‘Critical Role’ 3×65 review: “A Path of Vengeance”

What do a kiss, the moon and the Matron Queen have in common? It’s all on Critical Role, Episode 65, “A Path of Vengeance”

Critical Role’ recap: Campaign 3, Episode 65 “A Path of Vengeance” Aired July 13, 2023

Guilt trip

The Bells Hells are back together but it’s not quite the happy reunion we were hoping for. Laudna, who we all know had a hell of a time in Issylra, wants to know why her friends had such a grand old time without her. It’s an understandable– and truly human thing to feel, and felt very true. I knew Imoogen would be wracked with guilt, but for some reason FCG’s reaction took me way off guard. 

It was almost like FCG countered her guilt trip with one of their own. Saying things like I’ll never take my eyes off the prize and love is irrelevant was realllllyyy passive aggressive. But they seemed to mean it, which was sad. Don’t give up on love, FCG!

Critical (?) detours

Much of this episode was spent just kind of tooling around Jrusar catching up with friends. It was almost like a shopping episode, but with added emotional baggage. And honestly, for much of it, I was a little put off. 

They had a chance to go and speak with city leaders– and maybe even rally together the seemingly disparate armies running through Jrusar. And it’s not like they don’t know any powerful people in Jrusar. It was a real chance. One that they spent instead with FCG and Ashton going to their old home so Ash could get a weapon upgrade. Laudna and Imogen went to their old home to get a relationship upgrade, lol.

Although, yes, it was wonderful to finally see the truly beautiful love between Laudna and Imogen bloom, the practical side of my brain was like; this would have been just as meaningful in an antechamber waiting to meet the Quorum. (okay probably not, but you know what I mean.)

And after meeting with their old friend, and school teacher, Ajit Dayal, Chetney, Orym and Fearne got a taste of some consequences. Remember that shopkeeper Chentey attacked waaaay back at the beginning of the campaign? They put a bounty on Chentey’s head and Chet, Orym and Fearne had to fend off a very determined bounty hunter. That’s consequences for you


My favorite part of the episode happened after the fight when Orym, Chentey and Fearne went to the Duskmaven’s temple. Given the way some of Ludinus’ followers wore symbols of the Duskmaven, the Bells Hells were curious to see how the solstice was effecting her. 

The priest they met in the very spooky temple didn’t have many answers for them, instead inviting them all to ‘drink the waters.’ So they did. And received a vision of the Malleus Key shooting a crimson beam into the sky. And in the beam, a black orb with a voice that screams in agony. (AHHHHH Vax!!) 

The vision closes with the masked face of the Duskmaven looming over them, and Chetney asking what they can do to help. Faith. The answer is more opaque than I was hoping for, but… gods, am I right?


The rest of the Bells Hells– specifically Laudna and Ashton don’t really see how faith will help them defeat Ludinus, or if the gods are even worth saving. Orym is the one who speaks up, pointing out that you can’t just kill an entire species because some of them are bad. I doubt that Laudna and Ash will ever be ‘believers’ but it seems enough to get them all moving in the same direction.

Namely, Zephra to see Keyleth. At least for now. Because at the tail end of the episode they scried on LIliana. She’s alive. AND ON THE MOON!

But that will be 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 65 Highlights

  • Loved the imagery of the Duskmaven’s temple. Such creepy goodness!
  • Ira lives!!!
  • So Ludinus is running a disinformation campaign in Jrusar… but why???
  • The Moon!!! Get your Spelljammer books ready, ya’ll!

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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