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Before you, a glow begins as you rocket towards an unexpected and incredible sight: an endless permeable tapestry, a tangled lattice of burning, divine fire appears before you, writhing and growing as you shoot towards it with incredible speed.

You instinctively wince and curl, a promise of impact triggering your need to defend yourself, the dread as the air begins to heat around you. Then, whoom, you impact and pass through harmlessly, the heat fading.

You glance over your shoulder to see it gone. You just passed through the Divine Gate.
– 
Description of the gate given by Matthew Mercer[1]
[!h]

The Divine Gate is a barrier that prevents the gods of Exandria, both good and evil, from physically crossing into the Prime Material Plane.

The Gate was made by the Prime Deities after the Calamity to better protect mortals from the influence of the Betrayer Gods. The creation of the Gate marked the event known as the Divergence.

Vox Machina's ability to cross the Gate indicates that it is permeable to mortals, though not to deities.

Structure of the Divine Gate

Screenshot of the Divine Gate, by Cyarna Trim from "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) at 5:14.[art 1]

The Divine Gate resembles a burning tapestry suspended in the blackness of the Astral Sea. It is filled with many portals.[2] It is an esoteric, non-Euclidean structure that is a barrier between the Prime Material Plane and everything else.[3] The Feywild and the Shadowfell border closest to the Prime Material Plane, but there is still a fine veil between them based on the Divine Gate.[4]

The Planes of Existence

Members of Vox Machina and the Mighty Nein were able to travel between the Material Plane and several other Planes of Existence without noticing a passage through the Gate:

  • Inner Planes: The Elemental Planes of Fire, Earth, Air, and Water
    • Several of these instances involved moving through gateways or rifts, rather than using a spell like Plane Shift.[5][6][7] But even when using a spell, there was no mention of the Gate when Keyleth carried the party to or from the Elemental Plane of Fire.[8][9] When Jester used Plane Shift to return from the Elemental Plane of Fire to Exandria, there was no mention of anything resembling flight through the Divine Gate; instead, she and her group were enveloped in the green cloth of Artagan's cloak and suddenly appeared at her destination.[10]
  • Overlapping the Material Plane


In the deepest reaches of the Underdark, Vox Machina also touched the edge of a thin membrane, or veil, separating the Material Plane from elements of the Far Realm.[17]

The Mighty Nein did not notice the Divine Gate when passing through the Immensus Gate to the Astral Plane[18] but did notice it when using Plane Shift to return.[19]

Using Keyleth's Plane Shift spell, Vox Machina encountered and passed through the Gate during their visits to each of the following:

The Astral Sea

This space between the planes is the matrix in which the Gate and the planes are suspended.[26]

Strength and Significance

A unanimous effort of the Prime Deities[27] or possibly an unsealed Tharizdun working alone[28] could break the Divine Gate, which would lead to another Armageddon on the mortal realm.[27]

The ascension of Vecna in "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) presented a new problem for Exandria. Vecna did not need to cross the Gate to enter Exandria; he simply achieved godhood on the mortal side of it.[29] This marked the first time since the Gate's construction that a deity had free rein in the mortal world.

Furthermore, when the gods last clashed during the Calamity, they were all fighting on the same plane. During Vecna's ascension, the Prime Deities could not physically join in the fight, as they were still held back by the Gate. So, not only was Vecna a god on the wrong side of the Gate; he was also a god unchecked by any other gods.

References

  1. See "Vox Machina Go to Hell" (1x91) from 1:15:00 through 1:15:55.
  2. See "The Fate-Touched" (1x103) from 3:19:40 through 3:20:51.
  3. See "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount Q&A and Fireside Chat with Matthew Mercer" (Sx53) at 1:03:33.
  4. See "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount Q&A and Fireside Chat with Matthew Mercer" (Sx53) at 1:04:35.
  5. In "Aramente to Pyrah" (1x22) Keyleth led the way into the Elemental Plane of Fire through the rift near Pyrah.
  6. In "A Name Is Earned" (1x49), several members of Vox Machina briefly plunged through gateways to the Elemental Planes in Kamaljiori's chamber.
  7. In "Tangled Depths" (1x88) Vox Machina traveled through the rift below Vesrah to the Elemental Plane of Water.
  8. See "Path of Brass" (1x74) at 1:54:51.
  9. See "Brawl in the Arches" (1x76) at 3:41:09.
  10. See "Between a Ball and a Hot Place" (2x129) from 3:22:08 through 3:23:37.
  11. See "A Cycle of Vengeance" (1x58) at 3:37:30.
  12. See "The Echo Tree" (1x63) at 3:59:32.
  13. See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) at 3:05:18.
  14. Artagan sends Vox Machina from the Feywild back to Thar Amphala on the Material Plane.  See "The Final Ascent" (1x113) at 50:07.
  15. See "Thar Amphala" (1x101) at 2:29:38.
  16. Vex used oil of etherealness to travel through the depths of the newly mobile Thar Amphala, which did not exist in the same place in the Ethereal Plane. Matt explained, "The Ethereal Plane overlaps this one. It layers over it in a similar way that the Shadowfell does."  See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) at 2:34:19.
  17. See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) from 1:53:07 through 1:55:40.
  18. In "Hell or High Water" (2x136), from 3:07:05 to 3:31:28, the Mighty Nein seem to be simply passing through a doorway.
  19. See "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 14:19.
  20. See "Vox Machina Go to Hell" (1x91) from 1:15:00 through 1:15:55.
  21. See "The Fate-Touched" (1x103) from 3:19:40 through 3:20:51.
  22. See "The Search For Grog" (Sx42) from 1:20:55 through 1:21:30.
  23. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 23.
  24. See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) from 3:36:55 through 3:38:30.
  25. See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) at 1:37:43.
  26. See "The Fate-Touched" (1x103) from 3:19:40 through 3:20:51.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 14.
  28. See "Titles and Tattoos" (2x84) at 2:53:23.
  29. See "Unfinished Business" (1x100) at 5:37:26.  The dead cultist's answer to Pike's question, near the end of the episode.

Art:

  1. Screenshot of the Divine Gate, by Cyarna Trim from "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Sx61) at 5:14. Used with permission.
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