A Tense Partnership
In the ruins of Emon, Pike joins a small group of villagers in offering gifts to Thordak, the fearsome red dragon of the Chroma Conclave. The city and neighboring Westruun are on the brink of destruction, with more towns surely to follow. Thordak dismisses the offerings, and Pike screams for everyone to flee as Thordak unleashes his fiery breath… only to wake up in a forest, surrounded by her companions in Vox Machina.
Pike shares that her dream was a vision from the Everlight, foretelling the dragons’ plans to conquer Tal’Dorei. Vax brings both good and bad news—he’s found the lake that Osysa had told them about, but there’s no sign of a tomb or temple. Despite Vax’s warnings, Scanlan insists on investigating and summons a giant foot to skate across the frozen lake, only to be dragged under by an mysterious creature.
Before the party can react, a beam of light incapacitates the creature and red energy rings pull Scanlan out of the water. Kashaw and Zahra reveal themselves as Scanlan’s rescuers. Around a campfire, Kashaw explains that the tomb is dedicated to the Matron of Ravens, the goddess of death, and enshrines her champion, Purvan Suul. The tomb is likely to be filled with deadly traps. The party is mocked for the trinkets they obtained from Gilmore’s shop, but Grog finally puts on his Belt of Dwarvenkind and grows a beard. Despite their apparent superiority, Zahra and Kashaw are clearly annoyed that Osysa had revealed the location of the tomb to Vox Machina before them.
Later, Vax and Vex take watch together and agree that Kashaw and Zahra cannot be trusted. Vex flashes back to her childhood, remembering when their father would berate them for breaking a family heirloom and belittling their understanding of elven culture, calling them a mistake. Vax reaches his breaking point and tells Vex to pack her things—they’re leaving, and their father better not follow them.
The Search for the Deathwalker’s Ward
In the hazy light of dawn, Kashaw unveils his map to the party, and Zahra’s magic reveals the tomb lies beneath the lake. The two hunters join forces with Keyleth to hold back the water while the rest of the party sprints towards the tomb. Vax, ever cautious, warns of potential traps and pitfalls, but Grog, in a moment of reckless bravado, sets off one such trap as a joke. Meanwhile, Kashaw continues to flirt with Keyleth, all the while secretly plotting to betray her. He and Zahra decide to let the party suffer through the traps and to steal the Deathwalker’s Ward for themselves.
A subsequent trap separates Kash, Keyleth, Vax, Percy, and Scanlan from Vex, Pike, Grog, and Zahra. Vax urges Vex to stay put, but Zahra pushes forward, triggering a painful flashback for Vex. She remembers a time when she and Vax were traveling in the rain, and she pleaded with her brother to reconcile with their father. Vax refused, citing their father’s rejection of their half-Elf heritage, and claiming that they had each other and that was all they needed. But Vex, tired of Vax’s overprotective nature, cruelly tells him that she doesn’t need him and walks away.
In the present, Vex’s group is ambushed by fish creatures and a mage, but Grog, fueled by rage after his beard is sliced in half, goes on a brutal killing spree. His sword, Craven Edge, whispers for more blood. Eventually, the party is reunited and defeats their foes. Pike is disturbed by Grog’s brutality, but struggles to reach the oblivious Goliath. The party notices that Kashaw and Zahra have disappeared, and realize they’ve been abandoned.
In the central chamber of the temple, Kashaw expresses guilt over leaving Vox Machina, but Zahra is focused solely on uncovering which one of the six tombs holds the Deathwalker’s Ward. Kashaw’s magic leads them to the correct tomb, and they disappear inside, leaving the party to ponder their true intentions.
A Deadly Mistake
Vox Machina enters the central chamber, Vax on point for traps, as Trinket sniffs at a tile that seems out of place. Percy, ever the curious one, pushes it back in and a sarcophagus rises from beneath the floor. Despite Vex’s warnings, Percy can’t resist the urge to look inside. As they slide open the sarcophagus, Purvan’s body is revealed, still adorned in the Deathwalker’s Ward. Vex is hit with a flash of her past, sitting by a campfire until she hears crying. She investigates to find her brother, Vax, in tears by the river. Ignoring Vex’s warnings, Percy reaches for the Ward, triggering runes to light up around Purvan’s body and a beam of energy kills Vex instantly. The rest of Vox Machina rush to her side, but Pike’s healing is ineffective. Scanlan screams for Vax to come back up and when he does, the first thing he sees is his sister’s lifeless body.
The episode ends with Vax’s own flash of the past, after Vex found him in the forest, he runs to hug her, and she asks what happened. He tells her that he got lost after she left him, and she tries to apologize. He cuts her off, “No, you don’t understand, you don’t need me. I… need… Do not go far from me.” Vex responds, “I won’t. I swear it.” The present finds Vax in tears, cradling Vex’s body, unable to accept the loss of his sister.