"Winter's Crest in Whitestone" (1x36) is the thirteenth episode of the third chapter of Critical Role. The Winter's Crest Festival comes to Whitestone for the first time in five years! Seeing this as a chance to relax after the revolution, Vox Machina partakes in the festivities and exchanges gifts with each other as they enjoy a well-deserved moment of peace.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Pre-Show[edit | edit source]

Announcements[edit | edit source]

Previously on Critical Role[edit | edit source]

"The intrepid group of adventurers known as Vox Machina had made their way to the city of Whitestone, a town that Percival grew up in and had taken from him and his family five years ago, most of his family, the de Rolos, being murdered in the process. The Briarwoods, who had taken the town, rather quickly and covertly held it for five years, had now been building towards some sort of a ritual, some sort of event that the party was investigating. They incited a rebellion within the city of Whitestone, gathering the remaining members to take up arms and fight against this undead scourge that had kept them locked down for so long, oppressed for so long. After managing to take out some of the various operatives under the Briarwoods' regime, they made their way into the Castle Whitestone itself, saved Percy's sister Cassandra, thought dead for a long time, and got vengeance upon a number of individuals that were on his List—except for Ripley who got away.

"[They] fought their way down underneath the city of Whitestone, fell into an acid-based trap, made their way to the Ziggurat, this construct beneath the city of Whitestone where some ritual was attempting to be completed by Lady Delilah Briarwood. It was discovered that it seems the patron that they spoke of, the "Whispered One", has been in the previous bits of history spoken as Vecna, a powerful lich of ancient history that had attempted to ascend to godhood at some point in the past. They managed to tackle the Briarwoods, destroy Sylas, defeat Delilah, and, dragging them back, decided to interrogate. In the process of trying to extract information, Percy's dark harbinger, his dark passenger if you will, pressured to incite the vengeance that apparently the pact he made with this entity required. Upon fighting its will, it was jettisoned from his form and the party battled this deranged greater smoke demon-like entity in the center of this cavern.

"During this fight, Lady Briarwood attempted to escape, however found a dagger in the middle of her back thanks to Vax. Stripped of her possessions, and then Cassandra dragging her into the nearby acid vats, tossing her body within to leave her story to a definite conclusion. Scanlan, being very astute apparently in some observations, and as convincing as he can be, managed to wrestle Percy's weapon, his List, his pepperbox, from his grip and toss it into the very acid pits, destroying his greatest creation, and in doing so seemingly breaking whatever hold this shadow demon had on Percy's soul.

"Upon returning to the city of Whitestone, they found the rebellion was successful. The undead hordes have fallen to the blades of the surviving rallied warriors of Whitestone. Keeper Yennen, who currently was essentially the leader of the rebellion while [Vox Machina was] going into the castle, met with [them], and [they] were brought to the center of town where [they] began to see the rest of Whitestone emerge—the families, the children, the people that had been too scared to go outside, finally came out to celebrate victory; the first real breath of free air they've had in five years since the Briarwoods took the city. Some justice was doled to a few survivors of the Briarwoods' regime, and [Vox Machina was] asked to stay behind to help rebuild and to prepare for the coming Winter's Crest Festival, of which [they] agreed. A few... awkward moments, and a few delightful bits of interpersonal comedy brought [them] to this point."

Part I[edit | edit source]

In the two weeks before Winter's Crest , Vox Machina help to rebuild the city of Whitestone. They also take time to sort out the new gear they acquired and they make sure that the ziggurat is secure for the time being. Vax contacts Gilmore to ask for his help with reopening trade in Whitestone. Scanlan helps to set up a library and commissions a 20'x6' heroic painting of himself (from a humble artist named Jameson) to hang in Greyskull Keep.

As Percy inspects the sword he took from Sylas Briarwood's body, it speaks to him, saying, "You, are you my new wielder?” He immediately puts it down and thinks it over during the two-week downtime, and it speaks to him each night. Eventually, Grog approaches him and asks about it, offering to trade the Dragon Slayer Longsword for it. Percy agrees, and when he hands it over, the sword immediately speaks to Grog, offering him power which Grog immediately accepts.

On the day of Winter's Crest, the party awake to see that a thin layer of snow is on the ground. Whitestone has been decorated and a festival is set up in the square. The party arrive and after a few words with Keeper Yennen, disperse to enjoy the festivities. Scanlan, Keyleth and Percy visit a street magician, who Keyleth believes is an actual sorcerer for a few moments. Percy also has his fortune told (quite badly) by the magician.

Fan art of Trish vs. Grog, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 1]

Whilst the others look around the stalls and enjoy the shows, Grog and Scanlan head to the arm-wrestling competition. Scanlan is beaten instantly by a farmer named Jaspers, who is later beaten by Grog. A number of matches take place, including pitting a guardswoman, Trish, against the captured Vedmire, who loses. Eventually the final round is between Trish and Grog. After an intense match Grog is beaten, but Trish gives him her prize flask of ale as a sign of respect. Grog acknowledges this and calls Trish a "great warrior".

After some more festivities, the pie-eating competition is announced. As they prepare, a messenger brings a letter and a parcel addressed to Vox Machina. It is from Lillith, who says that she has heard of their good deeds and wants to offer them something to help in their adventures. She mentions that she has reunited with Zahra, who also sends her well wishes. The parcel contains a gift from Lillith: two Gate Stones, which allow the party to use one to travel to wherever the other stone is.

Break[edit | edit source]

Part II[edit | edit source]

On hearing of the pie-eating competition, Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia sign up and attempt to enter Trinket, but the referee refuses. Keyleth polymorphs Trinket into looking like a large peasant, and he is entered. Over the course of the competition, Vax'ildan, Vex'ahlia and the other competitors drop out, leaving only a local peasant and the polymorphed Trinket. However, despite Vex's encouragements, both finalists fall over from exhaustion, and they are declared joint winners.

Later on in the day, Keeper Yennen calls for attention and makes a speech, thanking Vox Machina and applauding the bravery of those who fought in the rebellion. He then takes Vox Machina and Cassandra de Rolo quietly aside and they discuss what is to become of Whitestone. Percy proposes that there is a five person council to rule, consisting of Cassandra, Keeper Yennen, a leader of the farming community, a leader of the citizens and an economic leader. He explains that he cannot join as he has too much to do and does not consider himself fit to rule.

Percy gives Cassandra one of the gate stones in case of emergency and wishes her well.

Vox Machina rejoin the festival, and Vex pulls Vax aside to talk. She says that he seems 'off' and that she noticed that Keyleth was avoiding him. Vax tells her he will talk about it in time, and assures her that he will always be there for her. They hug, and then Vex gives him a present. It is his serpent belt which he lost at Palace of Emon.

Elsewhere, Keyleth takes Percy to the nearby fields and tells him about how she was walking in the fields a few days ago and found a dead raven. She explains that it reminded her of everything that had happened and how Percy nearly gave into the demon inside him. She gives him the raven's skull, cleaned and polished, and says it is a reminder of what Percy or any of them could have become if they gave in to darkness. Percy thanks her and they return to the festival.

The festivities go on long into the night, and Vox Machina are swept into the joyful atmosphere.

Featured Characters[edit | edit source]

Vox Machina[edit | edit source]

New[edit | edit source]

Returning[edit | edit source]

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Adjustment Count Item Source Destination Notes
Identified 1 Wand of Fireballs Delilah Briarwood Vex Vex found in Delilah's robe.
Transferred 1 Wand of Fireballs Vex Scanlan
Transferred 1 Ring of Lightning Resistance Vex Percy Part of the loot from the Briarwoods.
Transferred 1 Bracers of Defense Vex Grog Part of the loot from the Briarwoods.
Identified 1 Robe of Shielding Shadows Delilah Briarwood Vex Part of the loot from the Briarwoods.
Identified 1 Brooch of Living Essence Sylas Briarwood Percy Part of the loot from the Briarwoods.
Identified 1 Craven Edge Sylas Briarwood Percy Part of the loot from the Briarwoods.
Transferred 1 Craven Edge Percy Grog Trade for the Dragon Slayer Longsword
Transferred 1 Dragon Slayer Longsword Grog Percy Trade for Craven Edge
Recieved 2 Gate Stones Lillith and Zahra Percy

Quotations[edit | edit source]

  • Matt: So, Grog. As you take up the blade in your hands, you hear coming out of the ether, a gentle, low velvet voice caresses the inside of your head saying, “You, are you to be my wielder?”
    Grog: What the shit?
    Craven Edge: “Speak your name, warrior.”
    Grog: Grog.
    Craven Edge: “Warrior Grog, have you taken up the blade of Craven Edge?”
    Grog: Is that what this is? Do you have a female setting?
    Matt: You hear a long, drawn-out sigh. “Do you accept my power?”
    Grog: There’s a power that comes with you? What kind of power?
    Craven Edge: “Do you enjoy drinking the strength of your foes, watching them beaten before you, and have that very power become your own?”
    Grog: Sounds pretty good.
    Craven Edge: “Do you wish the shadows to encase your form and grant you resilience and anger, forcing those to kneel before you in fear.”
    Grog: The shadows?
    Craven Edge: “Do you accept, Grog?”
    Grog: Fuck yeah.
  • Vex'ahlia: (to Trinket) Don’t be sad bear, be happy bear!
  • Vax'ildan: (to Vex'ahlia) I pull her into a hug and say, "I love you, Stubby. I’m never going to leave your side, I’m always going to be there. You can always be a pain in the ass like you are. I love you. Always have, always will. Thank you."

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


  1. Fan art of Trish vs. Grog, by Lap Pun Cheung (source).  Used with permission.

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