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Vox Machina was a legendary band of adventurers based in Tal'Dorei, primarily active between 809 and 812 PD, and the protagonists of the First Campaign of Critical Role. They are world renowned heroes, most notable for rescuing the Tal'Dorei Royal Family from demonic possession, overthrowing the Briarwoods' rule of Whitestone, slaying the dragons of the Chroma Conclave, and banishing the newly deified Vecna beyond the Divine Gate.
- 1 Founding
- 2 Adventures
- 3 Name
- 4 Members
- 5 Allies and Friends
- 6 Enemies
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Official Art
- 9 References
The team, originally comprised of Grog Strongjaw, Tiberius Stormwind, Scanlan Shorthalt, Keyleth, Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia, met in the swamp town of Stilben as a ragtag group of mercenaries in search of work. They found a job board posting from Fendril Vas, the elven head of a small merchant empire, who hired the group to investigate a new competition in town known as the Myriad. Their mission lead them to a chamber containing a planar rift that pulled the group into the plane of the undead fetal-formed deity Crysa-Thul, who revealed that their contract with the elven merchant was merely a ruse to lure here so the god could feed on them. The party fought back, destroying the creature, and returned to Stilben and to kill Vas in revenge.
The main pre-stream events of Campaign One were shared in "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06).
After their original mission in Stilben, the group stayed in town to do some odd jobs. Grog left to return to his hometown of Westruun, but after a few weeks, the party began to worry and went to look for him. In Westruun, they met his childhood friend Pike Trickfoot, who said that Grog had been acting strangely and went off on his own towards the looming Gatshadow Mountain. Joined by Pike, they discovered a crypt in the mountain where they found Grog and the reanimated corpse of his father Stonejaw Strongjaw, controled by a dying mage attempting a ritual to lichdom. He managed to complete the ritual and embed his phylactery into Grog's chest before the party killed him.
While looking for help, the party was approached by Drez Vina, who offered to pay them well to infiltrate the tower of an Archmage and retrieve a box for him. Hoping to speak with this Archmage, the party accepted the task and made their way to the top of the tower. They decided against stealing the box, instead asking the keeper of the tower, Realmseer Eskil Ryndarien, for help. He sent the party to collect two items he required for a ritual to rid Grog of the phylactery: the skull of a Nightmare and the Heart of a Nymph. Ryndarien also told them that if the phylactery was not removed in time, the lich would be reborn within Grog in two weeks. The party traveled to the Umbra Hills, where they slayed an infernal messenger and his Nightmare steed. There, they met, befriended, and freed from imprisonment the human gunslinger Percival de Rolo, who joined the party. From there, they traveled to the Frostweald and encountered a single unfrozen pool of water inhabited by a nymph. After speaking with the nymph, Grog followed her back to her dimensional sanctuary and returned holding a jewel gifted by the nymph: her "heart". The group returned to Ryndarien, and the ritual succeeded.
Drez Vina, displeased, approached the party to demand that their debt be paid off. The party accepted a new mission and headed to the Shadebarrow, an ancient druidic burial chamber, to defeat an iron golem and tear the Arcane Cortex from its chest. They returned it to Vina, fulfilling their contract. A dwarf named Kradin Grimthorne then approached them and offered to represent them in a nearby underground fighting ring, where they fought their way in to victory.
During the Winter's Crest season, a strange blue crystal was delivered to Westruun in the name of Archmage Eskil Ryndarien, and it froze the entire populace in ice. The party, shielded from the icy blast by a merchant named Noja, saw a nude woman with long, white hair emerge from the crystal, open a portal and leap through. The party gave chase, finding themselves in a frozen world where the woman revealed her true form: the white dragon Skysunder. The party defeated her and with the dragon dead, the people of Westruun were freed from the ice. Eskil Ryndarien was put on trial for the attack, but the party intervened and proved his innocence. Eskil discovered that the crystal was delivered by a powerful organization of thieves known as the Clasp. Vax, once a member of the Clasp, knew that their headquarters were in Emon, the capital city of Tal'Dorei.
In Emon, the party completed a few odd jobs, one of which lead them to Syldor Vessar, the father of Vex and Vax. The twins learned that their father had remarried and had a new daughter. In town as ambassador to Syngorn, Syldor hired the party to search for Sir Gregory Fince, his missing contact with the Tal'Dorei Council. The party infiltrated his house and battled demons in the basement, then found the tortured corpse of Sir Gregory, as well as his notes on an attempted assassination of Sovereign Uriel and his family. According to them, since the attempt, Uriel had been absent from the Council most hours, and his wife Salda Tal'Dorei had been whispering in his ear and scoffing at any who defied them.
As they exited the basement, Grog, Tiberius, Vex, Percy, and Keyleth fell into a trap and into a subterranean river system. They found themselves in the ruins of an ancient town where they met a hag named Trysta. In her hut, Tiberius found one of the artifacts he was searching for, the Wheel of Mending. Trysta showed them the way back to the surface in exchange for their aid in slaying a newly nested umber hulk at the top of the Crystalfen Caverns. Meanwhile, while Scanlan looked for a map of the sewer system, Vax and Pike were attacked and taken to the headquarters of the Clasp, where Spireling Modeth Lai told them that Sir Gregory's house was under surveillance. Vax revealed his past membership to the Clasp, but he and Pike still had to sneak out in the night to reunite with the rest of the party.
The party decided to meet the man who twartted the royal family's assasination, General Krieg. Krieg met with the party and was interested in the information regarding sir Gregory and the Clasp, but asked the party not to meddle in the investigation. Vox Machina headed to the Palace of the Sovereign to try and speak with Uriel, but were denied entry. At the palace gate, they met Allura Vysoren, a powerful arcanist and a member of the Tal'Dorei Council. She invited the party to her home, the Ivory Tower, where she and Keyleth Scryed into the palace, revealing that Uriel and his entire family were under the influence of a demonic force. The party decided to pay a visit to the Clasp, where they killed Spireling Modeth and stole four glowing crystals. Returning to Allura's tower, they realized that she had been attacked by a demonic entity but managed to escape. The party escaped the tower's sudden collapse, due to a defense mechanism, thanks to the discovery of a Carpet of Flying. They saw that Allura's tower had compacted itself into a small, magical pearl.
The party then headed to the home of General Krieg, where they found a teleportation circle that transported them to a cavern high in the mountains. Inside, they discovered an incredible hoard of treasure, and four large, obsidian orbs placed in the rock walls. After touching one of them, a giant reptilian eye appeared in it and a voice erupted, calling for "Brimscythe". Noticing the party in the cavern, the voice said "Intruders. I know your face now. He is a fool, and so are you, insect." The orbs all cracked and became inert. General Krieg then appeared in the teleportation circle, and revealed his true form: the blue dragon Brimscythe. The party managed to kill him and escape, finding Allura back in Emon. She lead them in infiltrating the Palace, where they stormed the throne room.
Vox Machina banished the shadows in the royal family's bodies, summoning the entity behind the entire scheme: a "devil prince" named Juurezel. He told the party of a great war between devils and demons spilling into the Material Plane that could threaten all creation, and justified his actions with the devastation that would ensue if the party stopped him. He requested the party's aid in destroying demons in the city and offered a single Wish if they agreed to make a pact with him. After initially agreeing, Vox Machina decided to use their wish to cancel their contract with the fiend, and attacked. During the fight, Juurezel, revealed to actually be a glabrezu demon, killed Pike by cutting her in half with his pincer. After killing the demon, the group rushed to a nearby temple of Pike's deity Sarenrae, where they attempted a resurrection ritual, and succeeded in bringing her back to life. Using the four crystals they stole from the Clasp, which were actually Soul Jars, they restored the royal family's souls to their bodies. In thanks for all their help, the king offered the party a place on the Tal'Dorei Council and commissioned the construction of a keep for them on the outskirts of the city. He also declared a new Winter's crest festival, since previous ones were interrupted by attacks.
During the festivities, the party noticed Gren Tal'Dorei, the son of Uriel, chatting with a boy with black hair and golden eyes. Remembering rumors of children meeting a boy of that exact description before disappearing, the party chased them into an alley and through some kind of portal. They found themself atop a large, forested island drifting through the Astral Plane. Inside a mansion, they found a number of kidnapped children. The strange boy, calling himself the Dread Emperor, revealed his true form as a golden-armored man with long, black hair. As the party fought, they realized that any damage dealt to him was also transferred to the four children chained to his breastplate. One boy fell to Keyleth's magic, but they managed to take out the Dread Emperor and return with the kidnapped children to Emon.
Six months of peace followed as Greyskull Keep was constructed. During this time, the party scattered on personal business; Keyleth to the Earth Ashari to continue her Aramenté, Pike to the sea to train, Percy building new weapons. Upon their return, they sent out job inquiries for guards and servants and settled into their new home.
Other moments from the pre-stream game have been shared by the main cast:
- Trinket was nearly killed when Grog attempted to disarm a room full of traps by hitting the bear on his backside with the broad side of his axe, causing Trinket to charge straight into the traps, triggering all of them. Vex was very angry with the goliath afterwards.
- Vex and Percy castrated the two trolls that were "attacking" Tiberius. Grog decided to keep one of the penises of the trolls as a souvenir; it was later used as a distraction in an encounter.
- Pike once 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.
- Scanlan once rolled a natural twenty on deception, and by putting a finger over his upper lip so it looked like he had a mustache, was able to trick a man into thinking that he was "Burt Reynolds", a moniker he would don throughout the series. He was also able to convince some guards to free Keyleth from prison after convincing them that she had pubic lice. She played along by foaming at the mouth and acting insane. Percy acted as her lawyer.
- Grog and Scanlan managed to intimidate a group of hostile mages in the fighting pit when Scanlan summoned a pony, that Grog abruptly decapitated before smearing its gore on his body while screaming. Scanlan also had Percy build him a bomb to use in that event, but since Grog's intimidation worked, Scanlan kept the bomb, which was later used in "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10).
- After finding Brimscythe's treasure horde, Grog went into a "rage loot"; when the dragon emerged, he paused to acknowledge it before he continued looting the room. Grog's choice almost cost some members of Vox Machina their lives, but it also significantly increased their party funds, as the room was destroyed afterwards.
- When Keyleth attempted to rescue one of the children from the Dread Emperor with her Grasping Vine spell, the child accidentally died when his neck broke from too much pressure around the collar. She later experienced great difficulty in her Earth Trial due to the trauma of the child's death still fresh in her mind.
- Grog convinced the group that in order to find good security for Greyskull Keep, the potential guards would have to fight each other to the death.
- On the road from Emon to Kraghammer with mission to aid Kima of Vord, Grog successfully prevented a fight between a roving band of goliath barbarians, led by his uncle Kevdak's son, Zanror, and Vox Machina after he recognized his cousin. However, the truce was only temporary.
Some pre-stream events were changed in the Vox Machina Origins series. In this version, Scanlan and Grog were travelling with another party, The Wing, which also included Arnicor, Thurista and Vash; Keyleth and Tiberius were also in a party called the Four from Foramere with Helicax, Brul, and Stitch; Vex and Vax were travelling together. The future members of Vox Machina were all in Stilben for different reasons, but ran into each other in a sewer station, where they initially fought each other. However, when agents of the Myriad also appeared, followed by Iselda, they banded together to fight them off. Keyleth suggested that they all team up to figure out what was going on in the town, but everyone turned her down. Iselda then kidnapped Vax'ildan, which forced Vex'ahlia to go beg the others for help. Leaving their previous groups, who had other priorities, the five of them came together and met up with Vax, who had just escaped from his cell. Together, they took out Iselda and stopped the "curse" that was plaguing the town.
Chrysa-Thul only made a brief appearance in a forest outside of Stilben. It seems that Fendril Vas was not present in this storyline, as Vex'ahlia mentioned that they were being paid "a very small amount" by the town of Stilben to take care of it.
In this version, Grog did not tell the others he was leaving for Westruun, instead being compelled to leave in the middle of the night. This caused the group to immediately start looking for him, and they had to track him to Westruun themselves. Tiberius also left the party to head to the Ashen Gorge instead of going with the others.
While looking for the ingredients for the ritual that would save Grog, the party split up into two teams. Vex, Vax and Grog went to look for the heart of a nymph, while Scanlan, Pike and Keyleth sought the head of a Nightmare. They came back with very little time to spare, and during the ritual, Grog became posessed. The party had to fight back while Eskil Ryndarien pulled the lich's soul from his body.
The original name of the group was the Super High-Intensity Team, but the players decided to abandon the name once they began to gain renown because of the acronym that it spelled out, although they still occasionally refer to themselves as "the S.H.I.T.s". The group debated calling themselves the Order of the Brotherhood of the Sisterhood, but chose the name Vox Machina. Vox Machina is latin for "voice machine", a nod to the cast of voice actors.
At the beginning of Campaign One, Vox Machina was a group of eight adventurers plus Vex'ahlia's companion, Trinket. Tiberius parted from the group amicably in "A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37). Scanlan left the group after a very emotional confrontation in "A Bard's Lament" (1x85), but returned in "Masquerade" (1x99). Taryon joined Vox Machina in Scanlan's absence. After defeating Vecna, the party retired from adventuring.
|Grog Strongjaw||Barbarian / Fighter||Alive||Living with Pike and Scanlan in Westruun|
|Keyleth||Druid||Alive||Headmaster of the Air Ashari in Zephrah|
|Percival de Rolo||Fighter||Alive||Sovereign of Whitestone|
|Pike Trickfoot||Cleric||Alive||Living with Grog and Scanlan in Westruun|
|Scanlan Shorthalt||Bard||Alive||Living with Pike and Grog in Westruun|
|Taryon Darrington||Artificer||Alive||Grand Commander of the Darrington Brigade in Deastok|
|Tiberius Stormwind||Sorcerer||Deceased||Fell while defending Draconia from Vorugal|
|Vax'ildan||Rogue / Paladin / Druid||Deceased||Abandoned his mortal form to become Champion of the Raven Queen after defeating Vecna|
|Vex'ahlia||Ranger / Rogue||Alive||Baroness of the First House of Whitestone|
|Doty||Construct||Alive||Assistant to Taryon in Deastok|
|Lockheed||Pseudodragon||Unknown||Released in the wild around Whitestone|
|Trinket||Bear||Alive||Living with Vex'ahlia in Whitestone|
Originally, the alignments of Vox Machina were as follows: Keyleth, Percy, and Vex were neutral good, Pike, Scanlan, Tiberius, and Vax were chaotic good, and Grog was chaotic neutral. After "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25), there was an unspecified alignment change to a character, which was likely either Percy or Tiberius due to their actions during said episode. It was confirmed at Wizard World that Tiberius's alignment had changed. After "Cindergrove Revisited" (1x46), Vex's alignment changed to chaotic neutral due to many behaviors and actions culminating in the theft of Gern Blanston's flying broom and then lying about it. During "Where the Cards Fall" (1x75), Vex's alignment changed to chaotic good due to a series of decisions, including her outspoken concern for two young enslaved aasimar.
Vax is one of the main damage dealers in the group, partly because he tends to be the one scouting ahead, though he is sometimes accompanied by his sister Vex'ahlia. Grog carries the group's Bag of Holding and is another of the main damage dealers, serving as a tank and protecting the less armored party members. Scanlan is occasionally used for infiltration and subterfuge, and Keyleth has been known to do aerial reconnaissance and transportation. Pike is the group's main healer, though Keyleth, Vex, and Scanlan also have healing abilities, albeit to a more limited extent.
Keyleth often tries to act as the conscience of the group. Though others may agree with her, she is often the most vocal about advocating for doing the right thing or worrying about a person's well-being, against more eloquent members who don't share her concerns.
Vex'ahlia is the group's treasurer. She keeps track of the party's funds and distributes any earnings among them. She is also a skilled haggler and tends to handle most of Vox Machina's business transactions.
Relationships Within the Group
Allies and Friends
See also: Category:Allies
Guest Player Characters
- Bertrand Bell
- Gern Blanston
- Kashaw Vesh
- Lieve'tel Toluse
- Lillith Daturai
- Thorbir Falbek
- Zahra Hydris
- Council of Tal'Dorei
- Lady Allura Vysoren
- Cassandra de Rolo
- Shaun Gilmore
- Jarett Howarth
- Lady Kima of Vord
- Osysa, Kamaljiori, and the Slayer's Take
- Earthbreaker Groon
- The Ashari
- J'mon Sa Ord
- Tooma and the Ravenites
- Captain Damon and the crew of The Deera
- Drake Thunderbrand
- Mikael Daxio
Vox Machina has defeated many foes over the years. There are also a few groups of people/adversaries that would probably oppose them when the time comes.
- The Clasp: Vox Machina made enemies of them when not agreeing to their terms when seeking their assistance during the Chroma Conclave attack on Emon. The Clasp named them their enemies and would later be paid by Hotis to send assassins after them.
- Master Vouk: A collaborator with the Briarwoods in Whitestone, Vouk's forehead was branded and had his tongue ripped out by Vox Machina before fleeing, his status following this is unknown.
- Goran Vedmeyer: After serving as a duke under the Briarwoods, he was allowed to live in Whitestone to serve the community as penance for his crimes against the people.
- Orthax: A shadow demon who has made vengeance pacts with both Percival de Rolo and Anna Ripley.
- Craven Edge: Grog's sentient sword that upon being satisfied by feeding upon Grog's kills sucked out Grog's soul. The damage was undone by Pike and Craven Edge was banished by Keyleth via Plane Shift far from the material plane where it can do harm.
- Ghurrix: Ghurrix was slain by Vox Machina; his essence is reforming in the Nine Hells, but he has been demoted and tortured for his supposed assassination attempt, a lie put about by Scanlan.
- Kraken: An intelligent creature that Keyleth's mother failed to avoid in her final Aramente trial. It toyed with Vox Machina until enough damage was done that it began to fight them seriously, killing Vax. It is trapped in the Elemental Plane of Water and is aggressively territorial.
- Arkhan: Stole the Hand of Vecna and attached it to himself, claiming just before he Teleported away: "I'm sorry, it was just business. Until we meet again."
- Vecna: Not actually dead, but banished and sealed away nonetheless.
- Fendril Vas
- Stonejaw Strongjaw
- Drath Mephruhn
- Dread Emperor
- King Murghol and Queen Ulara
- Clarota: Initially an ally, Clarota was killed after he was reconnected to the hive mind of the elder brain and turned on Vox Machina.
- The Broker
- Associates of the Briarwoods:
- Kevdak: Grog's uncle.
- Mystic Iotha
- Anna Ripley
- Gatekeeper Xanthus
- The Chroma Conclave
- Thordak: Ancient red dragon, leader of the Chroma Conclave.
- Brimscythe: Adult blue dragon; had disguised himself as General Krieg and infiltrated the Tal'Dorei Council.
- Raishan: Ancient green dragon; temporarily allied with Vox Machina against Thordak and Vorugal.
- Umbrasyl: Ancient black dragon.
- Vorugal: Ancient white dragon.
- Hotis: Slain on two separate occasions by Vax'ildan and Pike Trickfoot, finally killed permanently in the Nine Hells by Grog.
- Delilah Briarwood: Initially executed at Whitestone by Cassandra, resurrected by Vecna prior to "Unfinished Business" (1x100), killed again in "Race to the Tower" (1x102) by Percy, quickly resurrected by Vecna again, and slain one last time by Vex in "The Final Ascent" (1x113).
- Sylas Briarwood: Initially killed by Keyleth and Pike in "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34), resurrected by Vecna the Ascended prior to "The Final Ascent" (1x113). Finally vanquished for good in "Dalen's Closet" (Sx47) by Vex'ahlia.
- In the very first session played by the group, which was supposed to be a one-shot for Liam O'Brien's birthday, Marisha Ray was present, but instead of playing, she helped the others with the game, as most had never played Dungeons & Dragons before. She created Keyleth and joined the party in a later session.
- Similarly, Taliesin Jaffe played a different character for the first session of the game, a dragonborn paladin. This character hasn't been mentionned in official Critical Role media, and it is unknown if he appeared in other sessions, or why Taliesin ended up playing as Percival de Rolo later on.
- Matt estimates off the top of his head that, as of "Clash at Daxio" (1x77) in 811 PD, Vax and Keyleth have been traveling together for a little over two years, maybe pushing two-and-a-half. If it's closer to two-and-a-half, they met toward the end of 808 PD. See "Talks Machina #4: 'Clash at Daxio'" (TMx04) at 1:04:58.
- See "Attack on the Duergar Warcamp" (1x04) at 3:33:56.
- See "Attack on the Duergar Warcamp" (1x04) at 4:14:25. Mentioned during the Q&A at the end of the episode.
- See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 4:14:39.
- See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 1:14:41.
- See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 3:23:42.
- See "Aramente to Pyrah" (1x22) at 2:58:38.
- See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 9:14.
- See "Wizard World Gaming Portland Panel" (Sx07) at 55:04.
- The history of the party name was discussed in a Q&A. See "Attack on the Duergar Warcamp" (1x04) at 4:04:31.
- On 2015 October 28th, at 6:40pm PST, it was announced live on the Geek and Sundry Twitch channel that due to a mutual parting of ways, Orion Acaba would no longer appear on Critical Role. Matthew Mercer repeated the announcement at the beginning of "Stoke the Flames" (1x30).
- Q&A at the end of K'Varn Revealed. See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 3:29:09. Sam wasn't sure what Scanlan's alignment was.
- Matthew Mercer confirmed on Twitter that a character's alignment had shifted.
- See "Wizard World Gaming Portland Panel" (Sx07).
- Matthew Mercer confirmed on Reddit that Vex'ahlia had officially shifted alignment to chaotic neutral.
- See "Where the Cards Fall" (1x75) from 3:13:21 through 3:14:29.
- See "Denouement" (1x35), part 2, from 39:15 through 44:35.
- See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 5:27:30.
- Clarota was reconnected to the hive mind of the elder brain and turned against Vox Machina. See "Escape from the Underdark" (1x13) at 0:31:34.
- See "Gunpowder Plot" (1x31), part 1, at 1:32:10.
- See "Denouement" (1x35), part 2, from 39:15 through 44:35.
- Vox Machina raises hands to ally themselves with Raishan. See "Trust" (1x70) at 58:11.
- See "Trial of the Take: Part 4" (1x21) from 3:46:05 through 3:47:45.
- See "A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58) from 1:34:22 through 1:36:18.
- See "Bats Out of Hell" (1x93) from 4:07:04 through 4:08:33.
- See "Dalen's Closet" (Sx47) at 3:39:15.
- Official art of Vox Machina, by Joe Madureira (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
- Official art of The original members of Vox Machina, by Olivia Samson from Vox Machina Origins 1. Used with permission.
- Official art of Skysunder, by Wendy Sullivan Green (source). Used with permission.
- Official art of Vox Machina attacking Juurezel, by Wendy Sullivan Green (source). Used with permission.
- Official art of Dread Emperor, by Wendy Sullivan Green (source). Used with permission.
- Official group portrait of Vox Machina, by Kit Buss (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
- Fan made timeline of the adventures of Vox Machina, by Lalou (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of the Vox Machina Crest, by BlackSalander (source). Used with permission.
- Photograph of the miniatures originally used by Vox Machina alongside a Horn of Orcus, by Liam O'Brien (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
- Fan art of Vox Machina Logo (blending of fanart & official website concepts), by Aaron Larsen ([uploaded by artist source]). Used with permission.
- Official campaign art of Vox Machina, by Kit Buss (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
- Official comic book art of Vox Machina, by Olivia Samson from Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins. Used with permission.
- Official character designs for The Legend of Vox Machina, by Phil Bourassa (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.