Chapter 4: The Chroma Conclave Arc
Story Arc Recap of Episodes 39-53
Episode 39: Omens
Vox Machina scramble to defend themselves from the enormous worm monster looming above them. Vax and Grog leap towards the creature trying to cut through its thick hide. Though the creature has no eyes, it can sense their movement and rips into anyone that steps near it. Percy and Vex get in a few gory hits from afar. A second worm monster erupts behind the fray and the creature blasts the battlefield with an ice storm. Realizing they are in over their heads, Keyleth tries to save the day by using a brand new spell, turning herself Grog, Percy and Vax into misty vapor. What she doesn’t realize is that she and her companions cannot attack or aid their friends in any way. (Another lesson in reading your spells carefully friends!)
Scanlan, now unprotected, gets swallowed by the massive purple worm. Vex and Pike try and hold as still as possible while attempting to rescue Scanlan from Purple worm’s gullet. The Ice worm and Purple worm begin attacking each other in the confusion of battle. Keyleth manages to dispel her Wind Walk spell returning her companions to their corporeal forms, and raging over her misplaced help she unleashes a devastating blight onto Ice worm. Scanlan breaks free of Purple worm only to have it turn around and swallow Vax. Percy lands a lethal shot with Bad News killing Purple worm and Grog runs in with his greatsword Craven Edge to cut Vax free. Grog lunges towards Ice worm with Craven Edge and fillets the worm open from end to end.
Everyone looks over the two worm bodies to see Grog speaking to his sword, laughing maniacally. With no time to process what is happening Vax attempts to get everyone to run for the exit, but Vex’ahlia convinces everyone to quickly rage-loot whatever gold they can carry before they run. Priorities! Vox Machina make a mad dash to the teleportation circle just as a much larger purple worm erupts into the cavern.
Pausing to catch their breath back in the mansion the group decides what to do. They plan to ask Uriel to monitor the house for any suspicious activity. Uninterested by the diplomatic talk, Grog meanders over to the Gemstone Skull and picks it up. It whispers something to him and he takes off running out of the house carrying the skull under his arm. Grog reveals the skull offered to grant him any one wish; he refuses to give it up. Tensions rise, until Pike manages to talk Grog into setting the skull down. They wrap the skull up and carefully carry it back to Greyskull Keep where Percy locks it in his workroom.
Scanlan learns that his daughter Kaylee has been thrown in to jail for starting a bar fight. He and Percy head to the jail to try and get her out. Somehow, hilariously, Scanlan gets thrown into jail for attempted bribery and assaulting a guard and Percy is thrown out onto the street. Joining forces, Kaylee and Scanlan escape the prison and head back to Greyskull keep.
Dr. Dranzel thinks it best if he and his troupe lay low and leave town for the time being. They say their goodbyes. Kaylee tells Scanlan not to come looking for her, if she wants to find him she will. Grog uses the distractions to try and break into Percy’s workshop and steal the Gemstone skull but is completely unsuccessful. A messenger from Sovereign Uriel arrives and summons Vox Machina to the palace for an announcement.
Vox Machina make their way to the palace grounds to see the Sovereign’s speech. Gilmore joins them just as Uriel’s speech begins. Uriel shocks the entire council by stepping down as Sovereign and dissolving the throne and appoints the council as the leaders of Tal’dorei. Vex’ahlia notices something is amiss, guards are scrambling, and she begins to sense dragons approaching. Warning bells ring throughout the city and a massive white dragon streaks over the crowd, smashing into the palace tower. The crowd panics, and mobs towards the exits. An ancient green dragon, Raishan, crash lands into the crowd, blocking the exit. Two more dragons circle overhead. Grog, in a frenzied rage, leaps towards the green dragon just as it unleashes an acid cloud over the congregation. He watches as dozens of townsfolk drop to the ground, their skin dissolving. Keyleth throws a magic shield over as many people as she can and screams for everyone to run. She opens a portal to Greyskull Keep and starts shoving people through. A black dragon Umbrasyl, even larger than Raishan, lands in the courtyard. A blast of fire heats the air around them and a shadow blots out the sun. A behemoth ancient red dragon flies overhead and lands on the palace, crushing it. Keyleth recognizes this dragon. She saw him fly overhead in the Fire plane during her Ashari aramente. This king of hell has escaped and he is out for vengeance.
Episode 40: Desperate Measures
Keyleth opens a portal to Greyskull Keep and everyone makes a panicked dash to make it to safety. Collapsing through the other side, Vox Machina begin pulling survivors into the keep. Percy looks over the wall towards Emon and sees a city burning. A skyship comes crashing down from above broken and in flames, barely missing the keep. Destruction and fire rain down onto the city. The white dragon, Vorugal, swoops down and kills the fleeing townspeople. Percy lands a well-aimed shot at the dragon’s wing and sends it crashing into the top of Greyskull Keep. It rolls to the ground and unleashed its frost breath right into most of Vox Machina and the survivors left in the courtyard. Vox Machina stand their ground while the others take cover. Just as Vorugal is unleashing another deadly frost breath, the ancient red dragon fills the sky. It takes Vorgual into is claws and throws it from the courtyard telling it to continue north on its mission. The red dragon lords over Greyskull keep laying claim on Emon and its citizens before flying off to perch on the palace tower.
Everyone moves inside the keep to take shelter and help the wounded. Pike calls on her god Saranrae to send aid to them and a heavenly being appears and rebuilds the shattered walls and windows of the keep. Percy uses the chaos to grab the Gemstone skull from its hiding place in his workroom. As he looks into the gemstone eye he hears a voice whispering in his mind. Set it free and it will grant any wish he asks of it. Percy begins to questions the skull and its intentions when Grog and Vax walk in and see him with the skull. Grog angrily rushes in and tries to take the skull. Weapons are drawn and Vax runs to get the rest of the group to help. Vex’ahlia steps in and takes the skull to try and get it away from Percy and Grog. Grog moves to tackle Vex and grab the skull, but Percy throws himself in front of her. Grog attacks Percy and manages to wrestle the skull away from Vex. Allura Vysoren makes her way into the Keep to find Vox Machina quarreling. She calms the tense emotions and asks for an explanation of the events leading up to this moment.
After processing the news that Emon has fallen and the Chroma Conclave terrorizes the land, she offers to identify the Gemstone Skull and its magics. It is a Githyanki skull, with the soul of a Githyanki man trapped inside. Allura also reveals she may be responsible for the red dragon Thordak, the Cinder King, breaking free from his prison. Her old adventuring party had tracked this dragon many years ago. This beast was responsible for much destruction in Tal’dorei, including the attack in which Vex and Vax’s mother died. Her party sealed Thordak in the fire plane, sealing him in a rift over a volcano in Vasselheim. Panicked, Keyleth realizes that her Aramente in Pyrah destroyed the seal holding back Thordak. She meditates for a moment, scrying into her Ashari people in Pyrah. She sees a vision of utter destruction. Only ashes and bodies remain of the Pyrah people. She sees a huge rift in the sky, magma and fiery creatures pouring out of it.
Up Next on Critical Role
Welcome to the new story arc of doom and gloom! Four. Ancient. Dragons. These next few episodes are action packed and full of unexpected twists. How will Vox Machina recover from the devastating attack from the Chroma Conclave? What the hell is up with that creepy, talking, evil skull? And where is Gilmore?!