This episode is wild! There were more curve balls, hi-jinks, and side splitting wrong turns than I thought could be packed into one episode. After surviving two previous episodes of the Nein engaging in absolute mayhem, you’d think I’d be ready for anything, but who know that 5 horses, 2 crossbow bolts, and four teleportation circles could leave me utterly destroyed.
From the very beginning, with Sam’s increasingly outrageous weekly DnD Beyond ads, I knew we were in for a particularly bizarre treat this week. Even the studio rebelled against the sane this week with Travis’ weekly fly killing ending in a morose drowning in Marisha’s coffee. Laura also wasted no time adding to the light and humorous setting by imagining an alternate universe in which she would use her magic to appear to The Gentleman disguised as her mother to try and lure him into confessing his patriarchal role in Jester. Thankfully, or maybe rather cruelly, we were spared from this scene. It’s no wonder how quickly this episode devolved into chaos considering this less than serious beginning.
Fjord seems to be the only voice of reason throughout the episode, reminding the group over and over again of their mission for the Bright Queen, and the news they of Yasha they must investigate. Though, his words seem to fall on deaf ears. The Nein decide to take the two week trip back into the Empire, to Zadash! Jester’s mediocre forging skills, along with a quick casting of charm person, and Beauregard’s flouting of her new expositor title, The Nein barely manage to squeak their way back into the Empire and back to the place of their first meeting! The Nein spend a nostalgic night at the inn in Trostenwald where this campaign all began.
We get some Beau Backstory! Finally! Her backstory has been bubbling around in the background for a long time (including an Easter egg appearance in the Dalen’s Closet one-shot). Not only did we get a brief history of the Lionett fortune, but Jester was actually able to message Beau’s father Thoreau (Thoreauregard?), and subsequently, accidentally, scared the pants off the man. His shady past of stolen fortune will haunt him in more ways than one. Also, Beau learns that the confiscated letters implicating the Bombauk Brewery in illegal smuggling waaaAAaay back when actually got the brewery shut down. As Marisha said, “cause and effect”! I love it when Matt throws in these tiny little moments during the campaign.
If the first half of this session wasn’t enough humor and nostalgia, the second half comes in rather like a sledgehammer with the random story lines crossed with the Chaotic awesome of The Nein on their worst behavior. The second half begins with an intense Google Matt search of all the ‘bad guys’ and ‘evil cults’ that the history of the world has to offer. The Nein each research a subject that will hopefully lend them clues as to what Oban, Yasha, and the Hand are looking for. The Nein are able to uncover some important clues that will lead the campaign arc forward. Caleb also discovers that Jester, is in fact, in a cult.
After the heavy library research hour, the Nein decide to do some light travelling and take advantage of access to new teleportation circles. The rest of the session quickly devolves into a Yakkity Yak montage of horses in a library, Jester being shot, Poopgate, and being banned from every Cobalt Soul Conservatory in Exandria. It’s a lot. My sides still hurt. It’s cannon. Let’s recap all of the cities that The Nein visited in just this one episode. Nicodranus, Trostenwald, Allfield, Zadash, Rexentrum, Port Dumali, Zadash again, and finally back to Rosona. More cities than Vox Machina with Keyleth’s tree stride hack! I’m exhausted just looking at this list. Hopefully next episode is a little bit tamer. There’s only so much Chaotic Nein I can take.
Don’t Miss It!
Between the Sheets dropped a new and hilarious episode with the gregarious Felicia Day! I thoroughly enjoyed this unpredictable episode between the two good friends.
Critical Role also ran some new Kickstarter content on their channel! Sam Riegel, Liam O’Brien, Travis Willingham and Titmouse Animation live streamed the reveal of a fan created Tavern Keeper that will appear somewhere in the animated series.
Critical Role also announced that they will release a new show schedule later this week! We will dive more into the new shows, and new schedule in next week’s review. Also, there will be no new episode of Critical Role on October 10th. This should be the last campaign break for a while.