Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E78 “Fractures”
Written by Dani on December 6, 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 78 Fractures!
Bells Hells are stunned by Ashton’s near-death experience due to taking the fire shard. Fearne explains that she and Ashton talked and she didn’t want the shard – it scared her. Fearne takes Ashton’s hammer, hitting them in the face. She screams and slams the hammer into the ground repeatedly, attempting to break it. FCG stops her, wanting everyone to talk this out, but Fearne takes the harness and leaves, with Chetney following.
Laudna feels betrayed and can feel Delilah’s influence growing stronger. Imogen casts detect thoughts on Ashton and hears him having an epiphany about projecting responsibility and how it only took him one week to repeat the mistakes of the Hishari. Ashton was desperate to have something that they lost in order to be mad at someone else.
Ashton feels the power and the pain in his chest. He vomits out the reformed shard of Rau’shan, his body having rejected it. Their Constitution is reduced by 2 points, the result of the shard exacting its price. Their new arm is made of stone and resembles that of an earth elemental. Delilah urges Laudna to take the shard but Imogen’s encouragement helps Laudna walk away.
Imogen and FCG stay with Ashton. Why did Ashton do this? Imogen guesses stupidity and FCG guesses a hunger for power. Ashton just wanted his parents, his family. Ashton had a dream of meeting a version of themself that had never gone through the portal, someone cruel and vicious. Ashton thought being part of the family he’d never known would fix him, but they were never who he needed. Knowing them only made things worse.
FCG asks who Ashton cares about – FCG and the group. He thought the shard would make him better, whole, that he wouldn’t break. They didn’t mean to hurt anyone. This was a moment of weakness, one that Ashton knows FCG understands. He’d hoped that seeing FCG fix themself would help him, too, since they’re so similar. Ashton, apologetic and ashamed, hopes to find something worthwhile in this mistake, because it can’t be fixed.
They put the new shard in the bag of holding. Imogen looks for Laudna, but is unable to find her in the tunnels. Ashton apologizes to FCG for belittling his faith and FCG says he will stop trying to convert Ashton. FCG just wants Ashton to care about something – especially themself. Ashton helped FCG before, so now it’s their turn to help him in return.
Meanwhile, Chetney catches up with Fearne as she tries to leave the tunnels. She is not okay and wants to destroy the harness. She explains how she didn’t want the shard and Ashton did, so she agreed to help and then he almost died. Ashton didn’t threaten her or bargain with her. She thought it was a personal challenge for them, that they would become super strong.
Chetney asks Fearne why she was scared. She has seen really bad versions of herself and she was afraid the shard would turn her into one of the bad ones. Fearne admits to liking Ashton and thought this would make him happy. Chetney gently takes the harness from her and they go to the rose garden to break windows so Fearne can work through her anger. Fearne eventually decides to go for a walk. Chetney asks her not to leave and she promises not to.
Fearne goes to the Altar of Ravens, where she tells the statue of the Champion of Ravens that they are trying to get him out. She speaks to the Matron; she’s scared of what she could turn into and needs guidance. She likes the Matron and leaves her postcards as an offering. Outside, she sees an adolescent raven with one leg tended to by two other ravens. They stare at Fearne before flying off together.
Imogen is still unable to find Laudna, who is stalking the tunnels. Laudna finds a secret passage into the woods. She fights against reverting to who she once was and hopes that walking in the footsteps of the past will remind her how far she has come. Ashton finds Percy, who is watching his daughter Gwendolyn break more windows with Chetney. They discuss how children reflect their parents – Ashton didn’t even know their parents and still became them.
Percy recognizes struggling with demons. He tells them that everyone makes terrible mistakes, especially people who want to make a difference. The first key is to make sure no one sees those mistakes, but if they do, then to do everything to make up for it. Percy tells Ashton to punish himself as much as he needs to, but don’t drag the others down with him.
Imogen runs into Allura, who asks when Bells Hells will be ready to go to Ruidus and if Imogen is certain the group is up to this task. Imogen was confident this morning, but things have changed. She’ll have to let Allura know tomorrow. Allura has dealt with this before. She tells Imogen to not give up. Do whatever it takes to regain their confidence and focus.
CLAW AND EARTH
Laudna and Fearne have yet to return, but the others meet up in the castle. FCG shows Chetney the shard and Chetney casts Grim Psychometry, seeing a kingdom of fire, beings existing before the Pantheon, conflict with beings of light and shadow, and a twinned mountain. Memories of Rau’shan, the fiery primordial. Imogen is worried about Laudna and Fearne, but Chetney assures her that Fearne went for a walk and FCG can cast a spell in the morning to find Laudna if she hasn’t returned.
Ashton promises to find Laudna, but Chetney tells him to go. If Ashton is going to do things just for himself, then he should go. Chetney says that if he thought he couldn’t control the wolf within, he would leave. Chetney doesn’t trust Ashton; they could have hurt Fearne. Ashton doesn’t know yet whether he is going to leave or stay and says it’s not up to him.
Ashton asks Chetney what he did before he could control the wolf. Chetney killed things and hurt people. Ashton is glad that he stopped. If the day comes that things go bad for Chetney, Ashton promises that they will stay and help him clean up the mess without judgment. Chetney thinks that’s a lot of words. They’ll have to see.
LOVE AND PAIN
Laudna can hear Delilah still talking in her head. Laudna asks if love is anything more than pain. Delilah knows that love is worth everything. All Laudna can think about is the people who have been hurt by love, like Delilah and Imogen and Orym. When is love not pain? Delilah tells her that she must find the strength to fix what hurt her. The weak let themselves hurt, but they must change their fortunes and hurt those who hurt them.
From Delilah’s perspective, Ashton is still a child. Laudna doesn’t want to hurt children. She decides to make him a doll and goes to her old cabin, where she builds a doll in Ashton’s image. Delilah suggests that Laudna could give the doll to Ashton, keep it to remember him, or exchange it for the shard.
Delilah needs the shard; this power will help her grow and thrive. Laudna wants the shard to go to Fearne. She already hurt Imogen last time there was a cool rock. Delilah wants Laudna to teach Ashton a lesson. There are only two kinds of people – those who accept being hurt and those who retaliate. Laudna says she is just Matilda, but Delilah tells her that Matilda is dead; Laudna is something more. Laudna asks Delilah to hold her while she rests.
Fearne grows a spot in the woods to sleep for the night, making it look like her bedroom in Ligament Manor. She is homesick for the Fey Realm and Nana Morri. In the morning, she wakes up still thinking of her home but returns to the castle. Laudna wakes up, missing Imogen. She can appreciate how far she has come now that she has walked the path again. She attempts to return to the castle, but stops frequently.
Imogen wakes up FCG and has him cast locate creature. FCG can’t sense Laudna and they go looking for her. Chetney and Ashton wake up, with Chetney impressed that Ashton is still here. He turns into a werewolf to test out Ashton’s new rock arm, but it seems to just be an arm. Ashton can sense that there is still something unopened within him. They meet up with the others by the Sun Tree, where Fearne rejoins them and FCG senses Laudna in the woods.
The group finds Laudna, but she tries to run away. Chetney tackles her to the ground and she begs him to keep her away from the others. Imogen comes to her and they both apologize, with Imogen telling Ashton to go back to the castle so Laudna doesn’t hurt them. Laudna confesses that Delilah has been talking to her, as her influence is very strong in Whitestone. Delilah wants the shard, but they won’t let her have it.
Laudna returns to the others, asking Fearne about Ashton and how she thought he was their friend. Imogen is worried about Laudna, seeing how she has reverted. Fearne apologizes; she should have told them about Ashton’s plan. Chetney speaks in Ashton’s favor, as he yelled at them last night but Ashton was still there in the morning. That means something.
FCG thinks they need more time – everyone is frayed right now. Fearne suggests that they go to Nana Morri’s in the Fey Realm and take advantage of the time distortion, confessing to her homesickness and need for the comfort of home. FCG hopes this can be a retreat where they can heal together.
They find Ashton and Laudna gives them the doll. Ashton becomes emotional, as they have never had a doll before. She tells him to find more joy in his inner child. Ashton apologizes. If he is allowed to stay, he will never forget that they didn’t make him leave. He doesn’t know what love is, but he thinks this is it. Laudna knows that love is pain, but it’s also warmth, and last night was so cold. Laudna is still angry and distrustful, but is grateful for Ashton’s apology.
TAKING SOME TIME
Bells Hells ask Allura to take them to the Fey Realm. Fearne reassures her that Nana Morri can handle the time displacement. Allura recognizes Morrigan as one of the most notorious figures in the Fey Realm. She would need to go with them, to take them to the ruins when they’re ready. Ashton asks to speak with Fearne. He apologizes for having brought her into his mistake. They don’t need forgiveness, but want her to know she didn’t do anything wrong.
Fearne did not like watching Ashton repeat the mistakes of his father. Ashton just wanted everyone to be safe, but their parents were a cautionary tale they ignored. Fearne is rattled from seeing Ashton go through that and is still mad. She can’t talk about this yet and admits to not liking him right now. Ashton understands and thanks her for saving him, but Fearne isn’t sure if she did. They’ll talk more at another point.
Allura casts plane shift, taking the group to Ligament Manor in the Fey Realm. Fearne is immediately relieved to be home. Inside, they find a still recovering Nana being tended to by Birdie. Birdie and Ollie fled Bassuras thanks to Ollie’s visions. FCG asks Nana if she can help them make a scavenger hunt for the group’s therapeutic retreat. Nana is delighted by this request. They can stay as long as they like and Nana slows time to a crawl to prove her point.
Nana shows them Ruidus and the bending leylines in her crystal ball. She explains that the tether is straining the very fabric of magic. The longer the tether holds, the more it stresses the flow of magic between the realms. Nana can touch Fate, but she does not truly know its outcomes. She can play with the thinner threads, but the thicker threads that run through history are overseen by the Matron.
Fearne’s fate is in flux and vibrates with uncertainty. Fearne is a beautiful paradox, whose true heritage needed Nana’s attention and protection. Nana encourages Fearne to ask Birdie about a dark secret that her mother keeps that is not Nana’s to divulge. Fearne asks about the Matron. She’s complicated and the pinnacle of ambition. The places Nana likes to walk are under the Matron’s purview. They don’t see eye to eye, but they have an understanding.
Fearne asks about Asmodeus and Teven Klask, which amuses Nana. Fearne and Birdie are very alike. The mark Teven left is a promise for an audience, but those trades rarely end well. Asmodeus has had eons to perfect the art of the deal. Nana grows a new section of the treehouse for them to stay in. It seems the Fey Realm will be a good place to patch things up, as long as they don’t lose too much time.
That is it for Episode 78 of Critical Role!
- Orym was very quiet this episode, as Liam was not present for this one. Hopefully we’ll hear Orym’s thoughts next time!
- Nana uses her crystal ball to watch people she doesn’t like fail at life. She refers to this as her stories. Nana is incredible.
- I’m so worried about everyone!! Therapy time for Bells Hells.