Analysis: Molly’s Backstory Part 7: Weird Blood Powers, Critical Role C2 Ep014

This post is part 7 in a 7-part series examining everything
we learned about Molly’s backstory in Critical Role Campaign 2 Episode 014.
They are meant to be read together in sequence, but 9 pages seemed a little
long for Tumblr, so I’ve broken them up into separate posts. You can also find
links to this series, as well as further reading, on my Molly
Index
.


Weird Blood Powers

What Molly cannot distance himself from are his abilities. “A few months after I came to, I started noticing I could do things. I- knew things that I didn’t necessarily know I knew.” (CR C2 Ep014 2:03:49) His Rite of the Dawn radiance power first manifested during the gnoll fight in Alfield (CR C2 Ep005 1:26:30). This was unexpected and didn’t sit well with him. “I’m going to sit, and sip this [alcohol], and grin, and very silently have a mild nervous breakdown about what just went down.” (CR C2 Ep005 3:38:39) Asked if Molly is aware of the new glow that comes with his swords, Taliesin answered, “He had a mild nervous breakdown after that fight, and it wasn’t necessarily from the violence. […] But he had a- he was definitely- needed a drink.” (TM 2018-02-20 0:47:36)

Molly demonstrated his new powers by using one of Nott’s daggers to cut himself and manifest ice damage. “You watch as this large cluster of moisture all of a sudden solidifies around the outside of the blade, and the blade is now encrusted in jagged ice shards that just kind of stick out.” Which Taliesin follows up with, “I’m going to just cut myself again on the wood frame, and grab it, and use Radiance.” Matt describes, “You watch as this bright, vibrant light just billows out of it. Kind of glowing in the vicinity. Similar that you’ve seen it encase the scimitar.” Molly says, “I’ll admit, this is new. […] You all got to see the first time this happened.” (CR C2 Ep014 2:04:17) “I’ve started bleeding on sharp things and they started giving off magic light. That literally has happened in the last week. That is my life now.” (TM 2018-04-17 0:46:11).

The point about knowing “things that I didn’t necessarily know I knew” is interesting. “Every now and then, he just knows things, so if he could just, you know, do the ‘Time Bandits’” he mimics touching an object, “’Don’t touch that it’s evil!’” (TM 2018-04-17 0:52:11). This is almost certainly a reference to the Blood Hunter’s “Hunter’s Bane” ability that allows, “You have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track Fey, Fiends, and Undead, as well as on Intelligence checks to recall information about them.” Molly’s interest in graveyards (CR C2 Ep008 2:32:33, Ep016 03:15:37) may have come about because his powers have triggered there before. He could be trying to figure out what exactly is triggering them, or just be exploring their extent. Molly may not have a good feel yet for what exactly he can sense.

Molly is aware that his abilities are rare and probably recognizable to whoever knew him before. When Beau asks if Cree could have mistaken him for someone else, he replies, “That’s possible, except, of course, she had weird blood powers.” (CR C2 Ep014 2:03:42) He knows the red marks are connected to his powers. “One of the eyes in one of the peacock feathers is a bright crimson red. […] It’s also the same place that he bleeds every time that he uses any of his powers.” (CR C2 Ep014 2:16:50) So he obfuscated them among tattoos the way he obfuscated his innate powers with the swords. “The swords are cheap carnival glass. There’s nothing special about them. I literally decorated a pair of swords to make them look special.” He quietly, dejectedly mumbles, “Thought maybe I’d make it less likely they’d think there’s something special about me.” (CR C2 Ep014 2:12:43) Molly hides in plain sight by making people think he’s trying too hard to look special so they never look close enough to realize he actually is special. And it usually works. No one noticed when Molly activated his powers with a spare glaive rather than his swords during the bandit attack. (CR C2 Ep008 2:12:59, TM 2018-04-17 0:50:28)

When Cree actually recognized Molly, he panicked, because “the one thing I didn’t prepare for was actually meeting somebody in the wild who actually knew- […] This is the one thing I haven’t prepared for, and now I don’t know what to do. And I was sitting trying to think, ‘How can I bullshit a story around-? I can’t think of a way around this.’” (TM2018-04-17 0:50:08) Obfuscation and bullshit are Molly’s greatest social skills, and there’s not a lot left when they fail. As much as he wants to NOPE! right out of his past, his past, it seems, is determined to catch up with him.


Part
1: Separating Molly and Lucian

Part
2: Cree

Part
3: The Tomb Takers

Part
4: The Ritual

Part
5: Molly Awakens

Part
6: Disciple of The Moonweaver

Part 7: Weird Blood Powers


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References

 

Mercer, M. (2018). Blood Hunter Class Details.
 Retrieved from D&D Beyond.

Mercer, M., & Haeck, J. (2017). Tal’Dorei
 Campaign Setting. Seattle: Green Ronin Publishing.

Transcript
Critical Role C2 Ep014 0:13:00 Molly’s Backstory
 

Transcript
Talks Machina 2018-04-17 Alpha 0:35:07 Molly’s notion of identity

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