SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 60 (obviously). Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
My recap of Episode 59 can be found here.
Our heroes enter the elven city of Syngorn, now residing in the Feywild, to meet Vex and Vax’s father and steal two yet to be revealed items as per the agreement with their satyr “friend,” Garmili.
Previously on Critical Role
The party appeared in the Feywild via Keyleth’s plane shift in search of their next vestige, the legendary bow Fenthras. Keyleth plucked a flower from the glade and instigated the wrath of the nymph that resided there. After being calmed with Scanlan’s words (via proxy of Grog), she directed them Duskward to their destination, the Shademurk Bog.
The party, following the direction in which the nymph pointed them, left the forest and entered a seemingly endless grass field. They encountered and captured a satyr by the name of Garmili who was spying on them and sketching crude caricatures of the group. Through some magic trickery, he convinced them to make a deal. He would lead them to the Shademurk (but no further!) in exchange for the retrieval of two undisclosed items from the elven city of Syngorn. Syngorn also happens to be the home of Vex and Vax’s father, Syldor, and his new family.
A detail of four Syngorn guards are assigned to the group as they move about the city. They immediately notice a sense of stern urgency and a heightened military presence.
Grog doesn’t immediately feel Garmili’s invisible presence hanging from the hem of his battle-kilt(?) and whispers behind him to the unseen satyr. Grog hears his voice whisper magically in his ear telling him to find somewhere private so they can talk.
“Now stop talking to the air! It upsets them!”
“Not that strange for me.”
Grog farts in the invisible satyr’s face.
The group debates where to head next. The twins decide, reluctantly, that they should visit their father first, for no other reason than to see if he can provide them further information on the Shademurk and grant them further access to Syngorn.
Percy says they also need to find out where they will be sleeping for the night. He suggests they should talk to someone in charge. He asks the twins: “Is your father in charge?”
Vax: “No. No, he’s a bureaucrat.”
Keyleth enthusiastically greets every elf they pass in the streets. (“Goodday!”). They return the greeting but shun her upon realizing she is not a full-blooded elf. Keyleth is taken aback by this, having never experienced such prejudice among the Ashari. Vex and Vax are all too familiar with it though.
Vax leads them through the streets of Syngorn, followed closely by the guards. On the way they notice several human Emon guards intermingled among the elven Forlorn Guard. They eventually enter the political residential district and turn the corner to see their old home.
Vex and Vax pause for a moment before proceeding.
They knock and are met with Devana, Syldor’s elven wife. She is shocked to see her husband’s bastard twins and their companions all the way here in the Feywild but welcomes them warmly nonetheless. Keyelth greets her (“Goodday!”). Grog imitates her, but mishearing, says “Bidet!”
Vax: “Your accent is perfect, don’t change a thing.”
Devana leads them in (leaving the guards to stand outside) and tells them Syldor is working but will be with them shortly. Introductions are made for those that haven’t previously met Devana, and then she offers them all tea.
Vex asks about Velura, who is Devana and Syldor’s young daughter (and Vex and Vax’s half-sister). Devana says she can get her for them and that Velura will be happy to know they are here. She says that Velura sometimes asks about them.
Devana returns with tea and is followed by the young Velura, who is very happy to see her older half-siblings again. They discuss their adventures.
Syldor finally arrives. He greets them and says that he is happy to see them in good health, yet his expression does not waver from one of mild annoyance.
Vax questions Syldor about what is going on and what had happened in Syngorn. Syldor explains that a scouting party that had been sent out to investigate reports of lizard folk in the mountains, a recently increasing problem. The scouting party, however, came running back when they caught wind of three “great drakes” headed directly for Syngorn after the destruction of Emon.
“We had no recourse but to flee. Had we stayed to fight we would be the same burning crater as your fair city.”
They are currently in the process of amassing an army so that they may return and travel to Emon to slay the red dragon, Thordak, in his new home.
Percy speaks up, and tells Syldor that they have ventured here to the Feywild looking for objects that might help them in the fight against the Conclave.
Vax says they are looking for something specific. Keyleth explains that it is the legendary bow, Fenthras, and that it resides in a cancerous tree in the middle of the Shademurk.
Syldor takes no attempt to hide his skepticism. “Well, good luck with that.”
He chastises them for chasing “fleeting rumors” into places as dangerous as the Shademurk.
Vex chimes in, nodding to his armor and Grog’s gauntlets. “He and I are wearing fleeting rumors. That one’s got one hidden up his butt,” he adds, nodding to Scanlan and his sword. Scanlan waves cheerfully.
Velura giggles. Devana goes to scold her but Vex grabs her and sits Velura on her lap. Velura blows a raspberry at her mother.
Vax addresses his father, “Syldor, we have killed two of these dragons already. Nothing could please me more to hear you are amassing forces to go back. That is possibly the greatest thing I’ve ever heard you say to me.”
“While I have heard of your exploits, and I am impressed, I’d hate to be blunt. It is difficult and strange to mingle family new and old. Your presence here brings up difficult memories for me.”
Vex retorts, dripping with sarcasm, “Oh, you poor man.”
Vax levels with his father: “Don’t worry, we are not here to look for family that would require any investment on either your side or ours. There is clearly none. We are here to do business. Do you know where the bog is?”
Syldor tells them to continue Duskward. He confesses he has not traveled the Feywild much himself. He is far more concerned with helping the other leaders of the city prepare to return to the material plane to confront Thordak.
Grog provides helpful advice: “Just a heads-up. Pro-tip: Dragons can fly!”
Syldor: “You must be their leader?”
Grog: “Of the dragons?” He turns to the twins, “I’ve clearly lost your father.”
Percy speaks up and asks Syldor if he can make arrangements for them to stay, especially accommodations for those of their number that are titled.
Syldor says he can have a document drafted to give them access to spare accommodations. He says he can also grant them one audience with the High Warden, the only person with extensive knowledge of the Feywild in the city.
Syldor asks them of the dragons they have killed. Keyleth tosses him one of Umbracyl’s teeth. “That is the result of the doings of your children. You should be proud.”
“I am proud. I am proud. But the city lives differently. Understand the difficulty your presence puts upon your family. I mean no disrespect. But while you two may have undergone much ridicule in your youth, I saved you from the brunt of it.”
Vex is enraged: “You-, headphones, dear.” She covers Valura’s ears. “You fucked some random woman in a city you passed through and you expect us to feel sorry for you?”
Vax joins in: “You should have left us with our mother when she died!”
Vex: “Why would you take us away from her if you had no love for us?”
Syldor explains that they are a part of him, they are his blood, and he didn’t want them wasting away in a hovel when they could have a better life.
Vex is unmoved. “If I can pull the blood of you from my veins and give it back I would. I want no part of you!”
“Even with this rift, there is still a part of me that still cares for you both and is genuinely happy that you live. And that you rise. And that you prove what the rest of these fools in this city said what you were incapable of. Yes. I am prejudiced. But I still fight it every day.”
He continues, “You inspire others outside of our city walls and our doings. Its rather large of you. As fooling and as damned deadly as these endeavors, you inspire. And that is more than I have done in my life time.”
He says he tried to bring them up right and give them a good life, but admits that the life he offered life was not right for them. By the time he tried to return them it was too late. He apologizes.
Devana breaks the tension by asking if anyone needs more tea.
Vax makes a finale plea for his father’s help. “We won’t ever be a happy family, but if you want to make reparations, help us on our path. It will only help you on yours.”
Syldor gets up and leaves without a word, closing the door behind him.
Scanlan breaks the silence: “Should I take a dump somewhere?”
Velura giggles up at Vex “Take a dump!” She looks back a Scanlan, “I like him!”
Vex ads fuel to the fire: “He takes blue sparkly poos!”
Velura eagerly runs off to the kitchen in search of blueberries, followed by the emergence of her mother. “WHO TOLD MY DAUGHTER TO SAY ‘BLUE SPARKLY POO?'”
Syldor reemerges with a sealed scroll and sets it on the tea table between them all. He explains that this will get them accommodations and single audience with the High Warden. Percy takes it and reads it over. “You are going to have to amend that name there, just to be fair.”
Syldor looks confused. Percy continues. “Its Lady Vex’ahlia. Lady Vex’ahlia, Baroness of the Third House of Whitestone and Grand Mistress of the Great Hunt.”
Vex is floored by this revelation.
Percy continues, “So, good sir, despite your relationship with her, do mind your manners.”
Syldor is surprised, but the shadow of a smile appears. “Lady Vex’ahlia, my apologies.”
Vex plays off her own surprise as best she can quickly putting on an air of importance, “Well, you didn’t know…”
They prepares to leave. The twins say good-bye to Velura. Vex pulls out an owlbear feather that she had picked up some time ago and puts it behind her ear, much to the child’s excitement. “Keep that behind your ear and know that Vex and Vax love you very much.”
Vax stoops down to her level. “Listen to us, you are not our half-sister. You are our sister.” She lunges forward and hugs them both.
“Now, listen to your parents most of the time, but not all of the time.” Vax adds before she runs off to her mother.
They get outside and Vex hug-tackles Percy and asks him if that was all true. He replies, “Yes! It occurs to me that we killed two of the three barons of Whitestone last time we were there!” He explains that there is no house (Scanlan burned it down) and no money, but that it is a real title, and she just has to do something ridiculous once a year. She kisses him on the cheek.
Grog leans over to Scanlan, “Did you notice Vex and Vax’s dad was saying ‘bidet’ wrong?”
The party heads to their accommodations. The guards wait outside their room as they plan their next course of action. It is at this point they realize that Pike has been missing. A flash of divine energy flickers as Pike’s astral form struggles to materialize. They can just make out her saying she cannot maintain the connection.
Vex sends a guard after wine and food, as she is a Baroness now and all. Percy fears he made a terrible mistake.
Garmili appears. “That was a little hairy! You didn’t tell me you were taking me right into the belly of the beast! We didn’t even talk! That tea was good though.”
They immediately question if Garmili stole anything to which he lies through his teeth: “NOOO!”
Keyleth uses her vines to restrain the satyr and searches him. She finds a pocket in his vest that is much larger on the inside but can’t retrieve anything.
Garmili finally pushes her off. He explains to them that the two things he requires them to steal are a piece of a Threshold Crest and the High Warden’s travel hat.
The party knows that the Threshold Crests are the magical crystal objects embedded in the wall all the way around the city that allow it to plane shift.
Percy casts friends and asks him to reveal what he stole. Garmili reluctantly retrieves a small trophy statue Syldor received for his services to the city.
They send another guard to arrange their meeting with the High Warden.
Garmili sprawls out on one of the beds and that bed is quickly declared Keyleth’s. Trinket joins him, smothering the satyr and breaking the bed legs.
Some time passes and they are lead to the palace. The palace is decorated with fantastic artwork that depicts the founding and creation of Syngorn.
High Warden Tyrelda greets them warmly and she gestures for them all to sit around a large table. They tell her of their quest for the bow Fenthras. She tells them that the Shademurk is a dangerous place, but if it is true that they have already felled two members of the Chroma Conclave then it may not be as dangerous a journey.
They ask her what she knows of the Shademurk. She explains that it is the result of an Archefey that was turned on by his lover and who was corrupted by its grief overtime, becoming one with the land and corrupting it as well. Transforming dryads into terrible beings and causing creatures to crawl from the bog itself.
Vex: “Sounds lovely.”
Vex then changes subjects. She asks about the city transitioning between the planes and asks her if she has done much planar traveling herself. She mentions that she knows the Threshold Crests are used to transition the city from plane to plane. Vex then asks if they might be able to have a crest, should they need it on their quest for the vestiges.
Tyrelda says that the elves of Syngorn have refined the use of the crests, but they keep them locked away and protected. She says she is glad that it appears they fight for the same for the same cause, but that she is confident that they have no need for such items which are so important to the city.
High Warden Tyrelda asks if they have any further business. Scanlan speaks up.
“Everyone who meets me knows that I am a collector of hats.” He takes out his beret as an example and explains how he got it after singlehandedly defending Whitestone from a invasion of vampires. He tells her that he has heard that she has quite a few hats of her own. “As a fine appreciator of the haberdasher arts, a connoisseur really, could you humor and old gnome like me and allow me to have a look?”
Tyrelda is slightly amused, “From political requests to a hat collector, this has been a very interesting day in the palace.” She says she will have someone show him to her collection.
A young elf is summoned to lead them to the Hat Room. “Will you all be coming?”
Vax speaks up, “Traveling with Scanlan we have all become a bit of amateur hat appreciators.” They all get out their various head gear: Vax, his metal skullcap he took from Clarotta; Percy, his plague-mask; Vex, her witch’s hat; Grog, his giant horn helmet; Scanlan, his beret; and Keyleth, her usual antler headress.
They are led to large room filled with different armor, helmets, and hats. They find the hat they are looking for. Vex fakes a fall, knocking over a hat rack right in front of their escort and the guards. Keyleth makes a fuss over the fallen baroness. In the commotion Vex takes the hat and slips it in his cloak unseen.
They quickly leave. Keyleth asks about some semblance of a gift shop. They are led to a small storage room containing many of the discarded political gifts the palace has received over time. They are told they can take whatever they want. They search around and find nothing of any particular note, but each take a few items at random for the hell of it.
They leave the palace and head back to their accommodations. Vex says they are going to go to sleep as the whole party files into the same room. The guards give them strange looks, unconvinced. “We all sleep together. Its a polyamorous thing.”
“Oh.” The guards now feel they received far more information than they ever wanted to know.
Scanlan continues to the guards, “Yeah man, we are freaky.”
Vax grabs Grog by the armor straps and pulls him into the room “C’mon, I’m tense. Let’s go.”
The guards back away slowly.
Keyleth, not understand but wanting to help, casts polymorph to turn Percy and Vax into squirrels. “See, polyamorous!”
The guards are now completely horrified and uncomfortable. “Please, just go. ‘Sleep.'”
They all enter the room, Keyelth turns Percy and Vax back. “That’s what polyamorous means, right?”
Garmili appears, notebook and quill in hand, eagerly. “Was that all true?”
Scanlan: “You don’t know.”
They give him the hat. He eagerly puts it on. It’s a little small.
Percy asks again if all they need is a piece of Threshold Crest. Garmili confirms that such is the case. Percy turns to Keyleth and nods. Keyleth moves to the door and uses stone shape to fashion the Whitestone crest in the stone floor in the threshold of the door. She removes it and hands it to Percy. He breaks it and hands it to the satyr.
The satyr is not amused but tells them it appears their end of the deal has been completed. Vex and Vax feel a slight magical sensation as the agreement they were bound to is lifted.
“At least I got the hat out of it! Anyway, to the Shademurk, lets go!”
Garmili invisibly leads them out of the room, leading Grog by the finger (he farts) out of the room and out of the city.
“Thanks, Grog!” Vax says loudly in front of the guards as they all exit the room.
They leave Syngorn and travel back to the sea of tall grass. Vex lets Trinket out. He bites some grass and Keyleth yells to stop him, the nymph’s retaliation for her flower picking still fresh on her mind.
There is no visible effect. Keyleth shrugs and says “Yeah, suck it, grass!”
The grass suddenly grows a deep red color in retaliation for the senseless comment. It begins to fight against them as they walk. She tries to apologize to the field but the damage is done.
Grog suggests burning the field and it grows an even deeper crimson.
Percy sighs and stops, “Lovely field, I apologize for the rudeness of my compatriots. We will be gentle trouncing through you. We will make as little mark as we can and enjoy the splendor of your ever changing colors. You are majestic. You are wind swept. You are everything I could hope for in a beautiful view.”
Scanlan punctuates his speech with a bardic song.
Between the two of them the grass is calmed and they can pass freely again.
Matt: “Good job. You successfully parlayed with a field.”
Sam: “How do you want to mow this?”
They continue onward. They choose to take the Moonbrush as opposed to the Green Sea, at the suggestion of Garmili (and the High Warden).
As they approach, Garmili explains what they should expect from the Moonbrush and its denizens. He tells them of a clan of lycanthropes that they will want to avoid. “They are natural hunters. They are well read, they have a society, we should touch none of it.” He also mentions a faction of pixies called the Wishers that are the enemies of the lycans. “They are forever locked in a struggle, so avoid both! Do not get involved at all!”
As they enter the Moonbrush they sky finally shifts from dusk to proper night, stars appearing in the darkening sky.
They stumble across several stone structures near a large cave. They notice bones and carvings also scattered about. Keyleth examines a bone and it seems to have markings that seem consistent with some sort of ritual.
A deafening roar echoes out the cave. Vax bolts for cover. The canopy of trees closes off, cutting off Keyleth and Vex from the rest of the party.
A massive dire-bear-like spiritual entity appears, shimmering with blue energy.
Vex grabs Keyleth and attempts to take off with her broom. She slams into the closing tree branches and Vex loses her grip on the broom. They both fall twenty feet to the ground.
Vex casts speak with animals. “We mean you now harm, giant ghost bear! We actually totally brought you an offering and just accidentally touched the other offering!”
“YOU HAVE ENTERED TO DOMAIN OF ORALON. YOU DESTROY AND DISGRACE THAT WHICH WAS GIFTED. WHAT DO YOU OFFER IN RESPONSE TO THIS TRAVESTY!?”
Keyleth: “I have an old tobacco box from lost and found.”
Vex: “I have a tea set?”
The bear knocks the tea set out of her hands, shattering it. “YOU WALK INTO THE REALM OF THE WILD. UNWATCHED. UNRESPECTING. THE BEASTS OF THIS LAND HOLD NO KINSHIP WITH YOU. YOU WILL PROVE TO OFFER ME YOURSELF!”
Keyleth turns into a giant scorpion in an attempt to offer herself instead.
The bear turns to Keyleth “I SENSE YOU HAVE KINSHIP WITH BEASTS. YOU MAY PASS BUT I WILL NOT FORGET THIS INFRACTION.” It turns back to Vex. “YOU! YOU WILL BE THE PRICE!”
Vex summons Trinket from her locket. Trinket pops out and roars at the entity, dwarfed by the giant spirit bear. Trinket lashes out and attacks, to no real effect. The spirit bats trinket aside but he gets right back up and continues the attack.
The spirit bear pulls Trinket off and sets him next to Vex. It speaks to him in his language, which Vex can understand from her casting of speak with animals from earlier.
“YOU WALK WITH THIS ONE. IS SHE YOUR CHARGE?”
Trinket replies: “She is everything! Her life is mine! You kill her, you kill me!”
“VERY WELL. IF YOU ARE AT HER SIDE, THEN I TAKE YOUR CHARGE AS WELL.”
The spirit bear passes through the two of them, dissipating into spiritual energy.
Vex notices that her magic locket shimmers with the same blue light the bear once did. The trees relax once again, letting some moonlight shine in as Trinket helps Vex to her feet.
To be continued…
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