Fjord and Avantika face off once again while the rest of the Nein battle the lobster-like sea creatures she brought with her. Fjord attempts to protect the loose cloven crystal by shrouding the area in a think fog. The battlefield becomes scattered an chaotic as everyone loses visibility on each other. Avantika is able to dodge around Fjord and grab the crystal.
Caleb watches a large, toad like demonic creature lumber onto the deck and it attacks him ferociously. He manages to flit away to Jester’s side, safe from more vicious claws for the moment. Jester and Caduceus simultaneously send two rings of spiritual guardians around the deck of the ship to try and give them more protection. Caduceus finally lays eyes on Avantika and realizes she has the crystal and the Nein are in more danger than they thought. Caleb is targeted by a nasty witch bolt from a chuul mage and takes a brutal blow. Beau manages to pulverize her enemy chuul and runs into the fog bumping into Avantika.
Fjord uses a command spell to force Avantika to drop the cloven crystal and it rolls at her feet. Between the rolling fog and the double waves of shiny beetle and unicorn hamster spiritual guardians much damage is dealt and endured on both sides. Caleb senses the battle is still raging and can’t take much more damage, so he transforms himself into a Tyrannosaurus Rex. He gives a mighty roar and begins attacking the chuuls on deck. Caduceus and Jester, stumbling around in the fog manage to pass out some healing spells to their party.
Avantika, sensing a shift in the battle, grabs the orb, smirks and points a massive thunderwave at the Nein and dimension door escapes into the depths of the sea. The Nein spend several seconds debating on how to best pursue Avantika and the orb, settling on polymorphing Yasha, Fjord and Caleb into orcas who can drag the rest of the party behind them with ropes waterskiing style. 6 rounds of a desperately cool underwater chase begin. Avantika manages to evade the Nein for a while before some well timed natural 20’s bring Fjord face to face with Avantika once again.
Surrounded and angry, Avantika slashes at Fjord with a wicked Soul Burn, sucking a large chunk of his energy right out of his body. Fjord immediately retaliates, drawing deep on his newfound power from the Wildmother. His weapon, Star Razor begins to glow a bright yellow, new runes begin to glow and the blade seems to reach even longer out towards Avantika. Fjord’s eyes flash the same blinding yellow as he swings the blade down and completely through Avantika’s body. Stillness passes over the fight and Fjord holds up the reclaimed cloven crystal.
Rushing back to the ship, the Nein decide to hide away the cloven crystal and Avantika’s two weapons into the bag of holding until a better idea presents itself. for the moment at least, the Nein should be safe from other Uk’atoa attacks.
The remaining handful of days are blissfully boring, besides the appearance of a rather terrifying mother Cetus monster and her babies. Though these beasts are an extraordinarily rare sight, and known to be rather vicious, Jester wants to try a different approach. She, Caduceus, and Caleb manage to communicate with the wary beast and learn the family are awfully hungry as food is unusually scarce. Surprisingly, the Nein decide to shove ALL the food they brought on their journey overboard for the Cetus family, opting to eat their magically crafted boba bites instead.
The next day, the crew finally spot the shore of Balenpost, Eiselcross. Vess DeRogna throws up the symbol of the Cerberus assembly into the sky to announce their presence and welcomes the Nein to their destination.
On the whole this was not a bad episode! A little bit of battle, a little bit of high speed chase, and a great example of how to avoid unnecessary combat.
The battle felt pretty well balanced, though a teensy bit less high stakes than the last time Fjord was attacked by the forces of Uk’atoa. Both Travis and Laura had bumpy moments during the first with Fjord obscuring the battlefield with Fog and Laura spending a solid 4 minutes deciding then retracting her entire list of spells. Matt is a kind DM for letting her change her mind not once, but three separate times in a row.
Thankfully, the cloven crystal was not lost with some quick thinking on Jester’s part. The combination of Orca swim speed and water walking (or rather water-skiing) abilities made the watery chase much easier than it could have been. Fjord had an epic fan art worthy moment with his Star Razor to end the fight with Avantika once and (hopefully) for all.
When the Cetus appeared alongside the ship, there was a brief moment of fear that the Dragon Turtle had somehow swum around the entire world just for some sweet revenge, but we ended up getting a rather cute ‘save the whales’ moment that showed us, not every encounter has to be bloody.
Next week’s episode should be a faster paced, hopefully horror filled trek into the unknown wilds of Eiselcross! It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since the Nein’s spooky trek up the haunted mountain of Kravaraad to meet Clay’s relatives, the Dust family. I can’t wat to see what Mercer has up his sleeves as we get to explore a brand new region of Exandria! Don’t worry Critters, it’s almost Thursday.
Don’t Miss It!
This Tuesday brought a new episode of Talks Machina and the next episode of Critical Role is back on track for Thursday at 7 pm! Here’s hoping the cast are still able to throw together a Halloween episode this year.
New Narrative Telephone episode will broadcast Tuesday, November 3rd with a new surprise guest! You don’t want to miss the new tall tale led by the cabbageman himself Brian W. Foster.