Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E53 “Ripples”
Written by Dani on March 29, 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 53 Ripples!
As morning comes, Chetney regains control of his human form and returns to the others, finding Deanna there waiting for him after a sleepless night. Chetney apologizes, but Deanna just wants to know he’s okay. It’s only when he sees the damage in F.R.I.D.A.’s coat that Chetney realizes what happened last night. He feels terrible about it, but Deanna assures him that F.R.I.D.A. isn’t angry. Chetney confesses his enjoyment of being a werewolf but worries that Uthodurn won’t welcome him. Deanna promises not to let anyone hurt him.
The others wake up and discuss last night. They wonder if the solstice is messing with Chetney’s control, since he did train with the Gorgynei. F.R.I.D.A. calls the experience a bonding session, having enjoyed the encounter. They went looking for Chetney because they were afraid of losing him. F.R.I.D.A. has recovered and feels alive, but Deanna notices puncture wounds on their shoulder. She casts death ward on F.R.I.D.A., vowing to always cast it on them.
The group travels to Uthodurn, where the Glassblades allow them in after F.R.I.D.A. explains that the newcomers are here to trade. Chetney hides beneath F.R.I.D.A.’s coat, in case he’s a wanted man. Uthodurn has three ‘discs’ that descend down – the Volition Disc, the Deliberation Disc, and the Grand Disc. They walk the Auger Trail down to the Deliberation Disc and notice that the city’s magical lights are not working properly. There is a tension in the air and everyone seems spooked. FCG learns that the temples are closed.
As they make their way to the Vellum Steeple, a large library, Imogen voices her frustration with not knowing what has happened. She is terribly worried about Predathos and those who could be harmed by magic malfunctioning; specifically, Laudna is only alive because of the arcane and now Imogen has no idea if she’s okay. Deanna comforts her with the knowledge that her own power is divine and she still has her magic. So the gods must be okay for now.
Despite this comfort, they spot multiple temples with their gates closed to the public. They also pass Oltgar’s Chest, the toy store where Chetney used to work. It has expanded and now has a second floor. Chetney bemoans the elven man who came in and said that children would want toys made out of metal. This caused Oltgar to forget his roots – so Chetney stabbed Oltgar in the hand and the usurper in the leg.
The Vellum Steeple is open, but there is no one tending the front desk. Deanna calls out and an older dwarf comes from the back. They claim to be scholars and request a way to contact someone far away. Imogen casts detect thoughts – the man is very stressed, as a mass magical disenchantment has swept through the city. As he leaves to find someone to help them, Chetney invisibly follows him to the back, where he sees people frantically researching.
An elven woman is sent out to speak with the group – this is Scribewarden Ressia Uvesic. She tersely explains that they are suffering a diminishing of divination magic and are unsure if it extends beyond Uthodurn. They’ve lost contact with the outside world. Many enchantments and older magic have stopped working – things like auguries, clairvoyance, divine communication, scrying, teleportation circles, and supposedly permanent, older enchantments.
FCG and Imogen explain what they experienced in Marquet to the Scribewarden, though they leave out finer details. Imogen requests research into Ludinus Da’leth. The Scribewarden reveals that magically bound prisoners have escaped and are being re-apprehended. They have connections with a library in Rexxentrum, but the teleportation circle’s enchantment is now bereft of arcana – they’re trying to figure out how to put the magic back.
Suddenly, they all feel a heavy rumble and hear a loud, echoing metallic sound from somewhere outside. The Scribewarden returns to the back, where Chetney sees her assign people to research Ludinus. He rejoins the others and they leave to investigate the noise. There is a mass of Glassblades and Royal Guards in front of the now sealed gates to the Grand Disc. Many are wounded and are pushing people away from the gates while nobles rush out of the side doors.
The King and Queen are surrounded by guards and council members, trying to calm people. Something heavy hits the gates and a soldier says that something attacked within the palace. F.R.I.D.A. climbs into a sniper position as FCG attempts to go through a side door to get into the Grand Disc. The soldiers are sealing the doors to keep people safe, so FCG casts fast friends, convincing a soldier to let him and his friends in. F.R.I.D.A. has difficulty joining them, but arrives just before the door is shut.
They are now sealed into the Grand Disc, surrounded by the bodies of guards. One guard is still alive, so Deanna heals her. She explains that a statue within the Citadel came to life and started killing people. It was one of the Great Beasts of Veluthil. FCG thinks they have to go after the beast – if the gods are gone, then they have to be the ones to do the right thing. Sure, the guards couldn’t take down the beast, but Bells Hells have the power of friendship on their side.
TALKING IT OUT
They stealth down the road, following the clomping footsteps of the beast. They see that people are hiding inside various buildings, attempting to stay quiet. They spot the beast – a massive, glowing purple bull about 9 feet tall. Parts of his body are an ethereal starscape. He’s returning to the Citadel. Chetney and F.R.I.D.A. quickly guide some of the remaining people back to the gates and Deanna casts a Guardian of Faith to protect the people.
Imogen goes to the Citadel, hoping to find a plaque and learn more about the statue. She sees the bull circling a broken pedestal and casts Detect Thoughts. She’s unable to understand his thoughts, but can sense his emotions – anger, frustration, confusion, fear, longing. He seems lost. Imogen does find a plaque, but it is in Elvish, which she cannot read. The others join her and accidentally alert the bull to their presence.
Fearne casts dominate beasts, which works – for a minute, the bull is charmed. FCG has cast tongues and is able to speak with him. They ask where he wants to go. Home. Fearne gently tends to the bull, giving him scritches and cleaning him up. Deanna translates the plaque: “In Memoriam of the Fall of Molaesmyr”. The bull is from the Savalirwood, which was once known as the Veluthil Forest. Molaesmyr was an elven city within that fell due to an unknown cataclysm several hundred years ago.
THE SENTINEL BEAST
The bull is named Umudara. He was the Sentinel Beast of the Veluthil Forest and doesn’t seem to know that it has fallen to corruption. F.R.I.D.A. tells him that they know how it feels to be ripped out of time and their home, but Umudara can’t kill anyone. Umudara explains that the people attacked him first; he was scared and retaliated. Dominate beasts fades, but they have won Umudara’s trust. He wants to get out, so they will lead him out.
Umudara gives Deanna a ride. Imogen and FCG run ahead, casting Calm Emotions as they go so that the people ahead return to their homes. They knock on the gates and Imogen telepathically explains that the beast has stopped attacking, convincing the guards to open the gate. There are hundreds of soldiers outside the gates now, but luckily, it was the Commander that Imogen mentally spoke to. He allows them to escort Umudara out of the city.
Though there is tension, Deanna, Fearne, Imogen, F.R.I.D.A., and FCG lead Umudara safely up the Auger Trail and into the woods outside of Uthodurn. Umudara still feels lost and can’t sense his home, but he thanks them and heads south, hoping to find the forest once again.
Meanwhile, Chetney has been inspecting the thrones. He steals a few gems and discovers a secret passageway that is an escape route for the king and queen. When a guard finds him, he pretends to have been injured in the chaos and is led out, where his injuries are tended to.
That is it for Episode 53 of Critical Role!
- Three cheers for the power of friendship prevailing! What a fantastic turn to that encounter.
- Scribewarden Ressia Uvesic also appeared in several episodes of The Mighty Nein campaign! Good to see you again, Scribewarden, please be helpful.
- F.R.I.D.A. mentioned possibly using their own arcane core to power a teleportation circle. Would that work? Would F.R.I.D.A. even survive?
- I hope Umudara makes it safely to the Savalirwood. Maybe his return will help halt or heal the corruption that the forest still endures.
Catch Episode 54 next Thursday, April 6th at 7pm Pacific on twitch.tv/criticalrole and on youtube.com/criticalrole or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday yet?