"Trust" (1x70) is the first episode of the sixth chapter of Critical Role. After a tense discussion, Vox Machina finds themselves with an unlikely—and untrustworthy—ally. A risky plan is formed and the group heads to the ruins of Draconia to prepare for their battle with Vorugal the white dragon...
Previously on Critical Role
"Vox Machina, our band of adventurers, had been collecting the Vestiges of the Divergence, a series of artifacts, to prepare for their coming encounter with Thordak the Cinder King and the rest of the Chroma Conclave, a group of evil ancient dragons that banded together to tear across and dominate the Tal'Dorei countryside.
"During their most recent journey, they were tailing what appeared to be a competitive group searching for the same artifacts, led by a forgotten villain of the past known as Doctor Ripley. They were led into a trap, and a heavy battle took place, one that claimed the life of Percival. The party retrieved his body, took it back to Whitestone, and—through a series of very lucky rolls and imploring his soul to return once freeing it from the devouring jaws of Orthax the shadow demon—he was restored to life.
"The celebration was short-lived thus far. After an evening's rest, they were asked by their old ally Seeker Assum to meet him upstairs in Castle Whitestone in the War Room for a very important meeting. Upon arriving around the central table, Assum revealed himself to actually be Raishan, the green dragon and member of the Chroma Conclave, that Vox Machina had not seen since the original attack on Emon, and left them last with the bombshell bit of information that Raishan's here to make an alliance, and—as the party is as well—Raishan is interested in the destruction and downfall of Thordak the Cinder King."
To bolster her case for an alliance, Raishan (in the form of Seeker Assum) tells Vox Machina a bit of her history. She was cursed a half-century ago, when she attacked a temple of Melora and was soul-cursed by a high druid there. As the disease worsened, she was unable to find a cure, growing more and more frantic. When Thordak encroached on her territory and they battled, he recognized her disease and told her he knew the cure and would tell her in return for her servitude. They reached an agreement and he promised to return shortly, but did not. Raishan found that he had been sealed away in the Elemental Plane of Fire and sought him there. He told her he would give her the cure if she found a way to release him.
It was Raishan who proposed the Chroma Conclave, and over nearly twenty years assembled the members, negotiated their agreements, corrupted the stone that bound Thordak to the Fire Plane, and prepared the Pyrah gate to transport him back to the Prime Material Plane. Seeing that Thordak was growing increasing mad, his return was pushed forward to Winter's Crest. With him freed, the Conclave was able to take over Tal'Dorei. But Thordak reneged on his agreement, and Raishan now believes he never meant to tell her the cure. She wants him dead, and when he is, she will call forth his spirit and force it to tell her how to save herself. But she cannot do it alone and needs Vox Machina's help.
Keyleth is incandescently furious. She tells her that Raishan is the one that will burn, in revenge for the virtual extermination of the Fire Ashari. Percy intercedes, saying that Raishan brings little to the table. They ask about Seeker Assum, who is apparently safe in Emon working with the Clasp on their own plan to bring down Thordak, which Raishan assures them will fail. She herself has no wish to remain in Tal'Dorei and would leave it if the party is successful, but Percy warns her this is really a conversation about whether they try to kill her before or after the Cinder King. The party tries to pin her down on whether she will aid them in killing Vorugal. Her concern is not revealing prematurely to Thordak that she is now working against the Conclave. She will agree to join them in the fight only if they promise to let Thordak's soul be hers.
Most of the group can see the wisdom in her proposal, but Keyleth cannot get past her anger at the destruction of the Fire Ashari. They finally agree that Raishan will aid them against Vorugal in return for them keeping her identity a secret, and that she will have access to all of Whitestone including the spinning black orb in the ziggurat. They further agree to continue the negotiations over access to Thordak's body once Vorugal is dead. And if Whitestone is attacked, all deals are off. Keyleth is still opposed, but everyone else, although in no way trusting Raishan, wants to agree, and Keyleth joins them. Raishan reminds them that she will need to be peripheral to the battle since she cannot be seen there or Thordak would know immediately she had turned. They agree to meet in the morning to develop a plan.
Vox Machina immediately goes to the magic-dampened War Room. They are extremely suspicious of Raishan's desire to speak to Thordak's soul, even suspecting the whole thing may be a plot with Thordak to bring them unsuspectingly to him in some way. There are still two Vestiges of Divergence unrecovered as well, including the Spire of Conflux that was devoured by a goristro named Yenk and is now in the Endless Maze of the Abyss. They float the idea of using a gate scroll to summon Yenk into the fight against Vorugal, but they know little about the goristro and need to learn more.
The party divides. Percy and Vex go to the library, Grog and Scanlan to talk to Seeker Assum, and Vax and Keyleth to the temple of the Raven Queen. On the way, Vax gives Keyleth the Displacer Cloak and asks her to wear it. Percy and Vex succeed in finding a picture of a goristro in the library and have a short, somewhat awkward conversation. Grog and Scanlan find Keeper Yennen and ask him about Yenk. He has heard of goristros but not that specific one, and knows nothing helpful in a battle despite Grog and Scanlan's best efforts. When Vax and Keyleth reach the temple, he communes with the Raven Queen, who tells him that the path they walked to the sphinx gave them what they need.
On the walk home with Grog, Scanlan asks for and receives one of the pistols Grog looted from Anna Ripley and her henchmen, and fifteen rounds of ammunition. When they reach the castle, Percy asks Grog for the guns found in the battle with Ripley. Grog wants to know what he'll trade for them. Percy offers a cloak, telling Grog it's a Cloak of Smashing, and in exchange Grog gives him the broken long-barreled gun. For the two rifles, Grog gets Percy's glasses, but wants something else in trade for the remaining pistol and ammunition. Percy offers to title him, Grog accepts, and Percy reveals the title: Grand Poobah de Doink of All of This and That.
Percy repairs the guns and inspects Animus, while Grog gives Vex a Potion of Superior Healing in thanks for her showing him her boobies during the fight against Kern. Vex finds Zahra Hydris, who is working on an Arrow of Dragon Slaying - but it will cost 12,000 gold. Vex then finds Vax and Keyleth and they try unsuccessfully to analyze the Raven Queen's cryptic message. They join Percy and he shows them the picture of the goristro. Scanlan and Grog also come in, and they discuss possible plans, inviting Kima to join them for the dragon fight before realizing that will leave them in an awkward position since she doesn't know about Raishan.
Percy tells Vax he's thinking of creating a company of shot for the castle with the guns, and asks him if he thinks that would suit Kynan Leore. They agree it would. Vax fetches him, and they apologize to each other for everything that's happened. Vax tells him they need someone to help set up a firearms-using company, and Kynan agrees. Vax gives him the Keen Dagger and Percy gives Kynan the information he will need, taking him out to show him how he'd like things to function.
When Kima arrives, ready to go kill a dragon, they tell her they're going to tell her something and if it doesn't go well, Scanlan will erase her memory: in order to kill one dragon, they are entering into a deal with another. She reacts badly to both the potential tampering with her mind and the idea of cooperating with a dragon, but still wants to come fight Vorugal, and they warn her she must not reveal she knows that Raishan is with them.
They make their final preparations. Percy attunes to Animus and as he does so, the three names carved on the barrel by Anna Ripley dissipate. Percy also tells "Assum" their plans to utilize Yenk and that they leave for Draconia that night. Percy recommends not showing up using the "Assum" form, and Raishan assures him she has many forms she can take. She will find her own way to Draconia.
The party gathers at the Sun Tree and Keyleth communes with it but learns nothing useful. Scanlan attempts to wipe Kima's memory of their conversation about Raishan, but is unsuccessful, thoroughly annoying Kima and she retaliates with her Holy Thunder Maul. They transport through the Sun Tree, arriving in a snowstorm in the middle of the night. Scanlan casts his Magnificent Mansion, and Keyleth steps outside briefly to Scry on the sleeping Tooma, leader of the Ravenites in the Dreemoth Ravine. Scanlan loads his gun.
Scanlan casts Invisibility on himself and Vax while Keyleth turns into a white minxie. Vax flies himself and Scanlan to the bottom of the ravine while minxie-Keyleth prowls the edge trying to stay in Earring of Whisper range. Scanlan drops the spell when he and Vax reach the Ravenite underground settlement, and tell the sentries they are there to see Tooma. After dropping their weapons, they are taken to her and tell her that tomorrow morning, they're going to release a beast that will lure the dragon out of its lair. They want the Ravenites ready to attack, and she agrees.
They head back to the rest of the party, using another Invisibility and Vax's wings. Joining Keyleth, they all go back to the Mansion for a long rest.
- Percival de Rolo
- Scanlan Shorthalt
- Grog Strongjaw
- Pike Trickfoot (DM-controlled)
- Jarett Howarth
- Zahra Hydris
- Lady Kima
- Kynan Leore
- The Raven Queen
- The Sun Tree
- Allura Vysoren
- Keeper Yennen
|Transferred||1||Pistol||Grog||Scanlan||Found by Grog on Ripley's dead henchmen|
|Transferred||15 rounds||Ammunition||Grog||Scanlan||For the pistol|
|Transferred||2||Rifles||Grog||Percy||Traded for Percy's glasses.|
|Transferred||1||Pistol||Grog||Percy||Traded for Grog's title.|
|Transferred||170 rounds||Ammunition (for pistols)||Grog||Percy||Traded for Grog's title.|
|Transferred||26 rounds||Ammunition (for rifless)||Grog||Percy||Traded for Grog's title.|
|Transferred||1||Keen Dagger||Vax||Kynan||Requires attunement.|
- Percy: (to Raishan) Really, this is a conversation about whether or not we wait to try and kill you until before or after the Cinder King. [...] I'm not Keyleth. Your threats, they won't bend me, because I believe you. I believe that you would rend this entire city asunder. That's why I'm at the table. I am conscious of where we are, I'm conscious of who you are, and I'm conscious of what you need. I'm just trying to make sure that everybody's clear that the minute that red dragon dies, all bets are off. You know it as well as I do. And you should be wary, because only one side of this table is underestimating the other.