On the Trail of a Killer

"On the Trail of a Killer"
Campaign 3 episode
Episode no.Episode 4
AirdateNovember 11, 2021 19:00 PST
Running time3:52:12
Special guest
Robbie Daymond as Dorian Storm
Links and related articles
Associated 4-Sided Dive"Silken Secrets" (4SDx01)
Episode chronology
"The Trail and the Toll" (3x03)
"The Threat Between the Walls" (3x05)
Airdate order
"The Trail and the Toll" (3x03)
"The Threat Between the Walls" (3x05)
List of Campaign 3 episodes

"On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) is the fourth episode of the third campaign of Critical Role. Determined to avenge a tragic loss, the group takes to the streets in search of answers, but their probing into Jrusar's secrets could have dangerous ramifications...

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Announcements[edit | edit source]

  • Fantasy Flight's Descent: Legends of the Dark is a cooperative dungeon-crawling board game with an integrated companion app. The CR companion app Sam's installed on each of their phones will provide sound effects for lighting transitions, uses of ♪ "making my way" ♪, and monsters farting.
  • Critical Role livestreams on Twitch and YouTube, but the moderated community live chat is on Twitch.
  • From November 7-13, donations to the Critical Role Foundation will go to Operation Supply Drop.
  • Holiday Merch Alert! Ugly Critmas holiday sweater, Winter's Crest stocking, ultra-soft CR lounge set, wrapping paper, washi tape, logo ornaments, and cotton/spandex Mighty Nein weapons button down short sleeve shirt are now available. Order early for holiday delivery.

Part I[edit | edit source]

Her nightmare wakes Imogen, and she wakes Laudna to tell her about it. They decide to check on Bertrand back at the Spire by Fire, but since they don't have the room number it takes waking a number of innocent sleepers before they find Orym, Dorian, and Fearne. Bertrand's room is empty and unslept-in, and they decide to try to retrace his steps to find him.

Official art of Bells Hells discovering Bertrand's body, by Lap Pun Cheung from Critical Role Abridged Episode 4.[art 1]

It doesn't take long before they find Bertrand's body lying in an alley, cold and dead but with the blood around him still liquid. Orym recognizes the wounds as matching those caused earlier that evening by the pale dwarf they fought. They carry the body to Lord Eshteross's house, where Evelyn Wress admits them. Lord Eshteross doesn't know whether Bertrand was killed because of their investigation of the warehouse thefts, or something in Bertrand's past, and warns the party not to travel alone. He offers them rooms within his estate to stay in for safety, and they manage to complete a long rest there.

Ashton and FCG awaken at their home and go to the pre-arranged meeting place. When the rest of the party arrives, they tell them of Bertrand's death. They all want to find out what happened to him, and head back toward the Weary Way Inn to investigate. On the way, Fearne introduces Little Mister to Laudna's Pâté de Rolo, but it does not go well.

When they arrive, Imogen uses her Open Mind ability to confirm the room in which they found Danas and the pale dwarf the previous night is currently unoccupied while the others move into the back alley under its balcony. The room is unlocked, and Imogen goes inside and out on the balcony to tell the others to come up. The chamber is for the most part undisturbed from the previous night. They investigate the hole they had noticed under the desk. It is so narrow only Orym could fit into it, and goes straight down and out of sight into the rock of the spire. They decide to send Fearne in snake-shape with Orym into the hole to investigate further, and FCG gives Orym a coin of delving to provide light and the ability to gauge distance when dropped.

With a rope and snake-Fearne around his waist, Orym crawls into the hole, which begins to drop straight down. The air is slightly warmer, with a charcoal smell. Orym reaches the end of the rope he is tethered to and they can see the shaft continues downward out of sight, and the walls bear claw marks of repeated climbers. Reluctantly, Orym drops the coin of delving, which falls out of sight about 1200 feet before it hits bottom.

They rejoin the group and discuss their findings, then several of the party investigate the roof of the inn where they find fresh footprints leading across. Regathering in the alley behind the Weary Way, they share their findings. Ashton goes inside, successfully bribes Kamala the Maven for information about the pale dwarf, and learns his name is Dugger. He has been renting the room for about a month, although it often isn't occupied.

Discussing this new information, the party remembers that brumestone is strictly controlled by the Alsfarin Union located in Ank'Harel, the only builder of skyships in Exandria. They decide to take the information they have gathered so far back to Lord Eshteross.

Break[edit | edit source]

Part II[edit | edit source]

On the way to Lord Eshteross's home, Imogen and Dorian stop in the Spire by Fire to ask around about Dugger. Dorian finds a tiefling who knows Dugger, describing him as an abrasive shit who was always down to gamble a bit and had a decent sense of humor. He hasn't been around much lately, though. Dugger didn't always have the pasty, wasting-away look he bears now; it came on suddenly. Under the effects of Dorian's Charm Person, the tiefling shares more: the transition started about six months ago, and he suspects Dugger is now dealing with the Hubatt Corsairs, a criminal group focusing on robbing the rich.

At Lord Eshteross's, they find Bertrand's body laid out respectfully. After discussion, they decide to send Bertrand back to Vox Machina at Whitestone via the Prudaj estate's skyship.

The party share with Lord Eshteross the information they have gathered on Dugger. Lord Eshteross is interested in the Hubatt Corsairs because they seem to be working against the same corruption he is and gift their takings to the poor. In contrast to the Ivory Syndicate, their violence seems to be directed away from the less fortunate, and much of the violence that does occur takes place when the two factions clash. Lord Eshteross warns the party, however, to be careful if they encounter any member of the Corsairs, and to speak well of him if possible. He suggests starting their investigations in the Fownsee Hollow within the Core Spire, or in Elder's Post in the Lantern Spire.

The party members say farewell to Bertrand and head out, except for Orym, who hangs back for a private word. He confides that he is looking for someone on behalf of the Ashari in Zephrah: Oshad Breshio, also known as "The Anger". Lord Eshteross knows of him. He is a bodyguard assigned to the Mahaan house Lumas, which has recently been attacked. Orym confides that something similar has happened where he comes from, and he is here to see if there's a connection. While Lord Eshteross is not on the best of terms with that house, he agrees to see what he can do to learn more. Oshad is still recovering from his wounds.

Regrouping outside, the party decides to start with the Fownsee Hollow since Ashton and FCG are familiar with it. Ashton introduces them to Milo, who is trying to make small rat-like constructs. This thrills Laudna, who introduces Milo to Pâté, inspiring them to create their own mix-and-match creations. Ashton asks Milo if they know a way to get in touch with the Corsairs. Milo warns them not to bring that trouble back to Krook House, but suggests contacting Advik, whom Ashton is familiar with reluctant to contact. Milo then suggests Effid, whom Ashton thinks is not trustworthy, but they finally agree to try to find Advik in Elder's Post.

They all make their way there, winding their way within the heart of the spire to its central market. Ashton does not find Advik there, but does find Ephred, the Shadow Baker, selling delicious baked goods from inside his coat. Fearne steals one, then holds it up and asks how much it is. When Ephred just stares at her, she asks if she can just have it, then offers to give him something in return and he accepts a hemlock flower. He is disdainful when Orym asks if he has any pies.

Ashton in Marquesian asks him for information and a pastry, telling him Ashton's in bad with a dwarf named Dugger and needs to get hold of the Corsairs. When Ashton is not very persuasive, they pull out five gold which Ephred accepts. Ephred tells them to approach the dark-feathered eisfuura called Heron within the Root Trader Alcove, and tell him, "You come for the laughter." He then leaves abruptly.

During a long philosophical discussion about pies, the party makes their way to the Root Trader, a shop selling cooking and medicinal herbs and spices. There are two figures within, one of whom is Heron, and they tell him they've come for the laughter. Heron moves one of the racks to the side, exposing a door which he unlatches and steps through. Imogen sends a mental message to the Shadow Baker telling him they appreciate his help before the party follows Heron up a spiral staircase, through a hatch, and into a large darkened chamber.

When Dorian unsheathes his Moon-Touched Scimitar to produce light, they can see that in addition to the boxes and crates of a storage area, there are numerous figures lining the walls. Lanterns spring alight, revealing about thirty faces grinning in their direction. Heron tells the figures, "These folks have come for the laughter," and laughter indeed spreads through the room. One person steps forward, twirling a scimitar which he then points at them, saying, "This, friends, is certainly not your luckiest of days."

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]

  • Ashton: Does no one bribe anymore? Is that just a thing that fell out of fashion, where you just bribe somebody?
  • Imogen (or Laura): I heard that the person in charge of Zephrah is not very powerful.
    Laudna (or Marisha): She's a bitch!
    Imogen (or Laura): I heard the person in charge of Whitestone is way more powerful than the person in charge of Zephrah. That's just what I heard through the grapevine.
    Taliesin: This isn't even metagaming. I don't know what this is anymore.
  • FCG: (to Bertrand) They say that the word "goodbye" is the hardest word to say, but it's not. It's Worcestershire. That's the hardest word to say. So goodbye, and we'll always remember you.
  • Fearne: (to Bertrand) Oh, Bertie. Listen, I really didn't trust you, and I heard... that you didn't like jazz. And... jazz is chaos. And I just, I don't know how you can't love it. But you're an old boy and, maybe wherever you have gone, you have learned... to love... jazz.
  • FCG: Of all the cities in the world, Generosity is the capital of Kindness.

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Transferred 1 Gambler's Blade Bertrand Bell Dorian Taken from his body
Transferred 1 Cane Bertrand Bell Dorian Taken from his body
Transferred 1 Cane Dorian Lord Eshteross
Transferred 1 Cane Lord Eshteross Bertrand Bell
Transferred 100 Gold Ashton Anni Aughta
Acquired 6 Breakfast sandwiches street vendor Ashton Paid 3 silver
Transferred 6 Breakfast sandwiches Ashton the party
Transferred 1 Coin of delving FCG Orym The coin was given to FCG by Dancer.
Lost 1 Coin of delving Orym The shaft from the Weary Way Used to determine the depth of the shaft and dropped over 1,200 feet out of reach before hitting bottom
Transferred 200 Gold Orym Ashton To hold for FCG, to compensate for the loss of the Coin of Delving
Transferred 20 Gold Ashton Kamala the Maven A bribe for information about the pale dwarf
Acquired a few chunks Bertrand's hair Bertrand's body Laudna
Transferred Oleander flower and ribbon Fearne Bertrand's body
Transferred 1 Hemlock flower Fearne The Shadow Baker Compensation for the pastry she pickpocketed

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Although Travis was present for the pre-show, he was not at the table for the game proper and the remainder of the episode.
  • Travis was asked to text Ashley a list of items Fearne found in Bertrand's pockets. During the episode, the cast noted that he sent a humorous list, reading some aloud. According to Travis on Twitter, these included:
  • Sam wore the same shirt in this episode (the fourth of the third campaign) as he did for the fourth episodes of the two previous campaigns.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) at 2:42:29. Imogen refers to "the person in charge of Zephrah"
  2. 2.0 2.1 "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) at 2:41:52. Orym refers to "the Lord and Lady of Whitestone."
  3. Travis Willingham (@WillingBlam) on Twitter: "Pockets: Peanuts • Werther's Originals • 30 yr old condom • Chap stick • Some Icy Hot • A TV Guide • "Murder, She Wrote" - The Criterion Collection" (November 11, 2021).


  1. Official art of Bells Hells discovering Bertrand's body, by Lap Pun Cheung from Critical Role Abridged Episode 4. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.