On day two of BlizzConline, we were gifted with quite a special treat in the form of a Critical Role Diablo 4 Campaign, where the Critical Role crew hosted a Diablo-themed romp. The campaigned featured a group of warriors in pursuit of whispered rumors of “something ancient and evil stirring beneath the ruins of Old Tristram” (Blizzard Entertainment) in the world of Sanctuary from the Diablo franchise.
The campaign, led by the fearless Matthew Mercer, featured Mika Burton (Wizard), Laura Bailey (Druid), Liam O’brien (Crusader), Carlos Luna (Necromancer), and Marisha Ray (Demon Hunter from the town of Tristram). The group brought their usual delightful DND energy to the world of Diablo, and with the combination of Mercer’s ability to draw a world around the audience, and everyone seamless role playing through through the world, this session was just as vivid as any gameplay in the Diablo games.
Mercer leads his crew of warriors in the ruins of Tristram, a place of ash and decay, which was taken over by evil ages ago. The evil has lain dormant for a while, but now, the town has whispers of a deeper evil coming from it. The group of characters make their way to Tristram and into the old cathedral, dropping down into the crypts, where an ominous growling can be heard.
The group dives headfirst into a fight with ten ghouls, and we get our first feel for how well these players work together as they defeat them. The good luck (or bad luck) of the roll of the dice plays heavily into this first encounter, while the imagery that Mercer brings to the world of Sanctuary paints a gruesome, yet awesome picture.
Moving deeper into the crypts, the group meets a human named Johnny (they nearly kill him by accident, but the group Crusader brings him back from the brink of death), and it is through Johnny that they learn of the child deep down within the crypts, who Johnny is collecting treasure for. Johnny joins them, with the promise of eventually receiving all of their belongings, as they move forward.
Along the way to the child, the group fights a number of skeletons, including Kresh The Unforgiven, and although the dice rolls are not always in their favor, the group emerges victorious, and make their way down deeper, eventually finding the child. The child, who we learn is the spirit of Wert, is hoarding massive amounts of gold and other treasure. At first, he tries to recruit the warriors to bring him more gold, but when he realizes they are there to stop him, they fight, with the child casting his magic upon Tauro (the Demon Hunter) to turn her against her teammates.
It is a vicious fight, with wounds inflicted on both sides, as the child fights with anger, and laments that his treasure is not yet enough for Gillian, a figure which some of the characters have a vague notion of. The warriors persevere, and eventually the child’s anger begins to wane and turn to sadness at the loss of his home and of Gillian, who he believes escaped Tristram before the town was taken over by the evil presence that trapped Wert in this angry, spectral form.
The campaigners tell Wert that they will help him in bringing the treasure to Gillian, if it will only bring him peace, and in doing so, they allow the evil that Wert was holding in the crypt to finally rest. They gather the treasure, and Tauro finds a locket containing a hand drawn picture of Gillian, which she puts around her neck for safekeeping until they can find Gillian. In the end, the evil is conquered, and the warriors live to fight another day, and adventure on.
This campaign from the Critical Role team, taking us into the world of Sanctuary in Diablo 4 through the magic of DND, was the perfect addition to BlizzConline 2021. We at Stropse have enjoyed watching this virtual convention with you this year, and we look forward to many BlizzCons (hopefully in person) in the future.