To Hurt Is to Heal

"To Hurt Is to Heal"
Campaign 3 episode
"To Hurt Is to Heal" (3x79) thumbnail featuring Sam Riegel and Matthew Mercer.
Episode no.Episode 79
AirdateDecember 7, 2023 19:00 PT
Running time3:59:19
Links and related articles
Associated 4-Sided Dive"Episode Twenty" (4SDx20)
Episode chronology
"Fractures" (3x78)
"A Test of Trust" (3x80)
List of Campaign 3 episodes

"To Hurt Is to Heal" (3x79) is the 79th episode of the third campaign of Critical Role. Bells Hells find respite in the Fey Realm while they seek ways to mend their broken trust and rebuild their friendships...

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Pre-show[edit | edit source]

Sam determines via paternity test that Matt is his father; this will become very funny given the events of the episode. (This is, somehow, an ad for Persona 5 Tactica; check out the "Persona 5 Tactica One-Shot" (OSx55)!)

Part I[edit | edit source]

As they have some downtime at Ligament Manor, Chetney asks Fearne if Morri grants wishes. Fearne tells him it tends to be more of a trade, and when Chetney asks her about deals that went bad she indicates she thinks the topiary in Morri's garden might be people who reneged on or simply made bad deals. As Ollie helps Morri and Allura looks around the bar, FCG asks Chetney what deal he would make. Chetney says he would try to be young again, having seen Deanna; when FCG asks if he has romantic interest in her, Chetney says that he's more interested in traveling and learning new things, having come from a large family and having little interest in having his own. Fearne tells them that she wants to talk to Birdie, and Morri takes FCG to discuss plans for the team building exercise. Orym jokes about having worked out through his feelings the previous day as they all explore their temporary rooms in the manor.

Fearne finds Birdie, who is happy to see her. They walk to the garden, Birdie talking about their escape to the Feywild from Bassuras and asking Fearne how things have been with her. Fearne alludes to what Morri had said about Birdie keeping a secret, and mentions Teven Klask; Birdie admits to not knowing much about devils but to having had her own wild youth, which Fearne believes. She realizes Birdie seems very nervous. After a brief interruption from Dr. Nesbitt, they reached a private location and Birdie tells her story: she believes Ollie to be a good man and counts herself fortunate to have met him. They met while he was imprisoned by the Unseelie Court and she was romantically entangled—and enthralled—with a member of the court. At first, absorbed with her lover, she would tease Ollie, but his kindness eventually broke through the spells keeping her there, though only after she had already become pregnant. Birdie's lover brought her to the Material Plane to give birth under Ruidus as he had planned. His name was Athion Zathuda, although Birdie considers him only Fearne's biological father, not her true one. When Birdie broke out of her spell, Ollie helped them both escape and treated Fearne as his own child. They lived outside the courts until Ruidus began to appear in the Feywild and Ollie had his vision, at which point the story Fearne already knew began: they left her with Morri, went with Ira Wendagoth to steal the Moontide Crown, and tried to work against the Unseelie Court. Birdie tells Fearne that she controls her own fate, and she sees the darkness within her, but it suits her and she has made it her own. Fearne hugs Birdie and thanks her for her honesty, and they tell each other they love each other before Fearne rejoins the others.

Orym asks Ashton, who had quietly been drinking, to take a walk with him. Ashton is apprehensive and wonders if Orym will kill them, but agrees. Orym tells him he had been thinking and processing the previous day, and is just as upset as anyone else in Bells Hells, but wants Ashton to know he's allowed to feel however he feels, and that while it's difficult to not take things personally, everyone, including Orym, cares about them. Ashton admits they are just starting to allow themself to believe that, and that the positive reinforcement after retrieving the shard of Rau'shan from the pool of lava probably was a factor in their later actions, but that is ultimately not the point. Orym then impresses upon Ashton that the party does need him to help fight as they're the only people who can save the world. Ashton references what Chetney said the night before, and tells Orym they didn't want to be the one who left this time. Orym kisses Ashton on the forehead and they return to the manor.

Back at the manor, Laudna asks Allura if she'll join them on the team building exercise, to which Allura tells them she will not; she is doing her normal investigations for the Arcana Pansophical and she is their transport, but this is for them. Laudna asks Allura about her own adventuring party and whether they had their own conflicts, to which Allura says they did, and they didn't completely make it out, but that was where she became friends with her eventual wife, Kima. She tells Bells Hells to seize this opportunity. At this, Imogen says she thinks she should take off the Circlet of the Hidden Eye since had she not had it on, she might have known about Ashton's intent or how Laudna felt; while it's invasive, it's better if she knows. Laudna tells her it's not her responsibility to monitor everyone, but she supports her in her choice.

FCG and Morri rejoin the group, as does Fearne; FCG's memory has been cleared of the planning by Morri. Fearne tells everyone what her mother had told her, and the party recognizes Zathuda as the person who had chased them on Gloamglut, whom Morri had fought off. Imogen wonders if Zathuda and Liliana are now friendly or otherwise involved, to which Orym points out they may need to kill them. Morri provides a bit more information; Sammanar is one of the five major archfey and Zathuda one of his most powerful underlings, and Zathuda himself is violent, very much wishes he could reach Fearne, and keeps a sword named Dusk Hunger, blade of the black flame. Imogen then brings up the shard of Rau'shan and whether Morri should investigate it. Laudna steps away due to her concerns about Delilah, and Morri inspects it, as well as the Quintessence Array. Allura is on edge the entire time, and Morri surmises what might happen given that fey and primordial energies are on opposite sides of the spectrum, but eventually gives the shard and harness back to the party.

Allura, when asked, provides some more background on the Fey Realm regarding the role of the Moonweaver and surmises that the Unseelie Court may wish to fill the power vacuum left were the Moonweaver to be absent. The courts are very powerful and difficult to escape, though there are those who exist outside them, even some very powerful people, such as Morri. While Morri is occupied Orym asks Allura about her specifically, to which Allura says the only true consensus is that she is powerful and dangerous and there is much conflicting folklore about her otherwise. While Allura has enjoyed her stay so far, she is always going to be cautious.

Morri invites the party to the living room for tea, and tells them there are three items for the three activities meant to teach them about communication, honesty, and trust. If they succeed they can keep the item, and if they fail they know this is an area they need to work on. She tells them to all drink the tea, even FCG, which they do, and the room fills with smoke which lifts, revealing them to now be in a fey jungle. She shows them a monocle with a green lens not unlike that of the Weave Lens, and tells them this is the Monocle of True Essence. The party needs to find it, and then throws it into a chasm. She tells them the chasm cannot be climbed, but will respond to honesty, and then entraps everyone in a bubble, which she throws down into the chasm as well.

Part II[edit | edit source]

Bells Hells lands unharmed at the bottom of a massive, muck-filled chasm and quickly assess that they will not be able to easily locate the monocle through searching alone. Laudna, recalling Morri's advice, tells them truths might help make the terrain more navigable, and FCG admits to preferring silver to copper. A platform appears in the muck. Imogen admits to being terrified of seeing her mother again, and some of the muck and moss fall away as steps rise to another platform. Chetney then calls out that wood is better than metal, at which point Ashton notices a skull, and leeches begin to attack the party for some minor piercing damage, which Bells Hells realizes indicates the truths should be true and personal, not opinions. Laudna admits that Delilah and she both want the shard, but she also thinks Fearne should have it but is unsure what is her opinion and what is Delilah's. Another staircase, longer this time, comes from one of the chasm walls. Imogen admits that she loves Laudna but she's disgusted by Delilah's constant presence, and the ruins of the former fey city begin to arise from the muck.

They continue to share honest secrets and the city continues to grow from the bottom of the chasm. Orym tells them all he's always lonely, and FCG tells the party that while they all have lives and opportunities they don't do enough with them and that Chetney specifically keeps focusing only on wood and not interpersonal relationships. Bridges begin to arise, and Laudna crosses one as Orym mentions that he is actually kind of worried Chetney might be his dad. Ashton tells them all he's the reason the robbery at Jiana Hexum went bad and getting thrown out the window was his fault. Laudna asks them if that's why they felt it was okay that the Nobodies left them, to which they say it is, and she then asks if that's why they're afraid Bells Hells will leave them, to which Ashton says they've had a long life of bad days. After a new attempt to find the monocle doesn't uncover it, Fearne admits she's scared that Bells Hells is unsuited for the task ahead, to which Laudna agrees. Chetney, trying again, admits that while he does believe wood superior to metal, he is specifically afraid of wood and therefore his work being seen as obsolete. Imogen apologizes to Laudna about what she had said, saying she wasn't prepared for Delilah to be so present. FCG admits to feeling relaxed after they kill something, so Chetney invites them to go hunting. Imogen says she's not sure if she wants to save the gods if they don't love her, since they've never responded, and Laudna yells out that the entire party could leave this mission entirely if they want to and she thinks about it a lot.

Orym finally notices a green glint and leaps, with a Featherfall assist from Laudna, to where it is, pulling it from a rooftop. It has begun to rain in the chasm and climbing to the top is difficult, even though they have retrieved the item. To assist the climb, Fearne confesses to staring at the party while sleeping and sometimes playing with their hair, though she clarifies nothing untoward or invasive after Bells Hells are somewhat taken aback. Ashton admits to being scared that anyone in the party except possibly Orym could just start killing everyone else, to which Orym responds that while he loves and trusts everyone he has thought carefully about how to neutralize all of them. FCG admits to being a little worried about the Changebringer after their latest conversation, and Imogen says she was disappointed in Fearne for not taking the shard. Orym says that he really misses Dorian and isn't sure if it's okay. They reach the cliffside and the mushrooms reveal themselves to be capable of flight to bring them to the top of the chasm, and the party begins to find mushrooms to fly to the lip of the chasm. Laudna brings out Pâté and asks him for a truth but he seems to be confused and anxious from the premise, and doesn't seem to understand when Ashton asks him if he's controlled by Delilah. Ashton then says they feel worse about what they did to Fearne than to themselves and should have died rather than done that. As they begin to land, Chetney tells them all he grew up in the Bramblewood Forest near Westruun, and when he returned home after an apprenticeship, his family had left due to the invasion of Errevon, leaving only toys, and so in addition to being afraid of dragons he never forgave them for leaving him behind and never looked for them and never had his own family because he's afraid they'd leave.

The rain begins to let up and a bird carries them to Morri, who is waiting at the top. She congratulates them; FCG wonders if this was their idea to which Morri tells them she expanded upon it. She gives them the monocle. Before they go to the next activity, Imogen and FCG hug Chetney and ask if he still likes him. He grumpily tells them he does. They ask if he likes Fearne the best to which he initially says no before saying maybe at Morri's displeasure. Morri also tells him she's happy to take vengeance on his family if he wants.

Smoke again fills the space, then clears to reveal a dark chamber with three winding platforms lit by a light-filled orb. Morri tells them they are in a thunder wasp hive and tells them they need to avoid panicking or speaking too loudly. She asks for three volunteers, and Chetney, Ashton, and Imogen step forward. Morri tears a scarf into three pieces and touches their foreheads, which causes their skin to grow over their eyes. (In reality, Travis, Taliesin, and Laura are given blindfolds to wear). Morri claps her hands and the three of them disappear, each to appear on the end of a different one of the three platforms. Morri tells the rest of the party that they have to guide each of the blinded party members along their platform without falling, with the risk of the wasps attacking should they get too loud.

They guide Chetney first, with Orym providing much of the advice. FCG's loud statements cause them to be repeatedly attacked by wasps. Chetney transforms into his werewolf form midway through to resist the wasp stings when he nears them, and when Laudna tries to send Pâté to help she is prevented from doing so because of the need to communicate. Chetney manages to avoid slipping towards the end and successfully reaches it. His eyes clear, and Morri notes that because FCG and Orym did most of the communication, they cannot help the next person. She temporarily seals their mouths shut so they cannot guide Imogen.

Imogen goes next, and with Chetney and Laudna providing most of the instruction, she quickly traverses half the path. After Sam accidentally says something when FCG could not, the wasps come out. Those who can talk warn her about the wasps and she casts Shock Flare, but they are immune to lightning damage. She takes some piercing damage from them, but manages to keep her footing, and reaches the end without further incident. Imogen's sight returns, but Morri removes Chetney and Laudna's ability to speak, leaving only Fearne and Imogen to guide Ashton.

Ashton similarly starts out well, but after Liam says something that Orym would not have been able to say, the wasps come out again. Ashton can feel the abyss and rages as he reaches the wasps, but while the damage is reduced, he falls. They click the button on their hammer to hang midair, but slip when trying to get up onto the platform and fall into the abyss. Morri brings them back up safely and not harmed from the fall, and with a little help disengages the hammer and brings that back as well. She asks them if they'd like to try one more time in order to get the item, and Orym volunteers. While anyone can guide Orym, there is an additional challenge: the platform will be crumbling behind him and he only has five minutes to go across. Imogen and Chetney volunteer to guide him, and working together Orym makes it to the end with time to spare. Morri congratulates them and restores everyone's ability to see and speak, and after throwing the pieces of scarf into the abyss reveals the real one and gives it to Orym: the Scarf of Intrusive Intent.

Smoke comes from the mouth on Morri's stomach, and when that clears, Bells Hells find themselves in a forest with a deep central well as Morri explains the final challenge: there are three altars within the forest, each with an ivory branch upon them. They must find these branches and lay them in the water. Morri then brings out two doppelgangers and says that they have been studying the party and will take the place of two party members, secretly, and work against them in the exercise. The party must figure out who the imposters are.

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.

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.

  • "Door", door to Morri's Collection

Mentioned[edit | edit source]

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 1 Monocle of True Essence Morrigan Bells Hells Reward for completing the "Honesty" team-building exercise; currently in Orym's possession
Acquired 1 Scarf of Intrusive Intent Morrigan Bells Hells Reward for completing the "Communication" team-building exercise; currently in Orym's possession

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • The three trials prepared by Morrigan and FCG were developed by Matt and Sam. Sam pitched the three topics for each trial (honesty, communication, trust), and gave Matt two possible activities for each of them, which were then adapted solely by Matt. Trust: Bells Hells must retrieve valuable items, and the players are tempted to keep them for themselves. Trust: one character has to "dive down into a deep poisonous bog to retrieve an item which they have to hold with two hands, knowing they cannot get back up again by themselves" and has to trust that their teammates can rescue them. Honesty: Bells Hells, affected by Zone of Truth, must reveal something about themselves, or they can't move to the next challenge. Communication: Bells navigate their assignment, while the player seat in a pitch darkness, because CRP shut the lights off at the studio.[1]
  • At the end of the game, Matt revealed cards for a Werewolf/Mafia-like game to determine who would be controlling a doppelganger of their character, but the cards were not handed out and the full rules and who is playing a doppelganger were not revealed.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "4-Sided Dive: Episode Twenty" (4SDx20) at 3:26.
  2. "To Hurt Is to Heal" (3x79) at 3:58:01.