SPOILERS for Critical Role Episode 77 (obviously).  Go check out the full episode at GeekandSundry.com!
My recap of Episode 76 can be found here.

Vox Machina enters the battle at Fort Daxio.

Previously on Critical Role

The party, all disguised as Vax and Vex, fought and killed the pit fiend and his erinyes at the request of Jarael. They returned to Jarael, and recieved the dawnmartyr plate, which is Pike’s vestige. After receiving a separate request from Cenokier, they return to Fort Daxio, only to find it under siege.

Now

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Vex immediately flys up on her broom to look over the wall of Fort Daxio. She sees the soldiers of Fort Daxio battling lizardmen and wyvern riders. She also sees that the front gates have been breached. Suddenly, two wyverns fly towards her. The party readies themselves for battle.

Percy aims Bad News towards the wyverns. He shoots one in the wing. As the other one approaches, he shoots that one as well. Vex also looses arrows towards the wyverns and their riders, and they crash to the ground. The party runs towards the Fort, and the downed wyverns and riders are unable to pursue. A third wyvern attacks Percy, hitting him with its stinger. It tries to fly away, but Scanlan uses his wand of fireballs to attack. The wyvern takes the full brunt of the flames.

The rider on the wyvern has died, but the wyvern continues to attack the party as they head to the fort. Vex and Percy both fire at the wyvern, but it is focused on Percy, and continues to attack him. Since the wyvern is now so close, Grog takes this as an opportunity to rage and attack the beast.

Grog swings at the wyvern with his axe and slices it in two.

They reach the outside of the gate to the fort.

Vex: “There’s a hundred more guys inside, Grog.”

Grog: “I know. You keep saying that number like I know what it means.”

Keyleth: “One hundred needs three hands to make.”

Vex flies over the top of the wall. They find the lizardmen attacking the Fort Daxio soldiers, but are unable to determine who is winning. The ground is still burning and Daxio soldiers and lizardmen alike lay dead. Seven wyverns fly around the battle. Vex and Keyleth set up to attack the wyverns. The lizardmen notice the party’s presence.

Percy begins to attack the lizardmen as Vex attacks the wyverns. Keyleth pulls out her spire of conflux and shoots a fireball at the charging lizardmen. This instantly kills six lizardmen. Grog continues to rage and heads into the battle.

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Suddenly, a blast comes from one of the towers. Another magical being has cast a spell, though this one is seemingly cast against the soldiers at Fort Daxio. A blonde elf with bloody robes emerges. He is one of the wyvern riders.

Vex fires a bramble shot at the elf. He doesn’t see it coming and is restrained as a result. Vex notices that this is Gatekeeper Xanthras from Emon. Vex flies towards him.

Keyleth sees wyverns chained to the ground, and more lizardmen about to come through the door. She fireballs them again. Six more lizardmen die.

Scanlan heads into the battle with the party and casts lightning bolt and hits Xanthras’s wyvern. Scanlan d0es not know that they are attacking Xanthras. He also inspires Vax with a dirty limerick. Vax, despite the strange words, feels more brave going into battle.

Percy attempts to clear his gun, which is now broken.

Xanthras’s wyvern swoops down to attack Scanlan. He uses cutting words on the wyvern to deflect the attack. He pulls his shirt open to show the wyvern his abundant chest hair. The wyvern hesitates in confusion and misses.

Pike rushes into the battle. She casts cure wounds on Keyleth.

Grog attacks the wyvern. Hitting it twice, he kills it. He then runs towards the lizardmen.

Vax calls out to Vex.

Vax: “Vex! Catch!”

He then throws Whisper up to her. She fumbles with it for a second, cutting her hand, but she manages to hold on. Vax pops up next to the dagger. He casts lay on hands to heal her. He climbs onto the broom.

They hear horns off in the distance and hear massive wings flapping towards them. They worry that Thordak is about to enter the fray. Instead, they see a massive, fiery bird flying towards them. It is a fire giant on an ember roc.

Fire giant: “The Cinder King calls for swift execution! I deliver his hate with absolute strength!”

It dives towards the gate. He gets under Vax and Vex and swings her maul up towards them. He hits the both, but they manage to hold onto the broom. The bird slams into the gate, which crumbles under the massive force.

The giant climbs off of the roc. More soliders and lizard men die.

Xanthras calls up to Vex to release him. She ignores him and casts hunter’s mark on the fire giant. She looses two arrows that stick into the giant. She flies towards cover.

Vax follows his sister’s lead and also casts hunter’s mark. He throws Whisper at the giant and hits.

Keyleth unleashes a tidal wave towards the giant and roc. Neither the roc nor the giant are harmed by the water itself but they are both hurt by the force of the wave. In retaliation, the giant throws flaming boulders at Keyleth.

Percy continues to fire at the wyverns, but another gun jams. He pulls out Bad News, and that jams as well. With few options left, he runs towards an open, loaded trebuchet.

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Vex continues to loose arrows at the enemies. Xanthras, who has managed to escape the bramble shot whispers to her.

Xanthras: “Why don’t you take a walk off the edge of that tower.”

Vex is magically compelled to do so. She walks off the edge, but, while in the air, pulls out her broom. She gives him the thumbs up as she flies by.

Vex: “Thanks, boss!”

Xanthras begins to run off.

Xanthras: “All right. Well… uh… shoot your friends!”

Grog runs over to the roc, which has been knocked prone during the battle. Grog attacks the bird in a frenzied rage. Though he takes some damage from the flames coming off of the roc, his attacks hit the bird much harder. The roc, in turn, uses inferno, but Grog manages to brush off most of the attack. A soldier at a ballista helps Grog attack the roc. The fight continues to claim soldiers and lizardmen alike.

Vex looses two arrows at Grog.

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The first arrow misses, but the second hits. Vex is still under the magical compulsion put on her by Xanthras.

Scanlan: “Vex is working with them. Kill her. I knew this day would come.”

Keyleth, while attacking the wyverns, turns into an air elemental.

The giant approaches Grog. He attacks him twice with his great maul.

Percy tries to turn the trebuchet towards the roc. He is unable to move it. He sprints towards cover, but gets attacked along the way. When he is fully hidden in a tent, he uses his second wind to fix Animus.

Xanthas comes back into the fight. He tells Vex to keep attacking her friends. He also casts a fireball, which hits Grog, Scanlan, and Keyleth. Grog brushes off most of the damage, but Scanlan and Keyleth take the brunt of it.

Pike attempts to move the trebuchet near the roc. She is damaged by the fire coming off of the bird, but pushes through it. She successfully aims the trebuchet at the roc. She lobs a boulder at the roc. It hits. During this, she also attacks the fire giant twice. The roc bites her in retaliation.

Grog sees that the giant is focusing her attacks on Scanlan and gets jealous. He swings several times at the giant, hitting her every time. Wyverns and lizardmen attack Keyleth and Scanlan.

Vex flies around Grog, attacking him again. Vax comes by and attacks Vex, and then subsequently the giant. Despite the damage, Vex is unable to shake Xanthras’s control. However, Vax does manage to kill the giant. He stabs her in the calf with Whisper and runs the dagger up her leg as high as she can go. She collapses onto the ground. Vox Machina (with the exception of Vex) continues to attack the lizardmen and wyverns.

The tide of the battle begins to shift in favor of Vox Machina and the Fort Daxio soldiers. Xanthras casts chain lightning towards Vax. He also hits Grog and Pike. Pike is knocked unconscious by the attack, but is immediately revived by the armor. Xanthras runs back to cover.

Pike attacks the roc again. Grog come up from behind her, picks her up, and deals the killing blows with Pike (who is holding the mace of disruption) to the roc.

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Grog puts down Pike and turns to Vex.

Grog: “Fucking cut it out!”

Vex: “Good job! I’m gonna hit you in a minute!”

Soldiers ask Scanlan for instructions. He tells them to kill more lizardmen.

Xenthras goes flying from where he was hidden. Kima shoots after him and continues to attack. During the attack, he breaks his concentration, and Vex is freed. She looses arrows towards Xenthras, using sneak attack and hunter’s mark. He attempts to speak, but is unable to before Vex kills him.

Vex: “I always thought you were a dick back in Emon. Don’t fuck with me!”

Kima is miffed, as she wanted to kill Xenthras.

The dust begins to settle over the battle now that the most dangerous enemies have been defeated. They begin to loot the bodies. Keyleth extracts ember roc oil from the roc.

Percy fixes Animus, but is unable to fix Bad News.

The party begins to find out what happened. They came late into the battle. Xenthras arrived asking for aid, and Allura assumed he was on their side and let him in. Kima is furious with Xenthras for this. She leads them to Allura.

Allura is hiding. Kima comforts her, and explains that they are friends. She has been the victim of feeblemind. Pike casts greater restoration and dispels the magic. Kima rushes past Vex and Grog to embrace the now restored Allura. They wrap their arms around each other and kiss.

Percy suggests that they retrieve Xenthras’s corpse and cast speak with dead to find his true intentions. Grog brings the body back to them, not taking much care to keep it intact. Pike casts the spell, and begins to speak to him.

Pike: “My friend, I am so sorry you’ve fallen in battle, but I had to bring you back to ask you some questions.”

First they ask if Raishan has met with Thordak. He says that she has not, but that she does speak to him through crystals. Next, they ask why Fort Daxio was attacked. He says that a scouting party from Emon saw the fort’s activity increase and also saw Vox Machina in the fort. They then ask if there are any secret entrances into Emon. He tells them that there is the Traverse Junction and the tunnels beneath. Percy asks who in the city fights against Thordak. He says that there is a resistance in the city, but it always moving. Finally, they ask what Thordak fears. Xenthras responds that he is not afraid of anything because he is so powerful. Vox Machina thinks that Xenthras truly believed this. Their spell used up, Xenthras is silent once more.

Vax goes to oversee the burning of the dead lizardmen. Vex teleports to the aasimar boys. They are shocked to see her return. She invites them to Fort Daxio. They ride in on Trinket.

While the general and Allura discuss their remaining options for attack, Keyleth pulls Allura aside. She tells Keyleth that she has one teleportation spell left, and they can use it to return to Whitestone.

The party realizes that this was not intended to be a full attack. It seems that Thordak was merely testing Fort Daxio’s resistances. They receive word that Sygorn is one day’s journey outside of Emon. It would be a four day journey to head to Fort Daxio. Vox Machina decides to meet somewhere in the middle. The general tells them that they have fifty five soldiers remaining. Keyleth points out that no base will be safe. Fort Daxio, she argues, was safe until they show up. They decide to rest for the night.

The next day, they decide to teleport to Fort Daxio. Allura offers to cast the spell, but she cannot teleport the boys. Keyleth uses transport via plants to everyone back to Whitestone. It’s quiet in the town, but tense. They are brought inside. Cassandra is very pleased to see that Percy is still alive. They convince her to temporarily look after the boys, but she isn’t pleased with it.

They head to the ziggurat. Raishan is inside in her dragon form. Asum is also there, scarred with acid but alive. Bram Goldhand is also alive. Vox Machina fills everyone in on the attack on Fort Daxio. Asum tells the party that he was a part of The Clasp in Emon, which smuggled others to safety. He says that there are many more wyvern riders and that slaves are looting other cities for Thordak. Volcanoes and fire spring from the ground wherever Thordak’s scales fall. He is now part elemental.

Bram suggests that stealth missions are the best option, considering the fire giants. Also, the Liceum have fallen to Thordak. He says that Thordak has been building something.

They ask Raishan what she thinks. She suggests fighting in the Cloudtop.

They also find out that the airship arrived, but was sent to Fort Daxio.

Running out of options, they try to see if they combination of all of the vestiges has a magical effect. They touch them all together. Nothing happens.

Scanlan reminds everyone that someone is hiding in the Greyskull Keep.

The party must decide between bringing Gilmore or Allura with them to Emon.

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Gilmore says he has to maintain the barrier to Whitestone. Allura says she wants to go, but is fearful of what will happen. They take a vote. Four vote for Gilmore, and three for Allura. However, this does not settle the issue. The council and Raishan grow frustrated with Vox Machina’s indecisiveness. Eventually, they decide to bring Gilmore. Cassandra tells them to quickly gather their forces.

To be continued…

Episode 78 – The Siege of Emon


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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.