SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 107 (obviously). Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
Our recap of Episode 106 can be found here.
Vox Machina travels to Scaldseat, the volcanic home of the core anvil.
Previously on Critical Role
Vecna ascended to godhood. Ioun named Scanlan her champion and agreed to join Pelor, The Raven Queen, and Sarenrae in giving a piece of herself to create a prime trammel. With four available pieces to make the trammels, and the final members of the party imbued with different aspects of the knowledge to create the trammels, the party planned to travel to Shorecomb to find Scaldseat.
Vax pulls Keyleth aside in the mansion and shuts the door behind them.
Vax: “I know that you are angry, and I just… I’m sorry.”
Keyleth: “I was angry. I was very angry. And even if we would have had this conversation yesterday, I might be yelling that to your face right now.”
She pauses for a few moments.
“But it’s hard to be angry at bravery and selflessness. We always had the problem of you having one too many ladies in your life. It’s hard to compete with a god.”
He tells her that the course of the last few days has been his only regret in life. He regrets that he isn’t either dead of alive, and instead temporarily walking between worlds until Vecna is defeated. Still, he tells her that he is thankful for the time he has left with her.
Keyleth asks about the semantics of the Raven Queen’s offer, but Vax simply says it was the only way back. He says that he has faith in The Raven Queen and will not push the boundaries of their deal.
Keyleth tells him her worries brought on by Sprigg. She worries that she will end up like him: unable to remember the names and faces of her teammates.
Keyleth: “What if there comes a day when I don’t even recognize the name Vox Machina anymore?”
Vax reassures her and gives her a hug. Keyleth mentions that she still has to get used to how cold he is.
The next morning, they eat their vegan breakfasts and discuss preparing a hero’s feast. Pike says that she will help prepare the hero’s feast, but she also says that she must stay in Vasselheim to protect her temple and the people there. She adds that she has a sending spell prepared in case the city is attacked.
Grog is very upset that his best friend isn’t coming with them. He asks for something of hers to remind him of her until they are reunited. She asks for his blood axe. She takes it and cuts off a lock of her hair. She braids it onto the blood axe and tells Grog to not eat it. He takes it off of the blood axe and ties it onto his necklace.
They take an hour to eat the hero’s feast. To add to it, Keyleth does her inspiring speech. However, since she woke up with a headcold, she does an interpretive dance of their coming journey.
Before Pike leaves, Scanlan asks her to send word to Kaylie that he is alright and going off to save the world. Keyleth asks that she send one to Tary as well. Pike sends both via the sending spell.
Grog asks Pike to cast death ward on one of the party members. They all agree it should be Percy or Vex. Both want to the other to take it. After a game of boulder, parchment, shears, Pike tells them she can cast it on both of them. She saves a spell slot for a sending spell.
Pike leaves with a final wave, and the rest of the party teleports through a tree. They arrive at Shorecomb. Scanning the horizon, they are unable to see the smoke coming from the volcano, as there is an incoming storm. Seeing the steep drop down from the cliff that they’re standing on, Keyleth warns the others that 1,000 feet is a very long way to fall.
As they go down to the docks, Vax sees a little girl in a bonnet. He calls out to her to ask for directions to the volcano. However, when she turns around, he sees that it is not a little girl in bonnet, but a small man with a cloth wrapped around a tooth infection.
He gestures vaguely towards the ocean. Vex bribes him with gold to tell them exactly where the volcano is. He takes the gold and points to it. It is about five miles out from shore. He also tells them his name is Fenna.
They tell Fenna that they need to get to the volcano. He takes them over to Senth, the dockmaster. He warns them, however, that she has a thing against “smaller folk” while nodding towards Scanlan. They briefly discuss disguising him, but Vex demands that they bring him in undisguised on principle.
When they enter the office, they see Senth, a lanky half-orc. She asks how long they wish to charter a ship and if they would need a crew. She quotes them 150 gold for the rental of the ship and crew with a 500 gold deposit. Percy takes a look at the contract and feels it is more or less standard for what they are asking. They sign the contract.
Scanlan asks if he can offer up a platinum bracelet for the deposit. Senth accepts this. However, as soon as he hands it over, they remember that they need platinum. Scanlan awkwardly asks for the bracelet back and offers gold instead. Senth glares at him, but she accepts.
She guides them to The Shore Shanty.
Grog: “Shanty is a fancy word for mansion, right?”
The Shore Shanty is a terribly maintained tug boat. They accept the ship despite its condition. They go on board to meet the crew. They see some crusty, well-weathered sailors. Vox Machina tells the crew where they want to go, and the ship sets sail. Keyleth casts gust to speed up their journey.
As they sail, they struggle to make conversation with the captain. Vax asks if he can speak. The other crew members sharply breath in. The captain simply spits on the floor in front of them. Sensing how awkward they’ve made things, they dive into the water, now much closer to their destination.
After about 60 feet, the water starts to get murky. Percy pulls out his flashlight to light their way. The water gets warmer as they get closer to the volcano.
The land on a column at the top of the volcano. There is no soot or sediment from the force of the vents. There is only dark rock with bursts of plant life in its porous surface.
Keyleth casts commune with nature to learn more about the volcano. She asks if there are man-made tunnels into the volcano. She senses that there is not. Next, she asks if there are any tunnels. There is, but it is only the top of the volcano. Finally, she searches for hostile creatures. She senses an elemental move through rock just inside the range of the spell.
They discuss the merits of tunneling into the volcano versus going through the top. Vax begins to swim down to the volcano. As he swims into the volcano, despite his resistance, the water beings to burn him and the pressure works against him. Still, he pushes on. The smoke and ash cloud his vision as he continues to move down. Even in his current form, Vax has to abandon his path and go back to the others. He tells them that they must find another way in.
They search the volcano for a fissure or weak point. When they find one, they task Grog with punching through. He does, and Keyleth controls the water to maintain a pocket of air. They all rush inside. She pushes the water away. It immediately begins to rush back. She instantly casts wall of stone and shuts them inside the volcano.
As they begin to talk, they realize that they are having difficulties drawing in breath. They realize that the air is poisoned. The poison itself isn’t killing them, but they are unable to draw in oxygen as there is none. Percy goes over to a small pool of water in the center of the room. He sticks his head in and is able to breath in the water. He signals to the others and they do the same. The only exception is Vax, who does not need to breath.
The pool, they realize, is a tunnel. They all dive in and follow it. There is a light in the distance. Vax swims ahead, finding more tunnels. He finds another chamber, but this one is also devoid of oxygen. He searches for the next pool of water.
He searches for another pool of water. He tries to leap over a stream of magma, but his foot catches into the magma. He pulls the foot out and continues on. He tells them through the earring that the next pool is 2 minutes away and they have to jump over lava.
Vex puts Trinket in her necklace and prepares to put Scanlan on the broom with her to rush to the next location. Grog, in a moment of brillance, points out that they can put their heads into the alchemy jug and breathe through it. They are all very impressed with his idea.
They cross the river of magma with no issues. However, they sense a rumbling in the ground beneath them. They begin to stealthily move forward. Suddenly, the rumbling stops.
A large pointed object pierces the wall right by Grog. An orange glow emits from its mouth. It pulls itself through the wall. It has a solid armored front and no eyes. Percy recognizes this as an elemental-infused bulette. Two smaller ones suddenly appear.
The party stands perfectly still as the blind beings sniff around them. The largest one moves towards Grog. Silently, Grog begins to rage.
Realizing there is no other option, Vex hunter’s marks the creature. She looses a lightning arrow towards it. The bulettes lose interest in Grog and begin to persue Vex, who flys away on her broom.
Grog attacks the largest one, hitting twice. Its blood burns him.
Scanlan inspires Grog and then transforms into a planetar.
He takes off into the air, flying over the bulettes.
The smaller bulettes attack Scanlan and Vax.
Keyleth enters the battle, casting chain lightning. It hits all three creatures. None of them are able to dodge out of the way and take the full blast of lightning.
The largest bites at Grog and manages to swallow him. Inside the bulette, Grog smashes his titanstone knuckles together, enlarging himself. With his sudden expansion in size, he bursts through the bulette, killing it. He jumps across the river of lava to one of the smaller ones, cleaving its head in half.
From the air, Scanlan attacks the final bulette with his sword, killing it as well.
The battle over, they search around for a moment before realizing that they still cannot breathe.They go back into the water and continue to search for the anvil.
Vex casts pass without a trace. She and her brother scout ahead.
The tunnel in front of them comes to an end. Scanlan detects evil, but senses none. He does, however, notice a smoother section of the wall in front of him. On it, he sees glyphs. There is a faint arcane glow around the exit seal, but mostly he notices the message in front of him:
“Here the crafters’ halls lay dark. Here the means of making the World Ender gone. Allhammer protect us all.”
The Allhammer, Scanlan knows, is a diety of family and forging. He was the creator of the core anvil. Scanlan reports this to the rest of the party telepathically.
The others join him at the door. Facing the door, they try to open it. After trying a few options, Grog uses his strength to force the door open. The glyphs and runes break away and the metal behind the door gives way, revealing a set of stairs.
After the door opens, Vax and, surprisingly, Grog check for traps. They find none.
Scanlan flies over to Vex. He telepathically asks if Scanlan or his planetar form is better looking. He warns her that he can sense any lie. Vex truthfully says that Scanlan’s true form is her favorite.
As they walk, they feel heat radiating from the stairs. They also notice that each step is about three feet down; clearly intended for gods and not mortals.
There is oxygen in this chamber, but it is thin and mixed with the poisonous gas. As they get closer, Vex hears a deep, steady rhythmic drum. It grows louder the more they descend. The others hear it shortly after.
Carved into the metal walls surrounding them are figures posing in both attack and defense. Percy and Vex inspect them. These are expertly crafted.
They reach a hexagonal chamber. The metal walls glow red from the volcanic heat. In the center of the room is a glowing pit of heated coals. He also sees a raised relief made of gold with a triangular well in the center. He also sees more figures they saw posed in the staircase before.
Scanlan drops his planetar form. Grog drops his enlarged form as well.
The party enters the room. The figures are missing a face, and in its place is a hollow triangle. They search the room for something that can fill the triangular hole in the relief. Percy climbs up the wall to one of the figures. He tries to remove one of the helmets. As he does so, he notices that the triangular gap on its face is imperfect.
Suddenly, there is a flash of orange light. All three of the figures spring to life.
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.