"One Year Later..." (1x95) is the eleventh episode of the seventh chapter of Critical Role. After a year spent enjoying some downtime and accomplishing some personal goals, Vox Machina reunites for a beach vacation and an unexpected family reunion for a certain someone...

Synopsis

Announcements

  • Merch update: new shirts!
  • Liam starred in the most recent Signal Boost.
  • Taliesin, Marisha, Matt, and Brian Wayne Foster will be doing a live Talks Machina panel at MomoCon on May 25-28.
  • The cast marvels at Sam's T-shirt of Matt's face.
  • Matt Key will be hosting next week's Wednesday Club.
  • Talks Machina, Tuesdays at 7 PM Pacific on Twitch and Alpha. But not this coming week, since Brian and Ashley are going to Mexico.
  • Date with Matt Mercer in Silk Robe, courtesy of Brian, goes up tomorrow at 10 AM.
  • Sam might soon have enough shirts with Matt's face on them that everyone can wear one. He will think on this.

Previously on Critical Role

"Vox Machina, having completed a multitude of various quests over a prolonged period of time, found themselves free of immediate necessity and danger.

"As the last episode wound down and friendships were strengthened, [they] all then began to ponder about what [they] wanted to do with the time before [them].

"Today we return approximately one year after we left off."

Part I

The episode picks up after a one year gap, and we learn what each member of Vox Machina has been up to in that time.

Grog's Year

Fan art of Grog getting the bear tattoo on his back, by DJ Crumrine.[art 1]

Grog got bored in the peace that followed Thordak's defeat and went off looking for fights.

Among other things, he:

  • Went looking for Scanlan, but did not find him.
  • Got a copy of Kevdak's bear tattoo done on his back, "because that shit's behind me," and made Kevdak's skull into a mug.
  • Returned to Vasselheim and defended his title in the Crucible.
  • Did some contracts with the Slayer's Take, but did not find it as exciting as fighting ancient dragons.

At one point, while drunk late at night in the streets of Vasselheim, Grog found a random, also drunk, stranger and convinced that stranger to pull a card from his Deck of Many Things. The stranger pulled a card, said, "I wish that I was a powerful lord of the Quadroads," and then ran off in a carriage that suddenly appeared for him. Grog never got the stranger's name. Though Grog was extremely tempted to draw another card for himself after that incident, he convinced himself to wait until he could return to Whitestone and try it with Pike.

Finally, Grog made a visit to the Frostweald, visited the nymph he knew there, and gave her a palm-sized ruby that he found in his bag.

Pike's Year

At first, Pike went with Grog back to Vasselheim, where she checked in on the restoration of the Temple to Sarenrae. She also made a name for herself in the Crucible, but when she and Grog were asked to face off against each other, they declined.

During that time, she also:

  • Taught Grog enough letters that he can now slowly read four- to five-letter words.
  • Trained to be a little more stealthy.
  • Went to visit Great-great-grandpappy Wilhand in Westruun, who was doing well.
  • Found out that Fassbender, the golem they had left with Wilhand, had been reclaimed by its owner.
  • Sent a letter and a bit of money to some other Trickfoot family members.
  • Looked for Scanlan, but lost his trail in Emon.

Last but not least, she, Tary, Keyleth, and Vex opened a bakery together called The Slayer's Cake.

Vex'ahlia's Year

Fan art of the Slayer's Cake, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 2]

Vex spent some time trying to find the offspring of the Grey Render that she had hunted in the Parchwood. Though she was able to find it, her offerings of meat and other foods did no good, and the creature fled southward into the forest.

She also:

  • Built herself a house in Whitestone, with a sanctuary for Trinket and a room for Tary to stay in.
  • Became Whitestone's ambassador to Syngorn, and began building a teleportation circle in her house.
  • With Tary's help, made a suit of white dragon leather armor out of Vorugal's hide.
  • Collected books and did research on Orcus and the Raven Queen.

She also worked with Pike, Keyleth, and Tary in the Slayer's Cake.

Vax'ildan's Year

Vax spent a lot of time with Keyleth in Zephrah, the home of the Air Ashari, where he got to know Korren better. He set up a small altar to the Raven Queen there.

Additionally, he:

  • Went to get tattoos with Keyleth, his being a pair of antlers on his right bicep.
  • Visited Whitestone about once a month.
  • Spent a lot of time in the libraries at Vasselheim, as well as at the Temple of the Raven Queen there.
  • Joined Grog on one or two Slayer's Take contracts.
  • Talked shop with Pike about cleric / paladin things.
  • Spent some time learning about Whitestone's history and enjoying its art.
  • Tried to find Scanlan via Dr. Dranzel, but had no luck.
  • Visited Syngorn once with his sister, and together the twins moved past some of their issues with their father.

Keyleth's Year

When she and Vax went to get tattoos together, Keyleth got a version of her mantle across her chest and shoulders. She also spent a significant amount of time, with Percy and Tary's help, setting up a Crisis Orb system to enable better communication between the four cities of the Ashari.

She also:

  • Took a sprig from the Sun Tree in Whitestone to grow her own tree in Zephrah.
  • Spent some time learning more alchemy, and had crafting parties with Vex and Tary.

At some point, Keyleth, Vax, Vex, Pike, and Tary all made a group outing to the Feywild to look for the Theater they had been told about. They found it in the north of the forest where they had faced Saundor. Disguising themselves as small beasts and insects, they snuck into the theater and watched a three-act performance put on by six pale, white-eyed, elvish-looking actors.

On their return from the theater, Percy, who had read a lot about the Feywild in his youth, told them they had managed to witness the Royal Troupe of the Unseelie Court, and that, had they been caught, they very easily might not have been heard from ever again.

Percival's Year

Finally taking up the mantle of responsibility that he had avoided for so long, Percy helped establish the Chamber of Whitestone to rule in lieu of a royal family. 

He also: 

  • Hired Tary to help run his workshop.
  • Tried to build himself new glasses, but failed miserably and finally had Tary do it for him.
  • Automated the system for making shot and powder for the castle.
  • Trained a group of elite soldiers, called the Riflemen of Whitestone, to guard the de Rolo family and house.
  • Began modernizing the city of Whitestone, starting with a system of steam pipes to keep the streets clear of snow during winter.
  • Upgraded several inventions, with Tary's help, including Diplomacy.

Taryon's Year

Tary spent most of his year working on things with Percy and Vex, but he also found time to build himself a new automaton: Doty 2.0, now with limited speech capabilities and a single-fire pistol in one palm.

Additionally, he:

  • Bought a pair of Boots of Elvenkind to help with Doty 2.0's stealth.
  • Commissioned armor with some of Umbrasyl's black scales embedded in the breastplate.
  • Made an Earring of Whisper for himself so he could communicate with the rest of the group.
  • Built himself a Broom of Flying, inspired by Vex's broom.
  • Wrote, a lot.

Winter's Crest Vacation

As the holiday approaches, the scattered members of Vox Machina gather in Whitestone to celebrate the new Mistress of the Grey Hunt. Everyone dresses up, and Vex receives a cloak and medallion to mark her station. Percy reveals that he has made a trip back to the Fire Plane to visit Senokir, where he commissioned a set of heroes' medallions made with scales from the five dragons of the Conclave. He presents these medallions at the ball. Tary's has no scales on it, but has places for future accomplishments to be marked.

Fan art of Dalen's Closet, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 3]

After the ball, having decided to take a vacation together, the group charters a ship from Emon to the Bay of Gifts, in Marquet. They arrive around midday in the port city of Shamal, on the bay. Tary helps them look for a resort, and Vex ends up finding a place on the beach called Dalen's Closet. They book rooms for ten nights, and Pike manages to score them free drinks.

While the rest of the party get ready to dive into the water, Tary pulls Vax aside and gives him an unspecified magical item. He says it will be useful in Vax's ongoing prank war with Grog and tells him to "use it when the time is right," to which Vax responds, "You beautiful fuck!" With that, they join everyone else in rushing the beach.

Pranking

While everyone is fooling around on the beach, and Grog is burying Tary in the sand, Vax takes an opportunity to steal Tary's clothes and hide them in Percy's room. When Tary goes looking for his things, Vax tells him Percy has stolen them, which is easily confirmed when Tary sneaks into Percy's room and finds the items there. As revenge, Tary uses a Patch of Two Mastiffs from his cloak and sets loose two dogs to mess up the room. Meanwhile, Pike gets her hair done at a salon they find, and the group heads back to their rooms for the night.

When Vex and Percy go back to their room, they encounter the two hounds and a terrific mess. Vex interrogates Grog first, then goes to the front desk, where she learns that Vax had been let into the room earlier. She immediately hunts down her brother and sics Trinket to pin him down, whereupon they work out that Tary was responsible for the dogs. The hotel manager is called in; Vex confronts Tary, but forgives him; and Vex and Percy get moved to a new room.

Break

Part II

End of Vacation

Grog finds Pike to tell her about his Deck of Many Things. She agrees that it is tempting to pull a card; they decide to flip a coin to see if they should. However, the coin flip decides that they do not. Pike makes a deal with Grog that if he ever does decide to pull a card, he will come to her and not pull the card alone.

At the end of their vacation, the group return to Whitestone. Keyleth visits the Sun Tree, which has leafed out and is looking much healthier these days, and has a short conversation with it. Pike and Vex go back to the bakery. There, a couple of Pale Guard find her and tell her that her presence has been requested at the border by someone who claims to know her.

Unexpected Visitors

At the border, Pike is greeted by a caravan of several gnomes: Johann, Astra, Ogden, and JB. These are the Trickfoot family members she had sent a letter to, and a small family reunion follows. Pike sends her family with some guards to bring them to the Slayer's Cake, then gathers the rest of Vox Machina to apprise them of the situation. Back at the bakery, Tary gives the Trickfoots the run of the shop (to the chagrin of Vex and Pike, who don't entirely trust the newcomers).

Everyone retires to get ready for dinner. Vex warns the kitchen staff not to make anything too nice; Tary overrules her and asks for the very best they have to offer; Grog, however, gets the final word in, asking for peanut butter, turkey legs, eggs, and cheese, which are all the foods he knows.

Over dinner, Pike talks to the elderly Uncle Ogden, who mentions a family curse. He says he's been having dreams of an angel of light swallowed by darkness. After dinner, Vex walks Ogden to his room, and the Trickfoots retire, leaving Vox Machina alone to discuss their surprise guests.

Featured Characters

Vox Machina

New

Returning

Mentioned

Inventory

Quotations

  • Travis: I walk in to the kitchen and I go: 
    Grog: Okay, listen up! I need Peanut Butter, I need Turkey Legs. Eggs, Cheese...
    (The cast erupts into raucous laughter)
    Sam: Those are ALL foods that I know.
    Laura: And Mayonaisse!
    Grog: (clapping) Chop, Chop!
    Matt: The servants all stop and go
    (Matt makes an expression of surprise that transitions into one of total surrender)
    Cook: Yes, Grand Poobah...
    (The cast and crew of Critical Role roar with laughter)
    Matt: Throw out what they're finishing and begin to make eggs, getting the cheese ready, and all the hearty pork ribs...
    Travis: And the Peanut Butter.
    Matt: And the Peanut Butter.

Trivia

  • The magical item given by Tary to Vax was later revealed, in "The Ominous March" (1x109), to be a Philter of Love. That was also the episode in which it was used.

External Links

References

Art:

  1. Fan art of Grog getting the bear tattoo on his back, by DJ Crumrine (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of the Slayer's Cake, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Dalen's Closet, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.


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