"Behind the Curtain" (3x07) is the seventh episode of the third campaign of Critical Role. After a performance goes slightly awry, the group begins investigating the strange disappearances that have all taken place in and around the Dreamscape Theater...
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Previously on Critical Role
So, last we left off: This troupe of adventurers, having lost a friend, avenged a friend, and setting off to discover what of the next wave of mysteries before them are worth pursuing, decided to follow one thread (that was mentioned by Lord Ariks Eshteross) to the Dreamscape Theater, where apparently a series of disappearances, he had heard, were occurring or had occurred in recent weeks around the establishment.
Gathering your things, you headed further into the Core Spire of Jrusar to the Dreamscape Theater proper. You acquired tickets, you found yourself a nice box seat on the left hand upper side of the theater, preparing for the performance of a troupe referred to as "Kendra's Flying Lauders". As you all have your seats, it seemed that Dorian was pulled aside. Somebody requested a conversation in which an individual named Cyrus made themselves seen, and a brief, intense conversation ensued in the stairwell beneath before you returned to the box seat as the show was about to begin.
When the rest of the party asks Dorian who wanted to see him, he lies, badly. The singing acrobatic show begins, continuing until one of the performers misses a catch and falls, bringing the show to a premature close. As the audience filters out, the party sneaks backstage. There, they find the injured performer and Fresh Cut Grass heals him, winning the gratitude of the performers and theater staff, including the owner Stuvan Idrio. Orym notices all of the audience has left but one hooded figure in the rear, and when it exits he and Laudna follow but quickly lose the trail outside after recognizing it appears to be one of the Hubatt Corsairs.
Meanwhile, Stuvan leads the others to his office and eventually admits there indeed have been disappearances at the theater, including employees, actors, and patrons. He is suspicious of the group, but accepts their offer to investigate and tells the staff to cooperate.
The party begins interviewing the theater employees and exploring the theater building, learning that two of the missing patrons were having romantic trysts there. They eventually find a note scratched in the box seat reading "Outside", and realize this was a message from one of the clandestine lovers to the other.
Investigating a cul-de-sac alley next to the theater, they notice it is spotless. Imogen uses her Open Mind ability and senses another mind somewhere in the alley, but strangely unlike anything she's sensed before. FCG then casts Detect Thoughts and senses an odd presence as well. As the rest of the party joins them, Ashton and Imogen continue to inspect the area. Suddenly, the striations of the stone wall split and an eye appears, followed by jagged spikes and tendrils.
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The wall creature, a large spitting mimic, attacks, hitting hard with a bite attack and grappling with its tendrils on a hit. It also has a spitting attack which does severe acid area effect damage. A series of bad rolls means most of the party's early attacks miss, and several of the group suffer significant damage. Ashton manages to free a grappled Laudna but can only pull her five feet away from the mimic. Another spit attack hits Laudna, Ashton, and Orym, and only FCG's intervention by taking half the damage saves Laudna from unconsciousness. Those three and Dorian are all by this point seriously wounded.
Imogen is also struck and grappled by the mimic, bringing her perilously low as well, and the unlucky attack rolls continue until Dorian crits when casting Chromatic Orb, getting the How do you want to do this?
Everyone but FCG is in fairly dire health straits. They notice a few bits of partially dissolved bone in the otherwise spotlessly clean alley, and realize the missing people were eaten by the mimic. FCG takes the small items of metal jewelry that survive to possibly help in the identification of the victims. Two wardens then approach, asking what happened, and investigating. Stuvan and the other theater employees also appear and remember that some general street repair was recently supposed to have been done in the alley by the Treshi House Mason's Guild, although there are no signs of fresh construction materials.
The party joins Stuvan in his office, where he gives them a small case filled with gold and platinum coins, along with box seats for the rest of the season, in exchange for their agreement to reinforce to the authorities that the deaths were not the fault of the theater, and their silence about the matter to the incoming audience for the next show.
They exit out the back into the alley, noticing four Wardens still investigating the body of the dead spitting mimic. Orym and Dorian retrieve their weapons still in the body, and Fearne steals seven teeth before one of the Wilders notices and stops her. Imogen notices two small half-orb devices attached to the mimic, and manages to steal one.
As they approach the street at the end of the alley, they notice a figure leaning against the wall, different than the one Laudna and Orym followed earlier. When Imogen mentally asks him if he wants something, he seems startled, and they see a small elderly gnome wearing woodworking tools. He saw the fight, and he could use some help finding someone, a friend. His name is Chetney Pock O'Pea.
They all head to the Spire by Fire for drinks and rest.
- Ashton Greymoore
- Chetney Pock O'Pea (new)
- Fearne Calloway
- Fresh Cut Grass
- Imogen Temult
- Dorian Storm
- Evaan, halfling ticket-taker at the Dreamscape Theater
- Siran, dragonborn usher at the Dreamscape Theater
- Kendra's Flying Lauders, family players and featured act at the Dreamscape Theater
- Kendra, matriarch of the Flying Lauders
- Kendra's son, who injures himself during the act
- Ocampo, human stage manager of the Dreamscape Theater
- Stuvan Idrio, half-elf owner of the Dreamscape Theater
- Tefta, gnomish financial manager of the Dreamscape Theater
- Cyrus Wyvernwind
- Dreamscape Theater disappearances:
- Eden Callswell, Dreamscape patron having an affair with Emir Lioto
- Emir Lioto, Dreamscape patron having an affair with Eden Callswell
- Lidney Oseddala, Dreamscape bartender
- Sino, Dreamscape performer
- Usha Brec, Dreamscape janitor
- Yaden, Dreamscape patron and kepper dust dealer
- Scanlan Shorthalt
- Teena, human ticket-taker at the Dreamscape Theater
- Laudna: (to Tefta) One word. First word that pops into your head when you look at us.
- Dorian: (to Ocampo) It was a wall, a scary wall.
Matt: He looks over and it's still there. It still has its wall form in places. It's just dead.
FCG: We broke the fourth wall.
- Stuvan: Thank you, I appreciate that. Have a good night, and get out.
- Warden: (stopping Fearne's tooth harvesting) Hey, this is a crime scene.
Fearne: Yes, a crime scene that I made!
|Stolen||1||White lace dress||Dreamscape Theater||Fearne||From costume storage|
|Acquired||Partially disssolved bone fragments||Alley||Lauda||The remains of the spitting mimic's prior victims|
|Acquired||Small case holding gold and platinum coins||Stuvan||The party||amount unspecified|
|Acquired||1||Half-orb-shaped device||Spitting mimic||Imogen||Two were attached to the mimic when it died.|
- This episode saw the first use of the Campaign Three opening title sequence, "It's Thursday Night".
- Sam's flask held a list of rejected ideas for a group name:
- Dorian's Tax Write Offs
- A CaBella
- 5 Living Beings, 1 Robot, 1 ???
- The Bell Ends
- Bells, Bells, Bells
- WTF is Up With Them
- The character Chetney Pock O'Pea is based on Chutney Chocolatecane, a Christmas elf also played by Travis Willingham in "The Night Before Critmas" (Sx41) and Narrative Telephone's "Chutney's Christmas Vacation".