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"Critical Role EXTRA – Liam's Quest!" (Sx12) is an RPG one-shot which aired in lieu of "The Feywild" (1x59) as some cast members were traveling. As the guest Dungeon Master for this campaign, Liam O'Brien leads the players—who are playing themselves—through a mundane voice acting session when extraordinary events leave them struggling to survive in a Lovecraftian horror adventure based on popular movies and video games.
The sequel to this episode is "Liam's Quest: Full Circle" (Sx16).
It's a hot day in LA as our group of four start their activities. Laura, Travis, Sam and Taliesin have been working on the mo-cap for the third game in the Felguard series for months. Today is the first day of VO sessions at Warner Brother Studios. Everyone had a busy morning; Travis was working out at home, Laura was doing a 9-1 session of work, Taliesin has been working on another project at home and Sam is rushing over from one of the animated series he works on. Sam's neighbors are on vacation and he is watching their dog Bixby, a pug. He can't leave him in the hot house all day so he brings the dog along to work.
Everyone arrives to find that their voice over director is their friend Liam O'Brien. Their friends, Pierce O'Toole and Emma are also there. Three Devs from Phalanx Studios are on set as is Jenna, the writer they all know well from the mo-cap sessions. Their director Garrett also greets them and tells them the scenes they mo-capped are looking great, asking Laura about her bruise she got. The audio lead Gus is eyeing Bixby and Liam says they'll work it out, telling Sam he can keep him with him as long as he is quiet. Pierce pops in and gets Starbucks orders. The group get their mics on and set up for the session. Liam comes into the booth, smiling but a little tense. He tells them they have a lot to get through so they can't mess around too much. Sam asks about Laura's bruise and she says it actually really hurt. Liam points out the scripts and reminding Laura where they were in the context of the scene. They do their first take and Liam gives them some notes, setting up again for another take. In the second take, Sam says pickup pretty much every other sentence causing everyone in the back room to laugh. They do their next take and Liam says it was awesome, talks to the devs and asks one more take where Laura explodes more on Sam's character. They do take four and Liam turns back to the devs.
They wonder what's going on as Liam talks and Laura spaces out looking at her water bottle, which strangely ripples. There is a vibration in the ground and then the room rocks to the side. A pulse of energy hums through the group. On the other side of the glass, Liam is floating two feet in the air and suddenly his body rips in half as strange beads of mercury float in between the two halves in lieu of gore. The back wall behind them expands, looking wet and purple, and they see a tunnel form. Four more 'Liams' crawling up the sides of the tunnel, yanking the devs into the tunnel. The two halves of Liam that were floating have dropped to the ground. Laura drops to the ground while Travis and Taliesin try to bar the door but it is already jammed from the rocking. The two halves turn towards Pierce who has returned with coffee runs out the door, being followed by the two halves. The devs are gone and Allen is pulled into the tunnel.
The group doesn't have signal on their phones or Wi-Fi. The Liams have left the control room and the intestinal tunnel has swelled shut. Travis tries to push the ceiling part of the door up to no avail. The rest of the group move out of the way as Taliesin tries to throw the TV through the window and manages to smash it open. They try to sneak out of the room up the stairs by the light of cell phones. They see a crumpled part of the hallway and they can hear something metallic spilling from the kitchen. They see coins piling out of the door. While they argue what to do a giant red claw rakes in some of the gold, revealing a sword in the pile. Travis goes to retrieve the sword as well as dagger, bow and a rod, slicing himself in the process. He brings the weapons to his friends divvying it up. Travis takes the sword, Taliesin takes the rod, Laura takes the daggers and Sam takes the bow. They see a quiver still in the pile as the claw rakes through again. As soon as Taliesin takes the rod, he gets a migraine level headache and goes to the bathroom. He searches and finds a giant jar of Advil, he takes four of them. He rejoins the group as the snout starts to poke through the door. Travis grabs a handful of coins and Sam grabs the quiver as they run past.
Two doors are cracked open further down the hallway. Laura creeps up the door where light is coming through and sees a server room. A pale glow basks over the terminals and she hears a faint voice she knows, Ashley, who says "Find...me...waiting...cafeteria". The other end of the tunnel crunches and they run past the other open door which creaks open revealing the porthole of a boat scrapping by the door as water sloshes through, the letters 'IC' pass by. They open the door to get to the lobby and there is sunlight in the lobby. They run for the door to get out to the parking lot and as Taliesin grabs the door the humming returns. The group is frozen in place. The door handle is rusting and old and they see a five-story-tall squid-like monster.
Everyone but Taliesin is frozen in terror and he sees that it has noticed them, so he starts pulling his friends back from the door. The creature groans and flexes, releasing something from its skin, and another pulse moves through their heads. It disappears and the buildings around it are covered in centuries of vegetation. A pond has formed and the thing that dropped is slithering in the water. The building is gone and they are basically outdoors. Travis figures that they have somehow traveled through time. They argue whether they should attack the thing in the pond and try to stealth away but Bixby barks, giving away their location.
Travis tries to distract and moves in front of Laura, throwing a protein packet at the monster which explodes in its face. Sam tries to shoot an arrow and misses, hiding behind Taliesin. Laura throws a dagger and manages to hit it in one of its eight eyes. Taliesin's headache swells and he can see tentacles on his own hands. He uses the tentacle to attack and it cowers. The creature jumps and latches onto Travis, who shaves it off with his sword. Sam tells Bixby to get his dropped arrow and shoots at the monster, killing it. Laura retrieves her dagger and Sam has to pick Bixby out of the pond to keep him from drowning.
They reach the canteen, where Ashley's distorted voice said she could be found, and find it overgrown and broken down. Upon hearing rustling in the bushes they try to hide. In order to cross the grass, Sam carries Laura, who carries Bixby. Travis refuses to carry Laura and opts to carry Taliesin because he said please. Sam steps on a twig as they cross, setting off rustling, and they see a flash of yellow fabric up the wall. Taliesin tears up a comic book in order to make a torch, lighting it. It burns down, but as it does a blinding light appears in the center of the room, revealing a vision of Ashley Johnson sitting in front of a desk, facing them.
She greets them, and then begins to talk as if everything is normal, discussing Blindspot and how she'll be home soon, until she is asked whether she's experiencing the same things they are. She suddenly goes still and then lifts into the air, arms outstretched, pale and translucent, white feathered wings shooting out from her side, her hair floating and her eyes going wide. A powerful voice warns them that there is no time, that "the tower awaits", and that if they don't "make haste the clock can never turn back. Only you."
At this moment they are hit with a wave of golden light, and all their wounds are healed, as well as gaining twenty-five hit points. Ashley tells them she loves them all, and then disappears.
The light fades and the party feels the radiation rising again. When it stops, they're not inside the cafeteria anymore, but around them is just wasteland. The only thing that dominates the landscape is the Warner Brothers water tower, standing above the waste looking brand new. Rifts in the sky above it tear open, vanishing as quickly as they come, every six or seven seconds, a lightning storm around it. As they start to move forward toward the tower, they see smaller Liams glued, Geiger-like, all over its legs, some sort of mucus-like membrane over them holding them in place. Laura thinks the tower is where the Liams are born. The whole thing seems charged with electricity. Above the tower flies a corpse-like flying horse of the apocalypse, and on it rides a Conan O'Brien lich. The horse lands on the top of the tower and shrieks. As the tower pulses with radiation, even smaller Liams are shot out of the small Liams glued to it, landing near the party.
As they approach the tower, the lich takes off again and flies towards them. Taliesin successfully casts Chill Touch on Conan O'Brien and then hides behind Laura who is hiding behind Travis. As Travis dashes towards a Liam approaching, Laura throws one dagger which misses. Sam also takes a shot, killing one Liam. The lich stuns Travis, and Taliesin casts Chill Touch on one Liam and executes it. Then he slaps Travis, who recovers from the stun. Laura throws a 2nd dagger, slaying another Liam. Sam tosses the dagger back to her, then shoots an arrow to the lich. Taliesin casts Mage Hand, that goes retrieving Laura’s first dagger. Travis runs underneath the lich and throws his sword at him, which misses. Laura gets rid of one more Liam, while Sam takes another shot at Conan, who points at him and cast a spell who damages Sam a lot and slows him down, freezing him. Laura keeps taking Liams down. Travis turns to the lich and asks if he is willing to accept a sacrifice for mercy. He then looks for Sam and tries to cut off one of his arms, missing him. As a reaction, Sam orders Bixby to attack Travis. The lich keeps hitting Sam, who is knocked unconscious. The party is now making its way toward the tower, while other Liams are spawning. Taliesin aims for the lich, while Laura comes back for Sam, unconscious and frozen in place. Travis follows her and hits Sam, chopping off his arm.
Suddenly the party (except for Sam) sees a motrocycle with a sidecar driven by Matthew Mercer and Marisha Ray plowing through the dirt. Marisha has tats all up her arms and a bandanna tied around her head. Matthew has an eyepatch and a shotgun hanging off his side with a guitar. Mercer shouts, "We don't have much time! We have to act now!" while Marisha leaps off the motorcycle with a flip. She shoots out fire and hits the Warner Brothers tower, which explodes in flame. Grizzled Matt Mercer jumps down out of the sidecar and says, "Hold on! I know it's rough. You're the only thing that can fix this!" He whips the guitar off, and the party is healed. Sam starts to thaw, and the arm reconnects, while the ice melts away. They gain 30 hit points, as three Liams explodes. Marisha yells, "It's already over! There's no--" and then they bamf out along with the motorcycle. Conan’ horse crumbles to dust and the lich plummets to the ground. He attacks Laura, who is paralysed. Taliesin casts Chill Touch once more on the lich, and hits him. Travis, finally able to use his sword, takes a swing to Conan, hacking one of his arms off. Sam, with his now reattached arms, takes advantage of Laura’s paralysis to kiss her, but ends cutting his lip on her teeth. The lich turns to Travis and hits him, but he manages to shrug off the paralysis. Taliesin crits with the umpteenth Chill Touch casted on the lich, getting to go with the final blow on it. He slaps Conan O’Brien repeatedly, nocking bone after bone away. The lich snips, and the remaining bones collapse to the ground. Taliesin goes to loot the body but finds nothing, while Laura unfreezes. Travis claims the lich’s skull. In that moment, they all feel pushed through time, and the session ends.
- Laura Bailey
- Taliesin Jaffe
- Ashley Johnson [DM]
- Matthew Mercer
- Conan O'Brien
- Liam O'Brien
- Marisha Ray [DM]
- Sam Riegel
- Travis Willingham
- Sam: (to Taliesin) You're a voice actor.
Laura: He's a warlock. Let's be honest.
- Laura: Travis Willingham! You do NOT kill Sam Riegel right now! 
- Fan art of the characters from "Critical Role EXTRA – Liam's Quest!" (Sx12). Foreground: Travis, Taliesin, Sam, Laura, and Bixby. Background: Matt, Marisha, Ashley, Liam, and Conan O'Brien., by Hugo Cardenas (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Ashley Johnson from "Critical Role EXTRA – Liam's Quest!" (Sx12), by Truffery (source). Used with permission.