Dagger, dagger, dagger.
– 
Liam O'Brien's attack catchphrase for Vax'ildan
[!h]

Vax'ildan Vessar, also known as "Vax", is a half-elf rogue/paladin/druid, a former member of Vox Machina, and the current Champion of the Raven Queen. He is played by Liam O'Brien.

Intro[edit | edit source]

"Never entirely welcome in the company of elves or men, Vax'ildan learned at a young age to skip past formality, preferring instead to invite himself in your door.

Along with twin sister Vex'ahlia, Vax was born by a chance encounter between elven royalty and human peasantry. Raised by their mother in their early years, the twins were eventually sent off to their father in the elven capital of Syngorn. But their cool reception among the elves there never warmed, and their time in the capital didn't last. The siblings stole away one autumn night and set out on the open road.

After a few years of wandering, they eventually decided to return to their mother, and journeyed back to the lands of their youth. But instead of finding their childhood home, they returned to a pile of rubble. Their mother was gone, their home burned to ash. Pressing the townspeople for answers, they learned of the day the dragon came.

With their ties all severed, Vax'ildan and his sister set out to find their fortune together in Tal'Dorei. An outsider since birth, Vax quickly learned to solve life's challenges in his own particular way, often by sidestepping them entirely. And when his knack for circumventing adversity isn't enough, the way of blades the elves schooled him in more than makes up the difference."[27]

Description[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Vax'ildan at the end of Vox Machina's journey, by Kit Buss.[art 1]

Fan art of Vax'ildan, by Tyrone Andersen.[art 2]

Like his twin sister Vex'ahlia, Vax is a twenty-eight-year-old half-elf.[7] He greatly resembles his sister but is two inches taller than her,[28] with long dark brown hair.[29] During his resurrection ritual in Vesrah, a part of his hair was braided with Vex's blue feathers as part of her offering.[30] Vax'ildan wears the Deathwalker's Ward, a black set of studded leather armor trimmed with black feathers. When he activates the armor's ability to fly, a pair of large black raven wings sprout from his back.

After joining the Slayer's Take, Vax'ildan has the brand of the guild on his right arm. He got a pair of tattoos in Vasselheim after completing the Slayer's Take trial: on the inside of his left wrist are the sounds for "V" and "M" written in Elvish script, and on the inside of his right wrist is an icosahedron.[31] While spending a year with Keyleth in Zephrah, he also got a tattoo of her antlers on his upper right arm. Additionally, Vax'ildan used to have the Clasp's brand tattooed on his back, but it has since been covered by a handprint-shaped scar on his back after he asked Keyleth to burn it away.[32]

After his resurrection, Vax'ildan developed a dark, bruise-like mark over his heart as a symbol of the boon he received from the Raven Queen.[33][34] After being disintegrated by Vecna, the Raven Queen made a deal with Vax to allow him to return to life until Vecna has been destroyed. Once Vax reappeared on the Material Plane, the dark mark on his chest had expanded to resemble a pair of wings.[35]

When Vax'ildan briefly returned to the material plane in order to commemorate his sister's wedding, he wore an elegant mask resembling Percy's, and his right shoulder has a bony, antler-like growth coming from the area of his tattoo of Keyleth's antlers.[36]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Official Vax'ildan Pop! figure.[art 3]

Compared to his sister, Vax is far more focused and serious, but he is not without his moments of playfulness, as he is quite fond of being a prankster. He can be incredibly deceptive and often navigates through social situations with ease and occasionally coin.

Vax tends to wear his heart on his sleeve. He has a habit of self-loathing and tends to brood when undergoing emotional crises. When he feels overwhelmed, he prefers to walk away when it becomes too much to bear instead of dealing with the problem.[37] At times, he keeps his emotions to himself, the only person he ever trusted for a long time being his sister. But he does open up towards those who earn his trust and his love.

Vax'ildan has said that he felt depressed for a long time before meeting with Vox Machina. For many years, he thought of himself as "lost and a wanderer", his goal being to find some purpose in his life. He had considered becoming a follower of Sarenrae, inspired by his friend Pike,[38] but had to give up on this idea after he offered his life to the Raven Queen, in desperation, to save his sister's life. Upon encountering the Raven Queen,[39] Vax'ildan was fearful at first, but he eventually accepted his new role as the goddess's champion.[40] By accepting that role and coming to an understanding, Vax found what he had been lacking and became more at ease.

Vax'ildan is bisexual.[41] He shows interest in both men and women, specifically Shaun Gilmore, a human sorcerer, and Keyleth, a half-elven druid and fellow member of Vox Machina.

Vax is a close-ranged combat fighter and often uses a deadly combination of sneak attacks, magical weaponry, items, agility, and various abilities when in combat. He is naturally the sneakiest member of Vox Machina and often scouts ahead for the group when in dangerous situations.

Vax's alignment is "chaotic good", like Pike and (currently) Vex.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

First official portrait of Vax'ildan, by Kit Buss.[citation needed]

Vax, along with Vex, was born in the humble village of Byroden due to the union of a human woman named Elaina and an elven man named Syldor Vessar. The twins lived with Elaina for the first ten years of their life before they were sent to live in Syngorn, where their father lived. During this time, Vax had received training in the ways of the blade from his elven instructors, one of whom is named Master Tharendril.[42]

After several years of cold reception from the Syngornian elves, the twins set off on their own. They returned to Byroden, only to see their childhood home destroyed and their mother gone, killed by a dragon.

The twins wandered the continent together for some time as they honed their respective skills. At one point, Vax'ildan discovered a plot to kidnap Vex'ahlia, and he agreed to join the Westruun sect of The Clasp in exchange for her freedom.

Vox Machina Origins[edit | edit source]

Volume One

Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia after meeting Keyleth, by Olivia Samson.[art 4]

Vax'ildan and his twin sister Vex'ahlia were in the K'tawl Swamp near Stilben to investigate a possible curse. After the twins took down a shark-speaker, Keyleth suddenly appeared and offered to heal Vax's wounds. The twins were confused by the exhuberant druid, who had never heard of half-elves being mistreated before.

Back in Stilben, the twins interrogated an alchemist named Zeth, but he refused to talk. They were ambushed by assassins as soon as they left his shop. The twins hid in the sewers to watch over the shop, and when Zeth left, they stalked him to a sewer station, where Grog and Scanlan had just broken in. The twins attacked them on sight, but the two duos had to join forces when they were all attacked by a group of assassins, then Iselda, who entered through a magic mirror. During the fight, Keyleth arrived with her friend Tiberius, and they joined the battle. When Keyleth suggested all six of them group up to reach their common goal, Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia refused and left on their own.

Vax'ildan and Scanlan, by Olivia Samson.[art 5]

Shortly afterward, Iselda kidnapped Vax'ildan by pulling him inside a mirror, and locked him in a cage on the lower deck of a ship, the Mockingbird. She suggested that Vax join her organization, but he refused. Later, Vax'ildan managed to escape from the cage. He fought his way out of the ship by tricking Iselda's henchman to blow a hole in the side of the ship. When he jumped out, he found Vex'ahlia on the docks, along with Keyleth, Tiberius, Scanlan, and Grog. The six of them then boarded the ship and They found the source of the "curse" that had been plaguing the inhabitants of Stilben: a sigil carved into the floor and filled with poison. When Keyleth and Tiberius determined that it could be diluted by an acidic substance, Scanlan immediately started to pee on it, and Vax'ildan followed suit, succeeding in stopping the strange ritual. Iselda arrived and almost wiped the group out, but was killed by Grog, and the group escaped through the previously made hole in the side of the ship. Afterward, they all headed to a tavern together.

Volume Two

While tracking the whereabouts of their friend Grog, the party that would one day become Vox Machina was directed to the Trickfoot household in Westruun, where they met Pike, who helped them rescue Grog from a lich. Later, the party had to split to find ingredients for a ritual to save Grog from the lich attempting to possess his body.

Vax'ildan went with Vex'ahlia and Grog to the Frostweald in search of the heart of a nymph. The team encountered basilisks on their way there, and Vex'ahlia was petrified in their fight, but Vax'ildan figured out that she could be cured by basilisk's blood. When the group encountered the nymph, she befriended Grog and brought him with her inside her pond for a while, and he refused to explain when he resurfaced with the heart they had come to get.

When the entire group reunited, the other three were accompanied by Percival de Rolo, who helped them with the ritual.

"The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) & Other Pre-Stream Events[edit | edit source]

Vox Machina ran into Vex and Vax's father, Syldor Vessar, in Emon.[43] The conversation was frosty, and the twins learned that they now had a younger half-sister named Velora Vessar.

Vax'ildan and Pike became separated from the group during an incident inside a cistern underneath Emon, and they were both captured by the Clasp. Vax revealed his membership to the Clasp's Westruun sect, so their leader, Modeth Lai, called for a test of their skills and intent. The Clasp forced the rogue and cleric to battle a chained chimera in their arena, but an unconvinced Modeth had the two held overnight anyway. During the night, Pike and Vax managed to escape and reunite with the rest of the party in the Graveyard District.

Vax was able to land the killing blow on the blue dragon Brimscythe. Brimscythe had assumed a human form as General Krieg for some time, and after Vox Machina discovered Krieg's secret, he revealed his true nature to them. After a long fight, Vax ran up a wall and sunk his daggers into Brimscythe's neck, sliding down and slowly killing him.

Pike purposely injured Vax when she found out he had been a "peeping tom" by stepping on his foot. She dealt one point of nonlethal damage.[citation needed]

Chapter 1[edit | edit source]

"Strange Bedfellows" (1x03)

While in the Underdark, Vax offered himself as bait to draw a group of illithids into a chasm. He managed to get their attention, but as he made his leave he was stunned by an illithid. He began to fall to his death but was saved by Tiberius.

"The Throne Room" (1x07)

Fan art of Vax'ildan, by Kit Buss.[art 6]

Vox Machina got into combat with King Murghol and Queen Ulara. The king was slain, but Ulara destroyed the ceiling of the throne room, with hot magma pouring down. The party scrambled to escape, and Vax himself fell unconscious, his foot briefly submerged in the magma. He was pulled out by Pike and Trinket before he could suffer any more damage.

"Yug'Voril Uncovered" (1x09) When Keyleth vented about her distrust of Lady Kima, Vax, noticing something about Keyleth's demeanor, raised an objection towards the druid's suggestion to just leave the Underdark right away. He then told her that he had noticed the struggles she had been going through, telling her that she was not alone and that she had a family with her. As they traversed further towards Yug'Voril, Vax himself began to realize that he may be developing feelings for Keyleth.

"Shopping and Shipping" (1x14) Looking to get resupplied, the party headed to Gilmore's Glorious Goods. Vax reunited with the owner, Shaun Gilmore. He offered to take Gilmore out while Vex and the others discussed business with Sherri, Gilmore's assistant.[44] Gilmore and Vax headed to a romantic botanical garden in the Erudite Quarter, where they shared a glass of wine together. Vax confided in Gilmore about the recent troubles and brushes with death he'd had, and told him that he wouldn't be alive today if not for Gilmore's assistance. They flirted for a while before returning to the shop, a little drunk.

"Skyward" (1x15) Sometime during the few days before leaving for Vasselheim, Pike healed Vax's burned foot back to perfect health.

Chapter 2[edit | edit source]

"Trial of the Take: Part 3" (1x20) During their stay in Vasselheim, Vox Machina found themselves in trouble for violating a magically binding contract for members of the Slayer's Take Guild when they killed their target, a hydra. Instead of going to trial (with a possible death penalty), the group decides to undertake a trial hunt. The Huntmaster of the Guild, a tiefling named Vanessa, split up the group and the twins for their trials. Vax was extremely moody during this period of time without his sister by his side. Vax'ildan, Keyleth and Tiberius signed a contract along with Kashaw, a cleric indebted to the Slayer's Take, and Thorbir, a current member of the guild. The group was tasked with hunting and killing a rakshasa. During their investigation, Vax'ildan and Keyleth pretended to be a married noble couple to infiltrate an establishment. Vax'ildan posed as "Lord Scanlan of the Shorthalts", owner of a shoemaking empire.[45]

"Trial of the Take: Part 4" (1x21)

Fan art of the battle with Hotis in "Trial of the Take: Part 4" (1x21), by Linda Lithén.[art 7]

After the team tracked down and battled the rakshasa, he attempted to flee before they could kill him. He taunted his attackers, saying that he had seen inside their mind and knew who to kill to get back at them, mentioning Vax's sister, Vex'ahlia, as one of his next targets. However, his attempt was thwarted by Tiberius's Counterspell, and Vax'ildan slit his throat. Before he died, the rakshasa chuckled and told Vax he would find him.

"The Rematch" (1x23) Upon returning to Greyskull Keep, Vox Machina found a teenager named Kynan staying in a tent in front of the keep. He had been camping there for two weeks, waiting for the group's return. Kynan explained in a nervous and excited manner that he sought to join their ranks and become an adventurer like them. Vax'ildan gravely attempted to explain the perils and difficulties of the adventuring life to Kynan. Although the young boy seemed undeterred, he also seemed unable to grasp the gravity of Vax's warnings. To prove his point, Vax knocked Kynan unconscious with a single strike of his dagger pommel, without warning, followed immediately by a health potion. Many other members of Vox Machina were taken aback by what they perceived to be a harsh lesson, and, when Kynan began to cry, Vax compromised and told the boy that he should return the day that he is ready—and Vax promised to mentor him when that day comes.[46] After Kynan left, Vax instructed Laina Yor to let the boy stay in Vax's room if he returned.[47]

Chapter 3[edit | edit source]

"The Feast" (1x24) To help make good on his promise, Vax made a secret trip to the Upper Slums of Emon in the hope of finding Kynan. Vax learned that Kynan lived with his father, Harold, who was a butcher. When Vax arrived at Harold's dual-purpose shop and living quarters, Harold had already closed up shop, and Kynan, who had apparently quarreled with his father recently, had packed up his things and left. Vax planned to give Kynan some daggers with which to train, plus fifty gold; but hesitated to leave them with Harold, who seemed likely to steal them for his own purposes. Nevertheless, Vax left the fifty gold and instructed the father to give it to his son, saying that he was repaying Kynan a gambling debt over a dog fight.[48]

While the rest of the party was away, Vax'ildan tied many pink ribbons on Trinket, covering him from head to tail, with assistance from Keyleth, who braided flowers into the bear's fur.[49] A few days later, Vax'ildan managed to shave off almost half of Grog's brand new beard while he was asleep.

"Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25)

Fan art of Vax's escape, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 8]

Vax'ildan tried to sneak into the Briarwoods' room while they were staying at the palace, but the couple caught and paralyzed him. They dealt a lot of damage to him before he managed to escape, crashing out of their bedroom window while yelling "Jenga" into his Earring of Whisper to warn the rest of Vox Machina. After landing in the courtyard, Vax attempted to run away but was knocked unconscious by Delilah Briarwood. In the split second before he lost consciousness, Vax had one last thought about his friends.[50]

I think of my friends that I have spent so much time with. I think of Keyleth, beautiful, walking under the trees. I think of my twin sister as a young girl, folding up linens with our mother. I think of my sister as an adolescent in lessons, smarter than me. I think of the woman she grew into. Hiking over many, many, many miles together. My best friend. My best friend, Vex'ahlia. And before I can think no more, I say a prayer to Sarenrae to watch over my friends and keep them safe.
– 
Liam O'Brien describes Vax'ildan's last thoughts
[!h]

"Reunions" (1x33) As they infiltrated Whitestone Castle, Vax'ildan stopped his sister and urged her to wear his Cloak of Elvenkind and to stay hidden when needed. She initially protested, but Vax'ildan insisted until she took the cloak.[51]

After the party's brutal battle with Professor Anders, Vax'ildan, clutching his wounds, made his way to Keyleth. He asked if she knew he was in love with her, then kissed her before she could answer. Keyleth, completely taken by surprise, awkwardly healed his wounds and walked away without addressing the kiss.[52]

"Winter's Crest in Whitestone" (1x36) During the Winter's Crest festivities in Whitestone, Vex'ahlia pulled Vax'ildan aside, saying that he seemed 'off' and that she noticed that Keyleth was avoiding him. Vax told her that he would talk about it in time, and assured her that he would always be there for her. They hugged, and Vex gave him a present: his serpent belt, which had previously lost at the Palace of Emon.[53]

"Echoes of the Past" (1x38) After Vox Machina ran into him in a tavern in Emon, Vax'ildan had a private conversation with Gilmore. He told the sorcerer that he couldn't "do the dance" anymore, because he was in love with someone else. Gilmore, while disappointed, accepted the news gracefully, and the two men parted as friends.[54]

Chapter 4[edit | edit source]

"Omens" (1x39) Vax'ildan had a short talk with Vex'ahlia in which he questioned their goals and what they were both doing with their lives. He walked away, agitated.[55] That same evening, Vox Machina witnessed firsthand the first attack of the Chroma Conclave.

"In Ruins" (1x41) Vox Machina reached the ruins of Gilmore's Glorious Goods and found ten looters going through the rubble. Outraged, Vax'ildan told them to get out and the party drew their weapons threateningly, but the looters refused. Vox Machina fought them off, and Sherri appeared in the rubble, leading them into the cellar, where they found the queen, her children, and a gravely wounded Gilmore. Vax'ildan ran over to him and held him in his lap while Pike healed him. When Gilmore came to, he joked that he always assumed he'd see Vax'ildan's face in his last moments.[56]

"Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) Vox Machina considered allying themselves with the Clasp to provide help for the survivors in Emon. Vax'ildan finally told Vex'ahlia about his deal with the Clasp, long ago, when he traded his service for her life. His sister was shocked that he never told her but thanked him.

The party met with one of the Clasp's spirelings, Shenn, at the Clasp's headquarters. They asked him to help the people of Emon and spy for them while they look for help to defeat the dragon. The spireling requested entry into Vasselheim, where they had been unable to gain a foothold. Through most of the discussion, Vax was quiet, but the group elected him to make the final decision. He decided not to take the deal, much to the dismay of the Clasp, which now considered Vax and his companions as enemies.[57] Vax then asked Keyleth to burn the Clasp's brand off of his back with her flaming hands.

Vox Machina headed back to Greyskull Keep for the night, and Vax knocked on Keyleth's door. The two of them spent the night together, both of them not wanting to be alone.

"Return to Vasselheim" (1x43)

Fan art of Deal with the Raven Queen, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 9]

Back in Vasselheim, Vox Machina briefly reunited with Kashaw and Zahra. Vex'ahlia, aware of Kashaw's kiss with Keyleth during their last visit to the city, pulled Vax aside and informed him that she could "destroy" Kashaw if he wanted her to. Vax told her she was being weird and walked off.

During Grog's's trial against Earthbreaker Groon, Vax'ildan was chosen, along with Scanlan, to help the goliath in his fight. He wasn't able to do much, however, and was quickly knocked out.[58]

"The Sunken Tomb" (1x44)

Take me instead, you raven bitch.
– 
Vaxildan offers his life in exchange for Vex'ahlia's[59]
[!h]

Vox Machina ventured into the ancient tomb of the Raven Queen's champion in search of his legendary armor, the Deathwalker's Ward. When they found it, Percy immediately reached for the armor, triggering a trap that instantly killed Vex'ahlia, who couldn't avoid it in time. Kashaw attempted a Revivify ritual, during which Vax'ildan, looking up at the altar where the champion's body lay, saw a very faint drifting image of a dark female form looking on. Vax pulled his sister's body in close and angrily yelled at the form to take him instead. The form stepped forward in silence, her hand reached out towards Vax, and she nodded. [60] The ritual succeeded and Vex came back to life, but nothing seemed to happen to Vax'ildan. He didn't mention his deal with the Raven Queen to his sister.

"The Sunken Tomb" (1x44) That same night, Vax'ildan visited Keyleth in her room and tried to make sense of what happened in the tomb, wondering if anything changed in him. Keyleth offered to cast Greater Restoration on him, to no effect. After Keyleth told him that she was terrified of losing him, he told her again that he loved her. Keyleth answered that she thought she loved him, too, but was afraid of it. She feared outliving and losing everyone after completing her Aramenté, a feat that would allow her to live for hundreds of years.

After this conversation, Vax sat at Vex'ahlia's door and fell asleep. Vex'ahlia found him there the next morning and confronted him about the sacrifice he made for her, which she had found out about. She promised him that he would live, and gave him the Deathwalker's Ward (which smells very bad).

"The Family Business" (1x47)

Fan art of Raven Dreams, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 10]

During Vox Machina's first night in Scanlan's mansion, Vax'ildan had a dream, or vision. He dreamed of facing a giant golden web, each strand seeming to pulse with life. While examining this web, a cold hand reached out and plucked one. Turning around, Vax saw the Raven Queen holding the plucked golden strand representing Vax's life. The Raven Queen cryptically offered Vax, her new champion, a choice to be a great leader or to choose to remain a nobody. Before Vax could provide a response, he was dropped into darkness and the dream ended.[61]

"Umbrasyl" (1x55) After their first encounter with Umbrasyl, Vax'ildan and Scanlan had teleported inside his body of Umbrasyl to inflict damage from the inside. However, the dragon flew away from the fight, and both of them had to cut their way out of the dragon. As he was ejected from a wound in the dragon's side, Vax accepted his new role as a paladin of the Raven Queen.[62] As he fell, a streak of shadow scattered into a burst of darkened raven feathers that filled the air around him. Vax heard a voice whisper in his ear. He instinctively reached out and grabbed onto Scanlan, who was riding on the giant eagle that he had polymorphed Grog into.

"Hope" (1x56)

Vax'ildan:I was all kinds of fucked up a couple of weeks ago.
Pike: Well, you are all kinds of fucked up all the time, and that’s why we love you. We’re all all kinds of fucked up, and that’s why we all are together.
– 
Pike tries to cheer up Vax'ildan
[!h]

Pike took Vax'ildan aside, telling him she knew he was avoiding her. Vax'ildan admitted that he had decided that the next time he saw her, he was going to ask to join her in service to Sarenrae, but that he had to make the deal with the Raven Queen to save his sister in the Sunken Tomb. Seeing Pike, after losing his dream of following her, was too painful a reminder of everything he's lost. Pike told him he wasn't lost, but that if the Raven Queen hurt him or didn't change him for the better, she would have her to answer to. [63]

Chapter 5[edit | edit source]

"Duskmeadow" (1x57)

Fan art of the Raven Queen in mortal form, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 11]

Vax'ildan, along with Vex'ahlia, Trinket, Pike, and Keyleth, headed to the Raven's Crest in Vasselheim. Before Vax entered, Vex apologized for putting her brother in this place and agreed to wait outside. Pike and Keyleth followed Vax inside the cathedral, couldn't follow him to his communion. Vax'ildan entered a chamber of stained glass, and stepped into a pool of ice-cold blood, sinking beneath the surface. For a moment, he could not breathe, but suddenly felt warm and saw the mask of the Raven Queen as she approached him.

Vax'ildan asked if this was always supposed to happen, but the Raven Queen told him that he was guiding his own path. The Raven Queen knew of his hatred and fear of her, but dismissed it, as most hate her due to lack of understanding. She explained that her gift was to safeguard the passage between life and death - a charge that Vax'ildan now shared. She warned to be careful with his own bending of destiny and rebuked those who would try to live indefinitely, like undead and wayward necromancers.[64]

Vax agreed to learn to understand and serve her cause. She set him down, and they suddenly found themselves in the room where Vax had just been. The Raven Queen removed her mask, and for a moment Vax saw her as the woman she was before she ascended to godhood. She kissed him on the forehead in parting. When he exited the chamber, Vax'ildan told his friends that he had more questions now even with the answers he got, but that he felt this was fate.

"A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58)

Fan art of Scanlan saving Vax'ildan from Hotis in "A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58), by Hugo Cardenas.[art 12]

As he was getting ready for bed in Whitestone, Vax'ildan heard a knock at his door. Gilmore entered and offered him a fine silk robe. He requested Vax try it on immediately, and the two of them headed to a balcony at the top of the west tower to talk. Once they had arrived, Gilmore stabbed Vax'ildan with a poisonous dagger and revealed that he was in fact Hotis in disguise. Vax'ildan warned the rest of Vox Machina with his Earring of Whisper, just in time to make Keyleth, Percy, and Pike realize that they each had an assassin in their room. Hotis almost killed Vax'ildan, but Scanlan arrived just in time and was soon joined by the other members of the party, and they manage to kill the rakshasa.

The real Gilmore joined with them soon after and was relieved to find Vax alive. They shared an awkward moment of doubt and remembrance of their previous conversation about their relationship, and Vax asked Gilmore if he had any insight into the Deathwalker's Ward. After asking Vax'ildan if he trusted him, Gilmore pushed him off the edge of a cliff. As he fell, two large black feathered wings emerged from the armor, allowing him to fly.[65] Vax returned to Gilmore, lifted him into the air in celebration, and thanked him for his friendship and support. Percy then gave Vax the raven head cloak clasp he made for him, pinning it to hold the cloak together. It smelled fabulous.

That night, Vax'ildan couldn't sleep, plagued by nightmares, and woke up feeling extremely ill. He had been cursed by Hotis, but a Greater Restoration spell cured him.

"Heredity and Hats" (1x60) During Vox Machina's time in the Feywild, they stopped by the city of Syngorn and visited the twin's father, Syldor, and his family. Devana, Syldor's wife, greeted them and brought in their sister, Velora. Syldor joined them shortly, curt as always but also tired and distracted. When he asked what else his children wanted of him, they responded that they didn't want or need anything from him. He seemed impressed to hear that the party had already killed two dragons, but made it clear that the twins' presence was an embarrassment to him. The twins angrily told him he should have left them with their mother. He responded that he thought they would be worth more, given that they had his blood in their veins, and apologized, telling them their sister admired them and that they were an inspiration to her and to others. He regretted his actions toward them but knew it was too late. He then left the room, and the twins talked a bit with Velora. When it was time to part, Velora hugged and kissed her siblings, and the twins told her they loved her.[66]

"The Frigid Doom" (1x64) When the group returned from the Feywild, Percy finally showed Vax the shrine to the Raven Queen he'd made for him and the two had a frank discussion about their relationship. Percy told Vax that he wants to be in the rogue's good graces again, but for the time being requests that he "never trust him". Vax agreed, informing Percy that he still continued to see him as a friend despite their strained relationship.[67]

Vox Machina later traveled to the continent of Wildemount to the city of Draconia in the hopes of discovering the fate of Tiberius and found the remains of their fallen friend amongst the ruins of his civilization. Vax prayed to the Raven Queen to usher Tiberius' soul to the afterlife and was given comfort from his patron that he did indeed cross over safely.

"The Streets of Ank'Harel" (1x65)

I love you, Vax. I have for a long time. And I'm sorry for being me and that it took me this long to say it.
– 
Keyleth to Vax'ildan[68]
[!h]

After returning to Whitestone, Vax was greeted by Keyleth outside his door, the druid asking if she could stay with him for the night. As he let her in, he reflected on the misfortunes that had befallen them all and deeply apologized for remaining distant. Keyleth told him that she was just as guilty of being distant as he was, and confessed that she had been terrified of losing him to death, the Raven Queen, and even himself. But after some time, she had come to realize that those fears were holding her back and that the two of them truly had nothing to lose. She finally admitted that she loved him too, and was ready to pursue a relationship with him.[69]

"Cloak and Dagger" (1x68) When Vox Machina caught up with Anna Ripley, Kynan was working for her. Vox Machina had to fight him as they attempted to take down the doctor, but Vax'ildan tried to convince the teenager to switch side multiple times during the encounter, despite Kynan not holding back in the fight. He eventually managed to change his mind, and Kynan helped the party take down Orthax and Ripley.

"Passed Through Fire" (1x69) After Ripley was killed by Vox Machina, Kynan was overcome with guilt for helping her and for playing a role in Percy's death. Vax'ildan told him that if he wanted to atone for his actions, he would need to follow their orders and help in whatever way he could. Kynan gave Whisper to Vax and numbly followed the group back to Whitestone, where he was placed under the supervision of Jarett Howarth. In a tavern later that night, Vax noticed Kynan's dangerously low mood and did his best to encourage the boy to take action towards redemption, rather than dwell on his mistakes.[70]

Chapter 6[edit | edit source]

Fan art of Vax'ildan after killing the fire giant general, by Hugo Cardenas.[art 13]

"The Siege of Emon" (1x78) Vax'ildan and Allura accompanied Keyleth to her home town of Zephrah to ask her people for help in the coming battle against Thordak. During their brief meeting with Keyleth's father, Korrin, she introduced Vax to him (although they had already met before), and when Vax told Korrin he was a good man, his answer was to prove to him that he was one, as well.

"Thordak" (1x79) Vox Machina finally faced Thordak in Emon. Near the end of the fight, the dragon, badly wounded, dived into his crater to make an escape. Vax flew down after him, grabbing onto his back and burying the Dragonslayer Sword into his hide. As he remembered the voice of his mother, he ripped the dagger out of the dragon's neck, and it fell limp to the ground.[71]

Chapter 7[edit | edit source]

"A Bard's Lament" (1x85)

Excuse me! Speaking as someone who has been fucking depressed for a long time– Look me in the eye. I was shit for months. And you are one of the main reasons I am out of that now. We would be dead, all of us, if it weren’t for you. The first time we fought Raishan, we would all be dead. You are in a pity party right now, and I know you’re hurting, and I’m sorry you’re hurting, and I love you. But you are lying to yourself, that you have been no use to us. You are lying to yourself. If you wanna retire, if you wanna go off with your daughter, that’s fucking wonderful. I encourage you to do it. But don’t lie to yourself.
– 
Vax'ildan to Scanlan
[!h]

When Scanlan woke up after recovering from his resurrection ritual, he was furious with Vox Machina for having shown his dead body to his daughter, and claimed that none of them cared about him. This shocked and hurt Vax'ildan deeply, and he argued back that they all loved him. Vax claimed angrily that he had changed his entire outlook on life because of Scanlan, who had inspired him. Despite his friends' protests, Scanlan insisted that they had never got to know him, and Vax'ildan admitted that he believed Scanlan had his entire life figured out, unlike the rest of them. Vax'ildan was insulted when Scanlan used the fact that nobody knew his mother's name to prove his point, arguing that Scanlan never asked about his and Vax'ahlia's mother, either. However, although he was hurt and angry, Vax'ildan pleaded with Scanlan until the gnome walked out the door, and the last thing he told his friend was that he would miss him. He then went to go drink his sorrow away with some of the others.

The next day, the party visited Marquet to deliver Ripley's hand to Treev Bonebreaker. Just outside his tavern, the group met with Taryon Darrington for the first time. Vax didn't like him, but thought he could tag along to be used as bait.

"Tangled Depths" (1x88) Vox Machina travelled to Vesrah for the last step in Keyleth's Aramenté, which involved fighting off a kraken. During the underwater fight, Vax'ildan was knocked uncon scious and swallowed by the kraken to be slowly digested. Grog, who had also been swallowed, managed to force the creature to spit them out, but when Vax was spat out, he was already dead. Keyleth grabbed his lifeless body and Plane Shifted back to Vesrah, bringing Vex'ahlia along.

"Curious Tides" (1x89) As Vax'ildan lost his life in the battle with the Kraken, he found himself in the same infinite dark space he had visited when he entered the Raven's Crest's pool of blood. The Raven Queen appeared, at first in her massive, masked form, then her more humble human form. She welcomed her champion, wondering what his destined thread would be.

Fan art of Keyleth, Vax'ildan, and Vex'ahlia after Vax's resurrection ritual in "Curious Tides" (1x89), by Elaine Tipping.[art 14]

Appearing in Vesrah, Keyleth and Vex'ahlia franctically looked for a cleric. Uvenda helped them contact Pike back in Emon. As Keyleth and Vex prepared a bed of raven feathers for Vax's body, they were joined by Grog, Percy, Tary, and Doty. They all wait quietly until Pike appeared in her astral form to begin the resurrection. Vex, addressing the Raven Queen, offered to hunt down Orcus in exchange for her brother's safe return. Keyleth, touching the handprint burned onto Vax's back, cast Daylight to guide him back from the darkness. Grog stepped up, slapped Vax's body hard across the face, and told him that nobody could kill Vax but him. A vision of the Raven Queen appeared to all of them, lifting Vax up. She declared that her champion's charge was not yet complete, and that they would meet again. As she withdrew, Vax woke up.

"Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) On their first night back in Emon, Vax'ildan was visited in his sleep by a vision of the Raven Queen. She reminded him that although she gave him back to the living world, he still had a purpose. Vax'ildan assured her that while he felt like he belonged with Vox Machina, he was awaiting her command. She told him that she sensed some villainy on the horizon, but that his thread of destiny lead to something bright. She recommended that he enjoy the time he still had, as she would call upon him to fulfill his purpose when this rousing evil showed itself.

The next day, Vax and his sister looked for a place to seal or destroy Opash's book. On the way, Vax told Vex'ahlia about his recent visions of the Raven Queen, and shared his fear of having to leave them to serve the Raven Queen. He then shows Vex a strange mark that appeared around his heart, a dark spot in the skin with dark veins travelling across.

Later, Vax'ildan took the book to the Raven's Crest, although he was afraid of going there again.Percy volunteered to go with him to keep his mind at ease. They gave the book to one of the temple's Maidens, who assured them that it will be sealed, and Vax'ildan told her that he had been speaking with the goddess. As the two men walked away from the temple, Vax felt, for an instant, a cold tingle drift down the back of his neck and spine, and a warm secondary heartbeat in his chest.

The next day, Vox Machina headed to Zephrah for Keyleth's coronation ceremony. Vax'ildan found Korren before the ceremony began, and made a point to tell him that he should be very proud of her daughter. Korren awkwardly patted Vax's head in response.

"Bats out of Hell" (1x93) After a difficult journey into the Nine Hells, Vox Machina finally found Hotis' barely reforming body. They destroyed him in his weakened state, ensuring that he would never be able to exact his revenge on Vax'ildan and Pike.

"One Year Later..." (1x95) Having completed their goals, Vox Machina split up and went their seperate ways for the next year. Vax spent a lot of time with Keyleth in Zephrah, the home of the Air Ashari, where he got to know Korren better. During this time, he and Keyleth got tattoos together, his being a pair of antlers on his right bicep, and he learned a little bit of druid magic. He also set up a small altar to the Raven Queen in Zephrah.

Throughout the year, Vax'ildan spent a lot of time in the libraries at Vasselheim, as well as at the Temple of the Raven Queen there. He also joined Grog on one or two Slayer's Take contracts, and talked with Pike a lot. About once a month, he visited his sister and Percy in Whitestone, spending some time learning about the city's history and enjoying its art. He also visited Syngorn once with his sister, and together the twins moved past some of their issues with their father. Vax also contacted Dr. Dranzel in hopes of finding Scanlan, but had no luck.

At the end of the year, the party reunited in Marquet for a beach vacation. While everyone was busy on the beach, Vax took an opportunity to steal Tary's armor and hide it in Percy's room. When Tary went looking for his things, Vax told him Percy had stolen them, and as revenge, Tary set loose two dogs to mess up the room. Vex'ahlia was furious, and set Trinket loose on Vax'ildan, allowing the bear to relieve himself on her brother.

"Masquerade" (1x99) When Scanlan returned to warn the party of troubling new information, most of the group was angry with him, but Vax'ildan hugged him the minute he saw him. When Scanlan told his story, Vax'ildan inquired about his happiness, wondering if the time away had been good for him. He and Vex'ahlia then took Scanlan out to drink, while the rest of the party went to a different pub.

Chapter 8[edit | edit source]

"Race to the Tower" (1x102) In an attempt to stop Vecna's ascension, Vox Machina traveled to the Shadowfell and found the city of Thar Amphala. They tried to topple the tower of Entropis, but the top of the tower remained levitating in the air. Vox Machina made their way up just in time to be teleported to the prime material plane along with the structure and tried to fight Vecna and his lackeys, but were overpowered. Vax, along with several other members of the party, was paralyzed and powerless as Vecna cast Power Word Kill on Vex'ahlia, killing her instantly. Immediately afterwards, Delilah Briarwood cast Disintegrate on Vax, as she told Keyleth that since she took the one she loved from him, she would do the same to her. Luckily, in a split second, Keyleth had a vision of the Raven Queen barely managing to extend her influence into the plane, and Scanlan managed to Counterspell Delilah. Vecna saw this, however, and flew over to Vax, saying he hated to see work unfinished. This time, Vax was Disintegrated for good, his empty armor and daggers clattering to the ground. Vex'ahlia was brought back by Pike's quick Revivify, Scanlan grabbed Vax's equipment and any dust he could find, and the group scrambled to reach Keyleth, who Plane Shifted them all to the Feywild.

"The Fate-Touched" (1x103)

Fan art of Vax's return, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 15]

The party discussed ways to bring Vax to life without his body. Keyleth could potentially bring him back, but did not have the required, very expensive materials. The party went to sleep, sad and exhausted.

Meanwhile, Vax's soul was floating in limbo. The Raven Queen appeared to him and asked what he has seen, revealing that Vecna had blocked her sight. He told her about the fight, and the Raven Queen offered him the eternal rest that he earned. Vax protested, saying he still wanted to help his friends. She made him an offer: he could return to life as her champion, for the sole purpose of hunting down Vecna, so long as he accepted to return to her forever when he had finished that task. Vax accepted.

During Pike's watch that night, she saw Vax emerging, nude, from the trees. There was a tense, confused reunion as the group tried to figure out how Vax had returned and whether this was a trick from Vecna. Pike used Turn Undead to determine that the returned Vax was not undead, despite his cold flesh and slow heartbeat. Vax took his things back, and the party Plane Shifted to Vasselheim. Once back on the prime material plane, Vax discovered that he could feel a small, pounding headache making him aware of Vecna’s direction and distance at all times. The “Vecna-dar,” seemingly a part of the Raven Queen’s deal, indicated that Vecna was about 350 miles to the northwest of their current location in Vasselheim.

"The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) As Vox Machina prepared to face Vecna again, Vax'ildan went to the Raven's Crest and entered the pool of blood to talk to his patron. He asked her for a third bead of divinity to use in crafting the divine trammels to be used in Vecna's banishment ritual. She hesitated, fearing the other gods of the pantheon would take advantage of her weakened state, but gave in. When Vax awoke from the vision, he found a small black opal in his hand.

"The Ominous March" (1x109) While the party settled into Scanlan's Mansion for the night after forging the trammels, Vax showed Grog a Philter of Love given to him by Taryon and suggests they use it to prank Scanlan. During dinner, Vax slipped him the potion, then hid himself and Keyleth from view. When the potion took effect, Scanlan's eyes fell on Percy first, and he immediately fell in love with him for the next few hours.

"Dark Dealings" (1x112)

Vax'ildan: I'm sorry, come again?
Artagan: I wish to put my hands on your throat until you expire. If you say you're unkillable, well! That's a new experience entirely.
– 
Artagan asks to strangle Vax'ildan[72]
[!h]

After Vox Machina was discovered by Vecna while they attempted to reach him, they were forced to flee to the Feywild. Because time works in a strange way in that plane, they worried that by the time they rested up and were ready to go back to Vecna, it would be too late to save Vasselheim. Keyleth suggested they ask the archfey Artagan for help. When he arrived, Artagan agreed to make sure they would get back to Vecna quickly, but only if they agreed to his terms. First, should Vox Machina survive their fight with Vecna, they will help him build a doorway from the Feywild into the Material Plane. Second, because Vax let slip that he can't be killed, Artagan asked to strangle him to death, which would be an interesting, new experience for him.

Weirded out by his request, the party reluctantly accepted. Vax asked everyone else to leave except Grog and Scanlan, who stayed to supervise. Artagan then, exactly as promised, choked Vax to death. His body turned to ash, his equipment remaining. Some time later, Vax, alive and nude, walked out of the trees, safely returned by the Raven Queen's pact.

"The Final Ascent" (1x113)

Vax'ildan: Shaun! It was an honor knowing you.
Gilmore: And it will be an honor knowing you all still.
– 
Vax's last words to Gilmore, at the top of Entropis
[!h]

During their final trek through Thar Amphala, Vox Machina sneaked up on three figures in dark cultist armor.The twins quickly assassinate two of them, but the third doesn't die to Arkhan's attack, although he does not react either. When they removed his helmet, it was revealed to be a paralyzed Shaun Gilmore, the other two being Kaylie, Scanlan's daughter, and Cassandra, Percy's sister. After Kaylie and Cassandra are both Revivified, Vax insists that Gilmore take them all to safety. Gilmore pulls them in close to Teleport all three of them back to Whitestone. Before they go, Vax'ildan calls out to Gilmore to say goodbye.

"Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) When Vox Machina finally faced Vecna, he had achieved a terrifying new form, and trapped Velora, the twins' little sister, trapped inside his exposed rib cage. During the fight, Vax realized he wasn't strong enough to use the Raven Queen's trammel, and so passed it on to Keyleth in her planetar form. However, she missed her shot, and the already-fragile trammel broke. When Vecna tried to Teleport to safety, Scanlan reluctantly used his 9th-level spell to Counterspell his escape, giving up his hopes of later using a Wish spell to save Vax from his promise to the Raven Queen.

"The Chapter Closes" (1x115)

Fan art of Vax joining the Raven queen, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 16]

When the fight was over, Vex and Vax retrieved Velora's lifeless body. Kashaw performed a resurrection ritual, to which Vax contributed by giving her Simon, his Serpent Belt. The ritual was a success and Velora returned to life, seemingly with no memory of her abduction, and happy to be with her brother and sister.

Vox Machina flew down to Vasselheim on the back of J'mon Sa Ord and announced to the city the defeat of Vecna. Vax assures Highbearer Vord that the Raven Queen has been allowing him to sense Vecna, and he no longer can. After Keyleth gave a speech to the people of Vasselheim, Vax felt a cold pain in his chest and looked around to see the face of the Raven Queen. As she appeared before them, Percy tried to intervene, but was held back. The members of Vox Machina were very upset so see him go so fast, saying it wasn't fair, but Vax accepted his fate. Vax said his goodbyes, one by one, to each of them. Grog asked if he was afraid, but Vax'ildan answered that he would be with his mother. Scanlan wished he could've done more. Vax kissed Keyleth one last time before walking toward the Raven Queen and the figure of his mother, Elaina, who stood by her side and told him she was proud of him. Vax'ildan used Druidcraft to make snowdrops fall gently behind him, before disappearing in a puff of feathers.

  • To Keyleth: I am so very proud of you, and so grateful for everything you gave to me. You are going to be a strong leader and a wise leader. […] I’ll never be that far away. […] I will never stop loving you. […] I love you, Keyleth of the Air Ashari.
  • To Scanlan and Grog: Boys. My brothers… I love you. […] I’m going to go visit my mother, and I’ll see all of you again. […] You did everything [you could].
  • To Percival: I charge you to take good care of my sister and love her. And your friend Keyleth, love her, as well. She will need it. She will need friends. […] Thank you for trying.
  • To Pike: Pickle, you showed me the way. I know it doesn’t look like that right now, but you absolutely did. […] You taught me purpose, Pickle. Purpose. And I know I will see you again. […] Be there for them. You be there for them. You’re the light in all our lives.
  • To Vex'ahlia: I never had a greater friend than you. And we traveled a lot, I never had a greater friend than you. […] I will bring it with me to remind me of you. […]I will see you again. […] And I will tell your mother that you say hello. […] I know that it’s hard. And I am sorry.
  • To all: S.H.I.T.s, thank you. How lucky I have been to have had all of you. How lucky, indeed. Thank you.
– 
Excerpt of Vax'ildan's final words to Vox Machina
[!h]

After Vax was gone, Vox Machina went on one last adventure, then went their seperate ways. Keyleth, taking the raven feather given to her by Pike, embedded it into the sprig she once took from the Sun Tree in Whitestone. The sprig grew over time into a new Raven Tree of the Ashari. One cold day, on the 13th day of the tenth month of the year, Keyleth was visited by a single raven, larger than the ones she had seen before. She blew it a kiss, and the raven landed on her shoulder. Every day after, that raven came to visit.

Epilogues[edit | edit source]

"Dalen's Closet" (Sx47) Over a year later, Percival and Vex'ahlia had a destination wedding in Dalen's Closet. Just as Pike was about to pronounce them husband and wife, Scanlan interrupted to ask if he could offer them a gift: to Wish that Vex's brother would be able to speak to her for just a moment on her wedding day.

Off the cliffside, the guests saw a dark silhouette towering over them: the Raven Queen. From under her cloak, a figure of familiar black leather armor, feathered mantle, and black hair stepped once more on the mortal plane. Over his face was a black leather raven mask, which he removed. He spoke slowly, showing little emotion, and hesitated before hugging Vex back. He told her he was safe and always with them, and his love would never dim. Vex urged him to Keyleth, and he bowed, saying "Hail to the Tempest" before Vex told him not to be weird and go hug her. Keyleth and Vax told each other they would never get over the other, and Vax said that although he wais far, he was not gone. His final words to the party were "Thank you. Live!" before disappearing in a scattering of feathers.

This was Scanlan's last Wish, but he said it was worth it.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

The Clasp[edit | edit source]

Sometime after leaving their father but before returning to their home town, Vax'ildan learned that his sister Vex had a stalker who had paid the Clasp to get her for him. Vax gave the Clasp a child rapist, who was then transformed to look like her, allowing the Clasp to meet their contract. In exchange for sparing Vex's life, Vax was branded with the Clasp's mark and sworn to serve the Clasp whenever he was called upon.[73][74]

Vax'ildan and Pike were once captured by the Clasp in Emon. Vax revealed his membership to the Clasp's Westruun sect, so their leader, Modeth Lai, called for a test of their skills and intent. The Clasp forced the rogue and cleric to battle a chained chimera in their arena, but an unconvinced Modeth had the two held overnight anyway. During the night, Pike and Vax managed to escape.

After talks with the Clasp to help the survivors of Emon after the Chroma Conclave attack happens, Vax asks Keyleth to burn away the brand on his back.[75]

Grog[edit | edit source]

Main article:  Relationship between Grog and Vax'ildan.

Vax and Grog Strongjaw, a goliath barbarian and a fellow member of Vox Machina, have a playfully antagonistic relationship, the two of them occasionally playing pranks on each other. Aside from that, they are close friends who had each others' backs. Their prank war did become more prominent when Vax shaved off half of Grog's newly grown beard. Grog didn't take it well, but Vax only thought of it as another prank

Keyleth[edit | edit source]

You know, I see you doubting yourself. I see it, Kiki. But I've no doubts in you. I've known you for a long time now, and I have seen the strength in you growing. And I'm a fan. You're going to make a great leader someday.
– 
Vax'ildan to Keyleth[76]
[!h]

Fan art of Keyleth and Vax'ildan's first kiss[77], by Wendy Sullivan Green.[art 17]

Main article:  Relationship between Keyleth and Vax'ildan.

Vax and Keyleth are romantic partners. He started developing feelings for Keyleth while Vox Machina was adventuring in the Underdark on their mission to rescue Lady Kima of Vord and subsequently defeat K'Varn the Mad.[78]

Vax eventually admitted his love for Keyleth and kissed her after they took down Professor Anders.[79] Keyleth, however, hesitated to explore her own love for the rogue due to uncertainty and fear, but after Vox Machina discovered the corpse of Tiberius Stormwind and returned to Whitestone, the druid admitted her love for him, and that she had loved him for a long time.[80] The two since established a close relationship, and Keyleth never stops loving him even after his death following Vecna's defeat.

Kynan Leore[edit | edit source]

Fan art of Vax'ildan talking to Kynan after knocking him out, by David Rodrigues.[art 18]

Vax first met Kynan outside of Greyskull Keep upon their return from Vasselheim, during which he personally crushed the boy's dream of joining Vox Machina by telling him that he was not ready for the life that they live.[81] Later on, when Kynan was revealed to be working with Anna Ripley, Vax took it upon himself to talk some sense to the boy, convincing Kynan that despite what he had done while working with Ripley, he could still find redemption. He later gave him two daggers he had bought from Gilmore's shop in addition to his Keen Dagger[82], and then later gave him his serpent belt, telling him that he earned his second chance.[83] Vax reclaimed the serpent belt after a year, having seen that Kynan was a leader in the Whitestone forces but knowing he would not need it as much as him.

Percy[edit | edit source]

Main article:  Relationship between Percy and Vax'ildan.

Percy and Vax were once very trusting of each other, but ever since Vex's death due to the gunslinger's own negligence, as well as other events, the two have not been able to see eye-to-eye. Eventually, they had a discussion and Percy told Vax that he wants to be in the rogue's good graces again, but for the time being requests that he "never trust him". After several events, the two ended up on good terms once more and later become in-laws, through Percy's marriage to Vax's sister, Vex.

Pike[edit | edit source]

Main article:  Relationship between Pike and Vax'ildan.

Pike, as a person and as a cleric of Sarenrae, is respected by Vax and he originally planned to follow in her footsteps and become a paladin of the goddess, even sewing a symbol of her patron to his glove as a reminder of his bond with his friend.[84][85] But due to his deal with the Raven Queen, he became fearful that the gnome cleric would shun him for turning away from Sarenrae's light and actively tried to avoid her.[86][87] When Pike confronted him about his avoiding her, the two came to an understanding, with Vax still believing that despite their differing patrons, he can still follow in Pike's footsteps.[88]

The Raven Queen[edit | edit source]

When I went in this dragon, I was lost and a wanderer.  And as I am shat out its side, I come forth a paladin of the Raven Queen.
– 
Vax'ildan[89]
[!h]
After offering his life in exchange for Vex's soul, Vax began having dreams about the Raven Queen, who referred to him as "fate-touched", which only served to confuse and frighten him.[90] He soon accepted his new role as Champion of the Raven Queen when he managed to survive being inside Umbrasyl's stomach and while in free-fall.[91][92] He later went to the Raven's Crest temple in Vasselheim to commune with the goddess, during which She answered many of Vax's questions about Her purpose as a goddess of death and his role as Her champion.[93] After this communion, Vax became more at ease. And ever since, his faith in Her has grown, though he still fears Her. After the battle with Vecna, the Raven Queen claimed his soul.[94]

Scanlan[edit | edit source]

Main article:  Relationship between Scanlan and Vax'ildan.

Vax and Scanlan Shorthalt, gnome bard and former member of Vox Machina, have a strong bond of friendship. At times, Scanlan was able to offer words of advice to Vax.

Fan art of Gilmore and Vax'ildan, by David Rodrigues.[art 19]

Shaun Gilmore[edit | edit source]

Vax and Gilmore enjoy flirting with each other and spending time together. In "Shopping and Shipping" (1x14), Vax asked out Gilmore for a meal and a walk, which is the first time in the game that this has happened. Vax also seems to view Gilmore as a confidant, as he told him about Vox Machina's struggles in the Underdark and about the Horn of Orcus, which the party had agreed to keep a secret.[95] After defeating the Briarwoods and returning to Emon, Vax took a moment to sit down with Gilmore and explain that he was in love with someone else. Gilmore, although saddened by the news, took it very well, and after a final kiss, the two parted amicably.[96] They remained close friends and still loved each other platonically until Vax's death.

Trinket[edit | edit source]

Main article:  Relationship between Trinket and Vax'ildan.

Vex has a companion bear named Trinket. If she is Trinket's adoptive mother, then Vax is his uncle.

Vex'ahlia[edit | edit source]

Main article:  Relationship between Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia.

Fan art of Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia, by sleepyjaneart.[art 20]

Vax and Vex both usually work together when scouting and ambushing opponents. They haven't been separated for very long since birth, at least until after the events of "Hubris" (1x17), where they were forced to work with different groups of people.

Character Information[edit | edit source]

Quests[edit | edit source]

Vax'ildan, along with his sister Vex'ahlia, was on a quest to kill Thordak, the ancient red dragon that killed their mother when it destroyed their home town of Byroden.[97] This has since been fulfilled with Vax slaying the Cinder King during the siege of Emon.[98]

After his death at Thar Amphala, Vax agreed to the Raven Queen's offer of returning as a revenant so that he could fulfill his charge of sealing or defeating Vecna. He, along with Vox Machina, finally succeeded in banishing him, and in the end, Vax willingly returned to his patron's side and died for the last time.[99]

Notable Items[edit | edit source]

Current Items[edit | edit source]

Fan art of Vax'ildan wearing the Deathwalker's Ward, an artifact taken from the Raven Queen's champion in "The Sunken Tomb" (1x44), by Sedona Parnham.[art 21]

Former Items[edit | edit source]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Fan art of Vax'ildan, by Andrew Keller.[art 22]

As an assassination rogue, Vax'ildan excels at dealing high damage very quickly, especially while stealthed, while evading and minimizing damage to himself.  After reluctantly becoming a Champion of the Raven Queen, Vax eventually multiclasses as a paladin,[122] granting him new abilities and proficiency with medium armor, shields, and martial weapons.  With his second paladin level, he also gained access to paladin spells and Divine Smite.[123] With his third paladin level, he took the Oath of Vengeance, which granted him additional abilities and spells. He later took the Resilient feat with his fourth paladin level, to further improve his fortitude.[124]

Vax takes a level in druid before his death. As a character with multiple spellcasting classes, this granted him an additional second level spell slot.

Half-Elf Abilities[edit | edit source]

  • Darkvision
  • Fey Ancestry

Fate-Touched[edit | edit source]

  • Fortune's Grace (grants an additional use of "Lucky")[125]

Revenant Abilities[edit | edit source]

  • Returns to life within 24 hours after death
  • Knows the distance and direction between himself and Vecna while they are on the same plane of existence
  • Oxygen and food are no longer necessary
  • Hit points slowly regenerate when below half health

Feats[edit | edit source]

Weapon Damage[edit | edit source]

Vax'ildan has an assortment of daggers, some of which also deal additional damage of the following types:

  • Fire (Flametongue Dagger)
  • Poison (Dagger of Venom)
  • Necrotic (Dagger of Life-Stealing)
  • Psychic (Whisper)

Rogue Abilities[edit | edit source]

Class Features[edit | edit source]
  • Cunning Action
  • Expertise
  • Evasion
  • Reliable Talent
  • Roguish Archetype: Assassin
    • Assassinate
    • Bonus Proficiencies (Disguise kit, poisoner's kit)
    • Impostor
    • Infiltration Expertise
  • Sneak Attack (7d6)
  • Thieves' Cant
  • Uncanny Dodge

Paladin Abilities[edit | edit source]

Class Features[edit | edit source]

Fan art of Vax'ildan, Champion of the Raven Queen, by NLN4.[art 23]

  • Aura of Protection[130]
  • Divine Health
  • Divine Sense[131]
  • Divine Smite[132]
  • Extra Attack
  • Fighting Style: Defense (+1 to AC when wearing armor)
  • Lay on Hands (30 points)[133]
  • Sacred Oath: Oath of Vengeance
    • Channel Divinity
      • Abjure Enemy
      • Vow of Enmity [134]
    • Oath Spells
  • Spellcasting (Charisma-based ability)

Oath Spells[edit | edit source]

Vax has access to the following spells, which do not count against the number of spells he can prepare.

1st-level[edit | edit source]
2nd-level[edit | edit source]
  • Hold Person
  • Misty Step

Paladin Spells[edit | edit source]

Vax has access to paladin spells up to 2nd-level. As a 6th-level paladin, he can prepare up to 5 spells per day.

1st-level[edit | edit source]
2nd-level[edit | edit source]

Druid Abilities[edit | edit source]

  • Ritual Casting
  • Spellcasting (Wisdom-based ability)

Druid Spells[edit | edit source]

Vax has access to druid spells up to 1st-level. As a 1st-level druid, he can prepare up to 3 spells per day.

Cantrips[edit | edit source]
1st-level[edit | edit source]
  • Faerie Fire[143] (not used during campaign)
  • Fog Cloud[144] (not used during campaign)

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Vax'ildan's portrait in Pillars of Eternity II: Dreadfire.[art 24]

  • It was revealed on Talks Machina: After Dark that at one point, he and Keyleth became intimate with each other, and that he was her first. But it was also explained in a later episode that, although intimate emotionally, their relationship was mostly asexual.
  • In the Critical Role Major Arcana Tarot Card Set, he represents XII - The Hanged Man.
  • Vax has a small rivalry with Percy, though it is later stated (in What Lies Beneath the Surface) that it is more of a brotherly one. This rivalry comes full circle when they become in-laws, through Percy's marriage to Vax's sister, Vex'ahlia.
  • By defeating Thordak, the Cinder King, Vax completed his personal mission to avenge his mother, Elaina's, murder.
    • Also, by defeating both Thordak and Brimscythe, Vax holds the title of defeating the most members of the Chroma Conclave (sitting at 2). The remaining three were defeated by Vex (Vorugal), Grog (Umbrasyl), and Kerrek (Raishan).
  • Vax currently holds the title for third-highest damage dealt in a single attack (118 points against Thordak). He is behind Percival (who dealt 156 points to a Corrupted Empyrean) and Arkhan (who dealt 135 points to Vecna).
  • In the animated opening for Campaign 2, Molly's gravesite is shown being visited by a raven, which may be an allusion to Vax and the Raven Queen.
  • Vax'ildan is included in the Critical Role Pack DLC for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. See Dungeons & Dragons: Vox Style (by Matthew Mercer) at 1:45.
  2. Vax'ildan's father is Syldor Vessar, but neither Vax nor Vex uses that surname.  See "The Feywild" (1x59) at 3:07:28.
  3. See "Daring Days" (1x86) at 44:33.
  4. See "The Mines of the Many" (1x98) at 1:17:20.
  5. See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 2:41:35.
  6. See "Trial of the Take: Part 3" (1x20) at 1:43:48.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Vax'ildan stated his age as 27 years old in "Whispers" (1x29) at 2:10:26. Several months later, when Taryon said he was 28 years old upon his introduction, Vax said that they were the same age. While there was later a timeskip between "Jugs and Rods" (1x94) and "One Year Later..." (1x95), episode 95 begins at Winter's Crest, just over a year after Vax first stated his age, so he is still 28.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Liam O'Brien shared Vax'ildan's level 13 character sheet from 2016-03-17 on Twitter.
  9. "Thieves' Cant" is a 1st-level rogue class feature.  See D&D: Player's Handbook, 5th ed., pp. 95–96.
  10. "Druidic" is a 1st-level druid class feature.  See D&D: Player's Handbook, 5th ed., p. 66.
  11. See "Tangled Depths" (1x88) at 5:02:50.  Vax fails his third and final death saving throw after being knocked unconscious by the kraken.
  12. See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 3:33:18.
  13. See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) from 3:44:23 through 3:46:46.  Vax allows Artagan to strangle him to death in return for a favor.
  14. See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115).[citation needed]
  15. Liam O'Brien revealed on Twitter that Byroden was the town where Vax and Vex grew up with their mother.
  16. See "One Year Later..." (1x95) at 0:33:41.
  17. Thinking Vax is going to die, Liam jokingly says he hears their mother, Elaina.  See "In the Belly of the Beast" (1x54) from 4:11:49 through 4:12:24.
  18. Due to Vex'ahlia becoming the wife of Percy, Percy became Vax's brother-in-law.  See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105).[citation needed]
  19. Vax and Keyleth got together after the discovery of Tiberius Stormwind's death.  See "The Streets of Ank'Harel" (1x65) from 14:54 through 17:36.
  20. Vax'ildan shifted from Clasp member to enemy after refusing Spireling Shenn's deal.  See "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) at 2:55:53.
  21. Vax'ildan's level 13 stat card was shown onscreen.  See "In Ruins" (1x41) at 1:35:45.
  22. Vax'ildan multiclassed from rogue into paladin.  See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:34:33.
  23. Vax'ildan's level 14 stat card was shown onscreen.  See "Duskmeadow" (1x57) at 28:19.
  24. Vax'ildan's level 16 stats were shown onscreen.  See "Clash at Daxio" (1x77) at 48:59.
  25. Vax'ildan's level 17 stats were shown onscreen. Liam O'Brien added +1 to Vax's Constitution score, meaning he took the Resilient feat for that saving throw when he reached Paladin 4.  See "Deals in the Dark" (1x92) at 2:18:20.
  26. Vax'ildan's level 18 stats were shown onscreen. HP increase more than possible as Rogue, so level must be Paladin.  See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 2:55:41.
  27. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 9:15 through 10:44.
  28. See "Aramente to Pyrah" (1x22) at 1:20:14.
  29. Liam O'Brien clarified the twins' hair color. (source)
  30. See "Curious Tides" (1x89).[citation needed]
  31. See "The Rematch" (1x23) from 2:32:30 through 2:34:18.
  32. See "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) at 2:59:25.
  33. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90).[citation needed]
  34. Liam confirmed that Vax's first bruise-like mark on his chest was a symbol of him gaining the Resilient feat.  See "Talks Machina #31: 'The Fate-Touched' and 'Elysium'" (TMx31).
  35. See "The Fate-Touched" (1x103) at 1:13:58.
  36. See "Talks Machina #125: 'Refjorged', 'Dalen's Closet' & 'A Tangled Web'" (TMx125) at 1:01:40.
  37. See "Those Who Walk Away" (1x45) at 48:49.  Vex'ahlia mentions that her brother would "walk away" from telling her about how she was revived.
  38. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31).
  39. See "The Sunken Tomb" (1x44) at 4:30:35.
  40. Vax takes his first level in Paladin to the Raven Queen.  See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:45:35.
  41. Liam O'Brien confirmed that Vax'ildan is bisexual in a Q&A.  See "Critical Role Q&A and Battle Royale: Take II" (Sx10) at 1:21:09.
  42. See "Strange Bedfellows" (1x03) at 1:30:28.
  43. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 6:24.
  44. See "Shopping and Shipping" (1x14) at 2:43:21.
  45. See "Trial of the Take: Part 3" (1x20) at 3:14:44.
  46. See "The Rematch" (1x23) at 2:41:04.
  47. See "The Rematch" (1x23) at 2:57:11.
  48. See "The Feast" (1x24) at 1:34:00.
  49. See "The Feast" (1x24) at 2:18:28.
  50. See "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25) at 40:01.
  51. See "Reunions" (1x33) at 2:30:40.
  52. See "Reunions" (1x33) at 4:10.
  53. See "Winter's Crest in Whitestone" (1x36) at 2:30:40.
  54. See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) at 58:33.
  55. See "Omens" (1x39) at 3:17:07.
  56. See "In Ruins" (1x41) at 2:27:24.
  57. See "In Ruins" (1x41) at 2:54:13.
  58. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 2:46:51.
  59. See "The Sunken Tomb" (1x44) at 4:30:26.
  60. See "The Sunken Tomb" (1x44) at 4:30:26.
  61. See "The Family Business" (1x47) at 00:53:53.
  62. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 55:38.
  63. See "Hope" (1x56) at 3:39:49.
  64. See "Duskmeadow" (1x57) at 1:04:54.
  65. See "A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58) at 2:14:18.
  66. See "Heredity and Hats" (1x60) at 0:58:26.
  67. See "The Frigid Doom" (1x64) at 1:51:05.
  68. See "The Streets of Ank'Harel" (1x65) at 0:16:10.
  69. See "The Streets of Ank'Harel" (1x65) at 0:11:59.
  70. See "Passed Through Fire" (1x69) at 2:20:43.
  71. See "Thordak" (1x79) at 3:19:50.
  72. See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) at 3:34:45.
  73. See "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) at 20:08.
  74. See "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) from 2:25:09 through 2:27:08.
  75. See "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) at 2:59:25.
  76. See "What Lies Beneath the Surface" (1x81) at 3:46:44.
  77. See "Reunions" (1x33), part 2, at 0:04:24.
  78. Liam O'Brien commissioned a Critter artist to draw a piece that depicted Vax's realization, and he confirmed with the artist that it occurred during the Underdark arc.
  79. See "Reunions" (1x33), part 2, at 4:24.
  80. See "The Streets of Ank'Harel" (1x65) from 14:54 through 17:36.
  81. See "The Rematch" (1x23) from 2:41:56 through 2:49:04.
  82. See "Trust" (1x70) at 2:48:39.
  83. See "The Coming Storm" (1x73) at 1:12:34.
  84. See "Whispers" (1x29) at 16:46.
  85. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 1:36:13.
  86. See "Into the Frostweald" (1x48) at 1:08:53.
  87. See "Into the Frostweald" (1x48) at 1:19:14.
  88. See "Hope" (1x56) from 3:39:58 through 3:46:41.
  89. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 55:40.
  90. See "The Family Business" (1x47) from 53:53 through 56:16.
  91. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 55:40.
  92. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:45:35.
  93. See "Duskmeadow" (1x57) from 1:08:15 through 1:15:40.
  94. See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115).[citation needed]
  95. See "The Feast" (1x24) from 56:21 through 57:54.
  96. See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) from 58:33 through 1:02:42.
  97. See "Desperate Measures" (1x40) at 2:38:21.
  98. See "Thordak" (1x79) from 3:19:49 through 3:22:32.
  99. See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115).[citation needed]
  100. The Boots of Haste are similar to the Boots of Speed from Pathfinder.
  101. See "Escape from the Underdark" (1x13) at 1:13:53.
  102. 102.0 102.1 102.2 Liam O'Brien shared Vax'ildan's character sheet and item descriptions from 2016-04-25 on Twitter.
  103. See "The Sunken Tomb" (1x44) at 4:41:45.
  104. See "Those Who Walk Away" (1x45) from 1:34:15 through 1:35:53.
  105. Vax'ildan received a symbol of Sarenrae from Father Tristan.  See "The Path to Whitestone" (1x27) at 2:08:28.
  106. Vax'ildan sewed the symbol of Sarenrae onto the back of his right glove.  See "Whispers" (1x29) at 16:46.
  107. See "Reunions" (1x33), part 1, at 47:28.
  108. See "Those Who Walk Away" (1x45) at 1:10:40.
  109. See "Passed Through Fire" (1x69) at 10:58.
  110. See "Passed Through Fire" (1x69) at 1:59:39.
  111. See "Gunpowder Plot" (1x31), part 2, at 6:15.
  112. See "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46) at 3:05:35.
  113. See "Trust" (1x70) at 1:19:48.
  114. See "Reunions" (1x33), part 1, at 46:02.
  115. See "Trust" (1x70) at 2:48:59.
  116. See "The Elephant in the Room" (1x72) from 1:33:51 through 1:35:09.
  117. See "Deadly Echoes" (1x82).[citation needed]
  118. See "Loose Ends" (1x84).[citation needed]
  119. See "Bats out of Hell" (1x93).[citation needed]
  120. See "The Coming Storm" (1x73) at 1:12:34.
  121. See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115).[citation needed]
  122. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:34:33.
  123. See D&D: Player's Handbook, 5th ed., pp. 163–164 for multiclassing information.
  124. Vax rolls a 25 for a Constitution save vs. Symphior's Cold Snap, thus confirming the Resilient feat being chosen.  See "The Mines of the Many" (1x98) at 3:51:40.
  125. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 108.
  126. Vax'ildan uses the Lucky feat.  See "The Temple Showdown" (1x11) at 37:30.
  127. Liam O'Brien added +1 to Vax'ildan's Constitution score, meaning he took the Resilient feat for that saving throw when he reached Paladin 4.  See "Deals in the Dark" (1x92) at 2:18:20.
  128. Vax rolls a 25 for a Constitution save vs. Symphior's Cold Snap, thus confirming the Resilient feat being chosen.  See "The Mines of the Many" (1x98) at 3:51:40.
  129. Liam O'Brien reveals that he picked up the Sharpshooter feat at level 12.  See "Reunions" (1x33), part 1, at 1:18:01.
  130. See "The Final Ascent" (1x113).[citation needed]  Liam notes that someone within 10 feet of Vax'ildan gets a +2 bonus to saving throws, consistent with the Aura of Protection
  131. See "Cloak and Dagger" (1x68) at 1:26:33.  Vax'ildan used his Divine Sense ability.
  132. See "Cloak and Dagger" (1x68) at 35:19.  Vax'ildan used his Divine Smite ability.
  133. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 47:08.  Vax'ildan used his Lay on Hands ability.
  134. See "Clash at Daxio" (1x77) at 1:47:22.  Vax'ildan used his Vow of Enmity ability.
  135. See "Clash at Daxio" (1x77) at 1:19:47.  Vax'ildan casts Hunter's Mark.
  136. See "The Chase to Glintshore" (1x67) at 3:17:26.  Vax'ildan casts Bless.
  137. See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114).[citation needed]  Vax'ildan casts Compelled Duel.
  138. See "Brawl in the Arches" (1x76) at 27:09.  Vax'ildan casts Heroism.
  139. See "Vorugal" (1x71) at 3:07:50.  Vax'ildan casts Shield of Faith.
  140. See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) at 2:11:27.  Vax'ildan casts Locate Object.
  141. See "Shadows of Thomara" (1x111) at 4:17:26.  Vax'ildan casts Zone of Truth.
  142. See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115).[citation needed]  Vax'ildan casts Druidcraft.
  143. See "Critical Role: Grog's One-Shot" (Sx26).[citation needed]  Vax'ildan casts Faerie Fire
  144. See "Critical Role One-Shot: Epic Level Battle Royale" (Sx30).[citation needed]  Vax'ildan casts Fog Cloud
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Art:

  1. Vax'ildan at the end of Vox Machina's journey, by Kit Buss (source).  Permission needed.
  2. Fan art of Vax'ildan, by Tyrone Andersen (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Official Vax'ildan Pop! figure.  Critical Role Shop
  4. Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia after meeting Keyleth, by Olivia Samson ([Vox Machina Origins Volume I Issue #1 source]).  Used with permission.
  5. Vax'ildan and Scanlan, by Olivia Samson ([Vox Machina Origins Volume I Issue #1 source]).  Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of Vax'ildan, by Kit Buss (source).  Permission needed.
  7. Fan art of the battle with Hotis in "Trial of the Take: Part 4" (1x21), by Linda Lithén (source).  Used with permission.
  8. Fan art of Vax's escape, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  9. Fan art of Deal with the Raven Queen, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  10. Fan art of Raven Dreams, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  11. Fan art of the Raven Queen in mortal form, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  12. Fan art of Scanlan saving Vax'ildan from Hotis in "A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58), by Hugo Cardenas (source).  Used with permission.
  13. Fan art of Vax'ildan after killing the fire giant general, by Hugo Cardenas (source).  Used with permission.
  14. Fan art of Keyleth, Vax'ildan, and Vex'ahlia after Vax's resurrection ritual in "Curious Tides" (1x89), by Elaine Tipping (source).  Used with permission.
  15. Fan art of Vax's return, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  16. Fan art of Vax joining the Raven queen, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.
  17. Fan art of Keyleth and Vax'ildan's first kiss[77], by Wendy Sullivan Green (source).  Used with permission.
  18. Fan art of Vax'ildan talking to Kynan after knocking him out, by David Rodrigues (source).  Used with permission.
  19. Fan art of Gilmore and Vax'ildan, by David Rodrigues (source).  Used with permission.
  20. Fan art of Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia, by sleepyjaneart (source).  Permission needed.
  21. Fan art of Vax'ildan wearing the Deathwalker's Ward, an artifact taken from the Raven Queen's champion in "The Sunken Tomb" (1x44), by Sedona Parnham (source).  Permission needed.
  22. Fan art of Vax'ildan, by Andrew Keller (source).  Permission needed.
  23. Fan art of Vax'ildan, Champion of the Raven Queen, by NLN4 (source).  Used with permission.
  24. Vax'ildan's portrait in Pillars of Eternity II: Dreadfire[1]


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