Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E2 “Trial By Firelight”
Written by Dani on November 3, 2021
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 2 Trial By Firelight!
PROOF OF WORTH
Lord Ariks Eshteross engages the group in a fight determined to test their mettle. The group manages to hold their own, though they take some heavy hits from their experienced opponent. Once enough damage has been dealt, Eshteross calls for a halt to the fight. As a calm comes over the study, he explains that he’s interested in hiring them, should their interests align. Eshteross was a mercenary once and now he seeks people who can do the same work – to be his eyes and ears in the world. Bertrand was one of these hired mercenaries, until he abandoned his fellow team members during a fight that went south.
Eshteross speaks of some of his frustrations – the Chandei Quorum promises protection but allows corrupting influences like the Ivory Syndicate to run rampant, and he has heard rumors of dark dangers in the jungles below the spires. He wants the group to help him fight against these evils and injustices, offering both coin and connections. However, for everyone’s safety, they cannot reveal Eshteross as their employer. The group heads to the Weary Way Tavern to discuss this offer.
They talk about themselves, with FCG revealing that their associate, Dancer, made him more spectacular than the other constructs. They don’t know where their magical abilities come from – it’s just something he’s able to do. Laudna introduces her dead rat, Pâté de Rolo. She made him herself, when she was lonely and needed a distraction from the voice in her head. She puppets him and gives him a voice, but Orym is focused on the name ‘de Rolo’.
Laudna named him for the de Rolo family, the rulers of Whitestone when she was a girl. They died when she was a young woman and there was a coup. Orym tells her that the de Rolos returned to power, which Laudna didn’t know. She left some time ago and became a recluse. Bertrand brings up his own friendship with the famed Vox Machina, who have ties to Whitestone, and Orym is from Zephrah, the home of the Air Ashari which is led by another Vox Machina member. He’s never heard of Bertrand, though.
Orym got a good feeling off Eshteross and would like to work with him. FCG asks that the group be honest with each other, and Orym, Dorian, and Fearne promise to be a bit more open about themselves and who they’re looking for once they’ve all completed a job together. The party comes to an agreement that they want to test out working together and return to Eshteross.
With his offer accepted, Eshteross details his first job for the group: Dayal Hall, a learning center in the Core Spire that is near and dear to Eshteross, has been experiencing a few thefts from shipments that Eshteross’s business, Prudaj Textiles, has overseen. He wants them to go to the textiles warehouse and see if they can discover the source of the thefts, or at least some information pertaining to them. He gives them a stipend and promises more coin and a possible contract after they’ve handled this first test.
The group heads to Prudaj Textiles in the Lantern Spire, taking a short rest along the way. Imogen convinces the dwarven worker who greets them that she’s here on behalf of Madame Zhudanna to take a look at the textiles as a business opportunity. He invites Imogen, Orym, and FCG inside, while Laudna, Ashton, and Dorian go investigate around back. Ashton discovers a large, welded shut door to the warehouse while Laudna and Dorian find a satchel on the roof.
Inside, Imogen, Orym, and FCG meet the other workers as well as the manager, Danas. While Imogen distracts Danas, Orym and FCG take a peek inside some of the crates. They both notice signs of items missing and a strange gravelly residue, which FCG identifies as brumestone – the rare blue stone that is used to keep skyships aloft. It is heavily controlled by the Alsfarin Union in Ank’harel and was used during the Age of Arcanum to lift the floating cities of that era.
Fearne and Bertrand keep watch out front, where Bertrand tells Fearne more about the dangerous Ivory Syndicate. Bertrand’s previous group was assigned to watch them when things went sideways. There is speculation that members of the Chandei Quorum are working with the Syndicate. After some time passes, Fearne enters the warehouse to help while both Imogen and FCG are reading minds, causing some confusion. Everyone leaves as the increasingly tense and (and increasingly suspicious) Danas ushers them out.
NEVER SPLIT THE PARTY
The group reconvenes outside – everyone is convinced now that the thefts are an inside job. After some discussion, they decide to send an invisible Orym inside once the warehouse closes, to see if anyone tries to come in. Half of the party goes to the back (Team Backdoor) and the other half stays up at the front (Team Full Frontal). Dorian casts invisibility on Orym, who is able to get inside to see Danas walking around, a bit on edge, before she locks up the warehouse, with the halfling now locked inside.
Team Full Frontal (Dorian, Bertrand, and Imogen) see the nervous Danas lock up and take off. Bertrand and Imogen decide to follow her, leaving Dorian alone out front. Meanwhile, Team Backdoor (Fearne, Laudna, Ashton, and FCG) are trying to communicate with Orym. Imogen lets Laudna know that she and Bertrand are following Danas and Laudna talks with Orym, who is contending with the dark warehouse, Laudna’s creepy whispers in his head, and Fearne’s banging on the back door. Needless to say, the man is spooked and the party is split.
That is it for Episode 2 of Critical Role Campaign 3!
- For anyone who’d like to check out Bertrand’s previous exploits with Vox Machina, see The Search for Grog and The Search for Bob!
- Stray Lore: Lord Eshteross inherited both his estate and the business from Madam Prudaj, a friend who passed away twenty years ago.
- Pâté de Rolo is best boy. All hail Pâté de Rolo.