Miss last week’s review? Find it here!
Episode 3: The Midnight Chase
Caleb and Fjord rush out into the dark night just in time to see a hulking figure leaping and running from the carnival grounds, leaving behind the two writhing bodies of the Crownsguard. Flesh and sulfurous ash sloughing off of their bodies, the Crownsguard men lurch to their feet and begin to attack Fjord and Caleb. Beau, Jester, Molly and Nott quickly rush in and surprise attack the zombies from behind. After a few tense moments, the group manage to take down the two zombies and revive the injured Mollymauk.
They take a few moments to process what happened, only to realize they now have to explain the two crownsguard bodies, and why they left the Inn under house arrest. They decide to take the criminal route and steal a horse and cart and dump the bodies near the Ustaloch. Sneaking back into their rooms at the Inn, the group settle in to rest and recover for the night.
Early the next morning, Caleb returns to the book shop and find a book about fiends and devils. He uncovers an important piece of information that helps to lead the group to search an island on the Ustaloch. Several seamen jokes later… Fjord manages to secure a boat to take everyone to the deserted island. The sun sets while the companions search for any signs of the Devil Toad and the dwarf girl Toya.
Beau finds a collapsed structure hidden in the trees, and peeking over the rubble, finds herself face to face with the gleaming eyes of the Devil Toad. He lashes out at Beau and tells Toya to start singing. Toya’s voice is entrancing and distracts the group while the Devil Toad conjures two Imps to attack. Watching his companions get struck down left and right, Fjord unleashes a devastating attack with his Warlock Hexblade and manages to grievously wound the Devil Toad while Beau takes out Toya. The Imps keep the rest of the group busy, managing to knock Molly and Caleb unconscious. Fjord once again brings down a hellfire and destroys the Devil Toad, only to be stabbed from behind by an Imp’s poisonous tail and he falls unconscious. Beau, Jester and Nott manage to take down the Imps and help their companions back to consciousness. Feeling lucky to be alive, the companions take a moment to breathe and decide how in the world to explain this to the Crownsguard.
I was a little nervous for this episode this week. After the bumpy second act in last week’s episode, I wondered if the story would move forward much, or if the characters would get too caught up in side stories and dead ends. This episode did not disappoint though! There were zombies, criminal acts, a crazy boss battle, and some pretty harrowing moments scattered throughout. I am always partial to the more action packed, edge of your seat episodes so this one was definitely a fun one for me.
The dark humor was great. Watching these new companions figure out what to do with the bodies of the two zombified guards was a favorite moment of mine. The dick jokes were also spot on this week! Caleb’s masturbating wizard humor had me facepalming harder than Matt Mercer.
There was only one moment that really stood out in a bad way. Marisha’s character Beau goes from trying to rescue the ‘innocent Dwarf child’ to choking the ‘little bitch’ out with her staff, then punching her unconscious. The weird, awkward character flip-flopping had me questioning what Beau’s motivations really are. Marisha is trying to play her as a good girl with a bad side kind of character, but it’s just coming off a little…intense.
On the other side of the spectrum, Travis’ character Fjord is getting better and better every week. I was waiting for hints of his warlock backstory and this week finally paid off. His fight scenes were amazing!!! The descriptions of his ‘cursed blade’ dripping with seawater and swirling shadows was such an epic moment. He also has an incredible moment where he distracts the guards so his companions can escape without notice. Fjord’s disguise self ability paired with Travis’ superb voice acting make for some highly entertaining encounters. Fjord is turning into this campaign’s surprise favorite. I am still waiting for Taliesin’s Bloodhunter Mollymauk to show some strengths. There were some cool narrative moments in the battles this week, but overall his character still seems a bit underwhelming. Maybe in a few levels, with some cool new traits, Molly will show his strengths.
Next week’s episode should be fun, watching the group talk themselves out of the pickle they’ve found themselves in. Hopefully they can uncover the Devil Toad’s true motivations and origins before more unexplained horrors befall this little town.
What’s the deal with the devil toad? Check out my review of episode 4 here!