Lords of the Feywild

This episode of Critical Hit, A Major Spoilers Dungeons and Dragons Podcast: Many words are spoken, some good, some bad, and at the end of the day, the party must make a choice on what takes the greatest priority.

Take the Major Spoilers Survey!


Contact us at podcast@majorspoilers.com

A big Thank You goes out to everyone who downloads, subscribes, listens, and supports this show. We really appreciate you taking the time to listen to our ramblings each week. Tell your friends about the podcast, get them to subscribe and, be sure to visit the Major Spoilers site and forums.


About Author

Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to the Robot Overlord. Robot Overlord may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds. The Robot Overlord contains a liquid core, which if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at. If Robot Overlord begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head. Do not taunt the Robot Overlord.


    • Yeah, Torq and Orem should have defended Ket when Trell attacked him. They should have been angry at themselves. Ket did right.

      • She had him in a sleeper hold, from what I remember. Not really the kind of thing you do to a friend, unless you hung out with my friends in high school. Ket did the right thing. Trelle isn’t some dainty Victorian era damsel, she’s a freakishly strong and skilled killing machine.

        • So true, Ket is the man, well and the Randus. Home girl had it coming to her frankly I probably would have put a knife in her back. I wish he had teleported away and put a different animal down. Everyone at the beginning of the episode sounded like complete douche bags, particularly Torque. That was pretty disappointing, I feel Torque has started to become more of an annoyance to me personally since he multi-classed last season. IMO anyhow. Love the show keep up the good work gang and Ket and Randus Fo’Life Yo! (lol)

    • I think this speaks to a larger alteration to the group dynamic. Originally, Orem, Smith, and Randus (mostly Orem) dominated Torq mentally. Then Ket joined the party in season three and doubled down on talking down to Torq. I think Matthew changed Torq (by making him smarter, and by saying “you think I don’t understand, but I do,” a few times.) to alter that dynamic.

      When Trelle joined she added an emotional center to the group, but she also has very strong opinions that she backs up (occasionally) with physical violence. The threat of physical violence was always implied by Torq when the rest of the group was nettling him, but it takes on a new dimension in light of Trelle attacking Ket, and Torq siding against Ket. (Think about Torq saying how he was going to stop Ket from leaving the room. It was fairly strongly implied that Torq was willing to use force to stop him, or Torq saying that he‘d draw a weapon on Ket if Ket doesn‘t conform to the new dynamic – Even though Torq seems to feel that that is a cowardly short cut around thinking a problem through.) I think it’s interesting that the two str based characters are teaming up to use the real and implied threat of violence to get their way within the group, while emotionally attacking Ket for resisting with the force he has at his disposal (magic channeled through a whip.)

      Overall, I’m not sure how I feel about the shift. It always bothered me when Torq would express an opinion and Orem would shout “Funnel Cake!” It took a while but eventually an equilibrium was reached. I’m looking forward to the new equilibrium, but I’m also enjoying the solid gold drama that we’re getting on the way to it. Keep up the good work guys.

      • Arcturus Mengsk on

        I kept hoping for Ket to pull out the Tyler Durden “This conversation is over,” line. I was not disappointed.

    • I was a little surprised Torq came back and (after apologizing) again threatened to pull his weapons on Ket if he tangled with anyone in the party again. Torq has more history with Ket than Trelle, and I think he’s being rather Torquishly shortsighted regarding that. And Torq, Orem or Randus have yet to give Trelle the same tongue lashing they gave Ket (not so much Randus).

  1. No comment on the whole Trelle and Ket thing, as it would just provoke attacks of opportunity. However, imagining Orim (Orem?) saying “that’s not cool, man” makes me chuckle uncontrollably.

  2. Originally I did not enjoy Trelle at all. Though eventually I warmed up to her, I think it was during the kamis arc. Something in that made me pop in clicking with her motivations.

    Even though I tend to side with Ket. As he is usually the most logical about everything, and in this case right. However emotions are a strong part of what makes Trelle who she is. So its a weird dynamic.

  3. Ok. After these last few episodes I’m officially rooting for Ket to kill Trelle, because she is just plain annoying.

      • Sorry, but I can choose to root for or against any FICTIONAL CHARACTERS as I see fit, and your response only lends to the general feeling that some of you take your CHARACTERS much too seriously. So I’m hoping Yoko falls off her eagle. Peace.

        • Yoko Ono, a woman who dedicated her life to art and helping others yet is hated for something her admittedly-physically-and-emotionally-abusive husband did of his own accord.

          Pretty sure overly aggressive attacks on the character to the point of wishing her death and blaming her for group integrity loss pushes into “personal” and “taking it too seriously” territory. And being able to say those things doesn’t mean no one’s allowed to point out the problem in your rhetoric.

          • Boy, it’s getting deep in here. I can appreciate that people are very attached to these characters, but a lot of D&D players, myself included, have seen literally hundreds of their characters die horrible, violent deaths. If they all get on these eagles and fly across dimensions somehow directly into the engine of a 747, the following week’s show of them (hopefully) rolling new characters would still be great because it’s the real people playing the characters that make it that way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with disliking characters. Heck, I have hated ALL of my best friend’s characters when we play, and he hates mine, and we have thrice murdered each other, and we absolutely love that. And guess what? In a few weeks I might be Trelle’s biggest fan! But right now, not so much.

          • Fiona of Mount Lawley on

            I’m not at all sure why I feel obliged to say this, or even whether it is the right thing to say, but it was in fact Paul McCartney who broke up the band. He had simply lost interest in continuing with the Beatles. Fans attributed the split to Yoko Ono at the time. She was the new factor, and there was a lingering sympathy for Cynthia Lennon. Information which has come to light over the years supports a conclusion Paul simply wanted to pursue other projects. There were tensions within the band, but this was inevitable in a situation where the members had been subject to creative demands, intense media scrutiny, critical micro-analysis, the vicissitudes of fame, and a professional relationship spanning 10 years, much of this spent on the road (which has well-understood corrosive effects on friendships and even familial bonds viz. the Wilson Brothers in Beach Boys, The Everley Brothers, The Carpenters). The Lennon-McCartney creative team was the core of the Beatles, and when Paul left to pursue an independent agenda (forming Wings, with Linda McCartney and number of other musicians most of whom he had had previous personal or professional dealing with), then there was no Lennon-McCartney, only Lennon.

  4. I thought Trelle was heartrendingly awesome this episode. As I’ve said, she feels the most real to me as a character. She is incredibly dynamic and amazingly emotional. She loves her party, but is baffled and hurt by some of their decisions.

    Also, Randus is finally filling out more of his backstory. The show is finally becoming less “Orem and Friends” and more about the party as a whole. After seeing the sending tweets a few weeks ago, I was anticipating the party debating on whether to drop everything to help Randus’ family or stay and fix the Feywild. I was pleasantly surprised when, without a second thought, unanimously decided to help out Randus, who, by the way, gets a rare emotional scene to himself.

    Also, I like that no matter how mad Torq gets at Ket, he still apologizes in the end.

    Keep up the good work, guys! Especially you, Adrianna. Don’t let the haters get you down. Keep doing your thing!

    P.S. I will have to say I’m sided against Ket when it came to weapons. I agreed with him that the creatures needed to die, but he lost me when he drew a weapon on Trelle. Nothing against Rob, though. It was excellent role-play and made for great story telling.

    • I have seen no Adriana haters, just people who dislike her character, as you just stated that you now dislike Ket a little but not Rob.

      Everyone should watch Mazes & Monsters and reflect on the fate of poor, poor Robbie.

    • LemmyCaution on

      That’s hilarious!

      I like Trelle. I wanted to point that out because I didn’t realize there were haters. Adriana has blended in nicely.

      • We don’t hate Trelle, i personally like the character, its just sometimes she is overly deluded and is unwilling to listen to others, while she was going around the Feywild the others were fighting a million bajilion lunar monsters saving two planes of existence but she wont listen.

        • XantharTheFlame on

          Based on what I heard this episode, Trelle, Stagzi, Cammis and the rest of their party were saving the natural world and the Underdark while the Torqeltones were saving the natural world, the moon, and the Astral Sea. So she has just as much right to be heard and she is their equal in all respects.

          • frosstbyte on

            If you listen carefully to what she and Stagzi say to each other, you’ll realize they actually believe their quest was both more important and more difficult than that of Four Against the Void. I don’t know if Stagzi actually believes that (it’s especially hard to say, since Trelle and Stagzi don’t really know in detail everything that happened in S1,2,3 to compare themselves) or if he was just trying to make Trelle feel better about herself, but there’s no question the implication of their conversation is that she has done more and suffered through worse.

            It’s fortunate that Adriana wrote such a deep backstory for Trelle, since she has to stand up to three years of real time spent with Orem, Randus, and Torq, and a year (two?) with Ket, but it’s frustrating to have it teased out in bits and pieces when it is causing significant intra-party strife. We know Orem, Randus, Torq, Smith, and Ket fought a void god and won. We know they traveled the Astral Sea, wheeled and dealed with dieties, sold some souls, and fought back she that slumbers in agony. We can appreciate and evaluate their struggles, failures, successes, and perspective. So much of what really motivates Trelle (beyond seemingly random moralizing and wanting to be with Cammis) escapes me almost completely.

            Trelle said something in this episode to Stagzi that made me rewind 2 or 3 times to make sure I heard her right. She says, “I’m not a paragon of an elf.” Except that is *literally* what Trelle is. Trelle is a Twilight Guardian. She is the elfiest elf elf in the history of elves. You, by definition, can’t be more of an elf than to select the “I AM AN AWESOME ELF” paragon path. I know what she meant to say, but it was a very odd moment in their conversation. You can hear Rodrigo try to process it in his response, too.

            • One problem with the assertion – Stagzi was actually talking about Trelle’s Elf Band, not the Party. He was telling her that even though she thinks she is a bad example of an Elf, no Elf in her Band had ever or could ever do the things she’d done.

  5. Just throwing in my 2c…

    I don’t really have an opinion about the “rights” and “wrongs” of what happened, except to say that the original incident and everyone’s reaction seems to have been entirely in character and created excellent dramatic tension. Two thumbs up.

    (Also: the development of the friendship between Torq and Trelle has been the best thing about the game for a while now.)

  6. I was pulling for Ket as well. Think he got the raw end of the deal. Makes alot of sense in story though. Ket sees Trelle’s hands as just a rough of a weapon as his magic, but the rest of the group does not. I think it was a good scene. I really liked how Torq handled it. I think Torq has grown as a character more so than any of the others. I don’t think we have seen the last of this conversation between the characters. Good job by all.

  7. I’m with Ket on this one. He was doing something just, he was trying to destroy a creature that had no right to exist in the natural world. Trelle, as a protector of the natural order, should have been on his side on this. Instead she stuck to her belief that these things, which were stated to be aberrations by Rodrigo, were just animals and tackled him. Lunar Monsters aren’t animals, and their incursion on the natural world upset the natural balance of things that Trelle, as a Twilight Guardian, is sworn to protect.
    Trelle had no good reason to tackle him because she had no good reason to defend those creatures.

  8. I definitely don’t understand where all the Ket hating comes from. And I’m not talking about this episode, because this is not the first time that either Orem or Torq point at Ket as the source of the problems for no reason at all. It was Trelle who attacked Ket first, and though Ket was being a little pushy, it was not without a reason. I don’t always agree with Ket’s decisions, but this time I felt so bad for him.

    By other side, and I mean no disrespect to you Adriana, I think that we have had enough of Trelle’s ‘scenes’. I like you to be passioned about your character and her ideals, but I’m getting a little tired of listening to Trelle having a discussion about something for half an hour each week. I would suggest toning it down a little if possible. Again, I mean no disrespect. I actually like you and Trelle a lot! :)

    • The “Trelle Scenes” aren’t inherently bad. We’ve got four other characters that we the audience have a pretty firm grasp on and Trelle is still a pretty big enigma. Besides, scenes that reveal the character’s history are pretty common in ANY fictional tale. Let her have her spotlight every once and a while.

      • I’m not saying she should never get an scene, only that I feel we’ve had too many of them recently. And I think its perfectly possible to know more about her character in other ways that include the other party members. She has had ‘solo’ talks with Kamis, that greater Fey which name I forgot, now this tiefling guy… and neither of those conversations have been exactly short.

  9. Man, listening to Ket and Torq argue felt like being a five year watching their parents fight. I kinda just shrunk into my chair and waited for the shouting to stop.

    Matthew and Adriana are really good actors, their emotions felt real.

  10. AmazingLarry on

    Well, as long as someone else mentioned the “Trelle Scenes”… I am married to a lovely woman that has given me two lovely daughters, and I am also lucky enough to have 3 lovely sisters, a lovely mother, a lovely mother-in-law, and a lovely sister-in-law. I see most of them at least once a week. So now, if I have to listen to one more woman (the Trelle character) launch into a melodramatic, neurotic diatribe, I can handle it. But I’m probably just nodding my head and agreeing at the right times. =P

  11. Wow! What an exiting episode – Randus has parents!!!
    So its getting real hot in here, and I just want to tell Adriana that I think she is awesome (also all the other stuff she does around the web).
    I rarely like the elven ranger, and Trell really does not fit with the Torquetones – but it makes for interesting and emotional podcasting. You guys make my week every saturday, thank you.

  12. Wow, what an amazing episode! Love the way the character personalities are explored when they’re talking about _other_ characters! Especially when Stagzi and Trelle are talking about Ket. I feel like I’ve learned so much more about the main cast from this episode. Also, Mrs. Randus sounds pretty boss. Bravo everyone!

  13. Hmmmm… A mystical field that stagsy says “is sure to pass” Well! Good thing THAT won’t come back to bite them in the arse later!

  14. I have mix feelings on this episode, I kinda thought for moment the gang (as in the actual players) were gonna get into strained relationships.

    The I remembered the fact that Rob is a great roleplayer and the anger/animosity we get from Keth are *only* coming form Keth and then I eased up.

    Loved the fact someone remembered Smith!

    Randus had parents?! Who knew…

  15. Still so annoyed at Ket, and so glad that Torq called Ket out for the exact reason I’m annoyed at him. Even if Ket was right that the moon monsters are abominations with no right to live rather than living animals with dignity and emotions; Ket really should not have been acting the jerk about it. If Trelle was wrong, she was wrong out of love of life. If Ket was right, it was with gleefully insistance to be right rather than compassionate.

    Then, he had the nerve to say he had no choice but to try attacking Trelle when everyone knew he could have just teleported out of the grab? Complete B.S.

    I’ve admittedly never really been a Ket fan, though Rob is an awesome roleplayer. But now I just wish we could bring back Smith…

    • Trelle could of shown that “love of life” for the giant group of people in the crowd that Ket was determined to protect. He didn’t teleport away from this major life-threatening problem. He stayed to stop Trelle’s dangerous course of action in freeing the creatures. She (Trelle, not Adriana!) was willing to endanger all of those “actual” people for her abstract principles, and Ket’s comrades apparently weren’t about to stop her.

      Not to mention that her actions could have gotten the party killed, which would have threatened the future of the entire Fey Wild. She attacked him, he had no choice but to react.

        • I’m assuming you guys won’t say, but I will ask anyhow: Do you guys discuss some of these scenes outside of the listeners hearing so that you can get that tension of the characters actually fighting? I feel like a majority of these interactions are on the fly. Oh another question I guess, could Ket have used his bracers to augment his strength with his Int.?

          • Even if Ket used his Bracers of Mental Might to swap out his Strength with his Intelligence it wouldn’t have made That much of a difference. Trelle’s primary Stat is Strength while Intelligence is Ket’s secondary. Ket would have to roll quite high to get out of that.

          • Not at all. All that you hear is impromptu as it happens. Any discussion that you don’t hear beyond providing Rodrigo background information happens after the fact as reaction.

  16. ripspiritbear on

    I’d be perfectly ok with any of the main Torqueltones dieing horrifically and absolutely unexpectedly, and I say that as a huge fan of this podcast.

  17. So much debate for this episode! I can only say that I keep loving this show to death. Almost 200 episodes and still able to entertain me and bring fantastic roleplay to my ear holes.
    I think Ket went too far but he’s got a point. Even so, that scene was horrible. Trelle VS Ket… scary what could have happend.
    Randus is getting more cool as we go, so curious to see how and if Torqueltones will be able to get to his parents.

    I hope they’re robots.

  18. Shadowslayer on

    Man, I can just feel the “I’m a father and I’m using my father voice” from Mathew at the beginning.
    *Takes notes in case I ever need to do that*

  19. Wait a minute. Was Trelle trying to “get with” Stagzy near the end there? I know that Trelle is a complex character with complex motivations. Perhaps she just wanted to cuddle with her old friend, but Stagzy is but a man. All be it a lizard tailed, goat horned man. Yes, I’m a pig for pointing this out, but I curious as to what her intentions were. I personally don’t think she had any romantic (or otherwise) intentions. I just keep thinking that Stagzy might have had a hard time sleeping on his stomach that night. Guess he’s lucky Randus had parents.

    • XantharTheFlame on

      I think she just wanted comfort and friendship from a former adventuring companion who really understood her, where she felt totally misunderstood and out of place with the current group.

  20. definitely with ket on this one as far as he had the right to defend himself and trelle did jump him (i think those were the exact words “trelle jumps ket” but i may be wrong) however what this whole situation brought to brighter light for me was how committed and in touch with their characters everybody was. it would have been real easy for adriana to have let trelle let that slide, since the creatures weren’t of the natural world and all, but trelle stood by her trelleness and that was awesome, and ket’s reaction was awesome, and orem and randus talking to ket was awesome (though they should have confronted trelle first, i think, a kind of backing their friend kind of thing) and when the big man apologized… THAT was AWESOME too! okay so maybe i just thought it was all awesome, but the players do such a fantastic job of role playing, that even the tough emo stuff is still good. now i will go ride my roflcopter to the image of a full on emo torq

  21. What an awesome episode! The show just keeps getting more thrilling. I think Rob and Adriana (well, and everyone else) did a fantastic job role playing their characters. I may not agree – or like – everything someone does, but I think that’s okay. Characters, or people, who do the perfect thing every time rapidly become very boring. Staying true to character, reacting impulsively, being a little stubborn – these are the sorts of things that really bring a character to life.

    And Randus has parents! Who are off fighting monsters! It’s touches like this that also really bring characters to life. More and more they feel like they didn’t just spring into being fighting monsters; instead, they have had a life that we don’t know about.

    Can’t wait to find out what happens next!

  22. I find it very frustrating when Trelle’s morales are only there some of the time. I mean when the group was attacked by lemurs in the feywild she could have brought this up but she killed them regardless. I think defending moon monsters is far less logical than defending animals in their natural habitat.

  23. Personally, I think Trelle is trying to impose a lot of her will over the group dynamic and meeting limited success–and is uncomfortable with that. As evidenced in her conversation with Stagzy, she doesn’t feel like Orem and the others were “waiting for her” when they met. She’s out of her element and trying to push for her ideals in a group with already very-strong personalities and set ideals.

    But for all of that, I still find myself agreeing with Ket. Trelle has been waaaay too aggressive this past few episodes in that her primary concern wasn’t for the injured people in the crowd but the murderous moon monsters–even driving her so far as to tackle Ket when he attempted to finish things.

  24. Great episode, though I had to steel myself and go back to the beginning no less than three times after skipping the first fifteen minutes of the pod. Ket for the unquestioned leader of the party! Trelle’s actions made sense to an extent, and Torq and Orem have always been a bit rough on Ket, even if they had no real good reason before, so I find this all well and in character (with no hint of criticism). I would just love to see Ket starting to act like Torq and Orem expect him to, just to prove a point, but I think that’s my own prejudice talking.

    On an unrelated note, I have noticed a lot of spikes in the number of comments over the past few months, and if it relates to the actual number of site visits and downloads you get, congratulations! You totally deserve to be the most popular actual play podcast around.

    P.P.S. We seem to be moving on from the Feywild storyline, though there has not been a proper season break, or between-seasons content. Does this mean we’re not getting any alternate DM oneshots this season? Would have loved to listen to Brian running a game (atomicroboplease thatwouldbeawesome I would just love to see this party in a more narrative based game). If there is no side-game that’s cool too, looking forward to the next podcast.

      • I always thought that it was smoke in the background, but upon closer inspection… are they… petals. If that’s implying what I think it’s implying I will NOT be happy

      • Oh, I was just making a joke about how Ket SHOULD be the unquestioned leader, not in any way implying that he is or even could be one, certainly not of this party. That would be a terrible disaster waiting to happen one way or another, now I think about it.

        As much as I love Rodrigo’s GMing, happy to hear we might yet be getting some off-season stuff, always enjoy those a bunch.

        As always, thanks for all the Critical Hit awesomeness, looking forward for more.

  25. I always listen to this podcast for the fun and the relaxing moment it provided to me. Unfortunately, since a dozen episodes or so, I don’t enjoy it as much. The dynamic has changed towards less funny, more “serious” RP. Also combats takes longer and longer, especially Adrianna/Trelle turn with so many back and forth that is really streching the combat and breaking the flow.

    Finally, last episode was not funny at all. So I decided to stop my subscription.

    I would like to thank you for all the good hours your provided me in the past, but it is time for me to stop when I still have fun memories.

    Good luck.

  26. There was a time when I thought Torq dying would be horrible after this episode I’m kinda ok with it(I’ve always seen Torq as the heart of the show). Honestly this episode really made me dislike all the characters other than Ket and Randus. It hard to root for characters that just chewed out one of there own like that. For doing what was in everyone best interest.

    I’m not sure where that leaves me with CH =/

    • Sorry things aren’t to your liking, but “Everyone’s best interests” is quite clearly a point of contention for the party, and there are multiple schools of thought both amongst the characters and the listeners.

      If every character who ever argued with another character was killed, Firefly would have lasted about half an episode, and Spock & McCoy wouldn’t have made it more than five minutes into the pilot. Mileage varies, and all…

  27. XantharTheFlame on

    Wow, you can tell this was an awesome episode by the number of comments it generated (even if some are really negative – it just means they have an emotional attachment to the characters too).

    For me, this was THE BEST roleplaying episode of the entire history of CH. (The best overall was the final episode in the Astral Sea). EVERYONE was totally on point, and all of you (including Rodrigo in his scene as Stagzi with Trelle) were knocking it out of the freaking park!!!!

    The emotions, motivations, reactions, dialogue… they all felt so REAL to me, and I even thought at first listen that Rob, Matthew and Steven (the people) were really angry at each other (and at Adrianna), and I thought Adrianna (the person) was really crying. As I listened a 2nd time it dawned on me that you all were acting!! And you were brilliant!

    I was a $2/month subsriber, I just re-subscribed for $10/month. Incredible. I can’t spew enough love for you all, and this show. Please keep it going as long as possible.

  28. Logan King on

    I have to say if I could be half the DM/Gm as Rodrigo is in these episode I could die a happy Dungeon Master. Every scene with Stagzy I have utterly enjoyed. His acting with all the other character has been great but I feel that this is greatest NPC yet. I can’t wait for more NPCs in the future that he comes up with but would excited for him to really flesh out a PC.

    • Stagzi is a beautiful creation, and yet another reason why I wish we could have Rodrigo as player. Of course, that would mean no Rodrigo as GM, which would also be inopportune, so…

      I just wish you guys could have seen him in action as Makkapilipua. Glorious…

      • I in fact re-listened to Rob’s campaign and loved his world that he created, I sort of took that idea but changed to a more jungle themed with a giant oak tree in the middle of the continent. I enjoy everyone’s characters I feel that the interaction between each player is great. I hope in my games I can get that interaction between players, cause that evolves into memorable moments. I can’t wait, if the story calls for it of course, another “how the other half live” scenario. Show is great and thank you for commenting on my comment.

  29. This episode made Ket tie with Randus as my favorite. His motivations are still a mystery but h strikes me as a “does what needs to be done” type, which I appreciate. I am an emotional person but I understand the need to be practical, especially when it comes to life and death. Even if I sympathized with the creatures I would have done exactly what Ket did. I’m hoping we’ll learn more about his backstory.

  30. listening to the last couple episodes. after all the drama about the huge killer death turtles mauling/killing townspeople and trelle trying so hard to save them, then killing them in the end anyways. Then everyone ganging up on Ket this epi…was kinda annoying. Maybe this is trying to get me to like ket so when he finally backstabs the party it will hurt me too!!!!! I DONT KNOW!

  31. frosstbyte on

    TL;DR: Trelle as a character doesn’t make sense to me right now and everything she said and did about the lunar beasts flies completely in the face of how I would expect a twilight guardian ranger to act.

    No idea if people are still reading this, but I wanted to discuss the source of the drama from the Basalt fight which carried into this episode. I realize that Adriana is playing Trelle as the emotional and moral core of a party which was previously guided in large part by power and pragmatism. Her efforts to get the other characters to grapple with why they do what they do and how they feel about what they do are hugely important for the party’s ability to grow and develop as they progress. However, I have noticed that, up through this episode, she can sometimes grab on to hooks she feels like she can use to force a moral quandary, regardless of whether it makes good character sense for Trelle to care about.

    Trelle’s paragon path is Twilight Guardian. Obviously the flavor text about paragon paths is not technically canon in a modified setting like Critical Hit, but it is still instructive. Instead of being a student of the Spiral Tower, Orem founds it, but it’s still a path based around worship of Corellon and being a wizard with a sword. Ket doesn’t find his god fragment floating in the astral sea, but he still draws his power from a piece of a god. Iron vanguard is not rich with flavor text, but Torq fits it to a t, as does Randus with Self-Forged.

    Twilight Guardian’s flavor text is as follows, “As a twilight guardian, you evolve into a physical conduit of natural power, channeling the life force of the earth itself to better combat your enemies. The power flowing through you sharpens your senses and attunes you to your surroundings. Protecting the wilderness is your paramount concern. You are not required to safeguard a particular region, but instead to protect nature wherever you go in your travels. As long as you remain a stalwart protector, the natural world will aid you in your crusade, lending you its strength to ensure your triumph over those who would contaminate the land.”

    You could not come up with a more appropriate definition of “contamination” than lunar abominations running around the natural plane. I am left completely at a loss for an internally consistent character reason that would both allow a character to espouse being a paragon defender of the natural world and simultaneously object to the extermination of deadly creatures which are so clearly unnatural, especially after all of your companions tell you just how deadly and unnatural they are. It’s not like they came across a bunch of rare animal traders in the wild, where they could open the cages and let them back into their natural habitat without incident. *That* would have been a legitimate character choice, but arguing for even a second about letting lunar creatures go free, and then attacking Ket over it? You’ve totally lost me.

    I guess my thought is that, to this point, Trelle seems to be a convenient mishmash of characteristics, rather than an internally consistent independent character. I don’t see any reading under which a Twilight Guardian would suffer the continued existence of invading non-natural entities on the natural plane. I don’t see how a Twilight Guardian could, for even a second, argue that Spud’s hostile takeover of the Fey Wild and absorption of the powers of the Greater Fey was justified and something which shouldn’t be purged. Trelle cares about getting people in touch with their feelings and motivations, she cares deeply about Cammis, and she cares more about “doing the right thing” in the moment (i.e. don’t steal from these clearly dead people in this weird shelter in the middle of the fen of winter, the gnome/house elf slavery, free the lunar abominations instead of killing them, let’s see if we can talk to the headless knights who rode out of the creepy fog to murder us) than about the big picture.

    The four other characters are easily distillable to an essential characteristic, and everything about their characters follow that characteristic. Torq is a protector. He was a constable in his life before the campaign, his paragon path is about protecting people, his multi-class was about protecting people better. Randus is a tinkerer. He wants to figure out how things work, and build new things, and now build those new things into himself while helping his friends with what he builds. Ket seeks power. He changed patrons to absorb the power of one of them and to get more power from another. He has made pacts with long dead entities to increase his abilities. Orem is a scholar. He follows the lessons and instructions of his teachers (this entire adventure exists because Orem is following a task set to him by his teacher), and is discovering a new type of magic through his self-motivated exploration of swordmagic.

    What is Trelle? Mechanically, she’s a ranger and a twilight guardian. I absolutely respect the ability for a player to not conform her individual character to every stereotype conjured by mechanics, but I think paragon pathing, as Rodrigo explained it over many episodes leading to the original crew getting theirs, is a highly character-motivated decision, in addition to its significant mechanical implications. It would seem to me that Trelle choosing to become a twilight guardian as they are described would better reflect how Trelle acts and what she cares about, instead of being seemingly wholly unrelated. As Adriana plays her, Trelle is a paragon of lawful good virtue, of compassion and understanding and helping those who have been wronged by others, not a paragon of survival and defending nature at all costs against those who threaten it. The ranger should’ve known best of all what an immense danger the lunar animals posed and what an incredible affront their mere presence in the natural realms was, but instead she played it like a PETA protestor outside a circus, ready to let the wild beasts go from their inhuman captors. And, god forbid, once the animals *broke themselves loose and started killing people* the party put them down, going so far as to attack a party member to prevent him from doing so.

    Maybe it’s because we didn’t see her campaign with Stagzi and Cammis, or maybe it’s because Adriana isn’t totally sure yet herself at this point in the story, or maybe it’s because I’m just missing something, but Trelle as a character has completely failed to gel for me. Adriana’s passion for what she’s doing is fantastic, as is how her presence has fundamentally changed the Torqletones, but Trelle herself seems impossible to pin down. The other four characters have such harmony and consistency between *what* they are and *how* they act. Only Trelle seems to be such a wild tangle of contradicting motivations and interests. If the answer is simply that mechanically Trelle is a twilight guardian ranger, but as a character she’s much more akin to a watchful shepherd avenger, and I shouldn’t worry so much about having mechanics match, then that’s a fine answer I guess. I hope Trelle coalesces better for me as the story continues, because I found it very hard to understand and sympathize with her these past few episodes, which was frustrating.

  32. Oof, this was really tough for me. Adrianna is amazing at roleplaying, getting into character and not doing what’s easy just for the sake of party harmony. However, when she attacked a member of the party, then everyone was made at Ket for drawing his whip, something felt off to me. If I was about to do something Rhonda Rousey didn’t like, so she tackled me to the ground and put me in a submission hold, I’d used whatever I had to get away, and I’d hope my friends would have my back. I felt really bad for Ket, who was put in an impossible situation. He was attacked by someone who could kill him with her bare hands, and his friends all sided against him.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.