Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E86 “Doorways to Darker Depths”

Written by on March 6, 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 86 Doorways to Darker Depths!


Fearne finds her way back through the underwater portal and returns to Bells Hells on Ruidus. They debate whether to rest first or explore the area on the other side of the portal, but eventually decide to explore now and rest later. Imogen and Fearne use their Ruidusborn tether in order to have Fearne transfer a 4th level spell slot to Imogen’s sorcery points before they all leave Ruidus through the portal spigot.

Bells Hells confirm the portal leads to a mountainous region in Exandria, possibly either Marquet or Issylra based on their viewing of the twilight sky’s leylines and the Issylran-style trees. There is a small, abandoned village on the other side of the lake that has fallen to the elements. There are some supplies still untouched within the supply store and records within a clerk’s office that Laudna pages through. She discovers that this is Ria’Doin Village and Lake Umamu.

The clerk’s notes comment on a trend of people abandoning their businesses and rumors of disappearances, of something that is making people leave. One night, four families got up and left everything behind. Another night, a fishmonger saw someone walk into the lake. Later, after an investigation, the fishmonger also disappeared. Then the notes abruptly end. FCG speaks with a bird, who confirms previously seeing people walk into the lake.


Ashton and Chetney find the nicest house in the village, discovering it devoid of inhabitants and likely cleaned out by the family before moving. The group decides to take their rest within the nice house. During Imogen and Orym’s watch, Orym attempts to contact Caleb Widogast via the sending stone, informing him that Ria’Doin Village has a backdoor to Ruidus. To his surprise, Caleb responds, shocked that the stone works. Imogen successfully casts sending to Caleb, saying they’re at Lake Umamu and confirming that long distance communication has returned.

Imogen messages Keyleth, informing her of the village’s backdoor to the moon and the capital city of Kreviris. Keyleth confirms that Ria’Doin Village is in Issylra, specifically the Caramarin Reach. She wants to meet them, but time is running short. Imogen says they are returning to Ruidus in the morning and will leave markers for Keyleth to follow. Keyleth will send a team to follow them. Orym hugs Imogen, overwhelmed by the return of communication and hope. He thanks Imogen profusely, saying it feels like they’ve been together for years.

Imogen suddenly receives a sending message from a cheerful voice testing the communication. This is Jester, member of the Mighty Nein and friend of Caleb’s. She is so happy that sending is working again and immediately befriends Imogen. Orym uses his other sending stone to message Dorian, telling him that they are alive and going to the moon. He tells Dorian to find Keyleth and hesitates before telling Dorian how much he has missed him.


Orym doesn’t get a response, but he hears something outside. He’s overcome by the desire to check, sure that someone is out there. Imogen wakes up the others. Ashton also hears something outside while FCG and Chetney worry that the portal has closed. They must check on it. All four of them are called to the water, their will no longer their own. The witches, not feeling the same pull, follow them out to the lake. The possessed begin to swim, so Imogen casts command to make them return, but once the spell ends, they submerge into the water.

Imogen and Fearne follow them below the water, still under the effects of the Water Breathing spell Fearne cast earlier in the day. Laudna casts animate objects on a sunken boat and a rope, which talk to her. She names them Boaty and Ropey, captaining them beneath the waves. The four possessed are pulled into strands of seaweed, feeling a pervading sense of calm in the freezing water. The witches realize the seaweed is home to a graveyard of bones and holds an entity that can be attacked.

Orym, FCG, and Chetney are able to break through the entity’s mental hold, but Ashton embraces the cold’s embrace. Fearne sends Mister to teleport FCG out of the seaweed and to Boaty. Chetney is grabbed by Ropey and taken to Boaty, as well. Orym casts misty step, breaking out of the seaweed’s hold but continuing to attack it. FCG casts turn undead, causing the kelp to recoil and allowing Ashton to break out of the mental hold. Laudna, however, is also turned, and she sends Boaty to the shore.


The animate objects spell fades and Laudna sadly says goodbye to Boaty and Ropey, but Bells Hells successfully escape the lake. They leave a confusing note on the dock warning about the evil kelp and explaining where to find the portal in the lake. They return to Ruidus through the underwater portal and attempt their long rest again within the Ruidian cavern. Before he falls asleep, Orym asks Imogen why Dorian didn’t answer and she posits that he was asleep.

Laudna takes a watch alone, talking existentially to Pâté as she mourns Boaty and Ropey. She then talks to Delilah, asking what the end goal of consuming this power is. Delilah tells her that the only reason for power is to protect the ones you love or to seek vengeance. Delilah, however, isn’t here for vengeance. She never gives up; if one is willing to give it all away, then nothing is impossible. Laudna questions if she is just a danger to the one she loves. She claims Imogen would be better off without her, but Delilah refutes that with flattery.

Delilah claims that the power that Laudna takes belongs to both of them, as they are one and the same, but Laudna doesn’t believe that. Laudna wants help and more power, but that requires her to keep feeding Delilah. If she continues, Delilah promises to give everything Laudna needs to keep Imogen safe. Laudna sees a ghostly visage of Delilah, who touches her face and tells her they will always endure before vanishing.


Bells Hells finally achieve their long rest. Ashton draws the Hishari symbol as markings for following allies. As the group travels below ground, they ponder why sending works now. What changed? FCG attempts to scry on Ira Wendagoth, but a strange latticework of defense interferes. FCG feels cut off from the Changebringer, noticing it more now after feeling her presence return to them in Ria’Doin. Orym tries to call Caleb again, but the static returns.

They find a large tunnel, likely carved by bane worms, and follow it until it comes to a cave collapse. Ashton activates their Shard of Ka’Mort, melding into the earth. He discovers that the tunnel collapse extends for another 300 ft and emerges at the surface to another dust storm. Ashton returns, digging the tunnel out to the surface of Ruidus and leaving a path for the others to follow. Imogen, with Fearne’s help, is able to relocate the direction of Kreviris.

Laudna questions how far they will take this reconnaissance. FCG can use Ludinus’ staff to teleport them back to the cave, but it could cause the staff to disappear. Ashton wants to find friends, so they agree to focus on finding the rebellious Volition. They use their second mind shield scroll, gaining another 8 hours of mental protection. Imogen uses the husk of Orym’s Message Bloom from Keyleth to cast magic mouth, leaving directions to Kreviris for any allies.


As they make their way to mountain cover, a strange vibration emanates from within and around them. The ground brightens and a flare begins, the entire area bathed in red light. Fearne and Imogen are overwhelmed by a state of euphoria, their vision going white. They feel timeless, ancient, and then the feeling passes through them. Fearne is surrounded by a red energy, her hair floating, and Imogen floats 20 ft in the air, her hair glowing pink and her eyes white. Her lightning marks are glowing and rocks hover around her.

Imogen slowly drifts back down to the surface, she and Fearne both delighting in the feeling. They have both gained 15 temporary hit points. Ashton’s titan form fades and they return to their natural state. He is spent, mechanically taking 2 points of exhaustion. Fearne wildshapes into a direwolf to carry Ashton. Another storm rolls in, with purple lightning that Imogen can feel each time it strikes. Bells Hells near the mountain range and see a skyline in the distance – the cusp of Kreviris.

That is it for Episode 86 of Critical Role!


  • Hey there Delilah, please get out of Laudna’s head and stop manipulating her with honeyed words and tales of dread, you suck a lot!!!
  • SENDING IS BACK BAYBEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Chetney crafted a new masterpiece toy, related to his new Legendary Toymaker Feat. What kind of powers does that toy have?! What kind of powers does CHET have?!
  • Identified: The Willmaster’s rings are a ring of life awareness and a ring of protection. Laudna uses the harness on the former, gaining 2 to her hit point max and Orym attunes to the latter. More power for the Hells!
  • But really though, why didn’t Dorian answer?!!? Dorian!!!!

Catch Episode 87 on Thursday, March 7th at 7pm Pacific on and on or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday yet?

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