Episode 8: A Woodworker’s Quandry
The gang get to know their new friend Chetney Pocko’pea as they walk to the Spire by Fire for some rest. Chetney conscripts the group of adventurers to help him find his missing acquaintance Gurge. Gurge has been helping Chetney find some odd jobs around Jrusar but his apartment looks like its been broken into and he’s nowhere to be found. The group agree to help Chetney out come morning, once they’ve all recovered from their wounds.
They spend a great chunk of the evening sharing drinks and peeling back some layers on their churlish new companion. His spunk, sass, and fiery attitude provide no end of entertainment for the gang.
While the conversation is going on Orym pulls Imogen aside and lets her know that he’s spotted the shady figure that’s been following them around the city is here in the tavern with them. They both decide it’s time to approach the figure and try to ascertain what they might want from the group. Imogen reaches out telepathically while Orym gives them a mean stare. The figure spooks and begins to flee the tavern, but Orym is fed up with all the shady business and gives chase.
Orym manages to convince the figure to pause the chase for just a sec so they can talk. Without turning around the figure asks to speak with Dorian. Orym says he’ll go fetch Dorian and they can all have a chat.
Back at the tavern Orym relays the Corsair’s message, and Dorian does admit to meeting with this individual at the theater, but still doesn’t reveal that he thinks it might be his brother. They agree to all go with Dorian to the meeting.
Dorian cautiously approaches the hooded figure and relief spills over him as he recognizes the familiar voice of his older brother Cyrus Wyvernwind. They have a brief argument over why Cyrus has appeared here and now. Dorian is uncomfortable introducing his brother to the rest of his friends, but reluctantly gives in and finally brings the group over to meet Cyrus. Dorian is shocked to learn his brother is actually a member of the Corsairs and has been very busy over the few months since he’s left home. Cyrus is a bit shocked to learn that Dorian has not told his friends his true name or identity yet, but doesn’t want to be the one to spill the beans, so he plays along for now.
The group drag Cyrus back to the tavern so he and Dorian can properly catch up. The group immediately pries into Cyrus’ personal life, asking how he came to Jrusar, what Dorian was like growing up, what he’s been doing with the Corsairs. Cyrus reveals he’s actually in a bit of trouble… maybe a lot of trouble. He’s got a 20,000 gold bounty out on his head. But he was framed! It was a caravan guarding job gone wrong and he ended up being the scapegoat in a theives’ master plan. The thieves made off with a very expensive and rare golem, leaving a clueless Cyrus to be arrested for their crime. Cyrus escaped his imprisonment and found sanctuary with the Corsairs who have been hiding him while he tries to come up with a way to get the bounty off his head.
Dorian and the rest of the gang are unsure how to help Cyrus. Maybe they can look into why the golem was stolen from the caravan, and who might have been responsible. Cyrus is thankful that the group is even offering to help at all. He’s pretty sure he can handle the situation but it’s good to know he’s got some people on his side. He can lay low while the gang help Chetney out first. They promise to check back with Cyrus as soon as they can and he promises to stay safe.
The gang rest up for the night and set out to the Smolderspire and Gurge’s residence in the morning. Just as Chetney described, Gurge’s rented room is a disaster. Claw marks, blood stains, broken furniture and torn curtains litter the ground. The landlady pops in and lets the gang know that she’s heard whispers of a direwolf attack in the area a few days back. The Wilders at the factory up the road will know more. They thank the landlady, promising to find Gurge and make him pay for all the damages to her apartment and set off up the road to see what new clues they can find.
At the entrance to the factory, the gang ask the two guards if they’ve heard anything about a Direwolf attack or a missing man named Gurge. One of the guards gets an odd look on his face and says he’s gotta go talk to his boss real quick, he’ll be back. The remaining guard dishes what he knows about the strange attack and the direwolf that had to be put down. The group mention Gurge’s name again and the second guard then leaves to check up on his companion. FCG uses the moment of distraction to pry into the guards mind and hears the guard wondering why the group is so interested in the weird old man Gurge they have locked up. He’s gotta see if his boss has come up with a story to throw these folks off their scent.
FCG quickly tells the group that the guards are being super shady, definitely know something about Gurge and are 100 % going to lie about it. The gang leap into action. Fearne volunteers to turn into a rat and do some stealthy recon. She scurries through the dark halls and finds the office with the two guards. She catches the tail end of the conversation. Their boss, the Warden, is encouraging the guards to tell the group that Gurge was arrested and taken to the Granite Hold and will be released on terms the group will have no control over. The guards are to answer no more questions, and deny any other involvement with the situation, The Warden will handle the rest.
Fearne is thrilled she got such good information to bring back to the group and begins to try and sneak back through the tight doorway. The guards are suddenly dismissed and quickly turn to open the door…inadvertently stepping on little rat Fearne and crushing her form. Fearne pops back into her fawn form, caught spying redhanded. She gives an innocent shrug towards the shocked faces of the guards and warden, who begin to quickly move in to apprehend her.
And that’s where we’ll pick up in the New Year!
Whooo! This episode really picked up some speed! Packed with humor, two thrilling backstories, and a heist gone wrong.
Chetney is an absolute riot and Travis is not pulling punches when it comes to teasing the gang. He’s particularly honed in on tormenting Dorian at every turn possible, which sends the table into peals of laughter for most of the evening. It is so good to have Travis back at the table. Now, we know that Travis is trying to separate Chetney from his one-shot character Chutney….but the backstory that he dished out sounds suspiciously like a certain spry toy-maker gone rogue. I guess Chutney got a good old Exandria makeover. I can’t wait to see what new antics Chetney dishes out over the next few sessions.
We finally got a satisfying Dorian backstory! His brother Cyrus made a second grand appearance and this time got to meet all of Dorian’s new friends. We got to hear all about growing up as pseudo royalty in a nomadic genasi tribe. Dorian’s tense family dynamics as he fulfills his destiny while also feeling like he’s bucking tradition. We got to see some sibling rivalry play out in real time! Poor Dorian chafing in his big brother’s shadow once again, only to turn to worry and stress when he realized how dire his brother’s situation really is. I’m hoping we get to see more interactions between these brothers, and hopefully a Cyrus redemption arc. Though… if that means that Robbie will take his leave after this story arc…let’s prolong that departure as long as possible please. Robbie is an absolute delight every week and it’ll be hard to not have him at the table every week.
Between Chetney’s endless teasing, and Cyrus’ interactions with the group, along with all the usual banter and chaos, this episode was bursting with humorous moments. This group feels so lighthearted and easy going compared to early Mighty Nein. Sam is finding new ways to bring on the laughs with his “smiley” optimism and endless good cheer. His ‘good wilder, bad wilder’ bit and the ongoing thermos gag are some of my favorites from the episode. Ashley’s easy humor with the carefree Fearne has been hitting hard and just grows with each session. You never know what’s going to come out of her mouth and that breathy, gentle voice can absolutely slay when she suddenly shift from talking about candy to crassly inviting Chetney to share her bed for the evening. Travis’ humor takes the show this episode. Chetney steals the scene in every interaction.
We’re left hanging on quite an exciting cliffhanger this week! How will Fearne charm her way out of this blunder? What has Gurge gotten himself into that’s got the guards and warden acting so secretive? This little side story is proving to be a very engaging one indeed. I can’t wait to see how the gang get themselves out of this one.
Don’t Miss It!
Critical Role will return with Campaign 3 Episode 9 on Thursday January 6th!
Did you catch the sneak peek at a scene of The Legend of Vox Machina? Don’t miss the premiere Friday January 28th on Amazon Prime.