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"Omens Above" (3x19) is the nineteenth episode of the third campaign of Critical Role. Newly arrived in the Heartmoor Hamlet, Bells Hells seek answers to long-sought questions and prepare for the midnight museum heist...

Synopsis[]

Announcements[]

Previously on Critical Role[]

So, last we left off: Bells Hells had made their trek northward from the large city of Jrusar to handle a couple of elements. One, following a thread of the unfortunate murder of the Lumas twins that seems to have a connection to Orym's initial goal in coming to Marquet, as well as following up on a thread from Jiana Hexum to perhaps help some of Ashton's historical baggage. Upon making your way northward for a number of days, you had some interesting encounters, some dangerous encounters, and eventually came to the town of Heartmoor Hamlet.

Here, you began to wander about, take in the atmosphere that you had found yourself, went ahead and got rooms situated, had your horses taken care of for the week, went ahead and went towards the estate that is known as the Twilight Mirror Museum. Met the glorious Mr. Evon Hytroga, and announced yourselves as one of the two chosen groups of this unique barter, this odd, particular attempted burglary that you've been asked to do. You've been told to return at midnight the following day as soon as the other team arrives that have been chosen by one of the other competitive interests, the Mistress Isha Sabanis.

After making this conversation, you began to wander back to the town, heading over towards the Blue Herald's Hill where you knocked on the door of the last known individual to have been with the Lumas twins when they were slain, an individual called Estani. You knocked on the door and Estani greeted you there, an elderly orc fellow, orc-elf lineage, who seemed to smile and greet you warmly as he invited you within his abode. As you all began to look around and step through the threshold, seeing the mostly moss-taken townscape around you, this building itself very much being reclaimed by the elements, other than the one piercing metallic device that is prodding through the roof, a unique-looking telescope that is pushing from beyond the back end of the building. You step through the front door into the warm interior.

Part I[]

The party enters the comfortable, book-strewn interior, where Estani offers them warm lime juice and biscuits. Orym explains that they are looking into the murder of the Lumas twins, and Estani tells them that he and the twins were walking in the nearby Herald's Hill Garden when three dark, masked, and hooded figures dropped from a tree and attacked, killing the twins. Oshad Breshio, the twins' bodyguard, managed to kill one, which discorporated into black liquid, but the other two escaped.

Estani and the twins had become friends via correspondence about their shared interest in astronomical solstices and specifically in the red moon Ruidus. The twins were studying its occasional, irregular flares, believed by some to be ill portents. Children born during a flare are called "Ruidusborn". They are thought to be destined for important things, bear "strange marks" on their bodies, and have premonitions, bad dreams, and other odd psychic phenomena. To further their research on the Ruidusborn, the twins planned to go to the Omen Archive of the Aydinlan Seminary in Yios which also holds one of the largest arcane telescopes in Exandria.

Estani has none of the twins' notes or papers—they carried them with them, and their bags were missing after they were killed. He invites the party to join him that evening to look through his telescope at Ruidus, which he describes as a barren, red moonscape continuously bombarded with storms. When Laudna suggests to Imogen that she might be Ruidusborn, Imogen replies that she isn't sure, but she thinks her mother might have been since she was part of the study that Imogen found the partial notes about.[1]

Frog-Fearne - Dylan Chinn

Fan art of Frog-Fearne, by Dylan Chinn.[art 1]

Estani offers to show them the place of the attack on the twins, a small park nearby featuring an endless stream of water flowing from a weathered stone statue of a man pouring out a pot. Orym investigates the tree the attackers came from, finding a hint of a dried tar-like substance in the branches.[2] Ashton investigates the statue, learning that it bears a very faint enchantment and that he can't reach the end of the hole from which the water is coming. Eventually, Fearne transforms herself into a frog and, tethered by yarn, investigates the hole. The water has strange currents, shifting temperatures, and a strange taste, and Imogen's psychic connection doesn't seem to reach within. Fearne quickly retreats when she sees glowing blue eyes coming toward her.

The party then splits up to go shopping. Fearne, Laudna, and Chetney buy general supplies at Mosscobble Wares, including fishing equipment, ball bearings, climbing equipment, limes, and a shovel. Fresh Cut Grass and Orym ask about potions that might confuse, distract, or obscure at Witherbough Medicines, learning that a group including a silver dragonborn recently purchased three tanglefoot bags, two smoke bombs, and a Potion of Gaseous Form. Orym buys a single tanglefoot bag, which is all they can afford. Imogen and Ashton go to Knot Forgotten, an antique and hand-carved wooden knick-knack store previously owned by Oltgar, and purchase a creepy marionette as a friend for Laudna's Pâté de Rolo. They also get a jack-in-the-box and some children's toy jacks.

Meeting back up at the Sodden Grange Inn where they're staying, they attempt to find out if the rival party is also staying there, but the front desk person is not forthcoming and they deduce he has been bribed to keep quiet. Fearne tries to induce him to keep quiet about Bells Hells as well with a gold piece, and when Laudna sweetens the deal with a lime, he agrees.

Estani's Telescope - Clara

Fan art of Estani's telescope, by Clara.[art 2]

At nightfall, they return to Estani's manor, where the professor ushers them upstairs to his telescope. One by one, they attempt to peer through it at the ruddy topography of Ruidus but are having trouble focusing closely. Finally, in the face of oncoming cloud cover, Orym succeeds in adjusting the telescope enough to discern the swirl of movement, and calls Imogen to take his place. She can see that the entire surface of the moon is covered in a storm of red clouds and lightning.

Break[]

Part II[]

Imogen using the telescope - Lap Pun Cheung

Fan art of Imogen using the telescope, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 3]

Imogen is disconcerted and confused. She has seen the red storm so often in her dreams, but seeing it while awake is different. She questions why her mother tells her to run from it, and why she saw Bertrand and the Lumas twins within it. Estani tells her the twins had mentioned their continuing research into red storms and that they had discovered something important they wanted to share with him, but were killed before they could do so. He mentions once more their research at the Omen Archive of the Aydinlan Seminary in Yios.

Fresh Cut Grass suggests that the storm may be a repressed memory of something that happened when Imogen was very young, but short of forcing her father to talk about it, she doesn't know how to learn any more. She doesn't think he wants to see her. The next step, to her, seems to be to travel to Yios to speak to Professor Kadija Sumal, who spearheaded the study of red dreams there. Now that she's thinking about it, she notices that her dreams' frequency seems to be on a roughly six-month cycle corresponding to the orbit of Ruidus... and Ruidus is currently ascending.

They return to the inn, where Ashton and Imogen give Laudna the creepy marionette, which she immediately names Sashimi. They try out the jack-in-the-box on Chetney, narrowly avoiding giving him a heart attack. Ashton rigs fishing line around them as they sleep to give warning if anyone breaks in, and they keep watch as well.

Imogen's dream - Lap Pun Cheung

Official art of Imogen's dream, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 4]

During the night, Imogen finds herself in her dream of a familiar field as the red storm approaches. This time, instead of running, she cries out to it, asking what it wants, and takes a step towards it. As she does, it gets stronger and colder. She calls out to her mother, and her mother's voice says, "Run!" and does not respond to her questions. Saying, "I don't want to run anymore," Imogen, terrified, walks deeper into the storm. Before her, she sees an unfamiliar woman's figure standing and other outlines stepping out from behind it. She senses the woman is smiling and it is not comforting, but intent, focused, and maliceful. With a crack of thunder, the storm consumes Imogen and she wakes.

Laudna comforting Imogen - Giulia Valentini

Fan art of Laudna comforting Imogen after her dream, by Giulia Valentini (kurocyou).[art 5]

Fearne, keeping watch, sees this and Laudna and Orym wake as well. Imogen tells them the storm felt malevolent, but that this time she ran into it, not away. They are all supportive, telling her that running away wasn't the answer and she should continue trying to do something different, but Fearne notices the lightning marks on Imogen's arms appear to have ever-so-slightly grown, a continuation of a very slow, continuous spread over the ten years during which she has been having the dreams. They eventually go back to sleep.

In the morning, FCG tells Imogen that although he can definitely cure her blue condition, he'd rather not do it until after the heist to conserve spells. They make their preparations, handing out the purchased supplies, going over their inventories, and buying two more potions of healing.

Near midnight, they head to the Twilight Mirror Museum. Evon Hytroga is standing outside with Hutchin's group, who they met outside Heartmoor Hamlet. In the introductions, they learn the other group is called The Verdict, and they are indeed the other competitors in this event. Evon explains the rules: Both teams may enter the museum however they see fit, being reasonably respectful of the wares and decor. Unnecessary damage will lead to forfeiture. They are to find, acquire, and bring to him a lapis earring of the mythic djinn Harudan, known as "Wind Folly". Evon assures the groups that none of his defenses are fatal. They have until sunrise to bring him the earring. If neither group succeeds, Evon wins.

After a little more conversation, questions, and sizing up of the other party, the two competing groups separate by about a hundred feet and the competition begins as Evon shouts, "Go!"

Featured characters[]

Bells Hells

Returning

New

  • Ify Mosscobble, human proprietor of Mosscobble Wares
  • Timma, tiefling proprietor of Witherbough Medicines
  • Zadro Ichlen, dwarven proprietor of Knot Forgotten

Mentioned

Quotations[]

  • Marisha: [Keyleth] didn't stop aging. She ages now one year for every hundred or something like that.
    Laura: Note to self: Let's all become druids.
  • Laudna: This guy just watched us shove a frog in a fountain. We look like fucking idiots.
    Ashton: Didn't see him throwing a frog into a fountain when he didn't know what was going on there. We know.
    Chetney: Trust us. We're professionals.
  • Imogen: (about the creepy marionette) Laudna would love it.
    Ashton: She would fucking die. Again.
  • Fearne: You should keep your mouth shut about us, if you catch my drift? (Slides a gold piece over)
    Laudna: I sweeten the deal with a lime.
  • Fearne: Pâté has a girlfriend!
    Chetney: I was working on that.
    Ashton: Pâté can get around.
  • FCG: (about the red storm) If you asked [your father] and you told how important it was to you now, you don't think he would help?
    Imogen: I could try sending him a message. I don't think he wants to see me. I don't... I don't think he wants to see me.
    FCG: Who wouldn't want to see you?
    Imogen: Somebody that doesn't like having their thoughts read.
  • Fearne: (to Imogen) Maybe you're going to change the world.
    Laudna: I think she already has.
    Fearne: Certainly changed ours.
    Imogen: Y'all are wonderful.
  • Liam: Orym is clocking Laudna walking away with this little lady hanging from little ropes, and he's thinking of the story she told him the other night.
    Marisha: You just see Pâté de Rolo's little dead rat hand grab onto Sashimi's ass.
    Imogen: I'm going to regret this purchase.
    Ashton: I'm not.
    Imogen: You're not the one sleeping next to it.
  • Liliana Temult: Run, Imogen! Run!
    Imogen: I don't want to run anymore. [...] I walk forward.
  • Laudna: (to Imogen) I would murder everyone around us if anything happened to you.
    Fearne: I could help you.

Inventory[]

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Transferred 1 Small chunk of the stone ruins Imogen Estani Estani promised to show it to an archeologist friend.
Acquired 1 Very small fleck of dried black toxin the tree which held the twins' attackers Orym It resembled the black sludge of Dugger.
Acquired 6 fishing hooks and 4 magnets Mosscobble Wares Chetney
Acquired 1 Healer's kit Mosscobble Wares Chetney
Acquired Climbing equipment Mosscobble Wares Chetney
Acquired 2 pairs Work gloves Mosscobble Wares Chetney
Acquired 1 spool Fishing line Mosscobble Wares Laudna
Acquired 1 bag Ball bearings Mosscobble Wares Laudna
Acquired 1 Fishing rod Mosscobble Wares Fearne
Acquired
Transferred
1 Shovel Mosscobble Wares
Fearne
Fearne
Laudna
Chetney immediately carved Laudna's name onto it.
Acquired
Transferred
12
1
11
Limes Mosscobble Wares
Laudna
Laudna
Laudna
Inn front desk
Estani
Acquired 1 Tanglefoot bag Witherbough Medicines Orym Cost 30 gold.
Acquired
Transferred
1 Creepy marionette Knot Forgotten
Imogen
Imogen
Laudna
Cost 5 silver. Laudna named it "Sashimi".
Acquired 1 Crank-up music box Knot Forgotten Imogen Cost 1 gold. When the music stops, a devil face pops out on a spring.
Acquired 1 set Jacks Knot Forgotten Ashton Cost 1 silver.
Acquired several pieces Wood and bark the tree which held the twins' attackers Chetney
Crafted
Transferred
1 Friendship bracelet Fearne and Laudna Imogen Made from Laudna's yarn and ribbon so that in Imogen's dreams, she can look at it and know she'll be out of it and back with them soon.
Acquired 1 regular
1 greater
Potions of healing Witherbough Medicines Orym
Ashton
Cost 50 gold for regular, 150 for greater.

Trivia[]

  • Uriel Tal'Dorei II was mentioned as "Uriel Tal'Dorei III".
  • The episode was initially uploaded to YouTube without its title, named only "Critical Role | Campaign 3, Episode 19".[3] The title was added a few hours later.
  • Sam's jerrycan has a death pool for which horse is going to die first: Travis and Marisha bet on "Loonch", Taliesin bets on "Heart", Laura bets on "Sir Floppers".[4]

References[]

  1. See "Chasing Nightmares" (3x11) at 4:57:53.  Imogen found a book in the Starpoint Conservatory that recorded research into recurring dreams of a red storm linked to theories of fiendish influence, Ruidus tidal corruption, or elemental boundary flares, which included her mother's name as one of the contributors or subjects. Additional pages on the topic had been torn out. She later learned that the Lumas twins were the last to borrow the book, and they were staying with Estani when they were killed in the mysterious attack Orym and Fearne were sent by Keyleth to investigate.
  2. See "The Threat Between the Walls" (3x05) at 3:10:00.  A similar poisonous substance was belched up by Dugger in the party's fight against him.
  3. See archived version of the YouTube page on April 11, 2022 at 12:10pm PT.
  4. See "Omens Above" (3x19) from 1:31:00 through 1:31:50.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Frog-Fearne, by Dylan Chinn (source). Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Estani's telescope, by Clara (source). Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Imogen using the telescope, by Lap Pun Cheung (source). Used with permission.
  4. Official art of Imogen's dream, by Lap Pun Cheung (source). Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Laudna comforting Imogen after her dream, by Giulia Valentini (kurocyou) (source). Used with permission.
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