Critical Recap – Critical Role C3E7 “Behind the Curtain”
Written by Dani on December 15, 2021
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 7 Behind the Curtain!
The group takes in the acrobatic performance of Kendra’s Flying Lauders, who chant as they perform. The act ends abruptly when one of the performers falls, causing the owner of the theater, Stuvan Idrio, to come out and announce the end of the day’s showing. After failing to convince an usher that they’re VIPs, Laudna makes a ‘fire in the crowded theatre’ distraction so that the group can sneak backstage. They run directly into Stuvan and FCG convinces him that they can heal the injured performer. Stuvan is more interested in the fact that they purchased box seats.
FCG heals the performer, to the appreciation of the Lauder matriarch, Kendra. The Lauders have not heard any rumors about disappearances – they’re a traveling show that’s only been in town for a week. Stuvan denies the rumors in front of the acrobats, but brings the group to his office to discuss it further. They convince Stuvan that they are just here to help, so he reveals what he knows: the first to go missing was the janitor, Usha Brec. Then Sino, a performer from the Diamond Masque, also vanished. Two patrons, Emir Lioto and Eden Callswell, vanished the same night; then Yaden, an occasional patron; and lastly, Lidney Oseddala, a bartender. Six people over three weeks have all disappeared.
Stuvan gives the group access to the theater to look around and question his employees about the missing. He employs two others – Tefta, a female gnome bookkeeper, and Ocampo, a male human stage manager. Meanwhile, Orym and Laudna spot a cloaked individual they assume to be from the Corsairs lurking in the back of the theater. They try to follow them, but the individual disappears on the streets outside the theater. The two join back up with the rest of the group as they all head to speak with Ocampo.
Ocampo the stage manager (and former orator) tells them a little bit about Usha and Lidney. Usha was kind and good at his job – he kept both the inside and the outside of the theater clean. Lidney kept to herself mainly and would take smoke breaks. Ocampo takes them downstairs to the storage room, which is filled with costumes and crates and props and set pieces. There are no shade creeper holes in the walls, or any other entrances or exits. Fearne steals a lace dress, but there is nothing else of interest in the basement.
They examine the stage and the green room before going to see Tefta, a very flirtatious and intimidatingly gossipy gnome. She tells them more about the missing patrons. Emir and Eden were having an affair together and would come to the theater to sneak off for a rendezvous during intermissions. Sino was a drunk who had a very public falling out with his troupe before he left in anger. Yaden was caught selling keeper dust, a type of snuff, to patrons and was asked to take his business off the premises. Lidney was quiet, a smoker who wanted to be a performer but was a dutiful bartender.
The group notices that all were loners, and Orym notes that every person had a reason to step outside during a performance. Tefta tells them of an alley that runs around the building. They split up to search the rest of the theater. Ashton and Laudna check out the restrooms – they are ordinary restrooms. FCG and Fearne check the box seats, finding a scratched message on the railing that says ‘outside’ – likely placed by either Emir or Eden. Dorian investigates the small orchestra pit and Orym checks the rafters and the roof, both finding nothing.
Imogen inspects the alley behind the theater, finding a smaller, surprisingly clean alley to the side. When Imogen opens her mind, she senses a presence, but it’s very fuzzy and unusual. She stops and waits for the others, not wanting to go further without Laudna. When the others catch up, FCG’s detect thoughts also picks up on the staticky presence. As they all move deeper into the alley, part of the wall comes to life with eyes and tendrils and attacks!
The enchanted wall is a false wall, as there is more alley stretching behind it. The wall spits acid and tries to grapple and eat the various party members, nearly succeeding at its endeavor before Dorian manages to kill it with a chromatic orb energy blast from the diamond in his chest armor. Ashton is now fully convinced that there is an inanimate object conspiracy. The deceased wall spat up bones and items, which FCG rifles through to see if there is anything there to identify the bodies. It’s pretty clear that the missing people were all eaten by the wall.
Ocampo, a few Wilders wardens, Stuvan, and the ticket taker Evaan all join after hearing the ruckus. The party explains what happened, though the Wilders still seem set on placing the blame on Stuvan. Evaan remembers some general street repair in the alley a few weeks ago. The Wilders inform them all that construction work is usually overseen by the Treshi House Mason’s Guild. The repairs took place around the time of the first disappearance. Stuvan tells the Wilders to do their own investigation and takes the party back to his office.
A NEW PLAYER HAS ENTERED
Stuvan thanks the group for their help and asks them to speak highly of the theater and not let the Wilders blame him for what happened. He offers them a small chest filled with gold and platinum. Laudna and Fearne also convince him to gift them all box seat season tickets. They return to the alley to see the Wardens trying to investigate the crime scene. There is no fresh masonry – the only new brick is the creature itself. Fearne takes a few of its teeth and Imogen notices strange half-orb devices attached to the creature. She takes one before they leave the scene of the crime.
As they walk away, Orym and Imogen spot a figure at the end of the alleyway – someone Orym’s size, cloaked and waiting. Imogen chats with the person in their mind and Travis Willingham rejoins the table! This is Chetney Pock O’Pea (he/him), a muscular and elderly gnome with woodworking tools. Chetney is new to Marquet. He saw them fight that wall monster and is hoping they could help him find his friend. The group will take him for a drink at the Spire by Fire and hear him out.
That is it for Episode 7 of Critical Role!
- Holy shit y’all, welcome back Travis Willingham and welcome to the Group With No Name, Chetney Pock O’Pea!
- Chetney, of course, is completely different from Chutney, Travis’ gnome character in the Christmas one-shot. Santa is not Exandria canon.
- I agree with Ashton. There is definitely an inanimate object conspiracy going on.
- I’m looking forward to them coming back and seeing more of the shows at the Dreamscape Theater. More theatre kid episodes, please.