"Hope" (1x56) is the eighteenth and final episode of the fourth chapter of Critical Role. As the citizens of Westruun learn of Umbrasyl's demise, they must decide whether to flee possible retaliation from the Chroma Conclave or reclaim their city. With the burden of so many lives and so much destruction, the members of Vox Machina struggle with their own responsibilities and destinies. Perhaps a humble paladin can restore the hope of frightened citizens and powerful heroes alike...

Synopsis

Pre-Show

The following videos played during the Critical Role pre-show, which was cut from the final YouTube video of this episode:

  • The updated Critical Role fan art slideshow.
  • A CGI version of the live-action Critical Role opening sequence, created by Robert Dykstra.[1]
  • "Be a Good Dog: Watch Pugmire"
  • A LootCrate commercial.

Announcements

  • LootCrate was pleased with their sponsorship of Critical Role during May 2016, so they returned to sponsor the show again. Using lootcrate.com/criticalrole, fans can get a $3 discount on the basic subscription, or lootcrate.com/criticalroledx for the DX subscription.
  • [missing item]
  • San Diego Comic Con.
  • Taliesin's next episode of Signal Boost! airs [missing detail].
  • The next Dear Vox Machina article will be released on 2016-06-10.
  • The 50th episode's live-action opening sequence.

Previously on Critical Role

"This group of intrepid adventurers, Vox Machina, found their way towards the city of Westruun, which had been partially destroyed by the attacks of the Chroma Conclave, a dangerous group of chromatic dragons, very powerful entities that tore through the countryside. In the wake of this destruction, the Herd of Storms, a roving barbaric tribe that Grog once belonged to, swept in and conquered the city of Westruun. They made an accord with the returning black dragon Umbrasyl that they would alleviate most of the spoils of their findings toward it, and as such would not be in conflict with such a powerful and dangerous entity.

"Vox Machina swung into the town, cut down the rather brutal and ruthless leader, Kevdak, and aided his son, who seemed to be of more mind, Zanror, and Grog himself to temporarily take the Herd in its current state and use this moment to surprise, and hopefully take down, this ancient black dragon known as Umbrasyl the Hope Devourer.

"They set a trap, they sprung it, and kept the dragon close to the ground as long as they could, dealing a vast amount of damage but not enough to stop it, as it began to tear through the Herd, as well as Vox Machina itself. Vax and Scanlan had, through the use of magic and ingenuity, teleported themselves inside of the dragon. Didn't seem to go as well as they intended, as the dragon took off, leaving a dangling Grog, with his axe and chain stuck in its side, flying off towards the high, darkened mountain of Gatshadow.

"The midair battled ensued as they tried to find ways to carve their way out of the beast. Vax utilizing the embedded arrow-hole and loosening the tension of the muscles with the dragon-blade at his disposal; Scanlan's technique a little more...sensual. He fisted the dragon, and as such found his way out. During this period of time, Vax embraced the blessing of the Raven Queen, taking a level in Paladin, Grog got more intelligent briefly as a giant eagle, and they managed to reconvene with their party members as the dragon went to recover within its lair at the top of Gatshadow.

"They then encountered a very elderly goliath that Grog hadn't seen in quite some time named Shale, who spoke of the scouting crew that had been obliterated by the dragon. They followed Shale as she led them up the mountain, to where the dragon's current lair resides. They did battle with Umbrasyl, a very hard-fought battle, many of them taking a bunch of damage, but they prevailed and Grog dealt the deathblow, killing the dragon. They all began to sift through its horde, Shale shambling down the mountain on her own to see the rest of her greater destiny."

Part I

Vox Machina continues looting Umbrasyl's body and hoard. Keyleth harvests dragon blood, teeth, and hide. Vax looks for weapons and Vex counts the gold: more than 78,000 gold pieces. Realizing the gold is the property of the civilians of Westruun (and that it's too heavy to carry all of it), they take 15,000 and leave the rest hidden for the town to retrieve. They also find gems, an enchanted jug, a Tome of Leadership and Influence, and two potions. Scanlan takes a sapphire ring, and Vax takes two ordinary shortswords. Between the dragon bits, the gold, and the loot, both the Bag of Holding and the Bag of Colding are stuffed full.

Late in the night, they finish their harvesting and Scanlan casts his Magnificent Mansion. Percy immediately disappears into his workshop and completes expensive repairs to the extensively damaged Bad News.

Vax asks Vex to return his Boots of Haste, but she laughs him off. Later that night, while she is asleep (and after Scanlan orders his spectral servants to protect her feet), Vax sneaks into the kitchen and then to his sister's room, finding her surrounded by ten watchful servants. Vax splashes water and flour on her face and leaps on her, demanding his boots back, but is restrained by the servants. Vex wants payment for the return of the boots: What's going on between him and Keyleth? He refuses to talk about it, and she eventually relents and returns the boots.

Keyleth asks Scanlan if the mansion has a spa, and he immediately creates one. Via the Earrings, she invites the ladies, who join her. Almost immediately, Grog and Percy charge in and cannonball into the water. Vex takes Keyleth aside and confronts her about what's going on between her and Vax. Keyleth hesitantly responds that she hasn't thought beyond defeating Umbrasyl. Vex presses further: Does she like him? Does she love him? Keyleth very nervously admits she might, and Vex urges her to seize happiness while she can.

Fan art of the cannonball contest, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 1]

The entire party (except Vax) arrives in the spa and a cannonball contest breaks out, with Grog judging. Keyleth turns into an earth elemental for her go, but Pike equals her while wearing nothing but her Gauntlets of Ogre Power. Scanlan sets off a Thunderwave as he jumps. Percy leaps in with a kettle of sodium, which explodes, but also wounds him quite a lot. Vex uses her broom to fly twenty feet up to the ceiling and jumps from there, releasing Trinket as she falls. Grog judges that since Percy was the only one that drew blood, he is the winner, and awards the prize of five pounds of gems to him.

The next morning, Scanlan tells the party what the Tome they found can do, and keeps it. Grog shares with everyone that he's discovered what the ceramic jug can do: It filled with beer when he wished he had some. It also makes mayonnaise. Vax takes the Oil of Etherealness and Percy takes the Potion of Climbing, and gives his used Manual of Quickness to Keyleth to use when it re-sets in a hundred years.

They leave the mansion to return to the dragon cave, where Percy has the idea (which Keyleth executes) of carving the Vox Machina crest into the stone wall with the words in Draconic: "One down." They make their way down Gatshadow, through the Bramblewood Forest towards Westruun, from which they see a thick pillar of smoke rising. Rushing, they find the smoke is from multiple funeral pyres for the fallen, and among the onlookers are the twelve surviving Herd of Storms members, including Zanror and Worra. There is also a large aimless stone golem with a big chain hanging out of its chest, and Vax gives Percy its control circlet.

Grog approaches Zanror and Worra, telling them that Vox Machina killed Umbrasyl and there is treasure hidden in his cave. Zanror invites him to rejoin the Herd. They are planning to join the Rivermaw Tribe since there are so few of them left, but Grog says he needs to stay with his new family, Vox Machina. The party searches for their gold used as bait for the Umbrasyl trap, but finds it scattered. They also find the body of Orn Blackfoot, apparently killed while trying to loot the bait.

Vex notices a group of about twenty individuals approaching from the town led by a human male with a big black- and gray-streaked beard and wild crazy-looking dark hair. He tells them he is Kerr, a blacksmith, and they've been doing what they can with what they have. When the party tells him of the gold in the lair, he offers to send recovery parties there. They discuss what the survivors of the town should do now as they head into town, and Kerr puts out the word there's going to be a party.

During the celebrations, Keyleth has a panic attack and Kerr comes to talk to her, calming her down by understanding it sometimes feels like they destroy more things than they fix. Vex and Pike tell Amelia that her father Reginald died bravely in the defense of the city, and Grog gives her 400 gold.

Break

  • A promo for The Concession Stand's screening with Geek & Sundry commentary of Night of the Living Dead, on 2016-06-11 at 8:00pm PDT.
  • LootCrate promotional video. This video was repeated back-to-back.
  • Episode 11 of Signal Boost!, "From the Darkness, He Boosted..."
  • A LootCrate commercial.
  • A CGI version of the live-action Critical Role opening sequence, created by Robert Dykstra.[2]

Part II

Have you heard the legend of Shale?
One eye, elderly, frail.
To a black dragon, she told,
"You may be ancient, but I'm old!"
And somehow lived to tell the tale.
–Inspiration by Scanlan Shorthalt[3]

Most of the party wake up hungover in a tavern the next morning from their celebration the previous night. Vax, however, has spent the night sitting by the body of Reginald alone in a field. Grog discovers that his magic jug can make fresh and salt-water, in addition to beer and mayonnaise. Vex asks a townswoman to spread the news there will be a town meeting shortly in the square. Scanlan "reminds" Kerrek that Scanlan asked him to create a little secret compartment in the side of his sword's hilt, and Kerrek "remembers" that he did so during the previous night, inspired by Scanlan's limerick. Scanlan then uses his magical poo to check on the kitchen at Greyskull Keep. It is currently empty, but standing, and there are fresh dishes in the sink.

The townsfolk gather in the square, and because she is a native of Westruun, Pike and Scanlan address them to confirm that the dragon is dead. Pike presents their options: Go to Kymal as refugees, where many of the townspeople already are, or stay in Westruun, where the dragon's gold can help build underground shelters. The townspeople are divided, with about half finding the scars on the town painful reminders and wishing to leave, and about half wanting to stay and rebuild their homes. Percy addresses the crowd, reminding them that nowhere is safe as long as the dragons live and urging them to stay, to not give the dragons that victory. This is persuasive, and Keyleth adds that Vox Machina will help with both building shelters and returning people from Kymal to Westruun. Kerrek tells the people to think about it, but they need to decide soon. When asked what he will do, he replies he will be led by what the town needs.

Vax seeks out Amelia and takes her to her father's body. They bury Reginald together on the farm he spent his life on.

The party begins preparing bunkers for the city. Over the next few days they clear the dangerous beasts from the sewers and reinforce them, and the townsfolk begin moving furniture and supplies there. Percy carves into one wall the names of every person who remained in Westruun, and on another, begins the story of where the city came from and what has happened to it. While Keyleth sees this as self-promotion, Percy reminds her that humans live as long as what they build endures, and the loss of a city would be felt by everyone.

Keyleth opens a tree and she, Pike, Scanlan, and Kerrek travel through it to Kymal, where they spread the word among the refugees that Umbrasyl is dead and Westruun is being rebuilt. Privately, Scanlan uses the last of his poo-scrying potion and hides the poo in the secret compartment of the sword hilt. Kerrek selectively passes out some of the dragon gold to aid those returning, which is most of them.

Scanlan seeks out Kaylie and Dr. Dranzel, who is wounded. While Pike heals him, Scanlan takes Kaylie aside. He tells her he and Vox Machina are trying to save the world. If they die, it will be for a good thing, and if they don't, he'll come back to her and be a father to her. She shushes him, and tells him not to die. He promises her not to, and gives her the sapphire ring from the dragon's hoard and the poo-containing Singing Dawnblade. He tells her to get out of the town, and head to Vasselheim if they can. The party members and Kerrek return to Westruun the next day.

After a few days, the city has become a fairly functional stronghold. The party suggests to Kerrek that he would be a good leader for the town, but he is reluctant. Percy and Keyleth give him a wooden box carved with white irises, the flower of Westruun. It holds a wooden bracelet carved with the Ashari word for "friendship", the metal circlet to control Fassbender, and a scrolled parchment explaining how he works. Kerr tells them the whole town is grateful to them.

They discuss where to head next: Vasselheim, the Feywild, the locations of the remaining Vestiges of Divergence, Whitestone, or Vesrah. Vax says he needs to go to Vasselheim now, and would like Pike to come with him. They go aside together, and he admits he's been avoiding her. He tells her that he had decided that the next time he saw her, he was going to ask to join her in service to Sarenrae, but that he had to make the deal with The Raven Queen to save his sister in the Sunken Tomb. Seeing Pike, after losing his dream of following her, was too painful a reminder of everything he's lost. Pike tells him he's not lost and he can be of use. But if the Raven Queen hurts him or doesn't change him for the better, she'll have Pike to answer to.

The party decides to join Vax and Pike in their pilgrimage. Keyleth opens a doorway in a nearby tree, and they all dart through into the cold, snow-dappled, cobbled streets of Vasselheim.

Post-Show

The following videos played after the Critical Role episode, and will likely not be included in the final YouTube video of this episode:

  • A LootCrate commercial.
  • A promo for The Concession Stand's screening with Geek & Sundry commentary of Night of the Living Dead, on 2016-06-11 at 8:00pm PDT.
  • A CGI version of the live-action Critical Role opening sequence, created by Robert Dykstra.[4]
  • A LootCrate commercial.

Featured Characters

Vox Machina

New

  • Unnamed elderly woman in tavern
  • Unnamed young man at town meeting
  • Unnamed forty-ish-year-old woman at town meeting
  • Unnamed young boy drawing on the wall in the sewer
  • Joseph, an older man and friend of Kerrek
  • Kerrek (played by Patrick Rothfuss)

Returning

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 10 Dragon claws Umbrasyl The party
Acquired 15,000 Gold pieces Umbrasyl The party Over 63,000 gp were left in the lair.
Acquired 25 pounds Gems Umbrasyl The party
Acquired 1 Sapphire ring Umbrasyl Scanlan Worth 400 gp.
Acquired 1 Rune-carved ceramic jug Umbrasyl Grog Liquid can be heard sloshing in it, even when empty.
Acquired 1 vial Cloudy grey oil (Oil of Etherealness) Umbrasyl Scanlan
Transferred 1 vial Oil of Etherealness Scanlan Vax
Acquired 1 vial Layered brown, silver, and grey potion (Potion of Climbing) Umbrasyl The party
Transferred 1 vial Potion of Climbing The party Percy
Acquired 1 Tome of Leadership and Influence Umbrasyl Scanlan
Acquired 49 pounds Black dragon hide Umbrasyl Bag of Colding
Acquired 2 Regular shortswords Umbrasyl Vax
Transferred 1 pair Boots of Haste Vex Vax
Transferred 5 pounds Gems The party Percy The prize for winning the cannonball contest in the spa.
Transferred 1 Manual of Quickness Percy Keyleth Will re-set in a hundred years.
Expended 1 Dragon tooth The party The wall of Umbrasyl's lair Embedded into the stone wall with the Vox Machina crest and the words in Draconic: "One down"

Quotations

  • Vex'ahlia: (to Keyleth, about Vax) We've been through a lot. We face death on a very regular basis. (sighs) And I see the way he looks at you, and I see the way you look at him. And happiness is fleeting in this world; we don't know when it will end. Take advantage of it while you can. And stop living in fear.[5]
  • Scanlan: You think any of my servants are boys?[6]
  • Percy: (addressing the citizens of Westruun) I would urge you to stay. I would urge you to leave, collect your people and return. I would urge for one city not to be wiped from the map. [...] It is such a victory for them if Westruun falls.[7]
  • Percy: (to Keyleth) How long do you live?
    Keyleth: If I complete my journey, it could be upward of a thousand years or more.
    Percy: How long do you think I live?
    Keyleth: Less than a hundred? If you’re lucky.
    Percy: No. (sighs) I am Percival Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III. My ancestry dates back thousands of years and will continue for thousands more, unless Whitestone falls. I live as long as Whitestone lives. This place is the human soul. This is what we have built with our tiny moments. To lose a place like this, we don’t feel it immediately, but it would ruin everyone in small ways.
    Keyleth: Not all of us are lucky enough to have a lineage in a name.
    Percy: Not all of us are lucky enough to have a lineage in a lifespan.[8]
  • Scanlan: (to Kaylie) I know I'm not the father that you wanted, but I'm the father that you have, and I'm sorry. I just wanted to tell you that I've been doing a lot of thinking about you, and me, and where I fit in to the life of a family man. Most of my adult life, I've been longing for a gnome to care for, and I met a really good one, and she's here and her name is Pike. And she's beautiful and wonderful, and possibly my soulmate, but I've learned that she's not my family and never will be. You're the gnome that I'm to care for forever, and I'm doing something very stupid now with my friends. We're going to try to save the world. And I didn't know why, but now I know, and if we die doing it, it will be for a good thing, and if we don't, then, well, I'll find you, and I'll be whatever kind of father you need me to be. One who's close and helpful.
    Matt: She shushes you. Puts her finger up and shushes you, then steps up and looks at you. The hardness in her face softens, and there is a little bit of tears gathering at the edge of her eyes when she says, "Don't you die. You stay alive." [...]
    Scanlan: All right.
    Kaylie: All right. Can you do that for me?
    Scanlan: I promise you. I promise you.[9]

External Links

References

  1. See "Warcraft animation - Critical role Character intro." by Robert Dykstra on YouTube.
  2. See "Warcraft animation - Critical role Character intro." by Robert Dykstra on YouTube.
  3. See "Hope" (1x56) at 2:34:55.
  4. See "Warcraft animation - Critical role Character intro." by Robert Dykstra on YouTube.
  5. See "Hope" (1x56) at 0:49:49.
  6. See "Hope" (1x56) at 0:42:54.
  7. See "Hope" (1x56) at 2:52:59.
  8. See "Hope" (1x56) at 3:07:50.
  9. See "Hope" (1x56) at 3:21:30.

Art:

  1. Fan art of the cannonball contest, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.