Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E52 “Far From The Others”
Written by Dani on March 22, 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 52 Far From The Others!
A collective scream from Chetney, Fearne, Imogen, and FCG breaks the silence of the Crystalsands Tundra in Northern Wildemount. They are separated from Ashton, Laudna, and Orym with no idea how they arrived in Wildemount, when moments ago they were in Marquet. Imogen tries to message Laudna, but her mind is filled with static and pain and the message unravels. FCG tries messaging Orym, but he too hears heavy static and the spell fails. They can cast other spells, but sending is not working, even with multiple attempts.
Chetney recognizes that they are close to Uthodurn, his former hometown, which is a partially subterranean civilization run by elves and dwarves. He is not eager to return, but as it is the closest town, they begin trekking through the snow to the Flotket Alps in the distance. As evening approaches, Fearne wildshapes into a shoebill stork with FCG and Imogen flies herself and Chetney to a cavern in the mountain so they can rest for the night.
Unfortunately, the cavern is also home to a large, lizard-like creature that attacks them with its powerful ice breath. During this fight, they are joined by two other individuals – Deanna (she/her, played by Aabria Iyengar) a cozy gnome cleric, and F.R.I.D.A. (they/them, played by Christian Navarro), a fashionable aeormaton gunslinger/rogue/cleric. After a fierce battle, Fearne gets the kill with her fiery scorching ray, and they all make the acquaintance of the two new faces.
Deanna and Chetney, however, need no introduction. Deanna immediately recognizes him as a former fling and even slaps him. FCG and F.R.I.D.A. also realize that they are both from Aeor and were awoken by D. The group quickly explains to the two that they were in Marquet during the apogee solstice and have now mysteriously arrived here. Deanna, as a cleric of the Dawnfather, has felt a strange connection with her god lately. Like he was leaning away from her.
As they set up camp in the cavern, Deanna explains that she and Chetney had a fling hundreds of years ago while she was on vacation. After their relationship ended, she moved to Uthodurn to see where Chetney came from and met her husband, Dustel. She had a little family, then she was killed by a creature during a midsummer festival. After she died, her husband became an adventurer, leaving their children in the care of his sister.
To fulfill a promise, Dustel eventually had a cleric of the Dawnfather resurrect Deanna nearly two hundred years after her death – after she had fully passed on. She compares life and crossing over to being a fragile snowflake landing on the ocean. Eventually, the snowflake melts and becomes the ocean. It’s difficult to come back after an experience like that. She and Dustel aren’t even together, as he moved on without her.
Fearne asks how Deanna and F.R.I.D.A. met – about two years ago, F.R.I.D.A. woke up near Uthodurn and went to the city. When they heard Deanna’s laughter, they realized that one of their primary functions in the past was to record. F.R.I.D.A. has recordings of everyone’s laughter, and Deanna’s laughter reminded them of their function to protect – so now F.R.I.D.A. protects her and Deanna protects them in return.
Like Deanna, F.R.I.D.A. was gone for a long time and somewhere peaceful, then D brought them back. F.R.I.D.A. thinks that was selfish and that the gods play with people’s lives. F.R.I.D.A.’s name comes from the words written behind their faceplate – Far-Ranging Integrated Defense Aeormaton. FCG tries to remove their own faceplate, but fails. F.R.I.D.A. recommends that he meet Jaquoby Macyl, the tinkerer in Uthodurn who installed F.R.I.D.A.’s Blunderbuss and is an Aeor historian.
The group explains that they are having difficulty contacting the three others in their group. Imogen recalls hearing a similar static while flying through the leylines. FCG asks Deanna how she chose her god and Deanna explains that when she was brought back, she felt a connection to the Dawnfather and held onto it. She wanted to help people. FCG explains their relationship with the Changebringer and how she helps them make decisions and gives them a purpose.
The others question why FCG believes that a god is the only way he can find his purpose. He has always had someone tell him what to do, so now this coin tells him what to do. F.R.I.D.A. doesn’t think they should care so much what the gods want.
Imogen goes outside, but cannot find Ruidus in the sky. F.R.I.D.A. plays back Imogen’s laughter and comforts her about missing her friends. When Imogen goes to bed, she notices that the lightning marks on her wrists now stretch to the middle of her arms and that her fingers are beginning to turn red.
In the morning, Deanna casts death ward on a sleeping Chetney and F.R.I.D.A. notices that this is the first morning they have not been given that protection. Deanna attempts to reach out to Orym, drawing on the people who have loved Orym, but the static still overtakes her and the spell fails. F.R.I.D.A. asks Imogen if she has a connection to Ruidus. She confirms this and reveals her telepathy to them.
As they travel to Uthodurn, F.R.I.D.A. explains that they’ve developed the ability to dream – always the same dream that expands a little more each time. Maybe FCG can join next time. When they camp, Chetney talks to Deanna. He is sorry to hear about what happened to her and is glad to see her again. She admits that their time together was important to her and that she had a hard time letting him go. She came to Uthodurn because of him and made it a home.
Chetney explains that he left Uthodurn on bad terms. He established a woodworking trade focused on toys with Oltgar. Someone came in and messed everything up, so Chetney stabbed this person in the knee. When the Glassblades chased Chetney out, he hid in the Savalirwood. He tries to tell Deanna about his werewolf change, but she just hugs him and tells him that he is the first thing from her past that didn’t hurt to see again.
As they begin to flirt, Chetney suddenly realizes that Catha is full. He can feel the change coming over him and runs away into the woods. F.R.I.D.A. figures out that Chetney is a werewolf based on context clues, which shocks Deanna. Are they safe traveling together? F.R.I.D.A. can’t leave FCG now, as they are the closest thing to family that F.R.I.D.A. could encounter. Fearne and Imogen explain that Chetney should be okay, they just need to let the change pass.
Their discussion shifts to the events of the apogee solstice, when Imogen and Fearne acted as Ruidusborn batteries for the Malleus Key. Imogen felt connected to something she’d been missing her whole life – like it was fated to be. Imogen questions abandoning the gods, asking what happens when they die if the Matron of Ravens is gone. Deanna doesn’t think the afterlife and the gods have much to do with each other. The afterlife existed before the Matron and will exist after her.
Deanna believes that their relationships with the gods aren’t that of a parent and a child – mortals are more like batteries for the gods. Faith and devotion sustains them and they in turn give sips of power back to their children. F.R.I.D.A. thinks they should give the gods the gift of rest. Imogen points out that it isn’t rest that the Ruby Vanguard is trying to give the gods, but destruction. To be devoured. Deanna realizes that she had earlier felt the Dawnfather’s fear.
With still no sign of Ruidus in the sky and the leylines still present, Imogen wants to try and use her dreams to find Laudna. FCG casts shared dream, bringing themself and Fearne into the dream as Imogen looks for Laudna. However, Imogen’s consciousness is immediately yanked into a flood of leylines and magic that are all being pulled to a singular point – the red beam still holding Ruidus in place above Marquet.
Imogen fights against the pull of the stream, which both pulls down and redirects upwards like a strange bridge. She can see the broken golden thread where the beam strikes Ruidus, as well as a red storm on the ground and dozens of people that seem to be the Reilora – the alien beings with red skin that have communicated with Exaltants before.
As Imogen is pulled into the nexus of magical energy, Fearne accidentally wakes up. Imogen and FCG are pulled further in and Imogen finds herself wanting to embrace it and let go. Fearne screams at Imogen and slaps her, forcing her and FCG to wake up. FCG could feel how happy Imogen was and wonders if they should have let Imogen go, which Fearne is staunchly against. Deanna casts greater restoration on Imogen, allowing her to feel calm and without anxiety for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, F.R.I.D.A. has gone out to look for Chetney, who is a wolf following his nose and hunting for various game to sate his hunger. F.R.I.D.A. knows that Chetney is important to Deanna, so wants to find him and make sure he is safe. They use their recordings of Fearne and Deanna to draw Chetney to them, asking Chetney to come back to his friends. When Chetney finds F.R.I.D.A. he senses the lack of blood and attempts to resist the wolf within, but fails. His desire to hunt overwhelms him and he attacks F.R.I.D.A., biting them during their fight.
The others hear F.R.I.D.A.’s gunshot in the distance and give chase. F.R.I.D.A. plays Deanna’s laugh, rattling Chetney and helping him gain control. Chetney realizes that he lost control and hurt a friend, so he takes off into the woods, filled with shame and struggling with his bestial self. Deanna is extremely angry that Chetney attacked F.R.I.D.A., but F.R.I.D.A. is happy to have confirmed that Chetney is in there and has a level of control.
That is it for Episode 52 of Critical Role!
- Welcome Aabria Iyengar and Christian Navarro!! Absolutely incredible job, you two!
- So, uh, is F.R.I.D.A. a werewolf now? Werebot? Robowolf? Far Ranging Integrated Defense Werewolf?
- What is going on with magic? It seems like the leylines are being funneled through that red beam – is communication magic getting lost in the stream? What else is getting tangled?
- What are they going to find when they reach Uthodurn? What is happening in Exandria right now?
Catch Episode 53 on Thursday, March 23rd at 7pm Pacific on twitch.tv/criticalrole and on youtube.com/criticalrole or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday yet?