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"Xhorhas" (2x51) is the fifty-first episode of the second campaign of Critical Role. The Mighty Nein safely make it to Xhorhas, but find more danger than they could have imagined in this new country... 

Synopsis Edit

Pre-Show Edit

Tonight is our special Valentine's Day episode of Critical Role (the cast dressed up for the occasion). If you're watching tonight with your loved one, welcome! If you're watching with Critical Role as your date...well, we'll just have to see how the rest of the night goes (*WINK*). Liam and Travis pictures couples watching the stream on Chili's and Applebee's across the country. Matt confirms that's the goal in general for the channel.

Announcements Edit

  • First and foremost, our fantastic returning sponsor and friend since the beginning of the campaign:
    • Sam reads a saucy love poem dedicated to D&D Beyond (with romantic music). D&D Beyond also has a new Discord server where the community to gather to discuss all things D&D at dndbeyond.com/discord. There is now a whole list of spells that Matt will never again be able to think about in a platonic and chaste way.
  • Between the Sheets: Our next episode will feature friend of the show, artist, producer, and guest in the last campaign of Critical Role...Noelle Stevenson! She's an incredible person and talent, and her episode is next Monday, February 18, 2019 at 7:00 pm PST at twitch.tv/criticalrole. Marisha says her interview is SO GOOD! Laura says Noelle is wonderful. Matt says *harp music*...other *harp music*. Laura and Noelle have competing *harp musics*.
  • Emerald City Comic Con: Critical Role will be headed to Seattle next month for ECCC! Tickets for autographs and photo-ops are still available. You can go to critrole.com/events for all the details.
  • Pub Draw: Apparently, there is a show on the Critical Role channel called Pub Draw, and Sam is going to be on it! Travis is skeptical: Sam is going to DRAW?!? Sam clarifies that he is going to be *TAUGHT* how to draw. Sam will also be simultaneously watching Pub Draw for the first time. Laura feels sorry that Babs has to work with Sam. Travis asks Marisha if they really want to test Babs with someone like Sam so early....don't they want to warm her up first with someone a little better? Marisha points out that Babs managed to teach Laura. Laura proudly declares that she only drew *TWO* penises! Matt is looking forward to Sam's episode.
  • merch update from Laura: Our amazing art prints that are in the store right now, available for pre-order? They're still available for pre-order until next week on February 21, 2019 at 11:59 pm PST. Sam remarks that Laura said that so ominously. Sam points out that both signed and unsigned posters are available. Laura confirms both are available for pre-order, and they are both beautiful. You can get to them at shop.critrole.com or shop.critrole.co.uk (if you're across the Pond). And also, you know, there's also like T-shirts and stuff. They were kind of restocked, so some other stuff might be available in the store right now. Laura says she is SO BAD at announcements. Matt DISAGREES. Marisha says Laura is the best, Taliesin really, really enjoyed it, Matt thinks she's adorable, and Travis thinks Laura is "real purty". Laura thanks them for their support.
  • Matt has gotten a little crafty in his free time. Keeping track of potions in D&D is always a pain in the ass, some people have created different variations for physical healing potions and tweeted about them. Marisha loves it when Matt gets crafty. So Matt got some red resin and made some "healing potions", containing d4 dice. He made both regular and greater healing potions, and he'll distribute them to the party during the intro. Travis didn't realize they had any greater healing potions. Laura says that Jester might have one.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

"So, last we left off: The Mighty Nein had discovered that an important individual in the past history of Nott the Brave - the husband from a previous life, it seems - had gotten wrapped up in some of the chaos and the conflict between the Empire and the Kryn Dynasty. There was an attack on Felderwin, in the Tillage, and it seems that this individual was taken...eastward, toward Xhorhas. You managed to find the collapsed tunnel that they had used to surprise Felderwin, tunneled your way through that barrier, and then continued to follow this pathway back eastward to pursue where they may have taken him.

"While you've gone through, skirting the top of the Underdark of Wildemount, you managed to come in contact and save yourself from a battle with a couple of ropers amongst the caverns below. You found yourselves suddenly in the center of a network of kobold tunnels, and in doing so: talked your way out of a possible conflict, made a new friend and an ally named Spurt (who was a nice and excitable inventor, who wanted to show you the way through the tunnels, here towards the end of his life, it seemed) [Eleven days!], and found that the tunnels seemed to intersect with some sort of an underground fire giant citadel beneath the Ashkeeper Peaks...of which Spurt rushed out, attacked one with bees, telling it ["You're dead!"], and then got smashed immediately by a hammer.

"No longer having to worry about Spurt's well-being, you then focused on yours, and seeing that this open courtyard on the outside - kind of the outskirts of this, this citadel in an open chamber, with a river of magma running though it and a bridge where two giant fire giants were watching - you all hatched a plan to get past without being noticed...which ALMOST worked out perfectly, except for one fateful, terrible Stealth roll. In the chaos, the bridge was destroyed, Nott was knocked out of Invisibility, had fallen into the lava, caught fire, and was dying. Beauregard reaching into the flames and pulling Nott's body from the fire, you managed to rush out of the chamber, you closing the door behind and sealing it with stone, and - in this one moment as you begin to rush down the small hallway, hearing the slamming of the hammer behind you...trying to break its way into the tunnel where you've all escaped - you continue charging into the darkness ahead..."

Part I Edit

Escaping the Underdark Edit

Xhorhas by GalacticJonah

Fan art of The Mighty Nein enter Xhorhas, by GalacticJonah.[art 1]

The Mighty Nein recover from their skirmish with the fire giants and keep moving forward for a few hours before finally resting for the night. Jester casts Sending to Yeza, asking him to cough once for "Yes" and cough twice for "No". Yeza coughs twice for "Are they moving you?" and coughs once for "Are you safe?" Jester casts it again and asks him how many people are guarding him (cough once for each person)? Yeza coughs three times.[1] Before going to rest for the night, Caleb spends an hour to cast Find Familiar and bring Frumpkin back. While they were on watch together, Jester tells Caleb she doesn't really think he smells bad anymore. Caleb says it is ok if Jester wants to keep the running joke going. Jester says she only will if it doesn't make him uncomfortable. Caleb tells her it used to but now that he knows her well he doesn't mind.[2]

The next day, the party finds the tunnel exit, but they must climb up a very steep grade to get to it. Through teamwork (and just the right amount of successful Athletics checks), everyone manages to make the difficult climb and safely out of the tunnel.

Behind Enemy Lines Edit

The party emerges on the eastern side of the Ashkeeper Peaks, just south of the Ashguard Garrison. The party (except for the native-born Yasha) get their first view of Xhorhas: a barren landscape dotted with dead trees. They see the outline of localized Darkness off in the distance to the north, where the Ashguard Garrison would be.[3]

Caduceus notices someone spying on them, and instinctively casts Blindness on the mysterious person. Fjord Misty Steps up to the human, who reveals himself to be a Dwendalian scout named Kaulden. He and his scouts (the "Muck Men") are based out of Bladegarden, and are on a scouting and patrol mission to report on Kryn movements and keep the Ashkeeper Peaks safe for the Empire's soldiers. The Mighty Nein share that they are on a rescue mission to save a friend from Felderwin, and Kaulden confirms that the purple worm did exit the tunnel and depart across the wastes towards Ghor Dranas. Kaulden offers advice about the Xhorhas Empire and its people. When the party asks for supplies, Kaulden agrees...but as he departs the tunnel opening, he is struck by an arrow.[4]

The Muck Men are ambushed by a pack of gnolls being led by two Kryn soldiers: a warrior and a mage. The mage casts an unfamiliar but incredibly powerful gravity spell using gray energy drawn from the air, which Caleb and Beau seem to recognize as dunamantic magic. They remain in hiding initially, but then decide to join the fight. The Kryn warrior has the ability to create clones of himself, but is stunned by Beau. Caleb casts Wall of Fire, and the mage attempts to Counterspell, but Caleb successfully counter-counterspells.

The fight continues, with most of the Muck Men incuding Kaulden being wiped out by the powerful spells of the Kryn mage, both dunamantic and traditional. The party also takes significant damage, but is also able to hurt the two Kryn and pretty much wipe out the gnoll archers. However, Jester goes into melee with the Kryn and is knocked unconscious, almost immediately taking another hit, putting her at two failed death saves. After taking more damage, the Kryn mage grabs the warrior's hand and they both Dimension Door out of sight.

Break Edit

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Part II Edit

The Wastes of XhorhasEdit

The Mighty Nein and three Muck Men still alive looked through the bodies. Beau helped gather personal effects that the remaining rangers could take back to the families of the dead. The survivors tell the Mighty Nein they can take the dead scouts' cloaks to help them blend in while moving across the plains. One of the Muck Men suggested burning the bodies of the dead so they would not be left and used for necromancy. Beau wrote a quick note to Dairon and asked them to give it to her once they got back to Bladegarden. They promised they would do their best to find her. After taking a moment of silence for their fallen comrades, the three scouts leave.

Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 32 to 51

Campaign 2 Tracker Map, Episode 32 to 51

After taking a short rest, they found the traces of the giant burrowing worm they have been following since Felderwin. After donning the Muckmen's grey cloaks to help camouflage, Caduceus lit the pyre for the bodies. The worm tracked through the rocks down the mountain towards the open plains. The valley floor is a muddy brown color with scattered thorny brush and little to no cover. Parts of the ground are blasted with glass. Caduceus recognized the glass as evidence of powerful lightning strikes.[5]

After a few hours of travel, it began to rain. Treated material in the Muckmen's cloaks prevented the Mighty Nein from being completely waterlogged, although traveling through the rain was still uncomfortable. As the sun set, Caleb warded the area where the party will be resting with Alarm and Leomund's Tiny Hut. Jester added a Glyph of Warding outside of the tiny hut. Anyone who stops on the glyph will be affected by a Hold Person spell.

Fjord took first watch. The rain and cloudy weather continued. The darkness and emptiness reminded Fjord of some of the dreams he has had. The thought comes into his head of how far away he is now from a promise he made.[6] Caduceus took second watch. Nothing came near the party all night or set off the Glyph of Warding. Halfway through the second day, the Ifolon River became visible on the horizon.

Moving further, Beau, Caduceus, and Jester heard voices ahead and slowed the party.[7] They were speaking a language that none of the Mighty Nein except Nott understand: Goblin. Nott heard a voice say "Grab your things and run. It's coming." Near a cluster of rocks, the Mighty Nein saw a dead deer-like creature and a group of four or five bugbears. The bugbears look back in the direction the Mighty Nein are coming from but do not seem to notice them. Caduceus noticed a large bird like creature flying in their direction.[8] The roc does not look healthy but seems to have a wingspan of thirty, possibly forty feet. It swooped down on the group of bugbears as they ran, grabbing one of them in its giant talons. Once it picks up the bugbear, the roc tore it in half and ate it. The other three bugbears continued to run.

The Mighty Nein drop down, lay still, and covered themselves in the grey cloaks. Fjord cast Major Image of a mastodon running across the plains. The roc swooped down towards the fake mastodon. Nott cast Silent Image of another mastodon. It did not go for the second illusion but looked around the area. In a tense moment unsure if the roc noticed them or not, Beauregard prayed to The Knowing Mistress.[9] While the roc was distracted by the illusions, the bugbears kept running. Unable to find the source of the mastodons after a minute, the roc took off back towards the bugbears. The Mighty Nein stay hidden, watching the roc swoop down twice and then fly away towards the Ashkeeper Peaks with a bugbear in each claw.[10]

GluzoEdit

Continuing on for another half hour, the Mighty Nein find the spot where the roc caught up to the bugbears. One of them is still alive, unhurt, and has been lying flat and playing dead the entire time. Nott calls out to the bugbear that they can see him. Still lying down, the bugbear reaches for the side of his belt. Caleb tells the bugbear that they are not looking for a fight. The bugbear was convinced enough to sit up from playing dead and not reach for a weapon. The party asks him about the Ifolon River up ahead and where the best place to cross it is. After Caduceus offers him food and healing, the bugbear says he can show them across the river.[11]

The Mighty Nein continue to question the bugbear, whose name is Gluzo. He is out in the Wastes because his party was getting paid to bring back food for the Kryn Dynasty armies.[12] Gluzo gets suspicious when he realizes the Mighty Nein are not from Xhorhas, but continues to talk after Jester gives him food. Gluzo tells them he lives in Asarius, the City of Beasts, which is on the way to Ghor Dranas. He was hired by an ogre named Baron Visco, who he describes as "super smart" and "kind of a douche."[13]

After a few more hours of travel with Gluzo in tow, the party reaches the Ifolon River. The river is between thirty and fifty feet wide. Gluzo leads the Mighty Nein to a point where the river is only about twenty-five feet wide. As the Mighty Nein discuss how best to cross the river, Gluzo kneels down, bows his head, and holds something in his hand. After a moment he stands up and hides what looks like a medallion in the fur around his neck. Jester asks what he was doing. Gluzo says he was praying to "The Light".[14] Gluzo swims across the river. Nott, wearing her Ring of Water Walking, runs across the running water with a rope to hold for the rest of the party. Fjord waits until Nott is already across to cast Control Water. The rest of the party walks through the parting in the water created by Fjord's spell, Caleb holding onto the rope to humor Nott.[15]

Jester tattooing Gluzo by Andrew Jensen

Fan art of Jester tattooing Gluzo, by Andrew Jensen.[art 2]

The Mighty Nein ask Gluzo more about area. He tells them Ghor Dranas is about two weeks away from Asarius. If they go to Asarius, the locals will probably be suspicious of Beau, Caleb, and Yasha. Most humans who come to Asarius are connected to the Kryn Dynasty. Fjord gives Gluzo a gold for guiding them to the city. Jester gives him a gold as well and offers him another gold if he also wants a tattoo. Gluzo agrees.

Yasha shaves the area where Gluzo wants his tattoo. Jester tattoos "The Mark" (face with google eyes and tusks) on Gluzo. While getting the tattoo, Gluzo keeps a hand on the still hidden medallion he wears. Before finishing the tattoo, Jester checks Fjord's tusks and sees they are starting to grow back. She adjusts Gluzo's tattoo so that one of the tusks is normal and the other one is a little bit blunt.[16]

As the party camps outside the City of Beasts, the episode closes.

Featured Characters Edit

The Mighty Nein Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 7 Cloaks Muckmen Mighty Nein
Expended 1 rations Jester Gluzo Jester gives Gluzo food so he will help them cross the Ifolon River.
Acquired ? stones Ifolon River Caduceus
Transferred 1 gold Fjord Gluzo
Transferred 2 gold Jester Gluzo

Quotations Edit

  • Caleb: (referring to his smell) "You can keep the running gag going if you like."
    Jester: "Only if it, you know, doesn't make you uncomfortable."
    Caleb: "No, it made me uncomfortable at first but now I know you pretty well so it's fine."
    Jester: "Ok good."[17]
  • Nott: (about the bugbears the party just saw taken by a roc) "Those are my people."
    Jester: "What?"
    Nott: "No, I'm just kidding. Fuck those guys."[18]
  • Nott: "How do you get to the other side of the river?"
    Gluzo: "Swim."[19]
  • Caduceus: (to Gluzo) "If you can help us get across, I can give you some food and if you need any healing-"
    Jester: "And a tattoo."
    Caduceus: "Tattoo's optional."
    Jester: "It's pretty cool."
    Caduceus: "They are pretty cool but it's optional."[20]
  • Nott: (sarcasticaly referring to Control Water) "Ahhh, Fjord, that's your very special power that only you have."[21]
  • Matt: (describing Gluzo's attitude towards the Mighty Nein) "There's this unique balance between wanting to help to survive and not be killed by you, and also seemingly really put out by anything you ask him to do."
    Sam: "This is a common refrain from anyone we've ever met."
    Matt: "Yeah, but usually you've earned it. This was right off the bat."[22]
  • Nott: "We are so trusting. Look at us. We meet friends wherever we go. We met a monster and made him our friend. We're good people."[23]
  • Matt: "For tattooing a bugbear in the middle of the Xhorhasian fields in a rainstorm, it's not too bad."[24]

References Edit

  1. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) from 21:59 through 25:47.
  2. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 31:19.
  3. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 52:00.
  4. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 1:04:47.
  5. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:04:33.
  6. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:12:49.
  7. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:18:56.
  8. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:21:14.  Caduceus notices the roc
  9. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:28:48.
  10. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) from 3:23:57 through 3:30:41.  The Mighty Nein successfully hide from a roc
  11. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) from 3:34:13 through 3:38:32.  The Mighty Nein meet Gluzo.
  12. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:39:39.
  13. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:41:53.
  14. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) from 3:46:16 through 3:47:26.
  15. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) from 3:47:45 through 3:51:34.
  16. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) from 4:01:52 through 4:05:08.
  17. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 31:32.
  18. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:30:43.
  19. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:36:50.
  20. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:37:47.
  21. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:45:47.
  22. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:51:35.
  23. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 3:59:59.
  24. See "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 4:04:13.

Art:

  1. Fan art of The Mighty Nein enter Xhorhas, by GalacticJonah (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Jester tattooing Gluzo, by Andrew Jensen (source).  Used with permission.


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