Episode 38: Welcome to the Jungle
The Mighty Nein begin their voyage into the Jungle. Joining Avantika and Jamedi Cosko in her search for the lost temple of Uk’atoa, Fjord and companions face dangers on all sides. Jamedi takes the lead, warning the crew that the way is fraught with the possibility of attack from Lizardfolk, dangerous Yuan-ti locals, and the native venomous creatures that lurk in the jungle.
Braving the hot and humid landscape, The Nein begin to quietly sneak their way closer to the hidden Yuan-ti village. Along the way, Nott and Caduceus find a dilapidated hut off the side of the road. They investigate the shack, accidentally setting off a trap of hidden ceiling snakes, but thankfully the snakes have all died in their trap which shows that the shack has been abandoned for some time. Nott finds a chest with a gilded humanoid figure with a hooded cobra-like head and three large sized rubies. Once they are satisfied with their looting, the group continues quietly travelling until night fall.
As they travel together, Caduceus begins to pick up some weird vibes from Jamedi. He peers further into Jamedi’s countenance with his Eyes of the Grave and discovers that Jamedi is giving off a faint undead glow. Caduceus decides to tell Caleb his discovery but asks his friend not to act too hastily as he wants to do some more digging first. Caleb agrees, but quickly tells all the other members individually of Caduceus’ discovery.
Approaching a clearing near nightfall, Jamedi warns the party that something is happening up ahead. Beau investigates and sees several Yuan-ti snake people attacking a band of lizardfolk. The Yuan-ti quickly decimate the lizardfolk and drag their bodies back into the jungle. Unsettled and on edge, the Nein set up camp for the night in Caleb’s tiny magic hut.
During the night’s watch, Jester and Caduceus decide to take a midnight patrol around the campsite. They don’t get far though before Caduceus is taken out by a swift moving creature. Jester watches helplessly as he is attacked by a panther-like creature with venomous snake heads protruding from its back. Caduceus frantically fights off the beast, doing his best to fight off the poison from the many bites he sustained. He calls for help, rousing the rest of his companions. They rush out into the night just in time to see Caduceus take another devastating attack and Jester falling unconscious to one of the creatures sleep inducing poison sprays. With everyone’s help, they take out the beasts and save Caduceus and Jester. The group settles back in for an uneasy rest until morning.
The next morning, the group continue their trek into the jungle and approach the Yuan-ti village. Beau wakes up that morning feeling a bit feverish and ill. She remembers the dozens of bug bites she sustained the day before and wonders if she’s caught something nasty from them. neither Caduceus or Jester are able to do anything to relieve her discomfort just yet. They approach the outskirts of the village and try to discuss how best to enter the guarded temple unseen. They come up with a plan to disguise themselves as a group of snake like Yuan-ti and try to walk through the village unnoticed and in broad daylight. Avantika and Jamedi both vanish, promising to meet the group at the temple entrance. Jester does her best to use her paints and disguise kit on Beau, Caleb and Yasha to make them look as scaly and scary as possible. She…mostly succeeds? Hopefully no one looks too closely. With their plans set and disguises in place the group begin to walk into the village.
Doing their best to pass unseen, The Nein silently pass by several villagers, including one Yuan-ti flaying the skin off the lizardfolk from the battle yesterday. The group is getting strange looks from the villagers, and two unlucky Yuan-ti decide to investigate the strange new comers closely. Beau, Jester and Fjord quickly and mostly silently kill the two Yuan-ti, though one of them gets off a loud call for help. The Nein begin to hurry though the rest of the city, but the villager’s call for help has alerted several others to their presence. They must fight of a Yuan-ti with snakes for arms while Fjord attempts to cause a distraction. He unleashes an illusion of a large angry Manticore attacking the village. The distraction works, for now, as the villagers all congregate to fight off this new fresh hell. The Nein use this moment to make a run for it as the Yuan-ti quickly figure out that the Manticore is an illusion and another mischief is about the village.
The Nein make it to the entrance of the temple and meet up with Jamedi, who claims he has not seen Avantika at their designated meeting place yet. The group quickly enter the temple and close the stone slab door as the Yuan-ti begin to close in on them. Moving quickly through the temple, Nott accidentally triggers a trap on the floor and sends the group sliding down into a hidden room of the temple. They all fall into a pile on the floor and look up to see three figures turning towards them. One of them, Nott notices, is a humanoid figure with a hooded cobra like head. And that’s where we’ll pick up next week!
I was pleasantly surprised by this episode. It has a little bit of everything in it,. The episode had great exploration elements, some fantastic battle encounters, and the funniest stealthing we’ve seen in a while. There’s also the underlying mystery of why Jamedi is….mostly undead. I can’t wait to see that conversation play out. Avantika continues to be a delight, relishing in making Fjord as uncomfortable as possible while still being the badass leader of a pirate crew.
The Yuan-ti snake people village is such an interesting new world to explore. The jungle dwelling natives of the island are rich with a flavor and history expertly introduced by Mercer. It’s always amazing how unique and thought out his maps and new locations play out. I’m interested to see if there’s some kind of history or explanation for the Yuan-ti people hunting and killing all the lizardfolk on the island.
The fight scenes this week were surprisingly intense. The midnight Cleric attack was a great wake up call/ introduction to the fighting style of these creatures. The Nein definitely were up against more than they bargained for with the many fanged, poisonous attacks and sleep inducing fog clouds. And then, even knowing how dangerous and powerful these creatures were, The Nein still stumble their way through the main village to the temple entrance. The Nein seem to love causing as much chaos and noise as possible while trying to sneak harmlessly through and pass unnoticed. The slow, crazed escalation from mostly disguised ‘just passing through’ to the ‘unleash the Manticore and kill them all’ insanity was priceless. They try their best to stick to the plan. It’s not Travis’ fault that no one remembers the plan though.
I am hoping that we get another deep dive into Fjord’s backstory with the crew journeying into the temple of Uk’otoa. I am loving the dark undertones of danger and frantic possibility with the choice of unleashing Uk’atoa back into the world. Fjord (and Travis) seem very intrigued by the power that Uk’otoa has promised as a Reward. But, freeing an imprisoned god-like entity of unknown alignment seems a bit above the Nein’s pay grade. Many choices lie before our adventurers.
Next week’s episode promises to be just as exciting with the Nein traversing into the temple and possibly coming face to face with Uk’otoa. This upcoming week is a busy one for the cast as well. The MCM London comic con is coming up Saturday October 27th. Two panels have been announced for that weekend, though it does not seem they will be live streaming either of them. If you missed Monday’s broadcast, Sam Reigel’s episode of Between the Sheets will pop up in the YouTube feed this Wednesday. Talks Machina will feature Taliesin Jaffe and Sam Riegel this Tuesday in what promises to be an interesting dissection of this episode. And don’t miss Episode 3 of All Work No Play airing on Friday! Last week’s rage room episode was almost too much to handle.