Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E75 “An Ancient Flame”
Written by Dani on October 18, 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 75 An Ancient Flame!
HOLES UPON HOLES
Bells Hells climb up to the solitary cave entrance in the mountain side of Athos Peak, bracing against the cold and snow. The cavern, however, is warm within the mountain. They follow the passage and eventually reach the end, unable to continue forward. Orym discovers a hole in the wall that is corked with a charred skull.
This hole leads to a narrow tunnel which the group attempts to descend. Orym enters first, with FCG and Imogen behind him and Fearne following as a bat. Imogen gets stuck and manages to unlace her boot enough to get her foot free. She catches up to FCG, who falls on top of Orym. The two fall 20 ft into a cylindrical chamber, finding broken bones and melted coins, with one surviving ring. FCG casts detect magic, sensing magic below them.
FCG opens a hole in the ground, discovering a lava pool directly below them. Small and orange impish creatures known as vulcan imps are moving around near the pool. Meanwhile, the others catch up to them when Ashton carves into the tunnel, making the narrow passage wide enough for everyone to travel through more easily. When they meet back up on the ground, Ashton attempts to do the same thing to the hole in the floor, but this causes the entire floor to collapse beneath them.
INTO THE FLAME
Imogen casts fly, catching the falling folks, and the group lands safely on the side of the pool. FCG casts tongues on Fearne, who drops her bat form to communicate with the vulcan imps. While chatting with them, one of the imps crumbles into stone — that was the elder. The imps recognize the name Rau’shan, though, referring to him as the creator. It seems that the spark created the imps and resides within the lava pool itself.
Ashton decides to enter the lava. He flies, thanks to Imogen’s spell, and goes into a rage as the roiling within the pool begins to calm. They fly straight down into the pool, pushing through the heat and flame. Ashton finds the shard, but it refuses to move from its plinth.
Fearne casts fire shield on herself and jumps into the lava, joining Ashton. She uses her Stonkey’s Ring to telekinetically pull on the shard, which gives Ashton the ability to free it. He recalls Evontra’vir’s words about following a fated path and knows that the two of them, wildfire and stone, were meant to be here.
Ashton and Fearne fly out of the lava, Fearne holding onto them and Ashton holding onto the spark. Ashton’s entire body is heated to an orange hue from the lava. As they land on the shore, all the vulcan imps crumble to stone. As the glow from his body begins to fade, the cracks in Ashton’s body have healed a little, connecting more closely to the golden lines. They discuss who should take the shard, reminding Ashton that Evontra’vir warned against him taking this second burden. Ashton thinks it feels like a key and can sense it looking for its vessel.
Imogen telekinetically holds the spark out so that no one takes fire damage by touching it. Chetney uses Grim Psychometry, sensing the overwhelming power and taking on the perspective of Rau’shan. The feeling of his partner, seeing a mountain reformed and destroyed, a light engulfing them as they reach for each other and are sundered into pieces. One piece – this shard – punches into a mountain. Ashton doesn’t think this shard is truly for him. Maybe it’s meant for Fearne. Wildfire is her own magic, after all.
Laudna realizes that they need the harness of Ludinus Da’leth in order to transfer the shard’s essence into a person. That makes their next destination Whitestone, where they sent the tinkerers to work with Lord Percival de Rolo. Suddenly, Orym notices a flash of light on the other side of the chamber. Five figures land, wearing raiments of the Ruby Vanguard. Two of them are Reilorans, one large and muscular and the other thin and robed. The fifth figure is Ludinus himself, wearing a white opal gem in his forehead.
Bells Hells do not give Ludinus a chance to talk. Imogen telekinetically shoots lava at the intruders and a fight quickly ensues. They utilize the lava pool to great benefit, killing most of the lackeys within the lava itself. Orym unleashes an impressive string of attacks on the Juggernaut Reilora, killing the moon alien. Chetney puts the spark in the bag of holding and goes invisible.
Ludinus claims that he came here to extend an olive branch and recognizes his former staff. He decides to take Fearne hostage, casting hold person on her and telekinetically pulling her over the lava to his side. He thinks it’s good they’ve been digging through history, since history holds truth. Soon they will see that the Ruby Vanguard is right. Fearne tells him she is willing to talk to him. He would rather find a new place to converse. He is curious about their similar paths, considering their location and patrons – seemingly referring to the primordials and Ashton.
Imogen casts a spell and causes enough lightning damage on Ludinus for him to release Fearne. He wants to teach them a lesson and begins to cast a ninth level spell, but Laudna manages to counterspell it as the group feels an alien hand reach into their minds. That hand recedes as his spell fails. Ludinus, however, is happy to have at least gained information. He falls into the lava, where his flesh melts into a pile of snow, which turns to steam.
Clearly this Ludinus was not real, but his mind was there. The group is unsure what kind of creature he was, but the point is that they’re in danger if they stay here. Fearne manages to snag the cracked white opal from the lava, keeping it. They loot the body of Ludinus’ guard and take Ludinus’ robe. FCG focuses on the Sun Tree in Whitestone and casts teleport, using Ludinus’ own former staff to take them, hopefully, to safety.
That is it for Episode 75 of Critical Role!
- Ashton and Fearne in that lava pool made me SO emotional. I’m so glad she was there to help them!
- Is the spark of Rau’shan meant for Fearne? For Ashton? Are both answers correct? Or is it meant for someone completely different?
- Ludinus what the heck, man, we were having a great moment in the lava and then this jerk had to ruin it. You didn’t even give Bells Hells the honor of showing up in person! Rude.
- To Whitestone!!!