Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E15 “The Tunnels Below”
Written by Dani on March 9, 2022
Hello! Welcome to Critical Recap! I’m Dani Carr, the Critical Role Lore Keeper. Let’s dive into our recap of Critical Role Campaign 3 Episode 15 The Tunnels Below!
In the morning, Laudna and Imogen console Orym and Fearne over the departure of Dorian and offer to continue the cuddle pile sleeping tradition with them. Chetney gives Ashton their wooden toy – a hand with movable fingers. They discuss the events of the ball with Eshteross, focusing on their accomplishments. They did complete the ring switch on Armand Treshi, as well as connect the Paragon’s Call to the Nightmare King. Fearne feeds Armand’s original ring to FCG to dispose of the evidence.
They wonder why Orlana Seshadri was at the ball, as she is of a more middling Mahaan house. She is added to the list of possible Quorum members. Emoth Kade, the woman they fought in the suite, is part of a newer Mahaan house that is trying to grow in power. She’s clearly become corrupted by the same entity that corrupted Duggar and came in as Armand’s date. Laudna wonders if the entirety of the Chandei Quorum is corrupt, but Eshteross rebuffs this – he has to believe there is some good in the city’s leadership, otherwise the entire Oderan Wilds is lost.
There is a lot of heat on the group right now – General Ratanish knows they had something to do with the Moon Tower, they made a negative impression on Armand and the entire political center of Jrusar, and Emoth knows their faces. Bells Hells decide it’s time to lay low for a while. They will take up Ashton’s job with Jiana Hexum in the Heartmoor, which will get Orym in the right place to find out more about the Lumas Twins, and Eshteross will keep them updated about Armand’s movements through the town.
THE GREEN SEEKERS
Bells Hells leave Eshteross’ manor for Jiana Hexum’s estate, but they are immediately joined by the Green Seekers. The two green-clad investigators – Olly, a female gnome, and Gus, a male half-orc – are an intimidating pair. They claim to just want a conversation about the weird things currently happening in Jrusar. Gus casts a spell, wrapping the Green Seekers and the group up in a bubble that he refers to as a ‘personal interrogation booth’ – no outside sound enters the space and no sound from within leaves.
The Green Seekers were hired to figure out what’s going on around Jrusar, specifically in regards to the Moon Tower’s destruction and the other strange occurrences around the city. The two have pinpointed Bells Hells as common links among the weirdness, with their presence noted at the Moon Tower and the ball. The group tells them that the true person responsible for the tower’s collapse is too unbelievable. Bells Hells talk about the shade creeper attacks and the ‘jelly people’, as well as the holes in the spires. The Green Seekers have noticed these attacks as well. Both groups are following the same clues.
Chetney tells them about the secret room under the Moon Tower, which Olly and Gus found but were denied further access. They assume Bells Hells are working for Eshteross and the group promises that they’re all trying to do the right thing. They are also still trying to avenge the death of Bertrand. The Green Seekers are willing to align themselves with Bells Hells. Imogen asks if they are official honorary Green Seekers. No patches are handed out (the badges are for children only!).
NEW ALLIES AND OLD FLAMES
The Green Seekers and their new Bells Hells deputies will need proof that something bigger is going on in the city. The shade creepers are the common thread and the group reveals that Lady Emoth Kade is one of the jelly people. If they can capture Emoth and bring her back alive, that would be the proof they need. The two groups head to the Underrush Mines in the Smolder Spire, intent on delving into the mines to find Emoth and their proof. Their way to the spire is easy, as the Green Seekers have a reputation. The two reveal their mistrust of the Paragon’s Call, having tangled with them before in the Hellcatch Valley.
Upon arriving at the Underrush Mining Operation Facility, Gus asks to speak with Ogdes Friez, a male half-elf foreman. Ogdes is amused to see Gus, inviting them all into his office and clearly smug about the fact that Gus is asking for a favor. The two were once in a relationship together and FCG guides the two through a bit of couples therapy to work through their feelings. They discuss Gus leaving their relationship for his job. Gus apologizes, but they are different people. Some light progress is made between the former couple, now that the air has been cleared.
Ogdes confirms that there’s been weirdness in the mines lately, with the Crownset Cavern system having been shut down for a few months. He doesn’t know why it has closed, as the other foreman has his own paperwork and Ogdes doesn’t handle that side of the mine. Ogdes is willing to take them to Shotan Bruo, the foreman in charge of the Crownset Cavern.
Upon meeting Shotan, Laudna immediately spooks him and causes him to fall, knocking him unconscious. Chetney searches his pockets, finding 30 platinum and some brand new knives. They wake him up and interrogate him, with Gus dislocating his fingers throughout the conversation. The foreman claims that the Underrush family ordered him to close the mine, but FCG casts detect thoughts, learning that the Treshis are behind the closure and have been paying Shotan to keep it closed for the last few months.
Shotan leads them out and into the closed mines, taking them to a cage elevator with chains that are controlled by an automaton. Gus magically charms him into keeping an eye out for them. The two groups board the cramped elevator and slowly begin their descent into the mine. Their descent takes a long time, traveling hundreds of feet. Chetney begins to recall the familiar scent that lingered upon Lady Emoth. The cage finally reaches the ground and the groups begin traversing the winding tunnels, led by Chetney’s nose.
It’s not long before the party is beset by shade creepers, the noise of the elevator having drawn their attention. Several of the shade creepers are larger and more powerful than the others, with more limbs and altered faces. Imogen’s robust storm magic turns the tide of the battle and the group is able to kill the creepers and scare more off. FCG heals the wounded with aura of vitality (which he names Happy FeelGood Times) and they continue into the cavern.
Chetney invisibly scouts ahead, finding another area filled with cloth and bone and more shade creepers milling about. Cocoons line the walls and from one of these cocoons emerges Lady Emoth, who has been altered even further, with holes on her back that seem to breathe. She begins to sniff out Chetney, who runs back to the party and tells them what he saw. The group plans their attack – Olly has a bead that can contain a creature, which they can use to capture Lady Emoth. Chetney will go to the other side of the room and make a distraction, whereupon Gus will throw a fireball and destroy the shade creepers while Olly captures Emoth.
The plan is enacted and Chetney bolts through the room, but Lady Emoth is no longer there. The fireball goes off behind him as he sees another cavern ahead. This one contains two small workstations which two figures seem to be manipulating. Lady Emoth is tending to a long, enormous slug creature, whose body curves around the room and presses to the walls. Its torso is humanoid, with spindly, elongated arms, jagged teeth, and hair like a lion’s mane.
This is Mother. Emoth lets her know that they have company.
- Holy shit y’all. Mother is very very creepy. Big ‘Alien Queen’ vibes.
- I hope Bells Hells get their honorary Green Seekers badges. They deserve them.
- More therapy sessions, please, because that entire conversation between Gus and Ogdes was delightful. FCG is doing excellent work in their field!
- I wonder who hired the Green Seekers. Is it just Armand pulling the strings or are others within Mahaan Treshi involved? Maybe they’ll be able to interrogate Emoth.