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"A Cycle of Vengeance" (5x02) is the second episode of the fifth chapter of Critical Role. Beset by an old foe disguised as a beloved ally, Vax'ildan fights for his life while the other members of Vox Machina fend off some assassin hirelings standing between them and their friend.
Previously on Critical Role Edit
Vox Machina, having returned to Vasselheim, in which Vax and—to a lesser extent—Percy had their own encounters with the Raven Queen. Vax found, seemingly, some catharsis and purpose to his currently-deemed Champion position with the Raven Queen. Percy discovered he's been broken all along and left slightly slapped in the nuts, but such is the nature of your journey. But you also crafted a metal claw hand for an ally.
But as you guys finished up your business in Vasselheim, you made your way back to Whitestone. While in Whitestone, you met up with some old friends, had dinner with Allura, Kima, the Realmseer, [and] Gilmore. You guys discussed all the things that you needed to do in the future, some information that had been acquired from some of the Vestiges, as well as the nature of some of the dragons of the Conclave, and some discussion was had on the overall purpose of this recent incursion of dragon destruction, after which you all went to bed. While resting mid-night, [there was] a visit from Gilmore to Vax's room after some oil prankery was beset upon each other via Grog and Vax; Gilmore gifted a fine silk robe to Vax and requested his presence to discuss time that has passed.
Upon changing into the robe, you guys made your way down the hallway, up the stairs to one of the high balconies of the tower—the west tower—of Whitestone, upon which Gilmore turned, seemingly in some serious displeasure, and stabbed you with a dagger you had not seen was there. As the pain set in, you realized perhaps this is not the Gilmore you recall, but a shapeshifting tiger-like devil entity that you may have pissed off sometime in the past.
Part I Edit
As combat begins between Vax'ildan and the being impersonating Gilmore, Vax attempts to grapple the creature without success, then shouts aloud and into his Earring of Whisper, "Assassins! Western tower and the courtyard! Jenga!" The other members of Vox Machina awaken upon sleepily hearing part of Vax's message, except for Scanlan, who is already awake and hears the full message.
Keyleth, Percy, and Pike each see assassins in their rooms, preparing to strike at their sleeping forms and surprised to see their prey awaken despite their stealthy entrances. Keyleth pushes her assailant out of her bedroom's window, and the party eventually kills Percy and Pike's assailants before converging on Gilmore's impersonator outside.
Meanwhile, Scanlan had cast Dimension Door to appear near Vax on the castle wall, but Vax, taking heavy damage from the creature he now recognizes to be Hotis, grapples the rakshasa and shoves him over the edge, plunging to the ground along with his victim. Hotis and Vax trade blows, but Vax ultimately suffers a poisonous strike and falls unconscious, nearing death without the benefits of his Deathwalker's Ward that still sits in his room. Enraged by the sight of his friend falling to this fiend, Scanlan lifts the Mythcarver high above his head, leaping from the castle wall in an attack strengthened by the force of gravity. Hotis pulls the blade out of his torso and casts it aside. With a quick Healing Word, Scanlan brings Vax back to consciousness, and the rogue picks up the Mythcarver and strikes at Hotis.
The other members of Vox Machina enter the fray with Hotis, who tries to flee. Several spell attacks against the rakshasa fail due to being cast at an insufficient level. Keyleth erects a Wall of Stone in his path, and Pike unleashes a Flame Strike that fills Hotis until his body explosively bursts into pieces.
With combat concluded, Vax tries to remove the robe given to him by Hotis (under the guise of Gilmore), but pulling at the robe feels like his skin is being pulled from his flesh. As a couple group members leave to find Allura and Gilmore, Vax and the others head into the Ziggurat to enter the magic-nullification field of the floating sphere. As hoped, the robe painlessly comes off of Vax's skin.
Meanwhile, Keyleth finds Gilmore just as he slaughters a would-be assassin in his Whitestone residence. She tells Gilmore that Vax is in danger from a rakshasa (without explaining that their foes are dead), and Gilmore immediately teleports himself and the druid to Vax's location beneath Whitestone Castle. Relieved to find Vax alive, they share an awkward moment of doubt and remembrance of their previous conversation about their relationship. Examining the robe, Gilmore determines that it is a cursed Robe of Flaying.
Part II Edit
Featured Characters Edit
Vox Machina Edit
- Percival de Rolo
- Scanlan Shorthalt
- Grog Strongjaw
- Pike Trickfoot
- Six unnamed assassins from the Clasp in Stillben in the rooms of Keyleth, Percy, and Pike
- One of them had an elven appearance.
- All six were killed in this episode.
- Unnamed patron at a tavern
- Chicken meal stolen for Vex's target practice and burned by Keyleth.
- Attacked by Grog, starting a tavern-wide food fight.
- Cassandra de Rolo
- Shaun Gilmore
- Zahra Hydris (actor not present; controlled by the DM)
- Kashaw Vesh (actor not present; controlled by the DM)
- Lady Kima of Vord
- Allura Vysoren
|Relinquished||1||Potion of Healing||Percy||ground near Pike||During combat, Percy dropped a potion of healing next to Pike, who was at 1 HP. Pike did not pick up the potion.|
|Acquired||300||gold pieces||unnamed assailant of Keyleth||Vex'ahlia||Galdric brought back the corpse of this fleeing assassin, which the party looted.|
|6||vials of poison||Vox Machina||Unknown poisons.|
|1||Scrying Eye||Vex'ahlia||A fist-sized glass sphere with a cloudy liquid at the center that moves when shaken.|
|Transferred||1||Gate Stone||Vax'ildan||Pike||While Pike remains in Whitestone to aid Allura and Keeper Yennen in locating Hotis, she takes one Gate Stone while Keyleth has the other.|
|Transferred||1||pointy hat||Scanlan||Vex'ahlia||As part of his deal with Vex, Scanlan gives her the pointy, witch-like hat that he bought from the Sore Socket Haberdashery in "Duskmeadow" (5x01) with instructions to wear it while flying on the broom.|
|Converted||1||broom of flying||Percy||Vex'ahlia||Percy upgrades Vex'ahlia's flying broom with foot stabilizers and an Elvish inscription of its new name, Death from Above.|
- Vax'ildan: "Assassins! Western tower and the courtyard! Jenga!"
External Links Edit