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"Whispers of War" (2x18) is the eighteenth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The end of the Harvest Close Festival brings a victory overshadowed by the bigger problems of the Empire...

Synopsis Edit

Pre-ShowEdit

AnnouncementsEdit

  • The cast wished Marisha a happy birthday!
  • Matt's gunslinger class is now available on DnD Beyond. To celebrate, Sam recites a top 10 for awesome Percy attributes.
  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is out now.
  • The cast is heading to Gen Con 2018.
  • Over $100k has been raised for 826LA.
  • If you have Amazon Prime, you have Twitch Prime and can subscribe for free.
  • Talks Machina is every Tuesday.
  • The online shop has more d20s in stock.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

The Mighty Nein, upon clearing their names, making some new friendships in the city [of Zadash] and taking some time for themselves in preparation for the coming Harvest Close Festival, found themselves wandering through the streets of celebration. They partook in a number of various games of chance and skill, got some fine snacks and food, challenged themselves, got thrown by their other party members, won some trinkets and toys, and then ended up signing up to the Victory Pit, the grand tournament that ends the Harvest Close festival. [Nott] managed to catch a few phrases off to the side of the initial lounge [they] were signing up in, where [she] discovered that war had been declared by the king on the eastern region of Xhorhas, that information was to be held back until the festival was over.

[They] were held below with the other competing teams, and then one by one [the teams] were each presented into the center of the Victory Pit tournament where each [team] has to battle a challenge of a creature or creatures in a three tier structure. Whoever survives all three bouts gets to share in the final pot prize.

Currently two of the other teams have been knocked out, and it only remains to be [the Mighty Nein] and one other. [The Mighty Nein is] up first. [They are] pulled into the center and announced as The Mighty Nein's final round. Knowing the Stubborn Stock is watching from behind the distant doorways that lead into the central arena, [the members of the Mighty Nein] all scattered about the sands as the sun begins to get close to dusk, shouting out [their] various plans and then abandoning them last minute. [They] found places as these heaping, heavy thuds start quaking the ground in arrival before the door swings open. Out from behind it, roaring, a frenzied, angry hill giant, complete with pierced thorns jammed into each side of the body to drive it to a point of absolute anger and fury, comes bashing into the center of the arena, knocks over one of the large pillars, and this is where we begin.
Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 18

Campaign Tracker Map, Episode 18

Part I Edit

Against the huge, powerful, lumbering hill giant, the Nein begin the fight by trying to stay back and take ranged attacks, using crossbow, Firebolt, Spiritual Weapon and Sacred Flame. The giant lobs chunks of stone at them, unsuccessfullly. Molly gets into melee for his sword attacks and is immediately knocked unconscious by the retaliating giant, but is stable because of the Periapt of Wound Closure. Beau crits with a throwing star. Fjord then takes a falchion attack and evades the resulting attack of opportunity as he runs back, thereafter staying back to snipe with Eldritch Blast. Yasha goes into melee with the giant, doing little damage.
Hill Giant - @BlackSalander

Fan art of the Hill Giant, by BlackSalander.[art 1]

On succeeding rounds, Nott, Caleb, and Jester snipe away with ranged. Yasha is knocked unconscious, almost dying from the strength of the attack. Seeing Nott in danger, Beau runs up and insults the giant's penis size, but he seems unperturbed by her uninformed opinion and clubs Nott seriously, forcing her to run away.

As a desperate gamble, Caleb casts Sleep on the giant, and to his (and the party's) massive surprise and jubilation, it succeeds. Jester uses her last spell to bring Yasha back to consciousness, and gives Molly a healing potion. The party surrounds the sleeping giant and as one, whack away at it, killing it, with Nott getting in the final crossbow bolt. The crowd goes wild, but Caleb pulls his hood further down over his face.

The Stubborn Stock takes the field, and with great difficulty kills their opponent, a wyvern. The prize money is split between the two winning teams, netting 1600 gp for the Mighty Nein. The winners are all invited to the afterparty. Present are the Starosta Wyatt Fedar, Lawmaster Orentha Stonegrasp, Dolan Thrym, and many others from as far as the Menagerie Coast and Marquet. When Fjord, talking to Wyatt, mentions the attack on the Zauberspire[1], Wyatt says they should talk to two individuals standing over by the window, the two figures who were also present in the arena, Oremid Hass and another older human male mage. Caleb moves to take a seat as close to the door as possible.

The party decides to send Beau and Yasha to talk to them, and Caleb sends Frumpkin with them. Hass introduces himself and his companion, Master Trent Ikithon. Trent is curious about Yasha, who admits she is from Xhorhas and has been in the Empire only about eight months. During their conversation, she fails a wisdom save, but with no obvious consequence. Trent says he would very much like to talk to her in the future. As he and Oremid leave, Caleb leans forward and looks at the ground.

The party discusses what to do now, in the light of the news of war breaking out between the Empire and Xhorhas. Molly is all for getting out of town fast, but Caleb bargains for 24 hours and they agree that's reasonable.

Break Edit

  • "Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire -- You Control Critical Role!"
  • How to Play Sparkle*Kitty
  • Starter Kit: Numanera
  • How to Play Wonderland
  • How to Play Action Cats!
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Part II Edit

Late in the evening, the Mighty Nein leave the Pentamarket for the Pillow Trove in the Tri-Spires. On the way, Caleb pulls Beau back and asks her privately if she can get him into the Cobalt Soul library the next morning. Sha replies that she'll take him in the library if he'll tell her why he's afraid of fire. At the Pillow Trove, Jester asks for and receives a package her mother sent her, containing a sweet letter, a vial of her mother's lavender perfume, five small vials of colored inks, and 200 gp. Jester is startled and panicky that the amount is so much less than she was expecting since her mother gave her 5000 gp when she left home, but accepts Nott's reassurance that it's probably simply due to worries over the security of the postal system. She offers to split the money, which the group refuses, then decides to keep it as a group emergency fund.

Molly asks for two "masseuses" to be sent to his room, along with food. Fjord and Caleb, his roommates, leave him to it, with Fjord joining the women. Caleb gets his own room and messages Nott to bring Beau to join him. They leave, saying they're going to get food and to get Yasha's rat cooked for her. Outside, Nott tells Beau that Caleb wants to see her, and after ordering the food they both go to his room.

Caleb's StoryEdit

Caleb tells Nott that Beau has agreed to get him in the library on the condition he answer her questions, but that he doesn't feel right telling her and not Nott. He asks Nott to stay. Caleb first asks Beau about her feelings about the Empire, and Beau says she's not invested in politics but thinks the Empire is pretty shitty overall. Liam asks all the other players except Sam and Marisha to leave the table.

Caleb tells Nott and Beau the story of how he murdered his mother and father. When he was an adolescent, he and two others from his village of Blumental were accepted into the Soltryce Academy, where after a year of study they were chosen by one of the teachers, Trent Ikithon, to leave with him for a home out in the countryside where he trained them. According to Caleb, it was a good time, although Trent was cruel, hurt them a lot, and made them go through "extreme circumstances." They got strong, they believed in the Empire, and Caleb fell in love with one of the other students.

Eventually, as a test of their allegiance, strangers, "traitors to this Empire", were brought in and the three students were trained to kill them. On his final visit home, Caleb overheard his parents discussing revolution against the Empire. When he returned to school, the three students were told that the final test of their allegiance was to kill their traitor parents. The three returned to Blumental where they stood by as Eodwulf killed his parents, and had dinner with Astrid's parents, where she poisoned them. They then went to Caleb's house, blocked the door with a cart, and Caleb set it on fire. However, when he heard his parents screaming inside, he broke. He spent the next eleven years in an asylum until another patient "took the clouds away" by touching him, both curing his madness and removing the fake memories Ikithon had implanted of his parents discussing treason. While Nott sees this as excusing his actions, Caleb does not. He ran away from the asylum, killing a guard and taking his Amulet of Proof against Detection and Location, and has stayed hidden for five years.

Beau asks if he wants to take down Trent, and Caleb says yes, among other things. He wants to be able to bend reality to his will. Beau leaves, agreeing to take him to the library the next day but trying to convince him of the value of teamwork. Nott immediately hugs him, saying over and over that it wasn't his fault and that she will be at his side until he can forgive himself.

The next morning, news of the war is now public and the town is preparing. Jester, Fjord, Yasha, and Molly drop by the taskboard on their way back to the Leaky Tap, where the Lawmaster offers them mercenary work under contract at a base rate of 15 gp a week plus access to supplies for protecting the people of the city. Their first assignment would be for a bounty of 10,000 gp. They tell her they'll confer and let her know.

Meanwhile, Caleb, Nott and Beau go to the Cobalt Soul library, with Caleb and Nott using Disguise Self. Beau is recognized there by archivist Madeer, and Caleb is told that tomes of theorizing or philosophy would be kept by the Cerberus Assembly. However, he is able to learn more about the furthest extent of transmutation, changing reality, and the manipulation of time. He also reads up on the history and eight current members of the Cerberus Assembly.

The rest of the party returns to the Leaky Tap and packs up. Fjord focuses on the dodecahedron. The whole group meets up at The Invulnerable Vagrant. Pumat Sol is out of healing potions, but Caleb buys 200 gp worth of paper, Jester buys a pearl of power, Nott buys two incendiary crossbow bolts, and Fjord buys an enchanted shield. The party discusses the Lawmaster’s offer and decides against it. When they tell her this, she offers half the bounty of 10,000 if they bring in "the Hawker" even if not under contract, and they decide to think about it. On their way back to the Leaky Tap, they are approached by Kara, saying that The Gentleman may have some work for them.

At the end of the episode, the characters all reach level five.    

Featured Characters Edit

The Mighty Nein Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Relinquished 1 throwing star Beau Hill Giant
Relinquished 1 healing potion Nott Nott
Relinquished 1 healing potion Jester Molly
Acquired 228 gold Victory Pit Fjord
Acquired 228 gold Beau
Acquired 228 gold Jester
Acquired 228 gold Nott
Acquired 228 gold Caleb
Acquired 228 gold Yasha
Acquired 228 gold Molly
Relinquished 4 gold Fjord Pillow Trove
Relinquished 4 gold Beau
Acquired 1 box for Jester Pillow Trove Jester
Relinquished 2 gold Fjord Pillow Trove
Acquired 1 bottle of perfume box for Jester Jester
Acquired 5 ink vial red, blue, green and 2 black
Acquired 200 gold called: "Mom's Emergency Fund"
Relinquished 20 gold Molly Pillow Trove
Relinquished 4 gold Caleb
Transferred 1 rat Yasha Nott
Relinquished 1 gold Beau Pillow Trove for food
Relinquished 5 silver
Relinquished 5 silver Jester post office
Relinquished 200 gold Caleb The Invulnerable Vagrant
Relinquished 350 gold Jester
Relinquished 100 gold Nott
Relinquished 550 gold Fjord
Acquired 1 parchement The Invulnerable Vagrant Caleb
Acquired 1 pearl of power Jester
Acquired 2 enchanted bolt Nott
Acquired 1 shield Fjord

Grace of the Wilds

Quotations Edit

  • Beau: (to the Hill Giant) I'm going to point at his dick, and I'm going to go: Tiny thing! Then for my action, I'm going to take the dodge action.
  • Nott: Message received!
  • Caleb: I am going to tell you the story of how I murdered my mother and father.
  • Caleb: When the three of us were summoned and told what was expected of us, I knew what had to be done. We went to this other boy's home first, Eodwulf, and we stood by as he killed his parents. We went to Astrid’s house, and had dinner with them, and she poisoned them. Then we went to my home and we grabbed a horse cart, and in the middle of the night, placed it against the door to the home and I set it on fire.
    Beau: And you had to do this to graduate, to prove your loyalty.
    Caleb: Well, yeah, but it didn't exactly go according to their plan because as soon as I heard my mother and father screaming inside... I was so sure. I was so sure... until I wasn't, and I broke a bit.
  • Caleb: So, I would really like to get into that library, because I would--
    Beau: Like to run again.
    Caleb: Hmm? No, I like you all.
    Beau: You were just talking with Nott about running tomorrow.
    Caleb: Well, that all depends on you, Beauregard.
    Beau: If I don't let you in?
    Caleb: On if you can keep a secret.
  • Caleb: Anybody can make lights. Anybody could send a message through a wire. I want to bend reality to my will.
  • Nott: What you did was awful, truly terrible, despicable and unforgivable-- until you can forgive it. At some point, you'll have to do that. And I swear to you that I will be at your side until you do.
  • Molly: I'm coming in with the food into [the women's] room, and I am wearing nothing but my tapestry. "I am your god, long may I reign. Eat of my fruits."

Trivia Edit

  • Sam's giant flask bears an Austin Powers meme in this episode that reads "WHO TAUNTS A GIANT? HONESTLY."
  • Nott uses the alias "Veth" in this episode.
  • At the end of this episode, the party reached level 5.
  • "Zauber" in Zemnian (German) means "magic".

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. See "Midnight Espionage" (2x12) at 3:53:02.

Art:

  1. Fan art of the Hill Giant, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.


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