Weekly Blog February 10th, 2018: The Mighty Nein – 50 Episodes Later

***This will contain spoilers for Critical Role Season 2***


 

Hello Internet!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! I know many places are still dealing with cold temperatures and winter weather, so if that includes you, I hope you are staying nice and warm. Remember to drive safe and give yourself plenty of time to get wherever you are going so you aren’t rushing in the winter weather. Where I live, we have been hit with cold temperatures and a ton of rain. The poem I wrote this week actively represents how I felt about it. Speaking of which, let me get through all the things I published this week because I have a lot to talk about and this is already going to be a long Weekly Blog. Past Sunday, I published a Weekly Blog about Groundhog Day. It was pretty popular and people really seemed to enjoy the Weekly Blog so I hope you read it, enjoyed it, and learned something from it. On Wednesday, I published a Poem titled “Winter Rains” which talks all about the cold rains I’ve been experiencing this week. On Friday, I published a Writing Prompt Piece titled “A Cherished Childhood Friendship” which focuses on elements of time travel and friendship. It was an excellent Writing Prompt and I hope I did it justice. Finally, on Saturday, I published the twenty-first chapter of my Pokémon Heart Gold/ Soul Silver Fanfiction titled “Pokémon HGSS#21: Rocket Takeover of Goldenrod Radio Tower Part 3.” This chapter sees Jonathan take on the final Team Rocket Executive on the roof of The Goldenrod City Radio Tower. It also features a certain International Police Officer. If you haven’t read any of those pieces, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to do so.

Now you may or may not know that I am a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons and an even bigger show of the Critical Role on Geek and Sundry’s Twitch Channel. I’ve made posts in the past about the group of “Nerdy Ass Voice Actors” playing Dungeons and Dragons on Thursday Nights (Critical Role’s New Campaign and Vox Machina – One Year Later) but today I wanted to talk about The Mighty Nein and the difference between when we first met them and where they are now. There was no Critical Role this past week, so I thought this would be a good way to fill that hole in my heart where Critical Role usually goes.  I am going to break this down by character and will be including spoilers for the second season of Critical Role up to the most recent episode which was episode 50. You have been warned!

First I want to talk about Fjord played by Travis Willingham. The Half-Orc, “Texblade” Warlock is the character that has probably had the most backstory told about him. Fjord and his connection to his otherworldly Patron, Uk’otoa (Uk’otoa) was explored in the first major arc of the season where The Mighty Nein stole a boat and sailed to towards the wreckage of Fjord’s old ship. Along the way, Fjord met with another one of Uk’otoa’s chosen named Avantika. They traveled together to a hidden temple where they placed one an eye medallion in an altar. This flooded the temple, unlocked one of the locks keeping Uk’otoa at bay, and granted Avantika the power to control water. After The Mighty Nein exposed Avantika to the Lord of a Pirate Island, Avantika was killed and the Mighty Nein were exiled from the island. They sailed to a second temple which was close to the original shipwreck, Fjord placed the second eye, and unlocked the second lock on Uk’otoa. Fjord was then rewarded with a similar power that Avantika had which allows him to control water. Fjord also has the third eye and the location of the temple, but swears he has no interest in traveling to a third temple and finishing the deed. Right now Uk’otoa still hangs over the head of Fjord as well as the mystery surrounding his former captain/father figure, Vandren, still hangs up in the air. Thanks to a clever Divination spell from Caduceus, Fjord knows that Vandren is out there in the world somewhere, but that’s all he knows. I’m interested to see how the rest of Fjords backstory will come to the forefront and if Uk’otoa will stay at bay forever. Plus me and the rest of the Critter community are wondering how Fjord and Jester’s relationship will develop or even start.

The second person I want to talk about is Beauregard, the Human Monk of the Cobalt Soul played by Marisha Ray. Beau has had some personal growth since the first episode including deepening friendships with the rest of the Might Nein. She is now First Mate alongside Fjord (AKA Captain Tusktooth), she continues to “keep Caleb in check,” and she relies on Jester a ton. Also the idea of Beau and Yasha ending up together is still up in the air. A lot of emotional growth was also brought on by the death of Mighty Nein member, Mollymauk, which Beau seems to talk about the most. On the other hand, we haven’t seen a lot of Beau’s backstory coming to the forefront. Near the beginning we had some interactions between her and the Cobalt Soul, but then the Mighty Nein ran away from an oncoming war and stole a boat instead. In more recent episodes we learned that the war front has neared Beau’s hometown and that Beau has a younger brother which her parents seem to favor over her. This combination makes Beau both want to return home and stay as far away as possible. We know that Beauregard does not have a good relationship with her family, so if she does choose to go back, we can expect some hostility. The other thing that interests me about Beau is that she has been bringing up The Cobalt Soul a lot more; almost using it as a badge of honor. Here connection to The Cobalt Soul hasn’t been fully explored and I expect there’s a lot more to unload there.

Third we have Caleb Widogast, the dirty Human Wizard and walking ball of fiery misery played by Liam O’Brien. Now both Caleb and his closest friend Nott The Brave had their backstories brought into the limelight in the most recent episodes and I expect that they will be front and center during this next major arc of the show. We learned about Caleb’s backstory some in earlier episodes when Caleb told Nott and Beau that he was a student at The Soltryce Academy. There he learned magic and was put in a special program under the supervision of Trent Ikithon. He then went on to kill his parents in a horrible fire which still haunts him to this day. More recently we learned that Caleb’s real name is Bren Aldric Ermendrud and he has some connection to a ninth school of magic called  Dunamancy which has something to do with time manipulation. We know that Caleb has been trying to figure out time travel and how to manipulate time presumably so he could got back and time and change his past, saving his parents. Dunamancy also has a connection to Xhorhas and the beacon The Mighty Nein carry. Again, this next arc seems to be focusing on Caleb and his former teacher as well as the other power mages of The Soltryce Academy. It is likely The Mighty Nein will soon come up against people from Caleb’s past.

Connected to Caleb is Nott The Brave, The Goblin Rogue played by Sam Riegel. Near the beginning of the campaign, Nott was more of a comic relief character. She stole things, drank alcohol, and helped Caleb anyway she could (which usually involved stealing), but recently this has been turned on its head. In more recent episodes, The Mighty Nein  traveled to Felderwin, Nott’s hometown, where The Xhorhas Army attacked. Here we learned that Nott was once a Halfling named Veth who was captured by Goblins alongside her husband, Yeza,  and son, Luke. Veth and her family were enslaved for some time, but she was able to spring lose her husband her son. She was then punished and turned into a Goblin by some sort of magic spell which involved drowning her in a river. Since returning to her hometown, she has found out that her husband, the town’s alchemist, has been taking by the Xhorhas Army which has lead The Mighty Nein into the tunnels on a journey to rescue him. I’m guessing Nott’s backstory will also be in the forefront of this arc and we are far from done learning about her life as Veth. I think it’s almost important to point out that this most recent information highlights why she cares so deeply for someone like Caleb and why she has these maternal instincts. Also it devastated me to learn that she died by drowning which explains why she hated the water so much and why she had such a hard time living on the high seas and exploring underwater.

Fifth I want to talk about Jester Lavorre the Blue Trickster Cleric played by Laura Bailey. Jester is the sweet loving Cleric who wields a spiritual weapon lollipop and worships a mysterious deity known as The Traveler. This connection is something that has only been touched on a little bit by the other members of The Mighty Nein, but we know as viewers that The Traveler is planning some kind of big meet up between Jester and the other worshipers of The Traveler. What that will be, we do not know, but I know many Critters are dying to get our fingers on any information surrounding the Traveler. The other biggest connection Jester has is to her Mom, Marion Lavorre AKA “The Ruby of the Sea” who is a Lady of the Night in Nicodranas. We have seen some interactions between Jester and her mom and they are always sweet. We have also seen her try to incite romance between her and Fjord but either Fjord is not interested or is extremely oblivious to Jester’s affections. It will be interesting to see if that relationship actually sets sail or if its not meant to be between them. In the mean time, Jester continues to spread the gospel of the traveler by handing out pamphlets and drawing penises on everything. Her backstory has not been in the limelight yet, but we have met her mother and know that her father is most likely “The Gentleman,” a crime lord who The Mighty Nein have made alliances with in the past. The Traveler is the biggest shadow hanging over Jester’s head and I’m excited to expose it to the light.

Next we must talk about Mollymauk Tealeaf, the Purple Tiefling Bloodhunter who was played by Taliesin Jaffe. Mollymauk was a circus freak in every definition of the word with a connection to Yasha. He also a mystery surrounding him where he died and came back with his memory erased. The Mighty Nein ran into a former friend of Molly’s who called him Lucien and we also heard the name Nonagon. What does all of this mean? Well I don’t know if we’ll every truly find out. You see in episode 26, we lost Molly to a slaver named Lorenzo. These slavers had taken Jester, Fjord, and Yasha, and the rest of The Mighty Nein had set a trap to get their party members back. However the battle shifted and Lorenzo overpowered The Mighty Nein. In what could have been a TPK (Total Party Kill), Molly was killed. It is possible that Mollymauk’s backstory is still unfolding out in the world without him being present, but for now The Mighty Nein has been dragged into other things and Molly’s past and resurrection continue to be a mystery. In Critter’s eyes, Molly will forever reign, but it unknown whether or not Molly can pull of the miracle of Resurrection a second time.

After Mollymauk died, Talesin began playing a second character who is a Firbolg Cleric who worships The Wildmother named Caduceus Clay. Caduceus is a laid-back type that has a high wisdom which gifts him with a high perception of the things around him and a high insight into the people around him. He is a healer who gives out warm hugs but can also unleash a swarm of bugs on you or turn you into mushrooms. It took a while to fully welcome Clay into the group after Molly’s passing, but now he is a full fledged member of The Mighty Nein. We have been given some information about Clay like that he comes from a large family that managed a graveyard called the Blooming Grove. which is located within the Savalierwood. The Savalierwood is currently being corrupted by some kind of force and Caduceus Clay is destined to stop it. He has sought help from The Wildmother as well as a powerful Wizard in Nicodranas, but so far he has no knowledge of what is causing the corruption. This is Clay’s biggest goal at the time, but it doesn’t seem to be on the radar for the rest of The Mighty Nein, so who knows when it will be addressed. Clay also has a part of a sword which is mysterious and possibly magical. This may just be a side story item or a powerful relic. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Finally we get to the last main member of the Mighty Nein, Yasha Nydoorin, the fallen Asamir Storm Barbarian played by Ashley Johnson. Yasha is a strong, silent type that had a connection to Molly and she was devastated after Molly’s death. She has also been with the group sporadically due to Ashley not always being there to play on Thursdays (Curse you Blindspot!) This meta reason has lead to Yasha being the most mysterious of the group and we have learned very little about her backstory. We know that she was originally from Xhorhas where she was married to a woman named Zuala. In her tribe she had a chosen mate, but she chose to marry Zuala instead which lead to Zuala being killed and Yasha ran from the tribe. Since then she has made her way to The Dwendalian Empire and became associated with The Stormlord. That might sound like a lot, but a lot of that came from only the most recent episode when Ashley was able to play. Yasha is really interesting to me because she is from the empire which is currently at war with the empire where people like Beau and Caleb are from. She represents the “other side” to the war. Also the revelation that she was once married complicates any possible relationship between her and Beau going forward. Mostly I’m just excited for Ashley to come back to LA so she can play some more and we can get more into Yasha’s backstory.

I know that this is a very long Weekly Blog, but I just wanted to take a look at The Mighty Nein and their journey so far. There’s a ton I didn’t get to touch upon including big character moments between characters and the ton of NPC’s ran by Mathew Mercer and guest characters, but this Weekly Blog is already so long! When you have almost 200 hours of material between 50 episodes (Thanks Crit Role Stats), its hard to sum it all up in just one Weekly Blog. What I will say, to try and wrap it up, is that I was a bit worried that when Vox Machina came to an end, that things would be too different and that I wouldn’t like The Mighty Nein as much. These fears have been long put to rest and I continue to look forward to a new episode of Critical Role every Thursday. These Voice Actors continue to kill it and I am excited to see what the state of the characters will be at episode 100 and beyond. Vox Machina started around these levels and we got 115 episodes, so depending on how the story goes, we could get 200 or more episodes of The Mighty Nein and I’m so excited to experience all of it!

Thank you so much for reading that long Weekly Blog! I don’t have a reward for reading through all of that, but I really appreciate that you did. If you liked this Weekly Blog, feel free to give it a like or leave a comment down below. You can tell me your favorite moment from Critical Role or what you are looking forward to most. Also if you enjoyed this longer Weekly Blog, let me know. I’m always looking for feedback on the website no matter if it is positive or negative (but constructive). Also you should know that there are over 360 other pieces on the website so if this wasn’t your thing, there are plenty of other pieces you can read instead.

Thank you again for all your support and I hope you have a wonderful week and a fantastic Valentine’s Day!

-Allen_The_Writer

 


Header Photo Credit to Max Beech Creative on Twitter
https://twitter.com/mbeechcreative/status/1030130802850447361

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