‘Critical Role’ 3×44 recap: “Bawdy Basement Belligerence” recap

Weaponized chaos, close calls and questions abound on this week's 'Critical Role'

Critical Role’ recap: Campaign 3, Episode 44 “Bawdy Basement Belligerence” Aired January 5, 2023

Ready for a close up

The Bells Hells have just returned from the Elemental Plane of Fire where they met with Ebinold Kai and other fugitives from the Grim Verity. It seemed like they finally had a direction to take and a possible way to stop Otohan Thull and her allies. Which, generally, is when everything goes to hell.

Because they aren’t alone. People are in the house above them, searching. 

A tense minute of panic ensues, when the Bells Hells fear that the giant (and very imposing-looking) Judicators might be outside the hidden door. But whoever is looking for them is not only smart enough to find the trap door, they have an air elemental capable of sliding through the cracks. Time for some quick thinking. 

Hoping to avoid conflict, the Bells Hells decide to pretend that they aren’t in the basement for nefarious reasons. They’re simple there shooting some adult… entertainment

Confusion and chaos

To say the air elemental is confused is an understatement. No adventuring party can weaponize chaos quite like the Bells Hells. But their devious quick thinking isn’t quite able to withstand some truly terrible dice rolls. The intruders see through the ruse and the fight we all knew was about to happen, breaks out. The Bells Hells do their best to try and flee, but lets be honest, that never works. 

The battle sees half the Bells Hells tearing up the stairs into the kitchen, while the other half are trapped in the basement. The Bells Hells manage to banish one attacker, knock out the air elemental and incapacitates the others (including one mage). Knowing that brawling in residential areas has the annoying tendency to draw guards to them, the Bells Hells decide it’s time to flee.

But they take the mage hostage too.

Unwilling answers

Still very new to the city of Yios, the Bells Hells aren’t quite sure where to go with their hostage other than, you know, away from the house. Fearne takes horse shape for the second time this episode so they can haul the unconscious mage on her back (covered in a curtain, as one does). Taking a few blind turns to shake any one who might be following them, they eventually make it to the docks. Finding a conveniently abandoned warehouse, the Bells Hells, scurry inside and tie up their new friend.

I say new friend because FCG casts fast friends on the mage. (I love how much they’ve been using that spell over the past few games. Really shows how clutch social spells cane be.) Don’t get me wrong, the spell doesn’t make the mage nice or anything. He’s still a total jerk. But at least he’s willing to talk a little. And between FCG’s spellwork and Imogen’s ability to read thoughts, they get quite a bit out of him.

The Ruby Vanguard

Their hostage is called Tuldus and he says that he’s a member of the Ruby Vanguard, a group that has been trying to silence the Grim Verity– hence the reason they were watching Kai’s house. The Ruby Vanguard, working under Ludinus Da’leth (a very important wizard in the Cerberus Assembly) has been working to free Predathos from his prison. According to Tuldus, Predathos will “free” mortal kind from the shackles of the gods– by you know, killing them. 

He speaks with all the blind fervor of a zealot, albeit one hoping to kill gods rather than worship them. When the Bells Hells ask him why anyone thinks that Predathos won’t just kill all the mortals after he’s done with the gods, Tuldus simply scoffs and says that they only feast on divine energy. Because a god-eater would never lie. Right.


The Bells Hells confirm that the Ruby Vanguard have been building the machines (which he calls keys) in the Feywild, the Shadowfell and here in Exandria which will ostensibly release Predathos on the apogee solstice. Which is only a week and half away

This news, and the uncertainty about what to do with their captive, leads Imogen to message Planerider Ryn. Ryn arrives shortly afterward to hear what they’ve learned so far and says she’d be more than happy to take Tuldus off their hands. But what will the Bells Hells do next?

It’s the million dollar question. They’re still working on the theory that they should try and sabotage one of the keys. But which? Tuldus says the one in the Feywild is complete, but that there has been tension between the Unseelie Court and Da’leth. Tuldus doesn’t know much about the key in the Shadowfell, but says the one in the Hellcatch Valley is still under construction (though likely the most guarded).

The Bells Hells seem to be leaning toward going to the Feywild. And Planerider Ryn can take them there.

Now only if they knew where Ashton was… 

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 44 Highlights

  • Oh dear, FCG kept mentioning how jittery they were beginning to feel. Ekk! Remember the last time they started to feel edgy, they went full Terminator on the Bells Hells. (Critical Role 3×31)
  • I wonder what Ashton has been up to these past two episodes?? Probably hunting down Sh*thead the Bird lolol.
  • I bet Liam O’Brien is kicking himself for not going after Da’leth last campaign– his former character hated the Cerberus Assembly.

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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