‘Critical Role’ 3×36 recap: Campaign 3, Episode 36 “A Desperate Call” Aired October 6, 2022
Vox Machina Returns
The Bells Hells arrive in the city of Whitestone, following Keyleth through the Sun Tree. It’s a world away from anything that they’ve known, but for longtime fans like myself, it’s a bit of a world’s collide moment.
Keyleth doesn’t have a lot of time to tarry in Whitestone (bummer!). She takes them to the castle so the Bells Hells can meet with Lord Percival De Rolo (played by Taliesin Jaffe in Campaign One.) The Bells Hells tell Keyleth a very truncated version of what’s happened, but she can’t stay long so Orym promises to write her a full account.
But he doesn’t mention that Laudna’s Warlock Patron is none other than Delilah Briarwood.
A favor asked
Sooooo, Percy isn’t the person that anyone would want to go to with a sob story. It’s not that he is unfeeling, but historically most of his feelings have been cold rage. Not without reason. Delilah Briarwood and her husband murdered almost his whole family when he was a child. But he recognizes that Laudna was one of the corpses Delilah hung from the sun tree. The corpse that was dressed to look like his wife, Vex’halia.
He somewhat grudgingly summons Pike Trickfoot to the castle (Ashely Johnson’s C1 character). Pike is a very powerful cleric– one who would have a true resurrection spell. While they wait for Pike, Vex comes in to see what the fuss is about, and sees Laudna and is struck by the weight of guilt. She is adamant that they do whatever they can to help Laudna, even providing the very expensive components of the spell.
No Mercy Percy
When Pike arrives, she is unsure of whether or not she’ll be able to perform the resurrection. It’s been a long time since she’s attempted to perform such magic. But she does try.
And she fails.
As she performs the ritual, she senses something is wrong. Something spoiled. Because Laudna’s soul is not alone. It’s tangled and intertwined with Delilah Briarwoods. No surprise to the audience or the Bells Hells. But when Percy hears it, he flies into a rage.
He will not talk about Laudna returning. It’s too much of a risk. There is nothing in his mind worth the risk of bringing Delilah back too. Eventually, after some persuasion from Orym and Vex and a veeerrry surreal dressing down from Ashton he agrees to a compromise.
If the Bells Hells can separate Laudna’s soul from Delilah’s, he will allow them to bring her back. Good thing Pike is willing to help.
Pike’s spell send the Bells Hells to some kind of astral plane. Its a kind of shadowy purgatory filled with stone trees and unsettling, angry whispers. Eventually they find a hovel beneath the trees, and looking through the window they see Laudna– but not.
She is nothing more than a wisp of smoke in the shape of a humanoid, her heart burning purple. No sooner do they see Laudna then do strange fabric creatures appear. Like villagers on the hunt for monsters, the creatures set Laudna’s cabin alight and fight the Bells Hells– and worse, each strike they land strips the party of their essences.
By the time they defeat the fabric monsters, Laudna is gone. But there is still a trail to follow. A trapdoor leads the Bells Hells underground, and when they surface, it’s to Whitestone.
The sickly green-skied, dead-tree and monster-filled Whitestone that was ruled by Delilah Briarwood.
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!
Critical Role 3×36 Highlights
- Sam slowly turning into a sunflower as a secret b-story to his pre-show advertisements miiiigght be the most on-brand thing he has ever done, lolol
- Keyleth is getting pulled in so many directions because of the coming solstice. Apparently mages all over the world are planning rituals– many of which could destabilize the world as they know it.
- I loved how Percy’s hard outer shell utterly melted at the sight of his youngest child. So sweet!
- It was very odd to see Taliesin, as Ashton, arguing with Matt playing Taliesin’s old character, Percy. I’m not sure how the space-time continuum survived, lol.
FCG has a soul!!! We all knew it to be true, but Pike’s spell confirms that our one-time killer robot is a real boy afterall.