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Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

"The Trick about Falling" (1x05) is the fifth episode of the first season of Critical Role. Having successfully slain a dangerous illithid and its dwarven general, Vox Machina finds themselves surrounded by a small army of duergar. Barely escaping with their lives, they press forward, quickly realizing their path is growing more dangerous with every step into the darkness.



  • The cast is hoping to reach 1,500 subscribers by the end of the evening, and will give out a signed promo kit of 250$ value if the goal is met.
  • International Tabletop Day is next Saturday, and some of the cast will show up during the stream. For every person that registers to participate, a board game will be given away to the Big Brothers Big Sisters charity.
  • The cast received a present from Negihama. It's a model of Greyskull Keep!
  • Sam Riegel, who plays the gnome bard Scanlan, is absent due to work.

Previously on Critical Role[]

"The party has initially been sent down on a mission by the arcanist Allura Vysoren in search of a halfling paladin who's gone missing, named Lady Kima of Vord. A folk hero and very respected individual, she went on a vision quest and apparently went alone into Kraghammer seeking some sort of great evil that was festering beneath the city and hasn't been seen for weeks and weeks. The party was hired by Allura to go and try to find [Kima's] whereabouts and hopefully bring her back safely.

"Since traversing and meeting individuals in Kraghammer they then spearheaded into the Greyspine mines where apparently these monstrosities had been burbling out time and time again over the past few weeks. Pushing down, they had encounters with umber hulks, they managed to inquire some duergar which apparently there are a lot of them down here (duergar being an ashy-skinned, subterranean, dark, evil dwarf-type offshoot). One of which had with it a brain-type quadruped that managed to brain spike Grog and send him catatonic for a short time.

"Wandering through the caverns, discovered there was a duergar warcamp across this large chasm that was currently being run by a general duergar alongside what appeared to be, and what they've now discovered to be, a mind flayer, an illithid. They managed to, upon looking deeper into this cavern, find hidden behind a waterfall—thanks to the druid and the ranger completely stealing from the rest of the group their flying carpet—made a very tenuous relationship, alignment, with another mind flayer apparently cast out of his own society searching to find a way to both get revenge and find his way back into his colony of people. His name was Clarota, lovingly called Clarence by the group, probably much to his own chagrin. After which they decided to go ahead and try to extract information from this duergar general and stop this warcamp from preparing itself for battle and its attack seemingly on Kraghammer in the near future.

"Through a strange crazy plan they came up with, they managed to fly undetected via flying carpet, giant eagle, and floating sorcerer, over the entire warcamp, made a Metal Gear run into the center of their main barracks, threw a bucket of goblin shit into the face of the one mind flayer, after which Vax bisected it pretty much in one surprise round of attacks, lead into a large battle in the center of this building, partway through of which the ground began to rumble and then, digging forth from underneath, a bulette, a gargantuan armored burrowing creature that was hungry and very dangerous, that then made the battle that much more intense. A heavy blood-filled battle later, involved with Percy getting his hand caught and firing his gun into the gullet of the beast, eventually, it had its armor pulled apart and was defeated by the party. The remnants of the duergar army inside of this building have been destroyed aside from a few stranglers that have laid their weapons down and the general now lies beaten on his knees before the rest of the party."

Part I[]

The General's Interrogation[]

The party interrogates the general for any word on Lady Kima. After Vax intimidates him, he reveals that they captured her and delivered her to King Murghol and she is now being tortured in the dungeons of Emberhold. During the interrogation, Clarota attempts to reads his thoughts, causing blood to pour out of one of the general's nostrils and ears, after which he gives up what he knows about K'Varn:

K'Varn was responsible for forging the alliance. For centuries and generations, his people and mine killed and fought. It wasn't until K'Varn came that we decided to work together for a common cause: expansion, unification, dominion over this land and these mountains. Divided we were weak, petty, greedy. With K'Varn leading us, we have purpose, we had growth, we could take what we like. And I'm but one dwarf; if I fall here, many more will take over where I fell. [...]

I have not seen K'Varn personally. What I know of K'Varn: a being of immense intelligence, a creature that needs not walk this earth, one that does not touch the land of which it traverses. I know it sees all, it smiles from a toothy maw and laughs—laughs in the darkness. Protruding from its forehead, one nasty gnarled black horn. A terrible source of its dark power. That is what's been rumored.
A duergar general, being interrogated by Vox Machina[1]
In fact, we'll be keeping your weapons, your armor, and, I believe, your pride.

The general also tells them of a secret side entrance into Emberhold. As a reward, the group decides to let him live, but will take his weapons and his clothes. To that end, Vax slices the general's belt, causing it to fall, but his armor keeps his pants up.

The general doesn't like this idea. Respectively, he turns invisible and flees toward the exit, bringing with him the warhammer, which Grog had already earmarked for himself. Dissatisfied to be left empty-handed, Grog and Vax proceed to finish the general. However, Clarota is ahead of them. He wraps his tentacles around the general's head and consumes his brain. After his "meal", for a moment, Clarota looks a little younger, a little stronger, a little more dangerous. Residual memories from the general allow Clarota to declare, "He spoke the truth about the path into the Emberhold."

Looting the general's body yields the Firebrand Warhammer and his blackened plate armor, which radiates a magical essence. Grog harvests the armor from the bulette.

Escape from the Warcamp[]

Bells and horns sound off in the warcamp. Vex uses Dust of Tracelessness and sprinkles it around the room as they prepare to leave. Keyleth casts Pass without Trace, turns into an eagle and scoops up the gnomes. They all take off, flying from the barracks. Thirty duergar are now rushing towards it. They are spotted, and a stream of javelins are fired up at them, hitting Grog, Keyleth, and Percy. Tiberius shoots a fireball at the duergar, taking out twelve.

As they crest over the warcamp, they can see more and more duergar gathering. Bells are going off, horns are blowing hard. A bunch of them are running over to the siege equipment, specifically larger ballistae.[3]

Vax steers the carpet of flying to the tunnel on the far side of the camp against Vex's objections over leaving Trinket behind.[4] As the carpet circles around, another volley of javelins hit Grog, Keyleth and Percy. Keyleth loses her eagle form and she, Scanlan, and Pike begin to fall. Vax swoops the carpet underneath and catches them, but causes Tiberius to lose concentration on the Flying spell he cast on Grog, who now begins to plummet. The flying carpet is bearing too much weight and careens out of control.

Tiberius jumps off the carpet to try to catch Grog, but ends up tumbling uncontrollably. He manages to cast Feather Fall on himself, but Grog hits the ground. Vax lessens the impact slightly, skimming the carpet over the top of a nearby building and toppling the occupants. The fall knocks Percy and Scanlan unconscious. Although they have managed to fly over the main part of the camp, the duergar will reach them shortly.

They briefly care for the wounded and unconscious before running towards the back of the camp, through the buildings, to the main tunnel, making it into the tunnel before hearing bolts from the ballistae hitting the walls above them. Looking back, they see Clarota, levitating towards the tunnel, get shot with two ballistae bolts. As he begins to falter, Tiberius casts Glacial Blast beneath him and Clarota slides down into the tunnel. Keyleth raises her hands and the blackened stonework of the tunnel shakes for a second then a giant thick wall of natural rock closes off the entire tunnel behind them.[5] Just on the other side of the stone wall, javelins and other things are being shot at the stone wall but it's keeping the duergar at bay.[6]

Way to Emberhold[]

It's like having Goofy as a party member.

After healing Clarota, the group pushes on down the tunnel; Grog sprinkles the Dust of Tracelessness behind them like a flower girl.[8] Keyleth asks Grog if he has any ale, saying, "I think I need a drink."[9] Eventually, Vox Machina reaches another cavern and what looks like an extension of the war camp, fortunately, abandoned. Vex and Keyleth investigate a tunnel to determine which of two they will continue down. Ultimately they settle on the leftward path as likely the right one. Grog immediately charges ahead of the group, the others giving chase.

The tunnel continues in a slow decline and curves to the left. Twenty minutes down, there is a small alcove to the right where they find another abandoned camp of four tents and another seal of Bahamut. Looking at the dirt on the ground, there seems to have been a serious struggle. Tiberius seals the tunnel behind them with pillars as they take refuge in the alcove for the night. Vax and Grog, while on watch, begin to hear many footsteps from above.[10] Vax wakes up Vex and they quietly wait for the footsteps to pass.


At the beginning of the break, Zac Eubank made announcements regarding Geek & Sundry's give-away, including a poster that the Critical Role cast would sign. Matt promoted their charity, 826LA, and then character intro videos were re-aired.

Part II[]

After their unrestful rest, Pike, with the help of Grog, break them out of their hiding place and they continue down, stealthily. The air begins to warm, the smell is a combination of still ground water mixed with sulfur. Clarota shuffles alongside as they walk, and Keyleth asks Pike what she saw in her vision. Pike explains that she visited a shrine of Sarenrae because she had a feeling that she had been here.

Pike:  "In this vision, I basically saw what we've been going through already and what the [general] was talking about. I saw something that was a single twisted horn of blackened soul matter. It was a point of concentrated evil. And it was so strong that I couldn't stay in the vision because I could feel that it was taking over, so it pulled me out of the dream. I had some other visions of where […] I kind of went in past and then got to this thing, so I guess depending on where we are,—"
Vex:  "Can you lead us the direction to go?"
Pike:  "Yes, if I see things that are familiar, such as: I went past a jagged, onyx-colored fortress, framed in molten rock, past a field of broken glass and bone, and the prettiest was into a cavern of blue crystal where a fungal fortress entwined an ancient city of marble and jade."
Clarota:  "Aye, that's where the colony resides. Our great city. Amongst the ruins of jade and glass, surrounded by forest. The city below Yug'Voril, that is where the temple resides, where K'Varn holds the Elder Brain."
Vox Machina in the Underdark[11]

They begin to encounter little orange glowing trickles coming down from the ceiling, then large clusters of pools of molten rock. They hear footsteps farther down the tunnel. Vax and Vex scout ahead and discover two giant ogres dragging a cart. The twins set a trap by holding a rope across the tunnel, and the lead creature trips over it. At that, they call for Grog, who is all too eager to fight.

Vox Machina in combat[]

This is poppycock.

Vax jumps onto the back of one of the ogres, slashing and pulling open its flesh, eviscerating it. Vex fires the explosive arrow at the second ogre. It arcs slightly and smacks into the side of its chest. The explosion rocks the vicinity, toppling the cart. A glass container that was in the back of the cart shatters. Tiberius blasts the ogre with three Scorching Rays. As each explosion hits, its flesh ripples from the impact and exposes bone. It gives out a horrible roar. The cart shifts and something amorphous and liquid emerges.

Scanlan Inspires Grog and casts Invisibility on himself. Vex fires a Lightning Arrow at the black ooze and it splits, seemingly unaffected by the hit. Percy shoots ice at an ooze and it quivers but the ice gets absorbed. He shoots again and the form quivers but continues to slither forward. Keyleth lashes an ooze with her Thorn Whip and pulls it to the edge of a pool of lava. Pike casts Insect Plague over the two oozes. Grog Warhammers the ooze twice causing it to screech and splash ichor hitting Grog and burning his torso like acid. The oozes flank Grog and hit him with pseudopod-like appendages from their bodies, the leftover sludge they leave on him burns him even further. Clarota casts Lightning Bolt, apparently not seeing what happened with the ooze bolted with lightning by Vex, and the ooze divides again.

One of the party hears clacking sounds on the ceiling and sees two hook horrors scurrying across before both of them leap down. With a funky grin, Tiberius picks up the creature next to him with Telekinesis and throws it in the lava pool. It sizzles and shrieks in pain as it sinks into the pool. Scanlan, worried that Pike is in danger, Inspires her and successfully Dominates the monster near her. Vax runs and jumps over the lava pool. As he does, the creature there claws at him. Once he lands, he slashes the oozes with his daggers and their acid splashes his arms.


Percy takes two shots at the little oozes. Keyleth shapes into an eagle and flies behind the oozes then returns to human form and casts Thunderwave. Pike sprints to Grog and casts Cure Wounds on him. Grog ends his rage.[14] He tries running back to the creature near the ice spike, but takes hits from the oozes and falls unconscious.

Clarota, taking a note from Tiberius, uses his own Telekinesis to lift the large ooze and slam it on top of the hook horror already in the lava pool, completely dissolving the hook horror. The second, dominated hook horror moves to the edge of the lava pool and strikes twice at ooz in the lava, causing it to dissipate, spraying acid across, which breaks Scanlan's domination. Tiberius throws two Ice Spikes at the hook horror, trying to push it into the lava pool, but it holds its ground. Scanlan arcs his sword at the hook horror, piercing where Tiberius' ice spikes embedded, cracking open the armored shell.

Vex marks the ooze by her brother and makes two bow attacks, killing it. Vax throws his two daggers at the ooze. They begin to sink in, but they teleport back to his Blinkback Belt. Percy takes two shots at the ooze. It splats against the wall and liquefies. Keyleth hooks two ends of her Thorn Whip into the creature and rips it apart. The creature plummets into the magma and the still-sizzling form of the ooze.[15]

Grog:  [regains consciousness] "Did I—did I kill it?"
Vex:  "You did, Grog. Good job."
Vax:  "You killed them all, Grog. You were magnificent."
Grog:  "Tell me more." [falls unconscious again]
Grog, after being healed by Pike[16]

Pike heals Grog and the rest of the group with a Mass Cure Wounds. With Grog's hide- and leather-based armor having dissolved due to acid, Vax gives his magical armor to the goliath and instead dons his acid-resistant armor.[17]

Percy examines the cart. He discovers a broken and slightly scarred glass containment unit and various body parts. Grog loots the ogres and finds some gold, two pieces of which he gives to Vax and two to Pike for healing him. Keyleth collects some shards of broken glass.

Grog:  "Thank you, Pike."
Pike:  "Oh, you're welcome, Grog. My best pal."
[Grog howls and Pike joins in]
Grog and Pike, after she casts Mass Cure Wounds[18]

They tread for another half-hour until it opens up into a familiar cavern to some. They are in the crevasse where Keyleth and Vex met Clarota. It is also familiar to Pike, as she saw this in her vision. They take this opportunity to collect Trinket.


Zac Eubank announces the winner of the give-away. Matthew Mercer and Zac confirm that the chat did choose the ooze for the encounter.[19][20] Matt explains that having the chat choose a creature for an encounter will be occasional, not weekly. Zac allows the chat to decide what's next on the Geek & Sundry stream and convinces some of the cast of Critical Role to stay for any dancing.

Featured Characters[]

Vox Machina[]





Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 1 Firebrand Warhammer Duergar General Grog
Acquired a few travel bags Alcove camp Vex'ahlia Includes rope, grappling hooks, and 8 torches.
Converted 1 explosive arrow Percy Percy Percy makes an explosive arrow out of materials on hand, including black powder.
Transferred 1 explosive arrow Percy Vex'ahlia Percy gives the explosive arrow to Vex.
Expended 1 explosive arrow Vex'ahlia Giant ogre The explosive arrow had a -4 penalty to hit[21] and did an extra 2d8 damage[22] to the target and nearby objects.
Transferred 1 Earring of Whisper Scanlan Grog
Transferred 1 Studded Armor +2 Vax Grog
Acquired 24 Gold ogre corpses Grog
Transferred 2 Gold Grog Vax
Transferred 2 Gold Grog Pike For healing him.
Acquired some shards of glass environment Keyleth Hand-sized shards of broken glass from the glass containment unit.


  • Vax'ildan: We already told you your weapons are ours.
    Percy: In fact, we'll be keeping your weapons, your armor, and I believe, your pride.[23]
  • Vex'ahlia: Did the blue gemstones look valuable?[24]
  • Matt: "His first time casting spells." [then mouths "it's not"][25]
  • Taliesin: "Okay, I'm going to try something weird here."
    Travis: "Oh no."[26]
  • Ashley: "Question—I want to use something I think that I can use called—uhm… this may be stupid so I have another option if this is dumb."
    Travis: "That's what it's called?"
    Orion: "That's a weird spell."[27]
  • Matt: "I would recommend not arguing with the DM."[28]
  • Matt: "You hear [clacking sounds]—"
    Travis: "Ah, not an umber hulk!"
    Matt: "—a pair of clacking sounds, and you instinctively look up on the ceiling and see two large—"
    Liam: [slams his head on the table]
    Matt: "—creatures clinging to the ceiling, scurrying across…"[29]
  • Laura: "You guys suck."[30]
  • Liam: "You tried to kill us, but you failed."
    Taliesin: "Nice try."
    Marisha: [makes "I'm watching you" hand gestures at the camera][31]
  • Liam: "Do you know what's funny? What's funny is the armor I had before this, that I wasn't paying attention to, was acid resistant."[32]
  • Liam: "I can't stare at his pecs for the next three days, so I give him my armor—"
    Laura: "I can!" [winks at Travis five times][33]
  • Vax: "He sounds like a real fun guy [fungi]."[34] (summary of K'Varn)
    Matt: [Vax feels a mental slap as Clarota glares at him.]
    Clarota: "There will be none of that in my presence. I hate puns."
  • Vax: "Smells like Grog."[35] (After entering caver full of sulfur)
    Grog: "I would like to trip Vax."
  • Marisha: [singsong] "Bitches in lava. Bitches in lava."[36]
  • Marisha: "I like lava pools. I like lava pools."[37]
  • Marisha: "Thorn whip the bitches. Thorn whip the bitches."[38]


  • Critical Role was gifted with Castle Grayskull from #teamnostream to represent Greyskull Keep.[39]
  • This is the first episode to feature Pike's intro video. The imagery has since been blurred on YouTube for copyright reasons, but audio is still perceptible.[40]
  • For the first time ever, Grog ends his rage early.[14]


  1. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) from 0:27:59 through 0:29:42.
  2. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 0:31:40.
  3. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 0:45:50.
  4. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 0:46:18.
  5. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:01:31.
  6. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:01:58.
  7. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:11:16.
  8. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:02:15.
  9. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:02:35.
  10. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:18:56.
  11. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:45:29.
  12. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:01:42.
  13. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:36:48s.
  14. 14.0 14.1 For the first time ever, Grog ends his rage early.  See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:39:11.
  15. How do you want to do this?  See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) from 2:53:15 through 2:54:28.
  16. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:55:26.
  17. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:57:42.
  18. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:56:43.
  19. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 3:06:15.
  20. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 3:07:33.
  21. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:00:30.
  22. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:00:57.
  23. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 0:31:35.
  24. Vex asks about the gemstones in Pike's vision.  See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:48:04.
  25. Matt jokes when Orion forgets to add his spell attack bonus to his Scorching Ray attack rolls.  See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:02:57.
  26. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:09:22.
  27. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:14:12.
  28. Matt discourages arguing with the DM after having Clarota cast Lightning Bolt on an ooze.  See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:22:57.
  29. During the battle with the ogres and oozes, Matt describes the arrival of two hook horrors.  See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:23:45.
  30. The cast reacts to the probability that the chat voted on this encounter.  See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:23:45.
  31. The cast responds to the chatroom, which voted on this encounter.  See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:54:34.
  32. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:57:26.
  33. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:58:52.
  34. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:48:46.
  35. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:43:51.
  36. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:56:03.
  37. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:26:28.
  38. Marisha sings about thorn whipping enemies, accompanied by Liam.  See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:53:05.
  39. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 0:01:11.
  40. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 0:01:50.