"The Family Business" (1x47) is the ninth episode of the fourth chapter of Critical Role. Vox Machina returns to where much of the group's history began: Westruun. But all is not well! Not only has the Chroma Conclave decimated the area, but another strangely familiar threat has taken hold of the city, as well...

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Pre-Show[edit | edit source]

The following pre-show promotional videos were shown on the Twitch stream, but they are not included on the final YouTube VoD:

  • International Tabletop Day promotional video:
    • This video was played multiple times, and it featured tabletop gaming scenes with cosplay at Game Häus in Glendale, CA.
    • ITTD is 2016-04-30.
    • Find participating locations near you at TableTopDay.com.
    • Preferred Partner locations will also get some variety of limited ITTD game pieces, which are themed after Geek & Sundry's most memorable moments, for:
  • Castle Panic
  • Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards
  • Don't Turn Your Back
  • Awesome Kingdom
  • Birds of a Feather
  • Tanto Cuore
  • Schmovie
  • Superfight
  • Campaign Coins
  • Star Realms
  • Heroes Wanted
  • The Red Dragon Inn
  • International Tabletop Day call for store partners (presented by Ivan Van Norman):
    • This video was played multiple times.
    • Submit your one-minute or less video of you saying your name (or your store's name), talking about board games, reminiscing about games, or playing games all across the world.
    • Deliver to Geek & Sundry in a high-resolution file (720p or higher) in a .MOV or .MP4 format.
    • Submit either through WeTransfer or Dropbox to preferredpartner@geekandsundry.com.
    • Submit by the deadline of 2016-04-15.

Announcements[edit | edit source]

Laura is excited about the two new T-shirt designs announced on "The Family Business" (1x47).[6]

  • Two new shirts are available for pre-order from the Geek and Sundry webstore. One is the "Dagger Dagger Dagger" design, and the other is the "Strongjaw Ale" design, both of which were created by Kennef Riggle. They will be available for one week.[7]
  • Critical Role is trying to find vendors that offer a greater range of T-shirt sizes.[8]
  • Sam Riegel voice directed a cartoon called Home, based on the movie Home, and the studio just announced it today.[9]
  • This is the 47th episode—three episodes away from the 50th episode.[10]
    • The 50th will be a regular episode, depending on where the story is at the time.
    • There should be a couple surprises.
    • There will be a big Critmas event on the 50th episode, after which the on-stream Critmas tradition will go on hiatus until the holidays.
  • Wyrmwood Gaming partners with Critical Role, offering free shipping with the "critrole" discount code.[11]
  • Marisha Ray's last episode hosting Signal Boost will be Tuesday (2016-04-05), before the host rotation begins. She will continue producing the series.[12]
  • Liam O'Brien is currently in the kitchen of the house in which he grew up—the same room where he played Dungeons & Dragons for the first time as a child, now playing it as a professional actor.[13]

Previously on Critical Role[edit | edit source]

"Vox Machina, having to traverse the world in search of artifacts known as the Vestiges of the Divergence—ancient items of power used in massive-scale warfare in ancient moments of history—had acquired one from a sunken temple to the Champion of the Raven Queen, taking the life—thankfully not permanently—of Vex'ahlia. The party then retrieved their first artifact and then made their way towards the Pyrah tribe of the Ashari druids, the fire guardians of the gate to the Elemental Plane of Fire, which apparently Thordak, the Cinder King—the great red dragon that helms the Chroma Conclave that has torn through all of the civilization of Tal'Dorei—emerged from.

"The party went there, found a surviving faction of the Pyrah tribe including Cerkonos, their headmaster, as well as a few members of Keyleth's tribe, the Air Ashari, and her father. They went towards the remnants of the Cindergrove, ran into an... ally, a strange blue-scaled dragonborn by the name of Gern Blanston, master of necromancy and candle-making, and combining the two for interesting effect. They fought their way through the Cindergrove, tearing through elementals, encasing ifrits in hamster balls and holding them aloft for extended periods of time, and then managed to seal the gate with the help of the druidic tribes there, Gern, and the intrepid adventurers known as Vox Machina. After which, they went to spend the evening there on the mountainside, to rest before continuing their journey to wherever that next step may be."[14]

Part I[edit | edit source]

Fan art of Scanlan's Magnificent Mansion, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 1]

Having successfully closed the portal to the elemental plane of fire, Vox Machina decides to take a rest before venturing on to the next Vestige of Divergence. Scanlan, for the benefit of both the party and the surviving Fire Ashari, casts Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion. Through a spectral doorway, everyone in the group is treated to a beautiful mansion with hundreds of servants and any food or drink they could want.

Fan art of Vex'ahlia on the broom, by Megzilla87.[art 2]

Vex'ahlia uses this time to start practicing with the Broom of Flying stolen from their blue dragonborn friend, Gern Blanston[15]. Vex first tries riding the broom in the mansion's training room, with no success. She next tries to get Scanlan's help. Sitting on the black satin sheets of Scanlan's bed, with a quick investigation they discover the activating phrase: "candlestick" in Draconic. Vex (and Laura Bailey) is overjoyed at regaining the ability to fly.

Screenshot of Laura Bailey as she activates Death from Above.[art 3]

Later that night, while the household sleeps, three of the party members have nighttime visitors. The first is Keyleth, who is visited by the leader of the Fire Ashari, Headmaster Cerkonos. During their talk, Headmaster Cerkonos reveals that it was the Green Dragon Raishan who had opened the portal to the fire plane and had released Thordak from his prison. Raishan had managed this by disguising herself as a human female orphan, adopted out of generosity by the Fire Ashari. As a final warning, Cerkonos warns Keyleth not to trust all of their allies going forward.

Fan art of the Raven Queen, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 4]

Vax'ildan has a dream, or vision. He dreams that he is facing a giant golden web, each strand seeming to pulse with life. While examining this web, a cold hand reaches out and plucks one. Turning around, Vax sees the Raven Queen holding the plucked golden strand representing Vax's life. The Raven Queen cryptically offers Vax, her new champion, a choice to be a great leader and tyrant or to choose to remain a nobody. Before Vax provides a response, he is dropped into darkness and the dream ends.

The last member of Vox Machina to get a strange dream is Grog. Asleep on the sandpit of the training room, Grog dreams of being in an arena. Blinded by the sun, but wielding Craven Edge, Grog cuts down all the foes before him. Once his vision clears, Grog sees that he had actually cut down women, children, innocent people, and his friend Pike. While in the dream Grog wishes to cry out in horror, but can only laugh. The dream ends with Grog being approached by the members of the Herd of Storms, led by Kevdak, who bows before Grog.

The next morning, the team re-groups and has a chance to discuss Vex's new broom and their next plan of action. As they are still in the mansion, Scanlan treats his friends to a breakfast of chicken, waffles, and mimosas. The two immediate orders of business are to visit the Herd of Storms for the Titanstone Knuckles, and to visit Osysa's mate south of the Frostweald for information concerning the other vestiges. Grog is not eager to visit the Herd, who beat him up and kicked him out. He explains that the Herd had come across an old gnome, Wilhand Trickfoot, and the rest of the Herd wanted to kill him. Grog objected, and Kevdak made Grog fight Kevdak's son, Zanror before exiling him. Grog suggests it might have to be a one-on-one fight to get the Knuckles, and he'd rather they had other vestiges before that takes place.

Given that, the party decides to head back to Tal'Dorei and Osysa's mate first. Keyleth uses Transport via Plants to take them to the Bramblewood Forest about a day and a half's travel away. They decide to use Wind Walk to reach it in one day instead. As they travel over the city of Westruun, they notice a large open field where the offerings for the dragons are left and collected, and workers apparently being forced to labor in the fields. They revert to physical form and stealth to one of the workers, Reginald, who confirms those working for the dragon are coercing labor by holding prisoners, including his daughter. The dragons themselves have flown on, returning every day or so for offerings, but left an occupying force of large orcs or something - Reginald isn't sure what they are, but some of them look like Grog. They arrived within a day of the dragons leaving, and started slaughtering and stealing.

The party realizes this is the Herd of Storms and decide to question the guard overseeing this field. Grog recognizes him as one of the Herd named Horace, and they have Reginald lure him over before grappling him with Entanglement. Grog leaps on him and starts punching, then tells him to stay quiet. Horace is surprised to see Grog, saying he was supposed to be dead. He confirms Zanror and Kevdak are both in the city. The Herd had been heading north when they saw the dragons come through and watched them destroy the city and then leave. They figured there were plenty of spoils left for them, and the now-hundred strong herd took over the city. They have recruited other races to aid them as well, and killed all who didn't bow before Kevdak himself. They celebrated until the black dragon returned and many were killed before Kevdak bent the knee and made an offering to the dragon. He promised their might to gather spoils and deliver it every now and then. The remaining Herd, about fifty or sixty strong, keeps the leftovers and rules the city in the dragons' stead. Westruun is now property of the Herd.

Grog suddenly draws Craven Edge and drives it into Horace's rib cage, killing him, and the party watches in horror as the blade absorbs the blood. Leaving Scanlan, Grog, and Reginald amongst the crops, the rest of the party reverts to mist form and goes to scout the city.

Break[edit | edit source]

Part II[edit | edit source]

Vax'ildan, Vex'ahlia, Percy, and Keyleth mist into the city, investigating the makeshift barriers at the gates. The city is significantly damaged from the dragon attack, athough Wilhand Trickfoot's house appears to be standing, as is Abjurist Noja's. Some of the people have chains around their necks and they all appear hopeless and downtrodden. The town square has been fortified with sharpened wooden stakes. There are multiple guards, including many Goliaths, around the Margrave's house where Kevdak has apparently taken up residence.

Meanwhile, Grog confides in Scanlan that he has dreamed about killing a lot of people with his sword, and that it has been talking to him. He wants to see if Scanlan can hear it, too. Unsheathing it, he asks if it enjoyed its snack, and when it replies, asks Scanlan if he heard that. Scanlan didn't. He asks if he can hold it, and Grog agrees -- but then is overwhelmed by the feeling that it means too much to give it up, changes his mind, and sheathes it. Scanlan sees through Grog's prevarications, and casts Suggestion compelling Grog to let him hold the hilt, and although Craven Edge tries to overcome the suggestion, it can't.

Scanlan is now holding the sword, and Grog urges him to ask it a question. When he does, Craven Edge responds with a deep sigh, and tells Scanlan that he must prove his worthiness by killing Reginald. Scanlan replies that he doesn't think he can or wants to, and gives the sword back to Grog. He admits he heard it, and tells Grog he's not sure Grog should have it. Grog is incensed, and makes Scanlan promise not to tell anyone about it. Scanlan agrees, but says he's going to ask Pike about it.

The rest of the party returns and explains what they saw in the city. Grog's fear is that if it's anyone but him and Kevdak, the whole Herd will get involved in the fight, all sixty or so of them, and Vox Machina can't win that fight. He's not opposed to facing Kevdak head-on, but he needs to think about how. However, he thinks now is not the time and they should go look for Osysa's mate. The party agrees that this is Grog's fight, so they'll follow him on this one, and wait for Pike before taking on the Herd. Telling Reginald they'll return soon, they revert to mist and head toward the Frostweald.

Featured Characters[edit | edit source]

Vox Machina[edit | edit source]

New[edit | edit source]

  • Horace[spelling?]: A goliath from Grog's herd, younger and smaller than Grog. Horace's name was given by Kevdak in ridicule. Grog killed Horace with Craven Edge.
  • Kohl[spelling?]: Accompanies Horace in patrolling the fields.
  • Reginald ("Reggie"): A farmer whose daughter was abducted by a group of half-orcs, goliaths, and others. Horace took pleasure in torturing Reginald occasionally, and referred to him as "Reggie".
  • Zanror: Grog's cousin; Kevdak's son. Mentioned only.

Returning[edit | edit source]

  • Margrave Atrix: Mentioned only. "Margrave" is a position and title, and Atrix is the current Margrave.
  • Cerkonos: His right arm, destroyed in Thordak's escape from the Elemental Plane of Fire, is in the process of regrowing now.
  • Kevdak: Grog's uncle. According to Horace, Kevdak swore fealty to Umbrasyl. Mentioned only.
  • Abjurist Noja: Mentioned only.
  • Wilhand Trickfoot: Mentioned only.

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 27 gold pieces Horace's corpse Scanlan Scanlan looted Horace after he was slain by Grog.
Ignored 1 bone necklace Horace's corpse Horace's corpse Scanlan left these items upon looting Horace's corpse.
1 human-teeth bracelet

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This episode marks the first time Scanlan casts Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion.

Quotations[edit | edit source]

Screenshot of Marisha Ray laughing at Travis Willingham's rage over the cast misinterpreting "midnight tomorrow" as "midnight tonight".[art 5]

  • Travis Willingham: "Tomorrow at midnight is the deadline."
    Laura Bailey: "Which, to me–"
    Matthew Mercer: "Would that be, like, midnight tonight, or...?"
    Laura: "See?!? That's exactly what I was asking Travis–"
    Travis: "Listen–"
    Laura: "–and he–"
    Travis: "–you smart son of a bitches, it's so simple! Tomorrow at midnight."
    Laura: "Is, like, in a few hours."
    Travis: "Oh my god. Oh my god. I'm gonna rage before the show even starts."
    [...]
    Laura: "So is it ending tomorrow night, or is it ending tonight?"
    Travis: "Holy shit."
    Matt: "I don't know; you should order tonight just in case."
    Laura: "I'm scared it's actually ending tonight, and he thinks it's tomorrow night, but I think it might be tonight."
    Matt: "To be safe, make it tonight, but it's probably tomorrow night, but to be safe, make it tonight."
    Laura: "It's probably tomorrow night. He's gonna murder us all. Very shortly."
    Matt: "Save it—save it for the battle. Save it for the battle, Travis."[16]
  • Marisha Ray: "My last episode of Signal Boost is this Tuesday–"
    Sam: "What do you mean, 'last'? You just started!"
    Marisha: "Yeah, we rotate hosts out."
    Sam: "Oh."
    Marisha: "Because it's, like, our favorite things–"
    Sam: "But you're the best host!"
    Taliesin: "Of all the hosts they've had, she's certainly the best [...]." [There have been no other hosts.]
    Sam: "She is; she's number one!"
    [...]
    Marisha: (with cheerful sarcasm) "I'm glad my friends support me!"
    [...]
    Sam: "Just tell me: am I one of the hosts?"
    Marisha: "Do you wanna host? Do you wanna do it? Yeah!"
    Sam: "Just tell me—just tell me when, and... I will probably be twenty minutes late."[17]
  • Percy: (to Scanlan) "I think your penis may have more names than I do. I'm kind of horrified."[18]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:00:19.
  2. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:00:24.
  3. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:00:52.
  4. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:01:15.
  5. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:01:53.
  6. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:03:15.
  7. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:03:07.
  8. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:04:02.
  9. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:04:32.
  10. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:04:58.
  11. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:05:42.
  12. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:06:20.
  13. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:07:18.
  14. See "The Family Business" (1x47) from 0:07:46 through 0:10:13.
  15. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 2:54:20.
  16. See "The Family Business" (1x47) from 0:02:17 through 0:03:06.
  17. See "The Family Business" (1x47) from 0:06:20 through 0:06:56.
  18. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:12:44.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Scanlan's Magnificent Mansion, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Vex'ahlia on the broom, by Megzilla87 (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Screenshot of Laura Bailey as she activates Death from Above.  "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:40:51
  4. Fan art of the Raven Queen, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  5. Screenshot of Marisha Ray laughing at Travis Willingham's rage over the cast misinterpreting "midnight tomorrow" as "midnight tonight".  "The Family Business" (1x47) at 0:02:35


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