"Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) is the fifth episode of the fourth chapter of Critical Role. Now in the relative safety of Vasselheim, Vox Machina begins planning their first move against the Chroma Conclave. Fortunately, some old friends turn up to offer their aid.

Synopsis Edit

Pre-Show Edit

Announcements Edit

Previously on Critical Role Edit

"The party Vox Machina, having recently suffered their main city of Emon and one of their initial towns where they began their adventures, Westruun, under attack from an entity called the Chroma Conclave—a collection of allied chromatic dragons, extremely powerful, ancient across the board it seems—just wreaking havoc across all of Tal'Dorei. They managed to save a few allies, make a few current tenuous relationships with the Clasp, and moved all the refugees that they had been keeping within Greyskull Keep to Whitestone to keep them safe for the time being, as that town has seemingly been passed over by the dragons that are still heading east across the continent.

"After that the party made their way to Vasselheim, the distant city known as the "Cradle of Faith", the oldest living beacon of civilization in the world that is currently known. After making their way there, the party made their way into the guild of the Slayer's Take, where they had previously signed on after a trial and are members of, to seek more allies throughout the city of Vasselheim in hopes of preparing themselves to retake Emon, and possibly Tal'Dorei, at some point in the near future."

Part I Edit

Reunion at the Slayer's TakeEdit

Vox Machina, having arrived at the Slayer's Take guildhall, contemplate their next move. Before long, the door slams open revealing Huntmaster Vanessa Cyndrial, the tiefling warlock Zahra Hydris, and the cleric Kashaw Vesh. Delighted to be reunited with their past allies, Vex'ahlia, Scanlan Shorthalt, Percival de Rolo, and Grog Strongjaw are introduced to Kashaw, and Vax'ildan and Keyleth are similarly introduced to Zahra. Kashaw recognizes Grog, and remarks that he won 75 gold pieces at the Crucible betting against him. Grog, not recognizing that he was bet against, declares happily that it was "money well spent."

Fan art of Zahra greeting Vax'ildan with a tail-whip, by Sedona Parnham.[art 1]

Vanessa interrupts the reunion of the guildmates, saying that there is still business to attend to. She brings her bag to her husband, Murtin, and reveals the contents of their recent hunt -- the head of a Doppelganger. At this point, Vex asks Vanessa whether the Slayer's Take ever hunts creatures just because they are evil. Vanessa responds that it largely depends on if someone will be paying for it in the end. Vex and Keyleth explain that Emon was recently destroyed and taken under occupation by the Chroma Conclave. Zahra remarks that so much has changed since her cousin, Lillith Daturai, was there (see: "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25)).

After being pressed by the other members of Vox Machina, Vanessa sighs and states that they should seek other allies in Vasselheim, and perhaps they should also speak to the patron of Ioun associated with the Slayer's Take, Osysa. She begins to lead them to Osysa before Kashaw and Zahra interrupt her, and state that before anything else, they want to be paid.

Osysa's InsightEdit

Vanessa leads the party through the guild hall to the subterranean temple to Ioun hidden beneath the Slayer's Take, which they had previously visited when obtaining their brands admitting them to the guild proper (see: "Aramente to Pyrah" (1x22)). Vanessa calls out to Osysa, apologizing for the intrusion. Osysa emerges from the darkness and asks what Vox Machina needs of her. Vex'ahlia explains that "the world is under attack," to which Osysa replies that she has been watching the heartstone and that "such a cataclysm" has not found its way to her mate. Vex presses on, asking if the sphynx knows of anything that could aid the party in defeating the Chroma Conclave.

For a moment, Osysa becomes possessed with a blue light overtaking her and speaks informatively of the Vestiges of the Divergence, "relics wielded when the gods walked and fought alongside their creations." [1] As the light fades from her eyes, Zahra inquires as to what exactly the Vestiges are. Osysa shakes her head and responds that she was merely a vessel for the knowledge bestowed upon them, but explains what she does know:

I am a channel for this knowledge, but the best I can understand, they are old relics of the War of the Divergence. Leading into the penance, the Second Spark. These were armaments. Objects of great power that were used in these wars against the gods, good and dark. Many have been buried, entombed, lost, forgotten. The few that are recovered are passed on through blood lines, through symbols of power and of seats of great political importance. But the actual information is lost to me.
Osysa, explaining the Vestiges of the Divergence to Vox Machina. [2]

Vex asks if she knows of anyone in particular, but Osysa states that objects of such a powerful enchantment generally keep themselves hidden from her view. She also reveals that Vasselheim has stood the test of time, as well as two potential ends of civilization, because of those who guard it. As a consequence, she warns that Vox Machina will be hard-pressed to convince its citizens to leave it. However, Osysa notes that her mate is a keeper of hidden knowledge on the other side of Tal'Dorei.

Vax'ildan speaks up at this point, noting that Vox Machina could spread the influence of the Slayer's Take to Emon. Osysa challenges him, stating that there are many fools who hope to keep the darkness of the world at bay and asks that the party prove themselves worthy of being the ones to carry the torch by finding her mate, the Vestiges, and seeking additional allies. She remarks that it is in her nature as a sphynx to present challenges, and hints that her mate lies "south of the Frostweald, the mountain range that guards it."

In parting, Vex asks of Osysa whether as a follower of Ioun she would know anything of the god of secrets, Vecna. In response, Osysa snarls and immediately reprimands Vex for mentioning his name in a temple to Ioun. Percy and Vex explain that his touch was felt in Whitestone and that they fear that his followers (the Briarwoods) attempted to open a portal of sorts beneath the castle. Osysa peers into the heartstone, explaining that "[t]he ziggurats were not of his construction. But he took them."

Before she can say much more, Osysa's gaze changes and she speaks of the Chroma Conclave venturing east, past Westruun, over the Lucidian Ocean, beyond Wildemount, to the Drimault Ravine, where she witnesses the Conclave ravage and destroy the floating islands of Draconia before returning to Tal'Dorei. Blood pours from the sphynx's nostrils as she realizes she has peered too far beyond her veil. Kashaw offers to heal her, which she accepts.

Osysa tells the party that she will speak to her brethren of Ioun to learn more about the nature of Vecna's plot, but for now, she must rest. She bids Vox Machina to return when they have proven themselves. The torches atop the temple extinguish as Osysa retreats into the shadows at the back of the temple.

Seeking Potions Edit

Vex muses that it is possible that the Vestiges of the Divergence are the same ancient artifacts that their former comrade, Tiberius, may have been seeking. She suggests that this might be the same reason that Draconia was hit—because they were trying to hide these items. Scanlan, however, is skeptical, and Vax counters by asking whether she really thinks that Tiberius' Mending Wheel would help in a battle against Thordak.

Considering their next move, Vex'ahlia asks Vanessa whether the Slayer's Take would have any potions or other resources to offer them, seeing as how they are members. Somewhat reluctantly, Vanessa leads them back to the Slayer's Take guildhall and has Murtin give the party two Potions of Healing and one Potion of Greater Healing. For any further potions, she suggests that Vox Machina visit the potion shop in the Quadroads District. Zahra and Kash attempt to persuade Vanessa to lend additional resources to the group, but to no avail. Vanessa insists that they can afford to buy whatever else they need with the money earned from their contracts.

Before finally leaving the Slayer's Take guildhall, Vex asks if Lyra is around. Suddenly, Aldor reacts from the back of the room, alarmed and ready to run in the event that she is present. Vanessa tells him that it is okay, Lyra is currently away helping her uncle, Randi.

Kash pulls Zahra aside as the rest of Vox Machina exits the guildhall, and tries to convince her that it is not in their best interests to go with Vox Machina. Zahra disagrees and eventually, Kash relents but tells her to hide half of the gold they have because he does not trust the twins. Vex'ahlia interjects and tells him that she "can read [his] fucking lips."


Fan art of Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia, as Vex protectively says she can take out Kashaw to prevent competition for Keyleth, by Megzilla87.[art 2]

On their way to the Quadroads, Vex pulls Vax aside and informs him that she could "destroy" Kashaw if he wanted her to. Vax rebuffs her and tells her that she is being weird before walking off.

Arriving at the Quadroads, the party spots the potion salesman with whom Grog had previously haggled (see: "Aramente to Pyrah" (1x22)). Vex'ahlia remembers him and attempts to take over the negotiations from Grog. With some persuasion from Vax, who tells him that he is much better at "taking things' skulls and turning them into raspberry jam," Grog steps aside and allows the others—particularly Vex, his "shiny manager"—to negotiate on his behalf.

After attempting unsuccessfully to barter with the salesman using their status as members of the Slayer's Take and offering to trade knick-knacks (which are visually enchanted by various spells cast by the party to appear more valuable), eventually, Vox Machina resorts to directly threatening the merchant. Indeed, Kashaw threatens the merchant's family and gets a final 1,300 gold off of the asking price. For a total 5,000 gold plus the assorted knick-knacks, Vox Machina gains all of the stock on the table.

The Black Powder Salesman Edit

The party splits, with half going to the Bellow's Respite Inn and Percy and Vex heading to buy more black powder. They see Victor and his house with a gaping roof in the hole. Vex and Trinket stay outside while Percy places his coat on the latter's back and heads in. Victor greets him, not recognizing Percy, and is revealed to be missing a few fingers due to an experiment. He then sells Percy four vials of black powder, but not before telling Percy that another customer, a young, finely dressed woman presumed to be Anna Ripley, has stopped by a few weeks earlier buying black powder as well. Victor then remembers Percy, and Vex steps in to pay for the powder. Vex persuades Victor to keep quiet if Ripley ever comes back to buy more powder.

Drinking at the Bellow's Respite InnEdit

Percy and Vex rejoin the rest of Vox Machina along with Zahra and Kashaw in drinking at the Bellow's Respite Inn. Zahra mentions seeing Grog at the Crucible and drunkenly tells him that she made a hammer for him and will give it to him before they leave Vasselheim. A bartender from before, Once-Lucky Ned, announces that Grog is the current winner of the Crucible to most disinterest. Percy announces a toast, and after a short speech about having purpose to fight the dragons that is interrupted by Scanlan, the group cheers and then breaks down into individual conversation. Grog asks Ned if Earthbreaker Groon can be found at the Inn, which Ned denies and directs Grog to the temple atthe Trial Forge. After realizing that half the group is too drunk to continue about their tasks, Vax suggests for the group to watch Grog fight. Just as the group decides on what to do, Kern steps in the inn and promptly leaves.

Grog chases him out into an alleyway to the left of the exit, and they have a short conversation on Earthbreaker Groon. Kern reveals that he trained with Groon after their first fight, although Groon dismissed him as too angry. Kern and Grog relate over having bloodthirsty upbringings before Kern tells Grog that Groon asked him to test someone in the future in exchange for training. The two part on amicable terms.

Vax, a little tipsy, implores Kashaw to aid Vox Machina against the Chroma Conclave before walking off into the corner and getting stuck in a closet. Zahra brings up the topic of Kashaw kissing Keyleth, and Vex tells Keyleth to make up her mind.

Break Edit

Part II Edit

Grog and Earthbreaker Groon Ep 43 - Lap Pun Cheung

Fan art of Grog and Earthbreaker Groon
"Where do you find your strength?", by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 3]


Fan art of Earthbreaker Groon fighting Grog, by David Rodrigues.[art 4]

Featured Characters Edit

Vox Machina Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Inventory Edit

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 2,250 Gold Slayer's Take Kashaw
Acquired 2 Potion of Healing Slayer's Take Vex'ahlia
Acquired 1 Potion of Greater Healing Slayer's Take Vex'ahlia
Transferred 1 Potion of Greater Healing Vex'ahlia Vax'ildan
Transferred 1 Potion of Healing Vex'ahlia Scanlan
1 Percy
Relinquished 5,000 Gold Party funds Cydric Gillsman used for paying of potions
Relinquished ?? "Knick-knacks of Kaa" Vex'ahlia Cydric Gillsman used while bartering to knock down the price of the potions
Acquired 1 Potion of Superior Healing Cydric Gillsman Vox Machina
Acquired 2 Potion of Greater Healing Cydric Gillsman Vox Machina
Acquired 10 Potion of Healing Cydric Gillsman Vox Machina
Acquired 4 Vial of Black Powder Victor Percy
Relenquished 250 Gold Party funds Victor for vials of black powder

Quotations Edit

  • Scanlan: You said your name was Ka-SHAW?
    Kashaw: It's KASH-aw.
    Vex'ahlia: KASH-aw. Like cash. I like it.[3]
  • Keyleth: Hi.
    Kashaw: How are you?
    Keyleth: What are you doing here?
    Kashaw: This is kind of where I live. What are you doing here?
    Keyleth: [flustered] Just, you know, rolling through. Passing by. Not much.[4]
  • Scanlan: Yeah I mean she gave us a lot to "sphinx" about.
    Vanessa: [slow clapping] And to think I might have briefly missed you.[5]
  • Vax'ildan: Do you think she [the nymph]'s still there, Grog?
    Grog: Oh yeah, trust me. When you have Grog– you never leave?[6]
  • Vex'ahlia: Hey, does the Slayer's Take have potions we can just have? Don't they have like a supply room?
    Vax'ildan: It would be welcome.
    Vanessa: We have things we can provide, as you are members. Mind you, not extremely active members as of late, but...
    Vex'ahlia: But we will be. Think about the giant amount of claws and teeth and eyeballs and leather wings and scales.
    Vax'ildan: We're about to get really fucking active.
    Vex'ahlia: We're going to be so fucking rich.[7]
  • Vex'ahlia: So, I thought you were interested in Keyleth. Am I wrong? I mean, you’re interested in Keyleth. Right? I mean, I know you don’t want to tell me. I know you don’t tell me anything like this, but– is it weird that he’s here?
    Vax'ildan: No, he’s fine. And I am. ... I don’t hold anything against him, and she’s– why wouldn’t he want her? Of course he does.
    Vex'ahlia: Yes, yes, yes, Keyleth is so! Fucking! Beautiful! I get it.
    Vax'ildan: Well, so are you, but what the fuck am I going to do with that? Jeez, you’re fucking weird.[8]
  • Cydric: [examining Vox Machina's visually-enchanted knick-knacks] Hmm. They seem fair enough. I would say, include these in the transaction, I would be willing to drop the cost by about 500 gold pieces? An even 6,000.
    Vex'ahlia: Darling. [snatching away the knick-knacks] Do you have any idea how much these are worth?
    Cydric: I do, actually, I'm quite the appraiser. It's part of my business.
    Vex'ahlia: I know when somebody's trying to swindle me, darling.
    Cydric: Well then, step away! You don't need my business, obviously. [To Grog] Is this how your 'Shiny Manager' deals with your shinies? Or would you wish to deal with this face to face?[9]
  • Matt: [after the party complains about buying healing potions] Oh my god! I just buy healing to save my life! Such a waste! Oh my god, there’s like a whole trade of really talented magical practitioners that spend their time crafting and brewing up these potions in the hopes they can save your life in the future.[10]
  • Percy: I think we need to catch up a bit. Vax, Vex, let's all have a toast to the inevitability of the universe. Please, a cheers.
    Vax'ildan: Which one of us? What was that?
    Percy: Vex and Vax. We're having a toast to the inevitability of the cosmos.
    Vex'ahlia: A toast? We're toasting? At a time like this?
    Percy: We are.
    Keyleth: Look, there's never not a good time to toast.[11]

Gallery of Events Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 0:27:25.
  2. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) from 0:27:52 through 0:28:44.
  3. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) from 13:58 through 14:07.
  4. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) from 14:07 through 14:25.
  5. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 40:59.
  6. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 44:04.
  7. Vox Machina attempts to convince Vanessa to lend them some of the Slayer's Take's resources.  See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 44:30.
  8. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) from 51:19 through 52:08.
  9. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) from 1:03:47 through 1:04:17.
  10. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) from 1:23:20 through 1:13:33.
  11. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 1:27:35.


  1. Fan art of Zahra greeting Vax'ildan with a tail-whip, by Sedona Parnham (source).  Permission needed.
  2. Fan art of Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia, as Vex protectively says she can take out Kashaw to prevent competition for Keyleth, by Megzilla87 (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Grog and Earthbreaker Groon
    "Where do you find your strength?", by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Earthbreaker Groon fighting Grog, by David Rodrigues (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Kashaw and Keyleth clearing the air about their kiss from "Trial of the Take: Part 4" (1x21), by Megzilla87 (source).  Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of Vax'ildan, Scanlan, and Grog getting ready to fight against Earthbreaker Groon, by Bruno Wright (@Iorverth) (source).  Permission needed.
  7. Fan art of Victor the black powder merchant, by Der Krakel (source).  Permission needed.
  8. Fan art of Kashaw and Keyleth clearing the air about their kiss from "Trial of the Take: Part 4" (1x21), by Megzilla87 (source).  Used with permission.
  9. Fan art of Vax'ildan, Scanlan, and Grog getting ready to fight against Earthbreaker Groon, by Bruno Wright (@Iorverth) (source).  Permission needed.
  10. Fan art of Victor the black powder merchant, by Der Krakel (source).  Permission needed.

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