Nathaniel Trapp

Nathaniel Trapp
Player character
Official art of Nathaniel Trapp, by Lisa Fricke.[art 1]
Basic information
ActorTravis Willingham
Role
  • Face (Journalist)
  • Slink (Detective)
Biographical information
Pronounshe/him
TitlesLieutenant (in the Last Great War)
Also known as
PlacesNewfaire, Hale
Family
  • Christopher Francis Trapp (father)
  • Older brother (deceased)
ProfessionJournalist
Affiliations
Status
StatusAlive (as of "Broken Path" (CO2x03))
Appearances
First seen"Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01)
Last seen"Broken Path" (CO2x03)
StreamCandela Obscura (3 episodes)

Nathaniel Trapp is a journalist in Newfaire and a member of the Circle of Needle & Thread. He is played by Travis Willingham.

Description[edit | edit source]

Nathaniel has dark hair and facial hair and piercing blue eyes.[3][4] His accent is considered posh in Newfaire.[5]

He wears well-made clothing that mark him as coming from money, though he otherwise tries to hide that fact. He wears a three-piece suit and always keeps a pocket watch in his breast-pocket. After the circle's mission against the Exoteric Order of New Sciences (EONS), he began to wear his shoulder holsters from the war; he initially wore them empty,[3] but following the attack in the chapter house, he carried his officer's revolver in them.[6]

After he took a Bleed scar in "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01), the color in his right eye faded to near white and glossed over, as if burned out.[4] Uncomfortable with constant looks from passersby, he began wearing a glass contact lens to restore the appearance, though the color is slightly off from the proper color in his left eye. Initially, the damage resulted in a fog that occupied half of his vision, but eventually the fog began to "trail certain people as they would move" and buildings almost appeared to have second outlines; he rationalized that it was his brain compensating for the missing periphery vision but was concerned that it was something else. Scarring also began to spread across his face from his eye socket, which he used makeup to hide.[7]

Following an attack in "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02), during which a creature tore open his back and failed to pull out his spine (and he sustained a Body scar), the vertebrae are more prominent and crest between his scapulas up to his neck. The effect was described: "What really hurts in the beginning starts to feel really strong in short order, but also very numb and strange." His right leg also stopped working properly.[8]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Nathaniel strives to be a safeguard against the evils that follow one family, such as his own, having too much power in Newfaire. Travis Willingham described Nathaniel as having "never been particularly brave" and as having feared being discovered a coward, a specific form of a fear of being judged. He stated Nathaniel's definition of a monster as: "A monster can be someone standing next to you, and you’d never even know it. Actions define the monster, not their appearance or mystique."[1]

Beatrix Monroe perceived him to be "quite the institutional man" and was surprised to see him speak against their Lightkeeper; Nathaniel described it as, "Force of habit, I'm afraid."[9]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Before Candela Obscura[edit | edit source]

Nathaniel was born into the Trapp family, who are of old money and have a great deal of power in Newfaire.[1] He is the younger child of Christoper Francis Trapp,[10] and his older brother was the son that his family loved and on whom they pinned their hopes for the family's future; he recalled his father's warmth towards his brother not being extended to him.[11] When Nathaniel was nine, his brother waded into a river to retrieve a toy for Nathaniel and drowned. He reached to Nathaniel for help, but Nathaniel froze and his brother died.[12] He subsequently tried to forget this memory,[4] and he has held his brother in incredibly high regard since then.[13] Nathaniel hated the rest of his family "for as long as he can remember", and his disgust for the arrogance and weight of the family name drove him to distance himself from it.[1]

Because of his higher education, he was ranked as a lieutenant during the Last Great War,[1] which began in 1898 and ended six years later.[14] He was a recruitment officer, and he convinced Sean Finnerty (who was too young to legally enlist) and Sean's two older brothers to enlist.[15] He was later sent to fight in the trenches and was Marion Collodi's and Sean's commanding officer within Echo Company.[16] When Nathaniel returned from the war, he discovered abuses that his family committed to expand Newfaire and develop its subway system.[1][17]

He began working for The Civil Tribune newspaper as a journalist to uncover corruption and to attempt to hold the powerful accountable.[1] A couple months before "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01),[18] he and others at the newspaper learned about strange disappearances in connection to tunnels being dug for Trapp Transit Subway, his family's business, and heard rumors about section of Oldfaire being accidentally disturbed. When he went to investigate a station, he encountered a malicious magickal creature. He was saved from it by Allison Suarez, a Candela Obscura investigator in the Circle of Silver Flame, but she was transformed by the experience. He was quickly taken off the scene and instructed to seek Candela to answer any questions he had. He became an investigator himself, hoping to make a difference and also to repay a perceived debt to Allison. He was not allowed further information about Allison's condition and, in the time since, grew unhappy with how much information was regularly withheld.[17]

He, Marion, Sean, Beatrix Monroe, and Jinnah "Jean" Basar formed the Circle of Needle & Thread with Draven Kingsley as their Lightkeeper.[19]

Candela Obscura: Chapter 2[edit | edit source]

On Summer 13, 1907,[20] the Circle of Needle & Thread was sent aboard a train to prevent the Exoteric Order of New Sciences (EONS) from having a magickal device, later identified as a vial containing an immature androphage. Nathaniel went alone to investigate what other research EONS was conducting and was confronted by two EONS security guards. Though inadequately armed, he ultimately knocked both down. Realizing the guards' knives were magickal, he began to flee, but Marion arrived and subdued the guards. Upon learning the engine car had been detached, he further realized the rest of the train no longer had brakes and suggested they consider leaving the train. He calmed the other passengers as the cars were reattached.[21]

The circle was immediately sent on a second assignment to investigate the murder of Allison's husband the previous night. Nathaniel was unhappy with Candela's decision to tell her son that she was actually dead and expressed to the circle his frustration at withheld information. At the Suarez home, he and Jean observed a number of abnormalities inside the body, and a subway ticket arriving at the city's newest station was found. Because Draven had speculated that the creature sought vengeance for the incident with Allison, the circle considered using Nathaniel as bait; he shakily insisted that he was not afraid. He noticed the subway cars were unusually fitted with mirrored panes, suggesting that his family knew about the creatures, and cleared the platform of bystanders at Beatrix's instruction. Moving through the tunnels, they discovered a steel plate sealing off a Candela lighthouse that fell during excavation and stopped functioning. As they each climbed through a breach in the plate, a train approached. Nathaniel urged Sean to go first, leaving himself last, but Sean was not quick enough. Sean instead destroyed the plate with a grenade; Nathaniel pulled himself and Sean to safety in a narrow gap between a wall and the passing train. Shortly after, Nathaniel stopped Sean from fighting squid dogs until death by ordering him to follow the group into the lighthouse. They encountered a creature climbing through a rift to the Flare at the top. Nathaniel lost consciousness due to the Bleed exposure, and he re-experienced the memory of his brother's drowning. The creature attempted to remove his soul, but Sean pushed it back with a shotgun. Nathaniel woke once his soul returned. The encounter caused his right eye to gloss over.[21]

Following those events, Nathaniel sought out an optometrist to get a colored contact lens, which mostly hid the Bleed scar in his eye, though he noticed that his vision was initially hazy, and it eventually developed into a trail that followed certain people, and a second outline around buildings. While staying at the chapter house, he received a letter from his father, Christopher Francis Trapp, asking him to meet at the water to discuss business. Nathaniel threw the letter into the fire after memorizing the date and time of the appointment, and then went to drink in an armchair.[22] He was awoken from his nap by Sean, who after revealing he was living at the chapter house, asked Nathaniel if he could use his family connections to help get his mother, Peggy Finnerty, released from Grayslate as he believed her to be wrongfully committed. When Nathaniel agreed and asked if there was more information in case his journalist connections were more valuable, Sean revealed that he believed the diagnosis had been paid for by their landlord to evict her from their home. Sean then left; Nathaniel briefly looked at his officer's pistol, kept in a wooden box, before closing the box.[23]

The rest of the circle was summoned for a briefing for their next assignment, to investigate the death of Joshua Fisher, another member of Allison's circle, by the same creature that killed Antonio Suarez. During the briefing, Draven Kingsley first got extremely close to Nathaniel before reaching in and grasping his spine, knocking him unconscious. Marion and Sean were able to fight the creature off, but it escaped. After he came to, Nathaniel attempted to question the real Kingsley, who was near death due to the bleed he had taken, then went to get his officer's pistol. He looked through the archives of the chapter house but was unable to find much information, as they had been raided. He then returned to where Jean and Bee were discussing what to do about Draven, and suggested "containment" as saving him seemed nearly impossible. Jean reluctantly agreed with Nathaniel and Bee and left. Bee smothered Draven before Nathaniel set the building on fire, and they all left to go to the chapter house of the Circle of Silver Flame, Allison's circle. Upon reaching the chapter house, Nathaniel established the code word "Petunia" since the creature they were fighting could take on the appearance of others, and took out his pistol, going to a darker place [mechanically, he took a brain mark and switched to using the Slink (Detective) sheet]. He wrote a note to his father asking him to care for Lucas and gave it to Jean, who took Lucas to the Trapp residence, then went in to the building with Marion, Sean, and Bee. They quickly found a rift to the Fourth Pharos that had been corrupted. Nathaniel and Sean fought off the creatures exiting the rift, and Nathaniel encouraged Marion use his gifts to help seal the rift. Once the rift was sealed, Nathaniel went with Bee to look through the archives at this chapter house, which had been similarly raided. There, Bee told Nathaniel that she had been blaming him for the deaths of Sean's older brothers, as their recruiting officer, and had thought him a coward, but following his actions on their last mission and this one no longer thought this, and apologized. He told her she was correct: that he was a coward, and that he has always recruited people braver than him, and that she had nothing to apologize for. They agree that they can move beyond their pasts, and she tells him he can call her Auntie Bee as Sean and Marion do. He then stayed at the chapter house with Marion and Jean while Bee and Sean went to find and warn the final two members of the Circle of Silver Flame.[24]

Nathaniel found and read a missive from Dolores Finch, Lightkeeper of the Circle of Silver Flame regarding the Fourth Pharos being compromised. Following Marion's premonition that Sean was in danger, he went to fetch Bee while Jean and Marion went after Sean, and while he was attacked by the creatures after Farrah Morales, he, Farrah, and Bee escaped and joined Jean and Marion in The Steel. Sean rejoined them not long after. The group then headed towards Westwreck based on notes from Duncan Walters' home indicating there was an entrance to the Fourth Pharos there, riding hoverbikes EONS had provided to Duncan. They were pursued by EONS, who had come to collect on payment for those bikes. Upon reaching the entrance to the Fourth Pharos, Nathaniel followed Sean through the underwater tunnel. They were soon after followed by the rest of the Circle. Jean gave Nathaniel the adjuvant for safekeeping and use on Allison.[25]

Nathaniel located Allison within the Fourth Pharos's vaults, but the shapeshifting creatures attacked; he escaped only by using a magickal ability he had not used since childhood to teleport a short distance, but Allison was injured. He used half the adjuvant on himself, and the rest Bee injected into Allison. Nathaniel then began fighting against the creatures to hold them off and was able to kill the initial shapeshifter that had been stalking their circle, though the Mother later revived it. He attacked the Mother as well, and upon realizing Sean had betrayed the party ran towards Jean and Marion as Bee went after Sean, but arrived after Marion had died.[25]

A few days later, Nathaniel went to check on Lucas Suarez at his family's home as he was released into the care of Peggy Finnerty. His father appeared to be more affectionate towards him than he had been in the past. He also stopped by the Nine Irons to "[make] sure a promise is kept."[26]

Character information[edit | edit source]

Notable items[edit | edit source]

  • Notepad in The Civil Tribune letterhead and pen[27]
  • Pocket watch on a chain[3]
  • Shoulder holsters, from the war[3]
  • Officer's revolver, received during the war.[28] When he begins to use it, it indicates his character sheet switch from the Journalist to the Detective specialty.[29]
  • Lighter[30]
  • Glass flask with quality whiskey[31]
  • Brass knuckles: presumably the "hand weapon" option for gear he may choose during an assignment.[32]
  • Press credentials:[33] possibly an option for gear he may choose during an assignment.[34]
  • Camera: possibly option for gear he may choose during an assignment.[34] The camera has a flashbulb. In "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01), he photographed the inside of Antonio Suarez's closet, the flash revealing melted clothing,[35] and a creature from the Flare that Sean killed.[36]
  • Letter from Dolores Finch: Found left behind in the Circle of Silver Flame's chapter house, stating the Fourth Pharos had been compromised.[37]
  • Golden artifact: A necklace with two golden rings on a golden thread, reminiscent of an astrolabe. Given to him by Jean. It allows the user to take a bleed mark to add an extra gilded die to a roll.[38]
  • Bleed detector: Option for gear he may choose during an assignment.[39]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Nathaniel has two character sheets: one in the Journalist specialty and one in the Detective specialty. He can switch between them by taking a Brain mark; they share marks and spent drives but have their own action ratings.[40]

His initial character sheet is in the Face role and in Journalist specialty. He is not known to have taken any Face abilities, and he has taken the following abilities from Journalist:

  • Lie Detector:[41] When making a Read roll to discern a lie, he gilds an additional die. The first Cunning drive he sends on the roll is worth two additional die.[42]
  • In the Trenches: Once per assignment, when he takes a Body mark, he can spend a Cunning resistance to negate it.[43]

On his Detective sheet, he is not known to have taken any Detective abilities, and he has taken the following abilities from the Slink role:

  • Scout: He can spend 1 Intuition drive whenever he has the time to observe a location and may ask a question about it.[44]
  • Saw This Coming: 3 times per assignment, he may assist an ally and add one die to their roll without spending a drive.
  • Death Defy: One per assignment, when he takes one or more marks, he instead takes none.[45]

Because the circle has the Interdisciplinary ability, each member may choose one ability outside of their role or specialty in character advancement. Nathaniel has an ability from the Magician specialty:

  • The Prestige: He may make a Sense roll and, on a success, take a Bleed mark and teleport a short distance.[46]

Actions[edit | edit source]

Nathaniel uses one of two sets of action ratings, depending on whether he is using his Journalist sheet or his Detective sheet.[40] Because he did not use his Detective sheet before his scars and did not gain any scars while using it, how his Detective ratings are affected by his scars is not known.

Journalist ratings
Action Rating Ref.
Original After Bleed scar After Body scar
Nerve
Move
Strike 1 2 (+1) 3 (+1) [47][48]
Control
Cunning
Sway
Read 2 1 (-1) 1 [49][47]
Hide
Intuition
Survey 0 or 2 0 or 2 0 or 2 [50]
Focus 1 1 0 (-1) [51][48]
Sense
Detective ratings
Action Rating Ref.
Nerve
Move
Strike
Control 3 [52]
Cunning
Sway
Read
Hide
Intuition
Survey
Focus
Sense

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Nathaniel's character art was updated to depict his whitened eye starting in "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02).[53]

Appearances and mentions[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Critical Role Productions posted themed cocktails for the Circle of Needle & Thread on Twitter. Nathaniel's is an American boilermaker, specifying dark lager and cheap whiskey (or, a non-alcoholic version with zero-point stout and herbal whiskey substitute) "served without excess, like its namesake".[54]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Candela Obscura: Chapter 2 Q&A with Travis Willingham on CritRole.com
  2. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 3:02:40.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 1:49:38.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 4:21:35.
  5. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 3:18:57.
  6. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 1:38:44.
  7. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 8:24. See also 1:08:06
  8. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 1:31:45.
  9. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 2:11:12.
  10. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 2:46:10.
  11. "Broken Path" (CO2x03) at 1:56:29.
  12. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 4:08:20.
  13. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 3:17:31.
  14. Candela Obscura: Quickstart Guide, p. 10.
  15. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 3:15:30.
  16. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 3:07:55. As both Marion and Sean fought in the trenches in Echo Company and under Nathaniel, it is probable that both happened at the same time.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) from 2:02:40 through 2:12:05. See also 3:13:45.
  18. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 2:18:44.
  19. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 1:18:49.
  20. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 2:57:04. Summer 12, 1907 was the previous night.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01).
  22. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 12:22.
  23. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 54:10.
  24. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02).
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Broken Path" (CO2x03).
  26. "Broken Path" (CO2x03) at 6:01:09.
  27. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 23:36.
  28. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 1:02:05.
  29. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 2:32:01.
  30. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 3:24:35.
  31. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 3:29:03. See also 3:44:57.
  32. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 45:06.
  33. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 3:20:28.
  34. 34.0 34.1 "How to Play: Candela Obscura" at 5:39. Note: a different version of the Journalist specialty is also seen in this video with different gear options that do not include this item at 4:01.
  35. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 2:41:40.
  36. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 3:32:48.
  37. "Broken Path" (CO2x03) at 3:04.
  38. "Broken Path" (CO2x03) at 16:56.
  39. "Broken Path" (CO2x03) at 4:32:50.
  40. 40.0 40.1 "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 2:32:01.
  41. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 3:12:26.
  42. "How to Play: Candela Obscura" at 4:01.
  43. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 3:45:34.
  44. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 2:52:11.
  45. "Broken Path" (CO2x03) at 3:38:23.
  46. "Broken Path" (CO2x03) at 4:55:54.
  47. 47.0 47.1 "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 4:24:41. Travis moves one point from Read into Strike following a Bleed scar.
  48. 48.0 48.1 "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 1:32:23. After a Body scar, Travis moves a point from Focus into Strike; it is his second point into Strike, and he has a full action rating (3) now.
  49. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 3:12:26. Travis rolls 4 dice after spending a drive. His Lie Detector ability adds 2 dice to a roll when a drive is spent. Because it also gilds an additional die, it is unclear if his Read is gilded before that.
  50. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 43:45. Travis visibly rolls two dice to make a Survey roll, but it is unclear if he is taking the lower value.
  51. "Eye for an Eye" (CO2x01) at 2:47:39. Travis rolls two dice to make a Focus roll after receiving an additional die from an assist.
  52. "Broken Path" (CO2x03) at 5:10:21. Travis visibly rolls three dice to make a Control roll.
  53. "Flesh and Blood" (CO2x02) at 38:48.
  54. Critical Role (@CriticalRole) on Twitter: "🍸LUMINIFEROUS LIBATIONS🕯️ Experience the flavor of the Fairelands with character themed cocktails celebrating #CandelaObscura Chapter 2! First up: A no-frills Boilermaker for @WillingBlam's Nathaniel Trapp, served without excess just like its namesake 🍻" (September 18, 2023).

Art:

  1. Official art of Nathaniel Trapp, by Lisa Fricke (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.