Essek Thelyss is a drow mage and a senior figure in the Kryn Dynasty. As an NPC, Essek Thelyss is played by Matthew Mercer.

Description Edit

Appearance Edit

Essek is a very handsome male drow who holds his head high.[7] He has very short white hair.[8] He wears an elaborate mantle and deep purple and black robes that almost entirely obscure his body.[7] Under the mantle, he wears comfortable, sleek, well-trimmed Xhorhasian-styled clothing.[9]

Essek moves in a unique way, described as gliding or drifting. His cloak falls to the floor, obscuring his feet. Although in the Mighty Nein's initial meeting with him, they heard and saw his footfalls as he moved,[8][10] later Jester peeked below his cloak and saw his feet weren't touching the ground.[11] Once, when he came to the Xhorhaus, the party scattered ball bearings on the floor, which separated out around his form like there was some invisible force pushing them outward and generating a strange force keeping them at bay.[12] At Mythburrow, he left two grooves in the snow behind him as he moved, from his toes.[13] At Matthew Mercer's Stockholm Comic Con panel, he clarified that Essek can walk; he simply chooses not to.[14] Later, the party learned that Essek floats because when he was young, he used it as a means of impressing people, and now it has become expected of him.[15]

In DisguiseEdit

When in disguise as Dezran Thain, Essek takes on the illusion of a young, pale-skinned elf with short dirty blonde hair coming to a point at the front. His illusory robes are silver and teal.[16]

Personality Edit

Essek is quite charming and hardworking; however, he is elusive. He isn't fond of interacting with strangers much, or giving away information unless he respects the individual or needs them for something. He is arrogant in his abilities.[17] Although he may be concerned about the Mighty Nein, as a person of his training, his station and his general persona and how he likes to present himself, he would never openly show that concern.[18]

Essek has expressed frustration with the Dynasty's religious beliefs concerning the Luxon Beacons and The Luxon. He feels they are based on myth, interpretation, and assumption, and distract from the effort to pursue the power contained in the beacons.[19] His beliefs cut him off from others of the Dynasty; he does not trust anyone and feels like he doesn't belong. Therefore, he spends much of his time alone.[20]

Biography Edit

Background Edit

Essek is a member of Den Thelyss, one of the three main important Dens of Rosohna. He told the Mighty Nein he is consecuted, but has not gone beyond his first life yet,[21], and is part way into his second century. He considers that Den Thelyss was very kind to accept one as comparatively young as himself.[22] He holds an apparently high position in the Xhorhasian government, going by the title "Shadowhand", but it is unclear the specifics of his job.

Essek has revealed that he believes the worst thing he's ever done is anger his father to the point where he went unprepared into the depths of Bazzoxan and didn’t return. He believed that his father wasn’t a great man and had little aspirations.[23] His mother, however, is the Umavi of Den Thelyss.[4]

"In Love and War" (2x57) Edit

Essek Thelyss - Porzio Art

Fan art of Essek Thelyss, by @porzio art.[art 2]

Essek was in attendance when The Mighty Nein received an audience with the Bright Queen, and returned the Beacon to the Kryn Dynasty. When Nott inquired about her husband Yeza's whereabouts, it was Essek as Shadowhand who confirmed that Yeza was in fact in their custody. Before the Bright Queen dismissed the Mighty Nein, Essek was assigned to be their steward while they were potential allies to the Dynasty. Afterwards, Essek took the Nein through the Shadowshire to the Dungeon of Penance where Nott and Yeza reunited. Though coy at first, he did agree to release Yeza after a small interrogation and then continued to show the group around Rosohna, to the Dim's Inn and their new lodgings.

"Agreements" (2x61) Edit

Essek returned to the Nein to show them to their new home, courtesy of Den Thelyss. It is raining, but the raindrops do not touch him, instead falling around him while he remains dry.

"Domestic Respite" (2x62) Edit

Essek dropped by the Xhorhaus and remarked on how the Mighty Nein are settling into their new home. Beau invited him in for drinks, but he declined. After some polite conversation, Caleb asks after ways to learn dunamancy. Essek asked him to demonstrate his magical prowess, and Caleb cast Cat's Ire. Essek then decided to begin teaching him the basics of Dunamancy, offering to let him transcribe two spells from his spellbook.

"Intervention" (2x63) Edit

Essek vouched for the party in their meeting with the Bright Queen sharing information about the upcoming attack on the Ashguard Garrison and the meeting at the Overcrow Apothecary.[24][25]

"Causatum" (2x70) Edit

Essek was present for the Mighty Nein's audience with the Bright Queen following their return from Bazzoxan and said he could transport the group to the Flotket Alps.[26] When Caleb sought him out afterwards, Essek agreed to do what he could to see that the captured Scourger's execution was not accelerated.[27]

"Family Gathering" (2x71) Edit

When the Mighty Nein are ready to leave for the Flotket Alps, they send to Essek to come to the Xhorhaus, where they introduce Dairon as their house sitter.[28] After one unsuccessful attempt, Essek successfully transports them all to the Greying Wildlands.[29]

"Manifold Morals" (2x74) Edit

The Mighty Nein sends to Essek asking him to Teleport the party to Mythburrow and he agrees. When they return to Rosohna, he also helps Caleb by using Dispel Magic on the stolen book page, unlocking its contents, and tells Caleb he has been able to delay the execution of the Scourger for two weeks. Reani finds him very attractive and is overawed and shy around him. Essek then successfully Teleports all of them to Mythburrow.

"Rime and Reason" (2x75) Edit

When Essek moves away, Jester sees that instead of footprints, he leaves two grooves in the snow from his toes dragging through the snow.

"A Tangled Web" (2x77) Edit

Essek escorts the party to the Dungeon of Penance to interrogate the captive Scourger, and when she attacks Caleb, Essek uses magic to lift her still-living body off the ground and magically crush her central torso inward, killing her instantly and mangling the body. Essek later teaches Caleb two new dunamancy spells, Immovable Object and Resonant Echo.

"Through the Trees" (2x79) Edit

Essek - Viciousmongrel

Fan art of Essek Thelyss, by Vicious Mongrel.[art 3]

Essek transports the party to the Lotusden Greenwood, but there is confusion over their intended target and they then ask him to teleport them further south in an attempt to intercept or get ahead of Obann. He is extremely reluctant. When Caleb places his hand on his forearm and apologizes, he pulls away. However, Essek agrees and teleports the party deeper into the forest. When Beau asks if he's mad at them, he says he is just ready to leave, reiterates that he has not forgotten that the party now owes him a number of favors, and tells them to be careful and safe. He exits by casting a spell that sends him flying up through the canopy.

"The Folding Halls" (2x80)Edit

"Bathhouses and Bastions" (2x90)Edit

The party returns to Rosohna and meets with a weary-looking Essek, who tells them of the captured Adeen Tasithar, and that Adeen has been being interrogated for two days. Essek agrees to taking a disguised Fjord into the prison to see if he can learn anything further. When the party tells Essek they think Adeen was mind-controlled, Essek goes to check if he has a mark on his neck similar to Yasha's. He is Insight-checked on his return by Nott, who later tells Caleb that Essek seemed "funky".

Sam Riegel later revealed that, on that Insight check, Matthew Mercer had whispered that Essek was being weird and was lying about something about the prisoner, and that he was "completely not himself."[30]

"Stone to Clay" (2x91)Edit

"The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97)Edit

In Nicodranas, Caleb discovers Essek secretly meeting aboard a ship of the Cerberus Assembly. The Mighty Nein soon confront Essek, and he confesses that he stole the Luxon Beacons from the Dynasty[31] and for research purposes gave the Beacons to certain members of the Cerberus Assembly (Martinet Ludinus Da'leth and Trent Ikithon, with Vess DeRogna commanding the research),[32] setting off the war. Essek claims that, when the Mighty Nein returned one of those Beacons, he tried to stay close to them to lead them away from the truth, but he grew to care for them. Now that the Assembly has a freshly unearthed Beacon, the conspirators are content to return the remaining stolen Beacon to the Dynasty and continue studying the new one, sharing their research with him via correspondence.[33] Essek claims he and his co-conspirators are trying to ensure that "outside interests" do not disrupt the attempt to return the Beacon and end the war.[34]

"Dark Waters" (2x98)Edit

The discussion between Essek and the Mighty Nein continues on their ship. Essek confirms that the plot concerning the beacons had been going on for three years, and urges the party to reveal as little as possible, particularly to Da'leth. He is released by the Nein to resume his disguise as Lord Thain.

Relationships Edit

Caleb Widogast Edit


Essek lives in a gated community within the Firmaments District of Rosohna. His home consists of three towers of different heights connected by walkways. At the top of one tower is a weather-vane type mechanism that tracks the shifting ley lines. It is built of slightly iridescent grey brick.[35]

Character Information Edit

Notable Items Edit

Abilities Edit

Essek is a self-proclaimed "prodigy" of dunamancy,[37] and a graviturgist, a person who specifically focuses in dunamancy's study of gravity.[38] His spellbook is apparently kept in a pocket dimension, and apparates into a hand when needed.[36] Essek has demonstrated that he knows the spell Teleport and can cast it twice in one day, making him at least a level 15 wizard.[5]

Elf Abilities Edit

  • Darkvision
  • Keen Senses
  • Fey Ancestry
  • Trance
  • Subrace: Drow
    • Superior Darkvision
    • Sunlight Sensitivity
    • Drow Magic
      • Dancing Lights cantrip
      • Faerie Fire spell
      • Darkness spell
    • Drow Weapon Training

Wizard Abilities Edit

  • Arcane Recovery
  • Arcane Tradition (Graviturgy Magic)
    • Adjust Density
    • Gravity Well
    • Violent Attraction
    • Event Horizon
  • Ritual Casting
  • Spellcasting (Intelligence-based ability)

Wizard Spells Edit

Cantrips Edit
  • Prestidigitation[39]
1st-level Edit
2nd-level Edit
  • Fortune's Favor[40]
  • Immovable Object[42]
  • Misty Step[43][presumed]
  • Wristpocket[44][presumed]
3rd-level Edit
5th-level Edit
  • Teleportation Circle[46]
  • Telekinesis[47][presumed]
7th-level Edit
Unknown Level Edit

Quotations Edit

  • "[The Luxon] is the basis of how we've been able to free ourselves from the binds of the lineage the Betrayer Gods left for us and to carve our own fates, choose our own paths and sidestep these destinies placed upon us nonchalantly by gods that use us as playthings." (Essek explaining the significance of the Luxon to Dunamis power)[50]
  • "Time is one of my specialties." (When asked why he isn't affected by the dunamantic time distortion in the Dungeon of Penance)[51]

Trivia Edit

References Edit

  1. Matt stated that Essek is a Graviturgist at the Stockholm Comic Con panel.
  2. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 0:32:22.
  3. 3.0 3.1 See  Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 41.
  4. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 0:23:07.
  5. See "Through the Trees" (2x79) from 0:20:42 through 0:32:32.  Essek cast Teleport twice, indicating he is at least 15th level since he could use one 7th and one 8th level spell slot to do so.
  6. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 3:33:28.  The Manacles of Stasis, with a 15d8 roll of 73, failed to put him to sleep.
  7. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 17:17.
  8. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 47:56.
  9. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 0:20:58.
  10. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 2:36:56.
  11. See "Agreements" (2x61) at 3:19:43.
  12. See "Family Gathering" (2x71) at 3:12:31.
  13. See "Rime and Reason" (2x75) at 0:13:08.
  14. Matt discussed Essek at the Stockholm Comic Con panel.
  15. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 0:21:36.
  16. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 0:43:29.
  17. Matt discussed Essek at the Stockholm Comic Con panel.
  18. See "Talks Machina #137: 'Lingering Wounds' & 'Bathhouses and Bastions'" (TMx137) at 1:00:13.
  19. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 0:37:37.
  20. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 1:20:37.
  21. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 1:09:24.  "Interestingly enough, while I am consecuted, I have not gone beyond the first life yet." However, in the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount Q&A and Fireside Chat with Matthew Mercer 25 March 2020, Matt mentioned that Essek is not actually consecuted.
  22. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 1:09:51.
  23. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 0:58:37.
  24. See "Intervention" (2x63) at 33:47.
  25. See "Intervention" (2x63) at 40:37.
  26. See "Causatum" (2x70) at 2:50:51.
  27. See "Causatum" (2x70) at 3:24:31.
  28. See "Family Gathering" (2x71) at 3:12:59.
  29. See "Family Gathering" (2x71) at 3:17:47.
  30. See "Talks Machina #144: 'The Fancy and the Fooled'" (TMx144) from 42:00 through 43:11.
  31. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 3:53:57.
  32. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 4:06:57.
  33. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 4:03:06.
  34. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 4:05:55.
  35. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 1:34:36.
  36. See "Domestic Respite" (2x62) at 1:52:20.
  37. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 1:09:38.
  38. Matt discussed Essek at the Stockholm Comic Con panel.
  39. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 0:46:34.  Essek demonstrated using Prestidigitation to style hair into a point.
  40. 40.0 40.1 See "Domestic Respite" (2x62) at 1:52:40.  Essek allows Caleb to copy two dunamancy spells from his own spellbook.
  41. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 1:06:58.  Essek uses an illusion spell to disguise himself as Dezran Thain.
  42. See "A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 2:01:13.  Essek teaches Caleb two more dunamancy spells. This suggests that he also knows them himself. Based on the paper cost to transcribe this spell, probably 2nd-level.
  43. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 0:46:34.  Essek teleported away precisely 30 feet.
  44. See "Domestic Respite" (2x62) at 1:52:20.  Essek conjures his spellbook from thin air, matching the description of the spell.
  45. See "Manifold Morals" (2x74) at 4:01:22.  Caleb recognizes the spell cast as Dispel Magic.
  46. See "Clay and Dust" (2x72) at 18:53.  Essek transports himself back to Rosohna, consistent with the mechanics of the spell.
  47. See "Manifold Morals" (2x74) at 4:00:34.  Essek moves a cupcake from Jester's hand to his cloak, matching the spell description.
  48. See "Family Gathering" (2x71) at 3:17:47.  Essek casts Teleport.
  49. See "A Tangled Web" (2x77) from 2:02:11 through 2:04:54.  Essek teaches Caleb two more dunamancy spells. This suggests that he also knows them himself. Based on the paper cost to transcribe this spell, probably 4th-level.
  50. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 0:29:59.
  51. See "In Love and War" (2x57) at 1:17:12.
  1. Fan art of Essek Thelyss, by Rammaru (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Essek Thelyss, by @porzio art (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Essek Thelyss, by Vicious Mongrel (source).  Used with permission.
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