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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.

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"The Darkness Within" (LVM1x12) is the twelfth and final episode of the first season of The Legend of Vox Machina. Vox Machina has stopped the Briarwoods’ evil ritual, but at a heavy cost. As they flee the Ziggurat to save one of their own, Percy is eager to take revenge on their prisoner, Delilah Briarwood. When Vex implores him to let go of his vengeance, Percy must confront the darkness within himself.

Plot summary

Still in the temple, Vax tries unsuccessfully to revive Keyleth. Vex gives him an elixir, but it doesn't seem to work, and Keyleth's veins begin to grow dark. Scanlan realizes that the spinning orb prevents the effects of magic. As this happens, Percy threatens a dejected and badly wounded Delilah Briarwood, and seemingly dismisses Keyleth as a lost cause, leading Vex to angrily shout at him. Vox Machina leaves the temple, with Cassandra taking Delilah with them. As the party leaves the ziggurat, Grog finds Sylas's sword and takes it. He also relieves Vax of carrying Keyleth. Scanlan tests whether magic is possible by playing his lute, and the party stops when he finds a place where it is, the residuum refinery. Vax calls for another elixir as Keyleth's condition worsens, but they don't have any more. Vax begins to cry, and Vex comforts him, but he then notices Keyleth's pouch of herbs and recalls how Keyleth healed Cassandra. With Scanlan's help, he tries to heal Keyleth.

Percy and Cassandra drag Delilah over to the group. Cassandra angrily questions her, but Delilah only tells her that she has been abandoned by The Whispered One. Percy threatens her with The List, and Delilah does not resist, but the party notices Orthax's smoke again as Percy tells Delilah he will torture her first for what she did to his family. Scanlan tries to intervene, and Orthax throws him across the room. Cassandra, Scanlan, and Vex realize how severe Orthax's possession of Percy is, but when Vex tells this to Percy, Orthax responds. Keyleth wakes up and tells Vox Machina that Percy is under the control of a demon, and that if Orthax is given what it wants, Percy's soul will be lost. Vax calls out as Vex steps in front of Percy and asks him to take off his mask, even as Orthax has Percy point the gun at her. Percy takes off the mask, and begins crying as he fights Orthax's possession. Percy then points the gun at himself, unsure of another way to stop Orthax, and he and Orthax begin fighting.

Orthax's form becomes clear to the rest of the party, and a controlled Percy grabs Vex by the throat. Vax goes to help her, but Keyleth tells him that Percy is the only one who stop Orthax. The rest of Vox Machina instead works to prevent Percy, controlled by Orthax, from killing Delilah. Percy fights internally against Orthax, who begins to make him hallucinate Byron Anders lecturing him on vengeance and forgiveness while Sylas Briarwood threatens Cassandra. Percy shoots at Anders and Sylas in his vision, and at his party members in the real world. He then hallucinates the dinner party where the Briarwoods killed his family, Kerrion Stonefell threatening them, and his parents begging he avenge them, and he again shoots, as the party tries to dodge his bullets or restrain him. As Percy holds Scanlan at gunpoint, believing him to be Stonefell, he hears Vex's voice through the vision calling on him to fight against Orthax. He stops and turns towards Orthax in his vision, asking it who it is. Orthax explains that Percy's own desire for revenge summoned it, and they made a pact in the process of making his first gun.

As Percy struggles, Vex tells Cassandra to try to break through to him. Cassandra tells Percy that she understands why he feels the way he does, but that he needs to regain control so that he won't hurt anyone he cares about. As she speaks, Vex's name, and then Grog's, appear on the barrels of The List. Percy again hallucinates his enemies, this time as they shot Cassandra with arrows during their attempted escape, and points the gun at the party. Orthax's power pushes everyone back, and Percy/Orthax points the gun at Delilah again. Vex calls out to him again, telling him that he will lose his soul if he kills Delilah, and Orthax tells Percy that he knows who to trust. Percy tells Orthax he does, and with his other hand, pushes the gun out of the way of Delilah as it fires, shooting a hole in his own hand as he does. Orthax screams out and disappears, with a whisp of smoke entering back into the gun.

Cassandra rushes over to Percy and asks if he's back to himself again, and he answers that he is. Delilah taunts him for not killing her when he had the chance, and begins speaking of what the Whispered One will do to the world. She prepares to cast a spell, but Cassandra kills her with her rapier.

As the party turns to leave, Percy goes to pick up The List, but Scanlan gets there first. Percy claims the gun itself isn't a problem, but Scanlan throws it into one of the pools of acid, where Orthax briefly arises and screams again before subsiding. Percy thanks Scanlan and the rest of the party, and they leave the chamber.

Above ground, the people of Whitestone clean up the corpses of the zombies and thank Vox Machina for saving them. The party enjoys their renown to varying degrees, and as they stand by the Sun Tree, Cassandra asks Percy what he will do next. Percy tells Cassandra that she would be a better leader than he would, and she smiles. Vax and Keyleth also speak by the Sun Tree: Vax tells Keyleth that he meant his declaration of love, and Keyleth tells him that she appreciates it but she isn't in a place to reciprocate right now.

Vex asks Keeper Yennen if she saw Ripley escape from the palace, and Yennen tells her she did not. Scanlan then asks about the "spinning orb of death", and Yennen tells him that a holy man had gone to investigate its extraplanar origins. A jump cut shows that the man was torn apart and sucked into the orb when he reached out towards it, but Yennen is not yet aware of it.

The party decides to return to Emon. Grog goes to find horses, but Keyleth reveals that she's learned a new spell that allows her to transport people through trees. With a little encouragement from Vex, she opens a portal to Emon in the Sun Tree. As she does, a few leaves sprout on the once nearly-dead tree. The party leaves through the portal.

Back in the keep, Percy works on new weapon designs, a green jewel in the bullet hole in his hand, as the rest of the party enjoys some down time. Scanlan tells them all he's written a song in honor of their adventures, but they are interrupted by Jarett Howarth calling them to the Cloudtop District on the summons of the Sovereign.

When Vox Machina arrive, Gilmore greets Vax and reveals that while he's not sure what Sovereign Uriel intends, all the Tal'Dorei Council is in attendance. Uriel addresses the crowd, and tells them that because his judgement had been compromised in the face of various threats, and Vox Machina had saved the city instead, he believes that leadership by a group is superior to leadership by one person. He announces that he is stepping down from the throne and ceding rule to the Council instead. As he continues to speak, Vex suddenly feels the presence of dragons. Bells begin to toll, and four massive dragons appear, flying towards the palace.

Credits

Cast

End credits list main cast, then guest cast in alphabetical order.

Crew

Featured characters

Vox Machina

Returning

New

Mentioned

Quotations

  • Vex'ahlia: (to Percy) I know you're in there. Darling, take off the mask.[1]
  • Vax'ildan: (to Keyleth) Uh... I, uh... um... I'm going to walk away.[2]
  • Percy: (after Scanlan tosses The List into acid) Do you know how much that cost? How bloody long it will take me to make ano-- (Orthax rises from the acid pool as he dissolves) Well, I'll be damned. Thank you, Scanlan. All of you, for this second chance.
    Keyleth: (to Scanlan) Hey, how'd you know that demon was still in there?
    Scanlan: Total guess.[3]
  • Sovereign Uriel: (upon seeing the Chroma Conclave approach Emon) Gods above us…[4]

Trivia

References

  1. See "The Darkness Within" (LVM1x12) at 05:06.
  2. See "The Darkness Within" (LVM1x12) at 18:36.
  3. See "The Darkness Within" (LVM1x12) at 15:49.
  4. See "The Darkness Within" (LVM1x12) at 24:44.

Art:

  1. Episode thumbnail of Percival confronting Orthax, by Titmouse from "The Darkness Within" (LVM1x12). 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.
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