For the ancient black dragon, see Umbrasyl (character).

"Umbrasyl" (1x55) is the seventeenth episode of the fourth chapter of Critical Role.  In the midst of battle against Vox Machina and the Herd of Storms, the ancient black dragon Umbrasyl retreats to Gatshadow Mountain after sustaining heavy damage.  With Scanlan Shorthalt and Vax'ildan trapped inside the dragon and Grog Strongjaw hanging from a chain attached to an axe embedded in Umbrasyl's scaled flesh, the party must somehow survive and choose whether to follow the dragon into its lair or wait for another opportunity to slay it later.

Synopsis

Pre-Show

On the Twitch stream, a Critical Role fan art slideshow played before the episode began, but it was not included in the final YouTube video of this episode.

Announcements

  • The show is back after a two-week hiatus.
  • Matt is flying out to A-Kon in Dallas tomorrow morning.
  • Laura is so nervous, she doesn't even have her dice!
  • Dear Vox Machina: Ask Vax'ahlia will go up on June 3rd.
  • For those who missed it, there was an event at Meltdown Comics with the official Dungeons & Dragons crew announcing their new storyline, Storm King's Thunder, as well as a new video series campain that Matt is doing with the Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons team. He and Chris Perkins wrote and designed a story to run for celebrity guests, including Ashley Johnson.
  • This week's new sponsor is Backblaze, a cloud backup company for Mac and PC. There's a representative from Backblaze in the studio (Yev ) - he's a fan of the show. Sam arrives just in time to say that Critters can get a free 15 day trial! He's such a supporter of Backblaze that he wrote a song for them.
  • Taliesin is going to be at Amazing Comic Con Vegas in two weeks.
  • Signal Boost is currently in its second week of airing. Check it out!

Previously on Critical Role

"The intrepid party of adventurers known as Vox Machina, after recently freeing the town of Westruun from being occupied and ruled by the roving Herd of Storms, which Grog once hailed from, cut down their brutal leader Kevdak and temporarily restored power to a combination of himself and Kevdak's son, Zanror. An accord was made between the two of them to agree to go after and destroy the ancient black dragon Umbrasyl, member of the Chroma Conclave and mark for the party to eventually destroy anyway, but who had currently made a deal with the Herd, in exchange for goods, gold, and ruling over the town, would let them live essentially undisturbed, seemingly.

"They gathered an army, they forged a plan, and an ambush was set for the next time the dragon swooped down from atop the mountain Gatshadow to retrieve its package. At this time, the trap was sprung, the dragon held fast by hooks and chains, a giant metallic trap designed and orchestrated by Percival, and everything was going great. The dragon had sustained quite a bit of damage and seemed to be in a rough place, until it broke free and left much of the Herd fallen, dissolving and screaming.

"Also, Scanlan and Vax Dimension Door'ed into the inside of the dragon and have spent a number of rounds now deciding how to get out of it maybe? Tiny Vax, thanks to a potion that does that. Scanlan managed to go ahead and put in an Immovable Rod within its stomach, which held it up for a moment, before it decided to truly gain the advantage it needed to escape the circumstance, allowed it to tear through its body, as well as an arrow that was shot by Vex, towards her brother, in the hopes of, I don't know, being a symbol of hope? Or to put him out of his misery, I'm still trying to figure it out.

"At this point in time, Umbrasyl took to the sky and began to coast off towards Gatshadow, seemingly the domain that it's carved for itself in this region. On its way out, Grog had thrown his newly-acquired Bloodaxe, and the Chain of Returning, into the dragon, left it, and is now being dragged behind it now, dangling, as it flies off."

Part I

Fan art of "Airborne Pursuit", by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 1]

As Umbrasyl heads towards its lair, chased by Vex'ahlia on her broom and Percy and Pike on the back of giant eagles, Keyleth beginning to focus on the Gatestone to teleport to Vax'ildan. As Grog attempts to climb up the chain to reach the dragon, Vax'ildan, still in his reduced form, manages to cut through the hide of the dragon and squeeze his head and an arm out. Scanlan escapes by punching through Umbrasyl's stomach with Bigby's Hand and hangs onto it. The dragon also takes damage from a shot by Percy. Umbrasyl shakes Grog off, and Vax is pushed out of its side; the dragon then turns invisible.

As he falls, Vax calls out to the Raven Queen. He sees a burst of dark feathers briefly fill the air around him, forming a trail as he falls. Grog attempts to make a parachute out of a fancy robe he found in his Bag of Holding. Scanlan catches him with Bigby's Hand, then polymorphs Grog into a giant eagle and sits on his back. They nosedive towards Vax, who hears a voice whisper in his ear to reach towards his left, and he grabs unto Scanlan's cloak. Grog starts to descend slowly towards the ground, carrying Scanlan and Vax'ildan. Keyleth, still in her earth elemental form, finishes concentrating on the Gatestone and appears in the sky next to them. She immediately plummets to the ground like a meteor, her fire hands lit up. She slams into the base of Gatshadow mountain and forms a huge crater. Grog, Scanlan, and Vex land next to her, soon followed by Vex'ahlia, Pike, and Percy.

Vox Machina's reunion is interrupted by Shale, an elder goliath woman with one missing arm, who emerges from the forest. She recognizes Grog, and seems surprised to see him so big, as she remembers him being "puny". She informs the group that she was with a scouting party from the Herd of Storms heading to spy on Umbrasyl, but fell behind. When she caught up to them, they were all dead. She wishes to join Vox Machina to kill Umbrasyl. The group decides to head up the mountain as fast as possible, carried by giant eagles, to reach Umbrasyl's lair before he can heal himself.

Break

Part II

The group rests before moving forward. They come up to the peak of Gatshadow Mountain and see clumps of dead, petrified trees and the bodies of Shale's companions along the way. They stealth up to the large cavern entrance, also noticing a smaller opening, and cover themselves in mud and soot for stealth. Keyleth Scrys on Umbrasyl, seeing pools of acid in the dark of the cavern. She doesn't see the dragon, but hears him breathing and guesses that he might be asleep. Vax enters the smaller opening and sees four skeletons around the remains of a camp, and finds a very old diary. While reading it, he discovers that this peak used to be the home of a creature who regularly attacked a small village to the north, now abandoned. It appears Umbrasyl has only been staying here for a short time. The cavern seems completely empty, so Vax returns to the group.

Shale tells the group that if she dies, they can keep her magic items. She promises Grog that if they kill the beast, she will tell the herd that he was the one who did it. They all climb toward the larger entrance, noticing two nearly identical rocks placed at each side of it. Shale and Scanlan inspect them: it's old magic. Keyleth casts Stoneshape to carve a path around them, and they enter the cavern. Vax hears the dragon's controlled breathing, and warns everyone that Umbrasyl is awake and knows they're coming. Vax wants to go in alone to deal some surprise damage, so Vex gives him a minute's head start.

As he walks in carefully, Vax's shoulder hits something, and he immediately stabs it. Umbrasyl was lying in wait in the far corner of the cavern, invisible. Vax calls for help as he enters battle, and the others rush in after him. Vex releases Trinket from the necklace and they attack Umbrasyl, although they cannot see him. Shale insults Umbrasyl, attempting to taunt him into showing himself, but fails, and his invisibility during the early part of the fight severely hampers the party's ability to do serious damage, while the dragon is able to use its acid breath and other attacks at will.

Eventually, Umbrasyl uses its last legendary resistance to succeed against one of Keyleth's Faerie Fires, clearing the way for her to successfully cast it in a later round. It means Umbrasyl is now visible, and the party's attacks begin to tell. Umbrasyl's breath attack, however, continues to do significant damage, knocking out Percy and Trinket and bringing Shale to death's door. Grog's Retaliation attack deals the final killing blow.[1]

Fan art of harvesting Umbrasyl, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 2]

Pike immediately Heals Percy and Vex casts Cure Wounds on Trinket, bringing both of them to consciousness. Shale gives Grog her dragon tooth necklace, giving him double the number of hits points restored whenever he spends hit dice to regain hit points. The party begins looting and Keyleth begins butchering for dragon parts. They discover that there's only a small amount of treasure and Umbrasyl's true hoard probably lies elsewhere, but Keyleth does get multiple valuable pieces of the dragon, including blood and teeth. Scanlan casts the Magnificent Mansion inside the cavern while Keyleth continues her work. Shale returns to the Herd of Storms, now only twelve strong, and tells Zanror that Vox Machina has slain the beast. The Herd plans to join the Rivermaw Tribe and take a break from warring, and Shale joins them.

Featured Characters

Vox Machina

New

Returning

Inventory

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Consumed 1 Potion of Greater Healing Vax'ildan Vex'ahlia
Consumed 1 Potion of Greater Healing Grog Percy
Transferred 1 Dragon tooth necklace Shale Grog
Aquired 3 Vial of dragon blood Umbrasyl Bag of Colding
Aquired 14 Ancient black dragon tooth Umbrasyl Bag of Holding[presumed]
Transferred 1 Ancient black dragon tooth Shale Worra Given as proof of Umbrasyl's death.

Quotations

  • Vax: (as Umbrasyl pushed him out of his body) When I went into this dragon, I was lost, and a wanderer. As I am shat out its side, I come forth a paladin of the Raven Queen.[3]
  • Vax: You know what it is?
    Shale: Old magic.
    Sam: This is old magic. Not the kind you learn in those hoity-toity towers.[4]
  • Shale: Well, you’re not very brave, are you? Invisible! Hiding! Afraid to show your face?
    Umbrasyl: Bravery means nothing. Survival and victory mean everything!
    Shale: Oh, shut up, you flying suitcase![5]

External Links

References

  1. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 4:06:54.
  2. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 3:55:37.
  3. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 0:55:37.
  4. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 2:12:18.
  5. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 2:46:16.

Art:

  1. Fan art of "Airborne Pursuit", by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of harvesting Umbrasyl, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.


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