"The Path to Whitestone" (3x04) is the fourth episode of the third chapter of Critical Role. Ghostly attackers infiltrate Greyskull Keep as Vox Machina prepares to journey northeast to Whitestone and confront the Briarwoods. Meanwhile, Keyleth begins to suspect that a mysterious power holds sway over Percy.
Previously on Critical Role Edit
"The group, having heard that the Briarwoods—a couple who had taken power in the town of Whitestone far to the northeast, and apparently responsible for the destruction of Percy's entire family and his escape into the wilds of Tal'Dorei—were going to be coming to Emon to bridge a political handshake with Sovereign Uriel and all of Tal'Dorei proper, to build a bridge across the channel that separates this continent from Wildemount across the sea.
"Upon hearing about this, the party was planning to—after being invited to this banquet—gather information, and in the process of doing so Vax got himself caught by sneaking into their bedroom after them and was nearly killed in the process. The group managed to aid him, pull him out from the jaws of death, and the Briarwoods escaped through arcane means, leaving a shattered carriage, a mostly beaten driver of their carriage, and through the scuffle a number of guards were hurt or killed, and the party, upon meeting an individual named Lillith, a tiefling, and leading her back to the Keep, were seemingly attacked by a series of bounty hunters that were after her. There was some... intense violence displayed against a few of them, and this all got back to the Council. The Council then called Vox Machina to the central palace and essentially began the structure of a trial to see if they themselves were responsible for essentially attacking guests of the Council, ruining what could have been a very lucrative union between the two towns, and possibly murdering an old woman. So they had their membership revoked, and during this sequence apparently the charmed Seeker Assum was restored, but seemingly to little effect. The group then left, realizing that perhaps the moral ramifications of many of their actions are having bigger impact due to their visibility and their heroic status in the kingdom at large.
"When they returned to the Keep they found two representatives of the northern farmers of Emon who required aid: a series of their livestock had been stolen over the past few weeks and was putting them in dire straits when it came to the necessary amount of meat they had to raise. The group, trying to turn their morality on its head, decided to aid them, awaited out in the center of the cow pasture at night; masquerading, through illusionary magic, as cows themselves. The giant roc, a gargantuan bird that swooped down and grabbed Cowleth—Keyleth here, sucked her away. The rest of the party Tiberius then enabled to fly through arcane means, thus we had a squadron of evening cows chasing after the roc, which then got turned into a cow, to crash into a mountain. They chased it back to its perch up in the Cliffkeep Mountains to the northwest of Emon, and engaged apparently a guardian of this roc, a gnome druid who had been removed from society for quite some time. After some rather roundabout—and at some points on the edge of conflict—conversation, they managed to convince him to instead take the bird and flee across the Ozmit Sea to the northwest, towards Vasselheim, where it would be a much better landscape for the creature to thrive and grow. After that the party is making its way back, right around the beginning of daybreak, towards the Keep."
Part I Edit
Invasion of Greyskull Keep Edit
Percy dreams of his family, watching them all die. Everything is enveloped in flame, and the smoke coalesces into a form. The smoke entity encourages Percy to seek vengeance and justice.
Percy wakes up in his workshop below Greyskull Keep. He's not sure how long he's been there. He leaves the workshop and sees Jarett being held up by his neck by some invisible creature. Percy shouts for help, pulling out The List and firing at the entity, hitting it and causing it to drop Jarett. It moves towards the cell where Desmond is, and a second invisible creature comes down the stairs and attacks Percy. The entity in the cell with Desmond begins choking him. Trinket, who had been sleeping outside Percy's workshop, attacks the one next to Percy. Jarett gets up and runs to the cell, unlocking the door.
Percy takes a point-blank shot at the one in front of him, but his pepperbox misfires. He pulls out Bad News and swings it like a bat, bludgeoning the entity and thankfully not damaging the gun. The entity strikes back at Percy, missing the first swing but hitting with the second. The creature in the cell tries to choke out Desmond, but the carriage driver manages to resist.
Trinket backs away, taking a hit as he does, then jumps and leaps onto the nearest creature, knocking it prone. Jarett grapples the one in the cell, dragging it back out into the hallway.
Vex runs down the stairs, just barely getting a shot off on the enemy Jarett is grappling, then places her Hunter's Mark on it. Keyleth follows behind, but can't get close enough to attack.
Grog charges in, raging, and runs up to Jarett. He crushes a vial of Holy Oil in his hand and punches the entity repeatedly, although the Holy Oil doesn't seem to add anything to the attack.
Vax clicks his Boots of Haste, sprints up beside Trinket, and sneak attacks the entity on the ground, and then hits it twice more with the Dagger of Life-Stealing and the Keen Dagger.
Tiberius flies down the stairs into the middle of the hallway and casts Glacial Blast from both hands, at each entity. Vax and Jarett dodge out of the way, and the invisible creatures take the hit.
Scanlan Dimension Doors into Percy's workshop, sees Percy outside the door, and heads that way. He sees the enemy right in front of him and retreats back into the workshop, inspiring Percy as he does.
Percy tries to clear his gun, but the barrel of The List comes off and hits the ground. Frustrated, he throws the gun into his workshop and pulls out Bad News, taking a point-blank shot at the creature in front of him. It hits, causing a deafening sound that makes Vax's ears ring. The entity screams and disperses. Percy reloads and moves around the corner to shoot the second enemy. It hits, but the noise causes Tiberius, who was hovering nearby, to temporarily go deaf.
The remaining entity breaks Jarett's grapple and attacks Desmond, knocking him unconscious. Jarett runs up and tries to attack it through the bars of the cell with his shortsword, but can't land any attacks.
Vex moves further into the hallway and shoots at it twice, the first arrow hitting but the second missing and shattering on the wall.
Keyleth moves up behind Vex and casts Faerie Fire, covering the entity in a purple glow and nullifying its invisibility, revealing it to be humanoid in shape but with legs that appear to be shimmering and shifting. Keyleth also casts Healing Word on Desmond, bringing him back to consciousness.
Grog swings at the entity with his Firebrand Warhammer, hitting all three times and doing heavy damage. Vax weaves his way through the crowded hallway and sneak attacks the entity through the bars, finishing it off.
Tiberius rushes over to Desmond and gives him a sandwich. Vex also heads over and casts Cure Wounds on him. From his hiding spot in Percy's workshop, Scanlan shouts out, asking if it's safe for him to come out now.
Desmond, terrified, asks what those things that attacked them were. Vax is somewhat familiar with these creatures, naming them as Invisible Stalkers. He gets the feeling that they were sent by the Briarwoods.
Jarett apologizes for being unprepared to face invisible enemies, and asks what exactly they're up against. Tiberius tells him they're fighting vampires and possibly liches. Jarett requests a pay raise, then heads upstairs to check on his fellow guards.
Vax sits down next to Desmond and reassures him that Vox Machina will do their best to protect him. Desmond leans in and quietly asks if he can be kept far away from Percy. Vax promises that he will be separate from Percy and kept safe. Desmond says he trusts Vax, and pleads with him not to let the Briarwoods get him.
The party relocates Desmond to Tiberius' room, and Grog carries the bed back upstairs. Tiberius says he'll sleep in his laboratory.
Tiberius calls for Erwen, waking him up. The dragonborn realizes that it's six a.m. and sends Erwen back to bed, saying they'll talk about it later in the day. The rest of the party heads up to go to bed as well, Scanlan falling asleep under Percy's workbench without the tinkerer noticing. Grog stays with Desmond for protection.
On their way up the stairs, Vax asks Keyleth if her hand is alright from where the roc bit it earlier. Keyleth, still upset with him, brushes him off.
Percy heads back to his workshop to fix The List and stays there to continue working on his projects.
Making Plans Edit
The party—minus Percy—wakes up around noon and heads downstairs, where Laina has prepared breakfast for them. She is pleased to see them and tells them how a nice couple came by and dropped off plenty of fresh vegetables, the group realizing these were the farmers they helped out the day before.
As the party eats, they hear a sudden clearing of the throat and turn to see Seeker Assum, having gone completely unnoticed by them until now. He thanks Keyleth for removing Lord Briarwood's charm from him, and apologizes for pretending it didn't work back in the Palace. Vax apologizes in turn for forgetting to meet up with Assum during the feast and running off on his own. Assum accepts his apology.
Assum says he suspects Sovereign Uriel has been under the same charm since the dinner. Keyleth asks why Assum kept up the charade, and he says he was trying to stay in Uriel's good graces so that he could have a chance to get Vox Machina close enough to remove the charm. Vex asks if the rest of the Council has been charmed. Assum responds that Allura looked to be of sound mind, and the Briarwoods' focus seemed to mostly be on Uriel.
Vox Machina debates over whether they should focus on clearing Uriel of the charm, or clearing their own names of wrongdoing. Assum offers his aid in whatever they decide to do, but says he will soon be leaving to head to Wildemount to do more research into the Briarwoods.
Keyleth goes to get Percy, and finds him just outside the room, leaning against the wall and listening. The gunslinger begrudgingly joins the rest of the group in the kitchen.
Percy insists that they aren't prepared to face the Briarwoods, and worries that he'll get the whole party killed. Tiberius offers to bring in the Draconian Knights to raze Whitestone if necessary.
After debating for a while longer, they still haven't come to a conclusion. Frustrated, they ask for Percy's opinion, as he has been very quiet throughout the conversation. Percy hears a voice whisper in his ear, "Vengeance...vengeance..."
Percy says they need a week to prepare themselves, then they will quietly leave Emon to go to Whitestone. Grog calls a vote: he, Vex, Vax, and Scanlan agree with Percy. Keyleth and Tiberius don't say anything.
Seeing that Vox Machina has come to a conclusion, Seeker Assum gets up, saying he'll be leaving for Wildemount in three days. Percy thanks everyone for their help, apologizing again for dragging them into this situation. Tiberius apologizes to Percy for everything that has happened to him and his family, and promises to help him get the final blow on every name on The List.
The party leaves the kitchen and scatters. As he leaves the room, Percy hears the voice again, saying "Yessss...."
Vex follows Seeker Assum, and requests that he, as a fellow ranger, teach her in the art of stealth. Assum agrees to help with what he can in the three days before he must leave.
Tiberius heads to his laboratory and begins writing a letter.
Part II Edit
Endless Errands Edit
Percy spends the next few days crafting ammunition and working on his personal projects. He manages to make 25 rounds for his pepperbox and 10 rounds for Bad News. He also makes a "Smoke Bomb?". His other project was unsuccessful.
Grog goes to a general store and buys a shovel and a pickaxe.
Vex spends her time training with Seeker Assum.
Vax buys forty wooden stakes, ten for himself and thirty for Tiberius. He heads to the Temple of Sarenrae and gets two vials of Holy Oil, one for Vex and one for himself. He finds Father Tristan and asks him for a symbol of Sarenrae. Vax then heads to Uriel's palace, but is stopped by guards at the edge of the Cloudtop District. He asks if they have seen Simon, his Serpent Belt, but they just tell him to leave. He heads to Harold the Butcher's shop, and asks a young man named Jameson where Kynan is. Jameson says Kynan has been gone for a week. Vax asks where he could have gone, but the boy doesn't have an answer. Vax tells him if he sees Kynan again, to tell him that "V" is waiting for him at Greyskull Keep.
Vax also goes to Gilmore's and asks if Gilmore is there. He is informed that Gilmore is still in Westruun, working on opening his second shop. He instead asks Sherri to identify Clarota's Helmet. She tells him that it guards against mental influence and magic that would peer into the mind. He thanks her, pays her, and says "Scanlan sends his regards", making her blush.
Tiberius goes to the Temple of Sarenrae to pick up his Decanter of Endless Water that he was having Father Tristan enchant. He then goes and leaves his "Surge Blade" (the quarterstaff with blades grafted onto the end) to get enchanted. He teaches Lockheed to be quiet on command. He then goes around to every shop in Emon attempting to buy 1500 mirrors. He manages to get thirty-five. Next, Tiberius, with Keyleth's help, attempts to enchant some bolts with both a Fog spell and a Sleep spell. The enchantment fails, losing both spells along with 500 gold in materials. Later he starts to head towards Allura's tower, remembers Vox Machina isn't allowed in the Cloudtop District, and turns around to head back to Greyskull Keep. Tiberius spends the rest of the week making two Sleep bolts.
Keyleth goes to Gilmore's and buys an alchemy set, then returns to the Keep and brews a Greater Healing Potion. She also enchants a vial of Holy Water with a Fog spell and gives it to Scanlan.
Wile Keyleth is away from the Keep, Vax goes out to her garden and takes a single flower from it.
By the end of the week Grog's beard has filled back in.
Scanlan gives everyone the chainmail chokers. He also takes a blue crystal the group obtained in their first adventure and places it inside the enchanted box he purchased previously. He then takes a drink from his "Shit-Scrying" Potion, does his business in a jar and places it in the kitchen of Greyskull Keep, telling the guards and servants not to touch it.
Percy tells the guards to keep an eye on Desmond and protect him while Vox Machina is away.
Vex goes to find Jarett and gives him two hundred gold, telling him not to let Desmond leave his side, to watch for anything invisible, and to protect him. Jarett agrees. She also gives him another two hundred gold to pass out to the rest of the guards, and tells him to make sure there are two guards on Desmond at all times.
Tiberius tells Erwen to inform Lord Riskel Daxio that he would like to make some changes to the Keep, and to turn the cells into barracks. Erwen returns some time later saying that the guards would not let him into the Cloudtop District.
After her training with Seeker Assum, Vex'ahlia learns the ability Skirmisher's Stealth.
Tiberius receives a response from his father, denying his request for an army, saying he is young and inexperienced as an ambassador.
Vex writes a note to Uriel saying where Vox Machina is going and leaves it with Erwen, telling him to only give it up if someone angry comes looking for the party.
Keyleth summons a water elemental and uses Planar Binding on it. She tells it to guard the Keep and protect Desmond. It replies, "For my time here, I serve."
On the Road to Whitestone Edit
Tiberius casts Circle of Teleportation, bringing the party to Westruun. They purchase horses for everyone, and Percy leads them northeast towards the Turst Fields. The farmers there say that they still do trade with Whitestone, but they are not allowed into the actual city.
Vox Machina heads north into the Alabaster Sierras. Following the path up through the mountains, they eventually come to a point where they must cross a rickety rope bridge over a chasm. Percy examines the bridge and determines it to be very old, but not necessarily dangerous. Vex ties a rope around Vax's waist and he crawls out over the bridge, making it safely to the other side.
Vax ties the rope to a tree with a sailor knot, and Vex ties the rope on her side using a "secret ranger knot". Scanlan just Dimension Doors across the gap, startling Vax. Percy makes it across with no problems. Grog ties all of the horses to a tree, leaving them behind. Vex makes it across the bridge with no problems. Keyleth casts Grasping Vine around the edge of the bridge to help reinforce it on that side, then crosses safely. Tiberius hops onto Trinket's back and casts Fly on him, riding the bear across. He also casts Telekinesis on Grog and tows him with them.
Scanlan says a prayer of thanks to the horses left behind, knowing that they'll probably die of starvation.
The party continues down the path, which slowly becomes more narrow. The sea wind blows against them strongly, knocking Scanlan and Vax off their feet towards the edge of the cliff. Tiberius uses his Telekinesis to grab Vax, and Keyleth uses Grasping Vine to grab Scanlan. Grog grabs Vex for no reason.
The wind dies down, and with everyone back on solid ground they continue, making their way into the mountain range as the sun begins to set.
Keyleth, Percy, Vax, and Vex hear a strange echoing chittering noise being carried on the wind. Percy remembers that there are harpies living in this area. Looking back the way they came, the party sees about four or five dark shapes swooping down. Keyleth uses Move Earth to start carving out a cave to hide in, and Vex casts Pass Without a Trace on the group. Percy realizes that the harpies are distracted by attacking the horses that were left behind.
With the sun setting, Vox Machina decides to camp out in Keyleth's newly dug cave. Vex uses Hide in Plain Sight to camouflage the entrance to the cave. Keyleth and Tiberius make a campfire together.
Vax climbs up onto Trinket to use him as a sleeping bag. Tiberius takes a dust bath and feeds Lockheed some treats. Scanlan volunteers for first watch.
Keyleth goes to talk to Percy. Scanlan goes invisible to eavesdrop. Keyleth expresses concern over Percy's recent behavior, saying she feels that there's something Percy isn't telling them. She specifically brings up when he said to the Broker, "Your soul is now forfeit", saying she thought it might be evidence that he was serving something deeper within him. Percy says he doesn't quite remember it because he was so angry, and says he's aware that inventing his first gun was a mistake. Keyleth asks what he means, and he says that he had thought about it before, but had never seriously considered building it until he decided to take revenge. He says he regrets what he did to the Broker, and he hopes to never lose his temper like that again. Percy suggests they get some rest, and he and Keyleth both say they love each other and go to sleep.
The party wakes up around noon the next day. Percy says they're still about a day's travel from Whitestone. Vex casts Pass Without a Trace again, and the group continues on their journey.
Eventually the path becomes too broken and steep to continue. They stealthily climb over a rockslide trail and make their way into a ravine on the other side. As the party moves forward, Vex and Vax hear a couple of rocks falling down behind them. Turning to look, they see a quick blur of blue that vanishes behind the platform above them. Vex shushes the rest of the group, telling them to hide. Tiberius casts Stoneskin on himself and Vex readies her bow. They see the large blue thing again, moving in a serpentine way into a cavern higher up. Vex describes the creature to Keyleth and asks if she knows what it could be; Keyleth isn't entirely sure, and Percy doesn't know either.
Grog, under the orders of Vex, picks up a boulder and flings it to the other side of the ravine. A large, reptilian blue snout suddenly appears and looks down at the boulder, then at Vox Machina, then ducks back out of sight.
Keyleth begins to cast Antilife Shell, when suddenly a blue blur dives off the cliffside into the air, landing in front of the party and blocking off the exit to the ravine. They see a huge, elongated serpentine body covered in blue scales and horns, with six to eight arms and legs. It snarls, and electricity sparks out of its mouth.
Featured Characters Edit
Vox Machina Edit
- Percival de Rolo
- Scanlan Shorthalt
- Tiberius Stormwind
- Grog Strongjaw
- The shadow entity in Percy's dreams
- Desmond Altham
- Erwen Dastell
- Assum Emring
- Jarett Howarth
- Shayne Tranter
- Father Tristan
- Laina Yor
- This is the last episode featuring Orion Acaba.