Orthax is a shadow demon who makes vengeance pacts. As an NPC, it is played by Matthew Mercer.

Description[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

When Orthax manifested before Vox Machina, its black smoke coalesced into a humanoid form that continued to grow until it reached the roof of the ten-foot-tall tunnel they were in.[1] Its bird-like beak is the inspiration behind Percival's mask.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

Orthax appeared to Percy, in what he thought was a dream, and offered him vengeance against those who destroyed his family. It was with Orthax's inspiration that Percy designed his first gun.[2]

Fan art of Percy wielding the List while being manipulated by Orthax, by David Rodrigues.[art 2]

"Whispers" (1x29)[edit | edit source]

While on the hunt for the Briarwoods, Percy began to act increasingly more erratic and violent due to Orthax's influence. Dark smoke began to emerge from Percy's body and envelop him during these moments.[3]

"Denouement" (1x35)[edit | edit source]

When Percy tried to sever his ties to Orthax, it appeared and fought Vox Machina. As a precaution, Scanlan threw Percy's pepperbox pistol into acid, in hopes that that would sever its tie to him.

"Cloak and Dagger" (1x68)[edit | edit source]

Fan art of Pike battling Orthax, by Viktor Engholm.[art 3]

Orthax reappeared when Vox Machina caught up to Anna Ripley, as she had made a similar pact with it, and assisted her in the fight against Vox Machina on the Isle of Glintshore, which led to Percy's death at the hands of Ripley. Vox Machina was able to fell the demon, however.[4]

"Passed Through Fire" (1x69)[edit | edit source]

Even after being defeated, Orthax remained in the Material Plane through its attachment to Ripley's pepperbox, Animus. It used this attachment to grab hold of Percy's soul, preventing his resurrection until Keyleth managed to sever the thread connecting it to Animus through the use of Greater Restoration.[5]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Percival de Rolo[edit | edit source]

Orthax made a pact with Percy after his family was slaughtered by the Briarwoods. Orthax offered inspiration for Percy in designing his deadly firearms; in return, every target that Percy killed in revenge was offered as a soul to Orthax. Percy eventually bucked the deal and expelled Orthax, with some help from Scanlan.

Anna Ripley[edit | edit source]

After being rejected by Percy, Orthax sought out one of his former revenge targets, Anna Ripley, who had been trying to create firearms of her own after Percy's design. Orthax offered the same pact to Ripley as it had to Percy, and she accepted.

The List[edit | edit source]

Each person Orthax made a pact with kept a list of people who had wronged them. Every time one of the people on this list was killed, that victim's soul was taken by Orthax to consume.

Character Information[edit | edit source]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

  • Damage Resistants: Acid, fire, necrotic, thunder, and nonmagical physical weapons
  • Damage Immunities: Lightning, cold, and poison damage
  • Condition Immunities: prone, restrained, grappled, paralyzed, exhaustion, petrified, and poisoned
  • Vulnerabilities: Radiant damage
  • Senses: Darkvision.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • When Taliesin created Percy's backstory, he left it up to Matt to decide whether Percy's dream vision of a smoky entity was real or just a dream. The appearance of Orthax in the story was as much of a surprise to him as the rest of the players.[6]
  • Interestingly, Orthax is a shadow demon but is able to create pacts with at least two people (Percy and Anna). Fiends with the ability and propensity to create pacts or contracts are almost always in the domain of the lawful evil devils of the Nine Hells which are, in traditional D&D lore, in eternal conflict with the chaotic evil demons of the Abyss. Orthax being a shadow demon belongs to the latter.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. See "Denouement" (1x35), part 1, at 1:00:33.
  2. From Percy's intro.  See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 5:58 through 6:07.
  3. See "Whispers" (1x29) at 3:01:40.
  4. See "Cloak and Dagger" (1x68) at 4:18:00.
  5. See "Passed Through Fire" (1x69) from 1:08:12 through 1:09:15.
  6. See "Critical Role Q&A and Battle Royale: Take II" (Sx10).

Art:

  1. Fan art of Orthax, by Joma Cueto (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Percy wielding the List while being manipulated by Orthax, by David Rodrigues (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Pike battling Orthax, by Viktor Engholm (source).  Used with permission.


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