Episode 72: Clay and Dust
From the title of this episode, you may have some guesses where the story goes in this episode. But I think the more telling hint actually lies in the episodes feature image. Travis really does steal the show during this riveting episode. More on that later! For now, let’s dive into the story.
Caduceus Clay. The backstory we’ve all been waiting for. It was wonderful to see his family’s history played out during the session. It had the same emotional tugs as when Percy, Keyleth, and Scanlan found and followed their families’ stories in campaign 1. Caduceus was able to gather some more hints as to where his family may be going and that they in fact may be alive somewhere out there. I will say, that one of my fears for his story is that he may have to deal with the loss of his family at some point down the line. It seems very serious to have every single one of his family members disappear while trying to find help for the sacred temple they’ve guarded for generations leaves a pit in my stomach. Being a grave cleric and all, I know Caduceus has a very healthy relationship with life and death, but still… I don’t want to see the sweet summer child hurt by the world.
After last week’s lore drop, we quickly got some payoff by meeting the Dust family! I think more than one member of the Nein expected the Clay, Stone, Dust story to be a fictional tale, but everyone was pleasantly surprised by the hearty warm welcome the dwarfs of Kravaraad. The respite found in the Dust homestead was much needed after the treacherous and terrifying climb to reach Kravaraad. Walking through hordes of ghostly figures (though Jester seemed to keep them at bay with a spirited reading of Tusk Love) and the final transport up the volcano through a blizzard via giant eagle when Jester almost drops Beau to her death was enough excitement for one session.
The Dust clan were able to provide some extremely useful information to the Nein. Caduceus knows that he’s on the right trail looking for Residuum (the fancy glass from Whitestone!), though the party doesn’t necessarily need to travel to Whitestone (I was as crushed as you were when the Wildmother said to look elsewhere). It was also revealed that Caduceus can find the man to reforge the super magic sword in the nearby city of Uthodurn. Road trip time!
Now. The last arc of this session. Fjord has been having some…performance issues with his powers lately. Uk’otoa has been playing coy with Fjord ever since he quit questing for the final temple location. While the Nein were in Rosanna, chasing down Oban, the Wildmother gave Fjord a brief reprieve from the watching eye of Uk’otoa. Well, Uk’otoa has recently resurfaced and begun to pester Fjord with those awful wet dreams of death and eternal suffering once again. It seems that Mr. Fjord had enough of Uk’otoa’s demanding and takes matters into his own hand.
Perhaps emboldened by Vandrin’s message, that he is alive and well, retired on a paradise island and free from troubles, Fjord wakes from his latest nightmare and decides to go for a walk. Powerless, and carrying the falchion, Fjord finds himself at the edge of the volcano’s magma pit. In a scene I can only describe as butt-clenchingly stressful, Fjord and Uk’otoa have a bit of a showdown ending in Fjord nearly skewering himself and the Warlock’s blade thrown once and for all into the magma pit. When this session started, I could have never guessed that the most exciting and memorable moment would revolve around Fjord and his patron, but holy hells, this was an amazing scene to watch unfold. I don’t think Travis even knew where it would end up. I think this has be to top 10 moment of Campaign 2 so far.
The final moment of episode 72 were honestly a bit adorable. Fjord greets the rest of the group the next morning as a new man. No more accent, (goodbye Texblade!) no more powers (goodbye Eldritch Blast!), no more weapon (no more falchions and cunning?). After the initial shock and questioning die down, the Nein quickly step in to support their friend and each give him a piece of equipment or magical gear to wear. So cute. It will be very interesting to see where Fjord’s character goes in the next few episodes, will the Wildmother give him his warlock powers back? Or will she guide Fjord down a new path? I guess we’ll find out….at the GenCon live show on August 2nd!
Don’t Miss It!
That’s right, it’s time for another Gen Con live show! Last year’s session featured Ashly Burch and Khary Payton (and Sam in a pink spandex suit). This year, the Nein are going to visit the ancient city of Uthodurn to try and find a guy to fix a sword. Basically, this story could go anywhere. You really don’t want to miss it! The broadcast will be live at 8pm Eastern/ 5pm Pacific on Twitch.
Taliesin Jaffe GM’d his first session for the Critical Role Channel. In true goth fashion, Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Crystal Palace is an absolute Lovecraftian joy. The first half is very heavy on world building and character exploration, but oh lord the second half of the episode is not for the faint of heart. Heads. Will. Roll. The episode featured GM Taliesin Jaffe along with Travis Willingham, Marisha Ray, Liam O’Brien, Phil LaMarr, Erika Ishii, and Ashly Burch.
Lastly, keep an eye out for the new episode of Between the Sheets August 6th! It features the incredibly talented Amanda Palmer in an interview that many have promised will leave a lasting impression. It was also announced that Between the Sheets will move to a monthly broadcast schedule. We can expect new episodes and interviews once a month. As long as this means that we will eventually see the return of All Work No Play, I can live with this.