Critical Recap: Exandria Unlimited E8 “What Comes Next”
Written by Dani on August 18, 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 8 What Comes Next!
HELL BROKE LOOSE
With Opal pinned down by gravity charged residuum spikes, the others race to her aid. But Myr’atta is not alone, having brought back-up in the form of a crossbow wielder and a caster, in addition to the fourth stone construct still in play. Orym focuses on the crossbow wielder, Dorian finishes off the construct, and Wolf!Fearne harries the caster. While battle rages, Myr’atta summons some kind of pseudopod from beneath the floating cube’s plinth. Opal can hear Ted screaming in her head, but then the screams shift to the center of the plinth.
Opal is running out of options, tapped out on spell slots and unable to stand. She can feel Ted being ripped away from her. Opal hears the Spider Queen’s voice in her head, urging her to stop being a victim and to put on the circlet. If Opal puts it on, the Spider Queen will give her back her health and spell slots, giving her the power to save her sister and her friends. Opal calls for Dariax, who has the circlet. Dariax flies to her side, his wings from the Observer still active, and he tries to lift Opal off the ground.
Chaos reigns as Myr’atta continues to summon something enormous out of that plinth, a face and a hand slowly forming out of the pseudopods. The arcane miasma is continuing to provide boosts to those that connect with it, and the Spider Queen is getting in the heads of Opal, Fearne, and Dorian, who joins Dariax to try to help their warlock friend. The Spider Queen taunts Dorian, belittling him, but Dorian tells her to fuck off. He pulls the residuum spike from Opal’s head, who feels Ted getting further away with the action. Myr’atta notices this and screams to not touch Opal, firing a magical bolt that knocks Dorian unconscious.
Meanwhile, Orym is battling his crossbow wielder atop a shaky pillar. As she falls off, Orym jumps after her, throwing his dagger into her and landing on her body for a firm kill as the two hit the ground. Wolf!Fearne chomps away at the caster, but the Spider Queen enters her mind as well, urging on her bloodlust. She must choose to either finish the kill and immediately go for the circlet, or hold out. She decides to wait, ignoring her desire for both the kill and the circlet.
But the momentary reprieve allows the caster to release a cone of cold as his dying action, hitting most of the group and causing Dorian to lose two death saving throws and barely cling to life. As this happens, Myr’atta’s mass of a pseudopod patron begins to change shape again – forming into the face of Ted. Now, Ted is no longer bound to just Opal as patron and is rapidly losing her memory of what used to be her life. She can hardly remember her own sister.
Dorian is in a liminal space, where the Spider Queen once again taunts him, but he is calm in the face of death. He will not let her hurt his friends, despite her offer of power. She claims that he doesn’t trust himself with power, but Dorian tells her that if he knew he could save his friends, he would do anything. The Spider Queen tells him there is still time to put that to the test as Dariax casts cure wounds on Dorian, saving his life. With trust affirmed between them, the Double D’s fly to Myr’atta to bring the fight to her.
THE TIDE TURNS
Dariax spears Myr’atta, demanding she put Ted back as, at the same time, Ted breathes out a poison cloud, hitting Mister and knocking the monkey unconscious. Opal reaches out to her sister, choosing to focus on her instead of going for the circlet. Ted begs her to stop Myr’atta, calling herself Opal’s patron while Opal tells her that Ted is her sister first. Opal was always the sword, while Ted was the shield, but Ted can’t protect her from this. Myr’atta must be stopped. Opal turns her attention to the circlet at Dariax’s waist.
Myr’atta dispels Dariax’s wings, but is unable to push the mountain-blooded dwarf off their battlefield of Ted’s hand. Instead, she knocks him unconscious with inflict wounds and uses his body as a shield so that no one can attack her without hurting Dariax in the process. Dorian is able to fly up and face Myr’atta, curing Dariax with his last spell slot. When Myr’atta tries to counter it, spiders pour from her mouth.
Opal does not have a clear shot on Myr’atta due to her friends’ proximity to the elf. She wants assurances that if she puts on the circlet, she’ll be able to kill Myr’atta. The Spider Queen promises to confirm the kill, so Opal goes for the circlet, which has fallen to the ground during the wrestle of Dariax’s body. Opal doesn’t trust the Spider Queen, but she believes in her sister, who she has spent her life trying to get away from. All she wants is Ted to be safe.
Opal puts on the Circlet of Barbed Vision.
YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN
As the circlet touches Opal’s head, its barbs lengthen and dig into her skin. The dye job melts from her hair as it returns to its natural brown before going black, then once again opalescent and white. She looks more like Ted, in a way, her body becoming a little stockier as her health and spell slots return to her. Her Charisma goes down while her Dexterity goes up, but Opal is focused. She misty steps to Myr’atta’s side and slashes her dagger across the elf’s throat, denying Myr’atta any ownership over her sister.
Orym has watched this all happen, and while he is still on edge now that Opal has put on the circlet, he does recall the Tetrarch’s words, that power is just power, and this power is in the hands of his friend. As for Ted – the form of the patron construct is still there, despite Myr’atta now deceased. Dorian has an idea. He gets the residuum from Orym and taps a piece to one of Opal’s spikes, like a tuning fork, and pulls a new tether from her.
Dorian approaches Ted’s massive head and begins to use the residuum to trace a rune from Niirdal-Poc over her eye – the rune for Opal. The others begin to assist with their own knowledge of the runes, shouting out their guidance. Orym, urging him to remember the description part of the runic language: Stone That Catches Fire. Fearne, who recalls that Opal is more to Ted than just a stone, but a person, a loved one. Dariax joins Dorian, taking some residuum and recalling his own connection with the runes, fixing some of Dorian’s shapes.
AN ENDING AND A BEGINNING
Opal is in a state of desperation, begging her sister to come back to her. But her pleas are not enough and she can feel Ted slipping away. Opal no longer wants her sister to be disconnected from her. She prays for help, for the power to help her sister. She finds that she can understand the runic language and is able to help her friends finish the rune. A rune that means Opal, sister, safety, home, belonging. A rune that speaks to all of them, not just Ted.
The ritual completes, and the eyes of the patron flare to an opalescent fire. Then blink out. The head begins to descend back into the ground, and Ted goes home. As the night stills, Opal reaches inside herself – she can feel Ted there. Exhausted, but safe, and whole in her way. Opal recalls her own mother, how she would look into a mirror with her own gaze turned inward. But it’s a mystery she cannot solve today.
As comfort is doled out, Fearne casts cure wounds on Mister, saving her buddy. Opal is unable to take the circlet off her head, but she doesn’t feel evil. The talk turns to what to do next. They decide to continue their search for Tetrarch Umejii, then head north. They all have things they want to do, but it’s better to stay together for now. Dariax suggests calling themselves ‘The Crown Keepers’ – at least for now. Problems persist, but those are for another day.
Poska holds court in a literal den of thieves. She thought they could be different from both the Myriad and the Clasp. But with their generosity exploited and her feelings hurt, Poska sees no other course of action than violence. Woe to those fools who try to return to her city now.
That is it for Exandria Unlimited Episode 8!
- Hello Crown Keepers! Finally this group has a name.
- It took 8 episodes but Opal has put on the circlet. Despite power being power, I’m worried about our dear warlock.
- Huge congratulations to Aimee Carrero and Robbie Daymond on their first D&D game, and a million props to the incredible Aabria Iyengar, our Game Master extraordinaire!
Thank you all for tuning into these recaps and check out the ExU wrap-up next week on Thursday, August 26th at 7pm Pacific on twitch.tv/criticalrole and youtube.com/criticalrole, as well as a week later on our podcast. AND stay tuned in the coming months for information on what’s to come! Is it Thursday, yet?