SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 95 (obviously). Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
Our recap of Episode 94 can be found here.
Vox Machina takes a year to themselves to pursue all walks of personal endeavors and hi-jinks.
Previously on Critical Role
After escaping from the Nine Hells, Vox Machina realized that they had some downtime. They immediately went to the nearest tavern, where Tary and Grog challenged each other to pick up one of the barmaids. Through this competition, however, Tary admitted that the only person he’s had a relationship with was a man. Still, during the course of the night, he went off with Trish, one of the guards of Whitestone. When he came back the next morning, he told the others that it confirmed his sexuality, and he admitted to himself that he is gay and decided to cut off all ties with his family.
Vex prepared to participate in The Grey Hunt. She (along with Trinket) successfully completed the hunt, officially earning her title.
During the Break
Grog quickly grew bored as the others took a well-deserved break. He journeyed around Exandria, searching for Scanlan and magical items and finding neither. He also had Kevdak’s bear tattoo tattooed onto his back. He also turned Kevdak’s skull into a goblet.
He then went to Vasselheim to defend his title in the Crucible. He successfully defeated others seeking the title, including Kern the Hammer, who then asked to study under Grog. Grog turned him down, however.
He also quickly became curious about the deck of many things. One night, he finds a drunk and convinces him to pull a card from the deck. The drunk suddenly wishes that he was a powerful lord. Grog watches as he magically turns into a lord. The drunk-turned-lord quickly thanks Grog and runs off after telling him he has one wish left. Grog is excited by the potential of the deck, but decides to wait until he’s with Pike to pull the next card.
He also went back to his nymph friend to ask about werewolves. She tells him that lycanthropy is everywhere. He also gives her a large ruby as apology for their last meeting.
Pike accompanied Grog to the Crucible and became the second champion, under Grog. However, when it came time to fight her goliath best friend, she and Grog both decided to not fight.
Over the course of five months, she also taught Grog a little bit of reading. Thanks to her lessons, he can occasionally read four or five letter words, write his name, and sometimes write a full sentence.
She also trained to be more stealthy.
She briefly visited her great-great-grandfather Wilhand. He and his house were recovering well from Umbrasyl’s attack. She sent a letter and money to other members of her family.
Pike, Keyleth, Vex, and Tary opened a bakery in Whitestone called The Slayer’s Cake. They sell baked goods themed to their adventures like bear claws and Sun Treats.
In addition to opening a bakery, Vex spends the beginning of the year trying to find the baby of the Grey Render she killed. The baby Grey Render did not reciprocate her advances and fled deeper into the Parchwood. Vex sent someone to watch over the baby, but it has yet to be found.
She also built her house, making sure to add an area for Trinket. She also gave one of her rooms to Tary, who found himself homeless and resourceless after cutting off ties with his family.
Now the ambassador to Sygorn, she began the process of making a teleportation circle from Whitestone to the elf city. During this time, she is also trying to forgive her father.
She also had Tary make her armor from the remaining black and white dragon scales. He also enchanted her armor.
In her free time, she researched Orcus and the Raven Queen.
Vax spent most of his time in Zephra hanging out with Keyleth and helping her with her new position. During this time, they got tattoos together: his, a pair of antlers on his bicep, and hers, a tattooed version of her mantle across her chest and shoulders.
He and Keyleth also frequently teleported to Whitestone to spend time with Vex, Percy, and the others. He would also spend time in Vasselheim researching with his sister and visiting the Raven Queen’s temple. While at the temple, he took on a number of duties.
He also looked for Dr. Dranzel in attempt to find Scanlan, but he was unsuccessful.
He briefly visited Sygorn with both of his sisters and spent a brief period with his father.
In addition to opening the bakery and ruling over the Air Ashari, Keyleth visited the other Ashari tribes in an attempt to strengthen their communication so catastrophes like Thordak can be headed off. With Percy and Tary’s help, she installed magical orbs in the cities of each of the tribes. If one tribe is in danger, someone must touch one of the orbs and the others will glow.
Additionally, she, Pike, Vax, Vex, and Tary ventured into the Feywild to find the theater. They snuck in as insects and beasts and saw an impressive performance done entirely in Sylvan. When they got back, Percy scolded them for doing something so dangerous.
Percy, like Keyleth and Vex, took on more civic duties. He hired Tary to take over his workshop. Tary also made him a new pair of glasses.
Percy also reformed the guard and trained guards to help them in the castle.
He brought Senokir scales from each dragon of The Chroma Conclave. He had Senokir take the scales and arrange them with a crest, each one individual to every current member of Vox Machina who participated in killing the dragons. He also had one made for Tary without dragon scales.
Tary, for most of the year, has been working (both at the bakery and in Percy’s workshop) for the first time in his life. He also created Doty 2.0, who can say one word: “Tary.” He made other improvements to Doty’s original design, including creating a waterproof holding area for its chronicle and giving one of its hands the ability to fire a shot.
He also found himself quickly running out of money, as he was spending far more than he was making. He bought Doty a pair of boots of elvenkind, he had black dragon scales embedded into his breastplate, and he built an earring to communicate with the others.
In what little free time he had, he also created a second flying broom.
It is Winter’s Crest. Vox Machina meets up for a party in Whitestone before heading to Marquet. A Winter’s Crest celebration is tradition in Whitestone, but it is especially extravagant when there is a new Mistress or Master of the Grey Hunt.
During the party, Percy presents each current member of Vox Machina with the pins made by Senokir. He tells them all that these are each unique and, in the worst scenario, will identify them forever as a member of Vox Machina, given the rarity of the material with which they were made. He also informs them that they are designed to be added to as their adventures continue.
Tary becomes dejected and says he hasn’t accomplished anything and might not be able to add to his. The others reassure him that this is not true, and they reassure him more at his prompting, listing his many accomplishments and physical attributes.
As the party winds down, they debate if they want to teleport or sail to Marquet. They all quickly agree that they should sail.
They cross the sea to Marquet and dock in Shamal, a bay town. As they exit their ship, they realize that they aren’t sure what to do on a beach vacation. Tary, who spent childhood winters in tropical climates, tells them that they should get cabanas and servants near swimable water.
Vex and Tary search for a resort or place to rest. They are directed to Dalen’s Closet, a shoreside tavern with hammocks strung up on the beach between the building and the ocean.
As they enter the tavern, they are greeted by a dark complexioned gnome. He tells them that he will have to charge for Doty, but they insist that Doty neither sleeps nor eats. He charges them 1,500 gold for their 10-day stay. It does not include their food, but Pike convinces him to provide free drinks.
They get settled in, and Tary goes over to Vax. He explains that Vex told him that Vax and Grog were in an ongoing teasing competition. He gives him a gift to help Vax’s side. Vax is thrilled to see this and kisses Tary before slapping him and running into the water.
Keyleth casts waterbreathing on everyone and they all go scuba diving. Vax, Vex, Percy, and Pike look for pearls. Vex and Percy find small imperfect pearls. Vax finds a larger, more impressive pearl and gives it to his sister. Pike finds a sea cucumber. Keyleth searches for shark’s teeth and finds some on the shore.
On the beach, Grog tells Tary that he wants to bury him up to his neck in the sand. Percy tells Tary that he doesn’t have to listen. Grog begins to dig a hole in the ground. He goes into a rage to dig faster. He tells Tary to get into the hole.
When Tary gets in, Grog asks why Tary didn’t pay for their rooms. Tary explains that he spent a lot of his money.
Grog: “How much did you spend?”
Tary: “A lot.”
Grog: “How much do you have left?”
Tary: “Not a lot.”
Grog starts to bury Tary. He buries him up to his chest. The others scold him for wearing his armor to the beach. Doty pulls him out of the hole and takes his armor off.
In his underthings, he begins to build a sandcastle with Grog’s help. He designs a castle based off the historical castles of his home. About 3/4ths of the way through completion, Grog knocks everything over. Tary says that they will try again, blaming the destruction on Doty.
They begin to build another sandcastle. This one is much larger and more impressive than the first. Grog knocks this one down as well. Tary yells out in frustration before calming down and telling Grog to bury him again.
Vax, seeing Tary is distracted, steals the rest of his clothing and brings it back to the resort.
Tary, trying to avoid sunburn, asks Doty to bring his helmet over. When Doty comes back empty-handed, Tary has the automaton pull him out from the sand. Grog gives Tary a seashell as an apology. He searches the beach, asking beachgoers about his armor.
Meanwhile, Vax convinces the resort employees to let him into Percy and Vex’s room. He places the armor in the room and finds Tary. Tary is on the beach, exhausted and frustrated. He tells the artificer that he saw Percy take the armor. Tary, knowing Percy is his closest friend, does not want to believe it, but goes to Percy’s room anyway.
He knocks, but there is no answer. He uses chime of opening to go in anyway. He sees sand scattered across the floor and his armor sticking out from underneath the bed. Tary is devastated that his friend would betray him and decides to seek revenge.
He magically summons two mastiffs and sprinkles kibble all around the room. He leaves the dogs to destroy everything as revenge for stealing his armor. He leaves the two dogs in the room and goes back to meet up with the others.
Pike and Grog get their hair braided by a local woman. Grog gets beads put in his hair and Pike gets blue dye, jewels, and earrings put into hers.
Percy and Vex make their way back to their room. They hear a low growl from the other side of the door, which immediately puts them on edge. Vex cautiously opens the door. They see the inside of their room completely destroyed. The smell of dog shit and urine hits them. In the center of the destruction are the two mastiffs, who are currently mating.
Percy quickly shuts the door. Vex is furious and questions who did this. Percy says that it was either Grog or Vax as a prank. Vex goes running off towards Grog’s room. Percy follows after.
Grog is drinking from his alchemy jug as Vex storms in. She pulls him by the beard to her room and asks if he was the one responsible for the destruction. He is very confused, and Vex figures out that he is not the one who brought in the dogs. She rushes off to the front desk. Grog gives the dogs some beer from his alchemy jug, and Percy goes to find Vax.
When Vex goes over to the front desk, she demands to know if anyone was let into her room. The desk attendant admits that her brother was let into her room earlier. She rushes off to find her twin. She calls him over the earring and brings Trinket out of her necklace, ready to fight.
She rushes into the room with Percy not far behind. She begins to wildly accuse Vax of destroying her room. Percy leads Keyleth away. When they reach Percy and Vex’s room, Percy shoves her in and shuts the door behind her. Vex grabs her brother’s hair and pulls him out into the hallway. Trinket is waiting for him. Vex orders Trinket to attack. For the first time, Vax realizes how large and menacing Trinket is as he barrels towards him.
He manages to pull away right before Trinket reaches him. He runs, but Trinket is faster and is quickly gaining on him. When he reaches the beach, he feels the wind knocked out of him as Trinket leaps and tackles him to the ground. Trinket quickly gets up and pins Vax on his back. Vax, as a defensive maneuver, begins to give Trinket belly rubs.
Trinket begins to calm and enjoy the belly rubs, but Vex is close behind. She tells Trinket not to fall for it. Trinket begins to growl at Vax again.
Vex begins to cry and asks her brother why he would ruin their vacation by letting dogs fuck in their bed and destroy their room. Vax then admits that he was only in the room to put Tary’s armor under the bed.
Vex: “Why would you put Taryon’s armor in our room?”
Vax: “Because it was fucking hilarious.”
Vex orders Trinket to stay on Vax for a while and also to pee on him.
Keyleth tries to lure the mastiffs out of the room with some jerky. They take the jerky and run off.
Meanwhile, Tary is listening to Doty sing his name while the robot applies night cream to his face.
Percy and Keyleth begin to clean up the mess in the room. He assures her that he knows that she had nothing to do with it, but that she was going to be more useful than Vax. Keyleth uses control water to bring the urine out of the room.
Keyleth: “I am the leader of my tribe, and I am on janitorial duty.”
At this point, the halfling from the front desk comes down the hall and gasps at what he sees. Percy convinces him that they had nothing to do with it. He sighs and has his employees bring their things to another room while he assesses the damage.
Vex goes to Tary’s room. She asks if he let two dogs loose in their room. He gladly admits that he did, and it was revenge for Percy stealing his armor. Vex explains that Percy never stole her armor and it was Vax all along. Tary is hurt by this and regrets his actions against his two closest friends. Vex immediately forgives him and cries that she could never stay mad at him. She pulls him into a hug.
Tary sends Doty off to help clean their room. Vex tells him that she has Trinket holding Vax hostage while he relieves himself on the paladin. She wishes Tary a good night as she leaves.
With that being by far the most exciting portion of their trip, they manage to enjoy the rest of their vacation. At the end of the ten days, they make their way back to Whitestone.
When they arrive home, Grog goes to visit Pike. He tells her how he found the deck of many things. He also explains that it gave him a mighty sword (though he does admit that it rusted later) and that it gave a stranger two wishes. Pike is excited and wants to pull a card. Grog does add, however, that Vex often tells him it is dangerous.
Pike inspects the cards. She realizes that she has heard of decks of cards that can alter reality in good and bad ways. She relays this to Grog.
Pike is torn. She is very tempted by the deck, but she worries about the repercussions.
Pike: “I don’t know if we should test the fates.”
Grog: “We should flip a coin.”
Pike: “Let’s flip a coin.”
Pike pulls out a coin and flips it. The coin says they don’t pull a card. Grog claims that was just for Pike picking a card and flips it again, but the result is the same. Pike is as disappointed as she is relieved.
Pike gives the cards back to Grog and makes him promise to not pull any cards by himself. He agrees that if he has to pull a card, he’ll come find her.
A few more weeks go by, and Vex’s teleportation circle to Sygorn is complete.
Keyleth checks on the Sun Tree. They chat for a while. Other than children climbing through his branches, it says it is happy and comfortable.
Pike keeps up with things in the bakery. As she is there, the guard come in and inform her that someone is requesting her presence on the outskirts of town.
Keyleth sees Pike walking with guards through the town and beastshapes into a crow to follow her.
The guards explain that there is a group of people waiting for her. They have been there for a few hours and do not seem hostile.
They finally reach the group. They are standing in front of a caravan, curtains drawn. A mustachioed gnome calls out to her. He runs over and pulls her into a hug, lifting her off the ground. The guards go to draw their blades, but Pike stops them. She realizes that these gnomes are her family–her cousins Jaybee and Johan, Johan’s wife, and her Uncle Ogden–whom she has not seen in a very long time.
She hugs her cousins and tells them that she’s missed them. Her Uncle Ogden comes over and asks if she really slays dragons. She says that she has, and that she also has a bakery. Being mostly deaf from old age, he only catches a few words of this.
Pike tells them to follow her, as she wants to introduce them to her friends. Jaybee asks if these friends are Vox Machina. Pike admits that they are, and they grow more excited. They tell the guards to put their caravan with the royal horses since they are now with Pike.
Pike, sensing that they were missing more than her company, asks the guards to take them to the Slayer’s Cake. She tells her family that she will meet up with them later.
Keyleth flies down and lands on Pike’s shoulder. Pike calls the others over the earrings, saying her family is there and that they should meet her at the Slayer’s Cake. She adds that they should watch their pockets and personal belongings.
Grog immediately rushes over to Pike. She talks briefly with him and Keyleth before heading to the bakery.
Meanwhile, her family arrives. Tary is in the bakery making blondies. They introduce themselves, explaining who they are. In gnomish, Tary gives them a robust greeting. He offers them blondies, which they greedily stuff into their pockets. Jaybee wets some blondies to feed to Uncle Ogden.
Pike and everyone else come into the bakery. Tary explains that he’s given them whatever they want from the bakery free of charge.
After they introduce themselves, Vax asks why they’ve come to Whitestone. Astra explains that they wanted to see Pike after hearing about all of her adventures and receiving her letter. Jaybee chimes in, saying she has followed their adventures closely and knows that Whitestone is Percy’s city, so she deduced that is where Pike would be found.
Keyleth notes that Percy never mentioned his name.
Grog asks Jaybee what she knows about him. She replies that his name is Grog Strongjaw, and he is a half-giant. She also sadly notes that he replaced her in Pike’s life.
Grog is confused by this, but insists that Pike’s family is his family. He asks for a hug from all of them. Astrid pulls Uncle Odgen in as she and Johan rush over. Jaybee doesn’t join in on the hug, but pats Grog’s arm.
Pike asks Jaybee if she can speak to her in private. They exit the bakery. Pike asks her about Scanlan. Jaybee tells her that she knows about his trail of women he’s left through the years and his adventures, but not much else. Pike, uncomfortable by her cousin’s odd obsession with her, leads her back inside.
When they return, Johan is in the middle of telling Grog embarrassing stories about Pike’s childhood.
She offers for them to stay with her for a few days. They gladly accept, and Tary insists they all have dinner together later that night, which they also accept.
When they get to the castle, the Trickfoot family immediately rushes off to the baths.
Johan is the first down to dinner. Pike tells him to order whatever he wants, and she will cover it. He immediately launches into a conversation with a servant, asking about their wines.
Vex slips into the kitchen. She instructs the chefs to not make anything too impressive. They tell her that the request is unusual, but they will follow it to the best of their ability.
Shortly after Vex leaves, Tary also goes into the kitchen. He tells the chefs that Pike’s family is very important, and they must pull out all the stops. The chefs are confused and explain that Vex just told them to make an average meal. Tary, not picking up on the same signals as everyone else, explains that she was simply being polite. The chefs, more confused, throw out what they were working on, and start making fine meats.
Tary goes to confront Vex. He asks her why they aren’t treating the Trickfoots with more respect. Vex explains that they are trying to take advantage of Pike, and the more they like it, the longer they will stay. Percy interjects, saying that they would have likely seen through poor food anyway. Vex sighs and agrees.
Grog then bursts into the kitchen.
Grog: “All right. Listen up. I need turkey legs, peanut butter, eggs, and cheese. Chop chop!”
The chefs sigh, and throw out what they were working on yet again.
Pike pulls Percy aside and apologizes in advance for her family’s future actions.
Dinner begins, and the servants bring out plates of peanut butter and cheese.
Jaybee feeds Uncle Ogden while Johan brags about Trickfoot history.
Pike goes over to Jaybee and offers to feed Uncle Ogden for a while. She offers Jaybee the chance to speak to anyone in Vox Machina. Jaybee responds that she would very much like to talk with Pike and catch up. Pike asks if there’s anyone else she’s interested in. Jaybee looks over the other members of Vox Machina for a while–pointedly ignoring Grog–and says she finds Lady Vex’ahlia very interesting. Pike tells her that Vex is very friendly and she can go up to her and start talking.
As Pike feeds Uncle Ogden, she begins to talk to him in Undercommon. She asks how he’s liked traveling. He says that traveling is hard, but they are here now to protect her. Vex and Tary, who also speak Undercommon, listen in.
He explains that he has been having visions of Pike, as an angel of light, swallowed by darkness.
Ogden: “There is a curse in our blood, and we wish to save you from that curse. I’m worried for you. You’re the only good one.”
He trails off and opens his mouth to be fed.
Pike asks about Astra. He says that she nails him down and that she is good to him. He adds that he’ll kill her if she breaks his heart.
Uncle Ogden gets up, announcing to Pike that he is tired. Jaybee, who was speaking with Vex, sees this. She tells Pike that she will bring him to bed. Pike offers to let one of the servants take him, but Jaybee is hesitant to trust a servant, though she wants to stay. Vex offers to take Ogden to bed, pointing out that Jaybee likely wants to speak with Pike. Jaybee smiles brightly at this and agrees she does.
Pike and Jaybee briefly discuss Wilhand before moving the conversation to Ogden’s visions. Jaybee is upset that Ogden told Pike about the visions so early on. She says that, once they got her letter, they figured they could find her if she could find them. Pike still isn’t sure about their true motives.
Meanwhile, Vex helps Ogden to his room. In Undercommon, she begins to talk about traveling. She transitions this into his visions. He tells her he has been having terrible premonitions. He tells her that these dreams are the kind that “end a bloodline.”
He continues to say that, in each generation, there is one Trickfoot with the curse. Each one dies a horrible and painful death. He explains that he has had these dreams once before. He dreamed about his brother, who died shortly after.
Ogden falls asleep and Vex heads back downstairs.
Vax looks at the faces of the Trickfoots, trying to find a family resemblance. He notices one in Pike and Jaybee, and realizes that, when they were younger, they were likely difficult to tell apart.
As the Trickfoots begin to head to bed, Percy pulls Jaybee aside. He offers her a private tour of the city if Grog’s is inadequate, and despite his intentions, makes it seem as though he’s coming on to her. She rejects him but accepts the tour.
When they all leave, Pike reminds everyone to check their pockets. Nothing is missing.
Vax points out how different Pike is from the rest of her family. Pike agrees, saying Wilhand took her away to the church when she was very young.
Vex fills Pike in on what Ogden told her about the blood curse. They wonder why Wilhand never mentioned the curse if it is real.
They decide to visit Wilhand tomorrow while the Trickfoots are on a tour. Percy suggest going with Grog to supplement the tour. He also suggest transporting Ogden on the flying carpet.
After the next day is fully planned, they go to bed.
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.