"The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) is the sixth episode of the eighth chapter of Critical Role. Vox Machina travel to the pools of Wittebak, where they meet a lonely stranger residing in a strange old house.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Featured Characters
- 3 Inventory
- 4 Quotations
- 5 External Links
- 6 References
- Tonight's episode has a new sponsor, Quidd, a sticker app. Check it out at quidd.co. Sam did a dramatic reading of a "WWII newsreel" talking about the app.
- Merch update: there's stuff!
- Pre-orders start Monday for the Green Ronin Campaign Guide. PDF will be available immediately on that day!
- Critical Role podcast: episodes 11 through 20 are available on the Apple Store and Google Play.
- Talks Machina, Tuesday at 7pm PST, on Twitch and Alpha.
- Wednesday Club will be a first-timer's guide to Comic Con.
- No show next week, due to Comic Con.
- There will be a Critical Role panel at Comic Con.
- The third episode of Sagas of Sundry: Dread is up now.
- There will be a live show of Critical Role at GenCon next month; tickets are on sale.
Previously on Critical Role
"Vox Machina, having finally encountered the Undying King returned in physical form on the Shadowfell, did battle and fled, quite unprepared for that venture, and gathered some tidbits of information about what Vecna's plans may be.
"Upon returning and discovering that Vax has returned through some deal he made with his patron, the Raven Queen, after disintegrating, they decided to go ahead and try and gather more information about this and beseech some of the higher powers within Exandria.
"Pike talked to Sarenrae and was given the invitation to come visit her in Elysium on the Island of Renewal, and upon gathering their materials and causing a mess in Vasselheim, they got together and went to meet this fantastic Everlight.
"On her island, they spoke with her. She gathered some information from them, as Vecna seemed to be blocking the influence and vision from a lot of the deities, and then gave her blessing onto Pike. She transferred Vox Machina over to one of the other gods that lives along the Blessed Fields of Elysium, Pelor the Dawnfather.
"They walked through the orchards that led to the Fortress of the Sun where he resides, spoke with some of the guardians there, and were led into the center of the citadel where they met, in the central throne room under the zenith tower, Pelor himself.
"Upon exchanging information, Vox Machina spoke of their need to gather the favor of certain gods in the battles to come and were given a challenge. To step up to plate, Vex'ahlia. She accepted the challenge and, racing to the top of the tower before the fires could be extinguished in the brazier that awaited her, she threw herself into the fire. And upon the party speaking on what it was that made Vex'ahlia such an important member not just of their team, but their family and gave them strength, she was imbued with a blessing of the Dawnfather himself.
"After which, the party exited the front of the Fortress of the Sun and stepped into the central glade that marks the center of the seemingly endless orchards that surround this region."
In the orchards outside the Fortress of the Sun, Vox Machina plan their next steps. They decide to make Terrah their next stop, for its proximity to the Pools of Wittebak, where Pelor said they could find the key to Ioun's whereabouts.
Arriving in Terrah, Keyleth asks to talk to Pa'tice, the leader of the Earth Ashari. Over dinner, Vox Machina bring Pa'tice up to speed on Vecna, and he tells them more about the Pools of Wittebak. The group then retires for the night, falling asleep in the earthen lodgings provided for them.
Keyleth casts Wind Walk, and the party sets off in cloud form for the hundred-mile flight east to the Pools of Wittebak.
A Most Curious House
After a few hours of travel, the group finds the stretch of the pools, with a small forest at the center. Vex does a few fly-overs of the forest to find the house that Pelor indicated they should look for, and finds it with not too much effort. The group lands to investigate. Vex and Scanlan go up to knock on the door, narrowly avoiding a bear trap set in the front yard and a log trap set above the front door.
After an awkward pause, the door is opened by a very elderly gnome, who looks out at his visitors and says, "Are you real?" Scanlan confirms that they are, in fact, all real. The gnome seems delighted, if surprised, by this. He then tells them, "Go away." A red imp appears and slams the door in their faces.
From behind the closed door, they hear an argument between the imp and the gnome. When the gnome briefly opens the door to apologize for the argument, Vax manages to stick his foot in, and the party is able to convince the gnome to let them in.
Sprigg and Demistrik
After squeezing themselves into the gnome-sized house, Vox Machina learn that the rather bumbling gnome is called Sprigg "the Obnoxious", though Vax insists he's not picking up on the "obnoxious" part. (The imp, Demistrik, seems to have a rather different opinion.) They learn that Sprigg once belonged to an adventuring party, the rest of whom were killed 37 years ago, and that Demistrik once belonged to a mage who was killed trying to get into Sprigg's home.
The party converse with Sprigg for a while, trying to figure out his connection to Ioun. They are eventually interrupted by an ominous voice in all of their heads, saying, "Thank you for showing me where he is."
As they all hear Vecna's voice in their minds, a series of crossbow bolts rip through the windows and hit Sprigg, knocking him unconscious. They see a number of shadowy figures darting away outside.
A scuffle ensues as they chase down a necromancer, a number of cultists, and some creatures from the Shadowfell. During the fray, Scanlan gets Sprigg back on his feet, and Keyleth kill a couple of the cultists with a Firestorm. Sprigg's house takes structural damage from Grog and one of the creatures, bringing the top floor down around everyone's ears. A couple of Sprigg's traps get triggered: one log trap, and one that causes an illusion of a beholder to appear in the house.
Eventually, all of the attackers are dispatched or restrained, though Sprigg's house is also thoroughly wrecked.
With the danger past, they return to the problem of how to reach Ioun. Pike helps Sprigg take a moment to pray to Ioun. There is no immediate response. Demistrik teases him for trying, then takes off out a window, never to be heard from again. After a moment, however, everyone notices that Sprigg's torso has begun to glow blue. They realize that Sprigg himself is the key, a tuning fork that can be used to guide a Plane Shift spell.
Though Keyleth is worried that Sprigg might be "used and discarded" by the spell, Sprigg reassures her, and they all join hands to Plane Shift. They pass through the Divine Gate, then drift through void for a while before another white flash lands them in what looks like an empty, decadent bathhouse. This seems to be the secret home of the wounded goddess Ioun.
They step through a hallway into an immense library, tended by spectral custodians. Percy eagerly starts examining books and quickly realizes that each tome is a single person's life story, from birth to death, written in Celestial. Scanlan, clutching his Ioun Stone, starts walking purposefully toward what they hope is the center of the library.
As Percy and Vex fall in behind him, Scanlan starts playing a wedding march on his flute, a nod to some information that Percy had let slip during Pelor's trial. Percy admits to Vex that he may have panicked and hinted that they had eloped together. As Scanlan realizes that they are not just betrothed but, in fact, married, Percy casts a Cone of Silence to prevent him from shouting this to everyone else. Keyleth and Vax, having heard the wedding march, have a moment about the fact that they won't be getting a happy ending. Vex brings everyone up to speed about the secret wedding.
They walk a little farther and are greeted by the voice of the Knowing Mistress, Ioun, as they arrive at her sanctuary.
Taryon Darrington(absent, not mentioned) Doty 2.0(absent, not mentioned)
- Percival de Rolo
- Scanlan Shorthalt
- Grog Strongjaw
- Pike Trickfoot (DM-controlled)
- Demistrik: "Get out!"
Sprigg: "And show yourself out, Demistrik, I don't need you here. Nineteen years of you is more than enough."
Matt: "You hear muffling argument through the door as the voice goes..."
Demistrik: "...I'll stay where I damn please! You gave me permission to stay; if anyone's going to leave, you're going to leave!"
Sprigg: "I think you should go to Kraghammer and become a little circus performer with a little tin cup and a little hat and say 'Oh dear, I'm Demistrik, the magical imp' that's where you belong I tell you."
Demistrik: "That sounds like a lot more fun than having to deal with you on a daily basis, you son of a---"
Sprigg: "OH, LANGUAGE, IMP!!"
Matt: "The door creaks open once more."
Darin: "The door creeps open again."
Sprigg: "I'm sorry as well...for HIM!! He's awful."
Liam: "I stick my foot in!"
Vax'ildan: "Um...I'm REALLY very sorry to bother you, although I am DELIGHTED to make your acquaintance...."
Liam: "...I'm having a VERY hard time not just smiling like an idiot...."
Vax: "...Could we trouble you just for a few moments?"
- Percy: "I get the sense that your...compatriot, I hate to call him friend here, er...."
Sprigg: "I hate to call him friend and yet I do. Isn't that right, friend?!"
Demistrik: (begrudingly) "Fortunately."
Percy: (to Demistrik) "What are you doing here?"
Sprigg: "You can tell him."
Demistrik: "None of your--NO!!"
Demistrik: "Why does he ask me?"
Sprigg: "These people are guests in our home!"
Demistrik: "Oh, it's not our home!"
Sprigg: "Nineteen years you've been here! Ever since your master died trying to enter and got tricked into one of my traps, and now you're here...does that answer your question? Now why don't you tell him what I just said?!"
- Sprigg: "If you'll allow me...you've been very quiet."
Keyleth: "Yes I'm...I'm a little freaked out right now. You're like my worst fear incarnate. I'm sorry that seemed very rude...my worst NIGHTMARE incarnate."
Sprigg: "That doesn't make it any better dear child."
Sprigg: "OH, TUTUTUT!!!! Go ahead, why am I your worst fear 'in-a-carnation'?"
- Sam: "Are Vex and Percy walking together?"
Matt: "Yes they are."
Sam: "I whip out my flute and I just start going--" (begins humming bridal march)
Percy: "Oh...he may have heard."
Vex'ahlia: "He heard?"
Percy: "I thought you were going to die, I may have panicked."
Vex: "Wait, wait, wait..."
Percy: "We were asked to plead for your life and...I may have panicked."
Vex: "Who did you tell? PERCIVAL, WHO DID YOU TELL?!"
Percy: "Some deity...."
Sam: "Look at your shirt."
Laura: "What?" (looks down, sees the word: 'Everybody' and gasps) "No!!"
Percy: "I panicked!"
Percy: "I panicked! There was a giant glowing sun, and I may have...I didn't tell...well, I was a bit vague but I was--"
Vex: "A bit vague?"
Vex: "Scanlan, what did he say?"
Taliesin: "Oh no."
Scanlan: "Well, you know: first comes love...then comes marriage...."
Percy: "I may have hinted...."
Scanlan/Sam: "Wait, you're married? No, you said you were betrothed, TO BE MARRIED. Wait, YOU'RE MARRIED?! Oh wow, YOU JUST SPILLED IT!!"
Percy: "Silence, CONE OF SILENCE."
Scanlan: "You're married!! They're married!! THEY'RE MARRIED!!"
Matt: "All of a sudden--No, you try and it's making no sound. It is just absolute quiet."
- Scanlan: "So you're going to ruin everyone else's joy...one of those couples."
Liam: "Thank you vacation Scanlan."
Matt: "Vacation Scanlan's the best."
Marisha: "Worst double date sangria partners ever."
Taliesin: "He's back ladies and gentlemen and he's back and taking no prisoners."
Sam: "Oh, are you guys going on vacation...we got a divorce!"
- The recap. See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) from 0:08:41 through 0:11:17.
- Darin De Paul spelled Demistrik's name on Twitter. (source)
- See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) from 1:08:08 through 1:09:12.
- See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) at 1:28:22.
- See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) from 3:50:03 through 3:52:13.