Episode 83: Dark Bargains
So much to unpack, so little time! This Halloween themed final Happy Fun Ball extravaganza was jammed full of lore, action, heart attacks, and spooky mages. After the Nein so majestically floated directly into an astral Dreadnaught’s open mouth, they discover a perfectly preserved, still breathing, Archmage Halas. As a brief refresher, Halas was the creator of this spectacular Fun Ball and all its deadly glory. He vanished eons ago after tempting the fates of time and immortality, leaving everyone to wonder if he’d found his holy grail.
The Nein cautiously approach Halas’ body and also discover a glowing red gem nearby. Nott picks it up and hears Halas’ voice in her mind. With the help of Beau, the only non magic user of the group, they manage to make a deal with Halas to show them the escape hatch if they free him from the corrupted soul jar.
The Nein are rightfully cautious and distrusting of Halas, but do manage to talk their way out of the Dreadnaught and over to the Prison of Soot where their cohort Yussa is captured. Along the way, the Nein come across a bound Horned Devil, gone crazy with the thousands of years of imprisonment. These brief interactions were some of my favorite of the session. I was so curious as to what was hidden in the green tome the devil was intent on reading. I sided a bit more with Jester in feeling sorry for the poor crazy devil, though a fight with the maddened beast would have been far too much for the Nein to handle in this session.
Per Halas’ warnings, the Nein are able to quietly, and almost safely traverse the halls of the Prison of Soot. There is one slight hiccup in the entrance of the prison when they discover a series of heavy duty Adamantine chests that contain all the confiscated Mage possessions. In a stunning repeat of Campaign 1 episode 44 with the Raven Queen armor, Nott does not check the highly magical, definitely dangerous metal chests and is immediately killed by a Power Word Kill spell. This is an unusually tough move on Mercer’s part, though absolutely fair when dealing with the intricacies of the Happy Fun Ball. Though brief, and slightly stressful, Nott’s brief encounter with second death served as an important reminder to always check for traps.
The remainder of the episode concludes with the Nein freeing Yussa from the prison with a Looney Toons type use of Jester’s magic paints. There’s a brief visit to the decaying Blue Dragon and its horde to do some light harvesting and pilfering. Then the Nein are safely back outside the Happy Fun Ball and inviting Allura over for a quick catch up on the past month they’ve missed. Allura and Yussa suggest the Nein take a closer look into this cult of the Angel of Irons that have captured Yasha. They discover that she is indeed unwillingly chained to some dark hungry force, but her deity watches close by hoping to win her back over at the right moment. Allura pushes the Nein to strengthen the connection and reveal the dark entity that enslaves Yasha but the being is too strong and the spell is broken. But, Allura has seen enough to understand that this is no mere cult of a forgotten Angel. This being is in fact the Chained Oblivion in disguise. A desolate and vengeful betrayer God looking to finish what it once started during the calamity. A world ending event if the Nein cannot stop Oban and Yasha from completing their mission.
The Nein have quite the task laid out before them. Though hopefully with the help of their powerful allies on both sides of the continent, they may be able to do some good. We can also hope to see Yasha make a strong come back in the near future as Ashley Johnson is soon making a long promised return to the campaign! It’s almost Thursday!
Don’t Miss It!
In case you missed some of the biggest news in Critical Role Land history, an exciting announcement was made today! Critical Role has partnered with Amazon Prime to bring us EVEN MORE ANIMATED SPECIAL! We went from a well earned 10 episodes of Briarwood arc to a whopping 24 episode, 2 season Legends of Vox Machina TV series. As scary as it may be to hand over our precious Critical Role to mega-conglomerate Amazon, we can only hope for the best and trust the gang to do good by the Critters. More announcements and logistics will be coming down the pipeline soon!
The final episode of UnDeadwood has been postponed for one week due to technical difficulties. It will air on Friday November 15th. It is always appreciated when the crew behind Critical Role put forth the time and effort to bring us the best quality and standards. It is refreshing to see a company that cares so much about what they put out!