Critical Role EN World's Critical Role Roundup 005: Adventures With The Tusked Love

This week in E.N. World's Critical Role Roundup the Mighty Nein learn about secret societies of the world, plan for avoiding ambushes and rifle through popular books to fulfill a character's "quest."

The group returns to the Leaky Tap for the night after their trip to the Evening Nip. A thunderstorm begins. Beau and Jester wake in the middle of the night to see Yasha at the window of their shared room, staring at the storm in a meditative manner. Jester sketches Yasha in her book for the Traveler as she is lit up by the flashes of lightning from outside. When they wake up again in the morning, Yasha is gone on another of her walkabouts.

Caleb performs his ritual to bring Frumpkin the cat familiar back, this time with 3 whole HP!

The Mighty Nein discuss their plans for the day, including the secret political meeting with the Knights of Requital. The meeting will be at midnight, so they have time for various errands.

Fjord and Molly visit the Pumats Sol at the Invulnerable Vagrant. Molly meets the gregarious firbolg simulacra for the first time and buys a Periapt of Wound Closure. It costs 150 gold, more than Molly has ever spent on something in his life.

Fjord asks Pumat to transfer the water-safety enchantment from the mariner's studded leather armor to his usual armor to avoid the garish nautical theme. It can be done for 80 gold, and the armor is cleaned and scented as well.

Pumat tells Nott that he is an annex of the Cerberus Assembly, providing magical services and items. In return, the Assembly provided the means to create the simulacra of himself. The Cerberus Assembly are the Empire's most powerful magic society. Pumat says they "keep the Crown in check and make sure there's no abuse of power."

Meanwhile, Caleb, Beau, and Jester head for the Tri-Spires to return her fancy hotel key at the Pillow Trove. The Tri-Spires is so named because of the Zauberspire at the Halls of Erudition, the Constellation Bridge in the Gilded Willows (the city's richest residential area), and the Triumph Chime, which is part of an old temple.

Jester, Beau, and Caleb visit a bakery, then head to Chastity's Nook nearby so Caleb finally can complete his "buy smutty novels" quest. Iva Deshin, the owner, directs Caleb to the back of the busy shop where the racier art and literature are kept. Iva recommends a few romance titles: Zemnian Nights, The Enchanting Tryst, Scent of the Sea, Tusked Love ("that one's a little more saucy"), Guard of My Heart, Shallow Breaths. Jester asks for a copy of Tusked Love, featuring a romance between a half-orc man named Oskar and a human woman.

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A discussion of the contents of Tusked Love goes about how you'd expect.​

Caleb requests a historical romance. Iva whispers about a banned book she has: The Courting of the Crick. When he flips through it, it begins with a lot of background on history and culture. He opts not to buy it, but Jester surreptitiously buys it for him when she purchases Tusked Love. She gives it to him later when they go to check out of the Pillow Trove. It likely is banned because of its political content rather than any explicitness, as it deals with the forbidden romance between a general and a drow assassin. Caleb and Beau both read it, but neither thinks it's very good.

Back at the Leaky Tap, Fjord and Beau talk about the possible risks of the upcoming meeting. They check out the cellar room ahead of time, looking for secret doors, etc. They discover a second cellar, accessible only from the alley, where they find some very old ale and barrels and a long-dead skeleton where someone evidently hid a body years ago.

Besides Fjord, Neau, and Caleb, the meeting attendees include Kara the half-elf woman, Ulag the dwarf, Dolan the human who led the last meeting, and his partner, Horus. The Knights of Requital want to unseat the corrupt, power-abusing High Rictor, and replace her with Dolan, who is respected and trusted by the local citizens. They have a somewhat convoluted plan to frame the High Rictor with some false documents. A pre-harvest gala will be held the next night, with the High Rictor in attendance, so that seems like a good opportunity to break into her house. I'm sure this plan will go smoothly with no problems at all, like a typical D&D heist!

That night, Fjord wants to know why Nott tried to go through his things. With Molly looking on, he creates a Minor Illusion in their room meant to attract her: a pile of shiny buttons and a jewel-covered flask. It works, and they catch her. Nott tries to lie about what she was looking for, but Fjord rolls a natural 20 against her deception and Molly uses Devil's Tongue to convince her to confess.

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Leave it to Nott to make kleptomania heartwarming.​

She wanted his letter to the Soltryce Academy so Caleb could use it to get into the school instead. He has the potential to become very powerful, and she wants him to be able to protect her. Fjord and Molly say they will help protect her too, but she thinks they can't. She only trusts Caleb to keep her safe with his magic. Fjord and Molly understand; as a half-orc and a tiefling, they have experience being judged and discriminated against. They tell her not to try stealing it again, and everyone goes to bed.

The Mighty Nein perform a recon mission to the High Rictor's house the following morning. She is clearly awful and corrupt, so they are satisfied that she shouldn't be in power. They decide to go ahead with the plan after learning Dolan, Horace, Kara, and Ulag have pulled together close to 700 gold of their own savings to pay them. Ulag, a rogue, plans to join them in breaking into the HR house during the gala. He also will bring along some healing potions.

Announcement: You can see the cast (minus Ashley) at Wondercon this weekend and C2E2 in Chicago April 6-8.

Next week: a pre-harvest heist!

contributed by Annie Bulloch

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Dances with Gnolls
I am glad to see that I'm not the only one who loves to name taverns, shops, and books with a certain comedic flair.

Thanks for this Annie!

Edit: Realized I used the wrong flair.
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Dances with Gnolls
Indeed. I think my personal favorite, that I try to use in any world I have built, is the Cloak & Stagger tavern/Inn.

A small, small part of me wants to open if for real one day.

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