Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E72 “Phantasmal Parley”

Written by on September 20, 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 72 Phantasmal Parley!


Bells Hells stand on the shore of the island of Slival within the Shattered Teeth and examine the lost compass of the Dread Captain Urlu Novos. The compass points in only one direction, tuned to a specific location to the southeast. Chetney has whittled a wooden replica of the compass. They decide to first cast speak with dead on the Paragon’s Call bodies within the portable hole – the druid and General Ratanish.

Imogen fixes her hair to resemble her mother and FCG casts speak with dead on the druid. They learn that Otohan Thull has stayed at the Malleus Key in the excavation site and over a hundred Reilora have come down from Ruidus. They also learn that the Ruby Vanguard wants to keep everyone scattered, as outside unity is their greatest threat. Next, the group casts the spell on General Ratanish, with Imogen still posing as her mother.

They learn that the Ruby Vanguard has been communicating “the old-fashioned way” due to the solstice and that the entrances are protected with soldiers and the watchful eyes of the Reilora. The secret entrances were closed as a precaution. Fearne realizes that Ratanish has begun to realize that he’s being deceived. Imogen telekinetically rips off his head and asks what happened to the monk and the wizard, Beau and Caleb. He tells her they are probably dead and the spell ends, his corpse expiring.


Ashton disposes of the bodies and Chetney places the compass in the water to call on the ghost ship. The temperature drops as mist emanates from the sea and a silent ship appears from the shadows. The captain on deck gives them no time to attempt to parley, immediately sending numerous skeleton crew members to kill them and retrieve the compass. A whirlpool opens in the water, making the waves more dangerous.

Laudna explodes the skeletons with a fireball and calls out to Captain Novos in Shadow Cant, asking for a deal. He agrees to speak with Laudna alone, but the others are expendable, so the fight continues as Laudna makes her way to the ship. The skeletons get back up and continue attacking, so FCG casts turn undead, which also affects Laudna and forces her to run into the ocean. Ashton knocks her out of it, but Laudna is frustrated and sure the gods hate her; FCG admonishingly tells her to respect the gods.

Orym, Chetney, and Laudna head for the ship itself while the others keep the pirates busy. FCG is knocked unconscious by the sniper in the crow’s nest and Fearne heals him, though she is mad at him for the spell on Laudna so only heals him a little. Fearne is knocked into a whirlpool and FCG is knocked out again, so Fearne uses Mister’s teleportation to get to safety and cure them once more, saving them from death and cursing Exandria’s system of a guilty conscience.


Laudna finally reaches the captain and engages with him in a parley. She understands that he is cursed, like she is, but he tells her that he chose this curse. The Strife Emperor gave him renewed fury. Novos will need something tangible beyond returning his compass. She offers him Chetney’s new sword, Graz’tchar. It’s cursed, too. Laudna claims it would grant him the same radiant abilities that he saw displayed below.

Novos demands to see the sword and Chetney arrives, showing him Graz’tchar. They are simply requesting passage to Kalutha. Novos wants the compass and the sword in exchange for letting them all live and taking them to the island. Laudna doesn’t trust him, but Novos says he will take the sword now, the compass after. She agrees and Chetney reluctantly gives the blade to the skeleton captain.

The deal is accepted and the skeletons lose their aggression, returning to the ship with Bells Hells following. Novos introduces the crew: First Mate Woedders, Navigator Cyrillia, and the rest – Jamal, Odo, Peters, Bruda, Vendallo, the Whitts Twins, Carmilla, Sanjay, and… Keith? Nope, that one is Kyle and he has been here for a hundred years. Novos demands the compass now, which frustrates Laudna, but Chetney hands it over after Novos swears he will see them safely to Kalutha. When a deal is made, he is bound to his word.


Captain Novos welcomes them to the Crimson Abyss. They will have three days of travel on a ghost ship. He allows them to wander the ship, but Captain’s quarters are off limits. Novos has no problem being undead and his focus on recovering his lost items is absolute. Imogen assumes that finding their items will free them from the Strife Emperor, a Betrayer God specializing in tyranny and conquest, but Novos sends them away without answering.

FCG takes a moment to identify the boots they took from Ratanish – they are boots of speed. Ashton and Chetney both want them, so Ashton trades the boots for the Temporal Salvation ring that Chetney received from Deanna. Ashton then goes to the crow’s nest and chats with Cyrillia, a fire genasi skeleton. He attempts to bond with her over them both only having one eye. She lost hers to prove a point: she doesn’t need both to be the best navigator.

They talk about using anger as fuel and Ashton asks if Cyrillia has ever had a good thing that someone took from her. She glances down at the ship, then covers for herself. Ashton asks if anyone else can see past the fog, but it is only Cyrillia. She is the only one who knows about Ruidus disappearing from the night sky. They tell her that things are changing and no one knows what will happen, so Ashton suggests she think about what she has and what it is worth.


Below deck, the temperature is freezing, but the skeleton pirates are playing games, betting with buttons and pebbles. Sanjay is playing the violin and Orym requests Beads of Love by Scanlan Shorthalt. Sanjay has beautiful carved tattoos along their skull, etched by Vendallo. They ask about Novos and the pirates claim that the captain is generous and always shares whatever they take, as long as it’s not one of his sought items.

The skeletons are clearly lonely and intrigued by the guests. Imogen teaches them how to play Rollies and, upon losing, tells one pirate that she is dating Laudna. The skeletons are entranced by Rollies and the game spreads, to Bells Hells’ delight. Gambling chaos ensues on this first day of a three day journey.

That is it for Episode 72 of Critical Role!


  • Holy heck, is Ashton trying to start a ghost mutiny?
  • Fare thee well Graz’tchar. Never threaten Keyleth of the Air Ashari ever again.
  • FCG, please stop Turning Undead on Laudna, it’s not very nice.
  • Sailing the Shattered Teeth with a GHOOOOOST SHIIIIIIP!!!!!!!!

Catch Episode 73 on Thursday, September 21st at 7pm Pacific on and on or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday yet?

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