Critical Role Wiki

This wiki contains spoilers for the entirety of Critical Role and The Legend of Vox Machina. Proceed at your own risk!


Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

"Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) is the eighteenth episode of the first campaign of Critical Role. With Vox Machina now split, Scanlan, Percy, Vex'ahlia, and Grog find themselves teaming up with an unlikely duo assigned by Huntmaster Vanessa Cyndrial of the Slayer's Take guild. The task at hand: ridding the wilds around Vasselheim of a troublesome white dragon past the frost-harried north of the Vesper Timberland...




  • Matthew Mercer notes that there will now be giveaways for every 100 subscribers as opposed to the original 50. Giveaways tonight contain a special care package consisting of D&D books and a photo, all signed by the cast in addition to comics and other goodies.[1]
  • Matt reminds the audience that Vox Machina has been split into two separate groups due to their actions in the previous episode and choosing to join the Slayer's Take instead of going to court, and that joining the first group (Vex'ahlia, Grog, Percy, and Scanlan) are two guest players for the next two weeks: Felicia Day and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. Orion Acaba gives Matt a mysterious headkiss, to which Matt remarks that this is the best Thursday ever. This will be Mary's first ever D&D experience and is a big fan of the show. Felicia is also a huge fan of the show, and Scanlan ("the one with the scatological problem") is not her favorite character.[2]
  • Laura Bailey is flying out immediately after the episode to go to GenCon in Indianapolis for a Titansgrave panel tomorrow. Laura specifically changed her flight so she could be here for this episode, a testament to how much she loves the Critters. The new Trinket that devours everyone that hugs him was a big factor.[3]
  • Mary is heading to San Antonio tomorrow morning with Steve Blum for SanJapan.[4]
  • Due to a lot of questions, Matt notes that Percy's martial archetype has been rebalanced. Taliesin Jaffe jokingly notes that he may as well be firing pump-action foam darts now, but Matt jokingly tells him that he doesn't get them until level 18. He also notes the rebalancing that has been done to the homebrew rule regarding spell use where if using two spells, one cannot be higher than 2nd-level (which also applies to the Quickened Spell homebrew rule for sorcerers since the original homebrew rule was getting too overpowered, something that confuses Mary but ultimately does not apply to her).[5]
  • Before the game begins, Travis Willingham in-character gets excited. Matt asks "Phillip" to calm down. Travis notes that Phillip is long gone, that he's currently training to an '80s training montage.[6]

Previously on Critical Role[]

"The party has found themselves in the city of Vasselheim, a very deity- and religion-based city, and a very harsh environment; it's far up north in this continent and the weather itself is very cold, the landscape is very harsh and rugged, and outside of the city itself there is an extremely dark, oppressive, almost unnaturally fast-growing forest known as the Vesper Timberland. This is where [they] encountered the hydra last time; [they] just barely trekked out of the city and found that creature. Who knows what else lies out there? But the city seems very well-prepared to defend itself against whatever atrocities make their way towards the outskirts of the city. After Grog fought very gloriously in the Crucible and just barely lost—the test of strength just didn't fall in his favor—he sulked via ale and ladies back at the tavern. The party, after defeating the hydra, being called on their law-breakage in Vasselheim, have been tasked to return the next morning, as separate groups, to figure out what contract is being given to them and what members of their team await them as they arrive."[7]

Part I[]

Unlikely Allies[]

Boom, clap! The sound of your gun, the beat goes on and on, and on, and on, on!
Scanlan Shorthalt inspiring Percival de Rolo (based on “Boom Clap” by Charli XCX)[8]

As the morning comes, the first half of the divided Vox Machina (consisting of Vex'ahlia, Grog Strongjaw, Scanlan Shorthalt, and Percival de Rolo) head off to the Slayer's Take guildhall. Percy asks Grog for some metal armor so that he can tinker with something. As they search for a place where he can do his work, Scanlan inspires him. Eventually, Percy finds a long-abandoned workshop and creates a container filled with black powder and shrapnel that will be safe to carry.

The party arrives at the Guildhall and are greeted by Mertin Cyndrial. When he slips and refers to the Huntmaster as his wife, he asks they not mention it to her. He introduces them to one of their new traveling companions, another hopeful seeking entry into the guild, a red-skinned tiefling with white hair and silver eyes wielding a staff with four dragon skulls and a moonstone in the center. The tiefling sizes them up one-by-one and seems disinterested in all but Grog, recognizing him from his battle with Kern in the Crucible, and praising him for it. She introduces herself as Zahra Hydris. Percy tries to discern whether she is titled, and notices her self-confidence and a mild hint of insecurity. Grog asks what her weapon of choice is, and she shows him her staff that she had made herself, which Vex is begrudgingly impressed by.

Mertin notes that it is guild policy for newcomers to be led by a senior member of the guild, which in this case should be "curious indeed". As he mentions that she is late, the leader in question — a frazzled-looking human woman with curly black hair and glasses — bursts through the door and runs towards the group. As she babbles about how sorry she is for being late, she trips and some papaya she is carrying scatters over the floor. She quickly apologizes to everyone and continues to babble until Mertin silences her, and she introduces herself as Lyra.

Lyra expresses her excitement about leading a group as the flabbergasted party watches. Mertin notes that she is "useful" to the guild and she mentions that this is her first time leading a group of hunters. Scanlan asks Lyra about her place in the guild, and she admits that she joined "on a technicality". She is from Vasselheim and has studied the arcane arts. She adds that she had never heard of Vox Machina before, and mentions her "boyfriend" Aldor. Scanlan notes that they met him previously when they killed the hydra. They tell Lyra their honest thoughts about Aldor, and Lyra mentions how "large" he is and that she's "seen it". When Grog asks what her weapon of choice is, she pulls out her ashen wand.[9]

The Contract[]

Before Lyra goes into any further extensive detail about herself, Mertin returns with Vanessa, the Huntmaster mentioning how interesting it will be to see Lyra's first official hunt as a leader. Lyra thanks her for the opportunity, and Vex also sarcastically thanks her for putting the party in her "capable" hands. Vanessa notes that this is a choice of convenience and a test of Vox Machina's abilities and Lyra's leadership skills, both of which are unproven in the eyes of the Slayer's Take. She goes on to note that Lyra's knowledge and skills will be of aid to the group, which generates more sarcasm from Vox Machina.

Getting down to business, Vanessa and Mertin provide the party four Potions of Greater Healing and a leather satchel that resembles the Bag of Holding but is designed to safely transport perishable creature body parts by keeping them cold. Vex and Zahra play roshambo for it, with Vex winning. Vanessa also hands them a contract recently approved and submitted to the Take from the Crown of Erathis within the Quadroads, noting that the quarry will indeed be quite dangerous. Percy reads the contract aloud:

Ordered and paid in advance by Alchemist Ozwyn Gruude (client).
This contract, binding in honor and the elements, sets upon the agreed members of the Slayer's Take Guildhall the task of locating and slaying the below-mentioned entity and the recovery of the below listed harvested anatomy items. Any anatomy items not recovered or not in functional condition will be deducted from the final payment and refunded to the Client. This contract is good for 3 days, and should the contract not be fulfilled within that time period, all payments are null and void, this contract is null and void, and membership within the Slayer's Take is revoked (outside of the Huntmaster's willful forgiveness).
The Quarry has been approved for hunting by the Holy Paramours of the Crown of Erathis.
The Quarry: adult White Dragon
The first Slayer's Take contract[10]

Photograph of the contract from "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18), by Taliesin Jaffe. Contract written by Matthew Mercer and "signed" by the player characters..[art 1]

The party collectively expresses their shock at what they have just gotten themselves into. Vex, having studied dragons for a large portion of her life, recalls white dragons as being more spiteful, arrogant, and bestial compared to other dragons, and that they are very dangerous. They recall having faced a white dragon before during the Winter's Crest festival that was ultimately slain by Pike. Percy tells the party that they need the listed anatomy items: two eyes for 900 gold each, one tongue for 1200, one heart for 3500, six claws for 250 each, and twenty teeth for 50 each. Anything else is fair game for the group to take.

Vanessa tells them that they must locate the dragon, and that the contract must be signed before anything else. The party members place their hands on the contract one-by-one, including Trinket, their names magically signed onto it. When they leave the Guildhall, Vex uses her Primeval Awareness but is unable to determine the location of the dragon. They decide to go to the Abundant Terrace to gather information on the Vesper Timberland and ask whether anyone has seen the dragon flying there.[11]

Setting Out[]

The party arrives at the Abundant Terrace and split up to find information. Vex, Lyra, and Scanlan enter the Midnight Breath Tavern where the co-owner, a rugged-looking older human named Dagon, claims to have seen a dragon flying by in the woods. Dagon was two days' travel northwest of the city via the Glasswalk Road with some companions when they heard a terrifying roar and found a pack of four dire wolves converging on the camp. A large white dragon flew in, killing one of the wolves and frightening the rest away, saving him. Lyra hands him some gold for his troubles. As they exit the tavern, Vex points out to Lyra that her money bag is easy pray for wicked-hearted people and she should be more careful regarding her money.

The rest of the party convenes with Vex's group and make their preparations for the fight. Using Zahra's Suggestion spell, the group buys horses (including a sturdy warhorse for Grog) for half the normal cost. Vex is hesitant to pay even half-price for the horses, but Lyra pays the owner right away, pulls Zahra aside and chastises the Tiefling for using such an underhanded tactic without her permission. Zahra assures the wizard that it will not happen again, Lyra earning praise from the others for being firm but fair. They then go to Lyra's Uncle Randy's warehouses and acquire furs and cloaks for the group. After a brief consideration of going to the Braving Grounds, the group sets out beyond the gates in pursuit of the dragon.[12]

Campfire Bonding[]

The party begins their trek through the Vesper Timberland and up the Glasswalk Road. After nine hours of travel, the sun begins to set and they make camp for the night. Lyra sets her Transmuter Stone to cold resistance as Zahra basks in what moonlight she can find before retiring. Lyra talks about a worg she had killed that led to her "technical" entry into the Slayer's Take. The party decides who will take turns guarding the camp, Zahra and Vex taking the first watch, Percy second, and Grog third. Scanlan and Lyra choose to sleep instead of taking watch.

Zahra Vex campfire bonding - Megzilla87

Fan art of Zahra and Vex bonding, by Megzilla87.[art 2]

As the two mismatched women sit down in front of the fire, they begin to converse after a moment of awkward silence.

Zahra:  "You need help carrying your purse, your bag?"
Vex'ahlia:  "Oh, no, it's quite comfortable against my side, actually."
Zahra:  "Could I feel how heavy it is?"
Vex'ahlia:  "It's not heavy at all. There's nothing in it, darling. Where do you come from?"
Zahra:  (nervous chuckle) "Um… I come…"
Vex'ahlia:  "We just don't see very many tieflings around here."
Zahra:  "No, I come from very far away. It took quite a long time for me to get here. I come from the land of Feren."
Vex'ahlia:  "Feren?"
Zahra:  "Yes. Very far-off, mountainous, dark… Very dark."
Vex'ahlia:  "And you left because…?"
Zahra:  "Uh, my father was killed and I was left to my own in the woods. So I left."
Vex'ahlia:  "That sounds familiar."
Zahra:  "Oh, it does?"
Vex'ahlia:  "Yes, actually."
Zahra:  "Why? Why is that?"
Vex'ahlia:  "My mother was killed."
Zahra:  "She was?"
Vex'ahlia:  "Yes."
Zahra:  "By whom?"
Vex'ahlia:  "A dragon. I wonder if it was white?"
Zahra:  "I wonder if it was? [...] What about your father?"
Vex'ahlia:  "My father's alive."
Zahra:  "And what is he?"
Vex'ahlia:  "An arsehole, actually."
Zahra:  "Really? Mine was an arsehole, too!"
Vex'ahlia:  "Really?!"
Zahra:  "He was! He was a dark wizard. it was awful."
Vex'ahlia:  "Wow. Mine's just a jerk."
Zahra:  "[My father] kept me in a cage."
Vex'ahlia:  (feeling put off) "Zahra… Getting a bit personal around the fire."
Zahra:  "Sorry. I thought we were 'bonding'."
Vex'ahlia:  (laughs) "Here, have some food."
Zahra:  "Thank you. God, what is this?"
Vex'ahlia:  "It's disgusting. Grog found it."
Zahra:  "Is it wood? [...] All right. Well, at least it's elm."

During the third watch, Grog hears a sound in the distance and investigates. He sees a large furred dire wolf and two humanoids encroaching on the campsite and alerts the others.[14]



  • A video compilation from several Critters for the "Cream Cancer Challenge".[16]
  • The Critical Role intro.[17]
  • Matt mentions the new format for the show that was put together by Zac Eubank and the rest of the Twitch crew.[18]
  • The "5k and a Bear" t-shirts are up for sale for one more day.[19]

Part II[]

Ambush in the Timberland[]

Grog recognizes the humanoid creatures in front of him as orcs — and remarks that they remind him of Kern as he goes into a rage. He charges at the dire wolf with his greataxe and lands two hard-hitting blows. Waking up from Grog's shout, the party finds themselves surprised and ambushed by more orcs and another creature that seems to be an ogrillon, a half-ogre/half-orc. One of them rushes towards Scanlan as the bard attempts to sing to distract him.

No, I don’t wanna get hurt… by you!
Scanlan's Cutting Words (based on “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak)[20]

Despite the distraction, the orc still manages to get his attack in. Percy, rattled and still in pajamas, pulls out The List and aims for the ogrillon, first shooting its foot with the fire barrel and knocking it off-balance, then blasting it in the face destroying a part of its jaw. Not giving it a chance at retaliation, he aims once more and obliterates the creature's head as it finally falls still. Turning around, he laughs maniacally as he aims the pepperbox at the next target and blasts a crater in its shoulder.


Fan art of Percy attacking in his pajamas[21], by advocatingAvian.[art 3]

Grog goes into a frenzied rage as he swings the axe around him, wounding the two orcs and cleaving the dire wolf's throat. The beast falls dead with a gurgling yelp. The orcs then retaliate against Grog, but he shrugs off their blows. One of the orcs swings at Lyra and although it misses, she is shaken by the sheer impact of the blow as it lands right in front of her.

The orcs surrounding the screaming Percy also attack and easily land two strikes due to the gunslinger being unarmored and in his pajamas. Scanlan whips out the Hand Cone of Clarity and commands an orc through Dominate Person to protect Grog with his life. The bard then goes to Lyra, backs her up, and inspires her.

I raise my hand to Lyra and say
That you could use some Scanlan today!
Tonight I give you a d10!
Scanlan inspiring Lyra (based on “Hands to Heaven” by Breathe)[22]

Vex, seeing Percy flanked by the two orcs on him, casts Hunter's Mark on the wounded one and shoots him with the Blazing Bowstring. As the arrow connects and ignites, the orc hears a sudden growling from behind as Trinket pounces on him. Zahra casts Hex and Eldritch Blast on the one remaining orc next to Percy, and as the three rays of energy collide, they blow a large gaping hole through the orc's body as he falls dead onto the snowy ground.

Lyra, still in shock, unleashes a Chain Lightning spell at her attacker frying his entire upper torso and striking the dominated orc nearby. Scanlan is visibly impressed as he throws up at seeing this grotesque sight. Percy starts running towards Grog, taking two shots and finishing the dominated orc. Grog cleaves apart one of the orcs flanking him and then grabs the last orc by the throat.[23]

It's death or target practice for my friends. Talk.
Grog Strongjaw intimidating the last orc[24]


As the dust settles, Zahra speaks to the throttled orc in his own language, and they learn the direction in which the dragon's lair lies. However, he refuses to aid them further and losing patience, Grog chops off his head with his greataxe. Lyra (as leader) registers her disapproval of his acting without her permission.

After going back to bed for a full rest, the party and their still-spooked horses continue northward up the Glasswalk Road, with Lyra continuing to share with them the intimate details of her relationship with Aldor. A snowstorm begins, and they realize it is a never-ending blizzard around the mountain lair of the white dragon. Vex's dragon sense picks up an approaching blip, and they hurriedly take cover as the beast flies overhead through the storm. To stay out of its sight, they continue on through the forest itself and manage to pass a glowing entity in some ruins near a lake unnoticed by it. Eventually, they reach the base of the mountain and see a cavern leading within.

As they approach it, a flying boulder hits and injures Vex. A very large bluish-grey frost giant steps out of the forest, grabs another boulder, and begins to toss it in its hand. A second bellow and an echoing voice comes from the cavern behind them, saying, "Intruder! Take him down!" and a second frost giant steps out.

Featured Characters[]

Vox Machina



Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Acquired 4 Potions of Greater Healing Slayer's Take Scanlan Originally they were going to be divided, but Scanlan took them all for himself.[28]
Acquired 1 Bag of Colding Vanessa Cyndrial Vex'ahlia Vex and Zahra initially fought for the bag, but the ranger beat her in a game of roshambo.[29]
Acquired 1 Contract Vanessa Cyndrial Percy[30]
Acquired 274 gold Orc corpses Scanlan
Acquired 3 Iron axes Orc corpses Zahra Poor condition
Acquired 1 Orc head Orc Grog Grog chops off the orc's head and puts it into the Bag of Holding.
Acquired 1 Canine tooth Dire wolf Zahra
Transferred 1 Transmuter Stone Lyra Scanlan Lyra hands Scanlan her stone (set to cold resistance) after he starts to feel fatigue from the cold.


  • Matt: Since Grog woke up this morning he had a very, very nice coat of somewhat bristly, translucent-- not very attractive facial hair, but facial hair by definition.
    Laura: It's like fishing line coming out of his face.
    Grog: I'm a damn pirate now. Watch out.
    Percy: Like a 14 year old whose father doesn't love him enough to teach him how to groom himself.[31]
  • Lyra: Listen, missy. I am a leader of this, and the fact that you pulled out a spell and did not say-- and it is just-- it's just not even the way I want to conduct my team. So. You. If you're going to use underhanded tactics you need to clear them with me first because I am the leader.


  1. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 0:01:30 through 0:01:59.
  2. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 0:01:59 through 0:04:56.
  3. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 0:04:56 through 0:05:48.
  4. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 0:05:48 through 0:06:10.
  5. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 0:06:10 through 0:07:47.
  6. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 0:07:47 through 0:08:16.
  7. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 0:08:16 through 0:09:34.
  8. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 0:14:14.
  9. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 0:09:34 through 0:30:45.
  10. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 0:38:29 through 0:39:17.
  11. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 0:30:45 through 0:49:02.
  12. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 0:49:02 through 1:12:38.
  13. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 1:18:46 through 1:20:40.
  14. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 1:12:38 through 1:24:18.
  15. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 1:23:25.
  16. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 1:25:25 through 1:32:33.
  17. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 1:33:48.
  18. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 1:33:48 through 1:34:16.
  19. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 1:34:16 through 1:34:36.
  20. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 1:40:20.
  21. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 1:46:50.
  22. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 1:53:35.
  23. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) from 1:34:36 through 2:08:14.
  24. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 2:07:50.
  25. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 0:29:43.
  26. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 0:19:43.
  27. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 0:51:21.
  28. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 0:33:33.
  29. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 0:34:28.
  30. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 0:37:07.
  31. See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 0:46:01.


  1. Photograph of the contract from "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18), by Taliesin Jaffe (source). Contract written by Matthew Mercer and "signed" by the player characters. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. Fan art of Zahra and Vex bonding, by Megzilla87 (source). Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Percy attacking in his pajamas[21], by advocatingAvian (source). Used with permission.