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Desperate Measures


2016-01-28 19:00 PST

"Desperate Measures" (1x40)is the second episode of the fourth chapter of Critical Role. Vox Machinamust deal with the Chroma Conclave's attack on Emonand the possible slaughter of much of the city's leadership and notable citizenry.


Previously on Critical Role

"The group Vox Machina, after finishing their foray in Whitestone, finding a member of the Council—Riskel Daxio, who was a cult member for this entity called Vecna—bringing him to justice and executing him in the throne room of the palace of Emon. They discovered, during the search, the Traveling Troupe of Dr. Dranzel's performance troupe, which Scanlan used to be a part of. During this time they kind of hashed a plan to have Vox Machina seek this house, that apparently had fallen into disarray and the owner disappeared for a while, that may contain some goods. The party went and investigated it—they had previously been to the house and were curious as to where it stands at this point in time, especially if people were disappearing into it.

"Upon going into what was once General Krieg's house, where they once fought a blue dragon, they discovered the corpse of Krieg, long buried from the collapse of the cavern and picked apart by some sort of other large clawed creature, and immediately got into some sort of a fight with a purple worm and a frost worm that were essentially battling over whatever it was that was moving in that tunnel that seemed to be nice and tasty. These adolescent worm creatures, not even fully grown, proved a nice little challenge, but the party managed to succeed in escaping after killing them, before the mother showed up.

"They returned to Emon, managed to help Scanlan's now-discovered daughter Kaylie out of a pinch and getting imprisoned after she got in a major bar brawl, and the party returned to their Keep, where they were notified that Uriel, the Sovereign of Tal'Dorei and the city-state of Emon, had an announcement to make in the Cloudtop District. So [they] gathered Gilmore, gathered the rest of the party, and everyone went to the Cloudtop District around [dusk] at the presentational stage. At which point, Uriel announced that he felt he was no longer a worthy leader or ruler of this entire realm that he has under his watch, and is deciding to step down.

"During this announcement, however, a number of strange entities came through the clouds in the sky, as a series of chromatic ancient dragons swooped in and began to just destroy the city of Emon. Many of the townsfolk gathered at that square were immediately killed. The party, as well as a few other straggling survivors, ran away as both the gargantuan black and green dragons began to chase [them] down. Right before they honed in to pick [the party] off, an even larger ancient red dragon shoved them off to head east, to continue their plot, after slamming down into the center of Emon and claiming it as his own domain. The party escaped via the druid'sTransport via Plants spell and just stepped through the tree to land in the center of their Keep of Greyskull."

Part I


Escaping from Emon' Cloudtop District using Keyleth's Transport via Plants, Vox Machina returns to Greyskull Keep in the midst of the Chroma Conclave's attack. After sending the keep's staff to the relative safety of the basement, some of the party goes to the keep's outer walls, only to find dozens of Emon's refugees clamoring for entry. Vax'ildan passionately orders the guards to open the gates and escort the refugees inside, but an ancient white dragon approaches the keep and attacks--despite being ordered to pursue other tasks by an ancient red dragon in "Omens" (1x39).

Vox Machina attempts to fight off the ancient white dragon, with Trinket being frozen to unconsciousness and many refugees frozen to death. Pike heals Trinket, and the party prepares to flee. Before the situation becomes more dire, the ancient red dragon again orders the ancient white dragon-- revealing his name as Vorugal-- to continue east. Vorugal flies off, leaving Vox Machina and the surviving refugees in a traumatized state. Approximately twenty-five refugees survive and stay the night in Greyskull Keep's temple.[1]Pike casts Planar Ally to rebuild the temple of the keep.

As the red dragon flies over the city, his voice rings out, telling the people that if they fight or flee they will forfeit his mercy. The people are to abandon their gods and convictions for their new purpose: to serve the dragon.

The Wishing Skull

Grog asks to speak to Percy privately in Percy's workshop, asking him to lock the door behind him. He tells Percy that the evil skull from General Krieg's house grants a wish that only those that dark things have touched can use, which Grog figures is Percy and himself. He feels that they need to use the skull's wish to combat the dragons. Percy does not disagree, telling Grog to go get the others in case something goes wrong, but Grog is reluctant, finally agreeing to get either Vax or Keyleth. As soon as he leaves, Percy takes the skull from its hiding place and speaks to it, receiving a long whisper from Matt.

Grog asks to speak to Vax alone, telling him that Percy wants him downstairs-- it's about the skull. Vax tells Vex to come downstairs as well if he's not back in five minutes, and follows Grog.


The break included Episode One of Matt Mercer's tips for GMs, titled "Encounter Building"[2]

Part II

Before they enter the workshop where Percy and the skull await, Grog tells Vax that he wanted to do this himself, but the skull asked for Percy. When they go in, the skull is on a table covered with the tapestry. Percy explains that there is something evil or not good inside the skull, and it has offered to grant them a wish if they set it free, but that he feels that the terms have not yet been spelled out. When he reveals the skull, it speaks to them, asking that its prison be destroyed and claiming it does not know who it is.

Grog is insistent that they destroy the skull immediately in order to save the city from the dragons, but Percy and Vax are opposed, given that they don't know what they will be releasing. Vex comes in, and Vax goes upstairs to get Keyleth and Pike. While he's gone, Vex notices Percy stealthily move the skull behind his back. Grog shuts the door and blocks it, confronting Percy, saying he wants the skull right now. Percy refuses, asking if "his new friend" has an opinion on the skull. Percy says that he will not use it, but he doesn't trust Grog not to.

The others arrive at the doorway, but Grog is blocking it and they cannot enter. Vex then proposes that Percy and Grog give her the skull, since she's not touched by anything dark, and Percy hands it to her. Grog tries to convince her to give it to him, while Percy doesn't want it himself but doesn't want Grog to have it. She removes its tapestry cover and asks it what it wants. It replies again, "to be freed."

Simultaneously, Grog bum rushes Vex, Percy uses quick draw to pull his pistol and shove Vex and the skull out of Grog's way, and the now-freed door flies open allowing the others to enter. Grog tackles Percy, knocking him to the ground, then stands in front of Vex, guarding her, before turning and pulling the skull from her grasp. He tries to spike it into the ground, but sees Pike looking at him in disappointment and the skull fails to break, allowing Vex to recover it and dash out of the room. Keyleth attempts Hold Person on Grog, Percy, and Vex, but succeeds only with Percy. Vex and Vax continue moving upstairs, but run into Erwen, who tells them a guest has arrived: Lady Allura, with a companion. Vex asks for them to be brought downstairs to the party, hoping it will calm the situation.

Allura Returns to Emon

Lady Allura's companion is a dwarf elementalist named Drake Thunderbrand. She and Vox Machina share information, revealing a great deal of Critical Role's lore:

  • Lady Allura was in Whitestone when a terrible feeling overcame her, and her connection to the teleportation sigils in her tower and in the Alabaster Lyceum were suddenly severed. She teleported herself and Drake Thunderbrand to Greyskull Keep as it was the only place she had enough familiarity with outside the city.[3]
  • The skull contains the soul of a very old githyanki trapped in a soul gem, who may or may not be able to grant a wish. The granting of a wish can be extremely dangerous.[4]
  • Lady Allura does not know of Raishan or Umbrasyl.[5]
  • Vorugal has been known to wander the wastes north in Othanzia, and some of Vorugal's offspring have wandered farther. The Skysunder that Vox Machina destroyed two years earlier (in-game time) that was sealed in the Frostweald was one of Vorugal's children. Vorugal has not been seen wandering out as far as Emon before.[6]
  • The ancient red dragon is named Thordak, the Cinder King.[7]
  • Thordak destroyed Byroden, the childhood hometown of Vex'ahlia and Vax'ildan

Vox Machina-An Unofficial Critical Role Blog — Well now we know the skull was a gith,which are...

thewolf-13-deactivated20210630 asked:

Well now we know the skull was a gith,which are always evil, but after last nights intense episode do you think the crew has a chance? If this beast couldnt be stopped by a team assembled by the strongest magic user they know what chance do they have?

At the time she wasn’t as powerful as she is now.  She was a much younger Allura then.  As for the skull, remember that only Githyanki are evil, Githzerai are usually good or neutral.

More you might like

Happy One Year to Critical Role!

What have been some of your favorite (big or small) moments, Critters?


Anonymous asked:

I did some calculations and if Matt said there are a dozen of these artifacts that would mean at least 12 and that would mean at least two for each character. I think the stone nukles are for grog and the shroud is for Percy or Vax

The only wrench to throw in the cog there is that in 5e you’re only allowed to be attuned to 3 items at a time.  While not all items require attunement (usually not things like +1 or +2 arms or armor) things like Vex’s bow, Vax’s daggers, and Pike’s mace do. So if they were able to get these items, there would be some hard choices as to which items they use.

thewolf-13-deactivated20210630 asked:

I was rewatching old episodes, as one does, and couldnt help but notice in episode 24 the feast, about 3:27:25, mr briarwood himself asks if Emon can send aide regarding an issue they are having in the outlying woods. And when the gang first arrives and sleeps in the woods in white stone there was a figure out there that was for a while theorized to be percys sister. Was that person ever identified? If not who could it be?

I don’t believe it was said for certain but it is generally thought that it was Cassandra. Taliesin rolled a NAT20 on the perception check and couldn’t identify her, so it is assumed it was her.

Anonymous asked:

yeah something tells me that since Matt gave them Kemah I have a feeling that's at least the shroud is going to be guarded by some powerful undead

When we got dragons pretty much everyone wanted to see Kima get her hands dirty with the team again. Add to the fact that she’s a paladin of Bahamut, and it just makes sense that they’d seek her aid against this foe.

Anonymous asked:

Hi! I'm the same guy who ask about the theme "Volatile Reaction" Matt uses in battle. First of all, thank you. All of you are absolutely amazing! :) Second, I have this question: I want to know the age of every member of Vox Machina. I know Vex and Vax are 27 years old or something, but the rest of the party? Thanks :D

I’m sure @critrolestats has this info tucked away somewhere but to the best of my knowledge:

The twins are indeed 27.  Grog is slightly older than that.  Percy is between 22 and 24 (the Brairwoods attacked his home when he was in his late teens, that was 5 years ago).  Keyleth is in her mid-20′s (her mom left on her own Aramente I believe 12 years ago, when Keyleth was around 12-13).  Pike is the youngest I think it’s been said, and I know Scanlan is the oldest.  His age is the most in question, as he’s NEVER said for certain and hasn’t really dropped any hints.  We know that he has a daughter around 19, so let’s assume for sake of argument he had to be minimum 17 to have a child, that puts him in his mid to late 30′s.  More likely I’m guessing he’s 40 +/- 2 years.

frywick-blog asked:

In what episode did Gorg recieve the second place medal from Kern

The actual medal (yes there is a physical item) was a Critmas gift to Travis.  The in show episode where it was given to Grog I believe was the first part of Trial of the Take.

Anonymous asked:

you know To find the relics they still have two unused pools of information. First there's The hag. Matt has said she's was extremely old and knowledgeable she might know where a couple of the items are. And secondly there's Pike. If sarinray have one then she might be able to ask her where it might be

While it is possible that Pike could do something and check with her God, the Hag is the more interesting option of these two.  The only issue with her is that she’s mobile and you never know when or where she’ll pop up.  Add to that Vax already owes her a favor, and it could be a bad recipe for them.

I hope it’s okay to send this as a submission, but for the anon asking about the music used in the show, here’s a list from over on Reddit. (I added a few more they missed though.)

Character Music

  • Grog - The Pyre by Incompetech (Kevin MacLeod)
  • Keyleth - Heart of Nowhere by Incompetech (Kevin MacLeod)
  • Percy - Lost Frontier by Incompetech (Kevin MacLeod)
  • Tiberius - Sneaky Snitch by Incompetech (Kevin MacLeod)
  • Vax'Ildan - Anguish by Incompetech (Kevin MacLeod)
  • Vex'Ahlia - Rites by Incompetech (Kevin MacLeod)
  • Pike - Serpentine Trek by Incompetech (Kevin MacLeod)


General Background

Volatile Reaction is the classic horn combat music everyone associates with the show! These are just the royalty-free songs, they obviously use a lot from various video games too.

Some very cool stuff here!  Check it out.

Very astute Critters!

A number of folks have pointed out (and I missed it entirely) that when Allura left Vex made an insanely high slight of hand check before hugging the Lady.  They are inclined to believe, and I bet they are correct, that Vex slipped Allura the skull when they hugged so as to get it both away from Grog and out of Emon. 

Good eyes and ears everyone!

Anonymous asked:

I forget what direction is Whitestone to Amon ?

Whitestone, I believe, is Northwest of Emon.  The capitol city lies on the Western coast of the continent Tal’Dorei.  Westruun, the other town destroyed by the dragons, I’m pretty sure is almost due east.  Kraghammer, the Dwarven city, is north and slightly east of Emon.  Somewhere, there’s a map of Tal’Dorei floating around.

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Githyanki are a medium sized humanoid race who originate from the Astral Plane.

Known Githyanki

Vox Machina found a githyanki skull in General Krieg's home[1]. They learned that a githyanki was trapped in a jewel embedded in a skull. It promised to grant a wish to them if they released him.[2]

Matt revealed after the campaign concluded that the spirit trapped in the skull was that of a brutal githyanki pirate captain imprisoned generations ago. Had anyone agreed to free him, their souls would have exchanged places, with the captain taking over the body of his liberator, whose spirit would have been then trapped in the skull. The githzerai who had imprisoned the pirate would then have begun hunting him down.[3]



Critical Role: Henry Crabgrass, Matt’s Best Ever NPC...

If you shout, I won't stand on ceremony, I'll cut it and that's it. You don't die It was clear that in this small town, in which one chemical plant operated, we were stuck for two days. Well, call Krasilnikov, let him. Approve of our shelter, - said my colleague, Zhenya.

Critical role skull

It took at least half an hour to pull on a milky latex suit and a corset with red lacing on the back. Then another half hour to rub with varnish until a mirror shine, make up lips and eyes. The suit, like condensed milk, enveloped her from head to toe, the slits in the mask were the only thing that connected her with the outside.

World. Finally, she wore patent red high platform shoes and a long, slightly curly, wheat-colored natural hair wig.

The Critical Role Fandom has a Problem

Sister in the village, to rest, sunbathe, relax. It was 15 years ago. Then I was a young man with violently raging accordions, which gave me a lot of inconvenience. He even got up on a log if it had at least some outlines resembling a woman's. So to say, "Assault" did not help absolutely, after letting off steam 30 minutes ago I could stand with rearing dignity, looking at the girl's mini-skirt, tight-fitting her.

Similar news:

But most of all, I absolutely adore the clitoris. And the more he is, the more sensual he is, the more I am in love with him. And in order to lick and suck this wonderful female organ for five, ten, fifteen minutes, I am ready to suck her husband.

Off with a swallow. Everything is normal here.

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