Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E47 “The Fey Key”

Written by on February 8, 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 47 The Fey Key!


Bells Hells travel deeper into the Sablecast Grounds, attempting to find the Fey Realm’s Malleus Key that is guarded by denizens of the Unseelie Court. Imogen’s wild metamagic fog cloud helps with their stealth, but it disperses after an hour as they make their way through the dangerous landscape. They come upon a tall, needle-like tower topped with a white marble.

Laudna sends Pâté to investigate the tower. When he nears it, he is hit with a faerie fire-like purple light. Pâté keeps flying into the forest, spotting more towers in the distance. These are likely sentry towers. They hear a horrible noise coming from the forest, so FCG flips their coin, asking the Changebringer if that creature is dangerous. Apparently not, according to the coin.

When questioned by the others, FCG explains that he has spent so much time trying to figure out what he is. FCG has realized that the Changebringer is their guide and that, like them, the coin is a piece of metal making a choice. FCG trusts in faith, but the others tell him not to discount his own wisdom and experience. He continues to utilize his coin to make decisions.


Pâté is still circling the forest. The fairy light fades after ten minutes. He sees that the towers are keeping a ringed perimeter around the Shiver Keep. A thin red beam emanates from the keep, holding the Ruidus projection in the sky. A large, winged entity circles the keep, then vanishes into its walls. Pâté is able to give Laudna a path to follow that threads the needles before he’s eaten by something. Laudna is fine with that, as she can get him back later.

With Laudna/Pâté’s assistance, FCG confidently guides them through the forest, sure that he’s being led by his god’s guidance. Eventually, Orym notices some lights approaching quickly, so the group hides within the trees. A masked war band of fifteen folks led by a figure on a flaming black stallion emerges from a pathway hidden by the brambles. The war band searches for the group, so they rush towards the rapidly closing gateway.

Unfortunately, the ground shifts beneath Ashton’s foot and causes him to sink into the ground. Imogen turns Ashton invisible as the ground begins to damage them. Chetney distracts the war band by tossing ball bearings into the woods. Recalling Nana’s advice about giving the ground an iron tithe, Ashton tosses down a handful of jacks. The ground releases them and Bells Hells rush through the gateway to the other side of the brambles.


After pushing through more tangled forest, eventually the tree line breaks and the group finds themselves on the outskirts of the Shiver Keep’s exterior walls, with Ruidus overhead. Sentries walk the walls with two strange dog-like creatures whose faces are a black void. Laudna recognizes these spooky beasts as eremads. She recalls stories that say one cannot hide from them. The group discusses possible plans, hoping to take out the guards with a diversion.

Chetney turns into a werewolf, distracting the guards while the invisible Laudna and Orym spider-climb up the wall to the parapet. They take stock of the keep’s interior courtyard, where there are more guards and eremads with the Malleus Key in the center towards the back wall. Chetney, meanwhile, is chased by one of the guards until they decide that he isn’t worth the time, wounding Chetney’s pride.

Orym realizes they can slide the portable hole under the gate and make it a tunnel for the others to pass through. FCG casts banishment on the remaining guard and Bells Hells lay out the hole, making it through the other side. The other guard returns, but Chetney and Fearne incapacitate him and toss him into the hole. FCG releases the banishment spell and the second guard falls into the hole. They trap both guards within the hole and successfully enter the Shiver Keep.


As the group hides, two figures enter the courtyard. One of them is a high-ranking Unseelie official, Sorrowlord Zathuda, and the other is Otohan Thull. Laudna checks the tracker ball and sees a glow – her ring-planting plot in Bassuras worked! Zathuda tells Otohan that Sammanar is at the end of their patience. Otohan is to remind Ludinus of their arrangement and how he can be removed from it. Otohan says that when they are no longer in the shadow of the Moonweaver, they’ll be more forgiving. Otohan reads from a scroll and vanishes, while Zathuda summons his fey dragon, Gloamglut, and flies off.

Bells Hells work out a plan to disarm the Malleus Key. Ashton and Chetney put on the guards’ uniforms and Fearne wild shapes into a slow loris. Laudna and Orym invisibly stealth over to the Key, with Fearne in tow. They wiggle inside the machine itself, just barely fitting, and investigate its interior. There are two possible weaknesses – disabling an essential part within or overcharging the exterior arcane cores, causing a detonation. None of them are able to figure out an essential part of the machine, as damaging anything else would just mean a repair job.

They decide to overload the arcane cores. Orym drops a stick of dynamite into the Key and the three of them scramble out. Meanwhile, Chetney and Ashton unlock the front gate but are noticed by an eremad and a guard. Orym and Fearne jump down and attack a guard, starting a fight. Imogen and Laudna attack the cores with spells, making them unstable, then Fearne’s wall of fire overloads the cores and detonates the entire Malleus Key. This explosion takes out multiple guards and heavily injures Fearne and Laudna, but between it and the dynamite, the Key is rendered utterly useless.


A drawback to their destruction of the Malleus Key is that the spectral Ruidus vanishes from the sky, alerting the Unseelie. They hear Gloamglut the fey dragon shriek in the distance and the group begins rushing for the exit. Chetney and Ashton each kill an eremad as everyone flees. Gloamglut and Sorrowlord Zathuda arrive and the dragon shoots a beam of dangerous dark fire at the group.

They continue to flee, with Imogen pulling Laudna along via her telekinetic shove and Ashton pulling Fearne with the gravity well of his rage. Orym pulls Laudna out of the courtyard with his grasping vine from Seedling, so Gloamglut focuses their attacks on Fearne. Despite the aid of her friends, Fearne is knocked unconscious by the dragon’s claws.

Luckily, they are able to grab Fearne and run into the woods. They pull on the Harrowcall Veils, their gift from Nana that aids in their stealth, and lie in wait beneath the Veils as Gloamglut and Zathuda take to the sky, searching for them.

That is it for Episode 47 of Critical Role!


  • One Malleus Key down!! But can they even make it out of the Fey Realm without getting caught??
  • Sorrowlord Zathuda is the same Unseelie general that Dusk was in contact with and Sammanar is Potentate Sammanar, the leader of the Unseelie!
  • Poor Pâté. First familiar death for the best boy.
  • Eremads are so neat! Doglike, with fox ears and a void for a face. They still deserve scritches.

Catch Episode 48 on Thursday, February 9th at 7pm Pacific on and on or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday yet?

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