The Nox Engine

"The Nox Engine"
Campaign 3 episode
"The Nox Engine" (3x98) thumbnail featuring Matthew Mercer.
Episode no.Episode 98
Live showJune 15, 2024 4:00 PT
AirdateJune 20, 2024 19:00 PT
Running time3:52:48
Links and related articles
Associated 4-Sided Dive"Suddenly Samuel" (4SDx25)
Episode chronology
Previous
"Ancient Sins" (3x97)
Next
"Downfall: Part One" (3x99)
List of Campaign 3 episodes

"The Nox Engine" (3x98) is the 98th episode of the third campaign of Critical Role. It is a live show, the first for Bells Hells, and was performed and recorded on June 15, 2024 at The Greek in Los Angeles.[1] Live at the Greek Theatre! Bells Hells battle the creeping terror of an unleashed demon, but their own darkest thoughts may prove to be the real enemy...

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Pre-show[edit | edit source]

Brennan Lee Mulligan warms up the crowd, and we get a live NordVerse ad!

Part I[edit | edit source]

Dorian still sees Cyrus's body. Cyrus tells him their parents will be disappointed, and when Dorian attempts to leave, he pulls him in. He shows him many other souls, lost and unable to find rest due to the machine in which he is trapped, and tells Dorian he has to resurrect him. As Dorian grows suspicious, the vision fades, and as it does he sees a purple crystal where Cyrus was before that too fades. Orym asks Dorian if he's okay, and Dorian roughly begins pulling down one of the corpses from the chains. He looks through the body for the crystal, but does not find one. Imogen casts Prestidigitation to clean off Dorian after doing this, and Orym looks around the room for any presences, but cannot find any. Imogen casts Detect Thoughts and senses something towards the edge of her range, but then she too is overcome by a vision. Hers is of Liliana, accusing her of abandonment. Imogen is unimpressed as Liliana tells her that to defeat Ludinus she must destroy the Pinion of Service. Her vision fades, and she tells the others what she saw. Bells Hells discuss whether they should destroy the machine. Meanwhile, Teven explains to Fearne the nature of her pact: she can now call upon Asmodeus, but at a cost.

They decide to continue, and Chetney and Laudna lead the way as the party members with darkvision. They enter another chamber through a brass door and find a table, dark circles on the floor, and two more doors: one brass like the one through which they entered, and a smaller silver door. Chetney smells something that is not unlike the scent of blood, but not quite. He notices a cylindrical steel drum by the silver door, with burgundy scale mail within. He picks it up without incident. Laudna meanwhile is able to read the table and notices arcane abjurative rune in an ancient form of Draconic, and gathers the table was used to contain volatile and experimental work. The others join them in the room. Orym immediately hears breathing. Imogen casts Detect Thoughts again and senses a mind that is anxious and worried for their life. Dorian hesitantly knocks on the door and receives a knock back, and so he opens the door, revealing a tall, attractive minotaur, alive but with his throat partially slit. The minotaur introduces himself as Braius Doomseed. Braius immediately recognizes Teven, though Teven does not seem to recognize him. Braius also uses Divine Sense on the party and immediately senses the fey, fiendish, and undead energies from a number of them. He explains what happened: he and his team, as divinely-aligned people opposing Ludinus, infiltrated the Ruby Vanguard on their mission to Aeor. About two days prior, when he last saw Ludinus, they were overcome by Dominox's whispers and attacked each other. He was able to escape with injuries and hide in this closet.

The party asks Braius a few questions, and find him evasive regarding his deity, though he tells them in his youth he pledged himself to The Platinum Dragon. Imogen is unable to place the horned symbol on his armor. Ashton gives him a potion of healing, and Dorian casts Cure Wounds, after which Braius heals himself the rest of the way. Ashton also has a Dominox vision of FCG's destroyed body telling them that he had sacrificed himself, which Ashton had been too scared to do, and again encouraging them to destroy the crystal. Ashton yells at the vision before coming back to himself. Bells Hells decides to ally with Braius, believing him to be, if not entirely truthful on all details, genuinely opposed to Ludinus, and they continue on to a landing with descending stairs. Essek finds a cylindrical machine with three platforms below them, in which a purple crystal is levitated amid a ring of spires. The floor is full of chains, and there is another door leading out of the room on the lower level. The party recognizes this as the crystal in their visions and determines this is the engine Dominox powers, and the crystal the Pinion of Service. Ashton suggests destroying the whole thing. Chetney recognizes the smell is similar to that of the burgundy armor. Laudna then notices a small girl with long, blood-red hair. She starts a conversation. The girl tells her she is Dominox and wants revenge on Ludinus, and admits to the deaths on this level, explaining that she was very hungry. She is unsure where Ludinus is, though she can sense him somewhere near, alive. Braius casts Bless on Fearne, Chetney, and Dorian as Fearne tries Locate Person on Ludinus but fails to connect. Bells Hells continue into the room, Dorian activating his Winged Boots and Chetney transforming into his werewolf self. Dominox continues to ask they destroy the crystal, and Fearne is able to discern that she is lying about what doing so will achieve.

Chetney heads towards the door near the engine, at which Dominox has one of the chains impale him and lifts him into the air. Braius climbs up the tower where the crystal is suspended, and Dorian flies up to join him. Dominox's form begins to shift from that of the little girl as Imogen attempts to use Telekinesis to pull the crystal free; she cannot, but realizes that destroying the spires around it may make it possible to take the crystal without destroying it. Chetney promises to destroy the crystal if Dominox lets him go; briefly, it does, but when Chetney tries to escape it picks him up and impales him again. Dominox is now in its full grand demonic form, no longer a little girl. Orym stealthily approaches the door Chetney had been going for and tries to open it but finds it locked and Laudna, seeing this, casts Animate Objects on the door. As she does, Dominox rounds on them and the door through which they entered slams shut.

Part II[edit | edit source]

Teven is first to act in the fight, smiting Dominox when he hits. The chains in the room then grasp at much of the party, pulling them towards Dominox. Ashton uses Erratic Defense, which teleports Dominox 30 feet away; it falls on Fearne, but releases Chetney. Dorian casts Shatter on the spires holding the crystal, releasing it. Dominox then attempts to Banish Teven, but is Counterspelled successfully by Laudna. Braius, revealing himself to be a paladin of Asmodeus, casts Blinding Smite and hits, though Dominox resists being blinded. Laudna commands the animated door to open, which it does, revealing a hallway made of brass. She and Orym see a figure down the hallway, and realize it is Ludinus. He tells them to stop Dominox, and when they do not respond, runs in past them. Laudna calls into the room to "let him out!" but Teven forbids everyone from doing so. Fearne Wildshapes into a wombat and picks up the purple crystal, putting it in her marsupial pouch. Chetney catches up to her and takes the crystal, placing it within the Bag of Holding. Dominox appears extremely angry at this. Essek then casts Lightning Bolt at Dominox and hits, and Ashton, having heard Laudna and Teven, attacks the machine itself. Dominox tries to attack Ashton but misses, and Imogen uses her Telekinesis to throw Chetney at Ludinus, who Shields against it. She notices that Dominox is pulled in that direction, seemingly by the crystal.

Teven attacks again, hitting twice and badly injuring Dominox. Orym drinks his potion of speed and also attacks Dominox as much as he possibly can. As the blood from these attacks hits the floor, it becomes more chains like those already in the room. Dominox retaliates, seriously injuring Orym, and uses Mind Feast on Ashton to heal up some of the damage. Ludinus then casts Gate behind Dominox, opening a portal to the Abyss, and tells everyone to push him in and kill him permanently there. Dorian casts Otto's Irresistible Dance, which Dominox is unable to resist thanks to Braius's Sorrowful Fate ability. Braius then casts Moonbeam and pushes Dominox into the abyss with Hammering Horns and his Battering Shield. Laudna uses Spirit of Death to mark and haunt Ludinus with a specter of Vess DeRogna, which he attempts to Counterspell but she is able to Counterspell his Counterspell. Fearne drops her Wildshape and tries but fails to Polymorph Ludinus, and Chetney casts Invisibility on himself. Essek, after acknowledging Ludinus, casts Gravity Fissure on Dominox, injuring him further. Ashton attacks the machine again and it seems to no longer be functional. Imogen shoves Ludinus with her already cast Telekinesis and also attacks him with Lightning Bolt, which he resists but takes some damage from. He also maintains his concentration on the Gate spell. Teven attacks Dominox again, getting the killing blow, which permanently destroys Dominox.

Orym immediately begins attacking Ludinus, who drops Gate once Orym begins pushing him towards it. Ludinus tells the party, once Orym is done, that he only wants to talk to them. He goes back through the brass hallway, noticing the invisible Chetney along the way as if he can see him, and asks them to follow. Imogen is the first to do so, and the others all slowly follow, one by one, Orym being carried by Fearne due to his injuries. Braius heals him, and Essek whispers to those in the back that he can get them out if necessary. Ludinus explains that he is aware they oppose him, but he wishes to show them information that may provide new context and perhaps make them allies. They all enter into a room with two statues flanking a large metal dome, which Ludinus identifies as the Occultus Thalamus. He tells them that the Age of Arcanum was a time of wonders when people took the arcane magic granted by the gods and used it to create many things, but after the Calamity began, they began to focus on military weapons. He then tells of his own experience late in the Calamity, seeing mass destruction, and then the gods leaving behind the Divine Gate to protect themselves, with the survivors left to rebuild on their own. He then shows them the Occultus Thalamus, which recorded "spiritual memories" of the Aeor, and tells them that after he shows it to them, he will show the rest of Exandria as well. He activates it and the room fills with light.

Brennan takes over in the DM's chair from Matt, and describes a palace made of light.

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.

  • Doory, Animated Object

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

Trivia[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]