Doorways to Darker Depths

"Doorways to Darker Depths"
Campaign 3 episode
"Doorways to Darker Depths" (3x86) thumbnail featuring Matthew Mercer and Marisha Ray.
Episode no.Episode 86
AirdateFebruary 22, 2024 19:00 PT
Running time3:58:50
Links and related articles
Associated 4-Sided Dive"Feat Fetishes" (4SDx21)
Episode chronology
Previous
"Intense Interrogations" (3x85)
Next
"Arrival at Kreviris" (3x87)
List of Campaign 3 episodes

"Doorways to Darker Depths" (3x86) is the 86th episode of the third campaign of Critical Role. Bells Hells stumble upon a secret entrance to Exandria from Ruidus, but this lucky portal leads to a place just as dangerous as the one waiting for them in the sky...

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Pre-show[edit | edit source]

Marisha and Sam channel their inner b-boys for Czepeku, and the Luxon d20 is out!

Part I[edit | edit source]

Fearne, upon looking around and assessing her new location, returns to the rest of Bells Hells, still on Ruidus, and tells them what she saw. They discuss whether to rest on the Ruidus side or take advantage of the remaining Wind Walk time to explore on the other side of the portal, and ultimately choose to all go through, aided by Laudna's Immovable rod. Before they leave, Fearne transfers over some spell slots to Imogen using their Ruidusborn connection. Upon surfacing in the lake, they notice Catha and the leylines visible, though Ruidus is not, indicating they are back on Exandria. They do not recognize any landmarks, but determine they are likely on a similar longitude as much of Marquet, and Laudna and Orym find the trees remind them of their time in Issylra.

The party notices the buildings of a village on the other side of the lake, and fly over, but find the town long abandoned, though mostly intact other than dust and some broken windows. As Ashton and Chetney look into the largest house in town, Laudna and Orym try to find out what happened in the town and where they might be. They find no temples, but upon locating a clerk's office learn the lake's name is Lake Umamu, and the town Ria'Doin. Laudna discovers that the clerk recording the events of the town notes that people have been leaving abruptly and there had been a number of disappearances of individuals and families in the middle of the night, with one citizen reporting seeing someone simply walk into the lake. Shortly after that entry, the notes end. Ashton and Chetney find the large house mostly cleared out, though they cannot tell if it was done so by the owner, or by looters and Chetney does not smell anything of note. FCG casts Speak with Animals on a local bird, who corroborates the story, that the town has been abandoned its whole life but people occasionally stop by, loot, and then walk into the lake. Bells Hells decide to sleep on the second floor of the largest house, taking watch. Chetney and Fearne take the first watch. Chetney uses the Monocle of True Essence and detects that two of the rings taken from Willmaster Edmuda and the Ruby Vanguard soldiers are magical, and gives one to FCG to Identify. FCG determines the first ring is a Ring of Life Awareness. Chetney then uses his new feat to spend an hour crafting a masterpiece toy.

On second watch, Orym tries his Sending stone to Caleb Widogast and to his and Imogen's surprise, as well as Caleb's, it works. Imogen casts Sending to Caleb to inform him that Bells Hells have found a back door in Lake Umamu, and to notify their allies. She then uses another spell to Send to Keyleth, giving her the village name and name of the lake as well as their discovery of the portal on subterranean Ruidus. Keyleth informs her they are in the Caramarin Reach in Issylra and that she can arrive in the morning, noting that the timeline has accelerated. Orym and Imogen discuss their situation with each other, with Orym becoming emotional upon the realization that he can contact Dorian and Keyleth again. Imogen tells Keyleth Bells Hells plans to return to the moon, but will leave markers for Keyleth's team. Soon after, Imogen suddenly receives a message in her head, this time from Jester Lavorre, who initially only introduces herself as having been told by Caleb to contact Bells Hells. Imogen tells her she has given the necessary information to Keyleth, and Jester tells her she looks forward to meeting them. Orym takes out his second Sending stone to contact Dorian, but receives no response; instead, he notices a noise outside and becomes intent upon investigating it despite Imogen's protestations. Imogen awakens the rest of the party, and Laudna sends Pâté to scout. As they go to block the door with their hammer, they also hear a noise and pause. Chetney and FCG soon join them, sensing the portal may have closed, and despite Fearne, Laudna, and Imogen's protestations regarding what they know about the town and the lake, all four of them begin to wade in. Imogen casts Command, but it only briefly turns some of the party members, and Ashton continues in.

Part II[edit | edit source]

Ashton, FCG, Chetney, and Orym all begin to disappear beneath the water as Imogen grabs onto Orym and is pulled by him. Laudna looks for boats and finds several sunken fishing boats with snapped ropes, and casts Animate Objects on one of the boats and the rope, and commands them to find the others. Imogen sends Dancing Lights down to try to keep the others in sight as they continue to be compelled. Black tendrils begin to embrace them as they being to feel a sense of peace; Imogen and Fearne sees these as tendrils of shadow. Pâté, who had been sent with Ashton, reports back but cannot see much. The cold begins to affect them all; Fearne uses the boon from Novos, Chill of the Dread Captain, to resist it. She also is able to see, in addition to the rest of the party, a number of bones. Imogen sends her lights further in, and deals psychic damage with Mind Sliver, which allows the four captured members of the party to attempt to resist the effects. Fearne brings out Little Mister and sends him to FCG. Orym, FCG, and Chetney regain control of themselves, though they find themselves in freezing cold underwater darkness.

Laudna, taking on a Form of Dread to evoke the undead pirates of Novos's crew, goes towards the tendrils with "Boaty" and "Ropey" as Orym regains a sense of direction. FCG is unable to break free with their chainsaw, and Chetney's Inflict Wounds hits but deals no damage as the entity is immune. Mister helps FCG escape, and Orym and Chetney both land hits, freeing themselves, though Ashton remains trapped and controlled. Orym tries to grab a skull within the mud, but is regrappled by the tendrils, though not mentally controlled. FCG uses his Coin of the Changebringer and Turns Undead, which the shadow entity saves against, though Chetney is able to deal damage with Turmoil and avoids being recaptured. Laudna tries to convince the entity to give up Ashton with Shadow Cant, but fails. Orym continues to attack and frees himself, and then goes to cut out Ashton, who remains controlled despite Fearne's Command. FCG Turns Undead, and the shadow plant briefly withdraws, and Ashton is finally able to regain control of himself and quickly swims away, though Laudna is also affected by Turn Undead and rapidly surfaces with Boaty and Ropey.

Bells Hells leaves messages carved in the dock, along with the skull Orym found as a paperweight for the notes Laudna found, and swim back through to Ruidus, Orym leaving Ashari markings to guide them to the portal. They immediately rest in the adjacent chamber, with Laudna taking watch after Orym briefly wonders why Dorian didn't answer. Laudna talks to Pâté about the nature of existence for a moment, then goes away from the group and speaks to Delilah, who responds. She asks her what to do, unsure with her endgame of the pursuit of power. Delilah tells her that the only purpose of seeking power is to protect those you love or take vengeance upon those who hurt them. Laudna wonders if she is a danger to those she loves, and tells Delilah she thinks Imogen would probably be better off without her, but Delilah disagrees, telling Laudna she is capable of many great things and has been given a second chance. Laudna tells Delilah she doesn't believe they are one and the same, but Delilah tells her her faith isn't necessary; just feed both of them with power and she will gain more power. Laudna asks about Pâté and whether he is Delilah; she tells Laudna that he is tied to her power but not the same consciousness. After assuring Laudna they both will endure, the party completes their long rest.

Laudna uses the Quintessence Array on the Ring of Life Awareness, which grants her two hit points permanently as well as advantage on all attacks and ability checks until her next long rest. FCG identifies the other ring as a Ring of Protection, which Orym takes. The party then continues through the tunnels, which Ashton particularly enjoys though they also admit they really miss street food and the comforts of home. The party also discusses the return of Sending and why that might be, and FCG attempts to Scry on Ira, but it fails, as does an attempt to use the sending stone for Caleb from the moon. After an hour of travel, during which they see more evidence of folded and destroyed Exandrian geology and structures, and Orym continues to leave signs for the Ashari, they reach a dead end. Ashton activates his shard of Ka'Mort abilities and becomes much larger and earth elemental-like, allowing him sense the surface and other tunnels. They burrow up to the surface so that the rest of the party can reach it as well. Upon reaching the surface of Ruidus, Orym leaves the husk of the Message Bloom Keyleth had sent him, and Imogen casts a spell to trigger upon allies finding it. Imogen also uses the second Scroll of Mass Nondetection on the party, and they continue on. A flare occurs as they do so; the light is blinding to most of the party, but Imogen and Fearne experience a sense of euphoria and connection and Imogen floats above the surface. After it subsides, they both gain 15 temporary hit points. Ashton's form soon drops, giving them two levels of exhaustion. Bells Hells continue their journey, and Kreviris's skyline comes into view.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Main player characters[edit | edit source]

Companions[edit | edit source]

These characters are familiars or other companions of the player characters.

Returning[edit | edit source]

These characters previously appeared in Campaign 3 or any other Critical Role work.

Mentioned[edit | edit source]

Quotations[edit | edit source]

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Absorbed 1 Ring of Life Awareness Edmuda Laudna
Acquired 1 Ring of Protection Edmuda Orym
Expended 1 Scroll of Nondetection Imogen

Trivia[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]