Critical Role Celebrates Anniversary With Shocking Moment

Critical Role celebrated its eighth anniversary with a shocking moment that left its fans reeling and searching for answers. [Spoilers for Critical Role Campaign 3 and Campaign 3, Episode 51 follows.] The grand crossover between Critical Role's three campaigns continued last night in a confrontation between Bell's Hells and the Ruby Vanguard, a cult-like organization dedicated to freeing the god-eating entity Predathos from the red moon Ruidus. The confrontation was the culmination of plot threads that had dangled from all three campaigns and featured a shocking twist that almost no one saw coming. 

In previous episodes, Bell's Hells (the current player characters of the Vox Machina cast) had interacted with former members of Vox Machina and The Mighty Nein, the adventuring party at the heart of the previous two Critical Role campaigns. Two Bell's Hells characters in particular had ties to Vox Machina – Orym, played by Liam O'Brien, and Laudna, played by Marisha Ray. Those connections came in handy when Laudna was killed by Otohan Thull and Bell's Hells traveled to Whitestone to have Vox Machina assist in her resurrection. In the previous episode, Bell's Hells planned their assault on a Malleus Key – a device being utilized to harness the magical energies of the Apogee Solstice – and encountered Caleb and Beau, Mighty Nein characters previously played by O'Brien and Ray respectively. Caleb and Beau were also planning their assault on the Malleus Key, as they had been keeping an eye on the leader of the Ruby Vanguard, Ludinus Da'leth. Orym also called upon Keyleth (the Vox Machina character played by Ray) to aid in the assault on the Malleus Key. Orym was a member of Keyleth's Ashari tribe and had lost his father-in-law and husband in an assassination attempt against Keyleth, one that was orchestrated by the Ruby Vanguard. 

When the time came to confront Ludinus, it turned out that Keyleth's assassination attempt was actually a feint to draw her out and bring her to the Malleus Key. Keyleth appeared in the fight and was immediately ambushed by Ludinus and Otohan Thull, taking her down immediately. When Thull went to kill Keyleth, Keyleth's husband – the Champion of Ravens (formerly known as Vax'ildan, the character played by O'Brien before his death in Campaign 1) appeared to protect his wife. 

It was then that Ludinus revealed that Keyleth wasn't his target, but rather the Champion of Ravens. Ludinus and his associates trapped the Champion of Ravens via a spell to use as a "sliver of divinity" to power whatever ritual was needed to free Predathos from their prison. The episode ended with the Malleus Key activated, Bell's Hells split and scattered to different parts of Exandria, and the ritual to free Predathos seemingly a success. 

Keyleth and the Champion of Ravens' fates are ultimately unknown. Beau and Caleb were also captured by the Ruby Vanguard during the confrontation, leaving their statuses also unclear. However, it seems that the fate of not one but three adventuring groups and the gods themselves ultimately now rest in Bell's Hells hands. 

Critical Role airs every Thursday on Twitch and YouTube.