Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E83 “Ruidus”
Written by Dani on February 7, 2024
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 83 Ruidus!
Bells Hells find themselves on the ruddy moon Ruidus in the middle of a large makeshift encampment. They place the polymorphed Reiloran Juggernaut in the bag of holding and stealth away from the Bloody Bridge’s landing pad to figure out their escape. Immediately, the Thought Eater and another Juggernaut arrive through the bridge. The group works to avoid detection by the Reiloran enemies, using Laudna’s darkness and FCG’s passwall on the fence to move into an alley, bypassing a door.
They spot more Ruby Vanguard and a headless, howling panther creature. Imogen casts a seething storm on the darkness, drawing more attention to the area they’ve left behind, while FCG casts banishment on the Thought Eater. While everyone runs, FCG casts command, deceiving a Ruby Vanguard member to believe they’re an ally. Bells Hells find a tent to hide in, taking their minute to turn into clouds. They are nearly found by the search party and a returning Otohan Thull, but they transform into mist before their hiding place is discovered.
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
There is a storm on the horizon and the constant dusty wind makes it difficult to maneuver in their mist form. Luckily, most of them have visited Ruidus in their dreams and have a sense of where the central city is. They head for a mountain range, seeing clusters of an unusual red brush below and a running herd of buffalo-like creatures with horny manes. Fearne and FCG float closer to the animals, learning that they’re beasts of prey.
Fearne and FCG want to ride the buffalo, but the group instead takes a short rest at the base of the mountain to wait out the storm. They drop their cloud form and inspect the little cave – they find the remnants of a small fire, as well as a spongy rope that Laudna realizes is made from fungus. Chetney uses Grim Psychometry, seeing a hunched, shadowed figure waiting out a storm. Their beast of burden runs into the plains, when the ground quakes and tears. A larger shadow eats the beast, then later eats the person when they try to leave.
Bells Hells take a short rest, during which Imogen notices a red, shimmering energy around her. It connects faintly to Fearne, who has her own shimmer, like an ethereal red tether. Imogen and Fearne realize that, because they are Ruidusborn, they can share magic between themselves (sacrificing a spell slot/sorcerer points to give them to the other person). Somehow, all Ruidusborn appear to be on a network with each other.
Imogen decides to chance reaching out to Predathos. When she opens her mind, she drops out of her consciousness and into the Ruidian earth. She is welcomed home by a presence in her mind and soul, which tells her to join them and wake them. She is pulled into the darkness, where she sees hundreds of red lights connected in a network. One looks like Fearne, another like her mother Liliana. She hears them all demanding to be woken up. She resists, feeling all the tethers get stronger, but then the darkness shatters.
Imogen wakes up, her lightning marks brightening but then subsiding. The tether between her and Fearne also glows for a moment. She tells the group what she saw and that there is still time, as Predathos is not awake. She is shaken by what she saw, but Orym urges her to delve again for more information. Laudna argues, saying Imogen doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do, but Orym believes she is their best shot at understanding what’s happening.
Imogen thinks this pull is what her mother was warning her against all her life – that this is why Liliana can’t escape and can’t help them. Imogen is deeply against delving again, but she won’t run away from this. Orym continues to pressure her, telling her that the risk is real but the alternative is worse. He states that he is pressuring them all, including himself, but Imogen reminds him that this is still a research mission and not the final battle.
Theories arise that Imogen could be a key, since Predathos wants her to wake them while her mother wanted her to run. Maybe Liliana is a secret agent, trying to keep tabs, and they’ve needed Imogen this whole time. If so, they’re in a position to exert influence. Imogen saw two dozen individuals brighter than all the rest – these were the Exaltants, like Imogen, Liliana, and Otohan Thull. The Exaltants are the final evolution of what the Ruidusborn were intended to be. Imogen could see their rough locations, as well as where that network was gathering.
The group decides to keep going and see what else they can learn about the Imperium and the central city. They check on the Juggernaut in the bag of holding, finding him deceased, and chop him up, keeping the limbs and head. They return to mist form as night approaches and fly towards a second mountain range. There, they see a small village nestled in the mountain side, with smaller herds of those unusual buffalo.
It appears to be a farming village, with livestock herders. The majority of the population are a species of moon people that they haven’t seen before – shorter and squatter and swathed in heavy fabric. There is a presence of Reilorans in half-armor keeping watch and ordering the people around, as well as an air of tension. With only 5 hours left of their mist form, they decide to send the witches in to talk to people and try to learn as much as they can very quickly.
They locate a storage shed, where a figure is placing red plants in a trough for the livestock. Chetney and Orym stay in their mist form while the others enter the shed and begin to drop their forms. Halfway through, the figure re-enters the shed, where they see them mid-transformation. Imogen convinces them not to scream; in shock, the figure asks who they are, speaking in Common.
That is it for Episode 83 of Critical Role!
- Common! Common on the moon! Makes sense, since these are all descendants of ancient Exandrians.
- There was a level up during the break! Bells Hells are now level 12! Fearne is also an Arcane Trickster, which is very exciting.
- Tensions are RISING in Bells Hells, particularly between Laudna and Orym regarding the pressure on Imogen.
- Lore Note: Ludinus is not Ruidusborn – in his notes, he talked about WISHING he was Ruidusborn because then he could be the bane of the gods. That guy really hates the gods, y’all.