Episode 43: In Hot Water
Caleb has just cast a wall of fire across the deck of the ship, separating the Mighty Nein from Avantika and her crew. This distraction gives The Nein enough time to start to run from the ship to the Plank King. Caleb knows that he must get Avantika’s journal and the cipher to the Plank King before Avantika can turn the arsenal against them. Yasha, Fjord, and Caleb all begin to make a run towards the docks while Avantika begins a counter attack. Jester sees an opportunity to help and takes the journal and cipher from Caleb, grabs Beau and opens a dimension door into the city at the base of the Plank King’s fort. She gives Beau the book and tells her to run like hell to get the Plank King.
Back on the ship, the Nein put up a frenzied fight against Avantika and her powerful crew. She begins to control the ocean waters to try and quell the flames but Caleb senses her actions and sends off a hail Mary Counterspell to stop her. The spell hits and her control over the water is lost. She desperately sends her second in command, the powerful mage named Veera, on the offensive. Fjord and Veera duel against each other in a fight that ends with Fjord summoning a Balgura gorilla-demon right on top of Veera. Avantika continues her onslaught against the Nein and watches as they each begin to fall or become captured by the guards.
Beau reaches the steps of the Plank King’s mountain fort and attempts to gain access. Failing to convince the guards to let her pass she must…patiently…wait for the guards to see if the Plank King will allow her to enter. Showing great restraint, Beau resists the urge to use her fists to solve her problems and lets the guards lead her into the fort. Finally able to see the Plank King she does her best to convince him of Avantika’s betrayal. He seems reluctant to believe Beau, but agrees to investigate what’s occurring down at the docks.
Just as the Plank King arrives to the docks, the guards have managed to capture most of the Mighty Nein and are awaiting instructions. Things do not seem to be going well for the Nein as Beau, Caleb and Fjord try their best to explain their actions. Avantika begins lying through her teeth, trying to pin the attack on the Nein. Fjord manages to convince the Plank King to let Beau use her abilities to Extract the Truth from Avantika. The Plank King watches carefully as Beau, using her fists, attacks Avantika, weakening some pressure points. The Plank King again asks Avantika if the accusations against her are true. Avantika is physically unable to lie now, and refuses to face the Plank King. Suddenly realizing that the accusations are true, he condemns her actions and makes an example of her by killing her in front of her crew.
Although The Nein have bested Avantika, they must still face the wrath of the Plank King. He still does not trust the newcomers, but is thankful they have shown Avantika’s true colors. He will mercifully let them take Avantika’s ship, Squall Eater, and their crew, and leave Darktow Island…forever. The Nein quickly gather their things and their crewmates and make a hasty departure on the damaged ship.
The Mighty Nein take the Squall Eater back on the open ocean. The ship is fairly damaged though, and they must head to a port city for repairs. Fjord realizes that they will pass by fairly close to where his old ship may have wrecked. He asks the crew for two days to try and search for the wreck before they head to shore and get their ship repaired. The first day of searching yields no rewards. But on the second day, just by chance, Caduceus begins to pick up signs of a possible ship wreck. Caleb sends octopus Frumpkin down to the bottom of the ocean to investigate. After several hours of searching, Frumpkin begins to see the outlines of the wreck on the bottom of the ocean.
Fjord helps The Nein prepare themselves for a journey to the bottom of the ocean. He casts a waterbreathing spell on the entire group and they begin their slow, dark descent down into the depths. Fjord can just begin to see the edges of a very familiar ship lying broken on the ocean floor. And that’s where we’ll pick up next week!
This is by far one of the best episodes of Campaign 2. I’d even dare to say that it gives the epic episodes of Campaign 1 a run for their money. There were SO MANY incredible action and story scenes throughout the entire episode. This 4 hour long session flies by so fast, I still can’t believe it.
From the opening moments of the session, the action is non-stop and butt-clenchingly intense. It didn’t help that we had to wait two whole weeks to finally see the outcome of this encounter. I don’t think that the fight with Avantika could have gone any better for the Mighty Nein. Caleb saves their asses so many times with the initial Wall of Fire that buys them three rounds advantage, and that clutch counterspell! Definitely one of the MVP’s this session. I am consistently impressed by Caleb’s versatility in every scenario the Nein face. Also…hello Fjord summoning an actual demon during the battle. Warlocks man… don’t mess with them.
Jester and Beau have their own mini adventure that was just as intense and important as the fight on the Squall Eater. Jester does her insane, quirky thing to try and help her friends while Beau is the catalyst that sends this story into its endgame. I have to say I was blown away by Marisha’s role playing this episode. I know I’ve often railed against Marisha for some…grating role play in the past. But holy hells, she kicks ass in this episode and I’m all here for it. It seems like Marisha has really hit her stride with Beau and I love it. The moment where Beau restrains herself from just punching her way through problems was a moment that really stands out. I love to see characters grow and learn from past mistakes. Although… I think her literally punching the truth out of Avantika was a huge highlight of the epis0de. Without Beau, the Mighty Nein would probably all be dead or captives of Avantika and the Plank King.
I was really surprised by how much I was affected by Avantika’s end. I know she was an evil pirate queen and all…but I’m gonna really miss having her driving this story arc. I am so invested in this Pirate arc now. As skeptical as I was when this arc started in a hot mess, I have to admit that this is one epic arc. There’s still so much to learn about Fjord and his mysterious backstory. His connection to Vandrin. His mysteriously changing accent. And what is hidden in his shipwreck?? Next week promises to be another in depth episode.
The whole second half of the episode centered on Fjord following the breadcrumbs to his old ship’s wreck on the ocean floor. I was a bit surprised (not really) that they are going after this thread before getting their ship repaired. We’ll see if that comes back to bite them. I am so intrigued to see what they will find there in the depths. And what about that spooky Dashila shanty from two episodes ago?? That terrifying tidbit has to pop up again soon too, right? Thursday is almost here!