Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E98 “The Nox Engine”

Written by on July 10, 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 98 The Nox Engine!


Dorian is bespelled by a vision of his dead brother, Cyrus. He knows that his brother isn’t real and that the Dominox is playing a trick on him, but he’s still drawn in by his brother’s words. Cyrus claims that he and other souls are trapped in limbo within the engine, and begs Dorian to free them by destroying a purple crystal. The vision fades, and Dorian is distraught; but Orym gently reminds him they cannot trust anything they see right now.

Laudna wonders if this is a trick Dominox is using to get them to release him from the engine. A vision comes to Imogen: she’s on Ruidus with her mother. Liliana says she can feel Imogen’s hatred; but Imogen doesn’t hate her mother at all, and tells her to hush. Imogen addresses Dominox directly, asking him to come out, and Liliana tells her to destroy Dominox’s soul anchor, the Pinion of Service.

The group contemplates helping Dominox, as releasing the demon could cause chaos for Ludinus and his plans. Teven Klask (devil Champion of the Lord of Hells and enemy to all demons) is against this idea, and wants to destroy Dominox. Fearne asks about her pact, and Teven informs her that she is now bound to the Lord of Hells – if she ever needs his help, he might be there… for a cost. When Fearne has completed her goals, Teven will be waiting.


They explore another chamber, an experimentation room, where Chetney and Imogen find a smelly and rusty scaled cloak in a barrel (nothing good happened to the owner of that armor). A silver door draws their attention, and Orym and Imogen realize there is someone behind it. Dorian knocks on the door—and a knock is returned from within. He opens the door to find a handsome and wounded half-minotaur huddled inside.

This is Braius Doomseed (he/him, played by Sam Riegel), a paladin/bard whose white armor features an icon of two black horns on the breastplate. His neck is badly wounded, so Dorian heals him (sob!!!). Braius immediately recognizes Teven Klask, and trusts the party based on their association with him. Braius calls himself religious and says he wants to vanquish Ludinus before he can kill the gods. He and some followers infiltrated the Ruby Vanguard and were sent to Eiselcross with Ludinus, but then Dominox attacked via the Vanguard.

As Braius flirts with nearly everyone and claims that the horned icon is a reference to the Platinum Dragon (it is not), Ashton finds themself in a vision from Dominox. He sees FCG, their body mangled from their sacrifice (sob!!!). Dream-FCG asks why Ashton let them die and accuses him of wanting this, deeply angering Ashton. Dream-FCG repeats the same lie: that souls are trapped in the Nox Engine, and he can only be freed by destroying the crystal.


The group finds another chamber filled with chains and glowing glyphs, as well as an enormous machine with a purple glowing crystal. This is the Nox Engine, and the crystal is the Pinion of Service, the soul anchor binding Dominox to this place. Bells Hells continue to discuss if they should aid Dominox or kill him, when they see a little girl with red hair standing near the crystal. This is Dominox, and she would love to talk. She remembers Ludinus and his friends – she was so hungry. She’s been here so long.

Dominox thanks them all for coming. She hasn’t eaten for centuries and wants to be freed. She was bound here, pulled apart and put back together over and over. Her connection to the Abyss was used to bind her brethren to the services of the now deceased mages. Ludinus wants something here; he looked beyond her, but she claims that he just covets the crystal. Dominox is obsessed with the crystal, and demands that they destroy it.

There is another locked door in the room. When Chetney tries to inspect it, Dominox impales him on a chain. She will tell them what’s behind the door – after they destroy the Pinion. Dominox is losing patience, so Chetney promises to destroy the crystal if she lets him go. Dominox fully transforms into his red and muscular demonic self, demanding that Chetney destroy the Pinion now. Orym tries to open the sealed door, and Laudna casts animate object upon it, enraging Dominox and launching a battle.


Dominox is a fearsome foe, using writhing chains to attack and impale Bells Hells. Braius confirms that he is a follower of the Lord of the Hells, referring to himself as a “herald champion.” Laudna and Orym open the door to the hallway and spot Ludinus running towards them, saying they can’t let Dominox free. Fearne as a green wombat (perfect) grabs the crystal and gives it to Chetney, who puts it in the bag of holding. Ashton attacks the machine itself, breaking it.

Ludinus flies into the engine room, casting gate behind Dominox. Laudna casts spirit of death on Ludinus in the form of Vess DeRogna, haunting him and allowing her to know where he is at all times. Ludinus gets irritated, saying that he is trying to work with them all. Dorian casts irresistible dance on Dominox, making him boogie down while everyone else attempts to push him through the gate. (It is as funny as it sounds.) Braius and Teven push Dominox into the Abyss, and Essek casts gravity fissure, crunching the machine around the demon. Teven finishes off Dominox, smiting this ancient evil in the name of his lord.

As for Ludinus, Orym attempts to push him through the gate as well, but Ludinus closes the gate before he succeeds. Ludinus just wants to talk. He doesn’t see Bells Hells as his enemy; instead, they could be instrumental in ushering this new age. He wants to show them something that will give them an opportunity to better understand each other. One by one, they all follow Ludinus, Imogen in the lead with Laudna; Fearne carrying a wounded Orym at the rear. Braius heals Orym, asking if he’s single (always be closing, Braius).


Ludinus leads them to another chamber, where starts waxing poetic about the Age of Arcanum mages and their innovation in unraveling the secrets of the universe. The gods feared these beautiful and prideful mages, growing resentful of their children who adapted their implements of progress to implements of war. They saw the divine as the enemy, threatening their future. Ludinus himself saw it with his own eyes, as a child in the final days of the Calamity. He watched the gods and their tantrums massacre Exandria.

When the Calamity ended, Ludinus watched the survivors rebuild from the scraps, as the gods vanished beyond the Divine Gate – either to protect their children or themselves. Ludinus believes the gods have manipulated the world and its understanding of the divine. He found information here, a recording known as the “Occultus Thalamus,” that recorded the spiritual memory of those in the city before it was destroyed. He wants Bells Hells to see it before he shows all of Exandria. Ludinus activates the Thalamus. Light fills the room…

And Matt leaves the DM’s seat for Brennan Lee Mulligan to take the chair.

“Light.” Beyond the Real, there is a palace of light – an idea, a nebula of potential that escapes mortal understanding. It is best to envision a palace of stars and light and ice and fire. That is where the story will begin: at the ending of the infinite and the doom that pierced eternity. This place was not less, but more than Real. There will be tragedy, betrayal, calamity…

And Downfall.

That is it for Episode 98 of Critical Role!


  • Braius is a one minotaur flirting machine. I think he flirted with everyone except Laudna and Chetney? I’m sure he’ll get to them.
  • Congratulations to Matt on his own HDYWTDT at the Greek live show! It’s what he deserves.
  • Brennan Lee Mulligan is here and he is ready to take us all on a trip to Aeor! Pack your tissues, Critters!

Catch Part One of Critical Role: Downfall, aka Critical Role Episode 99 on Thursday, July 11th at 7pm Pacific on, where Beacon members get access to the entire episode, podcast included! The episode will also release on and on and a week later on other podcast services. Is it Thursday yet?

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