‘Critical Role’ review: Campaign 3, Episode 62 “A Long Walk of Reflection” Aired June 15, 2023, Campaign 3, Episode 63 “A Haunted Past” Aired June 22, 2023
A Loooong Walk
The Issylra crew head out in search of Abbadina’s old master, Hierophant Havestro– and the hopes that he can teleport them all back home. And thus episode 62 was a looooooonnnnggg walk indeed. One filled with cougar jokes (hilarious) and lots of introspection (less hilarious). At the time, watching this was a bit of a sigh. It makes sense that Bor’Dor doesn’t want to die going up against Ludinus and a God Killer, he’s only a shepherd after all. (Yes, in retrospect, I am laughing my butt off.)
I think what bothered me about this episode was Orym’s silence. For some reason I keep expecting Orym to stand up shut these kinds of conversations down. At one point their new friends were claiming that no one really even knows what’s going on. Ummm, wut? Orym! Laudna! Ashton! Speak up! You all know what is going on, stop biting your tongues and talk.
Speaking of who isn’t talking? Bor’Dor. Deni$e (and later on, Prism) were starting to get suspicious of Bor’Dor’s story and began to pepper him with questions trying to poke holes in it. It might have been the whole 1:30 am talking, but I wasn’t seeing any basis for Deni$e suspicion. I feel like we all know a Bor’Dor: affable, naive and out of his depth (and yeah, a bit of a himbo, lolol)
Of course, hindsight makes all this… Um. Yeah.
Interpersonal drama aside, episode 62 ended with the Issylra team walking deep into the heard of the Verdant Tomb, right to base of the Emerald Tree. Which is less a tree and more of a giant shard of Residuum. Every time I hear about another person getting a hold of Residuum, I just want to laugh at Percy from Campaign 1 thinking he’s cornered the whole market, hehe. What they don’t find is the Hierophant. Only a terrifying face in the ceiling.
A shadowy fey-creature called Evithorir emerges and in a very Shining-esque way, tells them that Hevestro isn’t here right now. I really enjoyed the ensuing battle. Fitghs against enemies that are hard to pin down are always fascinating. It forces the players to think quickly and creatively to game out a strategic way of defeating their foes. I thought Orym literally pulling Hevestro out of Evothrir’s was such a cool moment. And I’m always a sucker for a good Counterspell battle!
After Bro-Dor heals everyone (but Laudna) with a Mass Cure Wounds, Hevestro drops some verrrry interesting information about our good old friend Abbadina.
While Hevestro explains that the shrine here is in memory of a Gau-Drashari druid, Ashton asks if the word Hishari means anything to him. And boy doesn’t it! Apparently Hishari was the appropriated name of a radical group here on Issylra. Their goal was was to restore the Primordials to power, and instead blew up their whole village.
And Abbadina was one of the survivors. THE FORK!?! Abbadina had to know who Ashton was, right? Why didn’t she say anything? And now (as Prism pointed out) there’s a real possibility of her being re-radicalized by Ludinus and his Ruby Vanguard. They may not want all the same things, but their goals could be aligned enough. YIKES!
Also, poor Ashton. They finally start getting answers about their past, only to have zero time to follow up on it.
When Hevestro leaves to burry his friends, Deni$e basically jumps Bor’Dor and tells him it’s time to come clean. I about spat out a mouthful of water when this happened because I totally forgot that she had stolen something secret last episode. With basically no choice, Bor’Dor cops to his lies– supposedly and starts telling the “truth.” The quotation marks here should be in bold because the number of times his story changes over the next five minutes was astounding.
First he doesn’t have a brother. Then he never knew his mother. Then he has a mother but she had to go in hiding because she worshiped the Wildmother (except that isn’t a crime in the Menagerie Coast– or at least it wasn’t in Campaign 2). The sob story continues with his family being murdered at the hands of religious zealots and a certain group approaching him…
I think we broke Orym…
That’s right! Bor’Dor is not only part of the Ruby Vanguard, he was at the excavation site when the Bells Hells tried to stop Ludinus Da’Leth. I really have to give it to Uktarsh, he played this so freaking well I did not see this coming at all. At some point, I’ll have to go back and take a look to see what bread crumbs led to Deni$e calling him out. (Well done, Aimee!).
And Laudna! Oh man, she went full-dark and used her Warlock skills to kill Bor’Dor. Seemingly re-awakening Delilah as she did. In all honesty, I’m not sure how I feel about the Delilah return– I’m not always a bog fan of bad guys who die (repeatedly) only to come back time and time again. But I trust the crew over at Critical Role enough to wait and see how this all shakes out.
Laudna isn’t the only one who is going to be dealing with fall out from this. Orym seems well and truly broken by this turn of events. If we were all waiting for Imogen to go all Dark Phoenix this campaign, I think we’re in more danger of watching Orym go full on possessed Cyclops. This is definitely going to hav long ranging consequences, and I know it should, but…
I guess I was just excited to see Liam not play a sad-boi this campaign?? Finger’s crossed regrouping with the rest of the Bells Hells helps pull Orym out of the spiral!