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Critical Role celebrates Candela Obscura’s first anniversary with a fourth chapter and three new cast members.

Aimee Carrero, Imari Williams and Alexander Ward join the Circle of investigators fighting back a magical blight.

Screenshot from Candela Obscura Season 3 announcement video
Image credit: Darrington Press

Critical Role’s second-biggest tabletop program, Candela Obscura, returns for a fourth season of spooky adventure and magical mystery set in a 1920s-adjacent world known as the Fairelands. Candela Obscura: Circle of the Crimson Mirror will air the first of its three episodes at the end of February and feature a brand new group of characters.

The new season will coincide with the first anniversary of Candela Obscura’s conception and put Critical Role co-founder and regular, Liam O’Brien, in the game master seat. He’ll lead a cast composed of three new players, and in Critical Role fashion they all boast some impressive acting credits: Aimee Carrero is known for The Menu and Elana of Avalor, Alexander Ward hails from roles on American Horror Story and Westworld, and Imari Williams lent his talents to Transformers: Rescue Bots and Demon Slayer.

Taliesin Jaffe, Candela Obscura co-creator, will step out from the shadows of his role as the narrator and join the trio of newcomers as the fourth member of the Circle of the Crimson Mirror. These esoteric protectors will use guile, teamwork and a little bit of occult magic to root out ancient horrors before they spread throughout the Fairelands. The system is a slightly pared-down Blades in the Dark that uses dice pools and bonds to generate stories heavily inspired by cosmic and gothic horror, with a touch of early 20th century American excess.

Watch on YouTube

Season three will open on this new Circle carting the ancient remains of a storied alchemist back to the city (because nothing ever goes wrong when ferrying a timeless corpse). As with past seasons, the investigators will soon discover themselves knee-deep in trouble as both arcane terrors and the ghosts of their own pasts are violently exhumed.

Newcomers won’t need to blast through the first two seasons to understand Candela Obscura’s latest chapter - the show uses an anthology model with a new cast and self-contained storyline with each season. The general setting of Newfaire (locations, cultures and the corrupting Bleed sweeping across it) are the same, so returning fans can enjoy some greater worldbuilding alongside the performances and costuming that’s part and parcel with Darrington Press’ shows.

Candela Obscura marked an expansion beyond Dungeons & Dragons 5E as the only tabletop RPG system powering Darrington Press’ narratives. While Critical Role has continued to use the most popular title in their sweeping, longform seasons, smaller games have been adopted - or created - for a growing list of dramatised actual play. Candela Obscura co-designer Spenser Starke is currently working on a new fantasy RPG called Daggerheart that Dicebreaker saw at last year’s Gen Con. Catch the full trailer for Candela Obscura: Circle of the Crimson Mirror here on YouTube.

Update: Circle of the Red Mirror is, in fact, the fourth chapter in the Candela Obscura series. Oops, I can't count.

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