‘Critical Role’ 3×37 recap: From the Boughs

The Bells Hells take on Delilah Briarwood on Critical Role

Critical Role’ 3×37 recap: Campaign 3, Episode 37 “From the Boughs” Aired October 13, 2022

The labyrinth

The Bells Hells follow the tunnel to the outskirts of a green-skied and twisted version of Whitestone. Necromantic magic poisons the air and each step they take in the streets causes the buildings to shift and move. Keeping them from Laudna, and the Sun Tree at the center of town.

Despite this, the Bells Hells do manage to find Laudna– though not always in the form they know. Laudna is still a wisp of black smoke, and trapped in her own memories. They see her as a small child, being tormented by a village boy. Only she isn’t called Laudna, but Matilda. Imogen is only able to connect with her mind for a moment before she disappears again, evaporating through a wall to escape the boy.

The barn

Still mind-linked, Laudna/Matilda tells Imogen that she is hiding in the barn. She’s scared and wants to leave the city, but the tree won’t let her. Not sure what to do, the Bells Hells keep trying to find Laudna.

But it’s no simple thing. Giant columns of bone fissure up through the streets, blocking their way, until Orym climbs up to the rooftops, and spots the barn Laudna/Matilda is hiding in. 

When they reach the barn, Laudna/Matilda seems slightly older, but is too timid to fully trust the Bells Hells. She just knows that she can’t escape this place. And neither can the Bells Hells. As they speak, vines have encircled the barn, sealing them in… at least until Chetney chucks a stick of dynamite at the wall. Yeah. Not much vines can do against explosives.

The house

The Bells Hells decide they need to get to the Sun Tree, but the city has other ideas. Their path through the washed out landscape leads them to a house remarkable only by the fact that its lights are lit when all others are black. 

They look through the windows, and see that Laudna/Matilda is older still, and now with her parents– or creatures pretending to be her parents. They tell her to dress for the dinner with the Briarwoods– the one where Laudna was killed. 

Imogen once again reaches out to her friend, begging her not to go to dinner. Saying that things are going to get scary, and dark. But don’t worry, we will be there. Imogen obviously wants to save Laudna, but Ashton holds her back. It’s too late to change Laudna’s past. All they can do is save her now.

Sage advice, but it doesn’t stop Laudna’s parents from attacking the Bells Hells. The creatures are dispatched easily, but I can’t help but worry about the spells they are using up (and the damage they are taking) before they even make it to the main event: Delilah Briarwood. (eek!)

The Sun Tree

When they reach the Sun Tree, Delilah is waiting for them, her form a purple wisp of energy that is all the more malevolent for its lack of form. She applauds them for making it this far, but they will come no further. She will not cede Laudna’s soul. If they want her back, they’ll have to take Delilah too.

The Bells Hells try to talk to Delilah– try to convince her to release Laudna and go. No surprise, Delilah isn’t interested in giving up her easiest path back to life. They do manage to persuade Delilah into exposing Launda’s location. Sort of like a proof of life. (unlife??)

She is trapped in the Sun Tree, its branches wrapped around her like a cage. Imogen reaches out to her, and finally, finally, it’s their Laudna. Matt calls Marisha back to the table, and for a few glowing moments, Imogen and Laudna are able to speak to one another. Imogen tells Laudna to fight. Just fight. She isn’t alone.

But Delilah was listening. The game is on.

Delilah against the world

For anyone who watched Campaign One, or the Amazon animated series, it’s no surprise to learn that Delilah isn’t going to go down easily. She has all the advantages of a big boss in her own lair, and the Bells Hells are already weakened from all the fighting they’ve had to do. 

And of course, Delilah isn’t going to hold back. She dishes out a ton of damage before the Bells Hells realize that the best way to hurt her, is to hurt the Sun Tree. Fearne strikes first, with three hits that set the massive tree alight. But the hit Delilah deals an answer that gravely wounds Ashton and Orym, and flat out destroys FCG. (Don’t worry, FCG will wake up in life, perfectly safe in Pike Trickfoot’s house.)

Orym gets hit next (on a nat 20 roll from Matt) and fades from this half-world. And while Ashton is able to chuck a stick of dynamite at the tree, Delilah isn’t ready to give up. She strikes out at Imogen next, but luckily Imogen took that potion of possibility, forcing Matt to re-roll. Instead of hitting Imogen, Delilah missed.


Imogen sends a lightning bolt at the tree. It cleaves the trunk in two. Laudna’s shadowed form is released. Delilah screams. White light blinds the Bells Hells.

And one by one, they awaken on the floor of Pike’s house.

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 3×37 Highlights

  • I am like a hundred percent sure that the mean little boy they saw tormenting baby-Laudna is Whitestone Andy
  • I could have sworn that Laudna’s father called her mother Laudna…. I’m confused. If Laudna’s name was Matilda when she was a living child, why (and how) did she end up taking her mother’s name?
  • Travis got an insight check on Delilah and got a pretty lengthy whisper from it that I am dying to know more about!!! Spill, Chetney, spill!
  • Seeing Marisha at the table for a moment there just killed me!! She looked so scared.
  • That potion of possibility was clutch! Laura only had 16 hit points when she was hit, but because of the potion, Matt was forced to reroll.

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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