"Curious Tides" (1x89) is the fifth episode of the seventh chapter of Critical Role. Having procured the lodestones, Vox Machina returns to Vesrah with Vax'ildan's life on the line as they hurry to save their fallen companion. Bargains and promises are made, cards are drawn, and new power is unlocked as Keyleth's Aramenté trials come to an end.



  • Tonight's sponsor: Loot Crate. Sam attempted to set a record by reading the Loot Crate ad while consuming a bottle of Coca-Cola and several candy bars in under two minutes.
  • Nerdist are doing a giveaway for a paid trip to the Power Rangers movie premiere in LA.
  • The Twitch stream will be celebrating its two-year anniversary on Saturday with a charity event for 826LA.
  • Laura gave a merch update.
  • New Signal Boost, hosted by Jason Charles Miller.
  • New GM Tips.
  • Wednesday Club will be hosted by Matt Kay, as Taliesin will be away.
  • Talks Machina, Tuesday nights at 7 PM Pacific.
  • One of the G&S crew members, Amandine, has put up a Fundly to help with legal costs so she can stay in the country.
  • Critter Chris Kauppila hand-made a treasure chest for Matt and Marisha, in celebration of their anniversary (though technically was in celebration of their engagement).

Previously on Critical Role

"Vox Machina had made their way west into the Ozmit Sea to the Islands of Anamn and the city of Vesrah: the final stop in Keyleth's long-running Aramenté to prove herself leader of her people of Zephyra.

"Here they were given a task as part of the Aramenté where they had to retrieve three lodestones within the rift to the Water Elemental Plane, which as of late had been taken up residence by a kraken: an ancient pet of the titans, now freed and left to wander, to feed, grow, and apparently loom across that boundary.

"The party went in and—due to an unfortunate vomiting episode underwater—drew the attention of the kraken, and a very, very intense battle ensued, in which most of [them] managed to escape by the skin of [their] teeth. However, in the battle Vax did fall, his body left cold and lifeless beneath the waters.

"In a last-minute urge of leadership, Keyleth reached out, grabbed the twins, and Plane Shift'ed back into the Prime Material Plane, with Percival, Taryon, and Grog looking to escape. [Grog] managed to be vomited up with apparently almost no hit points left and jumped through the portal while flicking off the kraken."

Part I

Vax'ildan, just after falling in battle against the kraken, is visited by a vision of his patron, the Raven Queen.

Grog, the last to emerge from the portal to the Elemental Plane of Water, is followed by a single tentacle from the kraken. He helps the waiting Water Ashari fight it back through the portal, and they partially close the rift to keep the kraken at bay. Durent guides Grog, Percival, and Taryon back up to the surface.

Vax'ildan's Resurrection Ritual

Keyleth, Vex'ahlia, and the lifeless body of Vax'ildan, meanwhile, materialize from Keyleth's Plane Shift on the outskirts of Vesrah. Keyleth brings them into the center of the city to look for a cleric. Uvenda helps them contact Pike back in Emon. As Keyleth and Vex prepare a bed of raven feathers for Vax's body, they are joined by Grog, Percy, Tary, and Doty, who have rushed to find them. They all wait quietly, hoping Pike will respond to Keyleth's message.

Meanwhile, in Emon, Pike hears the message and goes immediately to a temple of Sarenrae to pray. After a little while, she appears, with a crack of thunder, in her astral form, among her friends in Vesrah.

Uvenda helps Pike set up the space for the resurrection ritual, and Pike casts the spell. Vex, addressing the Raven Queen, offers to hunt down Orcus in exchange for her brother's safe return. Keyleth, touching the handprint burned onto Vax's back, casts Daylight as a light to guide him back from the darkness. Grog steps up, slaps Vax's body hard across the face, and tells him, "I told you before. No one kills you but me."

With that, a vision of the Raven Queen appears to all of them, lifting Vax up. She tells them that her champion's charge is not yet complete and that they will meet again. As she withdraws, Vax takes a breath and wakes up.

Finishing Up

Fan art of Keyleth, Vax'ildan, and Vex'ahlia after Vax's resurrection ritual in "Curious Tides" (1x89), by Elaine Tipping.[art 1]

Vox Machina take a moment to celebrate their friend's return, and Keyleth has Tary present one of the lodestones to Uvenda. Uvenda is visibly surprised and congratulates Keyleth on the completion of her Aramenté, declaring that they will celebrate that night. She does admit that the Aramenté is not meant to be lethal; Keyleth and her mother have been the only ones to attempt it since the coming of the kraken, and perhaps it is time to reconsider the task.

Pike is introduced to Tary, whom she has not properly met; Tary practices his Gnomish with her. He mentions that he hasn't had a chance to practice since his family's estate was visited by a gnome in a traveling troupe some years ago, but that the gnome left in a hurry after an incident with his father's handmaiden. Pike says that sounds "like somebody that I would love tremendously."


Part II

Rest and Celebration

The party take a short rest to recover properly from their fight against the kraken. Keyleth announces that she has been holding on to something she had Gilmore help her make: a set of dragon-tooth pendants, enchanted so that, if any member of the party goes unconscious, the rest will know. She hands out a pendant to each member of the party, giving the one that was meant for Scanlan to Tary. Tary, taking this as a sign that he has been accepted as a fully-fledged member of Vox Machina, falls to his knees and thanks her profusely.

Percy confesses to Grog that he may have influenced Grog's decision to go back and rescue Tary, offering to let Grog keep his glasses as penance. Grog doesn't understand what Percy is talking about, so Percy gives him a skipping rock and calls it a day. Grog is delighted.

In the evening, the people of Vesrah gather, along with Captain Adella and her crew, to celebrate the completion of Keyleth's Aramenté. Uvenda approaches Keyleth, telling her to close her eyes and focus on one of the powerful creatures she has encountered. Keyleth thinks back to Yenk, and with that, she shifts into the form of a goristro. As the onlookers gasp in awe, she changes from goristro to beholder, and then to adult bronze dragon, flying through the night sky. In the dragon form, she offers joyrides to the onlookers who line up for the opportunity.

Before bed, Tary goes to Grog to ask for, more or less, a performance review on the fight. Grog offers some advice, then, as a "last resort", gives him what he describes as a magic egg. It is in fact just a very old and rotten basilisk egg. Tary accepts the gift in awe.

Pike's Lesson

Pike finds Tary next, asking if he can have Doty do some portraits for her. He agrees. That night, after everyone has gone to bed, Vex, Percy, Keyleth, Vax, and Grog are each woken up in the middle of the night by Doty, appearing outside their windows to sketch them.

Doty delivers the completed portraits to Pike the next morning. Pike brings them to Tary and presents them as flash-cards for learning the party's names (which Tary still has not done). She goes through them one by one, telling Tary each person's name and having him write them down. It is in this way that Tary first learns about the relationships between Vex and Percy, and between Keyleth and Vax, as Doty has of course drawn them all as he found them in bed. Pike's astral form then fades, promising to meet them back in Emon.

They rejoin Captain Adella for the return trip to Emon. With Keyleth providing a favorable wind, they make it back to port after just three days of travel. Pike meets them in the flesh on their return. Tary tells her that he has been studying her flash cards, as he promised.

Return to Greyskull Keep

They make their way to Greyskull Keep, where they find that their old servants, Laina and Erwen, have returned. Tary gets a tour of the place. Percy, in an attempt to get his glasses back from Grog, makes a tin pinwheel and offers to trade it; Grog takes offense at the implication that he is a child, but keeps the pinwheel "as a deposit." Vex, Percy, and Keyleth go to the library to do research on the Nine Hells for their next mission.

They find very little and move on to examining the papers they took from Raishan's lair, including the large book that Gilmore had cautioned them about. Vex is elected to read it, as only she and her brother can read Abyssal. She finds it to be one of Opash's own notebooks from the Age of Arcanum, documenting his experiments with souls, his exile from Marquet, and his acquisition of the near-dead corpse of Thordak. The book hints at a ritual used by an ancient black dragon, Guuthal the Ever-fed, to become a dracolich. After a point, Vex finds that the script transitions from Abyssal to Draconic, now describing Thordak's own attempts to uncover Guuthal's ritual. As she finishes the book, she feels cold fingers grasp at her mind, but resists them and closes the book.

They discuss what to do with the book while Doty takes down Vex's description of its contents. They decide a visit to the Cobalt Reserve will be in order, but leave that for the next day.

Featured Characters

Vox Machina







Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
expended 1 diamond worth 500 gp Grog's Bag of Holding resurrection ritual
transferred 6 dragon-tooth necklaces Keyleth one each to Vex, Vax, Percy, Grog, Pike, and Tary crafted in secret by Gilmore; the pendants will pulse with a heartbeat whenever someone wearing one of them is unconscious
transferred 1 rotten basilisk egg Grog Tary Grog told Tary it was a "magical egg", to be consumed in a moment of dire peril
relinquished 8 throat beads and goggles party Water Ashari these items were on loan
crafted 1 tin pinwheel Percy Grog offered as trade for Percy's glasses; Grog refused the trade but kept the pinwheel


  • Pike: Her name is Vex.
    Taryon: All right. Vex.
    Pike: And you know that her and Vax are twin brother and sister?
    Taryon: I could tell by the bone structure and the contempt.

External Links



  1. Fan art of Keyleth, Vax'ildan, and Vex'ahlia after Vax's resurrection ritual in "Curious Tides" (1x89), by Elaine Tipping (source).  Used with permission.

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