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"Tangled Depths" (7x04) is the fourth episode of the seventh chapter of Critical Role. Vox Machina journeys into the Elemental Plane of Water for the final trial of Keyleth's Aramenté.

Synopsis Edit

Announcements Edit

  • Tonight's sponsor: Loot Crate. The cast does an unboxing of the "build" box.
  • Loot Crate's theme for next month is "primal". Sam provided translations for Loot Crate into Spanish, German, Japanese, Latin, Dutch, Swedish, and Klingon.
  • Nerdist is doing a giveaway for a paid trip to the Power Rangers movie premiere in LA.
  • Wednesday Club will be discussing Image Comics in honor of their 25th year.
  • There is a new Signal Boost with Stefanie Woodburn and Eric Campbell.
  • Merch update: dice are out of stock, but other things are still available.
  • New episode of GM Tips is up: how do design a one-shot.
  • Marisha is now officially a host on Gamestop TV.
  • Talks Machina will be live Tuesday at 7 PM Pacific on Twitch, hosted by Brian Foster.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

"Vox Machina, our band of adventurers, after defeating the Chroma Conclave, destroying Thordak and then Raishan, the mastermind behind their ascension. [They] then recovered a few objects [possibly] revealing her plan at least, though keeping it tempered. [They've] begun closing loose ends that [they] hadn't had the time to get to up to this point, including finishing Keyleth's Aramenté.

"[They] managed to charter a ship and crew at Emon to head towards the west in the Ozmit Sea, where [they] were boarded temporarily by what appeared to be a band of pirates. Defeating them and sinking the ship, [they] continued forward, taking a prisoner.

"[They] then eventually found [themselves] with the ship reaching the outside of the Anamn Islands where the ship set anchor on the outside of the reefs that encircle the center of these three islands, where in the center of them lies the partially-submerged city of Vesrah: the last stop on Keyleth's Aramenté and the Water Ashari that live there.

"[The party], upon arriving just past sunset, watched the city come to life and the Vesrah came out, and upon discovering that [they] were allies, or at least friendly, they took [the party] in and gave [them] the idea of what [Keyleth] had to do to finish this Aramenté.

"[Her] task, to come the following day, was to be led down into the Area of Torrent where the elemental rift to the Water Elemental Plane resides under protection, and [they] are to retrieve three lodestones: magical stones that are occasionally farmed from the Water Elemental Plane as they fade for power. These stones are utilized, apparently, in both keeping the rift contained and keeping the city of Vesrah aloft and up towards the air.

"However, in the process of them researching where these lodestones came from, it was discovering in recent years that they were byproducts of one of the krakens that lives in the Water Elemental Plane. This one, however, was drawn back to the rift from one of the earlier expeditions of the Waveriders that were attempting to find them, and now has taken up its lair on the outskirts of this rift.

"So [their] task, as Vox Machina, is to enter the rift into the Water Elemental Plane, find and bring back three of these lodestones, and do so without slaying the kraken, as it is an important part of the ecology and continued existence of the city of Vesrah."

Part I Edit

Uvenda suggests that Vox Machina take some time to practice fighting underwater before they go into the rift. She escorts them to an area of deep water that can serve as a training ground. Keyleth casts Water Breathing on the party so they can experiment in the water for a while. They learn that their movement and ranged attacks will be severely impeded, Percy's guns won't work at all, and Keyleth can't speak to cast spells.

The party finish their underwater session and eat a Heroes' Feast (or, in this case, a Heroes' Midnight Snack). As they go to retire for the night, they are each handed a set of devices for the next day: a throat piece that will allow them to speak underwater and a pair of goggles. This resolves their issue with Keyleth's spellcasting and with communication underwater in general.

The next morning, a dwarf called Waverider Durent arrives to take them to the Aerie of Torrent, the underwater rift into the Elemental Plane of Water. Taryon orders Doty to stay behind and take "atmospheric notes", and the rest of them set off into the water. Durent, bringing them to the site of the rift, shows them three lodestones so they will know what to look for.

Now prepared with a few ways to detect the lodestones, the party sets off through the rift.

Break Edit

Part II Edit

Retrieving the Lodestones Edit

On the other side of the rift, the party take their bearings in the deep, dark water. Vex'ahlia casts Locate Object and begins leading them, stealthily, to the first lodestone. They find it buried at the bottom of the ocean, dig it out, and put it into Grog's Bag of Holding.

They move on to the second stone, still guided by Locate Object, but have a harder time finding it in the muck and debris. Tary, helping to dig, accidentally uncovers a human skull and start to gag loudly. The noise attracts the attention of the kraken, which has to that point been hovering in the distance. Just as Percy manages to find the second lodestone, slipping it into Tary's Bag of Holding, the kraken swims up and combat is joined.

As the kraken's ten giant tentacles seize every creature it can reach, Keyleth casts her own Locate Object and is able to point out the direction of the third and final lodestone. Vex, managing to avoid the tentacles, follows her directions and digs up the lodestone, putting it in her Bag of Colding.

Fighting the Kraken Edit

Episode-88-Vox-Machina-vs-Kraken-by-Hugo-Cardenas

Fan art of Vox Machina versus the kraken, by Hugo Cardenas.[art 1]

In the meantime, however, more party members get grappled, and Grog and Keyleth both get swallowed by the kraken. Inside the kraken, Grog summons oil from his alchemy jug and Keyleth sets off a Fireball, detonating the oil. The burst of damage forces the kraken to regurgitate the two of them.

With all three lodestones secured, and knowing that they must not kill the kraken, the party now turn their efforts toward escape. Keyleth turns all of the party into electric eels, momentarily freeing them from the kraken's grasp. They begin to dash back toward the rift, but not before the kraken is able to catch hold of several of them again. The damage quickly reverts them out of their eel forms.

The fight comes down to simply destroying as many of the tentacles as they can, hoping this will allow them to get away. Percy is the first to make it out of the portal, where he waits on the other side. Vax'ildan gets knocked unconscious and swallowed, joined shortly by Grog in the belly of the kraken. Both of them are slowly digested by stomach acids, Vax failing two death saving throws.

Close Calls Edit

Grog pounds the inside of the kraken enough to force a second regurgitation. However, with nobody able to heal him in time, Vax fails his third death saving throw and goes cold. Keyleth, who has herself been knocked unconscious and revived three times throughout the fight, grabs his body and Vex's hand to Plane Shift the three of them back to Vesrah.

This leaves only Grog and Tary in the kraken's lair. Tary gets knocked unconscious and Grog bolts for the rift, almost leaving Tary behind. Still waiting by the rift, Percy furiously casts Friends on Grog, reminds him that Tary has one of the lodestones, and convinces him to go back. Grog does double back, dragging Tary closer to the rift but not quite able to make it through. With Tary now so close, Percy is able to dart through, grab him, pull him back, and administer a healing potion.

Grog, now the only one left, gets swallowed for a third time, but is again able to force a regurgitation. With only eight hit points left, he walks backward from the kraken and out the portal, flipping the double bird as he goes.

Featured Characters Edit

Vox Machina Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Appeared Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 8 throat beads and goggles Water Ashari one to each party member, plus 1 extra on loan for the kraken mission
Transferred 4 coins of Alter Self Tary Grog, Percy, Vex, and Vax
Expended 1 Daylight opal Tary flashlight
Acquired 3 lodestones found in kraken's lair one each to Grog, Tary, and Vex
Expended 1 patch of Hypnotic Pattern Tary's Robe of Useful Items kraken No effect (kraken made its saving throw)
Expended 3 coins of Alter Self Vex, Percy, and Grog themselves used to give themselves gills and fins, negating their underwater movement penalty
Expended 1 patch of Vampiric Touch Tary's Robe of Useful Items self used to damage a tentacle
Lost / Expended 2 vials of acid Tary ocean floor and kraken both thrown at a kraken tentacle; one missed
Expended 2 potions of Greater Healing Grog Keyleth and himself
Expended 1 Healing Draught Tary's Alchemist's Satchel Tary
Expended 1 diamond of Prismatic Spray Tary's helmet kraken
Expended 1 potion of healing Grog self
Expended 1 potion of healing Percy Tary

Quotations Edit

Trivia Edit

  • This episode marks the first time that Vax'ildan has died.
    • This is the ninth on-stream death of a player character, and the eleventh overall.

External Links Edit

References Edit

Art:

  1. Fan art of Vox Machina versus the kraken, by Hugo Cardenas (source).  Used with permission.


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