Gathering of Needs

"Gathering of Needs"
Campaign 3 episode
"Gathering of Needs" (3x95) thumbnail featuring Liam O'Brien and Marisha Ray.
Episode no.Episode 95
AirdateMay 16, 2024 19:00 PT
Running time4:38:44
Links and related articles
Associated 4-Sided Dive"Swordgate" (4SDx24)
Episode chronology
"Where The Red Fearne Glows" (3x94)
"Shadows New and Old" (3x96)
List of Campaign 3 episodes

"Gathering of Needs" (3x95) is the 95th episode of the third campaign of Critical Role. Bells Hells take time to focus inwards on their grief and their healing, but inner demons threaten the harmony of their bond...

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Part I[edit | edit source]

Essek interrogates Astrid, who says she doesn't want to be involved or punished for what Ludinus does and therefore stayed out of his business for the most part, but when Essek presses she says he is somewhere deep in Eiselcross; the Imperial control of the sites has been straining the relationship with the Kryn Dynasty as of late. She eventually reveals she learned from an associate that Ludinus has been in the Genesis Ward a lot in the past five years, and the same associate mentioned something called the Occultus Thalamus but did not reveal more.

Chetney asks Essek if he's from the Dynasty, and Essek says he was once, but no longer. Dorian asks the rest of Bells Hells if they know Essek and they tell him this is their first meeting with him as well. Orym asks for more details on the political situation with the Cerberus Assembly and Essek says this isn't his focus, it's his partner's, but he does know that most members of the Assembly vanished after the start of the apogee solstice. Some seem to be in the Ruby Vanguard and others are laying low like Astrid. Imogen asks if the other Assembly members are as powerful as Ludinus, and Astrid says they are in their own ways, but Essek says they are not. When Chetney asks more about the relationships between the Empire and the Dynasty, both Essek and Astrid say it seems to largely be relegated to struggles over the Aeor site. When Astrid remarks she is not focused on the war, Ashton asks her about her focus, and when she tells him her job is tailoring the will of King Dwendal to the people, Ashton remarks she seems to be in marketing. Chetney and Orym ask again about Astrid's time in the Assembly, and she tells them she has been in her position for seven years and the members of the Assembly are usually cordial but not close, though her mentor and Ludinus worked closely. She tells them she hopes Trent has not broken free. When Chetney asks her to join them for Aeor she flatly refuses, though when Essek reveals it's a mission for the Voice of the Tempest, Astrid asks the party to pass on the information that she was helpful. When the party pushes for any information about potential weaknesses Ludinus may have, she tells him that while Ludinus is almost unflappable, he did seem to be angry and insecure once when she noticed that he had a recurring itch on the back of his neck. Fearne asks for more details, but Astrid tells her this is all she has. Laudna then asks Astrid what happened to burn Zadash and Astrid says a massive flaming bird attacked. After a few more exchanges, Essek drops Antimagic Sphere and leaves Astrid, and both he and Astrid resume their disguises.

Iva Deshin questions the party and Astrid (as Erma) briefly but everyone remarks it was simply a heated discussion, and they ask Iva for book recommendations. Iva recommends Tusk Love, and the party purchases it, as well as a book of sketches from a former priest of Vasselheim upon her recommendation. When they ask her how they can help, Iva mentions that she is pen pals with Yussa Errenis and has not heard from him as of late, so passing along her concern or providing news of him would be helpful. With that, the party leaves to purchase clothing. On the way, Ashton suggests everyone incorporate elements, literal or artistic, of FCG; it was something he used to do at the Greymoore Asylum for lost friends. Essek splits off and tells them to meet him at the Pentamarket later.

Bells Hells first passes the Pillow Trove, and then finds The Emerald Curtain, still in the Tri-Spires, which sells travel clothing and appears empty. They are met by Tooms, a middle-aged human man, and Ashton introduces the group as musicians hoping to honor their friend, at which Laudna shows a Minor Image of FCG. Fearne, Laudna, and Dorian all ask about supplies and receive dye, thread, and jeweler's tools. When Orym asks about his armor, Tooms calls for his apprentice, Keith, a young red-headed man, who begins work on it. Dorian meanwhile speaks with Damid, a half-giant with elven tattoos, regarding aesthetic ideas. They all put in orders for cloaks, and a number of them purchase or commission new clothing as well and pay generously.

After leaving the shop, Bells Hells makes their way to the Pentamarket, which appears to be slowly re-opening. They then continue to The Invulnerable Vagrant for magic items, where Pumat Sol's various simulacra welcome them and explain that Pumat Prime is out and therefore they cannot do any enchantments, but they can sell what items are available and make trades. After Orym asks for more information about the attack on Zadash, Pumat elaborates on what Astrid had told them: Mount Mentiri cracked open and a phoenix flew out and over the city. Dorian asks the Pumats about their nature, sending them into a brief existential spiral before they bring out the available items: The Robe of the Midnight Rune, which has some protective properties and is useful for spellcasters; Zephyr Armor, a relic of Zephrah; and a Harp of Valor. The shop also has several healing potions, a Potion of Speed, and a Potion of Invulnerability available. Dorian, noticing Orym looking at the Zephyr armor, pulls him aside and gives him all the money in his purse to help him purchase it. Bells Hells then trades in a few of their items, including their Slickshimmer oil, one of the Ruidian glass daggers, and the Ruidian glass shortsword. The Pumats are initially skeptical they went to Ruidus, and while they all note it's possible, still admit they have their doubts, though they do accept the glass weapons in trade as unique items nonetheless. Between the money given to them by the Exandrian Accord, party funds, personal money, and trade, Bells Hells buys all the potions, with Orym taking the armor, Imogen the robe, and Chetney the harp. As they leave, Pumat warns them about a number of other dangers throughout Wildemount as a result of the solstice: There is a sinkhole in the Cyrengreen Forest; the Labenda Swamp is flooded and has been retaken by the merfolk; the dead are rising in Druvenlode, and Rexxentrum is full of demons. Bells Hells thank the Pumats and leave the shop, and find Essek, who is eating a kabob.

Part II[edit | edit source]

Essek leads them to the Lodge of the Eclipse, a tavern that smells of ale and sweat, and is crowded by people looking for a distraction from the current unrest. Essek bargains with the clerk using magic to get the last two rooms for a gold piece, taking a small room for himself and giving Bells Hells a suite. The party convinces Essek to get one drink with them, and while he tries to have them all go to their rooms instead, the party instead decides to watch the burlesque show, to his chagrin. Most of the party goes to watch, but Imogen lingers with Essek in the back and the two talk briefly about wise words from past friends. After a few acts, Laudna and Fearne go upstairs to work on their crafts, and on their way up, Ashton hugs Fearne and steals some lace from her. Chetney and Dorian enthusiastically watch the act of Madame Feather-Face, a dwarven woman from Hupperdook.

Ashton approaches Essek and Imogen and asks Essek if he knows more about their powers, going into a rage to show off the effects. Essek quickly pulls him aside into the party's room to look more closely, and after creating sparks in Ashton's head and Ashton explaining Milo's use of the Potion of Possibility, Essek explains dunamis and the story of the Luxon to him. He urges Ashton to be careful, as many people, including those in the Dynasty, would gladly try to dissect them to learn more.

Chetney, Dorian, and Orym then come in, the show having finished, and the group works on their craft projects. Orym asks for Otohan's sword, and Chetney offers him the bag of holding so he can pull out Ishta. Dorian mentions he still has the Gambler's Blade from Bertrand, as Orym leaves with the sword to get some air. Imogen then asks Essek about Liliana's ability to stop time, and Essek explains that the Assembly has had access to the Luxon beacons for some time, in part due to him; this is also how, indirectly, Ashton's abilities were created though Ashton stresses it was their own actions as well. Essek shows Bells Hells an illusion of one of the beacons, at which point Imogen shares that they saw one in the Malleus Key. Essek remarks that he may try to reach out to other dunamancers to focus on disabling the Malleus Key, knowing that. Fearne asks Essek about his personal life, and he shares that he has a partner, but then takes his leave, saying he wants to go to his room talk to him. Laudna works on her various projects, at times seeming distracted from what is going on around her. Imogen and Dorian, inspired by Essek's floating, cast Fly, and Ashton reminisces about the first time he met FCG and how, after heading back towards Jrusar, he realized FCG would be the perfect roommate in that they would ask for very little and would clean the room.

Outside, Orym finds a small park and sits on a bench with Ishta across his lap. After a moment of reflection on all the things he had seen the sword do, including the deaths of Derrig, Will, Laudna, and Chetney, he stands up and performs the Zeph'aeratam with it. He then puts it on his back next to Seedling and grows vines to serve as a sheath for it. As he does, it starts to rain, though the sky seems clear, and he feels the presence of the Wildmother. Inside, Laudna has made a Baba Yaga-like hut and cast Animate Objects to assist with the projects, as well as introduced Dorian to Pâté, somewhat to his horror. Fearne leaves to go check on Orym, and the two talk briefly about their encounter with Zathuda that morning before Dorian goes outside to join them. They think of their first adventures as the Crown Keepers and after Fearne excuses herself, Orym talks about how he's glad Dorian didn't put on the Circlet of Barbed Vision because he didn't want it to drag him down. Dorian encourages Orym to seek support from others instead of trying to save everyone, and Orym emotionally tells him he tried to reach out. Dorian brings him back inside.

Bells Hells go to bed, but Laudna stays up late finishing her various crafts. She notices Ishta on Orym's back as he sleeps, and feels unsettled, at which point Delilah speaks to her and wonders if the blade is sentient, as she has experience with such weapons and Otohan may have been driven by the sword itself. She tries to convince Laudna to wield it so she can tell for sure. Laudna first asks about the Cerberus Assembly, and Delilah tells her the Assembly is not a place for allies and Ludinus merely uses people. Laudna asks for more power and information from Delilah, and Delilah tells her she needs more from Laudna, at which point Laudna approaches the blade to touch it. Delilah tells her she needs to hold it for her to identify any threats.

Laudna casts Darkness and then Wither and Bloom in order to kill the vines allowing her to pull the sword free, but Orym wakes up and, unable to see anything but able to feel the necrotic damage and someone trying to take Ishta, attacks with Seedling, hitting Laudna twice. Laudna casts Spider Climb and gets on the ceiling, followed by Mage Hand, which she uses to pull the sword away. Delilah tells her that the sword is cursed and that she can destroy it. Laudna agreeds, but Orym attacks again, hitting her, and she loses concentration on Darkness. Everyone else other than Chetney begins to wake up at this point. Orym, seeing Laudna has taken the sword, uses Grasping Vine from Seedling, but Laudna casts Counterspell. Orym then uses a disarming attack to cause Laudna to drop Ishta, and picks it up and holds both swords towards Laudna. Laudna drops down from the ceiling though maintains Spider Climb and attempts to cast Phantasmal Force on Orym, but he saves against it. Orym asks Laudna what she is doing, and she tells him that the sword is cursed and will overtake him. Imogen and Fearne ask Orym why he is attacking Laudna if the sword is cursed, and he tells them that he plans to use the sword to kill Ludinus. He sheathes the sword again in the vines, and points out that he doesn't need dark forces to aid him but is willing to be convinced by conversation; however, Laudna attacked him in his sleep before he fought back. Laudna tells him that she was just trying to take the sword away, and that he took it initially without any discussion.

Fearne mentions that FCG taught her Identify, and Orym puts Ishta onto the table so that she can do so. Meanwhile, Imogen casts Detect Thoughts on Laudna, who believes the sword is indeed a danger; however, Imogen realizes this might be due to something Delilah told her. Fearne does not detect any sentience, though she does find the sword to have been used for much violence, and awakens Chetney to ask him to use Grim Psychometry. Chetney grumpily does so, and has visions of a long and extremely bloody history throughout many years, ending with his own death the previous day. He vomits, but tells the party that while the blade has been used for many dark purposes it does not seem to be a sentient weapon. Bells Hells looks at Laudna, who uses Mage Hand during the discussion to open the window and later the door as other party members position themselves at those locations and close them. Laudna asks that the sword be given to her so she can absorb it, since it doesn't matter who has it provided it's used against Ludinus. Orym puts Ishta onto the table. Dorian notes the sword is simply an object, no more, and when Laudna tries to pull it away, Imogen holds on to it and asks her if it's really her who wants it, or Delilah.

Chetney provides a compromise by pulling out Otohan's offhand weapon, Scream Needle, and offers it to Laudna instead so that she can have it while Orym keeps Ishta. Laudna runs out the window with Spider Climb and Fearne, stationed by the window, is unable to stop her. Imogen Flies out in pursuit. Laudna uses her Form of Dread, which appears as Delilah, and stabs herself in the chest with Scream Needle. Imogen can see Laudna's face behind the Form, looking deeply sad. The blade becomes absorbed into her, and Laudna feels Delilah become stronger. Imogen asks her why she did it, and Laudna tells her it must be done, with Delilah's voice echoing her words. Imogen tells Laudna that she loves her, and Laudna repeats it, slowly dropping the form and then telling Imogen she did not lie about Delilah. Imogen repeats to Laudna she loves her but she is not sure what to do with it, and the two hold each other.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Main player characters[edit | edit source]

Guest 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.

New[edit | edit source]

These characters have not previously appeared in Campaign 3 or any other Critical Role work, though they may have been previously mentioned.

Mentioned[edit | edit source]

Quotations[edit | edit source]

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Purchased 3rd edition book Tusk Love, Guard of my Heart book, incense Chastity's Nook Chetney Payed 2 gp
Purchased leatherbound picture porn book Chastity's Nook Fearne Payed 1 platinum piece
Purchased Black bodice/corset, purple dye, bolt of black fabric The Emerald Curtain Laudna All the outfits were purchased for 235gp
Purchased Dark blue pants, boots, a black bodice/corset The Emerald Curtain Imogen
Purchased 2 pairs of pants, 2 leather belts, grommeting The Emerald Curtain Ashton
Purchased Cold weather cloak x 7 The Emerald Curtain Party
Purchased black leather fur-lined coveralls, leather briefs, a blue pocket square, chainmail The Emerald Curtain Chetney
Traded Slickshimmer oil Chetney The Invulnerable Vagrant Traded for 400g discount
Traded Ruidian glass dagger Laudna Traded for 1100gp discount
Traded Ruidian glass sword Orym The Invulnerable Vagrant Traded for 1600g discount
Purchased Robe of the Midnight Rune, Zephyr Armor, Harp of Valor, 3x Potion of Greater Healing, 2x Potion of Superior Healing, Potion of Invulnerability The Invulnerable Vagrant Party 24150gp
Consumed Scream Needle Laudna Absorbed with Quintessence Array

Trivia[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]