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Critical Role Recap: Episode 79 – “Thordak”

SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 79 (obviously).  Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
My recap of Episode 78 can be found here.

Vox Machina fights Thordak, the Cinder King.

Previously on Critical Role

The party used their final moments before battle to reach out to the Air Ashari and to gather potions and weapons for the siege ahead. Once everything was in place, Vox Machina and some of their allies dashed through the tunnels to enter Emon underground. After successfully breaching the gates of the city, they faced two fire giants. Zahra and Kashaw volunteered to face the giants while the party moved on, leaving their fates unknown. Grog smashed through the final gate to face Thordak.


With Thordak’s massive form looming over them, the party quickly takes potions to protect themselves in the coming battle. Vex quietly casts pass without a trace.

Thordak: “Ah. There you are.”

The battle begins.

Pike asks them to hold for a moment as Thordak’s eyes come to rest on them. Percy makes the first move. He uses his spider climb ability to climb up onto the wall to cast hex on Thordak. He then pulls out Bad News and fires two shots. The first shot lands successfully.


Percy drops back down behind cover.

Keyleth comes out from her hiding place and casts tsunami. A massive wall of water begins to head towards Thordak. However, when the wave gets to Thordak, it splits on him, leaving no damage. Water spills into the tunnel and puts out a nearby fire.

As the battle continues, Grog rushes towards the dragon.

Thordak: “Moving targets.”

Thordak takes a massive step forward and unleashes his flame breath, hitting Vex, Percy, Vax, Pike, Scanlan, Trinket, Grog, and Gilmore. To help save his friends, Scanlan quickly uses cutting words.

Scanlan: “What sexual position makes the ugliest children? I don’t know. Ask your mama!”

Vox Machina nervously laughs at his joke as they take the brunt of the blast. Vax uses evasion to move out of the way of the blast. Grog, Percy, Pike, and Scanlan manage to brush off some of the blast from their fire resistance potions. Trinket is immediately knocked unconscious from the blast and goes back into Vex’s necklace. Vex manages to shield herself from the bulk of the flames.

Grog, after being thoroughly burned by the dragon’s attack, goes into a rage and attacks The Cinder King. Grog hits the beast several times, but only one of his attacks causes him any injury.

Vex uses her boots of haste to run and attack Thordak. She rushes out from her hiding place and uses hunter’s mark on the dragon. She looses a bramble shot arrow that sticks into Thordak. She again looses an arrow, this time with a poisoned tip. A third arrow is loosed before she runs back to a hiding place.

Pike casts beacon of hope to aid her allies.

Raishan flys down in her dragon form and lands on top of one of the buildings. Vox Machina is unsure if she will actually hold up her end of the bargain, or betray them. Her chest expands as she prepares her breath attack. She unleashes it towards Thordak.

Thordak: “You’ll die especially painfully.”

Raishan tells the party to attack. Keyleth says that she will, but not because Raishan told her too.


As the battle continues, Thordak attacks Grog again with his bite, two tail attacks, and a claw attack, each one ripping at the Goliath. As he slams his tail down, flames shoot up, and for a moment, Thordak appears not only as a dragon, but as a fire god. Jarrett trembles in fear at this.


Thordak summons two fire elementals.

They hear something flying through the sky during the battle. Scanlan, Vax, and Keyleth look up to see the sky ship flying towards them.

During the battle, Thordak begins to talk to himself.

Thordak: “Don’t worry. We’ll take them down. Every single one.”

Vax takes the potion of invulnerability. He casts hunter’s mark and pulls out the Dragon Slayer Sword. He then flys up to Thordak and attacks him.

Vax: “My friends are going to fucking kill you today, you fuck.”


He flys up to Thordak’s face to attack and arches over his head. Thordak snaps at him, but misses. Vax hides behind a nearby building.

Scanlan uses Bigby’s Hand to punch one of the fire elementals. He then casts lightning bolt, hitting the same elemental.

Percy fires a shot and hits Grog, missing the fire elemental and Thordak. He pushes back on the fire elemental, injuring it and pushing it back ten feet.

The ground between Grog and Kima splits open and a sulfurous gas leaks out. It fills their lungs and settles in the area in a heavy smoke.

Two wyverns see that Thordak is being attacked, and they peel off from the main battle to join the fray. Raishan flies up to them and attacks. Thordak unleashes another wing attack against Grog, knocking him prone.

Keyleth casts thunderwave on the fire elemental. Unable to take anymore damage, it crumbles into ash.

Raishan rips the head off of the wyvern she’s fighting. Its rider plummets towards the earth.

Gilmore steps out from behind a building.

Gilmore: “All right. Let’s try this again.”

He casts disintegrate into Thordak’s chest. It hits dead on. Parts of Thordak’s chest peel away and disintegrate, revealing a glowing red crystal embedded in the center of his chest.

Thordak’s attention is drawn all around the battlefield. His eyes dart back and forth. He storms back over to everyone. Vax attacks him as he moves back into range. Thordak flies up into the air as flame gather around him. He unleashes his fire breath, hitting Grog, Pike, Kima, and Gilmore. Pike’s beacon of hope disappears.  Gilmore is knocked unconscious.

Grog gets up and runs over Thordak. He throws his axe at the dragon, successfully hitting him. He uses the chain of returning to pull his weapon back to him. He quickly takes a healing potion.

Vex pulls out her last dragon slaying arrow after firing two other shots at Thordak. When she reaches back, she finds not one, but two arrows. There is a piece of paper attached to the second arrow. She tucks it into her shirt before loosing the arrow towards Thordak. The arrow arcs past Thordak, missing him completely.

A fire elemental lets loose an attack on Percy. He is caught on fire.

Kima casts lay on hands on Gilmore. He is revived.

Kima: “It’s not your time yet, buddy.”

Vax flies towards Thordak. He strikes the dragon with his dragon slayer sword. He hits successfully, doing a massive amount of damage. The crystal begins to crack. He then swings and hits again with Whisper. He uses the last moments of his attack to disengage and fly down near Kima and the others.

Pike heals herself and begins to run into the building with Scanlan.

Scanlan runs through the tunnel and casts lightning bolt up towards Thordak. Bigby’s Hand goes up and punches Thordak. Pike magically assists the hand, allowing it to hit harder. The group wonders exactly when he intends to use the flute to summon the Brass Dragon Devosa, AKA J’mon Sa Ord.


The ground splits again and magma spits out, hitting Kima, Vax, and Gilmore. They all manage to avoid most of the magma.

A fire giant climbs over a wall. It doesn’t appear to be one of the same ones Kashaw and Zahra were fighting.

Raishan unleashes her breath attack again.

Thordak: “They’re still around us. That’s okay. There’s still time… to eat.”

Raishan lands on top of one of the buildings. It begins to crumble beneath her weight.

Keyleth exits from the building and casts tidal wave, aiming it towards the approaching fire elemental. Percy gets caught in the wave. Though it does extinguish the flames burning him, it also injures him and knocks him prone. The fire elemental is fully extinguished and fades into a mist and destroyed.

Scanlan asks Jarrett if he’s all right. Jarrett insists that he’s not and points out Thordak and the ever-increasing danger of the situation. Scanlan offers him some drugs, but Jarrett angrily declines. He fires off two shots towards Thordak. Both miss.

Gilmore picks himself up.

Gilmore: “You guys take me to the greatest places. Oh, he isn’t looking too good.”

He releases a lightning bolt towards Thordak. Grog also attacks Thordak with his axe.

Thordak turns back to the group he keeps burning and unleashes his breath attack once more. Jarrett, Scanlan, and Pike are caught in the blast. Scanlan quickly uses cutting words on Thordak.

Scanlan: “Roses are red. Violets are blue. I am a gnome, and you’re an asshole.”

This doesn’t do much to negate the blast, however. Pike and Scanlan manage to withstand most of the blast from their previous hero’s feast, but Jarrett is practically completely burned through. He falls backwards after taking the worst of the blast. Scanlan’s Bigby’s Hand fades as his concentration is broken from his injuries.

The remaining wyvern rider swoops down and hits Percy twice with his club.

Vex flies up on her broom and begins to loose arrows towards Thordak. The first arrow misses, but the second one hits. She pulls out her final dragon slaying arrow. It hits. The arrow finds its mark and strikes the crystal embedded in Thordak’s chest. The crystal shatters, and Thordak’s begins to slowly shrink. He laughs maniacally as his form begins to whither away. Thordak returns to his original size, though loose skin still hangs around him. Flesh and muscle hang out of the gaping hole in his chest where the crystal once was.


Thordak begins to move away. Pike attacks him with her mace of disruption and Grog attacks with his axe. They both hit as he flies away.

Vax flies up after him and lands on the dragon’s head. He strikes him twice. He stays on his head after his attacks cease.

Pike attacks Thordak again. This time with guiding bolt. She successfully hits him. She also makes it easier for the next attack against Thordak to hit. She heals Jarrett. As his burns begin to heal and scar over, he comes back to consciousness. Scanlan gives her a healing potion to take.

Scanlan recasts Bigby’s Hand. He pokes the hole in Thordak’s chest.

Percy takes a healing potion and stands up. He fires twice at Thordak, first with Bad News. The shot is electrically charged.

Thordak lands on the ground. At this contact, the ground begins to shake and crack beneath him. Grog, Keyleth, Percy, Pike, and Gilmore are knocked prone.

Raishan uses chain lightning against Thordak. It hits Thordak as well as Vax, who is still on Thordak’s head.

Keyleth pulls out her spire of conflux. She also casts chain lightning on Thordak. This misses Vax, who hasn’t moved. She goes into the building with Percy and casts grasping vine to pull him towards her, away from danger.

Grog stands up. He throws his axe at him. He then run towards the fire giant.

Thordak begins to fly away. Vax decides to hold on and ride him. He dives into a dark hole. Thordak quickly pulls into a dive, and Vax is unable to hold on. Vax falls, but manages to roll to avoid any injury. He watches as Thordak clumsily flies into the tunnel. Though he has dark vision, he quickly loses sight of the dragon.

Vex runs after Thordak and Vex. She pulls out her broom and dives into the hole. Vax flies after as well. He reaches Thordak once more and lands on his back. Vax stabs him with his sword and his dagger.


Vax swings his sword at Thordak. He then plunges his dagger into the dragon’s back. He breaks the skin, pushing the dagger all the way in, then even further, up to his forearm. Grey energy flows from the wound.

Vax: “I hear my mother’s voice in the morning. Fuck you.”

He pulls Whisper out of Thordak’s back. Thordak dies and begins to go into a free fall. He crashes into the side of the tunnel. Vax crashes to the ground along with him. Vex flies down to her brother and immediately pulls him into a hug.

Left on the field is Vox Machina and all of their companions, a fire giant, a wyvern rider, and Raishan. Kima cracks her neck and points at the fire giant.

Kima: “You’re first.”

She divine smites the giant in her attack with her holy avenger. The fire giant is greatly injured from this double attack. The fire giant in return turns and attacks Grog, who attacks the giant back.

Pike stands up. She charges forward.

Pike: “You can’t have all the fun Grog!”

She casts guiding bolt on the fire giant. It misses.

Pike: “Sorry! I guess that you have some of all the fun. How are you on hit points, Grog?”

Seeing that Grog is okay, she casts healing word on herself.

Scanlan brings Bigby’s Hand over to punch the fire giant. It smashes against its jaw. Scanlan takes a healing potion.

Percy pulls out Animus. He fires three shots, all of which hit. His first shot blows open the giant’s neck. The giant reaches up to his wound as the second shot hits him in the head, killing him.

In the distance, they hear sounds of the battle happening throughout the city. The cacophony of voices and blasts moves closer.

The airship begins to fire at Raishan. All of the shots miss.

Raishan: “Call off your dogs. We still have a deal.”

Percy: “To the pit! Now!”

Raishan dives into the tunnel. She stops next to Thordak’s dead body and the twins. She watches both of them as she walks towards the corpse. The rest of Vox Machina runs in after Raishan. Gilmore dimension doors into the tunnel.

The remaining wyvern attempts to attack Kima. Both Kima and Jarrett engage with it. Grog kills the wyvern as he runs past.

Vex questions Raishan as she comes closer and closer.

Vex: “What are you doing?”

Raishan: “Exactly what we talked about. Learning his secrets.”

Vex readies herself for an attack. She backs up towards the chamber at the end of the tunnel. There is an orange glow emitting from it. Lava flows through the room.

Keyleth tells Vax to wait to attack Raishan until she’s there.

Raishan pulls out a scroll and begins to read from it. Vax decides to not wait for Keyleth and to attack.

He throws three daggers at her. Two of them hit. She turns one eye towards Vax. The other eye keeps reading the scroll. It turns to ash as she finishes.

Thordak’s corpse takes a breath. Vax and Vex recognize this as being similar to the speak with dead spell. Raishan moves her other eye to Vax.

Raishan: “Know what you are doing.”

Vax: “You’re not walking away from this field. You’re going to die. Maybe I will too, but you are going to die.”

She flies past him and goes into the chamber beyond. Vex looses arrows with trepidation as Raishan flies past. One of the arrows sinks into Raishan’s skin.

Keyleth runs into the tunnel. She immediately asks Vax where Raishan is. Vax directs her to the chamber. She runs after the dragon.

The twins and Keyleth rush into the chamber. The heat is much stronger than it is on the surface. They see various alcoves throughout the chamber. Set into the stone are large deep red red crystalline structures. They recognize them as five large dragon eggs.

They see Raishan at the top of the chamber. She grins as she finishes muttering something. Portals open in the ceiling, and four large flaming rocks come flying out. They slam into the ground and explode. Vax manages to duck out of the way from the attack and watches as Keyleth and Vex are thrown around the room.

Raishan withdraws further into the cave.


To be continued…

Episode 80 – “Raishan”

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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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