"The Echo Tree" (1x63) is the seventh episode of the fifth chapter of Critical Role.  The members of Vox Machina prepare for their final approach to the cancerous tree, including a discussion between Keyleth and, seemingly, the bog itself.  The tree opens to them, and Vex'ahlia is offered a disturbing choice...

Synopsis Edit

Pre-Show Edit

The following pre-show content was removed from the final Geek & Sundry YouTube video:

  • The updated Critical Role fan art appreciation video aired.

Announcements Edit

The following announcement content was removed from the final Geek & Sundry YouTube video:

  • The previous week's episode, "Uninviting Waters" (1x62), was performed live at Gen Con, and the cast enjoyed meeting all the Critters there.  The studio now seems quiet to Travis after the crowd at the theatre!
  • LootCrate is once again sponsoring Critical Role.  Use for a $3 discount off the subscription cost.
    • LootCrate now also offers LootWear bags with apparel.
  • The Critical Role campaign setting book series was announced at Gen Con.  Matthew Mercer is writing it with the aid of James and Ryan at Geek & Sundry.  The first book on Tal'Dorei will be out in Spring 2017 (northern hemisphere).
  • Marisha Ray's new run of Signal Boost! with Matt Key started this week in episode 17, "Doctor Strange Love".
  • Episode 1 of the new Batman: The Telltale Series was released, with Travis Willingham playing Harvey Dent and Laura Bailey playing Catwoman.
  • World of WarCraft: Legion is in early release, with Liam O'Brien voicing Illidan Stormrage and Taliesin Jaffe voicing the male night elf demon hunter playable character.  Matthew Mercer voices several characters, including Aluneth, Greatstaff of the Magna (the arcane mage's artifact staff).
  • The 50th anniversary live-action opening credits aired after the announcements.

Previously on Critical Role Edit

Vox Machina, having to find and collect the artifacts known as the Vestiges of Divergence to prepare themselves for battle against the Chroma Conclave, a group of extremely dangerous, ancient, chromatic dragons, who are wreaking havoc through the Tal'Dorei countryside, and get vengeance for the loss of Vex and Vax's [mother] in the past.  [...]

However, you guys have been making your way into the Feywild in search of a specific item, known as Fenthras, a bow of which Vex has been sort of keeping an eye on this whole time.  [...]  They've made their way through a number of strange, dangerous, and awkward encounters in the Feywild, including an encounter with their father [...] in Syngorn, which is currently hiding out in the Feywild until they have prepared for battle against Thordak, the Cinder King.

You went through the Moonbrush and parlayed between pixies and werewolves, you pushed past the Gilded Run, a series of enchanted, dangerous rivers that keep the Shademurk Bog in check from spreading across the land with its corruption, and you stepped into the Shademurk Bog, its strange, sludgy, black, corrupt interior, stumbling upon what appears to be a small hovel, built out of a tree trunk.  The gnomes, making their way towards [it] via Vex's broom, caught a partial glimpse of the creature that lived within.  A door was suddenly opened, and upon floating back, the broom was robbed of its magical enchantment temporarily.  The party regathered and are now deciding what to do here in the depths of the Shademurk Bog.  So, as the gnomes have returned, your broom has seemingly been proven to still function.[1]

Part I Edit


After a brief discussion about what to do about the nearby hag abode, Vox Machina collectively agrees to bypass it. They stealth their way along the outskirts of the vicinity and follow the flow of the bog's black sludge. Along the way, Vex sees the door to the bog house close, and Pike's projected form disappears, once again leaving VM without their cleric. The group presses on, the bog's black goo growing thicker and tougher to move in the closer they get to the cursed tree. Along the way, Vex spies figures in the distance. Percy looks through Bad News' scope and confirms two trolls eating something. The group discusses going around when the trolls look around briefly, and dive into the muck. Vox Machina scrambles up some trees in an attempt to hide from the trolls. Vex ascends through the bog canopy on her broom, spying the central mountain in the bog as well as the extremely tall cursed tree protruding from the swamp. Keyleth polymorphs Grog into a gorilla, and she herself Beast Shapes into a giant eagle. Everyone moves through the bog canopy and enters a shaded nightfall in proximity to the giant tree. They observe the tree having some life-like movement to it as Keyleth circles the tree from above. After scanning the tree and surrounding area, they decide to reconvene in the Magnificent Mansion for a plan of attack.

In the Mansion, Percy crafts swamp shoes for the group. Keyelth turns into an earth elemental and plunges into the bog in order to Earth Glide through the soil layer beneath the muck. She tests the roots of the cursed tree for any illusory magic, but it is solid and real. Grog attempts to level up the Titanstone Knuckles by destroying the kitchen, much to Scanlan's consternation. Scanlan herds Grog into the Mansion's training area in attempts to level up the gauntlets and Mythcarver, with no success. Keyleth casts Talk to Plants and discovers a being named Saundor is at the heart of the bog corruption. The group takes their long rest.

Break Edit

Part II Edit

Vox Machina approaches the cursed tree on ground level. Scanlan speaks aloud an appeal to Saundor to no effect. Keyleth gives a similar appeal a try, and much to their surprise, the vines around the tree open up to reveal a passage inside. Making their way through the narrow passage, Keyleth senses the presence of Saundor nearby. As the entrance closes behind them, they make their way into a large central chamber where Saundor addresses Vex directly after descending from the ceiling. The Archfey seeks to relate to Vex, recalling her personality and past to her. Saundor offers unspecified powers in return for Vex' heart, but the half-elven ranger shuts him down and nocks an arrow.


Fan art of Vex'ahlia preparing to shoot Saundor, by David Rodrigues.[art 1]

The Archfey makes one final request, but Vex refuses to listen and fires an arrow. Saundor, shot by an arrow, withdraws into his mess of vines that reform around him and angrily summons two Treants to his side. The battle is joined.

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[2]
(based on "Cheap Thrills" by Sia)
'Life needs things to live.'  That's it.  That's the whole quote.  From earlier tonight.  Percival von Fredericksteen von Rolo de Frankenstein de Rolo.  Credit where credit is due.
Scanlan's Healing Word for Vex'ahlia[3]

Fan art of Vex'ahlia fighting Saundor, by Thomas Brin.[art 2]

Oi!  You fobbing, elf-skinned flap-dragon!  You paunchy, ill-breeding lewdster!  You unmuzzled, reeling, ripe mumble-news!
Scanlan's Cutting Words against Saundor[4]
(based on a Shakespearean insult generator)
I'm giving you everything,
All the health I bring, this is true.
And, all I want from you
Is the promise you'll
Kiss me forever.

I'm (I'm) giving you everything,
All the health I bring...
Scanlan's Healing Word for Vex'ahlia[5]
(based on "Say You'll Be There" by Spice Girls)

Fan art of Keyleth in her fire elemental form using Tree Stride to destroy a treant, by Thomas Brin.[art 3]

[Vax'ildan activates his wings from the Deathwalker's Ward to fly at Saundor, while Keyleth watches from the ground in fire elemental form.]
DM Matt:  "All of a sudden, the giant raven wings streak out from each side of you, and woosh, woosh, the air in the entirety of the room begins to swirl around you.  Your hair gets tossed as the giant wings begin to push him into the air.  The raven-like, dagger-wielding Champion of the Raven Queen leaps up and finds himself face-to-face with Saundor, blades out.  Go ahead and make your attacks."
Marisha:  "The breeze from his wings kinda stokes my fire elemental form a little bit, and I'm kind of into it."
Matt:  "There you go."
Marisha:  "I'm pretty stoked."
Matt:  "Hahahaha, yeah you are!"
from "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 3:39:13

Fan art of Percy and Keyleth cheering up Vex'ahlia by mocking Saundor, by Wendy Sullivan Green.[art 4]

Featured Characters Edit

Vox Machina Edit

New Edit

  • Two unnamed trolls
  • Saundor[6], archfey of the Feywild

Returning Edit

Inventory Edit

Quotations Edit

  • Percival de Rolo: Life needs things to live.[7]
  • Percival de Rolo: The lovely thing about a title is that when used appropriately and properly, it’s mostly there to remind you you don’t really need it.[8]
  • Saundor: Sweet, broken Vex'ahlia. Unwanted daughter, unproven ally. Selfish and cruel. You drive those whom you would call family into danger and death for your own gain. I understand you.[9]
  • Saundor: I wish a bond. A companion once more. Would you embrace me? Embrace your rebirth? I could give you so much. I could give you the means to protect them. Your home.
    Vex'ahlia: What would you ask in return?
    Saundor: Your heart.
    Vex'ahlia: My heart is someone else’s. And I pull my bow.[10]
  • Scanlan: (When Keyleth turns into a fire elemental, enters a treant, attacks it from within while burning it, and prepares to stride into the other treant) We brought a gun to a tree fight.[11]
  • When Keyleth successfully hits with her first two intra-treant strikes, Liam parodies Malone from The Untouchables:  "They send one of yours to the Feywild, you send one of theirs to the morgue."[12]

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) from 0:00:06 through 0:01:52.
  2. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 2:37:11.
  3. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 3:08:27.
  4. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 3:16:53.
  5. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 3:31:03.
  6. Matthew Mercer spelled Saundor's name.
  7. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 1:15:53.
  8. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 1:39:55.
  9. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 2:01:24.
  10. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 2:05:38.
  11. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 2:40:47.
  12. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 2:41:11.


  1. Fan art of Vex'ahlia preparing to shoot Saundor, by David Rodrigues (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Vex'ahlia fighting Saundor, by Thomas Brin (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Keyleth in her fire elemental form using Tree Stride to destroy a treant, by Thomas Brin (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Percy and Keyleth cheering up Vex'ahlia by mocking Saundor, by Wendy Sullivan Green (source).  Used with permission.

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