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"Family Matters" (7x12) is the twelfth episode of the seventh chapter of Critical Role. Vox Machina mobilizes to assist the Trickfoots in purging Pike of the blood curse. However, some things are not as they seem...

Synopsis Edit

Pre-Show Edit

  • Ashley Johnson is in transit from the airport.

Announcements Edit

  • Merch update.
  • Wednesday Club will be discussing the Eisners.
  • New episode of Signal Boost is up, starring Hannah Mahoney.
  • Travis still refuses to do a "Sportsball" episode for Signal Boost.
  • Taliesin, Marisha, Matt, and Brian Foster will be at MomoCon, which is May 25-28.
  • Talks Machina is Tuesdays at 7 PM Pacific on Twitch and Alpha.
  • Sam gives a shoutout to critter Kurt Shappacher, a.k.a. Bork, The Most Eloquent Half-Orc, to wish him a speedy recovery.
  • Because Sam missed Critmas, he is presented with a couple things that were sent to him: a Scanlan-face quilt and an itty-bitty Doty.
  • If someone sends Travis a genuine Heisman trophy, he promises to do a Sportsball episode for Signal Boost.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

"Vox Machina, having completed their venture over the past few arcs—having freed Whitestone from the tyranny of the Briarwoods, having brought down the Chroma Conclave, and essentially brought freedom back to Tal'Dorei—[they] closed up some loose ends, Keyleth finished her Aramenté, and [they] all went to [their] business for a year-long time jump.

"[They] returned, and each of [them] recounted the things [they] accomplished in that year, culminating in a Winter's Crest beachside vacation in the Bay of Gifts at the Port of Shamal, which involved some escalating pranks.

"[They] returned to [their] home in Whitestone and reconvened—especially after building [their] bake shop in Whitestone. But upon situating [themselves] after [their] return and enjoying this peaceful period of recovery and expansion of Whitestone itself, there was an arrival on the outskirts of the city. There was a cart of horses pulling a group of four gnomes that all eventually revealed themselves to be family of Pike Trickfoot.

"After taking them in, whether or not [Vox Machina was] excited or eager to, nevertheless [they] treated them with hospitality, gave them a place to stay, gave them food for the evening, conversations were had, [and] information was passed around.

"A handful of [the party]—listening on the conversations and pushing for information with the eldest of them, Uncle Ogden—discovered some sort of true purpose as to why they came to Whitestone, dealing with apparently a long-running blood curse that lies in the Trickfoot family, and [after] Ogden [began] having visions, [he] along with the rest of the family that takes care of him made their way towards Whitestone [with] the information gathered by JB Trickfoot—the esteemed keeper of knowledge about [Vox Machina's] journey over the past year or so and the exploits of her cousin Pike.

"That being the case, [Vox Machina] promised them a tour of the grounds, perhaps seeking more information on what the next steps are regarding this curse, if there are any."

Part I Edit

As Vox Machina make their way downstairs for breakfast, they find Astra sewing herself a new blouse out of some of the clothes she found in her guest quarters. Vex'ahlia quickly orders any untouched garments to be removed from the room.

Grog, enthusiastic to play tour guide, asks for a fancy hat to make him more visible. Percival and Vex raid Cassandra's spring wardrobe for something suitable. They construct a massive, belled, feathered, and be-ribboned captain's hat, which they present to Grog as his "official Whitestone tour hat." Now suitably decorated, Grog invites the gnomes onto the flying carpet for the tour, with Percy and Vax'ildan accompanying.

Trickfoot Family History Edit

Meanwhile, Keyleth brings Vex, Pike, and Taryon to Westruun for a visit to Wilhand Trickfoot. As Wilhand prepares tea, they ask him about the curse that Ogden claims to have dreamt about. Wilhand explains that he got away from the Trickfoot lifestyle early on, and therefore doesn't know much about what happened to Theobold Trickfoot, or whether he may have died of a blood curse. He does mention that diabetes runs in the family.

Back in Whitestone, the tour group find their way to Firecracker Alley to see the Riflemen. Kynan, who has been appointed the captain, greets them. Vax reclaims his snake belt from Kynan, saying he missed it. Vax, Grog, Johann, and Astra all try their hands at target practice with the rifles, with varying degrees of success.

I'm very grateful that you're here, and even though our last name has a reputation, I'm proud to be a Trickfoot.
– 
Pike, to Ogden Trickfoot

Everyone reconvenes at the castle for lunch. Pike takes Ogden to visit the local temple of Sarenrae for a private conversation. Ogden tells her the history of how the Trickfoots were first cursed. He explains that he has spent his life researching this curse, and once succeeded in exorcising it from Johann some years ago. Based on his research, he believes he can perform a ritual to cleanse Pike herself as well. She agrees to talk to the rest of the group about it, and they return to the castle.

Break Edit

Part II Edit

Noticing JB looking dejected, Vex takes her aside. They go to look at Vex's new house. Upon learning that JB is an avid reader, Vex takes her to see the library and loans her a book about the Feywild. They go next to Tary to see if he can write a story about the Trickfoots and their curse. He takes some notes from what JB tells him, agreeing that they will ask Ogden for more details later.

The party reconvene in Pike's quarters to discuss what they've learned. Vax tries a Divine Sense to see if there are any fiends or undead in Pike, but finds nothing. They all agree that the whole affair seems fishy, and that Pike seems highly unlikely to be affected by this curse. Since can't know for sure, however, they may as well go through with Ogden's ritual.

Ogden's Exorcism Edit

The group scatters to gather the components that Ogden requests for his ritual. The next morning, Keyleth casts Wind Walk to get them to a suitable location, a bluff overlooking the sea high up in the Alabaster Sierras. There, they camp for the few days that remain until the full moon. Pike casts Hallow to prepare the grounds for the ritual.

As Vox Machina arrange themselves to prepare for a fight against whatever entity will be exorcised, Ogden begins the ritual. Tary attempts to read his mind with a Potion of Mind Reading, but has no luck. Ogden chants, the diamond in his hand disappears, and a dark cloud begins to emerge from Pike's form.

Percy takes a shot at the dark entity, but his bullet seems to pass through with no effect. Grog's axe, however, takes a chunk out of it. The party continue to fight as the Trickfoots scatter and hide. A number of hits do land, and the creature begins to look badly damaged, while landing no hits of its own on anyone.

Vex, suspicious now, takes a closer look at the creature. Recognizing it now as an illusion, she uses her earring to notify the rest of the group. Tary throws an arcane bead at Ogden, breaking his concentration and causing the smoke creature to abruptly vanish. Ogden is left encased in a force bubble, which Doty carries to the edge of the cliff.

Farewell to the Trickfoots Edit

Under interrogation, Ogden—who has suddenly become rather more spry than he previously let on—reveals that he still has the diamond that was supposedly expended by his spell. He confesses that they only came to try to get a portion of the fortune Pike has been enjoying.

Just then, Tary's force bubble expires, and Ogden goes plummeting over the cliff. Vax dives after him and catches him. The diamond he was holding disappears, presumably dropped to the bottom of the cliff.

JB admits that she was in on the ruse, but only wanted to use it as a chance to be friends with Pike again. Pike, emotionally devastated by the whole affair, gives Ogden, Johann, and Astra her entire purse of money, then tells them she never wants to see them again. She asks for JB alone to stay.

This wrecked me. So here's what we're going to do. I'm going to send you guys on your way. I'm giving you all my money. Stop. Don't say anything. I want you, and I want Astra, and I want Johann to leave and I never want to see you again.

JB is going to stay here with me. ... We're going to teach her things. I will put her through school. Her and I together will change the Trickfoot name.
– 
Pike, to Ogden Trickfoot

Vex pats the three of them down, finding a large amount of silverware from the castle, which she reclaims. With that, the three gnomes begin their slow way down the mountain back to their cart, leaving JB behind with Pike and the rest of Vox Machina.

Featured Characters Edit

Vox Machina Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Crafted 1 elaborate hat Cassandra's wardrobe Grog A collaborative effort between Percy and Vex
Acquired 1 Serpent Belt Kynan Vax reclaimed because Vax missed Simon
Expended 1 jug of water blessed by Erathis Temple in Syngorn Ogden's ritual
1 pound of dried lavender Vax
1/2 pound of powdered sulfur Percy
Lost 1 diamond worth 1500 gold party funds Bottom of the Salted Bluffs
Transferred 1 coin of Revivify Tary Vex
5 Needle arrows (+1)
Expended 1000 gold party funds used to cast Hallow
Expended 1 Potion of Mind Reading Tary Tary Ogden resisted
Expended 2 Beads of Force Tary Ogden
Relinquished  ? gold Pike Ogden Pike gave her entire purse to the Trickfoots before telling them to leave
Acquired 1 Staff of Major Image Ogden Tary

Quotations Edit

  • "The gardens were originally constructed by Melanie de Rolo, who is actually one of more interesting de Rolos of the time. She was of the third generation to be born into this castle. Melanie was actually fascinating. She was eventually removed from her position for accusations of witchcraft and raising of the undead. ... The strange materials that are mined in this part of the world have given rise to all sorts of stories due to its pale appearance, the fact that under certain types of moonlight it can glow with a strange phosphorescent supernatural glow. There are even tales of people seeing several of the more notorious de Rolos as spirits wandering about the halls, Melanie just being one of them."
    Percival's trivia during the tour of Whitestone

  • "Over four centuries ago, when our kin still occupied the city of Wittebak, up in the Cliffkeep Mountains, long before our bloodline took the name Trickfoot, there was a wily rock gnome called OG Pipemender. Now, OG grew jealous of his brother, Lons, and his business's success, and his marriage, apparently. So, seeking a means of balancing their standing, bringing Lons down a peg or two, OG plotted to undermine and shame his brother, and destroy his life. Now, he was successful in this plot, at least from what I've gleaned. Lons was ruined, but not before it was revealed to Lons that OG himself was the culprit.

    "Now, cornered and fearing for his life, OG lashed out and slew his brother. He fled Wittebak and wandered the mountains for weeks, scavenging to survive. On a full moon, he was visited by a vision of what is believed to be the Lawbearer, Erathis herself. At least, an aspect of her, at the very least. Now, this grave injustice he had committed did not go unnoticed by the Lawbearer, and it required punishment. A curse was set within the very blood of OG himself, one that lay dormant from generation to generation, unless those carrying the seed fell to extreme selfishness and wanton destruction of others.

    "Now, we Trickfoots may not have the best reputation, but what we do, we do it to survive. We hurt no other in the process. Those that wander too far into the dark call up this curse and the shades within them slowly hollow them out, leaving a ravenous, selfish beast of a gnome.

    "These visions that I've dreamt, I've had them before. They were not wrong. I saw the shades within my beloved, Ishma, but knew too little at the time to stop them. I caught the shades within others since—within Johann here, even, years and years ago—and used what I learned to exorcise them out.

    "These visions I have now show you, young Pike, a darkness within you far greater than the others, and I don't know what has drawn them to you. You walk with such light, and I am worried what could be hidden beneath all the layers of silver and gold and blue and Sarenrae's blessing that could still draw these shades to you. Where you've been, what you've done, I know not. I know not the justice of the goddess, can presume not to know. I don't bother myself with such unknowable things. But I am here to try and help, if I can. If you'll have me. I've had an entire lifetime to think and learn and research and regret."
    Ogden offers some, perhaps dubious, family history to Pike

  • "There actually is a curse on our family. It's called diabetes." —Pike, to Ogden

Trivia Edit

  • The language Ogden spoke during the "exorcism" was not a language at all; it was complete gibberish.[1]
  • During the fight against the "dark entity," the hits that seemed to have no effect were the ones that Ogden couldn't see happening.[2]

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Matthew Mercer confirmed that Ogden was speaking gibberish during the ritual. (source)
  2. See "Family Matters" (7x12) at 4:40:0.

Art:


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