"Echoes of the Past" (1x38) is the fifteenth episode of the third chapter of Critical Role. Vox Machina takes some well-earned downtime! Scanlan continues his dance with the mysterious gnome girl, Kaylie, and the group agrees to venture back to a mysterious cavern they had abandoned years before...
Previously on Critical Role
"The party, upon returning from their adventure in Whitestone, had a meeting with the Council of Tal'Dorei where they were able to provide information, a witness, and have the guidance of the now no-longer-charmed Sovereign Uriel Tal'Dorei to alleviate them of any wrongdoing in the Briarwoods' arrival in Emon months ago, and reinstated their membership in the Council, dropped the charges that were against them within the city of Emon, and the party have now become once again lauded and accepted within the city. At the same time Uriel, going through a bit of an emotional breakdown with his lack of leadership in this whole circumstance, it was discovered that the reason his defense was improper was because there was an individual on the actual Council who was a traitor, who had been working with the Briarwoods and was secretly a follower of Vecna, from what the documents seemed to say. However, he had fled, and the party decided to go ahead and, probably do a better job than the local guard would, find out if he was too far or not.
"They found that he was still in the city, beneath the city, and happened to correlate his current location with the Clasp, the thieves' guild of the city's current underground base, with which the party had previously had a few run-ins before. Making their way to the inn that houses one of the secret entrances to the Clasp's hideout, they encountered a band of traveling musicians, Dr. Dranzel's [Spectacular Traveling Troupe], and discovered a number of past individuals of Scanlan's performance history, as well as a few new friends, and got into an epic flute duel, which he threw, and in doing so—being a man of his word—gave the remaining gold coins in his pouch to a young gnome.
"The distraction being successful, the rest of the party snuck through the kitchen into the hatch and they had an encounter with the Clasp, after calling out to them within their own hideout, telling them that they're after this fugitive and not planning to do any terrible business within the guild, and managed to convince them to let them go about their way. Vox Machina had a showdown with the traitor, Riskel Daxio, within his cell before he supposed to be ushered out of the city, given a new name, and essentially be given free reign in the world. The party then beat him down pretty hard, and are currently dragging his bleeding unconscious [body] towards the Cloudtop District to turn him in."
Interrogation of Daxio
Lord Riskel Daxio, traitor to Tal'Dorei and former member of the Tal'Dorei Council, was captured by Vox Machina in "A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37). Vox Machina brings Daxio to Sovereign Uriel Tal'Dorei III, where he is interrogated to learn more about Vecna. Sovereign Uriel sentences Daxio to immediate execution, and Grog beheads him with Craven Edge.
After an unsatisfying pub crawl, they encounter Shaun Gilmore, who creates a Heroes' Feast for them. Vex asks him what he knows about Vecna, and he shares his knowledge of the archlich. At Keyleth's instigation, the party gets thoroughly drunk. Vax has a private conversation with Gilmore, telling him he can't "do the dance" anymore because he is in love with someone he doesn't think loves him. Gilmore, while disappointed, accept this gracefully.
An Unexpected Revelation
Back at Greyskull Keep, Vox Machina finds that the guards have allowed Dr. Dranzel's Spectacular Traveling Troupe entry. They all retire to their respective rooms. Scanlan is joined by Kaylie. Inside his room, they drink wine and Scanlan shares tales about his adventures. Kaylie then explains that she is from Kymal and she trained to become a bard at the College of the White Duke. Kaylie admits that she has already heard about Scanlan's tales. Then she reveals that she heard most of the stories from her mother, Sybil. As Kaylie continues her story, Scanlan slowly realizes that Kaylie is in fact his daughter. She tells Scanlan about all the hardship that she and her mother have endured and how she was forced to learn how to use a blade and her charms to survive. Shocked by the revelation, Scanlan listens as Kaylie explains that she has been looking for him and draws a blade.
Regaining his wits, Scanlan tries to calm her down and is thoroughly apologetic and guilty about the situation. He keeps expressing his guilt, admitting that he is a scoundrel, to which Kaylie retorts that he is a scoundrel who has no boundaries and leaves a wake of people hurt. She demands that he draw his blade. Scanlan refuses to fight her. He admits that he has made a lot of mistakes in the past, but he is trying to become a better person for someone he loves. Scanlan tells his daughter that she will find herself disappointed because he won't fight her and he is willing to offer his life if it will make her feel better. He admits that he is remorseful for not knowing her existence. Scanlan tells his daughter that knowing that she is his blood only makes him love her even more.
Kaylie hesitates for a moment and then lunges toward Scanlan's exposed chest, only to find herself unable to kill her father. They both share a hug as Kaylie cries on Scanlan's chest as she questions why she couldn't kill him when she has spent all her life hating him. Scanlan keeps apologizing to her. Eventually she pulls away, gathers her blade and walks out. Before leaving, Kaylie states that he is still a scoundrel. It has kept him alive so far, perhaps it was what kept her alive as well. She then leaves Scanlan alone in his room.
The party goes to General Krieg's former dwelling in the Cloud Top district. They first debate if they should inform the guards of the district that they want to check out Krieg's house because they worry about it, but in the end decide not to and just break in. Grog jumps over the fence and walks through the yard to the house. Pike tries to pick the lock of the front door using Vax's thieves' tools. Scanlan inspires her with a limerick:
Pike succeeds in picking the lock and the door swings open. Grog peeks in and immediately smells a scent of decay permeating the foyer. The smell seems to be coming from the dining room. When entering, the party discovers a one-man feast set out on the dining room table but is completely molded over. It seems like no one has been in the room for quite some time; the dust layer doesn't seem to have been disturbed. Suddenly a burst of force energy fills the room and hits Scanlan, who gets trapped in a magical force cage. He escapes it quickly, and three members of Vox Machina decide to go investigate upstairs. The party also finds a mildewed basement.
No signs of life or wealth are found in the house, though. In the room across the hallway from the foyer, the party discovers a number of busts that are probably an artist's depiction of J'mon Sa Ord. A golden tea set, an old-looking set of ivory carved dominoes, and a humanoid skull with an emerald set in the right eye socket also stand on pillars in the room. Percy goes to look at the skull, lifting it up, and a chill goes down his spine. The emerald within it seems to be moving, rippling, very lightly, and Pike detects some kind of power within it. Percy suspects it might contain some sort of scrying spell and puts it back down facing the wall.
Vex inspects the tea set, which seems to be of great value. It has the initials "L.M." inscribed on the bottom. Grog checks out the ivory dominoes, which seem completely normal. In the room that contained a portal the last time the party was there, nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. Scanlan peeks behind a tapestry, which reveals a normal wall. When trying to lick the wall, his face passes through the wall completely. Keyleth removes the tapestry and drapes it over the skull. On the other side of the portal lies a stairway going down. The party progresses through the portal and down the stairway.
At the bottom of the stairway, there is a small room with the teleportation circle that Vox Machina used previously to get to the cave where they faced Brimscythe. Vax remembers the pattern of stones that they needed to step on to get to the circle safely. They enter the circle and appear in the cave where they battled Brimscythe. A big part of it has collapsed, but the party sees a tunnel leading out and two tunnels leading in. The tunnels leading in seem smoothly dug, although there are claw and soot marks on the sides of the tunnel. Percy find an older man frozen in place in an alcove in one of the tunnels. Further into the smooth tunnel, a portion opened up a pocket of gold pieces spilling out into the tunnel. The frozen man matches the description of the art collector that became the owner of General Krieg's house after his passing. Vex starts scooping gold into the bag of holding. While this is happening, the cave begins to rumble and the ground in the center of the cave explodes. From the ground a large form erupts, a wormlike creature with several rows of teeth.
- Percival de Rolo
- Scanlan Shorthalt
- Grog Strongjaw
- Pike Trickfoot
- Vax'ildan: (To Gilmore) I feel I need to be honest with you. There’s no question you and I have danced around each other a bit in the past few years, and I have been curious.
Gilmore: “Well. Curiosity is the spark of arcane pursuits and knowledge. Among many other things.”
Vax'ildan: I’ve come close many times to going further than I have. You are a charming man. But I respect you very much. And I need to tell you that I can’t do the dance anymore. I am in love with someone I don’t think loves me, but all the same, it wouldn’t be fair to you to think that we might dally, and I don’t want to be a liar, so I won’t be.
- Scanlan: (to Kaylie) If you’re here to fight me, I’m afraid you’re going to be terribly disappointed, because I will just let you kill me, if that’s what it takes. I didn’t know you existed, and my heart is breaking a hundred times now for not knowing it. Every year that you’ve been alive is a year I could have been a better person and known someone who could have made me a better person, and I’m only sorry that I didn’t know it. If there’s anything I can do for you from now on-- if you are truly my blood, I will, because among my many faults, ego is certainly one of them, and knowing you’re part of me makes me love you even more.