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Critical Role Review: Campaign 2 Episode 22

By: I.Am.No.Man

Episode 22: Lost Treasures

Recap

The Mighty Nein sit in silence for a brief moment after Callianna, the half dragon sorcerer, leaves them. Fjord and Nott suggest finding shelter for the night and exploring more of the overrun safe house the next day. The group agrees and heads to the surface to take shelter in a tree hollow for the evening. During evening watch, Fjord and Beau share a moment to talk about Beau’s unintentionally harsh confrontation with Caleb. She agrees she should apologize but doesn’t know how, so Fjord attempts to teach her what to say. Later that night, during Caleb and Yasha’s watch, Caleb asks Yasha for some advice on how to talk to people. Yasha does her very best to give Caleb good advice, which he takes to heart. Yasha also throws in a little cleanliness advice, seeing as Caleb is almost always disgustingly dirty. She gives him the old Xhorhasian clean shave and they become best friends.

Early the next morning, The Nein prepare to explore more of the cavernous safe house. Fjord offers to lead the way through an underwater tunnel into another cavern. As the group is getting Fjord ready and securing a rope to him, Nott begins to panic about going underwater. Fjord tries to comfort Nott by saying she can stay behind in this cavern with Kiri while the rest of the group explore the next cavern, but if anything bad should happen Nott will be their only line of defense.

Fjord stealthily makes his way into the next cavern and counts five more fishmen, or Merrow. He signals the rest of the group to come over and they begin to launch an attack on the Merrow. A frenzied and dangerous battle rages with Molly, Fjord, Caleb, Yasha and Beau taking serious damage. Fjord pulls out some wicked new warlock tricks with an epic booming blade spell, and a clutch use of Blink. Jester uses her lollipop to crush one Merrow. Beau gets knocked unconscious by a wicked Merrow bite and Molly swoops in and cuts the Merrow to pieces.

Nott tries to check in on the others but can only hear Caleb swearing and muttering. She steels herself, creates a wall of stone around Kiri to hide her and keep her safe, and dips her toe into the water….and then chickens out again and begins a round of heavy drinking.

Back in the other cavern, Fjord pops in and out of reality, cutting the head and shoulders off of a Merrow. Yasha, raging and ferocious, corners another Merrow, slits its throat, reaches through the wound and pulls out its tongue giving him the good ol’ Xhorhasian Necktie. Two more Merrows appear from two other underwater tunnels and begin to attack the Nein with a Thunderwave that rocks through the adventurers. Beau falls unconscious and Yasha is barely hanging on.

Nott, now roaring drunk, has waded into the water, holding the rope into the next cavern, and takes a deep breath in. Her head pops up in the next cavern and she sees a scene of chaos and gore, with everyone looking bloodied or seriously wounded. She leaps into action, protecting precious Caleb and firing off some well-aimed crossbow bolts.

Fjord, relishing his new powers and abilities, bamphs across the cavern, unleashes two searing Eldritch Blasts and crushes another opponent. Yasha takes another devastating attack and is barely clinging to consciousness when Beau sweeps in and lands a skull crushing kick, killing the Marrow. Another round of Thunderwave rips through the group, sending Caleb flying into a wall and dropping unconscious and failing a death saving throw. Nott launches herself at the Merrow unleashing a burning arrow and a ferocious scream. The Merrow loses concentration on its thunderwave attack and recoils, severely wounded. With Caleb’s life hanging in the balance and Nott’s bravery spurring them on, Yasha and Jester leap into action and simultaneously slice the Merrow in half.

Silence falls on the cavern once again. The Mighty Nein do their customary Heal and Steal, taking a moment to rest up and loot the spoils. Jester finds a symbol of The Traveler among a box of confiscated idols and symbols. This surprises her, as she has never met anyone else who has known or even heard of The Traveler.

With Caleb and Nott’s help, the group finds two magical items hidden among the treasures. A still intoxicated Nott manages to sloppily disarm the trapped wooden box to reveal an enchanted scimitar that Molly takes an instant liking to. Jester also picks up a beautiful sparkling stone from the area Caleb identified in the lake. She hold in her hands a swirling yellow stone, a cat’s eye gem that glows with power. She immediately brings it over to Caleb to identify. During the ten minutes it takes for Caleb to identify this gem Fjord, seemingly enthralled by the gem, unexplainably reaches out to the stone and touches it.

Fjord is instantly transported from the cavern. He opens his eyes to find himself under a strange sky…in an unfamiliar human body. He still holds the stone in his hands. He sees in front of him, a dead body…the previous owner of this gem. His falchion is summoned into his hands and he hears his Patron’s voice ‘CONSUME’. An insatiable hunger overtakes him and he jams the stone into his chest until it is consumed. He lurches towards the water’s edge, looking at his reflection. It is an unexpectedly familiar face, a face from Fjord’s past. A man named Vandrin.

Back in the cavern, a stunned party watched as Fjord suddenly lunges forward, grabs the stone, jams it into his body, and in a daze begins to walk towards the water. They desperately try to hold him back but he is somehow too strong. He suddenly comes to, exhausted, and face first in the water. Once the commotion finally settles, he tries to explain what just happened. Through the interrogation, he reveals what he saw in his vision. He talks of his old ship’s captain, Vandrin, a dear friend, his mentor. He speaks of the last time he saw Vandrin, day their ship was wrecked, sabotaged by someone with a bomb. Jester asks Fjord how he survived the shipwreck and the storm. Fjord doesn’t know how he survived, he remembers endless water, black and crushing, no way out, air burning in his lungs, then nothing….and waking up on the beach, with his falchion in hand. He has no memory of this stone in Vandrin’s possessions, or why he would see Vandrin’s face in his vision. He hopes to find out what happened soon.

The group shakily continue to examine the cavern, and finding only more underwater tunnels decide that the best course of action would be to blow up and collapse the entrance and close off the Merrow threat. Setting up their dynamite charges and making their way to the surface, The Nein get to walk away like cool badasses from an explosion.

Once safely away from the danger, Beau and Caleb share the most awkward apology moment I have ever seen. Ending in a cringe-worthy hug it out moment, it appears they have mended fences. At least for now. Caleb begins to lead the way out of the swamp with his companions keeping an eye out for a stinking swamp troll. Fjord glances down at his falchion and notices a new, sparkling yellow cat’s eye gem gleaming in the center of the hilt.

Review

This episode was amazing! Even though the overarching story came to an almost complete stand still, I feel like a lot happened in this episode. Compared to the 5 ½ hour marathon that was last week’s episode, this week’s episode came in at a breezy 3 ½ hours, making it feel like an action packed episode.

There were so many great moments from each character this week. We got to see a lot of Nott’s skittish personality and rampant alcoholism along with her badass rogue sneak attacks and drunken trap disarming. I also loved the awkwardness between Beau and Caleb after last week’s weirdness, they played off that tension really well. I even think the gruff way Beau apologized was much more true to character than the outburst that caused this whole situation. They both played off each other’s awkwardness wonderfully and that moment was quite endearing, especially with coaches Yasha and Fjord cheering them on in the background.

Fjord’s super cool warlock shit was so epic this week. The more layers we peel back from his salty exterior, the more I want to know about the mysterious Fjord. I loved the absolute glee Travis had when wrecking face and kill stealing during the Merrow battle. Watching him Nightcrawler Blink around the battle field, smashing faces and making snarky comments was my favorite moment from the battle.

Yasha and Caleb’s early morning shaving party was another moment that I had to rewatch multiple times. I was laughing so hard. Yasha is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. I love her stoic awkwardness and gentle sincerity. I love the visual of a ferocious badass Barbarian Aasimar with skeletal shadow wings and a penchant for gore who also collects pressed flowers in a book and enjoys shaving her arms.

Another personal favorite moment was watching a pregnant Laura become more and more frustrated with her consistently terrible rolling, culminating in the ultimate ‘I’M PREGNANT’ rage quit. Laura is amazing and I love her.

The Merrow fight took up nearly half the episode, but thankfully the action moves quickly and is just difficult enough to leave you wondering if this might be enough to fell one of the Nein. So many of them came close to unconsciousness/death this week, and with Laura rolling so poorly and Jester still unable to fully perform Revivify, death is a much more threatening presence than last campaign. Matt Mercer had his chance, when an unconscious Caleb failed a death saving throw and his Merrow priest able to permanently kill him with one last thunderwave. Everyone seemed to hold their breath while Matt decided what he wanted to do (with Travis hilariously narrating his inner thoughts). Not surprisingly though, Matt chose to be merciful and aimed his priest’s blast away from Caleb, sparing him once more.

The ending of this episode is what really seals the deal. I love me some Warlock Fjord backstory. His Patron becomes more mysterious and more intriguing with each flashback. I’m hooked. Hopefully we get some more hints of what the golden eye means for Fjord’s powers.  It seems like the story will pick up a bit more next week and maybe the Nein will get back on the road to explore a new city. We’ll see where the Nein end up next week!

Extras

Kami @Karekareo  is a beast and will forever be my favorite. How does she do it?

Critical Role - Campaign 2 (Episode 22)

Critical Role - Campaign 2 (Episode 22)
9

Action

9.5 /10

Characters

9.5 /10

Humor

8.5 /10

Story

8.5 /10

Role Playing

9.0 /10

What Works

  • Intense Action scenes
  • Great role playing
  • Engaging backstory
  • Shorter run time

What Hurts

  • Extra long battle for such a short episode

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