Critical Recap: Exandria Unlimited E3 “A Glorious Return”
Written by Dani on July 14, 2021
Hello! Welcome to Critical Recap! I’m Dani Carr, the Critical Role Lore Keeper, here with recaps for Exandria Unlimited! Let’s dive into our recap of ExU Episode 3 A Glorious Return!
MAKING AN ENTRANCE
After sleeping off their exhaustion points, the group dons some light disguises (mainly adjusting their hair styles) and head to the East Gate to attempt to sneak back into Emon to find Shaun Gilmore in Abdar’s Promenade. Dariax will create a distraction using a disguise self cloak that they have so that the others can sneak in. They approach the East Gate and Dariax uses the cloak to turn himself into Tharla Starr, a burlesque dancer that Dariax once dated. “Tharla” ribbon dances into the street as the others try to peel away and move into the city.
Dorian and Fearne are unable to slip away, so they begin playing instruments and backing up Dariax. Opal and Orym get into the crowd, but Opal attracts attention when she tries to talk to Dorian and Fearne. Opal tells a woman that she’s looking for her toddler and convinces the woman that Orym (a grown halfling man) is her four year old daughter Nancy. The two get directions to Gilmore’s Glorious Goods.
Meanwhile, the other three are engaging in a rather stunning musical and dance performance in the middle of Emon. When they try to finish and move into the crowd, “Tharla” is stopped by a tiefling named Eduard who asks her to perform at The Black Swan. Fearne tries to negotiate a fair price for the performance until Orym pops up and ushers them back to the task at hand. They’re followed by a couple Nameless One rogues, but manage to give them the slip before they arrive at Gilmore’s.
Gilmore’s Glorious Goods is a lush, three story shop filled with potions, weapons, and clothing. They make the acquaintance of the gnome assistant, Innana, and the half-elven manager, Sherri. Gilmore is in Marquet overseeing another branch, but once they explain everything that happened with the Fire Ashari and Sherri discovers that she cannot translate the ash hole’s rune, she summons the man himself.
Shaun Gilmore, a bronze skinned man in his late 60s, ushers the group into his private study as they each gawk at the handsome and famous sorcerer. They introduce themselves and recount their exploits, telling him pretty much everything they’ve dealt with – their missing time, their encounter with Poska and the Nameless Ones, even the circlet. They finally point out to Dariax that his eyes are black. When he looks in the mirror, he sees spiders on the faces of the others.
Gilmore is no fool. He explains that this circlet is a Vestige of Divergence attuned to the Spider Queen – the Circlet of Barbed Vision. The Spider Queen herself might be evil, but the vestige is just power. Power can be whatever they make it into. He is happy to take the circlet off their hands and keep it safe, but he leaves the decision up to them. Dorian and Fearne want to keep it, but Orym does not.
The circlet was meant to go to a mage friend of Gilmore’s for study and protection. He has heard of Poska and the Nameless Ones. He warns them that she is very dangerous. Gilmore believes that vestiges go where they are meant to go and he knows the beginnings of a pattern when he sees one. The group decides to keep the circlet, for now, and Gilmore gives them a box that will work one time, one way. They can send the circlet to him if it becomes too much to bear. He fixes Dariax’s eyes and they put the circlet away.
Talk turns to the rune. They show him Opal’s drawing, which Gilmore studies. He recognizes that the rune is ancient – it comes from a lost city in the jungles of the Rifenmist Peninsula, a culture that rose and fell before even the Calamity. If they can find the Ruins of Qoniira and something that can act as a sort of translator for old runic writing, then he can translate this rune. Opal, who grew up in Byroden and thus close to the borders of the Rifenmist, recalls that the Qoniira were said to respect and honor all magic, regardless of its source. But they were lost after the Calamity.
Satisfied with their new quest and armed with a friends discount, Gilmore unleashes the group on his shop. Orym gets his own sentimental shield enchanted with a sentinel upgrade. The others buy healing potions and some magic items, like a moon sickle for Fearne and a vicious whip for Opal, as well as a Stonkey’s Ring for Fearne and some Gloves of Thievery for Dariax. A glittery and purple wagon waits for them, ready to take them to the edge of town.
As they are driven to the gates of Emon, the cart is stopped and the driver is switched. Poska has taken over the cart and they are flanked by other Nameless Ones. They’ve effectively been caged. The group can’t discuss a plan, because Poska can hear them. They talk to her instead, with Poska saying that they have her residuum and her circlet. Dorian tells her they sold it all to Gilmore. Poska is aghast at this, stopping the cart.
She claims that Gilmore thinks he’s untouchable because of his connection with the Council, but everybody sleeps. They’re uncomfortable putting heat on Gilmore, but running out of options. Fearne casts charm person on Poska, surprising them all when it works. Fearne tells Poska that they have something important to do and she’s getting in the way, so she needs to step aside or they’ll kill her. Poska reluctantly steps down from the cart.
Fearne takes up the driver’s seat and the group sees just how surrounded they are – twenty-five Nameless Ones, of varying ages and backgrounds. The charm effect is thin, but Poska is held. They can see the rage in her eyes as Fearne tells her to stay away from Gilmore. Poska argues that he has what is hers and Fearne tells her that if he does, then she can do what she wants with him.
As they drive away, Dariax leans out the window of the cart. He waves the circlet at Poska – “Gotcha!” Her scream follows them out of Emon. At the same time, Orym writes a note warning Gilmore about the Nameless Ones and puts it in the box, sending it to Gilmore. Their one-use box is now defunct and they are stuck with the circlet as they head south to the Rifenmist Peninsula.
That is it for Episode 3 of Exandria Unlimited!
- Well, the one good thing about the ambush was that now they have a cart! So thanks, Poska.
- I could write poems and songs about Aabria’s mastery of Gilmore. Absolutely incredible job!
- Gilmore is married to a man named Darius and I need to know everything about him right now immediately.
- Qoniira sounds super interesting – a city from before the Calamity whose runes are showing up on top of magical mesas? SO COOL.