SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 69 (obviously). Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
My recap of Episode 68 can be found here.
In the wake of their battle with Ripley, Vox Machina scrambles to find a way home to save their fallen friend.
Previously on Critical Role
After Vox Machina’s flashy arrival at the island of Glintshore, leaving a ship sinking beneath the waves, the party combats a trio of air elemental creatures, before tracking a recent trail from a camp on the beach. The catch up with Ripley and two of her associates and confront her, only to find it is an illusion and a massive explosion hurtles the group backwards and Ripley and her crew ambush them from the jungle.
A bloody battle ensues, revealing that Ripley has now bonded with Orthax, the shadow demon that Percy once harbored. It is also discovered that one of Ripley’s crew is none other than Kynan, the young aspiring adventure that Vox Machina turned away months prior.
When the smoke cleared, Ripley and her crew (sans Kynan) were all dead and Orthax had been defeated, but not without casualty. The body of Percival Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III lie motionless and lifeless on the glassy ground.
The party notices a tiny tree sprout from the sundered remains of Ripley, a product of a kill from Vex’s bow, Fenthras.
Grog chops off her left hand and places it in the bag of “colding” to return to Treev and the Scar Bearers, as per their agreement.
Kynan is quietly standing nearby, Vax confronts him. “We’ve come a long way for that.” He says nodding at the dagger, another vestige.
“Take it.” Kynan says meekly, tossing the Whisper at his feet. Vax picks it up and hands it to Keyleth.
Vax drills Kynan as to how it was that he got here. How and why he was traveling with Ripley. Kynan explains that he met Ripley in Kimal, that she was persuasive and confident. She told him that Vox Machina wasn’t who he thought they were. She told him that they were responsible for the Chroma Conclave attacks, letting him listen in on one of their conversations admitting as much.
Kynan tells Vax that he is sorry and that he hopes that he can somehow redeem himself but will defer to the party’s judgement. Vax tells him to stand by and do whatever they tell him to do.
The group begins turning over Ripley’s body. Vax senses a fiendish presence still somewhere. Grog and Keyleth entertain the idea of somehow using Orthax to bring back Percy.
In addtion to the cloak, the vestige Cabal’s Ruin, they find a small box containing a scroll, a small round stone with runes on it, and Ripley’s gun, of similar design to Percy’s original pepperbox.
Vex picks up the gun and Vax realizes that is the source of the fiendish presence. “Hey! Put that down! Please! Its…its in the gun.”
The name of the weapon “Animus” is inscribed on the pommel. Three names remain etched into three of the gun’s six barrels: Riktor Wells, Osgrood, and King Bertrand Grindell.
Kynan reveals that the stone is the focus used to listen to the party via the enchantment on Percy’s pistol. He says the scroll was found in the nearby cave.
Scanlan identifies the scroll as a scroll of Gate, an incredibly powerful spell that opens a portal to other planes or could pull creatures through from such places. It could also theoretically be uses as a simple teleport.
The party debates on using this to get home now to resurrect Percy immediately or saving it for another use, taking a long-rest for Keyleth to transport via plants home.
Scanlan insists that they collect all the guns. Grog heads off to gather them all up.
Scanlan and Kynan search for the Onyx dog statue that got flung by the blast.
The twins head to investigate the cave Kynan mentioned.
Keyleth stays with Percy, she begins cleaning up his body.
Scanlan finds the dog statue wedged in a tree and returns to camp.
The twins investigate the cave. Vex uses Fenthras‘s “oracle shot” ability to scout ahead. The tunnel splits. They find a stone alter covered in bones and skulls. There is an empty compartment in the alter, Vex speculates this is were Ripley found the scroll. They decide to head back without exploring the other branch.
Scanlan suggests they call it a day and sleep in the mansion so they can get back to Whitestone when they wake.
Vex flies on her broom up to the airship to inform Captain Damon to leave without them.
Damon tells her they saw the explosion and he asks if everyone is okay. The look on Vex’s face answers his question.
Vex tells him to head home, that they will find their way on their own.
Damon says if they need him to find him and his crew in Ank’harel.
Vex asks Damon if he would be interested in helping in the fight against the Conclave. He is uncertain. Vex tells him that there is plenty of loot to be had from the dragon’s hoard in Emon.
He agrees. Vex tells him to head to Whitestone.
Vex returns to the island and tells the party she told Damon to meet them in Whitestone.
Scanlan: “Don’t we have a blood pact to never say ‘Whitestone’?”
Scanlan: “Also, isn’t Whitestone invisible?”
Vex: “It is.”
Scanlan: “Well, maybe they will find it anyway…”
Scanlan casts the magnificent mansion and they all go inside.
Vax suggests they all camp out in the den, as he dosen’t feel like heading up to his room.
Keyleth: “We can make a blanket fort, yeah.”
Vax: “What do we do with Percival?”
Grog: “With us?”
Scanlan: “He’s still part of the team, yeah.”
Keyleth: “That’s a little weird, you guys.”
Grog pulls out the fine wine from his bag of holding and gives it to Vex and Keyleth, suggesting that they sleep and then they all can help Percy in the morning. “The time for tears is later.”
Keyleth druid crafts fireflies above them and they all go to sleep.
They find Kynan in against the wall, silent, seemingly having gone without sleep for the night. Grog yells at him to buck up but he doesn’t respond. He follows as the group heads out.
Keyleth casts transport via plants on one of the larger jungle trees and they step through into the town square of Whitestone, late in the evening.
They are greeted by some townsfolk and guards, Vex and Keyleth tell them to fetch Cassandra immediately.
They head immediately to Pike’s temple of Sarenrae. They “phone” ahead with their magic earrings to have Pike prepare for their arrival.
They enter the modest temple, Pike greeting them. “I knew something was wrong. Where is he?” Grog lays Percy down on a large table.
Pike casts resurrection, Vex producing a diamond for the spell component.
They gather around and Pike performs the ritual, but some dark force is blocking the magic. She can still sense his soul there but she cannot reach it.
The ponders the cause of the blockage in a panic. Keyleth hands Pike Ripley’s gun and the blockage becomes clear, Orthax, ravenously devouring Percy’s soul.
Keyleth, remembering what Pike did to sever Grog from Kraven Edge, casts greater restoration on the gun. She sees a dark teather of energy binding Orthax to the pistol, she reaches out and grabs it.
Orthax pleads with her. She snaps the tether and Orthax dissipates into a cloud of dark shadow with a scream. The soul of Percy, now free, begins fading away.
“PERCY!” Keyleth screams as her vision returns to her surroundings.
Pike continues the ritual. Vex rummages through his pockets for the piece of refined white stone. She also finds a folded note.
Vex speaks to Percy. She tells him that the day he gave her the title in Syngorn was one of the happiest of her life, and not because of the title, but because he wanted her to be a part of something he cared about. She says that she doesn’t want to be a part of it if he isn’t.
“Whitestone still needs you, darling. I still need you.” She leans down and kisses him. “I should have told you…it’s yours.”
Pike petitions Sarenrae for additional help, however the goddess in unable to directly intervene. He faith in Sarenrae does seem to help, aided with Scanlan’s inspiration.
Keyleth speaks to Percy, grasping the raven skull she gave him. She says that they are complete opposites, yet best friends. She conjures woodland beings to make a flock of ravens explode forth.
Vax extends his raven wings to cradle his body.
A moment passes and nothing happens. Then suddenly his body takes breath and color begins to flood back into his face.
Vax lays on hands to bring him back to consciousness. Scanlan is slapping his face to wake him up. Percy snatches his hand without opening his eyes and slapping Scanlan back with it. He sits up groaning. “Where are we? I don’t feel well.”
They tell him Ripley is no more. He thanks them.
Vex: “Cassandra will be here any moment.”
Percy: “Oh no.” Laying back down.
At that moment Cass bursts into the room, Asum and several guards in tow: “Where is is, is he alright!?”
Percy: “Oh, god. I’m gonna throw up.”
Cassandra: “Oh, he’s alright.” Turning to Vex “You scared me, I thought he was…”
Vex: “Everything is okay.”
Cassandra: “Stay out of trouble, brother.”
Percy: “Just a few more dragons and then I’m done.”
She pieces what happened together and quietly thanks Pike.
Scanlan: “I wanted to use a gate spell to save you instantly but everyone else in the group said no. They wanted to save it for something else. I stood up for you when you were down and they turned their backs on you.”
He hugs Percy. “I think that entitles me to one of the guns that we found. Just one of them. The smallest one. You can teach me how to use it on weekends…”
Percy: “We’ll discuss this.”
Scanlan: “Its a hard ‘yes’ I am expecting.”
Percy thanks them, especially, Keyleth, for freeing him from Orthax and they head up to the castle.
The run into Jarett and Shaun Gilmore. They are relieved to see Percy up and walking.
Gilmore gives Percy a huge hug, Percy winces. “I know that hurt. And what did we learn? Don’t get killed again!”
The group sits and chats with the two Marquesians for awhile. Gilmore examines the Cabal’s Ruin and Whisper. The cloak is resistant to magic and can absorb and expend magical energy. The dagger allows anyone that throws it to teleport to were it is thrown.
Percy keeps the cloak, Vax keeps the dagger.
Scanlan gives Jarett one of the large sacks of Fusaka spice. He notes the massive amount of it.
Vex: “He paid fifty gold for it.”
Scanlan: “For the pair.”
Jarett: “Fifty gold!? You got swindled, my friend!”
Vax introduces Kynan to Jarett, telling him that Kynan wishes to help in the defense of Whitestone. Jarett starts training the boy immediately by telling him to be more assertive. “You are speaking like a sniveling coward!”
Jarett tells Keyleth a letter arrived for her from Westruun. It is from Ker. He tells her things are going well in the town and that he is adjusting to being a leader. He points out that it is odd that he, a warrior and a blacksmith is left to tend to a city while someone like Keyelth is out fighting. He mentions the sometimes one has to “pass through fire” to reach ones full potential. He encloses a ring, forged from the steel of a sword. It is engraved with the message: “I have passed through fire.”
Percy is pressured to go lie down. The rest invite Jarett and Shaun to come drink with them. Gilmore politely declines, saying he needs to get some rest but Jarett agrees to come along.
The party, Jarett and Kynan head to the pub. Percy heads to his quarters and collapse onto the bed, fully clothed.
Grog shows Jarett the booze he acquired in Marquet and pours him a glass of the Sand’kheg. Jarett downs it without question. Grog downs a shot himself. Jarett is immediately hit with the numbness and intoxication the liquor brings. He slurs at Grog: “”You fucker.” They giggle at each other’s numb-tongued speech.
Vax speaks to Kynan and tells him about the daggers he bought for the kid long ago and promises to give them to him in a day or so. Kynan still seems overwhelmed with guilt but says he appreciates Vax’s wisdom.
Pike joins Jarett and Grog and tries some of the Sand’kheg. She takes her shot like a pro and does another, impressing the two guys. The second shot proves too much and her tongue ceases to function and she faceplants, out cold.
Vex checks out the letter she found in Percy’s jacket earlier.
Scanlan pulls Jarett aside and tells him about how they met and are now “tight” with J’mon Sa Ord. Jarett doesn’t believe him. Scanlan insists that this connect could clear Jarett of his criminal record in Ank’harel. Jarett drunkenly tells him that if it is possible then “Please do!”
In return Scanlan asks Jarett if he knows where to find real drugs.
Jarett tells Scanlan that he wouldn’t know where to find anything like that around Whitestone but that he could maybe send someone for it. He also adds that this is a very uncomfortable conversation for him to have, being in the employ of Scanlan and the party.
The twins, Keyleth, and Grog read Percy’s letter. It appears to be a farewell to them in the event of Percy’s death. In it, Percy laments over the poor decisions he has made in his life and is appreciative of their friendship. He tells them that he doesn’t care what is done with his body (though Cass probably will) but that his creations should be kept from the world, destroyed unless the party thinks the could be useful against the dragons.
The group decides to pretend they didn’t find the letter. Vex planning to sneak it back onto his person.
The group discussed possibly making such letters themselves, as any of them could die at any moment.
Vax begins stacking plates and cups on Pike’s unconscious form. He perfectly balances a tower three levels high before standing back to admire his work.
Grog shoves him into it, the glasses falling and shattering and the trays clanging across the ground. Pike stirs awake, still shit-faced.”AH! DID I TRY TO STEALTH!?”
Grog: “Pike! What did you do to all these cups and trays!?”
Pike: “Did I do that!?”
Grog: “Yes! You should apologize to the owner!”
Pike: “Oh, no! Sorry, owner!”
Grog tosses the barkeep a gold piece and picks up Pike. The group heads up to the castle.
Vex sneaks into Percy’s room and slips the letter back into his jacket. “I’m glad you’re back,” she whispers before leaving.
They all awake in the morning and meet for breakfast.
They are met by Seeker Asum. He tells them that there is new information they need to discuss and he leaves to wait for them in the war room.
The party meets him there. They suggest that if it is that important perhaps they should head down to the antimagic field below the castle so they cannot by spied upon.
Asum offhandedly says he would prefer to speak here.
Vex and Keyleth urge him to move the conversation downstairs.
Asum assures them that the room is safe and continues anyway.
Asum: “Before I continue, hear my words. Think before you act. I implore you. Understand that not all is as it seems and I come to you as an ally.”
The eyes of the halfling flash with green light and become yellow reptilian pupils. Green scales are just visible about his face.
Asum: “Now please, let us talk. Violence will not end in your favor. You have no plan, no trap. I am smarter, more prepared, and more powerful than all of you. I know of Whitestone, I know your tricks, and I know your weaknesses. If I wished you destroyed right now, I could have done it a thousand-fold already. So consider the fact that we are even having this conversation is me putting forth a lot of effort and intent to have this discussion. No rash actions.”
Asum: “Let us put our cards on the table, shall we? It is a pleasure to meet you in person, slayers of the Hope Devourer and the Iron Storm. I need your help.”
To be continued…
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