Chapter 1: The Kraghammer Arc
Story Arc Recap of Episodes 1-16. Part 1
The fun begins! Our band of heroes has received their mission from Lady Allura Vysoren of Emon’s high council. She has asked them to aid her in gathering information about her dear friend Lady Kima, a paladin of Behamut. Allura fears Kima has lost her way searching for an evil darkness she sensed deep in the Dwarven stronghold of Kraghammer. Vox Machina agrees to go to Kraghammer and bring Kima safely home.
Episode 1: Arrival at Kraghammer
Vox Machina arrives at the gates of Kraghammer with papers of entry given to them by Allura. The guards at the gates help them find a tavern and inn to rest in for the night. Then, they immediately proceed to buy everyone in the tavern drinks and get rather tipsy themselves. This is truly D&D at its finest! If you’re not drunk, you’re not playing it right. Vax and Keyleth manage to flirt themselves into a friendship with the town brewer Balthus. He trades them a cask of valuable spirits to offer to Lord Nostoc Greyspine to gain access to the Greyspine mines. The group spends time exploring the surrounding city. Scanlan and Grog find a whorehouse where they have a…more aggressive experience than they bargained for. They spend the rest of the night back at the tavern participating in bar fights and drinking. Making their way to the mines, Vox Machina clumsily manages to talk their way into a deal with Lord Greyspine to search his mines for Lady Kima. Just as they are about to leave, alarm bells begin ringing down at the quarry and everyone rushes out to see what is going on. Several giant ogres and goblins ambush their party. The group shows their fighting prowess and are near victory when an undead, “Frankenstein”-esqe beast called a Naga comes rushing out. Vox Machina surrounds the creature and manage to take it down; Scanlan getting his first kill!
Episode 2: Into the Greyspine Mines
Lord Greyspine divulges that the mines have been increasingly overrun with undead creatures, but they have not been able to find the source. He also reveals their friend Kima went down into the mines to investigate the cause of these monsters. Lord Greyspine offers them a contract for 25,000 gold to eliminate the monster horde attacking the mines. The group readily accepts and head off into the mines. Traveling deep into the quarry, they pass into the plane known as the Underdark. They are attacked by two Umberhulks. During the battle, Grog runs headlong into a duergar campsite. He is attacked by an Intellect Devourer. This brain-like creature overpowers Grog easily and psychically plummets him into a catatonic state. The rest of Vox Machina run to his rescue.
Episode 3: Strange Bedfellows
Vox Machina defeat the Intellect Devourer and kill all but one of the duergar in the camp. Unable to revive Grog, they interrogate the female duergar they’ve captured. She tells them that Grog’s mind is gone and the duergar will reclaim the city. She reveals the duergar are being led by a being called K’Varn. When asked about Kima’s whereabouts she tells them they captured and killed her. Vex and Vax determine she is lying, then kill her and place her head on a spike. They find some cover for the night, dragging Grog’s unresponsive body behind them. In their campsite they uncover a clue that Lady Kima had been there recently. Keyleth performs a healing ritual on Grog and he regains consciousness. They continue to follow Kima’s trail and discover a duergar war camp. The troll and ogres that guard the camp seem to be mind-controlled as well. The dwarves appear to be in league with creatures called the Illithid or Mind Flayers. These tentacle-faced creatures appear to hold a psychic power over the duergar. The group retreats and makes a plan to distract the war camp so they can pass through safely. Keyleth and Vex try to find another way around the camp, exploring a tunnel that appears to lead below the camp. They come across a ragged humanoid creature skulking near the back of the tunnel. It is a Mind Flayer, cast out by its hive. They make a wary truce with the starving creature, promising it revenge on the ones who cast him out. Clarota tells them his story and explains the makeshift Magneto helmet he wears. After his hive cast him out as a pariah for his innate magic, they were overtaken by a more powerful psychic being. Clarota wishes to free his people and return to them as a hero.
Episode 4: Attack on the Duergar
Clarota reveals that the mind flayers are all connected by an Elder Brain, a literal glowing brain entity that has been captured by the duergar under the direction of the insidious K’Varn. Everyone wants a Magneto helmet to protect them from mind control, but Clarota tells them it would take weeks to make. Grog improvises by placing a large iron pot over his head. Vox Machina agree to aid Clarota on the condition that war between Greyspine’s dwarves and the Underdark army must end. They agree to the terms and make a plan to sneak into the center of the war camp to capture the duergar General. They sneak into the General’s headquarters and manage to get the General to surrender with Scanlan nearly dying in the process.
Episode 5: The Trick about Falling
The group tortures the duergar General for information about Lady Kima’s whereabouts and he reveals she was captured and taken to the duergar King Murghol. He bargains for his life in exchange for information on a secret entrance into the King’s palace, the Emberhold. Clarota uses his peculiar abilities to extract the information they need, then proceeds to suck the General’s brain out of his skull. He is the stuff of nightmares. Alarm bells begin to ring in the war camp and Vox Machina realized they have been discovered. They begin to make their escape on the magic flying carpet. Keyleth, carrying Pike and Scanlan in her eagle form, is knocked unconscious. The rest of the group loses control of carpet trying to rescue them. Crash landing hard, they barely manage to escape. They find a secret tunnel that seems to lead to Emberhold.
Episode 6: Breaching the Emberhold
Vox Machina enter Emberhold City undetected and begin to search for a way into the throne room. Stealthily battling their way into the King’s tower, the group locates the prison where they hope to find Lady Kima. They ambush the guards, and Grog rips a duergar’s jaw off and uses it to bash its skull in. Pike watches in horror while Percy and Scanlan seem to find Grog’s methods amusing. After killing the prison guards, they find no sign of Kima among the bodies but hear someone calling for help in an adjacent room. A Halfling woman lies bound on a table being tortured. She identifies herself as Kima and asks the group to free her immediately. They break her chains and heal some of her wounds. She takes Pike’s mace and smashes her duergar captor’s body into absolute hamburger meat. Grog is incredibly attracted to Kima and tries to seduce her. There is some tension when Kima realizes they have allied themselves with Clarota the mind flayer. She begrudgingly agrees to stay with Vox Machina but both Clarota and Kima vow to kill each other.
Episode 7: The Throne Room
Vox Machina helps search the prison for Kima’s armor and weapons. They take down some more guards and Pike gets in on the killing action but feels guilty. Vax gets surprised by a mind flayer and nearly gets his brain sucked out of the front of his face. They make their way through a maze of traps and enemies. A captured duergar tells them the entire duergar army along with the King and Queen are waiting for them above the prison. Kima asks the group to give up the search for her weapons and come up with a plan to escape the awaiting army. Tiberus, Keyleth, and Scanlan suggest they magically transform themselves into a visage of the duergar god Laduguer to try and intimidate them into submission. Everyone thinks this plan is insane but, eh, it’s better than their previous plan to disguise themselves as a “human centipede- style monster.” They begin to move towards the Throne Room stronghold. Scanlan kills a duergar fighter by singing it into depression. A disguised Vox Machina enters the Throne Room to find several dozen fighters and the King and Queen with their pet basilisks waiting for them. Their plan falls apart, but not before buying them some time to sneak into a battle position. Tiberius and Lady Kima are turned to stone from a basilisk attack and the Queen turns Grog against the rest of the group. The Queen breaks a hole into the ceiling of the Throne Room and a molten waterfall of lava begins to pour into the room. Scanlan, using a sword for the first time, decapitates King Murghol. The Queen, in a rage, teleports out of the stronghold with a captive Grog in tow. The group desperately tries to escape, dragging their companions who were turned to stone. The lava flow nearly kills Vax and Vex’s bear Trinket comes to his rescue. Vox Machina regroups on the outskirts of the Emberhold, barely alive, missing Grog, and unable to heal their stone companions.
Thanks for tuning in!
For those readers interested in the D&D game-play aspects, the cast are playing their characters at level 9 during this first arc. Percy is playing a crossover “gunslinger’ character from Pathfinder that Matt Mercer rewrote the rules for. Scanlan was also allowed to keep some of his Pathfinder spells that aren’t standard in the 5th edition of D&D. The Recap of episodes 8-16 part 2 is coming soon!