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Critical Role Recap: Episode 111 – “Shadows of Thomara”

SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 111 (obviously).  Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
Our recap of Episode 110 can be found here.

Vox Machina continues their trek to Thar Amphala.

Previously on Critical Role

Vox Machina began their trek through the titan in order to breach Thar Amphala from below. While traveling, they encountered many obstacles left by the cannibalistic dwarves before them. In addition to this, they also encountered undead creatures looking to attack anything that invaded their home. The party slowly made their way through the lower part of the titan, trying to save as many of their resources as possible.


Vax takes point on the next portion of their journey, searching for traps. Vex tells her brother to stay within 60 feet so he can stay under the effects of her ring.

He comes across a partially collapsed tunnel. Though he can see part of the way up, much of it is blocked from his vision. The twins mount Vex’s broom and fly up the tunnel. After traveling another 60 feet, Vax dismounts and continues to climb up. The incline of the tunnel gets steadily steeper. Eventually, is unable to pass the blockage. Vax whispers to his sister that Keyleth may be able to clear the blockage.

When word of the blockage reaches the others, they surmise that they can clear the blockage in time with the footfalls of the titan to avoid detection. Grog goes into a rage and rushes up the tunnel. The twins manage to squeeze past him, though the passage is tight.

Grog, timing his punch with the footfalls of the titan, punches the rock blockage. Rocks fall and he begins to see light from the next section of tunnel. He waits for a second footfall, and punches again, completely clearing the passage.

When the others join him, they see that the continuing hallway is an angular, dwarvish passageway. Vex looks for traps along the ceiling and walls while her brother searches the floor for traps.

They find no traps, but they come across a chamber containing a brazier. As they and the others enter, they notice that the room is mostly bare except for a mirror, and there is no exit.

As Vax looks around, he notices small buttons embedded in the wall near the mirror. He calls his sister over to further investigate. He tells Percy and Vex to think about a plan while he enters the room. Keyleth and Percy examine piles of ash, trying to see if it is humanoid remains. Percy notices that the carbon seems to be organic-based.

Vax pulls off his belt, and it transforms into Simon. He greets the snake and asks it to examine the brazier in the room. The snake slithers around the brazier, but nothing happens. Vax steps out of the room and asks his snake to push one of the buttons by the mirror. As soon as Simon presses one of the buttons, the entrance to the chamber closes off with an iron door. Percy reaches out and touches the iron. He feels it getting more and more hot. He tells the others that the chamber is an oven.

After about five minutes, the chamber opens again. A wave of heat passes over them. Vax looks into the room, and sees Simon, in belt form, on the ground. Despite the protests from the others, Keyleth and Scanlan enter the chamber after it cools down.

Scanlan notices that the mirror is reflecting glowing sigils that aren’t present anywhere but the reflection. Keyleth goes over to the wall where the sigils appear and heats it up. Again, they see the sigils appear in the reflection on the mirror.

Grog goes over to the sigil on the lower right and blows on the ash around it. He uncovers two vertical lines in the stone. Vex flies up on her broom to the one on the upper left and blows on that as well. She finds two more lines. They go around the door and the mirror uncovering more lines. In the process, they uncover dwarven runes around the door. Pike deciphers the runes for them. It has instructions for the order of the buttons and how many times to push each button.

They exit the room and Scanlan casts unseen servant. Giving the unseen servant a broken lance to hit the top buttons, he instructs it to press the buttons in the correct order.

Scanlan: “All right Simon II, take this lance. We’re going to tell you what buttons to press over there. Good speed. You’ll be fine. Hope you like burning a lot.”

He tells Simon II to press the buttons in the mirror image of the runes on the wall. The unseen servant successfully opens the door.

Vox Machina walks through the now open portal in the mirror. As soon as they all pass through, it shuts again. Before them is a dwarven staircase. After they climb the stairs, they find another curved hallway.

The tunnel ends in a larger crevasse over one hundred feet tall. Vax can’t faintly see thin bridges above them. Using his last divine sense, he searches for undead, finding none. Keyleth speculates that they are in the lungs of the titan. They notice a broken door on the other side of the passage they just walked through.

As they look around more, they realize that they are in the heart of Thomara. They see a fountain that has run dry and the remains of a temple in the distance.

They discuss leaving quickly, but Grog insists on investigating the temple to see if he can get something extra for being the heart of the titan. However, Vax argues that they need to move quickly, and Vecna had nothing to do with its creation.

After some more discussion, they decide to move on. Vex uses her last pass without a trace as they push forward. Vax keeps an eye out for enemies.

As they move towards the fountain, Vax notices shambling dwarven corpses ahead. He also sees a faint blue light from inside the temple. Vax starts to suggest that they put Grog on the carpet to aid in their stealth, and, as he does, Grog knocks over a large statue with his axe. This catches the attention of the creatures ahead and they begin to head towards the noise.

Two of the corpses see Grog. However, as they move forward, they are attacked by Vax and Vex. This catches the attention of the other skeletal dwarves in the area, and they rush over.

Percy takes a few swipes at the undead, killing a few of them.

After hiding again, they begin to make their way towards the temple. Scanlan gives his unseen servant two bones to hold. He instructs it to wait in a nearby building. They discuss their options as they sneak through. They weigh the potential drawbacks of sacrificing Vasselheim to give themselves more time to prepare. Keyleth argues against resting more and says that they should go straight to Vecna, but the others argue for grabbing the crystal ahead of them and improvising an escape.

Keyleth prepares to transform into an eagle. Vax plans to ride her out of the chamber. Vex and Percy mount Vex’s broom. The others prepare to climb onto the carpet.

Scanlan recalls his unseen servant. He takes the bones from it. He gives the unseen servant a handkerchief to cover the crystal with. He then instructs it to grab the handkerchief-covered crystal and return to them.

As Simon II picks up the crystal, the undead all notice. Grog, in an attempt to create a distraction, throws his hooded lantern across the room. The oil from the lamp ignites, distracting most of the horde. Still, two of the undead follow Simon II and the covered crystal. The twins attack them, obliterating them immediately.

Suddenly, the titan takes another step. A building collapses, revealing hundreds more of the undead.

The crystal brought to them, they launch into the air. Keyleth notices a small exit, and they fly above the hordes of undead, escaping the large chamber.

They land in a domed chamber with the hole they flew from in the center. Scanlan takes the crystal and examines it. The magical aura pulses in his hands. Grog suggests smashing it before facing Vecna.

They search the room for another exit. Vex finds a set of double doors behind a barricade. Vex and Vax search for traps, and then Vex tries to force the door open. Grog tries to give her suggestions, but she is unable to pull it open.

Grog forces the door open. Keyleth prepares to throw up wall of stone to impede approaching undead. He breaks does the door. The passageway is tightly packed with stone and earth. He forces the other door open, revealing the rest of the passageway.

They climb up the slick passageway, which they suspect was previously part of a waterfall. They see two crates off to the side. Opening them up, they see rusted tools and small glass vials. The glass vials contain a blueish liquid. Percy recognizes them as potions of underwater breathing. Vax gives them to Scanlan, Vex, and Percy.

As they continue, they reach a larger set of more refined stairs. Ahead, they hear a faint buzzing. They also see hooded figures stepping out of a crevasse in one of the walls. The party hides when the figure appears. They notice the hooded figures wearing sigils of Vecna.

Vex and Vax immediately followers of Vecna. The first of the three cultists is killed immediately. The other two are badly injured, but still alive.

One of the remaining cultists orders the other, Odell, to go for help. The other prepares to attack them.

Vex uses grasping vine to prevent the fleeing cultist from leaving. He is restrained, and she looses an arrow into him.

Grog rushes up to them and goes into a rage.

The cultist throws up a wall of force. He orders the other cultist to bring him the sphere. The restrained cultist brings out a sphere of annihilation.

The party tries to attack through the wall of force to no effect.

Shadowy wraiths emerge from the walls around the party and attack Vex, temporarily draining her life force.

Pike casts beacon of hope.

Scanlan uses dimension door to go past the wall of force. He comes out, surprising the cultists.

The sphere of annihilation rolls around, taking out a stone pillar.

A wraith attacks Keyleth. Keyleth and Pike attack it back.

Percy yells out to everyone to avoid the sphere at all costs. He and his wife wait until they are able to shoot at a target.

A wizard appears at the top of the stairs near Scanlan. He attempts to cast power word: stun on the gnome to no effect.

Scanlan casts Bigby’s Hand and swings it at the cultist pulling up the wall of force. It successfully hits, and the wall of force drops.

Seeing that the wall is now down, the others take their attacks. With two of the cultists now dead, they attack the wizard at the top of the stairs.

Keyleth runs up and unleashes a fireball from her staff, engulfing the wizard. He manages to dodge the brunt of the attack.

Pike swings her mace at one of the wraiths, killing it.

Percy pulls out Bad News. He fires at the cultist. The bullet finds its target, and he drops to the ground, dead.

The orb still rolls around the room. Carefully avoiding it, the party investigates and loots. They realize quickly that the sphere of annihilation was used for excavating the tunnels.

Scanlan goes over to the sphere and tries to intimidate it into listening to him. He focuses on the orb, feeling his will push towards the sphere. However, the orb approaches him quickly and begins to pull off his flesh. The others quickly pull him out of the way of the sphere.

Scanlan tries to exert his will over the orb again. This time, however, it works. It slams into the ceiling, eating away at the material there. They realize that they now have an easier way to travel through the tunnels.

Pike takes one of the cultist corpses and casts speak with dead. As the spell is cast, however, she yells out in pain. She tells the others that she only heard laughter. They throw the remaining corpses into the sphere.

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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