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This wiki contains spoilers for all stories of Critical Role. This includes the story for unaired episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina, as it's based on the first campaign of Critical Role from 2015-2017.

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Fan art of the Clay family, by @hierothraxs.[art 1]

The Clay family is one of three ancient clans, along with the Stone family and Dust family, who descend from champions of The Matron of Ravens. The Clay family protects the Blooming Grove from the cursed blight that has overtaken the Savalirwood and has been encroaching on the Blooming Grove for the last hundred years.

Known members

Family tree

CorrinConstanceCornelius
ColtonCalliopeCaduceusClarabelle

History

Background

The Clay family are descended from one of the three champions of The Matron of Ravens named Clay, Stone, and Dust. The three champions debated what to do with the body of a hero of a recent conflict, whose body could not be maintained within a city for unknown reasons. The Matron of Ravens told them to seek instruction from The Wildmother, saying she had taken what was hers already, and that she had no domain over what remained. The Wildmother instructed Clay to take the head of the hero to a spring deep in the Savalirwood, and a beautiful grove would grow as a gift to the Archeart. The other two champions took parts of the body as gifts for the Changebringer and The Allhammer, creating a garden menagerie (Stone) and a kiln (Dust).[1]

The descendants of these heroes protect and care for their sacred locations to this day, occasionally making pilgrimages to the other families when the need is dire. All three families assist the families of those who have died with funeral rites, each burying the bodies in their own way: the Clay family buries the dead in the Blooming Grove[2], the Stones leave the bodies in the woods for animals to consume,[3] and the Dust family cremate the dead.[4]

The entire Clay family save Caduceus had left the Blooming Grove in pursuit of a way to "cure" the Savalirwood of a mysterious blight, but they had not returned[5] and left Caduceus all alone at the Grove.

"Within the Nest" (2x28)

Caduceus believed that the arrival of the Mighty Nein was a sign from The Wildmother that he needed to leave to discover the source of the corruption. This caused him to join the Mighty Nein and leave the grove to Nila, who promised that her clan would look after the temple in absence of a Clay.[6]

"The Second Seal" (2x47)

During his journey with the Mighty Nein, Caleb found a book on plant corruption in Halas's library inside the Happy Fun Ball of Tricks. He gave the book to Caduceus to read.[7]

"Duplicity" (2x55)

After dying while battling a minotaur, Caduceus was revived by Jester. This caused him to have a vision of a soft wind pushing far to the east and The Wildmother telling him that he was on the right path.[8]

"Clay and Dust" (2x72)

The Mighty Nein arrived at the kiln in Kravaraad within the Greying Wildlands, where Caduceus met the Dust family for the first time. He learned that his aunt, mother and sister had come through[9] and continued their quest in search for green glass at the home of the Stone family in the Menagerie.[10]

"Family Shatters" (2x96)

"Solace Between the Secrets" (2x118)

Caduceus had Jester use Sending to reach his sister Calliope and Calliope reported they had planted the transformed refined residuum crystals[11] and they were taking root.

"Worth Fighting For" (2x126)

Caduceus had Jester contact his father, Cornelius, via Sending after a dream in which Caduceus saw visions of the horrific destruction of the Blooming Grove resembling the visions of the Cognouza. Cornelius told them that the woods were fine, but "the dreams have been weird".[12]

"The Calm Before the Storm" (2x130)

The Mighty Nein returned to the Blooming Grove prior to their return to Eiselcross. The crystals had been planted and grown into tall, beautiful tree-like structures, and the Grove was again lush and beautiful, although the corruption of the Savalirwood remained outside its bounds.[13] The whole family, however, had been having strange, dark dreams that warned of an oncoming threat and seemed to involve Caduceus. In a private conversation, Caduceus told Calliope that he knew it was meant to be her, not him, who was granted this quest, and she gave him a woven bracelet to remind him of home.

Trivia

  • The Cobalt Soul and others were aware of the Clay family and the Blooming Grove before Beauregard encountered them. A full study of the Clay family, along with the Dust and Stone families, is one of the subjects of a chapter entitled, "Relation and Communication Between Prime Deities" in Delando's Compendium of Pantheon and Hierarchy.[14]
  • All the known members of the family share the surname Clay, including Cornelius and his sister-in-law. This may mean that the Clay family line comes from Corrin and Constance's side (and therefore Cornelius would have taken his wife's surname), or that the Clay are (or were once) a clan of several families with the same surname, to which both Constance and her husband would belong.

References

  1. See "Causatum" (2x70) at 3:31:00.
  2. See "Within the Nest" (2x28) at 1:01:25.
  3. See "Family Shatters" (2x96) at 2:32:02.
  4. See "Clay and Dust" (2x72) at 1:26:19.
  5. See "Within the Nest" (2x28) from 1:05:00 through 1:06:42.
  6. See "Within the Nest" (2x28) at 3:51:03.
  7. See "The Second Seal" (2x47) at 3:20:20.
  8. See "Duplicity" (2x55) from 4:07:28 through 4:08:10.
  9. See "Clay and Dust" (2x72) at 1:30:11.
  10. See "Clay and Dust" (2x72) at 2:10:17.
  11. Refined residuum crystals were acquired by Caduceus in "Refjorged" (2x76) at 4:05:35, transformed by Kravaraad's lava in "Refjorged" (2x76) at 4:11:27, and further transformed at The Menagerie's pool in "Family Shatters" (2x96) at 3:04:21. Caduceus gave them to Calliope to return to the Blooming Grove in "Family Shatters" (2x96) at 3:08:21 per his vision from the Wildmother at the Arbor Exemplar in "Chases and Trees" (2x65) at 2:57:15.
  12. See "Worth Fighting For" (2x126) from 0:39:30 through 0:41:55.
  13. See "The Calm Before the Storm" (2x130) at 2:22:00.
  14. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Mighty Nein, p. 152.

Art:

  1. Fan art of the Clay family, by @hierothraxs (source). Used with permission.
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