Episode 56: The Favor
And we’re back! With not one, but two incredible episodes of Critical Role to talk about.
Episode 56 kicks off a bit slowly with the group making their way out of the well and Jester finding another worshiper of the Traveler. This encounter was, of course, adorable but left more questions than answers. I am getting more intrigued by TravelerCon.
Once the Nein return to Lady Oleos with proof of completion of contract, they accept payment and the offer to meet the Bright Queen (Leylas Kryn) to ask for a favor. They are quickly whisked away by Lady Oleos and teleport to the Lucid Bastion and into the Bright Queen’s throne room.
I was mesmerized by the descriptions of the Bright Queen’s throne room and of all the den leaders surrounding her. The artwork from fans has been stunning and really enriches the world of Xhorhas that is slowly being uncovered. There is so much lore to uncover here and Matt definitely hinted at some interesting history with this city being the site of The Calamity.
The talk with the Bright Queen takes a turn when the Nein are called out by a familiar face in the crowd. One of the soldiers recognizes the Nein from the attack on the outskirts of the Ashkeeper Peaks. It seems like the Nein are about to be thrown into prison and interrogated as Empire spies until Caleb does the unthinkable.
He pulls the dodecahedron from the bag and offers it up to the Bright Queen. It is a dangerous move, and one that some of his companions are upset by, but the reverent hush that falls over the crowd hints that this may have saved their lives. The Bright Queen is moved to tears and proclaims that the Nein have brought hope back to the people of Xhorhas and they are proclaimed as heroes of the Dynasty.
Episode 57: In Love and War
Episode 57 picks back up after a tense two week wait! Immediately after Caleb has handed over the Dodecahedron and the Nein are released, questions begin to fly. The Bright Queen asks why the Nein have traveled so far and offered this great blessing. Caleb and Fjord wish to know more about the history of the people here and what the Dodeca actually means to them.
We learn a great deal about the power of Dunemancy and what consecution means. It appears that a select chosen few are blessed with eternal life by being reborn through the Dodecahedron. ( I personally loved it when chat blew up with Molly’s name after this revelation. We’ll have to wait and see if our dearly departed was actually consecuted) Without the object nearby though, they lose this ability.
Fjord begins to get a bit uncomfortable when further questioning reveals that the Bright Queen and her followers seem to look down upon the gods, thinking that their immortal lives grant them more wisdom than distant omnipotent gods. Matt has often said that this campaign is all about exploring the grey lines in between right and wrong and this story arc has definitely pushed this. Both the Bright Queen and The Nein make a good case for and against each other. There are bad people that would see the Dynasty destroyed, but it is not a representation of the true heart of the Empire. But the Dynasty cannot just give up the fight and let evil win. The Nein seem just as conflicted in who to trust as the audience. It’s such a beautifully crafted story and I can’t wait to see more.
After the two parties have finished their questioning, the Bright Queen asks what favor the Nein wish from her. They ask for Nott’s husband to be freed from prison and for safe passage home. With some brief negotiation, the Bright Queen allows the Nein to visit Yeza in prison.
The entire second half of the episode is dedicated to Nott and Yeza’s reunion. It is as heartfelt, mushy, and emotional as you’d hoped it would be. There’s a moment where Nott believes that Yeza will find her disgusting because of her new goblin body. Yeza, though, is progressively accepting of Nott and so thankful to have his dear wife back when all hope was gone. They are adorable. Everyone loves them. I’m normally into Critical Role for the action, intense battles, and convoluted story puzzles, but even these scenes warmed my cold heart. It will be interesting to see where the Nein go from here and how Nott will handle being separated from her husband and child again.
The Nein seemed a little bit lost on what to do next. They tried to look at the big picture and the small, but still came up empty handed. Caduceus sent out hints that he is looking for a crematorium or a kiln that is attached to his still clouded history. Also (please gods let it be) Yasha may be a bit more vocal in the following episodes and may want to explore some of her own attachments in Xhorhas.
Don’t Miss It!
In case you missed Talks Machina 106 tonight, Sam Riegel officially (kind of) announced a secret Kickstarter stretch goal! If they raise $10 million, then they will live stream Travis Willingham in a haunted house! Spread the word.
ALSO, according to Brian W. Foster, Ashley Johnson is officially BACK. Finally. It’s been too long.
Critical Role will be at the Denver Pop Culture Con in June! Keep an eye on their website for more information.