Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

When night is come and darkness falls;
Locks help not, nor do stone walls;
Slinking and hiding, like poison asp;
Close tight thy eyes, see not the Clasp.
Childhood rhyme in Clasp-infested towns[1]

The Clasp is a guild of thieves, assassins, black merchants, and contract dealers built upon the ruins of the old Winksman Thieves Guild founded under the rule of Drassig in Tal'Dorei, it operates on a relatively amoral code of honor and respect.[3] Their influence is easily enforced, as most people know of the dangerous myths surrounding them, and they maintain an extremely high success rate on contracts taken.

The Clasp was also the driving force behind the plot of a non-canon, one-shot special episode: "Critical Role Extra – The Return of Liam!" (Sx15).

Organizational Structure


Leaders of the Clasp are called spirelings.[3][4][5] They are masters of networks and information. Spireling Shenn is the leader of the Clasp in Emon.[6]

Emon Spirelings

Fan art of Spireling Shenn and agents of the Clasp from "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42), by Thomas Brin.[art 1]

Westruun Spirelings

Stillben Spirelings

  • Spireling Vikar[8]
  • Spireling Harrok [9]


One does not apply to join the Clasp; worthy candidates are invited.[3]

  • Garthok is a member of the Clasp in Emon.[10]
  • Vax'ildan gained partial membership to the Westruun sect of the Clasp and was branded with their symbol before the events in the Critical Role stream.[11]


In a non-canon, one-shot special episode entitled "Critical Role Extra – The Return of Liam!" (Sx15), several of the characters were members of the Clasp in Emon: Spireling Shenn (non-canon); Delweth; Dren; Obby "the Rat"; and Tarvis.


To summon the attention of the Clasp for a contract, one must ask around until they find someone who has already dealt with them and persuade them to reveal the contract request drop-point.[3]



The Clasp had a subterranean base located beneath the Graveyard District in Emon, with a secret entrance leading to it from the Diamond Nest Tavern.[12] There was another entrance from the north end of Abdar's Promenade[13], but it was destroyed by the Clasp after talks for an alliance with Vox Machina broke down.[14] An entrance from the Temple District was blocked after the Chroma Conclave's attack on Emon.[15]

Around 840 PD, the Clasp and the Myriad came to blows, and according to Poska, "no one really knows who won." She said that the Nameless Ones were those who were left.[16]


There was also a chapter of the Clasp in Westruun, which is how Vax encountered and became a member of the guild.


In addition to thievery, blackmail, and assassination,[17] the Clasp is involved in various kinds of trafficking.


There are two illegal drugs in Tal'Dorei. Oloore root is a heavy psychedelic originally used by druidic cultures,[18][19] and suude is refined from azuremite[20] or arcane residuum, causes head rush, and enhances senses/magic.[19][21] Trafficking oloore root is a major source of income for the Clasp.[18][22]

Sex Trafficking

Based on the Clasp's contract with Vex's stalker, it is implied that the Clasp has at least some business in the kidnapping and trading people for forced labor or sexual slavery.[23]

The Story So Far

The Clasp was responsible for sending the blue crystal that contained Skysunder to Westruun.[24]

Several members of the Clasp ambushed Pike and Vax'ildan in Emon, knocking them unconscious in an alleyway and taking them back to their headquarters. Spireling Modeth spoke with them, explaining that the Clasp had been watching the home of Sir Gregory Fince in order to stay aware of Emon's political climate. When they saw Vox Machina leaving the building, they decided to bring them in to interrogate them. Vax then revealed that he was a member of the Clasp sect in Westruun. Modeth called for a test of their skills and intent, forcing Pike and Vax into a battle against a chained chimera in the Clasp's arena. Although the two of them managed to slay the creature, Modeth was still not convinced and decided to detain them overnight. However, Vax and Pike managed to escape that night and reunited with the rest of their group.[25]

Vox Machina later returned to the Clasp's headquarters and ended up fighting Spireling Modeth. After killing him, they discovered that he had been keeping four strange glowing crystals, which they then took for themselves. As the party tried to leave, they were stopped by a group of Clasp members and another Spireling. Scanlan managed to convince the Clasp to let them go safely and Vox Machina left before their deeds could be discovered.[26]

Vax'ildan and the Clasp

At some unknown time during Vox Machina's adventures, Vax discovered that his twin sister Vex had a stalker. Vax followed the stalker one night, as the stalker followed Vex, in Westruun. This led to Vax discovering the Clasp, as the stalker met with his Clasp contact. Vax discovered that the stalker had paid the Clasp to retrieve Vex for him.

Vax stopped the Clasp agent from completing his assignment, but both were captured by other Clasp agents. Vax was able to convince the Clasp to bargain with him and Vax made an exchange for Vex's life. A Clasp mage used a stick made of human tongues to turn the Clasp agent who had failed his assignment into a copy of Vex. The Clasp then gave the false Vex to the stalker...thus, allowing the Clasp to fulfill their contract.

In exchange for perpetrating the ruse, Vax was conscripted into the Clasp. The Clasp's symbol was branded on his back, and Vax was forced to swear that he would serve the Clasp when they called upon him.[27]


  • "Once the Clasp fastens on to you, you're through." (popular Clasp saying)


  • The Clasp's name comes from the group's reputation as the "clasp" that holds civilizations together (often acting as a shadow government and black market in cities where the group operates).
  • Vax'ildan's initial run-in and partial membership with the Clasp was part of the plot from a one-on-one session between Liam O'Brien and Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer after Liam missed a regular game session with the rest of the group.[28]
  • When Vax told the story of how he joined the Clasp to Vex, he claimed that the Clasp ordered him to get a "body" and Vax was forced to kidnap a child rapist. In this version, the child rapist was the one Polymorphed into a copy of Vex. Matt later explained during the Fireside Chat that the Vex doppelganger was actually the Clasp agent who had failed to kidnap Vex due to Vax's intervention.[citation needed] Though it is plausible that the Clasp agent was also a child rapist, this article assumes Matt's version is canonical, as Liam admitted that he was struggling to remember the details as he was retelling the story.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 34.
  2. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 92.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Some of the information on this page was imported from Matthew Mercer's Vox Machina Wiki article, "The Clasp".
  4. Spirelings were referenced in Matthew Mercer's background story provided to Critical Role Transcriptions.
  5. See "In Ruins" (1x41) at 1:00:55.
  6. See "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) at 2:37:42.
  7. See "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) at 2:37:42.
  8. See "A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58) at 2:08:30.
  9. See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Issue #3, pp. 4.
  10. See "In Ruins" (1x41) at 0:59:25.
  11. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 0:10:01.
  12. See "A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37) at 1:48:30.
  13. See "In Ruins" (1x41) at 1:02:11.
  14. See "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) at 2:58:36.
  15. See "In Ruins" (1x41) at 1:02:11.
  16. See "The Nameless Ones" (Ex01) at 1:11:51.
  17. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 131.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Marisha Ray and Matthew Mercer inform the rest of the cast that oloore root is one of two illegal substances traded in Emon, that the Clasp makes a lot of money from it, and that Keyleth has used it like "an ayahuasca tea" to have a vision: "Critical Role ComiCon Panal" on YouTube
  19. 19.0 19.1 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 55.
  20. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
  21. From Matthew Mercer's tweet on Tal'Dorei drugs.
  22. From Matthew Mercer's Reddit comment on oloore root.
  23. See "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) at 2:25:36.
  24. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 5:47.
  25. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) from 9:26 through 10:36.
  26. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) from 12:39 through 13:13.
  27. See "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42) at 2:26:53.
  28. From Liam O'Brian's Q&A on Reddit (source).


  1. Fan art of Spireling Shenn and agents of the Clasp from "Dangerous Dealings" (1x42), by Thomas Brin (source).  Used with permission.