Episode 60: A Turtle By Any Other Name
I absolutely loved this episode! From start to finish I was completely engaged. There were so many stand out moments in this episode that I can’t wait to talk about, but let’s start at the beginning.
After battling it out for most of last session, the Nein are in some desperate need of rest. Fjord is still feeling the effects of the life sucking Chasme bugs and is down to his last few hit points. Jester is also exhausted and nearly out of spells. The group decide to take a risk and spend the night in the creepy, haunted giant’s house. Caleb does his best to secure the room around the abyssal rift and the Nein attempt to settle in for the night.
I’m sure all of us knew that they would not find any respite in this house while the rift was still open. Things quickly got out of hand when the spooky jellyfish began to posses the remaining giant corpses around the house. The resulting chaos led to some pretty tense moments of combat with the exhausted Nein. One of my favorite moments was when a delirious Caleb cast polymorph on one of the reanimated giants and turned it into a Giant Tortoise. Now, out of character Liam thought Giant Tortoise= big ass tortoise. But what he got was in fact, and eight foot monster that began to terrorize Fjord and Nott. Listening to the two of them scream in terror while being chased by a monstrous turtle was hands down the best combat moment of the night.
The night continued to bring new horrors and foes to battle as the hours dragged on. Beau and Yasha managed to take down a few more Chasme and Jellyfish but the Nein desperately needed to take out the rift and stop the flow of abyssal creatures. Caduceus and Nott manage to find the source of the rift and Nott uses her gun to shoot through the anchor and break the portal. In an effort to help clear the area, Caleb accidentally incinerates an innocent Goblin hiding in the bone pit. This was another sadly memorable moment this session. The look on Matt’s face as he ripped up an unused character sheet broke my heart. I’m sure all you DM’s out there felt that pain deep in your soul.
Finally able to get some rest, the Nein begin to settle into sleep. These final few scenes are some of my favorites in this arc so far. Yasha’s dream and subsequent interaction with the Stormlord were amazing. I have been dying for some intensive Yasha backstory game play and I finally got my wish. Yasha had a “Tony Stark seeing the future” moment with all the bodies of her friends surrounding her in a horrorscape. This included a heartbreaking close up on Mollymauk. She also had a vision of a smirking demon with yellow eyes watching over her. WHAT??! I need to know MORE!
Yasha wakes from her nightmare to find Jester, Caduceus and Nott are also awake. They discuss her dream and feel like she should confront her fears and call to the Stormlord. She walks out into the raging thunderstorm and screams. The Stormlord grants her another vision in hands down the coolest scene of the episode. The major call backs to Grog’s own Stormlord journey in Earthbreaker Groon’s temple really hit a lot of Critters right in the feels. “Where do you find your strength?” Ugh! So good. And Yasha remembering all those who got her to where she is today, and her lost love Zuella. These are the mushy, emotional scenes I can get behind. AND THEN, Yasha gets the most badass scene when the Stormlord shows the iron shackles around her wrists and tells her to fight them. In a desperate and emotional scene, Yasha strains and pulls against everything holding her down. Her skeletal wings begin to restore and grow feathers and the bonds weaken under her straining. But in the end she fails to break her bonds and her wings once again fade away.
WHAT A SCENE! There were so many layers and call backs and new backstory info that was so briefly shown to us. I want more Yasha! Here’s to hoping that Ashley can stick around for a decent amount of time and give us the Yasha we’ve all been waiting for.
Next week’s episode promises to be an eventful one. The Nein have a lot of catching up to do. Nott has a husband to go back to. Caleb and Beau have a payment to collect. Caduceus is still searching for any sign of a crematorium.
*Side Note* Is anyone else noticing the shenanigans going on in Yeehaw Game Ranch? Rifts in the gameverse? Bast’alar the evil sorcerer? Emaciated String Bean? No, just me? Ok.