SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 74 (obviously). Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
Fiona’s recap of Episode 74 can be found here.
Vox Machina ventures forth to Fort Daxio and begin the process of preparing for their confrontation with The Cinder King.
Previously on Critical Role
The party returns to Whitestone after the slaying of the white dragon Vorugal. They plan their next move with their allies and Percy reveals to everyone that Asum is in fact, the green dragon Raishan who was seemingly defected to their side in the fight against Thordak…for now. The discuss a plan to lure Thordak away from his perch in Emon, perhaps by feinting Raishan’s death, and they speculate Fort Daxio may be the best battlefield to lure him to.
Vox Machina (mostly) wraps up their planning and concludes to travel to Fort Daxio to scout it out. Keyleth suggests she could scry on someone to spot a tree to transport to but they realize they don’t know anyone at Fort Daxio to scry on. They ask Allura if she knows anyone at Fort Daxio. She says the only people she knew from there is in Syngorn in the Feywild. Keyleth attempts to track down some of the guards to see if any of them know anyone from Fort Daxio but she doesn’t have any luck. They decide to ask Gilmore. He tells them he doesn’t know anyone. They ask him if he has a method of transporting them there quickly. He tells them he doesn’t but Allura might.
They go to track down Allura again. Scanlan hums the tune of “Yakety Sax.”
Allura confirms she could transport herself and eight others if they’d like. The party prepares to leave. They contemplate fetching Kima to bring along but decide against it.
Allura: “Alright, just don’t tell her. She gets a little testy when she’s not included.”
Allura preforms the teleportation ritual, and they all vanish from Whitestone Castle.
Vox Machina and Allura appear in a rocky ravine. They catch a glimpse of the massive stronghold of Fort Daxio to the east. It is far larger than they expected. They quickly survey the area and assess it for a possible showdown location with Thordak.
They are spotted as they approach and they hear a horn blast to alert the fort to the mysterious group that approaches. Crossbowmen among the ramparts take position.
Allura steps up to take the lead. She shouts out to the fort: “Arcanist Allura Vysoren, member of the Tal’dore Council, here with allies to speak with who resides within. Will you allow us passage?”
A moment passes before the gates of the fort crack open. The party approach and notice fifteen guards watching them cautiously. They enter into the courtyard inside the gate. They notice several trebuchets, ballistas, and other counter-siege weapons in various states of disrepair.
They approached by several troops and an armored woman leading them.
She greets Allura, telling them they have not heard from the Tal’dore Council in weeks. Allura introduces Vox Machina. She cuts her off and asks if there has been any word from Warmaster Mikael Daxio and the other regiments.
Vex tells her they are still in Syngorn.
She sighs, processing this information. She introduces herself to the party as General Ellie Gorifaun and welcomes the party to Fort Daxio. She turns to lead everyone further into the fort to speak in a more private setting.
As they follow her, they notice the fort is not well-manned. There is only a light regiment tasked with the defense of the fort while the bulk of the forces are away.
They are lead to the General’s office. Vex asks them how many soldiers are currently stationed at the fort. She says they currently have 225 soldiers. Should all the regiments return from Syngron they would have close to 2,000.
Scanlan asks about morale and supplies. General Ellie confesses they are running low on supplies, and that their trade routes to Crag Hammer have been plagued with wyvren riders. They are on the verge of starvation.
Vex tells her that the Warmaster’s return may be beyond his control. That Syngorn is currently in the Feywild.
The party discusses ways of replenishing the fort’s food and supplies.
The general asks Allura if the party can be trusted, and she assures her that they can be. They tell her that they have already felled three of the five members of the Chroma Conclave.
They share their plan to consolidate their forces at the fort and lure Thordak to them, using themselves as bait.
General Gorifaun is reluctant. They assure her that they will do everything they can to feed and rejuvenate her forces as well as re-enforce them with the regiments from Syngorn as well as all their other allies from Whitestone.
Gorifaun: “Very well. If you are confident, you have Fort Daxio and the Aegis Regiment behind you. I just hope you know what you are doing.”
Grog: “Oh, we do. We’ve killed a number of them and none of us have died yet.”
Vex: “Not even a little bit.”
The party inquires about the siege equipment and trebuchets. She tells them that only three are functional and twelve are well out of disrepair. She points out that the fort has not been under siege in decades.
Percy assures them that they can start preparing the fort and getting ready.
Grog: “Yeah, it just a montage waiting to happen!”
They conclude their meeting. Keyleth heads outside to assess the surrounding area to see if she could revitalize crops or anything. She determines that there is not sufficient existing plant growth to create crops for the fort.
Scanlan suggests casting Mordekainen’s Magnificent Mansion to function as a soup kitchen of sorts to feed the troops. He asks Gorifaun where she would want him to set it up but she is unsure what he is talking about. He explains the spell to her.
Gorifaun to Allura: “I can’t tell, is the little man fucking with me?”
Allura: “Usually yes, but no, he is being completely honest right now.”
She shows him to the mess hall.
Percy evaluates the trebuchets and anti-siege defenses. Even the three “functional” trebuchets still appear in disrepair. Many of the others have been pushed aside and appear to be far beyond repair. Percy begins making plans for the repair of the three. He assess the defenses for any improvements that could be made using stone shape or otherwise.
Vex and Vax fly above to further assess the surrounding region for any tactical advantages.
Scanlan is seeing to a line of soldiers to allow them access into the mansion for their chicken dinners. Many of them are cautious and apprehensive of this magic and the mansion’s spectral servants but their hunger is far greater.
The chicken is absolutely spiced with fusaka.
Keyleth begins creating underground dragon bunkers using move earth.
Percy works late into the night, but manages to completely repair one trebuchet.
In the morning the party debates how to send word to allies telling them to gather at Fort Daxio. The twins and Keyleth contemplate planeshifting to the Feywild to alert their father and the regiments there. Scanlan is concerned with the possible time fluctuations that could occur upon their return. Allura says she has a spell that can send messages to anyone, even across planes.
The party gives her several messages to send. To Syldor, telling him to regroup at Fort Daxio and to bring Ukurat and the lycans if they can and one to Mikael to rally his troops.
Vax: “Tell our father, his children need him.”
Vex: “I don’t know if that will help at all.”
Allura sends her messages then departs for Whitestone. The party tells her, that when Damon and the airship arrive, to load the ship with supplies and to send it to Daxio. And that she should also collect their allies (Zahra, Kasha, Kima, etc) for transportation to the fort as well. Gilmore will stay to maintain the barrier around Whitestone, Allura will come to the fort.
The group decides to head to Elemental Plane of Fire to retrieve the last vestige, the Dawn Martyr Plate for Pike and to possibly investigate Thordaks connection there. They decide to first transport via plants to Pyra first to speak to the leader of the Fire Ashari, Cerkonos, to see if he will guide them in the Fire Plane.
They arrive in Pyra. Keyleth is delighted to discover there are more survivors of the Fire Ashari than she initially realized. The find Cerkonos, who has since regrown his arm since their last meeting.
They ask him if her knows anything about an “Ember Seed” or Thordak’s connection to the Fire Plane. He confesses that he does not.
They tell him that they are venturing to the City of Brass on the Fire Plane and ask if he can lead them. He says that that is a very dangerous place. No place for an Ashari. He says he can take them there, if they wish, but he will not enter it.
They determine the City of Brass is too far from the rift at Pyra to enter the plane there and travel there on foot. They decide to planeshift directly there.
They arrive on the fire plane and are instantly assaulted by blistering heat. The spot the massive gleaming city some distance away.
They are spotted by efreeti guards at the gate. The fire djinn immediately confronts them.
Scanlan takes the lead. One of the efreeti asks what their business is in the city. Scanlan lies and tells them that they are here to sell his fearsome beast, currently invisible. He “reveals” the beast by casting an major image of a massive hulking Goristro. The efreet are shocked, but skeptical that such a small creature could control such a fearsome beast.
Vex buys their passage with a bag of gems.
The party enters. The city is much older than even Ank’harel. They notice many humans and humanoids appear to be enslaved by efreet.
Vax looks around for un-enslaved humanoids.
Two efreet begin casually follow the group of outsiders.
Vax approaches a tiefling and a strange humanoid of a race he doesn’t recognize. He has inhuman eyes and wild orange hair. They both wear matching white and gold robes. He tells them that he is foreign and clueless and would like some help.
The tiefling sizes him up, glancing past him at the rest of the party and efreet beyond, and tells him to follow him and his companion.
Vax gestures for the others to follow. Grog is uneasy of the two they are following and hangs back. The two efreet behind the group catch up to him.
The efreet intend to keep Grog.
Grog smashes his titanstone knuckles together to enlarge himself. He grows to about the same height as the fire djinn.
Pike, Scanlan, and Keyleth hang back to bail Grog out of this predicament. Vex follows her brother and Percy tries to hold the middle ground between his splitting party.
Pike tells the efreet that they are searching for the temple of Pelor. The efreet offer to take them there.
Vax grows cautious and questions the tiefling where he is taking them. The tiefling turns to respond but spots Grog and the efreet. He sighs and tells Vax to follow them into the next ally. The twins and Percy follow, Percy still trying to keep the others in his sight.
The efreet begin guiding the others to turn left. Pike attempts to cast zone of truth, but it fails. Keyleth alters self into a tiefling in an attempt to deceive their way to freedom as Grog intentionally pretends to trip. Scanlan casts dominate monster on one of the efreeti, instructing it to advise the other to let them all go. The other argues before turning to Scanlan, demanding to know what the gnome did to his companion.
Scanlan begins to talk his way out before abandoning the deception and shouting to the dominated efreeti to “KILL HIM. KILL HIM NOW!”
The charmed efreeti lunges at the other and a scuffle ensues. Pike, Keyleth, and Grog take off to catch up with the others. Scanlan hangs back to ensure his spell holds while his friends escape before misty stepping to the ally himself.
The tiefling and the other humanoid lead them through the alleyways eventually leading them into a small storage room. The whole party piles in, quickly cramming inside.
The wait in darkness. The strange humanoid (a fire genasi) introduces himself as Cenokier, and the tiefling, Utan. Cenokier tells them to wait for a few moments, then they will all go to his place of business to talk more.
They go. The duo are both jewelers. Cenokier tells them that they owe him a favor for helping them out of their predicament.
Vex casts locate object on the Dawnmartyr plate but cannot locate it. It is out of range.
Keyleth asks Cenokier and Utan if they know of Thordak. Cenokier says he has heard of him but has never seen him. That the dragon spent most of its time on the other side of the sea of fire.
The party tells him they are looking for a powerful artifact said to be won by a fire giant in a game of cards. Cenokier tells them there are only three fire giants in the city not under subjugation and he can take them to them if they wish, though they would own him yet another favor in return.
Cenokier seems to be very pleased with being owed favors from the party and it is making them uneasy.
The party discusses how they can traverse the city without attracting attention. Cenokier has Utan fetch shackles for them to wear. This does not help the party’s uneasiness.
Percy clarifies that they are willing to return to fulfill any favors owed, however none of those favors will include permanent enslavement of any of their number. The party jokes that sexual favors are okay too.
Scanlan checks out the shackles for any magic effects and finds none. He slaps the chains on to himself.
Vax attunes his ring of invisibility so as to remain unshackled. Once Vex is shackled he gives her an invisible wet-willy. Cenokier chuckles wryly.
Keyleth alters self into a genasi, like Cenokier.
Cenokier leads the party out into the City of Brass to speak to Whaska.
To be continued…
Episode 75 – “Where the Cards Fall”
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