Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E58 “Escape From The Past”
Written by Dani on May 17, 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 58 Escape From The Past!
The group battles the terrifying flesh and tentacled creature, known as a Hatemonger. Imogen accidentally falls backwards down the stairs and casts lightning bolt, which catches the tower wall on fire. Fearne is knocked unconscious and consumed by the Hatemonger, but F.R.I.D.A. manages to pull her out of its stomach. Healing from Deanna brings Fearne back to half health.
As the flames spread, the creature attempts to find a form, drawing inspiration from everything and everyone around it. Deanna casts a death ward on Chetney, which he notices. The Hatemonger goes down the stairs and consumes Imogen, but she is quickly rescued by Fearne, who kills the creature with a ferocious burning hands.
Meanwhile, FCG commands the magical circle on the wall to open. It does, and they reach inside to grab a hidden satchel. The fire spreads, but Chetney and F.R.I.D.A. confirm that the room is devoid of anything else they could use. However, the Hatemonger is not finished with them. A vaguely humanoid figure with thorny bark skin emerges from the creature’s remains.
WHAT’S IN THE BAG
Imogen holds the creature at bay with telekinesis and, once everyone has fled out of the tower, FCG casts stoneshape and blocks off the balcony door, sealing it inside. The group climbs down the tower, but F.R.I.D.A. falls, alerting the Wolf-King to their presence. They flee into the Savalirwood, guided by Imogen, and lose the Wolf-King, but now they must contend with the cursed woods.
They find a safe thicket of brambles in the woods to rest within and inspect the satchel they stole from the tower. The satchel is a bag of holding, which can magically store many items. They find numerous pages of notes by Ludinus, as well as coins, gems, a staff, a vest harness, and a wooden rod. The staff is a Staff of Dark Odyssey, which can cast teleport – they’ve found transportation!
Deanna casts detect magic and sees writing appear on the blank pages. She reads it aloud and F.R.I.D.A. records her. There are three batches of notes. The first batch discusses experiments that attempt to distill the nature of divinity down to an energy that could be replicated or destroyed. There are also sketches of a blueprint for the harness, with unfamiliar arcane glyphs.
This harness was an attempt at a synthetic recreation of the natural magic that sustains the “warden of the wilds”. There are notes about the fey of Wildemount – including locations, eight of which have been crossed off, and a phrase about “feeding the root”, as well as plans to expand his restoration sources into the Fey Realm. It seems this harness was powered by fey entities and is likely the secret to Ludinus’ long life.
The second batch of notes contains Ludinus’ studies of Ruidus, specifically how religious scripture and the temples fear the moon and demand that the people look away, rather than teaching them about its evils. There are observations of the flares and remarks on the Ruidusborn, including his own desire to have been born under the red moon out of spite.
Ludinus writes of his plans to use a communion ritual during a flare to understand what lies within Ruidus. There are notes on forgotten gods, divine unraveling, and an ancient primordial that wasn’t destroyed in the Founding. The Emerald Cross priests attempted to undermine his research, but he made contact with something. Communication is still beyond his abilities, but he will find a way to break through.
The third batch details the slowly expanding nature of the arcane crystals of the Power Well beneath Molaesmyr. Aramond theorizes that the Well is a gift from the deity the Arch Heart, while Ezradan believes that the Well fell from one of the floating cities of the Age of Arcanum.
Ludinus was focused on making adjustments to Aramond’s tunnels and harnessing the power of the Well. He planned to secretly focus the Well through his design while Ruidus was above during a solstice. He hoped that a channel of consciousness would open and that whatever was seeking his attention from Ruidus would communicate.
The group realizes that this is evidence that Ludinus likely caused the fall of Molaesmyr. They wonder who to show the notes to, but they aren’t even sure they can truly trust the King and Queen of Uthodurn. There is no clear answer on where to go next.
AEORIAN MIND MELD
F.R.I.D.A. is still bothered by the feeling they got within the Gildhollow Tower, so FCG and Imogen prepare to mind meld with them. First, F.R.I.D.A. gives FCG a present – hoodies that bear a heart that contains the word ‘Aeormaton’. The mind meld begins and F.R.I.D.A., FCG, and Imogen find themselves in a waiting room with two doors.
When F.R.I.D.A. opens the door, they are pulled down an energy river of memories. They see D rousing F.R.I.D.A. from their stasis, survival in the wilderness, wandering unfamiliar streets, and they feel F.R.I.D.A.’s protective energy with children. F.R.I.D.A. tries to find another memory and feels their first headache. A white light emerges from them and they see a flash of warfare.
This battle is occurring in a stone hallway. F.R.I.D.A. is a warrior, cutting down enemies dressed the same as their comrades. F.R.I.D.A. realizes that their past self is hurting friends, sadly defending a stronghold from an enemy within. The path behind them leads to a massive chamber that holds an immense mechanical and arcane contraption. There are dozens of mages here, focused on the machine. A voice shouts out to protect the factorum, the room vibrates – then all goes to white.
F.R.I.D.A., Imogen, and FCG wake up from the memory. They discuss what they saw with the others and Chetney recalls the Factorum Malleus, the god-killing weapon from Aeor. F.R.I.D.A. realizes they were there when Aeor was destroyed. That D had to repair their body from utter ruin. F.R.I.D.A. still feels like they missed something from the vision, their itch unsatisfied. They’re also unsettled by what they saw, the people they hurt, all to protect a machine.
The group tries to cheer F.R.I.D.A. up by reminding them of the good they’ve done. F.R.I.D.A. does not return Deanna’s hug, but is touched by a gift from Chetney: a wooden robot. Chetney reminds F.R.I.D.A. that they are a protector. F.R.I.D.A. decides that the past doesn’t matter as much as what comes next. This fight is now Deanna and F.R.I.D.A.’s fight and they want to return to Marquet with the others.
DEANNA AND CHETNEY (AND FEARNE)
Deanna walks away, emotional. Chetney joins her and she explains that she is worried she is being left behind again, since F.R.I.D.A. seems to be moving on. She wonders if she should go back to Uthodurn but Chetney assures her that she has been helpful. He asks about the death ward she cast on him and she explains that he is important to her and she doesn’t want anything bad to happen to him.
Chetney made a gift for Deanna – a wooden shell, a reminder of their time on the Menagerie Coast. He never forgot her and the bright spot she was in his life. He loves that she had a family, but now she can do whatever she wants. She has a place with him and their friends and her future is bright. Deanna mentions that she finds his werewolf self attractive, so Chetney wolfs out and chases her. Deanna calls out to Fearne, who joins them for a night in the woods.
WHAT A GOD WANTS
In the morning, everyone discusses where they should teleport, with Jrusar and Whitestone as the top options. FCG casts commune to ask the Changebringer. He finds himself at a crossroads surrounded by infinite paths, with the Changebringer in the distance. The goddess confirms that their friends are alive and there is a chance to find them in Jrusar. FCG asks if he will know F.R.I.D.A. for a long time; she cannot say, because the future is not set.
Suddenly, the figure rushes FCG and towers in front of him. She tells him that a terrible fate looms as an alien malice menaces the sky of Marquet. If FCG wishes to show their faith, then rise to this call. Change is coming but hope remains in him. He must traverse the path she alights and if he turns away, shadow awaits. The red end stirs in its slumber – do not let it wake.
At the same time, Deanna suddenly falls asleep. The Dawnfather encompasses the sky within her vision. He tells her that mortal arrogance has made a union with a forbidden scourge and commands her to strike at those who seek to snuff out their light. If she forsakes her gifts, she will be abandoned. Faith needs neither logic nor truth but unerring conviction. The red end stirs in its slumber. Do not let it wake.
FCG and Deanna describe their visions to their friends, explaining that the gods are desperate and calling in favors. Both the Changebringer and the Dawnfather felt threatening, despite FCG and Deanna both already being willing to help. FCG realizes that their coin is now a magical item. Deanna gives Chetney her Ring of Temporal Salvation, so he can have a second chance.
Deanna discovers that the wooden rod is a tuning fork to the Fey Realm for a plane shift spell. Chetney takes it and the bag of holding. He used a similar bag when he was commissioned by the Cerberus Assembly. He made them chairs that were enchanted to kill everyone and then move to the center of the room. He was kicked out of the Rexxentrum Toy Authority, though.
Imogen attunes to the staff and decides to teleport to Zhudanna’s home in Jrusar, where she lived with Laudna. She casts the spell and the group is pulled into a new space – but where? And how successfully?
That is it for Episode 58 of Critical Role!
- RTA. Rexxentrum Toy Academy. Oh Chetney.
- The gods are not messing around. What did our god worshipers in Vox Machina and the Mighty Nein hear?
- These are the locations of the fey fanes in Wildemount: Flotket Alps, Rime Plains, Savalirwood, Ashkeeper Peaks, and a northwestern island.
- That teleportation was probably fine, right? …Right?
- Deanna and Chetney and Fearne!! Deanna and Chetney and Fearne!!
- Too much lore, still processing.