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Critical Role Recap: Episode 93 – “Bats Out of Hell”

SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 93 (obviously).  Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
My recap of Episode 92 can be found here.

Vox Machina attempts to assassinate a pit fiend to fulfill their contract to get INTO prison so they can finally slay the rakshasa, Hotis, once and for all.

Previously on Critical Role

Vox Machina, fresh from their arrive in Dis, explored around the city and realized they would need more help in locating Hotis. They made a deal with the innkeeper Ipkesh to kill a pit fiend (Utugash) in exchange for passage into the prison where Hotis is being held. On their way to face Utugash, they met Tova, a dwarf blood hunter with the ability to turn into a werebear. After defeating all the others in the building, Vox Machina and Tova wait outside the chamber where Utugash hides.


Utugash speaks telepathically into their minds.

Utugash: “So, what do you bring to me for pleasure?”

The pit fiend seems completely unfazed by their presence. Vox Machina begins to attack.

Vax activates his boots of haste. He rushes into the room. Standing next to Grog, he throws three daggers at Utugash, all of which hit.

Trinket comes bounding in after Vax and attempts to attack Utugash. Trinket swipes his claws across the skin of the pit fiend, but it doesn’t do as much damage as his attacks usually do.

In the hallway, Vex prepares to attack once Utugash comes into view.

Tary rushes over to the wall in front of Vex and removes one of his patches from his robe. He slaps it against the wall, creating an open window. Vex, now seeing the pit fiend, takes her shot. He looses two arrows, hitting him both times. Tary waves at him through the window.

Tary commands Doty to back up Grog.

Tary and Grog see Utugash gesture into the air. Grog assumes he is dancing, but Tary is unsure.

Keyleth squeezes past Tary and Vex and climbs through the window into the same room as Utugash. She casts blight. Though the spell hits, Utugash manages to avoid half of the damage.

As Keyleth goes to climb back through the window, Tova (in werebear form) comes rushing through, knocking her back into the room. Tova claws against Utugash, missing the first time, but hitting the second. She invokes a blood curse of mutual suffering. Blood drips down from her paws as she curses Utugash to suffer damage that he deals to her.

Grog, not one to be left out of the fighting, rushes into the room. He pounds his titanstone knuckles together, embiggening himself. He smashes his weapon against the pit fiend.

Percy goes over to the prison cells and takes a look inside. He shoots the lock off of one of the cells and takes two shots at Utugash through Tary’s window.

Utugash swings his axe at Tova, hitting her. She is hit with its full force because of her missing armor. However, this activate’s Tova’s blood curse and a slash appears across his chest, harming him the same amount he harmed her.

Utugash gestures again.

Trinket catches the scent of two others in the room. He grunts, which Tova can understand. She informs the others that Trinket has caught the scent of two other small beings in the room.

Searing oil drops from the ceiling onto Trinket, Tova, and Grog.

A bone devil crawls into the room. It attacks Vax. It swipes at the half-elf with his claw, hitting. His next two attacks, however, miss.

Utugash speaks to them telepathically once again.

Utugash: “Now that we’re all gathered around…”

The pit fiend’s eyes glow red and a wall of fire circle bursts from the floor around him. Grog, Trinket, and Tova are caught in the flames.

Vax quickly moves away from the bone devil and throws a dagger at it. The dagger finds its target and sticks into the bone devil’s chest. A divine light, reminiscent of the Raven Queen, flashes for a moment before fading. However, the bone devil still stands.

Vex fires into the wall of fire. The arrow disintegrates before it can exit the flames. She looses another arrow, this time a flaming arrow. While the projectile makes it through the flames, it misses Utugash. She tells Trinket to back out of the flames.

Trinket moves away from the flames. However, as he backs up, a giant cage of spikes falls down from the ceiling and onto the bear. He cries out in pain as spikes pierce his flesh.

Tary rushes through the window. He accidentally steps on Keyleth as he gets down from the windowsill. With a yell, he runs through the flames and faces the pit fiend. He stares up at the giant, horrifying pit fiend. Utugash greets him.

Tary: “Hi. It’s a little warm in here. Here, cool off.”

Tary throws a vial of acid in Utugash’s face. However, the vial nicks one of the pit fiend’s horns and shatters behind him. Utugash looks at the smashed vial, and then turns back to Tary and smiles.

Tary, already running out of options, stabs Utugash with his lance. He calls out to Doty.

Tary: “Doty, remember when I told you to back up Grog? Me! Back up me!”

Doty charges up, rushing through the flames. The wall of flames end up being too much for the automaton, and it collapses in the wall of fire before reaching Taryon.

Suddenly, the ground falls out from beneath Vax. The bone devil he is fighting jumps out of the way. He falls, but uses his daggers to catch himself on the walls beside him before falling into the pool of molten iron below.

Trinket whines next to Keyleth. She reassures him before casting tidal wave towards Utugash. The spell knocks down Tova and Utugash, and, for a moment, it extinguishes the pit fiends wall of flames. However, a moment later, the fire springs back to life.

Tova gets up from the ground and activates her crimson rite on her claws. Long sharp icicles extend from the tips of her fingers. She strikes Utugash twice before backing out of the flames.

Grog, mustering all of his energy, wails into the prone pit fiend. He attacks Utugash five times, landing each blow.

As the battle continues, there is a noise above Grog. Another spiked cage falls onto him.

Two more red-skinned devils with beards of barbed tentacles rush into the room.

Utugash picks himself up and turns to Tary.

Tary: “Good day to you, sir. Do you know my father?”

Utugash: “Good day, and good night.”

Utugash lays into Tary. He bites Tary’s head, his teeth sinking into the artificer’s jaw. The pit fiend then goes to hit him with a punch. Tary uses his haste to dodge out of the way. His celebration for evading the attack is short-lived, however, as the pit fiend swipes him again in the side.

Tary, in a moment of valiant bravery, circles around the pit fiend. He unleashes his ring of the ram in an attempt to fell Utugash. Despite his best intentions, the spell goes wide, completely missing Utugash.

Utugash: “I’ll eat your face first.”

Tary moves back over to Doty, and grabs the broken automaton’s book. He places it in his bag, so it doesn’t burn. Now completely out of options, he curls into a ball and cast sanctuary on himself.

Grog takes the spiked cage off of his head and shoulders and smashes it down onto one of the devils, killing it.

Percy fires two shots at the bone devil as it rushes towards Tova. The shots both hit, and it falls to the ground, limp.

Utugash attacks Tary again. As he bites and claws at the artificer, Tary falls unconscious. After Tary falls, he rushes over to Tova and Keyleth, pinning them both. He continues to attack Keyleth as she’s on the ground.

Vax, seeing Keyleth’s mangled form, flies over to the pit fiend and starts attacking. However, his attacks are not able to break Utugash’s hide.

Two imps (the ones that Trinket sniffed out earlier) appear in the room and begin to bite Keyleth, but neither can make it through her armor.

Keyleth uses shape change to turn herself into a fire giant. She transforms and grabs Utugash by the throat. She slams him onto the ground.

Suddenly, Keyleth sees a flash of fur as Tova barrels into Utugash. She wildly slashes at him with her claws. She takes one final swipe.

Tova: “How do you like me now, asshole?”

With his last breath, Utugash responds.

Utugash: “They’ll still find you.”

He dies.

Tova spits on him and flops on her back. She turns back into a dwarf.

Tova: “Do you guys want to go get a beer?”

Vax rushes over to Tary and revives him.

The imps turn invisible and try to flee, but Keyleth smashes one of them, killing it.

Tary stands up, now conscious. Having not seen Keyleth change, he panics and throws his lance at her. The lance hits her armor and bounces off. They all reassure him that the fire giant is Keyleth.

They search through the chambers beyond, finding Tova’s armor and equipment and some chemicals.

They search Utugash’s corpse and take his axe. Tary identifies this as a black metal axe of corruption.

As they go through their things, Tova asks the others what they are doing there. Percy tells her that they were getting revenge. Vax asks Tova where she’s from. She tells them that she was held in the prison before Utugash bought her. Some of her friends, she adds, are still there.

They ask if she can find her way back to the prison. She guesses that she can and informs them that one of her friends made a deal with a devil. The rest of the party is quick to add how bad of an idea that is. Tary points out that they also made a deal with a devil, but everyone shushes him.

Vex warns them to be careful as they scout out the rest of the building. Right as she says that, Grog steps on a trap. A glyph lights up and gives him a searing headache. Vax tells him to let the others go first.

As they explore, a hatch opens, and devils and whispers drop into the chamber, having been alerted of the ruckus in the tower. Vex quickly puts Trinket back into the necklace. They rush to prepare for the newcomers. Keyleth turns into a bone devil in an attempt to disguise herself.

Bone devil: “Do you resist, or do you surrender?”

Vax tells the bone devil that they surrender. The devils begin to shackle the party and Tova.

When they get to Keyleth, however, the bone devil looks more closely at her. He speaks to her in a language she does not understand. She tries to fake it, but he sees through her deception. The devil orders her to drop her disguise. She complies and is shackled twice.

When they are all restrained and gathered, the bone devil informs them that they are sentenced to “moral reassignment.” As they are pulled up through a hatch in the ceiling, they see devils and imps looting Doty for parts.

They are lead through the city to the prison.

They are brought to a heavy set of doors set into a gate. They hear the rattle of chains as the doors open. They see a set of stairs that leads into a thick darkness.

As they descend the stairs, they hear mutterings of infernal phrases. When they finally reach the bottom, they see a red glow. The metal and stone walls are warped and hooks littered with body parts stick out of the walls. The air is thick with mold and suffering.

They are lead through a labyrinth of hallways, passing all sorts of infernal creatures.

They pass a chamber and see naked humans and half-elves strung up over a forge. A 12 foot tall horned devil stands in the center of the room. It’s heating a brand. As they pass, it takes the brand out of the fire and uses it to burn the skin of the half-elf. The devil nods at them.

Tary whispers to Percy as they walk.

Tary: “Are they going to take all our stuff? I can’t do anything without my stuff.”

Percy reassures him that it will all be fine.

Finally, they are lead into a room. A huge chain devil sits within a cell. Their chains are loosened and the chain devil reaches out its arms in an invitation to come in. The chain devil orders the others to string up Vox Machina and Tova. Each one of them is chained with their arms above their head and their feet affixed to the floor.

Chains run across the floor like snakes and crawl over the bodies of Vox Machina and Tova. The chains unbuckle and remove their armor.

A small green devil enters the room and berates the chain devil for beginning their torture without first registering the prisoners. The chain devil begrudgingly leaves, but assures them that it will return.

The green devil rushes over to them. It confirms that they are the ones looking for Hotis. They nod. It gives them back their equipment and quickly gives them directions to the chamber. It informs them that its debt is now paid and leaves.

Vox Machina knows where to go, but they are still strung up. Vex quickly brings Trinket out of the necklace. She asks Trinket to help them out of their predicament. At first, Trinket tries to reach their equipment through the bars of the cell, but he is burned. He then pull one of the chains off of Vex’s ankle.

Keyleth beast shapes into a bat, freeing herself from the chains. She waves at everyone who is still strung up. Going over to the bars, she thorn whips one of Vax’s bags over to her. She hands him a lockpick from the bag. He releases himself from the manacles and does the same for everyone else. Grog simply pulls his chains off of him.

Vex and Vax both attempt to pick the lock for the door, but, like so many other times, they are bested by the door. Grog manages to force the door open shortly after.

They quickly gather her things and Keyleth uses beast shape to change them all into bats.

They fly out of the room they are in and into the hallway. They begin to follow the directions the green devil gave them. They pass the chain devil making its way back to the room. He looks at them in confusion but keeps walking.

Another chain devil notices them and begins to pursue. They manage to lose him beyond a gate. He begins to yell, however, and the alarm from their escape is raised.

They approach a wall where the instructions said to go straight. Vax notices something off about this wall and attempts to pass through anyway. He is successful, and the others notice that it is an illusionary wall.

As they fly through the halls, Tova worries more and more about her friends. She realizes that, if she continues with them, she risks leaving her friends behind.

They pass two spine devils who swing out at Bats Machina. They hit Vax and Percy, changing them back into their regular forms. Two of them no longer in disguise, they begin another battle.

They move into position and wait for the others to catch up. When everyone is in the same place, Keyleth turns everyone back into bats and they leave. As Keyleth takes off, however, she is hit by a spine devil. She manages to maintain concentration and keep the others as bats though her form was dropped as soon as she was hit.

As they continue to attack, however, Keyleth is knocked unconscious. Vox Machina turns back into themselves while in midair.

Realizing that they will not be able to escape this plane if Keyleth dies, Vex rushes over and casts cure wounds on the druid, bringing her back to consciousness.

Tary smashes vials of acid on the devils. He then casts sanctuary on Keyleth.

Percy shoots and kills two of the devils. Grog rushes in and kills the third.

Tary creates a programmed illusion of a chain devil to point pursuers in the opposite direction. Vex quickly throws down a dust of tracelessness.

They enter into the last chamber. They see three doors. above them, they hear the sounds of chains rattling, and a chain golem drops down in front of them.

Vex goes to examine the doors, looking for the feigned smile. The first door she examines has a bleeding crescent moon. She uses hunter’s mark on the chain golem.

Tova examines another door and see a toothy smile.

The chain golem attacks Percy and Keyleth. Keyleth’s sanctuary protects her from the attack. Multiple arms begin to form on the chain devil.

Keyleth casts a mass cure wounds.

The chain golem swings at Tova and misses, but manages to partially break through the door she is examining.

Grog smashes through the third door.

The walls are covered with fleshy muscle. Suspended in the muddle of the room is an egg larva. A figure with a tiger’s face writhes within it, silently screaming out in pain. Grog walks further into the room. He lifts up his hammer and swings down.

The remaining pieces of Hotis are splattered across the room.

Everyone rushes over to Keyleth, who is preparing their plane shift. They hear a crowd moving closer and closer to them.

Tary begs Tova to join them, but she refuses, saying she needs to stay and try to rescue her friends. Tary makes her invisible.

Vex puts Trinket back into the necklace and runs over to Keyleth. She is impeded by the chains catching her ankles. Tova picks her up and carries her the rest of the way.

Percy, on his way to Keyleth, gets caught in the chains.

Grog runs over to Percy. He grabs his hand and reaches out to the others, trying to connect the chain.

Vax moves to be the last connecting link in the chain. On his way over, he gives Tova a ring of invisibility to help her escape the prison labyrinth.

At the last moment, Tary pulls Vax into position to complete the chain.

Tary: “We’re brothers forever! Lifelong teammates! Friends–”

Everyone yells at Tary to stop talking and complete the chain.

The spell begins to swirl around them. Tova calls out that they still owe her a beer. Tary tells her to look them up in Greyskull Keep. He quickly adds that she needs to grab his robot.

They hear the devils enter the room. Then, silence.

To be continued…

A few weeks ago, we used a STATE OF THE ART predictive algorithm to predict the events of this episode. Needless to say it needs work. Click here to check out what could have been.

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About the Artist: Nick Uroseva (@Nick_Uroseva)

Nick is a professional graphic artist from Youngstown, Ohio. He has a BA in Multimedia Technology. When he isn’t doodling for one thing or another, he spends is his time writing and Dungeon Mastering several D&D games, enjoying craft beer, shooting zombies with Nerf blasters, and tweeting about #CriticalRole.

Fiona L.F. Kelly (@FionaLFKelly)
Fiona L.F. Kelly is a writer, editor, and podcaster. She has published numerous articles about all things gaming and pop culture on websites all across the internet, was also a writer for Trinity Continuum: Aberrant 2e, and has been published in books and magazines. She is an editor for the pop culture and media website GeekGals.co. In addition to her writing and editing, she has also been a guest and host on several podcasts. She hosts the Project Derailed podcast Big Streaming Pile, produces and performs on Fables Around the Table, and plays the githyanki pirate Rav’nys on Tales of the Voidfarer. Buy her a coffee: ko-fi.com/fionalfkelly

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