SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 103 (obviously). Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
Our recap of Episode 102 can be found here.
Vox Machina regroups after their encounter with The Whispered One, Vecna.
Previously on Critical Role
The party traveled to the Shadowfell to confront Delilah and stop Vecna’s resurrection. Despite their best efforts, the ritual was completed and the city teleported to another plane, one where snow gently fell from the sky. Though the party was able to kill Delilah, both Vex and Vax died during the battle. Vex was brought back almost immediately by Pike, but her brother was reduced to ash by Vecna’s disintegrate spell. When the party realized that they were unable to win, the battle, Keyleth transported them to the Feywild. Vex, still disoriented from the battle, realized after a moment that her brother was not with them.
Vex: “Where’s Vax?”
Scanlan walks slowly over to her. He places Vax’s armor in front of her. He remains silent.
Vex: “What is this? Where is he?”
Scanlan: “There’s nothing left. He was just obliterated.”
Vex begins to cry, wondering where her brother’s soul went and realizing that her brother cannot be brought back with one of their resurrection rituals.
Vex: “Can you bring him back?”
Pike: “I don’t know if I can.”
Keyleth admits her own feelings about the situation, worrying that her foresight spell caused Vax to see his own death before it happened. Cautiously optimistic, she says that she may know of a spell with the ability to bring Vax back, though it requires 25,000 gold worth of diamonds.
Percy asks Grog to put Delilah’s corpse into the bag of holding. As he reaches over to her, Delilah’s remaining eye rolls in the socket to stare to him. They notice that the eye is magical in some way: a sickly green where white should be with a cat-like pupil. Scanlan attempts to extract the eye from its socket.
Using only he fingers, he pulls out the eye. Suddenly, Scanlan remembers all those he has loved and lost. He realizes that he can stop these horrible things from ever happening again. All he needs to do is pluck out his eye.
The others watch as Scanlan tries to rip his eye out of his head. Thinking quickly, Pike stops him from pulling out his eye and slaps Delilah’s eyeball from his hand.
Scanlan’s mind returns to him. Though his eye is intact, he is temporarily unable to see from it. Pike heals him as he explains what happened.
Percy and Grog search in the mist for the eye. No matter how much they search the area, they cannot find it. Pike joins the search, casting locate object. The divine energy from Sarenrae floods the area. Pike follows the path to the eyeball. Still, she does not see it on the ground. She digs through the area and finds the eyeball burrowing into the ground. Percy quickly puts it in a box.
Scanlan: “I don’t trust it.”
Percy: “A burrowing eyeball? Are you sure?”
Scanlan tries to convince Percy to hand the eye over to him. He says that he can take care of it better than the rest of the party and could possibly take revenge. The others refuse. Percy gives it to Pike instead.
Keyleth worries about the ritual to ressurect Vax. She repeats that she has never attempted it before and is unsure if it will even work. She adds that her hesitation is due to her uncertainty about The Raven Queen’s plans.
Scanlan asks how many diamonds would be required to do the ritual. Vex shows him a diamond worth 1,500 gold for reference. He reveals that he change animals into diamonds. He suggests using Trinket, but Keyleth argues that she can create animals.
Before they move on with any plan, however, they must rest. They make camp up in the trees to avoid the beasts of the Feywild.
Vax finds himself floating in darkness. Searching in the darkness for anything at all, he begins to glow and light the area around him. He sees glowing threads holding him in position. He silently yells out for help. Above him, he sees the mask of the Raven Queen. She holds him in her hand, loosening the threads that hold him aloft.
Raven Queen: “My champion, you return to me.”
She tells him that she has been unable to watch him over the past few days. She wonders about the evilness that has emerged while her sight was obscured. She also muses over Vax’s sudden death and return to her.
Raven Queen: “An unexpected destiny for my beautiful fate-touched.”
Vax explains that Vecna has returned.
Vax: “He’s come back to our world. My home. My family is in danger. The world is in danger.”
Raven Queen: “How so? How can one man be this dangerous? What does he intend? What have you learned?”
Vax: “I don’t know.”
He tells her the rest of what he knows. He recounts the battle that led him here. Her mask begins to receed back into the darkness. He calls out to her, begging for her return.
Vax: “I will not leave them behind.”
Raven Queen: “You truly seek to see this to its very end?”
Vax: “Whatever it takes.”
She explains that for a while, Vax will be able to return to his world. In order to stop Vecna, she will suspend Vax’s ability to die. At the end of the mission, Vax will return to her forever.
Vax: “You have such loneliness in your eyes.”
Raven Queen: “Perhaps you will keep me company when you come back to me.”
He accepts the offer. She tells him to gather allies to help in the coming battle. She kisses his forehead and whispers into his ear.
Raven Queen: “Wake up.”
Grog watches during the night. Then Percy, then Pike. During the wee hours of the morning as the sun is beginning to rise, Pike notices a figure moving below their position in the trees. The figure is pale, nude, and humanoid with long, dark hair. She recognizes Vax, returned to his original form. Vax sees her as well. They call out to each other.
Pike asks him how he is with them after being disintegrated in the city, but he isn’t sure how he managed to return.
Vex, sleeping up in the tree, hears a familiar voice and wakes up. She rushes down the tree, and sees her brother that she recently thought she had lost forever. She does not believe it.
He pulls her into an embrace. He is cold but present. Pike notices that the black bruised mark on his skin has expanded and transformed into the shape of a raven.
Pike and Vex are still hesitant and curious about Vax’s return. Pike checks for a heartbeat. She finds one, but it is faint and abnormally slow. Pike goes to wake the others. Percy and Keyleth have already been woken up by the discussion and movement below. Keyleth refuses to leave the tree until Pike explains exactly what is happening.
Percy is in utter disbelief. He tells the others to not give Vax anything powerful like his vestige. He suggests using turn undead to make sure Vax’s return isn’t a trick of Vecna. Vax agrees that Percy’s suggestion is probably correct.
Pike convinces Keyleth to come down from the tree. She is stiff and scared, but goes over to Vax. She touches Vax. He feels cold. She apologizes for casting foresight on him, but he tells her that she has nothing for which to apologize. She feels for a heartbeat, and feels the same slow and faint heartbeat that Pike felt earlier.
Above them, Scanlan and Grog wake up. When they descend down the tree, they also react in shock. Scanlan shows Vax his pouch filled with the dust of Vax’s remains. He explains that this is what was left of his body.
Pike holds Vax’s hand and casts turn undead. There is a divine flash, and the warmth passes over them. There is no seeming effect.
As another test, Vex cuts his arm. He bleeds red blood. She heals him.
Vax explains his deal with The Raven Queen. After they ask, he sadly clarifies that he will return at the end of their mission. As they talk, Vax realizes that his fear of death is now gone. Instead, he is confident in the face of death.
At the end of their conversation, they agree to collect every diamond they possibly can, though this mission is not as urgent as it was the night before.
They discuss where Thar Amphala landed, but they still do not know. Vax explains that they need to recruit more gods and powerful beings to their side. Vax suggests Sarenrae, but Pike explains that her connection to her goddess is different than the relationship Vax has with The Raven Queen. Percy suggests getting more patrons.
They planeshift to Vasselheim. Scanlan and Grog are unable to resist the effects of the Feywild, and when they arrive in Vasselheim, their memories of the morning and previous night are erased. Suddenly, Vax, their friend is alive and standing in front of them.
They assume that Vax is an illusion trying to trick them. They attack Vax, but miss. Scanlan hits himself in the face. Pike casts greater restoration, and their memories come flooding back.
Vax is suddenly overcome with a pounding headache. He notices that the pain always comes from the same direction. He knows that his mission lies 350 miles in that direction.
Grog wants to split off from the group to visit the Lord of the Quadroads. The others want to go to the Temple of Sarenrae to convince her to join their side. Scanlan agrees to go with Grog.
When the party arrives at the temple, they are greeted warmly. Sheila, a cleric of Sarenrae, gives them a tour of the temple, and offers to seek an acolyte who can answer their questions. Pike explains that they need to physically speak to Sarenrae. Sheila leaves to fetch an acolyte. In the interim, they pray to Sarenrae, asking for her help.
Pike opens her eyes after praying for divine intervention. She is no longer in the temple. She sees white, glittering beaches with statues and temples. Sarenrae, in all her divine glory, approaches the gnome cleric.
Sarenrae bids Pike to join her on the Island of Renewal. Pike thanks the goddess for seeing her in person. Sarenrae hands Pike a piece of curved metal and explains that the gnome has the means and tools for the next step.
Pike blinks and suddenly she is back in the temple. The others explain that she never physically left the temple. They examine the item, and realize that Sarenrae has given them the item needed to planeshift to the Blessed Fields of Elysium, home of Sarenrae, Pelor, and other gods.
Sheila returns a few minutes later with an acolyte ready to answer their questions. Rather than asking questions, however, they explain their situation.
Meanwhile, Scanlan and Grog wander through Vasselheim. Grog explains how he knows The Lord of the Quadroads. He adds that he plans to tell the man that he is a wish-giver and demand one of the wishes.
They discuss what they would wish for as they walk. Scanlan suggests that Grog wear the hat of disguise to appear more impressive and magical. Grog says that it is a stupid plan, as the lord already knows what he looks like. Still, he asks if there’s any way to make him appear more impressive, like a sultan. Scanlan again hands him the hat of disguise which Grog this time accepts.
As they wait for the hat to attune to Grog, four guards approach, hands on their weapons. Grog realizes that this is likely due to his last encounter with the guards with Taryon. Scanlan asks what is happening.
The guards ask for their business. Grog introduces himself as “Peter Frostbucket, Lord of the Quadroads.” The guards scoff at this and pull him and Scanlan away. Scanlan argues, saying that he is merely being held captive by the goliath. Though the story is more believable, it falls apart when he introduces himself as “General Butler.”
Scanlan is steaming mad that they were arrested when merely walking down the street. They try to intimidate the guards, threatening to send Doty after them and warning of an even bigger danger. Scanlan, having no idea what Grog is talking about, casts major image to make a horrifying iron golum appear.
Grog: “Its final change is complete! Save yourselves!”
The guard pulls out a horn to warn others in the area. Grog pulls the horn away and breaks it. Scanlan yells that horns make the gollum angrier. The illusion stomps around angrily.
Scanlan says that the only way to calm the beast is to walk away slowly in separate directions. The captain sees through their ruse and arrests them both. As the captain puts the manacles on Grog, the goliath punches him in the face.
Scanlan polymorphs Grog into an eagle, and he flies away with Scanlan riding him. Guards shoot at them as they fly above the city.
They land in a residential area. Scanlan casts invisibility on both of them, and they make their way to Sarenrae’s temple. They meet up with the party just as they are leaving. Vox Machina wonders if news of Vecna’s return has traveled, explaining the increased number of guards. Grog and Scanlan explain what happened. The others are impressed that they were able to cause so much trouble in such a short amount of time.
Vax: “We just said goodbye to you.”
Keylet uses transport via plants to travel to the Fire Ashari. She warns the Ashari of the danger and tells them to use the crisis orbs.
The party planeshifts to Elysium. They pass across the dark blue astral sea and through the divine gate. They find themselves looking at a clear blue sky and standing on a beach made of pearls. A clear ocean completes the picture of paradise. Though there are no trees on the island, the hills bear the ruins of temples and statues. A giant crystal cathedral in the shape of a woman stands on the island in the distance. The party has arrived on the Island of Renewal.
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.