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Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

Driftwood Asylum is an orphanage in Port Damali. It has criminal ties, and the headmaster uses the children as free labor to produce wooden goods for sale. Fjord and Sabian grew up in this orphanage.


The Driftwood Asylum is located in Port Damali in the Menagerie Coast, near a beach.[2][3] The orphanage has criminal ties with the the Myriad,[4] and possibly the corruption in the Clovis Concord government as well.[5]

Fjord arrived at the orphanage circa 805 PD,[1] and he was one of about twenty-four children living there.[6] He was the only half-orc child,[7][8] and the others were mostly human and half-elf.[9] The children were primarily raised by each another.[10]

Grankton - Fjord Origins

Grankton, by Selina Espiritu and Diana Sousa from The Mighty Nein Origins: Fjord Stone.[art 2]

While Fjord was living there, the orphanage was run by a cruel headmaster named Grankton,[11][12] who used the children as free labor for carpentry and woodworking services to produce goods for sale,[13] and sometimes they were also sent to diving missions to salvage goods in wrecked areas, or to smuggling runs from which not all children returned; at some point Grankton also began making deals with ship captains so that they would hire orphans as crew on different voyages (one of them, in fact, was Captain Vandran, who took Fjord and Sabian with him).[14] The headmaster also gave the children disparaging surnames to remind the children why they were at the orphanage; for example, Fjord was given the surname "Stone" to remind him that he was "cast aside, like a stone".[15][16][17] Life at Driftwood Asylum has been repeatedly described as terrible.[18][19][13]

Some time after 836 PD, Fjord returned to Port Damali to rid the orphanage of its criminal ties and clean up conditions there.[5] He unseated Grankton and his associates from their positions of authority and purged it of its black market, under-city dealings. They left the wood shop, because as Travis said, "You can never have enough good woodwork."[20]


  • Although the term "asylum" is commonly associated with historical mental institutions, it was also a common term for orphanages in the 18th and 19th centuries and is found in many of their names during that period, notably in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • While it was known that Sabian grew up with Fjord,[21] only in The Mighty Nein Origins: Fjord Stone was it confirmed that the half-elf lived in the orphanage as well.[22]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Travis stated in "Talks Machina #138: 'Stone to Clay'" (TMx138) at 0:44:04 and at 0:45:16 that Fjord's earliest memories are of the orphanage and thus assumed Fjord arrived as a baby. He repeatedly stated that Fjord is about thirty during the campaign in "Talks Machina #49: 'Curious Beginnings'" (TMx49) at 0:05:44, "Talks Machina #70: 'Lost Treasures'" (TMx70) at 0:58:37, and "Talks Machina #151: Discussing Up to C2E119 - Malice and Mystery Below" (TMx151) at 0:56:43, putting Fjord's birth year at about 805 PD.
  2. See "Talks Machina #138: 'Stone to Clay'" (TMx138) from 0:44:10 through 0:44:16.  Sam: "What was the orphanage called?" / Travis: "The Driftwood Asylum." / Sam: "And it was on the ocean?" / Travis: "Yeah, in Port Damali."
  3. See "Contentious Company" (2x120) at 1:35:55Matt: "For some odd reason, the air in the chamber surrounding this creature begins to smell like a fresh shoreline. It's like Port Damali's seaside. You begin to have sense memory of growing up along the beach, of doing menial chores and looking out upon the horizon...."
  4. The Mighty Nein Origins: Fjord Stone
  5. 5.0 5.1 See "Critical Role Campaign 2 Wrap Up" (Sx56) at 0:16:56Travis: "And I imagine at some point, I don't know when, I'll try and go back and right the wrongs of that orphanage because there was a shit criminal underbelly at the orphanage. They were using the orphans to make goods and using orphan labor and all this stuff. And you know, there were the Myriad and the Clovis Concord. And it could have been any one of those seedy underbellies, but probably go back and purge that at some point." / Matt: "I would say, yeah. Would Fjord go back and clean that up?" / Travis: "Oh yeah. [...] We're going to scrub all that squeaky clean."
  6. See "Talks Machina #138: 'Stone to Clay'" (TMx138) at 0:44:16Sam: "How many kids were there?" / Travis: "I don't know. Couple dozen. A lot."
  7. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) at 2:23:56Caleb: "Did you grow up with people who did not have tusks like you? So you were different?" / Fjord: "Yeah, at the time there weren't any others like me."
  8. See "Wood and Steel" (2x58) at 0:48:12Fjord: "I mean to be fair I actually was a bit bigger than other kids when I was younger. Half-orcs tend to grow a bit faster, but yeah, I just tend to get picked on a lot. I'm the only one of me around."
  9. See "Agreements" (2x61) at 3:01:10Fjord: "I grew up around humans and half-elves mostly."
  10. See "Wood and Steel" (2x58) at 0:47:40Yasha: "Who raised you then?" / Fjord: "The kids around me, I guess. Just learned from being around other orphans."
  11. See "Talks Machina #138: 'Stone to Clay'" (TMx138) at 0:15:46Travis: "The headmaster of the orphanage was a piece of shit."
  12. See "The Mighty Nein Reunited Part 2" (Sx74) at 5:15:32.
  13. 13.0 13.1 See "Talks Machina #138: 'Stone to Clay'" (TMx138) from 0:44:30 through 0:44:47.  Travis: "The orphanage sort of also operated as a small workshop, but the guy used child labor to make wood products and carpentry and all this shit. Y'know, and sold all the stuff. So, it was a terrible place all around."
  14. The Mighty Nein Origins: Fjord Stone
  15. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 1:50:50Fjord: "When you're at an orphanage, they give you a— they give you a shit last name. Mine was Stone. I never used it because it's not, it's not my name, it was just given to me."
  16. Twitter logo Travis Willingham (@WillingBlam) on Twitter: "To be exact, those "names" were used by the terrible Orphanage Headmaster to remind the children of why they were there. In Fjord's case - he was cast aside, like a stone." (2020-01-17).
  17. See "Talks Machina #138: 'Stone to Clay'" (TMx138) from 0:15:50 through 0:16:07.  Travis: "I don't think it's his real last name either, so, y'know. I had to look up all these— Like Jon Snow, in Game of Thrones. Snow was a name given to a bastard. In the olden days, they would give them names like Street, Church, Temple, Rock, Stone. Anything, almost anything."
  18. See "The Hour of Honor" (2x24) from 3:27:51 through 3:28:14.  Beau: "You have a thing with kids and orphanages?" / [...] / Nott: "Were you an orphan?" / Fjord: "Yes, I was. They're terrible fucking places."
  19. See "Wood and Steel" (2x58) from 0:47:55 through 0:48:35.  Fjord: "Yeah, it wasn't a great place. Driftwood Asylum was very—" / [...] / Caduceus: "Someone named an orphanage after wood that needs to be somewhere else or really just wants to go somewhere else." / Fjord: "I didn't say it was a great place."
  20. See "The Mighty Nein Reunited Part 2" (Sx74) at 5:15:32.
  21. See "The Diver's Grave" (2x44) at 0:26:26Fjord: No, Sabian was someone I grew up with...."
  22. The Mighty Nein Origins: Fjord Stone