Facing Osysa, the team wanted to free her, but she explained she was not safe to leave as long as the Empress was alive. However Osysa believed that they could, in fact, stop Lydia Briarwood. Because they had passed her first test, with the rats, she granted them some information and offered them choices.
They could solve her riddle for two questions or enter the ziggurat for the opportunity for more information. However. If they failed to solve the riddle, they would be forced to enter the ziggurat, and risk their lives. They could later decide to risk the ziggurat if they chose.
Choosing the riddle, they were asked the following:
This thing all things devour: birds, beasts, trees, flowers; gnaws iron, bites steel; grinds hard stones to meal; slays kings, ruins towns; and beats high mountains down.
Quickly the group determined the answer was ‘time.’ Their first question gave them little help. They wanted to know how to stop the Empress and the only way would be with her death.
The group tried to figure out how to phrase their second question to unravel the means and machinations of Lydia, but much to their surprise Ioun herself spoke through Osysa.
Knowing they needed the longer conversation, the group entered the ziggurat, defeated gnolls, orcs, and a mummy and returned safely as a team.
For this, they were rewarded with the truth. First of which was that Osysa was just fine, healthy, and well fed. Her appearance was a ploy to engender sympathy to test them and determine their worth. This spooked Stubby, but both Tāmari and Osysa promised they were only in the ziggurat for 5 minutes.
Then Osysa gave them the truth.
Stubby, Tam, and the others were shunted to Draconia/Ravenia by accidentally tripping the spell of Gelidon, who wanted revenge on Vox Machina for killing her prospective mate Vorugal. After nearly losing her fight against some other adventurers (see “Fair-Weather Faith“, Critical Role 2×123), Gelidon sought assistance with someone who also hated Vox Machina … an imprisoned god: VECNA
Lydia Briarwood is really Lady Vex’halia Vesper de Rollo III, great granddaughter of their Vex, from the timeline the group interacted with in Draconia/Ravenia. That future, where Vex had indeed stopped looking for Stubby, she was given hope. When Stubby never came back a second time, Vex waited and wait and waited … and then found an outlet for her rage and shame.
She had to kill all dragons for stealing her child. Armed with Fenthas, Cabal’s Ruin, and Diplomacy, she killed all dragons and nearly all Dragonborn on Exandria. She was stopped only by her former friends. Vox Machina. Vex sought the aid of someone who could destroy her friends. Yes, Vecna.
Vex lost. Keyleth was forced to kill her best friend, and the last remaining member of Vox Machina.
Her descendant, and namesake, chose to avenge Vex. Taking the name “Lydia Briarwood” and allying with Vecna herself, Lydia destroyed three vestiges to travel back in time to a point of temporal weakness: the time shortly before the explosion in Vasselheim. That explosion was pre-ordained by the gods (something to do with the arrogance of men keeping all those ancient and powerful devices in one place).
The good news is that time is healing. Actually time travel itself is impossible, save for the excoriatingly slow step-by-step forward travel everyone takes in their lives (yes, somewhere Caleb and Essek are freaking out).
The bad news is that Vecna’s agents, Lydia and Arkhan (the cruel), are attempting to destroy not just the de Rollos and Vox Machina (for their betrayals) but the Raven Queen.
The group needs to face the catacombs of the Raven Queen and find the sword that will give them more answers and save the goddess herself. They also need to face the Trial Forge and retrieve a Luxon Beacon.
Sure. Like that’s easy.
Oh and the rumours about a missing Vonn who may be alive? Go to the Titan, kick it’s toe, and follow the rumours.
- Rinn Shrike – Half-elf Sorcerer/Rogue (Storm Sorcery)
- Stubby – Half-elf Artificer/Artillerist
- Tāmarai Shikomi – Gnome Bard (College of Lore)
- Fisch – Bear Fighter (Champion)
- Osysa – Sphinx