SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 59 (obviously). Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
My recap of Episode 58 can be found here.
Vox Machina ventures forth and takes their first steps in the mystical but dangerous Feywild.
Previously on Critical Role
After surviving a surprise attack from the rakshasa and his hired band of assassins, Vox Machina resolved to finally venture to the Feywild for their next Vestige: a mystical bow, Fenthras, Wrath of the Fey Warden. The Vestige is said to serve as the heart of a cancerous tree in a place called the Shademurk Bog, corrupting the entire region there.
Additionally Vax and Vex debate paying a visit to their father, Syndor. He, and the entirety of the elven city of Syngorn, plane-shifted to the Feywild to flee the initial onslaught of the Chroma Conclave.
Keyleth concentrated on the only place she knows of in the Feywild: the other side of the portal a nymph once escorted Grog through for still unknown activities before he emerged with her crystal heart they needed for a ritual to save his life.
The group vanishes and appears in a dense forest, surrounded by glowing fairy lights.
The group is immediately struck by the beauty surrounding them. Percy and Keyleth are completely awestruck.
Scanlan: “Where are we?”
Keyleth: “It’s beautiful!”
Percy scans around looking for signs of civilization. He spots a stone structure some distance away. He and Keyleth run off towards it.
Vex and Vax are quick to remind everyone to be careful and not touch anything. Even awestruck Percy echoes the sentiment.
They find the ruins of some past stone structure that seems to have been reclaimed by the forest itself. Its covered in ivy and vines that are sprouting strange white daisy-like flowers. Percy begins sketching in his sketch book. Vex climbs a nearby tree for a better vantage point of their surroundings. Vax teases her for not using her broom.
Keyelth inspects the flowers, first touching one, then resolving to pluck one to press into a scrapbook later.
Percy and Vex both call out to Keyleth, but she picks the flower before they can stop her. The daisy immediately wilts in her hand and the vines upon the stone structure writhe and recoil away from her. The tree canopy above them closes itself, blocking off the dusk sky, shrouding them in relative darkness.
Percy begins slowly backing Keyleth away from the structure.
The sound of water sloshing is heard and a humanoid figure pulls herself above the structure to investigate the intrusion. Percy bows to the stunningly beautiful nude female form and guides Keyleth to do the same, but as he is doing this, the figure startles and his vision goes black.
Stunned for a moment, he calls out, “Hello?”
His only response is the sound of quick footfalls followed by a splash.
“I…I think she blinded me.”
“No. Yes, I’m blinded. I am blind.”
Percy begins to panic as the others come over to examine him.
Grog takes a moment to tease Percy. “How many fingers am I holding up?” as he gleefully gives Percy his middle finger.
Knowing Grog all too well Percy sighs and responds “One…”
Vex turns to Grog, who had been some distance away with Scanlan doing nothing of any particular importance, and asks if that was the nymph he accompanied through the portal that one time. Grog wasn’t paying attention and missed the entire event that had just transpired.
“The naked chick that was just here.”
Most of the group scales the stone wall of the ruins to find a singular pool of water beyond. They talk Grog into approaching and attempting to commune with the nymph in case it is the same one he had previously met.
Grog takes a basilisk egg from the Bag of Holding and chucks it into the pool because why not. A hand emerges and takes it below, much to his shock.
They ask Grog if this looks like the place the nymph took him when they passed through the portal, he can’t remember. “To be fair, I was distracted.”
Grog calls out to the nymph, as he only recalls her being named “Nymph.” There is no response.
Scanlan uses their magic earrings to dictate to Grog what to say to lure the nymph from her pool.
Grog stumbles his way through Scanlan’s lines, massacring any eloquence that was once there, but regardless the nymph emerges, laughing hysterically.
She expresses pleasure in seeing Grog again, and asks if he still has her heart with him.
She says she is glad it served him well (as part of the ritual to remove the lich phylactery from his chest) and that she will have to begin to create a new one.
Then the nymph, who reveals (again) that her name is Nahla, scolds Keyleth for being so careless in her glade, that she and the plantlife within it are one.
Keyleth stammers through an apology but is interrupted by a crash from the woods that startles the nymph back into her pool.
The astral-projected form of Pike appears, her longing for her friends in the moment of their departure unexpectedly tapping into Sarenrae’s power, transporting her essence to them.
Grog explains to the nymph that Pike is a friend, and she reluctantly reemerges.
Vax asks her about Syngorn but she says she hasn’t seen or heard of it. She confesses that her knowledge of the worlds outside her glade is limited to what is told to her by travelers.
They ask her about the bow and the cancerous tree it is said to inhabit. She says she can direct them to the Shademurk (two days travel “duskward”) but doesn’t know much more.
They ask if she can restore Percy’s sight but she regretfully says she doesn’t posses the ability. But since she had previously mentioned wanting books so that she could learn more of the outside world, she does imbue Percy with barkskin in return for Vex’s book about the Raven Queen (which she has nearly memorized).
They leave the nymph, and after some more teasing of Percy’s predicament (and wet-willies abound) Pike casts a restoration spell to return his sight.
The group sets off in the direction of the setting sun, the sky beautiful reds and oranges. They realize they have been walking for hours but the sky actually hasn’t change. Dusk never turns into night. Vex flies up on her broom to survey the surroundings. She notices a glimmer on the horizon.
They continue onward but hear a movement and a faint chuckle coming from the underbrush. They stop and call out to it but there is no response.
The forest eventually ends and opens up to an seemingly endless sea of chest-high tall grass. Scanlan and Pike and reduced to virtually swimming through it. Scanlan resorts to climbing to ride on Grog’s shoulder and Pike climbs atop Trinket.
As they walk, Vex slides alongside Keyleth. She says that she would love to learn how to speak to Trinket the way Keyleth can and was wondering if she could teach her. Keyleth enthusiastically dives into the prospect and begins instructing Vex on how to properly emulate the accents and a slew of other tips.
Vex tries out the spell, casting Speak with Animals and talks to Trinket.
“Hey buddy, can you understand me.”
Vex excitedly freaks out for a moment. Trinket is clearly confused, noticing no difference than normal.
“Wait, can you always understand me?”
“Oh, well, now I can understand you!”
Vex continues to talk to Trinket. Asking him if he likes it inside of her magic locket. He replies that it isn’t too bad.
“I can see you from in there.”
“You can! Wait. You can? Oh…okay, cool. Good to know…”
The endless sea of grass continues and the group notices that they appear to be leaving no sign of passage through the field. With the sky unchanging, they lose track of exactly how long they have been walking but are fairly certain it has been at least a day. The resolve to stop and camp.
Vex flies up for another look at their surroundings. The glimmer she had seen on the horizon is now fairly close, she can make out tall spires and a wall. It is a city, embedded into the foot of the distant mountain range.
As she descends back down she notices movement in the grass not far from their camp. She carefully descends to examine it closer. It appears to be a small bearded humanoid with horns and cloven feet. He is scribbling in a leather-bound tome, leaping to get a view over the grass (in the direction of the camp) then scribbling in the book again.
Vex silently glides up behind the satyr and gets his attention.
He freezes and slowly turns, clamping the book shut.
Clearly startled and nervous her replies “I…um…just taking notes…”
She questions him further and he nervously stammers on, providing no real answers.
“I am not the one you have to be worried about, that would be him…” he continues, pointing over her shoulder.
Vex pauses for a beat without looking, then narrows her eye at him. “I’m not falling for that.”
The satyr tries again but is interrupted as she lunges forward grabbing him by the wrist and yanking him upward. He screams, dropping his quill. It flutters down and is lost in grass.
Dangling him in the air, Vex spins on her broom to look where he had pointed to see nobody there. “You little shit! Here, why don’t we go have a chat with my friends.”
Terrified of now being held very high above the ground, the Satyr nervously submits “Okayyyy….”
Vex calls out to Grog, who quickly grabs the squirming little man, holding him aloft, his hooves still dangling several feet off the ground. The satyr’s ocarina in his pocket is crushed in the scuffle. He continues stammering, clearly incredibly nervous.
Percy takes his book and examines the cover, the satyr takes particular objection to this.
Scanlan reaches out, touching one of his dangling hooves, and casts suggestion to make him cooperate.
The satyr calms slightly, but still seems nervous. Percy asks if it safe to open the book. He says it is perfectly safe but that he would much prefer that they didn’t look in it as it is private.
Percy opens the book.
Along with the amusing sketch of of Grog (large googly eyes, buck teeth, and a very very small penis) the other pages contain various other vulgar and grotesque, albeit well drawn, caricatures of various members of Vox Machina.
Grog is angry and threatens to crush the satyr to death, terrifying the creature, but the others are amused by the drawings and talk him down.
They ask the satyr, who introduces himself as Garmili, what he knows of the area. He tells them about the city, that it is, in fact, Syngorn, and that they have been there for some time now and provided him with many drawing subjects. Percy flips to earlier in the book to confirm, finding all sorts of perverse sketches of elven individuals.
They ask if he could guide them in exchange for his book back and a night in Scanlan’s mansion with all the food and ale he can consume.
Left with no actual choice, Garmili submits as Scanlan summons the door to Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion, and they all enter.
Vax suggest to Scanlan that he should charge two of his spectral servants to guard the Satyr. Scanlan nods and calls twenty for good measure.
They instantly appear and convene on Garmili, standing/floating in a crowd around him. He nervously glances around at them. “Uh…hello…”
Vex chimes in “Let’s give him a rest. I kind of socked him when I abducted him.”
Keyleth sits down begins enthusiastically bombarding the satyr with awkward rapid-fire questions. “Do you grow a thicker coat in the winter? Do your horns grow? Can I pet you?”
Grog offers Garmili some ale to which he gladly takes and heartily consumes. They ask him about Syngorn. He says that they have been there for some time, first time in over 100 years though. They appear to be amassing an army.
They ask him if he knows why and he confesses he does not. He explains he only has been in the city briefly to help himself to things.
“You steal things?”
“I don’t steal! I borrow things indefinitely!”
They party asks the satyr if he can guide them to the Shademurk Bog. He is adamant that he does not want any part of that place.
They ask if he has been there before and he says he has. Percy searches the sketch book and finds a sketch of a very tall (as tall as Grog) dark humanoid figure, slimy sheen, haunting (with Garmili’s added embellish of a four-foot dong dragging behind it.) The satyr claims he doesn’t know what the creature was and that he kept his distance from the thing.
Garmili offers to perhaps lead them to the outskirts of the Shademurk, but they would have to do him a favor. Steal one or more items from Syngorn for him. He refuses to reveal what such items would be until the deal is made.
The party isn’t very keen on this, but Percy speaks up in favor of the deal. Claiming that they have no real love for Syngorn and that its not an unreasonable task for them in return for safe passage through an unknown region. He also offers to fix Garmili’s crushed ocarina.
With Percy’s words, the party reluctantly agrees and the satyr extends his hand for a shake, the twins both reach for it at the same time resulting in an awkward three-way handshake. Vex and Vax both feel a slight shiver down their spine.
Percy begins working on the ocarina.
The deal made, Garmili accepts his third or fourth ale and stands to formally introduce himself. He then outlines the three things they will want to avoid.
Firstly, the Hut of Wodena. “Awful woman! Don’t go there! No matter how enticing! You see a hut, avoid it! No hut!”
Next he warns them of The Last Campsite of “Saradune the Happy.” “You see a campsite. Empty. Looks happy. Don’t go there!”
And lastly, “Avoid the theater!”
Scanlan chimes in “Wait, a specific theater or theater in general.”
“Just in general! I hate all theater!”
After this rundown and receiving his fixed ocarina he declares it time for bed and promptly falls face first on the floor, snoring.
Vex says she thinks he cast a spell on her. Keyelth goes to dispell magic, having Vex remove all her magic items (i.e. most of her clothes) as a precaution. She casts the spell to no discernible effect.
Pike steals the ocarina off the sleeping satyr.
They all head up to their respective quarters. As Percy is preparing for bed he feels the effects of a charm spell wear off. Cursing he goes to find someone still awake. He finds Scanlan continuing to read his Tome.
He explains that he thinks he was charmed and says he fears the deal they made was magical in nature and the even killing the satyr may not alleviate the repercussions for breaking it.
Scanlan asks “Will we be cursed?”
Scanlan remarks that he’d rather not be haunted, that that was always Percy and Vax’s thing.
Percy leaves and finds Vex still awake, trying on different clothes and armors in her room.
Percy tells her about the charm. They decide to tell the others and address it in the morning. She changes the subject and asks him if he thinks she looks well put together. “You come from money, right? Does it look like I come from money?”
Percy smiles and says he thinks she is too happy to look like she comes from money.
Vex confesses that, being half-elven and the children of a noble no less, her and Vax were judged very harshly by the elves of Syngorn and that she wanted to return looking like she had accomplished something.
Percy tells her that if she wishes to bullshit that he can help her. “It’s very easy to pretend you come from money. Just generally be a shit.”
She asks if he will remain by her side when they visit the city and he promises her that he will.
He goes to leave, but before doing so tells her that she shouldn’t change anything about her appearance, “especially that hat.”
The next morning Pike and Garmili wake before the others. Garmili is very hung over and Pike takes him to the kitchen for breakfast. Pike fetches butcher’s paper from the kitchen as well as some charcoal and asks Garmili to create a sketch of the entire group for her to hang at the head of the room. The satyr gladly obliges.
Pike heads back upstairs.
An hour or so later every comes down to find Garmili asleep at the table, his masterpiece complete. It features Pike, deformed and mishapened as if the result of several generations of inbreeding; Grog, shoulders as absurdly wide as the rest of the group combined, one hand in a thumbs-up and the other up his own ass; Keyelth manically hugging a tree, the tree attempting to shove her off; Vex and Vax uncontrollably making out with each other, Percy, freakishly tall with over-sized glasses, and pistols pointed at his own head; and lastly, an unaltered perfect likeness of Scanlan.
Pike takes no responsibly for its creation.
Percy sits down across from the Satyr staring him down. He commends Garmili on his cleverness, in charming him into talking the others into making the deal. This is the first the others, sans Vex and Scanlan, have heard of this. Percy intimidates the satyr.
They ask him what happens if they break the agreement.
Garmili brushes off the question saying deals are meant to be kept, especially in the Feywild, but so long as this one is not broken there will be no issues.
He tells them to finish their breakfast and they will go to Syngorn and he will show them what he wants them to take. He goes to pull out his ocarina but realizes it is gone.
Pike pulls it and taunts him with it. Saying he can have it back at the end of their agreement. Displeased, Garmili sits by the door pouting until they are ready to leave.
Pike plays a tune on his ocarina, adding insult to injury.
They head out to find a light rain. Moving toward the city they are halted about 100 ft. from the walls as a batch of bolts and arrows strike the ground in front of their feet.
A guard captain calls out to them asking who they are. Vex and Vax step forward. “Vex’ahlia and Vax’ldan. We are here to see our father!”
“And the rest?”
“THEY ARE WITH US!”
A moment passes and they are permitted to enter. Grog notices that Garmili has vanished but can still feel him following close behind, invisible.
They are met by Watcher Iova, a female elf with scarlet braided hair, shaved on one side. She tells them that they will be closely watched by guards until otherwise told by someone of authority, preferably their father.
Vex and Vax notice an usually strong military presence in the city.
The group are led through the winding streets to their audience with Ambassador Syldor Vessar, Vex and Vax’s father.
To be continued…
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