Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E65 “A Path of Vengeance”
Written by Dani on July 19, 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 65 A Path of Vengeance!
Bells Hells are finally together, but Laudna is angry that Team Issylra had time to meet royalty, get new clothes, and have sex, as well as find boyfriends and new best friends. All while Team Issylra spent their time trying to return to their friends and getting betrayed. Imogen promises that not a moment went by when she wasn’t thinking of Laudna. It’s just difficult for Laudna to hear that the others had fun while they endured hell. It will take time to be okay.
Ashton wants to visit Milo and Orym wants to check on Keyleth back home in Zephrah. She can guide them on what to do next. With Imogen’s new staff, they can go to Zephrah tomorrow. Imogen explains Ludinus’ fey-eating harness and Laudna and Orym talk about Hearthdell. FCG is aghast that they attacked a temple. Combined with their sadness in saying goodbye to F.R.I.D.A. and feeling guilty about Laudna’s pain, FCG’s stress points are high.
THE KROOK HOUSE
The group splits up to find research and relaxation, with Ashton and FCG going to see the tinkerer Milo, who has been dealing with magic misbehaving due to the solstice. Their workshop is in disarray with disassembled projects that Milo has been working tirelessly on. Ashton requests an upgrade to his hammer, in preparation for his real job of saving the world. Milo will work on the hammer over the next day and a half.
FCG talks to Ashton while they grab clothes. Ashton doesn’t want to be worthless or ineffective right now. It’s time to stand up and do something. FCG is so glad that they’re finding purpose and trajectory. Ashton doesn’t like having things to lose, so he’s going to fight for them all. He is so proud that FCG has found love and thus, a reason to live. Ashton wants him to remember there is a reward at the end of this. No more self-destruction. They’re a family.
THE BREAD AISLE
Imogen and Laudna check on their landlady Zhudanna, who is happy to see them. They plan to stay with her tonight and go grocery shopping for her. While at the market, Laudna apologizes for her frustrated outburst. Imogen can’t get over not being able to hear Laudna’s thoughts due to her new circlet. Laudna tells her to just ask, as she will share them willingly. Imogen asks Laudna if she can kiss her, as she cannot tell if it’s alright or not anymore. The two kiss.
Laudna cares deeply for Imogen and was adrift without her. She is worried she’s a bad person. Imogen assures her that she is not a bad person and Laudna kisses her again. They are each other’s anchors, their tethers. Laudna explains that Bor’Dor’s betrayal broke her and she couldn’t let him live. She lost control and now she believes Delilah has returned. Laudna feels like she’s betrayed everything Bells Hells did for her.
Imogen promises that it’s not a betrayal and they will make it all right again. Part of Laudna thinks they could use Delilah and Imogen understands – her own power stems from Ruidus and she isn’t sure if she wants that to end. Maybe it is their destiny to harness it, or fight it, but either way, they’ll do it together.
PROPAGANDA AND FASHION
There is a sudden commotion in the market, with people gathered around a fountain. Above it floats an illusion of Ludinus giving a speech about rising above the laws of the gods. Two Wardens arrive and fish out a crystal sphere from the fountain; they smash it, ending the illusion. This is not the first occurrence of these illusions and people are growing more anxious while some are taking in his words.
Laudna and Imogen then shop for Laudna’s new dress. Her corset is black with embroidered flowers so Laudna gets a dark purple, off the shoulder dress with a high lace collar. Imogen gives her the Weavepiercer Gloves, which are a spellcasting focus. Laudna uses her belt, the same one Delilah dressed her in for the Sun Tree, to fashion her dollhouse into a backpack.
Fearne, Orym, and Chetney go to Dayal Hall to speak with their friend Ajit Dayal, who has been busy keeping the children of his school safe. He tells them that people are scared and the Quorum has been assuring everyone that things are under control, despite the foreign armies heading into the Hellcatch Valley. They’ve been allying with numerous foreign figures and meeting with J’mon Sa Ord, the leader of Ank’Harel, and the Stratos Throne.
Doomsayers are calling this the second Calamity, while others are spreading rumors that this was orchestrated by the Stratos Throne. Many local enchantments and automatons are broken, so wealthier services like the brumeskippers are being utilized. Some magically-held prisoners have escaped, like Levtonia, the Ivory Syndicate’s leader. The Prakash Pyre, the Dawnfather temple, has not lit its flame. Ajit is expecting a rise in violence with so much confusion.
They speak with Ajit’s mentor, Daramon, but even his ancient knowledge cannot identify Ludinus’ harness. They confirm that Ajit did not hear Ludinus speaking during the solstice, so it seems that his speech was only heard by those in proximity to the leyline nexus points. Fearne is interested in seeing the Duskmaven temple, so Ajit directs them to the Smolder Spire.
On the way to the temple, a distractingly delicious scent catches Chetney’s nose and he races after the smell, unable to control himself. He finds it emanating from a bag held by a scarred dwarven bounty hunter who tosses the pouch at Chetney and ensnares him within a silver net. Luckily, Fearne and Orym followed close behind. The bounty hunter tells Fearne it’s only business, but Chetney is Fearne’s business and she is done losing people.
Fearne and Orym attack, with Orym demanding an explanation. Some folks want this beast taken care of and have put money on his head. The bounty hunter tells Chetney that Tuyen sends her regards – Tuyen Otwana being the shopkeeper of the Prism Emporium that Chetney attacked. Fearne uses Mister to teleport Chetney out of the net. Chetney goes invisible, causing the bounty hunter to lose track of him. He casts misty step, saying he’ll see them again.
They cautiously head to the Duskmaven temple, with Chetney still invisible. They enter the temple and speak to a priest about their questions of faith and fate. The priest tells them fate’s skein is tangled and they are all afraid. The gods are doing what they can to survive, like everyone. If there is a way through this, the Duskmaven and the gods will see them all through.
The priest can feel the Duskmaven in a different way. She is vulnerable, but she was once human, so maybe that vulnerability is unique to her. The priest asks what they seek here – answers on what to do next. The Duskmaven may not have those answers, but the priest invites them to drink the waters. They are led to a waterfall, where all three drink. They meditate for a few minutes, then find themselves alone.
They get up to leave, but the doors fly open. The sky is deep red above the excavation site and a lonely black tower fires a red beam into the sky. There is a singular black orb in that beam and an endless scream emanates from it and echoes throughout Exandria. The doors close, appearing as a white mask. They come out of their vision and the priest explains that the Duskmaven’s followers are in mourning for one of their own. Chetney asks how they can help in this fight: faith.
All three groups reconvene at the Spire By Fire. Everyone is updated on their experiences. They don’t know who is trapped within the black orb. Orym only knows that the Matron’s champion is tied to Keyleth, but no details. They need to talk to Keyleth and learn how Ludinus knew that man would come. They’re confused as to how faith will help them. The only faithful in their group is FCG.
Much of the party is on the fence regarding the gods. They talk about the gods and the various ways they’ve been absent in their lives. Ashton in particular feels deeply abandoned. They prayed to the gods, all of them, at various times in their painful life and the only time one interacted was attempting to kill them in Hearthdell. Ashton is here to save people. Talking to a pile of earth meant more to him than anything else.
Orym says that history is littered with stories of the gods and their positive influence. Some of the gods are undoubtedly bad. But no one is going to wipe out the world because some of the gods aren’t great. A lot of them are good and are still doing good. This is a nuanced conversation. Laudna’s faith is in her friends, in Exandria and maybe the eidolons. Can they do this when they all have different opinions? Chetney knows they can.
MOON’S EXTRA HAUNTED
Fearne and FCG attempt to scry on Ludinus and Liliana. Fearne is blocked from Ludinus, but FCG connects with Liliana. He sees her and Ludinus walking down a street in a heavy red dust storm – they’re on Ruidus! The group sleeps for the night, but Imogen doesn’t get enough charges back on the staff, so they have to wait one more day.
FCG casts identify on Ludinus’ harness. It doesn’t function, but it takes the essence of certain magic and funnels it to a spot on the wearer’s body – specifically, between the shoulder blades at the base of the neck. Maybe this is a weak spot on Ludinus or a left-behind prototype. Ashton picks up his hammer from Milo: it has been upgraded with the immovable rod in the handle and the prismatic glass in the base. Ashton has faith in chaos.
Imogen attempts to message Ira Wendegoth, but fails. FCG and Fearne both scry on him and Fearne gets through. She sees that Ira is also on Ruidus, pushing through an even stronger storm. He steps inside an alcove and is greeted by an armored Reilora. This Reilora is not ethereal and recognizes Ira. The two communicate mentally and the Reilora leads Ira inside.
Bells Hells take another long rest and charge the staff. Imogen uses Orym’s shield as a focus and they successfully arrive in the Air Ashari village of Zephrah within the Summit Peaks in Tal’Dorei. Welcome home, Orym.
That is it for Episode 65 of Critical Role!
- IMOGEN AND LAUDNA KISSED, Y’ALL!!!
- Vax?! Vax’ildan, brother of Vex’ahlia, lover of Keyleth, member of Vox Machina is SCREAMING INSIDE THE ORB?! Go get him!!!! De-orb him now!!!
- These people are on the ding dang moon!!
- Meanwhile I’m over here still celebrating the beauty of smooches in the marketplace.