"Path of Brass" (1x74) is the fifth episode of the sixth chapter of Critical Role. Vox Machina heads to Fort Daxio to begin preparation for the upcoming fight with Thordak. With time running out until the climactic battle, the party decides to travel to the Elemental Plane of Fire in search of the final Vestige, but find themselves in over their heads...
- Sam performs a Loot Crate song with rhyming help from Ashley
- Several cast members will be at BlizzCon this weekend
- A new GM Tips is up at Geek & Sundry
- Marisha shouts out the Spotify playlists each cast member made for their character and announces a new round of them coming out next week
- Ashley is here in person!
- Critical Costume contest winners will be announced at the break (after they decide who the winners are)
- Talks Machina premiers on November 15th
Previously on Critical Role
"Vox Machina, in their attempt to take down the Chroma Conclave, have slain three of the five dragons and have made a tentative alliance with a fourth—Raishan, the Diseased Deceiver—in the hopes of taking down the fifth and most powerful master of the entire Conclave, Thordak the Cinder King, who currently resides over the now elementally-corrupt city of Emon. The ground itself is beginning to boil and crack with fire elemental energy.
"They all sit within Whitestone, deciding upon the coming rush to the final battle, considering what allies they have at their disposal, what locations they want to put this battle in. They've had these conversations, they've revealed Raishan to the rest of their allies within Whitestone, and they previously spoke about taking this to Fort Daxio, to the north of Emon."
The party decide to go to Fort Daxio to gather forces for the coming battle. Allura offers to Teleport them to just outside of it. As they approach the gate of the fort's outer wall, Allura announces herself and the group and asks for passage inside. The gate opens and everyone files in. They are greeted by several guards, led by General Elle Gorgofon. She is anxious to hear word from the regiments that previously left the fort, but is disheartened to hear that they are still in Syngorn.
The conversation is moved inside the inner wall, and on the way the party notices that there don't seem to be very many soldiers here. They pass a room full of corpses of some sort of leathery creature and make their way to a haphazardly-prepared meeting room. The general tells them that they are running very low on supplies and that their trade routes have been harried by wyvern riders. Vex tells her that Syngorn has been transported to the Feywild and that the warmaster and his forces are stuck there. The general says that they couldn't hope to mount an attack on Emon without those forces.
Vox Machina tells her that they've killed three of the five members of the Chroma Conclave and that they have a plan to send several allied forces to Fort Daxio and lure Thordak there, with themselves as the bait. The general agrees to aid in this plot, and Vox Machina works on getting supplies for the forces here.
Scanlan casts Magnificent Mansion and feeds 100 of the troops in the mess hall, for today at least. The twins fly high above the fort looking for any spots where the terrain might be useful, but don't see anything particularly promising. Keyleth begins using Stone Shape to prepare a bunker beneath the fort to be "dragon-flame-proof." Percy spends the day repairing one of the fort's trebuchets and is able to make it completely functional.
The next morning, the party discusses their next move. Allura is unsure how much time they have, given that Vorugal's death would certainly provoke a vengeful response from Thordak. They make a list of allies that must be notified of the plan and Allura uses Sending to contact the twins' father Syldor and Mikael Daxio in Syngorn. She also contacts someone in Whitestone to tell them to expect Raishan bringing Seeker Assum there.
After some deliberation, the party decides to quickly travel to the Elemental Plane of Fire to seek one last Vestige, the Plate of the Dawnmartyr, and to possibly gather information about the nature of the Ember Seed within Thordak. Keyleth uses Transport via Plants to send everyone to Pyrah where the opening to the fire plane is. They greet Cerkonos and bring him up to speed. Cerkonos tells them that the City of Brass where the Vestige is located is three-days' foot travel from the planar tear, and expresses his distaste for and fear of the denizens of the city. The party decide to instead travel straight to the city via Keyleth's Planeshift spell.
Cerkonos agrees to lend the aid of the Fire Ashari to the coming battle and will contact Korrin to ask for the aid of the Air Ashari as well. He again warns them of the terrible creatures that live in the City of Brass and wishes them well. Keyleth casts Planeshift and the party find themselves in the fire plane at the gates of the city.
- A short Loot Crate ad is played.
- Winners of the #CriticalCostumes contest are announced:
- @couple_cosplay for Grog
- @KinnVelier for Pike
- @sara_rohkov for Vex
- @missbelletrist and @miss_riahne for Vax
- @criticalcorrupt for Keyleth
- @karrey for Percy
- @cat_cosplay for Scanlan
- @jettiebettie for NPC (Anna Ripley)
- @kwwins #3 overall (Keyleth)
- @norfrosch #2 overall (Victor)
- @calahammer #1 overall (Percy)
- Imgur link to winners
Braving the scalding and caustic atmosphere, Vox Machina travels to the nearest gate in the city wall where they are stopped by six efreeti guards. Scanlan tells the guards that they are there to sell their "pet" and uses Major Image to make a goristro appear to them. They seem unconvinced until Percy pulls a goristro tooth from his bag and tosses it on the ground, along with a piece of dragon flesh. They agree to let the party pass, for a price. Vex hands over a 20-pound bag of gems and the gate is opened.
The city is impossibly ornate and imposing, the buildings made mostly of metal. A few humans are mixed in with the efreeti in the streets, some walking freely amongst them and some in chains as slaves. At each crossroads is a pillar with a large ball of sputtering flame atop it, providing a constant light source. The party move forward into the city and immediately Vex notices that they are being followed by two efreeti.
Vax sees a red tiefling and an unfamiliar type of humanoid in white and gold robes. He goes up to the tiefling and asks to speak with him for a minute. The tiefling begins to decline, but after seeing the two that are following the group, tells them to follow him. As they do, Grog lags behind a bit and the two efreeti approach him, saying "I like this one. We'll keep him." Grog activates the Titanstone Knuckles, which only makes them more interested, and they continue to walk beside him. Keyleth tries to flaming-fistbump one of them, to no effect, and Pike turns and asks them if they know where the temple of Pelor is. They offer to take her there.
The tiefling is disappointed to see the party members drifting back toward the efreeti and tells Vax that they should dart into the next alley to escape them. The tiefling and his companion do so, and Vax, Vex, and Percy follow. Pike attempts to cast Zone of Truth on the efreeti but is interrupted by them pushing Grog into her, trying to corral the party to a side street. Scanlan casts Dominate Monster on one of them and has him attack the other while everyone makes their escape into the alleyway with their friends. The tiefling and his companion lead the party into a small storage shed where they all squeeze in and wait quietly for a few minutes to let the danger pass.
The unfamiliar humanoid introduces himself as Senokir and the tiefling as Uten. The two are jewelers in the city. Senokir tells the party that they now owe him a favor. He shushes them and they all wait for a few more minutes before heading out of the shed and down the street to the back door of the duo's jewelry shop.
The party tells Senokir that they are here seeking the Plate of the Dawnmartyr and it was last-known to be owned by a fire giant who won it in a card game. Senokir says that there are only three fire giants in the city who are not enslaved. He offers to help the party find what they seek but they would owe him even more afterward. They agree, and ask what the best way would be to travel in the city without drawing attention. Uten apologizes and pulls out some manacles to disguise the party as slaves. So that she doesn't have to be chained, Keyleth uses Alter Self to look like a tiefling and Senokir is impressed, saying that none of the other genasi would question her. Vax uses his Ring of Invisibility to walk unseen beside them. They all step out the shop's front door and into a busy thoroughfare.