"The Kill Box" (1x52) is the fourteenth episode of the fourth chapter of Critical Role. Unable to defeat Kevdak in single combat, Grog calls upon Vox Machina in a desperate fight for their lives, the fate of Westruun, and control of the Herd of Storms.
- At the top of the episode, Matthew Mercer announces that this episode and a few of the upcoming episodes are sponsored by Loot Crate. Matt explains the Loot Crate service and mentions the promo code "criticalrole" that can be used by new subscribers to get $3 off their first crate. Sam Riegel wants to rename the show "Crateical Role" for the month. Matt objects. The cast also opens up crates consisting of the "Quest" and "Invasion" themes, with the "Power" theme being the theme for May. Matt already loses control of the episode.
- The latest issue of Rat Queens is available which features Vox Machina and Matt in a cameo appearance during a bar crawl. Matt brings up his haircut and people freaking out about it.
- Taliesin Jaffe is announced as the host for the next run of Signal Boost!, the show that Marisha Ray writes and co-produces for and was the host for the first run. It's going to be weird, more so than before.
- A new series of Geek & Sundry website content is coming out called "Dear Vox Machina", where the cast members answer questions sent to them in-character. Scanlan's article full of "award-winning" advice is first up for tomorrow (2016-05-06), and can be found here.
- Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is coming out, with Laura Bailey playing villain Nadine Ross. Matt and Sam, along with other members of Vox Machina, can be found as multiplayer characters. Liam O'Brien urges the audience that they kill Matt's character a lot.
- The full-length Critical Role live-action intro was uploaded on Facebook yesterday and can be found here. It had already gotten a million views in one day. Laura notes that a "fan" said she looked stupid. Ashley Johnson and Travis Willingham threaten whoever said that.
- The new Critical Role intro theme was written by Jason Charles Miller who played as Garthok in "In Ruins" (1x41). The theme and the old one is up on iTunes for download.
- Liam does a rather grim plug for Wyrmwood Gaming, mentions the code "critrole" for free shipping, and notes that the Kickstarter for the Sentinel Box ends in a couple of hours. Ashley's favorite part of Wyrmwood's products? "Magnets, bitch!"
- The last announcement says "Death to all puppies". The party accuses Matt for writing it, who then accuses Sam.
- Before the battle proper begins, Sam chooses to inspire everyone with a custom t-shirt he made himself of himself from the live-action intro. Everyone flips out, inspiration is granted, and then immediately taken away.
Previously on Critical Role Edit
"The party of intrepid adventurers, Vox Machina, trying to save the whole of Tal'Dorei from the Chroma Conclave—a collection of chromatic dragons that have destroyed many of the main cities here—have gone about searching for items called the Vestiges of the Divergence, magical artifacts from a war of ancient times that apparently hold some great power that can aid in defeating these dragons. One of which is apparently being held by Kevdak, the leader of the herd of roaming tribal barbaric individuals that Grog once belonged to, and had beaten the crap out of and had left Grog for dead long ago.
"While the dragons had destroyed part of Westruun and left it behind, this tribe utilized that time to take over the town, enslaving or keeping most of the people under their thumb, and making an accord with the one black dragon, Umbrasyl, that is currently in a tenuous relationship with these herd members, Herd of the Storm as they're known. The party, having sent a few of them to their death via a trap on the outside, found their way into the city, saved some of the individuals that lived there, as well as Kaylie and Dr. Dranzel, and Grog went ahead and issued a challenge to the Herd to meet with Kevdak himself.
"After some fairly decent intimidation checks, it was agreed, and while most of the party stealthed behind, Grog made his way to the very center of the town square, where Kevdak leapt off the top of the ex-Margrave's homestead, and the two of them began to do battle in a pit of spikes that was gathered in the center of the town square, surrounded by a number of the clan watching on. During this fight, it went back and forth a bit, before Grog felt that this was a losing battle should it continue in this way, and decided to call out to his friends for aid with the classic Shakespearean battle cry of 'Vox Machina! Fuck shit up!'"
The Battle for Westruun Edit
With Vox Machina in houses and rooftops overseeing the main square of Westruun and the battle taking place between Grog and Kevdak, with many members of the Herd of Storms and several innocents all around, they prepare to take action as the herd members search for whomever Grog was shouting for. As Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia hold their attacks, with Vex casting Hunter's Mark on Kevdak in anticipation of a window of opportunity to strike, the Thunderlord approaches a now disarmed Grog.
Kevdak then raises his Bloodaxe and foregoes defense, recklessly slashing Grog twice. Due to his rage, Grog manages to resist much of the pain but still feels the sting of the necrotic damage from the enchanted greataxe. As Kevdak rears back for the second slash, it connects but doesn't hurt as much due to Scanlan's Cutting Words as the gnome comes out of his hiding spot on the roof of the house he is on and steps into view, distracting him momentarily.
Grog tries to punch Kevdak, who backs away and alerts everyone to Scanlan's presence, but the punch just bounces off of his uncle's toughened flesh. Taking advantage of the opening, Scanlan whips out the Hand-cone of Clarity, surveys the battlefield for any magic-using individuals—seeing Greenbeard—and casts Hold Person on him and the Thunderlord. The spell takes hold on both Greenbeard and Kevdak and they are struck with paralysis, the latter unable to resist it fully due to the earlier distraction. Scanlan then inspires Grog, the goliath seeing the gnome's ass as two round globes of victory.
Scanlan then backs away out of sight to avoid getting shot by arrows. As Grog circles around Kevdak, Vex sees the opening left by the bard and fires from the Longbow of the Sky Sentinel. All three Storm Arrows hit, but they do not do as much damage due to Kevdak raging. She then targets Greenbeard and shoots a fourth arrow with the Blazing Bowstring. The arrow hits the paralyzed goliath druid, setting a portion of his robes on fire.
Vax clicks the Boots of Haste and throws one of his daggers at Kevdak, but the dagger doesn't do as much damage. He then darts and climbs to the top of the Margrave's house. Grog, seeing the Thunderlord paralyzed, grabs onto the Bloodaxe and yanks it out of his grip.
Grog then slashes at Kevdak's left arm, intending to slice it off. The axe sinks deep into the arm, but does not deal enough damage to completely sever it. Percy, up on the roof, casts Hex on Kevdak, shadows stretching from Grog's own and clinging to the Thunderlord. He moves to get some cover, takes Retort, and carefully aims for the right arm. Thanks to his expert aim, three successful shots from the pistol follow and heavily damage the elbow, but the limb is still barely connected by a slim thread of muscle. The gunslinger then quickly ducks behind cover.
Keyleth, in her air elemental form, rolls up the roof of the Margrave's house, getting within proximity of the two archers up top, and conjures a Whirlwind that threatens to catapult them off the roof. One of the archers is thrown twenty feet away off the roof and falls prone onto the adjacent roof beneath. The other archer holds his ground and stands firm. Pike, on the same roof as Scanlan, summons a Spiritual Weapon next to Kevdak in the form of a large, radiant greatsword—a holy reflection of Craven Edge. The weapon appears through the stonework in the square as Pike wills the weapon to slash Kevdak, the weapon hitting hard with divine fury. The gnome cleric of Sarenrae then attempts to leap across the rooftops, but upon landing onto the next one she slips on her shield and falls off the roof, landing prone onto the ground below.
Seeing the prone cleric on the ground, four members of the herd—two of them previously of the Rivermaw Tribe—go into a rage. Three charge at Grog as one heads towards her. The three warmongers swarm Grog, four of their attacks landing. The one charging at the prone Pike—a wild and raging female half-elf—leaps at her and cleaves her twice, the blows dealing heavy damage. Vex drops Hunter's Mark and casts Hail of Thorns as she fires another arrow at the paralyzed Kevdak. The arrow hits the Thunderlord, the resulting thorns spreading to Grog and the herd members surrounding him, but due to all of her targets raging, the damage is minimal. Vax pushes an archer off the roof, but the archer braces himself and avoids falling prone. He then heads for the nearby chimney and throws two daggers at Kevdak. He then hides back behind the chimney and peeks up Keyleth's "wind skirt".
One half-orc archer, having noticed Percy's position, turns and fires two arrows at the gunslinger. One hits him in the shoulder, but Percy catches the second arrow and snaps it in two. He then points Retort towards the half-orc, who starts regretting his life choices as he readies another arrow. The archer that Keyleth failed to blow away jumps off, taking an attack from the air elemental but landing fine, and joins his fellow archer in taking two shots each at Grog and Pike. One arrow hits the gnome, one hits the goliath. The archer that Vax pushed off hides off to the side. Kevdak attempts to resist the paralysis, but the spell continues to hold him in place.
Scanlan pulls out the Wand of Fireballs and fires a fifth-level attack against a cluster of foes, managing to avoid catching Grog in the blast radius but hitting Greenbeard and Kevdak. The resulting blast ignites the wooden spikes. Scanlan then manages to leap down to the adjacent roof and, unable to heal Grog due to being out of range, heals Pike with Healing Word.
Grog, wielding the Bloodaxe, slashes at Kevdak with reckless abandon, the first attack slicing off the damaged left arm. The second attack carves a deep gash into his back. He then takes a Potion of Superior Healing and drinks it, healing some of his wounds. Greenbeard breaks through the Hold Person spell, no longer affected. Percy takes his fourth shot with Retort and blasts the half-orc archer in the torso, the shot knocking him off the roof. He then reloads and attempts to blast Greenbeard, but the pistol misfires. Keyleth heads down to the archers she attacked before, but this time, they are more prepared and resist the Whirlwind. She continues to encompass their space, hoping to disrupt their shots.
Pike clicks her Sprinter's Boots and attempts to flee, but takes a hit from the half-elf. Diving for cover, she casts Cure Wounds on herself and then has her Spiritual Weapon attack Kevdak again, the radiant blade striking true. The half-elf pursues Pike as the ones attacking Grog all hit with six brutal slashes. Despite the considerable damage, Grog manages to keep standing for the moment. The half-elf slashes at Pike, one strike going wide but the other seriously wounding her. A female goliath druid within the fray runs up to Kevdak and attempts to use Cure Wounds on him, but Scanlan—already on the alert—cancels out her healing spell with Counterspell.
The herd members begin dragging innocents into the middle of the square as three more herd members close in on Pike, one of them attempting to hit twice but both attacks are deflected. Two more herd members swarm Grog, two strikes landing true against the goliath. The archers begin training their arrows on Scanlan. Another herd member manages to climb up to Percy while another climbs up to Scanlan, the latter landing a blow against the bard who manages to maintain concentration on Hold Person.
Vex, already having released Trinket earlier and seeing Grog on the edge, shouts at him to raise his arm. She then flies out on her broom, clutching the Raven's Slumber Crystal, and makes contact with Grog's arm, the willing goliath entering the necklace. As she flies away, she ends up taking several deadly blows from Grog's assailants. Despite the grievous wounds, Vex manages to hold on and escape with Grog in tow, breathing heavily and feeling dizzy from the risky gamble. Vax dashes past Greenbeard towards Kevdak, one of the herd members outside the arena attempting to swipe at the rogue but only catching feathers from the Deathwalker's Ward, and attacks the paralyzed Thunderlord with both daggers in hand. The blades strike true, Vax sinking the weapons up to the hilt into the flesh of the goliath, and the rogue flees the arena, but not before he leaves some parting words for Kevdak.
The archers being restricted by Keyleth, realizing the source of the spell that is holding Kevdak in place, take aim and fire at Scanlan, one of them jumping off the roof to get a clear shot and evading the air elemental's attack of opportunity. Three out of four arrows manage to hit the bard despite one of the archer's aim being disrupted. Another archer, unable to hit Vex, aims for Percy and fires two arrows. Both of them hit the gunslinger, the second arrow deflected enough to reduce damage. The archer on the ground takes two shots at Scanlan, and with the final shot, the bard's concentration is finally broken as from the middle of the square, the Thunderlord roars in extreme pain and anger as he orders the herd to kill the innocents and limps towards Greenbeard.
Scanlan whips out the Wand of Fireballs once more and launches another blast of fire that catches Kevdak and Greenbeard… but in the process the fireball hits Keyleth and incinerates the two innocents nearby, the dying screams breaking his heart a little. Pulling himself together, he circles past the herd member on top of him, looks over the side to see Pike, and inspires the cleric.
Greenbeard, on the edge, limps to Kevdak, tells him to protect the herd, and casts Heal on the Thunderlord, Scanlan's Counterspell not strong enough to dispel it. Kevdak's right arm is restored as he shouts for one of his subordinates to pick up his fallen left arm. Greenbeard, in a bid for survival, flees out of the open area and uses his Elemental Wild Shape to transform into an earth elemental. Percy attempts to leap onto the next rooftop but the herd member behind him manages to backhand him with his sword, causing the gunslinger to lose his footing and plummet into the alleyway. Frustrated and injured, he picks himself up, pulls out Bad News, and unloads a total of three shots at Kevdak, the bullets hammering into him.
Keyleth, angry and frustrated at the whole situation, drops her form, channels her rage, and unleashes a Fire Storm at Kevdak, Greenbeard, and several of the herd members nearby. Vax watches on in awe as the entire square is ignited in her flames of fury, the rogue quietly and quickly falling a little deeper in love with her. Pike, heavily wounded and in a very rough place, casts Command on the four surrounding her and orders them to attack each other. She manages to tumble past them, taking an attack in the process, and sends her Spiritual Weapon towards Kevdak, the blade managing to hit the Thunderlord who turns towards Pike, his intimidating glare making her soul quiver in fear.
The herd member clutching the fallen arm of Kevdak runs to him, the Thunderlord grabbing it and making a break for the inside of the house. Hearing growling from behind her, Pike turns around and deflects her attacker with her shield and mace. The assailants who earlier attacked Grog begin to cut down the innocents still standing, one of them managing to avoid getting slashed but falls quickly to one with a giant club. The druid, seeing Vax, hits him hard with a Blight spell. The warriors affected by Pike's Command spell begin attacking each other, the one unaffected unable to hit Pike as she deflects the blows and growls.
Another attacker runs to Greenbeard who tries to lift him up with his earth elemental arm but, in a miscalculation, ends up slamming him into the wall. Another one guns for the child who falls to a single cleave of the blade. The one that caused Percy to fall plummets down into the alley, finds the gunslinger, and hits him twice with glancing blows. Vex, badly wounded and hovering above the battlefield with the Raven's Slumber Crystal in hand, flies above Kevdak and releases a willing Grog from within. The barbarian emerges from the crystal and descends from fifty feet in the air, Bloodaxe in hand, towards his quarry. Kevdak almost makes it inside the house before looking up and seeing the harbinger of his impending death fast approaching.
Grog Strongjaw, with his uncle's own axe, brings down the weapon with all of his might and cuts down Thunderlord Kevdak of the Herd of Storms, his body bisected. As he impacts and withdraws the axe, Grog's stamina finally gives out and the goliath falls unconscious, but not without with a smile on his face. Upon seeing Kevdak fall by Grog's hand, all of the herd members within the square gasp, the former Thunderlord's body shrinking upon death. Thinking that she'd be unable to get to Grog in time, Vex shouts from up above.
Greenbeard reverts back to his wounded original form, staring down at the fallen Kevdak and Grog. The other herd members tense and hold any further attacks, watching and waiting. Vax leaps up to the roof, runs past Keyleth, and jumps down, landing onto Kevdak's corpse and readying himself in case anyone tries to attack.
The Pride of the Herd Edit
With everyone in the entire square waiting with bated breath. Scanlan leaps off the roof past the herd member near him and lands next to Pike. He takes her hand in his, chanting Grog's name as he casts Healing Word and summons Bigby's Hand to lift his friend thirty feet up into the air but in a subservient way. Grog, having been brought back from the brink, wakes up and bellows out to the herd.
Upon hearing Grog's bellowing voice, Greenbeard limps out into the open.
After a few moments of silence, Greenbeard asks for Zanror to be brought out. As the two that were ordered go into the Margrave's house, Pike attempts to use Heal on Grog, but is stopped by two of the warriors behind her and Scanlan. Grog sees this happening from above.
The door suddenly opens as the herd members return, holding chains over the shoulders, as they drag out not one, but two goliath individuals in shackles. One of them Grog and the rest of Vox Machina recognize as Zanror whom they encountered before en route to Kraghammer, his face swollen and bruised, the other a woman who is with child. Zanror looks up into the sky, squinting as his eyes had not seen sunlight in days or weeks. The son of Kevdak and Grog greet each other as the former looks towards the corpse of his father. He asks if Grog slew him, and Grog asks Scanlan to lower him back down to the ground. Scanlan does so, Bigby's Hand gently bringing him back down into the square but clenched into a fist alongside the barbarian.
Grog steps towards Zanror, confirming to his cousin that he did indeed kill Kevdak, a debt fulfilled after many, many years. Zanror mentions that the herd had lost its edge under Kevdak's rule, that his father had grown docile in Westruun and that he wouldn't have been were it not for Greenbeard's influence. The elderly goliath druid mocks Zanror and spits in his direction, calling him not a warrior but a slave. Grog inquires as to why Zanror and the woman are shackled. Greenbeard tells Grog that Zanror spoke up against his father and was attempting a mutiny but was foiled quickly, his fate and that of his mate left to Kevdak's whim. He then mentions that since he killed Kevdak, Grog should be the one to dispense judgment. Greenbeard then picks up the fallen Bloodaxe and hands it to Grog, who accepts the weapon.
Grog tells Zanror that he is sorry, but his death will be glorious. He then asks for the Titanstone Knuckles as well. There is cultural tension between the absorbed remnants of the Rivermaw Tribe and the herd itself as the gauntlets are removed from Kevdak's corpse and given to Grog. As Grog dons the gauntlets, Zanror pleads for his life, saying that compared to Kevdak, he would rather fight Umbrasyl and have his people take back their power. Grog silences him, having heard enough as he raises the Bloodaxe…
…and pivots and drives the weapon into Greenbeard, chopping the seer's head off instantly. The herd is shocked and startled as Grog spins around to face them all.
With Bigby's Hand aiding in Grog's intimidation, the herd members holding Zanror and his mate release them. He puts his arm around his mate, Worra, apologizing for what happened. Worra assures him that there is nothing to apologize for, that they were spared judgment due to Grog's actions. Not recognizing her from the original herd, Grog congratulates his cousin on his mate and unborn child. Zanror thanks Grog for saving them both as he stands in front of those gathered.
Grog remarks that this very moment is honor and pride, a life worth living. Zanror asks if Grog would be willing to join the herd in battle against Umbrasyl, that he has earned their might and respect. Zanror, upon being asked, notes that between those allied to him and Kevdak that they have forty-three strong. After briefly conversing with the party over the Earrings of Whisper, Grog tells his cousin, the new Thunderlord, that he and his allies will indeed join the Herd of Storms to do battle with the dragon. Zanror and Grog, cousins united under a common goal, clasp hands together. Zanror then declares that Vox Machina are to walk among them as brethren. Together, he and Worra leave the square to recuperate and prepare for the coming morrow, the rest of the herd wary of the party but willing to honor this tenuous alliance that was just forged.
Now free to walk the streets of Westruun, Vax and Grog go to loot the bodies of Kevdak and Greenbeard. Grog takes Kevdak's skull for himself and puts the bear tattoo into Vex's Bag of Colding. Pike, Keyleth, and Percy go to attempt to resurrect the child, with Pike casting Raise Dead. Percy chooses to assist Pike's contributions by singing in Celestial. The ritual completes, and the child coughs and breathes once more as Keyleth casts Cure Wounds to get him back on his feet. When asked about his mother, he mentions that he saw her last in his home when he was pulled and dragged to the square. Pike asks where his home is, and the child says that he lives in the Temple District where Wilhand also lives. The party agrees to take him back to his home, Vex putting him on Trinket's back due to the boy still being weak from the effects of the ritual. As Percy is busy repairing Retort, Vax gathers the bodies of those that had fallen in the battle and forms a pyre for them, paying respect to the dead. Grog asks one of the remaining goliaths still lingering in the square to release any prisoners still being held by the herd.
The party deliberates what to do with their time, with plans to talk to Zanror, to raid Master Qual's home for items, to deliver the child to his home, and to find Wilhand. With a tenuous alliance with the Herd of Storms, and the battle with Umbrasyl looming closer, Vox Machina walks down the streets of Westruun towards the Temple District, anxious about the coming morrow and what dangers it may and will bring, as they prepare for the coming storm...
- There was no break in this episode.
Featured Characters Edit
|Acquired||4||+1 enchanted javelins||Kevdak||Bag of Holding|
|Acquired||1||Skull of Kevdak||Kevdak||Grog||Grog cuts off Kevdak's head himself.|
|Acquired||1||Bloodaxe||Kevdak||Grog||Grog initially steals it from Kevdak's paralyzed form. Later, after killing Kevdak, Greenbeard hands Grog the axe, the weapon becoming his.|
|Acquired||1||Titanstone Knuckles||Kevdak||Grog||Grog "inherits" the knuckles after killing Kevdak.|
|Acquired||1||Potion of Greater Healing||Greenbeard||Vax'ildan||Vax loots Greenbeard's body and finds the potion.|
|Acquired||1||Flayed bear tattoo||Kevdak||Grog||Grog flays the tattoo off of Kevdak's corpse.|
|Transferred||1||Flayed bear tattoo||Grog||Bag of Colding|
External Links Edit
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 0:00:14 through 0:03:46.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 0:03:47 through 0:04:29.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 0:04:30 through 0:05:10.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 0:05:10 through 0:05:55.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 0:05:55 through 0:06:47.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 0:13:44 through 0:15:13.
- ↑ Sam Riegel inspired Vox Machina at the beginning of "The Kill Box" (1x52) with his custom T-shirt featuring Scanlan Shorthalt from the Critical Role opening credits that premiered in "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50). Sam shared this picture later on Twitter.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 0:06:48 through 0:07:46.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 0:07:47 through 0:08:14.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 0:08:14 through 0:09:31.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 0:09:31 through 0:09:45.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 0:13:44 through 0:15:13.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 0:21:59.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 0:24:08.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 0:29:14.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 0:36:54.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 1:12:38.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 1:43:43.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 1:57:08 through 1:57:24.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 2:33:32.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 2:37:25.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 2:40:00.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 2:44:17 through 2:45:21.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 2:45:38 through 2:46:54.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 2:48:19 through 2:48:48.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 2:54:35.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 2:56:07 through 2:56:29.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) from 2:57:35 through 2:58:04.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 0:48:19.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 2:54:17.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 3:06:23.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 2:28:02.
- ↑ See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 3:04:38.