Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E44 “Bawdy Basement Belligerence”
Written by Dani on January 11, 2023
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 44 Bawdy Basement Belligerence!
Bells Hells are hiding in Ebenold Kai’s basement while unfamiliar foes search the house. While Laudna puts her immovable rod in the hidden door, she hears two people talking and referring to an ‘it’ who saw people enter the house. Imogen’s detect thoughts picks up four presences, one of which is rapidly moving around the house. Laudna turns Pâté into a spider and sends him out to investigate.
Pâté sees a well-dressed half-elf searching through the kitchen. He is then joined by a rushing air elemental, which sniffs out the group behind the hidden doorway. As the elemental begins to rush into the basement, pulling Pâté into its whirlwind, Bells Hells struggle to decide if they should fight or run. Instead, they decide on a third option – pretend to be filming an orgy. Fearne, Laudna, and Imogen undress and Chetney wolfs out, pretending to be the pool cleaner. FCG ‘films’ them with the tracker ball and Orym acts as the guard for the orgy.
Orym tries to stop the other people – the elementalist half-elf, a rogue, and a crossbow wielder – from entering the basement, but fails when the elementalist refuses to leave without answers. A fight breaks out when the group is unable to convince them that they were just here to have their orgy and don’t know the house’s owners. The elementalist spots Imogen’s arm markings and demands the group be taken.
What follows is a raucous battle that traverses both the basement and first floor of the house. Bells Hells attempt to scatter, with some making their way up the stairs to the kitchen. Fearne turns into a horse, specifically a Clydesdale, and blocks the path into the kitchen. The elementalist has a powerful glass orb from which he casts cone of cold and later, lightning bolt. FCG casts command, forcing the elementalist to ‘command’, issuing orders to everyone.
Orym knocks out the rogue with the pommel of his sword Seedling and FCG casts banishment on the crossbow wielder, banishing them to another dimension for a minute. The air elemental focuses on Imogen, who tells the tornado that she cannot be controlled as she is the storm. The caster, after using his lightning bolt on the party and knocking Fearne out of her horse form, leaps out of the kitchen window in an attempt to escape. Chetney follows the elementalist and knocks him out, throwing him back into the house.
The air elemental is unleashed without a focusing guide. Imogen is nearly knocked out by the air elemental, but Laudna silvery barbs the attack, saving her. The elemental flees, frightened of Laudna. FCG casts spare the dying on the elementalist and the party realizes they need to leave the house, as the noise they made will attract guards. Fearne turns into a different, smaller horse and they put the elementalist on her back, wrapped up in curtains, and lead him out of the house. The group runs just as the banishment fades on the third individual.
PREDATOR AND PREY
Bells Hells find a small storage space in the docks to hide in for a moment. When they take the curtains off the elementalist, he immediately casts misty step, but Imogen commands him to stop and he resigns himself to his capture. They return to the shed and tie up and loot the caster, whose name is Tuldus. He believes that they are in league with the Grim Verity and tells them they are already too late for the things in motion.
They need answers, so FCG casts fast friends on Tuldus. He tells them that he is a member of the Ruby Vanguard, a group that wishes to ensure a better future for Exandria. They plan to release the chains that have bound human life on this planet since the Founding. To release them all from the bonds of fate and the wills of those who lost the right to call themselves gods. All things have a predator. The gods too have a predator that hunts them as prey. They will release the gods’ natural predator and in a little over a week, they’ll all be free.
THE MAN AND THE KEYS
Otohan Thull has been instrumental to the Vanguard and works closely with their leader, who Tuldus mentions often. Imogen casts detect thoughts as Orym mentions Ira Wendegoth. She hears Tuldus thinking that Ira has been a loose thread for too long and wondering if they are working with Ira. She also sees flashes of an older elvish man with silver hair – Ludinus Da’leth. Imogen wonders where he is, and Tuldus says that he is likely handling the keys. Imogen gets flashes of a device similar to the telescope-like one Ira built.
Tuldus confirms that the last key is finished. Imogen sees three machines – one in the midst of green twilight, one surrounded by shadow and jagged obsidian, and one in a hole in the ground amongst ruins and workers building around it. Tuldus claims that the Grim Verity are intelligent researchers, but they lack the vision to free everyone. The gods have feared mortals since the Matron of Ravens’ ascension and Tuldus believes that they consider mortals not their children, but their food and their power.
Orym points out the Calamity, which happened the last time they rose against the gods. Tuldus says this is different. This is unchaining the predator the gods fear. What makes him think that Predathos will be satisfied with just eating the gods? According to their leader, Predathos only feeds on high divinity. It will seek out others in worlds beyond. Their leader speaks with it. Their leader is not a god, but a liberator, and Tuldus trusts him to free them from the millennia of lies.
CALLING IN ALLIES
Orym wants to know what Zephrah had to do with any of this, but Tuldus doesn’t know what he’s talking about. They egg Tuldus on, igniting his self-consciousness, and get him to confirm that their leader is Ludinus Da’leth. In this state of his frustration, Imogen sees flashes of Tuldus’ youth, suffering under religious zealotry. Imogen feels guilty knowing that Tuldus has such trauma and Laudna reminds her that they all have trauma.
They discuss what to do with Tuldus now and decide to message Planerider Ryn, to see if the Grim Verity wants him. Ryn is very interested in interrogating him. She arrives immediately and casts a spell that makes Tuldus extremely compliant. He confirms that the keys are called the Malleus Keys and that the one north of Yios is nearly complete and requires the most attention. The one in the Fey Realm was the first built, but there is rising tension between the Unseelie Court and the Cerberus Assembly.
Bells Hells want to go to the Fey Realm first, since Fearne has an ally in Nana Morri. Ryn can get them there, but they need to find Ashton. Imogen has to rest in order to get a spell back to message them, so Ryn heads off to get some food. FCG is feeling on edge, so warns everyone to keep their distance for now. FCG wonders if he should stay here and let the others go to the Fey Realm. FCG is so close to learning answers about themself, but time is of the essence.
At the end of the rest, Imogen messages Ashton, asking where he is and telling them that it’s time to leave town. Ashton’s response will be at the top of the next episode!
That is it for Episode 44 of Critical Role!
- The Malleus Keys! The Ruby Vanguard! Confirmation that releasing Predathos is the goal! What would that even DO to Exandria if the gods were killed??
- What was in that whisper that Liam got? What DID Zephrah have to do with any of this? Why attack Keyleth?
- What has Ashton been up to this whole time?? I’m so excited to get Taliesin back!
Catch Episode 45 on Thursday, January 12th at 7pm Pacific on twitch.tv/criticalrole and on youtube.com/criticalrole or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday yet?