Shadows New and Old

"Shadows New and Old"
Campaign 3 episode
Episode no.Episode 96
AirdateMay 23, 2024 19:00 PT
Running time4:06:07
Links and related articles
Associated 4-Sided Dive"Swordgate" (4SDx24)
Episode chronology
"Gathering of Needs" (3x95)
"Ancient Sins" (3x97)
List of Campaign 3 episodes

"Shadows New and Old" (3x96) is the 96th episode of the third campaign of Critical Role. Bells Hells work to fortify their bonds and friendship in the face of darkness before engaging in a whirlwind of travel stops on the way to Aeor...

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Part I[edit | edit source]

On the roof of the Lodge of the Eclipse, Imogen asks Laudna what she will do about Orym. When Laudna tells Imogen she disliked seeing Ishta in Orym's possession, and Imogen asks if it was Laudna or Delilah, Laudna tells her that it is difficult to distinguish the two of them. Imogen urges Laudna to stop giving Delilah items and making her more powerful, but Laudna tells her that this is the only way she believes she can stop Ludinus and the Ruby Vanguard, by giving herself over. She reiterates that she is a dead end, and while Imogen is reluctant to agree and believes Laudna has a choice, she tells Laudna she will miss their cottage, and heads back inside, leaving Laudna alone on the roof.

Meanwhile, inside, the rest of Bells Hells talk to Orym and fill in Dorian, who was unaware Imogen and Laudna were in a relationship; Chetney and Fearne update him on their tryst with Deanna as well. Ashton explains the general situation with Delilah, and they and Orym both tell Dorian as well as the rest of the party that they believe Delilah began increasing in power again after Bor'Dor betrayed the party in Issylra. Dorian asks Orym if Laudna can be trusted, and Orym does not answer, though others in the party say she can be. At this point Imogen re-enters, clearly upset, and tells them that Laudna is giving in to Delilah and that she does not believe Delilah will leave Laudna with her own free will. She blames herself for discussing giving in to their darker powers and then not doing so herself with Predathos. After Delilah briefly speaks to Laudna outside, telling her only she can understand Laudna's experience, Fearne calls out to check on her and Laudna returns as well. She comes inside and apologizes to Orym, who tells her that now that hes more awake, while he does believe the sword will be useful, Dorian was right and it is just an object. He puts it on the floor. Laudna asks the others if they can accept that Delilah will be part of her for the time being, and several others, particularly Chetney regarding his lycanthropy and Ashton regarding his incident with the spark of Rau'shan, point out their own unpredictable tendencies. He tells Laudna to close her eyes for something and quietly puts the sword into the Bag of Holding. Ashton also lets Laudna take the Pipe of Remembrance after telling her they sometimes use it when they need to see the best in themself.

Most of the party goes to sleep, Fearne and Ashton cuddling and Laudna giving Imogen some space though Imogen still takes her hand, but Orym does not go back to sleep. Early in the morning, after Chetney wakes up, the two go back to The Emerald Curtain where the staff has worked through the night and pick up their orders. Dorian also wakes up early to finish alterations to his flute. When they return from the shop, Chetney and Orym encounter Essek in the downstairs of the tavern, noting that the party seems to be sleeping late. He tells them to join him once everyone is ready so that they can attempt to Teleport near the Vurmas outpost, which he knows well and which is not far from Aeor. The rest of the party wakes up and puts on their new clothing and items; Laudna realizes she was in something of a fugue state while working on hers, and her new garments are very reminiscent of what Delilah once wore. After the group redistributes some magical items, Orym also uses the Quintessence Array to absorb an unneeded Ring of Protection. When everyone is ready, Essek joins them and, after a brief explanation of the potential issues with magic, noting they are similar to what happened with Imogen's Feywild shard when she brings those effects up, tries Teleporting. The first attempt is a mishap, causing damage to the group. The second takes them off-target, to a snowy mountain, and Essek realizes upon seeing Lyrengorn in the distance that they are in the northern Cliffkeep Mountains near or bordering the Neverfields. He tries a third time, and they reach Eiselcross, but find themselves just outside the Fortress of the Dead Jarl. Several undead frost giants notice them and begin approaching.

Part II[edit | edit source]

With the giants approaching and beginning to throw ice at them, and no other plan, Essek admits he can try one more time and Teleports again, this time to another snowy mountaintop he does not recognize. Imogen offers to use the Staff of Dark Odyssey and after Essek allows her to look into limited parts of his mind to get an understanding of the location, casts Teleport. Hers also takes them off-target, to a snowy clearing in a dense pine forest. Essek casts Leomund's Tiny Hut around the party to keep everyone warm, and tells them he will take his rest and try again in several hours. Fearne tries to look at his feet to see how he floats, but he notices her doing so.

The party rests. Ashton attempts to climb a nearby tree and fails, but Fearne succeeds and notices a massive city a few days off in the distance. Chetney hunts a boar, which he then roasts. After Essek completes his trance, he tries again, failing once and ending up on an icy cliff's edge before finally reaching the outskirts of Aeor on his second try. The party stealthily travels through the landscape, past sleeping ice trolls whose white fur has covered much of the rocks below, to the entrance to a cave. The cave grows narrower, causing the party to need to first go single file and then crawl. They send Chetney ahead as the way is dark, and he travels through until he reaches a sharp drop-off. Upon further investigation he notices some left-behind climbing gear, and calls back to let the rest of the party know. Essek confirms this is correct, and that the drop should be only about 100 feet, which they are able to navigate with rope. He himself floats down. At the bottom of the pit are a number of ancient skeletons and three more recent ones, a small one, a human or elven-sized one, and a large one, which Essek recognizes. He warns the party to avoid the brown mold and that cold damage will not help it, and leads them into the Praesidis Ward.

As the party walks through, they notice the huge blue domes with people frozen inside, and despite Essek's warnings not to touch anything, Chetney uses Grim Psychometry on the bubble on the stage within the amphitheater and sees the woman on the stage speaking to a group in a language he does not understand, the speech ending with a sudden flash. Ashton remarks that when they experience the time effects from rage, they turn blue, and Essek agrees this might be time-related as he hurries them on. As they continue towards the Genesis Ward, he notes a skeleton that appears new to him. Orym sees it moving extremely slowly. Bells Hells approach and Imogen tries to take the necklace from the corpse with Mage Hand before being rebuked by Essek for touching an unknown item, even with magic. Laudna secretly Mage Hands it herself and takes it.

They reach the entrance to the Genesis Ward, and consider how they might locate Ludinus via his allies before deciding instead to simply scout. They soon find an encampment with a lantern burning but no apparent movement. Chetney uses the Monocle of True Essence to cast Arcane Eye and move it inside, and sees five bodies of Vanguard members, and is covered with blood. He sends the Arcane Eye up to see what is above them, noticing many more blue bubbles, and brings it back to tease Essek with before ending the spell and telling the rest of the party what he saw. They decide to carefully investigate, with Orym remaining outside to keep watch. The investigation reveals that the bodies appear to be more preserved than they should be, and that one elven figure appears less injured but has arms covered in blood, and has apparently pushed a dagger into his throat. The scene seems to indicate he killed the others in an extremely violent manner, and his face appears euphoric. Imogen uses Mage Hand to pull out the dagger, and does not notice anything particularly strange about it. Chetney uses Grim Psychometry again and has a vision of the elf killing the others before carving a sigil into his chest and stabbing himself in the throat. After coming out of the vision, Chetney opens the elf's shirt and sees a rune with two overlapping circles and several lines. None of the party nor Essek recognizes it nor can read it, but Laudna believes it to be of divine nature, not arcane.

Orym, on his watch, hears a faint sound of grinding stone in the distance and tells the rest to hide. They do so, and notice a very tall, thin humanoid creature approaching, dragging a hammer along the rocks. Its torso contains a mouth with rows of sharp, spinning teeth, and from it begin to emerge translucent creatures that appear similar to scorpions. They notice a poorly-hidden Laudna.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Main player characters[edit | edit source]

Guest player characters[edit | edit source]

Returning[edit | edit source]

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

Mentioned[edit | edit source]

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Gifted Pipe of Remembrance Ashton Laudna
Gifted Ring of Protection Imogen Ashton
Consumed Ring of Protection Orym Absorbed using Quintessence Array for 2 HP
Loaned Immovable Rod Laudna Chetney

References[edit | edit source]