Hello, lore drop!
Our post last week had to assume that Nott was telling the truth, and likewise, this week we have to assume she was telling the truth when she was talking to the Nein in Episode 49… which means that we have to clarify some past lies that she’s told. She did a fair amount of mixing in parts of the truth to her previous stories, but they didn’t necessarily happen quite the way she initially told them. In response to Nott’s story and the events revealed in Episode 48, Caleb let a few additional bombs drop, some of which were new to us and the Mighty Nein. (Subheadings link to timestamped transcriptions of interest.)
Nott was born as Veth the halfling. She always felt Less Than her peers, and a little weird, especially about her obsessive collecting tendencies. One day, she was playing a game like Spin the Bottle with some other halflings, and a boy named Yeza kissed her. They ended up hitting it off, and later, when Veth was 20, they got married and then had a son, Luke. Yeza worked as an alchemist with his own apothecary.
One day, a roving goblin band attacked their town and took the three of them captive. They attempted an escape, but the goblins came close to recapturing them. Veth split off from Yeza and Luke, and the goblins chased Veth, giving the other two the chance to get away. Veth threw a bottle of acid in the leader’s face, and he did not survive. She was brought in front of someone in a hood whose face she never saw, who was given the direction by the leader’s wife to make her suffer.
They drowned Veth in the nearby river, but she awoke in the form of a goblin, apparently via Reincarnation. She was forced into servitude by the goblins until she managed to escape. That was about a year to a year and a half ago. Shortly thereafter, she landed in prison alongside Caleb, and after the two escaped, they traveled together for about 6 months before meeting up with the Nein, with whom they have been traveling for 5 months.
According to Sam on Talks, many of Veth’s traits have been amplified since her transformation into Nott. Her collecting tendency is now her need to steal trinkets, her general anxiety around other people has morphed into actual fear of nearly everything around her, and her enjoyment of alcohol has become full-blown alcoholism. The alcoholism has the side effect of being a (very unhealthy) coping mechanism for Nott’s dysmorphia and fear.
We’re not going to recount everything we know about Caleb, but it’s worth noting what we learned in episode 2-49. Caleb was born Bren Aldric Ermendrud. While at the Soltryce Academy, Trent started pulling him aside to interview him, and then pulled him and the others for “advanced class.” Once he and the other two Blumenthal kids were pulled from the Academy to study with Trent full-time, he began experimenting on them to “toughen them up,” like by putting crystals under their skin. He indoctrinated them with the idea that the masses were cattle to rise above and control for the betterment of all. (Trent, turn on your DMs, we Iounians just want to talk. Promise.)
Since escaping the asylum five years ago, Caleb has used a different alias for every person he met. Caleb Widogast is what he chose (at the last minute) for Nott and the Mighty Nein, and it’s likely that this is the longest he’s stuck with a name since the asylum. According to Liam on Talks Machina, no one has called Caleb by his actual name in over a decade.