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DnD Children of Éarte episode 10 review - Blackest Night

This week on D&D series Children of Éarte, DM Deborah Ann Woll and her crew invite you to an improv party - and the theme is 'rats'

DnD Children of Earte - a rat illustration

This week’s episode of Children of Éarte shows off one of the most classic components of a great D&D campaign – derailment. Wargamer still has some quotes to share from the cast interview, but it was difficult to transcribe all the laughter. So please, as you read the episode ten review, imagine Deborah Ann Woll and the Éarte cast giggling behind you.

Last week introduced the party to some icky ichor. After experimenting with ways to eliminate the sentient, acidic goo, some of it escaped into the wilderness. Fairuza’s phone was lowered into a mine shaft, and it revealed even more of this sticky stuff further down. A storm is coming, though, so everyone retreated to the mouth of the cave to rest. The only way forward now seems to be down.

More details are available from the episode directory below, and Demiplane share videos on-demand over on Twitch and YouTube. For now, we invite you to attend the episode ten review – the theme is rats.

The Children of Éarte episode directory:

DnD Children of Earte - five humans on a train platform

Another watch

Robin Beckett (played by Hope LaVelle) teaches everyone to tie knots as they rest, and Maeve Flynn (Jennifer Kretchmer) checks out the fairytale book and journal she originally picked up on the Starlight Special. Carolyn ‘Neb’ Stern (Lauren Urban) thinks her great-grandfather may have known the author from his days researching oral storytelling. The story of the Snow Queen, who corrupts people with shards of a broken mirror, rings awfully familiar.

The group schedule another night watch. Silas Jordan (Adam Bradford) takes the first shift, and he spends some time stretching and getting attuned with his new powers. He manages to wake Fairuza Armstrong (Alicia Marie) with magic from 30 feet away. She’s not impressed by his skills (or his light-up ring), but maybe that’s just the tension talking. Fairuza’s been dreaming of train crashes and seems a little frazzled.

During her watch shift, Fairuza hears scrabbling sounds in the mine. She hurls a rock in, and this only agitates the mysterious creatures further. Fairuza wakes Robin, who sleepily suggests the sound may be harmless bats. This doesn’t seem to comfort Fairuza much, but she eventually hands her watch shift over to Neb and Maeve.

Learning about Fairuza’s experience piques Neb’s curiosity. She hangs her head over the shaft and casts speak with animals, hearing the creatures below have been expecting them. She calls out quietly, and one of the creatures begins crawling up the shaft towards her. Lauren Urban tells Wargamer “Neb is elated” by being able to speak with animals. “She has taken the warnings to heart to be cautious, but this is the best thing ever for her.”

DnD Children of Earte - a rat illustration

The rat party

Enter Nicholas the rat. He welcomes Neb and her friends, speaking of a party the rats have prepared for them (the theme is rats). Neb excitedly relays this information to the others (who can’t speak rat), but they’re pretty suspicious of Nicholas’ intentions. Neither Insight nor Animal Handling checks can confirm or deny what he’s up to.

In the post-game interview, Deborah Ann Woll levels with Wargamer. “I was not expecting a prolonged conversation with Nicholas”, she says, “and having to improvise on the fly what he would say was not something I was expecting to do.” “I did not have a voice prepared – that came out of my butt.” However, she adds “it’s endlessly fascinating as a DM to create something and see what the characters make of it”.

Maeve was the most against the rat party, and Jennifer Kretchmer explains “this is the first party I have never wanted to attend”. “I think Maeve was raised on Coraline,” she adds. “There is that sense of ‘we’re in this world where things are different, and this in particular feels very familiar and deeply unsettling’. I want nothing to do with it – you kids have fun.”

Meanwhile, Adam Bradford and Alicia Marie explain their characters aren’t happy about the rats, but they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the mirror shard. “She’s [Fairuza] looking forward to figuring this out,” says Marie, “and if that means going to rat parties to get the shard, that’s what we’re doing.” Bradford adds Silas is “highly sceptical of whatever’s going on with the rats here, but he’s focused on trying to find the shard”.

After plenty of debate (and Deborah Ann Woll reminding everyone “this is a rat”), it seems the group has no choice but to eventually attend the rat party. They get some more rest and prepare their ropes before lowering themselves into the mine shaft. Silas tells Fairuza to keep his ring before they go in, and Robin manages to create balls of floating light with her mouth. Gross maybe, but they light the way excellently.

Hope LaVelle told Wargamer “Robin is going in [the mine] as the mother of the bunch”. “She knows from experience when to see a trap,” LaVelle adds, “but she knows her children are excited, and she will be there for them to learn through this experience”.

After carefully descending several levels, the party reaches the bottom of the shaft – but they can’t put their feet on the floor. Below them is a floor filled with writing bats. As Deborah Ann Woll says, “welcome to the party”.