If you’re planning on watching the DnD series Children of Éarte this week, we sincerely hope you’re not afraid of rats. All the mysteries Deborah Ann Woll and her player party usually encounter are still present, but they’re hidden over rickety bridges and under swarms of writhing rodents. It’s not just the players that’ll need to pass Wisdom saving throws.
Last week, the party settled for the night in the mouth of the cave. Everyone’s night shifts have varying levels of excitement, but Carolyn ‘Neb’ Stern (played by Lauren Urban) discovered an army of rats waiting in the shaft below. They invite everyone to a party, and the theme is rats. Not everyone in the group feels sure about this, but they descend into the swarm anyway, hoping to be led to the first mirror shard.
You can always find a more thorough recap in our episode directory below. And series host Demiplane will keep updating its Twitch and YouTube channels as new episodes come out. Until then, though, read on for a review of episode 11 – plus quotes from the players who uncovered its secrets first-hand.
Here’s the Children of Éarte episode directory:
- Episode 1 – Starlight Special
- Episode 2 – Whispers on the Wind
- Episode 3 – PRBLMs
- Episode 4 – Shivering Shadows
- Episode 5 – An Empty Train
- Episode 6 – Enough Blood
- Episode 7 – Campfire Mysteries
- Episode 8 – Magic Muscles
- Episode 9 – Icky Ichor
- Episode 10 – Blackest Night
The adventurers find themselves stuck four levels into the mine shaft. There’s one level left to go, but their travel was halted by the huge swarm of rats waiting for them on level four. Neb convinces them to create a small ledge for people to land on.
Silas Jordan (played by Adam Bradford) makes his way to the ledge, but he wants to know he won’t be going alone. Neb agrees to join him – but as the ledge doesn’t look sturdy enough for five people, the remaining three party members agree to look around on the final, fifth floor of the mine.
This is no problem for Maeve Flynn (Jennifer Kretchmer), who wants nothing to do with the rats. “She did not face the thing she was afraid of,” Kretchmer told Wargamer, “and she found ways to get out of having to confront that”.
In the post-game interview with Wargamer, Adam Bradford said the moment where Silas asked ‘are you just going to leave me there?’ was a poignant one. “It ties into his history of being abandoned in high-stress situations”, Bradford added, “so the fact Neb agreed to go with him was very meaningful”.
What happens on the bottom floor
Robin Beckett (Hope LaVelle) suggests everyone reconvene in an hour, and timers are set. While Neb and Silas attend a rat party, Robin, Maeve, and Fairuza Armstrong (Alicia Marie) explore the bottom floor of the mine. There are plenty of dislodged rocks – and beneath them are minecart tracks that tilt down, deeper into the mine.
Plenty seems strange in the mine. Robin feels uncertain about its structural integrity, and Maeve spots flecks of gold in the stone. Didn’t all the gold disappear years ago? Fairuza climbs a ledge and investigates a bug-infested bed. With nothing to show for that gross endeavour, Robin pulls out some yarn to mark their trail and starts shifting rocks so they can follow the tracks.
There’s a fork in the tracks, but Robin elects they head down the right tunnel. Along the way, the trio discover an antique minecart with a false bottom. It’s a good size without the false bottom in it, so they decide to bring it along.
Eventually, the tracks take the group to some kind of bridge. It’s dark and hard to see details, but they can definitely sense they’re in an open, wider space, and there are supports to keep a bridge up. Maeve reckons things look relatively stable, and Robin heads out onto the bridge with the cart rolling in front of her. Maeve follows not long after.
“The moment Robin thought she was halfway across the bridge and it started to sway, it really hit her that she could die”, Hope LaVelle told Wargamer. “Even when fighting monsters, she didn’t have a lot of fear – but in this moment, she was like ‘oh, I’ve got to take this seriously’.”
Fairuza needs a moment to take a deep breath before venturing onto the bridge. This moment doesn’t save her though – while Maeve and Robin keep their nerves steely, Fairuza panics after travelling five feet, and she falls from the bridge. She manages to grab the tracks before tumbling into the dark.
Maeve encourages her to be strong, and Fairuza quickly lifts herself out of danger with her electrifying strength. In the post-game interview, Alicia Marie said Fairuza often forgets her newfound strength – but “she’ll begin remembering her strength going forward”. She does crawl the rest of the way along the tracks, though.
After travelling at least 40ft, Robin feels solid ground again. Maeve jumps the rest of the way, eager to be on safer ground. The group can hear a rushing noise around them, but they can’t yet discover its origin.
What happens at the rat party
“Come and meet Christine”, the rats chant back on the fourth level. Neb and Silas secure their climbing ropes, before removing them and following the rats into their cave. They finally meet Christine, who is an enormous, pregnant rat already nursing piles of babies. They learn she’s about to give birth at a sacred site for the rats. This is a mysterious message carved on the wall.
Silas pretends to be a priest worshipping the author of the messages, and Neb translates his lies to the rats. Addressing Lauren Urban in the post-game interview, Jennifer Kretchmer said “you said Neb could lie if someone helps her do it – I think that was an interesting beat for all of us”. “She wouldn’t have thought to lie at all”, responded Urban, “and Silas has a lot of persuasion, but also he’s confident in what he’s saying.” “Neb is excited to try things, and even things she maybe shouldn’t be doing she’s willing to try.”
Taking in the lie, the rats move so Silas can read the inscription: ‘KDMKXZKIZHGGXNPAI’. Silas reads it out dramatically, ‘blessing’ the rat birth. He also claims the inscription says the rats must lead the party to the mirror shard hidden in the cave. The rats thank him rapturously for his holy deeds, and they share insight on how to find the shard. It can be found by discovering the messages hidden on each level of the shaft.
Meanwhile, Neb wishes really hard she could experience the world the way the rats do. Her wish is granted, and she wild shapes into a rat. Silas panics at Neb’s disappearance, and he flings the new, friendly rat that climbs up his shoulder. Neb the rat slams into the wall, quickly turning back into Neb the human.
“Being able to finally wild shape was super cool, but that moment where Silas flicked her and she popped out of wild shape was more significant because she learned more in that moment”, Lauren Urban told Wargamer. “She still doesn’t know how she turned into a rat, but going through that experience with Silas taught her a bunch for the next time she tries to do it.”
Whether you’re after monsters or miniatures, Wargamer has the right D&D guide for you. If you’re a new TTRPG-er, you might want to learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons – or simply which books you should pick up next.