- Sam reads an "original Dr. Seuss" poem for Backblaze
- Matt reads a Loot Crate ad
- The next episode of Critical Role will be on January 5
- Laura plugs merch in the web store, but she has no idea what it is
- Marisha plugs a last minute Signal Boost episode airing tomorrow and the Spotify playlists
- Blizzard Entertainment approved the use of their music in the show
- Special Critmas episode of Talks Machina next Tuesday
Previously on Critical Role
"Vox Machina—after spending the better part of a number of months traversing the prime Material Plane and planes beyond in search of ancient relics known as the Vestiges of the Divergence—have finally increased their abilities, they've made allies, and they've begun their trek to tear down the collection of evil chromatic dragons known as the Chroma Conclave that destroyed [the] city of Emon and took over most of the continent of Tal'Dorei and beyond.
"[They've] defeated and slain three members of the Conclave, allied with a fourth, and [they've] made [their] way, along with an army—combined with the powers of Fort Daxio and Syngorn—to the central city of Emon. Utilizing aid from the Ashari people to cover the skies as the armies began to assault the outer walls, [Vox Machina] along with Zahra, Kashaw, Jarett, Gilmore—the whole party, everyone's there—Kima—Drake staying back with the army to help them with the assault.
"[They] made their way underneath, through the sewer system, made a brief alliance with some wayward Clasp who led [them] to the center of town where the volcanic essence of Thordak's mutated draconic form has been pulling volcanic activity up beneath the city. [They] climbed up on top, and there at the walled gates to the central Cloudtop District, which Thordak now calls his home and his lair, [they] saw two fire giants guarding the entrance. Kashaw and Zahra, in a heroic display, bound the giants in place and decided to take care of them while [Vox Machina] rushed into the fray, bursting through the door due to the strength of [Grog's] Titanstone Gauntlets.
"[Vox Machina] rushed into the cloud-, smoke-, and ember-filled Cloudtop District ruins, jumping from ruined building to wreck of rubble and stone. The air itself is dense with black and dark fumes, it's hard to see anything. [They] all kind of carefully, gingerly, stealthily made [their] way into the alcove of one ruined building, where across the way [they] see a giant raised central cavern, a hole, a burrow if you will, that is close to forty feet across. Apparently [their] approach was somewhat sensed by the red dragon himself, as [they] watched Thordak emerge from this burrow and climb out, saying to itself, 'It appears we have visitors.'"
As Thordak emerges from the crater, it's clear he hasn't spotted the party yet. They are able to take their Potions of Fire Resistance unseen, but Vex's Pass Without a Trace spell incantation is noticed. The party takes a few shots at Thordak, inluding a Tsunami spell from Keyleth that is less effective than she'd hoped due to Thordak's massive size. The dragon breathes fire and most of the party are injured, Gilmore severely. More shots are taken at Thordak, many of them deflected by his tough hide. Raishan appears in her true dragon form, breathes poison at Thordak, and casts Blight on him.
More attacks and spells are volleyed at Thordak, while magma shoots from the ground at the party members. Thordak unleashes four savage attacks on Grog and two Fire Elementals leap from holes in the ground. Loud noises are heard in the sky and the skyship Deera is seen overhead, joining the fray. As the battle has progressed, Thordak has often been heard talking to either himself or something unseen, using the word "we."
The Deera fires two shots at Thordak, drawing two of the wyverns' attention to the battlefield. A cloud of poison is released from the ground, but the party is immune because of yesterday's Heroes' Feast. Scanlan and Percy badly wound one of the fire elementals and Keyleth finishes it off with a Thunderwave. Raishan kills one of the wyverns, its lizardman rider falling to the ground. Gilmore hits Thordak with a powerful Disintegrate spell, doing a large amount of damage to the dragon, and a large red crystal is revealed inside him where the flesh is burned away.
Thordak flies into the air and hits Grog, Pike, Kima, and Gilmore with another fire breath, doing massive damage to each of them and knocking Gilmore unconscious. Vex reaches back for her last Arrow of Dragon Slaying and finds two there, one with a note on it that she quickly tucks into her pocket. She unfortunately misses the mark with it and ducks in a corner to hide.
Kima heals Gilmore with Lay On Hands. Vax deals a mighty blow on Thordak with his Dragonslayer Sword and follows it with a blow from Whisper that plunges into the dragon and hits the crystal inside him, damaging it. Vox Machina and allies score a few more hits on the dragon, and in the distance a fire giant is seen climbing over the inner wall of the Cloudtop district and joins the battle. The party recognizes that this is not one of the giants that Zahra and Kashaw were dealing with.
Keyleth destroys the other fire elemental in one hit with a Tidal Wave. Gilmore remarks that Thordak isn't looking too good and fires a Lightning Bolt at him. Thordak unleashes yet another fire breath, damaging Pike and Scanlan and knocking Jarett unconscious. Vex hits Thordak with her final Arrow of Dragon Slaying, which destroys the crystal inside him. Thordak's form shrinks and withers and he returns to his normal (albeit still gargantuan) size.
The party continues attacking Thordak, Vax while standing on Thordak's head. Pike heals Jarett, bringing him back to consciousness. Raishan hits Thordak with Chain Lightning, which arcs and also hits Vax. After a few more hits, Thordak is badly wounded and dives into the crater to make an escape. Vax falls into the tunnel with him but loses his grip shortly after and Thordak disappears further down the tunnel.
Vax flies down the tunnel and catches up, grabbing onto his back and burying the Dragonslayer Sword into his hide. Then he jabs Whisper deep into the dragon's flesh, burying his arm to the shoulder. As he remembers the voice of his mother, he rips the dagger out of the dragon's neck and it falls limp to the ground. Thordak the Cinder King is dead. Vex, who was chasing after her brother, arrives at the scene and hugs him.
Outside the crater, a lizardman, a wyvern rider, and a fire giant still remain on the battlefield. The fire giant manages a hit on Grog, but the party focus it down quickly. War cries can be heard from everywhere in the city surrounding them. The Deera fires shots at Raishan that miss wide, and Raishan tells the party to call them off. Then she jumps down into the crater and finds the twins standing by the corpse of Thordak.
Jarett and Grog finish off the wyvern while the rest of the party make their way to the crater. Below, Vex can see down into the chamber at the bottom of the tunnel, a large room bisected by flowing lava. Vax asks Keyleth via earring "hit or wait," and she tells him to wait until she gets there. Raishan pulls a scroll from under one of her scales and begins reading from it. Keyleth says "Don't let her touch him!" and Vax throws three daggers at Raishan, but she manages to complete the incantation. The spell seems to be similar to Pike's Speak With Dead spell, and the corpse of Thordak is partly reanimated.
Vax tells Raishan that he intends to kill her today. Raishan says to come claim her and darts away from Thordak's body and into the chamber below, Vex firing arrows at her as she passes. Keyleth arrives next to Vax and they confirm with each other that they're going in after Raishan. Above, Grog crushes the final lizardman's skull in his bare hands. He and the remaining party members rush down into the crater
Vax, Vex, and Keyleth chase Raishan into the chamber below, where they see five nine-foot dragon eggs that appear elementally-altered. Vex spies Raishan hiding at the top of the chamber just as the dragon casts Meteor Swarm. Vax manages to step out of the way in time, but Vex and Keyleth are hit by large flaming meteorites, severely wounding them. [Note: At the end of the episode it was stated that Vex was knocked unconscious due to a mistake on the DM's part. This was corrected for the beginning of the next episode.]
- Percival de Rolo
- Scanlan Shorthalt
- Grog Strongjaw
- Pike Trickfoot (controlled by Laura and Liam)
- [Thordak emerges from his burrow, then rolls a natural one perception check for noticing Vox Machina]
Liam: (impersonating Thordak) I guess I'll go back to sleep now.
- Travis: I just want to pee on myself and run!
- Thordak : Is this all you've got?!
Sam/Scanlan: Actually yes, that is my biggest thing! So yes...
(Remaining cast bursts into laughter)
Thordak: Good 
- Ashley Johnson was absent, so Pike was controlled by Liam and Laura in her place.
- Vax'ildan dealt a monstrous 118 points of damage to Thordak: 102 points with his first attack using the Dragon Slayer Longsword and 16 points with his second attack using Whisper.
- By defeating Thordak, the Cinder King, Vex and Vax completed their personal mission to avenge their mother, Elaina's, murder.