"Elysium" (1x104) is the fifth episode of the eighth chapter of Critical Role. We journey to Elysium, where Vox Machina must prove their worth in the eyes of the gods.
- Tonight's episode is sponsored by Marvel Puzzle Quest. Sam quizzed Taliesin on "Enemy from Marvel Puzzle Quest, or actual movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme?"
- Merch update: by popular request, the unsigned David Mack poster will be available for a few days extra.
- Critical Role podcast: episodes 11 through 20 are available on iTunes and Google Play.
- There will be a Critical Role live show at this year's GenCon, on August 18.
- There will be a Critical Role panel at San Diego Comic Con.
- The most recent Signal Boost is up, hosted by Mischa Pollack.
- Wednesday Club will be discussing famous superhero headquarters.
- Sagas of Sundry: Dread is a new series run by Ivan Van Norman.
Previously on Critical Role Edit
"Vox Machina had confronted the Whispered One, the Undying King, Vecna, in the Shadowfell. The battle did not go in their favor: the death and very faint recovery of Vex, and the disintegration of Vax during this confrontation.
"Realizing that it was not going in their favor, they Plane Shifted to the Feywild where they began to come up with some sort of plot or plan to try to bring their friend Vax back without a body. During this time, Vax had a conversation with his patron, the Raven Queen, and was given an offer where he could return along with powers that would aid in this coming final confrontation. However, the deal came with some drawbacks.
"Upon his friends awakening next morning in the Feywild, they found Vax returned to them, whole, seemingly alive, returned, though missing his equipment. His equipment was returned, and there was a brief period of figuring out what possibly delivered their friend back to this space. It was decided that, based on his experience with his patron, that the powers beyond the Divine Gate, the Prime Gods that lay claim to the divine beyond the Prime Material Plane will probably be the next best bet in gaining some sort of power and information about how to better prepare for the coming struggle with Vecna, the Whispered One.
"Vox Machina then made their way to Vasselheim, where Pike went to her temple of Sarenrae which she had helped raise and reconstruct, and had a vision from her patron deity asking her to come visit her at the Island of Renewal, and was granted through this vision an object that would link via Keyleth's Plane Shift spell a way to traverse past the Divine Gate directly to her location on the plane of Elysium.
"Also, Grog and Scanlan had a little excursion in the city of Vasselheim and a minor altercation with the guards which led to a larger altercation with the guards which led to a much larger altercation with the guards which led to them barely escaping and deciding it's time to go.
"Vox Machina then clasped hands and, using the Plane Shift spell, found themselves stepping down on the crunching sand-like shores of the Island of Renewal. There looking past the clusters of stone and trees that mark the perimeter of this interesting, beautiful, strange distant landscape, they can see beyond the treeline and hills the crystalline structure that seems to mark the center of the island."
Part I Edit
The Island of Renewal Edit
Vox Machina pause on the shores of the Island of Renewal to take stock of their surroundings. Vex and Pike examine the pearl-like granules that make up the beach, taking a handful each for later. Grog tries (and fails) to crush one between his fingers. While Vax takes a short rest to set his armor to fire resistance, the party enjoys the warm water, and Keyleth gives an Inspiring Leader speech. Vex attunes to the Boots of Haste that she had taken from her brother.
As the party begins to walk toward the fiery, crystalline palace at the center of the island, they pass through trees into an area filled with ancient stone likenesses of Sarenrae's devoted. However, after an hour, they have gotten no closer to the center. Pike attempts to pray to Sarenrae. After getting no response, she takes a moment to walk ahead of the group.
Eventually, Pike tries closing her eyes and focusing on the crystal palace structure, which does bring her to its base. Scanlan, who has previously professed his belief in Sarenrae, is also able to reach the structure in this way, and between the two of them they accompany the rest of the party. Finally, they all arrive at the palace and enter.
Sarenrae's Gift Edit
From the flames inside the palace emerges a vision of Sarenrae, who speaks to all of them. They tell her that they have fought Vecna, and that he is seeking to ascend to godhood, much the same way as the Raven Queen once did.
Sarenrae responds that the Ritual of Seeding, used previously by the mortal who became the Raven Queen, is forbidden knowledge that has been sealed for eternity by Ioun. However, if Vecna is indeed able to complete the ritual and ascend, it will fall on Vox Machina to seal him away. She recommends that they visit Pelor to learn how to do such a thing.
Sarenrae thanks Pike for her role in restoring worship at her temple, and shows her how the pearl-like granules on the beach are actually the souls of worshippers come to live with her. As a parting gift, she grants her the Blessing of the Everlight.
After a bit more discussion, during which Pike and Vex give back the pearls they had taken from the beach, Sarenrae offers to transport them to Pelor's realm. With a flash, they find themselves in an orchard, no longer on the Island of Renewal.
Orchards of the Dawnfather Edit
Grog insists on picking a plum-like fruit from one of the trees in the orchard. Vex, Keyleth, and Pike convince him not to eat it, though, on the chance that the fruits are actually souls.
Over the next few hours, the party make their way to a clearing containing the immense citadel of the Dawnfather, lit by a giant beacon of sunlight.
As they cross the clearing, Keyleth pauses to have a conversation with one of the trees dotting the clearing, hoping it might know the Sun Tree in Whitestone. The tree is rather rude at first, but does answer a few questions and apologizes for its brusqueness. They move on to the citadel.
At the doors, they are greeted by three celestials who check them for evil. They mention the Eye of Vecna, which they still carry, as a precaution, but do not hand it over. The celestials grant them admittance to the citadel and accompany them into the Fortress of the Sun.
Part II Edit
The Fortress of the Sun Edit
Inside the Fortress of the Sun, in a vast, gorgeous tower filled with directionless light, they meet Pelor, the Dawnfather. They tell him of Vecna's Ritual of Seeding. Pike presents the Eye of Vecna, which Pelor offers to destroy for them. After a brief debate, the group elects Vex to speak for them; she asks for its destruction, and Pelor consumes it in fire.
When the group asks for Pelor's help in sealing Vecna, he asks which of them will stand forward to earn his blessing. At first, Keyleth offers, until Vex steps up and asks to undergo the trial. Pelor accepts, showing her two hourglasses and telling her she must ascend to the zenith of the tower before her time runs out.
Vex'ahlia's Trial Edit
As the first hourglass is set and Vex's trial begins, three planars appear to block access to the tower. Vex clicks her Boots of Haste, and Scanlan quickly Polymorphs her into a red dragon. Grog, Vax, and Percy move to tackle the three planars in the air. Two fall, but the third manages to grab on to Vex's dragon form as she flies up. With that, the first timer runs out, and the ceiling of the chamber slams shut. This leaves Vex and one of the planars up in the tower, separated from everyone else below.
In the tower, Vex continues to hurry upward while trying to shake off the planar that has grabbed on to her. Although it does slow her down, she gets rid of it in time to reach the very top of the tower before it closes. There, at the top, Vex finds a flaming brazier and throws herself into it. The flames of the brazier dispel Vex's dragon form, and she spends a few moments in a trance-like oblivion.
Meanwhile, down below, Pelor asks the waiting members of Vox Machina, "What does she mean to you?" They each answer in turn: Keyleth says that Vex gives her her power. Scanlan says that she has flaws, but that she does everything to protect her family, and is the most perfect of all of them. Grog says that she teaches him and cheers him on. Pike calls her a sister. Percy calls her his heart and his judgment, then lets slip that they are betrothed. Finally, Vax says that she is every hope he has; himself, but better.
As they finish, Vex'ahlia descends as a bright second star from the tower above, newly blessed with the Blessing of the Dawnfather.
Pelor's Counsel Edit
Before they leave, Pelor tells Vox Machina about his previous banishment of the Chained Oblivion. He tells them how Ioun devised items called the Prime Trammels to seal the Chained Oblivion in a plane beyond the Astral Sea. To find the key to Ioun's whereabouts, Pelor shows them a map to a hovel in the Cliffkeep Mountains, near the Pools of Wittebak. To his new champion, Vex'ahlia, Pelor grants a small, opal-like stone, a bead of divinity that can be used in the construction of a Prime Trammel.
With a procession of souls and planars paying respects to Vex, the party leave the citadel and make their way back out across the orchards.
Featured Characters Edit
Vox Machina Edit
- Percival de Rolo
- Scanlan Shorthalt
- Grog Strongjaw
- Pike Trickfoot
- Keyleth: Hey, Sun Tree bro. Are you a Sun Tree bro? Are you a Sun Tree brother? What's your name?
Tree: I'm a tree of the sun. And I'm not your bro.
Keyleth: No no no, I didn't know if you knew the Sun Tree that grew in Whitestone on the Prime Material Plane. I didn't know if you knew him.
Tree: So because I'm a tree of the sun, you assume that I know all other trees of the sun. Is that what this is? It's one of those things? We all look alike, don't we? Just all of us trees of the sun, right?
- Percy: What a beautiful tree you've found. It casts so much shade.
- Percy: She is Mistress of the Grey Hunt of Whitestone, Baroness of the First House of Whitestone. She is my heart and my judgment and the future that I have chosen, and she is the one that I have betrothed to.
External Links Edit