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Critical Role Wiki

I hate puns.
In response to Vax's pun

Clarota was an arcanist mind flayer (or alhoon[6]). As an NPC, he was played by Matthew Mercer.

Clarota - Karolína Vilímovská

Fan art of Clarota, by Karolína Vilímovská.[art 2]



Clarota was a purplish-blue illithid, dressed in rags, with a giant scar across one of his eyes.[7] He constantly wore his helmet to guard his mind against any outside influence.


Clarota did not view himself as being able to be friends with anyone but was willing to see himself as an ally to the party. The party frequently attempted to call him Clarence due to his odd name, but he quickly grew angry and insisted that they call him by his real name. He ultimately betrayed them after fulfilling their role in helping him reconnect with his hive, stating that it was time to feed.

Clarota seemed interested in others who could also wield magic, as shown when speaking with Tiberius .

He once told Vox Machina that eating a creature's mind and seeing their memories was rapturous.

Clarota seemed to enjoy music, as he found Scanlan's tunes enjoyable. It is possibly why he tried to eat Scanlan's mind so that he could hear the tunes within his head.



Tumblr ns2zpwqgaT1u0rm2vo1 1280

Fan art of Clarota, by Andrew Keller.[art 3]

Clarota originally was part of the illithid hive, Yug'Voril, that Vox Machina traveled to. He was cast out for having the "mark of the arcane", something that his people viewed as an ill omen.

Slowly Clarota made his way up closer to the surface to avoid being found by K'Varn's forces. Upon reaching the Emberhold, he hid near the surrounding area for a time, feeding off of the occasional lone duergar that wandered too close. Then one day, a battle took place within the Emberhold, and some entity seized control of the stronghold. Clarota would discover, through reading some of the duergars' thoughts, this entity was K'Varn and that he needed to keep his distance and avoid being detected.

Four months prior to Clarota's meeting with Vox Machina, Clarota sensed one of his people was captured by the duergar and brought into the Emberhold for interrogation. Soon after, a large duergar army marched from the Emberhold down to Yug'Voril. Clarota followed and saw the army attack his hive. Before much bloodshed occurred, the hive suddenly allowed the duergar entry into the elder brain temple. Clarota would discover later that K'Varn had infiltrated the temple during the fight and managed to take control of the elder brain, forcing the illithids to ally with him. He also extended his control to the creatures that inhabited the tunnels.

Clarota fled back up to the higher tunnels to avoid detection as the newly unified illithid/duergar army began to prepare for an assault on the surface. In an effort to protect himself from K'Varn, he created a helmet over the course of several weeks, scavenging materials that would hide himself from K'Varn's influence over the elder brain.

"Strange Bedfellows" (1x03)[]

Finding-Clarota-tumblr o60c8bADsf1srtv49o1 1280

Fan art of Keyleth and Vex'ahlia meeting Clarota, by busy-matches.[art 4]

Clarota was first encountered by Keyleth and Vex'ahlia when they decided to scout on their own, against their party's wishes. They found a path leading to his home in a cave behind a waterfall. He was dirty, wearing rags, slowly starving, and had a large scar on his face. He used a walking stick when not levitating.

He was enticed to join Vox Machina on their quest further into the mines when he was promised revenge against K'Varn. After being healed by Scanlan, it appeared that he no longer needed his walking stick. He wanted to free his hive from K'Varn's influence, in hopes that by becoming their hero, they would be forced to allow him to rejoin the hive.

"Attack on the Duergar Warcamp" (1x04)[]

The group managed to develop a plan to attack the duergar warcamp situated across an underground canyon by flying over to the barracks and attacking the leaders of the army. They were ultimately successful.

"The Trick about Falling" (1x05)[]

Vox Machina managed to get information on breaching the duergar stronghold known as the Emberhold from the general. Clarota ended up eating the general's mind when he tried to escape. The entire party was forced into a quick escape when an alarm sounded. Clarota was nearly killed by an arrow that went through his chest during the escape and only survived thanks to Vox Machina.

During a battle in one of the tunnels, Clarota almost cost Grog his life when he accidentally "fed" his Lightning spell to an acid creature K'Varn created, causing it to split into two smaller forms that each dealt as much damage as their large form did.

"Breaching the Emberhold" (1x06)[]

Making their way down, the group was able to use the knowledge gained from the duergar general to find a hidden door into the Emberhold. However, in so doing they alerted the stronghold to their presence. Making their way from the bottom floors, Vox Machina completed their mission of finding Lady Kima when they raided the dungeons. Kima and Clarota immediately hated and mistrusted each other. Kima stated that he would betray them once they had used up their usefulness, while Clarota stated she would kill him in his sleep. It took nearly all the members of Vox Machina to convince them to form a temporary truce.

"The Throne Room" (1x07)[]

Making their way up towards the throne room, the group created a diversion that allowed them to attack the king and queen directly. However, during the conflict, Kima and Tiberius were turned to stone by basilisks, and Grog was mentally dominated and captured by the queen, who proceeded to disintegrate the throne room ceiling, causing lava to quickly fill the Emberhold. Clarota ended up saving Kima as the group fled, and Vax'ildan sustained very bad burns to his foot when lava engulfed it. Finding safety, the group decided to rest and recover, during which time Kima and Tiberius were unpetrified. When Vex'ahlia noticed the queen was on the move using her Hunter's Mark, the group pursued.

"Glass and Bone" (1x08)[]

During their pursuit, the group encountered a field made up of glass, bone, and stone that emitted an evil presence. They decided to fly over it to avoid any potential threats. While crossing the field, they encountered an abomination created by K'Varn and ended up fighting it. They also discovered that the field would attempt to pull anybody in who stood only a few seconds on it. The creature was defeated, and the party continued on. Up ahead and past the fields, they found Grog along with several duergar, brainwashed mercenaries, the queen, and an illithid.

"Yug'Voril Uncovered" (1x09)[]

After battling with them, they were able to capture the queen and free Grog. While interrogating the queen, K'Varn possessed her to see who had been causing him so much trouble. When he was done, he psychically killed the queen. The party eventually made their way to the illithid island.

"K'Varn Revealed" (1x10)[]

The party spent some time preparing to face K'Varn. During this time, they encountered a Fomorian Giant.

"The Temple Showdown" (1x11)[]

The giant—dubbed "Tiny" by the group—attempted to kill them. However, Keyleth was able to control the creature, and they ended up using him to break into the temple within Yug'Voril. After a long battle, during which Grog was briefly killed, K'Varn was slain, and his artifact, a Horn of Orcus, was taken and sealed inside Vox Machina's Bag of Holding.

"Escape from the Underdark" (1x13)[]

Following K'Varn's demise, the illithid colony accepted Clarota back into the hive. As soon as he was reconnected with his people, he immediately turned against Vox Machina. Just as Scanlan was about to be permanently killed by Clarota eating his brain, Percy was able to shoot Clarota through the head, killing him.[8]


Researchers from the Cobalt Soul returned to Yug'Voril years later hoping to learn more about Clarota's motivations but discovered the colony empty and abandoned, filled with writings in Qualith, the psychophysical script of the illithid. Only one phrase was translated: "Stars above. Stars below. They call us. We go."[9]

Character Information[]


Fan art of Clarota, by Nadz Salvo.[art 5]


Illithid Abilities[]

  • Mind Blast
  • Innate Spellcasting (Psionics)
    • Detect Thoughts (at will)
    • Levitate (at will)[10]
    • Dominate Monster (once per day)
    • Plane Shift (Assumed based off of encounters with other illithid)

Arcanist Spells[]

As an arcanist mind flayer, Clarota had access to some of the same spells used by wizards.[3]

  • Mage Hand
  • Produce Flame[11]
  • Sleep
  • Blur
  • Invisibility[12]

Notable Items[]

Appearances and mentions[]


  • Clarota: "That's where the colony resides."
    Vex: "Your colony?"
    Clarota: "Our great city."
    Vax: "In which of those places? In the–"
    Vex: "In the fungal city."
    Vax: "Fungal."
    Clarota: "The city below Yug'Voril, that is where the temple resides, where K'varn holds the Elder Brain."
    Vax: "He sounds like a real fun-guy."
    Matt: "Make a will saving throw."
    Liam: "What is that? Wisdom?"
    Matt: "Yes."
    Liam: "12."
    Matt: "Okay, you feel a mental slap as Clarota glares at you from across the tunnel."
    Clarota: "There'll be none of that in my presence. I… hate… puns…"[17]



Taliesin dressed as Clarota for Halloween 2016.

  • Clarota intentionally held back while fighting alongside Vox Machina.[18]
  • Taliesin Jaffe dressed as Clarota for "The Coming Storm" (1x73), the 2016 Halloween episode
  • Clarota hates puns.


  1. See "Strange Bedfellows" (1x03) at 2:24:50.
  2. See "Attack on the Duergar Warcamp" (1x04) at 0:42:10.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Clarota's abilities matched the standard Mind Flayer Arcanist variation. See D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., pp. 222.
  4. See "Escape from the Underdark" (1x13) at 1:10:40.
  5. Clarota could cast 5th-level spells, meaning he was at least level 9.
  6. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 14:56.
  7. See "Strange Bedfellows" (1x03) at 2:18:40.
  8. See "Escape from the Underdark" (1x13) at 1:10:40.
  9. See The Chronicles of Exandria Volume One: The Tale of Vox Machina, p. 68.
  10. See "Attack on the Duergar Warcamp" (1x04) at 0:18:20.
  11. See "Strange Bedfellows" (1x03) at 2:26:25.
  12. See "The Throne Room" (1x07) at 28:47.
  13. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:22:29.
  14. See "Strange Bedfellows" (1x03) at 2:19:32.
  15. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 2:45:25.
  16. See "Escape from the Underdark" (1x13) at 1:13:53.
  17. See "The Trick about Falling" (1x05) at 1:48:11.
  18. Matthew Mercer said Clarota was being reserved during his battles alongside Vox Machina. (source)


  1. Fan art of Clarota, by Jet (source). Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Clarota, by Karolína Vilímovská (source). Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Clarota, by Andrew Keller (source). Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Keyleth and Vex'ahlia meeting Clarota, by busy-matches (source). Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Clarota, by Nadz Salvo (source). Used with permission.