Critical Recap – Critical Role C3E9 “Thicker Grows the Meal and Plot”
Written by Dani on January 12, 2022
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 9 Thicker Grows the Meal and Plot!
THE CHARMING FEARNE CALLOWAY
Fearne is trapped in the factory’s office with three Wilders, who aren’t quite buying her story that she chased after them as a rat because a bunch of dire wolves showed up right when two of the wardens left. Nor do they believe that she’s asking about Gurge because she was in a relationship with him. Luckily, Fearne casts a successful charm person on the head warden, who now believes everything she says and is happy to answer all her questions.
Apparently, these wardens were paid by the bounty hunter Artana Voe to assist her in capturing Gurge, who turned into some sort of terrifying beast when assaulted. Violence ensued but Artana successfully left with a still alive Gurge. The wardens then spread the rumor about the dire wolf to explain the struggle. Fearne rejoins the others just as they break down the door to come save her, but the charm holds on the head warden and the group leaves unscathed. Fearne fills the group in on what she learned and Ashton recognizes the name Artana Voe, who is a skilled mercenary famed for her ability to find the unfindable and bring them back alive.
The group goes to Eshteross to catch him up on things and introduce him to Chetney. Their would-be patron explains that Mahaan Treshi, the house behind the construction of the evil wall, is extremely affluent and powerful within the Quorum, with three guilds under their house name. They must tread carefully if they’re going to investigate this house.
There is an upcoming ball that Eshteross usually skips but he will try to get them invitations so they can mingle with the houses and the upper elite of Jrusar. He’s also heard back from House Lumas – The Anger is willing to meet with Orym in a week. As for Artana Voe and Gurge, Eshteross has heard of both of them. Gurge the wild man is mistrusted by most of the city, though he has the respect of those on the outskirts. Artana is an Uniya, a half-orc/half-elf whose sister, Preio Madali, is partial owner of the Soot and Swill Tavern. They head there to ask Preio about her sister’s whereabouts.
THE SOOT AND SWILL
Ashton takes the lead talking to Preio – they were kicked out of the tavern last time, so Ashton must pay for a pricey bottle of imported wine to make up for it. Fearne helps them foot the cost by trading the pachydan earring the two have been stealing from each other to Preio. While the others try the wine, FCG speaks with Preio, honestly asking her about her sister. Preio denies the relation to Artana, but her eyes continuously flick to the kitchen.
Chetney turns invisible to sneak to the kitchen, finding an ogre cooking, as well as a door behind a bookcase. He returns to the others to work out a distraction for the ogre. Fearne orders a meal (the only item served) and claims to love it, asking for the chef so she can compliment him on his fine cooking. This successfully gets the ogre – who is a delightfully sweet ray of sunshine named Pretty – out of the kitchen. FCG distracts Preio with a bottle trick while Chetney, Dorian, Ashton, and Orym sneak into the kitchen. They quickly discover that Chetney’s ‘bookcase’ is just a wheeled serving cart. When they push it aside and unlock the door, they find Artana on the other side with a crossbow at the ready.
Orym tries to persuade Artana that they’re just here to talk, but earns a crossbow bolt to the face for his trouble. Despite this, the four continue just trying to talk to Artana, with Ashton explaining that they’re looking for Gurge. Artana will only reveal information if they pay her, so they all give her gold over the course of the conversation. She was hired to find Gurge, who was apparently a threat to civilized streets.
The client, Vali Dertrana, wanted Gurge alive. Dertrana is the business commissioner of the Mirror Towers and works out of the Moon Tower. Artana’s advice on dealing with Gurge? Don’t get bitten. Dorian asks if she’s heard of a 20k bounty and she immediately clocks him as looking just like the person that bounty describes. She tells him that whomever it is should leave town – especially since now she has a lead on collecting that bounty herself.
Imogen, Fearne, and Laudna continue distracting Pretty by asking him out on a date for when his shift ends after sundown, giving the others enough time to slip out of the kitchen unseen. The group heads to the Core Spire but are now second-guessing their desire to free Gurge – he sounds like a possible criminal werewolf. They decide to scope out the Mirror Towers just to see what’s there. The three women are adamant about keeping their date with Pretty, as he was very sweet.
THE MIRROR TOWERS
They find the Mirror Towers, four towers grouped together as a guild headquarters and meeting place for the Quorum. It is a heavily guarded area with both posted and milling Wilders, as well as patrolling simurgh riders in the sky. Imogen speaks with the two entrance guards, telling them that she is from Gelvahn and was sent by Master Faramore to speak with the commissioner about opening a business here. The guards won’t let her pass without a letter or official meeting.
The group discusses possible infiltration options, but decide that they’ll try Eshteross first, to see if he can get them in. This proves fruitful, as Eshteross is willing to write them a letter requesting an audience with the commissioner on behalf of Prudaj Textiles. He also gives them cookies as they discuss options on either getting Cyrus out of town or paying his bounty. Getting him out of Jrusar is a good first step, but it doesn’t solve the problem. If they could find what went missing and return it, that would be best.
They return to the Mirror Towers and present the letter, which successfully gets them past the guards and to the courtyard. They enter the Moon Tower and meet a youthful attendant, who takes their letter to Dertrana. While he’s gone, Fearne touches some locked up books, which electrocute her and blind her for a full minute. When the attendant returns, he tells them that Dertrana is indisposed. Imogen asks that he check again, distracting the attendant while the invisible Chetney tries to pick the door’s lock, but fails.
Meanwhile, FCG causes a commotion by purposefully touching the locked up books and pretending to malfunction. Imogen plays up her stress about the letter, convincing the attendant to put the letter directly on Dertrana’s desk. The group is ushered out and the attendant unlocks Dertrana’s office to place the letter. Chetney is able to slip inside, invisible and unnoticed, but now locked in.
Chetney finds a marked map of the Oderan Wilds, lots of money within locked drawers, and a notebook ledger with various notes. One note in particular stands out – “Requested by Nightmare King, bring alive.” Chetney assumes this to be about Gurge. He pushes a hidden button, which causes one of the bookcases on the wall to slide open and reveal a descending staircase.
He goes partway down the stairs and overhears two people discussing a patron pushing for legislation and the need to quicken their plot, as well as a pattern constructed around the city. One voice, Ira, creepily requests that the other bring him riffraff from the Steps that no one would miss, as well as a Mahaan child. The other voice refuses and tells them to finish their work. This voice then goes back up the stairs.
Chetney tries to escape the office, but he can’t get the door unlocked. He hides when an elven man, presumably Vali Dertana, returns up the stairs. Dertana quickly notices the disturbance at his desk and unsheathes an ornamental saber, methodically slashing it through the air in the room. When he approaches Chetney, the rogue bolts and crashes through the window, escaping to the courtyard.
That is it for Episode 9 of Critical Role!
- Holy shit y’all, I cannot believe Chetney managed to escape that room!
- What the heck is the NIGHTMARE KING?!
- Is Gurge a werewolf? Moon Tower plus Werewolf is definitely an interesting combination…
- Protect Pretty at all costs. I really hope they keep their date with him.