Episode 24: The Hour of Honor
The Mighty Nein let loose in Hupperdook. Taking a hint from the locals, The Nein have had enough of working hard and are more than ready to party hard. Their fiery tour guide, Risa, leads the Nein to The Blushing Tankard Tavern where they drop off all their belongings, and leave Yasha behind to babysit Kiri.
The group find the tavern in a bit of a drunken uproar already and the adventurers are more than ready to jump in…until they find out about the evening’s most exciting entertainment. An hour long drinking competition, The Hour of Honor, which could win them free drinks at the tavern every night. They eagerly enter into the competition, hoping to unseat the current champions, Old Blemy and his motley crew.
Molly, Beau, Caleb, Fjord and Nott each take on a competitor from Old Blemy’s crew. Molly easily holds it down and emerges victorious. Beau starts off a little too cocky and ends up losing her liquor. A nervous Caleb takes the stage and surprisingly finds his taste for drink and crushes his competitor easily. Fjord channels his inner frat bro and wins with two natural 20’s in a row! Just as the announcer is proclaiming The Nein as victorious, Old Blemy speaks up, wanting to go double or nothing. Him against the final member, Nott the Brave. The Whale vs. the Bottomless Pit. Nott gets off to an easy start, stomaching two huge drinks with ease. Getting a touch too cocky though, her stomach begins to churn just before their last round. Somehow managing to find the courage, Nott drains the last tankard and slams it down, victorious and high on life.
The Nein spend the rest of the Nein completely trashed, singing, dancing, frolicking, and dealing with….penis problems? Poor Fjord. While Jester and Caleb are dancing, he accidentally, drunkenly calls Jester another name. Astrid. A name from his darker past that he can’t seem to get away from. The group all manage to find their way back to their rooms, one by one, eager to rest for the night.
The next morning, a groggy and horrible hung over group slowly return to consciousness. After a few shaky moments, trying to pull herself together, Beau realizes that her coin purse is missing. Suddenly wide awake, Beau leaps into action, going from room to room seeing if anyone else also lost their coin purse. She is shocked to discover that everyone but Jester and Yasha, who did not compete in the drinking competition, have also lost their coin purses.
The Nein spend the entire next day searching for clues and following leads. From interrogating the tavern owner, to accusing their tour guide Risa, then visiting Old Blemy and two teen punks that annoyed them earlier, the group keep coming up empty handed. An unplanned visit to Risa’s father, Master Maker Cleff Tinkertop ,a tinker-inventor sends the Nein down an interesting possible side quest. Cleff tells the Nein the story of how Hupperdook wardens’ commissioned him to build a mechanized Clockwork Warden robot to help guard the prisoners. He built a beautiful machine that he was very proud of, but on its first night, something went very wrong and it went on a rampage. The wardens managed to get it sealed off somewhere in the prison where it apparently still roams the halls. The group offers to check in at the prison and see if they can decommission the machine. Cleff thanks the group and wishes them luck.
The Nein refocus their efforts on finding their lost coin purses. Jester finds a trace that leads them to a rather run down part of town. The group plan an ambush to surprise the thieves and manage to surprise attack them from all sides. To their surprise, the thieves turn out to be a small group of four gnome children. After a few very intense moments, they get the real story out of the kids. Their parents were imprisoned for worshiping a god that is not sanctioned by the government. They have been evading the local government officials trying to place them in an orphanage and they’ve been living like street urchins ever since. They apologize for stealing the money, return the coin purses and promise to not steal as much money any more. Feeling a connection to the suddenly abandoned children, Fjord promises he will do his best to try and free the children’s parents. The Nein formulate a quick plan to pause their quest for The Gentleman, leave Kiri with the beggar children, visit/break into the local prison to disarm a killer robot and possibly free the children’s parents. Hoping for the best, the group leave behind the kids, and Kiri and set off to find the prison.
The thumbnail image to this week’s episode should tell you everything you need to know about this episode. This was the most obnoxious, drunken, strange episode yet. A fun filled, raging party, side story to the side story. As much as I love an action packed, story filled episode, I really enjoyed this week’s episode. The first half is mostly awkward, slightly racist, bizarre interactions with the locals. The more interesting second half is mostly taken up by a raucous, hilarious drinking competition, and impromptu dance party and an intense investigation into who could have stolen their money.
This whole episode was a strange mix of ‘what the hell is happening’ mixed with ‘this is the best thing the Nein have done.’ As a bizarre, alcohol-fueled filler episode, it definitely works. If you’re more into the action-packed episodes, maybe just catch the highlights of this one. I will say that this episode feels much more like watching a bunch of friends play a ridiculous home game than the Critical Role epic story time we usually get. It’s a bit of a breath of fresh air.
I am a bit confused about what is going to happen next week. The last hour of the episode, when they were going from suspect to suspect, and getting deeper and deeper into a Prison Break side-quest, I kept wondering if they remembered what they were actually supposed to be doing or if they’d completely forgotten their quest for the Gentleman. Travis seemed to have a moment where he forgot about their original quest but it seems like the consensus is to put a pause on the main story and see where this Prison Break rabbit hole leads. I’m pretty sure that Ashley Johnson will be back for next week’s episode, but after that I am unsure if her filming schedule will take her away again. I am hoping that the Nein have a better plan of action for next week’s episode than ‘show up to the prison, ask to disarm a deadly haywire killer robot, maybe free some street urchins’ parents, maybe get into tons of trouble.’ Next week will definitely be full of surprises!