Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E3 “The Trail and the Toll”
Written by Dani on November 10, 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 3 The Trail and the Toll!
LEADS & LEDGERS
Laudna collects Dorian from the front and reunites him with Team Backdoor while Imogen and Bertrand continue following Danas, who spots Imogen and the two chat – Danas blames her obvious nerves on the dangerous streets. The two stealthily follow her all the way into the Weary Way Tavern but she spots them once inside. They lose sight of her in the crowded bar, so return to the warehouse to inform the others of this lead.
Laudna uses her lockpicks (and fingernail) to break into the warehouse and rejoin Orym. They discover a ledger that has been tampered with, with initial findings of the thefts rewritten to downplay how much is missing. The handwriting is clearly Danas’ when compared to receipts and invoices, confirming that the thefts are an inside job. During this, FCG and Ashton discuss Ashton’s desire for a life of freedom and self-reliance. When FCG claims that he already has this, Ashton explains that their life is more complicated than it looks. They have a lot of debts and favors owed to people, hence the need for jobs and money.
Everyone meets back up within the warehouse before they return to the Weary Way Tavern to look for Danas. Dorian learns from a fellow musician that she just went upstairs. Aided by FCG’s use of detect thoughts, they locate Danas (as well as the thoughts of nine others) behind a locked door. Orym hears her talking, worried about being found out. She mentions an old man asking questions about deliveries, as well as her encounter with Imogen. Another voice speaks, saying they’ll have to adjust the supply lines and that Danas is no longer needed. Orym hears the sound of garbled choking, so he and Ashton break down the door.
CREEPERS & CAKE
When they finally get inside the room, it appears empty before they discover a pale-faced, dark-cloaked dwarf lurking in a corner. A fight begins, with the dwarf summoning his “children” from the walls – these are shade creepers, strange and small creatures with gray faces wearing black cloaks and wielding weapons. When one dies, it immolates, injuring anyone close by. The dwarf casts a magical darkness and by the time the group finishes off the shade creepers, the dwarf has vanished without a trace.
Beyond the darkness, they discover a bedroom with a balcony overlooking the alley. Imogen finds Danas’ dead body under a table, as well as a strange, one foot-wide hole in the wall. Orym could fit, but they all need a rest before they investigate strange holes. Imogen and Dorian distract an employee while the others abscond out the balcony with Danas’ body. They take her to Eshteross and show him the evidence of the inside job. They also describe the sallow dwarf that Danas was working for – Eshteross doesn’t recognize the description, but will look into it.
Eshteross asks how they feel about the loss of Danas. Everyone just wishes they could have gotten to her sooner. Laudna wants a chance to find the dwarf and Eshteross agrees. He is interested in pursuing a relationship with the group and will draw up a contract in the morning to formalize their agreement, giving them each 150 gold plus a 50 gold tip. He even made a cake!
FCG asks if Eshteross knows what could have killed their other automaton friends – they died near Evishi, possibly slain by a creature with one eye. Eshteross isn’t sure, as many creatures could fit that bill. As for Eshteross’ history, he was a mercenary for twenty-five years. He became friends with Mistress Prudaj, who taught him true values beyond coin and glory. To take down those who abuse their power, like the Ivory Syndicate. When Mistress Prudaj died of natural causes, she left him everything. The good he does with her wealth, he does in her memory.
THE NEW CREW
The party returns to the Spire by Fire for drinks, where they agree to run together for a little while. Time to think up a team name to give Eshteross. Everyone is exhausted, so they agree to meet at the Windowed Wall in the morning. Imogen and Laudna take their leave, FCG and Ashton depart for the Krook House, and Fearne goes upstairs to sleep. Ashton stops by to see his friend Milo, giving them the sack of coins and asking that they look into Eshteross. Ashton wants to know everything. They don’t want to repeat what happened last time.
Back at the Spire, Bertrand, Dorian, and Orym keep drinking. Orym goes to bed, thanking Dorian for keeping him alive today. Bertrand and Dorian stay up, with Bertand deep in his cups. He’s pleased to be back on top, as things have not gone well for him lately. But he thinks this new crew is special. Dorian tries to get Bertrand to come up to bed, but Bertrand decides to take a walk to find the Windowed Wall before morning. He bids Dorian a cheerful good night and heads off.
THE CRIMSON STORM
Imogen is dreaming. She’s back in her home village of Jel’vahn, walking through tall grass with her mare, Flora. Out of the dream, Bertrand walks down an alley, stopping to relieve himself. He notices a silhouette standing by him – it’s the same sallow dwarf. He plunges his rapier into Bertrand’s chest. The wind in Imogen’s dream grows harsh as red clouds roll in and crimson lightning strikes out at her.
The dwarf attacks Bertrand again. Multiple hits. Bertrand falls unconscious. A frozen Imogen hears a familiar woman’s voice in her head telling her to run, so she runs for her home as the storm grows in intensity. When she reaches the door, she turns back and sees a refined older man walk proudly into the tempest, which swallows him up.
Bertrand feels a cold peacefulness as the dwarf stands over his body, wishing Sir Bertrand Bell a good night. As Bertrand dies, his last word is the name ‘Lieve’tel.’
That is it for Episode 3 of Critical Role!
- Holy shit y’all. Farewell Bertrand Bell. For anyone who would like to know more about his passing, here’s Matt’s tweet thread.
- Shade creepers are common in Jrusar, but the ones the dwarf summoned are different from the others that Imogen and Laudna have seen before. Odd.
- Orym mentioned something about the dwarf’s clothing not matching what he ‘saw in the past’ – could that have something to do with the man Orym is looking for?
- At least a group name is finally percolating. I need a new closing catch phrase!