Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #5

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #5
Cover art featuring Percival de Rolo, by CoupleOfKooks.[art 1]
SeriesVox Machina Origins Series II
Issue number5
Creative team
ArtistOlivia Samson
LettererAriana Maher
Cover artistCoupleOfKooks
Publication information
PublisherDark Horse Comics
Publication dateFebruary 19, 2020
Page count32[1]
UPC7 61568 00497 7 00511
Preceded byCritical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #4
Followed byCritical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #6

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #5 is the eleventh issue of Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins and the fifth issue of Vox Machina Origins Series II. It was written by Jody Houser, illustrated by Olivia Samson, lettered by Ariana Maher, and the cover illustrated by CoupleOfKooks. The issue was published by Dark Horse Comics on February 19, 2020.[1]

Publisher's summary[edit | edit source]

Let the nightmare begin!

Or rather, manifest. Keyleth, Pike, and Scanlan have journeyed to the Umbra Hills to find the skull of a nightmare. Grog's survival depends on their success (no pressure), but the cult that has supposedly been conjuring the magical beast is nowhere to be found! Unless, of course, the mysterious stranger in the local jail is right, and the nightmare cult members are right under Vox Machina's nose!

— Publisher's summary[1]

Plot summary[edit | edit source]

Having split off from Team Nymph Heart per Eskil Ryndarien's suggestion, Team Nightmare, comprised of Keyleth, Pike, and Scanlan rides through the Umbra Hills towards Jorenn Village. Scanlan attempts to be light-hearted, and is immediately scolded by his companions. He tells them that he's worried that his best friend might die and is trying to make jokes to bring up his own mood. In Jorenn Village, Scanlan learns from an older woman about someone recently arrested for attempted murder and is a suspected cult leader. Scanlan asks her for directions to the jail.

At the jail, the team claims to be looking into suspected cult activity. The jailer tells them that they had locked up a cult leader a few weeks ago for attempting to kill a traveling doctor as a human sacrifice. The jailer shows them the man's now-broken "demonic weapon", a pepperbox pistol with names etched into the barrels. They're welcome to question the prisoner themselves.

The group speaks with the prisoner, who says he has no cult. When Scanlan accuses him of lying, the prisoner clarifies that there is a cult, and the jailer is one of the members. The prisoner says he was following the doctor "for... unrelated reasons" and tracked the doctor to a meeting with a local mining guild. When he arrived, he discovered that the "mining guild" was in fact a cult planning a human sacrifice. He still attempted to attack, but he was unsuccessful after his weapon malfunctioned. The cult threw him in jail, as the doctor did not believe him worth killing.

Scanlan asks if the weapon was the strange device they'd seen earlier, and the prisoner asks them to free him and show him where it is. Team Nightmare is skeptical. Pike admits they didn't come to stop the cult and are only after the skull of the nightmare. The prisoner tells her that the doctor provided an item for a ritual on the night of the full moon, that night. He can lead them to the location but to do so he needs to be freed and needs his weapon. Pike is convinced they need his help to save Grog.

Pike distracts the jailer, Keyleth knocks him out, and Scanlan steals the keys. They free the prisoner and imprison the jailer. Pike brings the man his weapon. When Pike asks if the man will keep his word, he tells her "my word is as good as my name" and introduces himself as Percival Frederickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III, or Percy for short. Percy repairs his gun, and the group sets out. On the way, Keyleth admits to Percy that they know relatively little about the nightmare. Percy seems unbothered by this, though he is curious why Pike, as a cleric of Sarenrae, is on such an unexpected quest. She tells him that it's in order to save her best friend.

The party sneaks up on the cultists, who decide to start the ritual without the jailer. Pike stops Percy from attacking until the nightmare appears. The ritual continues, summoning a huge black horse with a mane and tail made of fire appears,ridden by a large armored figure wielding a massive sword, a narzugon devil. The narzugon demands a promised appeasement from the cultists. Though the party is taken aback by the narzugon, they prepare to attack. Pike reminds them not to destroy the skull. Most of the cultists flee, and the remaining cultist is killed by the narzugon. Percy shoots the nightmare through the neck. The narzugon vanishes through the portal from which he was summoned after taking the cultist's heart.

The party collects the still-intact skull of the nightmare. Pike thanks Percy for his help. Percy asks to join the group for the time being because the trail he was tracking has gone cold. Keyleth welcomes him as a new friend, and they walk back to the village to get new mounts to return to Westruun.

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Editions[edit | edit source]

UPC Released Publisher Format Price Ref.
7 61568 00497 7 00511 February 19, 2020 Dark Horse Comics Comic book $3.99
February 19, 2020 Dark Horse Comics Digital $3.99

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  1. Cover art featuring Percival de Rolo, by CoupleOfKooks (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.
  2. Cover art, by CoupleOfKooks (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.