Critical Role: Who are the Heroes of Vox Machina?

How did a group of crass adventurers go from getting kicked from taverns to becoming the Tal’Dorei legends known as Vox Machina?

The Legend of Vox Machina animated series began as a dream that quickly became one of the most highly funded Kickstarter campaigns of all time. Now, Critical Role has partnered with the team at Titmouse, Inc. (known for The Legend of Korra, Star Trek: Lower Decks, and more) to produce an animated series that will release on Amazon Prime starting this week. The first three episodes drop on January 28, with not only the main cast of voice actors reprising their beloved roles, but also an incredible extended cast that includes actors from Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Disney’s Encanto, and more.

Made for veteran Critters and series newcomers alike, this series will soon re-introduce us to the seven fearless heroes who haggled, daggered, raged, and slayed their way across the Exandrian continent. But before we meet them on this adventure, let’s take a Vox Machina roll call and refresh ourselves on just who makes up this renowned team.


Vax’ildan Vessar

Twin brother to Vex’ahlia, Vax’ildan Vessar (also known as Vax) is the half-elf thief of the group. Voiced by Liam O’Brien, Vax is brooding, stealthy, and feels most at home in urban environments where he can navigate the darker paths of society. He and his sister found themselves caught between worlds, never fully accepted among the elves or the humans in the towns where they lived.

His character poster for the series describes him as, “Dreamy. Studly. Deadly,” and this is never truer than when he pulls out one of his many daggers to go in for a silent kill. The man moves like a walking shadow, but isn’t completely without personality. While serious and focused, he can use his stealth abilities to pull pranks of affection (or revenge) on others. Vax is of course linked inseparably from his sister, but over time he comes to have a deep affection for Keyleth, the nature-wielding spellcaster of the crew.


Vex’ahlia Vessar

Twin sister to Vax’ildan, Vex’ahlia Vessar (also known as Vex) is the team’s half-elf hunter, skilled with a bow and most at home in nature. Voiced by Laura Bailey, she has a charismatic and somewhat dramatic persona hiding deep insecurities about her challenging upbringing. While she doesn’t have the same stealthy nature as her brother, she is good at bluffing her way through even the most challenging encounters.

Her character spotlight reveals that Vex is, “Sometimes Reckless. Always Fabulous.” Whereas her brother is most comfortable in city settings, Vex instead excels at navigating nature. The twins perfectly balance one another in that respect, but it does lead to some personality clashes. Vex is also very frugal, often happy to manage (and micromanage) team funds. She eventually even falls in love with Percy, the gunslinging tinkerer of the team.

To learn more about Vex and Vax’s adventures before the series, be sure to read the first official Critical Role novel, Vox Machina: Kith and Kin by Marieke Nijkamp, available now.


Keyleth of the Air Ashari

Another half-elf, Keyleth is a spellcasting member of the Air Ashari, a tribe of wanderers who are very in tune with the natural elements. Spurred to leave home to complete a journey to the other three Ashari tribes (Fire, Earth, Water), Keyleth (also known as Kiki) is a very novice adventurer. She is voiced by Marisha Ray, and her character poster describes her as, “Green in Every Sense of the Word.”

Throughout her time with Vox Machina, Keyleth learns confidence in her abilities, which are based in and around elemental magic. However, when the party first begins their adventures, she is shy and unsure of herself, given that her mother Vilya failed to complete the same Ashari journey (called an Aramenté) and was thought to be dead. Eventually, she grows in power and also takes a liking to the roguish Vax’ildan.


Pike Trickfoot

Her short stature shouldn’t fool anyone — the devout spellcaster Pike Trickfoot is an absolute “monstah” in battle! Voiced by Ashley Johnson, she is a champion for the goddess of redemption and usually serves as a moral influence on her teammates. Her character poster for the animated series dubs her the, “Healer. Damage Dealer,” and she can give blessings and bashings in equal measure.

No stranger to death (having died pre-series in unaired game sessions, which is explained more in the Vox Machina Origins comics), Pike is in charge of keeping her allies in good spirits with her magic. She has even, on occasion, brought others back from the brink of expiring, and draws power from her devotion to her deity. Her best friend is the largest member of Vox Machina, Grog Strongjaw, and she’s had romantic dealings with Scanlan Shorthalt.


Scanlan Shorthalt

Scanlan “The Meat Man” Shorthalt has been known by many names among his friends and his enemies. Though diminutive in size, his boisterous personality is truly larger than life as a traveling performer whose music is the source of his magic. Voiced by Sam Riegel, Scan the Man is, “The Egotistical Yet Lovable Musician,” of Vox Machina who often provides lyrical lashings to assist his teammates in battle.

While some might find him off putting, Scanlan is magical-hands down the best negotiator of the group. He can be suave, a bit duplicitous, and extremely sharp despite his irreverent behavior. He lives to entertain and is an incredible improviser both in and out of combat, but uses this humor and nimbleness to avoid his own anxieties at times. His role on the team is to inspire his friends through song or to confuse and harass their enemies into submission. Scanlan expresses his feelings in music, and has his heart set on Pike Trickfoot.


Grog Strongjaw

Travis Willingham’s Grog Strongjaw is strong, simple, and loyal to the core. The most physically imposing member of Vox Machina, he is known for his “Massive Biceps. Tiny Brain,” which have helped and hindered the team in equal measure. He is impulsive, hates losing, and loves ale — which means there are plenty of bar fights to be had when Grog is involved!

Despite his brutal nature, Grog Strongjaw has a big heart and feels his emotions very strongly (even including his rage, which fuels his battle abilities). Though functionally illiterate, he expresses a desire to learn and be better when surrounded by his Vox Machina friends, especially Pike Trickfoot. And though some psychic attacks can completely incapacitate him in a fight, the warrior is practically unmatched in melee combat. He’s always willing to jump to the aid of his teammates, even if it means taking on more damage and holding his guts in Apocalypse Now-style.


Percival de Rolo

The “Pretentious Know-It-All With a Touch of Class,” Percival de Rolo always moves in the direction of progress. As both usurped noble and gun-wielding combatant, he is a sharp thinker with a mean streak that earned him the nickname “No Mercy Percy,” which is certainly a lot easier to remember than his full given name of Lord Percival Fredrickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III. He is voiced by Taliesin Jaffe, and is no stranger to corrupt dealings with demonic entities.

Fans will see the Briarwoods arc of the game unfold in the first season of the animated series, which hearkens back to Percy’s backstory. The Lord Sylas and Lady Delilah Briarwood are a villainous noble couple responsible for slaughtering most of Percy’s family and taking over their ancestral seat in Whitestone. Searching for revenge, Percy learned to build firearms to fight back. Eventually he and his companions return to his decaying domain, now dominated by death and gloom as the Briarwoods ran it to ruin.


Trinket the Bear

Trinket’s team member status is debated within the Vox Machina crew themselves, but as Vex’ahlia’s animal companion, he is a valuable asset to the adventurers. Trinket is a grizzly bear that as a cub was once rescued from poachers by Vex. He is capable of participating in battle thanks to his custom bear armor, and is quite affectionate — but Trinket can be deadly when the situation calls for it.


While Kickstarter backers have had the chance to peek at the premiere episode early, fans everywhere will have a chance to watch these heroes leap into action this week. The Legend of Vox Machina debuts on Amazon Prime on Friday, January 28, and will be dropping its first season in three-episode batches.

Vox Machina will face down the villainous Briarwoods when their adventure begins anew in animated form. If you’re looking for treasure to commemorate the occasion, be sure to loot the Critical Role collection by Sideshow or visit side.show/criticalrole. As Shaun Gilmore would say, these goods are simply glorious!

Will you be tuning in to TLOVM when it releases? Were you a part of the legendary crowdfunding campaign to bring this project to life? Let Your Geek Sideshow and be sure to tell us in the comments!