SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 1 (obviously).
Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
The party makes their way to Kraghammer, an underground three-tiered dwarven city, in search of Lady Kima. Lady Kima, a paladin, recieved a vision quest that lead her to the city. Allura Vysoren, Kima’s friend, commissioned Vox Machina to find Kima and safely return her home.
The party enters the city and begins to look for information as well as dwarves in need of assistance. They ask the guards at the entrance to the city a good place to stay nearby. Though they are originally directed to “The Pigpits,” the guards, bribed by Vex, direct them to the Iron Hearth Tavern.
Keyleth: “I feel like we’re being hazed.”
The tavern is filled with loud, boisterous laughter and talking as they arrive. Everyone stops talking and stares at the strangers entering the tavern once the group crosses the threshold. After a brief discussion with some dwarves, Vax buys and round of ale for the tavern and everyone welcomes the party with open arms.
Adra, the head of the tavern, gives the party rooms to stay in and information on Lady Kima. She tells them that she hasn’t seen Lady Kima in a few weeks. She also mentions that she thinks Kima was going to the Greyspine Quarry.
The party also meets Bulgas, owner of the Bulgas Brewery (the brewery that supplies ale to the tavern), who is drunk and laying at the end of the bar. Adra tells them that he knows more about the Greyspines than anyone. Scanlan wakes Bulgas up with a song and Grog brings him a large mug of ale to coax information about the town and the Greyspines out of him. Bulgas, however, goes not give out any information.
Grog then directs Bulgas to Vex and Keyleth, who he believes can get Bulgas to talk by using their feminine wiles. Keyleth awkwardly strokes Bulgas’s arm while Vex asks him about the town and the Greyspines. Tiberius and Scanlan join in on the conversation, and they trade a cup of dragon’s blood for a cask of fine dwarven ale to give to the Greyspines.
The party is then showed around the tavern by one of Adra’s employees. He shows them where to go on their journey and also asks them to fill out some comment cards about their experience with him and the tavern. After taking the cards, the party discusses going to sleep for the evening, but instead decide to separate. Tiberius heads to House Thunderbrand, a family of mages that he believes can help him on his personal quest to find magical artifacts while Grog and Scanlan search for a whorehouse to get a “massage.”
It takes Tiberius a few hours to get to House Thunderbrand due to bad directions, but he eventually arrives. As he steps onto the grass in front of the house, however, a bolt of blueish energy shoots up from the grass, narrowly missing him. Even so, he is blown back several feet. He decides to shout at the building until he gets a response. After a few minutes, he uses mage hand to knock on the door. He is unsuccessful, however, as runes prevent the spell from crossing the threshold. He then casts glacial blast at the door, but it is again stopped by the runes and melts.
At this, guards run out and threaten to arrest him for trying to attack the family.
Tiberius tells them that he is not attacking the family, but, rather, is there to discuss artifacts with them. Scared of the angry dragonborn, the guards let him go.
Percy and Keyleth dutifully fill out the comment cards left in the tavern. Vex and Vax take a stroll through the town, pretending to be sightseeing.
The twins, while going through the town, get stopped by guards. They say that they are merely looking at the architecture and wanted to see the statue of the ruler of Kraghammer. The guards explain that traveling by themselves will likely end in mugging or arrest. As they are saying this, however, they notice Trinket behind Vex and Vax.
Vex tries to convince the guards that Trinket is friendly by having Trinket offer his paw to “shake,” but eventually she just sends him back to the tavern. One of the guards, after some convincing, directs them to the statue. The guard tells them more about the Greyspines and confirms that the family runs the Mitheral Mines. Shortly after, he gets called back to duty and leaves.
Eventually, everyone makes their way back to the tavern. Once they are all there, they see that Trinket is in the fighting ring with several dwarves–including Bulgas–who look like they are about to fight.
Vex runs into the center of the ring.
Vex: “I will take on this bear!”
Bulgas joins Vex and offers to fight Trinket with her. Keyleth casts fog over the ring. She runs in and whispers to Trinket “I’m tapping you out” and transforms into a bear. She then polymorphs Trinket into a mouse and throws him to Scanlan. The fight begins.
Grog: “I’ve got my money on Ballsack.”
Vax goes into the fog. He sneaks up on Bulgas to try to knock him out.
Although he successfully hits him, it barely affects Bulgas. Bulgas, in turn, attempts to grapple Vax, who evades him. Meanwhile, Vex manages to find Keyleth, disguised as a brown bear, and, unaware of the plan, is instantly confused. Keyleth, unsure of how to act like a bear, begins to dance at Vex’s instruction as the fog begins to fade. Scanlan plays a tune for her to dance to and uses prestidigitation to create fireworks.
The dwarves begin to laugh at Keyleth’s dancing bear routine and are so entertained that they forget about fighting. Vex collects tips for the entertainment.
Vax offers the still-drunk Bulgas two more ales as a peace offering. He happily accepts.
Bulgas: “This is dwarven hospitality!”
Finally, the party retires for the evening, but first, they turn in the completed comment cards. Vex takes mouse Trinket with her.
In the morning, they decide to have brunch before heading out. Grog reminds them about the comment cards. Unfortunately, Grog cannot read or write, so he just leaves his inky handprint on the card.
Tiberius polymorphs into a dwarf as part of their cover for getting to House Greyspine. When they meet the same guards (with the exception of the guard who originally led them to the statue) from the night before, Tiberius explains to them that he is a citizen of the city showing them around.
The guards, having never seen him in the city before, ask for his name. He tells them his name is “Tiberius Kraghammer,” quickly mashing together his own name and the name of the city they are in. This immediately causes suspicion from the guards. He then tries to convince him that he is just very drunk and his name is actually “Tiberius Stronghammer.”
Vex explains to the guards that they have brought a cask of fine ale to present to the Greyspines. In return, she explains, they hope that they will be better able to get a look at the statue. The guards ask for some of the ale in exchange for not arresting them. The cask has no opening, so Vex tells the guards that she will save a bottle of the ale for them. The guards consider this, and ask for four bottles instead. Eventually, the guards concede and accept that the party will just bring them as much as possible.
The party pulls a chain to announce their arrival. Margrim, a dwarven servant, answers the door. Percy greets him and explains that they have brought a gift for Lord Greyspine. Margrim inquires as to which Lord Greyspine they intend to speak. Vex tells him they are looking for Nostoc.
Tiberius: “Is he the nice one? I would like to see the nice one.”
Margrim explains that Nostoc is currently at work in the quarry. They begin to try to persuade him to let them in anyway, saying it would be a shame for their gifts to go ungifted. Scanlan, lying, adds that he has mining contracts that he wishes to show Lord Greyspine. Margrim, after hearing about the contracts, tells them to go see Nostoc at the quarry. Tiberius, beginning to blow his cover again, asks where the quarry is. Margrim is suspicious of this, explaining that citizens of Kraghammer would know where the quarry is. Tiberius explains that he is very drunk and simply forgot.
Vax tries again to get into the house, saying that they would prefer to do business there. Vex agrees and adds that it would be very difficult for them to go into the mines to see Nostoc because the mines are so well-guarded. Margrim holds firm, explaining that all meetings must be pre-approved and added to the ledger. They decide to just try to go to the mines.
However, Vex and Scanlan begin whispering to each other about whether or not they should try to break into the house. Vax whispers back to them that Margrim is still listening. Vex distracts Margrim by offering him some of the ale once it is opened and, while the dwarf’s back is turned, Scanlan turns invisible and goes into the house.
The party walks away from the house and Tiberius frantically asks Scanlan what his plan is through their communication earrings. Scanlan, not having a plan, decides to just follow Margrim. In his nervousness, he farts. Margrim starts to notice this and Scanlan wanders away from him, going into various rooms. Vex tells him to look for papers or anything else important. Finding nothing after searching a few rooms, Scanlan leaves.
Scanlan: “It was exciting, but, ultimately, pointless.”
The group leaves the mansion and walks to the quarry in the center of town. The quarry has clearly been used for a while. There are three large pits, which are also used to expand the city downward, into the mines. Keyleth druidcrafts flowers and vines onto the cask of wine to give it a better presentation.
The party tells the dwarves in the quarry that they are there to speak to Nostoc and have a gift for him. It turns out that Nostoc isn’t very interesting in talking but is very interested in the gift. After drinking some of the wine, Nostoc tells them that he has seen Lady Kima, and that she went on a “suicide mission” down into the mine. Vex offers to bring her out for him, and Percy adds that they would be willing to clean up other things in the mine as well. He denies that there is other trouble in the mines but agrees to give them permission to enter the mines to retrieve Kima.
A bell rings deep in the mines, and Nostoc tries to usher them out of the office. Vax attempts to steal some of the wine from the cask, and, despite the best efforts of the other party members to distract him, Nostoc immediately notices. Vax tries to then negotiate several glasses of wine to take with them, but the guards quickly usher them out. The guards tell them that the bell means something is flushing out of the quarry.
As they are being led away, they see several injured dwarves and the goblins attacking them. The party jumps into action. Tiberius unleashes a fireball that takes out some of the goblins but also a few dwarves. Keyleth casts entangle and vines reach out from the ground and grab the goblins. Shortly after, two ogres come lumbering out.
While fighting the goblins and ogres, Grog notices that they aren’t running to attack, but rather running away from something in the mines. Grog process this information and decides to kill them anyway.
“I would like to rage.”
They continue fighting the enemies, Grog cleaving through them in his rage. Keyleth then casts wall of stone, trapping the remaining enemies in the mine. Keyleth asks the remaining ogre what’s coming. He doesn’t know what exactly it is, other than the fact it’s an abomination.
“Something’s making things down there.”
Something begins to bang against Keyleth’s stone wall. The party prepares to fight whatever is trying to break through the wall. Scanlan inspires Vex, Vax and Grog.
Scanlan: “I think you’re really handsome and nice. You’re going to have inspiration dice.”
A deformed naga with five heads stitched to its body breaks through the stone. Tiberius casts scorching ray. Three rays blast into the creature. Vex looses flaming arrows, further injuring the creature. Grog, still in his rage, throws his axe into the chest of naga before pulling it back to him.
The naga attacks Keyleth and Tiberius. Keyleth gets poisoned by the creature as it bites her. Tiberius is also bitten, but manages to resist the poison and blows fire out of his nostrils.
Finally, Scanlan casts lightning bolt. The naga, already tearing apart at the seams, dies as the lightning slowly travels up its spine, destroying the abomination. An “S” is burned into its torso from Scanlan’s lightning.
Scanlan: “Just promise me that you’ll tell Pike about this. Because it was really cool.”
To be continued.
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About the Artist: Nick Uroseva (@Nick_Uroseva)
Nick is a professional graphic artist from Youngstown, Ohio. He has a BA in Multimedia Technology. When he isn’t doodling for one thing or another, he spends is his time writing and Dungeon Mastering several D&D games, enjoying craft beer, shooting zombies with Nerf blasters, and tweeting about #CriticalRole.