Episode 6: Growing Bonds and Teasing Threads
The gang find themselves with a moment to relax at the Spire by Fire tavern. Ashton suggests a fun little drinking game called What the [email protected] Is Up With That. It’s time they all got to know each other a little bit better. They spend the next few hours asking each other some prying questions. Dorian reveals that he does in fact come from a prominent family that’s amassed a…large sum of money. He has a tense relationship with his family. They are a very private bunch, and no one really leaves home so he’s a bit of a black sheep. Ashton answers a question about his past loves. Fearne talks about the reason she, Dorian, and Orym all came to Jrusar. Imogen peels back a few more layers on her family and how comfortable she is with the Corsairs having her fathers name as leverage. FCG of course talks more about his creation and what he remembers of his life before Ashton found him. Laudna talks about how she is in fact…kind of…dead-ish? She definitely remembers dying, and then she woke up a bit changed and slightly creepier. She also deep dives into her history with Whitestone, the Briarwoods, and the overthrowing of the De Rolo family. Laudna then drops the bombshell that she still sometimes hears the voice of Delilah Briarwood in her head sometimes.
Once the group is nice and drunk and satisfied with the more intimate details they’ve learned about each other, they decide it’s time to check back in with Yash and the Hubbat Corsairs.
Ashton leads the group to the Krook House and introduces them to Anni, another resident of the house. Anni and Dorian hit it off a bit when he finds out that they also play an instrument and are trying out to play at the Spire by Fire. They have a friendly little showdown and put on quite a display for the group. Anni also mentions that Ashton has some weird fancy letter waiting for him in his room. No idea who brought it or why, but that’s Ashton’s problem now. They quietly read the letter to themselves, tuck it away and lets the group know it’s nothing for them to worry about quite yet. They should really go see one more informative source while they’re in the area.
Ashton then sets off to look for another acquaintance that might know a bit more about The Anger and his employers the Lumas twins. The group comes upon what can only be described as a nest made of junk and decrepit netting strung up around the room. Ashton calls out for Effid, and the group watch as a spindly, old, bird-like creature begins to wind his way towards them. Huge, owl like eyes peer at them from above a hooked beak. Effid wonders what Ashton needs so desperately, as a large bag of gold is tossed up as an offering. Effid talks with them about The Anger and the Lumas twins. He also hints that things have gone belly up for The Anger recently. That’s all he’s heard about that though, maybe the group will have more luck with Lord Eshteross.
Back at Eshteross’ manor, they quickly catch their employer up on the past day’s events. He thanks them for their discretion and reveals he does have a tidbit about Breshio that might be helpful. It seems that there was recently an attack at the Lumas estate and the twins were both killed, Oshad was grievously injured but survived. He should be healed enough to talk about the attack in a few days. Until then, Lord Eshteross has been hearing strange whispers about a series of unexplained disappearances at Stuvan’s Dreamscape Theater. The local authorities have no leads and Lord Eshteross is hopeful the gang can help solve this mystery. The group agree to look into it and decide to head to Laudna and Imogen’s room at Zhudanna’s home to go over some loose details.
Laudna and Imogen welcome the gang to Zhudanna’s abode. She welcomes them with all the grandmotherly love she can muster on such short notice. Zhudanna goes over the same basic information about The Anger that the group has already dug up. Orym talks about how The Anger may have been connected to a deadly attack against his leader, The Voice of the Tempest. He’s hopeful to finally bring some answers home after all these years. Since Breshio is still unable to meet, the gang decide that maybe it’s time to start picking at some of these loose threads at the Dreamscape Theater and see what they can uncover.
The gang bribe and lie their way into the highroller box seats at the theater to try and get the best vantage point to watch over the crowd. They split up a bit to poke around before the show starts, looking for anything suspicious. Dorian, who was informed that someone was asking to speak to him, wanders the hallways to the front entrance. He assumes that one of the Corsairs has been tailing them, but wonders why they’d reach out like this. As he’s lost in thought, a leather armor clad arm reaches out from the shadows and grabs him. He struggles against the rough treatment but a familiar voice stops stops him in his tracks. “What are you doing here?” the shadowy figure asks. His shock and alarm quickly wears off when he realizes his assailant is none other than his brother, Cyrus Wyvernwind. Dorian asks Cyrus how he got away from the family and why he’s here after him in Jrusar. Cyrus says he was inspired by Dorian’s bravado and decided to pursue him and finally see the world. Dorian nervously heads back to the box seats and keep his secret family meeting quiet from the rest of his companions.
The lights begin to dim as the performers take the stage…and that’s where we’ll pick up next week!
For an interlude episode, this session had quite a few little gems! I love the drinking game Ashton suggests as a sneaky way to reveal more character backstories and connections without having the usual “interrogation style” questions that usually happen early on in a campaign. While the story slows down and winds its way through, the world building and fleshing out of characters really shines.
The thread the gang seem to be pulling on the most is Orym’s interest in Oshad Breshio, aka The Anger. The Corsairs, Shidonna, and Effid were all able to parse out little details that should jump start the next part of the story once they’re actually able to have a chit chat with the ominous character. In the mean time, settle in for some good old fashion goofing around. There’s a drinking robot (twice), quite the NPC crawl, a fantastic double nat 20 from Robbie Daymond, and a few peeks at some carefully guarded secrets among the group (looking at you Dorian and Ashton).
Laudna’s reveal that she is quite intimately connected to at least one of the Briarwoods is the biggest tie to past campaigns we’ve had so far. It seems like this campaign will not try to put those distinct walls between campaigns that were steadfastly up in Campaign 2.
Dorian is still so reluctant to let any little details of his past life interfere with his new life. He reluctantly and vaguely answered the group’s questions during the drinking game, then completely hid his brother’s presence from his companions. He’s going to be one tough nut to crack.
Once The Anger story line was put to rest for the session, the gang followed through on another seemingly unconnected story line presented to them. Those mysterious disappearances from the Dreamscape Theater seem to have tipped off enough of the right people to merit an investigation from our adventurers. I have no clue where this story thread will lead them, but I’m sure the mastermind Mercer is pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Next session promises to be just as mysterious and unpredictable as this one. We’ve got two sessions left before Critical Role takes another week off for the holidays. I’m interested to see if they’ll be able to lay down any solid story lines before then or if we’ll piece the threads back together in the new year.