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The de Rolo family is a noble family whose most famous branch rules over the city-state of Whitestone. They reside in the castle of the same name.

History[]

Founding of Whitestone[]

DeRolo Crest

Official art of the original De Rolo family crest, by Taliesin Jaffe.[art 2]

Not long after 612 PD, the de Rolo family wrecked their ship in the Shearing Channel during an expedition from Port Damali, in Wildemount. Survivors braved the wilderness of Alabaster Sierras for weeks before finding a glowing tree and building their home around it. Today this settlement has grown into a robust city, largely due to a unique mineral with several useful magical properties called whitestone.[2]

The Third House of Whitestone[]

Melanie de Rolo's wedding by Micaerys

Fan art of Lady Melanie von Musel and Lord Wolfe de Rolo's wedding, by Micaerys.[art 3]

A member of the third generation of de Rolos to be born in Whitestone,[3] Wolfe,[4] had an arranged marriage with his cousin, Lady Melanie von Musel, and they became the lord and lady of Whitestone.[5] However, due to their loveless marriage she started in the back of Whitestone Castle a garden of poisonous plants in around the 730s PD,[6] causing with them the early demise of her husband (due to a combination of his weakened health and the injuries caused by the Great Whitestone Fire),[3][7][8] and taking over the city herself.[5]

Her first project was to expand Whitestone through the Parchwood Timberlands, but several problems started to appear, and when she sought the help of her cousin, Ivan von Musel, he explained that Erathis the Lawbearer, as the goddess of civilization, was displeased by Melanie doing such a project without showing her due respect. The Lawbearer would end up testing Ivan himself beyond the walls of the city-state, summoning fog in which a grey direwolf attacked the cleric. The von Musel managed to kill the beast, and explained that, according to a vision sent by Erathis, Whitestone would be able to expand until it reached the point where the cleric had bested the direwolf. Lady Melanie, who wanted his cousin to stay in the city (instead of returning to Wildemount), created the Third House of Whitestone and gave him the title of Grand Master of the Grey Hunt (with the responsibility of managing the city's relationship with the world beyond its walls).[9] and taking over the city herself.[5]

The Third House and its functions survived despite Melanie's eventual removal from power (due to suspected witchcraft and raising of the undead),[3] and at some point before 805 PD the de Rolo family regained control over the Third House and its title.

Briarwood Coup[]

Around 805 PD, the Briarwoods slaughtered almost the entire de Rolo family and seized control of Whitestone.[10][11][12] Two members of the de Rolo family survived: Cassandra was badly wounded and captured while helping Percival escape. The bodies of the other members of the family were left hanging on the Sun Tree.[13]

The de Rolo Restoration[]

Percival de Rolo returned with the other members of Vox Machina and removed the Briarwood regime. Percival and Cassandra then picked up the mantle of leadership in Whitestone—Percival as sovereign, and Cassandra as head of the Chamber of Whitestone. Percival secretly married Vex'ahlia in 811 PD and they had five children,[14] starting with Vesper Elaina in 812 or 813 PD[15] and then the twins Wolfe Kristoff and Leona Pike (in an undetermined order), Vax'ildan Frederick, and the youngest Gwendolyn Zahra Melanie von Musel.[16][17]

In 843 PD the family was going through a generally happy time, although after the apogee solstice and the growing threat of the Ruby Vanguard Percival de Rolo had become wary of any threat or element that would attract the attention of enemies to his home and his family.[18]

Known members[]

Joma Cueto De Rolo Family

Fan art of the de Rolo family before 805 PD, by Joma Cueto.[art 4]

Family tree[]

Names in italics and bordered with red are deceased as of 836 PD.

WolfeMelanie von Musel
some generations
FrederickJohanna von Musel
Vessar family
JuliusVesperPercival IIIVex'ahliaWhitneyLudwigOliverCassandra
Vesper ElainaWolfe KristoffLeonaVax'ildan FrederickGwendolyn

Trivia[]

Whitestone Crest

Fan art of the De Rolo family crest before Percival's marriage, by Joma Cueto.[art 5]

  • The de Rolo surname is made up of two elements: de is a French or Spanish preposition meaning "of"; Rolo, on the other hand, is a variant of the Norwegian name Rollo, which in turn derives from the Old Norse name Hrodwulf (hrod meaning "renown" and wulf meaning "wolf").[37]
    • The family's lupine motif does not end with the surname, as the oldest member of the family is called Wolfe, one of the younger members is his namesake, and the legendary wolf Galdric protects the woods near the family settlement.[38]
  • The family crest used to have five stars, but when Vex'ahlia became a champion of Pelor, Percy decided to add one more star in her honor.
  • The names of the entire de Rolo family are based on real people, as Taliesin stole the names from friends; only a couple of them have any idea he did it.[39]
  • Originally Laura and Taliesin considered naming one of Vex and Percy's children after the latter, in order to have a Percival Fredrickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo IV in the family.[40] However, this name was not present among the couple's children,[41] although it is unknown if it is a discarded idea or if a hypothetical sixth child or grandson will bear the name.[42]
  • The de Rolo family is originally from Wildemount,[43] but although they left the continent from Port Damali, it is unknown if that city was their home.
    • Percy explained that as of 810 PD the de Rolo family still had more branches other than the one in Whitestone, with their own standings elsewhere,[44] but it is unclear if those family lines derive from the de Rolos of Whitestone or whether they originated in Wildemount.
  • According to Percy his ancestry dates back thousands of years, but it is unknown if the family has existed that long as the de Rolo family (since through marriages, adoptions or other reasons a lineage can change their last name multiple times).[45]
  • The birth order of Percy's younger siblings has never been explicitly defined, beyond Cassandra being the youngest of that generation. Although Taliesin Jaffe did praise a fan-made family tree of House de Rolo (in which Oliver and Whitney were depicted as twins and Ludwig was the youngest brother before Cassandra),[46][47] this tree also includes more puzzling elements, such as three different marriages with the Briarwood family. Based on this, this wiki uses as birth order for Percy's siblings the character's own dialogue in "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25) (released after the publication of the tree), in which Percy lists all his family members, apparently in order from his parents to his youngest siblings.[48] It also uses as additional support Whitney's mention in "Deals in the Dark" (1x92), when Percy mentioned his younger sister's warnings about him ending up dealing with devils,[49] hinting that she was close in age to him, and old enough to joke about fiends with her older brother.
    • In Campaign Three, in the chambers that once belonged to Lord Frederick and Lady Johanna there is a family portrait that shows the couple with five children. When describing this portrait Matt mentioned that Percy was the second-youngest child,[50] although other sources consistently point to him being the thirdborn of seven children.[51][52] Even in The Legend of Vox Machina, which portrayed fewer de Rolo siblings and made Cassandra closer in age to her brother, Percy would still be the second or third of five children.
  • There are four types of liquor that are brewed in Whitestone: two different distilled liqueurs (Dire Heart and Green Tear), one type of mead (snow mead), and one type of infused liqueur (Courage). The latter, Courage, is made every year, so it is the most abundant.[53][54][55]
    • Every time Percy referred to the process of making these drinks, he said "we", so it's unclear if he's referring to the people of Whitestone in general or his family specifically. If the latter were the case, the de Rolos would have their own private distillery.
  • At some point between 812 and 843 PD the Ventral family presented Percy and Vex with a set of enchanted silverware that cleaned itself. Neither Lord nor Lady de Rolo liked the silverware, so they neither used it nor had any qualms about doing without any of the pieces.[56]
  • Dani Carr has expressed interest in doing a one-shot starring the younger generation of the family.[57]
    • Both she and Taliesin are very interested in exploring the history of Whitestone and its inhabitants, with Percy's player being particularly drawn to Melanie de Rolo's era.[58]
  • The marriage policy of House de Rolo throughout its history has not been too successful, and on the occasions when other families (such as the von Musels) have been linked with them there have been tensions and in-fighting.[59]
  • In The Legend of Vox Machina, which is a separate continuity from Campaign One,[60] an "Uncle Nathaniel" is mentioned by Cassandra.[61] However, it is never mentioned if Frederick de Rolo and/or Johanna von Musel had siblings, so it is unclear what is the exact relationship between Nathaniel and the rest of the family.
  • During a ball in Jrusar in Campaign Three, Laudna (who was once chosen as the look-alike of the current Lady de Rolo) presents herself to Mistress Orlana Seshadri as "Lorelei de Rolo", claiming to be a cousin of the family in Whitestone.[62]
    • Many weeks later, during a rescue mission in Lake Umamu, the shadow sorcerer cast Animate Objects for the first time, giving life to a rotten boat and naming it the Queen de Rolo.[63] The branch of the family that rules Whitestone has never used the title of king/queen/monarch, but they do have some sailing history, having arrived to Tal'Dorei by ship.

References[]

  1. See "The Feast" (1x24) at 0:21:41.
  2. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 48.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 See "Family Matters" (1x96) at 0:41:02.
  4. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Legend of Vox Machina Volume II, p. 92.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 See The Legend of Vox Machina Episodes 10-12 Q&A at 47:49.
  6. This assumes 80 years ago from Campaign One, set in the 810s PD.
  7. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 77.
  8. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Legend of Vox Machina Volume II, p. 92.
  9. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Legend of Vox Machina Volume II, p. 92.
  10. In 810 PD, Percy said it was four or five years ago.  See "The Feast" (1x24) at 0:23:36.
  11. In 810 PD, Matt narrates that the Briarwoods have ruled Whitestone for five years.  See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 0:08:24.
  12. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 32. This, strangely, indicates the Briarwoods' reign lasted six years. See also pp. 48 and 50.
  13. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 0:58:41.
  14. See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115) at 4:00:12.
  15. See "Dalen's Closet" (Sx47) at 1:59:17.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 264.
  17. Twitter logo Jessica Scates (@jessmightwork) on Twitter: "That tweet IS ordered eldest to youngest (I'm not sure which twin is older) but I rendered them in a different order with some jumping around in between." (2022-01-19). This refers to an earlier Tweet where she named Vesper, Wolfe, Leona, Vax'ildan, and Gwendolyn in order.
  18. See "A Gathering of Heroes" (3x76) at 1:34:35.
  19. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Legend of Vox Machina Volume II, p. 92.
  20. See "Family Matters" (1x96) at 0:41:48.
  21. See "The Path to Whitestone" (1x27) at 0:17:05.
  22. See "The Path to Whitestone" (1x27) at 0:17:05.
  23. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Legend of Vox Machina Volume II, p. 28.
  24. See "The Path to Whitestone" (1x27) at 0:17:05.
  25. See "The Path to Whitestone" (1x27) at 0:17:05.
  26. See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) at 3:51:01.
  27. See "Dalen's Closet" (Sx47) at 0:04:53.
  28. See Tweet from artist Jessica Scates pointing out that the children wearing furred collars are twins.
  29. See "Vox Machina Go to Hell" (1x91) at 2:35:44.  Ipkesh has red skin, and his hair is black with gray tips.
  30. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 163. Art of Gwendolyn depicts her with red skin and black hair with gray tips.
  31. See "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25) at 1:56:47.
  32. See "Deals in the Dark" (1x92) at 1:39:10.
  33. See "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25) at 1:56:47.
  34. See "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25) at 1:56:47.
  35. See "The Path to Whitestone" (1x27) at 0:17:05.
  36. From de Rolo genealogy with clarifications from Taliesin Jaffe.
  37. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolf
  38. See "Those Who Walk Away" (1x45) from 1:56:06 through 2:05:30.
  39. See "Talks Machina #3" (TMx03) at 44:38.
  40. See "Talks Machina #43: 'The Chapter Closes'" (TMx43) from 1:13:00 through 1:13:33.
  41. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 163.
  42. See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115) at 4:00:15.
  43. See "Taryon, My Wayward Son" (1x97) at 3:25:31.
  44. See "The Feast" (1x24) at 0:21:41.
  45. See "Hope" (1x56) at 3:08:05.
  46. Twitter logo Taliesin Jaffe (@executivegoth) on Twitter: "Damn impressive!!!!" (2015-11-07) — in reply to @pauljohnl: "Percy's Tree" (backup link)
  47. Twitter logo Taliesin Jaffe (@executivegoth) on Twitter: "Von / de. If I had known 3 years ago..." (2015-11-22) — in reply to @VeganCritter: "For #CriticalRole wiki and fandom consistency, does Percy's name use standard lowercase "von" & "de" prefixes, or "Von"/"De"?" (backup link)
  48. See "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25) at 1:56:23.
  49. See "Deals in the Dark" (1x92) at 1:39:10.
  50. See "The Promise and the Price" (3x77) at 0:43:43.
  51. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) from 4:41 through 5:55.
  52. The Chronicles of Exandria Volume One: The Tale of Vox Machina, p. 28.
  53. See "The Siege of Emon" (1x78) at 1:58:20.
  54. See "One Year Later..." (1x95) at 3:24:40.
  55. Taliesin talks about the four spiritous drinks.
  56. See "A Gathering of Heroes" (3x76) at 0:58:50.
  57. See "4-Sided Dive: Anxiety Game Gauntlet" (4SDx18) at 1:20:06.
  58. See "4-Sided Dive: Anxiety Game Gauntlet" (4SDx18) at 1:20:32.
  59. See "4-Sided Dive: Shard Candy" (4SDx19) at 0:52:20.
  60. Twitter logo Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "The Animated Series is it's own "adaptation" with its own canon, though we include as much of the OG canon as we can. :) However, the actual campaign/stream still remains and is the original, core canon." (2022-01-28). (backup link)
  61. See "Depths of Deceit" (LVM1x10) at 11:14.
  62. See "In Too Deep" (3x14) at 1:25:52.
  63. See "Doorways to Darker Depths" (3x86) at 2:27:38.

Images:

  1. Official art of de Rolo Family of Whitestone in 832 PD. Top: Vesper, Gwendolyn, Percival, Vex'ahlia, Wolfe, and Leona. Bottom: Vax'ildan de Rolo, Charlie, and Trinket, by Jessica Scates (source). Used with permission.
  2. Official art of the original De Rolo family crest, by Taliesin Jaffe (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. Fan art of Lady Melanie von Musel and Lord Wolfe de Rolo's wedding, by Micaerys. Work contributed to the Critical Role Wiki by the artist.
  4. Fan art of the de Rolo family before 805 PD, by Joma Cueto (source). Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of the De Rolo family crest before Percival's marriage, by Joma Cueto (source). Used with permission.
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