Saturday, January 28, 2023

‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 3, “The Sunken Tomb”

RECAPS'The Legend of Vox Machina' Recap: Season 2, Episode 3, "The Sunken...

The first three episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 were released on January 20, 2023. In episode 1, Vox Machina fled the city of Emon for Whitestone after an attack by the Chroma Conclave, a group of variegated dragons set on ruling all of Tal’Dorei. In episode 2, the crew traveled to the city of Vasselheim. After several trials, the patron of the Slayer’s Take sent them on a quest to retrieve the first of the Vestiges of Deliverance from a tomb to the west. The vestiges are Vox Machina’s only hope of defeating the Chroma Conclave, but will they succeed in finding the tomb? Read on to find out….

The Cinder King’s Hoard

We begin with a view of Emon — or what’s left of it, anyway. Burning and ruined, the city crumbles. Pike ducks out of a doorway, seeing a line of people that bring what little of worth remains to place at the feet of Thordak, the Cinder King.

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“Your offerings grow ever smaller,” he growls. Wings flap, and the other members of the Chroma Conclave land. Thordak checks with them that all of the treasure has been delivered to him. The dragons confirm that every ounce has been wrung from the city; Westruun is on the brink of ruin.

With the destruction of Emon completed, they can move on to the next city. This pleases Thordak, but it’s bad news for the remaining people of Emon. “It seems your useless baubles are no longer needed,” he notes, before drawing a breath.

Pike yells for everyone to run. As flames begin to spew from Thordak, Pike is highlighted in swirling, golden light…and then she wakes, gasping.

Grog comes to check on her where she’s perched on a rock in the snowy forests near Vasselheim. She tells him that she’s fine, but the dragons are moving. The Everlight granted her a vision.

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Broken Ice

Prime Video

Keyleth tells the group that despite them coming from all over, Emon was the first place that had accepted them. Had even given them titles, Percy points out. Emon was home. Vex’ahlia says that they will live up to their name as Protectors of Tal’Dorei, just as soon as they find the tomb and the vestige.

Vax’ildan appears with good and bad news on the tomb. The good is that he found the lake Osysa told them about. The bad news is that there appears to be no tomb. The lake is frozen over, flat and without a tomb in sight.

“It must be across the lake,” Vex suggests, ready to go. Vax manages to grab her and stop her, reminding her to be careful.

“This is a Vestige of Divergence we’re talking about. I doubt it’ll be waiting for us wrapped in gift paper.

No need to worry, though — the Scan-man has got this! Scanlan summons a giant foot and uses it to skate across the lake. He’s gliding along just fine until something moves under the ice. He falls from his giant foot-skate, and before he can resummon it, something bursts through the ice and grabs him.

Grog and Percy immediately try to run onto the ice to help, but they’re too. A gray, taloned hand rises up out of the water and is about to pull Scanlan under. Suddenly, a glowing, golden spear slams through the creature’s arm. Red, swirling magic engulfs Scanlan and returns him to shore.

It’s Kashaw and Zahra, from the Slayer’s Take. Kash tells Vox Machina that Osysa thought they might need their help. Keyleth is as flustered by Kash as ever, but her blushing and hair twirling is interrupted by an important question from Scanlan: “What the sh*t just grabbed me?”

The answer is Adaro — fish people. They live in the lake and hunt at dusk. It seems that Kash and Zahra really do have useful information and secrets that they will share with Vox Machina as soon as someone builds them a campfire.

Perv on, Suul

Having discovered that the Zahra and Kash know about the tomb, Vox Machina settle in for the night and get what information they can from them. The tomb, Kash says, was built for the Matron of Ravens, the goddess of death. It enshrines the body of her champion, whose name was Purvan.

Vex spit takes. “Perv on?”
“Last name Pedobear, maybe?” Scanlan suggests.
Kash and Zahra watch, unamused. “Wow, you guys suck.”

Yes, they do, but that’s part of (or most of) their charm. Returning to their story, Zahra tells them that Purvan Suul gave up everything for his goddess. She won’t let her treasures go easily.

The group continue to sit around the campfire and attempt to one-up each other with the magical items they have — known as “the sh*it they took from Gilmore’s,” in Vox Machina’s case. The bulk of which seems to be the battered broom that Scanlan grabbed, and a mysterious chunky belt that Grog claimed. When Kash wants to know what the belt does, Grog tries it on. Instantly, he grows an impressive beard. He’s very pleased.

While everyone sleeps below, Vax and Vex perch in the trees and discuss how little they trust Zahra and Kash. They can’t take any more chances.

“Sister,” Vax pleads, “do not go far from me.”
“You’ve been saying that our whole life,” Vex answers. “Get some sleep.”

As Vax turns his head to rest, we get a memory from Vex; a flashback to when she and Vax were children. Vax picks the lock on a jewelry box, and from within, Vex pulls a diadem. They hurry, knowing their father could be back any moment. As Vex tries it on, he arrives. Looming behind them, he shouts at the two children. Of course they’d disrespect the heirloom — Vex and her “diluted” brother don’t understand Elven culture. They weren’t born into it. He reminds Vex that she is nothing but a mistake. Vax jumps in front of Vex to protect her from their father’s harsh words. He’s had enough. Grabbing his sister’s hand, he pulls her from the room. She protest but goes with him. They’re leaving, Vax says, bidding their Elven father goodbye. He turns his back on them.

Beneath the Lake

Prime Video

The sun rises on Vox Machina, and they prepare to search for the tomb. (Once Grog and Scanlan are done writing yellow smiley faces into the snow, anyway.) Kash has a map from the Slayer’s archives, but it shows the tomb upside down. Vox Machina scoff and say that there must be a mistake, but Zahra uses her magic and finds the tomb hidden under the ice in the middle of the lake.

After Percy’s sarcastic suggestion that they all grab a bucket to empty the lake, Kash suggests that Keyleth can help. With a little encouragement, she does it — summoning wind, she blows a path through the water and Zahra magically holds the walls of water back, so Vox Machina and the two Slayer’s Take members can dash through to the tomb.

The door slows them down, but only for a moment — it was a pull, not a push.

Within the damp tomb, which smells delightfully of fish and death, Zahra and Kash whisper that Vox Machina shouldn’t get the vestiges when they are doing all the work. They believe the treasure belongs with the Take. Kash moves after them, pointing out that they’re letting them get ahead. But are they? Zahra says that they’re merely letting them bear the brunt of what’s to come.

Vax warns everyone to keep an eye out for traps. Which, of course, means that Grog immediately finds one. (He wouldn’t have wanted anyone to trip over that loose brick, he had to move it!) Even though they move slowly, Vox Machina are soon separated by another trap. Vex and Vax are on opposite sides of a stone door, with an assortment of friends and reluctant allies with each of them. Vax tells Vex to stay where she is, and he’s coming — but Zahra immediately says there’s no reason to wait around and strides off.

In another flashback, we see young Vex and Vax in the woods. Vex begs Vax to give their father another chance, but he refuses. He’s already seen it a thousand times, they will never be good enough because of what they are. Vex protests that he should at least try; they have nothing. Vax argues that isn’t true. She has him, remember? “You never let me forget,” Vex bites back. “I can stand on my own!” They bicker, and Vex tells Vax that she doesn’t need him, before walking off into the rain.

Back in the sunken tomb, Vex, Pike, Grog, and Trinket trudge onward. Grog has to give Pike a ride when the water gets too high for her little gnome legs. He’s still rocking his new beard from his belt and pauses to admire it. Pike sniffs, asking from his shoulders if he farted. Grog questions how recently, but is interrupted by a roar from Trinket, and another fish man bursting out of the water to attack them.

Pike is quickly pulled under, but she fights her way back out. Trinket fights valiantly, saving Pike and tearing apart the Adaro. Unfortunately, one of the creatures takes the fight a step too far and slices off some of Grog’s new beard. In a rage, he pulls out his sword — Craven Edge, the blade he obtained from the Briarwoods — and goes to town on the Adaro. Pike watches, horrified as Grog decimates one of the fish men far more than is necessary. “Yes,” Craven Edge whispers to Grog. “More blood.

The fight continues, with Vex and Zahra trying to one up each other. It all goes wrong when the last Adaro turns out to be a mage. Just when things look pretty hairy for them all, a glowing blade slices through the air. It’s Vax, Scanlan, Percy, Keyleth, and Kash. Scanlan quickly flies everyone up on a giant, pink hand (though Kash falls off, which doesn’t seem to concern Scanlan at all). Vex manages to shoot the mage in the back.

“Vex, are you hurt?” Vax asks immediately, rushing to her.
“Stop worrying about me, I’m fine,” she insists.

Grog had a roof fall on him, but other than noting the fact, he’s okay. Pike tries to ask him about what happened during the fight, but Percy interrupts them, saying they have to press on.

Kash and Zahra took the chance to ditch Vox Machina (though Kash doesn’t sound as happy about it as Zahra). They discover six sarcophagi. The vestige should be in one of them. Kash checks for magic, and they pick a mausoleum to go investigate, disappearing inside.

When Vox Machina make it to the room, they notice a hole in the floor. Someone has already cleared much of the place out. Telling everyone to wait above and not touch anything, Vax has Grog lower him into the hole. Although it’s been picked clean, Vax finds a mural of the second sphinx, Osysa’s mate.

Don’t Go Far From Me

Up above, Trinket finds an odd section of the floor and gives it a sniff. Following, Percy moves a tile into place. A hidden sarcophagus rises up from the floor — they found it! Vex says that maybe they shouldn’t touch it. Percy points out that her brother certainly wouldn’t approve. With a shared conspiratorial look, they pull off the top and Percy reaches for the vestige within.

A flashback interrupts: Vex is back in the woods, in the rain. She’s hunted a stag and is cooking the meat when a sound alerts her to someone nearby. Sneaking up on them, she finds Vax — alone, crying.

In the tomb, Vex looks back to the hole Vax is exploring before trying to tell Percy to stop, they should wait for her brother. But it’s too late. A burst of power surges out of the sarcophagus and toward Vex, blasting her with black, feathery magic.

Vex falls to the ground, lifeless.

“Vax! Get your ass up here!” Scanlan screams.

“I was only gone thirty seconds,” Vax complains, before his eyes fall on his twin’s body. He runs to her, sobbing as he gathers her up.

Returning to the flashback, we see a crying Vax telling Vex that she doesn’t understand—she doesn’t need him, he needs her. He asks her, for the first time, to not go far from him.

Vex promises.

Don’t forget to check back next week for a detailed recap of episode 4, “Those Who Walk Away.”

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