"Promise and Potential" (3x22) is the twenty-second episode of the third campaign of Critical Role. Now returned to Jrusar, Bells Hells meet with old and new allies to catch up on the city news and determine their next mission...
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Previously on Critical Role
Last we left off: Bells Hells had made their journey northward here in the Oderan Wilds to Heartmoor Hamlet in search of answers about the murder of the Lumas twins and the thread of the assassins that you, Orym, have been following, as well as it seems discovering some connections with the nightmare that's been haunting Imogen for a good portion of her young-to-current adult life. You were also here to break into the Twilight Mirror Museum at the behest of Ms. Jiana Hexum, to both embarrass, if possible, the proprietor of it, as well as win a wager that she had made with Evon Hytroga.
You managed to break in against a competitive burglary team known as The Verdict. You got caught in a lot of traps, and they got caught in some traps too, and you gave traps to each other, and then you fought some weird clay golem things. Then you repeatedly hit a button and burned the fuck out of the other team. And you won the wager. You retrieved the specific object that was notified to be waiting for you at the end of the museum safely, more or less, and in doing so won the arrangement for Hexum. On your way out, you delved into seemingly some sort of a shared or uniquely parallel history with one of the local carvers in the space, other crafters of fine wooden and other materials, as well as running into Roe Estani on the way out, who had been contemplating the conversations you had had and trusted you with a little more information about some sort of a troop, or a group, that referred to themselves as the Grim Verity that seemed to be heading up some of the similar research into these same astral oddities that the Lumas twins had been looking into, themselves seemingly, possibly members.
Upon leaving, you mounted your horses and headed southward on a relatively safe journey back, having knowing the roads a little better, managed to avoid any serious conflict or issues. We finished the last session with you stepping towards the base of the city just as the sun had begun to set and the flame of the Prakash Pyre guided you to Jrusar.
During their journey to Jrusar, Fresh Cut Grass paid careful attention to Imogen while she was sleeping, observing that she keeps her hand near the pouch containing the gnarlrock shard and seems to take comfort from it. The party spends the night at the Spire by Fire Inn. During the night, Ashton has fragmented dreams of their past, the failed burglary at the manor of Jiana Hexum and its aftermath. While he sleeps, Fearne studies the glass-filled hole in his head and the colors moving within it.
In the morning, they travel to Jiana's home. Once inside, they follow the sound of a violin to find Jiana with her music teacher Dinah Veshur. They give Jiana the papers stolen from Evon Hytroga and receive their payment, and she confirms Ashton's debt to her is paid. Fearne asks for and receives permission to take one of the magical busts from the entryway.
Jiana asks to speak to FCG alone and Ashton remains as well. She asks FCG who was his creator, and he tells her about Dancer while she inspects him closely, to which he eventually objects. Jiana is very interested in automatons and finds that FCG's level of awareness is unique. Ashton, meanwhile, finds that being back in this room is causing more fragmented memories to return, and once downstairs Ashton sees a half-hidden wooden container of about the same size as the crate they remember removing something from just before all their memories go blank. On the way out, Ashton helps Fearne remove the heavy magical bust and takes it with them.
On the way to Lord Eshteross's home, FCG tells the party again about his past and the evisceration of Dancer and the rest of FCG's party, the Division of Public Benefit. They reach Eshteross's house and find him training, but he receives them warmly.
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Lord Eshteross tells them that Lady Emoth's capture and interrogation proved Armand Treshi's guilt as a conspirator. Orlana Seshadri has personally taken charge of the investigation and Armand fled the city towards Bassuras, the home of Paragon's Call, which Eshteross was able to track because of the ring the party planted on Armand at the ball. Eshteross asks the party to pursue Armand to Bassuras before he escapes the continent entirely. He offers his skyship, the Silver Sun, as transport there, since it has returned from transporting Bertrand Bell's body to Whitestone, and brought a letter from Lady Vex'ahlia de Rolo thanking the party.
The skyship will be free for the next month, and will take about four to five days to reach Bassuras. Yios would be about three days further from there. Eshteross also gives them a map of the Hellcatch Valley and the tracking ball through which they can locate Armand once he is within a couple of miles. The skyship will leave for Bassuras in the morning.
The party leaves for the Dayal Hall in search of Ajit Dayal. There, a suspicious guard stops them at the entrance but fetches him after Imogen tells him they were sent by Professor Gryz. Ajit greets them, and is surprised to hear they are working with Lord Eshteross. Chetney explains that he met Gryz at the ball, and Ajit escorts them to his office and makes them tea.
Chetney explains he came to Jrusar to meet with Gurge Kisgregg, and that they share a condition, which Ajit immediately understands. Chetney is seeking Ajit's help in locating the Gorgynei, and turns down Ajit's offer to help him cure his lycanthropy. Ajit tells them the Gorgynei are currently in the Gloomed Jungles of Aeshanadoor, where they are able to remain hidden from those hunting the hides of lycanthropes for the bounty upon them. Controlling lycanthropy is difficult and the beast within cannot always be restrained, but the Gorgynei have somehow found a way to do so. When questioned, Chetney initially denies he has ever lost control, but eventually confesses he may have slipped up a couple times. Once the group is alone, he admits the moment during the heist that he clawed Orym, and suggests that it was because of how injured he was at the time. Perhaps during their travels, when he is in wolf form they should keep their distance or make sure he is healed. He also admits he has a sensitivity to silver.
They then head to the Trove of Marwa, where she offers them, among other things, a portable hole. Fearne immediately jumps into it, finding herself in a 10-foot deep cylinder about six feet wide, containing a few short swords, some clothing, and a broken wooden chest. They buy it along with a Butcher's Bib, Horn of Silent Alarm, two healing potions, and some powdered silver for FCG.
They drop off another 10 gold to Zhudanna on their way to Krook House, where Milo greets them and at FCG's request crafts a propeller to substitute for his saw blade in swimming or falling situations. Ashton asks Milo what they remember about the job burgling Jiana's house in which Ashton was badly injured and incurred the debt, but Milo doesn't remember much, and it feels weirdly fuzzy. Milo isn't sure if they set off a trap, but they were hit with a wave that made everything dreamlike, and they ran, not realizing Ashton had fallen and was seriously hurt until they were outside. They brought Ashton back to Krook House, and while Milo was repairing him, Milo noticed Ashton clutching something: a crystal vial about four inches long containing weird greyish liquid with an odd sheen. Not knowing what else to do, Milo poured it into Ashton's head before pouring in the glass that completed the repair.
After dinner, the party returns to the Spire by Fire and their rooms. With Chetney guarding the hall, and with Ashton's agreement, FCG bonds with both Imogen and Ashton and attempts to stabilize Ashton while Imogen dives deeply into his mind with Detect Thoughts. She tells Ashton to tell them everything possible about the night of the injury. As Imogen asks questions, Ashton begins to get flashes of memory: a dark corner table of a tavern with figures (including Milo) seated around it. One figure says, "These shipments she's getting are timed. There's something to it. I think tonight's our chance." Another flash: running in the street. Another flash: quietly creeping on a wooden floor in front of the white bust that Fearne now has.
Imogen pushes deeper, and Ashton sees a strange room, runes on the floor beginning to light up and glow. It blinks to before that, and there is a crate hidden off to the side. Ashton crowbars it open, then looks over their shoulder to see a woman named Sally hurrying Ashton as his hand reaches in and rummages to the sound of glass clinking, then pulls a crystal vial free as the dull red runes begin to glow in the chamber. Another flash: falling from the balcony. FCG casts Calm Emotions on Ashton as the memories continue: a frantic voice, another saying, "He's dead, just leave him," and blurred images. Then a bright unfocused light, flickering shapes lightly drifting, and Milo asking, "Are you okay?" The spell ends.
Ashton (still under Calm Emotions) isn't sure how he feels until the spell drops. He immediately jumps up and starts pounding on the wall, furious. After a few minutes, he calms, and sits. Ashton tells the others Jiana had one of those crates in her office when they were there. He also recognized all of the other figures in the memories. Ashton could tell that Milo's memories weren't right, either; there was a hole.
Ashton just wants to get out of town, hoping that since the Nobodies met in Bassuras, perhaps some of them are still there. The party decides to go to bed. When everyone else is asleep, Orym uses the sending stone to tell Dorian where they're going, and that he's been missed. Dorian replies that he's missed them all, too.
- Ashton Greymoore
- Chetney Pock O'Pea
- Fearne Calloway
- Fresh Cut Grass
- Imogen Temult
- Anni Aughta
- Ariks Eshteross
- Dorian Storm (via sending stone) [DM]
- Evelyn Wress
- Jiana Hexum
- Marwa Endalia
- Milo Krook
- Ajit Dayal
- Dinah Veshur, a violinist
- Jay, Marwa's pet rat
- Fearne: I don't really [steal]... I just borrow for a long time.
Orym: How many things have you brought back?
Fearne: Oh. I haven't brought anything back just yet, but I will.
- Laudna: You look a little pale, flushed, both. I don't know, it doesn't work on me anymore.
- Ashton: Anything you survive is kind of a win.
- FCG: (to Jiana) I guess I'm starting to learn that just 'cause you have a soul doesn't mean you know how to use it too good.
- Imogen: (about Eshteross' exercising noises) Training? Or having sex?
Laudna: Or both?
Laudna: Maybe he could put [the bust] on top of your training dummy so it's like you're fighting yourself and your inner demons as you train for sex.
Imogen: It's like therapy, in a way.
Lord Eshteross: It has been nearly two weeks and I had forgotten how extremely strange you are.
- Lord Eshteross: (about Bassuras) Just watch your coin purse, and if someone looks shifty, it's because they are. It's a dangerous place.
- Laudna: I just feel like Imogen, she's such a better, uh, dictator—
Fresh Cut Grass: Orator?
- Lord Eshteross: Evelyn, go to the market. Get me my supplies. Tonight, I bake.
- Chetney: (about his lycanthropy) I do want to meet these people because I... enjoy the rush. Sorry. I'm just going to say it. It's fucking exciting. But I know it comes with responsibility. This kind of raw magnetism has consequences, so I have to make sure I don't attract asteroids that would then kill the planet of me.
- Ajit Dayal: Good is in all of us. Not everyone is given the chance to let it shine.
- Imogen: (about her psychic abilities in a crowded city) I'm glad we'll be on a skyship soon.
Orym: You know what's funny about that, though? Is how good you are with people. Reading them and talking to them. I understand the problem that presents, but it's a shame. I've spent a decent amount of time listening to some pretty good-- I'm not a speaker, but I've heard one or three. And you got it.
- Orym: (via Sending) We're leaving Jrusar, heading southeast, following the Treshi thread further. You've been missed. Hope you're well.
Dorian: Hey, sorry, was sleeping. Thanks. Miss you guys too. Shit got kind of crazy here, too. Floating bar. I'll tell you later.
|Acquired||3500||Gold pieces||Jiana Hexum||the party||Payment for successful completion of the heist at the Twilight Mirror Museum.|
|Acquired||Gems, bracelet||Jiana Hexum||the party||Value 1000 GP. Payment for Evon Hytroga's stolen papers.|
|Fearne was given permission to take it, and loaned it to Lord Eshteross for storage.|
|Acquired||1||Map of the Hellcatch Valley||Lord Eshteross||the party|
|Transferred||1||Small cloudy crystal ball||Lord Eshteross||Laudna||Tracks the ring planted on Armand Treshi within a couple of miles.|
|Purchased||2||Healing potions||Trove of Marwa||Ashton||50 GP each.|
|Purchased||Powdered silver||Trove of Marwa||FCG||100 GP worth.|
|Purchased||1||Horn of Silent Alarm||Trove of Marwa||Orym||4 times daily can send a silent alarm to a creature within 600 feet. Paid 30 GP.|
|Purchased||1||Butcher's Bib||Trove of Marwa||Chetney||Perpetually covered in blood. Once per turn can reroll melee damage, crits on 19 or 20. Bundled with the portable hole.|
|Acquired||1||Portable hole||Trove of Marwa||Bells Hells||Purchased for 1500 gold|
|Transferred||10||Gold pieces||Laudna||Zhudanna||Imogen and Laudna's rent, plus additional money.|
|Crafted||1||Propeller||Milo||FCG||Can be substituted for his sawblade arm.|
- Ashley Johnson, still recovering from her bout with COVID-19 when the episode was recorded, appeared remotely.
- Fan art of Fearne touching Ashton's head, by Dian Huynh (source). Used with permission.
- Official map of the Hellcatch Valley, by Deven Rue from "Promise and Potential" (3x22). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.