Lady Delilah Briarwood was a powerful human wizard from Wildemount and a zealot of Vecna, The Whispered One. As an NPC, she was played by Matthew Mercer.

Description

Appearance

Fan art of Delilah, by RobynAlyHope.[art 2]

When Vox Machina first met her, Delilah was a beautiful woman with dark auburn hair, pulled up into a tight braided bun. With gloves on her feminine hands, she wore a blue and black gown that had a long, billowing skirt that tapered up to be form-fitting, wrapping up her neck nearly to her jaw.[9]

Personality

Delilah was incredibly cunning and intelligent as well as ruthless, cold, and willful. She was strategically minded and astute, clearly being the mastermind behind the Briarwoods' plans in Whitestone. Despite her wicked nature she appeared to be genuinely loving, devoted, and affectionate towards her husband, willing to do anything to preserve their life together.

Biography

Background

See also: Briarwoods

The Briarwoods had some renown and enough powerful connections to maintain a comfortable life in the Dwendalian Empire.[10] Delilah, was a mage who had studied briefly at the Alabaster Lyceum in Emon,[11] and spent some time in Tal'Dorei. Later she started working with the Soltryce Academy,[12] and was the Archmage of Antiquity[6] on the Cerberus Assembly.[13]

At some point, Sylas became sick with a disease that no one could seem to cure. Delilah, therefore, set out to find something or someone who could help her husband. Though she did succeed in this quest, she returned too late and found that Sylas had already passed.[14]

Delilah was so distraught over Sylas' death that she began delving further into meditation and her magic, trying to find anything to save him. One day, she was screaming her frustration into the Astral Sea when a voice whispered back: "I can help you." Delilah didn't know it at the time, but the voice belonged to Vecna.[15]

Delilah was given whispered directions in her dreams, which she followed blindly in her grief, and was eventually led to one of Vecna's old laboratories. There, on condition of her service to Vecna, she was given information about the Rites of Vampirism. Vecna helped her enact the rites on Sylas, using a fraction of his own power to bind Sylas to him and thereby ensure the couple's cooperation. It was in this way that Sylas became a vampire, and they both became servants of Vecna.[16]

Necromancy is outlawed in the Dwendalian Empire, and people had begun to take note of Delilah's activities. When Sylas' undead nature and Delilah's part in it were discovered through an investigation led by the Cobalt Soul, she was ousted from the Assembly[17] and the couple were pursued and arrested. They managed to escape, fleeing to Port Damali on the Menagerie Coast with Dwendalian hunters in pursuit, bent on capturing them for execution.[18]

In Port Damali, the Briarwoods encountered Dr. Anna Ripley, who was also fleeing the Dwendalian Empire for her own reasons. Since all three were fugitives from the Dwendalian Empire, they decided to work together.[19]

Hearing about an isolated city called Whitestone, the new allies made it their next target. Styling themselves "Lord and Lady", the Briarwoods traveled to Whitestone Castle and were welcomed as guests of the de Rolo household. They began to make frequent trips from Port Damali to Whitestone, building a relationship with the ruling family there.[20]

"Shopping and Shipping" (1x14)

At the end of a meeting with the Tal’dorei Council, Percy asked Sovereign Uriel about the Briarwoods’ visit to Emon. Uriel told Percy that the Briarwoods were interested in establishing an official trade route from Whitestone to Emon, using their fabricated story that the de Rolo family gifted Whitestone to the Briarwoods before the family died. Percy asked to be notified when the Briarwoods returned to Emon, and withheld the truth about the Briarwoods’ attack on the de Rolos from the sovereign.[21]

"The Rematch" (1x23)

Seeker Asum Emring visited Greyskull Keep to invite Vox Machina to a dinner to celebrate the venture, helmed by the Briarwoods, to build a bridge over the Shearing Channel, which had been agreed upon. The bridge would connect Tal’dorei to the continent of Wildemount, set at the edge of the Alabaster Sierras. Asum questioned why Percy was uncomfortable at the mention of the Briarwoods, and Percy told him that he found them untrustworthy. Asum agreed with Percy’s assessment, as he had sent operatives into Whitestone, only to have them resign. Vox Machina agreed to attend the dinner.[22]

"The Feast" (1x24)

Percy told the rest of Vox Machina the truth about the Briarwoods: they were responsible for the deaths of the entire de Rolo family. They planned to disguise Percy as Vax for the feast, while Vax was hidden in the room while invisible.[23]

Once the meal began, the Briarwoods were introduced to Vox Machina, and conversation began regarding the bridge that was to be built over the Shearing Channel. When conversation turned to how the Briarwoods became caretakers of Whitestone, Delilah spun a tale of how they met the de Rolo family during a trip to Wildemount, and the two kept in contact with the family. Five years prior, the Briarwoods were visiting Whitestone to discuss a joint venture to create the bridge when the de Rolos all fell to disease. The Briarwoods were surprised to find the de Rolos left Whitestone in their hands, and agreed to continue the de Rolos’ legacy.[24]

When Scanlan inquired about the disease that killed the de Rolos, Sylas told him they didn’t know the details, as they were informed about the deaths after a few months had passed. When Keyleth questioned why they weren’t afraid to enter the castle after the disease had swept through it, Sylas reassured her that they had sent in clerics to remove the corpses and any trace of the disease.[25]

After the dinner had ended and the Briarwoods had returned to their room, and were alerted to Vax’s presence when he entered the room. While he tried to claim to just be a guard, Delilah remarked that they had just had dinner with someone who looked just like him. When Vax attempted to flee, Delilah successfully cast Hold Person on him. Delilah berated Vax for trying to flee when she simply wanted to ask him some questions, while Sylas slammed a hand down on Vax and said he looked delicious.[26]

"Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25)

Vax managed to break the Hold Person spell, and when Sylas failed to charm him, the couple moved to attack Vax. Delilah deals necrotic damage to Vax, while Sylas bit him, revealing his Vampirism. Vax attempted to escape by jumping out of a window, and used his Earring of Whisper to alert the rest of Vox Machina. Delilah successfully cast Hold Person on Vax once again, and she knocked Vax unconscious with a blast of necrotic damage.[27]

Vox Machina then joined the fight against the Briarwoods, with new ally Lillith to help, while Seeker Assum was charmed by Sylas. Vex hit Delilah with multiple arrows causing significant damage, and Delilah retaliated by using Finger of Death against Vex, causing damage but not killing her. After successfully casting Feeblemind on Tiberius and witnessing Sylas taking a lot of damage, Delilah decided it would be best to leave instead of continuing the fight, and cast Dimension Door away from the party.[28]

"Consequences and Cows" (1x26)

After the fight with the Briarwoods, Vox Machina attended a council meeting to explain their actions. Although the party explained the Briarwoods’ true history with Whitestone and Sylas’ vampirism, it became clear that Uriel had at some point been charmed by Sylas. Believing Vox Machina were the true instigators of the attack, Uriel removed the party from the council pending further investigation.[29]

Vox Machina then interrogated Desmond, the Briarwoods’ carriage driver. Desmond told the party about the Briarwoods’ invasion of Whitestone, and the harsh life under the Briarwoods’ rule. He told them that all of the servants in the castle were undead, and that the Briarwoods spent a lot of time excavating something underneath the castle.[30]

"Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34)

Vox Machina, along with new ally Cassandra de Rolo, traveled through the crypts beneath Whitestone Castle toward the Ziggurat. Percy asked Cassandra which of the Briarwoods she considered more of a threat, and Cassandra described Delilah as carrying very powerful magic.[31]

That being said, Lady Briarwood, Delilah, she carries magic far more powerful than I’ve seen. She on her own was able to create, run, and rule each of these sentries that run about the entire city. She had half of the entire castle staffed with long-dead individuals. None questioned her. I’ve never seen her in battle, but I sense there is far more to her abilities than I’ve seen.
– 
Cassandra, about Delilah Briarwood

When the party became trapped in an acid distillery, both the Briarwoods’ appeared, and Cassandra revealed that she had aligned herself with the couple, and said she had a destiny with the Whispered One. The party escaped the acid trap and followed the Briarwoods, along with a charmed Vax, into the Ziggurat.[32]

When Scanlan failed to cast Blindness on Delilah, a charmed Vax stepped in front of her to protect her. When Pike successfully cured Vax’s charmed state, he attacked Delilah with his Dagger of Life-Stealing, and poisoned Delilah.[33]

After Sylas appeared to be seriously injured, Delilah attempted to cast Dimension Door to escape with her husband, but was Counterspelled by Scanlan. After being shot by Percy multiple times, Cassandra healed Delilah with a potion. Delilah tried to tell Sylas to continue the ritual, but Sylas was killed by Keyleth’s Sunbeam spell. Watching in horror as her husband was disintegrated, Delilah screamed “You can't! I broke the world for us!”[34]

After casting Dimension Door, Delilah appeared on top of a platform in the Ziggurat, attempting to complete the ritual. Delilah read from a scroll which caused the ice in the chamber to shatter, and bodies on the walls began to writhe. While resisting attacks from Vox Machina, Delilah cut her wrist to add blood to the black orb on the platform. After taking more damage from the party, Delilah cast Finger of Death on Vex, leaving her with one hit point.[35]

Delilah was desperate for the ritual to work, but seemed unsure whether it was successful when the orb stopped spinning and shrank to a small speck, and the bodies on the walls stopped writhing. Percy shot Delilah in the arm, leaving her unconcious, and Grog carried her out of the Ziggurat.

"Denouement" (1x35)

Once the party made it out of the Ziggurat chamber, Delilah was bound and stabilized, though still unconscious. When she woke up, Percy used Minor Illusion and taunted her with the face of a slowly melting Sylas, and asked her how to stop the ritual. Delilah confessed she didn’t know if it had even worked, and that they had been working on the ritual for five years to repay a debt. The ritual was supposed to be completed during Winter’s Crest, in return for Vecna raising Sylas from the dead.[36]

While Vox Machina were fighting Orthax, Delilah cast Misty Step and attempted to escape, but Vax managed to hit her in the back with one of his daggers. Cassandra confronted Delilah and killed her with a rapier, finally taking revenge for the de Rolos.[37]

"Unfinished Business" (1x100)

While Vox Machina investigated a second Ziggurat in Marquet, they found a group of cultists besides a Sphere of Annihilation. One of the cultists was revealed to be Delilah, previously killed by Cassandra de Rolo. Delilah used an amulet to change the color of the sphere from black to white, which canceled out the anti-magic field, and cast Prismatic Sphere. She targeted Pike with a Feeblemind spell, but ultimately decided that leaving to complete her goals was more important than fighting the group. She used the amulet to change the Sphere back to black, which brought back the anti-magic field, and stepped through the orb into the Shadowfell.[38]

"Race to the Tower" (1x102)

In Thar Amphala, Vox Machina witnessed Vecna's rebirth: the ritual that Delilah had been trying to complete. Once they ascended Entropis, they began fighting Delilah and the newly reborn Vecna. When her attempt to Disintegrate Vax was Counterspelled by Scanlan, Vecna later completed her "unfinished work". After sustaining a lot of damage from Grog, Percy killed Delilah by shooting out her remaining eye. Percy took Delilah’s body with him when Keyleth used Plane Shift and took the group to the Feywild.[39]

"The Endless Atheneum" (1x106)

When Pike attempted to cast Speak with Dead on Delilah's body, she found that there was no spirit for her to bring back, meaning Delilah wasn't dead. Keyleth then scryed on Delilah, and found she was once again in Thar Amphala, with both of her eyes. Delilah emerged from a tunnel, and said to someone unseen that something was "almost ready".[40]

"Dark Dealings" (1x112)

Inside the Earth Titan, Vox Machina was resting in Scanlan's mansion while planning their next move. Suddenly, the mansion was dispelled, and Delilah and her newly resurrected husband Sylas appeared on an undead white dragon. Delilah failed to successfully Counterspell Keyleth’s plane shift, and Vox Machina escaped to the Feywild.[41]

"The Final Ascent" (1x113)

While Grog and Arkhan smashed one of the crystals protecting Thar Amphala from Vasselheim’s forces, the noise drew the attention of the undead white dragon with Delilah and Sylas on its back. Percy shot Delilah and pushed off the back of the dragon, and while she was on the ground Keyleth used Entangle to grapple Delilah to the floor. Grog hit Delilah and caused massive damage, causing Delilah to reach for Sylas' hand to try to escape. Before she could cast Dimension Door, Vex permanently killed Delilah with an arrow to the head.[42]

Once the Briarwoods were defeated, Arkhan cast Animate Dead on Delilah to bring her back as a zombie.[43]

"Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114)

It was revealed that the reanimated Delilah was beheaded during Arkhan’s fight with the Death Knight.[44]

Relationships

Sylas Briarwood

Delilah was married to Sylas Briarwood. Their marriage is portrayed as deeply loving; when Sylas is killed by Keyleth, Delilah is immediately distraught and yells, "You can't! I broke the world for us!"[45].

Cassandra de Rolo

Unbeknownst to Percy, Delilah and Sylas did not kill Cassandra when they murdered the rest of the de Rolo family, but instead kept her as a pawn in maintaining peace in Whitestone. Over time, Cassandra developed a somewhat Stockholm Syndrome-like loyalty to her captors and began to do their bidding. She helped them quash one rebellion attempt prior to Vox Machina's arrival and willingly betrayed her brother to the Briarwoods on his return. Ultimately however, Cassandra decided her loyalties were with her true family, and ultimately killed Delilah in revenge.

Character Information

Fan art of Delilah Briarwood, by Nadz Salvo.[art 3]

Abilities

Spells

1st-level
2nd-level
3rd-level
4th-level
5th-level
6th-level
7th-level
8th-level
9th-level

Notable Items

Quotations

  • "Whatever it takes." (Delilah accepting Vecna's deal for the Rites of Vampirism to resurrect Sylas)
  • "You can't! I broke the world for us! No...!" (Delilah screaming in horror after Sylas was destroyed by Keyleth at the Ziggurat)[63]

Trivia

Laura dressed as Delilah for Halloween 2016.

  • Laura Bailey dressed as Lady Briarwood during "The Coming Storm" (1x73), which aired the week before Halloween 2016. Laura has identified Delilah as the "Anti-Vex'ahlia", and says Vex came very close to becoming someone very similar to Delilah had she gone down a darker path.
  • In the Critical Role Major Arcana Tarot Card Set, she along with her husband, Sylas, represent VI - The Lovers.
  • Delilah has been killed three times so far, all by a de Rolo; once by Cassandra in "Denouement" (1x35), once by Percy in "Race to the Tower" (1x102), and once by Vex in "The Final Ascent" (1x113).

References

  1. Matthew Mercer confirmed on Twitter that Delilah Briarwood is a necromancer wizard.
  2. See "Denouement" (1x35), part 1, at 2:04:38.
  3. See "Denouement" (1x35), part 2, at 1:12.
  4. See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 3:37:40.
  5. See "The Final Ascent" (1x113) at 1:38:20.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 43.
  7. Delilah could cast 9th-level spells, meaning she was at least a level 17 wizard.
  8. See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 3:09:07.
  9. See "The Feast" (1x24) at 3:00:00.
  10. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 0:47:35.
  11. See "The Feast" (1x24) at 2:57:00.
  12. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 0:47:35.
  13. See "Unwanted Reunions" (2x88) at 4:07:55.
  14. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) from 0:47:55 through 0:48:15.
  15. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) from 0:48:15 through 0:48:30.
  16. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) from 0:48:30 through 0:49:15.
  17. See "Unwanted Reunions" (2x88) at 4:07:55.
  18. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) from 0:49:15 through 0:49:40.
  19. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) from 0:49:40 through 0:50:05.
  20. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) from 0:49:40 through 0:50:05.
  21. See "Shopping and Shipping" (1x14) at 1:25:34.
  22. See "The Rematch" (1x23) at 3:03:30.
  23. See "The Feast" (1x24) at 0:20:44.
  24. See "The Feast" (1x24) at 3:23:40.
  25. See "The Feast" (1x24) at 3:31:57.
  26. See "The Feast" (1x24) at 3:38:55.
  27. See "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25) at 0:36:18.
  28. See "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25) at 1:49:23.
  29. See "Consequences and Cows" (1x26) at 0:56:04.
  30. See "Consequences and Cows" (1x26) at 1:53:41.
  31. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 0:23:05.
  32. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 1:17:19.
  33. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 3:00:35.
  34. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 3:47:02.
  35. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 4:13:28.
  36. See "Denouement" (1x35) at 0:51:10.
  37. See "Denouement" (1x35) at 2:03:55.
  38. See "Unfinished Business" (1x100) from 3:58:29 through 5:18:27.
  39. See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 2:32:58.
  40. See "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) at 3:31:49.
  41. See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) at 3:04:07.
  42. See "The Final Ascent" (1x113) at 1:38:20.
  43. See "The Final Ascent" (1x113) at 3:09:44.
  44. See "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 3:09:44.
  45. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) from 3:47:33 through 3:47:50.
  46. See "The Final Ascent" (1x113) at 2:17:45.  Delilah casts Shield.
  47. See "The Feast" (1x24) at 3:46:20.  Mercer told Vax'ildan to make a Wisdom saving throw, and that he could try again at the end of each turn, in keeping with the spell description of Hold Person in D&D: Player's Handbook, 5th ed., p. 251.
  48. See "Denouement" (1x35), part 1, at 1:53:36.  Delilah casts Invisibility.
  49. See "Denouement" (1x35), part 1, at 1:53:00.  Delilah casts Misty Step.
  50. See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) at 3:05:01.  Delilah casts Counterspell.
  51. See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) at 3:04:35.  Delilah casts Dispel Magic.
  52. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 3:08:46.  Delilah has lost concentration on her Haste spell.
  53. See "Crimson Diplomacy" (1x25) from 24:38 through Delilah casts Blight..
  54. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 3:49:35.  Delilah casts Dimension Door.
  55. See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 3:17:36.  Delilah casts Disintegrate.
  56. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 4:14:00.  Delilah casts Finger of Death.
  57. See "The Final Ascent" (1x113) at 2:37:18.  Mercer assents when someone calls Delilah's ability to come back to life a cloning ability
  58. See "Unfinished Business" (1x100) at 4:44:34.  Delilah casts Feeblemind.
  59. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 3:01:04.  Mercer used the phrase "power word" and specified that the effect succeeded because Vax'ildan had fewer than 150 HP, in keeping with the spell description of Power Word Stun in D&D: Player's Handbook, 5th ed., p. 267.
  60. See "Unfinished Business" (1x100) at 4:05:54.  The description of Scanlan's passage through the layers is in keeping with that of Prismatic Wall.
  61. See "The Fate-Touched" (1x103) at 0:20:49.
  62. See "Elysium" (1x104) at 2:19:45.
  63. See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) from 3:47:33 through 3:47:50.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Delilah Briarwood, by Nicklas Andersson (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Delilah, by RobynAlyHope (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Delilah Briarwood, by Nadz Salvo (source).  Used with permission.


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