There be dragons flying out of them dungeons in The Legend of Vox Machina.
The new season will premiere in January 2023, and Critical Role also announced that the series is renewed for a third season.
The one-minute preview picks up moments after Season 1 left off, with the dragons of the Chroma Conclave descending upon Tal’Dorei and beginning their assault.
Inverse caught up with Critical Role’s Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, Liam O’Brien, and Taliesin Jaffe, all of whom reprise their livestream campaign characters on The Legend of Vox Machina, to peek into Season 2, ask what’s in store for Season 3, and determine if there’s ever a chance at an animated version of the Mighty Nein campaign.
Laura Bailey, who plays the half-elf ranger Vex'ahlia, confirms Season 2 will adapt the epic Chroma Conclave arc of Critical Role’s Campaign One.
“The Chroma conflict within our game lasted around 45 episodes,” Bailey tells Inverse, in contrast to the 15 session Briarwood Arc that served as the basis for The Legend of Vox Machina Season 1.
“There’s a lot of story there,” says Bailey. “It’s having to pick and choose moments that meant the most to us, and made the most sense to include in the animated series. At the same time, we get to expand upon other moments that didn’t get seen within the campaign, because they were only seen from the perspective of the players. Now we get to see the perspective of the villains.”
The Chroma Conclave, who serve as Season 2 villains, are a pack of five ancient dragons who pick a fight with Vox Machina (or rather, Vox Machina picks a fight with them). Thordak, an ancient red dragon, leads the Conclave.
“The Briarwoods were nothing,” says Taliesin Jaffe, who plays the vengeful gunslinger Percy de Rolo. “They were a small power couple in a castle. Now we’ve got ancient dragons bent on running the whole damn game.”
Jaffe, whose Percy was central to the Briarwood Arc, is picking up the pieces left over from their confrontation. “There's a lot of guilt and shame and recrimination,” he says. “It's gonna be a lot more, ‘Maybe I'm not healthy. Maybe it wasn't just a smoke monster.’”
Ashley Johnson, who plays the gnome cleric Pike, confirms her character won’t split from the party like she did for half of Season 1. “She doesn’t leave as much,” Johnson says. She adds, however, that Pike and goliath barbarian Grog’s relationship “gets a little tested from an outside entity.”
As for the twins Vax'ildan (O’Brien) and Vex’ahlia, emotional walls will come crumbling down.
“In Season 1, we watched him trying to be there for his sister, but also grow as a person in the world and broaden their horizons,” O’Brien says. “He continues to try to do that in Season 2, although they kind of get hit by semi-trucks left and right. That becomes even more challenging to do.”
“Vex, I think even more than Vax, was very closed off and guarded against everyone,” Bailey says. “Throughout Season 2, you really get to see her vulnerabilities more. Some of the walls come down, and you can see what makes her as guarded as she is.”
O’Brien adds, “You’ll see with all the characters’ growth, their dynamics shifting and changing and being battle tested.”
While the season will take most of its narrative cues from the Chroma Conclave episodes of the live campaign, there are still surprises that await viewers, especially since the story has been abbreviated to fit 12 half-hour episodes.
“Anytime we push into a different medium, be it a comic book or an animated series, we get to polish the gems and make them shine even brighter,” O’Brien says. “We’re creative people. And I like creating. So it’s not really a chore to find new ways to surprise the audience or dazzle ourselves with the kinds of stories we can tell.”
The cast is unable to say much more about the future of The Legend of Vox Machina, except that Season 3 is confirmed. All O’Brien could say is that future stories will “dig into your chest and grab hold of your heart and won’t let go.”
But the cast is more open to discussing a theoretical expansion to their empire: An adaptation of their second campaign, the Mighty Nein. Is The Legend of Mighty Nein a possibility? Laura Bailey likes to think so.
“That’s the dream,” Bailey tells Inverse, “I would love for everything that we’re doing to [get adapted]. The joy of creating a character and seeing it brought to life, seeing it move in animation, is something I never thought possible. I would love that for me. I would love that for Mighty Nein.”
The Legend of Vox Machina Season 2 will premiere on Prime Video in January 2023.