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"The Ominous March" (1x109) is the one hundred ninth episode of the first campaign of Critical Role. Live from Gencon: Vox Machina returns to Vasselheim to prepare for the coming of Vecna



This show took place live at Gen Con. Before the show, Brian Wayne Foster hyped up the crowd and introduced the cast as they came on stage.


  • Liam and Taliesin have been working with about 89 fan artists to put together a Critical Role art book, which will be released by Geek & Sundry in the fall.
  • Matt has worked with Aaron Riley to make vinyl decals of Scanlan for the cover of the Tal'Dorei campaign guide (or any other book, really).

Previously on Critical Role

"Vox Machina, in their trek to eventually, hopefully, seal and be rid of the threat of Vecna, the Whispered One, in his recently ascended godhood on the Prime Material Plane, found themselves traversing below the sub-ocean volcano, the Scaldseat.

"[They] managed to water-breathe their way through a jug. They traversed the poisonous air within, and are coming upon The Allhammer's Core Anvil, on which many artifacts of the Founding and beyond were forged. There, you fought with the Forge Guardian, who was left to see who has proven worthy to utilize its components. You defeated it and, in doing so, Percival, with the designs bestowed upon you from Ioun, and Grog, with the bestowed upon knowledge of blacksmithing, took to the blacksmithy tools and together managed to forge, barely successfully with a modicum of structural integrity, the three prime trammels, hopefully intended to destroy, or at least seal off, Vecna's influence on this plane.

"So, the trammels now complete, each glowing with the runes of each gifted deity power source -- we have one that glows yellow across its runic outside, one that has a sky blue, and one that emanates a black shadow from its runes, representing each deity that bequeathed an element of their power unto these trammels. You then decided to have Scanlan drop his Magnificent Mansion and decide where your next journey was. As you all enter the mansion, preparing for an evening's rest or otherwise, we left off with you, now, away from the heat of the volcano, plotting your next directional path."[1]

Part I

Grog remembers that Vax had promised him something, and they go down to the war room to discuss it. In a conversation laden with innuendo, Vax reveals that Taryon had given him, some time ago, a Philter of Love to use as a prank against Grog. Vax proposes that, instead, the two of them together use the potion to prank Scanlan.

The Prank

Back at the dinner table, Grog calls for a drink. Before they drink, Scanlan starts to gush about how good it is to be back. He decides to sing an inspirational song for Vax; while he does, Vax offers to hold his drink. As Scanlan finishes the song, Vax slips the love potion into the glass, hands it back to Scanlan, and dives to hide Keyleth from view.

The first person that Scanlan sees after drinking from his cup is Percy, with whom he becomes instantly infatuated. Though his sudden, incorrigible flirting is indeed odd, after a brief strategy session, everyone heads to bed.

In his room, Scanlan puts on his best silk g-string. He makes his way, through the series of tunnels interconnecting all of the rooms, to Percy's room, where he crawls into bed between Percy and Vex. Percy pulls Manners from under his pillow to bind Scanlan while they try to figure out what's going on. Vex sends Scanlan back to his room, with Trinket to guard him. The enchantment wears off just as Scanlan is leaving the room.

Vasselheim's War Council

The next morning, after an awkward breakfast, Keyleth casts Plane Shift to bring them to the Trial Forge in Vasselheim. There, they find the city blanketed in dark clouds and all the guards on alert for approaching armies. They notice one citizen, a father, painting a symbol of Vecna over his door in the hopes of protection. Vex convinces him to have hope rather than placing his trust in Vecna, and he destroys the symbol.

They go to the temple of Sarenrae, where one of the head priests, Coraline, tells them that Pike has gone to a meeting in the Platinum Sanctuary. They go to find her there and arrive in the midst of a meeting with dignitaries from all across Vasselheim: High Bearer Vord, Earthbreaker Groon, Holy Curator Curtis Uleas, High Hierophant Ophera, the maidens of the Raven Queen, and J'mon Sa Ord of Marquet. Pike notices them enter and greets them.

Vox Machina tell the assembly what they know of Vecna's ascension. Vord reports that he has wyvern riders searching for the location of Vecna's city, Thar Amphala. Allura and Kima arrive, Allura reporting that Vecna's cloud has spread across the Ozmit Sea to Tal'Dorei. When Vex mentions that Vecna can spy on anyone at any time, Vord offers to loan her a ring called the Band of Shrouds, saying it will protect against prying magics.

Two wyvern riders arrive then, saying they have found Vecna's city and seen it move. Scanlan points out that only two places in the Zenwick Mountains would be of interest to Vecna: the Crypts of Thomara, a cursed city of mad, cannibalistic dwarves; and the Silted Vale, a valley of healing mud that was taken over by violent creatures. Vord agrees that Vox Machina will be the elite strike force against Vecna while the rest of the city's forces go to harry the bulk of his forces.

As they make their plans, a familiar voice rings out from the end of the chamber; Vecna has been watching them.


Part II

The vision of Vecna issues a threat; he will seek out all the loved ones of everyone in the chamber. As he names off Groon's daughter, Vord's family, J'mon's concubines, Cassandra de Rolo, and Velora Vessar, a furious Allura dispels the illusion. Vord confesses that the ring he had given Vex requires attunement, meaning that Vecna has heard everything since the ring changed hands. Frustrated, Vex begins attuning to the ring. As they discuss strategy, Scanlan reveals that the Crypts of Thomara are built inside of a fallen earth titan, which may make it more appealing to Vecna than the Silted Vale. They decide to travel there, with J'mon Sa Ord offering to fly them.

J'mon approaches and gifts the party eight Superior Healing Potions as they are preparing to leave. Ophera opens a tree portal for them, into the Zenwick Mountains. Emerging into the snowy trees, Vax observes that Vecna is now southeast, about four miles away, and moving. J'mon transforms into the Devo'ssa brass dragon and the party mounts up.

The Earth Titan

Fan art of Vox Machina flying towards Thar Amphala atop Devo'ssa, by Hugo Cardenas.[art 1]

Fan art of Vox Machina flying towards Thar Amphala atop Devo'ssa, by BlackSalander.[art 2]

Fan art of the Earth Titan, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 3]

From the air, they see giant craters in the ground that appear to be footprints, each one about 150 feet across and 400 feet apart. They realize that Vecna must have reanimated the Earth Titan to carry Thar Amphala toward Vasselheim. As they catch up with the titan, Grog's Titanstone Knuckles begin to vibrate in resonance.

Still about 200 miles away from Vasselheim, Scanlan and J'mon render the group invisible for the approach to the titan. Keyleth spots a waterfall, which might serve as an entry point, near the base of the titan's leg, and J'mon begins to head toward it. As they do, Keyleth and Vax lose their grips, fall off the dragon's back, and get swatted by the titan. They survive, though damaged, and rejoin the rest of the group by the waterfall.

J'mon gives them a final healing spell, then leaves to join the rest of the forces of Vasselheim. Vox Machina are left to find their way up and into the titan, toward Vecna.

Featured Characters

Vox Machina






External Links


  1. See "The Ominous March" (1x109), part recap, from 18:20 through 20:10.


  1. Fan art of Vox Machina flying towards Thar Amphala atop Devo'ssa, by Hugo Cardenas (source). Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Vox Machina flying towards Thar Amphala atop Devo'ssa, by BlackSalander (source). Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of the Earth Titan, by Lap Pun Cheung (source). Used with permission.