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"Where The River Goes" (2x15) is the fifteenth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. Heading down an underground river, the Mighty Nein explore a long abandoned research facility, uncovering dangerous foes and even more dangerous secrets...

Synopsis Edit

Pre-Show Edit

Announcements Edit

  • Laura is back, which means the whole table is present!
  • The episode has two sponsors: Archer Danger Island and D&D Beyond. Sam wrote a folk song in honor of D&D Beyond donating $100 to 826 LA for every natural one rolled in the campaign.
  • Mark Kay is matching Critical Role fan donations to 826 LA.
  • Twitch Prime allows you to subscribe to a channel of your choice every month for free.
  • New Twitch emotes!
  • Critical Recap is on every week with Dani Carr.
  • Talks Machina is every Tuesday at 7 pm.
  • Podcast for Fleeting Memories is out.
  • Final issue of 6 comic Vox Machina Origins arc is out.
  • Pillars of Eternity 2 comes out in a few weeks, including the voices of the entire cast, with a free DLC including the voices of Vox Machina (and Gilmore).
  • Laura apologizes in advance for still being sick.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 15

Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 15

Last time we left off, the mighty Nein had gone towards the Evening Nip where they had finally crawled into the subterranean hidden basement/tavern where the Gentleman seems to do his business. You had encountered Yasha who had joined back up with the party, you had a brief discussion with this Gentleman which led to a bit of card-sharkery from Fjord's end, a fair played game, made quite a bit of money and earned his favour. There you discussed what was to be done with this new arrangement. He took some blood as it was required of him to make sure that he could ensure {inaudible}. But you guys said that you were possibly looking for furthering some sort of relationship for business purposes, but for now you had an individual that needed to be smuggled out. He said it'd be fine but one favour requires one in turn and to prove yourself both capable (and he had heard some tales of what you had done within Zadash) he requested that you go and inspect this newly discovered buried ruin, this series of chambers that exists on the outskirts of their underground river escape towards Berelben and the Ounterloch. You went and retrieved Horris, brought him back. He was then (supposedly, it seems to be so) sent off and escorted out of the city safely (they totally killed him). You found yourself down towards the subterranean docks to this river. By the way through all of this Molly was having a mild panic attack about his story, encountering Cree and a apparently being called the name Lucien and Nonagon. Upon making your way to the docks you were given two boats and utilising them to travel further down stream towards where the exterior of this ruin was discovered, you all gather your supplies and by the glowing orbs of Caleb's Dancing Lights ahead of you we left off with you traversing deeper and deeper down the dark tunnel and river.

Part I Edit

C2E15 Rock Face

Fan art of Jester's rowing, by Elaine Tipping.[art 1]

With Caleb's dancing lights glowing ahead, The Mighty Nein row down the underground river, coming to smaller gaps every few miles in which the boat containing Yasha, Nott and Caleb pulls ahead in a friendly race. Throughout the journey, Jester fantasizes about Tusk Love, casting Fjord as the hero, Oskar. When the tunnel splits, they head to the west.

Nott tries out the Ring of Water Walking but runs into a rock and is helped back into the boat by Caleb just as they are attacked by three darkmantles, which fall on Nott, Fjord, and Caleb, wrapping their bodies around their heads. Fortunately, the party is able to kill them with only a few injuries. The noise, however, attracts a pair of slow-moving rock monsters from opposite sides of the river, but Yasha and Jester are able to paddle past them and the boats escape further down the tunnel.

As they continue to drift downriver, Caleb catches a faint souce of magic beyond a rock slide on the north side. They dock the boats and disembark, and Nott weaves dried flowers into Caleb's hair. Yasha and Jester are able to clear the rockslide, opening the way to a chamber beyond with a spiral staircase winding both up and down. They decide to head downward, and reach a long hallway at the bottom.

Frumpkin goes ahead of Nott down the hall towards a large room with a central triangular raised platform, but as Nott moves down the hall (without checking for traps) she triggers a pressure plate and is pierced by a long metal bolt through the thigh. Looking around, there are three pressure plates on the floor that reset after being triggered. She manages to disarm one, but Yasha is wounded by another. The rest of the party, except Beau, makes it through before the traps reset. Beau is also slightly wounded by one of the two still-working traps.

In the room beyond, Nott apologizes for forgetting to check for traps. The room itself is large and octagonal, 30 feet high, with a ten-foot wide square pillar descending ten feet from the ceiling above them at its center, 15 feet above the one-foot tall triangular raised platform on the floor. The platform has a series of symbols carved into it, and a small, very deep central hole. The domed octagonal ceiling contains symbols for each of the eight schools of magic. They decide to check the entry stairway going up, and Nott disarms one of the two remaining traps in the hall, but is wounded by the third before finally breaking it.

At the top of the stair is a beautiful grand chamber, caved in halfway down. In what was the center are two carved faces with empty holes for eyes. There is a red clay urn suspended from chains close to the ceiling. Two alcoves on either side hold similar clay urns, half full of ashes. They find a long metallic rod half buried in the rubble about the size of the platform hole in the room below. Yasha sticks a sword into the ashes in one urn, and shortly thereafter a small glowing orb emerges and attacks her. Nott dispatches it with one hit on a natural 20, but others emerge from the urns on the ceiling and in the other alcove, and the dissipated one seems to re-form and re-emerge from the first urn.

The will-o'-wisps are difficult opponents, being resistant to physical damage from non-magical weapons. After several of the party are hit for significant damage, they discover that breaking the urns destroys the will-o'-wisps and keeps them from re-forming.

Break Edit

  • Archer Danger Island add
  • Archer Danger Island board game add
  • International TableTop day 2018
  • 826LA Critical Role video
  • new season Starter Kit promo
  • We're alive Frontier promo
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Part II Edit

The party discovers that the metal bottoms of the broken urns have very faint carvings matching the symbols in the previous room. Fjord puts gold coins in the eye holes of the faces on the floor, the relief opens in half and he falls, but Nott casts Feather Fall on him sending him to a safe landing in a room 30 feet below full of charred bones, decay, and long-rotting clothing. Searching, he finds some nice jewelry and a potion of necrotic resistance. The party completes a short rest and goes back to the first room they found.

Caleb uses Unseen Servant to insert the rod into the hole in the central platform while the party waits outside. Nothing happens. Molly and Beau go back up the stairs, and pry out one of the glowing light rocks. They place the three metal bowls from the urns on the three platform symbols, and Jester tries casting a necrotic cantrip on the bowl sitting on the necrotic symbol. A burst of energy siphons out and attaches itself to the top of the metallic rod standing upright in the hole in the center. After a moment, they hear a shifting of stone, and a gelatinous cube descends from an opening on the ceiling. Roll initiative.

Caleb uses his Earthen Grasp to immobilize the cube and the others whack away at it. Although it can't move, it still does significant acid damage with its pseudopod attack, and on its turn, it manages to break free, hits Jester and knocks her out right next to it. Thankfully, the party manages to kill it before it has another opportunity to engulf her. Fjord gives Jester a health potion, and she calls him "Oskar" as she wakes up.

The pages, the ramblings speak of a coming war. They talk about foolish pawns who follow their gods to annihilation. They speak of the armies of Ghor Dranas washing over the land and pauper and kings alike being saved not at all and being placed on a pike and held like a banner into battle regardless of who they are. They speak of the weakness of flesh and the need to endure beyond the paltry life shell that we’re given. It talks about experiments with refugees, finding if the soul is bound to the flesh in any form, be it ice or ash. It speaks of an obsession with avoiding the eternal hunger of The Crawling King, he who tunnels beneath the world and will find him. It speaks of a bounty hunter, who had infiltrated this sanctum after Siff. And while it cost Siff his legs, the hunter was burned into the brazier, flames of erasure. A trophy shall be taken and displayed as a warning.

From there, it grows more and more manic. The scrawlings taking you a moment, even with the spell, to focus and make it out. Speaking on quaking within the earth around that shakes the surrounding hills and darken the sky. The betrayer gods come. The power of man must remain. The arcane gifts must bypass their punishment, show them that they are not above their creations. The final notes grow even more paranoid, worried that the secrets that Siff seeks will fall into the hands of Ghor Dranas and that all must be destroyed. All must come to ash and from the ashes, shall rise again. That’s the final page before the rest of the book is charred beyond recognition.
– 
The Journal of Siff Duthar[1]

They decide that perhaps they need to hit the three bowls simultaneously with magic of the correct school to match the symbols. The ashes give them the clue to try hitting each bowl with fire, and when they do, part of the symbols in each bowl light up with a different school of magic. They also stand by the corresponding symbol in the room and on the count of three, cast, and on the opposite side of the room, an open door leading to a hallway appears.

The hallway leads to another chamber, with four metal cages containing urns surrounded by ashes and bits of burnt cloth. In the center of the chamber is a partially-destroyed and inert teleportation circle, and one side is a bookshelf. Above the bookshelf, hanging on the wall, is a longsword, which they take. With a natural 20 investigation, Caleb finds a partially burned book under a table, written in Draconic - the journal of Siff Duthar.

While the party discusses this, the temperature has fallen dramatically, and light begins to flicker in one of the urns. The center circle glows darker and darker as a shadow emerges, sifting out of the ground, a humanoid figure of shadow and darkness, with ghastly flesh stretched against its skull. A voice says, "My secrets are yours."

Featured Characters Edit

The Mighty Nein Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Transferred 1 vial of holy water Molly Nott
Relinquished 4 gold Fjord faces trap
Acquired  ? jewelry faces trap Fjord is worth unkown amount of money
Acquired 1 full diamond-shaped vial Fjord it is filled with necrotic damage resistance for an hour
Relinquished 1 potion of healing Fjord Jester
Relinquished 1 potion of healing Fjord Jester
Acquired 1 great sword Siff's room Jester it is called The Magician's Judge
Acquired 1 Siff's journal Siff's room Caleb

Quotations Edit

  • Jester: "Eat shit rock face"
  • Beau: "I'm always a fan of going down" (Spoken while discussing which way to go in the research facility)
  • Nott: (Bleeding Heavily) "I found a trap..."
  • Nott: "I don't want to impose... But I'm bleeding profusely"

Trivia Edit

  • Sam's giant flask bears a message with colored letters spelling "FART" stuck on top in this episode.

References Edit

  1. See "Where The River Goes" (2x15) from 3:33:04 through 3:35:09.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Jester's rowing, by Elaine Tipping (source).  Used with permission.


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