You know, for someone who hates the theatre, you've made quite a show of all of this.
– 
Keyleth to Artagan[5]
[!h]

Artagan is an elf-like Archfey[3] from the Feywild. He posed as a satyr named Garmelie to travel with Vox Machina for his own amusement before eventually revealing himself as Artagan once Saundor was dead.[6] As an NPC, he is played by Matthew Mercer.

Description

Appearance

Artagan was very tall and thin, walking chest-forward and regal-poised. He appeared almost elflike but still had exaggerated fey-like features and long ears that curled past his small head, with a pointed chin, almond-shaped, verdant-emerald green eyes and wild, curly orange hair like a lion’s mane going down to his lower back. He wore sleeveless silk vestments of blue and green billowing freely behind him.[7]

Personality

Fan art of Garmelie, by Thomas Brin.[art 2]

While posing as the satyr Garmelie, Artagan played a mischievous and self-centered character that enjoyed amusing himself by drawing immature caricatures of people, stealing items that caught his eye or imagination, and playing pranks. He greatly valued his possessions, sometimes disproportionately to their actual value. Wearing his heart on his sleeve, Garmelie's capricious emotional state was typically easy to read due to his exaggerated and dramatic reactions, even when he tried to hide his feelings. When his impulses were stymied by external forces, he became frustrated easily, but his mood could just as abruptly shift again, seemingly without holding a grudge.[8]

Garmelie preferred to avoid direct confrontation, choosing to run or hide when such situations arose.[9] He also expressed a strong dislike and distrust of "the theatre" on multiple occasions.[10]

Artagan, after dropping the Garmelie persona, had a calmer, more patient, more mature disposition. His deep valedictory bow toward Vox Machina also indicated a more respectful nature than Garmelie's.[11]

Biography

Background

Unlike many fey creatures, Artagan did not belong to one of the fey courts.[12]

When Syngorn was in the Feywild during the Chroma Crisis, Artagan helped some fey, including a pixie prince named Windybranch, slip through the city's defenses, where they occupied a noblewoman's manor and transformed it into a fun slice of the Feywild; she tried to reclaim her home for years afterward.[13]

Garmelie

A cartoonist with an immature perspective, Garmelie produced many juvenile caricatures in his sketchbook. When Syngorn phased from the Material Plane into the Feywild after the Chroma Conclave attacked Tal'Dorei, Garmelie suddenly found himself with a city full of new subjects for his unique brand of art.[14]

Garmelie claimed to have an uncle named Jameson, who taught him about some of the dangers in the Feywild.[15]

"The Feywild" (1x59)

Garmelie began stalking and drawing Vox Machina after the party entered the Feywild to retrieve Fenthras. Vex'ahlia noticed the stealthy satyr and managed to sneak up on him using her broom, but she also noticed that he didn't pose a serious threat. Rather playfully, Vex hovered on her broom behind Garmelie, then playfully asked, "Whatcha drawin'?" Garmelie was very flustered and prepared to flee, but not before Vex grabbed hold of him and brought him to the rest of Vox Machina.[16]

Eventually, after Garmelie charmed Percy, he and Vox Machina arrived at an agreement: after completing two tasks in Syngorn, Garmelie would guide the party to the Shademurk Bog.[17]

"Heredity and Hats" (1x60)

As it turned out, Garmelie sought a piece of a threshold crest and High Warden Tirelda's travel hat.[18][19] Vox Machina acquired the hat through deception and theft.[20] However, Percy and Keyleth managed to satisfy the requirement for a piece of a Threshold Crest through a technicality in the verbal agreement, with Keyleth using Stone Shape to create a Whitestone crest from the threshold of a door, then Percy breaking it and handing a piece to Garmelie—literally "a piece of a threshold crest".[21] Garmelie agreed in frustration that Vox Machina upheld its end of the bargain, but he was still quite pleased with Tirelda's travel hat. Garmelie then began leading the group toward Shademurk Bog.[22]

"Denizens of the Moonbrush" (1x61)

Garmelie continued to guide Vox Machina through the Feywild.

"Uninviting Waters" (1x62)

Garmelie accompanied the party to a series of rivers that blocked their path, and he attemptsed to part ways. Instead, Scanlan threw him (with Bigby's Hand) as far as he could across the rivers. Ultimately Garmelie reached the other side before he was able to leave.

"The Echo Tree" (1x63)

After Vox Machina faced and defeated Saundor, Garmelie returned, revealing himself to be an Archfey named Artagan, who greatly enjoyed watching the group's adventures in the Feywild. Artagan invited Vox Machina to visit him again sometime.[23]

"Dark Dealings" (1x112)

When Vox Machina fled Thar Amphala to the Feywild, they struck a bargain with Artagan. The Archfey agreed to alter the Feywild's time dilation effect so that the party could rest for a day in the Feywild while only an hour passed on the Material Plane...on two conditions. The first condition was that Vox Machina would later create a door for Artagan to enter into the Material Plane. The second condition was that Artagan wanted to strangle Vax'ildan until he died, something he became interested in after hearing the half-elf say he was "kind of unkillable lately". Vax agreed to this and let the Archfey strangle him to death.

"The Final Ascent" (1x113)

The next morning, Artagan greeted the party, telling them they had been been in the Feywild for longer than the agreed-upon twenty-four hours but he would see what he could whip up. He cast a spell to control the time dilation, and Keyleth took them back to the Material Plane.

"The Chapter Closes" (1x115)

As of the wrap up of Vox Machina's tale they did not hold to the first condition of the deal made with Artagan to provide a doorway into the Material Plane. However, Matthew Mercer later confirmed that the doorway would have been built, even if it wasn't explicitly covered in the episode[24].

The Traveler

"With Great Power..." (2x94)

Fan art of the Traveler, by Nikki Dawes.[art 3]

The Traveler revealed his true nature to Jester, that while he was indeed her Traveler, her deity, he was not always so. While he did not give his name, Matthew Mercer confirmed after ending the session that the Traveler was the Archfey Lord Artagan of the Morncrown encountered by Vox Machina in the Feywild.

Claiming to have come from a world far away from Exandria, Artagan's "Traveler" persona began after sensing a kinship and discovering a spark uniquely similar to his own within a little blue girl named Jester Lavorre. Young Jester believed with such unconditional childlike faith and wonder in Artagan's "divinity" as The Traveler that Artagan pretended to be the god she believed him to be, only to discover he actually started to become newly empowered from the unconditional faith she bestowed in him.

Exhilarated, Artagan (as The Traveler) began to seek out others like Jester and himself who also believed in joy, mischief and the act of exposing arrogance and hypocrisy, becoming increasingly deified by their gathering faith. However as his followers multiplied Artagan found himself overwhelmed by the increasing multitudes of voices calling upon him through prayer; demanding aid, guidance and the responsibilities of godhood. Inspired by their long standing relationship as his first disciple and witnessing Jester's mastery of creative trickery in bargaining with the witch Isharnai to release Nott the Brave from a curse, Artagan decided to confide the truth in Jester, asking she grant him counsel, revealing that he in truth "has no idea what [he] is doing," asking her aid in knowing how to proceed in his newfound role as the deity of joy and trickery known as The Traveler.[25]

"Blessing in Disguise" (2x95)

Artagan appeared in front of the Mighty Nein and revealed himself to be not a god, but in fact an Archfey from the Feywild. He asked for their help in planning TravelerCon so that his followers would become less reliant on him and more on each other.

"The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97)

Marion Lavorre recalled someone roughly matching Artagan's distinguishing features occasionally appearing in the audience of the Lavish Chateau.[26]

"Maritime Mysteries" (2x103)

Jester cast Commune and asked the Traveler if had known how Vokodo affected people's memories. He responded telling her that yes, he knew what happened to those who stayed on the island. The Traveler reassured her that he was never going to leave her on the island, and when she pressed him, he included her friends as well. To cheer Jester up, he manipulated the shadows around Catha to create an image of a googly-eyed Tusktooth.

"Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107)

While the Mighty Nein were planning TravelerCon, Artagan appeared and they brainstormed how to get him out of the god business. They eventually settled on the idea of convincing his followers that the Traveler was actually the Moonweaver in disguise. On the eve of TravelerCon, Jester pulled him aside and he told her how much she's changed him for the better, and how much she's grown. She told him he was her best friend and always will be. He cautioned her that he doesn't expect things to last forever, and they should appreciate the time they have, then wandered off to enjoy the party.

"Traveler Con" (2x108)

During TravelerCon, Artagan was present though mostly in disguise, and aided Caleb in providing special effects. At its conclusion on the volcano top, he made himself look like the Moonweaver, giving a speech about hiding "her" identity from them and starting a new sect of the religion. Suddenly the clouds parted, revealing a full moon. Jester and Artagan were confused, since the moon wasn't supposed to be in the sky. Gossamer chains rained down and bound Artagan as an angelic figure descended and called for the Traveler to be brought back to the Feywild to be punished. Jester grabbed his legs, begging the angel to forgive him. The chains began rising up from the ground, along with the angel. Fjord used his Relentless Hex to grab Jester, and the Traveler kicked them both off of him. Caleb cast Feather Fall to slow their descent. At that, the angel halted, asking Artagan if he was sorry for what he had done. He apologized for impersonating the Moonweaver. The chains then broke apart, sending him into a freefall, eventually halted by Veth's Feather Fall. Artagan addressed the crowd, saying they should go worship the Moonweaver, and walked away. He later visited the party as they rested in the dome for the night and apologized for what had happened. He thanked them all for keeping Jester safe from harm's way.

Artagan has maintained a close relationship with Jester as the granter of her cleric abilities, even if he is not technically a "god". He comes when she calls upon him for aid with Scrying or Sending and provides guidance through Commune in a casual and laid-back manner, even when it interrupts his other activities. While the party was in Eiselcross, for instance, he came for a long casual chat while holding a mai tai he brought from Port Damali when Jester failed on a Divine Intervention.[27]

"Hell or High Water" (2x136)

It was confirmed by Caleb and Beauregard's Truesight that Artagan takes the form of Jester's red weasel, Sprinkle[28]. Caleb noted that as Capeleb he had seen Sprinkle chittering in Jester's ear while she scried, and he saw the same thing again as himself later. Sprinkle then perked up and started talking to Jester, confirming that he is Artagan.

Relationships

Wodena

Artagan claimed that Wodena was "an ex".[29] This ambiguously-phrased claim does not clarify whose "ex" or an "ex" of what. For example, Wodenna could have been an ex-lover of Artagan or an ex-lover of Saundor—or even an ex-lover of Saundor first, whom she might have betrayed for Artagan before later separating from him, as well.

Jester Lavorre

Artagan became enthralled with the exhilaration of worship after he began granting boons to Jester as a child. As both he and Jester spread word of him throughout Wildemount, he grew in power. After Jester was able to break the curse on Nott by tricking a hag, Artagan sought her help in coming to grips with the onset of Godhood.

Character Information

Abilities

As of the time Artagan introduces himself to the Mighty Nein, his spells or abilities have a saving throw DC equal to or lower than 22.[30]

  • A type of charm spell (most likely Charm Person) that notifies the victim upon ending
  • A type of invisibility spell or ability that lasts for at least 6 hours and requires concentration
  • Able to tell directions without use of a map (Can tell which way is Duskward in the Feywild)
  • Can create portals to different places
  • Able to manipulate plant life

Notable Items

  • Sketchbook
    • Caricatures of all of Vox Machina
      • "Very finely detailed sketch of Grog. Very well drawn, but he has bulging eyes, big buck teeth, and a very tiny penis." [31]
      • "For Pike, her head is extremely large." [32]
      • "There's a picture of Vax and Keyleth that are both covered in poo and slapping it on their face. Written in Elvish 'I love this!' with a word bubble." [33]
    • Caricatures of inhabitants of Syngorn
      • "You start seeing a number of elven individuals. You see people in really nice regal armor, but all of them are pooping themselves. There's a bunch of elvish ladies with oversized floppy boobs smacking each other in the face. It's truly childish. But they're really well drawn and well shaded! There is a serious talent to the artwork." [34]

Quotations

  • "I'll help you under two conditions. One: should you go back and defeat this wannabe god thing you speak of and all is well and you're heroes and you have all of this influence and money and everything's grand, we can discuss maybe creating a doorway for me that allows passage. I'll come visit and see what strangeness your world seems to have whenever I'd like. [...] Second: I wish to strangle you until death."[35]
  • "Nothing happens for a reason; it's absolute fucking chaos."[36]
  • "Delightfully foolish, I love it."[37]
  • "Very few individuals know how to pull the rug out from under the world around them and still leave them smiling."[38]
  • "I've lived a very long time. I've made many friends and lost many friends. So I don't expect things to always last. With the time that I have, I've learned to appreciate it, the temporary things. I mean, there's a good chance that even I'm not as eternal as I believe. When things are temporary and you know it and you understand it, you truly savor it. Even we might be temporary. So let us appreciate the time we have."[39]
  • (to Jester) "It's so strange. Classically, mortal life is so... brief and dull and spoken of from the perspective of my folk for ages as... toys. Why are you so different? It makes no sense, really. It's frustrating. I just wanted to say I'm sorry I couldn't be the god you wanted me to be."[40]

Trivia

Matthew's Artagan costume for Halloween 2020.

  • There was speculation from an early date that Artagan was the true identity of The Traveler, and the archfey had been posing as Jester's deity.
  • Garmelie was technically a "satire satyr".
  • His name translates as above the peak in Basque.
  • Matthew Mercer has stated that Artagan is an Unaligned fey, belonging to neither the Seelie nor the Unseelie fey courts.
  • Mercer dressed as Artagan for the Halloween 2020 episode.[41]

References

  1. Matthew Mercer confirmed the spelling of "Artagan" (source).
  2. Matthew Mercer released a page of his DM notes, which contains the official spelling of Garmelie's name. Previously published spellings include the unofficial "Garmeely" from an article on Geek & Sundry (not written by Mercer) and "Garmili" from G&S's summary (not written by Mercer) of "Heredity and Hats" (1x60).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 123.
  4. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 4:03:44.
  5. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 4:03:20.
  6. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 3:51:15.
  7. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 3:51:15.
  8. See "The Feywild" (1x59) from 2:02:43 through 2:03:02.
  9. See "Denizens of the Moonbrush" (1x61) from 3:16:27 through 3:16:31.
  10. See "Heredity and Hats" (1x60) from 2:16:28 through 2:16:36.
  11. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 3:51:15.
  12. Matthew Mercer confirmed on Twitter that Artagan was a "courtless Archfey" (source).
  13. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 83–84.
  14. See "The Feywild" (1x59) from 1:37:45 through 1:37:57.
  15. See "Denizens of the Moonbrush" (1x61) from 2:18:35 through 2:18:41.
  16. See "The Feywild" (1x59) from 1:27:23 through 1:30:35.
  17. See "The Feywild" (1x59) from 2:06:37 through 2:16:23.
  18. Matthew Mercer released a page of his DM notes containing a description of Feywild characters.
  19. See "Heredity and Hats" (1x60) from 1:10:41 through 1:12:42.
  20. See "Heredity and Hats" (1x60) from 1:51:11 through 1:54:02.
  21. See "Heredity and Hats" (1x60) from 2:10:49 through 2:12:22.
  22. See "Heredity and Hats" (1x60) at 2:12:57.
  23. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) from 3:58:45 through 4:06:30.
  24. See Matthew Mercer's tweet from 10/13/2017.
  25. See "With Great Power..." (2x94) from 3:52:58 through 3:59:37.
  26. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) from 1:36:22 through 1:37:16.
  27. See "A Walk to Warmer Welcomes" (2x124) at 3:40:09.
  28. See "Hell or High Water" (2x136) at 0:18:48.
  29. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 4:03:44.
  30. See "Blessing in Disguise" (2x95) from 0:35:50 through 0:36:41.
  31. See "The Feywild" (1x59) at 1:34:24.
  32. See "The Feywild" (1x59) at 1:35:45.
  33. See "The Feywild" (1x59) at 1:36:10.
  34. See "The Feywild" (1x59) at 1:36:51.
  35. See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) at 3:33:37.
  36. See "Blessing in Disguise" (2x95) at 21:30.
  37. See "Blessing in Disguise" (2x95) at 0:24:30.
  38. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) from 3:37:54 through 3:38:03.
  39. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 3:39:32.
  40. See "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 5:50:39.
  41. See "An Open Window" (2x114) at 0:05:03.

Art

  1. Fan art of Artagan, by David Rodrigues (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Garmelie, by Thomas Brin (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of the Traveler, by Nikki Dawes (source).  Used with permission.
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