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Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

King Bertrand Dwendal is the king of the Dwendalian Empire in Wildemount[7][8] and was one of the targets listed on Ripley's gun, "Animus"[9]. As an NPC, Dwendal is played by Matthew Mercer.



In 836 PD, Bertrand Dwendal is a tall[10] human male in his late sixties. He has wavy dark grey hair falling past his shoulders, a long, thin beard tied from beneath, and he wears the golden crown depicted on the bottom of the crest of the Dwendalian Empire.[11]


King Dwendal - Hierothraxs

Fan art of King Dwendal, by @hierothraxs.[art 1]

Bertrand Dwendal is a dark, clever, and often paranoid king - and a lonely one since his wife's death. Fiercely nationalistic and proud of his heritage, the king harbors a disdain for outsiders and their challenges to imperial rule. Whilst he does genuinely wish to protect the lives of his people and be remembered as the best of his bloodline, the increased pressures of civil unrest and the inability of his son to produce an heir have made him fearful his family line will come to an end, an obsession which drives him to seek out a way to prolong his own life.[4]

Bertrand Dwendal is known for being a mighty and authoritarian ruler. Due to his disdain for religious practices and the extensive taxes levied on the Dwendalian citizens, tensions have begun to brim beneath the surface of Western Wynandir as whispers of dissent continue to grow.[4]

By 843 PD, Bertrand had been bedridden for many years and grown even more reclusive than formerly, allowing the Cerberus Assembly to grow in power and prominence.[12]



Bertrand Dwendal became King of the Dwendalian Empire in 790 P.D. when still in his twenties, and has consolidated his power through propaganda and isolationism.[13]

Before he was twenty years into his reign, he seized the estates of the Briarwoods for their practice of necromancy, spurring their flight to Tal'Dorei.[14] He also ordered the arrest of Anna Ripley, who was initially employed by his government to develop military technology. During the battle against Vecna, King Dwendal refused to send aid claiming that until the scourge arrived on Dwendalian soil, it was of no interest to the Crown of Wildemount.[15]

Around thirty-five years into his reign, his beloved wife, Queen Duvia Dwendal, passed away, leaving the king lonely and obsessed with the continuation of his family line through his son, Eidys. However, Eidys' inability to produce an heir has estranged him from his son and caused them to grow increasingly bitter and resentful towards each other.[4]

At the beginning of the second campaign (835 P.D.), King Bertrand Dwendal was in his 68th year.

Campaign Two[]

"Punishment and Politics" (2x87)[]

The Mighty Nein were summoned to meet King Dwendal after their final battle against Obann. The king wa surrounded by many people: Oliver Schreiber, his assistant, Prime Arbiter Sydnock Truscan, High Curator Yudala Fon, Allura Vysoren, Oremid Hass, Ludinus Da'leth, Trent Ikithon, and a tall, fully-armored and helmed guard.

Allura had already spoken to the king about the Mighty Nein, and Oremid had been researching the Angel of Irons at their suggestion. Dwendal was suspicious of the timing of the Dynasty attack to the cult's efforts to break one of Tharizdun's chains, but listened to their argument. Dwendal demanded the name of the person in the Empire that had been orchestrating the placing of the anchors, and Vence Nuthaleus, Ludinus's annex, was ousted, with a search mission for him ordered immediately.

Allura then stated that on behalf of the Council of Tal'Dorei, she had reached out to the Bright Queen as a neutral third party and that the Queen was responsive to trusting the Mighty Nein, as she temporarily withdrew the attack so that they would not be inadvertently aiding the cult. The king lashed out at Allura for speaking to his enemy, and was again suspicious, demanding to know what dealings the Nein have had with the Queen previously that the Kryn would withdraw on their word. Beau convinced him that her goal was to get close to the Kryn during her espionage mission for the Cobalt Soul.

King Dwendal asked, with genuine curiosity, what else Beau has learned in her time with the Bright Queen. Beau's response is succinct: that the Queen really wants her fucking beacon back. The king seemed confused, thinking this "relic" unimportant. Ludinus then explained that Trent recently "uncovered" this relic, and that perhaps by using the Nein as a mediation tool, they could bring the conflict to an end by returning the beacon, since it didn't serve any purpose to the Empire. The king ordered the party to work under Ludinus to arrange a parlay with the Dynasty, letting them determine the meeting place, but promising that should they fail to arrange this they would be punished harshly.

Campaign Three[]

By 843 PD King Dwendal had been bedridden for years, leading to the Cerberus Assembly gaining more political power. Shortly after the apogee solstice, Martinet Ludinus Da'leth had been seen having secret meetings with the king.[16] His Council was summoned in those moments of crisis in Castle Ungebroch, and Yudala Fon was part of it.[17]


Anna Ripley[]

Dr. Anna Ripley originally was employed by the Dwendalian government as a mid-level developer of military technology, to assist in Dwendal's dominance over Western Wynandir.[18] However, when Ripley was discovered to be conducting illegal human experimentation with arcane diseases, the King ordered her to be arrested. Ripley was forced to flee the Dwendalian Empire, or else be court-martialed. Even before Dwendal discovered Ripley's experiments into biological/chemical warfare, bad blood had existed between the King and Ripley[19]. Thus, his name was listed on Ripley's gun Animus, as a target for vengeance.[20]

Prince Eidys Dwendal[]

Eidys Dwendal by NightFaeses

Fan art of Bertrand's heir, Prince Eidys, by NightFaeses.[art 2]

King Bertrand sees clearly that while his son is a skilled warrior and general, he has little cunning in social or political matters. Though Eidys was once eager to please his father, the consistent lack of approval has left Eidys jaded. The only opinion that unites them is that Eidys should produce a child to continue their bloodline and then Eidys can abdicate in favor of his child should his father pass; however, Eidys' inability to conceive with his wife is yet another failure in his father's eyes. The king has all but given up on his son, leaving the prince dejected and bitter.[5]

Appearances and mentions[]




King Dwendal in Crit Recap Animated

  • He shares his name with Sir Bertrand Bell.
  • King Dwendal's involvement with Anna Ripley in the Dwendalian Empire was revealed by Matthew Mercer during the Fireside Chat.
  • Bertrand Dwendal is featured on the cover of the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount.
  • His son Eidys is referred as his "only living son",[4] which might imply Bertrand and Duvia had either children whom Eidys all outlived or sons Eidys outlived and daughters who are still alive; however, given Bertrand's obsessive fear with leading his family line to a dead end, that would raise the question of the succession rights women have in the Dwendal royal family, or if those hypothetical daughters have heirs of their own.
    • By 843 PD it is known that the Dwendalian Empire is still ruled by a king, but it is unknown if that would be Bertrand or Eidys. If Bertrand is still alive, he would be 76.


  1. Amazon favicon Explorer's Guide to Wildemount on Amazon
  2. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 99.
  3. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 0:18:13.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 36.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 37.
  6. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 106.
  7. See "A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37) at 1:02:33.
  8. See "One Year Later..." (1x95) at 1:24:21.
  9. See "Passed Through Fire" (1x69) at 0:22:44.
  10. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 35.
  11. See "Punishment and Politics" (2x87) at 2:47:56.
  12. See "For The Tempest" (3x68) at 1:57:30.
  13. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 16.
  14. See "A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37) from 1:02:33 through 1:03:18.  The Briarwoods were accused of necromancy about six years before this episode, implying it took place in the first decade of the 800s.
  15. See "The Ominous March" (1x109) at 1:29:28.
  16. See "For The Tempest" (3x68) at 1:56:57.
  17. See "The Mighty Nein Reunion: Echoes of the Solstice" (Sx79) at 1:24:26.
  18. See "Talks Machina Fireside Special: Q&A with the Critical Role Cast" (Sx33) at 1:46:04.
  19. See "Talks Machina Fireside Special: Q&A with the Critical Role Cast" (Sx33) at 1:46:04.
  20. See "Passed Through Fire" (1x69) at 0:22:44.


  1. Fan art of King Dwendal, by @hierothraxs (source). Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Bertrand's heir, Prince Eidys, by NightFaeses (source). Used with permission.