"The Core Anvil" (1x108) is the ninth episode of the eighth chapter of Critical Role. Upon finding the Core Anvil and the forge guardian that protects it, Vox Machina attempt to create the divine trammels that will aid in their fight against Vecna.

Synopsis Edit

Announcements Edit

  • Gen Con: Tickets are almost gone for the live show. The Tal'Dorei campaign guide will be debuted at the con. There will also be a live panel.
  • Merch update: a clip is shown to announce the Major Arcana Tarot Deck, featuring art of characters from Critical Role. The art was drawn by Ioana Muresan.
  • Critical Role podcast: now available up to episode 30, with the next batch of ten pending.
  • Back episodes are now available on Alpha with retroactive HP trackers and overlays.
  • Talks Machina, next Tuesday at 7 PM Pacific with Brian Foster.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

"Vox Machina, in trying to find a way to seal off the growing threat of Vecna, now restored to physical form and seeking ascension and achieving it, [have] gone to a number of the deities across the Exandria pantheon of the Prime Gods. [You have gained] some blessings and bits of essence from these deities to create something called a Prime Trammel, an item that was used previously during the Calamity to seal one of the Betrayer Gods. It could possibly put an end to Vecna's newly ascended form and reign as the only god on the Prime Material Plane, across the Divine Gate.

"Information given to you by the Knowing Mistress sent you beneath an underwater volcano, known as Scaldseat, where you proceeded to learn how to breathe water and then step into toxic fume-filled tunnels where you proceeded to breath through the water via Grog's jug. Finding your way through a short battle with some of the indigenous life forms there, a mother and two children magma bulettes, you head down deeper into the volcanic caverns of Scaldseat.

"[You found] a long-sealed series of chambers by The Allhammer, the deity for craft, family, and legacy, where somewhere, supposedly beneath this volcano, and hopefully within these long-sealed chambers, lies the Core Anvil where these Prime Trammels can be constructed. As you made your way through here, hearing the undulating, reverberating pounding of some distant piece of machinery, heading down the stairs, you were put into a hexagonal chamber which had a square of coals. Above that, x bars against the wall where, in the center, you saw a gold inlaid seal with an empty triangular shape, like a pyramid inverted, and a series of these iron warriors that were embedded in the walls. Behind the stairway, you saw means of smelting metal and other forms of material.

"When Percival was inspecting one of these warriors, it immediately came to life and you watched as the glowing outline of each one of these ten foot tall metallic warriors glowed bright orange. They each emerged from the walls with these large two-handed greatswords at their side and immediately began to incite conflict."[1]

Part I Edit

Vox Machina dive into combat with the three metal constructs. One by one, they defeat the constructs, though taking significant damage in the process. After combat, Grog removes the three heads from the constructs so they have better access to the mold-like indentations in their faces.

The party decide to first try smelting platinum into the molds. Grog works the smelter, melting down 100 platinum pieces per mold to create three imperfect pyramids that all fit together like a puzzle piece. Percy places the jigsawed pyramid into the golden seal on the far wall, but nothing happens. This perplexes them for a little while. They try heating up the pieces, but that does nothing either.

Finally, Vex suggests making the pyramid pieces out of gold instead, to match the seal. They do that, re-assemble the pyramid, and put it into the seal. With that, the door opens.

On the other side of the door is a room filled with black smoke, with two pools of lava in the floor. On the far side is a sparking engine of some sort, the source of the mechanical pounding noise they've been hearing. In the middle of the room is a raised platform holding a massive anvil -- the Core Anvil of The Allhammer -- with chains dangling off to each side of it. Looming over the anvil, they see a massive, but motionless, stone guardian.

Preparing for another fight, Keyleth summons a water elemental. Vax sneaks ahead to get a closer look around the room. As nothing happens, Percy then leads the way forward onto the platform. The guardian retreats from the anvil, stops, and turns around, holding up a giant, cleaver-like sword with the flat facing out. As Grog steps up to the anvil, the guardian tilts the blade so that the edge faces forward. Grog steps away, and the blade is tilted to the flat again.

They spend more time trying to understand the guardian's purpose, but glean little from it. Vex decides to fire an Oracle Arrow behind it to get a better look at the machinery. The guardian takes this as a sign of aggression, cuts the chain holding the door open, and springs into a combat-ready stance.

Break Edit

Part II Edit

The guardian is a formidable opponent, and Vox Machina are already somewhat drained from their previous encounters that day. Vax gets knocked unconscious, but stabilizes. Scanlan also gets knocked unconscious and, falling into the lava, very nearly dies before Vex is able to rescue him. Keyleth, polymorphed as a planetar, gets the final blow on the guardian, which powers down and cedes the Core Anvil to them.

With the guardian defeated, the party take a short rest. Grog starts inspecting the anvil and all of the tools around it. Scanlan and Grog together open the door back into the first chamber, so they can have access to the smelter.

The Core Anvil - Lap Pun Cheung

Fan art of the Core Anvil, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 1]

The process to forge their Prime Trammels begins as they melt down a total of 4500 platinum coins, 1500 per trammel, as raw material, refining the metal into large ingots. Grog then takes the first bead of divinity -- the one from Ioun -- smashes it on the Anvil, and folds the powdered remains into the first ingot. With aid from Keyleth and Scanlan in the form of spells and inspiration, he does the same with the bead from Pelor, but has trouble with the one from the Raven Queen. Vax promises to give him something really cool if he does it, so Grog tries again and succeeds on the third attempt.

Grog takes the three blanks of divine-infused platinum and twists them into long, spiraling spikes.
Here's a little song I wrote!

It's good for inspiration, note for note:

Don't fuck up or I'll kill you.
Scanlan's inspiration to Percy (to the tune of "Don't Worry, Be Happy")[2]
He then hands the hammer over to Percy, who attunes to it and finds that he can will it into the shape of a smaller ball-peen hammer. Using that smaller hammer, and guided by the knowledge from Ioun, he inscribes intricate runes onto the surfaces of the trammels, one by one. He has some trouble on the second trammel, nearly cracking it, but finishes all three. The trammels complete, Percy then faints from the pressure.

Featured Characters Edit

Vox Machina Edit

New Edit

Returning Edit

Mentioned Edit

Inventory Edit

Quotations Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. See "The Core Anvil" (1x108) from 7:30 through 10:25.
  2. See "The Core Anvil" (1x108) at 4:20:35.


  1. Fan art of the Core Anvil, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.

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