Elden Ring One-Shot: O Ye of Little Faith

"Elden Ring One-Shot: O Ye of Little Faith"
One-shot episode
Official art of the Elden Ring One-Shot thumbnail, by Jessica Nguyen.[art 1]
Episode no.Episode 45
AirdateMarch 1, 2022 19:00 PDT
Running time4:37:08
Game systemElden Ring-based d20 homebrew
Starring
Krystina Arielle as Mariah
Brennan Lee Mulligan as Brigidda
Marisha Ray as Kara Gen
Sam Riegel as Nihl
Alexander Ward as Marcus
and
Matthew Mercer as the Game Master
Links and related articles
Episode chronology
Previous
"Guest Battle Royale" (OSx44)
Next
"Tiny Tina's Wonderlands One-Shot" (OSx46)
Airdate order
Previous
"In Too Deep" (3x14)
Next
"The Tunnels Below" (3x15)
List of one-shots

"Elden Ring One-Shot: O Ye of Little Faith" (OSx45) is the forty-fifth one-shot episode of Critical Role. GM Matthew Mercer leads a group of the Tarnished comprised of our very own Marisha Ray and Sam Riegel, as well as special guests Krystina Arielle, Brennan Lee Mulligan, and Alexander Ward through the Lands Between.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Announcements[edit | edit source]

  • Welcome to Elden Ring, the RPG where you can customize the craft of Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R. R. Martin. The game is available on all platforms right now. Learn more and play it at the link above.
  • This one-shot features a lot of Matt's home-brewing, so expect liberties to be taken.
  • Since Brennan Lee Mulligan put on an accent as he introduced his character, Sam will be remaking his voice on the fly.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

An entire age has passed since it happened. In the Lands Between, where the once-great realm under Queen Marika was kept prosperous under the Golden Order, the Elden Ring was shattered, the Golden Order sundered, and the runic pieces of the Ring jealously taken and fought over by the queen's demigod offspring. Under the golden light of the Erdtree, the realm was left torn by war, where blood fought against blood, kin against kin. The rule of death was lost with the rune of the same name, calling those who had fallen to walk once more. Even possessing one of the powerful shards, a Great Rune was not enough to gain purchase in this now never-ending struggle. Breaking the land into fragmented shells of the former empire. Within this broken world, a glimmer of hope climbs from the shadows. The Tarnished. You, warriors of ancient blood who were banished from the Lands Between long ago, you now rise to the call of glory. Here, one might reclaim the grace once granted them, now lost. And along that path of redemption, unite the realm once more, and deliver it from the madness of Marika's godlike children. Awaken, O Tarnished, and seek your fate ahead.

Part I[edit | edit source]

A group of Tarnished awaken and gather at the mouth of a cavern. Brigidda becomes anxious that Nihl seeks to destroy the prophetess Mariah, whom Brigidda fiercely guards. Nihl, Kara Gen, and Marcus kneel to respect Mariah, who speaks in fanciful but empty prophecies that impress everyone but Marcus.

They exit out into Limgrave. A castle overlooks the landscape from a hill, upon which grows the Erdtree. The Erdtree is believed to confer the Golden Order, the laws of life and death. The Tarnished had the Erdtree's grace taken from them long ago and were banished from the Lands Between; only recently were the Tarnished called back by that lost grace.

Two skeletons attack. Mariah and Kara Gen strike the final blows, reducing the skeletons to glowing, gooey essences. Examining the essence, Nihl deduces that the loss of the Death Rune caused the dead to rise. Brigidda reduces the bones of one into dust before it can re-form and kicks the other's skull a great distance, hoping this will prevent it re-forming. It does not, so Marcus collapses the skeleton with a blast of magic.

The group moves on and finds a Site of Lost Grace, a magical space of rest. Mariah "prophesies" a literal description of what they see and makes an emotional speech about their lost grace, inspiring further faith in the others despite Marcus' continued skepticism. As they rest, Melina arrives to offer a partnership. She urges them to claim the Great Runes, the shards of the Elden Ring, and become the Elden Lord to rule the Lands Between. She points them to Stormveil Castle. Brigidda asks why Melina hasn't claimed the shards herself, and Melina explains those who have are driven to madness and endless warfare. Melina believes one among the Tarnished can claim the shards and end this cycle. She advises them to approach the castle via a cave along the coast and leaves them whistles to summon horse-like spectral steeds. Before Melina departs, Nihl asks if she's seen Nihl's cat, left behind when Nihl was exiled. Melina has not but hopes the cat has not fallen in with the lord of the castle.

At the coast, they fail to sneak past an encampment of soldiers and are attacked. Brigidda sets the soldiers on fire with her dragonfire breath. Mariah rips out the throat of the last soldier to everyone's awe and even Marcus' begrudging respect. As a soldier dies, he chastises them for loudly drawing something's attention. Immediately, a monstrous giant land octopus rises from the water and attacks. Inspired by Mariah throwing a holy water pot into its mouth and burning it, Brigidda leaps into the octopus and kills it from within with her dragonfire breath.

Kara Gen asks who among them should become the Elden Lord. None of them have interest in ruling, and Marcus suggests they decide when the time comes. They enter the cave and successfully ambush a group of trolls. Kara Gen gets overenthusiastic and misses a killing blow on the final troll. Marcus chastises her for being distracted by enthusiasm for Mariah, prompting Mariah to kill the troll herself. Mariah, Brigidda, and Nihl triumphantly taunt Marcus with perceived proof of Mariah's power.

Break[edit | edit source]

Part II[edit | edit source]

The Tarnished rest at a Site of Lost Grace outside the cave, then continue into the windswept Stormhill. They find a woman by a campfire, and she advises they turn back. She and her companions attacked Stormveil Castle, but she was horrified by how the ruler of the castle takes limbs from the fallen and fled. She returns to Limgrave. Brigidda snuffs the campfire, preventing a passing rider from seeing them. Kara Gen finds arrows with sleep enchantments inside a farmhouse.

Riding onward, they meet Calvis, a soft-spoken golem who lost his arms in a bet and has a sword buried in his chest. They remove the sword for him. He warns a troll guards the castle gate, requests they look for his arms, and settles down to nap. They accidentally arouse the troll's attention, and Kara Gen puts it to sleep with an arrow. At the castle wall, they find a staircase just out of reach that they can use to climb over the wall. They stack their spectral steeds in the style of a circus act to close the distance and enter the castle.

The doors to the courtyard are guarded by a massive, sleeping feline matching the description of Nihl's cat. When the cat awakens, Nihl tries to speak to it, but it bites off her arm. Nihl's screaming alerts the guards, and Nihl denounces Mariah as a fraud. Brigidda chastises the cat and loses her arm too. They take run into the courtyard, narrowly escaping the guards. Inside is a Site of Lost Grace, which restores Nihl's and Brigidda's arms. Nihl wonders if the cat hates her because her exile prevented her from feeding it.

They witness the multi-armed Godrick the Grafted supplicate a dead dragon for strength. Seeing the Tarnished, he commands them to kneel. Kara Gen, Nihl, Brigidda, and begrudgingly Marcus kneel before Mariah, who refuses to kneel for Godrick. He attacks, but they all avoid his initial attacks. After some strong rounds from the Tarnished, Godrick decapitates the dragon, grafts the head to his arm, and spews an arc of flame. He nearly kills Mariah and Marcus, but Mariah heals herself and her allies. Eventually, Godrick kills Nihl and takes her arm for himself. In retaliation, Brigidda kills Godrick in a powerful, fiery strike.

Brigidda finds Calvis' arms discarded in the courtyard. The group holds a funeral for Nihl before restoring her at the Site of Lost Grace. Mariah asks everyone to close their eyes for a moment of silence, then drags Nihl to the Site of Lost Grace while they're not looking. Brigidda, Kara Gen, and Nihl praise Mariah's power. Nihl's cat breaks into the courtyard and is happily reunited with Nihl. Despite everyone's efforts, Marcus remains disbelieving in Mariah. When he is caught in a double bind, he instructs them to restore him at the Site of Lost Grace and intentionally stabs himself with his sword.

They continue onward under the promise of someone becoming the Elden Lord and stack their spectral steeds to escape the castle.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Player characters[edit | edit source]

NPCs[edit | edit source]

  • Calvis, a golem lying buried in Stormhill
  • Godrick the Grafted, ruler of Stormveil Castle
  • Melina, a mysterious woman who aids the party
  • Unnamed woman, abandoned her companions at Stormveil Castle in fear, likely Roderika

Quotations[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The player characters are based on the five classes available during Elden Ring's Closed Network Test. Marcus' and Nihl's classes of Enchanted Knight and Bloody Wolf are not present at launch but were available during the Closed Network Test. Though Brigidda is listed as a Hero, her stats do not match the Hero's but are identical to that of Champion, a class during the Closed Network Test. Kara Gen's Warrior stats more closely resemble those used during the Closed Network Test than at launch, and Mariah's Prophet stats are identical to the Closed Network Test.[1]
  • Brennan Lee Mulligan brought the dice bag he's owned since he was ten to the game. It was nearby when he watched the Campaign 1 finale, "The Chapter Closes" (1x115), which aired before he ever played D&D before a camera. He felt it meaningful to be able to bring the bag with him to a Critical Role table.[2]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. See "Classes" at the Elden Ring Wiki at Fextralife.
  2. Brennan Lee Mulligan (@BrennanLM) on Twitter: "And, if I might be forgiven a dorky & sincere moment: This is my first and only bag of dice that I've had since I was 10 years old. The drawstrings went years ago, and it is threadbare and careworn. This was right by my side in Oct 2017 when like every other Critter I was going--" (March 1, 2022). Continued in a second Tweet: "--absolutely feral watching the final battle of Campaign 1, before I had ever even dreamed of playing D&D in front of a camera. I don't know how many years this faithful bag has left in him, but it meant & means the world to me that I got a chance to bring him to that table."

Art:

  1. Official art of the Elden Ring One-Shot thumbnail, by Jessica Nguyen (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.