Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E79 “To Hurt Is to Heal”
Written by Dani on December 13, 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 79 To Hurt Is to Heal!
Bells Hells take respite in Ligament Manor. Chetney is interested in making a deal with Nana Morri in order to regain his youth. Nana pulls FCG away to plan the scavenger hunt together and Fearne goes to look for her mother, Birdie. The two go to the garden, where Fearne asks what Nana meant about Birdie having a secret. Birdie is nervous to tell her daughter the truth, but confesses that Ollie chose to raise Fearne as his own, but is not Fearne’s true father.
Birdie explains that she met Ollie when he was imprisoned by the Unseelie Court for double dealings. At the time, she was romantic with Sorrowlord Athion Zathuda. He waxed poetic about stealing the moon from the Moonweaver as a gift and let Birdie give into her darker impulses. Ollie eventually won Birdie’s heart with his kindness in the face of malice. However, Birdie was already pregnant. Zathuda took her to Exandria to have their child beneath a Ruidus flare.
After Fearne was born, Birdie realized she had been used and that her child was a pawn in Zathuda’s plans with Ludinus. Ollie promised that he would keep both Fearne and Birdie safe. Birdie broke him out of the prison and the three fled, living as a family for a few years. Then Ruidus entered the Fey Realm and they knew they had to keep Fearne safe. They stole the Moontide Crown from the Unseelie with Ira’s help and left Fearne with Nana Morri for protection.
Birdie apologizes for not being there for Fearne. They were trying to free her from the Unseelie’s plans, but Fearne became something so much greater. Everything they did was out of love and Birdie is so proud of her. Fearne understands why they left. She loved growing up with Nana Morri. Birdie is not asking for forgiveness, but wants to make it up to her in time. Birdie assures her that Fearne wears her darkness well and that she has a much better heart than Zathuda.
Orym takes Ashton down to the Undermuck to have a talk. He gently explains to Ashton that the entire group does care about him. He wants Ashton to feel what he needs to feel, but to believe that they all care. Orym doesn’t want Ashton to let perfect be the enemy of good. There are no legends to save them now. Orym needs Ashton to focus on fighting alongside him. Orym gives them a forehead kiss and assures them things will be okay with the group.
Allura assures the others that intraparty turmoil is not unusual and extends her hope that Bells Hells finds a common tether to keep them together. Imogen decides to stop wearing the circlet of the hidden eye that keeps her from being overwhelmed by other minds. She believes that she could have stopped Ashton’s plan if she’d read their mind. Her strength is knowing things, so she doesn’t want to deny a strength. Laudna doesn’t want Imogen to feel like she has to babysit everyone’s choices, but supports her desire to embrace her gift/curse.
Everyone returns, including Nana Morri and FCG, who has no memory of what they discussed. There are three keys to reforming a bond – communication, trust, and honesty. They will embark on a series of team building exercises to explore these tenets and get them back on track. Fearne reveals her connection to Zathuda and the Hells recall seeing him conspiring with Otohan at the Fey Realm’s Malleus Key. Zathuda was impatient with Ludinus and wanted the Moonweaver gone.
Zathuda is the one who rode Gloamglut and attacked Nana, but he knows better than to enter Nana’s forest. Nana says that Fearne belongs to her and that the Sorrowlord can’t have her. Zathuda is a powerful and brutal warlord beneath Potentate Sammanar, the Master of the Unseelie Court, and is the keeper of Dusk Hunger, the Blade of the Black Flame.
The group shows Nana the Spark of Rau’shan, which captivates her, and Allura explains that the Moonweaver, a god with great influence in the Fey Realm, is worshiped by members of both Seelie and Unseelie Courts. A power vacuum caused by her absence could allow the Unseelie Court to take more power for themselves. This is likely why Zathuda is working with Ludinus to see her removed.
STARTING THE HUNT
Talk returns to the scavenger hunts. Three items have been chosen, with each item the prize for completing each task. They choose to start with Honesty and drink the tea Nana prepared for them. They are magically transported to a fey jungle near a large chasm. Nana shows them a brass monocle with a viridian lens – the monocle of true essence. She tosses it into the chasm and explains that they must work together to find it. The chasm listens to honesty and will show them a path forward if they speak their secrets to each other.
Nana wraps them in a magic bubble and blows it into the chasm. They fall, with the bubble popping on impact with the ground; the group lands safely in the muck. A storm is approaching and the walls are unclimbable. The only way forward is to speak truths – each truth results in the chasm rising or growing stairs or revealing a piece of the sunken ruin beneath and giving them terrain to traverse. When Chetney states an opinion (wood being better than metal) they discover leeches within the muck.
TRUTH AND HONESTY
FCG prefers eating silver more than copper. Imogen is scared to meet her mother again. Orym is incredibly lonely. Delilah and Laudna both want the shard and Laudna is no longer sure when her feelings are hers and when they are Delilah’s. Imogen loves Laudna deeply but is disgusted at the thought of Delilah looking at them all the time. She apologizes, but things were easier when Delilah was less present.
FCG pities them for having hearts and opportunities that they don’t do enough with, like Chetney being so focused on wood. Ashton is responsible for the burglary going wrong at Jiana Hexum’s. Fearne believes they will fail at saving the world. Chetney fears that children will find his toys obsolete every year he grows older. When FCG kills something, it relaxes him. Imogen has talked to the gods her whole life and they don’t respond; she isn’t sure she wants to save something that hates her.
The rain falls and Orym spots the monocle on a resurfaced rooftop. He jumps, aided by Laudna’s featherfall, and collects the monocle. They begin using mushrooms to float to the top of the chasm, truths still coming. Ashton worries that they’ll all kill each other, Orym has back-up plans to neutralize them all, FCG is worried the Changebringer doesn’t really care. Imogen was disappointed in Fearne for running away from her power. Orym misses Dorian and isn’t sure if that’s okay. Ashton thinks he should have died rather than mess up Fearne’s life.
Lightning strikes the chasm, splitting it in two and making their rise easier. Chetney reveals that he grew up in the Bramblewood with five siblings – Alabaster, Pepper, Sugarplum, Hermey, and Chad. When he was a kid, he came back from making toys to find that his whole family had fled, as Errevon the Rimelord and the dragon Skysunder had been roaming the plains. He was so angry that they left, he never looked for them. Now he is afraid of dragons and thinks any family he has will look for a reason to leave him.
The rain subsides and eagle-like creatures with a hand for a head swoop down, collecting the party and depositing them at the cleft opening. Nana Morri congratulates them on their success as the group hugs Chetney. Now it’s time for the second hunt, this one focusing on Communication. They are transported to an underground chamber, with a central glowing orb and three platforms that snake oddly. This is a thunder wasp hive.
Nana Morri takes out a beautiful purple scarf and asks for three volunteers. Imogen, Chetney, and Ashton volunteer. She tears the scarf into three pieces and hands them out, then magically causes the skin to grow over their eyes. The three volunteers vanish and are placed on the opposite ends of the winding platforms. The others will have to guide them along the walkway.
Chetney goes first, with Orym and FCG taking point on guiding him. Loud noises and shouts attract the thunder wasps, which swarm. They successfully guide Chetney to the finish line, but Orym and FCG are not allowed to help again – skin grows over their mouths. Imogen goes next, with Chetney and Laudna taking point. The wasps swarm again at the noises, but they guide Imogen to safety. Now Chetney and Laudna can no longer speak and Fearne and Imogen must guide Ashton.
The wasps swarm, causing Ashton to fall off the edge. They grab on and use their hammer to get back up, but overshoot the platform. Ashton lands in front of the group. With two successes and one failure, Nana gives them one more shot with no safety nets. Orym volunteers to go, picking Imogen and Chetney to guide him. Nana adds a timer, with the rocks crumbling behind him as he walks. Imogen and Chetney successfully guide him to safety and the scarf of intrusive intent is won by the party.
Now for the final task – Trust. Bells Hells are transported to a fey forest, where they are surrounded by ruins and brambles. A central well holds mirror-like water. Nana explains that there are three altars somewhere in the ruins, each holding a section of an ivory branch. They have to work together to gather the pieces and place them in the water.
However, Nana has had two doppelgangers studying the party. Two members of Bells Hells will be replaced with these doppelgangers. They will have to figure out who amongst their friends to trust before the doppelgangers ruin the branches and cause them to fail the task.
That is it for Episode 79 of Critical Role!
- Boy howdy those were a lot of truths. Dig deep, Bells Hells! It’s time to bond!
- The mini-game of having the players guide each other on a map was so fun to watch.
- FEARNE’S FATHER IS SORROWLORD ZATHUDA?!! That’s who sent Yu after the Calloways!
- Doppelganger time! Let’s go, trust falls!