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This wiki contains spoilers for all stories of Critical Role. This includes the story for unaired episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina, as it's based on the first campaign of Critical Role from 2015-2017.


Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

Ioun, the Knowing Mistress, also known as the Knowing Mentor,[3] is the goddess of knowledge, prophecy, and skill. She opposes Vecna, who deals in dark secrets and hidden knowledge. As an NPC, Ioun is played by Matthew Mercer.



Fan art of Ioun, the Knowing Mentor, by Christian Thor Lally.[art 3]

Ioun's avatar appears as an older woman with long, wavy silver hair. Her olive skin is weathered and wrinkled around her almond shaped eyes with purple irises. She wears blue and white robes that tumble out from her form in tendrils of parchment.[6]

Her avatar has a large, darkened gash of black, curling void in her stomach.[7]


In the Campaign One scenes where she is encountered by Vox Machina, Ioun comes across as a rather kindly, and even rather tolerant deity. The one thing she is intolerant of (or perhaps impatient with) is the keeping of secrets and the hiding of knowledge. This is the reason given as to why she chose Scanlan as her champion rather than Percy, who to many seemed a more obvious choice. This is a bit ironic considering her own secretiveness about her presence and location, though such caution's necessity was made evident by her unhealed wound.


Symbols of Ioun & her followers

Ioun is frequently represented in religious iconography by either a triple eye symbol (such as the one shown at the top of the page or to the immediate right) or a unique eye-and-staff symbol, as shown center right.

Places of worship

Though Ioun's followers generally worship in private, as they are hunted by followers of her enemies,[3] not all of her temples are secret.


Ioun has a minority following in the Verdant Expanse,[8] and there are halls in which to worship Ioun in Emon's Temple District as well.[9]


The Knowing Mistress is one of the six deities approved for worship within the Dwendalian Empire.[10]

In Gwardan on the Menagerie Coast, the House of Enlightenment is both a temple to Ioun and a place of higher learning.[11]

The Cavern of Axiom

This cavern in the Frostweald, watched over by the androsphinx Kamaljiori, is a hidden shrine to Ioun.[12]

Ancient ziggurat temples

Beneath Whitestone

Fan art of the ziggurat beneath Whitestone, by Son of Joxer.[art 4]

Beneath Whitestone lies an ancient underground ziggurat that was a temple to Ioun. More than 800 years ago during the Calamity,[13] Ioun baited the rampaging Tharizdun to her central temple there, but Tharizdun badly wounded her and nearly destroyed her,[14] causing her temple to sink underground in her sorrow.[15] After Pelor then defeated Tharizdun in a climactic battle that transformed the nearby region in its violence,[16] and after chasing and banishing Tharizdun elsewhere, Pelor returned to the site of Ioun's wounding and blessed the land with his own Sun Tree[15] directly over the site of her sunken temple. The land has been under his protection ever since.

Beneath the Slayer's Take guildhall

The space underneath the guild hall of the Slayer's Take in Vasselheim holds another ziggurat, where Vanessa Cyndrial brings Vox Machina for their induction into the Take. The gynosphinx Osysa also resides within the walls of the temple.

Beneath the Smouldercrown Mountains

Scanlan Shorthalt and Lionel Gayheart discovered a ziggurat on the continent of Marquet,[17] within the Smouldercrown Mountains. Here Delilah conducted a second, or possibly third, ritual for Vecna before Vox Machina could interfere.[18]

Archives of the Cobalt Soul

Worshipped in Ziggurat temples in the old days, Ioun finds her current worshippers gathering not in conventional temples, but rather in libraries dedicated to furthering her goals of fostering knowledge and enlightenment. The general policy of the Cobalt Soul branches is to be open to the public under supervision, though they have off-limits areas requiring special approval for access. After signing in, a monk is assigned as a watchful escort. Within the public areas, attendees can read and take notes on the materials within, though removing items from the library is strictly forbidden.[19]

The following archive locations are currently known in the campaign world:

The Cobalt Reserve

The Cobalt Reserve is a well-fortified library in Westruun. From its exterior, it is a grand dome of blue, polished stone, and within, its collection of knowledge is so great enough to draw individuals from far and wide to study here.

The Cobalt Vault

The Cobalt Vault is the order’s headquarters on the continent of Issylra. The Curator of the Vasselheim branch, at the time of the events of Campaign Two, had dual leadership of the Cobalt Soul with the High Curator of Rexxentrum.[20]

The Valley Archive of the Cobalt Soul

This library is located on the western side of the Pentamarket in the Innerstead Sprawl of Zadash.[21]

Rexxentrum Archive of the Cobalt Soul

One of the two headquarters of the Cobalt Soul, the other being in Vasselheim, this library is easily larger than the Zadash archive by fifty-percent or more. There are multiple floors, with at least four full fifteen-foot high tiers visible from the interior, with many little pocket chambers. Walkways connect the tiers. In the basement are teleportation circles to Vasselheim, Westruun, Port Damali, and Zadash. The exterior is a beautiful cerulean building marked by four short multi-level domed towers of polished blue stone in the Tangles, a neighborhood in Rexxentrum.

Other archives of the Cobalt Soul in Wildemount

There is an archive in Port Damali with a teleportation room, which does not have transportation to Vasselheim, unlike both Rexxentrum and Zadash.[22]


At least one satellite archive exists in Issylra.[23]

Commandments of the Knowing Mentor

Commandments of the Knowing Mentor

  • Unmask those who would destroy the Knowing Mentor. Learn their secrets and unveil them to the world.

  • Uphold and teach the importance of reason, perception, and truth in guiding one’s emotions and path.

  • Condemn those who lie without moral cause, for evil folk gain power when their followers obscure the truth. Never stoop to the level of selfish liars.

Known worshipers

From the Rexxentrum Archive of the Cobalt Soul

  • High Curator Yudala Fon - Has dual leadership of the Cobalt Soul with the Curator of the Cobalt Vault of Vasselheim.[24]
  • Archivist Kathedoc[25] - Handles the teleportation room.

From the Valley Archive of the Cobalt Soul

Fan art of Beau working out, by BlackSalander.[art 5]

From the Cobalt Vault

From the Cobalt Reserve

From the Slayer's Take




It was under Ioun's guidance that civilization flourished and spread in the Age of Arcanum.[2]

Official art of Ioun battling Tharizdun, by Wesley Griffith.[art 6]

Ioun led the charge against Tharizdun, the Chained Oblivion, during the Calamity.[45] She devised the Prime Trammels that could be used to help banish a god from the Material Plane.[46] She baited the Oblivion to her central temple where Whitestone now stands.[15] She was badly wounded by the traitor god in that battle and has been recovering, in hiding, ever since.[47][2] Some believe she cannot be completely healed until Tharizdun is destroyed.[45]

The Campaign of Vox Machina

"Elysium" (1x104)

Pelor told Vox Machina that Ioun had the design for the artifact necessary to banish Vecna, and gave them directions to the key, near the Pools of Wittebak.[48]

"The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) and "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106)

Fan art of Ioun's library, by Lap Pun Cheung.[art 7]

Pelor's directions led Vox Machina to Sprigg’s home. Sprigg turned out to be the unwitting mortal "key" to Ioun’s realm.[49] Vox Machina and Sprigg entered the Athenaeum. Percy, who was able to read the life stories written in Celestial, found the existence of such complete records to be life-affirming: it meant no one is forgotten. Scanlan, with the assistance of his Ioun Stone, led the party directly to the common area where Ioun's avatar awaited.

Ioun found, of the people present, only the prolific storyteller Scanlan worthy of a trial to be her champion; Percy was too fond of keeping secrets. She challenged Scanlan to find the Tome of Isolation within her vast library and return it to her within one hour, or else find someone else ready to take the challenge. Scanlan found that continuously singing about the Tome he sought, especially with the aid of Mythcarver, attracted the spectral servants to assist him, and on the back of Vex's broom he raced to the appropriate bookshelf. Vex had to pick a virtually impossible lock to get into the case, then they raced back to the common area, just in time. Along the way, Scanlan learned that casting a sufficiently powerful spell into the Tome would reveal the book’s text.

For completing the trial, Ioun returned the Tome to Scanlan (it contained the Rites of Prime Banishment, needed to drive Vecna out of the Divine Gate) and granted him the Blessing of the Knowing Mistress. She imbued the mighty Grog with the knowledge to be proficient with blacksmithing tools, and incepted the design for Prime Trammels into the mad genius Percy, so that together they could forge the implements to make banishing Vecna feasible.

When Vax asked about Vecna, she told the story of the lich lord’s rise and fall in the Age of Arcanum, and noted that the Sword of Kas, though an evil weapon, could be a powerful tool to help take down Vecna, and was lost in Thar Amphala.

Fan art of Ioun offering a fragment of divinity, by Linda Lithén.[art 8]

Moments later, she sensed that Vecna had just completed the Ritual of Seeding to ascend to godhood, and urged Vox Machina to hurry before Vecna could fully come into his power through a "miracle of terror" that would attract worshipers. She painfully extracted from herself a fragment of divinity for use in creating another Prime Trammel, and gave it to Scanlan. Finally, she asked Sprigg to stay in her realm and help her tend to her books, and Vox Machina departed with a Plane Shift back through the Divine Gate to Sprigg’s house.

Appearances and mentions




  • "Scanlan Shorthalt, you... are a buffoon." (To Scanlan, before offering her trial to him.)


  • According to the page dedicated to Quian on the Vox Machina Wiki which was created by Matthew Mercer before Critical Role began, Delleb was the god of intellect and study in the pre-stream campaign rather than Ioun.
  • Since she is the goddess of prophecy, it's very probable that she has/had oracles under her service.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 21.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 23.
  4. See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) at 1:25:10.
  5. 5.0 5.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 30.
  6. See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) at 4:00:00.
  7. See "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) at 1:25:40.
  8. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 81.
  9. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 90.
  10. See 1x124 at 0:46:11.
  11. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 66.
  12. 12.0 12.1 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 74.
  13. See "Elysium" (1x104) at 2:52:05.
  14. See "Elysium" (1x104) at 2:24:40.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 51.
  16. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 49.
  17. See "Masquerade" (1x99) at 1:43:17.
  18. See "Unfinished Business" (1x100) at 5:37:35.
  19. See "Harvest Close" (2x17) at 1:49:48.
  20. See "The Threads Converge" (2x85) at 3:57:50.
  21. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) from 1:22:33 through 1:22:52.
  22. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 3:43:17.
  23. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 52.
  24. See "The Threads Converge" (2x85) at 3:57:50.  .
  25. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 3:42:04.
  26. See "Harvest Close" (2x17) at 1:50:34.
  27. See "Disparate Pieces" (2x04) at 2:18:19.
  28. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 2:35:47.
  29. See "Manifold Morals" (2x74) at 1:36:24.
  30. See "Family Shatters" (2x96) from 3:50:22 through 3:52:12.
  31. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 2:26:17.
  32. See "Harvest Close" (2x17) at 1:50:34.
  33. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 53.
  34. See "Whispers of War" (2x18) at 3:28:38.
  35. See "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) at 1:22:38.
  36. See "Disparate Pieces" (2x04) at 1:03:48.
  37. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) at 1:43:55.
  38. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) at 1:50:45.
  39. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) at 1:50:45.
  40. 40.0 40.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 60.
  41. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 59.
  42. This information was imported from Matthew Mercer's Vox Machina Wiki article, "Quian".
  43. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 11.
  44. See "The Calm Before the Storm" (2x130) at 3:31:22.
  45. 45.0 45.1 See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 19.
  46. See "Elysium" (1x104) at 2:50:20.
  47. See "Elysium" (1x104) at 2:52:05.
  48. See "Elysium" (1x104) at 2:50:20.
  49. See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) at 3:29:40.


  1. Symbol of Ioun from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting.
  2. Symbol of Ioun from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount by Claudio Pozas. (source)
  3. Fan art of Ioun, the Knowing Mentor, by Christian Thor Lally (source). Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of the ziggurat beneath Whitestone, by Son of Joxer (source). Used with permission.
  5. Fan art of Beau working out, by BlackSalander (source). Used with permission.
  6. Official art of Ioun battling Tharizdun, by Wesley Griffith (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  7. Fan art of Ioun's library, by Lap Pun Cheung (source). Used with permission.
  8. Fan art of Ioun offering a fragment of divinity, by Linda Lithén (source). Used with permission.