‘Critical Role’ 3×43 recap: “Axiom Shaken” recap

The pieces come together on Critical Role, Episode 43, “Axiom Shaken”

Critical Role’ recap: Campaign 3, Episode 43 “Axiom Shaken” Aired December 22, 2022

Birds of prey

Fresh Cut Grass comes face to face with his ancient enemy: a bird called Sh*thead. No, I didn’t suffer a brain injury over the holidays. Sh*thead the bird is out to kill FCG– it’s the kind of backstory shenanigan that only Sam Riegel could come up with. Of course the Bells Hells have FCG’s back and easily subdue the creature. Though it’s not the last they’ve seen of the bird(?) for the undead creature was able to escape, taking flight over the Aydinlan Seminary.

New friends

It’s not the most auspicious entrance they could have made to the prestigious school… but did we honestly expect anything like finesse from the Bells Hells? And then there’s the presence of two Judicators roaming the halls of the Seminary– giant humanoid figures in bronze masks hunting for someone or something…

Something like sacred texts the Grim Verity stole from Vasselheim? 

Yeah. That’s Chetney’s best guess. Which means the Bells Hells better find their Grim Verity contact, Ebenold Kai, and find him now. FCG uses a quick fast friends spell on the desk clerk and not only does she spill the tea on Kai’s unexplained leave of absence, she takes the Bells Hells to his house.


Of course getting to the house and getting into it are two different things. The doors and windows are locked and trapped. If Ebenold Kai is inside, he’s expecting trouble. Chetney and Orym turn invisible and shimmy down the chimney, only for Chentey to set off practically every trap in the house before letting the rest of the Bells Hells inside.

Imogen can sense the presence of two minds coming from below, and it’s only a matter of time before they find the hidden door to the basement. Descending into the earth, the Bells Hells spot Kai and another figure crouched in the darkness, reading a spell scroll and clearly terrified. 

Orym calls out to Kai, telling him that they’d been sent by his friend Roe Estani, but it’s too late. The spell fires off. A portal opens.

So of course, the Bells Hells hop through (as one does, lolol).

Of the Grim Verity and Planerider

When the Bells Hells land, they sure aren’t in Kansas anymore. Try the Elemental Plane of Fire. Orym hurries to make introductions, diffusing what would have been a very sticky situation. Kai and his friend Dr. Baryn Vestisho are both professors at the Seminary and both members of the Grim Verity. And the home they are all currently invading belongs to a tiefling woman called Planerider Ryn. 

Kai and Vestisho apologize for all the traps, but admit that they are hiding from the Judicators. Vestisho and two other members of the Grim Verity were the ones who stole the ancient texts from Vasselheim. The top clerics– wielding those Judicators– are not only trying to find the texts, but silence anyone who has read them. 

It’s a warning to the Bells Hells. One they can’t heed.

Ancient Secrets

The texts hold some of the oldest forbidden knowledge in the world, a story of a time when the gods knew fear. In those far distant days, an unknowable threat from across the stars, a creature called Predathos, appeared in Exandria. This being was so terrible it ate two freaking gods. The Prime Deities and the Primordials (think Gods and Titans from Greek Mythology) banded together to exile Predathos.

They basically took a chunk of Exandria and tried to launch it out of the plane, but a part of it stuck to existence and became the red moon Ruidus. After this, history was scrubbed in the hopes that no one would examine the mysterious red moon or awaken the creature it contains.

So, yeah. They failed real hard on that one.


After speaking at length about Ruidus, Predathos, Otohan Thull and Liliana Temult, the Bells Hells are still left wondering what they can do about any of this. They still don’t know exactly what Otohan and the Cerberus Assembly are doing, but Planerider Ryn did confirm that they are building telescope-like devices not only in the Hellcatch Valley, but in the Feywild and the Shadowfell too. 

Seems like their best course of action might be to try and sabotage one (or all) of these machines. Which means either facing Otohan at her strongest in the Hellcatch Valley (not a great idea) or journeying into the unknown of the Feywild and/or the Shadowfell.

No decisions were reached just yet, but the Bells Hells seem to be leaning toward the Feywild. Afterall, Fearne has friends there. But fey friends aren’t always super dependable (looking at you, Yu). 

We’ll have to wait for the next episode of Critical Role to find out!

Watch Critical Role Thursdays at 7pm PST on Twitch and YouTube! Check out last week’s Critical Role recap here, or watch me talk about all the highlights and theories here!

Critical Role Episode 43 Highlights

  • Once fast friends wears off, the person knows they’ve been charmed… which was why it was so freaking clutch that Imogen got the clerk to admit to stealing from the Seminary while she was under the spell. That’s one way to make sure she stays silent!
  • Ahhhhh!! Planerider Ryn! Now that’s a blast from the past. (From Campaign 2, to be exact.)
  • I have no idea if they are going to go to the Feywild, but dang do I hope so. Fearne’s grandmother sounds creepy AF!
  • Poor Imogen! Not only is her mother involved with all this Ruidus stuff, but now she learns Liliana is working with Thull?

Greta Kelly

Greta Kelly is (probably) not a witch, death or otherwise, but she can still be summoned with the Horn of Gondor or the promise of a ride in the Tardis. She loves all things fantasy and is the author of THE FROZEN CROWN and THE SEVENTH QUEEN, and her third book, THE QUEEN OF DAYS will be out in 2023. Find her on Instagram or Twitter at @gretakkelly to geek out about literally anything.

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