The Legend of Vox Machina Recap: The Terror of Tal’Dorei, Part 1 — Season 1, Episode 1

A ragtag group of mercenaries tries to fix their reputation by defeating a mysterious threat.

Summary (TL;DR)

Vox Machina is a group of seven mercenaries facing tough times. Their reputation of being losers who can’t find work doesn’t help. Despite this, they agree to tracking down a mysterious creature wreaking havoc in Emon — only to confront a formidable blue dragon with lightning breath. Initially, the group opts to abandon the mission until they stumble upon a village ravaged by the dragon. Witnessing the devastation fuels Vox Machina with the resolve to honor the deceased villagers by continuing with their mission.

Tal’Dorei’s Dilemma

The Tal’Dorei Council, composed of Sovereign Uriel, General Krieg, Lady Allura Vysoren, Lady Kima of Vord, and Sir Gregory Fince, is in discussion concerning an unknown threat that is decimating villages outside Emon. No one knows who or what is responsible, and every hired mercenary group has been slaughtered. Frustrated, Uriel demands that the council expand their search to find capable mercenaries for this challenge.

Chaos in the Tavern

Meanwhile, we are introduced to a group of mercenaries called Vox Machina, consisting of seven members:

  • Grog: A Goliath Barbarian known for his strength and childlike demeanor.
  • Percy: A standoffish human Gunslinger.
  • Vax’ildan/Vax: A charismatic half-elf Rogue specializing in knife throwing.
  • Vex’ahlia/Vex: A cold beastmaster Ranger and Vax’s twin sister.
  • Pike: A gnome Cleric who’s rowdier than holy.
  • Keyleth: An adorably awkward high elf Druid.
  • Scanlan: A flamboyant, sex-crazed gnome Bard.

The group is in a tavern playing drinking games until a fellow mercenary, Agar, directs a swear at Keyleth. The situation escalates into an all-out bar brawl after Vax helps Grog chop off Agar’s hand. Everyone in the tavern joins in — except for Scanlan, who’s in another room seducing the tavern keeper’s daughter. When the tavern keeper witnesses the chaos, he transforms into a minotaur and orders everyone to stop. Consequently, Vox Machina is literally kicked out, accused of fighting, destroying the tavern, and their inability to pay for damages.

A Chance at Redemption

Homeless, broke, heavily in debt, and officially banned from every tavern in Emon, Keyleth questions why the group is still together at this point. Spotting a job posting for mercenaries, Scanlan suggests they work for the kingdom to earn some gold. With no other prospects available, the group agrees to apply for the job.

The next day, a filthy and hungover Vox Machina is almost turned away from the palace until they present the job poster to the guards. Before the party can properly introduce themselves, every council member except Krieg attempts to dissuade Sovereign Uriel from hiring “the scum of Emon” for such a crucial mission.

Despite these objections, Scanlan uses music and illusion to present Vox Machina in a favorable light. Sovereign Uriel takes a liking to Vex’s pet bear Trinket and agrees to hire them, offering payment concealed in a golden chest. While standing before the council, Vex feels a strange pain in her head.

Unveiling the Threat

Accompanied by Allura on a sky ship, Vox Machina learns that the mysterious creature has already razed three villages and destroyed miles of farmland. The kingdom faces the danger of starvation, necessitating only the most noble and heroic individuals for this perilous…

“Yeah, yeah. Nobility and heroism are fine and all, but we’re in this for the money,” Vax says.

“I see — so it’s coin over character,” Allura says drily. “Not surprising.”

She drops the group off on the outskirts of Shale Steps, the village closest to the last attack. During the group’s interactions with the villagers, Vax bonds with a little boy by performing a sleight of hand trick with a silver coin and then gives the child the coin. Meanwhile, the boy’s sister reveals that the creature can fly, but due to a storm, nobody got a good look at it.

Vex and Trinket find tracks in the woods that eventually resemble human footprints. She feels a pain in her head again and warns the group that the creature is close — which turns out to be a massive blue dragon. The dragon overwhelms Vox Machina as their attacks barely cause it any damage. Despite her terror, Keyleth gathers enough courage to attack it with lightning, but unfortunately, she accidentally makes the beast even stronger. The dragon collapses the rockslide Vox Machina is fighting under and assumes they’re dead after seeing Grog’s bloody hand sticking out of the rocks.

Tragedy at Shale Steps 

However, that was actually Agar’s hand (Grog kept it as a souvenir). The group managed to survive thanks to Keyleth using a shelter of vines for protection. Keyleth experiences an anxiety attack over her fear of the blue dragon. Pike calms her down, then heals Grog from his injuries. Scanlan, Vax, and Vex want to abandon the mission, but Pike insists they should stay and help the people of Shale Steps. Vex finally reveals that she can sense when dragons are close and is convinced a member of the council is colluding with the blue dragon. Everyone except for Pike decides to never set foot in Emon again to avoid retribution from the council.

Returning to Shale Steps, Vox Machina is horrified to find the village decimated. While searching for survivors, they discover the family they previously encountered is now deceased. Vax finds the boy he bonded with earlier, but Pike is too weak to heal him, and he passes away in Vax’s arms.

A New Resolve

The group is devastated, knowing they could have prevented this tragedy. Then they hear the sound of someone tuning their lute…

“What the hell are you doing, Scanlan?” Vax demands.

“Thinking of a rhyme for ‘dead dragon’.” Scanlan says seriously. “Cause I… I guess we’re killing one.”

Vox Machina decides to hunt down and slay the blue dragon once and for all. Completely terrified and out of their league, yes, but they’re not going to let that stop them.

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