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"The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) is a summary of Vox Machina's campaign adventures before they began streaming on Geek & Sundry's Critical Role. Narrated by the Critical Role cast and illustrated by Wendy Sullivan Green, "The Story of Vox Machina" covers the party's meeting in Stilben through their acceptance of Allura Vysoren's quest to find Lady Kima of Vord.

Synopsis Edit

Grog Strongjaw, Tiberius Stormwind, Scanlan Shorthalt, Keyleth, Vax'ildan, and Vex'ahlia originally meet in the swamp town of Stilben, where they gather together as a band of mercenaries in search of work. They find a job board posting that takes them to Fendril Vas, an elven merchant within the town. He hires them to investigate a group called "the Myriad" that have been competing with his business. The job leads them to a chamber containing a planar rift which pulls the group into the realm of Crysa-Thul, a stillborn god. The contract had been a ruse to feed the party to this god. They manage to slay the creature and return to Stilben, where they kill Fendril Vas in retribution.

Grog leaves for the city of Westruun and the group becomes concerned when they don't hear from him for several weeks. They travel there in search of him and meet his childhood friend, Pike Trickfoot, who joins them to find her friend. Grog apparently had been acting strangely, and went off on his own through the Bramblewood Forest towards Gatshadow Mountain. The party follows after him, but are attacked by a group of roadside thieves along the way. They defeat the thieves and make their way up the mountain.

Within the mountain they discover an abandoned subterranean city which houses a crypt. Entering the crypt, they find Grog has been mind-controlled by a dying mage. The mage has also reanimated the corpse of Grog's father, Stonejaw Strongjaw, and is attempting a ritual to become a lich. Before the party slays the mage, he is able to complete the ritual and embed his phylactery into Grog's chest.

Returning to Westruun, they search for aid but have difficulty finding anyone with enough skill or power to help Grog. The party begins to hear rumors about missing children. They head to a local inn to think about all of this and are approached by a mysterious elf named Drez Vina. He offers to pay them handsomely if they agree to infiltrate the tower of an archmage and retrieve a specific brass box from within it. With the idea that the archmage could help with Grog's situation, the party accepts Drez Vina's offer.

Entering the tower, they encounter numerous traps but eventually reach the top. They decide not to steal the brass box, instead asking the archmage for assistance in removing the phylactery. The owner of the tower, Realmseer Eskil Ryndarien, agrees to help them if they will collect the items he needs for the ritual: the skull of a nightmare and the heart of a nymph. He also confirms that the mage they killed has indeed become a lich, and if they don't remove the phylactery within two weeks he will be reborn within Grog.

The party travels north to the Umbra Hills where they engage in battle with a cult. They slay the cult's infernal messenger and his nightmare steed, retrieving the skull they needed from the creature. Within a cell, they meet Percival de Rolo, who joins the party when they free him from his imprisonment.

They then rush south to the Frostweald. As they travel through the forest, they encounter and defeat several basilisks and come upon a single unfrozen pool of water. They manage to coax a nymph out of it, and after talking with her, Grog follows the nymph back through the portal. He returns shortly after, holding a beautiful jewel that she gave him: her heart.

After traveling back to Westruun, they give the ingredients to Eskil Ryndarien. He is able to successfully perform the ritual and destroy the phylactery in Grog's chest. However, some lingering necromantic energy is left branded within the goliath. Drez Vina finds them once again, saying his master is displeased with their failure to retrieve the requested object. He demands that they either pay back the cost of the contract or complete a more difficult one in exchange. They accept the new contract.

The party heads to the Shadebarrow, an ancient druidic burial chamber located southeast of Westruun. It had been purchased and renovated by an eccentric lord who turned it into his own personal tomb. Fighting through the undead denizens within, they make it to the lord's tomb which is guarded by an iron golem. They manage to defeat the construct and tear the arcana cortex from its chest. They return to Westruun and give the cortex to Drez, fulfilling their contract.

They take some time to rest and relax, before being approached by a clean-shaven dwarf named Grimthorne. The dwarf offers to represent them in an underground fighting ring. The party agrees and fights their way to victory in the ring.

Westruun bustles with activity as the holiday of Winter's Crest approaches. A strange blue crystal is delivered to the town in the name of Archmage Eskil. Suddenly the crystal detonates and freezes the entire population of Westruun. At the last moment, a mystic merchant named Noja appears and shields the group from the icy blast. Where the crystal once stood now stands a pale, frail, and nude woman with long white hair. The woman opens a portal and leaps through, the party following after her. Inside is an icy, frozen world. The woman reveals her true form to be a great, white dragon, albeit one that is weakened by her premature rebirth. The party manages to defeat her, with Pike dealing the final blow.[citation needed] With the dragon dead, the people of Westruun are freed from their icy prison.
Episode-36a-White-Dragon-by-Wendy-Sullivan-Green

White dragon party faced

Eskil Ryndarien is put on trial for the attack on Westruun. The party intercedes and proves his innocence. As thanks, Eskil uses his talents to investigate the source of the blue crystal. He discovers that it was delivered by a powerful society of thieves known as the Clasp. Vax, as someone who has had dealings with the Clasp previously, knows that the main headquarters of the group is within Emon, the capital city of Tal'Dorei. The party, now known as Vox Machina, heads west towards the city.

Once they arrive in the sprawling metropolis of Emon, they continue to hear rumors of children disappearing. They also hear that before the children vanish, they are seen with a black-haired, golden-eyed boy. Vox Machina begins investigating these disappearances, as well as doing a few odd jobs, one of which leads them to the home of Syldor Vessar, the elven father of Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia. The twins learn that he has a new wife and daughter. He is in Emon as an ambassador for Syngorn, the main elven city in Tal'Dorei where the twins spent a portion of their childhood. Syldor is seeking aid from the city's ruler, Sovereign Uriel Tal'Dorei III. However, there was a recent attempt on the royal family's lives, making it difficult to speak to Uriel. Syldor's connection within the Tal'Dorei Council, Sir Gregory Fince, has gone missing, and he hires the party to go looking for him so that Syldor can get on with his business.

When they reach Sir Gregory's home, it is dark and still. Heading inside, they feel a dark presence and end up battling with demons in the basement. They win the battle, but find Sir Gregory's tortured corpse as well as notes about the attempted assassination of Uriel and his family. The royal family has become strange and withdrawn since then. Uriel's wife, Salda Tal'Dorei, demands to attend every meeting of the Council and is often seen whispering into the Sovereign's ear and scoffing at those who defy their decrees. The assassination was thwarted by someone named General Krieg, who is mentioned often in the notes. The party decides to go and talk with this general.

As they leave the basement, Grog, Tiberius, Vex, Percy, and Keyleth fall into a trap, tumbling into a cistern and being flushed into a subterranean river system. They land on a small island in a lake, only to be assaulted by an aboleth residing within. They barely escape the terrible creature, and discover the remnants of an ancient town as well as a small hut containing a hag named Trysta.

Within Trysta's hut, Tiberius finds one of the artifacts he had been looking for, the Mending Wheel, and trades a piece of his luck to the hag for it. The party asks for information on how to escape back to Emon. Trysta agrees to tell them if they get rid of an umber hulk that had recently taken up residence nearby. They agree, and climb to the top of the cavern to do battle with the creature. During the fight, Grog is tossed from the cavern ceiling and nearly dies upon impact with the island. Vox Machina manages to defeat the umber hulk and save their companion. Returning to Trysta, the hag shows them a hidden staircase that leads up into the Graveyard District of Emon.

The other three members of Vox Machina—Vax, Pike, and Scanlan—search the city for wherever the cistern drains into. As Scanlan leaves to look for a map of the sewers, Vax and Pike notice that they are being followed. They lead their pursuers into an alley, but the shadowy figures attack them and knock them both out.

The two of them awaken within the headquarters of the Clasp and meet one of their leaders, Modeth Lai. Sir Gregory's home had been under surveillance by the Clasp, and when Vox Machina was seen leaving the building it was decided that they needed to be interrogated. Vax reveals that he is a member of the Westruun sect of the Clasp. Modeth decides to test their skills by forcing them to do battle with a chained chimera in the Clasp's arena. The half-elf and the gnome slay the beast, but Modeth is still not convinced and decides to hold them for further questioning. During the night, the pair manage to escape from the Clasp's lair and reunite with the rest of the party.

In order to meet with General Krieg, Vax forges a letter of summons written in Sir Gregory's handwriting which buys them entry into Emon's well-guarded Cloudtop District, where the Palace is located. Meeting with General Krieg, he seems nice and shows interest when he hears of the Clasp's involvement. He mentions that talking with Uriel has been difficult since the assassins' attack, and he is sad to hear of Sir Gregory's demise. However, he warns them to leave the investigation to the city's officials.

Vox Machina heads to the palace to try speaking with Uriel himself but find that they are barred from entry. Another individual is also being prevented from entering: a golden-haired woman wearing fancy blue robes. Talking to her, the party learns that her name is Allura Vysoren and she is a powerful arcanist who serves on the Tal'Dorei Council. She tells them that Uriel is a good and trusted man, but the recent actions of him and his wife Salda are suspicious. Allura is close to giving up after seven days without being allowed into the Council chambers. Vox Machina tells her what they have discovered, and she takes them to her home, the Ivory Tower, in order to talk more in private.

Vox Machina forms an alliance with Allura. She and Keyleth perform a scrying ritual on the palace, revealing that Uriel's wife and children are being influenced by demonic forces, and have addled the mind of Uriel to use him as a mouthpiece for their plot.

Vax and Pike lead the party back to the Clasp and end up in a fight with Spireling Modeth. The fight ends with Modeth being decapitated and the party stealing four strange glowing crystals from him. As the groups tries to leave, a mob of Clasp members and another Spireling stop them. Scanlan manages to deceive them and convince them to let the party go free.

Returning to Allura's tower, they find the front door ajar and evidence of a scuffle within. They climb to the top of the tower and investigate. They conclude that Allura was attacked by a demonic entity, but escaped successfully. They end up triggering the tower's magical defense, which causing the structure to collapse in on itself. Vox Machina manages to safely escape thanks to a magic carpet that they discover within the tower. The Ivory Tower compacts itself into a single magical pearl.

Vox Machina then heads to the home of General Krieg, where they find a brainwashed servant as well as a hidden passage leading to a teleportation circle. They travel through the circle and are teleported to a distant cavern high in the mountains. They discover an incredible hoard of gold, jewels, and fine trinkets within the cavern. On the opposite wall are four obsidian orbs set into the rock wall. They touch one of them, and a giant scaly eye appears within it. They hear a voice calling for "Brimscythe". The eye sees the unfamiliar faces within the cavern, and the voice says "Intruders. I know your face now. He is a fool, and so are you, insect." The orbs all crack and become inert.

Grog dives for the hoard and begins rage-looting it, shoving handfuls of riches into the group's Bag of Holding. However, at that point General Krieg appears at the teleportation circle. Angrily denouncing the party, he reveals his true form to be that of a blue dragon named Brimscythe. After a difficult battle, Vax lands the killing blow on the dragon. In his death throes, Brimscythe thrashes about, smashing the support pillars of the cavern and causing the roof to collapse. Vox Machina barely escapes back to Emon through the teleportation circle.

Allura finds the party as they leave Krieg's home, warning them that the evil feeding on the throne is growing more bold. She tells them how she was attacked shortly after the scrying ritual, and barely escaped with her life. Dark clouds begin filling the sky above Emon, and Vox Machina decides that the time to strike has arrived. With the help of Allura, they infiltrate the palace and storm the throne room.

They come upon Uriel sitting on the throne, with his possessed family standing around him in a creepy fashion. The group manages to banish the shadows from the bodies of the royal family, but the dais below the throne begins to glow a deep red, until the throne itself cracks in half. A devil prince named Jurazel is summoned. He tells the party of a great war between devils and demons spilling over into the Material Plane that could threaten all of creation. He justifies his actions and tells the party about all of the demonic forces throughout the city, saying that if the party stops him all kinds of horrible devastation will ensue. Vox Machina believes his tale, and the devil asks for their help in destroying the demonic threat, offering to grant them a single Wish if they make a pact with him. After deliberating for some time, the party agrees to the contract.

As they leave, they begin rethinking their agreement. Returning to the throne room, they ask
Episode-36a-Jurazel-Glabrezu-by-Wendy-Sullivan-Green

Vox Machina fighting Glabrezu

for Jurazel to grant their wish now in order to assist their demon hunting. As he casts the spell, Vox Machina uses their Wish to cancel the contract with the fiend and attack. Infuriated, Jurazel reveals his true form as a glabrezu—a treachery demon. A long and deadly fight ensues, during which Jurazel claims the life of Pike Trickfoot by cutting her in half. The grief and anger at her loss motivates Vox Machina to deal the killing blow against the demon. Gathering up the cold body of Pike, they rush to a nearby temple of Sarenrae to attempt a resurrection ritual, which succeeds.

The dark clouds over Emon disperse, but the royal family still lies catatonic on the floor of the throne room. On closer inspection, it seems that their souls are missing and their bodies won't last much longer without them. Remembering the four glowing crystals they stole from the Clasp headquarters, they manage to identify them as soul jars. After a rigorous and intense evening, the souls of the royal family are restored to their bodies.

A few days later, Sovereign Uriel Tal'Dorei calls for an audience with Vox Machina. Thanking them for their acts of heroism, he offers them a place on the Tal'Dorei Council and decides to throw another Winter's Crest Festival to make up for the ones interrupted by various attacks. Vox Machina are celebrated as heroes, and Uriel commissions a keep for them to be built just outside the city.

A week later, during the festival, the party notices Uriel's son Gren
Episode-36a-Mysterious-Child-and-Gren-by-Wendy-Sullivan-Green

Gren talking to a strange boy.

speaking to another child with black hair and golden eyes. Remembering the rumors they heard about the disappearances of children, Vox Machina springs into action and chases after them, but the strange child manages to disappear through some kind of portal with Uriel's son. Leaping through the portal as well, Vox Machina finds themselves on a floating island within the Astral Plane. They fight their way through a bramble forest and discover a gothic mansion in the center of the landmass. Entering the mansion, they make their way to the inner library and see numerous kidnapped children working throughout the building, cleaning nervously. The Dread Emperor—who had been using an illusion to disguise himself as the strange boy—stands from his chair, a golden-armored man with long black hair. Four children are chained to his breastplate by their necks.
Episode-36a-Dread-Emperor-by-Wendy-Sullivan-Green

Dread Emperor and children imprisoned by him.

Using fierce magic, the Dread Emperor attacks the party and mind-controls all of the kidnapped children to attack as well. As Vox Machina strikes the Dread Emperor, they realize that any damage done to him also transfers to the children chained to him. Keyleth tries to yank one of the children away from him with a Grasping Vine, but too much pressure is put on the child's neck, snapping it and killing the child. Eventually, Vox Machina fells the Dread Emperor and returns the lost children to Emon.

Six months pass as Greyskull Keep is constructed. During this time, the party scatters to go about their own business. When they return, they are delighted by their new home and begin hiring guards and servants.

Later that night, Arcanist Allura Vysoren pays them a visit. She sits with them for a pleasant dinner and they tell each other stories of their adventures. Before leaving, she asks to hire their services for a matter very important to her personally. Allura's long-time friend and ally, Lady Kima of Vord, set off on a vision quest from her deity, Bahamut, but has gone missing and has yet to return. The last letter from her spoke of an evil taking root deep beneath the dwarven city of Kraghammer. Allura is deeply concerned for her friend, and while she cannot go looking herself, she can provide Vox Machina with the proper paperwork for entry into Kraghammer. She promises to reward them handsomely if they can find Kima and return with her safely.

Vox Machina agrees to the contract and sets out for Kraghammer the very next day.

Featured Characters Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 1:13.
  2. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 1:30.
  3. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 2:48.
  4. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 3:05.
  5. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 4:05.
  6. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 7:18.
  7. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 8:15.
  8. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 8:52.
  9. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 9:27.
  10. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 12:58.
  11. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 10:10.
  12. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 13:50.
  13. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 14:12.
  14. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 19:12.
  15. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 10:57.
  16. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 14:45.
  17. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 0:28.
  18. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 6:12.
  19. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 18:34.
  20. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 19:21.
  21. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 7:24.
  22. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 4:18.
  23. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 15:55.
  24. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 9:38.
  25. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 12:44.
  26. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 3:07.
  27. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 4:51.
  28. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 2:24.
  29. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 5:39.
  30. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 5:03.
  31. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 1:27.
  32. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 12:25.
  33. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 15:42.
  34. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 17:23.
  35. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 8:28.
  36. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 9:08.
  37. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 0:17.
  38. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 6:23.
  39. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 1:57.
  40. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 3:37.
  41. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 11:26.
  42. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 15:19.
  43. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 20:23.
  44. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 20:40.
  45. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 17:10.

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