Ever since its start, Critical Role has become a worldwide phenomenon, with legions of fans tuning in every week to enjoy the latest exploits of the Dungeons & Dragons group headed by Matthew Mercer. But none of the show’s success would’ve been possible without the incredible adventures of the first campaign run by the group: Vox Machina.
The Vox Machina campaign has become so popular that it has begun to be turned into a series for Amazon, with Season 2 coming out in 2023. And throughout the campaign, there are many important moments that stand out among the rest.
Meeting The Briarwoods
The Briarwoods served as one of the most infamous villains that Vox Machina would ever face, and their very first meeting with the pair sets the scene of just how bad they are. In their first appearance, the Briarwoods, guests at the feast on Emon, fight Vox Machina and escape from them, leaving the team to face the consequences of the battle.
The more that is revealed about the Briarwoods in subsequent episodes, the worse they appear to be. Yet their first appearance still stands out as a great villain introduction for a pair of villains that will be a thorn in Vox Machina’s side for many more episodes to come.
Death Of The Briarwoods
The final battle with the Briarwoods was one of the most epic fights in the animated series, as well as one of the biggest and most important moments in the original campaign, in which the Briarwoods finally meet their demise. With this fight, Percy can finally get vengeance for the death of his family, and Whitestone is finally free of the Briarwoods’ influence and control.
It’s a pivotal moment for the character, as his quest for revenge against them is finally over. The event also comes as a major victory for Vox Machina, and stands as one of their most heroic moments. Of course, the group would once again have to fight one of the Briarwoods later on in the campaign, but for the moment, defeating the Briarwoods was a great boost in morale.
Chroma Conclave Attack
While perhaps not the best fight in Critical Role, the Chroma Conclave Attack on Emon certainly is a game changer. It happens not long after Vox Machina’s return from freeing Whitestone. The dragons then attack Emon, slaughtering many and forcing the party to save as many as they can and retreat back to Whitestone.
It’s a brutal moment for the party and the audience, and it sets off the next stage of the campaign as the party works together in order to defeat the four dragons and save Emon from Thordok’s reign of terror.
Vax’s Deal With The Raven Queen
Not every important moment in the Vox Machina campaign involves a big fight or a major villain introduction. Sometimes they can be seemingly insignificant, such as the case of Vax’s deal with the Raven Queen. During a revivification spell for Vex, the Raven Queen is summoned, and Vax offers his life in exchange for his sister’s. She agrees to the deal, and Vex is revived.
This deal would not only grow more and more in later episodes, but also culminate in the final arc as the party faces down Vecna. What seemed as something small early in the campaign would go on to be far more important than anyone would’ve expected it to be.
Scanlan Leaves The Party
With how close the Vox Machina party is, it’s hard to imagine any of them willingly leaving. But that, sadly, is what Scanlan chooses to do towards the start of the fourth arc. During the second episode of the fourth arc, Scanlan, feeling unappreciated by Vox Machina and angry at the party’s actions about bringing his daughter to see his dead body before they revived him, leaves with Kaylie.
It’s a sad scene that impacts everyone greatly, especially the characters in the party that he was closest to. Though he would eventually return, his departure sets a dark mood for the remaining members of the party as they reflected on their actions and what was going to come next for them.
Meeting Taryon Darrington
Vox Machina’s first meeting with Taryon Darrington was not perfect, as none of the party really seems to like Darrington that much. But the moment is more important than it seems.
Not only did it serve to introduce another new character that would grow in popularity, but Tary would eventually go on and lead his own team of adventurers in one of the best Critical Role one shots, The Adventures of the Darrington Brigade. Having Tary on the party also helped him grow as a person and a character, learning how to be himself and be a master of his own destiny, while also filling Scanlan’s spot in the party.
Though Keyleth’s unsure personality can be summed up with one quote, she is a key part of Vox Machina as well as one of the party’s most powerful members. And her power only increases once she performs her Aramenté. By performing the Aramenté, Keyleth essentially becomes the master of her tribe and completes the task that her mother couldn’t complete.
It’s a critical moment for the character as she finally comes into her own. Keyleth, at the start of her journey, was under confident and unsure of her abilities. But after saving the lives of her friends and helping to defeat enemies like the Briarwoods, her confidence is boosted enough to be able to finish what her mother started, taking her rightful place at the head of the Air Ashari.
Delilah Briarwood’s Return
As the Vox Machina campaign entered its final arc, the party, rejoined by Scanlan, prepared to take on the Cult of Vecna and encountered an old enemy long thought of as dead: Delilah Briarwood.
Delilah’s return showed that Vecna was still willing to let her continue her plans to bring him back, and seeing she was alive again definitely took Vox Machina off guard. Not only that, but it also showed that the threat of Vecna was going to be the biggest threat the party would ever face.
Vecna, the Whispered One, is one of the most powerful beings ever faced by Vecna. And his rebirth kicked off the most challenging and important moments for Vox Machina. When Vox Machina arrived and saw that Vecna was back, they tried to fight him. The battle, unfortunately, did not go well, leaving Vax disintegrated and the rest of the team barely escaping with their lives.
Battles generally do go in Vox Machina’s favor, but taking on a being as powerful as Vecna, they were clearly outmatched. It’s a dark, heartbreaking moment for the campaign as it starts the long march towards the endgame.
Vecna’s Final Defeat
There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the ultimate bad guy face his final defeat, which is exactly what makes the moment in which Vecna is defeated once and for all so amazing. After all the pain and hurt that Vecna and his minions had put Vox Machina and their allies through, he is finally defeated when his spirit is locked away from the material plane and sealed behind the Divine Gate for good.
It’s a great moment, seeing the fruits of the party’s labors finally pay off, so much so that it could be easy to forget that, with Vecna gone, Vax’s deal with the Raven Queen has finally come, and he must depart with her, never to return.