‘Critical Role’ recap: Campaign 3, Episode 52 “Far From The Others” Aired March 16, 2023
Far from the others
After the catastrophic events of Episode 51, FCG, Imogen, Chetney and Fearne are stranded on the continent of Wildmount just outside Chetney’s one-time home, Uthodurn. The sky, though starting to lighten with dawn, is still lit with the aurora. So the apogee solstice is still happening. But how much longer? Is Predathos free? And exactly how far from the others are they?
They try, repeatedly, to message Laudna and Orym, but not only can they not get through all they can sense is a terrible overwhelming static– so loud that Imogen even takes some psychic damage. The first guess is that they can’t get through to the others because of their possible proximity to the key. So they contact Dorian…
But the result is the same. And it doesn’t seem to affect all magic. But why only the sending spell? And how much longer with the apogee solstice be in effect?
In the end the frigid temperatures get the better of them and they decide to find shelter from the cold. They find an empty cavern in the foothills of the mountains, but by now we know that what seems safe, rarely is. A massive lizard-like creature erupts from the snow and attacks the group. Good thing the Bells Hells aren’t alone anymore. Two figures emerge from the snow to help them, a dark skinned gnomish cleric and a tall automaton… a sentient automaton.
Between the six of them put the monster down quickly and then introduce themselves. Not that they all need introductions. The gnomish cleric is a woman called Deanna (played by the always fabulous, Aabria Iyengar) who has a complicated past with Chetney. One that involved Chetney running out on her– and their relationship– in the middle of the night. Her companion is an aeormaton called FRIDA (played by Christian Navarro).
Around the fire
The Deanna-Chetney dynamic is purely, hilarious gold. After Chetney jilted her, Deanna travelled to Uthodurn, married an adventurer and then… died. Like for hundreds of years was dead until her husband found a way to resurrect her thanks to a cleric of Pelor (gotta be Pike Trickfoot, right?) Though Deanna and her husband are no longer together, Deanna is still a cleric of Pelor… albeit a lukewarm kind of one.
I mention this because importantly, Deanna has felt something in past few days. A sense that Pelor is leaning away from her. At first she chalked it up to godly ambivalence. Neither she nor FRIDA are particularly religious. FRIDA in particular seems to be a product of their Aeorian creation in thinking that the gods are little more than leeches, eating our devotion. But the news that Predathos, the god-eater, might be on the loose casts Pelor’s lack of attention in a whole new light. Perhaps the god isn’t ignoring his followers.
Perhaps he’s afraid.
He wouldn’t be the only one. Because the strange purple marks on Imogen’s body have grown, taking on a scarlet hue.
And Ruidus isn’t visible in the night sky.
After a long day of traveling toward Uthodurn the group make camp for a second night in the wild. Which is when Chetney realizes it’s not only the height of the solstice, but the pale moon, Catha is also full. Which means wolf-time. Able to control himself long enough to flee, Chetney sprints into the forest far from the others before giving in to the wolf.
Meanwhile, Imogen decides it’s time to do some dream sleuthing– and honestly it’s about time. It seemed like it took a while for the reality of their situation to hit home: that they are inches from a complete loss. Across the world from the key with no way to get there and no way of knowing how long they have. Or don’t have. It’s an untenable situation.
So it’s about time that Imogen decides to try something more drastic. With Fearne and FCG with her, she falls asleep.
As Imogen slips into the dream she tries to focus on Laudna, desperate to get any clue about the fate of their friends. But as she makes her intent clear, her consciousness is yanked away. Like being caught in the rapids, she’s unable to do anything but slip into the current. A current that leads not the Laudna, but to the Malleus Key. A massive beam of red energy is surging out of the key into Ruidus, the moon which still exists, but which is frozen in sky above
The key has become a sort of bridge, one which is slowly unraveling the cage about the moon. As Imogen fights the beam’s pull, she sees figures on the ground. Figures with shadowy red skin. The Reilora. But is the bridge summoning them? Or are the Ruidus-born becoming them? There aren’t any answers to find because it’s very clear that if she doesn’t pull away, she’ll be pulled in. She manages to snap out of it– thanks to a well-timed smack in the face from Fearne.
Robots and wolves
FRIDA, meanwhile, decides to go looking for Chetney. I’m chalking this up to a combination of an over-inflated sense of martial prowess and the well-intentioned realization that Chetney still means a lot to Deanna. Whatever the reason it seems FRIDA is intent on taming the beast within…and it’s a real sh*t show. FRIDA makes a good effort at reaching the gnome inside the wolf, but it isn’t enough.
There was a good chance of Chetney destroying FRIDA, at least until the others arrive. The confusion–and the sound of Deanna’s voice– helps Chetney snap out of his werewolf form. But not before he bites FRIDA.
Can Aeormatons become werewolves?
I guess we’ll find out soon.
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 Episode 52 Highlights
- Why isn’t the sending spell working? Truly it’s driving me nuts!
- I absolutely love the Chetney-Deanna dynamic. Aabria played Sam’s ex-wife in Calamity with a similar kind of savage glee and I lover her playing it again here. There is something really satisfying about seeing Travis get trolled.
- Pelor is leaning away…. yikes. That doesn’t sound good.
- Very creepy that Imogen feels… rapturous… when pulled into the beam. Yikes.