from an attack coming from below, and holds her crossbow attack until Jourrael swoops up from beneath and attacks Beauregard, dealing massive damage with her twin dagger strikes (although Beau is immune to their poison). Jourrael then disappears back under the floor. The others hold their attacks until she reappears, and several, including Pumat Sol, jump onto tables and the counter. The fight proceeds with the Nein and Pumat holding their attacks until the specter appears, and casting defensive and buffing spells. Jourrael deals massive damage when she strikes but is slowly being wounded.
Nott hiding on the bookshelf - Kelley Akers

Fan art of Nott hiding on the bookshelf, by Kelley Akers.[art 2]

Nott is knocked unconscious with a single critical hit but Caduceus brings her back up. Beau manages to stun the assassin, briefly preventing her from disappearing again, and they continue to whittle away at her while trying to survive. Fjord pulses the runes on Dwueth'var and casts Banishing Smite, reducing Jourrael to below 50 hit points and sending her to another plane for one minute. The Nein uses the time to heal and prepare attacks, but many of their buffs and cast spells also disappear during that time. When Jourrael returns, horrible luck means they are able to do almost no damage before she sinks back under the floor and this time, does not reappear.

Pumat makes tea and they talk about what just happened while taking a short rest and telling him of the plot to free the Chained Oblivion. He suggests that the magic that Obann is using to control Yasha could be dispelled, and he offers to try to Scry for them in the morning. The party decides to go to The Gentleman to request a hopefully safer place to sleep that night. Jester is nervous about confronting the man she believes to be her father, and proposes disguising herself as Marion to gauge his reaction. After being talked out of that, she confesses that he hasn't been as welcoming in his responses to her Sendings as she led the party to believe.

The Gentleman greets them at his underground lair without showing any special recognition or surprise to see Jester. She immediately says she's come to have a conversation about the fact that he's her dad, which he again denies, although Caduceus gets several insight whispers about him. The party admits that they are the "troop of Dwendalian defectors" that he's heard provided a great boon to the Xhorhasian queen. They ask for sanctuary for the night and tell him about Tharizdun and the cult of the Angel of Irons, but he says that's far above his pay grade.

When they ask The Gentleman if he's smuggled anything extraordinary recently, he tells them of a strange skull from Molaesmyr recently sold to the Stassman Family of Kamordah. The party realizes that's why Obann's group was there recently and that it was the skull of the Inevitable End. They ask him to find out if the Stassmans are still alive. Jester also asks The Gentleman if he has ever smuggled people, with her tone implying she is referencing slavery. He admits that he has, though has stopped since reestablishing his business with Ophelia Mardun. As the conversation is ending, Jester uses Disguise Self to turn herself into Marion but The Gentleman fails to react and denies knowing the Ruby of the Sea.

The party splits up in the barroom. Caleb sits with Jester and advises her to give her relationship with The Gentleman time. Caduceus makes tea for The Gentleman, asking him to check on the Blooming Grove and talking about family. He tells The Gentleman that he thinks he should tell Jester-- it would do them both good. Nott and Beau go up to the bar for some serious drinking, and Beau brings up their discussion earlier that day about trading secrets. Nott agrees, loses the coin toss, and goes first, confessing that when she first met Caleb in that jail cell, she had a little crush on him. Beau says she might have a similar problem: she has a crush on Jester. She doesn't intend to act on it and swears Nott to secrecy, but Nott says she'll do some work, terrifying Beau.

The Gentleman and Jester - kmc artworks

Fan art of the midnight conversation, by kmc artworks.[art 3]

The party heads upstairs to sleep and Jester takes first watch. She notices a shadowy figure look in the door and follows it downstairs. It is The Gentleman, who sits at the bar and pours them both glasses of wine, asking "How is she? Marion?" Jester asks if he loved her, and he did. He tells her that he was a poor merchant sailor out of Feolinn when he met Marion, and when she told him she loved him, he wanted to live up to her standards by finding a fortune and then returning, having proved his worth. Instead, he was captured and taken to Darktow, where he earned his freedom and a fortune but became a criminal. Caring too much for Marion to drag her into the underworld with him, when the Plank King grew envious The Gentleman went alone to Zadash and built up his smuggling empire. He knew nothing of Jester's existence until they met.

He wants to protect Jester from the darker parts of the world, but says that only a man who is there to help raise a child can truly call himself a father. He is protecting Marion and Jester by staying away from them so they aren't in the same danger he is. Jester understands, but part of her still wants the fairy-tale ending of him sweeping Marion off her feet and running away together to somewhere safe. He agrees that that's a nice dream, finishes his drink, and says goodnight.

Break

Part II

The party wakes safely in the Gentleman's underground sanctuary. They meet up with him and he tells them he's learned that two members of the Stassman Family were recently killed in a burglary of their home. The party decides to head back to Pumat's. Jester and Nott suggest stopping at the Pillow Trove on the way to pick up the letter from the Soltryce Academy waiting there, presumably in response to their inquiry regarding Astrid sent months ago.[1] Caleb suggests that he should be the one to pick it up since he cannot be located or scryed on. After Jester uses the echo stone to record his dialogue asking for the letter, and he uses Disguise Self to look like her, he successfully retrieves the letter.

To the attention of Mrs. Lavorre, Nott and Brave:
I have received this letter on behalf of my elder mentors of the Soltryce Academy. This is a curious bit of fortune, it would seem. I have not spoken with my uncle for quite some time, and while I am sad to hear of his passing, I am also quite interested to hear about this inheritance and the circumstances surrounding his death. I can be reached at the 31st Woadstone Manor on the northeastern end of the Shimmer Ward of Rexxentrum in the Empire. I travel often, so should I not be present, present this letter to any present servants and stay within the visitor quarters as our guest. I will return within a day.
Astrid.
– 
The letter from Astrid.[2]
They take it to the Invulnerable Vagrant to open. After a scare when the shop is still locked well after normal opening hours, they successfully use Message to let Pumat know it's them, and he lets them in. Nott checks the letter for traps and Caleb uses Detect Magic, but it seems to be just a letter and he opens and reads it. It is from Astrid, in her handwriting (which he recognizes), and seems to be playing along with Nott's "Nigerian uncle" scheme, inviting them to an address in Rexxentrum which Caleb recognizes as being a manor on the grounds of Trent Ikithon's tower in the Shimmer Ward.

Pumat is successful in Scrying on Yasha, seeing her and several companions in a heavy rain walking up to the city gates of Rexxentrum and being admitted. He recognizes the Inevitable End as one of the group. The Nein decide to give it a little time to let Obann's group reach their destination before Scrying again, and in the meantime head to the Cobalt Soul to teleport to Rexxentrum. Pumat announces that he's coming with them, to their delight.

Once at the Valley Archive, they ask Zeenoth to tell Oremid Hass what's happening and where they're going. Zeenoth tells Beau to give the information to Archivist Kathedoc when she arrives, and to ask to be introduced to High Curator Udalla Fonn[spelling?], one of the two heads of the entire Cobalt Soul.

When they arrive in the Rexxentrum Cobalt Soul, the guard springs to attention thinking that they're invading Kryn. The quickly arriving Kathedoc tells them it appears that there is a Kryn assault taking place on the city. They step outside and although there is a lot of activity as people hurry to get to their homes, there are no signs of attack. Kathedoc takes them up onto one of the towers of the Archive, and from there they can see the entire immense city before them, but no apparent signs of conflict. Jester casts Scrying again on Yasha, and finds her and the rest of Obann's group walking calmly and purposefully through the city streets.

Griffin Riders - Alex Payne

Fan art of the griffin riders, by Alex Payne.[art 4]

Caleb Polymorphs into a giant eagle and, taking Nott, launches into the pouring rain to try to reconnoiter, but they are immediately spotted by three griffin riders who give chase. Caleb immediately drops the spell and he and Nott plummet, using Feather Fall at the last minute, but one of the riders follows them down, landing beside them and demanding their business. Caleb tells him that he's a citizen coming from Zadash to help defend the city, but the guard doesn't believe him and tells them to come along to explain to the captain of the guard. Nott casts Phantasmal Force on him and convinces him that his griffin is running away. As the guard chases the illusory griffin, Caleb and Nott use Fly to beeline back to the rest of the party.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party sees Caleb and Nott chased and then plummeting out of the sky.
Uncertain Sparrow - KageSatsuki

Fan art of Uncertain Sparrow, by KageSatsuki.[art 5]

Jester announces she's turning into a sparrow to see whats happened, but doesn't completely commit to casting the spell and Matt allows her to change her mind. Kathedoc tells them that the High Curator is currently in a meeting of the Crown's Council, and Beau is concerned that this means all the important people in the city are in one convenient place during an attack. They start to head to the Castle where the meeting is taking place, but Pumat reminds them that they need an indication of where the cult would meet before they head off blindly. Jester decides to cast Scrying on Vence Nuthaleus. As she prepares the ritual, they hear a distant muffled explosion within the city to the north, but she continues. She sees Vence, a satchel under his arm, hurrying through a beautiful cathedral. He meets an older priestess whom he greets, "Angels's eye, Cardinal Respa." He gives her two scrolls he says were taken from the vaults of Vasselheim that should reveal the fane below and the path to it. They discuss the diversions currently taking place, and he also gives her the satchel containing an Abyssal anchor, saying, "I just was in the cellar. Prepare the fane for their arrival.
The storm over Rexxentrum - Joric

Fan art of Rexxentrum in the storm, by Joric.[art 6]

Greet him and his family. They should arrive very soon." At this point, Respa looks directly at the Scrying sensor and flies into a rage at Vence, striking out. The scry ends abruptly.

Caleb realizes the cathedral is the Chantry of the Dawn, the largest temple of Pelor in the city. They head there, with Beau telling Kathedoc what they've seen, asking him to send a team to check on the Head Curator and to send backup to meet them at the Chantry. As they rush out, the rain subsides, there’s a small clearing in the clouds, and a little beam of light crests down onto the area of the city around the Chantry.

Featured Characters

The Mighty Nein

New

Returning

Mentioned

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 1 Shield Pumat Sol Jester +1 to AC
Acquired 1 Letter The Pillow Trove Caleb The response to Nott's letter to the Academy about Astrid

Trivia

Quotations

  • Nott: When I was in that prison cell with Widogast over there, for the first few days, I-- I was kind of attracted to him. I mean he was filthy, obviously, and very, very-- I mean he smelled awful, awful. But I just saw him one night sort of trying to look out the window. The moonlight was hitting his face and he was very handsome.
    Beau: Yeah, I kind of got that vibe before. Kinda thought there might be that feeling.
    Nott: Had a little bit of a crush, but then I got to know him.
    Beau: Yeah. Kind of like friend zone?
    Nott: Well, I mean, I'm also married.
  • Nott: (talking about Jester) What is it about her?
    Beau: She's fun. She makes me laugh. I like her ridiculous plans. I think she's complicated and layered. I dunno. I'm not going to like act on it or anything.
  • Nott: (talking about Jester) Hey, have you noticed that she doesn't know anything about herself? Like she doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know what she likes.
    Beau: I've had that fantasy.
    Nott: She could be lost. She could be asea right now and you could be the anchor that brings her home.
    Beau: I could be her flame in the darkness.
    Nott: What if she's so-- what if she's lost because she doesn't know that you're what she's looking for? She thinks she likes Fjord.
    Beau: I could be her beacon. I need to stop saying these things. No, Nott, these aren't any of these things. It's just this dumb--
    Nott: I didn't even consider that as a possibility.
    Beau: Well, it's not a possibility.
    Nott: But maybe it is.
    Beau: No.
    Nott: Don't worry. I'll do some work.
  • Jester: (to The Gentleman, speaking of Marion) She loves you. You should have trusted her. I don't know. I don't know how you guys could make it work or anything, but I always thought growing up, I wish I could have known her before you, you know, because afterwards-- she's never loved anyone since. She's told me stories about you. She said you were the most charming person in the entire world.
  • Jester: Hey, I've got an idea. What if you decide to give all this up, and Mama decides to leave the Lavish Chateau? You know, she's been thinking about stopping for a while now. She just doesn't know what to do with herself. I think you should go back to Nicodranas secretly and sweep her off her feet. And the two of you could ride off into the sunset, take a ship somewhere and just live happily ever after.
    The Gentleman: "That's a nice dream, isn't it?"
    Jester: Yeah.
    The Gentleman: "That's a nice dream."
  • Caleb: (on entering the streets of Rexxentrum for the first time) (whispering) I don’t know if I can do this.
    Beau: Hey. You got this. You can do this. We need you. We need you to do this.


Link to Episode Transcript

References

  1. See "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) from 18:09 through 26:48.
  2. See "The Threads Converge" (2x85) at 3:37:51.

Art:

  1. Fan art of the fight in the Invulnerable Vagrant, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Nott hiding on the bookshelf, by Kelley Akers (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of the midnight conversation, by kmc artworks (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of the griffin riders, by Alex Payne (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Uncertain Sparrow, by KageSatsuki (source).  Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of Rexxentrum in the storm, by Joric (source).  Used with permission.


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