Previously on Critical Role, the Mighty Nein met the Ruby of the Sea and learned that she was being harassed by a nobleman named Algar Nyorin. They tracked Algar into the Sluice Weave, a tunnel of waterways beneath the city of Nicodranas. After fighting angry water elementals and making their way deep into the Sluice Weave, the Nein encountered Algar, protected not only by his bodyguards but also by a water elemental genie. Algar ordered his minions to attack, and the Mighty Nein fought a desperate battle—gaining the upper hand at the last possible moment.
The Mighty Nein forced Algar onto a boat departing for Marquet, deeming exile a worthy punishment for his crimes. After reporting their success to the Ruby of the Sea, the party staked out the docks in search of Marius LePuor, the man they learned from the letter they took from the Sour Nest. They found him... but one thing led to another and, well, they stole a boat. Now the Mighty Nein are sailing the high seas with no direction. What's their next course of action!?
The Mighty Nein cornered Algar, and Fjord severed his left hand while Beau held him down.
Fjord removed a gleaming, magical bracelet from the severed hand. The rest of the party rushed up to the top of the nexus chamber to meet them… and so did the marid that Algar used the bracelet to control. Fjord returned the bracelet to the genie and let it go. It vanished into thin air and returned to the “Silversilt Palace,” wherever that was. The marid had been enslaved to provide power to the city and route water through the Sluice Weave. Letting it go might have consequences for the city of Nicodranas, but… the genie was gone. There wasn’t much they could do about that now.
The party used every method at their disposal to torture and intimidate the man; Fjord used disguise self to transform into him and make threatening comments, Caleb sicc’d octopus-Frumpkin on him, Caduceus used magic to cause his severed hand to decompose… and Nott backed away in terror.
“You guys are fucked up!” she squeaked.
Through this intimidation, they convinced Algar to adopt a false identity and flee the city on a boat. Beau paid 20 gold and booked him passage on a boat to Marquet. With Algar out of the way, the Mighty Nein had only about an hour of daylight left. They deliberated on their next course of action and came up with a lot of possible options—investigating the mystical tower, waiting at the docks at midnight for Marius, and reporting their success to the Ruby of the Sea. They ultimately decided to visit Marion Lavorre.
An Evening Stakeout
The Mighty Nein visited Marion in her boudoir. Jester told a “little white lie” to her and said that they searched for Algar and learned that he had fled before they could find him. Marion bought the lie, and the party spent an evening in style with the Ruby of the Sea. They relaxed for a few hours… and then made their way to the docks and staked out the wharf.
By the seaside, the party spotted a shadowy figure darting between shipping containers and avoiding the gaze of the Zolezho guards. Nott zipped quietly towards his hiding place, and observed a group of cloaked figures emerging from a docked vessel.
Beau attempted to distract the guards as the rest of the party snuck onto the boat by adopting her “Tracy” persona and pretending to throw away her engagement ring. The guards didn’t buy it, and one of the hooded figures fired his crossbow at her. The hooded guard called for backup, and more armed assailants appeared. Combat was engaged, and Matthew produced one of his most detailed battle-map yet, complete with cargo crane with hanging crate.
“Ugh, Where’s the Reset Button?”
Fjord cast thunder step and tried to get Marius to travel with him, but the confused and furious man refused to go with him. The party was spread out and struggled to pull together a cohesive offensive front. As the enforcers staved the party off, one the smuggler captain shouted to his allies to “burn it all!”
The fight was chaotic and confused. Beau tried to captured Marius by grappling him, but he managed to break free and fled to the vessel. He had no reason to trust these violent assailants, after all. Beau told him that the Gentleman sent them… but he was too panicked to understand her words.
The Mighty Nein pressed their advantage, took out the smugglers, and stole their vessel. The commotion, however, attracted the attention of the Zolezho guards. They rushed towards the perceived boat thieves, weapons drawn, but attempting to hail and use diplomacy first. Fjord assessed the situation and realized it would take some doing to make a quick getaway in this ship.
Fjord descended belowdecks and assailed one of the enforcers attempted to burn papers in the ship’s hold. Beau futilely tried to raise the mainsail. Caleb shot a blast of flame into the air, and caused it to crash down upon the docks, creating a massive conflagration on the wharf—and convincing the guards that this truly was a boat heist in progress.
“You know how you can never come back to this city again?” Sam said. “Well, that might now be… all of us.”
Fjord was gravely wounded, so Caleb rushed belowdecks and used suggestion to force the enforcer to hide. Likewise, Jester cast charm person upon the leader of the Zolezho guards, and he gave the order for the guards to lower their weapons. The ship, now in motion, began to drift out into the harbor. The guard captain acted obviously enchanted, and the rest of the guards hurried away to find a mage, or someone who could help their ensorcelled captain.
Meanwhile, Caduceus was in the water. He was trying to doggy-paddle his way to the boat, which was quickly turning away from the port. It was then he saw dark shapes moving in the water. Yasha acted quickly and helped drag him onto the ship.
Back on the boat, the enforcer broke out of Caleb’s enchantment and tried to flee, but Jester chopped her axe into the back of his head, killing the man instantly. The boat pulled away out into Nicodranas harbor. The guards were swarming around the wharf, but it seemed like they didn’t catch the name of the vessel. Beau leaned over the edge of the ship and saw its name—the Mist.
The lights of Nicodranas faded into the distance. Marius, bound and wild-eyed, asked the party who they were. Fjord said that they came bearing gifts. This poor blighter seemed to be complete in the dark. He was simply a runner. Getting precious little information out of him, the MIghty Nein gagged him and put him out of the way.
What are the Mighty Nein planning on doing with their new boat? The future is a blank page before them... is it Thursday yet?
Unless otherwise credited, all images in this article are courtesy of Chris Lockey and Critical Role.
James Haeck is the lead writer for D&D Beyond, the co-author of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and the Critical Role Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, the DM of Worlds Apart, and a freelance writer for Wizards of the Coast, the D&D Adventurers League, and Kobold Press. He loves watching Critical Role and wants everyone he knows to get into it, too. He lives in Seattle, Washington with his partner Hannah and his very own Frumpkins, Mei and Marzipan. You can usually find him wasting time on Twitter at @jamesjhaeck.