Hey everyone! Fiona was partially indisposed this week so I’ve stepped in to carry the recap-writing torch (most of it, anyway). If this recap is awesome, I will still gladly take credit. If it’s bad…well, Fiona did help! 😉 -Nick
SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 94 (obviously). Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
Our recap of Episode 93 can be found here.
Vox Machina returns to the material plane after their successful jaunt in the Nine Hells.
Previously on Critical Role
Vox Machina planeshifted to the Iron City of Dis in the Nine Hells to slay the rakshasa Hotis once and for all. After making a deal with a cambion, slaying a pit fiend, and being thrown in underground prison (along with the dwarven werebear, Tova), they find and end the half-formed fetal Hotis before planeshifting out. Tova, elected to stay in the prison to search for her friends. To aid her, they left a few magical items.
Keyleth’s planeshifting sends the group hurtling back through the burning divine gate before their feet land on the street in the center of Whitestone.
Grog: “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck! Could we have cut that any closer to the razor’s edge!?”
The group gathers their composure. Percy checks to make sure everyone is okay.
Percy: “Taryon, are you alright? I think it perfectly reasonable if you’re not alright.”
Vex releases Trinket and heals him. A young boy watches in awe. Vex sends Trinket up to him. The boy freezes in terror. Trinket sniffs at the boy before licking his face. The young boy runs away from the bear once Vex calls him back.
Keyleth: “Thirty seconds back in Tal’dorei and we’re already tormenting people!”
Percy: “This trip has changed us.”
Vax is elated that they don’t have anything pressing to do. Percy points out that they need to help rebuild Doty. Tary says he is fine, but Percy offers him the last of his green tear whiskey anyway.
Percy: “For Doty.”
Tary: “No, thank you. I don’t know. I don’t feel it would be right to celebrate right now…”
Percy: “This is not celebration.”
They ask him if he has lost anyone close to him before. Tary confesses he has not.
Keyleth: “Then you should know, that’s not celebration.”
Percy: “This is acknowledgement.”
Tary takes a drink with the rest. “To my only friend.”
Percy: “Not anymore.”
The group gives Tary words of encouragement and offers to help rebuild Doty.
Tary offers to read the last thing Doty transcribed:
“Doty, take this down. As I, Taryon Darrington, embark on a mission into the very depths of Hell, I do so with no fear or hesitation. Though this undertaking is fraught with peril, I have a secret weapon that no inferno, monster, or hell hound can defeat. I am flanked by the ferocious band of mercenaries known as Vox Machina. In the days since meeting this ragtag company our relationship has blossomed. At first I was viewed as a suspicious outsider, then as a gallant and trusted colleague, and now having proven my mettle, accepted as a life-long brother and full-fledged teammate. No matter what we face in the abyss, my comrades would fight for me, kill for me, and I am one-hundred percent sure, each would gladly give his or her life to save mine. Loyalty like that, you can’t put a price on it. But if I had to, I would say their friendship is worth about 210,000 gold which, even to me, is a relatively large amount of money. Their faith emboldens me, but its more than that. I have started to wonder, If I have so easily won the confidence of these battle-hardened titans, perhaps I am even more venerable, more impressive, than I ever knew. Perhaps after this mission, I should return home, newly confident to confront my father once and for all. Maybe the time has come to complete my journey here and show my family that I am worthy to carry the Darrington name. But first, revenge! Soon we will venture to where nightmares are born and it is going to be fun, fun, fun! That’s all for now, Doty. As always, correct my grammatical errors before you rest and go fetch my sleep mask and nightshirt.”
Vex: “That was…beautiful.”
Taryon sadly states that Doty was his only friend, and now that he his gone he should feel lonely, but he doesn’t. He tells the group that he is finally surrounded by people who genuinely respect him and for that reason he has decided to stay, despite what he dictated to Doty before going to hell.
Tary: “I feel my rightful place is here with you. I won’t have access to as much money, but everything else about me will stay the same! And I know that you are all happy that I made this decision to stay here with you! Maybe this is a time to celebrate, shall we go get a drink!”
Vex: “Small question, that amount you mentioned before…will we be seeing that before you, cut ties…”
Tary: “I don’t think we should venture up there now.”
Tary inquires about their next adventure. The group explains that they are sort of yearning to take a break for a bit. They suggest different things Tary could do to earn money now that he is planning to cut ties with his family and their wealth. Vex suggests tinkering. Grog suggests prostitution.
Vax asks Tary if he really never had anyone else but Doty previously, not even a romantic interest. Tary confesses he has not. The party suggests going to the tavern and trying to hook him up.
Tary: “Yeah, I can try that out. Sure! Yeah!”
Vax: “Do you…uh… This is forward. Do you go rogue, or ranger? Taco or hotdog?”
Tary: “I have no idea what you are talking about.”
Percy: “Lets find some liquor and find out!”
Vex still wants to inquire about Tary’s financial situation. Tary brushes her off, saying Doty used to take care of that. Vax gets the impression that Tary is dodging the issue and suggests they go find a drink.
Vox Machina heads off to their usual tavern in Whitestone, the Tipsy Quorum.
Grog: “I always forget the name.”
Percy: “It’s at the best bars where you always forget the name!”
On their way, the witness what appears to be a large caravan being loaded up. They spot Odessa, Illia and Gren Tal’Dorei, the children of the late Sovereign Uriel Tal’Dorei, playing nearby. They are being playfully chased by the Aasimar boys, Hunin and Kylor. So thereafter, they spot Salda Tal’dore, the children’s mother. She sees them and approaches. She tells them she is relieved to see them returned safely and explains they are preparing to finally head back home to Emon. She says she would like to take Hunin and Kylor with them as her children have taken a shine to the boys. With a smile, she adds, that she thinks her daughter, Odessa, has a crush on Hunin.
She bids the party farewell and says she hopes to still see them in Emon. She notices Tary and realizes she doesn’t know who he is.
Percy: “He’s new.”
Tary: “I just lost my best friend…”
Salda expresses her condolences and assures him she is familiar with loss and that it will get better. She turns to rejoin her children near the caravan.
Vex: “Let’s go get you laid, Tary!”
The party continues onward to the tavern. As they go to leave, they spot the small gnomish figure of Pike rushing toward them from the far side of the caravan.
Pike: “Hey, you’re just going to walk by!”
Vex: “We didn’t even see you!”
They party all enthusiastically greets her. They apologize for going to Hell without her. She confesses she would have been nervous to go anyway.
Percy: “We may have eaten a few souls…”
Vex: “PERCY SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH A DEVIL!”
Percy: “I may have signed a contract, yes.”
Pike: “Percy! What do you mean!?”
Percy: “Well, we were in Hell… It just–”
Grog: “Its just what you do!”
They tell Pike they are on their way to the tavern. She gladly joins them.
On the way, the group questions Tary on “his type.” He assures them that he can hold his own.
They arrive at the Tipsy Quorum. The bar maid greets them. Grog inquires about turkey legs. She tells him they have the best turkey legs in Whitestone. Grog orders two for each of them. She boops him on the nose and leaves to get the order started.
Grog: “She just booped me on the nose. You might just want to put “1-Grog, 0-Tary” because that’s happenin’ later.”
Pike: “I propose a contest!”
They decide to try to see who she like better at the end of the night. Tary proposes that if she like him more, he gets to keep Grog’s alchemy jug, but if Grog wins, he gets to keep Tary’s rod of mercurial form.
Grog: “Woah, shit just got real.”
Grog agrees to the wager.
Tary: “Jugs and rods!”
The bar maid returns and distributes drinks. She says their turkey legs will be out soon.
Grog asks if she might possibly have a needle and thread. She asks why.
Grog: “Because I am so ripped.”
She laughs and says she will see what she can do.
Keyleth to Percy: “Fifty gold she hates both of them.”
The party tells Pike about their adventures in Hell. Before long, the bar maid brings their food out.
Tary gets the bar maids attention. “Hi. My name is Tary. Taryon Darrington. It is lovely to meet you. I am ashamed of something and I wanted to tell you about it.”
She crosses her arms and gives him a skeptical look.
Tary: “My friend over there, the big one, pointed you out to me and said ‘look at that beautiful girl across the room.’ And I am ashamed that he had that moment of seeing you before I did. For knowing that he got to experience that beauty for a moment longer than I, why its almost enough to make me cry. I have read many books, but your hair could fill a novel with it’s beauty. Your eyes are sonnets. Your nose and mouth, epic poems. Almost any feature of you could be enough to live a life on, but I am afraid its your neck that got me…”
He continues with these words and when he finally finishes there is a long pause.
“Wow.” She reaches over and takes his drink. “So I think we are cutting him off…”
Grog offers for her to stay and drink with them but she declines. She turns to Tary and tells him his words are sweet and flowery but that she may be a little old for him. She gives him back his drink and leaves.
Grog: “I can just picture the spot in my bag of holding that rod is going to fit right into…”
Keyelth: “Grog was basically an asshole and he still did better than you.”
Grog tells Tary to just tell her that he wants to be “on” her. Tary does blurt this out to her next time she returns. She laughs and gives him “points” for boldness. She sets distributes the group’s next round and leaves.
Tary to Grog: “You are some kind of genius! She just went for the bad boy thing. Huh. Women are fascinating!”
Everyone except Grog groans at this.
Grog gets up and approaches the bar maid again. He helps her carry a few plates.
Grog: “I can see your very busy. If I gave you, like, a lot of money, could you tell that guy over there we had a sweet shag?”
She is insulted, piecing together what was going on. She turns him down before he could tell him anything else.
Grog returns to the table. “Welp. It’s her and me later tonight.”
Most everyone sees through the lie, except Tary, who is dejected.
They try to give him pointers on talking to women. He practices on Keyleth and continues to be as obliviously self-centered as possible. They give him a few more pointers and tell him to try again as the barmaid returns to the table once more.
Tary: “I’m sorry we started off on the wrong foot earlier. I was taken by your obvious beauty but there is more to you than that for sure. If I could… If I could…”
Keyleth to Tary: “Tell me about yourself!”
Tary: “Tell me about yourself! What do… What do you do during the day when the pub’s not open? I am a writer and a reader. What are your hobbies?”
She tells him that she takes care of her two children after her husband left, but working to maybe someday get out of this tavern and maybe start her own business.
Tary struggles to ask a follow up question. She asks him if he is new to “this sort of thing.”
Tary confesses he is.
She tells him a good first step is asking for their name. He immediately does so and she tells him her name is Shana.
Tary: “Pleasure to meet you, Shauna. I’m…”
Shauna, cutting him off: “Tarryon Darrington. I know. First thing you told me. Didn’t even ask, first.”
Taryon tells her again it is a pleasure to meet her and that if the night ended now she already would have taught him a lot. She leaves the table.”
Tary: “Shall we call it a draw then?”
Grog: “Yeah, sure. Just ’cause.”
Tary, checking an item off his list: “Defeat a goliath…”
The party tells Tary that he showed improvement. They ask if he has ever picked up a woman before. Shana is nearby listening in.
Tary confesses that he has not, and that he only ever had one romantic encounter before.
Vex: “Was it with Doty?”
Tary: “Oh god. Doty was a machine made of metal, I would never…”
Percy: “We’re not judging.”
Keyleth: “It would have been my first question too, honestly.”
Percy assures Tary that he was really awkward with girls too when he was starting out. Tary is doubtful.
Vex: “He has really good technique. He always brings a bottle of liquor with him.
Percy: “I learned very quickly.”
Keyleth, Percy, and Tary bond over their sheltered upbringing.
Shauna approaches Tary. She tells him that if he is interesting in meeting someone for the night, to wait thirty minutes. Tary agrees.
Percy: “This is why you always make friends with women. They have friends. There are just networks of them.”
Grog asks if his one prior romance went well.
Tary says it did not. Percy, knowing Tary best and sensing something from this statement, asks if his father found out. Tary confirms that is indeed what happened.
Percy quickly calls for more drinks, and he and the rest of the group inquire for more details.
Tary explains that part of the reason his father didn’t feel he was fit to inherit the Darrington estate was because he once caught him with one of his tutors.
Tary: “He gave me all the best tutors.”
Tary continues to explain that when he was a young man, about twenty years old, he developed a special relationship with one tutor in particular.
Vax: “What was…her name?”
Tary: “His name. It was Lawrence. Larry. Larry and Tary.”
Tary explains that they hit it off and would talk about literature and philosophy. Then one evening Tary’s father walked in on them, and then Larry was never seen again. Tary confesses that he fears his father had Larry killed, but knows he is at the very least banished.
Keyleth asks why he didn’t say anything. Perhaps they had been taking the wrong approach all this time.
Tary: “I am dashing adventure and I am supposed to attract all the lasses of the kingdom!”
The party tells him that is a load of shit.
Tary: “In all the books I read they never tell of the adventurers that go to bed with older men…”
Vax: “Has anything you have experienced with us been like the books you read?”
Tary confirms that his time with Vox Machina has not been like his books. Everything is far grosser, messier, and “so badly planned.”
The party asks more about Tary’s father. He tells them that his father is a ruthless land baron that partakes in shady business strategies. Tary confesses that he hates his father.
They ask why Tary still feels the need to impress him.
Tary: “Because he’s my dad.”
Vex understands this.
The group encourages Tary to stay with him and to not worry about his father any longer.
Tary gladly announces that he will stay with Vox Machina and “be poor.”
They tell him money isn’t all that important anyway.
Grog offers to buy Tary an evening in the brothel.
Tary objects, calling it a “house of ill repute” and “house of flesh.”
Pike defends Grog’s idea, telling him she thinks going to a brothel is part of being an adventurer.
Tary: “Have you been to a brothel, Pike!?”
Pike: “WELL, WHERE DO YOU THINK I GO WHEN YOU GUYS LEAVE ALL THE TIME!?”
A large woman, Trisha, of the Whitestone Guard, approaches the table after speaking to Shana at the bar. She tells Tary she has had a long day and heard he had the same.
Trisha: “Can I buy you a drink?”
Vex: “Just say yes.”
Trisha: “Great. What’ll have?”
Tary: “Uh. Your finest, oldest, wine…”
Trisha: “Great. Scotch it is!”
She leaves to grab the booze. Vox Machina gives Tary some final quick pieces of advice and encouragement before Trisha returns with the bottle of liquor. She takes him by the arm and leads him out of the bar. Tary seems interested but very scared.
Grog is insanely jealous. The rest speculate as to whether Tary would actually enjoy himself.
Percy asks Keyleth if she still has the scrying eye.
Keyleth objects to spying on Tary. Grog is in favor of this idea.
Keyleth points out that it was Grog that didn’t want to scry on Scanlan.
Grog: “Well, I give a shit about Scanlan.”
Keyleth eventually gives in and gives the scrying eye to Percy. Percy attempts to use it and fails.
He tries again and succeeds, but not to spy on Tary. He secretly casts scry on Scanlan.
Percy sees a group around a campfire in the middle of a small village. A group of farmfolk sit around the fire accompanied by Kaylie and Scanlan. The two gnomes play music leisurely under the light of the moon and the fire for the entertainment of the rest.
Percy returns from the vision. He pretends to have seen Tary, saying that he is doing well.
The party debates if to return to the castle or crash at the tavern and wait for Tary to return.
Pike and Grog elect to stay behind and Percy and the half-elves head back up to Castle Whitestone.
On the way up to the castle Percy tells Vex that he scryed on Scanlan instead of Tary. He tells her that he looked fine, enjoying himself. Percy coldly says he wants the gatestone and the magic earring back from him. He confesses he is feeling betrayed. He says he feels that Scanlan would have been a great help to them in their recent adventures but he wasn’t there.
Vex says she is trying to not being angry at Scanlan. Percy says he isn’t. He tells her that he is very angry.
Percy: “…and perhaps the only thing that is keeping me from doing anything about that anger it is your opinion of it.”
Vex shows him Fenthras, the place where she carved the elven word for “forgiveness.” She tells him that it is important to try to forgive him. And that he should think on it and not do anything rash.
Percy leaves her before bed to head to speak to his sister.
Vax and Keyelth talk on the way to the castle as well. They are both very drunk. Vax is excited they don’t have any pressing obligations. He tells her that he can’t wait to go back to Zephra with her. He also expresses concern about the Raven Queen. He says that he knows she is not done with him nor Vox Machina, but that he is not rushing to find out what that is.
Keyleth drunkenly suggests going god hunting, since Vex offered to kill Orcus anyway.
Vax expresses concern about leaving Vex since they have never been apart from one another. Vax and Keyleth both passionately express how they love Vex and how cool she is. They realize that in their intoxication they completely missed Percy and Vex leaving them. They eventually stumble to their room and retire for the night.
Meanwhile, Percy finds Cassandra in a nightgown poring over paperwork with tea and cakes. He tells her that he is finally returned for an extended period of time to help her in the recovery of Whitestone.
Percy: “I will happily take layers of both that paperwork and that cake off your hands.”
Cass is relieved to hear it.
Percy brings up the matter of the titles that need to be officially filed. He brings up Vex and The Grey Hunt. Cassandra admits that she isn’t sure how the hunt is supposed to work. However, she suggests that Keeper Yennan might know. Percy agrees that he probably does.
With a sigh, Cassandra tells Percy that she has been exhausted from all the work she has had to do in his absence. She offers him more cake in exchange for his help. He laughs and agrees, promising that he plans to stick around for a while. She fills him in on Whitestone’s state since he has been gone.
Cassandra asks that he bring Vex to breakfast the next morning so they can discuss the details of her position. He agrees and bids his sister a good night.
On the way back to his room, he stops to write a quick letter to Jarrett. He instructs him to assign someone to watch Scanlan from afar and report back. He sends 400 gold along with the letter to pay for the spy.
Back at the tavern, Pike and Grog continue to drink heavily. They cry into their drinks as they tell each other how much they love their friends. Pike asks Grog if she can make a confession.
Pike: “Do you know what I do every night?”
Pike: “I sometimes put in my earring and I have conversations with Scanlan. And I know he can’t hear.”
Grog: “Well who talks back?”
Pike: “Nobody! I just tell him how the day was and what I did, and, you know… But obviously he’s not going to talk back.”
Grog cries harder at this and makes a confession of his own.
Grog: “Sometimes I go into the house of lady favors, and I’m like ‘one for me and one for… me.'”
They let themselves cry for a bit more before calming down. Pike asks Grog if they did the right thing by sending Tary off with Trish. Grog argues that she just showed up, and they weren’t an active part of it. Pike agrees with this, but she still feels guilty.
Pike says she is getting tired, despite saying earlier she could stay up. She muses that crying takes a lot of energy. Grog agrees and promptly passes out on the table.
The tavern is now mostly empty and Pike isn’t sure what time it is. Shauna drapes a shawl around Grog’s shoulders. Pike gets on her earring.
Pike: “Scanlan? I know you can’t hear, but I’m sitting in a tavern right now with Grog. He just went to sleep. I had a pretty good day. I had to do a lot of labor, just like lifting stuff into a cart. And then, lo and behold, Vox Machina comes home and I see them and now we’re here. I miss you! I’m very tired–”
She trails off as she also passes out onto the table.
The next morning, Pike and Grog are woken by Shauna slamming two giant goblets of water onto the table in front of them. As they begin to re-hydrate, they sees Trish rush out the door with her armor.
A few minutes later, Tary comes down the stairs.
Tary: “Rough night, eh?”
Pike: “It was rough? How do you feel?”
Tary: “I feel good–uh, different… Better.”
Pike: “You feel different?”
Tary: “That Trish is… She’s a lot of woman. How did you guys do?”
Grog immediately directs the conversation back to Tary. Both he and Pike are eager to know the details of his encounter with Trish.
Tary: “There’s periods that I don’t really remember, but she was aggressive when she needed to be and gentle when she needed to be and… You know, I’ve read a lot about that. And a lot of things I read were true. I mean, the female is mysterious and strange and there are curves and smells and–”
Grog: “Tary, you two didn’t just give each other massages all night, did you?”
Tary: “Oh, no.”
Pike presses for details.
Tary: “I have experienced the pleasures of the flesh. I have now known a woman, and it was outrageous. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but she guided me–sometimes by force. But she was also gentle sometimes. And I get it now. I see the appeal. I understand. Women are soft and tender and… They are not for me. There are so many holes, and you don’t know which one is the right one.”
Pike: “You know, it just depends on the day, I guess.”
Tary: “She was so strong, and I was so scared. I really think–”
He throws up onto the floor. Pike, hungover and grossed out by this, throws up as well. Hoping to not be a part of the chain reaction, Grog manages to keep everything down.
When they are done being sick, Grog and Pike make sure to support Tary.
Tary: “I think I know what I like now, and that was a worthy endeavor. Thank you Pike for encouraging it and Grog for setting me up. I know one hundred percent that I am not going to do that again with anyone like her or anyone similar.”
Grog: “Should we go get tattoos or haircuts or something to commemorate this?”
Tary: “No. My body is a temple, and I wouldn’t sully it like that.”
Pike and Grog continue to support Tary in his recent exploration of his sexuality while also pressing him for details. He describes it as “being attacked by a bear.”
Back in the castle, everyone meets up for breakfast. Cassandra asks if Vex understands her new position. Vex admits that she doesn’t, saying she simply tells others every once in a while that she is a lady. Cass says it means very little other than others expecting her to have all the answers.
She adds that Vex’s specific position also entails overseeing local diplomacy and rooting out dangers in the Parchwood. She assures Vex that it is all within her skill-set and that she is sure she will come to be far more respected than the last holder of the title.
Cas tells Vex that she must venture into the Parchwood alone (except for maybe Trinket) to complete this task. The group assures her that she will be fine. Vex quickly finishes her breakfast and seeks out Keeper Yennen.
She finds him in an ampitheater and explains her situation. He tells her that she must commune with the Sun Tree until she receives a vision from Pelor showing her quarry. Then she must hunt it down and slay the beast.
Vex heads to the Sun Tree. She sits down in front of it. She thinks about the tree: its bark and leaves. Hours pass and nothing happens. Though she is unaware of how much time has passed. She begins to get uncomfortable sitting still for so long.
She removes her armor and sits with her back against the tree. She focuses once more, meditating on the Tree, Pelor, and the task at hand. More hours pass and evening fast approaches. Many townsfolk glance curiously at her as they walk by. Feeling self-conscious, Vex is glad none of them are anyone she knows. After a short time more, she abandons this attempt as well.
She decides to go to the underground chamber Keyleth carved beneath the roots of the tree many months ago. The tavern from which the “tree house” is accessible is in the process of being renovated. The workers are confused and question Vex. She assures them its fine and proceeds. Joseph takes it upon himself to stand near the door. He does so enthusiastically.
Vex sits in the underground chamber, surrounded by the roots of the Sun Tree. She speaks to it, admitting that she has no idea what she is doing. She tries to focus once more but, again, soon grows uncomfortable staying in one place for so long.
Joseph yells in to inquire if everything is okay. Vex, assures him that it is and that he can go home.
She pops Trinket out of Raven’s Slumber. He barely fits in the chamber. It is very cramped with the two of them in there. She cast’s speak with animals and tells him that it will be okay, they just need to sit there for awhile. Trinket agrees and eventually falls asleep. Vex leans against him.
Vex desperately pleads with Pelor for the sign of her quarry.
More time passes. Vex begins to nod off. She sees the roots appear to move. Curling and writhing around her. A vision comes to her.
She sees a moonlit still pond in a clearing of the Parchwood. A massive shape breaks the surface of the water. Clambering out of the pond is a massive bipedal creature with leather grey rhino-like hide and large tree-trunk-like arms. It seems to move with purpose. It walks away, with its back to Vex. It turns and Vex can see its six yellow eyes. The vision subsides and Vex’s awareness returns to her surroundings. She is aware that the hunt is on.
Excited, she wakes Trinket and they run to the castle. She finds Percy, still awake in his study. She tells him about the vision and he grabs a nearby map of the Parchwood. She looks it over and sees a few places that look like the location in her vision.
Jumping on Trinket’s back, she sets out on the hunt. She quickly finds a trail of broken branches and trees. She follows the path of massive tracks. Casting pass without a trace on her and Trinket as they stealthily advance. They come across birds and elk, fleeing from something else nearby.
The tracks end in a small glade. Vex scans the area but doesn’t see anything. She attempts to reach out with primeval awareness but senses nothing.
Vex eventually spots claw marks. She spots six yellow eyes in the fog. She mounts her broom and takes to the air as she hunter’s marks the beast and fires a bramble shot!
With her assassin’s precision, she strikes a critical hit. The creature, a Grey Render, bursts from the brush it was hiding in and advances on Vex and attacks!
Vex recoils from the blow, instructs Trinket to attack, and fires twice with her blazing bowstring, hitting both times. She attempts to speak with it mid-attack, but there is no reply.
Her quarry leaps away and Trinket takes a swipe at it, raking its leathery flesh. It lands in a tree near Vex and bites her.
It attempts to grapple her to the ground but Vex avoids it. The creature loses its balance and falls to the ground, bringing down a tree with it. Vex flies higher.
Vex unleashes another arrow and Trinket attacks. They both land their blows.
The render throws a tree up at Vex. It strikes her, knocking her off her broom. She falls to the ground, badly wounded.
Trinket lands a massive blow as the creature moves away from him.
Vex climbs to her feet and moves to put distance between her and the beast. She fires and lands two more shots. The creature is showing visible signs of damage, but it continues to advance.
It bears down on her, preparing to pummel her. Vex dodges its claws but a bite lands. Vex is barely alive.
She scrambles away from it, and Trinket moves between her and the beast. She nocks another arrow and lets it loose, landing a precise disabling shot to the creature. The arrow sinks deep in the creatures chest. It is defeated, but still alive.
Vex: “You are a noble creature, sent her for a reason, yes?”
It doesn’t reply, breathing heavily from its woulds. It is barely able to stand.
Vex: “You can leave. You can go back to where you came from. I protect this forest now. This is mine.”
The creature rears back up, still struggling to stand. It slowly turns and leaps away.
Vex unleashes an arrow, striking it right between the shoulder blades mid-air. The creature drops out of sight and a massive rumble shakes the area as it lands on the ground, knocking over another tree.
Vex heals herself, and she finds the corpse. She cuts off a massive, meaty hand. Trinket picks it up in his mouth. She carefully sets a controlled fire to burn the body.
Vex returns to Whitestone with her trophy. Percy greets her proudly. From the hand, he recognizes the beast as a grey render.
Vex: “Why didn’t you tell me that before!?”
Percy: “There is a surprising number of things with six eyes…”
Vex confesses that she is still unsure if killing the beast was the right choice. Percy assures her that she did nothing wrong.
Grog flips everyone the bird with the grey render hand.
Cassandra hugs Vex upon hearing the good news and officially declares that she is now Vex’ahlia, Grand Mistress of the Grey Hunt.
Vex is exhausted. Vax leads her to bed. They have a heart-to-heart. They discuss the upcoming trials pertaining to the Raven Queen and Orcus. He assures his sister that she will learn everything she needs to know and not to worry.
Vex: “I love you, now let me sleep.”
Vax goes to leave. On his way out, he spots Fenthras change, growing more green and vibrant. He smiles, leaving it for his sister to find in the morning.
Vox Machina’s story will continue one year later…
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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.