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Critical Role Recap: Episode 108 – “The Core Anvil”

SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 108 (obviously).  Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
Our recap of Episode 107 can be found here.

Vox Machina attempts to forge trammels at the Core Anvil.

Previously on Critical Role

After convincing The Raven Queen, Sarenrae, Pelor, and Ioun to help them in the coming battle with Vecna, Vox Machina searches for The Core Anvil, a divine forge, to create prime trammels: weapons that will weaken Vecna. They head to Shorecomb where they are lead out to sea to the active volcano where the Core Anvil is said to be. They dive into the water and create an entrance into the volcano. From there, they find a path to an underground chamber. In the hexagonal room, they see giant statues that begin to animate as the items in the chamber are disturbed.


The statues around the room spring to life.

Vex, on her broom, hunter’s marks the statue closest to Percy. She looses an arrow, but it shatters across its chest. She looses another, and it pierces the armor. She flies up closer to the ceiling.

Meanwhile, her brother begins to fight as well. In retaliation, the statue swings its massive sword at the flying rogue paladin. He staggers in the air, but stays aloft.

Grog goes into a rage. He swings at a construct with his hammer.

The statue turns towards Percy, who is still on the wall nearby. He starts to run away, but the massive statue swings at him, nearly knocking him off the wall. Percy looks back and shoots its hand, knocking the sword away.

One of the statues notices Vex flying above them in the air. It leaps off the wall to try to knock her down. It drags her off the broom and slams her into the coals below.

A furnace burning in the chest of one of the constructs blasts out into the room. Keyleth and Scanlan take the brunt of the flames. They notice the flames sealing up the wounds in the statues.

Scanlan casts Bigby’s hand. It picks up the sword and swings at one of the statues. It connects with the statue, damaging it.

Scanlan also inspires Keyleth.

Keyleth casts tidal wave. Water rushes past two of the constructs, knocking them over. It also hits Vex, which injures her, but helps with the burning coals. Steam clouds the room as Keyleth turns into a water elemental.

Vax lands next to one of the statues. He stabs at its hollow face. Using his smite ability, he strikes twice. The embers burning inside the statue burn out, and it falls to the ground, defeated.

Grog recklessly attacks one of the still-standing constructs. He slams into it, and the chest of the statue collapses inward. The flames animating the construct burn out. He rushes the final construct and swings again, removing the armored chest plate.

Percy, seeing the prone, final construct, takes aim. He shoots at the statue. The bullet ricochets through the construct. The flames extinguish, and the final construct is defeated.

They examine the defeated constructs. Grog tears the head off of one of them. He points out that their faces are like the pit above the coals. He removes the other two heads. Scanlan uses Bigby’s hand to hold the metallic bodies in place.

Grog sets up each of the heads for smithing. Each facial cavity is filled with 100 melted platinum. When it cools, he turns over the heads, and the formed platinum falls out. Though three of the sides are smooth, one is jagged on each. Putting the jagged sides together forms a single pyramid piece. The piece of platinum is the perfect size for the triangular pedestal in the middle of the room.

They insert the platinum piece. Nothing happens.

Vex tries to push the piece in farther, but still nothing happens. Grog goes into a rage, and, taking a running start, he punches the piece further into the pedestal. The noise of the impact echos through the chamber. Still, the only difference is that now that piece has the imprint of his fist.

Keyleth drops her elemental form. She uses burning hands to reignite the coals. Still, there is no change.

They try to reheat the platinum before inserting them into the pedestal. Still nothing.

They examine the other pieces of the constructs. They see that the constructs are made of a red volcanic glass metal.

The party, running out of ideas, uses the head of the constructs again, but this time, they use gold rather than platinum. They reinsert the pieces. Suddenly, there is the clanging of chains. A wall begins to slowly rise up. Everyone except Grog and Scanlan immediately hides, sensing danger.

Black smoke fills in from the chamber beyond. Sparks and embers glow through the smoke. The rhythmic pounding becomes louder. Streams of molten rock glow orange and red and converge on a single, obscured point.

Looking in, they see spiral staircases rising to a platform. They see a dark object with streams of glowing orange. They notice that this object is an anvil. Chains dangle off it and off the edge of the platform.

Looming over the anvil, they see a 20 foot tall stocky humanoid faceless figure. It does not move or seem to notice them. The rhythmic pounding continues. In one of its hands is an impressive looking hammer chained to the platform. They realize that they have arrived at the core anvil.

Keyleth, anticipating a battle, summons a water elemental.

Vax sneaks into the room to examine the large humanoid. He flies up to the creature and waves his hand.

He is unable to make out the back of the room from where he is. The creature has no reaction to his presence.

Vax returns to the others. They discuss what to do next. Keyleth casts freedom of movement and enhance ability on Grog.

Percy, speaking in Celestial, walks into the room and greets the creature. He says that they are seeking the assistance of the Allhammer. The others follow into the room after him.

The giant turns towards Percy as they all enter. It drops the hammer. Percy asks permission to use the anvil.

Grog takes the lead, and walks up the stairs to the platform. As he walks, he sees the giant turn again. In one hand, it holds a 15 foot blade inscribed with runes. However, he holds it in a way that seems ceremonial rather than threatening.

The heat becomes more stifling as they proceed up the stairs. They feel their eyebrows beginning to singe. Grog approaches the anvil with the platinum. The giant turns the sharpened edge of the blade towards Grog. Grog steps away, and the giant turns the blade flat again. Closer now, Percy recognizes the creature as a very refined golem.

Grog looks at the chains dangling off the anvil. He tries to remember which chain leads to the hammer.

Scanlan reads the runes on the blade. It curses the physical form of what touches the blade.

Grog searches for the hammer. He sees flames burst from the massive machine making the rhythmic thuds. They search around for a way to create the anvils.

Vex looses an arrow near the golem. It reacts by swinging the massive blade behind them. It cuts the chains to the entrance, trapping them inside. It steps back into an offensive position.

Percy immediately tells the party to make peace with the golem rather than fight. He prepares himself for an attack, but does not make the first move.

Vax rushes over to Keyleth. He casts bless on her, Percy, and Scanlan. He moves over to Vex.

The creature attacks them with the massive blade. Percy misfires at the creature twice, but manages to fix Animus.

The creature hits Grog with the blade. It knocks him 15 feet back and he almost falls off the platform. He is blinded by the blade.

Vex uses disengage to escape the giant. She looses two arrows, missing the first, but the second strikes her target.

Scanlan, though he is frightened of the giant, casts lightning bolt. He also inspires Grog.

The creature attempts to strike against Vax, but he ducks out of the way before the blow lands.

Keyleth’s elemental attempts to attack, but none of the attacks have any effect.

Keyleth changes into a planetar. However, she loses her concentration on her elemental, causing it to become hostile towards them. She moves over to Grog to make sure he does not fall into the liquid metal below.

Percy notices the hammer and runs over to it, leaping over a river of lava in the process. He sees runes on the hammer, but he is unable to make out what they say.

The golem swings again. Vax uses uncanny dodge to avoid some of the damage, but he is still blinded. He disengages and retreats as far as possible.

In the chaos, Scanlan is knocked off the platform and into the molten lava below.

Vex goes over to Grog and casts lesser restoration, restoring his sight. Grog rages, but there is nothing near enough to him to attack.

Scanlan casts Bigby’s hand. It grabs the blade and tries to wrestle it away from the giant.

The water elemental attacks the party.

Keyleth goes over to Vax and heals him to bring back his sight. She flies past the giant. The blade hits her, but she successfully fights against the blindness and keeps her planetar form.

Grog rushes the golem. He hits the giant twice. It swings the blade back at him. The blade hits, but he shakes off the blindness. Grog retaliates with another hit. The golem is finally starting to crack and show the glowing orange beneath its armor.

The giant swings again. It hits Vax, Vex, Grog, Scanlan, and the elemental. Everyone except Scanlan is blinded. However, Bigby’s hand fades.

As the battle continues and most of the party is blinded, the giant takes another swing at Vax, knocking him out.

Grog attacks the creature, hitting despite his blindness. His vision clears.

Keyleth, still a planetar, flies down to Vex and casts healing touch.

Vax, despite being unconscious, stabilizes without healing.

The giant kicks Scanlan while attacking Grog. They are both hit. Scanlan is kicked back into the lava. Vex quickly flies down to rescue him. She pulls him out just as he loses consciousness.

Keyleth flies over to the giant. She multi-attacks, hitting each time. With a final burst of radiant energy, the golem’s armor expands and explodes. Inside is a beating red gem that dims and goes cold. The guardian drops the blade and walks to the side of the chamber. It places the blade on the wall and becomes still.

Vex casts cure wounds, reviving Scanlan. They quickly take care of the water elemental and rest.

Grog examines the core anvil. He sees various tools surrounding it. He pulls the hammer up.

Percy explains the process to the others. First, they need to smelt the platinum into bars. Then, they must shatter the beads of divinity and fold them into the metal. From there, they must form the trammels. Finally, they must enchant the trammels with the correct runes.

They go over to the broken chains at the entrance. Keyleth and Grog pull one chain while Bigby’s hand pulls the other. They secure the chains.

Grog goes into the first chamber. He takes a pair of tongs and smelts the platinum. Grog forms it into bars. Keyleth creates water into a trough to cool the metal. They go back to the anvil.

Grog takes Ioun’s bead. Going into a rage, he smashes it. A bright, vaugely blue light, bursts out from the bead. He folds it into the first bar, forging a trammel.

He repeats the process with Pelor’s bead. He easily creates the trammel. Lastly, he attempts to smash the Raven Queen’s bead. He hits it once with no effect. He hits it again. This time, a crack appears in the bead. On the third attempt, he manages to smash it.

He takes all three trammels and expertly sharpens the tips and forms the rest of the trammel.

The final step is for Percy to chisel the runes into the trammels. Finding no small hammer for the delicate work, Percy attempts to attune to the large hammer. It shrinks to the appropriate size.

Percy, almost in a trance, allows the knowledge of the blueprints for the trammels to control his hands. He tinkers a scroll across the trammels. Scanlan inspires him and Keyleth casts cat’s grace to assist him in his mission.

His first attempt is successful. However, on the second trammel, the trammel begins to bend and snap. With diligent focus, he attempts to finish the trammel without breaking anything.

He successfully finishes the scroll. The trammel is fragile, but it is sufficient.

Percy easily finishes the final trammel.

They drop all three into the water. It sizzles and they start to cool. Grog looks at the trammels with pride. Percy sits on the stairs, exhausted.

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.

Fiona L.F. Kelly (@FionaLFKelly)
Fiona L.F. Kelly is a writer, editor, and podcaster. She has published numerous articles about all things gaming and pop culture on websites all across the internet, was also a writer for Trinity Continuum: Aberrant 2e, and has been published in books and magazines. She is an editor for the pop culture and media website GeekGals.co. In addition to her writing and editing, she has also been a guest and host on several podcasts. She hosts the Project Derailed podcast Big Streaming Pile, produces and performs on Fables Around the Table, and plays the githyanki pirate Rav’nys on Tales of the Voidfarer. Buy her a coffee: ko-fi.com/fionalfkelly

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