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"Guest Battle Royale" (Sx64) is the sixty-fourth special episode of Critical Role. It is the final one-shot episode to be unlocked as a backer tier for the Kickstarter campaign for The Legend of Vox Machina animated series. Five characters from Exandria's timeline are forced to fight each other in the deadly alternate reality TV show Garyon Garrington's Plunder Games. The award for the last contestant standing will be one use of the Wish spell. This episode aired on January 27, 2022.

Synopsis

Announcements

  • Player/character introductions.
  • This one-shot is made possible by Kickstarter backers like you. Thank you.
  • The Legend of Vox Machina debuts on Prime Video at midnight January 28, 2022. That's tonight! Check it out.
  • Watch the first three episodes with the cast and some special guests on Twitter Spaces or Twitch. For full info visit https://critrole.com/tag/watch-parties/
  • Past Sam, don't wear the giant purple wig. It doesn't come off.

Introduction

You can see the dim red light even before you open your eyes. And when you do, you find yourself in a tight space, you can't make out where exactly. You look down. Your weapons and armor... they're gone and have been replaced with color-coded body suits and strange collars around your neck with shimmering green gemstones lodged in the center. You tug on the center of the collar. The collar won't move. It doesn't budge. As you slowly come to your senses, you realize you're in a clear cylinder. A tube, inside a strange clockwork dome structure, a shimmering holographic image, six stories tall appears in the sky above. As it comes into focus, you see a devilishly handsome man with coiffed purple hair and a finely manicured purple beard adorned in golden attire. If you had to guess, you'd think this man can't be older than 29. His perfect face seems to stare right at you, and it is smiling. He says, "Good evening, Exandria, and welcome to the 69th season of the Plunder Games brought to you by Garrington Corporation. I am, of course, Garyon Garrington, universally beloved artificer, GEO of Garrington Corp.—that's the Gary Executive Officer—executive producer of The Plunder Games, and your host for an evening of chaos, contests, and carnage. Don't touch the dial on your Scry-O-Glass because we are just getting started." A strange hissing noise hits your ears, but then you realize it's not hissing. It's applause, and it's coming from everywhere. You can't see the audience, but are on the edge of their seats. The man continues. "Groty, take this down. Roll that intro!" Groty appears. Groty is a sleek automaton, a robit with a large "G" emblazoned in brass across its chest. He rolls into view onto the large hologram window. He raises a hand, which magically wipes to a series of images on the holo-screen, accompanied by sounds, music, dramatic lighting. Some would say it resembles an intro video package. You hear Groty's deep masculine narrator voice narrate. By the way, my voice is not masculine, so you'll have to use your imaginations here. "Garrion Garrington, master artificer, genius producer, and total DILF, discover the secret behind interdimensional travel. Humbled by this world-shaking discovery, he did what any sane person would do. He used it to broadcast a reality show. Every week, Garyon Garrington travels to a different alternate version of Exandria and plunders five random baddasses with compelling backstories, traps them in a deadly demiplane and compels them to fight to the death for your entertainment." You see images of the crowd going wild. "The winner gets to activate the Fulcrum Paradox: a device so powerful it can alter the fabric of reality by granting its wielder a wish." You see a shining golden box with a prominent red button in the middle. "You can give yourself unlimited wealth, return a loved one from the dead, turn your arch nemesis into a harmless tortoise and watch them wander for hundreds of years in shelled purgatory." Garyon cuts in, "That really happened once!" "Past champions include the motormouth mistress of mayhem, Lyra, of the Slayer's Take. The lusty Lothario of libido, Scanlan Shorthalt. And our cutie pie kobold kook, Spurt." You see images of each of the past champions. "But who will win tonight and how will they change their reality? Find out in this episode of the Plunder Games." The music crescendos, explosions of arcane fire erupt, and the logo for The Plunder Games appears in a shining illusion. However, the illusion seems to have a typo. It spells "The Blunder Games" instead. "Damn it, Groty! I told you to fix that! Never mind. Let's meet the contestants." Garyon cues an intro package transitioning to an intro of each character that we're going to meet tonight. [The players describe their character's package: Nila growing corpse flowers, Kashaw Vesh missing the ever-changing camera angle, Sprigg singing a song, Tova turning into a bear accompanied by snazzy voice over, and Fy'ra Rai with flames, fury, and staff] Garyon comes out. "Oh, amazing work, all of our contestants. Now in a moment, you'll be released from your G Corp Temporar Emergency Evacuation Tubes, AKA TEETs, and the games will begin. When only one of you remains alive, the game ends, and the winner shall receive one wish and a Garrington Corp Dual Action Cleansing and Gleaming Stone. Make your armor gleam and clean like a dream." A sparkling stone appears hovering midair, but it's just holographic. Suds of soap fall from it. Groty, the robot, holds up an hourglass with purple sand inside. Garyon says, "If no winner is declared by the time this hourglass is empty..." and he turns it over, "the demiplane will close and no one" gets a damned thing. At the end of the battle, everyone will be returned to their proper dimension and timeline alive, pinky swear, with no memory of this ever happening. There are no rules against alliances, but there can only be one winner. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Part I

Nila gets to choose the terrain. Per her smell bag's guidance, she chooses a volcano. The arena morphs into a volcanic terrain, with a river of fire running through it, and a bridge over the river. An object also appears: the Smorgasbord, a cache of weapons and items, to replace the ones that Groty had stolen. Garyon informs the contestants that they can attune to these items as a bonus action.

They then roll initiative: Sprigg goes first with a natural 20, then Nila, Fy'ra, Kashaw, and Tova.

Round One

Sprigg asks for armor, an arcane focus, and a wizard staff. He is able to find armor, a component pouch, a Smile Time Wand, and a potion of healing. Nila goes next, and asks for a shillelagh, the heaviest armor she can still wear, and a druidic focus. She finds studded leather armor and Keyleth's staff, as well as a potion of enlargement, though no shillelagh. Fy'ra finds her staff and alchemical fire, as well as a Choker of Breathing and two unrevealed magic items, due to a natural 20 investigation roll. Kashaw receives a potion of flying, his spear, and his holy symbol. Tova finds a +1 axe, her Ring of Invisibility, and Ouchy Ointment, which can heal as well as cure poison and disease. The floor below the Smorgasbord cache begins to glow with heat, as the cache will not last indefinitely.

Round Two

Sprigg waves at the crowd, then hides behind a rock. Nila tries to follow him, but trips and nearly misses falling into the lava instead, finding herself next to Fy'ra. Fy'ra decides to search the cache again and finds a healing potion, a What's in Your Jug, and a Hydro Dumper. She also helps Nila to safety, and goes to follow Sprigg herself. Kashaw casts Guiding Bolt at Tova, but misses her, and moves away from the others. Tova also searches the cache again and finds her armor and a POW! Pearl. She then cuts herself with her axe to invoke her Rite of Flame, and jumps from the bridge just before the Smorgasbord explodes and reforms into the Smorgasbot, which will randomly attack one of the players each round.

Round Three

Garyon encourages everyone to begin attacking each other. Sprigg hides again, holding an action to use the wand of smiles against anyone who attacks him. The Smorgasbot attacks Kashaw twice and also uses Vicious Mockery against him, in all dealing 20 damage. Nila casts Call Lightning and centers the bolt on both Kashaw and the Smorgasbot. Kashaw takes half damage, and the bot takes the full 11 damage. Fy'ra is conflicted about doing damage to the others, and holds her action for an attack if anyone attacks her first. Kashaw then heals himself nearly back up to full, and notes that it might be better to take down Garyon Garrington, floating above them, than to attack each other. Tova sees Fy'ra's choice and tells her that if Fy'ra doesn't attack her, she won't attack Fy'ra, and instead targets Sprigg, dealing 16 damage on her first attack but missing on her second, after Sprigg tells her that he's scared.

Round Four

Garyon teleports down to interview Kashaw, who expresses concern about the giant robot and then insults Garyon's face. Garyon returns to his pillar. Sprigg runs, without disengaging, from Tova and Nila, saying that he must live with the choices he makes. Tova takes a successful attack of opportunity, but Nila tries to reduce the damage and does. Sprigg takes 9 damage, and again holds an action to use the wand of smiles if attacked. The Smorgasbot targets Tova, but cannot reach her this round, and takes 9 damage from Kashaw's attack of opportunity. Instead, the Smorgasbot casts Command on Tova, telling her to advertise, but she saves against it. The contestants notice the bridge is becoming weak from the explosion and the heat of the lava. Nila uses her existing Call Lightning to attack the bot again, dealing 16 damage, and then moves towards Sprigg to protect him. She confirms that Tova thinks her previous deflection was an accident, and doesn't hold a grudge. Nila then hugs Sprigg and gives him a red flower. Sprigg tells her that he is now able to make friends again, after decades of loneliness, and while Garyon feels this makes for poor entertainment Sprigg does seem to be a crowd favorite. Fy'ra also feels bad about attacking Sprigg and decides to attack Tova, because of her attack on Sprigg. She uses her fire genasi ability, Reach to the Blaze, to cast Burning Hands on Tova, and crits, dealing 18 fire damage. Kashaw meanwhile targets the Smorgasbot and successfully casts Blindness on it, then approaches it from behind. Tova meanwhile tells Fy'ra not to attack and instead tries to find the weak point of the bridge and attacks it, making some of it collapse. She then apologizes to Fy'ra and tells her that she doesn't want to cause the death of anyone, having died before herself. Garyon, for his part, enjoys the drama.

Round Five

Sprigg tells Nila his story of abandoning his prior party in their time of need, and asks her what to do. They decided to stick together and to go after the Smorgasbot. He approaches the bot on the bridge and tries to charm it, but fails. The bot then targets Nila, although with disadvantage because it is blinded. However, in trying to do so, it collapses the barely-standing bridge and falls into the lava, taking 53 damage. It survives and exits the lava, but cannot take any further actions. Nila then attacks the Smorgasbot, angling her lightning to not hit Fy'ra or Tova, who are next to it. As this goes on, it is revealed that the bot is controlled by an imp. Nila's attack deals 13 damage, which is not quite enough to finish it off. Fy'ra then hits it with her staff for another 10 damage, which gets her the How do you want to do this?. She frees the imp inside, telling it to get out, which the imp immediately does, running from the field. Fy'ra considers whether she can control the bot instead, but she is too large to fit into the control area, nor can she salvage any more items or weapons from the bot at it is badly melted and burned. She does however notice a small leather pouch, which she discovers is a portable hole. Kashaw decides to stay on his side of the lava river, now that the bridge is damaged, since he has spells that can work at a distance as well as the potion of flying. Tova meanwhile looks to Fy'ra for guidance and decides not to attack the other contestants, instead focusing on Garyon and the arena. Tova puts on her ring of invisibility and investigates Garyon's platform, determining that she could probably climb it. Garyon, frustrated by the lack of combat, activates the lair actions, triggering an earthquake. Nila, Tova, and Kashaw all take 15 damage and are knocked prone, while Sprigg and Fy'ra save. Garyon then takes the show to intermission - the audience filters out to get snacks, and the contestants find themselves frozen in place, but able to speak.

Break

  • Official trailer for The Legend of Vox Machina, which debuts on 28 January 2022, plus an info-graphic of later release times
  • The Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn came out on 18 January 2022. New art, deeper lore, and overall, more content. Go to the Darrington Press website to learn more.
  • Merch Alert! Vox Machina dice sets, chibi pins, and Funko Pops, plus a McFarlane Toys' 12" Shaun Gilmore figure.
  • Critical Recap every Wednesday on CritRole.com.
  • Submit fan art for possible inclusion in the weekly online gallery at https://www.critrole.com/submit.
  • Sam uses soothing backgrounds, relaxing sounds, and his whisper to describe the benefits of subscribing to Critical Role on Twitch.

Part II

All the player characters find themselves still in a stasis (though able to talk) during the break. The Westruun Orphans' Chorus provides entertainment before Garyon interviews the players. Fy'ra is furious, and does not answer his questions. Sprigg mostly just repeats Garyon's question, but tells the crowd that he feels alive. Nila expresses her surprise that no one has died yet, Kashaw insults Garyon and his family, and Tova, still invisible, tells Garyon that she is confused. Garyon tries to bribe Kashaw to get him to increase the action and bloodshed, but Kashaw tells him the only thing he wants is for Garyon to join the fight, which Garyon refuses to do. The party then all make charisma checks, and Sprigg is the most popular after the break.

Round 6

Sprigg uses his turn to successfully leap over the lava river. Nila Wildshapes into a giant frog to do the same. Fy'ra tries to run to an island in the river but does sustain a small amount of fire damage from the lava. She also tries to discern more information about Garyon, but is unsuccessful. Kashaw casts Guiding Bolt at second level at Fy'ra, but she is able to halve the damage with her magical tattoo, down to 9 HP. Tova consumes her ointment to regain 14 HP, all while still invisible. She begins to investigate the strange orbs at the corners of the arena.

Round 7

Garyon flies on his platform towards the middle of the arena. Sprigg gives Nila, still in frog form, a healing potion, and tells the crowd that his only wish was to be remembered for an act of selflessness, and that he seems to have achieved that. Garyon is not entirely sure how to proceed, as the audience numbers are holding steady and Sprigg particularly seems to be popular with families. The lair action, of the lava river splashing, goes next. Kashaw avoids the fire completely and the others players all save against it, and Fy'ra is resistant as a fire genasi, so the damage is minor. Nila realizes that Sprigg probably needs the potion more than she does, but cannot speak since she is a giant frog, so she spits the potion back at him. Sprigg is confused and thinks that the potion might instead be poison, but he is still friendly, and together he and Nila make frog noises. Fy'ra is glad to have an opponent, and retaliates against Kashaw, although he saves against her stunning strike. Kashaw then picks her up, flies them both over to the lava, and attempts to drop her in, but slow fall and a natural 20 acrobatics check mean Fy'ra manages to land on the edge of the river instead without taking any damage. Garyon becomes incredibly frustrated and punches Groty in anger, which only does damage to Garyon, not Groty. Tova considers her options while invisible, and decides against using one of her blood curses. Instead, she finds and throws a rock, dealing 11 damage to Kashaw. Garyon continues to become more anxious and irritated.

Round 8

Sprigg drinks the "poison", which heals him for 17 HP. The lair action then triggers, and while Fy'ra saves and only takes a small amount of damage, Kashaw is knocked out. However, he is still flying, and so merely hovers over the lava river. Garyon sends Groty down with a battleaxe. Nila decides to investigate the strange orbs, as spellcasting would require she drop out of her frog form. She jumps on top of one of the orbs, which turns red and releases a fire elemental that is loyal to her. She communicates, via ribbiting, that she wants it to attack Groty, and it heads in Groty's direction. Its first attack misses, but the second deals 8 fire damage. Garyon continues to panic. Fy'ra casts Burning Hands at Groty and hits the elemental as well, although the elemental is unaffected. Groty takes another 9 points of fire damage on a successful save. Kashaw succeeds on his death save, and Tova drinks the Grow & Show potion to double in size, which also means she can jump twice as far. Finally, she assumes her werebear form. She then attacks Garyon's platform, and begins to pull it down, although Garyon has not yet fallen.

Round 9

Garyon teleports to the ground and screams for his crew to cut to commercial, but they cannot as Tova is shaking the platform. One of the imps falls off. Sprigg swings across the lava using a rope dangling from Kashaw's unconscious body and casts Tasha's Hideous Laughter at Garyon, but Garyon succeeds. The lava then bubbles, and all the surviving contestants save, although Kashaw receives a failed death save, but Groty fails and takes 18 more fire damage. Nila commands the fire elemental again, and it destroyes Groty by throwing him into the lava. Fy'ra takes her health potion to heal for 9 HP and then swings over the lava with Kash's rope. Kashaw succeeds on another death save, putting him at two successes and one failure. Tova, up on the platform, begins smashing the buttons and erratically stearing it around the arena. She also successfully puts her blood curse of binding on Garyon, which reduces his speed to zero. Garyon pleads for his life and for the contestants to at least kill Kashaw, and points out they need him to be transferred back to their homes, although Tova points out she has access to all of his controls, even if she doesn't understand them. Garyon promises to end the combat and send them home if they kill Kashaw. The party considers it.

Round 10

Sprigg debates whether or not he should kill Kashaw, and questions Garyon, finally pushing Garyon to guarantee that the wish can be used to bring Kash back to life. Sprigg sadly casts Ray of Frost, killing Kashaw instantly. Nila reverts back to her normal form to comfort Sprigg, and Tova questions the imp about the buttons in the controls and puts a spotlight on Sprigg. They all exit combat.

Finale

Tova and Fy'ra both threaten Garyon if he does not make everything right. Garyon gives Sprigg the Fulcrum Paradox box. Sprigg calls out to the children who had been rooting for him, and a small child named Jessie tells him that he did a good job, and that she enjoyed the Blunder Games. Garyon admits that he can just bring back Kashaw; they never actually use the box even though it does work. He revives Kash and casts the spell to send everyone back to their homes and wipe their memories as promised. Before they all leave, Garyon is stunned to learn that the ratings actually did quite well despite the different format, and he gives Sprigg a trophy, which Sprigg wears as a hat.

Featured characters

Player characters

New

Returning

Mentioned

Quotations

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 1 Leather armor Cornucopia of Cosmic Coolness (Smorgasbord) Sprigg
Acquired 1 Spell components Smorgasbord Sprigg
Acquired 1 Premium Potion of wellness Smorgasbord Sprigg
Acquired 1 Smile Time Smorgasbord Sprigg
Acquired 1 A long wooden staff Smorgasbord Nila "If found, please return to Keyleth of the Ashari."
Acquired 1 Studded Leather Armor Smorgasbord Nila
Acquired 1 Grow and Show Smorgasbord Nila Potion of enlargement
Acquired 1 Telescoping quarterstaff Smorgasbord Fy'ra Rai
Acquired 1 Choker of Breathing Smorgasbord Fy'ra Rai
Acquired 1 Potion of wellness Smorgasbord Fy'ra Rai
Acquired 1 Unknown Smorgasbord Fy'ra Rai
Acquired 1 A spear Smorgasbord Kashaw Vesh
Acquired 1 Holy symbol Smorgasbord Kashaw Vesh
Acquired 1 G Propellant Smorgasbord Kashaw Vesh The recipient who sprinkles it on themselves have a flying speed of 30 ft for one minute
Acquired 1 Battleaxe of Badassery Smorgasbord Tova +1 axe
Acquired 1 Ring of Invisibility Smorgasbord Tova
Acquired 1 Ouchy Ointment Smorgasbord Tova Cures poison, and heals
Acquired 1 Alchemy Jug Smorgasbord Fy'ra Rai
Acquired 1 Hydro dumper Smorgasbord Fy'ra Rai
Acquired 1 Potion of wellness Smorgasbord Fy'ra Rai
Acquired 1 Armor Smorgasbord Tova
Acquired 1 POW! Pearl Smorgasbord Tova Regains a spell slot
Transferred 1 Red flower Nila Sprigg
Acquired 1 Instahole Leather pouch Fy'Rai Puts a hole in an object
Expended 1 Ouchy Ointment Tova Tova
Transferred 1 Premium Potion of wellness Sprigg Nila Sprigg helped a stranger, fulfilling his wish
Transferred 1 Premium Potion of wellness Nila Sprigg Nila tossed it back
Expended 1 G Propellant Kashaw Kashaw Picked up Fy'ra Rai to fly her over the lava, dropping her down
Expended 1 Premium Potion of wellness Sprigg Sprigg
Expended 1 Potion of wellness Fy'ra Rai Fy'ra Rai Healed 9 HP
Transferred 1 Fulcrum Paradox Garyon Garrington Sprigg A clockwork box with a red button. Holds one Wish
Transferred 1 Fulcrum Paradox Sprigg Jessie
Transferred 1 A trophy Garyon Sprigg

Trivia

References

Art:

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