Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E60 “Faith or Famine” | Critical Role (2024)

Hello! Welcome to Critical Recap! I’m Dani Carr, the Critical Role Lore Keeper. Let’s dive into our recap of Critical Role Campaign 3 Episode 60 Faith or Famine!

THE ROAD

The group of Orym, Ashton, Laudna, Deni$e, Prism, and Bor’Dor begin their trek to civilization. Prism explains that she works with the Cobalt Soul mages in Emon, Tal’Dorei as a perpetual apprentice. She offers to find (or steal) a scrying spell so they can locate their friends. The spell works better when using an item that belongs to the scried upon individual – Deni$e has a clump of Dariax’s hair and the others have various items belonging to their friends.

Laudna finds a road, which Prism’s enchanted book Dynios identifies as the Outerwalk in Northern Issylra. A sign points them to either Andovaar or Hearthdell – since Hearthdell is closest, they head in that direction. Eventually they may go on to the religious city of Vasselheim, but for now, they just need to find people.

They come upon a crossroads, where a disused gallows sits before unmarked gravestones. This gallows was used by the Valley Coalition to execute perceived criminals. The ground itself has been disturbed. Not wanting to tangle with anything coming out of the graves – Bor’Dor cites a fear of zombies – they give the area a wide berth.

NEXUS TOWN

They continue on, noticing a change in the air like an electrical current. It reminds Laudna of the Tishtan ruins in Marquet where the Ruby Vanguard placed the Malleus Key. A nexus of the leylines is positioned over Hearthdell. Prism and Orym cast some minor spells, both of which are amplified. Prism warns them that illusion magic will be stronger here – don’t believe what they see.

They slowly approach the town, which contains dozens of buildings and wide stretches of farmland, as well as the large Ottumback Hill. They notice a lumber mill and homesteads, where they see people walking and working, but the people keep their distance. A young man in armor bearing a Dawnfather symbol walks the hill.

They speak with an old man named Hender, who immediately distrusts them. The armored figure approaches and they tell him they’re lost and passing through. He tells them to go to the Telder Twins Pub for lodging. He leaves and Deni$e talks to Hender more, who explains that they’ve lost a few people and suggests they speak with Proleff the herbalist or Elder Abaddina for more information.

THE HERBALIST

Entering Hearthdell, it appears to be a modest farming and logging village whose people keep to themselves. They spot a hilltop stone monolith and two maypoles, as well as another guard in Dawnfather regalia walking around. It’s rare to see religious law enforcement, but Northern Issylra is deeply religious due to Vasselheim. They notice a very large and extravagant white marble temple that sticks out against the rest of the community.

They meet Proleff at Innovar Apothecary, where their disclosure of their magical appearance gives him hope that their own vanished could be okay. They lost eleven people last night during their makeshift celebration for the solstice, one of whom was a ten year old girl. Vasselheim has ramped up on the number of guards here due to the solstice, including two Judicators – their divine enforcers.

Proleff explains that this is a pagan village that worships the land and its spirits, calling themselves the Loam and the Leaf. They’ve been targeted by the missionaries, who are ever-present and make people feel unsafe. The wealthier of the two lumber mills, Silvercall, has strong ties to the temples and bought land out from under the village, which led to the temple’s construction twenty years ago. Silvercall has taken more from the land than they should, upsetting the spirits.

THE LOAM & THE LEAF

Prism gives Proleff a magical note that asks where they can speak freely. He suggests the Knotburrow, the home of the elder. The missionaries have been more intense these last five months. The Judicators in particular like to bully. Ashton asks if he heard Ludinus’ speech and Proleff says that they all heard the voice from the sky.

Last night was the Maypole competition. The winner, Viola, was one of those taken in the solstice. Bor’Dor asks if there were any sacrifices, but Proleff assures him that’s not how they live. He asks about the gallows; it’s disused, as one victim set a dark curse on the crossroads, so only graverobbers venture there now. They purchase some healing salves and Bor’Dor buys a very strong laxative, which Proleff trades him for a future favor.

They leave the apothecary and head to the elder’s home, unnerved by both the town and the temple. Laudna theorizes that those teleported or who heard Ludinus were the ones closest to the nexus points. They arrive at the Knotburrow, a quaint two-story cottage covered in vines that inspect them. They declare themselves friends of the Loam and the Leaf, whereupon they are welcomed by Elder Joan Abaddina, a half-giant druid.

THE ELDER

Elder Abbadina calls them travelers of the leyline tangle. The timing of their arrival is strange, due to the strengthened magic beneath the nexus. She and her family have been soothsayers of this village for generations, as she can speak to the Demithore Eidolons – the spirits of the land. She asks for their opinions on the Prime Deities. Deni$e, Bor’Dor, and Prism are not fans of the gods, with Bor’Dor calling out the temple’s damage to Hearthdell.

Orym says that it’s the followers that are usually a bigger problem than the gods themselves, though some gods are horrific. There are many examples of abuses of power in Exandria, be it government or faith, and they saw the forces that aim to pull the gods down. Orym thinks the problems here are a response and an overreach.

With Orym’s permission, Abaddina has him inhale a strange pink dust, which allows her to see his experiences with the Malleus Key, Otohan Thull, and the attacks on Keyleth. Abaddina believes that people are born free; they are robbed from their freedom by those with money and power. There is no higher form of government than control, a control that began in Vasselheim.

DEITY DEBATES

Laudna expresses the concern that getting rid of the gods will create a power vacuum that will be filled and those who wish to fill it may have worse intentions than the deities do. Abaddina thinks that sometimes things need to crumble before they can be rebuilt. She declares that she will take a vacuum that banishes the greatest oppressors for a chance to make the world better over remaining under the shackles that have held them down since creation.

Abaddina heard Ludinus’ speech last night. He is the first mortal since the Matron of Ravens’ ascension whose actions have made the gods fearful. Orym says that Ludinus was willing to kill anyone standing in his way for that goal. She thinks that his path might be a bit lost but she can’t argue with his philosophy. This upsets Orym, who is tired of the debates and just wants a way to help his friends.

Laudna thinks it is time to stop killing in the name of the gods, whether it’s for or against. Abaddina would like to help them, but she wants them to help her first. If they help her free the village from the temple, she will help them return to the others. She can scry on their friends and learn where they are. She has already located three of their lost villagers in this way.

STAND OR FALL

The group agrees to attend a meeting at the Fairfroth Brewery and hear what the villagers have to say. They arrive at the brewery and overhear conversations discussing their anxiety and the cruelty of the guards, as well as their lost loved ones. There are about 80 villagers who are ready to take their home back. Abaddina addresses the community and assures them that she has been slowly finding their people and will work with the Eidolons to bring them back.

Abaddina gives a speech about their oppression under the gods and their new opportunity to ignite change. There are people across Exandria who were once powerless who can now stand up and take action. The missionaries are cruel because they are as scared as the gods. They cannot waste the opportunity of the solstice to seize this moment and drive out the missionaries. Their protectors are stronger than ever. Either fall with pride or take back this valley and, maybe, this world – so that all can be free once more.

The villagers are stirred by her speech. Those who are willing to fight come to the front. Prism joins them (though she does so invisibly) and Ashton believes that they, as outsiders, have to take part. Ashton, Laudna, and Bor’Dor step up. Deni$e tells Orym that this town isn’t going to take down the gods. He tells her that none of that matters now. They both step up.

ACTION

The plan is for the warriors of the village to hide in the forest while Orym and Bor’Dor take alcohol to the temple gates and ask for an audience with their leader, Flameguide Kiro. They will explain that they have information about Ludinus and try to convince them to leave willingly. If they refuse to leave, then the village will attack without restraint. Orym sets the signal phrase for the attack as “that’s unfortunate”.

Bor’Dor and Orym approach the Sunrise Sanctuary temple with a cart full of ale. Bor’Dor tells the guards they have brought offerings for the guards and the gods. He convinces the guards to partake in the alcohol and pours the super laxative into their drinks. Orym explains that he saw the events of the apogee solstice firsthand and convinces a guard to retrieve the Flameguide. He notices the mist around the temple moving intelligently – the Eidolons at work.

KNIFE’S EDGE

The Flameguide comes out on the roof of the temple and demands that they speak or be banished from the town. Orym claims to be a representative of Zephrah and the town. The foremost mage of the Cerberus Assembly wants to tear down the gods. He is Orym’s enemy, which makes Orym and the temple friends. The Dawnfather’s followers need to be in the Hellcatch Valley stopping Ludinus Da’leth, not here with their boots on the necks of farmers.

Despite Orym’s impassioned speech, the Flameguide is unimpressed. She accuses Orym of dalliances with Ludinus and demands they be arrested in order to speak with their superiors in Vasselheim. Orym tells her “that’s unfortunate”. The villagers charge in for the attack as Bor’Dor fails to convince a guard to join them and Prism dimension doors herself and Deni$e into the temple with the Judicator.

That is it for Episode 60 of Critical Role!

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • Thank you, Emily Axford, for canonizing Cerberus Assembly trading cards.
  • The Eidolons sound really interesting – nature spirits that work in harmony with the people and the land. Are they descendants of the primordials?
  • Hearthdell and the Loam and the Leaf are fascinating; getting to see different perspectives on the gods and nature, particularly in Issylra, is exciting.

Catch Episode 61 on Thursday, June 8th at 7pm Pacific on twitch.tv/criticalrole and on youtube.com/criticalrole or a week later on our podcast. Is it Thursday yet?

Tagged as Campaign 3 Critical Recap Critical Role Recap

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Critical Recap: Critical Role C3E60 “Faith or Famine” | Critical Role (2024)

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