Critical Role EN World's Critical Role Roundup 011: Harvest's Close Hijinx

The Mighty Nein set a new rolling record as they go to the D&D ren faire for games, drinks, and fights with beasts! Oh, and war also breaks out in the latest episode of Critical Role.

Episode Recap
It's the morning of the Harvest's Close Festival! There's growing hubbub outside as the Mighty Nein wake up at the Leaky Tap. They join the crowd walking towards the Pentamarket, the center of the festivities. There's a cathartic mood in the city after all the tension following the Zauberspire attack and the lockdown. Music and the smells of delicious food waft through the air. Stalls sell food and drink, plus various trinkets and knick-knacks at a sort of craft fair. Games of skill and chance are set up in booths. It's basically a ren faire!

Fjord and Molly make a beeline for the trebuchet game. The goal is to throw a little sandbag into a basket, but you have to face away from the basket and lob it over your head in a trebuchet-like motion. Fjord tries his luck with astonishing results: three natural ones in a row. This sets a precedent which will haunt the game all night.

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The funniest $300 826LA ever made.​

Molly rolls a 19 on his first try and yields his other two turns to Jester and Yasha, who roll a 2 and a 4, respectively. Molly wins one fresh, delicious strawberry.
Caleb plays a "guess which cup the ball is under" game and rolls a natural 20 to win. Nott tries and rolls a natural 1. What is happening?

There's a hammer-based strength test, trying to flip a big block of stone by hitting a lever that's wedged under and positioned over a fulcrum. Yasha tries it and wins on her second try. Jester tries and rolls a natural 20. Seriously, what is happening?

Meanwhile, Beau buys a cup of the strongest mead she can find. Molly catches up and orders the same. Aww, they're pals now! All it took was a few near-death experiences, a Zone of Truth spell, and a mutual drug trip.

Molly buys an exceptionally gaudy, seven-foot tapestry featuring Bahamut. Elsewhere, Jester pulls a prank for the Traveler at the Allhammer's temple. Nott cleans up at the archery range, winning two rats in little cages, two wooden swords, and a doll of King Bertrand Dwendal. Nott and Yasha plan to cook and eat the rats later. The Mighty Nein is nothing if not culturally diverse.

Elsewhere, there is an arm wrestling display that serves as a recruiting attraction for the Righteous Brand, the empire's military. Yasha wrestles the newest champion and rolls a natural does her opponent. COME ON, WHAT? This series of opposed strength checks gets ridiculously exciting. Yasha eventually wins, but isn't interested in joining the army. Darrow, leader of a mercenary band known as the Stubborn Stock, also attempts to recruit Yasha and suggests she find them if she changes her mind.

The Mighty Nein meet up at the Victory Pit. They learn that groups of five to eight people battle beasts over a series of three rounds. A group that defeats their beast(s) moves on to the next round. Clerics of Bahamut are on hand to heal or revive entrants who go down.

A page brings an urgent message from the king to one of the dignitaries there. Nott overhears that war has broken out with Xhorhas, with a thousand dead at the garrison near the border. This will be announced publicly the next day, after the festival. Nott reports this to the group.
Meanwhile, they are led to a large room where the fighters wait to compete. Also waiting: the Stubborn Stock, a group of Righteous Brand soldiers called the Last Line, and five dwarves and two gnomes known as the Mountain Makers.

A half-giant, a former champion, steps into the arena to announce the beginning of the tournament. Various local dignitaries are in attendance, including the Lawmaster (with Dolan is sitting two seats down from her), the headmaster of the Zauberspire, and one of the mages who fought the Xhorhassian attackers.

The Last Line fights first, beating a huge toad creature. Then the Mighty Nein are announced. Time to fight a nasty-smelling otyugh!

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This creature with a filthy, komodo dragon-like mouth has 'ugh' right there in its name.​

Caleb casts Enlarge on Yasha, who becomes 12 feet tall. After several rounds, Yasha kills it on a natural 20 using her new sword, Magician's Judge.

The Mountain Makers go next, making short work of a troll. The Stubborn Stock beat a 15-foot crocodile, so all the groups go to the second round. The Mighty Nein notice that the other groups have plans, signals, and strategies, and discuss how maybe they should work on that.
To start Round 2, the Last Line fights two axe-wielding minotaurs. It doesn't go well for them, and they're out of the tournament.

The Mighty Nein get called in again to fight a pair of winter wolves, whose freezing breath weapons are very effective! Caleb casts Maximillian's Grasping Cat's Claw, which delightfully grapples one of the wolves for a round. After a few rounds, Yasha finishes off one of the wolves (with her second natural 20 of this wolf fight), and Molly takes down the second.

View attachment 97156
Sam reacts viscerally to Taliesin's vivid description of how he wants to do this.​

The Mountain Makers combat two owlbears for their second round. They get wiped out quickly. The clerics revive the fallen fighters, but they also are out of the tournament.

The Stubborn Stock narrowly survive their fight with displacer beasts, so it's down to the Stubborn Stock and the Mighty Nein for Round 3.
The Mighty Nein come up with what they agree is a terrible plan, which they abandon at the last minute. The gates open and an angry hill giant runs out, roaring. Cliffhanger!

Play of the Game
Fjord defied the odds and rolled three successive natural ones while playing a silly game. These were merely the first of a staggering 13 natural ones rolled during this episode, setting a new record for the show. D&D Beyond will donate $1,300 to 826LA!

Quote of the Week
Molly (rasping in Infernal to cast Vicious Mockery on a winter wolf): Bad doggie!
Nott: Butt turkey?
Molly: Yeah, butt turkey. You heard me!

Context-Free Comedy
"He just humansplained me."

contributed by Annie Bulloch

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