Critical Role 3×24 recap: Campaign 3, Episode 24 “The Hellcatch Valley” Aired May 19, 2022
Air Mailing Monsters
Still reeling after Laudna inadvertently destroyed Imogen’s gnarlrock (Critical Role 3×23), I fully expected Critical Role 3×24 to open with one hell of a fight. And it did… just not between Imogen and Laudna. Orym is keeping a lookout the next morning when he sees a caravan on the ground below, but something isn’t right. The earth is churning behind the caravan. Coming closer. Closer.
Orym alerts the rest of the crew, and Chetney tries to use his magical Horn of Silent Alarm to warn the caravan… but it doesn’t seem to work. (Uh.oh.) Like something out of Tremors, a creature bursts out of the earth. It’s a dusttra; an enormous, eighty-foot long cephalopod type monster with three giant eyes and twelve huge tentacles.
Thinking fast, the Bells Hells hit the dusttra with the ship’s chained harpoons aaannnd liftoff! They fly it away from the caravan, dropping it back to the ground before it climbs the chains and attack them. Yikes! It’s not the way the Bells Hells wanted to spend their final day of the journey, but almost nothing happens the way you expect it to on Critical Role.
The crew lands just outside Bassuras at sunset, but any hopes for a quiet entrance are immediately dashed. Green light flashes from the city’s watchtower and almost immediately the gates open. Mad Max merges with steampunk fantasy as a crawler gang rides out of the city. It spooks Captain Xandis, and they set the ship down, kick out the Bells Hells and head for the proverbial hills.
The crawler gang seems to function almost like a city watch and demands to know what the Bells Hells are doing in the city. Ashton takes the lead here, and their explanation (plus their family name) smoothes the way enough to get inside. Bassuras is like no other city in Critical Role (or any other high fantasy property I’ve ever seen). There is something almost post-apocalyptic about Bassuras; its cobbled together with equal parts ingenuity and menace.
Donning their cloaks, the Bells Hells make their way to the Western Dregs area of the city and rent rooms at a caravanseri called the Raha Den. Settling in for the night, Laudna looks into Lord Eshteross’ tracking sphere (Critical Role 3×22) and determines that Armand Treshi is somewhere on the southwestern side of Bassuras. All they can do is turn in for the night, keeping watch against this strange and cut-throat new city.
The night was uneventful, except for the flapping of a large bird outside the window. It shakes FCG so much, they wake Chetney and nearly send the old gnome out to hunt the bird down. Chetney pokes his head out the window, but the bird seems like an average hawk, nothing to fear. Which is when we get a backstory drop that only a mind like Sam Reigel could imagine.
FCG previously revealed that they don’t like birds, but given Sam’s flair for improv, (like making FCG a flat-earther, lololol) the audience would be forgiven for not thinking twice about it. Of course there’s more to it. The last time FCG was in Bassuras they were harassed by a mangy-looking bird which followed FCG through the city and, well, pooed on their head. FCG now wants the bird dead or humiliated. Chetney takes the job, and becomes one of FCG’s trusted companions.
Walks and Repercussions
The next morning, the Bells Hells head for the southwestern side of the city. The goal is to get eyes on Armand so they can start making a plan… we all know how well plans work on Critical Role, lol. On their way, they hear a cry for help. Down an alley they see a petite-looking elf surrounded by ruffians, and voice actor, Erika Ishii, joins the table!
The Bells Hells leap into action, running toward the fight. The mysterious elf casts thunder step, retreating to a nearby rooftop, giving the Bells plenty of space to attack. Imogen casts mind whip but the feywild shard comes with some drawbacks (remember how she turned blue? Critical Role 3×17). A wild magic surge hits her, and all her hair falls out!!
While Imogen is left in shock, the fight continues and the ruffians prove to be a lot tougher than expected. Their magic user casts a spell on Ashton, causing them to see their evil twin falling from the sky. Rather than attacking the ruffians, Ashton is left fighting themself.
Luckily, the rest of the Bells Hells are there to pick up the slack; Chetney goes werewolf (wounding one attacker), Imogen casts lightning bolt (hitting three attackers) and Laudna uses shocking grasp on the last one.
The elf they saved climbs down from the roof (and by climb, yes, I mean fall) and introduces themself. Dusk is an elf that has been touched by the feywild, and whose memory is more than a little shoddy. Dusk is dying to go back to the feywild and Fearne wants to know everything about where they were and who they saw.
But conversing in the middle of the street, in full-view of the public, seems like a bad idea. They decide to continue south, closer to where they think Armand is and hole up somewhere. Dusk suggests a place called Taste of Tal’Dorei… Bassuras may feel like a lawless old west town, but it’s good to know it also has kitschy theme restaurants too.
We’ll have to wait until June to see how this all shakes out. The Critical Role main campaign is going on a short break. But don’t worry! You won’t be completely D&D-less. Marisha Ray, Sam Reigel and Travis Willingham will be joined by Aabria Iyengar, Luis Carazo, Lou Wilson and DM Brennan Lee Mulligan for the four-part adventure, Exandria Unlimited: Calamity.
I cannot wait!
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 my highlights and theories here!
Critical Role Episode 24 Highlights
- Oh man, I hope that Chetney isn’t going to go ballistic about the Horn. He bought it from Marwa (Critical Role 3 3×22), who has to be one of my favorite side characters. But we all know what happened the last time Chentey got swindled by a merchant.
- Imogen and Laudna might not have discussed their issues yet, but daannnggg was the cold shoulder so real, Fearne and Chetney got frostbite from sheer proximity!
- Poor Imogen! First she’s fighting with her BFF and now she’s completely bald. Losing all her hair feels like the magical D&D equivalent of a terrible post-breakup haircut.
- And now I’m worried about Chentey! He was specifically warned that people in the Hellcatch Valley hunt lycans for their pelts (Critical Role 3×22)