Episode 8: The Gates of Zadash
The group celebrate a successful rescue mission by drinking and rummaging through their loot. They are excited to discover they’ve gotten their hands on a pair of ‘night-vision goggles’, a ring of water walking, an enchanted glaive, an arcane oven mitt of burning, and the Wand of Smiling. They also enjoy counting the hundreds of gold pieces they received as payment for killing gnolls and rescuing townsfolk. After an evening of relaxation and enjoying each other’s company, they make plans to head off to Zadash.
The group, now named the Mighty Nein, cash in their earnings and buy a new cart and horse, and hit the road. Jester tells her new friends a little bit about her past, revealing that her mother is actually the renowned courtesan named the Ruby of the Sea. She describes how she has always been hidden away as it is frowned upon that a courtesan should have a child. She had to leave her mother behind and escape from the brothel after she pulled a prank on one of her mother’s clients, who happened to be a powerful Lord. She is now on a quest to discover her father’s identity and hopefully live with him.
After travelling north for two days, the Mighty Nein begin to make their nightly camp a little ways off the road. Just after dark, a group of 9 men come upon the group and begin to intimidate Molly, Fjord and Caleb. Caleb tries to get the robbers to leave them alone by claiming he and his friends are all severely ill with syphilis. Extreme syphilis. When this fails to deter the robbers, the group unleash an attack on the leader. Caleb lets off a huge ray of light that incinerates the leader, but is taken down moments later by four crossbow bolts. The robbers lay down their weapons and call for a cease fire after seeing the Mighty Nein’s power. Molly and Jester have the remaining robbers take their clothes off and get on their knees while Jester recovers their weapons. Molly lines them all up, gives them a stern talking to, gives them one gold a piece and sends them off with the promise that their highway robbing days are over. Meanwhile, Nott sneaks off, finds the robbers’ horses, steals four of them, and sets the other five free.
Finally entering the city of Zadash, the Mighty Nein make their way to a magical wares shop called the Invulnerable Vagrant. The shopkeeper is an agreeable Firbolg Wizard named Enchanter Pumat Sol. Enchanter Pumat, and his three magically manifested duplicates, help Caleb and the group locate the items and health potions they have been searching for. Jester manages to trade in her enchanted glaive for a bright pink ‘handbag of endless bottom.’ After shopping and adventuring, the group settles in for their first night in Zadash with endless possibilities for tomorrow.
While this episode was a little slower story-wise, I really enjoyed the humor and camaraderie in this episode. I’ve never seen ‘severe syphilis’ used as a scare technique before and I don’t think I’ve ever cringe-laughed so hard before. There were a couple ‘over-acted’ or cringe inducing moments but nothing that really stood out to me or detracted from the overall humor of the episode.
There were so many scenes that really stood out this week. Jester’s story-telling and character development were entertaining as hell. It seems that the popular fan theory that her mother was a courtesan or ‘lady of the night’ were true. The naming of the ‘Mighty Nein’ and Fjord’s surname possibly being Tough had me giggling. I sincerely hope that Fjord Tough is his cannon name now. The highway robbery fight scene this week was short and sweet, and it played out like something from a comedy kung-fu movie.
The Mighty Nein finally make it to Zadash and meet an instant fan (and player) favorite NPC Enchanter Pumat Sol, a 7 foot tall Firbalg Wizard. Watching the casts’ out of character reactions to Matt’s voice and mannerisms as Pumat was just so priceless. I am consistently blown away by how talented Matt is and how easily new characters are fleshed out.
I find myself saying this every week, but it still seems to hold true, this episode is great and I have no idea how they’ll outdo themselves next week. I can’t wait to see what new adventures they’ll encounter next week in Zadash!
Side Note: I found this adorable twitter profile where someone has been drawing out the journal pages that Laura describes for Jester in each episode. Also, how goddam cute is Laura and Travis’ baby announcement?