Episode 14: In Too Deep
Ashton and General Ratanish take their fight outside. They both agree to leave weapons out of this fight and face each other fist to fist. Ashton gets a solid few hits in before Ratanish returns the favor. Ashton quickly realizes that he’s out of his depth against Ratanish but holds his ground till the end. Before too long, Ratanish’s blows bring Ashton to their knees and Ratanish stands triumphant over the field. As Ashton’s companions get him back on his feet, Ratanish goes on a spiel about the merits of The Paragon’s Call vigilante mercenary group. The excitement of the fight dies down and the party resumes as everyone walks back into the ballroom.
Leaving Ashton to nurse his wounds with a few rounds of liquor, the rest of the gang get to work investigating what shady deeds Cyrus and Lady Emoth are getting up to. Imogen reaches out to Cyrus with a sending spell and he can only answer that he’s here to pay off his debts. Dorian, FCG, Chetney and Fearne wander the halls looking for Cyrus or Lady Emoth and nearly come up empty handed until they send some guards to investigate the room Lady Emoth was last seen.
The guards creep their way towards the darkened room and spend a few moments trying to peer in. The gang listen from around the corner and are dismayed to suddenly hear the guards cry out in distress, some horrifying monster-like screeching, and then wet crunching and tearing sounds….then deafening silence.
Dorian, Fearne and Chetney all want to go back and get the rest of their friends before going in to try and save the guards, but FCG thinks they’re wasting precious seconds to save some innocent lives. FCG rushes into the dark room and finds it deathly silent; large blood stains drag into the next room. FCG risks a glance towards the ceiling and finally notices the grotesquely twisted shape of Lady Emoth clinging to the tiles above.
Things begin to happen all at once. The rest of the gang rushes into the room to join FCG. Lady Emoth drops down from the ceiling to block their escape. Four shadecreepers emerge from the dark corners of the room and begin to attack.
Meanwhile, Imogen, Laudna, Orym and Ashton wonder if they should try catching up with the rest of their companions. They begin to wander the halls looking for their friends when they hear the sounds of a fight coming around the corner. Orym rushes towards his friends in danger, leaving Imogen, Laudna and a still seriously hurt Ashton in the dust. FCG dodges attacks from the shadecreepers left and right as he slings healing spells towards his friends. Chetney manages to get a healing potion into one of the guards then lets his werewolf side loose to wreak havoc on the battlefield as Dorian and Fearne spar with Lady Emoth and the remaining creepers. Orym slides into the battlefield just in time to take a face full of acidic vomit from Lady Emoth. Imogen and Laudna finally round the corner and begin to snipe at the shadecreepers to give their companions some cover. While the rest of the group is busy with the Shadecreepers, Lady Emoth makes her escape through a hole in the bedroom wall.
One of the guards regained consciousness and watched the gang fight the monstrous Lady Emoth and her minions. The group make sure he’s ok and ask whose room Lady Emoth was ransacking. The guard tells them that this is Gryz Alakritos’ room. They realize that Lady Emoth may have been looking for some ties or information that Gryz had about the location of the Gorgynei lycans. The guard asks for the group’s name so he can tell his superiors of their deed. Imogen decides to memorialize their fallen friend and calls their little group the Bell’s Hells.
The gang then hear a familiar voice calling out in a struggle. It seems that trouble has finally found Cyrus. Dorian sees that Cyrus is in the process of being arrested by the two Green Seeker investigators that have been lurking around the party. Dorian asks his friends for their help and they quickly leap into action to create a distraction. Laudna casts a darkness spell over the ballroom. The room quickly falls into a panic as patrons begin to rush towards the exits. Dorian pulls out a smoke grenade and launches it right at the feet of the two Green Seekers and Cyrus. In the chaos, he rushes right into the half-orc Green Seeker. Dorian casts a charm spell on the half-orc and manages to convince him to let Cyrus go. The halfling Green Seeker doesn’t fall for the charm spell and refuses to let Cyrus’ arm go, until a heavy cane smashes into the Green Seeker’s head.
Dorian hears Lord Eshteross telling him to run and get Cyrus out of here. He grabs Cyrus and cast invisibility, letting his friends deal with the chaos he left behind. The rest of the gang spend a tense few seconds squaring off against the Green Seekers and Laudna nearly gets herself arrested, until a familiar wounded guard comes rushing into the room and tells the Green Seekers to let the group go. The guard vouches for the Bell’s Hells and tells the Green Seekers about Lady Emoth’s deception and attack. With the guard’s help, the Bell’s Hells make their dramatic exit from the ballroom back to Eshteross’ estate.
Eshteross gives Cyrus the chance to explain himself. A chagrined and serious Cyrus apologizes for getting the gang into so much trouble. Lady Emoth offered a substantial sum of money to have him pull off this heist for her. No one was supposed to get hurt, he was just supposed to steal some information from Gryz and quietly sneak out. Dorian is beyond frustrated to learn that Cyrus has gone from being framed for a crime, to trying to solve his problems by actually committing a serious crime. Cyrus admits that he’s in over his head and could use his brother’s help in setting things right. Eshteross tells Dorian and Cyrus that his offer to smuggle Cyrus out of Marquet still stands. In fact, he can try and set Cyrus up with honest work to pay off his debts in Tal’dorei should he be interested. Dorian and Cyrus agree that this will be best for everyone. It’s too risky to have Dorian wandering Jrusar looking so much like a wanted criminal, and it’s obvious that Cyrus is absolutely helpless on his own. They’ll take up Eshteross’ offer and to go Tal’Dorei together.
The group is devastated but understanding about Dorian’s decision. They spend the next while saying quiet goodbyes with promises to see each other again as soon as it’s safe. Dorian is so thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Bell’s Hells and will never forget his found family.
Boy this episode took an emotional turn there at the end, didn’t it! I know we all knew it was coming…but it still feels like it happened too soon and too suddenly. Thank goodness we already have confirmation that Robbie Daymond has agreed to return for Season 2 of Exandria Unlimited (coming soon?).
Circling back to the start of the episode, we got to see an interesting one v one battle with Ashton and Ratanish. I think we all knew how this fight would go before it started. We all love our angsty genasi, but Ratanish was on a whole other level. Ashton really held their own against those nasty fighter class attacks with added fire bonus. Those bonuses really tipped the fight heavily in Ratanish’s favor, especially when Ashton was unable to use their graviturgy abilities in retaliation. It’ll be interesting to see what comes from this encounter. Ashton gained a lot of respect from the Paragon’s call, so at least the group might be able to get some info from them. The fight also leaves the possibility for a rematch open, which is always fun.
The action doesn’t lull for too long in this session. We dove right into a second encounter with Lady Emoth and her shade creepers. I loved seeing the absolute chaos of the Dorian, Chetney, Fearne and FCG mash up. Literally the most chaotic members of the group snuck away to do some investigating and of course got themselves into an interesting pickle. Robbie’s panic as FCG blindly dashed into the dangerous monster room definitely mirrored what all of us at home were thinking. Good for Sam Riegel for sticking to his guns though and pushing the encounter along instead of waffling with indecision. Sometimes the flow of an encounter or story line can get slowed by a group’s inability to make those split second, sometimes unpopular decisions.
In the end though, FCG’s decision made for a seriously engaging fight! It was great to see how everyone handled the pressure of a split party. Chetney came in clutch to save the guard, then rampaged on the battlefield in his wolf form. Dorian and Fearne held their own so well until the rest of the party could get in on the action. Orym of course showcased his tanky fighter abilities with his goading attacks and shielding defensive maneuvers. Poor Ashton had to sit this encounter out though. I would have loved to see if Lady Emoth still escaped had Ashton been able to wreck a few shadecreepers to free up his friends. Lady Emoth’s escape means we just get to see more intriguing breadcrumbs and threads to follow in the coming episodes.
How about that rescue mission though!? Who knew the Bell’s Hells could actually pull off something like that. Dorian did so great under pressure, landing that crucial Charm spell then perfectly utilizing Invisibility to make a quick escape. Laudna and Imogen came under some quite intense fire, but luckily Eshteross and the rescued guard prevented anyone from spending the night in jail.
Finally, our heartbreaking goodbye. 14 episodes was an amazing run for Robbie Daymond! Dorian brought a new vitality to the table, a wonderful storyline with strong relationships, and a lovely exploration into a new style of role play. It’s safe to say that he is by far the fan favorite guest star so far on Critical Role. It also seems that Daymond has found himself more ingrained in the Critical Role franchise than he could have imagined when he said yes to Exandria Unlimited last year. It’s hard to find another guest (maybe aside from Mica Burton) that meshed so well with everyone at the table that they just…became a part of the company forever! I can’t wait to see more from Daymond in whatever capacity we’re blessed with.
Now that Dorian is off having his own adventures, the gang is left with a few interesting options. Continue investigating Armand Treshi’s ties to all the strange happenings in the city. Connect Chetney with his contact at the Gorgynei Lycans and see what comes of that. Or pick up the job with Ashton’s old contact and head into the Heartmoor. What’s next for our intrepid band?! We’ll find out soon! Don’t worry Critters, it’s almost Thursday.
Don’t Miss It!
Campaign 3 will not have a new episode this week. Catch Episode 15 on Thursday March 3rd!
Are you all caught up on The Legend of Vox Machina? If you were waiting for the entire series to be out before getting your free Amazon Prime trial, now’s your chance! Binge away, and catch any details you missed with Geekly Grind’s Critical Role Review: The Legend of Vox Machina series.
If you’re all caught up on Campaign 3 and The Legend of Vox Machina, not to worry! There’s still a chance to catch some new CR content. Join GM Matthew Mercer in a sponsored Elden Ring One Shot on Tuesday March 1st at 7 pm. Sam Riegel and Marisha Ray will join guest stars Krystina Arielle, Brennan Lee Mulligan, and Alexander Ward in exploring a deep fantasy world from the creative minds of Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R. R. Martin.