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"Well Beneath" (2x54) is the fifty-fourth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein reunite with an old ally, and investigate the growing mystery of the fiendish rifts in Asarius...

Synopsis[]

Pre-Show[]

Dealing with this week...

Announcements[]

  • D&D Beyond is behind the campaign for president. There are two promo codes this week- ISupportSam and ISupportLiam. Sam shot a promo for D&D Beyond while on a ski vacation with his family, meaning the whole vacation is tax deductible.
  • Travis- A Vox Machina animated series is happening. So far the Kickstarter campaign has funded six 22 minute episodes. The first two episodes will be an original story. The next four episodes will be the beginnings of the Briarwoods Arc from The Campaign of Vox Machina. The VOD of a community Q&A about the campaign is now available on the YouTube channel. The Kickstarter campaign continues until April 18.
  • Matt encourages everyone to check out the hashtag #FundDiverseGames on Twitter to look for other creators and designers and support them if you are able to. Critical Role is just one of many creators out there. They are committed to growing the community and lifting up everyone around them.
  • Sam introduced two new stretch goals for the Kickstarter. If the campaign makes $7.5 million, he will start using a larger flask. If the campaign makes $8.8 million, he will start using a 4 gallon flask. Both flasks were sent in by Critters. If someone finds a bigger flask and sends it in, Sam will put it on the show.

Previously on Critical Role[]

Last we left off the Mighty Nein, making their way across the eastern wastes of Xhorhas in search of the kidnapped husband of Nott- Yeza, discarded in a past life with the death and reincarnation of Nott not too long before- and hearing that him getting caught up in the conflict between the Dwendalian Empire and Xhorhas, you've gone to hunt down his location and seem to have pinpointed it somewhere near or in Ghor Dranas, the capital of the Kryn Dynasty. You made your way under the mountains of the Ashkeeper Peaks, battled through the wastes, and interacted with a number of the denizens of Asarius, the City of Beasts. Here under the Kryn Dynasty you have come to discover a society that is not held by humans, dwarves, elves; but by gnolls, bugbears, goblins, kobolds, and of course the ruling drow (it seems), the dark elves of the Kryn Dynasty.

You made some friends. You made a trade and paid for three moorbounder beasts to aid you in your travel east towards the capital. You trained with them (successfully for the most part), and you began to discover what seemed to be strange rifts that began to spring up and lurk beneath the city that were allowing various entities from the Abyss to begin to harass and encroach upon Asarius itself. You spoke with one of the Kryn representatives here in the city, and she notified you that there were two goals here you could achieve. One is to search for a perceived spy from the Dwendalian Empire that existed in the Four Corners, or involved somewhat with the Four Corners tavern, and to find the source of this demonic incursion and snuff it out. Pay for both: but for the incursion perhaps pay or a favor with the Dynasty itself in the capital.

So you began your first search, going to the Four Corners bar under the guise of the various unique and eclectic individuals that seem to exist in and permeate the society. You found one of these drow figures that caught your attention and attempted to communicate and try and gather some information from them. You also threw down the gauntlet, both Beau and Jester, into the Four Corners gravel pit: which was a four person battle royale, weapons allowed, possibly to the death based on what antes were placed in the center of this battlefield. In this fight, in which you were joined by a large ogre (still somewhat damaged from his previous fight but arrogantly accepting that he could probably still take you down) and this dark elf that you had previously harassed upon your entry. In this fight, Jester fell unconscious; the ogre fell unconscious. In the showdown between this drow with a somewhat familiar fight style, Beau also too fell.

However, this figure also invited you to meet them in an alleyway not far from the city. Half the party followed. The other half got completely lost and are still lost wandering a space they are unfamiliar with amongst creatures that may or may not be amiable to your presence. But those of you that made it followed this drow into a nearby small storage shed, upon which it was revealed that this was some sort of illusion or physical transmutation. And there before you you saw Dairon: the beautiful dark-skinned, shaved head, long eared elf monk of The Cobalt Soul and for lack of a better term Expositor case worker of Beauregard. And that's where we left off.

Part I[]

The Spy[]

Beau introduces Caleb and Jester to Dairon. She starts to tell Dairon that they were looking for Yeza Brenatto, but realizes half the party is missing. Caleb casts Message to Nott and then leaves to find the rest of the party when it becomes clear Nott is in completely the wrong place. Beau and Jester tell Dairon they are looking for a friend's husband (but do not give his name) who was working with the Cerberus Assembly on Dunamancy. When they mention Vess DeRogna and Ludinus Da'leth, Dairon is not surprised to hear they may be involved. Beau and Jester tell Dairon they believe this work was the reason the Kryn Dynasty kidnapped the person they are looking for. Dairon apologizes for lying about being in Bladegarden, but they needed to make sure no one knew they were in Xhorhas.

Caleb finds the rest of the party and brings them all into the shed. Beau introduces Dairon to the rest of the Mighty Nein. Dairon reveals they are in Asarius investigating a possible connection between the Assembly and the Kryn Dynasty. They suspect the Assembly is aiding the Kryn. Upon returning to the Empire, they hope to use their findings to destroy the entire Cerberus Assembly. At this point Caduceus puts together that Dairon is the spy they were hired to find.[1]

Beau warns Dairon that Lady Olios knows a spy is operating out of the Four Corners. She says they need to leave, and Dairon tells her they will not join the Mighty Nein because their mission depends on being unseen and a group of eight attracts attention. They will be heading for Ghor Dranas soon. Dairon becomes extremely uneasy when Caduceus and Jester talk about sending messages and meeting up in Ghor Dranas. When Dairon asks Beau if she trusts the Mighty Nein, Fjord tells the rest of the group they should leave and give Beau and Dairon time to talk alone. Beau thanks him.

Now alone with Dairon, Beau answers that she "kind of" trusted the Mighty Nein. Beau tells Dairon she has lots of information to share if they team up, and angrily asks why Dairon keeps writing her off. Dairon responds that they are not writing Beau off; they are writing the others off. Their specialty is working alone. Dairon warns Beau not to get too attached to the Mighty Nein. However, they trust Beau's judgement. If Beau believes the Mighty Nein are trustworthy, Dairon believes they are. Dairon may be open to meeting again in Ghor Dranas, but will not go with the group or help the group get there. Dairon tells Beau she is too rash. Although impressed by how well Beau fought in the Four Corners, they think Beau needs to learn to be patient. Dairon tells Beau they will meet again for more training after dark and leaves.[2]

Very Good Dreams[]

The Mighty Nein go back inside the Four Corners to ask around about strange happenings in the area. Nott learns that inhabitants in the northern center of the city have been reporting strange dreams and hearing howls at night. One of the goblin employees of the tavern tells Nott the howls heard at night are all close to a well in the northern center. Portis, the man who recently went insane and killed his own family, lived in that neighborhood as well.[3] Caduceus suggests they scout the neighborhood now, take a mid-day long rest, then go back to the well at night to find the source of the howling. The party agrees.

By this time, Caleb's illusion making him appear to be a tiefling has worn off. He puts his hood up and smears a large amount of mud across his face. On the way to the northern center neighborhood, two orcs notice the party and approach them. One of them walks straight up to Caleb and pushes him into the ground. The other orc comes up to Fjord and asks if he knows Caleb. Fjord lies that Caleb is his servant. Caleb casts Enlarge on himself and stands up twice his normal size. Impressed, the orcs ask Fjord if he would sell Caleb, and Fjord asks for 2500 gold pieces, causing them to walk away frustrated. Fjord is impressed by Caleb's quick thinking and getting them out of the situation without a fight, but Beau worries that they attracted too much attention.[4]

The party finds a well in the northern center of the city and investigates. There seems to be nothing suspicious about it. Fjord asks a nearby bugbear if he has seen anything strange recently, but the bugbear looks nervous and evasively says he has to go. Caleb drops Frumpkin in the well, but he was unable to see anything other than dark water. Beau pulls a very unhappy Frumpkin up from the well in the bucket and collects a vial of water from the well. Fjord notices that the bugbear he talked to a moment ago has not left and was watching them, and approaches him.

Fjord and Umadon by AJ Illustrate

Fan art of Fjord and Umadon, by Andrew Jensen.[art 1]

After Fjord convinces the bugbear that Fjord works for someone scary, the bugbear admitted to having dreams of two beautiful bugbears that tell him to do bad things. He killed his neighbor's wolves because these bugbears from his dreams told him to. Fjord promises that no one ever has to find out about the wolves if the bugbear takes him to his house and shows him the well nearby.[5] The bugbear leads Fjord to his house with the rest of the Mighty Nein stealthily following behind. The bugbear shows Fjord the window where the bugbears come into the house in his dreams and the well near his house. Fjord gives the bugbear, whose name is Umadon, a silver and told him not to tell anyone they spoke.[6] Embarrassed and confused, Umadon goes into his house on Fjord's orders.

The Haunted Well[]

Fjord looks behind him and realizes the rest of the Mighty Nein is following and not doing a very good job at being subtle. They are now examining the nearby well. Caduceus casts Light on the bucket and lowers it. He notices about twenty feet down there is an opening into a cavern in the side wall of the well.[7] When they pull the bucket back up, Beau takes another vial of water for Nott to examine. She cannot detect anything strange about either of them.

Jester casts Detect Good and Evil after walking around the area in several figure eight patterns and crawling around on the ground above where Caduceus saw the passage. She does notice that another group of bugbears walking nearby are watching her closely. Beau sees one of the bugbears start walking towards a Kryn Dynasty soldier walking by and moves to intercept. The soldier, a female drow, asks the bugbear what the problem is. The bugbear points out the Mighty Nein all standing around a well with Jester crawling on the ground. Jester stands up and calls out that she's found it. The soldier taikes a closer look at Beau and asks where she was from. Beau responds by saying they were just looking for Jester's earring and tries to walk away. The soldier grabs Beau's shoulder and repeats her question. Beau lies that she is from the south, the same place as Yasha. The bugbear who had approached the soldier looked confused and wanders away from the strange human. The soldier seems to be fooled by Beau's lie but warns her it might not be safe for a human to be so close to the war before walking away.[8]

Nott wants to go down into the well immediately. Jester argues that she is out of spells and couldn't heal anyone. Nott responds that Caduceus could do it, but Caduceus refuses to go in the well. Fjord climbs over the edge to take a look at the opening in the side wall. There is a pungent sulfer smell similar to the scent where the Mighty Nein found the rift under Zorth's livery.[9] Fjord uses Misty Step to get back up to the top of the well and the party heads back to the Four Corners to rest and come back later that night.

The Four Corners only has two rooms available for the night. The lodging is not an inn like the party is used to, but is a stable for humans. Caleb suggests the men and women each take a room. Fjord specifically asks Jester if they will be safe in a separate area of the stable. Beau asks Fjord if there was a particular reason he wanted to room with the women. Nott pointedly asks if he wanted to room with Jester for some reason. Beau offers to room with Caleb and Caduceus while he stays with Jester, Nott, and Yasha. Fjord walks towards one of the rooms without answering. Nott points out that Fjord seems to be hinting he wanted to room with Jester. Jester says that wasn't what Fjord was doing and goes to the other room.[10] Beau, Nott, and Yasha join Jester. Caleb indecisively stands for a few minutes then joins Fjord, along with Caduceus. Beau borrows Nott's Glamoured Studded Leather, using it to look like the same armor that the Kryn soldier was wearing, and puts her hood up. She goes out to find Dairon for training.

Dairon is waiting close by outside Beau's room and leads her to a large storage room for their training session. After a sparring match, she teaches Beau the Way of the Cobalt Soul ability Preternatural Counter.[11] Beau gives Dairon a copy of Avantika's cipher so the two of them could write coded messages to each other using it. Dairon leaves Beau with the parting instructions "Listen", "Be Patient", and "Stay Alive".[12] Beau goes back to the Four Corners and waits for the rest of the party to finish their long rest.

Break[]

Part II[]

Two Beautiful Bugbears[]

As the Mighty Nein wake up and prepare to explore the well, Beau gives Nott back her Glamoured Studded Leather. Jester asks Beau if she learned a lot, and Beau says she did and suggests they come up with better disguises if they plan to stay in Asarius longer. For the moment, they should be ok under cover of darkness. Assisted by Jester's Pass Without Trace spell, the Mighty Nein head back to the well near Umadon's home without attracting any attention. Heading towards the well, Caduceus notices a strange blue shimmer and hears strange laughing coming from Umadon's house. Jester casts Detect Good and Evil and senses two sources of evil inside. Nott creeps to one of the windows while the rest of the party move around to the front door of the house.[13]

Looking into the window, Nott sees Umadon lying on a bed smiling. Two translucent ghostly figures of provocatively dressed bugbears are floating on the ceiling in two corners of the room with their hands extended towards the bed. A blue energy comes out of their hands towards Umadon sleeping. As Nott begins to cast Message, Yasha kicks open the front door. Nott watches the two ghostly figures look in the direction of the noise, becoming less ethereal as their bodies shift. The fur turns into human-like skin and leathery wings come out of their shoulders: a succubus and incubus. Both drift into shadowy corners of the bedroom as the rest of the party enter the main room of the house.[14] Nott finishes her Message to Caleb that there are two figures hiding on the ceiling on either side of the bedroom door.

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 9.04

Jester creates her illusory duplicate in Umadon's bedroom.[art 2]

Jester opens the door to the bedroom and creates her illusory duplicate and lollipop Spiritual Weapon over Umadon in the bed. Caleb feels a presence pushing into his mind as the incubus flies around to another corner and locks eyes with him. The succubus locks eyes with Yasha. Assisted by Caduceus's Beacon of Hope spell, they are both able to resist whatever the fiends were trying to do to them.[16][17] Nott pokes her head into the window and shoots the female. Jester casts Inflict Wounds through her duplicate and sends her lollipop towards the male figure. Beau attacks the succubus and uses her newly refined Extract Aspects ability, learning that the creatures are resistant to cold, fire, lightning, poison, and bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons.[18]

After Caleb shoots the male figure with Melf's Acid Arrow, the incubus looks to the succubus and nods. The incubus's body turns back to the same blueish ethereal form it had been in before the battle began.[19] As the incubus flies towards the window, Beau strikes out but her fist goes right through his body. The succubus's body changes to the same blueish form and as she flies out the window after the incubus Fjord attacks her with his blade also failing to make contact. Fjord casts Misty Step to teleport in the direction they fled, catching up to both of them near the well. Fjord attacks the nearest one, but his blade passes through the creature as expected. Beau jumps out the window and runs towards the well, calling out to the creatures in Deep Speech that they should not run from the Mighty Nein. The female turns to look at Beau, and although her lips do not move, Beau hears a voice in her head say, "I'm sorry. I don't know what you're saying. But please, come play and follow."[20] The fiend leaps into the well after the other one.

By now, Umadon has woken up. Seeing Jester's duplicate standing over his bed smiling and Caduceus's swarm of beetles in the room, he is completely confused. The rest of the party climb out the window and gather around the well. Umadon calls out the window to them asking what is happening. Fjord yells at him to duck back down and he does. Nott and Fjord go down the well first towards the small opening in the side wall Caduceus had noticed earlier in the day. The rest of the party (Caduceus with some difficulty) follow them down into the opening. They find themselves in a somewhat wider natural cavern and another tunnel ahead curving out of sight. Nott turns invisible and runs down the tunnel.

Post-Show[]

Matt would like to thank the community again for the amazing response to the Kickstarter campaign. Matt also encourages Critters to check out and support other artists and storytellers that do not have the platform and visibility that Critical Role does. He forgot to mention in the pre-show announcements that the cast will be at Emerald City Comic Con for panels and signings.

Featured Characters[]

The Mighty Nein[]

New[]

Returning[]

Mentioned[]

Quotations[]

  • Dairon: "These are your companions for a mission to infiltrate?"
    Beau: "Yeah, they're fucking great. We were pirates for, like, three months."[21]
  • Dairon: "No one has to see what you're doing if it's good, as long as it's doing good. Do you think anyone cares about the things I've done? I've done many things, not many I'm proud of, but they have served the goodness of others. They have enabled many people who could not defend themselves in the Empire to survive and improve. I do not do this for accolades. I do this because I serve a purpose of a better world for those who cannot defend themselves. Can you serve that purpose?"
    Beau: "I can try."
    Dairon: "Then do not wait for them to see what you do that is good. Just know that you've done good, and hope you live long enough to see the impact it has."[22]
  • Dairon (scolding Beauregard): "So...LISTEN. Be patient. Protect...these friends you've made. But don't get too close."[23]
  • Beau: "She has a ferret named Sprinkle that has survived against all fucking odds, Dairon. I'm just saying maybe mix it up or something . . . maybe."
    Laura: "I knock on the door and say-" (as Jester) "It's a weasel!" [24]
  • Umadon (nervously): "You're not going to tell anyone about the dreams, are you?"
    Fjord: "What dreams, Umadon?"
    Umadon (oblivious to Fjord's hint): "The ones I told you about...?"
    Fjord: "Naaaaaaah..." [cast cracks up]
    Umadon: "You asked me about them a couple times..."
    Fjord (frustrated): "WE...(clasps his hands to pray for patience, and carefully enunciates each word)...We. Never. Spoke! Never happened! Okay?!? Never happened!"
    [ DM: "You're blowing his mind right now!"]
    Umadon (confused): "But we...I...you followed...!"
    Fjord (shushing Umadon): "AH-AH-AH!!!"[25]
  • Dairon (quizzing Beauregard) "What did I say?"
    Beauregard: "...Stay alive."
    Dairon: "And?"
    Beau: "...Listen?"
    Dairon: "And?"
    Beau: "...Trust no one?"
    Dairon: "...Ehhhh..."
    Beau (apologetic): "I kind of gambled on that last one, you've said a lot of things."
    Dairon: "Be patient."
    Beau: "Oh, patient! Right, be patient..."
  • Nott: (casting Tasha's Hideous Laughter) "What happens when a moorbounder enters a feline beauty contest? It's a cat-tastrophe!"[26]
  • Caleb: "Uh, Nott just ran up that tunnel, so we should..." (leading the party down the tunnel after the invisible Nott)[27]

Inventory[]

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 1 vial of water northern center well Beau
Expended 1 silver Fjord Umadon Fjord gave Umadon a silver so that Umadon would not tell anyone they spoke.
Acquired 1 vial of water well near Umadon's house Beau
Relinquished 1 copper Jester well Jester threw a copper in the well near Umadon's house.
Expended 10 copper Mighty Nein Four Corners The Mighty Nein rent two rooms at five copper each for the night.

Trivia[]

  • Sam's flask has a picture of a goblin in a suit with the caption "Nott, My President".

References[]

  1. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 30:25.
  2. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 37:49 through 45:11.
  3. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 50:53 through 55:35.
  4. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 1:00:18 through 1:06:36.
  5. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 1:15:52 through 1:18:34.
  6. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 1:21:36 through 1:26:35.
  7. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 1:28:21.
  8. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 1:31:37 through 1:37:00.
  9. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 1:39:12.
  10. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 1:42:00 through 1:42:57.
  11. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 1:56:16.  Matt gives Marisha class updates to the Way of the Cobalt Soul archetype.
  12. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 1:49:02 through 2:01:53.
  13. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 2:33:49 through 2:37:08.
  14. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 2:38:31 through 2:41:34.
  15. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 2:47:18.
  16. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 2:53:14 through 2:54:32.  Liam notes that he makes Wisdom saving throws with advantage due to Beacon of Hope. Caleb succeeds on the save and the male fiend's ability has no effect on him.
  17. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) from 2:55:30 through 2:56:51.  Travis notes he makes Wisdom saving throws for Yasha with advantage due to Beacon of Hope. Yasha succeeds on the save and the female fiend's ability has no effect on her.
  18. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 3:04:56.  Beau uses the updated version of Extract Aspects to learn the fiend's vulnerabilities and resistances.
  19. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 3:10:10.  One of the fiends becomes ethereal.
  20. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 3:19:34.  The fiend speaks to Beau telepathically.
  21. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 20:04.
  22. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 41:34.
  23. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 42:40.
  24. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 43:30.
  25. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 1:25:35.
  26. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 3:15:52.
  27. See "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 3:31:57.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Fjord and Umadon, by Andrew Jensen (source). Used with permission.
  2. Jester creates her illusory duplicate in Umadon's bedroom.[15]


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