Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E73 “Kindling the Spirits”
Written by Dani on October 4, 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 73 Kindling the Spirits!
LIFE AT SEA
Bells Hells continue their journey aboard the ghost ship the Crimson Abyss, cutting through the misty waters to the island of Kalutha within the Shattered Teeth. FCG and Fearne attempt to scry on Caleb and Beau, but their attempts are rebuffed. FCG does successfully scry on D, learning that the automaton peddler is still within the Menagerie Coast. Laudna is interested in having FCG attempt to scry on Delilah one day, curious as to what he might see.
Ashton convinces crewmate Vendallo to tattoo them, carving a tattoo on their back that reads ‘from the earth, of the earth, to the earth’ in Primordial. Orym suggests that they all get tattoos, to commemorate being on a ghost ship and as a symbol of their family. The group settles on a flaming bell, tattooed on them all by Vendallo using Chetney’s ink. Ashton is also interested in starting a mutiny or at least convincing the pirates to talk to the captain about their curse.
Laudna finally reveals to everyone that she can hear Delilah in her head once again and that the attack she used upon killing Bor’Dor may have helped wake her up. Ever since Delilah destroyed Imogen’s crystal, Laudna has had an ability to pull the souls or the life force from people. That ability, hunger of the shadow, seems to feed Delilah somehow. She tries not to use it and FCG wonders if she should embrace that power.
Kyle, one of the meeker ghost skeletons, overhears their conversation and tells Laudna that he once struggled with alcohol addiction. He explains that he had to live with it and rely on others to help him. Chetney asks about the captain, whom Kyle respects, and Fearne asks if he gets frustrated when the other pirates forget his name. He says it’s fine and returns to cleaning, but Fearne catches Kyle’s loneliness and kindness. Maybe they’ll make him a name tag.
Laudna argues that making Delilah stronger makes Laudna stronger. They all question what happens if Delilah herself gets stronger – would she fully take over Laudna? Ashton doesn’t think any of this fighting is worth it if they lose someone. He believes in sacrifices, not casualties. Fearne is sure they will all get out of this together. Orym states that he will not stand by and let Laudna be taken and Imogen wants Laudna, not Delilah, by their side in this fight.
FCG attempts to scry on Delilah, but the spell unravels the moment it reaches out. He decides to cast shared dream on Laudna, while Imogen casts detect thoughts. Imogen is unable to sense another consciousness beyond Laudna’s. FCG sees Laudna walking through a field of purple orchids, following the shadow of a woman before the daydream fades.
Fearne goes snooping by the locked doors to the captain’s quarters and is caught by Captain Novos. She claims to just want to sleep in his room, since he has a bed. He tells her she can rest when the moon is up. Privately, Cyrillia the navigator angrily warns Fearne to not sleep with the captain. True to his word, Captain Novos lets Fearne know when the moon is up and allows her to sleep in his bed.
However, Captain Novos refuses to leave Fearne alone in the chamber. He has no need to sleep, so Fearne has no opportunity to get up and look around. They talk about the sword, Graz’tchar, with Fearne claiming that the sword was meant for her. He lets her hold it to say goodbye and Fearne hears the voice within, telling her she has been chosen due to her great power. She reluctantly returns the blade to the captain.
Novos eventually spoons with her on the other side of the bed, sharing her warmth with her arms around him. Fearne willingly relinquishes some of her inner warmth, permanently dropping her hit points by five and receiving a secret boon in turn. But the long dead captain has some color returned to his bones and is grateful for her sharing her warmth, as well as the cuddle.
Fearne leaves the captain’s quarters and is once more accosted by Cyrillia, who confronts her over spooning with the captain. Cyrillia claims that he is her charge and she protects him, but Fearne can tell that Cyrillia has feelings for him. Fearne claims that he only spoke of Cyrillia and has been hoping she would knock on his door. Cyrillia just needs confidence. Meanwhile, Orym sneaks into the crow’s nest and steals Cyrillia’s spyglass.
The group rests for the night and when they wake up, Fearne sees Novos staring at her. He tells her they’ve almost arrived at Kalutha and asks her to share more of her warmth. She refuses and when he leaves, she and Imogen encourage Cyrillia to go to him. Cyrillia, as a fire genasi, has a warmth all her own that she can share.
Cyrillia is convinced by their confidence in her and goes to the captain. She tells him she has heard he’s looking for warmth and that they need to stop dancing around each other. They go into his quarters together. The crew rush to the doors to listen in, while steam pours out like a sauna. When Cyrillia and the captain eventually leave, they both have confidence in their steps and in the now purple flame that lights them both from within.
Laudna decides to throw a party for the crew, as everyone is pleased to have been effective in bringing the ghostly pirates some joy. The entire experience has raised Bells Hells’ spirits and even Novos confesses that he has enjoyed having them aboard. Chetney offers to keep a lookout for any of the Captain’s other lost items and is given a list of some of the few that the group could potentially find.
Bells Hells decorate the deck of the ship, going all out with music, rollies, face painting, limbo, and even drugged brownies from FCG that the skeletons pretend to partake in. There is dancing and revelry amongst the cursed pirates of the Crimson Abyss. When land is spotted, Novos pauses the party to threaten everyone, ensuring that they will never speak of the fun they had on the ship and only discuss how terrified they were the whole time. The group agrees.
INTO THE UNKNOWN
The Crimson Abyss arrives on the shores of Kalutha, allowing Bells Hells to hop into the water before the ship and its crew disappear back into the mist. They make it to the black pebbled beach, where Ashton meditates. There is something oddly familiar to them. This is the right place. Laudna sends Pâté to investigate the cliff face caverns, where he finds climbing elements and a topmost cavern that enters into the jungle.
Ashton enters a lower cavern, speaking out in Primordial that he’s here. They find a previous encampment, but nothing else beyond a few tools. The group endures a difficult climb up to the higher cavern and Chetney investigates deeper within, guided by a citrus smell. He stumbles upon a massive wormlike creature with a thick hide, two heads, and no eyes, known as a basalt caecilian.
Chetney uses the Horn of Silent Alarm to alert Imogen and draw Bells Hells to his aid. Chetney tries to silently turn into a werewolf while invisible, but the noise still attracts the attention of the basalt caecilian. A fight breaks out with the group and the worm, with Ashton getting the final blow via his portal chaos burst. With the creature dead, they investigate the chamber itself, finding a floor of bone and a nest with weapons.
One of these weapons is a longsword of an interesting texture. Orym recalls that this is woe steel, an alloyed metal that was created in the destruction of Domunas. It is found only in the Shattered Teeth and is considered sacred to the Ossended Host, one of the factions of the islands. There is also a breastplate made of the same material and a woe steel charm encasing a red stone, carved with the words of an unknown language.
This is a Raito Charm, a relic of deep personal importance to the Aishio culture, a subfaction of the Ossended Host. It is magically protective in some way and is only attunable to one person. Chetney uses Grim Psychometry and sees an older man wearing the charm and leading a hunting party that is attacked by the basalt caecilian.
Bells Hells leave the cavern and head into the jungle, where they spot the three mountains that, somewhere within, hold the Great Tree of Atrophy and the answers they seek.
That is it for Episode 73 of Critical Role!
- Poor Pâté didn’t spot the worm baddie and upset his second mother, Imogen. Poor guy, it’s not his fault he doesn’t have eyes.
- I! Love! Matchmaker! Fearne! I need to know every detail of the love lives of these ghost pirates!!
- One of these days, Fearne, Jester, and Grog are going to hang out. And when they do, they’ll either save Exandria or destroy it. I can’t wait.
- Bells Hells have leveled up! Let’s go, Level 11!