Weird request, but you summarize stuff. I've only caught a few episodes of Critical Role but am curious about Kima and Allura. What's the story there? Don't worry about spoilers, I'm never gonna get caught up on this show anyway, but I am curious!
Oh gosh! Okay. This actually dovetails nicely with some logistical stuff I need to figure out for reasons, so hey, here’s my really long-winded summary (and other folks, please chime in if I get something wrong, there’s a lot of ground to cover here ranging from pre-series to right up where we are now):
So, basically, Allura (human wizard) and Kima (halfling paladin of Bahamut) were part of the same adventuring party, and their exploits culminated in a big ol’ boss battle fifteen years before the start of Critical Role against an ancient red dragon named Thordak. Their party managed to seal Thordak in the Elemental Plane of Fire, but in the process three members of their party were killed (Sirus, Dohla, and Ghenn), leaving only Kima, Allura, and their elementalist friend Drake Thunderbrand standing at the end of it.
In the wake of the battle, the three of them went their separate ways, despite the romantic relationship that had developed between Kima and Allura. Allura accepted an offer to become a member of the Council of Tal’Dorei in the capital city of Emon, but Kima wasn’t exactly keen on a political position and traveled north to the holy city of Vasselheim instead, where she worked with Highbearer Vord, the leader of the Order of Bahamut. Kima mentions in early episodes of the show that she and Allura would still try to meet up every few months for drinks, but their lives were pulling them in different directions.
Matt’s made it pretty clear that Allura still spent a lot of time thinking about Kima during those years—in his playlist he posted way back in 2015, he says of Allura: “So long as protecting the realm means protecting this one person, then all the toil and challenge is worth it.” Kima also wound up struggling a lot with her faith in the wake of all the evils she’d seen, and frequently butted heads with Highbearer Vord and the more straitlaced folks she worked with.
Fast-forward fifteen years, when Kima starts to get visions of a terrible evil brewing under the dwarven city of Kraghammer and rushes in half-cocked. Allura starts to get worried after several weeks pass with no word and hires a group of adventurers that she’s worked with in the past to go find Kima—the adventurers, of course, are Vox Machina, and this push was the impetus for the first on-stream plot arc of the show.
Vox Machina manage to get Kima out of a bad situation in the Underdark, and then they all wind up embroiled in a conflict against a particularly corrupted beholder named K’Varn, who’s managed to get his hands (eye-tentacles?) on a Horn of Orcus and is sort of chilling with his mind flayer pals as a lowkey champion of the god of undeath, which is not fantastic. VM kill K’Varn, and together with Kima (who’d been turned to stone by a basilisk, thus beginning her longstanding pattern of bad luck on missions involving VM) just barely manage to escape via teleportation circle back to Emon.
After a Weekend-at-Bernie’s-esque pub crawl with Kima still in stone form, the party finally manages to restore her, and they all head over to explain the events to Allura. Allura is delighted to see Kima again, and they have a tearful reunion. Kima does travel with VM back to Vasselheim to seal the Horn of Orcus in the Platinum Sanctuary (a temple of Bahamut), leaving Allura in Emon. VM eventually moves on to the next plot, leaving Kima in Vasselheim.
Once VM finishes dealing with the next major arc of the show, the end result is a tiny floating, spinning ball in a forgotten ziggurat under the human city of Whitestone that also happens to nullify all magic for a wide radius in its vicinity. You know, your standard everyday stuff. Completely out of their depths, they ask Allura to travel to Whitestone and check it out while they return home to Emon, a decision that possibly winds up saving her life.
Allura heads to Whitestone and brings Drake Thunderbrand on board to evaluate the situation with the orb. When some of her arcane connections with cities across Tal’Dorei start to go dark, she heads back to Emon to report in to VM at their Keep just outside the city and figure out what the heck’s going on.
She and Drake arrive to find the party in the middle of a very serious argument, on the verge of an all-out brawl, over a magical skull housing some sort of entity that claims to be able to grant any wish. Why is a wish particularly tempting right now? Oh hey, turns out four ancient chromatic dragons, the Chroma Conclave (excellent 80s band name), just attacked Emon, killed most of the Tal’Dorei Council, made a beeline for and destroyed Allura’s home, and are spreading out to destroy most bastions of civilization across the continents of Tal’Dorei and Wildmount. When VM reveals that the leader of the group was Thordak, the same dragon that Allura and Drake barely survived sealing in the Plane of Fire, Allura is in shock.
Allura and Drake head out to the ruins of the Cobalt Reserve in Westruun to try and find some information that could help them defeat the Conclave. VM eventually make their way to Vasselheim in search of allies, and are startled to discover that the city is unaware of the devastation happening across the ocean. When Kima finds out about the destruction of Emon, she’s frantic and her first thought is to find a way to get to Allura. VM manage to assure her that Allura is as safe as anyone can be right now, and Kima joins them on their disastrous journey to the sunken tomb, where they face another beholder and Kima is nearly killed by a long fall in the battle. In the aftermath, she makes her way with the party back to Whitestone, and finds out for the first time that the leader of the Conclave is indeed Thordak—the news puts her into an uncharacteristic state of panic.
While VM travels around in search of ancient weapons to help defeat the Conclave, Allura eventually turns up in Whitestone, which has become the unofficial seat of a new war council. By the time VM shows up again, having killed one member of the Conclave, Kima and Allura are both there to greet them. At this point, the two of them have moved into a house in Whitestone together (there’s a cute moment where Vex knocks on Allura’s door early in the morning and Kima answers it in a too-big nightshirt) and are helping to coordinate studies of the orb under Whitestone as well as the defense of the city itself, once it becomes clear that forces are amassing there. Kima takes out a would-be assassin who comes after them in their home (part of an elaborate rakshasa revenge plot; Gilmore pulps his assassin, it’s a whole thing).
Kima winds up accompanying VM on their mission to Draconia to kill Vorugal, a member of the Conclave, and discovers before leaving that another member of the Conclave, Raishan, has been (in disguise) in Whitestone for some time, that she knows all of their secrets and could wipe out the last form of resistance in an instant, and that the party has worked out a very shaky secret deal with her, since it turns out they all want to kill Thordak. Despite Scanlan’s attempts to modify her memory to make her forget this revelation, Kima knows about the infiltration, and agrees to move forward with the plan regardless. The party manages to kill Vorugal and return back to Whitestone, at which point Raishan’s identity is revealed, for better or worse, to the entire war council.
Kima and Allura go to Fort Daxio to help coordinate troops for a final push against Thordak, who has settled down over the city of Emon and is slowly shaping the land into some sort of super-evil volcano. As you do. At Fort Daxio, Gatekeeper Xanthas, a former ally from Emon, reveals himself to have switched allegiances to work with Thordak, and manages to cast a Feeblemind spell on Allura. VM shows up in time to take Xanthas out and reverse the effects of the spell, at which point an extremely shaken Kima and Allura have their first “on-screen” kiss.
After Thordak is defeated, and Raishan escapes an attack from VM in the immediate aftermath of the battle, Kima and Allura accompany VM to Raishan’s hideout on the Island of Viscan, which once served as the home base of long-dead necromancer Opash. After some shenanigans with gravity-reversal and a whole lot of undead bodies, the party battles Raishan, with both Allura and Kima coming very close to death in the fight. In the aftermath, the party tries to escape the island with their dead and wounded… and discovers when their first spell fails that this island has some defenses in place against transportation magic.
Allura eventually manages to put down a teleportation circle and step through, but Kima hangs back a second, telling VM that something looks off about the circle. Before anyone can decide what to do, Kima resolutely steps through after Allura, and they both vanish. Keyleth manages to scry on them and discovers that they’ve landed in open ocean somewhere, which is bad news if you happen to be in full plate armor, like Kima. Through a complete fluke of a dice-roll (natural 20 on a perception check), Keyleth manages to spot them from the beach—swimming in the wrong direction and already exhausted—and Vex shoots out after them on her broom.
She grabs Allura, Allura grabs Kima, and bookish-wizard Allura, zero-strength-modifier Allura manages to roll a natural 20 on her strength check to hang on to Kima until they get to safety.
In the aftermath, Allura and Kima are helping to put things back in order in Emon, ensuring together that more shadowy organizations like the Clasp don’t make too much of a bid for power in the chaos. When VM heads out on their next adventure, Kima makes sure to tell them that if they see Highbearer Vord, they should just pretend they haven’t seen her; she’s staying with Allura.