The Legend of Vox Machina premiered on January 28, 2022. Amazon’s new Dungeons & Dragons-based animated series has earned praise from fans and critics alike and is currently one of the hottest streaming shows out there. The series itself is base on the critically-acclaimed web series titled Critical Role, its first campaign, to be precise, where several voice actors play the famous board game and record themselves. In order to prepare you for the series, we’ll explain the meaning of Vox Machina in The Legend of Vox Machina.
Vox Machina is the name of a legendary adventuring group from Tal’Dorei, active and the protagonists of the First Campaign of Critical Role. They are world-famous heroes, best known for rescuing the Tal’Dorei royal family from demonic possession, overthrowing the Briarwoods’ rule over Whitestone, slaying the dragons of the Chroma Conclave, and banishing the newly deified Vecna behind the Divine Gate.
In the rest of this article, we are going to bring you all the information about the Vox Machina group, as well as additional information about the Critical Role series and Amazon’s The Legend of Vox Machina, which is an adaptation of the Critical Role series. We are going to provide you with all the information you need to know, so keep reading until the end.
What does “vox machina” mean?
If you’ve ever had contact with the Latin language, you’ll probably know immediately that “vox machina” is a Latin phrase. If you’re interested in what it means, “vox machina” actually means “voice machine”; the meaning of “machina” is clear, while the Latin world “vox” means “voice” in English (you might have heard it used in the phrase vox populi). Now, the name itself doesn’t have any specific meaning and it doesn’t refer to the adventuring group in any way, but it is a not to the voice actors’ real lives.
A piece of trivia: the group wasn’t initially called “vox machina” – the name was chosen a bit later. Their initial name was “Super High-Intensity Team” or for short, the “S.H.I.T.s.” The name “The Order of the Brotherhood of the Sisterhood” was also considered for a brief period, but the team eventually went with Vox Machina. And the rest is history.
How did the group get the name Vox Machina?
The exact etymology isn’t know. As we said, the group initially had a different name, and some alternative names had been considered before they ultimately opted for Vox Machina. The name doesn’t really refer to the group in any way, but it is a nod to the voice actors behind the group, which might be a reason why they ultimately went with it.
What is the significance of Vox Machina?
In order to properly evaluate the significance of Vox Machina for the whole adventure, we have to recount their actual adventures so that you can see just how important they are.
The Kraghammer arc (16 episodes, 1–16) begins in media res, continuing the story of Vox Machina that was played privately by the original cast. It takes place primarily underground in the Underdark, and ends in a battle between Vox Machina and a beholder named K’varn, who is controlling the entire city of Illithid.
The Vasselheim arc (7 episodes, 17–23) divides the group into two, who seek to prove their worth to the Vasselheim city of Slayer’s Take adventurer guild by accepting dangerous quests to do so. This arc features multiple episodes with guest appearances by Felicia Day, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Wil Wheaton, and Will Friedle. The also includes the first episode to deal with the backstory of one of the characters, as Keyleth visits another tribe of druids to continue her Aramenté, a journey to become the leader of her people.
The Briarwood arc (15 episodes, 24–38) takes Vox Machina to Percy’s old home in the town of Whitestone, ruled by his family in the past. The group must fight for control of Whitestone against the Briarwoods, responsible for the deaths of several members of Rolo’s family, and who have taken the power of the city for themselves. The Briarwoods’ ties to necromancy and a secret cult make the challenge even more dangerous, and Vox Machina must stop them from completing a ritual that threatens the entire realm. During the first few episodes of this arc, Tiberius leaves Vox Machina.
The Chroma Conclave arc (46 episodes, 39–84) begins with the attack of four elder chromatic dragons on Emon, the capital of Tal’Dorei, with several important political figures being killed. Dragons take control of the city and divide the kingdom.
To defeat them, the Vox Machina needs more power than they have, and they begin a search for the Vestiges of Divergence, famous and extremely powerful magic items from a bygone era, which are scattered across the world. During battles against the mighty dragons of the Chroma Conclave, the backstories of some members are explored. Small arcs focus on Grog and his exile, Percy’s traumatic past, as well as Vex and Vax’s family reunion.
The Taryon Darrington arc (15 episodes, 85–99) begins with Scanlan’s departure from the group, after his illicit drug use and arguments with other members left their relationship with the group shaken. While traveling through Ank’Harel, on the mainland of Marquet, Vox Machina meets Taryon Darrington, an inexperienced adventurer and aspiring author.
Venturing together in a few smaller arcs sees Vox Machina helping Keyleth complete her Aramenté, literally going through hell, as well as dealing with Taryon’s family on the continent of Wildemount. During this arc, Pike’s family also makes an appearance and his relationship with her is explored.
The Cult of Vecna arc (16 episodes, 100–115) revisits a mysterious and dangerous artifact that was activated beneath Whitestone Castle during the Briarwood arc. Scanlan finally returns, and the group must fight a cult that tries to summon the demigod lich Vecna, whose goal is to ascend to god status to dominate Exandria.
His ascension is successful, and he becomes the only god on the other side of the Divine Gate, the divine gate that prevents gods from directly interfering in the world they created. With the indirect help of some primordial deities and special powers, Vox Machina fights Vecna to thwart his goals.
What is the Critical Role series?
And before we wrap out article up, we are going to give you a bit of context so you can follow The Legend of Vox Machina a bit easier. Namely, the whole idea was inspired by the Critical Role web series and we are going to tell you what it is.
Critical Role is an American web series produced by Geek & Sundry in which a group of professional voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons. The web-series currently has three seasons (or rather campaigns). The first campaign, which has 115 episodes, started in March 2015 and ended in October 2017. The second campaign started in January 2018, and ended in June 2021 with the 141st episode. The third campaign started on October 21, 2021.
The series airs Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. (US time) on Twitch, with VoDs available the following Monday for viewers in all countries. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the series aired live, but since episode 100 of the second campaign, the episodes are pre-recorded.