My Twitter followers have voted for me to separate the
supporting analysis for my fanfiction from the story itself, and I agree with
that wisdom. Cross linking them does add a lot more flexibility.
This analysis is the research underpinning “The Gate
Stone.” This analysis also contains my first draft posit of Percy’s mental
closed captioning to Critical Role. We’d like to share this wonderful show with
as many people as possible, regardless of hearing ability or English language skills.
Percy runs off to get the Gate Stone from Cassandra at
3:56:18. He returns at 4:04:35, when Kerrek pulls him aside. Nothing is ever
said of his interaction with Cassandra.
We tacitly know a few
things about Percy’s state:
- Percy has only been healed to 25/118 HP. He’salive, and his major wounds were closed, but he’s still not physically in greatshape.https://twitter.com/CRHPStats/status/827348039413166082
- He’s exhausted. He says so at 3:41:21, and3:49:51. In Ep84 (00:45:24), Matt points out that both death and resurrectioncause trauma to the body. Which is consistent with the Resurrection Sicknessthat Percy experienced in Ep69. Percy’s come through this ordeal, but he’s
forcing himself through the immediate crisis while dragging.
- He’s had no access to Prestidigitation orMending to clean or fix anything. Pike, Keyleth, or Allura could have mending;Allura could have Prestidigitation; but no mention is ever made of them, andmending isn’t listed on the CritRoleStats character sheets. He’s going to
Cassandra directly out of combat without any energy or pretense of cleaning up.
The catalog of
- Because of Hero’s Feast, Percy starts at 140 HP.
- 1:28:45Percy is hit by Meteor Swarm. He fails his Dex save, but Kabal’s Ruin halvesthe damage, and he takes 59 damage, putting him at 81 HP.Kabal’s Ruin becomes Exalted, taking one of the meteors into itself, and bursts
behind him. (Heavy bruising.)
- 2:08:14Percy uses Healing Surge to bring himself up to 105 HP.
- The next set of attacks all happen within 6seconds, with Percy in sight of only Kerrek & Kima. (Blocked from sight byRaishan.)
- 2:31:34At the end of Keyleth’s turn, after she Feebleminded Raishan, Raishan uses alegendary action to tail attack Percy, doing 21 bludgeoning damage, putting himat 84 HP.
(Heavy bruising.) Vax’s turn next.
- 2:35:02End of Vax’s turn, Raishan uses another legendary action to do 23 bludgeoningdamage to Percy, putting him at 61 HP.Presumably a tail attack coming from the other side as before. (Heavy bruising.)
“Not wonderful, but, you know.”
- Vex’s turn, then Percy’s. Percy decides not to disengage.
- 2:38:35Percy attacks with his sword, hitting twice, for 22 slashing damage plus 10lightening, and 21 slashing damage. This is the attack that any of Raishan’sblood on him would have come from. Percy decides to back off and risk Raishan
hitting him. She does hit, dealing 40 slashing damage with a claw attack from
behind, putting him at 21 HP. (“[A]
line of claw marks down the back from the top of the shoulder past his other
hip.”) Percy moves to the wall near the eggs, further out of sight of
everyone else. He turns around, aims his gun at Raishan, and hangs on the wall,
“like an angry Spider man.” Raishan’s turn is next.
- 2:42:08Raishan pursues Percy, dodging Kerrek’s held attacks.
- 2:43:18Raishan bites Percy for 25 piercing damage, knocking him out. He falls to theground, failing a death save (head wound). Her claw attack kills him. “As the bite knocks you to the ground, the claw comes down onto yourtorso, and just tears out the side of your body. Entrails scatter against the
stone floor, and your breath escapes out.”
- (Shout out to Pat and Laura for their wonderfultrauma reactions.)
We also know a few
things about Percy and Cassandra’s headspace:
- Percy gets very focused on dealing with oneimmediate crisis to the exclusion of all else, and all other consequences. Hesays so himself at 3:40:56, 3:50:27, and 4:04:28. You can see it throughoutthis episode, especially around Allura and Kima going missing.
- Cassandra is very worried about Percy. In Ep77at 3:44:35, she’s so relieved they’re back that Percy thinks something’s wrong,and she yells at him for not assuming that she’s worried for him.
Theory on Percy’s Mental Health
I believe the statement, “the tempest that
had always been in his head,” is accurate, but deserves further
explanation, which I only have room to gloss over here. In Talks
Machina Ep3 0:56:56, Taliesin says, “It confirmed a lot of notions he
had about the universe and his place in it, and left him feeling very committed
to his current manic phase that he’s going through. There will probably be a,
you know, a depressive phase at the end of this.” Those two sentences use
very precise psychiatric language pointing to bipolar disorder, and Percy’s
behavior pattern is entirely consistent with that (painfully so, at times).
Bipolar disorder isn’t induced by trauma, it’s something he’d have been born
with. It’s part of why Vax and Percy are sometimes painfully alike, and other
times very different (Ep44,
Percy can empathize with Vax’s depression, but Vax has no reference to
empathize with Percy’s mania. It’s why he tells Vax, in Ep64 at 1:54:30, “It’s
the open spaces where I suffer. The tight spots I feel very good about.”
And why he goes on to tell Vax not to trust him. Percy’s whole statement in
Ep64 1:56:32 doesn’t make a lot of sense until you realize what he’s been
struggling with internally all his life. His upbringing instilled in him a
respect and desire for order, but he literally cannot achieve that in his daily
life. I believe that’s why he differs when Cassandra presses him about helping
her run Whitestone. He’s always going to be a bit of a mess (TM Ep10 for Ep83, Alpha 33:51). That’s not
something about himself he could ever change, however much he wants to. I’ll
try to draw up a full supporting case soon-ish, but I’m happy to elaborate as
much as I can over Twitter or Tumblr private message.
Within minutes of their arrival at Whitestone Castle after
the Daxio fight:
“Percival! Thank god you’ve returned!”
bewildered and worried: “Thank god? Alright. Why? What’s happened?”
irritated: “You’re alive! That’s-”
relieved: “Oh! Yes.”
yelling at him: “Look, last time you left, you did not come back- in the
best of places. I’m beginning to think there is-”
“I’m just assume that everything is going to be bad news for the next…
Just assume that I’m going to assume that everything’s terrible, every time I
see you for the next two months. Yes, we’re alive.”
“One crisis at a time.”
“I’m going to take a rest on the carpet. I’m going to fly the carpet,
while you do your thing. I’m tired.” He slumps against the table.
startled, as Kima & Allura teleport onto the carpet: “Ah! Oh!”
Shaking his head, “I’m so tired.”
goes and gets the Gate Stone from Cassandra.]
“But these guys I can’t talk to,” he indicates the party. Then he
points to Taliesin, “How bad are you?”
“I’m f-” He catches himself, think about it for a beat, and
continues, “Outwardly, I’m fine. I’m in ‘get shit done’ mode.”
“Right, then I get you a little aside.”
“I’m probably coming back down, now, from the castle with the stone.”