Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E95 “A Gathering of Needs”

Written by on May 22, 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 95  A Gathering of Needs!


Essek Thelyss leads the interrogation of Astrid Becke, the Cerberus Assembly’s Archmage of Civil Influence who is currently in hiding at the Chastity’s Nook in Zadash. Astrid does not know much about what Ludinus has been up to, other than that he and his cohorts have been reallocating resources and dealing with foreign factions in secret. She tried to stay away from his plots and went into hiding due to the increased attention on the Assembly.

Astrid does confirm that Ludinus was focused on Aeorian research, specifically around the Genesis Ward. She once learned a name regarding that work – Occultus Thalamus – but she doesn’t know what it means. Tensions have grown with the Kryn Dynasty due to Ludinus’ work in Aeor. Though peace was called 7 years ago, the war between the Dynasty and the Empire continued in the shadows. Assembly members who are still aligned with Ludinus have been aligned with him for a long time.

Astrid only ever knew Ludinus to be diplomatic and genteel. She does recall one quirk: she saw him react to an itch on the back of his neck. It was the only time she ever saw him stumble or off his game. Astrid makes it clear that she is only talking to Bells Hells because of an old friend and if they succeed, she wants them to share how helpful she was.


Astrid and Essek don their illusory disguises again and Bells Hells leave her alone. They chat with Iva Deshin, the proprietor of Chastity’s Nook, and buy a few books. Iva clocks them as adventurers and asks, if they go to the Menagerie Coast, to check in on her pen pal Yussa Errenis in Tidepeak Tower. She hasn’t heard from him in a couple of months. Bells Hells leave and Essek tells them to go shop – he’ll meet them in the Pentamarket.

Ashton suggests that the Hells get new outfits in honor of FCG, in order to always carry their friend with them. They commission a tailor for new clothing in similar colors and materials to FCG and buy a few things in order to craft their own pieces together. Chetney and Orym incorporate pieces of FCG’s metal into their shoulder gear and Fearne wears their jacket. They then go to the magical shop called the Invulnerable Vagrant, where they meet the three simulacra of Enchanter Pumat Sol.

Pumat Sol tells them about the recent attack on Zadash by the phoenix Desirat, who recently burst from Mt. Mentiri and burned the whole valley before being stopped. Pumat shows them a few magic items for sale – the Robe of the Midnight Rune, which gives a sturdy defense; the Harp of Valor, which is also a short bow; and a set of enchanted armor from Zephrah. They barter with Pumat, giving him a couple Ruidian blades and a potion. The Pumats lower the prices and the group purchases all the magic items, including some potions.


The group divvies up their magic items: Imogen takes the robe, Chetney takes the harp, and Orym takes the armor. Orym thanks Dorian for helping him pay for it, as Dorian gave Orym his entire purse in order to buy the armor. Dorian says he just likes seeing Orym happy. Bells Hells meet back up with Essek and head to the Lodge of the Eclipse in order to rest and craft. They take in a burlesque show at the Lodge, where Dorian and Chetney have the time of their lives.

Imogen and Essek chat, discussing the need for joy in times of terror. Essek quotes his friend Caduceus, saying that love is what makes people, and Imogen quotes FCG about optimism. Essek then takes a look in Ashton’s head at their request and realizes that dunamancy is the source of Ashton’s chaos abilities. He explains dunamancy, the magic of probability, and realizes that this magic being mixed with the ancient power of the titans makes Ashton a very dangerous individual. Ashton is happy to let Essek help him find answers in the future.

As the group crafts together, Essek explains that it is his fault that the Ruby Vanguard has access to time magic. He explains the Luxon beacons, which the Hells saw in the Malleus Key, and Ashton has seen in his dreams. Essek thinks that he might be able to bring in dunamancers to disrupt the beacons and cut off the Bloody Bridge. He doesn’t care about the gods, but he doesn’t want this decision in the hands of Ludinus. Fearne gets Essek to talk about his partner, who he describes as kind, smart, and strong of heart.


Essek leaves, wanting to talk to said partner before sleep, and the group continues to craft and reminisce about FCG. Orym takes Ishta, Otohan’s rapier, and goes outside to get a feel for the blade as he meditates on the lives this sword has taken. He affixes the sword to his back with Seedling’s vines and sits in the rain, feeling the Wildmother’s presence. Fearne and Dorian join him and the three look back on their past together. Dorian gently tells Orym that he can’t protect everyone all the time. Dorian is here now and the two of them will rely on each other.

They all return to the craft room, where Laudna notices the sword on Orym’s back. She is unnerved by the blade’s presence. Everyone goes to sleep and Laudna stays up crafting. Delilah’s voice creeps in, commenting on the dark memory of the sword and that keeping it will never let the wound heal. Laudna questions why Orym is carrying it, if it’s cursed. Delilah postures that it could have a consciousness. Could it turn Orym? Delilah would have to hold it to know. Laudna wants Delilah to help her more, but Delilah says Laudna has to give her more.

Laudna moves towards the sword on Orym’s back as he sleeps. She touches the blade, but Delilah says she has to wield it to know if it’s sentient. Laudna casts darkness in the room and casts wither and bloom on the vines holding Ishta. But the spell hurts Orym, who wakes up and attacks the darkness. He hits Laudna repeatedly, trying to fend off what he thinks is someone attacking him.


As everyone wakes up, Laudna grabs Ishta with mage hand and Delilah tells her the sword is sentient and it must be destroyed. Delilah wants to destroy it and Laudna thinks the sword’s destruction will protect Orym. Orym attacks again and Laudna’s darkness disappears, showing everyone the scene. Orym manages to get Ishta back after a counterspell from Laudna – she attempts to cast phantasmal force but Orym saves.

Finally, a conversation begins. Laudna claims that she sensed the sword was evil and that it will corrupt Orym like it corrupted Otohan. Laudna thinks it is audacious that he wants to wield Ishta after the harm it has caused, but Orym wants to use it to kill Ludinus. She asks why he wants it and he asks her in turn why he would need the help of a dark force, which Dorian interrupts. Orym needs to be convinced that the sword is evil and accuses Laudna of attacking him in the night. Laudna says she didn’t attack him but his vine sheath for the sword.

The tension is thick as Ashton gently suggests that Laudna apologize. Imogen casts detect thoughts on Laudna, who feels justified. Orym wants to talk about this and Imogen asks why Laudna did this in secret. Laudna says that time felt of the essence. Fearne casts identify, but only gleans that the sword has been around for generations and has a history of taking lives. They wake up Chetney, who uses Grim Psychometry and sees those lives the blade has taken. Neither of them sense any sentience.


Laudna wants to absorb the power of the sword, claiming to want to use the harness. Orym doesn’t think there is a difference between her having its power and him wielding it. He mentions his deal with Nana Morri (his service in exchange for power and group safety) for the first time and Laudna opens the window with mage hand. Dorian wants them to stop letting things, items, control them. The items mean nothing, it is the person who is the problem. Laudna uses mage hand to grab the sword and Imogen holds it, as well. Laudna can feel Delilah’s hunger, but she is in control.

Imogen doesn’t think it is Laudna who wants the sword. Laudna wants it destroyed, as it is a symbol of their pain. Imogen doesn’t understand why Laudna wants the sword’s power if it is cursed. Laudna releases the sword. Chetney gives Laudna Scream Needle, Otohan’s dagger, but thinks Orym should keep the sword. He says that Orym has lost more than them and that he trusts them both. Laudna thanks him, but requests that he never speak to her of loss again.

Laudna leaves out the window and Imogen follows her, flying. Laudna goes to the roof and takes on her Form of Dread, looking like Delilah. She inserts the dagger into her chest, absorbing it as Imogen watches. Laudna looks like she is trapped inside a Delilah cage. Imogen holds Laudna’s face and when Laudna speaks, Delilah’s voice echoes. This had to be done. What else can Laudna give except herself? Imogen tells her that she didn’t have to do this.

As the two exchange ‘I love yous’, the form of Delilah fades. Laudna swears she has never lied to Imogen and Imogen says she still loves her, but doesn’t know what to do with it. Imogen holds her as Laudna repeatedly says that she didn’t mean it.

That is it for Episode 95 of Critical Role!


  • Delilah Briarwood needs to be DESTROYED.
  • Where the heck is Yussa? Did he get stuck in the Happy Fun Ball again?
  • Essek “Ask me about my partner” Thelyss. Love that for both of them.
  • Round of applause for the entire cast and Liam and Marisha especially. Both of them are just incredible to watch.

Catch Episode 96 on Thursday, May 23rd at 7pm Pacific on and on or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday yet?

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