Scanlan’s Impact On Vox Machina
Grog: More than just a friend and accomplice in various crimes, Scanlan was one of the only people who valued Grog’s ideas. Scanlan never really treated Grog like he was dumb and equally considered all of Grog’s suggestions which did end up getting them into some crazy messed up situations on occasion, but was always extremely funny. Grog did not understand too well exactly why Scanlan left but was specifically hurt that Scanlan did not bother to specifically say his goodbyes to Grog. When Scanlan returns he does not seem super excited to see VM again meaning that Grog’s friendship did not mean as much to him as it did to Grog. To add insult to injury Scanlan has a very Grog-esque character with him, Lionel. Grog immediately tests his strength either hoping that if Lionel was obviously stronger than him then obviously Scanlan was just looking for the best protector available or that he would be obviously weaker and Grog could prove that Scanlan had made a bad call. However, Lionel proves not only to be about equally matched with Grog but instantly likable and compelling. Grog storms out and demonstrates his new literacy to Vax and Vex as he passes by not knowing how to express his feelings of loss, believing that Lionel is in fact a better version of himself that Scanlan has found, one who is, at least in his mind, stronger, smarter, and more fun to be around.
Pike: It is debatable whether she harbors specifically romantic feelings for Scanlan, but she assuredly at least has grown closer to him emotionally as he shed his comedic playboy roll and began reaching inside himself to re-examine his life choices. Although she would probably have supported Scanlan’s decision to leave Vox Machina to forge his own path and create a family with his daughter, because he did not say goodbye to her and left in such a negative way, she, like Grog, has grown to resent him. His tense and hesitant return has also left her feeling that the close companionship se felt she had begun to share with Scanlan was not equally valued by him.
Note: In order to regain the favor of his two closest friends, Scanlan would have to come begging on his knees and force them to listen to him, proving to them that their relationship is very meaningful and important to him like they originally believed it was.
Percy: Although Percy was not known to be particularly close to Scanlan, his intense involvement in the screaming argument preceding Scanlan’s departure has haunted him and morphed into a continuously burning resentment towards Scanlan. Scanlan’s specific claim that VM did not know or care about him struck a chord in Percy. The complaint is more indicative of an overall problem in VM where many members choose to keep their problems to themselves until they boil over and become dangerous plot points (Percy’s inner demon being the most literal of these examples). Percy never complains about being called out for bad things he does do of which he feels there are many and often mentions his feeling that the things he intends to do are, in his mind, not morally good perhaps in the hopes that someone will argue hm out of it. To be accused of not caring about others in the group rubbed Percy the wrong was so intensely because to him that is one of the only good aspects of himself that he si sure about. Even if he does bad things to people, and makes things that will hurt many people, he knows that at least he really really cares about his friends. And if that’s not true, if Scanlan is right, that he’s back to square one, a person that is not worthwhile.
Keyleth: She’s fairly neutral here. She resents that Scanlan lobbed accusations at the group that while having merit were not entirely based in truth, and also is not a fan of his decision to suddenly cut ties with them and then only return hesitantly without much commitment to rekindle the lost relationships. However, she personally could probably be easily brought to the pro-Scanlan side as she did not have any personal issues with him and can see the merit of him choosing his responsibility to his daughter over his bonds with the group, especially considering her growing guilt that she has yet to fully step into her position as Voice of the Tempest.
Vax: He has always looked up to Scanlan and sees him as the father figure he never had. More than other members of the groups he has been sure than Scanlan would come back on his own terms and is willing to accept him back unconditionally, no questions asked. If anything, Vax is glad that Scanlan took his time to deal with the problems that were making him deeply unhappy when he was with VM. After all, Vax took his own time to figure out what to do when he accidentally became a Champion of the Raven Queen. Vax clearly sees him and Keyleth departing for the Air Ashari in the near future and wants to make sure that group has resolved any bitterness before they say goodbye for good. He will probably be instrumental in healing old wounds.
Vex: Her knowledge about Scanlan’s drug addiction made her more sympathetic to him and she is very happy that he decided make a big personal sacrifice to commit himself to a relationship with his daughter (something she wished her own father had done). Vex’s personal quest is all about mercy and forgiveness, tired of grudges and suspicion holding her down and stopping her from forming close relationships. Scanlan is the biggest example of her new willingness to forgive the past so as to not sully valuable relationships. I think she will be able to pull Percy into forgiving Scanlan as they both wanted to become more merciful, and he has already indicated that he does not want to continue being dragged down into a dark state by pent up resentments. No more revenge is a motto many in VM are really attempting to adopt.