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Critical Role: One Chapter Closes, And Another Begins

In case you haven’t joined the Critter community yet, Critical Role is our Dungeons & Dragons RPG show where a group of geeky voice actors role-play fantastic and memorable stories. Though they’ve wrapped up their current adventure, the world lives on in the Critical Role sourcebook, our Chronicles of Exandria art book, the Vox Machina comic book, and in song through character playlists.

With the escapades of Vox Machina concluded, it is finally time to find out the answers to questions both viewers and the adventurers themselves have wondered about for months—and years.

Matthew Mercer, Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe, Liam O’Brien, and Sam Riegel, joined by Ashley Johnson over video chat, talked at length about their characters, their motivations and pasts, and their own personal feelings about a campaign that has touched the lives of thousands of people.

This is the first chapter of Critical Role.


Major spoilers for the first 115 episodes of Critical Role follow.

Six Revelations from Talks Machina

The cast answered questions culled by the amazing Critical Role crew about each stage of the campaign, from Kraghammer to Thar Amphala. Host Brian W. Foster, with his dry wit and glorious beard, coaxed secrets and a few tears from your favorite nerdy-ass voice actors as they reminisced about their adventures and had a few revelations themselves.

(Spoilers. Seriously.)

The origin of the Briarwoods is rooted in grief.

The Briarwoods originally had some renown in the Dwendalian Empire of Wildemount. Delilah was a lesser mage, working with an academy out there when Sylas fell ill with an incurable disease. He passed, and she was so distraught that in her grief she screamed into the void.

“A voice whispered back,” said Matt, “and it said, I can help you.”

The Briarwoods

Vecna’s whispers guided her to one of his laboratories where she found the rites of vampirism, along with the loyal undead servant who would later become the Death Knight encountered by Vox Machina. Delilah could raise her husband as a vampire; in return, Vecna claimed their souls for his own nefarious needs. She accepted without hesitation.

Inside Senokir’s box… were the ashes of his wife.

As odd and off-putting as Senokir seemed, he was honest with the group and his intentions true.

“It was his wife’s ashes — he was completely, 100% honest. Not every NPC is out to f*** you,” Matt told an astonished Vox Machina.

Scanlan's Letter

Scanlan’s letter, to be opened at the time of his death, professed his love for Pike and his final wish.

Scanlan eloquently described his love for Pike Trickfoot, but just as important to him was making sure his daughter Kaylie would be well taken care of.

“Show her the light of Sarenrae,” he wrote. “Guide her to be a kind-hearted gnome. Teach her to be everything her father was not. That way, in death, my heart will be complete. And it will beat inside Kaylie, at your side, like I always dreamed it would.”

Percy and Vex got married almost as a dare.

The wedding ceremony was unplanned, and the two first discussed the idea while on a walk together. “It was very spur of the moment,” said Laura. “It’s not like there was a proposal, and then we had a whole thing. It was like, ‘Should we do this? Let’s f***ing do this.’ And then we just did it.”

Laura also confirmed that Vex’ahlia took the de Rolo surname afterward.


Percy had every intention of trading his soul for Vax’s by invoking the demonic contract.

“I’m going somewhere awful already,” Taliesin reasoned. “Why not get something out of it?”

“That moment for Percival, that whole sequence leading up to it, and then shortly after that, was my personally favorite moment of the game,” Matt said to him. “I watched you break. It was wonderful.”

Pike’s crush was revealed to be Percy.

“For a very long time… it was Percy,” Ashley said. “She could see the weight on his shoulders and the darkness he carried with him, and I think she did so much thinking and praying for his soul. All of that time spent on him was confusing to her, and obviously it never would have worked, but in the end it was always Scanlan. But I think there was just some time there where she was just taken a little by the dark side.”

Hints of the Future

Vox Machina’s adventures may be over, and Scanlan would go on to tell their stories, but that isn’t what meant the most to the gnome bard. “For him, it was not the epic stories of glory and saving the world,” said Sam. “I think he would have just liked impressing his friends, healing them, and inspiring them. Just the friendship. Those were his favorite moments.”

“As a man who grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons,” Matt told Sam, “and continuously being told that bards were the worst class, and charisma was a dump stat, and fighting that because I knew the potential for storytelling with that kind of a character… I am so thankful that you stepped up to the challenge of ‘worst character’ and ‘worst race’ and shown just how amazing it can be.”

“Well, I will do the opposite in the next campaign,” Sam replied with a grin.


The next campaign begins January 11, 2018 with all-new characters in a future Exandria where Vox Machina has become the stuff of legends. The new official Critical Role artist, Arianna Orner, gives us a hint of the new characters we’ll fall in love with in the second campaign.

Who do you think will play a tiefling? Who is now the smallest member of the group? How did these adventurers come together? All this and more will be revealed when Critical Role returns in the new year.

Bring Friends on the Adventure From the Beginning

If you’ve always wished you could bring a friend into Critical Role from the beginning of the story, now’s your chance! While Vox Machina certainly had an effect on the world in which the new story takes place, it’s a brand-new group on a continent that we haven’t seen much of so far. It’s a fresh start for all in the new year.

There’s no better time to introduce your friends who want to get in on the story from the start. Make your plans to watch together on January 11.


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