‘Critical Role’ 3×48: “An Exit Most Fraught” recap

The Bells Hells get out of the Fey Realm, but the drama is far from over

Critical Role’ recap: Campaign 3, Episode 48 “An Exit Most Fraught” Aired February 9, 2023


The Bells Hells managed to get out of the Shatter Keep, but it’s not going to be easy to find the exit Morri left them. Especially with the Jaberwocky-like Fey Dragon that’s hot on their heels. Luck is with them– luck and Morri’s invisibility veils keeping them hidden. Still the Dragon is destroying huge swaths of the forest around them. It’s only a matter of time before someone is hit. And worse, they’ve gotten turned around. Imogen sends a frantic message to Morri, begging for help.

But Morri doesn’t respond.

With words, that is.

An Exit Most Fraught

Just as the Fey Dragon is ready to swoop in for the kill, a giant hawk-like creature shoots through the sky and tackles the Dragon to the ground. As the earth and air shudder and heave with battle, the Bells Hells sprint for the exit, only to find it blocked. A Cyclops sits before the gate demanding payment before they can go through it. But there’s a catch– every sentence spoken must be done so in rhyme. 

Cue panic. Fearne and Imogen are the last to go through, and man do they struggle with this challenge. Somehow they manage to scrape together some rhyming gifts and are shunted through the gate, meeting the others in the a densely forested wilderness. 

Highlands and lows

Imogen recognizes the terrain. They are very close to her hometown of Gelvaan in the Taloned Highlands. Although she’s only a day and a half’s journey from home, she is vehemently against going there. Something obviously went down between her and her father before she left… or perhaps the memory of how he distanced himself from her is too painful to bear. Either way she pretty much snaps FCG’s head off when they refuse to let the topic slide.

That night, Imogen sends a message to Planerider Ryn to see if they can get picked up. Ryn is happy to hear from them, but she can’t get them right away. She’s snuck into the Tishtan excavation site where Da’Leth, Thull and the Ruby Vanguard are frantically at work modifying the Malleus Key there. Before Ryn can say more something happens on her end. With a frantic oath the message ends. 

With that line of escape cut off, Imogen is forced to concede that the next step is to go to Gelvaan where they will rendezvous with Captain Xandis. 


After a long day of traveling, the Bells Hells settle in deciding to use the down time to do a little scouting via Imogen’s dreams. This time around FCG brings Laudna and Chetney along for the ride. When they make it to the Tishtan ruins, the Malleus Key site is crawling with activity. It appears that the Ruby Vanguard knows all about the Bells Hells mission in the Fey Realm. And they’re hard at work to compensate for the loss. (Seriously, the Malleus Key is starting to look very Eye of Sauron-ish) This includes massive modifications that drag the power sources underground.

And then there is Ryn. 

She is standing before the Key– her whole body turned to stone. 

As the Bells Hells begin to grapple with just what awaits them at Tishtan (without any help from Ryn), FCG catches a flash of light from the corner of their eyes. Otohan Thull is there… and she can see them. Imogen and Laudna urge everyone to wake up, but Chetney and FCG can’t shake themselves awake. So Thull gives them a little push. In the form of a physic lance that causes a ton of damage. 

Old wounds

As the enormity of their situation begins to hit, the Bells Hells hit the road and make it to Gelvaan by mid afternoon. They can see their airship on the horizon– which means there is still plenty of time to find Imogen’s father, Relvan. With a cold greeting from the townsfolk, they find him in the stables where he works. And he is not happy to see Imogen. Seriously, he was kind of a jerk and I was left feeling really badly for Imogen. 

I mean Relvan wasn’t outright cruel or anything, but he was so cold, so careful not to touch her. It was like he blamed Imogen for her mother leaving them all those years ago. Grudgingly he gives Imogen a locked of Liliana’s. Maybe it will help Imogen reach her. He doesn’t know. The woman he married may as well be dead. 

With an awkward pat on Imogen’s shoulder, Relvan walks away, shutting the door behind him.

Yeesh. Poor Imogen.

A powerful exit

With her father literally shutting her out, there’s nothing left for Imogen in Gelvaan. Luckily for her, the sky ship has arrived. It’s the first time the people in the far-flung town has ever seen something so amazing as a sky ship up close, and the fact that it belongs to Imogen? The town outcaste? Oh you just know the town is going to be talking about that for years and years. Especially when Imogen uses the fly spell to levitate up to the ship like Storm from the X-Men coming to call down some lightning. 

But the levity is short lived. Its a few days flight to the Hellcatch Valley. And the Bells Hells better find some more allies before they get there. 

As they said in Campaign 1: At dawn we plan!

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 48 Highlights

  • Okay real talk. I’m not surprised that Ashley had a hard time getting past the Cyclops, but Laura really struggled! I guess we finally found her improv Achilles heel. 
  • The sheer panic that ensues whenever someone doesn’t respond to a message is soooo real. I guess we’re all still scared by Lord Eshteross’ death.
  • Keyleth tells them that there is a problem with the rift to the Earth Elemental Plane– possibly related to the trouble with the Ruby Vanguard. Hmmmm…. interesting!
  • What’s the deal with the automatons at the dig site? Matt said they look like they’re similar design to FCG. Uhhh. Wut?

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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