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Sir Bertrand Bell is a human fighter. First introduced in "The Search For Grog" (Sx42), he was instrumental in bringing together the adventuring party known as Bells Hells, who named their party after him. Bertrand is played by Travis Willingham.

Description

Appearance

Official art of Bertrand Bell in 812 PD, by Kit Buss.[art 3]

Official art of Bertrand Bell in 843 PD, by Hannah Friederichs.[art 4]

When he first appeared in "The Search For Grog" (Sx42), Sir Bertrand Bell was in his late 50s or early 60s. He has been described as a "devilish silver fox son of a bitch." He wore beautiful orange, maroon, and purple robes of the finest make, with a beautiful rapier on his hip. He had tan skin and piercing blue eyes.[4]

In "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01), Bertrand is older and has a receding hairline and a pony tail. He still favors purple and burnt-orange finery, with a coiffed collar. He still carries a beautiful rapier on his hip, but now also carries an elegant walking stick.[5] He wears a lapel pin with the crest of Vox Machina.[6]

Personality

Bertrand is characterized by his bombastic attitude that often leads him into trouble. He tends to exaggerate his accomplishments and believes that he is more renowned and important than he actually is. Percival de Rolo considered him to be "the most pompous, egotistical arsehole" he's ever met,[7] and Ariks Eshteross considered his house "stained" by Bertrand's "empty bravado".[8]

In 843 PD, when he was likely in his eighties, he was prone to occasional forgetfulness and fell asleep easily, sometimes in the middle of a conversation.[9]

Biography

Background

Bertrand claimed he was famous for slaying the "whispering werewolf of the north" as well as the "horrible hippogriff of the west", though it's not known if this is true.[10] Upon his first appearance, Bertrand was in the company of Holy Curator Curtis Uleas of The Quadroads, indicating he is somehow affiliated with that section of Vasselheim.[11]

"The Search For Grog" (Sx42)

When Vox Machina returned to Vasselheim seeking aid in rescuing Grog's soul, Sir Bertrand Bell was the first to speak up and volunteer his services.

Bertrand initially claimed to be a veteran warrior of renown and an expert on the plane of Pandemonium, but it soon became clear to the group that Bertrand was merely posturing in front of Vasselheim's leadership and knew little about their destination - in fact, before Highbearer Vord suggested he be Vox Machina's guide, Bertrand only meant to advise them on the plane and never planned to accompany them. Regardless, he nervously assisted in their search to rescue Grog's soul from Pandemonium, even taking the charge into the sandstorms when they first arrived, albeit in the wrong direction.

Bertrand valiantly rescued Percy's severed arm from the roaming band of bugbears that had torn it off, though Keyleth had already began regenerating a new one. He did this single-handedly. He fought alongside Vox Machina against both the howlers and the empyrean, although he fell and remained unconscious in the latter combat.

"The Search For Bob" (Sx45)

In Scanlan's Magnificent Mansion, Lieve'tel 'invited' Bertrand to spend the night with her. Or as she put it herself, "I rang his Bell."

When the group came across an odd metallic fruit-bearing tree, Bertrand claimed to know its type. So when the group decided they wanted a fruit to inspect, Bertrand was goaded into getting it.

Upon returning to Whitestone from Pandemonium, Bertrand immediately declared that he never wanted to see Vox Machina again, he was retiring right then, and left the group. Lieve'tel chased after him to try and convince him otherwise. Due to his prompt departure before Shanak crafted statues of Vox Machina and Lieve'tel, Bertrand was likely not included among them.

Between "The Search For Bob" (Sx45) and Campaign Three

Lord Ariks Eshteross hired Bertrand as part of a group to look into the Ivory Syndicate.[12] At one point he was part of a group called The Bevy, which may have been this group.[13] Bertrand abandoned the group; one member died, and the others fled.[14]

Campaign Three

Fan art of Bertrand bringing together the party at the Spire by Fire Inn, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 5]

In 843 PD, over 30 years after the trek into Pandemonium, Bertrand spotted several adventurers in the streets of Jrusar responding to a mysterious attack of animated objects. Three groups spontaneously coordinated to fend off the attacking constructs: Ashton Greymoore and Fresh Cut Grass; Imogen Temult and Laudna; and Dorian Storm, Fearne Calloway, and Orym.[15] Impressed by their skill and potential, Bertrand convinced them to seek work with Lord Ariks Estheross, promising good pay and introductions to high-placed people to help them in their endeavors.[16] However, Bertrand lied about his ability to write a recommendation to the Starpoint Conservatory[17] and exaggerated the nature of his relationship with Estheross, as the pair were not actually on good terms.[18] Despite this, Estheross was ultimately impressed by the group and assigned them a preliminary task.[19]

After successfully investigating some warehouse thefts, orchestrated by a mysterious dwarven man, the party was officially hired by Lord Eshteross, to be formalized in the morning. Bertrand was delighted, saying how good it felt to be back in demand and esteem.[20] When the party celebrated afterwards at the Spire by Fire, Bertrand celebrated more than the rest, growing progressively more inebriated in his optimism over his new start.[21] Eventually, after seeing the rest of the party off to home or bed, and against Dorian's concerns, Bertrand went for a walk to locate the Windowed Wall so that he would know where to meet Imogen and Laudna the following morning.[22]

Fan art of Bertrand's demise, by HeartofPack.[art 6]

During his drunken wanderings he paused to relieve himself in an alley, only to be accosted by the dwarven man. When the dwarf beckoned Bertrand deeper into the alley for a "conversation", Bertrand stood his ground but received a rapier buried to the hilt in his chest and then abdomen. As his vision blurred and a sense of peace came over him, the dwarf whispered, "Sir Bertrand Bell it is, huh? Good night."[23] Bertrand's last word before he died was "Lieve'tel".[24] He died with a serene smile on his face.[25]

Because Imogen had a nightmare of a red storm that included an older, refined gentleman "not unlike Bertrand" simultaneous with his death,[23][26] his body was quickly found by his allies.[27] They determined he was ultimately stabbed six times, about three by stiletto and the rest by rapier, and brought him to the Eshteross manor.[28] There, Imogen attempted to find a connection between Bertrand and her dream, but she was unable to find a direct one.[29] Bertrand was laid out in Eshteross' study, where he remained while the group and Estheross decided burial arrangements. Ultimately, due to his connection with Vox Machina, they settled on sending him into the care of Percy and his wife Vex'ahlia in Whitestone. Estheross wrote an accompanying letter explaining the details[30] and, as the skyship in his employ was unavailable, contracted another to take Bertrand to Whitestone.[31] Noting Bertrand as a "friend to the Eshteross estate, hero of Vasselheim, and pseudo-member of Vox Machina", Eshteross set a bounty on his murderer and paid the group over 1,000 gold for successfully avenging him.[31] Twenty two days later, the skyship returned with a letter of gratitude from Vex'ahlia.[32]

Relationships

Lieve'tel Toluse

Fan art of Lieve'tel Toluse and Bertrand Bell, by Stephanie Brown.[art 7]

Bertrand slept with Lieve'tel the night the two spent in the Magnificent Mansion.[33] Following the return to the Material Plane, Lieve'tel went to find Bertrand when he walked off from the group, intending to convince him out of his retirement.[34] Thirty years later, her name was his last thing he said after he was fatally stabbed.[35]

Vox Machina

Bertrand initially hoped to gain respect via his association with Vox Machina and asked if he would be credited as a temporary member, but Vox Machina declined,[36] and they frequently goaded him in Pandemonium,[37] as they knew he had exaggerated his experience as an adventurer. After the adventure in Pandemonium, he retired immediately, saying he hoped to never see any of them again.[38] However, in the official art for Campaign Three, Bell is wearing a Vox Machina lapel pin.[39]

Bells Hells

Dorian felt some responsibility for Bertrand's death, not having stopped him from going out while intoxicated. Laudna later made Dorian a puppet Bertrand out of chicken bones with Bertrand's actual hair in an attempt to console him.[40]

After his passing, the party chose to name themselves after him, calling themselves "Bells Hells".[41]

Ariks Eshteross

Bertrand previously worked with Eshteross some months before "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) in 843 PD. Bertrand was part of a group tasked with looking into the Ivory Syndicate, but he abandoned the group during the mission, which ultimately ended disastrously.[42] Lord Eshteross and Bertrand have not spoken or seen one another in the time since, and Bertrand described himself as eager to bring Eshteross people able to help in his goals. Bertrand spoke well of Eshteross to others, characterizing him as having noble intentions for the city and sincerely believing this of him.[43] Despite this, Bertrand is nervous in his presence. Eshteross holds a disdainful view of Bertrand, describing his presence in the manor as a "stain" and immediately naming Bertrand's swaggering manner empty in front of others.[44] However, Eshteross was willing to offer Bertrand forgiveness[45] and apparently granted it to him when the group successfully and skillfully completed their mission.[46] As with all persons Eshteross hires, Bertrand was quietly subject to a background check; Eshteross was able to verify Bertrand's connection with Vox Machina, though he was unsure of its extent or nature.[47]

When Bertrand was killed by someone Estheross hired Bertrand and the others to investigate, Eshteross expressed his regret and frustration with what he perceived as his indirect role in Bertrand's death. He said that though he is no stranger to death "that does not mean the loss is lost on me"[28] and called it an injustice.[48] He cared for and remained with Bertrand's body in the day after and arranged for his burial per the decision of the adventuring party. He wrote the letter to accompany Bertrand to Whitestone.[30] Describing Bertrand as a "friend of the Estheross estate", Estheross felt Bertrand's standing, connections, and history warranted a bounty on his murderer. Estheross paid Bertrand's allies in Jrusar over 1,000 gold for avenging him, insisting that someone as generous with money as Bertrand would be glad they were rewarded.[31]

Character information

Proficiencies

Abilities

Fan art of Bertrand Bell, by HeartofPack.[art 8]

In "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) and "The Search For Bob" (Sx45), Bertrand was an 18th-level fighter,[50] but in Campaign Three, he was a 5th-level fighter and his ability scores had changed noticeably:[51]

  • His Strength dropped from 19 to 16.
  • His Dexterity dropped from 19 to 15.
    • Partly as a result, his AC dropped from 17 to 14.
  • His Constitution dropped from 14 to 11.
    • Partly as a result, his hit points dropped from 148 to 34.
  • His Intelligence increased from 12 to 15.
  • His Wisdom dropped from 11 to 10.
  • His Charisma remained the same at 13.

Feats

Fighter abilities

In "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) and "The Search For Bob" (Sx45), Bertrand was an 18th-level fighter with the following abilities:

  • Action Surge (two uses per short rest)[53][54]
  • Extra Attack (2)
  • Fighting Style
  • Indomitable (three uses per long rest)
  • Martial Archetype
  • Second Wind[55]

In Campaign Three Bertrand was a 5th-level fighter,[56] giving him only one extra attack[57] and one use of Action Surge per short rest.[58]

Notable items

Behind the scenes

Bertrand Bell was first introduced in the one-shot "The Search For Grog" (Sx42), during which Travis could not play Grog as the one-shot focused on retrieving Grog's soul from Pandemonium. Travis purposefully designed him to die as quickly as possible so that he would only have to play one character at a time, which didn't happen and he ended up playing both Bertrand and Grog simultaneously.[61]

Travis played him again in Campaign Three. Travis wanted his character for the campaign (Chetney Pock O'Pea) to join the party a little later in the story, but Matt wanted to have Travis at the table from the beginning. Given the option to create a new character to play during the campaign's first sessions, he and Matt initially developed multiple "generic" characters, none of whom felt right. Bertrand was suggested between them as a joke, but they ultimately realized that Bertrand would serve the purpose and Travis chose to play him. When they discussed the manner of Bertrand's exit from the campaign, Travis pitched a "grim end" for him, though he agreed to be not told of the timing nor means.[62][61]

Appearances and mentions

Quotations

  • Bertrand: Yes, for the good of Jrusar! I will enter the fray with you![63]
  • Laudna: Are you a noble?
    Bertrand: Not a noble, a knight is generous, but it was a title bestowed upon me, and I didn't shoo it away.[64]
  • Imogen: So you'd actually be fighting this time? You'd actually be fighting with us?
    Bertrand: Did I not join you in the streets?
    Laudna: It feels like you're more of a chaperone.
    Bertrand: I am more of a consultant. I mean, I have so much wisdom to share. But yes, I tend to get my blade dirty from time to time. I think you'll remember I gave that table what-for.[65]
  • Bertrand: Every once in a while, you need to see the sunrise. It might be that night for me.[66]
  • Bertrand: (Last word of his life) Lieve'tel...[67]

Trivia

  • Bertrand is the third character to replace one who had been killed or left the party, following Taryon Darrington and Caduceus Clay. He is introduced minutes before Lieve'tel Toluse, who similarly replaces a killed or missing character.
  • Some long theorized that Bertrand was the lord of the Quadroads, the man who received two castings of Wish from Grog's Deck of Many Things. This was due to both men having an association with the Quadroads, being of status in Vasselheim, and often struggling to remember people's names. In "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01), Bertrand remarked on his being a "sir": "Not a noble, a knight is generous, but it was a title bestowed upon me, and I didn't shoo it away." When Fearne asked who bestowed the title, he began to answer that he did not think she would know them, but the line of questioning ended when the table was distracted out of character.[68] The lord of the Quadroads was identified as Preston Drodelon in "A Dance of Deception" (3x13).
  • Bertrand is the first character seen to have lost class levels between appearances, falling from level 18 to level 5 in the three decades between Campaign One and Campaign Three. He is described as appearing only twenty years older between those appearances, though this is certainly a mistake on Travis's part regarding how much time passed.
  • The animation on his stat card features a golden bokeh effect.[2]
  • He shares his name with King Bertrand Dwendal.
  • Bertrand never used any abilities unique to any fighter subclass.
  • Bertrand is the shortest-lived character played by a main cast member in one of the main campaigns.
  • Because Fearne took all the items he had in his pockets at the time he died, Matt instructed Travis to send Ashley a list of what Fearne found. During the episode, the cast noted that he sent a humorous list, reading some aloud. Travis later tweeted that the items included: peanuts, Werther's Originals, a 30-year-old condom, chapstick, some IcyHot, a TV Guide, and Murder, She Wrote - The Criterion Collection.[69]
  • Dorian mentioned in-game that he was writing a song for Bertrand. Robbie Daymond, who plays Dorian, wrote and performed a song sung by Dorian during his airship journey back to Tal'Dorei in memory of Bertrand, "The Ballad of Bertrand Bell".

References

  1. See "The Search For Bob" (Sx45) at 2:07:19.  Bertrand proclaims "Is it Minotaur? I speak Minotaur"
  2. 2.0 2.1 See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:24:04.
  3. Stats shown are for Bertrand's Campaign 3 appearance. For his appearances in "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) and "The Search For Bob" (Sx45), see "Abilities", below.
  4. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 0:54:17.
  5. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:03:12.
  6. See "Trial by Firelight" (3x02) at 1:34:36.
  7. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 1:44:08.
  8. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 3:51:41.
  9. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) from 3:13:15 through 3:17:33.
  10. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 55:25.
  11. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 54:02.
  12. See "Trial by Firelight" (3x02) at 3:06:22.
  13. See "The Trail and the Toll" (3x03) at 3:56:51.
  14. See "Trial by Firelight" (3x02) at 1:06:25.
  15. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:02:33.
  16. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:46:37.
  17. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 3:43:50.
  18. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 3:50:30.
  19. See "Trial by Firelight" (3x02) from 0:55:58 through 1:08:30.  The group accepts the work and is formally assigned from 1:44:15 through 1:49:58.
  20. See "The Trail and the Toll" (3x03) from 3:11:53 through 3:28:30.
  21. See "The Trail and the Toll" (3x03) at 3:50:31.
  22. See "The Trail and the Toll" (3x03) at 3:57:39.
  23. 23.0 23.1 See "The Trail and the Toll" (3x03) at 4:00:18.
  24. See "The Trail and the Toll" (3x03) at 4:08:01.
  25. See "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) at 32:35.
  26. See "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) at 0:11:28.
  27. See "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) from 0:31:15 through 0:36:18.
  28. 28.0 28.1 See "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) from 0:40:20 through 0:49:20.
  29. See "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) at 0:51:39.
  30. 30.0 30.1 See "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) from 2:36:15 through 2:43:48.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 See "The Threat Between the Walls" (3x05) at 4:17:34.
  32. See "Promise and Potential" (3x22) from 2:02:22 through 2:04:57.
  33. See "The Search For Bob" (Sx45) at 1:03:38.
  34. See "The Search For Bob" (Sx45) at 3:53:28.
  35. See "The Trail and the Toll" (3x03) at 4:08:02.
  36. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 2:56:01.
  37. See "The Search For Bob" (Sx45) at 1:29:37.
  38. See "The Search For Bob" (Sx45) at 3:40:06.
  39. See "Trial by Firelight" (3x02) at 1:34:36.
  40. See "Growing Bonds and Teasing Threads" (3x06) at 1:04:01.
  41. See "In Too Deep" (3x14) at 4:27:07.
  42. See "Trial by Firelight" (3x02) at 1:06:25.
  43. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:48:01.
  44. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 3:51:34.
  45. See "Trial by Firelight" (3x02) at 1:07:42.
  46. See "The Trail and the Toll" (3x03) at 3:28:08.
  47. See "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) from 2:39:50 through 2:41:17.
  48. See "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) at 0:51:00.
  49. Travis adds 5 to Bertrand's History roll, indicating proficiency, as Bertrand is 5th-level and has an Intelligence modifier of +2.  See "Trial by Firelight" (3x02) at 3:07:29.
  50. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 0:54:13.
  51. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:24:04.
  52. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 4:21:41.  Travis notes that he should have used Luck
  53. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 3:45:05.  Bertrand uses an Action Surge
  54. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 4:20:40.  Bertrand uses another Action Surge
  55. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 4:22:44.  Bertrand uses Second Wind
  56. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:24:04.
  57. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:17:39.
  58. See "The Trail and the Toll" (3x03) at 1:45:01.
  59. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 3:47:12.  Travis notes that the rapier is a +3 rapier
  60. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) at 1:46:06.
  61. 61.0 61.1 See "4-Sided Dive: Silken Secrets" (4SDx01) at 49:18.
  62. Twitter logo.png Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "A little look under the hood for Ep 3... #CriticalRoleSpoilers . . . . . . Sooooo that was fun! Another little bit of a glance at what led to the end of tonight’s session: (1/4)" (2021-11-05). First of a thread of four tweets.
  63. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:02:51.
  64. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:24:07.
  65. See "Trial by Firelight" (3x02) at 1:37:45.
  66. See "The Trail and the Toll" (3x03) at 3:52:06.
  67. See "The Trail and the Toll" (3x03) at 4:08:02.
  68. See "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 2:24:05.
  69. Twitter logo.png Travis Willingham (@willingblam) on Twitter: "Pockets: Peanuts • Werther's Originals • 30 yr old condom • Chapstick • Some Icy Hot • A TV Guide • "Murder, She Wrote" - The Criterion Collection" (2021-11-11).

Art:

  1. Official art of Bertrand Bell (C3), by Hannah Friederichs (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. Official art of Bertrand Bell (2019 Portrait), by Kit Buss (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  3. Official art of Bertrand Bell in 812 PD, by Kit Buss (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  4. Official art of Bertrand Bell in 843 PD, by Hannah Friederichs (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  5. Fan art of Bertrand bringing together the party at the Spire by Fire Inn, by Lap Pun Cheung (source). Used with permission.
  6. Fan art of Bertrand's demise, by HeartofPack (source). Used with permission.
  7. Fan art of Lieve'tel Toluse and Bertrand Bell, by Stephanie Brown (source). Used with permission.
  8. Fan art of Bertrand Bell, by HeartofPack (source). Used with permission.
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