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"Consequences and Cows" (1x26) is the third episode of the third chapter of Critical Role.  Reeling from the aftermath of their battle against the Briarwoods, Vox Machina is called before Sovereign Uriel Tal'Dorei III to answer for their recent destructive behavior.  Seeking to bolster their reputation, the group agrees to hunt a mysterious giant bird terrorizing the countryside, with some rather interesting results...

Synopsis Edit

Pre-Show Edit

Announcements Edit

Previously on Critical Role Edit

"After the party had returned from their journey into Vasselheim for quite a few weeks, they discovered upon returning that the illustrious Briarwoods, current owners of Castle Whitestone and overseers of the entire city of Whitestone, and sticking point in Percy's background, were coming to Emon to meet for a political banquet with Sovereign Uriel Tal'Dorei to discuss construction of a bridge, and it was a very political endeavor and the Council of Tal'Dorei was invited, including Vox Machina. There was a week of preparation in going to this event to see what the Briarwoods were about. Information was gathered at this banquet, Vax went on his own little adventure into the Briarwoods' room, in which they nearly killed him. The party rushed out to his aid, much violence ensued, the Briarwoods eventually escaped through some sort of magical means that was not uncovered, however they are no longer in the picture. The party was left with a destroyed carriage, a young carriage driver who had his hand shot off by Percy and was then told to the guards to haul off and bring to their Keep, to throw into their cell for further questioning. Uriel was eventually drawn out and confused by the sudden chaos and he requested that Vox Machina return the next morning to go over what has transpired.

"The party during this event had encountered a tiefling by the name of Lillith, who was masquerading as one of the servants within the Palace of Tal'Dorei, aided them in the battle, and revealed that she was being hunted by her sisters in a distant land, and revealing herself here essentially opened up her physical presence to be pinpointed and then immediately sought and hunted by whoever was after her. The party then brought her back to the Keep. On the way back, they were encountered by this bounty hunter and this small team of individuals that were coming with him to seek out, capture Lillith and bring her back to her sisters. The party then defended her in this circumstance, brutally murdering two of them, one of which was then raised and sent off as a present to the sisters by Lillith, and one was salvaged, not given an honorable death but sent to find his way somewhere northwest of Emon, possibly towards Vasselheim or wherever else he may find his adventure. They then gave Lillith the opportunity to come stay the night, to rest in the Keep, and they all made their way back to Greyskull Keep for the evening."

Part I Edit

The party wakes up in Greyskull Keep and notice that Percy and Lilith both did not come downstairs when the rest of them did. Vex investigates and finds Lilith has already left, leaving a thank-you note for Vox Machina. Scanlan and Grog check Percy's room and find him also missing, and he appears to have tossed his room in a frenzy overnight. They then find him downstairs furiously working in his workshop and asking to be left alone to his work.

Tiberius tries to further train Lockheed but is unsuccessful, and heads down to his laboratory.

Keyleth expresses her concerns to the rest of the group about Percy's brutal behavior while fighting the Broker and his entourage, but the group is quick to justify it based on his traumatized state after confronting the Briarwoods. Keyleth also puts forth the idea that the group should consider their sense of morality more going forward, and the group agrees.

Tiberius researches vampires in his laboratory and learns of the correct way to kill them: render them paralyzed via stake in the heart, and then subject the body to sunlight or rushing water. Any other methods will turn the body to mist, which will reform after a time.

After taking stock of the proof they have of the Briarwoods' evil intent, all but Percy make their way to the palace to meet with Sovereign Uriel Tal'Dorei as was requested the previous day. Seeker Assum Emring, Allura Vysoren, and Arbiter Brom Goldhand are also in attendance, and about thirty guards filter in behind them and block the exits.

Uriel addresses them, asking them to explain themselves for attacking guests of the palace, torturing their carriage driver, and then leaving an elderly woman dead on their way back to their keep. Arbiter Brom casts an unknown spell on the group. During a very tense discussion, Vax shows his bite wound and they give their account of the situation.

Keyleth pleads with Uriel to let her do a spell of restoration on Seeker Assum to break the mind control that the Briarwoods afflicted him with. She does so, and can tell that the spell had the desired effect, but he gives her a look that she interprets to mean "just go with me on this" and he pretends that he was never affected. Uriel temporarily revokes their membership on the Council of Tal'Dorei until their investigation can be completed and instructs them not to flee.

After they leave the palace, Keyleth tells the others what happened with Seeker Assum. Allura catches up with them outside and tells them that Arbiter Brom determined that the old woman Tiberius killed died in fear and was attempting to flee. Tiberius admits to this and asserts that she was a threat. Allura then says that she fears they have a few weeks at most to produce enough evidence to clear their names regarding attacking the Briarwoods. They ask what proof would be sufficient, and she says that if one of their artifacts could be brought forth to be divined, that would give the council all the information they need. She gives Tiberius the earring she'd made for him and gives him a look of disappointment and heartbreak.

Tiberius leaves to tend to several errands while the rest make their way back to the keep where an elderly farming couple is waiting outside for them. They ask them for help ridding them of a giant bird that's killing their livestock in the night. They offer payment of 512 gold pieces that the farming community scrounged together but the party declines the payment and only ask for produce to be provided for the staff of their keep.

Break Edit

Part II Edit

Back inside the Keep, Keyleth goes downstairs to check on Percy, who briefly talks with her before turning her away and returning to his work. She and Vex go to the Briarwoods' carriage driver who has been held prisoner and release his bonds. He introduces himself as Desmond Otham. They ask him if the Briarwoods are vampires, and he says he's seen Lady Briarwood in the daylight multiple times but Lord Briarwood really doesn't make appearances outside.

Desmond tells them of the terrible night that the Briarwoods took over Whitestone, executing the de Rolo family and all other nobles of the town, replacing them with mercenaries, and killing any townsfolk who objected to their rule. A relative peace lasted for a few years until the new "nobles" grew bored and began abusing the people of the town. Desmond was taken in by the Briarwoods and made a coachman after one of the nobles was caught beating him. He describes the castle as "a domain of perverse magics and sacrilege" and says all the servants are undead, and that the Briarwoods are intent on excavating below the dungeon of the castle, bringing up old relics, books, and bones.

The group offers to let him stay there to stay safe, and he elects to stay in the cell where it would be safer. Grog brings him a bed. They all notice Percy who has been down the hall listening to the story and he storms back into his workshop. Scanlan assigns Jarett the task of keeping Desmond safe and comfortable, and tells him to keep Percy away from him as he may react poorly.

Tiberius arrives at the Cloudtop District to visit Allura but is barred entry by the guards - Vox Machina's access has been revoked pending the investigation. He flies back to the keep, where Vax offers him a drink from his flask, which he accepts under the circumstances and is rendered extremely intoxicated.

The party (minus Percy) heads north to the site of the livestock problem, where Scanlan disguises them all as cows to be taken as bait. The giant bird swoops down and takes Keyleth in its claws. Vex Hunter's Marks the bird, and Scanlan casts Dimension Door and teleports onto its back. Tiberius casts Fly on the remainder of the party and they chase the bird out of the city toward the Seashale Mountains to the northwest.
Episode-26-Vox-Moochina-vs-Roc-by-Thomas-Brin

Fan art of Vox Machina (disguised as cows) and the roc, by Thomas Brin.[art 1]

Keyleth gets loose by polymorphing the bird into a cow, causing it to plummet to the ground. Keyleth wildshapes into an eagle and Scanlan polymorphs himself into a pterodactyl to keep flying. The bird impacts the ground, reverts to its true form because of the damage, and continues flying toward the mountains.

Vex's Hunter's Mark tracks the bird to where it has nested, where the party encounters a gnome named Byron who introduces himself as the keeper of this creature. He says that it is the sole survivor of its family and that they live there because it is the safest place. He is unconcerned about civilization or their livestock. The party, led by Keyleth and Scanlan, convince him that more and more will come to hunt this creature down if they don't relocate, and they tell him that Vasselheim would be a much more fitting place for them. He eventually agrees and the party returns home.
Episode-26-Scanlan-Bowing-While-Wearing-a-Cowbell-by-Jessica-Huegel

Fan art of Scanlan bowing while wearing a cowbell, by Jessica Huegel (@Cryptobaffling).[art 2]

Featured Characters Edit

Vox Machina Edit

New Edit

  • Byron: gnome druid, self-appointed guardian of a young roc
  • Jarett Howarth: head of the guards at Greyskull Keep
  • Ben Klauss: farmer, husband of Riley Klauss
  • Riley Klauss: farmer, wife of Ben Klauss
  • Kyle: a young farmhand, set to watch for the roc

Returning Edit

Inventory Edit

Quotations Edit

"We love old people." - Grog

"We’re all cows! Just embrace it." - Keyleth

External Links Edit

References Edit

Art:

  1. Fan art of Vox Machina (disguised as cows) and the roc, by Thomas Brin (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Scanlan bowing while wearing a cowbell, by Jessica Huegel (@Cryptobaffling) (source).  Used with permission.


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