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This wiki contains spoilers for all stories of Critical Role. This includes the story for unaired episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina, as it's based on the first campaign of Critical Role from 2015-2017.


Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

Scanlan Shorthalt is a gnome bard member of the group Vox Machina. He is played by Sam Riegel.

Scanlan spent a portion of his life travelling with Dr. Dranzel's Spectacular Traveling Troupe to support his single mother, Juniper. During his years of travel, he encountered a gnome named Sybil, who later gave birth to his daughter, Kaylie, without his knowledge. At one point, he witnessed his mother's death at the hands of a goblin.

During his adventures with Vox Machina, Scanlan came into possession of the legendary sword, Mythcarver, to fight the Chroma Conclave. After meeting his daughter and going through hard times, Scanlan left Vox Machina. He later returned and earned the blessing of Ioun, becoming the Champion of Ioun, to face Vecna.


"Oh, you haven't heard of Scanlan Shorthalt? Well, gird your loins, ladies, because he has his eye on you. A talented musician, master of disguise, and dashingly handsome in his own mind, Scanlan sings songs almost as much as he sings his own praises.

Born a poor gnome, Scanlan used his endless charm and soaring tenor voice to croon for coin and support his single mother. One day he was discovered by a half-orc promoter, and joined Dr. Dranzel's Spectacular Traveling Troupe, where he learned the ways of the world, and honed his skills as a bard extraordinaire.

A loner much of his life, Scanlan has never quite come to terms with the violent death of his mother at the hands of a goblin invasion. While his years on the road provided many, shall we say, educational experiences with the opposite sex, deep down Scanlan yearns for the one thing he's never known: the true love of a fellow gnome.

Still, Scanlan considers himself a lover first, performer second, and fighter distant third. On the battlefield, he'll support his allies, but rarely draws blood unless it's to protect fellow gnome Pike. Count on Scanlan for a hearty laugh, a rollicking song, and a twinkle in his eye that melts hearts and makes the females swoon."[28]



Scanlan at the end of Vox Machina's journey, by Kit Buss.[art 3]

Official Scanlan Pop! figure.[art 4]

As a gnome, Scanlan is shorter than the other members of Vox Machina. He is also much older, but because gnomes live so much longer than many humanoid races, he appears to be around the same age as his former companions.

Scanlan has brown hair and usually wears a beret. In official art, he is depicted wearing purple clothing with an open shirt that reveals his chest hair. His skin tone varies from slightly tanned to brown in various depictions of the character.

After joining the Slayer's Take, Scanlan has the brand of the guild on his right arm. Later, during his first time in Whitestone, he bought a beret, completing the iconic look.[29] When Scanlan returned to Whitestone after a year on the road with his daughter Kaylie, he bore a new scar under his eye where Kaylie's knife cut him.


Scanlan's quick wit and silver tongue made him Vox Machina's best negotiator and deceiver. Scanlan often acted as support for his allies by enhancing their abilities or weakening their opponents. He was also capable of holding his own with a combination of magic, improvisation, and courage, as exemplified by his solo fight against Duke Vedmire and his eight armed guards.[30]

Scanlan was often regarded as the comic relief character and almost never brought up his own troubles and anxieties, instead focusing on making jokes or witty comments. His refusal to ask for help and constantly lying about his mental health slowly built up, until he began to feel like he didn't belong with Vox Machina, accusing them of never having cared about him or bothered to find out who he was and what he wanted.[31] Because of this, he left the party for over a year.

A human man? That was teenage years, baby. I've gone much further than that since then.
Scanlan Shorthalt, "The Ominous March" (1x109)

Scanlan is an extensive womanizer but has been known to flirt with men as well, particularly Grog and Vax. [32] He has said that Vax kissing him was not the first time an elf-man kissed him (but it was in the top three).[33] When Vax and Grog pranked him with a potion of love, causing him to become infatuated with Percy, it was confirmed that Scanlan is bi- or pansexual. Scanlan tends to flirt with most women he interacts with, but most notably with Pike. For years, he made advances to her that she politely ignored. However, as time went by, and especially after spending a year with his daughter,[citation needed] Scanlan realized that his behavior had been disrespectful, and he wished to be more respectful towards women in the future.[34]

Come on, come on, get your Scanlan on.
It's Thursday night, and it won't be long.
Gonna play my flute, gonna play my shawm.
It's Thursday night, and it won't be long

'Til I get your health up,
Get your health up!
I got all you need.
No, I don't shoot bows,
I don't swing swords,
But damn, I can sing!
Scanlan's Healing Word for Percy[35]
(based on "Cheap Thrills" by Sia)

Scanlan (or rather Sam) created parodies of real-world songs, silly limericks, and comical remarks as part of his Bardic Inspiration, Healing Word, or Cutting Words spells. Some were improvised on the spot, while others were prepared in advance. CritRoleStats has compiled a list of Scanlan's songs used on stream.

Scanlan's alignment is "neutral good",[36] like Keyleth (and, originally, Vex'ahlia). He tended to sit back and watch while his allies strategize and scheme, occasionally making a joke or two. However, when the situation became urgent (or ripe for comedy), Scanlan would eagerly jump into the fray.


Highly skilled in Deception, Scanlan sometimes found himself in situations where a simple lie or half-truth was not enough, so he adopted a disguise or false identity.

  • Burt Reynolds, Esquire: Initially used with a fake mustache and pretend badge to convince members of the Clasp that he was a customs inspector[37], the Burt Reynolds persona became Scanlan's deceit of choice when needing to impersonate an authority figure. Burt Reynolds later returned as a lawyer to rescue Keyleth and Tiberius from jail in Vasselheim.[38]
  • Kingslayer: Not entirely a lie, Scanlan's "Kingslayer" title was earned when delivering the killing blow to King Murghol. However, his "Kingslayer" persona deceptively portrayed Scanlan as a more honorable and valiant warrior than his everyday actions might have warranted.
  • The Meat Man: Scanlan provided this pseudonym to the half-orc Rutur in Ank'Harel during a "drug deal".[39] He later adopted it as his underworld moniker when he returned to Ank'Harel for revenge.
  • Francois Bertrand Jean-Luc Australia:[40] Scanlan used this name while under the illusion of Seeming to disguise himself as an azer slave-trader in the City of Brass.[41]


Before Campaign One


First official portrait of Scanlan, by Kit Buss.[art 5]

Scanlan was raised by a poor single mother, Juniper, and barely knew his father, Vicou. His mother was killed in front of him during a goblin invasion.

At some point in his past, several years before the start of Critical Role, Scanlan encountered a gnome named Sybil. Scanlan unknowingly left her pregnant with a daughter, Kaylie.[42] In fact, Scanlan implied that he has fathered more children than just Kaylie in "Masquerade" (1x99).

Scanlan joined up with Dr. Dranzel's Spectacular Traveling Troupe at an unknown point in his life and performed in the Darrington estate between 795-796 PD, intending to stay there for a few days, but were forced to leave in a hurry, as Scanlan had an affair with one the family's handmaiden and in an unknown way corrupted Howaardt Darrington's bed.[43][44] Later, he left his troupe before joining the group that would become Vox Machina.

Vox Machina: Origins

Series I
In the comic adaptation of pre-stream events, Scanlan had teamed up with The Wing, a group made up of Grog Strongjaw, Vash, Arnicor and Turista to recover an artefact from a temple in the swamp near Stilben. They fought a giant frog and the cult of fish-like people who inhabited the temple, recovered artifacts and a strange vial, then headed into town. After a run-in with assassins of the Myriad, the group headed to a tavern to rest, where Scanlan was approached by a red dragonborn. He introduced himself as Tiberius Stormwind and bought the vial from Scanlan. Immediately after, a man (who was really Iselda in disguise) approached Scanlan's party to get the vial he had just sold. They agreed to a drop-off at midnight in a sewer station.

Scanlan meets Keyleth, by Olivia Samson.[art 6]

Scanlan and Grog went to the rendezvous point immediately to scope it out, and put the man inside to sleep with magic. As they investigated the room, Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia jumped out of the shadows and attacked them. Grog and Scanlan fought with the twins, but they were interrupted by a group of assassins who walked out of a mirror - the same ones that they had fought and killed earlier. Grog, Scanlan and the twins worked together to fight the assassins. Mid-battle, Tiberius and Keyleth joined them in the fight. After all the assassins were killed, Iselda also came through of the mirror and stabbed Scanlan in the back. She managed to overpower the group by filling the room with darkness, but Scanlan countered her with a Wand of Daylight. After Iselda retreated, Scanlan helped heal the wounds on the others, but refused to keep working with them when Keyleth suggested it.

Later, Vex'ahlia approached Scanlan's group to ask for help to retrieve Vax, who had been abducted by Iselda, but Scanlan refused. However, after she was gone, Scanlan realized that helping Vex'ahlia would make for a much better story than leaving town in the middle of the intrigue. He and Grog headed for the docks, where they met up with Vex'ahlia, Keyleth, and Tiberius. There, they all witnessed an explosion as Vax'ildan jumped out of a hole in the side of a ship, were he was being held captive. The group decided to work together this time, and boarded the Mockingbird. They found the source of the poison that has been plaguing the inhabitants of Stilben: a sigil carved into the floor and filled with poison. When Keyleth and Tiberius determined that it could be diluted by an acidic substance, Scanlan immediately started to pee on it, succeeding in stopping the strange ritual.

Series II
When tracking the whereabouts of their friend Grog, the party that would one day become Vox Machina was directed to the Trickfoot household, where they met Pike. Scanlan was immediately interested in her. Later, the party had to split to find ingredients for a ritual to save Grog from a lich attempting to possess his body. Scanlan went with Pike and Keyleth to the Umbra Hills to find the skull of a nightmare.

While looking for a cult rumored to possess the item, the trio interrogated Percival de Rolo, a prisoner accused of being one of the cultists. He explained to them that he was actually put in jail by the cult, and Scanlan and the others busted him out in exchange for his help. After their mission was complete, Percival decided to tag along with them.

Series III

Scanlan's magic, by Olivia Samson.[art 7]

The group, now known as Vox Machina, had spent all their money and agreed to join an underground fighting ring to earn some coin. During the battle, Scanlan attempted to impress Pike by taking down an enemy with a magic spell, but she was focusing on curing his wounds and did not notice. He then helped the team win by boosting them with his magic, and they won the tournament.

Later, during the Winter's Crest festival, the white dragon Skysunder froze the crowd and dissapeared into a portal, followed by Vox Machina.

The Story of Vox Machina and Other Pre-Stream Events

At some point, the group walked through the back door of the Clasp, the thieves' guild in Emon, and almost got into a deadly confrontation. Scanlan was able to trick the guild into thinking Vox Machina was part of the customs department, using a silver star he had made in a previous town.[45]

The bard, by rolling a natural twenty on deception and putting a finger over his upper lip so it looked like he had a mustache, was able to trick a man into thinking that he was "Burt Reynolds", a moniker he would don throughout the series.

Scanlan and Grog once managed to intimidate a group of hostile mages in a fighting pit when Scanlan summoned a pony that Grog abruptly decapitated and smeared the gore of it on his body while screaming. Scanlan also had Percy build him a bomb to use in that event, but since Grog's intimidation worked, Scanlan kept the bomb, which was later used in "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10).

Scanlan spent much of his time trying to convince Percy to create an exploding donkey, a request that Percy eventually complied to.

Fan art of Scanlan Shorthalt grieving over Pike Trickfoot's death before the stream, by Joana Carvalho.[art 8]

He was able to convince some guards to free Keyleth from prison after convincing them that she had pubic lice. She played along by foaming at the mouth and acting insane. Percy acted as her lawyer.

During Vox Machina's fight with Juurezel, Pike's body was cut in half, and she perished. The group rushed her to a temple to attempt a resurrection ritual, and Scanlan helped to bring her back by using a small figurine of her he carved two months before, and kissing her on the brow. The ritual was successful, and he still keeps the small figurine wherever he goes.

The bard accidentally crashed through a stained glass window when attempting to charge at the Dread Emperor by rolling a natural one. He crashed into a bramble bush three stories down while glass and wood from the window rained down on him.

Campaign One: Vox Machina

Fan art of Scanlan Shorthalt, by Andrew Keller.[art 9]

Arc 1: Kraghammer and Vasselheim

"Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01)
Scanlan made his very first kill ever when he killed a multi-headed naga with a Lightning Bolt at the entrance to the Greyspine Quarry.[46] This was also the first HDYWTDT of the series.

"The Throne Room" (1x07)
As Vox Machina made their way through the Underdark, Scanlan, while invisible, stopped to defecate on a bed inside a duergar hold, the start of a running joke that would last for the entire campaign. Later, the group faced off against the duergar leaders, and Scanlan landed the killing blow on King Murghol, decapitating him. This would later earn him the nickname "Kingslayer".

"Hubris" (1x17)
In Vasselheim, the party parted ways with Pike, who was to stay and supervise the reconstruction of a temple of her patron goddess, Sarenrae. Scanlan, feeling emotional at the idea of letting Pike go, drank a scrying potion previously acquired from Gilmore's Glorious Goods, and found a corner of the temple where he defecated. To his surprise, it came out glowing blue. As the group left the excavation site, Scanlan realized that he would be able to Scry through the glowing blue poop, enabling him to keep an eye on Pike.

"The Rematch" (1x23)
During Grog's rematch at the Crucible against Kern, Scanlan bet on Kern. However, he helped Grog win by giving him Inspiration and yelling Cutting Words at his rival. Later, Scanlan bailed Keyleth and Tiberius out of jail, using his persona of Burt Reynolds to convince the guards that they were escaped mental patients.

Arc 2: The Briarwoods

Fan art of Scanlan bowing while wearing a cowbell, by Jessica Huegel (@Cryptobaffling).[art 10]

"Consequences and Cows" (1x26)
In order to take down a giant bird that was terrorizing the countryside, Scanlan disguised the party as cows to bait the creature.

"The Path to Whitestone" (1x27)
Before leaving Greyskull Keep to travel to Whitestone, Scanlan took another drink from his Scrying potion and defecated into a jar that he left in the kitchen with orders to the servants not to touch it.

"Whispers" (1x29)
During the beginnings of the Whitestone Rebellion, Scanlan helped to gather information, disguised as a little human boy named Gavroche[47] . Scanlan also used a Seeming spell to allow the party to appear as peasants.

"Stoke the Flames" (1x30)
As Vox Machina attempted to take back Whitestone, Scanlan split from the group to hunt down Duke Vedmire, one of the Briarwoods' allies. He entered Vedmire's mansion, Polymorphed into a dragonfly while waiting for his cue. As the group began an assault on Count Tylieri's mansion, Scanlan turned into a triceratops and began laying siege to the mansion.

Fan art of Scanlan vs. the Duke, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 11]

"Gunpowder Plot" (1x31)
After killing multiple guards, Scanlan, still in his triceratops form, faced off against the Duke and a batallion of guards armed with crossbows. Dropping his Polymorphed form, he cast Stinking Cloud, and all but two of the guards succumbed to the noxious fumes, coughing and vomiting. Vedmire was also overcome by the stench. Scanlan then used Dimension Door to teleport to the roof, where he drank a potion of Fire Breathing, and began spouting flames over the edge of the roof, igniting the building. The Duke then climbed up on the roof through a hatch, but was pushed off the roof by Bigby's Hand. Turning to face the guards that followed Vedmire onton the roof, Scanlan stood with his arms outstretched, eyes closed, and fell backwards off the roof. He was caught mid-fall by Bigby's Hand, then climbed over the gate and fleed to meet up with Vox Machina.

"Denouement" (1x35)

Fan art of Percy yells at Scanlan for throwing the List into an acid pit, by Wendy Sullivan Green.[art 12]

After the fight against the Briarwoods, Scanlan managed to take Percy's cursed pistol from him and tossed it in a vat of acid. He hid from Percy's wrath on Grog's shoulders, and as the gun was melted away, Percy was freed from his dark bond with Orthax.

"Winter's Crest in Whitestone" (1x36)
While Whitestone was being reconstructed, Scanlan commissioned a giant portrait of himself from a local artist named Jameson. He requests to be posing with windblown hair and an open shirt on a horse, with Pike on the back of the horse, arms around his waist.

Fan art of the flute duel between Kaylie and Scanlan, by Thomas Brin.[art 13]

"A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37)
Back in Emon, the party headed to Diamond Nest Tavern in search of Riskel Daxio. There, Scanlan recognized Kent Plucker and Dr. Dranzel, two members of a travelling troupe he used to be a part of. He joins the troupe to perform, playing alongside a gnome flutist named Kaylie. Scanlan then attempts to flirt with her, but she dismisses his advances. The two of them then had a flutist duel to create a distraction as Vax snuck into the basement of the tavern.

"Echoes of the Past" (1x38)
After Riskel Daxio was taken care of, Vox Machina returned to their keep to find Dr. Dranzel's Spectacular Traveling Troupe waiting for them. As Scanlan retired to his room, he was joined by Kaylie, and the two of them shared a glass of wine. Kaylie revealed that she was from Kymal and she trained to become a bard at the College of the Savvy, and admits that she had already heard about Scanlan's tales from her mother, Sybil. Scanlan slowly realized that Kaylie was in fact his daughter. Shocked by the revelation about all the hardship that she and her mother have endured, he watched Kaylie explain that she had been looking for him.

Kaylie drew a blade, ready to fight him, but Scanlan managed to calm her down, thoroughly apologetic and guilty about the situation. Kaylie demanded that he draw his blade, but Scanlan refused to fight her. He admitted that he had made a lot of mistakes in the past, but was trying to become a better person for someone he loves. He willingly offered her his life, telling his daughter that he loved her.

I don’t want to fight you, if that’s what you’re insinuating. Listen, I know that I’ve made mistakes in my life. I’ve admitted as much before, and I don’t know why I’m this way. I must need to do a lot of soul-searching to come up with an answer, but there is a woman who I love very dearly and who I would do anything for, and I’m trying to be a better person. I haven’t been to a whorehouse in months! That’s a big step for me. A bit step. I know that sounds callous and crude, but I’ve tried to be a better person. If you’re here to fight me, I’m afraid you’re going to be terribly disappointed, because I will just let you kill me, if that’s what it takes. I didn’t know you existed, and my heart is breaking a hundred times now for not knowing it. Every year that you’ve been alive is a year I could have been a better person and known someone who could have made me a better person, and I’m only sorry that I didn’t know it. If there’s anything I can do for you from now on– if you are truly my blood, I will, because among my many faults, ego is certainly one of them, and knowing you’re part of me makes me love you even more.
Scanlan, to Kaylie[48]

Kaylie lunged towards him, but realized she was unable to kill her father. Scanlan held her as she cried in his chest, questionning why she couldn't kill him when she had spent all her life hating him. She then got up, telling Scanlan that being a scoundrel was what kept him alive so far, and perhaps what would keep her alive as well, before exiting the room.

The next morning, Scanlan asked Dr.Drenzel to take good care of Kaylie for as long as she was a part of his troupe.

Arc 3: The Chroma Conclave

Fan art of Kaylie in the stockade, by Markus Price.[art 14]

"Omens" (1x39)
Later in the day, Scanlan learned that Kaylie was held at the stockade for getting in a bar fight the previous night. Scanlan caused a scene and was locked up in the same jail cell as his daughter. Kaylie distracted the guards, and Scanlan used Dimension Door so they could both escape. Dr.Dranzel and his troupe decided to leave town right away, taking Kaylie with them. Kaylie told Scanlan not to come looking for her, and that she'd find him when she's ready.

"Return to Vasselheim" (1x43)
During Grog's trial against Earthbreaker Groon, Scanlan was chosen, along with Vax'ildan, to help the goliath in his fight.

Fan art of Scanlan's painting, by Thomas Brin.[art 15]

"Those Who Walk Away" (1x45)
Scanlan finally received the painting he had commissioned: landscape of rolling hills, tree lines, and a mountainscape in the distance with magnificent lighting. Atop the fantastic green hilltop, there is a fine white and grey steed rising up, hooves in the air, and atop it is Scanlan, shirt open, chest slightly fuzzy and muscular. Behind, clutching him, is Pike wearing long greyish-silver and blue robes flowing behind and a long train. Scanlan tipped Jameson an additional 50 gold and promised to write him an epic poem.

"The Family Business" (1x47)
Scanlan cast Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion for the first time in order to house Vox Machina and the Fire and Air Ashari present in the ruins of Pyrah. Although they were reticent at first, the members of Vox Machina were amazed by Scanlan's mansion when they entered. Grog attacked the first spectral servant he saw, believing it to be a ghost. To show off that the mansion's spectral servants could do anything they asked, Scanlan ordered one to braid his chest hair.

The next day, Vox Machina traveled to Westruun. After witnessing Grog's sword, Craven Edge, absorb the blood from his victim, the group was in shock. Grog confided in Scanlan that he had dreamed about killing a lot of people with his sword, and that it had been talking to him. Unsheathing it, he asked the sword it enjoyed its snack, then asked Scanlan if he heard its response. Scanlan didn't, and asks if he can hold it, and although Grog initially agreed, he was compelled to keep the sword. Scanlan then cast Suggestion and managed to grab the sword from him. Scanlan finally heard the cursed sword's murderous speech, and told Grog he shouldn't be using it. He promised not to tell the others, but said he would ask Pike about it.

"A Name Is Earned" (1x49)

Fan art of Scanlan's Magnificent Mansion, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 16]

After proving themselves worthy to Kamaljiori, the sphinx gifted them a Vestige: the sword Mythcarver, gifted to him by the White Duke. The sword was given to Scanlan to wield.

"Best Laid Plans..." (1x50)
After failing to feed enough blood to Craven Edge, Grog suddenly fell on the ground, lifeless. He stopped Keyleth from breaking the sword, arguing that Grog's soul might be inside it. As Pike attempted to resurrect him, Scanlan offered to be the final contributor to the ritual. Remembering that Craven Edge craves strength from others, he pulled out a Potion of Fire Giant Strength and poured it down his throat. Grog was successfully brought back, and the sword banished.

"Test of Pride" (1x51)
Scanlan reunited with Dr.Dranzel and Kaylie, who were hiding from the Herd of Storms in a Westruun temple with many townspeople. With Kaylie's help, they created a diversion and scared off the enemy long enough to allow everyone to escape. He then led the survivors to safety through the sewers, before joining back with Vox Machina.

"At Dawn, We Plan!" (1x53)
The party met up with Wilhand Trickfoot, Pike's great-great-grandfather, and invited him to stay in Scanlan's mansion. Wilhand was impressed by Scanlan's wealth, telling Pike that she was of marrying age. Scanlan took Wilhand up to his room and asked his permission to marry Pike. Wilhand promised to think about it. He then tried to find Kaylie with Vax's help, and although he couldn't find her, they found traces of her safe passage out of town.

After the party had gathered together, Scanlan took the opportunity to propose to Pike. She was startled, and Scanlan told her that she didn't have to answer immediately. Pulling him aside, Pike admitted that she read the letter he had given her before, to open only if he died. She promised to do everything he asked in the letter. Both of them were a bit confused over what to do about their relationship, Pike joking that maybe they should just sleep together. However, she told Scanlan that while she did love him, she had feelings for someone else. She kissed his cheek and bid him goodnight.

"Hope" (1x56)
Scanlan finally found Kylie, safe in Kymal with the rest of the troupe. Scanlan took his daughter aside and told her he and Vox Machina were trying to save the world. If they died, it would be for a good cause, and if they didn't, he promised that he'd come back to her and be a father to her. Kaylie shushed him, and told him not to die. Scanlan promised her not to, and gave her a sapphire ring and his Singing Dawnblade, which secretely contains another one of his Scrying poos. He advised her to head to Vasselheim, and the two said goodbye.

Kaylie: Don’t you die. You stay alive.”
Scanlan: I don’t intend to. But you know, I was just inside a–
Kaylie: You’re. Not. Going. To die. You’re going to go do your stupid world-saving mission like you told me, and you’re going to come back, and we’re going to have a lot to talk about.
Scanlan :All right.
Kaylie: All right. Can you do that for me?
Scanlan: I promise you. I promise you.
Kaylie: I’ll hold you to that.
Scanlan's promise[49]

Fan art of Scanlan to the rescue, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 17]

"A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58)
Scanlan was awake in the middle of the night in order to finish reading the Tome of Leadership and Influence, when he heard a cry for help from Vax'ildan, who had been ambushed by Hotis. Leaping from the castle wall in an attack strengthened by the force of gravity, he striked down the rakshasa, then brought back Vax'ildan from the brink of death. They were soon joined by the rest of the group and managed to take the demon down.

The next day, while alone with Pike, Scanlan brought up his earlier marriage proposal. He decided to rescind it, telling Pike that he realized he wanted to get to know her as a person, not as an object of adoration. They agreed to stay friends, and Scanlan told her that if she loved someone else, she should be brave and tell them. Pike thanked him for the advice.

"Denizens of the Moonbrush" (1x61)
During Vox Machina's time in the Feywild, Scanlan finished reading the Tome of Leadership and Influence, gaining a permanent +2 to Charisma. He then gave the book to Keyleth.

"The Frigid Doom" (1x64)
When they returned from the Feywild, Grog and Percy unfortunately forgot the entire trip. At Vex's request, Scanlan used his first ever Modify Memory spell to "help" Percy remember a bit of his forgotten time in the Feywild, although he altered it a little to his own liking.

"The Streets of Ank'Harel" (1x65)

Fan art of Scanlan after learning that he was scammed: fusaka is not an illegal drug, by Hugo Cardenas.[art 18]

Upon arrival in Ank’Harel, Scanlan began asking around for fusaka, a spice requested by Jarett before Vox Machina left for Marquet. He immediately assumed that fusaka was a drug, promptly getting caught in a fake drug deal and paying 500 gold for two small sacks of the cheap spice. During the trade, he refered to himself as "the Meat Man".

"A Traveler's Gamble" (1x66)
Scanlan stopped by at the Luck's Run casino looking for the men who swindled him with the fusaka. He found no sign of them, but defiled the meeting room where the deal went down, writing "The Meat Man cometh" on the wall in poo. Asking around about about the man who made the deal with him, he learned that he would not come back before Vox Machina had to leave the city.

"Cloak and Dagger" (1x68)
Scanlan activated his Onyx Mastiff Statuette for the first time, introducing himself to the dog and making use of it in the following battle against Anna Ripley. At the end of a very difficult fight, Scanlan managed to trap Ripley in a magical sphere, allowing all members of Vox Machina to attack her at once and finally take her down in Percy's name.

"Passed Through Fire" (1x69)
Back in Whitestone, Scanlan gave Jarett one bag of the Fusaka he purchased in Ank'Harel. Determined to get his hands on some drugs, Scanlan told Jarett that Vox Machina are friends with J'mon Sa Ord and can make Jarett's legal troubles go away, in exchange for some illegal drugs for him. Jarett was very uncomfortable with the situation, warning him that the drug had ruined lives before, but agreed to find him some Suude.

"Brawl in the Arches" (1x76)
While fighting a pit fiend named Ghurrix in the City of Brass, Scanlan managed to bring Mythcarver to its full power by remembering and acting on his promise to Kaylie that he would stay alive. The glowing blade granted him four consecutive attacks with advantage, thanks to his Cutting Words, with which he slew the fiend.

"The Siege of Emon" (1x78)
Scanlan finally aquired some Suude from Jarett, who told Scanlan to never ask him to do this again before walking away in embarrassment and disgust.

"Raishan" (1x80)
Immediately after Thordak was vanquished, Vox Machina attempted to take down the green dragon Raishan. However, she quickly overpowered them, and Scanlan and Vex lost their lives. Pike successfully cast Revivify on both of them, and the group immediately gave chase to Raishan.

I can't raise Kaylie alone. I need you to come back.
Pike to Scanlan while casting Revivify on him[50]

"What Lies Beneath the Surface" (1x81)
After Raishan escaped, the group took a moment to rest in the ashes of the battlefield. Scanlan immediately took out his Suude, splitting it into three portions and preparing to snort the first third. When J'mon Sa Ord asked him what it was, Scanlan answered that he had a "not great day". Pike then interrupted him as well, wondering if he was okay, and Scanlan managed to convince her that it was medicinal herbs. Finally alone, he first tried snorting some and it burned very badly. He then packed some into the flute that J'mon Sa Ord gave him and began smoking it, feeling strange for a moment before passing out. The group found him there as he woke up, and he convincingly lied about the drugs being medicinal. Scanlan then deflected by scolding Vax for charging after Raishan without the party to back him up. The two argued for a bit and Vax took Scanlan aside and shoves a letter into Scanlan's hands, a letter intended to be found if Vax had died. It simply said "You were right."

After returning to Whitestone, Scanlan cast Modify Memory on Jarett to make him think that he felt sorry for Scanlan's emotional state and that he'd agreed to get him much more Suude. That evening in his room, Scanlan ripped up Vax's letter and burned it, then packed his pipe for the morning.

"The Deceiver's Stand" (1x83)
Vox Machina tracked down Raishan to finally take her down. During the battle, Raishan savagely attacked Scanlan, killing him instantly. Pike's attempted Revivify failed. Once the dragon was killed, the group gathered around Scanlan's body. Grog angrily yelled at the others to fix him, but there was nothing they could do there. Vax grabbed Scanlan's body, and they all teleported back to Whitestone where they brought Scanlan to the temple of the Raven Queen. The group decided to try and get Kaylie, who would have a better shot at bringing back her father's soul. With the help of Eskil Ryndarien, Vex'ahlia teleported to Kaylie's location, where she gave her a gate stone that allowed Kaylie to transport to Whitestone.

Arc 4: Taryon Darrington

"Loose Ends" (1x84)

Hail to Scanlan Shorthalt,
Hail to victory!
No one can make me laugh faster.
Please bring him back to me.
Grog's song

Fan art of Kaylie playing the violin for her part in Scanlan's resurrection ritual, by advocatingAvian.[art 19]

When she saw Scanlan's body, Kaylie slapped him on the face, saying "You made me a promise!" She stormed out, Pike following her to tell her how much Scanlan loves her. Grog had a moment alone with Scanlan, telling him that this isn't over. An hour later, Pike returned, visibly drunk, and the ritual began. Grog sang a song for Scanlan. Pike presented a doll that Scanlan gave her and recited a poem. Kaylie jumped onto the altar and played her fiddle. The ritual was successful, but Scanlan remained asleep. Kaylie slapped him again before leaving, and Grog took Scanlan to his room.

Later, Percy and Pike decided to play a prank on the unconscious Scanlan. They dressed him in one of Pike's nightgowns and smeared pudding on him and all over the room, and Kerrek helped them tie his hands with a scarf. Kaylie laughed at the state they put Scanlan in, and said that she'd stay with him until he woke up while the rest of the group went to take care of business.

"A Bard's Lament" (1x85)
A few hours later, the group went back to check on Scanlan, and he woke up in the state that the others left him in. After being told that Raishan was dead, he asked Kaylie to leave the room so he could talk to the rest of Vox Machina.

Scanlan immediately confronted his friends about bringing Kaylie to see his dead body. In a fit of anger, he told them that none of them ever bothered to get to know him or even cared about him, or they would know about his promise to Kaylie to stay alive. He was extremely angry, saying that because of them, Kaylie now saw him as weak and a loser. When the others protested, saying they did care about him, he replied that they only kept him around for his healing abilities and his role of comedic relief. To prove his point, he asked them what his mother's name was, if his dad was alive or dead, and how old he was, but none could answer. Scanlan explained that he had been thinking about his place in the group, pointing out that everyone in Vox Machina had a lover or best friend, but that he had nobody like that. He thought Kaylie was his person, but was now worried she might never trust him again.

We traveled into the fucking nine hells to get Pike a set of armor. We went and battled a city of vampires so Percy could feel good about his name. We fought goliaths for Grog. We’ve traveled across planes of existence so you could fix your fucking daddy issues. But you’ve never done anything for me! Ever! You’ve never risked anything, you don’t know me, you don’t know anything about me. What’s my mother’s name? What’s her name? Easy question. Died in front of me. Killed by a goblin. Biggest part of my life. What’s her name? My father. Is he alive or dead? How old am I? Where’s my fucking dog?


It’s fine. I’m just a little hungover from being dead, and I just have been thinking for a while, and, you know. Grog has Pike. Vax has Keyleth. Percy has Vex. But Scanlan has no one, and I had one chance at one real relationship with my daughter, and I feel like you’ve gone and fucked it up, too. Because you don’t really know me, and you don’t really know what my relationship is with her, and what I’ve promised her, or anything, really. And it’s fine. When I met you all, I was just a funny little man playing songs, and that’s all I’ll ever really be. And that’s okay, because I can take care of myself.
Scanlan's lament

Vex'ahlia retorted that they had asked him if he was fine multiple times, but that he always brushed it off and said he was fine. They all agreed that they thought he had his entire life figured out, and that there was no way for them to know he was hurting if he never asked for help. Scanlan admitted that he didn't like to ask for help, and that he must be a pretty good liar. After Scanlan brought back the fact that his relationship with Kaylie was broken, they all disagreed, saying that their relationship was much more than that promise and that he should focus on being a good father to her. This got through to Scanlan, who admitted they were right, and said he would. He told the others that he should stay with Kaylie instead of travelling with the group, realizing that he should've been with her this whole time instead of going off to fight dragons.

Taking it all in, the group quietly asked Scanlan about his parents and learned that his mother's name was Juniper, his father's name was Vicou, and his status was unknown. Grog, Keyleth and Vex apologized for not asking about him more, and Keyleth pointed out that Scanlan's jokes and positive attitude was also desperetaly needed and meant a lot to all of them. Vax pointed out that Scanlan had also never asked about his own mother, and that if he wanted them to care about that, he should have told them. Scanlan and Vax then argued about the fact that Scanlan was alive, Scanlan saying he had been useless in the last few fights and his two deaths proved that these adventures were out of his league. Vax got angry at Scanlan, saying he was lying to himself and pointing out the fact that they all owed him their lives. Percy, who hadn't talked yet, spoke up and aggressively told Scanlan that Kaylie was no better than he was, and that he shouldn't pretend to be a legendary person for her sake. He angrily told Scanlan that he should be honest with Kaylie and get to know her on a regular level and to stop lying. Percy stormed out of the room and ran into Kaylie, who had been standing by the door listening in, tears streaming down her face. She walked inside, took her bag, and told Scanlan she would be waiting for him outside.

Scanlan then said his goodbyes, stating that he would go and figure out who he was and get to know Kaylie. Vex gave him one of the two gate stones, and Grog gave him his salt-lick stone. Scanlan then left the castle with Kaylie.[51] The two of them were later seen walking down a road together, seemingly content.[52]

Fan art of Scanlan leaving with Kaylie, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 20]

"Jugs and Rods" (1x94)
Several weeks later, Percy used the Scrying Eye to check in on Scanlan. He saw him and Kaylie performing for a group of farm folk in the Turst Fields.[53]

Scanlan and Kaylie
Several months into the one-year time skip, Scanlan and Kaylie traveled to Ank'Harel, where Scanlan reclaimed his self-made title of "The Meat Man". Over time, he took over the counterfeiting business of the people who had swindled him before, and the Meat Man ended up becoming one of the three biggest crime lords in Ank'Harel. He adopted an illusory disguise for the Meat Man: a Marquetian human named "Aes Adon". Scanlan and Kaylie took turns impersonating him. Aes hired Lionel Gayheart as muscle for the Meat Man's operation. At some point after the one-year time skip, Lionel found another ziggurat in the deserts of Ank'Harel, and it housed another Vecna cult that was making offerings to an Orb of Annihilation. Upon hearing about this, Scanlan decided to travel to Whitestone in disguise to give this information to Vox Machina.

"Masquerade" (1x99)
On their return to Whitestone after a trip in Wildemount, Vox Machina were approached by Lionel Gayheart, who invited them to meet with his boss. Upon hearing about the Meat Man, they were immediately suspicious. Scanlan met them as Aes Adon, intending to tell them about the ziggurat and leave immediately, but Vex'ahlia managed to corner him and remove his Hat of Disguise, revealing his true appearance. Vex and Vax were quick to welcome Scanlan back, but the other members of Vox Machina, particularly Grog and Pike, were more hesitant.

Scanlan tried knocking on Grog's door. When Grog didn't answer his knock, Scanlan used Dimension Door to enter the room, whereupon Grog got up and left. Pike answered her door, but slapped him across the face after listening to his apology. He continued to apologize, and she heard him out before saying good night.

I'm comfortable with the bastard that I've been, because I know that the man I am now is different. So I can't make everybody happy anymore, and I think that was my problem before. I was trying to make everyone happy, and that's not my goal anymore.

I'm sorry if I hurt you. I'm sorry how I treated you when we first met, how I ogled you and flirted with you relentlessly. That was disrespectful. But what I'm most sorry for is that you met me then, and not now. And that's all I can say.
Scanlan's apology to Pike

Arc 5: Vecna

"Unfinished Business" (1x100)
The group traveled to Ank'Harel, and Scanlan led the group to his base of operations where they meet up with Kaylie. Scanlan picked up on some tensions between Pike, Grog and Lionel, so he a moment to formally apologize for the events of the previous year and gave Grog a letter that would grant him free drinks at any alehouse in the city.

"Thar Amphala" (1x101)
After a battle with Delilah Briarwood at the ziggurat, Vox Machina discussed following Delilah Briarwood through the mysterious orb. Scanlan hinted that he wouldn't be going, as he didn’t feel invited. Vax, Pike, and Grog quickly dispelled that notion and welcomed him back into the group.

"Race to the Tower" (1x102)
At the top of Entropis, Vox Machina attempted to stop Vecna's ritual of Seeding, but were unsucessful. Vastly overpowered, the group made their escape by Planeshifting to the Feywild. Vecna attempted to Counterspell their planar travel, but Scanlan Counterspelled him back, allowing the group to get away safely.

"The Endless Atheneum" (1x106)

You, who have wandered the vast library that surrounds you through your knowledge, through your magnetic telling and spinning of yarns, through your knowledge of history, perseverance, and apparently decent grip, have managed to return to me and complete the challenge I set before you. And for that, I grant my grace unto you for the coming fray, Scanlan Shorthalt.
Ioun's blessing

Vox Machina managed to reach the Endless Athenaeum, home of the goddess Ioun, where they asked for her help in sealing Vecna. In choosing her own champion, Ioun passed over Grog, Keyleth, and Percival, before landing on Scanlan, the storyteller, to attempt her challenge. She tasked him to find, within one hour, the tome containing the Incantation of Isolation. With Vex's help, he found the book just in time. Ioun accepted Scanlan as her champion, giving him the book to perform the sealing ritual and also granting him her blessing. As her final gift, she granted Scanlan a bead of her own divinity, to be used in the making of a divine trammel.

"The Ominous March" (1x109)
While resting in the mansion, Grog and Vax decided to prank Scanlan by spiking his drink with a love potion. The first person that Scanlan saw after drinking from his cup was Percy, with whom he became instantly infatuated. He immediately began to flirt with him in a very obvious manner, right in front of his wife. That night, Scanlan put on his best silk g-string, then made his way, through the series of tunnels interconnecting all of the rooms, to Percy's room, where crawled into bed between Percy and Vex. Percy pulled Manners from under his pillow to bind Scanlan in iron, and Vex sent Scanlan back to his room, with Trinket to guard him. The enchantment wore off quickly afterwards.

"The Final Ascent" (1x113)
As the party was getting ready for their final battle against Vecna, Vex'ahlia made Scanlan promise that he wouldn't run away from the fight. In preparation for the battle, Scanlan cast Wish for the first time, allowing him to create a simulacrum of himself. In the final moments before the fight, he activated the blessing of Ioun.

As they made their way up to Vecna, the group ran into three cloaked cultists, and swiftly eliminated two of them. However, they quickly realized that the cultists were in fact Gilmore, Cassandra and Kaylie, who had been kidnapped, petrified and put in their way. Pike spent two of her precious spell slots to immediately Revivify the fallen Kaylie and Cassandra. They woke up, and Scanlan ran to hold his daughter. He asked Gilmore to take the three of them away to a safe place. Taking Kaylie's face in his hands, he said a simple "Goodbye" before Gilmore took the three of them back to Whitestone.

Fan art of Scanlan as the Champion of Ioun, by David Rodrigues.[art 21]

"Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114)
During the fight with Vecna, Scanlan's simulacrum was dispelled early on, and Scanlan was almost killed early on. Pike's Death Ward kept him alive, and he used Bigby's Hand to get closer to Vecna in order to read from his tome and perform the Rites of Prime Banishment. Vecna recognized his intention and tried to stop Scanlan, first by Polymorphing him into a fox, then by Banishing him twice. Vecna also attempted to Teleport away from the fight, but Scanlan used his 9th level spell to Counterspell. However, this left him heartbroken, as he had hoped to use this slot to cast Wish after the fight to break Vax's binding to the Raven Queen. Scanlan's first attempt at performing the Rites was resisted by Vecna. To avoid having to wait for Scanlan's next turn, Keyleth, Polymorphed into a planetar, also attempted to read the Rites, and the ritual succeeded, banishing Vecna once and for all.

"The Chapter Closes" (1x115)
Shortly after the fight, the Raven Queen came to claim Vax's soul, and Scanlan apologized for not being able to save his friend. Vax thanked him for trying and said his goodbyes to the group.

Vox Machina returned to Whitestone, where Scanlan went to check on Kaylie. The two of them discussed moving on with their lives, neither of them wanting to go back to the criminal life. They decide to find someone to take over the persona of "The Meat Man" and use the money they made to send Kaylie to a top school to finish her education. That night, he asks Pike if perhaps he could take her on a date; she confessed she was going to ask him the same.


"Dalen's Closet" (Sx47)

Vax'ildan: Scanlan Shorthalt, you are toying with the designs of the gods, still, I see, old friend.
Scanlan: What, I didn't have a present, so--
Vax'ildan:She will allow it. And thank you. Hello.
Vax'ildan returns with Scanlan's Wish

A year later, Vex'ahlia asked Scanlan to walk her down the aisle at her wedding, which he accepted. After the wedding reception was attacked, Scanlan suggested they hold the wedding immediately before anything else could happen. He turned into a triceratops and Vex rode him down the aisle. After the vows, Scanlan asked if he could offer a gift: to Wish that Vex's brother would be able to speak to her for just a moment on her wedding day. His wish was granted, and Vax appeared briefly, spending a moment with Vex'ahlia and Keyleth. His final words to the party were "Thank you. Live!" before disappearing in a scattering of feathers.

This was Scanlan's last Wish, but he said it was worth it.

Official art of Scanlan, 20 years later, by GalacticJonah.[art 22]

As revealed in "The Chapter Closes" (1x115), Scanlan spent the next few years with Pike, helping her rebuild Vasselheim and following her in adventures with Grog. He paid for Kaylie to be educated at the Alabaster Lyceum in Emon, where he visited her occasionally. He sent some rather fine jewelry anonymously to Sybil, Kaylie's mother, to make sure she was taken care of. In his free time, and with some help from Ioun and Sprigg, he wrote down the story of Vox Machina, titled In the Belly of Dragons: The Legend of Scanlan Shorthalt and Vox Machina. As things go well with Scanlan, Pike eventually asked him for his hand in marriage. Scanlan asked Grog for his permission to accept Pike's proposal. Grog gave Scanlan a black sapphire for Pike, and agreed to carry Scanlan down the aisle at their wedding. Scanlan moved in with Pike and Grog in the Red House of Trickfoot.

Pike and Scanlan had two children within a year of each other: Juniper and Wilhand'ildan. After their children went off to school, Pike and Scanlan decided to end their romantic relationship while remaining best friends and occassional lovers. Scanlan spends his winters in Ank'Harel with Kaylie, where the two of them own a trading business, Meatman Imports & Sexports, and visits Pike her every summer in Whitestone to spend time with their friends and family. He is constantly travelling across Exandria for business and to perform the tales of Vox Machina through song.[54] At some point before 843 PD, he staged the play To Kill a God: The Scanlan Shorthalt One-Man Show.[55]

The Legend of Vox Machina

Season One

In the animated adaptation, Scanlan didn't participate in the first battle against the Briarwoods, instead causing a diversion at the banquet so his teammates could face their enemies unbothered. While in Whitestone, he insisted on getting a beret, calling himself "Scanlan the revolutionary".


Dr. Dranzel

Scanlan found himself learning and perfecting his skills as a bard from a half-orc named Dr. Dranzel, and ended up joining his Spectacular Traveling Troupe. During his time with Dranzel, he honed his skills and became knowledgeable of the world around him. They reconnected years later in Emon just before the Chroma Conclave attacked, then reunited on several occasions afterward.


Grog and Scanlan are best friends, often pursuing the same things. They have frequently gone to 'houses of lady favors' together. Scanlan was the only person Grog told about Craven Edge's nature and sentience. When Scanlan came back with Lionel to Whitestone, Grog was deeply offended that his best friend had deceived him and replaced him with 'a whole new idiot'. Their friendship was quickly restored when Scanlan gave Grog a note that allowed him to go to any bar, tavern or house of lady favors he wished and drink until drunk without molestation by any employee. All charges and bills related to his drinking, cavorting, or violent behavior resulting from drunkenness were to be forwarded to the Meat Man for timely payment in full.[56]


Scanlan first met Kaylie in the Diamond Nest Tavern, where he was also reunited with Dr. Dranzel and his old troupe.[57] They had a flautist duel—which was mostly a distraction so Vox Machina could pursue Riskel Daxio—and Scanlan forfeited the competition (and all of his money) to the young gnome girl despite having a clear advantage.[58] After that, he invited the girl to his room in Greyskull Keep for the night.[59]

Fan art of Kaylie preparing to attack Scanlan[60], by advocatingAvian.[art 23]

Later that night, Kaylie revealed to Scanlan that she was his daughter that he never knew existed—news that greatly bothered Scanlan. She had trained at the College of the Savvy and traveled with Dranzel in order to hone her skills and, one day, not only find Scanlan and shame him but also kill him. She then pulled out a dagger, intending to kill him, but couldn't go through with it upon hearing Scanlan's impassioned speech and witnessing him offer his life without resistance. Scanlan mentioned that he knew there was something missing in his life, and that it may well have been his daughter before him. The two shared a tearful hug and, unable to face him anymore that night, Kaylie ran out of the keep.[61]

Scanlan did not reveal this information to the group until the following day, when he asked for their help to get Kaylie out of the stockade for causing a brawl in a bar.[62] She and Dranzel's troupe soon left Emon shortly before the Chroma Conclave attacked.[63] The two later reunited in Westruun when the Herd of Storms occupied the city.[64] Working together, father and daughter aided in the escape of a few of the survivors alongside Dr. Dranzel.[65]

They later reunited in Kymal after the slaying of Umbrasyl. During their reunion, Scanlan admitted that he had been going about his life all wrong, that the gnome he was supposed to love and protect wasn't Pike but Kaylie, his daughter. Scanlan gave her his Singing Dawnblade (which also contained a piece of his Magical Poop of Scrying in the scabbard) for her protection and for him to check in on her on occasion. Kaylie then made her father promise to stay alive and be there for her when the Chroma Conclave was defeated, so they could make up for the lost time.[66]


Scanlan had very strong feelings toward Pike, and it was a source of great humor and emotional moments within the Critical Role campaign. Pike eventually did willingly kiss Scanlan on the cheek when he saved her life once more during their escape from Yug'Voril. He once proposed marriage to the cleric,[67] but Scanlan later rescinded the offer and he and Pike chose to remain as close friends.[68]

Following Scanlan's departure and eventual return to Vox Machina, Pike was initially angry and resentful towards Scanlan for leaving the way he did and saying the things he had, leading to some tension between the two. As the group journeyed to stop Vecna, however, Pike quickly warmed back up to Scanlan, and their close friendship was restored.

Once Vecna was finally defeated, Scanlan asked Pike out on a formal date, just to see how things go, to which Pike answered by saying that she was going to ask him the same thing.[69] The two dated for several years before Pike asked for Scanlan's hand in marriage. They settled down in Wilhand's old home, with Scanlan taking Pike's surname,[citation needed] to live together alongside Grog.[70]They had two children together, Juniper and Wilhand'ildan.

After their children left for school, Pike and Scanlan decided to end their romantic relationship, but remained very close friends. Scanlan visits Pike in Whitestone every summer, and they sometimes end up in bed together.[71]


Scanlan and Tiberius had a bullying form of friendship, which started at some point before the stream. On many occasions, the two of them took jabs at each other. However, when Tiberius was discovered to have died defending Draconia, Scanlan showed the deepest respect for his fallen friend.[72]

After Vorugal was slain, Scanlan requested that the Ravenites give the sorcerer a proper burial and a statue to mark it with the epitaph, "I Encourage Peace".[73]


Scanlan frequently picks on Vex'ahlia by making jokes about her beloved bear companion, Trinket. He repeatedly suggests that the group leave Trinket behind.

Taryon Darrington

When Taryon Darrington first talks to Pike in gnomish, he recalls only learning it from books that he read and had been taught only briefly by a fellow gnome from a musical group. He describes the "fellow" as "part of a performing troupe" that his father has hired for New Year's Eve, and how he vividly remembers him leaving quickly because something occurred with his "father and house maiden" and was chased out the house. Taryon also says although he doesn't know what exactly happened, his father had to "burn his bed sheets and I think he got a new bed." It is implied that this unnamed gnome bard is in fact Scanlan Shorthalt.

Character information


Originally seeking to win Pike's heart, Scanlan realized that the gnome he was meant to love and protect is his daughter, Kaylie.[74] After successfully slaying the ancient black dragon Umbrasyl, Scanlan promised Kaylie that he would return to her and be the father she needs once he has finished slaying the other members of the Chroma Conclave.


  • Skills: Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Intimidation
    • Expertise: Deception, Investigation, Performance, Persuasion[75]

Notable items

Current items

Fan art of the Mythcarver, one of the Vestiges of the Divergence, by David Rodrigues.[art 24]

Former items


Fan art of To Kill a God, by Clara.[art 25]

Because Scanlan is a bard, he has a large array of spells and skills, which he utilizes both in social and combat situations. His spells run the gamut of offense, defense, and support. Due to his expertise as a College of Lore bard, he is capable of inspiring not only his allies but also himself.

Gnome abilities

  • Darkvision
  • Gnome Cunning (advantage on INT/WIS/CHA saving throws against magic)
  • Speak With Small Beasts


Bard abilities

Class features
  • Bard College: College of Lore
    • Additional Magical Secrets: Counterspell[109], Lightning Bolt[110]
    • Bonus Proficiencies
    • Cutting Words[111]
    • Peerless Skill[112]
  • Bardic Inspiration (d12)[113]
  • Countercharm[114]
  • Font of Inspiration
  • Jack of All Trades
  • Magical Secrets
  • Ritual Casting
  • Song of Rest (d12)[115]
  • Spellcasting (Charisma-based ability)

Bard spells

Fan art of Scanlan using Bigby's Hand, by David Rodrigues.[art 26]

As a level 20 College of Lore bard, Scanlan can know 24 spells at a time. He can also swap a spell out with another one when gaining a level, so some of these spells may no longer be known by him.

  • True Polymorph[150]
  • Wish[151] (after Percy and Vex's wedding he loses the ability to cast it)[152]

Blessing of the Knowing Mistress

Upon becoming the chosen champion of Ioun, Scanlan has been granted the following abilities:

  • A permanent +2 bonus to intelligence.
  • As a bonus action, you may channel the omniscience of Ioun. For one hour, whenever you successfully hit a creature with a spell or attack you can learn one of the creature's stats of your choice from the following list:
    • AC
    • Senses
    • Saving Throw Bonuses
    • Damage Resistances
    • Damage Immunities
    • Damage Vulnerabilities

During this hour you also have advantage on initiative rolls and on saving throws. Once this ability is used it can not be used again "for like a week".

Appearances and mentions


  • Kima: "The cruel king. Who dealt the final blow?"
    Scanlan: (clears throat) "That would be the kingslayer. Me."[154]
  • Scanlan: "I check under my belt because the spell has worn off. And I'm back down to my normal one and a half inches. Which on a gnome is pretty big." [...] "Length! And girth." [...] "It's like a square. Like a cube."[155]
  • Scanlan: "Hello. What a lovely dinner we had--LIGHTNING!"[156]
  • Scanlan: "You can dwell on the shit, or you can leave it behind in people’s beds and keep going."[157]
  • Scanlan: "You remember what Pike looks like?"
    Elowen Brist: "Yeah, about your size, light-ish hair..."
    Scanlan: "Hair the color of the sunset; eyes like waves that crash in the night; breasts supple, firm–"
    Grog: (interrupting) "Okay, uh, Scanlan, uh, Scanlan–"[158]
  • Grog: "If I pelvic thrust, will you...?"
    Scanlan: "I will grant you cock lightning."[159]
  • Scanlan: "Remember... We met, but you did not meet the meat man."[160]
  • Scanlan (speaking about fusaka): "I’m upstairs, trying to take it anally."[161]
  • Scanlan: I flew too close to the sun. Next time. Next time I'll do things differently. Next time I will find drugs. [..] Look harder. The Meat Man never gives up.[162]


Scanlan's portrait in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.[art 27]

  • The word "scanlan" means "scandal" or "scandalous" in Irish.
    • It is also the surname of Irish composer and musical theater actor William J. Scanlan and the stage name of Walter Van Brunt (who was known to have had a bigamous affair that resulted in a child with his mistress and a divorce from his wife). English guitarist for The Fall, Craig Scanlon, had his surname misspelled as "Scanlan" on every record he featured on for The Fall up until and including the 7" single "Lie Dream of a Casino Soul" in 1981.
    • However, despite its highly appropriate nature, Sam did not choose Scanlan's name deliberately. He rolled for it randomly on a character name generator.
  • Scanlan has the highest charisma score of any player character thus far.
  • In the Critical Role Major Arcana Tarot Card Set, he represents The Fool.
  • When the home game began, Sam had never played before and didn't know what sort of character he wanted to be. Sam asked Liam what the "least cool" character and race combination would be, and ended up choosing to be a gnome bard. This matched his personality in real life as being more silly than imposing and relying more on charm than on skill.[163]
  • Scanlan's background of not really having a father, having mother issues, and being discovered by musicians and growing in fame, as a result, is due to Sam basing him loosely on the rapper Eminem.[163]
  • Scanlan is included in the Critical Role Pack DLC for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.
  • Throughout the course of the Vox Machina: Origins comics, Scanlan frequently broke the fourth wall by making allusions to narrative tropes and the rules of storytelling. For example, he once looked directly at the reader, stating "Now THAT will make a great story!". He also interrupted his party members, saying they wouldn't talk for the rest of the scene, and we could skip their introduction.
  • In the epilogue of "The Chapter Closes" (1x115), Scanlan said that following the defeat of Vecna, he wrote of the adventures of Vox Machina in a book entitled In the Belly of Dragons: The Legend of Scanlan Shorthalt and Vox Machina.[164] By 835 PD, he also wrote a book titled Adventure Sexy: Impress Potential Lovers with Great Deeds.[165]

External Links


  1. See Dungeons & Dragons: Vox Style (by Matthew Mercer) at 2:14.
  2. The story of Scanlan first using the name "Burt Reynolds" was told during a Q&A.  See "Attack on the Duergar Warcamp" (1x04) at 4:02:30.
  3. Vax calls Scanlan "Burt Reynolds" for the first time on-stream while persuading Clarota.  See "Strange Bedfellows" (1x03) at 2:30:58.
  4. See "Glass and Bone" (1x08) at 0:50:49.
  5. See "Denouement" (1x35), part 2, at 40:20.
  6. See "A Traveler's Gamble" (1x66) at 2:35:31.
  7. See "Where the Cards Fall" (1x75) at 3:18:32.
  8. See "Masquerade" (1x99) at 1:33:31.  Scanlan's Marquesian Human disguise for the crime lord known as "The Meat Man"
  9. See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) at 3:55:35.
  10. At the end of the campaign, after Misuthar 812 PD, Sam said Scanlan was 70 years old, and he hoped to finish a book before turning 71.  See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115) at 3:49:23.
  11. Scanlan's letter to Pike, written just a few days into 811 PD in "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50), stated that he was 69 years old.  See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 1:43:37.
  12. See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 3:29:09.
  13. CritRoleStats lists Scanlan as chaotic good
  14. See "A Name Is Earned" (1x49) at 2:32:53.
  15. See "Unfinished Business" (1x100) at 0:36:18.
  16. See "Raishan" (1x80) from 2:56:55 through 2:58:25.
  17. See "Loose Ends" (1x84) at 45:21.
  18. See "Raishan" (1x80) at 2:37:25.
  19. See "The Deceiver's Stand" (1x83) at 2:13:01.
  20. See "A Bard's Lament" (1x85) at 2:12:33.
  21. See "A Bard's Lament" (1x85) at 2:12:46.
  22. Scanlan's level 12 stats were shown onscreen.  See "In Ruins" (1x41) at 1:34:51.
  23. Scanlan's level 14 stats were shown onscreen.  See "A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58) at 0:29:27.
  24. Scanlan completed his reading of the Tome of Leadership and Influence, increasing his Charisma from 20 to 22.  See "Denizens of the Moonbrush" (1x61) at 2:30:55.  See also Sam Riegel's post-episode tweet of his Charisma score of 22.
  25. Scanlan's level 15 stats were shown on-screen.  See "Brawl in the Arches" (1x76) at 1:08:13.
  26. Scanlan's level 16 stats were shown onscreen.  See "Deadly Echoes" (1x82) at 3:09:22.
  27. Scanlan's level 17 stats were shown onscreen.  See "Masquerade" (1x99) at 2:17:27.
  28. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 0:05:55 through 0:07:16.
  29. See "Denouement" (1x35), part 2, at 0:46:46.
  30. See "Gunpowder Plot" (1x31), part 1, from 14:56 through 53:09.
  31. See "A Bard's Lament" (1x85) from 2:03:18 through 2:08:06.
  32. Sam Riegel mentioned on Twitter that Scanlan's sexuality was not completely towards women.
  33. See "Brawl in the Arches" (1x76) at 3:18:45.
  34. See "A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58) at 3:08:11.
  35. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 2:30:00.
  36. See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 3:29:44.
  37. The story of Scanlan first using the name "Burt Reynolds" was told during a Q&A.  See "Attack on the Duergar Warcamp" (1x04) at 4:02:30.
  38. See "The Rematch" (1x23) at 1:39:18.
  39. See "A Traveler's Gamble" (1x66) at 2:35:31.
  40. See "Where the Cards Fall" (1x75) at 3:18:32.
  41. See "Where the Cards Fall" (1x75) from 3:15:48 through 3:19:02.
  42. Kaylie explained her backstory and heritage to Scanlan.  See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) from 1:18:55 through 1:31:03.
  43. See "Curious Tides" (1x89) at 1:13:37.  In 811 PD, Taryon claimed to be 28 years old and remembered that the Dranzel's performing troupe with Scanlan made their appearance when he was 12-13 years old.
  44. See "Talks Machina #17: 'Voice of the Tempest'" (TMx17) at 56:37.  Sam out of character confirmed this story.
  45. Part of this scene is available on Matthew Mercer's Youtube channel.
  46. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 2:59:41 through 3:01:50.
  47. This was a reference to the Les Miserables character of the same name, whom Sam Riegel portrayed as a child.
  48. See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) at 1:25:04.
  49. See "Hope" (1x56) at 3:23:02.
  50. See "Raishan" (1x80) at 2:56:58.
  51. See "A Bard's Lament" (1x85) from 2:03:18 through 2:08:06.
  52. See "A Bard's Lament" (1x85) at 2:49:13.
  53. See "Jugs and Rods" (1x94) at 1:36:02.
  54. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 270.
  55. See "Behind the Curtain" (3x07) at 0:48:45.
  56. See "Unfinished Business" (1x100) at 3:23:11.
  57. See "A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37) at 2:17:55.
  58. See "A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37) at 2:57:44.
  59. See "A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37) at 4:21:06.
  60. See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) at 1:22:29.
  61. See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) from 1:21:26 through 1:30:00.
  62. See "Omens" (1x39) at 2:30:15.
  63. See "Omens" (1x39) at 2:58:53.
  64. See "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50) from 2:56:31 through 2:59:47.
  65. See "Test of Pride" (1x51) from 11:25 through 20:00.
  66. See "Hope" (1x56) at 3:23:14.
  67. See "At Dawn, We Plan!" (1x53) at 2:52:55.
  68. See "A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58) at 3:07:10.
  69. See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115) at 3:44:18.
  70. See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115) from 3:54:38 through 3:58:34.
  71. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 268.
  72. See "The Frigid Doom" (1x64) at 3:52:10.
  73. See "The Elephant in the Room" (1x72) from 46:44 through 47:41.
  74. See "Hope" (1x56) at 3:22:12.
  75. 75.0 75.1 75.2 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 271.
  76. See "Denizens of the Moonbrush" (1x61) at 26:20.
  77. See "The Temple Showdown" (1x11) at 1:02:29.
  78. See "Strange Bedfellows" (1x03) at 0:48:58.
  80. See "Gunpowder Plot" (1x31), part 2, at 0:50:50.
  81. See "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) at 39:08.
  82. See "Enter Vasselheim" (1x16) from 0:16:48 through 0:20:44.  Scanlan trades the Circlet of Concentration to Tiberius Stormwind in exchange for the Ioun Stone.
  83. The Mythcarver was obtained from Kamaljiori.  See "A Name Is Earned" (1x49) at 4:44:17.
  84. The Mythcarver was actually given to Scanlan after Matt ended the game.  See "A Name Is Earned" (1x49) at 4:50:22.
  85. See "Trust" (1x70) from 1:59:45 through 2:01:21.
  86. See "Masquerade" (1x99) from 2:41:35 through 2:42:00.
  87. See "Strange Bedfellows" (1x03) at 1:09:59.
  88. See "In the Belly of the Beast" (1x54) at 20:35.
  89. Scanlan still has the Wand in the final fight against Sylas Briarwood.  See "Dalen's Closet" (Sx47) at 3:23:07.
  90. Wand of Magic Missiles was obtained from a duergar in the Underdark.  See "Strange Bedfellows" (1x03) from 18:27 through 20:10.
  91. See "Strange Bedfellows" (1x03) at 0:48:58.
  92. See "Enter Vasselheim" (1x16) from 0:16:48 through 0:20:44.  Scanlan trades the Circlet of Concentration to Tiberius Stormwind in exchange for the Ioun Stone.
  93. See "Raishan" (1x80) from 1:21:45 through 1:23:05.
  94. See "In the Belly of the Beast" (1x54) at 0:20:35.
  95. See "Hubris" (1x17) at 18:06.
  96. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 2:35:58.
  97. See "Hope" (1x56) from 3:15:44 through 3:16:43.
  98. See "Vorugal" (1x71) from 2:21:50 through 2:23:40.
  99. See "Hope" (1x56) at 3:24:19.
  100. See "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) at 1:04:39.
  101. See "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) at 27:12.
  102. See "Denizens of the Moonbrush" (1x61) at 2:30:55.
  103. See "The Streets of Ank'Harel" (1x65) at 31:49.
  104. See "Stoke the Flames" (1x30) at 56:16.  Scanlan's level 11 stat card shows his HP is 66.
  105. See "Gunpowder Plot" (1x31) at 12:51.  Scanlan's HP is 101 when his level 12 stat card is shown on the screen, indicating a 35 point jump in one level with no change to his constitution score, which is only possible by taking the Tough feat
  106. War Caster feat was first mentioned when Scanlan used it to cast a spell as a reaction against Rimefang.  See "Trial of the Take: Part 2" (1x19) at 2:50:07.
  107. Matt referred to this feat when Scanlan successfully maintained concentration of Hold Person on Kevdak.  See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 1:35:16.
  108. Matt referred to this feat when Scanlan successfully maintained concentration of Hold Person on Kevdak.  See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 1:46:38.
  109. See "Reunions" (1x33), part 1, at 1:49:13.  Scanlan casts Counterspell.
  110. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) at 2:59:42.  Scanlan casts Lightning Bolt.
  111. See "Into the Greyspine Mines" (1x02) at 1:50:33.
  112. See "Cloak and Dagger" (1x68) at 2:22:48.
  113. See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 58:17.  Scanlan's Bardic Inspiration gives a d12 die.
  114. See "Into the Greyspine Mines" (1x02) at 1:54:25.  Scanlan used his Countercharm ability.
  115. See "Deadly Echoes" (1x82) at 3:04:19.  Scanlan's song of rest gives the party an extra d12 when rolling hit die.
  116. See "Escape from the Underdark" (1x13) at 2:16:06.  Scanlan casts Friends.
  117. See "Denouement" (1x35), part 1, at 46:26.  Scanlan casts Mage Hand.
  118. See "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25) at 34:50.  Scanlan casts Message.
  119. See "Yug'Voril Uncovered" (1x09) at 1:22:13.  Scanlan casts Minor Illusion.
  120. See "The Throne Room" (1x07) at 1:36:14.  Scanlan casts Vicious Mockery.
  121. See "The Fate-Touched" (1x103) at 0:42:22.  Scanlan casts Wristpocket.
  122. Wristpocket is a homebrew spell created by Matt. Sam posted the spell information for it (on Reddit.)
  123. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) at 40:03.  Scanlan casts Healing Word.
  124. See "Breaching the Emberhold" (1x06) at 1:18:24.  Scanlan casts Thunderwave.
  125. See "Into the Greyspine Mines" (1x02) at 47:03.  Scanlan casts Unseen Servant.
  126. See "Glass and Bone" (1x08) at 1:58:20.  Scanlan casts Blindness.
  127. See "Yug'Voril Uncovered" (1x09) at 1:07:30.  Scanlan casts Hold Person.
  128. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) at 1:57:22.  Scanlan casts Invisibility.
  129. See "The Throne Room" (1x07) at 3:15:05.  Scanlan casts Suggestion.
  130. See "Reunions" (1x33), part 1, at 1:49:13.  Scanlan casts Counterspell.
  131. See "Into the Greyspine Mines" (1x02) at 2:50:05.  Scanlan casts Dispel Magic.
  132. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) at 2:59:42.  Scanlan casts Lightning Bolt.
  133. See "Path of Brass" (1x74) at 2:34:41.  Scanlan casts Major Image.
  134. See "Into the Greyspine Mines" (1x02) at 2:39:37.  Scanlan casts Stinking Cloud.
  135. See "Attack on the Duergar Warcamp" (1x04) at 2:29:29.  Scanlan casts Banishment.
  136. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) at 2:03:18.  Scanlan casts Dimension Door.
  137. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:28:42.  Scanlan casts Dominate Beast.
  138. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 1:58:30.  Scanlan casts Otiluke's Resilient Sphere.
  139. See "Into the Greyspine Mines" (1x02) at 2:11:35.  Scanlan casts Polymorph.
  140. See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 1:10:39.  Scanlan casts Bigby's Hand.
  141. See "Attack on the Duergar Warcamp" (1x04) at 2:07:29.  Scanlan casts Dominate Person.
  142. See "The Climb Within" (1x110) at 2:04:54.  Scanlan casts Greater Restoration.
  143. See "The Frigid Doom" (1x64) at 12:30.  Scanlan casts Modify Memory.
  144. See "Hubris" (1x17) at 2:12:44.  Scanlan casts Seeming.
  145. See "Trial of the Take: Part 2" (1x19) at 2:15:37.  Scanlan casts Eyebite.
  146. See "Critical Role One-Shot: Epic Level Battle Royale" (Sx30) at 49:43.  Scanlan casts Otto's Irresistible Dance.
  147. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 13:23.  Scanlan casts Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion.
  148. See "Cloak and Dagger" (1x68) at 2:52:26.  Scanlan casts Reverse Gravity.
  149. See "Vorugal" (1x71) at 2:26:02.  Scanlan casts Dominate Monster.
  150. See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 2:31:59.  Scanlan casts True Polymorph.
  151. See "The Final Ascent" (1x113) at 39:04.  Scanlan casts Wish (replicating Simulacrum).
  152. See "Dalen's Closet" (Sx47) at 4:05:37.
  153. See "Vox Machina Go to Hell" (1x91) at 0:33:57.  Scanlan was mentioned.
  154. See "Glass and Bone" (1x08) at 50:49.
  155. See "Yug'Voril Uncovered" (1x09) at 1:49:53.
  156. See "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25) at 1:34:31.
  157. See "Those Who Walk Away" (1x45) at 2:32:37.
  158. See "Into the Frostweald" (1x48) at 48:00.
  159. See "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50) at 1:48:44.
  160. See "A Traveler's Gamble" (1x66) at 2:37:09.
  161. See "A Traveler's Gamble" (1x66) at 2:48:43.
  162. See "A Traveler's Gamble" (1x66) at 2:54:38.
  163. 163.0 163.1 Critical Role's Sam Riegel: from noob to gnome hero
  164. See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115) at 3:48:38.
  165. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 243.


  1. Official 2016 portrait of Scanlan, by Kit Buss (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. Screenshot of Scanlan from "The Terror of Tal'Dorei - Part 2" (LVM1x02). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  3. Scanlan at the end of Vox Machina's journey, by Kit Buss (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  4. Official Scanlan Pop! figure.Critical Role Shop
  5. First official portrait of Scanlan, by Kit Buss (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  6. Scanlan meets Keyleth, by Olivia Samson ([Vox Machina Origins Volume I Issue #4 source]). Used with permission.
  7. Scanlan's magic, by Olivia Samson ([Vox Machina Origins Volume I Issue #4 source]). Used with permission.
  8. Fan art of Scanlan Shorthalt grieving over Pike Trickfoot's death before the stream, by Joana Carvalho (source). Used with permission.
  9. Fan art of Scanlan Shorthalt, by Andrew Keller (source). Used with permission.
  10. Fan art of Scanlan bowing while wearing a cowbell, by Jessica Huegel (@Cryptobaffling) (source). Used with permission.
  11. Fan art of Scanlan vs. the Duke, by Lap Pun Cheung (source). Used with permission.
  12. Fan art of Percy yells at Scanlan for throwing the List into an acid pit, by Wendy Sullivan Green (source). Used with permission.
  13. Fan art of the flute duel between Kaylie and Scanlan, by Thomas Brin (source). Used with permission.
  14. Fan art of Kaylie in the stockade, by Markus Price (source). Used with permission.
  15. Fan art of Scanlan's painting, by Thomas Brin (source). Used with permission.
  16. Fan art of Scanlan's Magnificent Mansion, by Lap Pun Cheung (source). Used with permission.
  17. Fan art of Scanlan to the rescue, by Lap Pun Cheung (source). Used with permission.
  18. Fan art of Scanlan after learning that he was scammed: fusaka is not an illegal drug, by Hugo Cardenas (source). Used with permission.
  19. Fan art of Kaylie playing the violin for her part in Scanlan's resurrection ritual, by advocatingAvian (source). Used with permission.
  20. Fan art of Scanlan leaving with Kaylie, by Lap Pun Cheung (source). Used with permission.
  21. Fan art of Scanlan as the Champion of Ioun, by David Rodrigues (source). Used with permission.
  22. Official art of Scanlan, 20 years later, by GalacticJonah (source). Used with permission.
  23. Fan art of Kaylie preparing to attack Scanlan[60], by advocatingAvian (source). Used with permission.
  24. Fan art of the Mythcarver, one of the Vestiges of the Divergence, by David Rodrigues (source). Used with permission.
  25. Fan art of To Kill a God, by Clara (source). Used with permission.
  26. Fan art of Scanlan using Bigby's Hand, by David Rodrigues (source). Used with permission.
  27. Scanlan's portrait in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.[1]