Chapter 4: The Chroma Conclave
Story Arc Recap of Episodes 39-53
Episode 41: In Ruins
Introducing Guest Star: Jason Charles Miller as Garthok the half-orc rogue.
Allura tries to comfort and rally the group together as Keyleth mourns her people’s death. They make a plan to search for more survivors (and Gilmore) in the city. Moving through secret passages and tunnels into Emon, Vox Machina make their way to Gilmore’s Glorious Goods. Along the way, a cloaked man approaches the group and offers his aid. Vax recognizes this half-orc as Garthok, a member of the thieves’ guild The Clasp. He knows which tunnels are still intact and safe to traverse. The group safely make it above ground and see Gilmore’s shop completely in shambles, thieves and raiders picking through the rubble for valuables. Vox Machina take out their anger and frustration on this group of bandits. Percy shoots some arms and heads off of bandit bodies. Scanlan charms the gold off a dwarven foe. Trinket the bear swipes a head right off its shoulder. Grog gets a battle boner and cuts a poor bastard to bloody bits.
All the raiders successfully murdered, the group picks through the rubble looking for any sign of Gilmore. Vex’ahlia uncovers a hidden door in the floor of the shop. A familiar face peers up at them. Sherry, Gilmore’s shop assistant, beckons them into the hideaway. She gestures to the back of the room where Empress Salda and her children are huddled, no sign of Uriel. Salda tearfully tells them that Uriel didn’t make it out but they were rescued by Gilmore, who threw himself in front of the children to protect them. Vax sees a pale, very still figure lying on the floor near the children. Gilmore is clinging to life, a deep purple gash cutting him nearly in half.
Vax screams for Pike to save him. She runs her hands over his wounds and white, healing light envelopes him. He will live, but will be very weak and will need much time to rest and recover. Gilmore shakily thanks Pike and Vax for saving him and apologizes for leaving their side in the chaos. He asks them to get him and the others out of the city to a safer location. Garthok takes the lead again, getting the group through the tunnels safely. Outside the entrance to Greyskull Keep, he says he must get back to The Clasp but he looks forward to the next time their paths will cross. Vox Machina gets everyone settled in the keep and tries to rest through the sounds of dragon roars and fire.
Episode 42: Dangerous Dealings
Vox Machina make a plan to get the refuges out of Emon and into Percy’s city, Whitestone. He leads the battered survivors through Keyleth’s magic tree tunnel and into Whitestone. He informs his sister Cassandra of the dragon attacks and asks her to care for the refugees. She agrees and they spend a few moments catching up and saying a quick goodbye as he returns to his companions in Greyskull Keep. Vax asks the group to come with him to see The Clasp and make a deal for Emon’s safety. They stealthily make their way into the city center. Scanlan gets spotted by a wyvern rider sentry and gets attacked from above. His companions jump to defend him. Scanlan sings a song of inspiration. Grog smashes. Keyleth turns some wyverns into chickens, because she’s the most helpful druid ever. Vax pulls a bloodied Scanlan away from the attackers and Keyleth unleashes a fire storm on top of the sentries and leaves a smoking pile of bodies and ashes.
The group shakily makes their way to the secret entrance Garthok revealed and disappear into the tunnels. Vax takes the lead and tells the others to keep quiet and stay behind him. He enters a cavern with several bandaged individuals lying around a campfire. Garthok the half orc spots Vax and brings Vox Machina to the leader of The Clasp, Spireling Shenn. Shenn offers them protection and aid in exchange for turning a blind eye to The Clasp’s illegal dealings. Percy vies for taking the deal for now, as they need any allies they can get. Vax cannot in his good conscience make this deal and walks away from Shenn and the deal. Shenn disavows Vax and threatens to kill any member of Vox Machina found in Clasp territory. The guild members begin surrounding Vox Machina and they make a hurried escape back to Greyskull Keep.
Episode 43: Return to Vasselheim
The group gears up for a visit to Vasselheim. They drop the last of the refugees in Whitestone and then make their way into the outskirts of Vasselheim to The Slayer’s Take. A couple familiar faces greet them; Zahra and Kashaw join the party and help them gather supplies and allies around Vasselheim.
The group pay a visit to Osysa, the sphinx guardian of the Take. She grants a task to them, find her mate, a sphinx lost to time and memory, and uncover a hidden artifacts named the Vestiges of Divergence, that may aid their endeavor against the Chroma Conclave. Osysa has a vision of another dragon attack happening in Draconia. She sees the Stormwind army, including their old friend Tiberius Stormwind, getting demolished under the ferocious onslaught. She sees the floating islands of Draconia crumble and fall into the sea, utterly destroyed. Osysa urges them to hurry on with their task. Vox Machina gather supplies, healing potions, and weapons from merchants around Vasselheim. Grog tries to do maths and it does not go well. Vex cons a con man. Percy visits his eccentric gunpowder salesman Victor and is scared for his life.
Zahra and Kash show the group a good time in the tavern, helping them drink away the last few harrowing days. Grog learns of a mysterious master warrior that trains fighters for battle. He decides to visit this enigmatic man, named Earthbreaker Groon, in his training arena The Trial Forge. They find Groon in a meditative trance in the center of the Trial Forge. He wears a monk’s simple robes, his beard white, and body ripped with muscle. His eyes glow white with energy and he asks what Grog searches for. Grog asked to be trained to be better prepared for their fight against the Chroma Conlave.
Groon agrees and puts Grog through a difficult Trial, where he must face the Earthbreaker himself. He asks Grog where he finds his strength in battle. Grog attempts to answer… in my anger… all while getting his ass handed to him by the agile old master. Earthbreaker Groon instructs Grog to choose two of his companions to aid him in his Trial. Grog chooses Vax and Scanlan who are pushed into the Trial Forge ring. The three companions hesitantly take a stand. Groon lands blow after furious blow on Grog, throwing the goliath into a foaming rage. Tiny Scanlan faces his fears, stands in front of Grog, and sings Groon into a magical sleep. Vax moves in to see if Groon is done, but the spell breaks and the Earthbreaker lithely leaps towards Vax and stuns him into a crumpled pile on the floor. The fight intensifies as Scanlan and Grog distract Groon long enough for Vax to recover. Groon again asks Grog where he gets his strength. Finally realizing his lesson, Grog answers proudly, “in my friends.”
The Earthbreaker immediately ends the battle, bowing deeply towards Grog. He praises his newfound strength and reveals the identity of two of the Vestiges of Divergence. Grog must retrieve the Titanstone Knuckles and help find the enchanted armor The Deathwalker’s Ward. The group thanks Earthbreaker Groon and quietly leaves the Trial Forge.
Episode 44: The Sunken Tomb
Using the information they learned from Earthbreaker Groon, Vox Machina uncover the location of the Deathwalker’s Ward. It is trapped in the sunken tomb of an ancient Champion of the Raven Queen. Zahra and Kashaw continue to travel with the group, offering their aid in retrieving the armor. Along the way, they find Lady Kima, the Halfling Paladin, and she enthusiastically offers to join their quest. The group and their new companions trek out towards the lake where the sunken tomb lies. Zahra and Keyleth use their magic to find a way into the ruins at the bottom of the lake. Vox Machina prepare themselves to enter the tomb while Keyleth goes full water bender and parts the waters of the lake. The companions slosh their way through the muddy lake bottom to the sunken entrance of the tomb. They manage to make it in and seal the entrance just as Keyleth’s water bending ability runs out. Carefully creeping through the dark, musty tunnels the group keeps an eye out for any signs of danger. Vax alerts his companions of a group of fish-like humanoids performing some kind of ritual to their unseen master. Vax and Kashaw ambush the fish people and obliterate them. Thinking they are in the clear, the rest of the group moves forward into the room, just as several slimy eye stalks rise out of a collapsed tunnel behind them.
A beholder unleashes holy hell onto Vox Machina before they can call out a warning. Kima is thrown from the battle, falling nearly 100 feet into a dark pit. Tendrils whip out of the walls grasping at them, eyes pop out of the columns sending deadly beams streaking around the room. Zahra sends a jolt of lightning tearing through the Beholder. Scanlan and Grog perform a goliath fastball special, sending Grog flying sword first into the Beholder. Percy shoots some chunks off of its face. Zahra (rolling her third natural 20 for the night) channels a devastating Witch Bolt into the Beholder’s mouth and blows the creature into dripping, meaty chunks.
Vax and Grog help to rescue Kima. Percy and Vex’aliah investigate the sarcophagus in the center of the room. They find a skeletal corpse, wearing jet black leather armor engraved with runes and raven feathers. Percy, excited about finding the Deathwalker’s armor, unthinkingly picks up a piece of the armor. Vex, who had leaned forward over the sarcophagus, gets blasted by a shadowy death cloud. Vax arrives just in time to see his twin sister’s body falling to the floor, completely lifeless.
Well, this can’t be good. Way to go Percy, you just killed your friend.How will Vax react to losing his dear sister and will Vex’ahlia’s fate be permanent? Find out in the next installment of Critical Role recap!