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"The Temple Showdown" (1x11) is the eleventh episode of the first season of Critical Role.  Between this episode and the next story episode, a special "''Dungeons & Dragons'' Campaign Tips" (1x12) aired on the intermediate Thursday.

Vox Machina and their allies commence their assault on K'Varn's temple. Who will survive this grueling battle?​

Synopsis Edit

Announcements Edit

  • Matt thanks the chat again for his new DM's cloak.
  • Zac presents several more gifts from fans to the cast, in honor of tonight's big fight:
    • Druid's staff for Keyleth / Marisha
    • Mace for Pike / Ashley
    • Trinket puppet and elf ears for Vex'ahlia / Laura
    • Dagger for Vax'ildan / Liam
    • Dragon skull for Tiberius / Orion
    • Flute for Scanlan / Sam
    • Chalice for Grog / Travis
    • Plastic gun for Percy / Taliesin
  • Zac thanks everyone who helped reach the 1000 shirt goal last episode. Shirts are still available until the end of the night, but after that, they will be gone.
  • Tonight's giveaway will be a signed 5th Edition Player's Handbook and cast photo, at 2,950 subscriptions.
  • Matt thanks John Dodson for the miniature magic carpet; the first of many that have been promised.
  • Laura thanks Matt Abernathy for her and Liam's new T-shirts.
  • Marisha asks anyone in Canada who has not gotten their shirt yet to contact her, as she had one returned.
  • The new intro music, written by Jason Charles Miller, is available on iTunes.
  • Other game soundtracks come from Incompetech by Kevin MacLeod, with permission, Plate Mail Games, and Midnight Syndicate.
  • Thanks to Kit Buss for the character art.
  • Critical Role supports 826LA, a charity for after-school tutoring in creative writing and storytelling.
  • Matt opens a present from Joe Alfano, a.k.a. Zombie Joe: a second, embroidered, flying carpet.
  • Matt notes that he will read a letter from Scott Ropner, a.k.a. Useless Rogue, after the show.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

"The party of adventurers were tasked to locate an individual, a famed folk hero, a paladin of Bahamut named Lady Kima of Vord who, on a vision quest, went to search out and destroy a great evil that was germinating beneath the dwarven city of Kraghammer in the Cliffkeep Mountains. The party, upon delving beneath the city, discovered it breached into the Underdark and, following her trail, fought past duergar, ashy-skinned evil dwarves, past mind flayers, and various other terrifying denizens of the Underdark, eventually saving Lady Kima after weeks of her own torture, and discovering that some great evil named K'Varn had unified these normal enemy races: the duergar and the mind flayers, the illithid. Also finding that apparently this entity called K'Varn, this great and powerful entity which apparently had acquired an artifact known as the Horn of Orcus that adorns its head, that gives it some sort of power imbued by the dark god of undeath, Orcus himself.

"The party then managed to find its way into a cavern where the illithid city, Yug'Voril, exists, and after a scry spell via Keyleth last episode, unveiled this entity K'Varn to be a dastardly beholder, an extremely dangerous aberration that currently holds the top of the temple in the city, a stranglehold on the mind flayer civilization. The party slowly encroaching the edge of the island, as the party was making their way up the shore, they found bits of the ruins that coat the entirety of the subterranean city. They found what looked like some sort of a large, stone, partially crumbled fighting pit, and as Vex, Vax and Scanlan were stealthing over, Scanlan himself invisible, had stealthed over to scout ahead, managed to find what looked like an encampment of some kind, a series of rags and furs, a very large living space for some sort of creature. Scanlan, failing his stealth roll, seemed to draw the attention of whatever entity lived there, which was an extremely tall, large, giant-like creature—malformed, kind of pale purplish-gray skin, one squinting eye and one bulging yellowish one—that was dragging something fleshy and bloody behind it. It turned towards the rest of the party, going to inspect what seemingly created this sound near its homestead."

Part I Edit

Vex'ahlia and Vax'ildan dive into the giant's stinking bed to hide, leaving Scanlan to stand still under his invisibility spell. As the giant approaches, its smell overwhelms them and causes Vax to retch, blowing their cover. Scanlan casts Domination to bring it under his control before it can attack, but the spell wears off before Vex can finish tying it up.

Trying again, Scanlan casts Bigby's Hand to grapple the giant. Vex and Vax begin to attack it while the rest of the party run up from the beach to join them. Grog, surprisingly, attempts diplomacy, which fails. Eventually, Scanlan, Pike, and Keyleth are able to hold the creature still while Vex puts it to sleep with a Sleep arrow.

With the giant asleep, Keyleth has enough time to cast Geas and bring it under her control. When it wakes up, it agrees to stay with them peacefully and help attack K'Varn when they are ready. They decide to name the giant Tiny. Keyleth figures out that Tiny is a Fomorian, a cursed, evil giant of the Underdark.

Vox Machina take some time to plan their assault on K'Varn before taking their rest for the night.

Break Edit

Part II Edit

You owe me a cask of ale.
– 
Grog, to Tiny

When they wake up, Grog offers Tiny a sip from his cask of ale. He nearly goes into a rage when Tiny drinks the whole thing, shattering the cask. Grog does headbutt Tiny in the face, stunning it, but the crisis is averted.

Vax and Scanlan take the flying carpet to conduct reconnaissance on the illithid city. They report back and hold another strategy session. In preparation for the temple assault, Scanlan transforms Tiny into a mouse to fit in Vex's pocket. Percy, Vex, Vax, and Tiberius take the flying carpet ahead to the top of the temple. Tiberius then returns for the rest of the party while Percy begins to weaken the support beams above the temple with acid.

Once they have all gathered in the rafters, Tiberius flies upward with mouse-Tiny and drops him from a great height while Scanlan releases the Polymorph spell. The full three-ton weight of Tiny the Fomorian slams into the weakened temple structure from above, breaking the metal—and splattering Tiny in the process. The impact to the structure does cause its magic to dissipate, ending K'Varn's control over the illithids' Elder Brain. The noise, however, attracts the attention of K'Varn. Battle is joined.

Boss Fight Edit

Vox Machina assault K'Varn from above, but he floats up to meet them, blasting them with his eye-stalk attacks. Keyleth, in earth elemental form, latches on to K'Varn and holds him down briefly while the rest of the party take shots at him. Meanwhile, Tiberius flies outside the temple to greet an approaching swarm of newly-freed illithids, disguising himself as Clarota. He tries to convince them to join the fight, but they pay him little heed as they continue into the temple.

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Fan art of K'Varn after stealing Grog's soul, by Wendy Sullivan Green.[art 1]

Grog, after attempting to yank the Horn of Orcus from K'Varn's forehead, draws the beholder's ire. A barrage of necrotic rays take him down, leaving him lifeless until Pike brings him back with Revivify. Tiberius, giving up on the illithids, returns and yanks off one of K'Varn's eye stalks, just before Vex gets the killing blow on him.

K'Varn falls, but is immediately brought back to undeath by the Horn of Orcus. A ray from his eyestalk turns Kima to stone. The party redouble their attack, and this time Tiberius gets the killing blow with a spike of ice into undead K'Varn's eye. As black energy begins to gather in the Horn again, Tiberius telekinetically pries it off of K'Varn's body.

The party are left standing in the middle of the temple with a dead beholder and an approaching crowd of illithids, the Elder Brain now freed from its enslavement.

Post-Show Edit

  • Zac announces that 1304 shirts were sold by the end of the sale.
  • Matt reads off messages from 826LA donors.
  • In celebration of 3000 subscribers, the cast and crew hold a dance party.

Featured Characters Edit

Vox Machina Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Expended 2 Sleep arrows Vex Tiny First one fails; second succeeds
Lost 1 fancy robe Bag of Holding Tiny used to cover Tiny's mutated eye
Acquired 1 Javelin of Lightning Tiny's den Grog
Destroyed 1 cask of ale Grog Tiny Tiberius then mended the cask, and the party promised to get Grog more ale if they survive
Destroyed 1 vial of acid Percy - shattered by Percy while attempting to craft an acid arrow
Expended 4 vials of acid Percy support beams used to weaken the beams holding the mind-control device
Expended 1 Scroll of Chain Lightning Scanlan K'Varn
Expended 1 Ensnare arrow Vex K'Varn
Expended 1 Potion of Superior Healing Pike Grog
Expended 1 Potion of Healing Pike self
Acquired 1 Horn of Orcus K'Varn Tiberius currently being held aloft with Telekinesis

Quotations Edit

Trivia Edit

  • This episode marks the first time that Grog has died.
    • This is also the first on-stream death of a player character, and the second overall (the first being Pike's pre-stream death).

External Links Edit

References Edit

Art:

  1. Fan art of K'Varn after stealing Grog's soul, by Wendy Sullivan Green (source).  Used with permission.


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