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‘Critical Role’ 3×23: “To The Skies” recap

Is Chetney ACTUALLY okay?

Critical Role 3×23 recap: Campaign 3, Episode 23, “To The Skies” aired May, 12 2022

A vengeful interlude

Critical Role kicked off with Chetney heading into Jrusar on his own– and without the knowledge of the other Bells Hells– to seek some vengeance. A few weeks ago, he visited the Prism Emporium (Critical Role 3×11) to buy a new chisel, and was out-negotiated by the rather snooty shopkeeper. Naturally such a slight cannot go unanswered.

The shop is locked and closed for the evening, with only a few lights on to indicate that the store’s owner, Tuyen, is still there. Perfect conditions for a break-in. Chetney scales the side of the building to the roof. He heads for the chimney, and like the worst Santa imaginable, slides right on down the chute, busting through the wood burning stove into a back room. 

If all of this sounds like the opposite of stealthy, I agree, but the gods of Critical Role were smiling on Chetney (Travis was rolling crazy well) and he made almost no noise whatsoever. Perfect for a burglary. But Chetney doesn’t want to steal anything. He wants to send a message. 

Which he does, by going full werewolf and attacking Tuyen. She tries to run, and he slashes out at her ‘in warning.’ A warning that nearly has her bleeding out (much to Travis’ surprise, but come on, dude, she’s a shopkeeper. She probably has like ten hit points, lol). He ‘helps’ her by cauterizing the wound so she doesn’t bleed out, before bolting toward the door…only he can’t get it open (I love this game). 

Unlocking the door, he turns invisible and rushes through the gathering crowd, back to his sleeping friends. 

The Silver Sun

After testing the limits of their portable hole (a magical pocket of space where they can store gear) and saying their goodbyes to Lord Eshteross, the Bells Hells head to the sky port to find the Silver Sun skyship waiting for them. And man is it worth the wait! Critical Role always does a stellar job on miniatures and terrain, but they really pulled out all the stops on this skyship. It is stunning!

The ship’s crew is led by the extremely charismatic Captain Xandis who, while willing to take them to Bassuras, makes it clear that they’re crazy for going there. Oh. And there isn’t a safe spot to land the Silver Sun in Bassuras… so get ready to tuck and roll?

Attack from Above

The Bells Hells had been warned that the journey across the Hellcatch Valley was a dangerous one, but none of them were prepared to be attacked by flying manta ray-type monsters. The monster’s spine attacks are brutal, but luckily the ship is fitted with three ballista. The Bells Hells fired missiles, shot spells and, swung hammers through chaos-magic portals (looking at you, Ashton) to kill both creatures. But at the very last moment, Orym is thrown overboard.

Laudna cast featherfall on him before he fell to a very gruesome ending (insert Keyfish flashbacks here: Critical Role C1xE97) but he’s still falling. Captain Xandis turns the boat around, but before they can bring the Silver Sun to save Orym, Imogen steps forward.

Magical energy surrounds her in crackling waves. Her toes leave the deck and she flies to Orym bringing him back to the ship like she’s a lost member of the Avengers. It was So. Freaking. Cool.

Night falls

As the Bells Hells prepare to turn in for the night, FCG approaches Imogen with an idea. They both have psychic powers, which they’ve been able to use to mind meld with one another (Critical Role C3xE17) FCG wonders if there is a way for them to use this connection to form a bridge between Imogen’s sleeping mind and another party member. FCG suggests Laudna, since she and Imogen are so close. 

Imogen is intrigued by the idea. It would be nice to have company when she faces her nightmares, and there is no one she trusts more than Laudna. (Insert ominous music here.)

Shards

While the rest of the group rests, Laudna takes Imogen up to the deck to check in. Its impossible to ignore the way Imogen has been changing over the past few weeks. Her once passive personality has become more brittle. Even Imogen admits that she’s more explosive than she once was. Is it the stress of their situation? Or the presence of the Gnarlrock Imogen found in the Shademother’s den? (Critical Role C3xE16)

Imogen keeps this mysterious purple stone with her at all times, and everyone has noticed the way she clutches it in her sleep. Laudna isn’t trying to take anything from Imogen, she just wants to make sure the stone isn’t somehow controlling her. Its a fear that almost pulses in the back of Laudna’s mind like a second heartbeat.

Imogen is hesitant to hand it over. She even makes Laudna promise not to destroy it (or chuck it overboard) without her permission. Promise received, she gives the stone to Laudna. Only Laudna isn’t in control anymore. 

Remember, Laudna’s powers come from Delilah Briarwood, one of the big antagonists from Critical Role Campaign 1. Delilah seizes control of Laudna’s body, whispering that the shard is far too dangerous for Laudna. Burning, searing heat flashes through Laudna’s hand, up her arm and into her heart. The stone breaks.

Imogen’s eyes fill with tears. “You lied.” The betrayal and hurt in Imogen’s voice still gives me chills! Laudna tries to explain, but it’s obvious that Imogen doesn’t really believe her. She rushes to her room and it’s impossible to shake the feeling that more than stone is broken now.

Critical Role’s twenty-third episode ends with Laudna demanding an answer from her patron. And with Delilah Briarwood’s parting words: 

“Don’t worry, dear. I’ve taken care of it. And thank you.”

 

Watch Critical Role Thursdays at 7pm PST on Twitch and YouTube! Check out last week’s Critical Role recap here, or watch me talk about all the highlights and theories here!

 

Episode Highlights

  • The opening vignette with Chetney seeking revenge was really pretty cool. But this much blood spilled over such a small slight seemed excessive. I’m starting to worry about ol’ Chetney’s mental state. 
  • Watching the cast take ten minutes to test every aspect of the portable hole is peak D&D. Also… they left it in Fearne’s hands? Yeah, that’s going to go well lolol!
  • I cannot believe that Delilah has this much control over Laudna! What is she going to do with the stone’s power? And how isn’t Delilah dead??? I will be internally screaming from now until the next episode!!!!!
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Greta Kelly

Greta Kelly is (probably) not a witch, death or otherwise, but she can still be summoned with the Horn of Gondor or the promise of a ride in the Tardis. She loves all things fantasy and is the author of THE FROZEN CROWN and THE SEVENTH QUEEN, and her third book, THE QUEEN OF DAYS will be out in 2023. Find her on Instagram or Twitter at @gretakkelly to geek out about literally anything.

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