Episode 63: Intervention
Whew!! Somehow we all survived this episode. I was expecting chaos, but this may have shattered even my wild imaginations. Last week’s episode ended with the Nein deciding that they had to tell the Bright Queen about the attack they discovered. The action picks right up with the whole gang back before the Bright Queen trying to describe what they’ve discovered in the most gentle way possible. Not wanting to spark any harsh reaction or premature retaliations, Fjord, Beau and Caleb try and persuade the Bright Queen to act with caution and hesitation. It seems though, that the Queen is unpersuaded and will bring defenses up around the borders and prepare for a serious assault.
The Nein leave feeling not a whole lot better about the situation, in fact they may have more worries than before. Beau is especially torn because she knows that her teacher Dairon is still out there somewhere possibly involved in the espionage they’ve uncovered.
The Role Playing and story development in the first half of the episode is really superb. The lines are continuously grey and no matter what they choose, the Nein will always feel accountable fore some wrongdoing. As much as I loved the clearcut “villains and heroes” aspect of campaign 1, I have to say that this back and forth soul searching is WAY more engaging. You really don’t know who to root for as both sides have their faults and merits. Every time the Nein seem to make a stalwart decision, something in the story sways the group to doubt themselves. So much so, that a frustrated Jester only half joked that they should abandon it all and form their own country. Long Live Jesterland.
After their bout of soul searching and planning, The Nein decide that they will still stake out the Overcrow and try to intercept the meeting between the Zemnian man and his allies in the Dynasty. In typical Nein fashion, they messily recon the Overcrow and discover an (almost) perfect hiding place. Minus the rank stench of decay from the sadly, long-deceased goblin, the small apartment Nott discovered has a perfect view of the Overcrow. Jester and Caleb also try to pull of a ‘perfect’ recon mission by turning Jester into an invisible goth moth to scout out the Overcrow, but things go fantastically wrong when Jester’s mind is also transformed into a tiny moth brain and she learns almost nothing besides “light is more beautiful than I remember” and “curtains are a delicious snack”.
During a night fraught with frantic watches and not so restful sleep, Nott, Caduceus and Beau see several agents arriving at the Overcrow. Though none of them match the description of a blond Zemnian, the Nein are sure that this is the meeting they must intercept. Planning to stop any and all agents and information from escaping, the Nein must execute their plan perfectly….which is the cue for everything to go wrong.
Jester and Fjord burn a couple valuable spell slots disguising themselves to distract the guard form all the ruckus they’ve been making during the recon. Nott manages to invisibly sneak in, but is now trapped inside the Overcrow but unable to access the meeting room. In a more awkward version of a Mission Impossible\ Ninja scene, Nott ends up clinging to the ceiling and narrowly missing being smashed in a door frame. As one of the informants begins to leave the building, Nott makes a split second decision to drop invisibility and contact her companions to stop the Dragonborn leaving the building. Everyone springs into action, thinking that this is the Zemnian in disguise!
Meanwhile, the now visible Nott comes face to face with the Drow informant in the Overcrow. Bemused, but not perturbed, the Drow quickly charms Nott into protecting him and allowing him to escape out the back with another compatriot. Though, as he is leaving, he recognizes Yasha and calls her Orphanmaker. It appears that several of these informants actually know her and one actually calls her a legend. Outside,Fjord, Caleb and Caduceus manage to kill the Dragonborn, a horse, and a hobgoblin informant before the chaos ends. Caduceus manages to calm everyone down and talk about the next plan of action. He can sense the Drow moving east at a quick pace. Jester manages to reach out, trying to deceive the Drow into returning but he is not fooled. In fact, he tells the Nein if they must follow, Come North, and bring Yasha.
The entire second half of the episode is the DnD that I live for. As much planning and plotting as they do, the fate of the dice and a few poor decisions completely change the outcome. Even though Sam Riegel mentioned offline that he feels wholly responsible for the turn of events, I think that this unfolding of the story will be much more interesting to watch. The whole story still feels so convoluted and incomplete. Jester knows that the blond Zemnian is still in the Empire (and writing strange celestial notes in his book). Yasha is strangely connected to the characters at the Overcrow. and it seems that they are headed directly to her home base of Bazzoxan! I have a feeling that the Nein are about to be in some hot water.
I for one, am excited for this next week’s session. Though it may have very little to do with the plot the Nein were hoping to thwart, we may get some much needed character building for Yasha. I know Ashley is probably leaving for New York again soon, so I am thankful that we can get any Yasha story while she is still able to play in person. Caleb’s backstory has been nipping at his heels as well the past few episodes. Nott and Jester’s letter to Astrid seems to be weighing heavily on his mind. As well as the news that the Empire might be sending Scourgers to the Dynasty. Everything is connected!
Don’t Miss It!
DnD Beyond’s unveiling stream “Live from the Descent” happened earlier this week. Many familiar facest from the cast of Critical Role and it’s many guest stars appeared in different sessions. Matthew Mercer and Marisha Ray both participated. Matthew played Boo, an adorable hamster, in Chris Perkins session. Marisha Ray DM’d her very own session with some Critical Role favorites, Patrick Rothfuss, Deborah Ann Woll, Krystina Arielle, and Satine Phoenix and Mathew Lillard! If you missed the live broadcast you can catch the VOD on Twitch and YouTube.
Also, in case you’ve been living under a rock, Matthew Mercer’s one on one session with Stephen Colbert happened this week. The fundraising session for Red Nose Day will be available for all of us to watch on Youtube Thursday morning! So that should hold you over until Thursday night’s session of Critical Role, where Yasha’s mysterious Orphanmaker backstory may be revealed!