The Menagerie Returns!

"The Menagerie Returns!"
One-shot episode
"The Menagerie Returns!" (OSx58) thumbnail.
Episode no.Episode 58
AirdateMay 14, 2024 19:00 PT
Running time3:43:58
Game systemDaggerheart Beta 1.4
Links and related articles
Episode chronology
"Critical Role plays Daggerheart" (OSx57)
"Candela Obscura Live" (OSx59)
List of one-shots

"The Menagerie Returns!" (OSx58) is a one-shot in the Daggerheart system and a sequel to "Critical Role plays Daggerheart" (OSx57).

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Part I[edit | edit source]

The Menagerie, following their previous adventures, continued on towards Bunnie's home of Lullvale in search of Dyson Broche, who had caused the corruption they fought off. On the way, Pango Small split off from the party to go search for more information on the Seep.

After walking through the mountains for some time, the party reaches Lullvale, the Crimson City of Sin. It is a mountainside city covered in red crystals, with waterfalls running through it. As they reach the outskirts, several people call from various windows asking them if they want companionship for the night, but Bunnie warns the others to wait until they get to the center city instead. The party walks through lively, music-filled streets and past buildings with colorful murals to the Lily Locket Lounge, Bunnie's place of employment. When others compliment the crystals, she mentions that the Seep seems to have changed the color of some of them. She and Danté also reminisce about her rescuing him from the mists along the coast. Xarlo asks about Bunnie's former idol, Mafauna, and Bunnie explains that Mafauna's burlesque act did so well that she left and went on tour. Xarlo also purchases fish for his puppies along the way.

When they reach the Lily Locket Lounge, the party notices a number of portraits on the walls, including a stylized one of Bunnie herself. A Simian magician stops them on the way in and performs some close-up magic with a rope, which excites Oppy, but Kexon magically reveals the trick. After the magician leaves, Boa-Adra, who refers to herself as the "lording manager" of the lounge comes to welcome Bunnie back. She confirms Bunnie still has a place there, though she is not on the schedule for tonight; however, while Mafauna is in town, Bunnie's colleague Lamont is injured, leaving a performance slot available for Bunnie's act.

The Menagerie follows Bunnie to Lamont's dressing room, where the two women reunite. Lamont explains that her high heel snapped and she hurt her ankle as a result. In conversation, Lamont also reveals that she's seen Dyson recently, but he left to gamble at one of the local casinos. She also gives her opinion on Mafauna's return, saying she thinks she's been acting too good for the rest of them. Oppy requests, and receives, Lamont's broken shoe to extend his cigarillo magic staff. Meanwhile, Sweetpea goes outside and uses her fungal network ability and finds another Fungril who is able to locate Dyson for her. As there are several hours left before Bunnie has to go on, so the group follows her directions to an open-air casino, named the Back and Bones casino, across from a bank.

Despite having never gambled previously, Xarlo confidently sits down and plays a few rounds before Kexon pulls them away. Bunnie meanwhile locates Dyson, and the party hides. They notice very high security within the casino as they do. Bunnie goes up to Dyson, who is playing a poker-like game, and tells him she's been thinking about him before casting Enrapture and telling him to follow her to the bathrooms. Both bathrooms are initially occupied, leading to some frustration and catching the attention of security, but eventually she and Dyson are able to get into one of them. Kexon casts a spell locking the door to anyone but those he lets in, and Bunnie, inside, ties up Dyson with her whip and asks him if he was recently in the Emerald Sky. Dyson panics, and she casts Hypnotic Shimmer and interrogates him. Dyson quickly reveals he was paid to deposit a package, as he needed the money badly. Bunnie continues to apply pressure, and he reveals that his contact was Mortimer of the Crowatona crime family. As security approaches the bathroom, drawn by the commotion, Bunnie casts Recant, which causes Dyson to forget the last minute and consequently everything he told her, and she pretends the two of them had had a brief tryst in the bathroom. She leaves as security takes Dyson away, and the Menagerie quickly flees the casino.

Kexon notes that the Crowatonas are known for being a dubious group of criminals, and as the party walks through the city, Danté realizes they are being tailed. They count 9 people approaching them, and escape using Sweetpea's stealth skills. With a few more hours until Bunnie's show, Xarlo communes with Ondra regarding Mortimer, and sees a vision of a massive Ribbit kingpin in a subterranean chamber. The party realizes their best bet to find him is via the sewers. They enter them and travel through until they reach a grate. Kexon and Sweetpea are able to transport themselves, but before Oppy can transport them, they encounter a swarm of rats carried by a rush of water, and several of the party fall into the water despite Danté stabilizing them against the grate. Oppy is able to take the rest across, though not without a consequence: Unleash Chaos goes into the vault until recalled by taking stress.

They continue through the sewers towards the casino and eventually reach a bricked up tunnel where they believe the base of it to be. Kexon Reveals unusual bricks, which Danté and then Xarlo tap. Xarlo is pushed back by someone opening an unseen door, and from within the interior, someone calls out "whoever it is, deal with them." The Menagerie realize they have found the secret basement.

Part II[edit | edit source]

Two guards rush out from the basement, and a fight breaks out. They first try to hit Danté, who is defended by Arcane Deflection from Kexon. Xarlo is hit, and Bunnie Rallies the group. Danté tries to hit one of the guards but misses, but Xarlo scores a critical hit with his Spirit Weapon. Oppy casts Cinder Grasp, and with aid from Kexon is able to hit, setting the guards on fire. Sweetpea attacks, and also crits, and is followed by Bunnie, who misses. More enemies join the fray, including a female Ribbit holding a scepter.

Danté hits with an attack, killing one of the guards, but the Ribbit with the scepter casts a spell creating a glue-like substance, and restrains both Xarlo and Bunnie. Kexon teleports into a corner of the sewer, as does Sweetpea. Bunnie and Xarlo both encourage each other and are able to remove themselves from the glue. Danté takes cover behind one of the sewer walls as a large male Ribbit holding a cane and wearing a large gem on a necklace enters. Oppy teleports over to where Kexon is, and attacks with his staff, but misses. The large male Ribbit, who they realize is Mortimer, unsheathes the blade from his sword cane and hits Kexon, Xarlo, and Bunnie with his attack, though Danté is able to dodge. Bunnie, in response, casts Slumber on Mortimer successfully, putting him to sleep. The Ribbit with the scepter strikes Kexon, and one of the bodyguards moves in, but Xarlo steals the gem off the sleeping Mortimer as this happens and becomes mesmerized by it.

Another bodyguard awakens Mortimer. Mortimer immediately notices his gem is missing, and the guard attacks Kexon, but misses. In response, Kexon casts a spell, creating a mist that covers much of the party. Sweetpea casts Shadowbind on Mortimer and his guards, and Danté makes two attacks, hitting a bodyguard and missing Mortimer. Bunnie casts Magic Circle around herself for protection. Xarlo, still on Mortimer, tries to attack and misses him. Mortimer tries to both throw Xarlo into the wall and grab the amulet; he successfully is able to throw Xarlo but Xarlo holds on to the necklace. Oppy casts Cinder Grasp on Mortimer again, setting him on fire. Mortimer does not put out the fire but instead leaps towards Xarlo, though he takes a hit from Danté when he does. He again tries and fails to retake the gem. Xarlo runs to Bunnie's Magic Circle, but refuses to give her the gem. She instead casts Vulnerability on Mortimer. Sweetpea teleports and Shadowbinds Mortimer again before hiding under a table, but Mortimer still gets a hit on her. The Ribbit with the scepter hits Xarlo, though he reduces the damage with his armor, and he runs out of the area and hides behind a wall.

Oppy and Danté tag team the Ribbit with the scepter before Oppy asks if anyone wants to talk instead of fight. One of the bodyguards immediately attacks him, but Bunnie casts Recant on Mortimer and telepathically tells Xarlo what she's done, though Xarlo chooses to continue hiding. Oppy spits towards Mortimer and, as he does, drops his spell, and the fire on Mortimer goes out. Kexon takes advantage of Mortimer's confusion following the Recant and tells him that his bodyguards betrayed him, and casts Wall of Flame on the guards, killing one. Danté attacks another, and Sweetpea joins in, convincing Mortimer that his bodyguards were the ones who took his gem. Kexon drops his spell, and Danté explains that they are a group of agents hired to deal with a number of jewel thefts within the city, and that they will find and return his. They try to ask what the jewel does, but Mortimer is reluctant to share more. Danté and Kexon go up towards the basement door, but the female Ribbit, revealed to be Mortimer's sister, comes out with her scepter and more reinforcements. Kexon casts Time Lock on the scepter and Danté tries to push the guards back but fails. The sister begins to explain the true situation; The Menagerie flees as Kexon casts Wall of Flame again across the door to the basement.

The Wall of Flame is quickly canceled by one of the Crowatonas, and they and their guards give chase. The party initially does not believe they can get past the grate, so they run the other way, but after realizing Oppy can take them, they run back towards it. However, Oppy's spell fails. Xarlo heals him and tries to attack the grate, but it holds fast. After some rapid discussion, Bunnie tells the others to go without her, as it's most important that Xarlo escape with the gem. Oppy is able to take Danté and Xarlo, and Kexon is able to transport himself. Sweetpea, after teleporting through the shadows, goes back to the other side of the grate and joins Bunnie as they run in the other direction. When they encounter the Crowatonas, Bunnie attempts to cast Hypnotic Shimmer, but it fails. The rest of the party escapes the sewers and lays low, but Bunnie and Sweetpea soon awaken, tied up as prisoners in the basement of the casino.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Player characters[edit | edit source]

New[edit | edit source]

These characters appeared in "Critical Role plays Daggerheart" (OSx57), though they may have been previously mentioned.

  • Dyson Brouche (previously referred to as Dylan)
  • Lamont
  • Boa Adra
  • Mortimer Crowatona
  • Gemma Crowatona (unnamed, as Mortimer's sister)

Mentioned[edit | edit source]

  • Ondra
  • Boko
  • Mafauna

References[edit | edit source]