The Mighty Nein

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Synonyms: M9, The Nein
See also: Vox Machina
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2018-06 fanartoftheweek by Josh Freeman (@ObeyMyBrain).jpg

The second Critical Role Campaign is known as The Mighty Nein. The Mighty Nein (or M9) are a group of "adventuring mercenary assholes" who find themselves mixed up in everything from the war between nations to the wishes and desires of gods, goddesses, and other deities. The setting for this campaign is on the continent of Wildemount, located in Exandria. The name is also used to mean Campaign 2 in fandom.

The group was first introduced as The Mighty Nein by Caleb in Campaign 2, episode 8 which aired 3/1/2018

Story arcs

Critical Role Wiki splits the Campaign 2 arcs as follows[1]

  • A New Beginning- (episodes 1-12) - The new party members first meet in the sleepy town of Trostenwald, but they quickly become involved in an investigation after a zombie attacks the recently arrived traveling carnival
  • A Gentleman's Agreement- (episodes 13-25) - The party comes together as a group in the aftermath of the twin attacks on Dayana Prucine and the Zauber Spire, exploring the underbelly of Zadash
  • Iron and the Coast- (episodes 26-35) - The Mighty Nein recover those who were lost but at a dire cost
  • Followers of the False Serpent a.k.a. The Pirate Arc - (episodes 36-47) - The Mighty Nein take to the high seas in search of a deeper understanding of Fjord's mysterious patron. Hijinks ensue
  • Shades of Gray- (episodes 48-57) - The Mighty Nein delve into the wastes of Xhorhas, and are forced to become more involved in the war they had originally hoped to avoid
  • Orphanmaker's Ordeal- (episodes 58-69) - The Mighty Nein delve into the mysterious past of Yasha as they uncover more clues about the rifts throughout Xhorhas
  • Against the Chains- (episodes 70-87) - The Mighty Nein set out to recover their missing member and stop the cult of the mysterious "Angel of Irons"
  • Reunions and Reconciliations - (episodes 88-99) - The party deals with places and people from their pasts, and bring hope for the future with a tenuous peace agreement
  • Travelercon arc - (episodes 100-109) - Rumblecusp, village of Vo and TravelrCon

Core Members

Former Members

Honorary Members

Being the group of misfits they are, The Mighty Nein has a tendency to adopt other misfits into their group, even on a temporary basis, in times treating it more like a designation defined by specific personality traits than a group name. M9 developed a saying to signify that "Welcome to the Mighty Nein"

M9 Approach to Enemies

As one fan noted in their meta essay on the subject: The Mighty Nein has exactly three ways of dealing with enemies:

  • Befriend. Between Essek and Isharnai, this has been pretty front-and-center lately, but it’s not actually a recent development. The M9 have been cozying up to potential threats and making nice as far back as Zadash, when they first discovered the Gentleman’s operations and then promptly decided to go to work for him. It happens in Hupperdook, when they spend all day swearing bloody murder and hunting down the pickpockets who robbed them, and then promptly adopt four more children and nearly die getting their parents out of prison. It happens in the Bright Queen’s throne room, when they walk into the innermost heart of the nation they’ve been told for fifty sessions is their enemy, and become heroes of the Dynasty. There’s a tribe of giants who owe them their home and their gratitude and a band of no-longer-bandits who owe them their lives and their pants-wetting terror, because sometimes that is just how the M9 roll.

There are so few people this party actually has a stake in killing. Monsters, whatever, needs must, but like–who the hell are they to judge? (The first monsters and enemies they ever made friends with, after all, were each other.)

  • All-out slaughter. When the Nein do decide they really want to kill someone, they fucking go for the jugular. True, murder is pretty standard in D&D, but the Nein often throw both caution and reason out the window when something hits their kill button. This is almost everything about the pirate arc, starting that day in Nicodranas where they tried to talk threateningly to two guys and ended up committing domestic terrorism and then also murdering their way into ownership of a ship, ending that time they got kicked off Pirate Island in less than 24 hours because they decided to rend Avantika asunder the first instant they had the chance. It’s their entire brief enmity with Lorenzo–they would not wait, they would not plan, they would not stop, and they would not under any circumstances, no matter what Matt wanted of planned, let him go.

Hell, this is how ‘prank call Essek in the middle of a dinner party’ turned into ‘paralyze, kidnap, and interrogate’ in the first place. This group does not do long games if they can possibly help it.

  • Absolute avoidance. There are, sometimes, enemies the Nein dislike too much to befriend and aren’t strong enough to kill. U’kotoa. Trent Ikithon. These opponents are relatively rare, because the Nein do absolutely everything player-ly possible to distance themselves from them at every opportunity. Don’t want to unleash an immense immortal sea serpent? Fuck just saying ‘no’, we’re headed to the opposite side of the continent from the ocean, and then we’re going to yeet that magic sword directly into a volcano for good measure. You can’t threaten or blackmail me.
This party is very, very good at avoidance on both a personal and collective level. So much of the early game was built around getting the fuck away from the entire concept of war and law in general, once upon a time. They have all of them stayed away from their own families, steering clear around Felderwin and Kamordah until they couldn’t any more, putting off visiting the Menagerie, sleeping on the boat instead of going back to Marion’s for one more night. They run away from their own pasts and selves and inner demons. They are not all entirely fond of mirrors.[2]

Fandom

Because a lot of fans decided to wait with getting into Critical Role until the new campaign started, the fandom for campaign 2 is much bigger. Through the campaign, fans has been trying to figure out who could be the Big Bad of Campaign 2, some thinking it might be Trent Ikithon, based on how powerful he is. Others has been specilating it might be The Chained Oblivion[3].

Due to COVID-19 and the lockdown that ensued, Critical Role stopped airing live content. After the cast came back from hiatus, some fans noted that the character interactions felt different, as if the cast made decisions during the break about what kind of relationship they wanted to pursue.[4] To some, those interactions felt forced (especially when they interfered with shipping - see beauyasha vs beaujester).

Fanworks

Fanfic

  • We Take Care Of Our Own by PrincessAmericaChavez - Found family is very protective of each other, especially as they begin to realize they finally have others looking out for them.
  • Remember Me in the Intervals by inkedinserendipity - One autumn afternoon at the end of the line, Caleb Widogast gathers up his spell components, his notebook, the knowledge of a full lifetime, and throws himself back. Over the next three years, he seeks out old friends. Friends that do not know his name. He helps each of them, in turn: telling a story, saving a life, intervening for divine favors long owed. And in the meanwhile, he nudges them closer to Trostenwald, and to each other.
  • Marked For Greatness by laughablyunimportant - Not everyone has a soulmark. And those who do sometimes have very good reasons for hiding them. These reasons tend to fade away in the face of a very determined tiefling in search of a good bath. "I just find it's easier to have this conversation when everyone's sitting around naked in hot water."
  • Nightsickness by vikkyleigh - The Empire Kids have gotten better, collectively, at asking for help when they need it. But what can their friends do against an illness impervious to spells?

Fanart

Fanvids

Meta

References

  1. ^ Campaign Two: The Mighty Nein
  2. ^ Only happy when it's complicated... • The Mighty Nein have exactly three ways of dealing..., Archived version
  3. ^ i think a big, BIG point in favor of Tharizdun being the big bad? Is how theres a theme of chains, Archived version
  4. ^ I think I’m always going to have a big “what if?” about the hiatus. by thevalleyarchive; accessed 3 October 2020