"The Deceiver's Stand" (1x83) is the fourteenth episode of the sixth chapter of Critical Role. Raishan and Vox Machina have their final confrontation.

Synopsis

Announcements

  • Sam does an ad for Marvel Puzzle Quest where he gets literally every name wrong
  • Marisha plugs Talks Machina and a 30 day free trial on Alpha with promo code
  • Matt, Marisha, Laura, and Travis are in Milwaukee February 17-19
  • Laura plugged the merch on the web store
  • International Tabletop Day on April 29th
  • Liam and Taliesin are playing For Honor on the Geek & Sundry Twitch stream tomorrow

Previously on Critical Role

"Vox Machina—having spent a period of time battling with the Chroma Conclave, a collection of evil and allied chromatic dragons that terrorized the Tal'Dorei countryside—they've acquired artifacts called the Vestiges of the Divergence after traversing the planes and locations to gather allies.

"They made war on the current occupying armies of Thordak the Cinder King in the center of the capital city of Emon, managed to eke out a victory, destroying Thordak, and apparently going into battle with a dragon they had made an alliance with known as Raishan, the Diseased Deceiver, a member of the Conclave [with whom] they had a very tenuous agreement together.

"After being nearly killed by Raishan as she flew the coop, essentially, [Vox Machina] managed to collect the remaining armies of the city, make sure everyone was okay, [they] ran into an old friend from Westruun here, Kerrek, who had brought a number of his able-bodied warriors with him to aid in this battle.

"[They] then made [their] way to Whitestone with Kerrek to ascertain the location of Raishan, the Diseased Deceiver, which apparently she had absconded to what was called the Island of Viscan. It used to belong to a necromancer and then briefly became the lair of Thordak the Cinder King before his original attack on Tal'Dorei roughly sixteen years ago.

"[Vox Machina] then gathered [their] weapons, [their] armor, and [their] reserved strength, and with a couple of allies traversed through teleportation all the way to this island. [They] managed to battle [their] way through a deep dungeon that once this necromancer called his home, going past traps and chasms filled with undead and gravity reversed through magical means.

"[They] made [their] way into a small tunnel just past this area into what seemed to split into two sides; behind that, what appeared to be the necromancer's sanctum, some sort of a necrotic laboratory, where [they] discovered there within two of the eggs of Thordak's lair that were taken by Raishan, the corpse of Thordak folded in the corner, and apparently Raishan's female human form currently poring through books and rummaging through what currently appears to be the relatively untouched necropolis chamber."[1]

Part I

As the party walks up upon Raishan, her back still turned to them, she tells them all to leave and continues looking through the books on the wall. There are piles of corpses in two cages within the chamber. Keyleth asks Raishan if she'd found what she was looking for, and she says that she's discovered Thordak's original intent and that it might help her with her disease. The party moves to strategic places behind Raishan, and she again tells them to leave or be killed and fall amongst the undead of the island.

Keyleth speaks to Raishan, telling her that she hopes she never becomes as selfish and hateful as Raishan is. Raishan again tells them they can hold up their end of the bargain and go their separate ways. In return, Keyleth tells Raishan to surrender now and face trial amongst the people of Tal'Dorei. She indignantly declines, and says that she is actually in need of some powerful magic users and that this cavern contains tools to aid her in controlling them. Vex and Vax attempt to Hunter's Mark Raishan, but there is nothing physical in the space where she is standing.

Vax and Percy, not seeing where Raishan herself is hiding, take shots at each of the dragon eggs. They are both destroyed, and the limp body of a baby primordial dragonkin falls out of one of them. The image of Raishan bows to them and vanishes, and Raishan's wings can be heard flapping in the corridor behind them. Scanlan uses his Horn of Fog to fill the corridor, allowing the party to barely make out her form in the writhing fog. Two wraiths rise from the cages in the room and one of them attacks Grog before Kerrek and Vax can destroy it.

After a few blows from Vox Machina and friends, Raishan unleashes a devastating Meteor Swarm spell on the entire party, knocking out Allura, Kerrek, and Trinket and destroying the other wraith. Cabal's Ruin absorbs some of the energy of the spell and magically extends, growing into its exhalted state. Scanlan uses Healing Word on Allura, bringing her back up in time to attempt to Counterspell a Disintegrate that is cast at Pike, but the Counterspell fails. Pike is revived by her Plate of the Dawnmartyr.

Raishan then casts Cone of Cold on most of the party, knocking out Pike, Scanlan, and Allura. Kima gets Kerrek up with Lay on Hands while Keyleth heals Pike with Healing Word. Keyleth then unleashes Firestorm on Raishan, which also burns away the fog in the corridor. Vax heals Scanlan with Lay on Hands also, while Vex uses Cure Wounds on Allura.

Fan art of Keyleth casting Feeblemind, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 1]

As a few more hits are scored against Raishan, she savagely attacks Scanlan, killing him instantly. Allura uses Dispel Magic on Raishan's Inivisibility and the dragon's large, diseased form becomes visible in the chamber. Pike attempts a Revivify on Scanlan, but it fails. Allura tells Keyleth "You have to finish this!" and Keyleth uses Feeblemind on Raishan, turning her from a calculating, intelligent adversary to a feral beast. The party lands several blows on the dragon and she savagely attacks Percy, killing him. Kerrek steps between Percy's body and the beast and delivers a final blow on the dragon's head with his glowing Dusk Hammer. Raishan the Diseased Deceiver falls dead.

Break

A short ad for Marvel Puzzle Quest and a Critical Role fanart reel are played on a loop.

Part II

The members of the party that are still standing call out to each other, making sure everyone is alright. There is obviously no answer from Percy or Scanlan. Grog asks about Scanlan, and Vax goes to Scanlan's body. Vex runs over to Percy, where she sees Kerrek trying in vain to tend to his wounds. She calls out for Pike, who rushes over and casts Revivify successfully, bringing Percy back to consciousness. Grog again asks for Scanlan, and Vax walks over to him, holding Scanlan's body.

No.... No. No! Fix him! FIX HIM!!
– 
[!h]

Grog angrily tells the group to do something, but Scanlan is beyond any of their aid here in this chamber. Percy says that they need to get him to a temple and they need to find Scanlan's daughter. Allura says that she still has use of a Teleport spell, but when she tries it there is no effect. Trying to see what is barring the spell, Pike casts Detect Magic and finds a few vials and a book, but there is a faint magical essence all around the place. They notice a locked door on the opposite side of the chamber, but when Grog smashes through it with his Titanstone Knuckles the cavern caves in behind it. Pike puts the evil-looking book in the 'Bag of Holding, and Percy quickly grabs whatever he can from around the room to put in it as well.

Keyleth, checking for any reaction, jams the Spire of Conflux into one of the wounds in Raishan's body. The staff bolts upright and Keyleth lets go of it. The black marks of Raishan's disease spread to her entire body and the corpse withers to a husk, and the staff falls to the ground. Kerrek steps on a trap in the chamber and he is locked in place, his muscles tensed in searing pain until Allura uses Dispel Magic to remove whatever caused it.

They all move outside the chamber and Percy fishes Scanlan's Wand of Fireball out of his pockets. With help from Keyleth and Allura, he ignites the chamber in a roaring blaze. With Vax still carrying Scanlan's body, the party shuttles everyone back across the chasm on the flying carpet with no issue now that the gravity trap is deactivated.

They fly up the stairway and into the tunnel leading to the brazier trap, where they are accosted by four Flameskulls again. They make quick work of three of them, and Kerrek charges at the fourth to draw its fire and keep the rest of the group safe. He's hit with two Fire Rays, but he charges forward and smashes it with his Dusk Hammer, clearing the path. They move upward and out of the entrance, Vex retrieving the Immovable Rods. Allura tries to use Teleportation Circle to send them all back to Greyskull Keep, but she vanishes and there is a electric spark from the circle. Kima says that it doesn't usually look like that. She dives in after Allura, and the rest of the party does not follow. Keyleth is able to concentrate on a Scry spell while riding on the flying carpet and sees Allura and Kima in the ocean, treading water.

They all move further out and stop at the beach, where there are trees that are big enough to use with Transport via Plants. Keyleth takes a look out on the water, and miraculously spots some movement far off in the distance. Vex flies out that direction on her broom and gets to them seemingly just in time to save them from drowning. Allura holds onto the broom and to Kima, and Vex pulls them back towards the shore. Percy takes the carpet out toward them and Allura uses Dimension Door to send the two of them onto it and to safety. They return and the party all gathers together and Keyleth tries Transport via Plants on a tree. It opens up more slowly than usual, as if the spell is fighting something, but finally Keyleth can see Whitestone on the other side and they all rush in.

As they move to the temple of the Raven Queen, Keyleth uses the Scrying Eye while on the carpet to find Kaylie. She sees her drinking in a pub in Kymal. Percy goes to Cassandra to retrieve the other Gate Stone, and Vex flies off to find Gilmore for help. Gilmore can't get to Kymal because there is no teleportation sigil there, but he thinks he can get help elsewhere.

Vax lays Scanlan's body down in the temple. He speaks to the Raven Queen, telling her that Scanlan has done much for her in the past few days. Outside, Keyleth asks Grog to speak to Scanlan and try to convince his spirit to return. Kerrek asks Percy what's going on, and Percy explains that it's difficult to "cut through" to where Scanlan is and that his daughter has a better chance. Kerrek seems shaken by the idea of resurrection.

Gilmore and Vex head to the castle and find Percy there. He gives Vex the Gate Stone. Gilmore asks the guards where Eskil Ryndarien is. They point him toward the Ziggurat. Gilmore and Vex meet him on the way down to the Ziggurat and he agrees to take Vex to Kymal, but he can't send them back today. They Teleport to Kymal, and Vex quickly finds the place where Keyleth saw Kaylie. Vex pleads with Kaylie to help her father and she agrees, using the Gate Stone to go to Whitestone.

Featured Characters

Vox Machina

New

Returning

Appeared

Mentioned

Inventory

Quotations

My want for revenge against you, while still strong and very palpable, I now understand was ultimately selfish only in the sense that everyone else in Tal'Dorei should share in the revelry of bringing you to justice. I am not the only one-- we are not the only ones-- who have felt the ramifications of your destructive actions. And as much as I would like to make do on my promise that I told you weeks ago, and end your life right now, I desperately want the rest of Tal'Dorei to feel that satisfaction as well. So. You surrender now, you come with us under means of temporary control, we take you back... and you face trial amongst the Tal'Dorei Council, the people of the Ashari, and on behalf of the rest of the citizens of Exandria. If you choose to not take this offer, then I guess we will see whose final resting place it will be in this cave.
– 
[!h]
  • Raishan: Why won't you all just stay down and die with dignity?
    Vex: We don't do anything with dignity.[4]

Trivia

  • This episode marks the second time that Scanlan has died and the second time that Percy has died.
    • These are the seventh and eighth on-stream deaths of player characters, and the ninth and tenth overall.
  • This is the first episode where a Revivify spell failed.

External Links

References

  1. The recap.  See "The Deceiver's Stand" (1x83) from 10:06 through 12:30.
  2. See "The Deceiver's Stand" (1x83) at 3:12:29.
  3. See "The Deceiver's Stand" (1x83) at 30:42.
  4. See "The Deceiver's Stand" (1x83) at 1:59:38.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Keyleth casting Feeblemind, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.


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