"Worth Fighting For" (2x126) is the one hundred twenty-sixth episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. Faced with unsettling visions and a leering countdown, the Mighty Nein take stock of supplies, of lingering wounds, and of matters of the heart.

Synopsis

Announcements

  • We return to the Nordverse, with Blackwillow73 and Cryptonic Override confronting the Ultra Kodex for data fragging Travis and wreaking havoc on Nord VPN-- and on its birthday! Ultra Kodex's demand is that he do the ads himself, or he'll defrag all of NordVPN. After a frenzied hack-off, the Ultra Kodex slices Cryptonic in monochromatic freeze-frame, forcing Blackwillow to confess she is the only woman he ever loved. His last words? Every two year plan on NordVPN now gets one month free and a surprise gift. Use the link above and code "CriticalRole" at checkout.
  • Big thank you to D&D Beyond, the official toolset of Critical Role. Through the end of February, subscribers get a free set of Everlasting Rime digital dice.
  • Critical Role has teamed up with BlizzConline 2021 for a special Diablo-themed one-shot DM'ed by Matt, first airing 20 February 2021 on the BlizzConline web site. VODs will be available on Blizzard and Critical Role's YouTube channels.
  • New episode of Critter Hug will air Tuesday, 23 February at 4:00 pm Pacific. The second episode of Crit Recap Animated for Campaign Two, Episodes 1 - 8 is now on YouTube.
  • Merch Alert! Mighty Nein lightweight hoodies and Vox Machina t-shirts are now in the U.S. shop. The Scanlan Shorthalt dice set is now in all four CritRole.com shops.

Previously on Critical Role

Last we left off: The Mighty Nein, after making their way across Eiselcross, encountering and fleeing from the Tombtakers, meeting up with their old "companion" Essek and discussing the possibility of delving into Aeor's ruins specifically.

After deciding to take some time with the brief respite you have after sending the Tombtakers seeking another alternative to the threshold crest that they had lost, you made your way towards Yussa. You looked into some possibilities of how to prepare for this, acquired some friends to help you, to provide some options, some items, spoke with Halas, shunted Halas, went to visit Kima and Allura over in Emon and let them know what you were going to be attempting. In doing so, you were also provided with some aid from their end, as well as some items loaned: one was offered, one was... surprisingly convinced to temporarily lend a very powerful item. If only we could find a way to use it.

But, you returned to Rexxentrum, and after hearing a little bit of the current murmurs politically between the Cobalt Soul and other aspects of the Empire, realized that beyond just the tension building in Eiselcross, things are a bit tense here at home, even in the aftermath of the peace treaty that was signed. After gathering yourselves for an evening's rest after a very long day of hopping literally around Exandria, you went, after acquiring a chamber within the Rexxentrum Archive, to rest, lay down... and a few of you were visited by curious dreams: Caduceus with an odd vision regarding what appeared to be something similar to the Grove where he grew up, Yasha with a unique encounter with the Stormlord, of which it had been some time. And Caleb and Beauregard, who had a second evening encounter with some leering red eyes welcoming you to whatever odd, dream state connection you currently harbor with them.

Part I

The party wakes in the morning and both Caleb and Beau check for new eyes. Each has one: Caleb on his upper back, and Beau on the back of her neck, but they feel no different. They try to test their powers by manifesting a Napoleon hat, which Jester surreptitiously paints with her magic pigments and Veth Mage Hands onto Beau's head. While Fjord is dressing, Caleb notices a faint red glow on Fjord's chest: the blood magic brand he received from Lucien's scimitar. Caleb and Jester both try Dispel Magic on it but fail.

Caduceus's dream made him think he should go to his home, that perhaps the Savalirwood's corruption is more related to Aeor than he thought it was. But he doesn't know if it was a vision of what's now happening, a premonition, or an indication of the importance of the fight against the Cognouza. He has Jester use Sending to contact Cornelius, his father, asking how things are going at home. Cornelius responds that the woods are fine, but the dreams have been weird.

Jester also uses Sending to contact Astrid, telling her that Caleb wants to talk to her, that it's important, and they'll meet her at the dance hall at dusk. She responds, "Danke. I'll be there. Please tell Caleb, 'Thank you.'"

They go shopping, buying spell components and supplies. Jester and Fjord take his Ring of Fire Resistance to a jewelry shop to see about resale value but are disappointed by the low-ball offers. Yasha buys some "Anti-Scrying Balm" from a skeevy street merchant for 1000 gp. Veth buys a white flower and gives it to Beau so she can give it to Yasha. Veth admits that she knew Beau had asked Yasha on a date and encourages her to be herself, open and vulnerable. Caleb buys a book of Zemnian fairy tales and a child's book on transmutative magic. As he leaves the store, Beau hands him a list of the changes she wants made to the tower for her date night.

Fan art of Caleb and Astrid dancing, by s.maelstrom.[art 1]

Dusk falls and they go to the rendezvous at the beer hall, all of them except for Caleb either invisible or in disguise. Astrid arrives and she and Caleb dance as they talk. She quietly tells him that Ludinus Da'leth had asked that they be tracked by the Volstrucker while in Eiselcross and they were followed until they used Polymorph to travel near the Allowak's Sanctuary. Ludinus is aware the Nein are in town, and he is aware of what happened to Vess DeRogna, although Astrid doesn't know what that is, only that no one has heard from her for weeks. Caleb asks her for more Amulets of Proof against Detection and Location to fight the terrible and dangerous thing arising in the north, and Astrid says she'll see what she can do. She warns him there are eyes on the Nein, and that it could be an opportunity, if they strike first.

Astrid says goodbye and leaves, trailed surreptitiously by Beau, who follows her to a small alleyway where Astrid has sunk to the ground, knees close to her chest, curled in a ball for several minutes before she abruptly stands, gathers herself, and moves on toward her home.

Caleb tells the party about the conversation with Astrid, but waits until they leave the dance hall for the same cheap inn they had stayed at previously to tell them of her suggestion to strike at the Assembly now by taking out Trent Ikithon. Although Caleb wants Trent dead, they have so much to do with the Somnovem right now, and he doesn't trust Astrid. Moreover, Trent's death would leave a power vacuum to be filled by someone.

Jester casts Commune and asks Artagan if Astrid is setting them up for a trap. Artagan dodges a straight answer, but mentions she is an opportunist. He does tell them the Blooming Grove isn't in immediate danger, and the party decides they can probably skip visiting there for now.

Jester asks Caleb if he loves Astrid. He cares for her, but it has been a very long time. Fjord suggests that she sees Caleb as someone who is capable of doing what she is afraid to. Veth urges Caleb to kill Trent, now, to burn his past, but Caleb states again that there are things much bigger than Trent right now and they need to take care of them, first.

With that, he casts the tower, and tells the party that most of them will actually be sleeping in the sleazy inn, because the tower is Beau and Yasha's for the night.

Break

Part II

Fan art of a dachshund bringing drinks, by Katie Rasic.[art 2]

Beau and Yasha enter the tower and Beau puts on her bow tie while Yasha quickly brushes her hair. Frumpkin leads them up the stairs to the central column where flower petals are rotating. In the darkened great hall above is a runway of amber-colored long-haired miniature daschunds leading to the first door, which opens to reveal an unfolding stage which is a reproduction of the Nestled Nook Inn, where Beau and Yasha first met. There are three bottles of Lionett wine on the bar, and an amber dachsie pulls out a small sled holding two glasses each containing a "Dark and Stormy."

Beau explains she asked Caleb to recreate a little bit of a walkthrough of where they'd been, in order that they can have a new beginning. Yasha reveals she bought the anti-scrying cream as a gift for Beau, because she's had a lot of people in her head and she didn't want to give them Beau. Yasha still feels haunted by the look on Beau's face when she almost killed her.

They move on to the second door, with Frumpkin leading. A picnic of tacos with fish and insects, Lionett wine, and black moss cupcakes awaits amid a setting creating the sense of a field of wildflowers in the evening. Beau asks Yasha how she and Molly met. It was when Yasha was wandering through the wastes of Xhorhas after Zuala's presumed execution, not quite herself for weeks or months. Molly was the first person she saw, and he was so beautiful. He introduced her to the circus and they took her in. She now feels even closer to the Mighty Nein than she did to everyone she loved at the circus.

Fan art of Frumpkin introducing the ninjas, by EvilSeedlet.[art 3]

Yasha asks if Beau is okay. She is. Hearing from Yudala Fon that Zeenoth is being prosecuted has given her reassurance she didn't know she was looking for and cleared away her reservations about the Cobalt Soul. Yasha explains that things changed for her when she saw Beau with her family in Kamordah-- she fell in love with her there. Both Beau and Yasha have struggled with the fear of losing their new-found family. Yasha feels as if her purpose is to protect them, to try to keep everybody safe and alive. They kiss passionately, but as they roll on the ground, Frumpkin appears with another card around his neck that falls away to reveal the word, "Die!" All the doors in the room open and amber, leather-clad, humanoid ninjas with doberman pinscher heads tumble out. Roll initiative!

Fan art of the arrival of the ninjas, by Elaine Tipping.[art 4]

Beau attacks, killing the first one with one hit, and it explodes into black and blue glittering illusory dust. She similarly wipes out the second, third, and fourth in spectacularly flamboyant style while Yasha admires. On her turn, Yasha rages and bamfs out her wings, then uses the unattuned Holy Avenger to single-shot two more. She runs over, grabs Beau, kisses her, and flicks the remaining two which detonate into glitter.

Fan art of Beau and Yasha, by HeartofPack.[art 5]

The fourth door opens and steam billows out revealing a stylized version of the Steam's Respite in Zadash, but with the addition of two brass water slides. Two massive amber lionesses stand by twin straw mats, and a note from Caleb invites them to a massage and soak here. Beau strips and goes down one of the water slides into the steaming water below, while Yasha strips and flies to the top of the other before sliding down to join her in the pool, where they kiss. The room darkens and as illusory fireworks explode in the dark, Beau confesses to Yasha that she loves her, too. They enjoy the fireworks before exploring the uses of the mirror above Beauregard's bed.

Featured Characters

The Mighty Nein

Fan art of Yasha and Beau, by Alyssa Plaia.[art 6]

New

  • Theodore (skeevy merchant)

Returning

Mentioned

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Expended Nolzur's Marvelous Pigments Jester To create a large Napoleon-style hat.
Transferred 1 Studded +2 leather armor Fjord Veth Found in the ruins of A2[1]
Acquired 3 Pieces of amber Rexxentrum shop Caleb 20 gp each.
Acquired 1 Forked metal rod Rexxentrum shop Caduceus To be tuned to the Prime Material Plane for Plane Shift.
Acquired 3 Saffron Rexxentrum shop Caduceus For True Seeing. 75 gp each.
Acquired Incense Rexxentrum shop Jester Presumably for Legend Lore. 250 gp.
Acquired 4 Strips of ivory Rexxentrum shop Jester Presumably for Legend Lore. 50 gp each.
Acquired 1 Jeweled chalice Rexxentrum shop Jester For Heroes' Feast. 1000 gp.
Acquired 2 Pearls Rexxentrum shop Caleb For Fortune's Favor. 100gp each.
Acquired 1 Anti-scrying balm Rexxentrum street vendor Yasha 1000gp. Lasts 1 hour.
Acquired 40 Crossbow bolts Rexxentrum shop Veth
Acquired 1 Small antlers Rexxentrum shop Veth Like those on her earmuffs, but smaller. 20 gp. Veth picked them up the following day.
Acquired 1 White flower Rexxentrum shop Veth
Acquired 2 Fluffernutter components Rexxentrum shop Veth 120 gp.
Acquired Chocolate and cocoa Rexxentrum shop Caduceus
Transferred 1 White flower Veth Beau
Acquired 1 Blue bow tie Rexxentrum shop Beau Veth paid for it.
Acquired 1 Book of Zemnian fairy tales Rexxentrum shop Caleb Caleb had it as a child.
Acquired 1 Book on transmutation Rexxentrum shop Caleb Child's introductory-level book on transmutation magic. Caleb had it as a child.
Acquired Many Pastries Rexxentrum shop Jester
Expended 1 Pearl Caleb Caleb To cast Fortune's Favor.
Expended 1 Oops-stone Jester The hallway of the dance hall

Quotations

  • Veth: (to Beau, about her upcoming date with Yasha) Just have a moment ready, where you can say something or do something that shows how you feel. I'm trying to channel Caduceus here, but I feel like if you open yourself and just are honest and open and vulnerable, you could be... likable.[2]

Fan art of a complicated dance, by @vronivlo.[art 7]

  • Caleb: (to Astrid, while dancing) "If there is any love left between us, I need more of [the amulets]." And I just lay my head against her head and dance for a moment. "Not forever. Not for anything against the Empire or you. My differences with you, we'll save them for a later day. But I need enough of these for my friends for a few weeks, maybe, so that we can go unnoticed. And I promise you, as the boy that I once was, and the love that the three of us shared, I mean no harm against the Empire, or you, now. And I will bring them back. I'm begging, Astrid."
    Matt: As you leaned into her, there's a brief moment where even though you're still dancing, her body seizes briefly. That limber sway to the beat clams up ever so slightly, and you feel her hand touch your back and shoulder, and she falls back into lockstep with you. [ ... ]
    Astrid: "I'll see what I can do. Just know there are eyes on you, which means either we're walking into their trap, or you beat them at their own game. [ ... ] They know you're here. It could be an opportunity, if you strike first."[3]
  • Caleb: I don't want to waste our time, to have us fall on the top of the world. Ja, I want him (Trent) dead. He ruined my life. He look my life away from me. And I fucking helped! But I'm not going to risk all of you right now. We need to get ready and we need to go north, and finish what we started.
    Veth: Is that your fear making that decision?
    Caleb: There are things way bigger than my personal grievances, as painful as they are. Save it for a rainy day, is all I can say right now.
    Veth: Every day is rainy.
    Jester: When we save the world, we'll come back and kill Trent.[4]
  • Yasha: (to Beau) I've been trying to keep my distance from you when I found out that he was listening and they were watching, but I just-- I've had a lot of people in my head and I don't want to give them you.[5]
  • Yasha: (to Beau) "I want to kiss you so bad."
    Beau: "I want to kiss you so bad. I was about to ask you."
    Yasha: I jump all over her.
    Beau: I kiss her![6]
  • Beau: (to Yasha) Sorry, babe. I gotta handle these ninjas.[7]
  • Beau: (to Yasha, after killing the first four ninjas with one blow each) Babe, I might need help with these ninjas.[8]
  • Beau: (in the hot bath with Yasha) "Hey."
    Yasha: "Hey."
    Beau: "I love you, too."
    Yasha: "That's the best thing I've ever heard."
    Beau: Just lay my head on her shoulder, enjoy the show.
    Yasha: "Oh, but, at some point... I'm very curious about something in your bedroom."
    Beau: "The mirror?"
    Yasha: "Yes, yes, the mirror in your bedroom."
    Beau: "The bed is made, whenever you're ready."
    Yasha: "We'll enjoy the show first."
    Beau: "Okay." We enjoy the show.[9]

Trivia

  • This episode takes place on the 29th day of Brussendar, 18 days before the Mighty Nein's one-year milestone of first meeting in Trostenwald.
  • This episode marks the first kiss of many between Beau and Yasha, cementing their newfound status as lovers.

References

  1. See "Malice and Mystery Below" (2x119) at 2:20:51.  The armor was on the crushed body of Zana Deelio.
  2. See "Worth Fighting For" (2x126) at 1:15:20.
  3. See "Worth Fighting For" (2x126) at 1:45:50.
  4. See "Worth Fighting For" (2x126) at 2:20:08.
  5. See "Worth Fighting For" (2x126) at 2:51:39.
  6. See "Worth Fighting For" (2x126) at 3:13:41.
  7. See "Worth Fighting For" (2x126) at 3:15:41.
  8. See "Worth Fighting For" (2x126) at 3:18:30.
  9. See "Worth Fighting For" (2x126) at 3:28:14.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Caleb and Astrid dancing, by s.maelstrom (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of a dachshund bringing drinks, by Katie Rasic (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Frumpkin introducing the ninjas, by EvilSeedlet (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of the arrival of the ninjas, by Elaine Tipping (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Beau and Yasha, by HeartofPack (source).  Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of Yasha and Beau, by Alyssa Plaia (source).  Used with permission.
  7. Fan art of a complicated dance, by @vronivlo (source).  Used with permission.


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