Critical Recap – Exandria Unlimited E5 “A Test of Worth”
Written by Dani on July 28, 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 5 A Test of Worth!
The group of yet-to-be-named adventurers begin their journey out of Byroden and into the jungles of the Rifenmist Peninsula. As they leave, Opal’s necklace breaks, and Fy’ra Rai urges Opal to speak with her sister. Hesitant, Opal calls out to Ted, thanking her and asking her where she is. She gets no response, which worries and confuses the young warlock, but she still wants the freedom of living her life alone. The others agree, with the exception of Fy’ra Rai.
They continue their journey, discussing a possible group name over the several weeks of travel. One night, Dariax has a dream of the Spider Queen speaking to him, urging him to put on the circlet and taunting him about his friends growing bored of him. He manages to wake himself from the dream. He then wakes up Dorian, asking to sleep back to back with him and telling him about the dream. Dorian’s vocal reaction to Dariax dreaming of the Spider Queen wakes everyone up.
Dariax tells everyone of his dream and the group panics over this problem. Dorian doesn’t want to involve Fy’ra Rai in the knowledge of the circlet, so Fy’ra Rai explains her protective instincts: she had a sister, Fy’ra Kai, who died when she failed to protect her. She will protect this party like she wished she’d protected her sister. They show her the circlet but Dorian is heavily on edge. As they discuss what to do with the circlet, spiders appear on their bodies. The group grows more frustrated with each other before eventually putting the circlet in the center by the fire and going back to sleep.
This time, it is Dorian who dreams. He sees Fy’ra Rai surrounded by darkness, with the Spider Queen telling him that the goddess is messing with them all because she’s bored. Apparently the vision of Fy’ra Rai is a memory that the Spider Queen will return to Dorian if he gives her something, as well. He’ll give her almost anything for his memories back. She wants a champion. Dorian refuses to give her anyone from his group. She tells him she wants Poska. Dorian will give her Poska if the Spider Queen will leave them alone. He is being honest and his alignment changes to Chaotic Neutral. The Spider Queen is delighted and tells him they don’t need to go after Poska, as she is already looking for them.
Dorian wakes with his memories back. The group met Fy’ra Rai before, outside of Emon. They journeyed to the Feywild together. In the space between the planes, they fought something, and Fy’ra Rai made a judgment call to stay behind so the rest of them could escape. Fy’ra Rai and Dorian alone remember. When morning comes, the group continues their journey until they are forced to leave the Glitter Shitter behind – luckily, these are Gilmore’s horses, so they begin heading home seemingly without issue.
The party approaches an unnatural clearing, where a column carved with runes sits in the center surrounded by unusual and dangerous plants. Fy’ra Rai hears a warm voice in her head, telling her that it’s time to see if the others can pass and see the truth. Fy’ra Rai believes in them. In a jumbled plan, Dariax ends up invisible and stealthing up to the plinth to examine the runes, which the plants make more difficult.
As he moves up to the column and takes a rubbing of the runes, that warm voice – the Wildmother’s voice – speaks to them all in turn. She asks why they are here, what they want. What they would do if she asked them to go further, to plunge deeper into a world of lost knowledge. The ruins are a lie. There is more. They all want to keep going, for various reasons. To help their friends, to help others. “For him” in Orym’s words. When the Wildmother speaks to Opal, she reveals that Ted is truly with her. Inside of her. Moving forward will give Opal answers.
The Wildmother’s trial starts with the appearance of a fey crocodile as Dariax is attempting to return to the others with his sheet of runes. A fight begins, then ends fairly quickly when Opal (and Ted) manages to flip the crocodile onto his back. This causes the crocodile to go into a relaxed state and the combat is finished. The Wildmother is pleased.
Now that things have settled, they focus on the runes, which describe a supply list for hundreds and thousands of people. These runes cannot be used for translation, but with the trial passed, they can begin moving deeper, to whatever lies ahead. The topic of a group name once again comes up. The top contenders are The Ash Holes, The Odd Lot, and The Irregulars, but no one is sold yet. Fy’ra Rai comments on her fondness for them and her gratitude to get to travel with them. She will not leave them until something makes her leave.
Settling down for the evening, Dorian suggests that he carry the crown. He can now touch it without any issue. Orym is immediately on guard, wanting Dorian to give the circlet back to Dariax. Threats are exchanged and tensions rise between the two of them, but Dorian does give the circlet back to Dariax. The party attempts to sleep after the confrontation and Fy’ra Rai re-affirms her vow to protect them all from the Spider Queen’s machinations.
Sleeping under a canopy of spiderwebs, Opal dreams of Ted. Her sister is not dead, but yes, she is currently residing inside Opal. Opal is confused as to where Ted’s body is, a factor that Ted had not considered. Ted doesn’t actually remember what she was doing before she found herself in this position. The two sisters joke together as they rest, before Ted asks if Opal sees the woman in purple by the fire. Opal sees nothing, but promises to protect Ted.
Before bed, Fearne plays Hot Cross Buns on her pan flute, to help everyone fall asleep. But tonight, it is Fearne’s turn to be visited by the Spider Queen. She dreams of a mirror and seeing her body covered in soot. Her reflection takes on the form of Mirror!Fearne, with the exception of wearing the circlet. Her reflection speaks to her, urging her to accept her power and put on the crown. Fearne could finally find “them” and bring “them” home.
Fearne misses “them” so much. But she doesn’t like this reflected version of herself. She likes her own version better. She would like to wake up now, and encourages the reflection to continue to try and change her mind. She manages to wrest the dream away from the influence of the Spider Queen and sleep soundly, even as her song echoes across the jungle into the night air.
Myr’atta Niselor may be broken and bloodied, but she is still determined as she stalks the woods. There is so much to be gained – what is one more life? When she pulls out a residuum spike from underneath her purple cloak, the Wildmother’s sacred jungle shudders.
That is it for Episode 5 of Exandria Unlimited!
- Okay, so we’ve confirmed that Dorian and Dariax both have a brother and Fy’ra Rai has a sister. Lots of siblings in this group!
- They went to the Feywild and lost their dang memories??! What all did they DO there?!
- Anybody else worried about our good boy air genasi?
- Ohhhh Myr’atta, what are you doing with that spike? That cannot be good
- What is going ON with Ted?!
Anyway, catch Episode 6 on Thursday, July 29th at 7pm Pacific on twitch.tv/criticalrole and on youtube.com/criticalrole or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday, yet?