Episode 99: High Seas, High Stakes
Before we get started with this week’s review, let’s address the news Critical Role announced just this morning. As of March 17th, Critical Role will not be broadcasting any live sessions due to the COVID-19 outbreak. While this is absolutely the safest and best choice in the moment, I know we will all be greatly missing our Mighty Nein adventures in the coming weeks. More details on this and future Critical Role Review articles to come in the ‘Don’t Miss It’ portion of this article.
Now that the relevant world news has been covered, let’s get back into Exandria with the Mighty Nein aboard the Ball Eater with Fjord and Orly both beyond help after falling to the Sea Spawn.
As is typical with death in Critical Role, the stakes are high, but not hopeless. Caduceus and Jester both leap into action to save Fjord from a permanent fate. Caduceus places the Revivification diamond onto Fjord’s chest and begins his prayer to the Wildmother.
The ritual begins and Mercer delivers a flawless, nail biting description of Fjord returning to the land of the living. There were a couple of moments when I was sure the spell hadn’t worked with Caduceus’ barely adequate Wisdom roll. The spell succeeds and Fjord opens his eyes to find his friends surrounding him on the deck. Jester quickly hops in to save Orly and the crew of the Ball Eater take control of the situation.
As the Nein are assessing the situation, a dimension door spell interrupts and a half-elven woman with short hair appears on the Ball Eater and demands to know what’s going on. A few tense moments later and the Nein realize this is Vess DeRogna, the famed Cerberus Assembly mage that has been whispered about since episode 18. She offers a terse greeting and a chance to possibly talk at a more opportune time about future job opportunities then vanishes back to the Assembly’s ship. In case you’re unsure of DeRogna’s history with the Nein, let’s do a quick recap. She had been mentioned in several early campaign episodes as being associated with The Martinet. Both she and the Martinet were also involved with Yeza Brennato’s forced experimentation on the Beacon before his capture by the Dynasty. Essek also mentioned her being loosely associated in the deal he made with the Empire to further research on the stolen Beacons.
The Nein have some questions about Fjord’s deadly encounter with Uk’atoa’s minions. Realizing he may not be as free as he thought he was, Fjord has his friends help him search for a possible trace of his disavowed patron still locked inside him. Jester realizes they may be able to get the eye-ball that is 100 percent definitely still lodged inside Fjord somewhere safely out of his body, she has Caduceus begin a Greater Restoration spell. The fight is intense and incredibly painful as Uk’atoa’s reach is stronger than anticipated, but the Wildmother is stronger. In a scene reminiscent of Fjord’s wet dreams, he begins to vomit gallons of sea water onto the deck and eventually coughs up the Orb of Uk’atoa onto the deck. Caleb locks it away for good in a vault of amber until they figure out a more permanent solution.
The rest of the journey passes without issue and, beyond a quick visit with Vess DeRogna to inspect the Beacon for trade, without much excitement. The Empire fleet and the Dynasty’s armada meet under a magically darkened sky to begin negotiations. The talks happen in private but watchful eyes catch the successful trade of the beacon and two prisoners for a peace treaty and an end to the war in Exandria.
Things are looking up for the Nein as they begin their journey to TravelerCon 3000. Only one little problem…they are being followed. It seems they have attracted the attention of an enormous Dragon Turtle and it has begun pursuing the Ball Eater across the ocean. What happens next? We may have to wait quite a while to find out, but Critical Role Review will be here to catch the action!
This episode was almost a perfect one to end with before a forced quarantine sent Critical Role into Hiatus. We got to secure Orly and Fjord’s fate while seeing the end of the war between nations. A new, possibly sinister, possibly friendly Vess DeRogna was finally introduced. Essek seems to have gotten away with his secret espionage…for now. Jester managed to get into a bit of hot water with both The Traveler and the Hag, bothering the both of them with a mal-intentioned Scrying spell and an out of the blue Message about cupcakes. We also have the promise of a future battle, or at least a high speed sea chase when we return with the Dragon Turtle encounter looming over the Hiatus! Too bad TravelerCon was another casualty of COVID-19. We’ll just have to wait out the worst and wait for news of when we can say…”Is it Thursday Yet?”
Don’t Miss It!
Keep an eye on the Critical Role website, and social media pages to stay caught up on the latest news.
While there will be no new episodes of Critical Role during the quarantine, we still have a couple of pre-recorded videos to look forward to. The VOD of the Doom Eternal one-shot will be available on YouTube tomorow. I’m halfway through watching it and am absolutely loving it. Keep an eye out for a more in depth review in an upcoming article.
There will also be two new episodes of All Work No Play coming out during the hiatus. One episode aired today, March 17th and featured Sam and Liam trying out a rather intense looking spa day with guest stars Satine Phoenix and Noelle Stevenson. The All Work No Play season finale will air March 31st in it’s normal time slot.
Critical Role Review will be putting together a Must Watch list of Critical Role’s many One-Shot episodes! Catch up on all those one-shots you were saving for when you ‘had a little free time’.
All caught up on everything Critical Role? In the coming weeks, Critical Role Review will be putting out a DnD Recommendations list of other Dungeons and Dragons campaigns you may be interested in while you wait for new episodes! Discover new settings and new play styles ranging from ‘Family Friendly podcast fun’ to gorgeously produced video Sci-Fi series.
Stay safe. Send your virtual love and friendship to everyone you can during this quarantine, and most importantly. Don’t worry…It’s almost Thursday!