Critical Role Wiki

This wiki contains spoilers for the entirety of Critical Role and The Legend of Vox Machina. Proceed at your own risk!

READ MORE

Critical Role Wiki
Advertisement
Critical Role Wiki

List of Transcripts

Part I[]

MARISHA: Hello!

MATT: Hi, everyone!

MARISHA: I think we're live.

MATT: I think so.

MARISHA: At least, I truly, truly hope we are live.

MATT: I guess we'll find out.

MARISHA: If this is not working--

MATT: Find out shortly.

MARISHA: Someone slack me.

MATT: Hey, everybody. We missed you. We miss you still.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: It's been a very weird couple weeks for a lot of people. As the anxiety is universally felt we thought we'd take an evening moment to kind of just step away from everything and hang out and talk for a bit with an actual fire which we--

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: We've been struggling with the flue of it up until pretty much this broadcast but we got it so...

MARISHA: Yeah. Normally our fireside chats don't have real fire because of studio codes but--

MATT: But at home!

MARISHA: Silver lining -- at home we get the use of a real fire.

MATT: We can do what we want.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: But anyway, hope everyone's staying healthy and safe. We're going a little stir-crazy. A lot of video conference meetings and a lot of just keeping on top of stuff from home and whenever things come back on, we're going to be back on schedule. In the meantime, we're coming up with creative ideas and the interim to kick off then, or stuff like this to pop in and say hi for a Wednesday.

MARISHA: Yeah. Attempting to. I think trying to figure out if we could do this was kind of our first hurdle and I'm sure it'll have many hurdles throughout the night and I really hope our chimney doesn't catch on fire.

MATT: I don't think it'll--

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: --catch on fire. I mentioned flue earlier. I should specify, I meant like the fireplace.

MARISHA: The flue. Yeah. I think they got it.

MATT: I hope so. Anyway.

MARISHA: We don't use this fireplace very often because it's Los Angeles.

MATT: It's true. So we took an opportunity to do that. Anyway, it's good to see you guys. I didn't realize until today that our good friend Brennan is also streaming his fireside chat at the same time, completely unintentional, but giving a shout-out and love to Brennan and the Dimension 20 folks. I guess probably hopping back and forth from there for some of you folks, so send our love over there if you're heading back. But here today, we're gonna talk about this thing. Some unique timing for the book's launch, but my hope is that at least it's provided some people with some much-needed escapism and inspiration in this time. It's been something that I've been working hard on for a while with a lot of really good folks, and it's just weird to hold it physically, in--

MARISHA: It's so beautiful though. I love it.

MATT: --my hands now. I'm really, really proud of it. Out of all the work we put into it. I'm proud of everybody who worked on it.

MARISHA: It's gorgeous.

MATT: And to toss out here-- somehow it got missed in the special thanks to the book, too, Mark Hulmes is supposed to be in there as well. It's-- all the second campaign guests are supposed to be in there. Somehow in press he got left out there. But he is there in spirit and he is a dear friend. But nevertheless! For some of you, hopefully--

MATT: And to toss out here-- somehow it got missed in the special thanks to the book, too, Mark Hulmes is supposed to be in there as well. It's-- all the second campaign guests are supposed to be in there. Somehow in press he got left out there. But he is there in spirit and he is a dear friend. But nevertheless! For some of you, hopefully--

MARISHA: (to her tablet) Oh, god. Oh, god. No. No. Quiet. Quiet. Sorry. Sorry.

MATT: Weird time feedback. That's okay. We're figuring this out as we go. But anyway, some of you got a chance to look at it. Some of you I know are still waiting because shipping has been weird. And some of you got it digitally on D&D Beyond so for those who haven't had a chance to read it yet, if anything spoilery comes up, this might be a bit of an issue, but you're welcome to hang out if you want to. It's not too spoilery. The contents of the book are considered a tease for an adventure that comes around.

MARISHA: So I am getting hot already by this fire. That is a toasty, toasty fire. So I'm going to go back to "Sleeves are bullshit, Marisha."

MATT: I realized I should have put my slippers on, because I don't want to break Twitch TOS.

MARISHA: Your feet aren't in the frame.

MATT: I know.

MARISHA: You're great.

MATT: I'm being careful.

MARISHA: Yeah. You're good.

MATT: But anyway, for those who haven't caught the D&D Beyond videos about this whole process, this whole book came about almost two years ago. Wizards of the Coast reached out, saying if we would be interested in doing this.

MARISHA: Gosh, was it two years ago?

MATT: Almost. Almost.

MARISHA: That's amazing.

MATT: When they first reached out. So about a year, year and a half or year and three-quarters.

MARISHA: Wow.

MATT: About. Yeah. So it's been a mad dash to get all this situated in the interim, but it was an undertaking I went into myself originally just seeing how much I could handle with my schedule and everything else we were doing, and then it got a bit big for me with the time schedule we had set for it. So I was like, "I'm going to bring in some help." And that's where I thought about bringing in James Haeck, who's a longtime friend and helped me with the first campaign setting, and then with recommendations from people I knew and from Joey himself, and being a fan of his work, James Introcaso was another great suggestion that came onboard, and Chris Lockey, who works with us at Critical Role and knows the world well, and his writing for Kobold Press and other projects showed to be super high quality. So it was like, "All right, this is a good rapid deploy team to jump on this project and save me from going absolutely insane, and they've been an absolute godsend. Hannah Rose, who's Joey's fiancée now, helped edit the book as well and of course all the folks at Wizards of the Coast who were really kind, gracious, and awesome in their collaboration and really helped out with this, and all the incredible artists that worked on this book and made it what it is. I think about half or so are from the Critter community. We put together a whole list of Critter artists and their links and stuff and send them to Wizards for them to choose from for the content of the book, and I'm super glad that we were able to get as many of our fantastic community members in as possible. They're super awesome. And yeah, so anyway, that's my rambling intro. I'm getting the stir-crazy nerves out.

MARISHA: I know. We haven't been on camera in a bit.

MATT: I know. It's been nice.

MARISHA: I put on makeup for the first time in two weeks. It was great.

MATT: I hate being on camera, just as a general rule, so it's been a unique kind of like, "Okay. This is what it's like to go full introvert again."

MARISHA: Yeah. 100%.

MATT: But, anyway, we should get this Fireside Chat conversation underway. A lot of people have sent some really awesome questions that I would love to talk about, and Marisha is going to be helping me out here to help answer questions that she may have insight on as well...

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: And help ask these questions and pick them out from already submitted questions...

MARISHA: Yeah, we took questions over Twitter, and we took questions over Reddit as well, I think, and then I'll try and pull a few from chat as well. I know Dani is being remote Dani right now, and is still doing her Dani thing and then sending questions live, but just--

MATT: Possible ones.

MARISHA: From her apartment. So, hi Dani! Love you.

MATT: Hi, Dani! Cheers to you, Dani. Let's kick this off properly.

MARISHA: Cheers.

MATT: Cheers. And hey, buddy.

MARISHA: Cheers to everybody at home, cheers to you too, Dagon, who's really good at joining us. She's crouching right in the frame.

MATT: Come over and say hi. Come on.

MARISHA: Yeah, come join in.

MATT: Say hi to the folks a little bit. She's hanging out over here. She's pretty cute.

MARISHA: There we go. That's a cute birb right there.

MATT: She doesn't know what's happening. Oh, she does.

MARISHA: Is this her Critical Role channel debut? I don't know if we've had her on anything else.

MATT: I think we've had her on some past Periscopes and stuff, but I don't know if we've had her...

MARISHA: Yeah, but I don't think on the channel channel.

MATT: Welcome--

MARISHA: Welcome.

MATT: --to the Internet, Dagon, again.

MARISHA: You're now a friend of CR, Dagon.

MATT: We're so sorry.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Don't let it go to your head.

MARISHA: She already has. She knows what she's done.

MATT: Come on, girl. She's stuck to my finger.

MARISHA: Here, give her to me.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: She's not going to want to go back now.

MATT: I know.

MARISHA: Well, I have a question from Graham Bud.

MATT: Graham Bud, what's up?

MARISHA: Yeah. I don't know where we got this question from but it doesn't matter. It's fine. He knows who he is. Graham wants to know: What was the balancing act, wanting to put as much information in as possible while also not spoiling things for fans and your players, and also leaving you creative freedom if the campaign moves in unexpected directions?

MATT: It's a good question, and it was definitely a continuous challenge as the book was being developed. We were luckily early enough in the campaign when this came about that I could really make sure that elements of the main Mighty Nein story that I had planned for down the road, like larger sweeping arc elements, would not be necessarily included in the book. Both to keep it unique to the Mighty Nein campaign and to prevent things from being spoilerific to people who acquire the book. So there are elements of the campaign you've seen already, since we began working on this, and elements down the road that are not included in here intentionally, so it could be unique to this campaign and these characters and their story. But it was hard. It was challenging. It was going through and picking which things-- like, "Aw, that shouldn't go in there." Or like, "Maybe I can tease this. Maybe I can allude to this and people who watch down the road can connect the dots after the fact." And there are a couple of things in there that I put in there thinking we'd probably hit those narrative reveals by the time the book comes out. There are things like the actual-- who the Traveler actually is, or certain characters, NPCs' alignments or affiliations and such, that we had put into the book with me knowing that by the time this came out we'd probably have them revealed. There was a little bit of a close call, to like, "Oh god, we're getting close," but that was timing something that if it didn't happen by the time the book came out to really make it easy for it to be revealed, but I didn't have to because you guys are ridiculous and rolled really high on a couple of specific things. But yeah, it was a delicate balance. It was not easy.

MARISHA: Wait, like what? Like what? Are you not going to tell us?

MATT: Well, no, just to an extent, like Essek.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: For instance. You know what I mean?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: But... yeah. That happened thankfully about a month out, so I didn't have to worry too much about that.

MARISHA: Yeah. I was kind of wondering that as we were getting into this. Are there going to be questions in here that I technically shouldn't know, and then if that's the case--

MATT: Well, if Dani has cultivated these properly, there shouldn't be.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: And if there's questions or the answers I feel to be spoilerific for my players, then I will not answer them. I might just tease elements.

MARISHA: It's putting a lot on Dani.

MATT: Sorry, Dani. Well, it's a lot on me too, because I get to pick it out as well. So we'll be fine.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: We'll figure it out.

MARISHA: Well, with that, Mark Alexander DiAsaro--

MATT: Yes, Mark Alexander DiAsaro.

MARISHA: --would like to know: How would you define Eiselcross's Aeor crash site and what is Aeorian technology?

MATT: Mmm. Aeor was one of the great traveling nations of the Age of Arcanum. It was definitely one of those magocracy cities, and... that is all explained in the book. Essentially, it's where, during the climactic battles of the Calamity and not unknown as to who was responsible necessarily for it crashing, but it fell during that time period, and has since then been lost as many things have been up in the biting north of Exandria. So that's about as much as I can talk about because there's more in the book to read, if you're interested. There's not much more information to give out that isn't already included in the book that is intentionally left out.

MARISHA: Yeah. And I mean, you also-- this book is so well done and so well laid out in terms of giving people at home the flexibility to really shape and build the Wildemount that they want to build.

MATT: That was another big intention. I wanted this to be a book for-- of course for fans of Critical Role who followed the campaign to immerse themselves in elements of the world that they are familiar with and wanted to learn more on and kind of deep digger or dig deeper even.

MARISHA: Yeah, or be deep diggers.

MATT: Either/or. Take your pick. That's a viable thing. Into the world and the lore around it, but also wanted it to be just a solid campaign setting for people who weren't familiar with the show to be able to dive into the world and hopefully be inspired by elements of it either to play in it specifically or to take things from it and incorporate it into their own homebrew worlds and stuff so that was part of that challenge. (chiming) Ooh. I'll be right back.

CALM FEMALE VOICE: Heads up. There is smoke in the hallway. The alarm is sounding. [unintelligible] in the hallway.

MARISHA: MARISHA: Yeah I had a pride of fear that would happen. Yeah, let's just open the front door. It'll be fine. Let a little-- Oh, they're all talking to each other now. Yeah, they're all going off. It's fine.

MATT: Live internet.

MARISHA: Pretty sure we...

MATT: We're good.

MARISHA: Yeah, I think it's just a little dusty. It's burning off a little dust. We're good.

MATT: We're good now.

MARISHA: Thanks for joining us in our homes, where we are having home issues.

MATT: It's fine. To finish what I was saying-- yeah, so anyway, I wanted to make it easy for anybody to dive into and take parts from it and enjoy. Anyway, next question. Ha ha.

MARISHA: Well, there's also, not only for like a DM standpoint, there's-- Joey came up with this really great, very detailed character creation system as well.

MATT: Yeah, the Heroic Chronicle, which was-- it was something me and him talked about trying to better... The airplane sound?

MARISHA: Uh huh.

MATT: Well, leave it open for the cross ventilation. Yay. Streaming from home.

MARISHA: It is really smokey.

CALM FEMALE VOICE: There is smoke in the kitchen.

MATT: I'll be right back.

CALM FEMALE VOICE: Sound alarm silenced in the kitchen.

MARISHA: This is going great.

MATT: This is what we get for actual fire in the fireplace.

MARISHA: This is why. This is why studios are like, "Don't do this."

MATT: The good news is, our fire alarms are fairly sensitive.

MARISHA: They work, yeah.

MATT: They work, and they're fairly sensitive.

MARISHA: And you know what? This is a very-- I think it's that one, now.

MATT: Okay.

CALM FEMALE VOICE: Heads up. There is smoke in the hallway.

MARISHA: Oh, it's the hallway one.

MATT: It is. This is hilarious. I hope everyone is enjoying this.

MARISHA: By the way, while everyone is staying at home-- yeah, yeah, keep it open-- this is a perfect time to check your smoke detectors. I think this is a good reminder and really this was just an elaborate PSA to have everyone check your home safety and monitoring devices.

MATT: Yeah. So to finish that, the Heroic Chronicle is the idea of being able to very quickly, either through rolling randomly on tables or choosing on tables, to develop a backstory, or elements of your backstory that tie you directly to Wildemount as a location. Things, for example, you can roll or choose where you grew up. Kind of where your hometown was. You can-- What are you laughing at?

MARISHA: I'm just going to go open some more windows. I'll be right back. Keep talking.

MATT: She'll be back. Where you grew up, the size of your family, things like the relationships you have with your family, certain allies and rivals you may have acquired throughout your days and who they are and kind of what they are, fateful moments that may have defined your life up to this point, favorite foods that you may have acquired... So it's really cool tool that Joey ran with and did an incredible job with so, hope people enjoy that. I don't know what questions she has ready, so until she returns here, I'm just going to go ahead and say thank you guys, for hanging with this absolutely chaotic and delightful fireside-- smokey side chat.

MARISHA: It's going great. Okay. All right.

MATT: I know, Dagon. I know.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: Next question.

MARISHA: It is obnoxiously smokey in here. It is hard to tell on camera--

MATT: Should we take Dagon out of the room?

MARISHA: We might put Dagon in the back room, but--

MATT: While you do that--

MARISHA: I do that. I want-- there's a lot of questions about the new classes and the new subclasses in here.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: So why don't you go over, set up what new classes are in this book, and then I'll answer some of the more direct questions about them.

MATT: Okay, you'll ask them?

MARISHA: Does that make sense?

MATT: Sure.

MARISHA: But yeah, tell them-- people like don't know or have a lot of questions about the Echo Knight and a lot of-- like the graviturgy wizard.

MATT: Okay, I'll give you a quick overview.

MARISHA: Give a quick overview. I'll be right back.

MATT: For those who aren't familiar, the book includes three new subclasses that are based around dunamancy, which in our campaign is a source of magic that deals primarily with potentiality, potential power and the potential choice and the influence one has in the world, and then branching from that goes into an esoteric, in some ways quantum theoretical physics realm of the manipulation of gravity and the manipulation of localized time, and how that itself can affect potentiality and probability. So we have the echo knight, which is a fighter subclass, that gives them a lot of combat utility where they can create a dunamis-concentrated clone of themself, if you want to say. It's not technically a creature. It is an object, but it is a replica of themselves. Technically it is an alternate version of them from an unrealized timeline being plucked into the current timeline and this shell essence of who they might have been is helping them on the battlefield, so they can have cool abilities of being able to sacrifice movement to trade places with their echo, the opportunity to have their attacks--

MARISHA: Keep going.

MATT: --have their attacks oriented from either where they are or the echo is. The echo at later levels can jump in and take hits for you or allies--

MARISHA: Do you pull it towards you or away from you? We never use this fireplace.

MATT: So it's fun. There are also two wizard subclasses: the graviturgist, which is a gravity-based wizard focusing on dunamancy, that can alter the density and weight of creatures and objects for a time, which allows heavy objects easier to lift and carry or maneuver, or making allies faster and nimbler, easier to push or throw, or for them to leap over crevasses, but--

MARISHA: I think it's open.

MATT: I think it is too. I think it's just too much smoke.

MARISHA: It's just a lot of smoke.

MATT: It's an old house.

MARISHA: Because it's away from me, which is what it's supposed to be, right?

MATT: I know. Well, there's a lot coming in right now. There's a lot of smoke coming in right now.

MARISHA: But-- but I think it's open.

MATT: Well, I don't know what to tell you. There's a lot of smoke coming into our house right now.

MARISHA: It's really smokey. I'm going to try to make it stop.

MATT: Okay. The graviturgist--

MARISHA: Uh, I think I just made it way more smokey.

MATT: Yeah. Marisha, what--

MARISHA: What? You got to separate the logs.

MATT: I know, but it's not even going up the chimney right now. It's just going into our house. We're turning into a haunted house right now.

MARISHA: This is great.

MATT: What are you--?

MARISHA: So--

MATT: [unintelligible] the chat. Fix the flue first!

MARISHA: Well, no, I'm getting assistance.

MATT: Oh, okay, from the chat?

MARISHA: "Push to open, pull to close."

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: Yeah, so it's open.

MATT: You push it out that way.

MARISHA: Yeah, you push it all the way towards it.

MATT: But so much of it's just coming right into our house. This is a terrible fireplace. There's a reason why we don't use this, apparently. You get what you pay for. Anyway.

MARISHA: Unless it's like a-- it's not like a left to right thing, right? I can't even get it to close.

MATT: Maybe you need to push it more. Maybe it's already closed.

MARISHA: But I don't know.

MATT: So graviturgist--

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: They can create tiny gravity wells based around targets with their spells. They can shift and manipulate creatures in the battlefield and help control the location of targets of their spellcasting. They can take melee and weapon attacks from allies and actually make them hit with more dangerous impact by increasing the gravitational pull between the weapon and the creature, as well as creatures that are falling, they can increase the damage they take from slamming into the ground, and eventually can become their own kind of intense focused source of crushing gravity for an ability called Event Horizon, which is pretty fun. Then there's the chronurgist who uses dunamis to shift and alter and freeze localized time. [loud beeping] Okay.

CALM FEMALE VOICE: Emergency. The smoke alarm is silenced in the hallway.

MATT: Jesus.

MARISHA: What's...

MATT: I'm going to pour some water on this.

MARISHA: What's funny-- but no, then it'll smoke like crazy.

MATT: I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

MARISHA: That's what everyone's suggesting, but then it'll be worse.

MATT: No, no, it gets bad.

MARISHA: It'll go-- it'll die down. It'll die down.

MATT: This is exactly what live entertainment is all about, guys.

MARISHA: This is going to end up in those Twitch fail compilations that people fucking make. This is going to be like...

MATT: Yeah, that's okay. Well. That flue can't be open. That's so much smoke!

MARISHA: No, it's open. It's a-- it's open.

MATT: That's a terrible fireplace.

MARISHA: No, it probably just needs to be cleaned out or something. We probably just need to clean this flue. We only use the other fireplace which is probably nice and cleaned out, so I'm assuming it just needs to be cleaned out. Well, my phone is exploding from everyone in the company ever texting me about how to fix this problem. Ummm, cool, so... Let's keep asking questions.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah, let me get out of this chair. Yeah.

MATT: That seems real sketchy.

MARISHA: So.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Um, with all that being said-- you know, it's funny, we-- we tested, and we tried to plot for like every anomaly, but did not anticipate the fire. I'm not gonna lie. That was one that was not thought about--

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: In the slightest. It's almost done. So you've kind of gotta like separate-- Here, let me flip the logs. That should maybe... I don't know.

MATT: This is absurd. Oh, it's hurting my eyes. This can't be open.

MARISHA: I don't know. It doesn't seem open. I mean-- yeah, it doesn't seem open. But it's definitely open.

MATT: Yay.

MARISHA: How's the internet? How are you guys?

MATT: Here, I'll keep focusing on these questions here. I'll do that.

MARISHA: Yeah, you keep focusing on the questions.

MATT: All right. Alric asks-- I don't know, Sam. I don't know. Sam literally says No, don't flip the logs.

MARISHA: Don't flip the--? Okay. They'll go out. They'll go out. Just got to get them separated. See, that one's already out, and that one's already out. And...

MATT: Before, when people asked about Jamedi Cosko's undead aura, you hinted the answer would be in the Wildemount guide. Is Jamedi a hollow one? He is. Oh, shit. Slippers on, right. I can do that now. I'm going to go put slippers on. This is going great!

MARISHA: It's going out, guys. We're getting it. Slowly but surely. This won't be a-- [Loud beeping]

STERN FEMALE VOICE: Emergency. [Loud beeping] This alarm can't be silenced. This alarm can't be silenced.

MATT: Cool.

MARISHA: Oh, Travis is calling. Yeah. Okay. Okay. We're gonna come back in just a bit, once we, uh... once we get this handled. Stay tuned.

STERN FEMALE VOICE: Emergency. There is smoke in the hallway.

Break[]

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES PLEASE STAND BY

Part II[]

MATT: We good? We got it. We did it. We managed it. Clear it out, get all the windows and doors open. We got it. Hey, everyone. Get this ready to go here. Get the audio. Hey, buddy. Hey, buddy.

MARISHA: You got out of Dodge at a good time, Dagon.

MATT: You did. Just in the nick of time. You sweet, sweet, lucky bird. Hey, buddy.

MARISHA: Hey, buddy. All right.

MATT: So we got questions.

MARISHA: So...@bajasti--

MATT: Yeah, bajasti. What we got, bajasti?

MARISHA: Would like to know, because we were talking about classes.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: We were talking about classes and your subclasses.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: So picking up where we left off.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: What races, besides drow, do you see being a graviturgy wizard and still staying inside the Dynasty?

MATT: I mean, really anybody could because anybody as part of the consecution can be reborn pretty much in any other possible race. It's during the moment of anamnesis when they begin to recall their previous life that they essentially come with the information to prove that they were once a graviturgist in the Dynasty. But also the secrets of dunamancy have spread beyond the Dynasty. The Cerberus Assembly have been definitely studying, researching, and disseminating elements of that. Other folks who may have left the Dynasty, expats may have shared the stories to the nations beyond. There are all sorts of creative, interesting ways you can decide that the secrets of dunamancy made their way beyond the Dynasty's borders, so I wouldn't restrict it, necessarily, if you had a fun creative reason to have access to that type of magic and have learned it or begun to learn it. So that would be my answer. The drow primarily were the originators of it, but you can take it where else from there you see fit.

MARISHA: Chris Lockey mentioned something. What did you say we should talk about, Lockey? Just text me directly. It doesn't matter at this point. Just text me 'cause it got buried under a bunch of stuff. Cool, cool.

MATT: That's a microphone, Dagon.

MARISHA: Man, I am so distracted.

MATT: Yeah. I can't imagine why. Next question.

MARISHA: Let's see. What's a good one? Oh, okay, yeah yeah yeah, okay. Going off of the classes. Going off of the classes. @ZachZombie1993: Is the echo knight meant to have endless uses of its ability to summon an echo per turn?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Mechanics question.

MATT: Correct. But you can only have one up at any given point in time. But it-- the echo itself is a utility feature with limitations on some of its more powerful abilities that do require an echo. But you can have an echo up at all times, essentially, as long as it stays within thirty feet of you. It's part of its fun, part of its main theme. You get to have an echo whenever you want.

MARISHA: That's pretty good.

MATT: It's fun.

MARISHA: Yeah. Cheers.

MATT: Cheers.

MARISHA: To you.

MATT: An ever stranger month.

MARISHA: Yeah. I know, Dagon. You kind of touched on this earlier, but @ShabbyRaven--

MATT: What's up, ShabbyRaven? Either way.

MARISHA: Did you feel pressure to get the true identity of the Traveler out in the game before the book was released, since it says it in the book who he is.

MATT: It wasn't pressure. I knew that it was probably going to happen within a period of time leading up to Traveler Con. If somehow the story went completely ass-end and that wasn't going to emerge, then I would have just kept my players from reading it and would have hoped that the community wouldn't have spoiled it for my players. But I wasn't terribly worried. I didn't feel too much pressure about it.

MARISHA: This is a good one. @HardlyVolting wants to know--

MATT: What's up, HardlyVolting?

MARISHA: When designing world maps, do you base it on real world continent shapes and work from there or do you just pick a random shape and go for it? I'm having a hard time figuring out scale. Which is an excellent question that leads us into a funny story about one of the maps in there being a little off.

MATT: All the maps in there.

MARISHA: All the maps.

MATT: All the maps with a distance scale. So yeah. I take inspiration by looking at real world maps. I don't directly focus on them or try and copy them. I look at them to kind of get a feel for how coastal regions work, how islands form, how tectonic plates shift and create mountain regions and such. And then I throw all that away and then just start doing the other things, start making up fun weird shapes. So I use the inspiration I get from looking at maps and then use that to just make up interesting weird shapes and landmasses based on what-- I don't know-- what seems fun and interesting in my head. I usually-- I sketch it out in pencil first, an outline, until I have an outline that I think looks interesting and dynamic, and then from there, I'll start sketching in lakes and rivers and other water, passages and mountain ranges. From there, I'll probably scan it in and start going into Photoshop and adding textures and stuff just for my own reference and fun. Maybe one of these days, I'll show you guys my personal map that I made of Wildemount before handing it to our fantastic cartographer Deven Rue to make it look much better, much better. So that's kind of my process there. As far as what you were referring to-- it's funny, when you're getting a book like this done and you have a time frame to get it done in and everyone's looking over and poring over everything and making changes and fixes and improving things. I'm so focused on the content of the words and so focused with the art that comes back, with the composition of the work, and particularly with the maps, with Deven, making sure that all the things that are necessary are there, and the locations look right and the layout's perfect and everything. For some reason at the very tail end of the production when the final maps came through, I didn't notice that the scale and distance for our city maps was in miles when it was supposed to be, I think, in feet. So for the city maps--

MARISHA: Or meters, maybe. Feet would have not worked, either.

MATT: No, feet I think might have worked.

MARISHA: I guess it would have depended on the scale.

MATT: Depend on the scale. But it put us in a position, hilariously, after we knew the book was already going to print, that I noticed that in the copy that I got from Wizards and immediately messaged Deven and was like, "Sooo, this is funny." So, yeah. So take the maps as supposed to be feet, I believe. I can confirm with Deven. Instead of miles. In which case, it would be a very different type of campaign.

MARISHA: It's huge. Huge.

MATT: Yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: It's massive.

MATT: I mean you can play it that way if you want, if you really want to make it weird and interesting, go for like a Gulliver's Travels type party in a world of giants, then hey! Go for that. It's already built for you. Have fun.

MARISHA: How far is it from the farmers market to the tavern? 40 miles!? This city sucks!

MATT: That's across the street. Some people spend their entire lives just trying to traverse to the other side. But anyway, that's the scenario there.

MARISHA: Lockey was mentioning that it would be very thematic for you to talk about the Ember Thickets of Blightshore. That's what it was.

MATT: I'm gonna pull up in the storybook here because it's fun. Let's see. I don't think we have art for the Ember Thickets directly.

MARISHA: I have ash on my iPad.

MATT: I can't imagine why. It's the weirdest thing. Do we have art for the Ember Thickets? I don't think we do.

MARISHA: It's Blightshore, though.

MATT: I'm looking for the...

MARISHA: It's very...

MATT: I don't see that section in here, buddy. You might have to post that on your socials. Let's go to the next question on the actual list from the community.

MAIRSHA: Okay. But there's a-- okay. Well, this is also still kind of thematic. David Maloney @David_Maloney wants to know: What can you tell us about the origins of the River Inferno in Eiselcross? And if it is connected to the Plane of Fire, are the Fire Ashari aware or concerned about it?

MATT: See, this is fun. That's a very good question and I figured this was gonna happen with a lot of these questions. There are elements in this book that I leave open specifically so that you can decide in your campaign what it is. So I have my ideas of why that molten river of lava exists across Eiselcross and manages to coexist amongst the rest of the frozen landscape there, but I definitively-- and there are a lot of elements in the book here I definitively do not give all of the answers because I want that to be an invitation for you to take it and run with it and create your own version. If I define it, then it's defined for everybody and they feel the urge-- whether or not they take it-- they feel the urge to have to stringently adhere to what I put in the book. I like the idea of leaving mysteries open there, because it coaxes you, as the dungeon master, to want to explore and create those answers for yourself in the game. So is it connected to the Fire Plane? I mean, it certainly feels like it would be. So if that's something that you would want to consider in your campaign, you can definitely do that. But there's a lot of weird magic around Eiselcross in general. Some of it dregs left over from the Age of Arcanum and the Calamity, elements from there that can be just weird arcane feedback that's affecting nature strangely. There's there's a whole region there, a crater that very much exemplifies that aspect of weird, chaotic, wild magic given dominion over a specific location. So for that, I did not define it. I have in my head my idea on how I would run it, and my reasons for it being what it is, but I don't want to define that because I specifically want to give you the opportunity to create that yourself. I don't intend that to be a cop-out. That is an intentional choice of mine, and I'm sorry if that's frustrating, but specifically there are a lot of things in this book that I left open for that reason.

MARISHA: I think that's awesome, though.

MATT: Well, thank you. Some people will be frustrated. I know some people want answers and like, "I want answers to everything! Why didn't you detail everything in the book?" I mean, the book would be a lot thicker, and that would be a lot crazier, which is hard to imagine at this moment. But that's my reasoning.

MARISHA: Well, that's actually a good question. Someone has... where was it? I saw it. Oh, here we go. James Parks, @JamesParks, said: "I love the lore you and the team have managed to scatter throughout the book. When establishing the creation myth and how the Luxon factored in, is there any material that ended up getting cut for space/mystery?" But I think that that question can apply to this as well. Where did you find the balance between mystery and leaving it open, but then also doing that lore scatter?

MATT: That's a valid point. There was nothing that was cut from the lore. In fact, Wizards didn't want to cut any of the lore. A couple of small locations that were fleshed out ended up being cut, but they were mostly like the Whitedawn Lagoon, which dealt with, in our current campaign, the answers to what happened to the Clay Family and the surrounding of the Circle of Beasts there. That got cut, but only for space. But it didn't really add anything too important to the book necessarily that wasn't answered in the show. So that was okay. But as far as like the Luxon? No, I intentionally put in as much as I did and limited any detail from my ideas of what it all means at the end of it, because once again, I want there to be a mystery there. I don't want to give all the answers and while some of the answers might be extremely big or esoteric or weird to put into a book, some of them are things that I might want to toy with down the road, so I don't want to put a defined answer here in case I want to incorporate it in something else. So no, nothing was cut. Everything was intentionally put and presented the way that it was. Do I know everything about the Luxon and the purpose and everything there? Yes, I do, from my standpoint and my interpretation, and that might come into play some point down the road. Who knows? But until then, and even aside from that, you can take what's there and fill in the spaces for yourself however you see fit with your campaign.

MARISHA: Yay.

MATT: There you go. That's my answer. I'm sticking with it.

MARISHA: I also know, just being from a third party watching all this craziness transpire, you fought to have things not be cut and for this to be like thick, and-- not that you've fought things not dealing with Wizards but just in your own head making sure that you had as much space to get everything out there that you wanted to get out.

MATT: Yeah, it was a unique challenge. At a certain point you have to consider it done. At a certain point, you have to go "that's enough." If I go any more, I'll never stop, and I'll drive myself crazy trying to include everything. So a lot of that was-- the help was me going to the people that I brought on board to help write this and be like, "You know what? This little section is yours. This little section is yours. You run with it, and I'll give you the overview of it. I'll give you the details of what I had planned for it, what I hoped for, what I want there to be in there and the general themes of it. You flesh it out, detail it, and throw some of your own creativity into that space. So those were places where I got to watch other people bring their own flourishing ideas to it and surprise me in some ways, and make me proud in many, many others. So that was easier to deal with because was somebody else's purview at that point.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: But the massive of what I wrote for this-- that was part of the challenge, was figuring out what to omit and at what point to just say, "That's enough."

MARISHA: Speaking of collaborating with other writers, you've worked with amazing, legendary writers--

MATT: In my mind, in my heart, they're legendary.

MARISHA: In the RPG space.

MATT: And for many people, I'm sure they are. They will be. They're all good people.

MARISHA: What was it like working with outside writers and having them help shape the world that you've been so close to, and that you built?

MATT: Honestly, it was-- my expectations were already kind of skewed by working with Joey on the Tal'Dorei guide because he was not just like a great person to work with, and really easy to work with, and really deep into the idea of collaboration. So going into this I had high expectations, and James and Chris really stepped up to the plate as well, and all of them brought their own awesome creative ideas. And what we do is, we'd meet every week via online video conferencing and go over what we've all been working on, where we're at, and go overview what they want to do over the next week. And so we had these weekly meetings where we'd-- I'd break down the overall scope of what we want to accomplish the next week, and they'd tell me what they're working on, if they had any questions, any clarifications. I'd review their materials and give them any feedback or anything that I needed on the elements that they were tackling, and that was just kind of the process through. And it was great. Everyone was awesome. And I don't have a lot of previous work experience in this realm to say like I know how to do this. We were all kind of-- at least I was figuring it out as I went, between the two of them, but it seemed to work out fine between us, and it was really awesome.

MARISHA: Good. I really like this question from @Ryleshare.

MATT: What's up, Ryleshare? Apologies.

MARISHA: Yeah. Dunamancy spells are too fun to hold back. Do you have any suggestive lore on why or how non-wizard classes might gain access to these awesome spells?

MATT: Certainly. So yeah, so the dunamancy spells that we have in the book are designed for these subclasses, but there is a whole section of the book that is written up that specifically outlines how to incorporate that. Like dunamancy for non-dunamancers. It's a whole sidebar right there at the top, and the idea is the dunamancers have access to the spell list, but those who are not-- if you're a dungeon master, you can just include them if you want to. If you're like, "Eh, they're part of the spell list. Have fun. Everyone can pick from them." You can totally do that. That's up to you. It's your game. My recommendation is to make them interesting lore aspects to incorporate, and rewards for circumstances. Maybe they, in the middle of a dungeon crawl, stumble across the corpse of a hermited researcher who had done a breakthrough in various magical experimentation, and they find a bunch of their notes are still intact, along with a number of spells, these strange esoteric spells. This might be the introduction of dunamancy in your campaign setting if you're not playing within Wildemount. Or, if there are individuals that are already specialists in dunamancy, perhaps they befriend someone, much like Caleb befriended Essek and Essek taught him a few spells. That was my way of incorporating it. Caleb's not a dunamancer, but because he had access to one, and had built up a rapport with this individual, eventually as part of a trade, was like, "Okay, I'll help you, and I'll teach you some of these secrets." So you can incorporate npcs that can bequeath these unto players of any spellcasting class if you'd like. There's also the element of them earning it, specifically seeking out if they hear of whispers of this strange new magic, or an ancient magic. Maybe in your world it's always existed but it's been lost through time and now it's slowly being uncovered. Then you could incorporate narrative reasons that they're trying to find this specifically, and look towards locations where it might have been buried or lost, and trying to recover it for themself. Or, maybe they just work really hard and get some weird inspiration. It's up to you. It's up to you. But those are-- there's a lot of suggestions in that section and many more that I'm sure any members of the community could also tell you about how they incorporated it as well to hopefully inspire you.

MARISHA: There are no rules, man.

MATT: There are rules.

MARISHA: There are very few rules--

MATT: But they're your rules.

MARISHA: I really like this question from @FreckledMcCree.

MATT: Aww. He would be freckled, I think.

MARISHA: Yeah, maybe like on the joints and like elbows and stuff.

MATT: I think he had freckles when he was younger, and then they went away as he got older.

MARISHA: Oh, really?

MATT: Maybe.

MARISHA: It did it over time?

MATT: Maybe. It happens.

MARISHA: I like freckled McCree.

MATT: There you go.

MARISHA: It's cute.

MATT: Anyway.

MARISHA: The guide has a delightful variant of orcs that feels to mechanically bring them in line with the Guide's world-building of orcs as no more inherently evil than any other race. What was the process, struggles, and joys of reconciling the mechanics to that story?

MATT: Well, I mean, it's a couple of things. Yeah, this actual build of the orc was explored as well in the Eberron guide, which came out before this, as well. I've been in a discussion for a while amongst a lot of creators in this space that orcs were-- always got the shaft, even though where they were born from, and really came to prominence in the Lord of the Rings as this kind of-- this idea of industrialization and the evil of in many ways of an exploitive capitalist society. A lot of that also lent to orcs being an unnecessarily lambasted and evil touted entity in a lot of media. I fell into that as well. I grew up reading Lord of the Rings, and in all the media I consumed the orcs were just bad, and it isn't until you begin to expand your horizons and see other people's perspectives that there's a lot of inherent cultural coding in them that makes it important to ensure that you don't continue to-- and as best as you can, to continue to enforce those unnecessary elements, and so that was something that we had discussed not wanting to do anyway, especially a part of the way I built this world intentionally was to bring our world away from the idea that there is good and evil inherently within people. You know, people from this region are bad. People from this region are good. That's ridiculous. And while the first game was much more black-and-white, that was more from a narrative base, and finding creatures that were more classically monstrous and easy to fit into that space. With Wildemount I wanted to explore the aspect of evil as-- morality is relative, but evil is born from experience and intent, not from bloodline. Not from lineage. So when we came around to making this book, it was very important that we've managed to steer away from that classic idea of the orcs. Even the marauders that we had situated in Tal Dorei's campaign guide, which was meant to be just one facet, but even then, there were facts in that book that were lazy, looking back on it. I'm not necessarily very proud of that. And so, that's part of the learning process as well. I'm trying to do better and trying to make it a more nuanced interpretation of something that hadn't been given the right spin in a lot of media. That was a big focus on this. So it was-- yeah, it was not necessarily challenging, because I think we were all excited to do that. It was just finding the right way to do it from a lore standpoint. And since the mechanics have already been toyed with on the Wizards of the Coast side, it made it an easier fit for us to find something we were happy with and put in the book. I hope that helps. Interesting question.

MARISHA: I think it's great.

MATT: You're the best wife.

MARISHA: I love it.

MATT: You look mad right now.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Like Mad Madam Mim right now, and it's kind of hot, I'm not gonna lie.

MARISHA: It's a mood.

MATT: Yep. Anyway...

MARISHA: It's a big mood.

MATT: Where'd my drink go? There it is.

MARISHA: It's still there.

MATT: It's still there. What is tonight?

MARISHA: I don't know. It tracks.

MATT: Oh, very much so. Very much so. This entire night has been so on-brand for us I can't even-- I'm excited that you had the opportunity to look into the scattered ridiculousness that is our life almost all the time.

MARISHA: Mm-hmm. Anyway--

MATT: The fact that I'm still alive is I'm a miracle. Continue.

MARISHA: Oh, I-- everyday past like 25, I was like, "Dope!" This is just bonus days now.

MATT: There's a Martin Short movie called "Pure Luck" that I just identify with so strongly sometimes.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah, it's...

MATT: Dagon agrees.

MARISHA: I think she wants to come back over.

MATT: Yeah, come on, girl.

MARISHA: Hi, girl. Okay. I like this question 'cause it's about my class.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: @darling_Sammy wants to know: I'm curious about the change to the Cobalt Soul in the book versus what's been shown on the live stream. Is it a network of libraries or archives? Is there public access to the Cobalt Soul or is it by appointment only since monks have to be there to observe patrons?

MATT: It's both. It is an archive in the sense that it collects and is a repository to maintain historical record of everything that they can possibly hold on to. They are about the care taking of, the maintaining of information in the midst of all the world's dangers and those that would not want it to be freely available. However, because there are many people that would want to see such endeavors deteriorated, the Cobalt Soul, while not necessarily appointment-- although maybe with certain more rare and more dangerous information might be appointment-based and kind of an approval process-- but largely you can-- most folks can go into it, but you must be attended as you go through it. And part of that is from just further developing the lore behind them. The Cobalt Reserve, which was in Tal’Dorei, in the beginnings of that design I had a much-- a broader idea of what the society, meant what the faction was all about, but as I've grown as a storyteller and as a world builder just through this experience and now with this campaign having a character that was so deeply ingrained within this particular faction, it just made me want to dive even deeper into it. And not just that, but think of the difference between Tal’Dorei’s cultures and societies vs. Wildemount. The Library of the Cobalt Soul in Wildemount would be very different than the one in Tal’Dorei because it's dealing with a much more tumultuous political situation pretty much at all given points in time.

MARISHA: The one in Wildemount?

MATT: The one in Wildemount.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah. So it also needs to feel different. It needs to feel unique in its own place. It's a network that, while they're all connected, they all have their own respective issues they have to deal with and important elements they have to protect from their own unique threats based on where they are in the world. So that's why in the Wildemount guide it is a little different. That doesn't mean it's different overall, but that is definitely the focus of it in Wildemount.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: The factions can-- factions that are worldwide in Exandria can be radically different from location to location because that's what happens when you live in different places around the world.

MARISHA: Yeah. Also you built that subclass, and then we kind of play tested it on stream, so there's been...

MATT: Yeah, there were elements of the Tal'Dorei guide that it was very much kind of a... I wasn't expecting to put so many player-facing things in there, and it was a very tight schedule and I had had some experience designing in the system, but it was very much like, "Oh, okay, I'll put-- sure, I'll put some subclasses in." And then it happened. I don't know how much play testing got into that. And so I've learned a lot of lessons since then and I'm continuing to learn as a game designer, which certainly I never thought I'd even really get into, but here we are. So play testing it live through the campaign and adjusting it as we go, and-- who knows? Maybe someday when I get it to a place where I'm very happy with, which we're getting closer and closer to it, we'll put out something a little more formal, like on DM's Guild or something. But the intent of the monk, of the Cobalt Soul, is not to be the highest damage dealer or the one that has the most combat utility. It is intentionally designed to be one that is a monk of knowledge. It has-- it's powerful enough that it can hold its own in battle and still be a useful monk in combat but its focus is in having access to knowledge-based skills and having better ability to investigate and learn and know about the world around them, as is the nature-based element of the Cobalt Soul itself-- or of the intelligence-based.

MARISHA: I kind of always imagined the libraries to be like, yeah. Kind of what you already said. They're not-- they're more like franchises. They're all the same brand, in the same company, but each one is probably run a little bit different just based on...

MATT: Yeah. Yeah. Each one has their High Curator that-- they connect and work together but they all have their own independent functionality and internal structure there. And like I said, the library itself, what-- you don't have access to everything. You don't walk in there and be like, "Oh, I want to go here." You can eventually, but you have to earn trust. You have to prove yourself, and you have to be under this very definitive watch to gain access to some of the "in" information. There's a front-facing Cobalt Soul and there's an internal Cobalt Soul.

MARISHA: Once again, that, I think, just further goes to your point of "It's your campaign at the end of it all, and however your Cobalt Soul you want it to be." Just be the Cobalt Soul.

MATT: Yeah, anything in here you don't like, anything in here that you want to shift, anything you want to change-- do it. That's kind of the awesome thing about it and what I'm most excited about. I'm excited for people to take this book and make it their own. Whether that means using stuff that's in here or changing stuff that it's in here, making it specific to what you want to do. That's, to me, super exciting.

MARISHA: I'm gonna get back on this for a bit 'cause there's a decent amount of--

MATT: Yeah, I want try to get through faster answers so I can get through a lot of questions here.

MARISHA: Sure. There's a decent amount of questions around the Echo Knight and what the Echo Knight can do. @JeffreyNMeade wants to know: There's some uncertainty with what an Echo Knight can do. For example, help with sneak attack or flanking, grapple, fly, climb, swim, be affected by certain spells, abilities that specify a creature or object, etc., etc. Can you shed some light on the design intent?

MATT: Yes. The echo of an Echo Knight is technically not a creature. It doesn't occupy space as a creature. It can be attacked like an object, so it can take damage. Spell effects can damage it. It can be attacked and destroyed. But it it is not considered an ally, technically. I think Jeremy Crawford actually clarified this recently on Twitter too. So it would not trigger flanking. It's essentially an extension of you, as opposed to being a whole 'nother creature. Sometimes it can act independently based on the the way you trigger it and utilize your abilities, but it is meant to be a shade of what you could have been in this other timeline, and as such it is a utility feature. And it is a condensed dunamantic shell of yourself as opposed to an actual ally. So thinking in that terms, that's the intent behind it. If a GM wants to change that, you can go for it. I mean, the idea being that when you-- there's an ability where you can focus your consciousness into it, I would rule that when you're focusing on it, it can act like a creature, like you could because you're basically now in control of it as opposed to it being autonomous, which it largely isn't. It isn't an autonomous creature. Its you're directing it on your turn to do things and it's kind of following your lead because it is not a living entity.

MARISHA: Going off of that, TellKay from Twitch chat wants to know: Why the Constitution focus for Echo Knights?

MATT: The idea being that the idea of pulling an echo from another place, and it is a part of you, and focusing on the dunamantic energies that keep it there, and shift yourself to and back from it, and putting your physicality through it, is a physically taxing experience. It's less about the extreme wisdom or knowledge to do so and it's more about the physical exertion and the the hardiness that is required to maintain its capabilities, so that's why. The constitution focus in a lot of the abilities are based on your ability to actually give those exertions and be able to do so without major drawbacks to yourself. That, and to prevent it from a fighter having to focus on another additional stat on the side when we wanted to make this a fun combat fighter without too much of a weird esoteric intelligence focus when it was just a single type of feature, and based around that feature that didn't need an additional stat necessarily beyond the combat based ones.

MARISHA: Let's see. Let's do more from the Twitch chat.

MATT: Sure, sure.

MARISHA: This is a great one.

MATT: You got a little seed there, girl?

MARISHA: Yeah, she's getting spoiled with treatses. Yadonna wants to know:

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: To what degree did player choices early in the campaign influence the writing of the campaign setting?

MATT: Um...

MARISHA: Talk about us. What we contribute as players?

MATT: I mean, you guys contributed a lot just in your backstories. The Volstrucker, that was something that was inspired by Caleb's backstory. I didn't have all these ideas in my head before we started playing and now I just finally put them in a book. A lot of this is developed and designed as we play, so a lot of these ideas were fleshed out based on things you guys wrote in your backstory. Uk'otoa as an entity didn't exist--

MARISHA: (whispering) Uk'otoa...

MATT: Even on here.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: -- as an entity didn't exist until Travis sent me his backstory. The Traveler as an entity didn't exist until me and Laura discussed Jester's backstory. A lot of these elements in the book here came from choices you guys made before we started playing and decisions we made throughout the campaign as we went from there. So yeah, I mean, I think a lot of it has. Specific instances? I mean, I have to think for a minute beyond just the backstory elements there, but there are parts of even Xhorhas that I was able to get to fleshing out sooner than I expected because you guys went there sooner than I expected. And on a unique side of the political spectrum, so it was fun.

MARISHA: There's been a decent amount of questions about the Divine Gate in general. Let me go back up to the top. Where was this? Someone was like, "Talk about the Divine Gate."

MATT: Yeah, I'll talk about the Divine Gate all day.

MARISHA: Oh, "Is the Prime Material Plane the only one on our side of the Divine Gate?" was one question. Who asked that? SuperGrrl62. And then going off of that, Skyling wants to know: The book says that the Raven Queen lives in the Shadowfell, but that's on the wrong side of the Divine Gate, isn't it? Or is-- what is that?

MATT: So the Divine Gate is a veil in an esoteric sense. It's not a physical barrier. It's not like a bubble around the plane. It's not like there's a net that can only fit so many, so much of the planes around here and everything else is barred from it. It's meant to be kind of a an esoteric non-Euclidean structure that is a barrier between the Prime Material Plane and everything else. So to answer the first question, it is intently just around the Prime Material Plane. It is to protect the life, the creations of the gods, and where a lot of the narrative stems from, which is the Prime Material Plane. You can have your discussions about why the Prime Material Plane is so important in comparison to all those other places and it could be like, because that's where souls are born, that's where the creations live, that's where faith stems from. There's so many different things you could say as to why the Prime Material Plane is kind of the primordial soup that gives meaning, purpose, and structure to a lot of the other realms on the outside. So that's why it was sealed off. And so the Shadowfell and the Feywild, while they do border, they're the closest to the Prime Material Plane, there is still a thin veil between them, based on the Divine Gate. It is not a physical gate. It is just a veil, if you like. A thin boundary or barrier between these realms, considered almost like a like a crack in a mirror.

MARISHA: That's cool.

MATT: These cracks between all these different places and the Divine Gate is what divides each of these sections of the mirror, and then right in the middle is this one beautifully pristine, polished part of the mirror, and that's the Prime Material Plane.

MARISHA: Just like a beautiful little pearl.

MATT: Sure. Something like that.

MARISHA: Right in the middle. I think Dagon is going for the open thing of treats that she has discovered.

MATT: Oh, Dagon, no.

MARISHA: Yep, she's going for them.

MATT: She is.

MARISHA: Yeah. The chaos continues. Okay, let's talk about the Volstruckers, since you brought that up just a second ago. How much are the Volstruckers-- this is from Nighttarrant11650-- How much do the Volstruckers know about the Augen Trust? Does the Augen Trust have agents in the Volstruckers or vice versa?

MATT: Mmm.

MARISHA: Is this like a "player shouldn't know" thing?

MATT: Well, I just don't want to-- I don't want to paint myself in a corner in case-- like there are certain things I want to be--

MARISHA: Fluid on?

MATT: --vague about and fluid on in case they come into our story or narrative in the future. They're definitely aware of each other. There are not members, that anyone is aware of, of both. They are very much separate factions. The Augen Trust works directly with the Council of Dwendal, of King Dwendal himself, whereas the Volstruckers are specifically to the Cerberus Assembly, and in many ways they're opposing. They're-- on paper, they're working on the same team, but it's kind of known that they both are a checks and balances to each other--

MARISHA: Gotcha.

MATT: --and the factions that they work under within the Dwendalian Empire.

MARISHA: So one's almost like under the government, and one's like privatized?

MATT: Sure. Yeah, if you want to put it that way.

MARISHA: I'm using 2020 terminology.

MATT: I know, but no, but no. That does kind of work, yeah.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: If you will. I would say, there is no known crossover publicly of anyone between one of the other, largely because many people aren't even aware that the Volstrucker are a thing, or the Augen Trust are a thing, and those that do know are usually on a higher level of government or political nobility or people that are considered crazy in public space. They know the information but nobody believes it because they're just the boogeymen that are spoken of in tales and stories.

MARISHA: There you go. Good girl.

MATT: So... yeah. For there to be a person-- Bye, Dagon! Still holding her treat. That's priorities. I respect that. [Laughter]

MARISHA: She'll be fine.

MATT: She'll come back over here in a second.

MARISHA: We need to get her wings clipped, but her little groomer is closed. Anyway, going off of the Cerberus Assembly, Laveros wants to know: Due to their rivalry with the Cerberus Assembly, does the Cobalt Soul have its own set up for magical research and development?

MATT: Sorry, read the first part again?

MARISHA: Due to their rivalry with the Cerberus Assembly--

MATT: Oh, yes.

MARISHA: -- does the Cobalt Soul have its own magic and research department, basically.

MATT: Yeah, I'd say so.

MARISHA: Yeah. Yeah, they do.

MATT: Yeah. Because there are a large proliferation of monks, because we-- that's our reference point here, with the Expositors and such, doesn't mean the Cobalt Soul are all monks. There is a large-- comparatively a large retinue of monks that work there, but there are people of all different classes and backgrounds that are part of the Cobalt Soul. There are people that are just researchers. They aren't even a class. A lot of NPCs-- Not every NPC has a class, too. That's one thing I think a lot of people fall into the idea of, is that, "Well, if it's a person in a D&D world, they have to have a class." It's like, no, adventurers have classes, and people that are pulled to those various lifestyles may take a class, but a lot of them are just people.

MARISHA: I'm a sheep farmer.

MATT: Yeah. You see the the NPC blocks in a lot of the books that reflect that. You have guards, you have spies, which-- some of those can bleed into rogue or other territories but they're just unique takes on it. But yeah, there are people-- there are clerics of the Cobalt Soul, who are worshipers of Ioun that-- like a Knowledge Domain would be a perfect follower in there. There are people who are domain of-- I believe there is a Domain of-- one of the Wizard domains. You can choose any of the Wizard domains and it will still work in there, like Abjuration is an easy fit.

MARISHA: Conjuration.

MATT: Conjuration. All of them would fit.

MARISHA: Necromancy?

MATT: Necromancy would be tenuous for approval, but it'd be a lot of control to whoever takes that path, especially--

MARISHA: Transmutation?

MATT: Necromancy would be really tricky in Wildemount, or specifically the Empire because it's kind of a soft ban on it.

MARISHA: It's Transmutation, right? That's what Caleb is.

MATT: Yeah, Transmutation. All of them will really work. Necromancy a little touchier. So, yeah, to answer your question, yes. Next question.

MARISHA: One more question about the Cerberus Assembly--

MATT: Let me go off that, too. Even though they have magical research, it's hard to say that they would have anything on par with the Cerberus Assembly. When you have a network of extremely powerful Archmages that maintain their control amongst their group to ensure that they are the most powerful mages of the land essentially. Anybody who encroaches upon that power set, they either try and assimilate or undercut at every turn, so the Cerberus Assembly definitely is the powerhouse when it comes to arcane and magical research, for that reason. They just have all the best people, or at least most of the best people, under one roof all working together.

MARISHA: Someone asked-- it's not the question I was looking for but someone asked, Volhunt27--

MATT: Sounds like a--

MARISHA: Nope, sorry, that's a different question. JoseOrjv. Do the Volstruckers as a unit all specialize in the same types of magic or do they each have their own specialties? They each have their own specialties, right?

MATT: I think it's less that they individually have to have different specialties but some wizards just have specialties, so sometimes you'll have multiples of, under a same school of preference, and some will be under different diverse types of schools of capability and focus. I think it depends on who they are and what it is that is their knack in magic. So it isn't like a focus. They aren't all transmutation wizards, I guess, if that's what the reference is to. It just depends on what that particular caster's knack was for when they were taken in and inducted as a Volstrucker.

MARISHA: This is a fun one. There's a lot of people repeatedly asking about these Pallid Elves.

MATT: Yes, in the Pallid Grove.

MARISHA: Yes. Any lore details on the Pallid Elves? The book really only gives one stat block, says RatsComingForYou. But like I said, there's been a lot of question about the Pallid Elves and, yeah, what is it? The Grove?

MATT: Well, that's that's where the lore is from, actually. There's a place called the Pallid Grove which exists in the Menagerie Coast section that goes a little bit more into their lore. Let me see where it is here. There's the Pallid Grove. So it's in the northern Cyrios Mountains region. It's technically not-- I consider it in the part of Menagerie Coast area because it is outside of the Dwendalian Empire and is within the Cyrios Mountains, which are largely considered part of the Menagerie Coast even though it's not near the coast. But it's this-- what was this lush forest that during the Calamity, Torog in particular, the Crawling King just decimated and left it kind of destroyed and ruined, and these elves, the Pallid Elves-- it says here, there's a section called Pale Survivors that directly discusses about them. They've kind of lived in fear since that destruction, underground, and staying there. Essentially the... how to put it? The bunker elves, if you will. The ones that just stayed underground, hoping that the Apocalypse would go over, and stayed to themselves until time had passed and eventually began to kind of emerge again. They're a little behind the drow as far as getting back out to the world. At least the drow of Wildemount are. Funny, you'd think the drow would be pale-skinned from living underground so long. One of the weird things about drow lore in D&D that don't make any sense. So the Pallid Elves are the answer to that. They are elves that are very pale because they lived underground for a long time, away from all light. And their worship that kept them through this is to the Moonweaver, and so the light of the moon is very much the drive for their continued existence, their survival, and eventually their curiosity to expand beyond the Pallid Grove.

MARISHA: CrispyChats wants to know the relationship between the Pallid Elves and the Lotusden halflings. Can you give the history of that?

MATT: The relationship between them?

MARISHA: Can you give the history of the Pallid Elves and the Lotusden halflings? Oh, maybe--

MATT: Oh, just asking about both.

MARISHA: Separate. Okay. Sorry.

MATT: Well, you got some Pallid Elf lore there. The Lotusden Halflings are... As far as the lore goes, they are the protectors of this vast forest in Xhorhas, or at least took it upon themselves to be the protectors of it. You saw in the campaign where Charis is. They passed through. Its where they fought the Wraithroot Tree when they were trying to hunt down Obann, who was searching for one of the pieces of the Inevitable End. I'm going to see if I can find the picture of the location on the continent. You want to take Dagon for a second there?

MARISHA: Come on.

MATT: Come on, Dagon. There we go, on the shoulder. That'll work.

MARISHA: There you go.

MATT: So there you go. There's the Lotusden Greenwood... I don't know if I can show you, kind of.

MARISHA: It should autofocus.

MATT: That lower area there. You can find it on your map. It's fine.

MARISHA: Yeah, find it on your map.

MATT: But the Lotusden Greenwood-- they consider themselves protectors of areas of it and trying to fight back the terrible denizens that hunt through that region. They're the hippie halflings. They're the... they're a druidic society that lives off the land purely. They're-- the best way I can kind of--

CALM FEMALE VOICE: Heads up.

MATT: What's...?

MARISHA: I thought we fixed this problem.

CALM FEMALE VOICE: There is smoke in the kitchen and in the hallway. The alarm may sound.

MARISHA: Well, we know that already! We fixed this problem!

MATT: I'm going to double check this real fast.

MARISHA: Everything's fine.

CALM FEMALE VOICE: --silenced in this room.

MARISHA: Oh, it's silenced now.

MATT: I got it. The saga continues.

MARISHA: Everything is fine.

MATT: Everything's fine.

MARISHA: Everything's fine.

MATT: But yeah, so the Lotusden Halflings are-- and it's not just the Lotusden Halflings. There's a lot of different creatures that live within Charis and are part of the society. But since these halflings are the ones that have been there the longest, the ones that kind of started this village of Charis, they're the ones that first took on the charge to be guardians of the portions of the Lotusden Greenwood that they could maintain the safety of and keep clear and clean with their connection to nature. They're the ones that were just slowly over time began to become one with the location they live in. That connection to nature strengthened and began to alter them into a more nature based halfling variant. So that was kind of the inspiration behind them. The lore doesn't go too much deeper than that. Left once again, open to the point where if you wanted to delve into it, you could continue to do so on your own standpoint there. But that's the most concise way I can put it. I don't wanna ramble too much on that one particular topic because we have a lot of questions to get to.

MARISHA: I mean, there's like so much. You could just talk about this book forever.

MATT: I know. I know. And they're awesome. I love the art for them.

MARISHA: (to Dagon) Do you want another treat? You want another treat? You can have another treat.

MATT: Where is it? Where is the Lotusden? Yeah! Like, the burner halfling.

MARISHA: Oh, I love them! Midsommar halfling!

MATT: Uhhh...

MARISHA: Oh, this is the question I was looking for earlier! Jazminfantast wants to know: Is there a specific color scheme associated with the Cerberus Assembly that Archmages wear or do they have a uniform? I wanted to do that when we were asking Cerberus Assembly questions.

MATT: There is no uniform. Partially because there are too many very, very, strong personalities working together that they all want to express their individuality even within the unit.

MARISHA: Like all the sorceresses in The Witcher?

MATT: Sure, yeah, that's a way you can go. The idea being if you have individuals that are all this powerful and all, for the most part, earned their place there, from their perspective, by themselves. Why would they give up their independence, individuality, express themselves--

MARISHA: Like "I'm not going to wear red and gold! I look terrible in yellow."

MATT: Exactly. So there is no uniform. There is no real color scheme. The symbol is utilized by them for significance of recognition and marketing.

MARISHA: Do they have like a pin?

MATT: I'm sure there are, and some of them-- but they don't really have like a super deep pride to show it off, either, because they just assume everyone knows who they are and where they belong. At least a lot of them do. There's a lot of inherent social arrogance in the Cerberus Assembly. Not all of them, but through some of them.

MARISHA: Interesting. So they're like little diva celebrities.

MATT: In a way. You could say that, yeah. Amongst academic circles.

MARISHA: It does go with one of those things where like it comes with the territory of being like super smart and having magical abilities that you're just going to like think and feel like you're better than everybody else, so you kind of start to--

MATT: In some-- it's very easy for people to go that path. Not all of them do. But some do. And they say absolute power corrupts, or power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. In the same way, I don't think that's always the case. I think intent has a lot to go with that. I think intent and power really define who a person is and how they reveal themselves in a true, deeper way. And so I think it's very easy for individuals who don't hold themselves to that same of mortal scenario to give in to that easily and be changed by that position. But not all of them would be. Not all people do.

MARISHA: Yeah. I mean, that kind of seems like the general theme of Wildemount, is that not everything is black and white.

MATT: Yeah, I don't like working in absolutes, because life isn't absolutes. People are messy. People are complicated. They are a product of their environment, their experiences, their chemicals, of all sorts of things, all combined to make a person the unique star that they are, and that is something that I think that should be reflected in a broader sense, especially in fantasy media which can largely play into heavy tropes too much. No one get me wrong. I play into tropes all the time, because it's part of what makes the genre. It's part of what makes it fun for me. But where I can express and expand a little more, I try to, because it makes it more believable to me.

MARISHA: Hosmin2 has a fun question. How much trade exists between Tal'Dorei and Wildemount? Considering the prominence of Stilben being on the coast sharing a trade route with the Clovis Concord Islands, why is Stilben so small?

MATT: There is very much a trade connection there. It's strengthened over time.

MARISHA: Yeah, because this is 20-25-30 years in the future past where we were with Vox Machina too, correct?

MATT: Yes. Yeah. But also know that a lot of the trade happens between-- the trade routes that go out there are often trading between the cities of the Menagerie Coast. And then there are routes that then go and expand beyond to Tal'Dorei and Marquet, and some super long journeys occasionally over to Issylra, and the brave souls that never return from the Shattered Teeth. Or rarely do. But--

MARISHA: What? The Shadow Teeth?

MATT: Shattered Teeth.

MARISHA: The Shatter Teeth.

MATT: Yeah. It's a cluster of island to the far south of Wildemount. Don't worry about it.

MARISHA: Okay. Far south of Wildemount, like the direction we're heading?

MATT: No. Far, far, far, far, far south.

MARISHA: Oh, even further. Like in--

MATT: It's considered a whole different region.

MARISHA: Okay. It's like halfway in between Wildemount and Menagerie-- or not Menagerie Coast. Marquet.

MATT: Marquet's more of like a southwestern region. This is-- don't worry about it. This isn't part of the question. Stilben is relatively podunk partially because of poor management internally, because of the trade routes really have only been open for a while-- I'd say maybe like a hundred years or so, with Tal'Dorei, and a lot of that tries to pull from either going straight to Emon, like going around the continent to go to the main bustling city as opposed to going to this little podunk town that is largely run by Clasp interests, and an infrastructure that can't really handle heavy trade. Plus the Myriad has gotten heavily involved, too, and that's caused a lot of issues in recent years. But that's kind of the gist of it. I mean if you want to get real deep into it, I created-- Stilben was literally the very first city that I created in Exandria, period.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: It was where the first one shot we ever ran with this crew seven years ago was at.

MARISHA: Just happened to be, yeah. It was just a town. It wasn't supposed to be a world.

MATT: Yeah. And so the world built around it. But those are the reasons that have come up as to why that's the case.

MARISHA: So Vasselheim is like... the kind of center of Tal'Dorei-- or not Tal'Dorei. Of Exandria, but--

MATT: It's the-- it's the center of Exandria's faith. And it is--

MARISHA: But I'm just saying-- it's kind of like the oldest part of the world.

MATT: It is. Very much so, yeah.

MARISHA: So where-- that is kind of the establishing city of Exandria.

MATT: Yes. Yeah, very much so.

MARISHA: Stilben is the establishing city for us, and--

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: --and for everything else.

MATT: Yes. I wanted a run-down swamp town for you guys to have your first adventures in and Stilben was the one. Fun bit of trivia that I don't think I've ever mentioned. The name "Stilben" first originated from a version-- I was making an RPG in RPG Maker for the PlayStation back in high school, and I've maybe made about ten hours of content across like multiple memory cards because that was how it had to go back in the day, and the first town you ever experienced in that world was called Stilben. That's where the name came from. Has no correlation from that game to what it became in theirs. It was just like a town. But that was the name.

MARISHA: We actually have a question on this from... I just had my eyes on it. Oh. @T_Hutchner wants to know--

MATT: What's up, T Hutchner?

MARISHA: "I've always been curious about how you come up with names for places like Exandria and Tal'Dorei and Wildemount. What is your process for creating new names? Do you just go with what sounds nice, or do you look at real-world locations for inspiration?"

MATT: It depends on the flavor of the locale. For large continents and regions like Wildemount, that was just coming up with unique sounding names. Issylra, Marquet, and Tal’Dorei-- those are all places that they sounded unique and fun to say and had different cultural flavors to them. Wildemount-- when I first came up with the general themes on it, I was like, oh this leans a little more Germanic and wanted to lean into that element there, and so when I began to flesh out the continent, I began to look at languages that reflected the cultures that inspired elements of that, and that's where a lot of the names of the Dwendalian Empire stem from are Eastern European languages. Polish has some inspiration there. There's also some German-inspired names and some other European countries there as well. And then Xhorhas, I just kind of-- I try to look at it--

MARISHA: You just took a bag of Scrabble letters and just tossed it out?

MATT: Well, no. No, I consider how I wanted the languages of the denizens to sound like.

MARISHA: Uh-huh.

MATT: And so I imagined them how a drow’s language would sound like, and then kind of based on that, I would begin to formulate consonant and vowel combinations that would sound like it would fit within that language. And so, a lot of my naming conventions come from thinking of the languages of the people that would live there, and especially if they're fictional languages, just in my head trying to think of what would sound cool. Dwarven names are more guttural, generally, and if they're common they're definitely more of like words that means something impactful, like Kraghammer. Pride’s Call’s a little different because it was more of a... it became less about a military society and more about an agricultural society. But like-- that's kind of kind of the gist of it. I can go deep into it for a long time, but I try and think of the etymology and the languages of the different people that there would speak considering how that sounds, and then try and come up with unique names that sound like that would fit within that language.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: So largely it is just what sounds cool, but within a...

MARISHA: With guidelines.

MATT: A broader guideline of something I've made up from my head.

MARISHA: What sounds cool with vague language rules.

MATT: Right, and pull inspiration from different places. The Starosta title for the leader of towns and cities in the Empire-- Starosta is an actual Polish term for like a mayor, if you will. And then we have the Marquis of the Menagerie Coast. These are all actual titles and terms and stuff like that, so I want to try and pull some elements of the real world in there to ground it in reality.

MARISHA: Yeah, and make it recognizable for people.

MATT: Right, just enough so when I make up crazy weird names, it's not just so much of that where the players are constantly lamenting the fact that--

MARISHA: Yeah, it's a bunch of names.

MATT: Bunch of names. You still lament about that but not as much as it could be.

MARISHA: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it's a lot of-- it's a book full of names.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: It's a bunch of names and you really are great at making names. I know it's getting late so I'm going to rapid-fire through a few more questions.

MATT: Yeah, let's do this.

MARISHA: Before we wrap this up.

MATT: Let's get a few more before we finish. At nine? We're finishing at nine?

MARISHA: Well, we were supposed to finish at 8:00.

MATT: Oh. Well, things happened.

MARISHA: Things got a little chaotic, so we'll go for like another 10 minutes or so. Five or ten minutes.

MATT: Okay. Thank you for hanging with us in our chaos, guys.

MARISHA: Yeah. Yeah.

MATT: For an evening at home that we will never live down. So--

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Questions.

MARISHA: There are a bunch of people who are dying to know about being consecuted and unconsecuted and what all of that means. There's like ten questions in here about that. For example, let's find one to start. JustaWeeHobbit wants to know: So consecution can cause a sort of insanity. Is Essek aware of us and if he did, did it factor into his reasons for giving the Beacon to the Cerberus Assembly for research?

MATT: No, it did not play into that. And consecution doesn't create a form of insanity necessarily, being consecuted. There are rumors on high-level elements of the Dynasty that certain umavi who have gone through too many lifetimes, it becomes difficult for them to transpose all those many life experiences over--

MARISHA: Too much information?

MATT: --and it begins to cause behavioral issues and such, and it goes into detail a little bit more in the book, but that did not factor into Essek's question. Essek, hilariously... Eh, it's not a huge spoiler. Not really. He's not consecuted.

MARISHA: He's not?

MATT: No.

MARISHA: He lied about that? (Matt nods) He's lying? Whaaat?

MATT: Or is he?

MARISHA: Well, man, you have to say that. SneakySneeSnake wants to know: If a consecuted creature would be executed by the Dynasty, do they have a way to unconsecute a soul to make sure that that soul isn't reborn?

MATT: Wait, read that again?

MARISHA: If a conse-- sorry. If a consecuted creature would be executed by the Dynasty, do they have a way to unconsecute a soul to make sure that that individual isn't reborn?

MATT: No, there is no unconsecution process, but they bring them beyond the range of the beacons.

MARISHA: Oh, sure.

MATT: Yeah, like this long death march. They go ahead and they take the individuals that have been tried and convicted...

MARISHA: Is it literally a death march? They like walk to...

MATT: Well, they march with them.

MARISHA: Away.

MATT: Yeah, to a certain-- they have certain ranges, certain places, execution locations that are marked, the way I envision it. Outside of society that's marked to be beyond-- like comfortably beyond the boundaries of any nearby beacons, and those are like the marked execution locales.

MARISHA: That's crazy!

MATT: Yeah. To leave your soul to go back into the the cycle of of creation as it originally started.

MARISHA: I'd say walk in a mile, but I think in Wildemount it would be like--

MATT: It's a hundred miles.

MARISHA: Five hundred miles.

MATT: The beacon radius, I think, is 100 miles. I'll double check again. I see what you're saying.

MARISHA: Yeah. Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, 100 miles, yeah.

MARISHA: So you have to walk-- and they make those people walk. They're like-- we're not gonna give you like a... Is that part of the sentence, this horrifying--?

MATT: No, because the executors have to walk with them, too. They're not like, "Go out and execute yourself. Have fun! Bye!" and leave them to their devices. They bring them out there. I would say they've only made them walk it when it was like a very, very terrible crime of a high profile individual. Like if the leader of a den did something really terrible that was like war crimes on a scale that was unbelievable back in the classic history of the Kryn, they may have made it a shame march for a hundred miles, and it was a thing.

MARISHA: Shame...

MATT: Shame... Yep.

MARISHA: Man, so many. @CurlsForMetal wants to know: Do consecuted souls show personality traits from their past lives before anamnesis? Does the meditation ritual happen over time? Does it erase the person who was there before to make room for the consecuted soul? You kind of touched on this a second ago.

MATT: It doesn't erase who they were, because-- Okay. So to get a little-- and the way I interpret it, and once again you can interpret however you want to-- When a person's spirit is put into a body as part of the consecution process or the rebirth process, they don't replace a soul. There isn't like a soul that doesn't get born that was there previously. That soul becomes the soul that is born into that body, and if you think in an esoteric means, so it's not killing somebody to do that.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: So when this child--

MARISHA: You're not possessing somebody.

MATT: Correct. Correct.

MARISHA: Or taking a soul that would be there before.

MATT: Exactly. I designed this to be an interesting place of moral debate based on elements of the society, too. When they are born, they're still a fresh soul with all the information of the previous lives sealed away. So whoever they were as a child, up into that point of anamnesis, doesn't just get thrown out the window. That gets brought in, too. Those life experiences as a child also shape along with all the previous experiences who they are. It's when those previous personality traits do begin to poke through: memories, mannerisms... If they were, for instance, a powerful gladiator in a past life, that kid all of a sudden once they reach puberty might begin becoming far more aggressive than they ever were, and somehow-- like instead of getting in a schoolyard fight, they unleash some extremely highly trained SEAL maneuver, and just wipe out their bully. And it was like, "How the hell did I do that?" It's like there are elements of those past lives that begin to peek through during the process of anamnesis, and then as they begin to have these memories return, they begin to to feel drawn towards Xhorhas and Rosohna, and dreams will start calling them. Their previous lives who understand this process are like. "We have to go there. We have to go there. We'll have our answers there." Imagine having all these maddening visions and all them are seeming weird and piecemeal, but all that you know is they keep telling you, bringing up this one place you have to go. That's what happened in Nogvurat. All these children that were born around the time of a covered-up conflict between the Dynasty and Xhorhas about twelve, thirteen years before with a beacon nearby. You have certain elements where they-- I don't want to get too deep into everything here, but when it's a dangerous scenario and there's high-profile individuals involved, they will bring a beacon within range of these endeavors, these military actions, that if anyone dies during this experience...

MARISHA: They're okay.

MATT: They'll be reborn.

MARISHA: Consecuted.

MATT: Yeah. And so that's what happened with Nogvurat. All these children began to go through anamnesis and began to just leave, and they were saying they were being kidnapped by the Kryn. But so, once they get there, the different individuals who are trained in the process of anamnesis and the consecution as a whole will then work with these children to meditate through. It can take varying points of time. It can take weeks, months, and even years for certain more challenging individuals, to bring forth all these memories and all these lifetimes and assimilate them together into who they are now. That's kind of-- it's a process. It's not like an overnight-- all of a sudden they spark into like, "I know kung-fu." They don't have a Matrix download moment. It is a process. It's very-- almost like a deep therapy.

MARISHA: There was this really great question-- here we go. I think we'll make this the last question for the night because Dagon is getting cranky and our house still smells like a campfire and I want to fix it. So the last question for the night is from @wu-tangtoft. What has been the most exciting thing about bringing your own world to the D&D multiverse?

MATT: Oh, man. The most exciting thing to me is to have something that has meant so much to me growing up, that has had such a profound impact on who I am, who I still want to be, who has... Role playing games in general, because D&D was my first and my biggest-- To have this thing that made me who I am, to now be able to go and contribute something of my own to it is incredible. It's scary. I was very scared leading up to its release. I didn't want to disappoint anybody, neither Wizards or you guys. You can attest to that, my anxiety leading up to the launch. Even just the announcement... unhh. But to have been able to contribute a small part of my creativity and my creation to this game and these people that have helped me through so much, a game that has taught me how to be a better person in a lot of ways, a game that's helped me through my own-- many of my issues and working through and being better with some of the things that I have a hard time dealing with personally, that made me so many friends... to be like, "Thank you for all that. Here, I made you this." And now it's part of it, too. That's really special to me. So I just hope people enjoy it. I know there's a lot more burning questions and people want really super deep answers into all these lore tidbits that I tease in here, and there's a lot of them that I could elaborate on, and there's a lot of them that I won't elaborate on, and there's a lot of them that I'm like, "I don't know. I got that far and went, 'Oh, they can figure out the rest.'" But...

MARISHA: Well, I think it's too soon for burning questions, but maybe we'll do a second one of these that will... might not be as entertaining.

MATT: I don't think any stream that we do will ever be this entertaining. But yeah, maybe when Campaign Two's over and we do our campaign wrap-up, more of these questions can come back and that could be a little more deep into some of the answers, and... yeah.

MARISHA: Well, I am so proud of you. I know everyone is proud of you. I think you did a great job.

MATT: Thank you for having so much patience. She's a trouper. She had to endure me being a hermit in my office for months and months and months and months so...

MARISHA: It's an amazing feat. I'm proud of you, and I think it's gonna make a lot of people very, very, very happy and bring a lot of joy.

MATT: I hope so.

MARISHA: Not just in these trying times but I think for many, many, many, many years to come, and that's incredible.

MATT: I hope so.

MARISHA: I'm proud of you.

MATT: Thank you.

MARISHA: I know the critters are proud of you, and Dagon's proud of you.

MATT: Thank you, Dagon.

MARISHA: The Critical Role team is proud of you, and the entire team.

MATT: Hey, buddy.

MARISHA: Yeah. I don't think it can be understated-- I know, buddy-- the amount of hard work from so many people that went into this, and I hope they're all proud. They should all be stoked because it's beautiful.

MATT: The whole team that helped bring this to reality-- I'm real thankful that they did--

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Shout out to all the awesome folks at Wizards of the Coast that collaborated on this with me, to all the amazing artists that are a part of this, to the amazing contributors and editors and everybody that helped make this reality. It's been a dream I didn't think was possible. And I hope you all enjoy it and get as much out of it as I intended. So I guess thank you for joining us for our fire- and smoke-side chat. Stay safe.

MARISHA: Streaming from home is great.

MATT: Yeah. Lessons learned. Anyway, we love you guys. Stay healthy.

MARISHA: Yeah. Thank you to everyone who feverishly texted us 30 different conflicting solutions to fixing our fire problem. I think I heard every way to put out a fire in about two seconds' worth of time, so thank you for that. I don't know if it was helpful but thank you.

MATT: We'll do like a cooler-side chat next time.

MARISHA: Yeah. A cooler-side. We'll just get a cooler of dry ice.

MATT: Yeah, just an ice chest. It'll be great.

MARISHA: That sounds great.

MATT: I think it's a good plan.

MARISHA: Yeah, we'll just do it by our refrigerator next time. I kind of like this.

MATT: Yeah. Well, we love you guys.

MARISHA: Thanks for joining us. Hope everyone's being safe, being healthy, and thanks for being patient with our shenanigans.

MATT: Yeah, we miss you all. We'll be cracking into things as time goes on. We're constantly figuring out what's next, through all this, so... Sorry if also we've been a little quiet on socials. It's been a tense and anxious couple weeks, and we've had a lot of family stuff to tend to and just work stuff and try and figure this out, so... But we're around and we'll keep up with you guys, and thinking of you all incredible folks. And have a wonderful night.

MARISHA: But I think what's immediately next is about eight margaritas. All for me.

MATT: Probably.

MARISHA: Not split, but just for me.

MATT: Checks out. Checks out.

MARISHA: Yeah. All right, thank you all. Good night. Good night.

MATT: Push the button, Frank.

Advertisement