This article is about the episode. For documentation of the event, see TravelerCon.

"Traveler Con" (2x108) is the one hundred eighth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. With their preparations finished and the day upon them, it's time for the Mighty Nein's greatest challenge yet... the celebration of Traveler Con!

Synopsis

Announcements

  • Bob Matthews (Dave Matthews's little brother) is here jamming out with some fusion rock about Petersen Games' new Cthulhu Mythos Saga: Dark Worlds sourcebooks. Use code CRITICALROLE for a 20% discount.
  • D&D Beyond has the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount available if you want to start your very own Wildemount campaign.
  • Talks Machina is back!! Returns bi-weekly (fortnightly, if you will) starting 15 September 2020 at 7:00 pm PDT on Twitch; VOD the following Thursday on YouTube. Since it will be prerecorded (because COVID) they won't be able to take viewer questions, but the first episode will discuss "High Seas, High Stakes" (2x99) through "Frigid Propositions" (2x109).
  • Merch Alert! Brand new Chibi Veth pin now available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia critrole.com stores; Tal'Dorei Republic tank top at the U.S. shop only. The Don't Forget to Love Each Other t-shirt is now available in Australia as well as the US and UK shops. And a brand new Mighty Nein 1000-piece puzzle is currently in the US shop and coming soon to the others, as well as in retail stores.

Previously on Critical Role

So, last we left off, the Mighty Nein, after coming to Rumblecusp to prepare for TravelerCon, dealt with the terrors that were the memory-fucked-up society of the village of Vo, the entity known as Vokodo that had existed within this mountain.

You looked for information about, discovered some of its history, went and battled it in the base underneath the volcano, and freed the people of this terror. However, in doing so, you also restored their memories, some of which were from the life before they came to the island, and some, they’ve made since they’ve come here.

That village has now fractured, many leaving to return to their previous lives, while have chosen to remain to live the new life they’ve carved here on Rumblecusp. As the week has gone on, you’ve begun to prepare yourselves for the coming event of the Zenith, which was the chosen date for TravelerCon, and as more and more individuals arrive by boat, you have well over a hundred-plus individuals that have arrived for this event. They’ve all gathered for an evening celebration, what you’re all now calling Traveler’s Eve, where there are parties and people are crafting wooden dicks, and people are eating lots and lots of Tyrannosaurus meat. Vilya snuck out in the evening after a conversation with another mother within the group, Veth, and that is where we left off.

Part I

Jester and Yasha head to the dance floor followed by Caleb and Veth. Caduceus, Fjord, and Beau watch from a slight distance with some rum punches. Caduceus is nervous about TravelerCon because of their conversation with the Traveler, thinking there's more to this than is being said. Fjord and Beau both agree it's odd, and they all agree to watch carefully tomorrow and be ready to intervene if necessary.

Jester comes to ask Caduceus about the Moonweaver, goddess of trickery, illusion, and love trysts. They decide it might be a good idea for Jester to try to Commune with Sehanine prior to the events proposed for the next day, so they go somewhere quiet and both cast the spell. Caduceus asks the Wildmother if the Traveler is being reasonably honest, and her response indicates she doesn't know. Jester connects with a slightly inebriated Traveler rather than the Moonweaver, and they have a talk. Artagan has seen Sehanine in the Feywild, but they have "different friend groups." He admits he's a little worried about the next day, but he doesn't think his and Jester's relationship will have to change. He points out there will be no moon the following night.

Caleb's been drinking steadily and dances Veth over to Beau, asking for more drinks. Yasha also wanders up, and he asks her to stay as well. He wanted to feel out his fellow Dwendalian Empire citizens about what they want to do after TravelerCon. Caleb wants to go back to the Empire, and he needs Veth as his best friend and Beau as his partner to come with him, in addition to the rest of the Nein. He is convinced that the peace negotiations didn't end the problems within their homeland, although he's not sure exactly how to proceed to root them out.

Beau is all in. The Mighty Nein is pretty much all she has. Veth is conflicted. She needs to go home to her family. She wants to help, but she misses her child. Caleb tells her he's close to discovering a way to get her to her family wherever they are, so that she could basically commute. Yasha doesn't really have a home, so the Nein are the only family she has and she wants to be with them, if that's okay.

Jester uses her magic paints to create some priestess robes. Beau checks in with Fjord, telling him they've been talking about life after the Mighty Nein, and asks him what's up with him and Jester. He has no idea how Jester feels now, and honestly isn't sure he wants to know. He has changed so much since meeting them all. But he wants Jester to be happy, and he wants her to be a part of whatever adventures come next. He turns it around and asks Beau about her and Yasha. Beau says she swore off Yasha because Yasha was still mourning her wife. But... does Fjord think maybe Yasha likes her a little bit? Fjord does. Beau admits there was something about Yasha from the first time they met, and maybe it's not as fleeting as her crush on Jester.

That night, Caduceus dreams again of the city in the Astral Sea: bending cobblestones, walls that see and scream, looking down alleyways that curve into an impossible curvature.

The morning dawns, cloudy and crowded with con-goers celebrating, eating, drinking, and playing music. They start with Yasha's musical harp performance announced by Fjord's Eldritch Blasts. The Traveler is apparently providing green mist effects of his face and voice on stage, and Caleb provides lightning and moons. The effects don't quite make up for the bad hangover Yasha is suffering from, but the participants seem to enjoy it anyway. Her encore is markedly better, inspired by the audience participating by beating on giant dinosaur-hide drums with their dick-shaped drumsticks.

Fan art of Jester with butterfly wings, by @candlellte.[art 1]

Veth goes onstage and introduces the keynote speaker, the princess of pranks, the tycoon of tricks, the conquistador of cocks, High Priestess Jester! Veth fires her pistol straight down into the stage as Jester casts Mirror Image to make four of herself, then uses Dimension Door to bamf all four onto the stage. Caleb casts Major Image to give her giant butterfly wings flapping gently. Spiritual Guardians creates tiny pink unicorns whizzing around her. Caleb notices a nondescript man standing next to him that casts a spell to create a vine throne for Jester, and recognizes him as the Traveler, who seems a bit jealous.

Jester lays out the possible activities for the con-goers, but the main one is that everyone needs to go on a dick hunt. Whoever finds the golden dick gets a secret special prize. This takes up the afternoon. Finally, Celia Ovesso, the stuck-up woman they encountered a few days earlier, returns having found (or bought) the golden dick. Jester tells her the prize is that she gets to be the final person to throw her dick and trigger the ascension. Celia suggests that the Traveler has given her significant powers, and Jester is quite nervous and jealous they may rival her own. Veth notices, and borrows the golden dick from Celia long enough to treat it with Sovereign Glue before handing it back to her.

Fan art of the dick throwing, by BlackSalander.[art 2]

TravelerCon settles into happy, inebriated chaos. When darkness falls on the cloudy evening, Jester changes into her priestess robe. She leads the almost two hundred visitors up the mountain, and the Traveler slowly apparates beside her as they go. At the edge of the caldera, Caleb casts Programmed Image to create an illusory moon above them and Jester and the Traveler instruct the crowd to throw their dicks into the volcano one by one. Some time later, the crowd has all done so except Celia.

The Traveler invites Celia to step forward and show everyone how it's done, and although she seems nervous, he tells her to trust in him. She starts running toward the edge and Beau makes a flying leap to tackle her, joined by Yasha. They had both thought she was going to throw herself in when she was actually trying to throw in the golden dick. Beau helps her up and Celia tries to throw her dick, but it is glued tight to her hand. She angrily storms down the mountain.

Jester announces the Traveler will now show them who he truly is. He pulls his hood back revealing sky-blue skin and white hair, and a feminine form. A different voice emerges, saying this was the only way to guide them to the right path. The Traveler is but one aspect of herself, a new avatar of Sehanine who has guided them to her. She will always be watching even if she cannot be there for them all.

At that moment, the moon illusion vanishes. The clouds part, and reveal a full white moon behind. Jester and the Traveler look at each other - neither knows what did this. The Traveler continues, but the silver strands of moonbeams turn into white chains that wrap around him. Jester grabs him as a white-winged blue-skinned angelic figure descends holding a sword and whip, saying, "This being speaks in absolute falsehoods. It does not represent the Moonweaver or any of her divine children." When the Traveler protests, chains wrap around his mouth and he struggles helplessly. Jester protests he was just bringing Sehanine new followers, but the angel continues, "This one, known as Artagan, is a wily renegade, having fled from his binds before. While She can appreciate trickery, she will not stand for terror done in her name. He will be dragged back to the Fey where he once came, and will deal with his transgressions there, as was intended by his brethren." The chains tighten and begin pulling the Traveler into the sky.

Break

  • D&D Beyond animation.
  • Explorer's Guide to Wildemount exclusive content is available now on D&D Beyond.
  • Merch Alert! Mighty Nein puzzle and Tal'Dorei Republic tank top at the U.S. shop only; Chibi Veth pin and Don't Forget to Love Each Other t-shirts now available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia critrole.com stores; Vox Machina Origins Volume 2 trade paperback currently available online and in local shops, while the limited edition hardcover edition is available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia critrole.com stores.
  • Sam Riegel, you just won the Superb Bowl! What are you going to do now? Subscribe to the Critical Role channel on Twitch, of course. Then Disneyland.
  • Critters' art montage.

Part II

Fan art of the Traveler's ascension, by Jul @ JulDoodles.[art 3]

Jester grabs the Traveler's legs as he's being pulled upward but she is pulled off the ground with him. Caleb's Cat's Ire grabs her legs, holding on, but the celestial being easily dispels it. Jester continues to beg the being to release Artagan and to forgive them. She is about thirty-five feet off the ground when Fjord casts Hex on her and uses Relentless Hex to teleport to her, hanging onto her back. Fjord tells her she has to let him go. Jester refuses, saying he's her best friend, in tears, and asks, "Artie?" Artagan cannot speak around the muffling chains, but is frantically trying to communicate something.

Jester asks the celestial entity how they can make this right. Emotionlessly, it asks her why she cries for the Traveler, a selfish creature. She replies he's her friend, he's been very giving, and he really likes his freedom. The entity is unimpressed, and asks again why she cries, and she responds, "Because I love him." The being asks if she is willing to accept this penance as well, and as she hesitates, Artagan kicks her and Fjord free, sending them into a freefall. Caleb catches them with Feather Fall.

Fan art of the Traveler chained, by Melissa Hahn.[art 4]

The celestial being halts its ascent, and in a new, richer, feminine voice, asks Artagan if he has learned his lesson. She tells him to be careful with whose realms he prods and pokes, and the chains release. As Artagan freefalls, Veth catches him with Feather Fall, and the voice of Sehanine warns the crowd to be careful in whom they trust, but that she can watch and keep them. The avatar flies up and the image of the moon disappears.

The subdued crowd wanders back down the volcano, and the Nein (plus Kellbast) join in a group hug of Jester. The party decides to keep a low profile for a while in case any of the former followers want to vent their frustration. Jester thanks them all for their help, and Fjord in particular for hanging onto her. They decide to make the dome on top of the mountain and spend the night there, watching the party which still continues below.

Just before they head to bed, Artagan joins them for a drink. Beau demands and gets one punch on him as the price, which he agrees to. He is subdued but seems to have come to terms with the situation. He mentions that while he's here with them, he's also down in the village spreading the praises of the Moonweaver, and Jester is intrigued that he can make his duplicate speak. When he says he may teach her that in time, Veth demands he give it to her now, and Artagan asks Jester to walk with him. He apologizes to Jester if any of his more unsavory traits have rubbed off on her, and for unknowingly putting her and her friends in harm's way. She hugs him, making him uncomfortable. But, he says, he really does appreciate her, and it's exciting not knowing what's next. When she asks, he teaches her how to speak through her duplicate, and how to send it twice the normal distance. She tests it out on the group in the bubble.

Artagan also apologizes to the rest of the group, saying he doesn't want any harm to come to any of them. He's learned so much from Jester, and she means a lot to him, so if they mean something to her, in a way they all mean something to him as well. He will never, ever make another cult. When Jester mentions they put on some of the best theater she's ever seen, he protests vehemently, saying that it wasn't theater and leaves.

They talk about what's next. Caduceus mentions he's still dreaming about the Eyes of Nine and they should research that. Veth brings up Vess DeRogna's proposal, and Caleb admits he wants to return to the Dwendalian Empire, but it's a big ask for the non-Empire natives. He wants to learn more, and DeRogna's invitation to explore Eiselcross might be a way to begin. Fjord is enthusiastic, and everyone agrees it sounds interesting. They decide to start by heading to Nicodranas.

The next morning, they discover a few of the con-goers have decided to stay on the island, including Covak. At the Heaven Falls, they are able to Control Water to get the Eden's Horizon and the remainder of the ships out of the cavern. They leave the smaller ships for the villagers, and Orly Skiffback and the rest of their crew sail the Eden's Horizon (renamed the Nein Heroez) back toward the Menagerie Coast. The bar that Beau built on the island is renamed The Fuckin' Beaurebar by Anola.

Caleb uses Teleportation Circle to take the party to Nicodranas after Jester uses Sending to warn Yussa Errenis they're coming. They asks Yussa about the Eyes of Nine, but he says he doesn't recognize it. It sounds bad though, and he'll look into it and let them know. The party steps out into the familiar and exotic scene of Nicodranas.

Featured Characters

Fan art of Jester and Fjord falling, by Melodychi.[art 5]

The Mighty Nein

New

Returning

Mentioned

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Expended 8 sq. ft. Nolzur's Marvelous Pigments Jester A wall on Rumblecusp To create priestess robes for TravelerCon
Crafted 1 Priestess robes Jester Jester Created from her magic paints
Expended 1 use Sovereign glue Veth Celia Ovesso's golden dick

Quotations

  • Jester: Let chaos reign![1]
  • Fjord: (talking about Jester) You know when someone makes you feel a way you don’t think you have any right to feel? Or you never thought that you might?
    Beau: Yeah.
    Fjord: And that seems off because I should know who I am. I should know how I feel or what I want. But there’s a gravity around Jester, at least to me. And she’s the one I’ve known the longest in this new part of my life and I really thought that when this started there would be an end for me in this, and I would get even, or get retribution, or payback, and then I would be done. And it hasn’t been that way at all. It shriveled up and died, and in its place, seven new interests sprouted and... [ ... ] I want Jester to be happy. I do feel very strongly for her, but I also know that when this all began, her affections might have been based entirely on whimsy. I don’t know. And I don’t really feel like asking, either. I almost don’t want to know. [ ... ] I want to explore the world. I want to see the lands we haven’t seen. I want to find the things that people are scared of and solve them, and do whatever anyone else needs to do, but I hope she’s a part of that.[2]
  • Beau: I think it’s easy to lust after Jester because she’s sparkles and confetti and shiny. There was something about Yasha from the moment that I saw her that I think I’ve been avoiding. I dunno.
    Fjord: Something of more sustenance that’s not as fleeting?
    Beau: Yeah. Yeah.
  • Beau: (after tackling Celia) I might have misinterpreted your actions. Okay, do your thing.
    Matt: (in helpless laughter) I'm so happy! TravelerCon is everything I wanted it to be![3]
  • The Celestial Avatar: (to Jester) Why do you cry for this selfish creature?
    Jester: Because I love him.[4]
  • The Moonweaver: There are many who seek to bend your trust. Some for good, some for gain, and some just because they can. Be careful who you put your faith in, for not all have your best interests at heart. But if you do indeed seek guidance, then know that through the shadow and light of the night, there is one that can watch and keep you. I carry no lies for those that show me love.[5]
  • Jester: (to Fjord) And thank you for coming after me. If you hadn't been there, I probably would have just... I don't know. I'm glad you were hanging onto me.[6]
  • Jester: (to the group) I always say the Traveler is my best friend, and he is. He's my oldest friend. But you guys... I'm really glad I found you all.[7]
  • Artagan: I'm not trying to defend myself here. My very essence is manipulation.
    Jester: And I love that about you![8]
  • Artagan: Watching [Jester] grow up has been... interesting. No, it's been incredible. Mortal lives are so short and filled with so much purpose and drive, and with the right direction, so much chaos. And yet, for someone who's been alive as long as I have, I've learned so much just being in her presence. (sulkily) I guess what I'm trying to say is she means a lot to me as well, and if you all mean a lot to her, then in some way I guess you all mean something to me. Remember, it is me behind every healing spell, so I am helping.[9]
  • Caleb: We are talking about poison in the heart of our home, and it is not your home, so it's a big ask.
    Jester: You're our home. At least mine.[10]

Trivia

  • At the conclusion of this episode, the party reached level 13. The rolls for hit points were:
    • Caduceus - 5
    • Beau - 7
    • Yasha - 2
    • Veth - 3
    • Caleb - 5
    • Jester - 3
    • Fjord - 9 (3rd paladin level)
  • The party reached Nicodranas on the 27th of Unndilar, 836.

References

  1. See "Traveler Con" (2x108) at 1:01:29.
  2. See "Traveler Con" (2x108) at 1:08:16.
  3. See "Traveler Con" (2x108) at 2:11:22.
  4. See "Traveler Con" (2x108) at 2:46:23.
  5. See "Traveler Con" (2x108) at 2:53:00.
  6. See "Traveler Con" (2x108) at 3:02:26.
  7. See "Traveler Con" (2x108) at 3:04:33.
  8. See "Traveler Con" (2x108) at 3:20:38.
  9. See "Traveler Con" (2x108) at 3:25:02.
  10. See "Traveler Con" (2x108) at 3:33:12.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Jester with butterfly wings, by @candlellte (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of the dick throwing, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of the Traveler's ascension, by Jul @ JulDoodles (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of the Traveler chained, by Melissa Hahn (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Jester and Fjord falling, by Melodychi (source).  Used with permission.


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