Melora, the Wildmother is the goddess of wilderness and the sea. She watches over nature, good harvest, grants protection from washing away in storms, and guides the passage of ships. As an NPC, The Wildmother is played by Matthew Mercer in Critical Role and Aabria Iyengar in Exandria Unlimited.
Appearance and symbols
Melora is depicted as a beautiful woman with green or deep brown skin with a strong, full figured body, and she is nearly fully enveloped by wild tangle of hair, leaves, and vines. Her image is often found carved into wooden reliefs and idols in groves and rural shrines.
The Spire of Conflux, a staff capable of casting powerful druidic spells and increasing the power of the wielder's spells, was made from the Wildmother's breath. It is currently wielded by the archdruid Keyleth, Headmaster of the Air Ashari tribe in Zephrah, Tal'Dorei.
Places of worship and holy sites
The district of Vasselheim known as Abundant Terrace is dedicated to the Wildmother. The Abundant Terrace is where most of the food in Vasselheim is grown. In such a cold environment it is Melora's blessing that allows the land there to be fertile and grow crops from many different places. The temple in this district devoted to her worship is called the the Birthheart.
Outside of the Empire, there are five notable holy sites or shrines dedicated to the Wildmother that are currently known and many others hidden from the common eye:
- Blooming Grove: Caduceus Clay and his family tended the graveyard in the Blooming Grove, which was a magically-warded sanctum that contained graves of people who had been touched by The Wildmother in the Savalirwood near Shadycreek Run. This site is a gift to the Archeart.
- Mother's Lighthouse: In Nicodranas, there is a lighthouse called the Mother's Lighthouse that is dedicated to the worship of the Wildmother. It had been kept by Lightkeeper Gladys for her entire 86-year life.
- Cinderrest Sanctum: (also known as "The Kiln" or "The Burning Lodge") Caduceus Clay's allies of the Dust Clan have their home in the Underforge of The Wildmother, a gift to The Allhammer located within Kravaraad. Kravaraad is a craggy black volcano with a lake at its base.
- Arbor Exemplar: A lone, massive tree located in the Barbed Fields of Xhorhas. The Arbor Exemplar is surrounded by verdant grass which grows out a hundred feet or so during the night and then retracts during the day. The Arbor Exemplar is the sister tree of the Birthheart in Vasselheim.
- The Menagerie: Located in the jungles southwest of the Whitedawn Lagoon, the Menagerie was created and maintained by the Stone family at the behest of the Wildmother as a gift to The Changebringer.
- Altars to Melora are scattered throughout the Velvin Thicket.
Commandments of the Wildmother
- Caduceus Clay, cleric of the Blooming Grove
- Fjord, warlock/paladin of Port Damali
- Aurra Lorelei, werewolf druid (possibly)
- Gladys, Lightkeeper of the Mother's Lighthouse
- Lamor, worshiper at The Birthheart in the Abundant Terrace (in Vasselheim)
- Ophera, High Hierophant of The Birthheart in the Abundant Terrace (in Vasselheim)
- As of 811 PD, Yulia kept a small stone statue of Melora in her home. Once she hid behind the altar and broke the statue, but believed in the Wildmother's forgiveness.
- Nightback Clan, a tabaxi clan of the Savalirwood
- Aramue, a dryad from the Vermaloc Wildwood
- Lanata and Robur, the Acorn Sisters, two dryads who act as caretakers of a forest in the Emerald Loop, in Xhorhas
In addition to the staff-and-wreath, one of Melora's symbols is a swirl carved into stone, a slow cascading spiral with a wave crest at the center.
The Wildmother is in a relationship, albeit fractured, with the goddess of civilization and laws, Erathis. The fractured nature of the relationship reflects the disparity between civilization and nature, and Melora greatly wishes for the two to return to the harmony they once had. Druids of Melora and clerics of Erathis work to preserve the balance of nature and civilization. When this balance is upset, the two goddesses grow furious, and their fury manifests as devastating natural disasters.
Erathis and Melora created humans through their passionate love as the third race on Exandria. They granted humans passionate hearts as well but also a chaos that blessed them with the ambitions, mirth, and curiosity of their two creators but also cursed them to be too short-lived to fully fulfill these impulses. According to legends, the Wildmother is also responsible for the existence of two races: the aarakocra, created as storm herders who used to drive the clouds across the sky; and tabaxi, either through her dreams or magically influencing common felines with them.
During the Age of Arcanum, mortal followers of Sehanine and Melora forged Dwueth'var; unlike many of the weapons crafted during that era, it was intended to help protect Exandria rather than surpass or fight the gods.
During the Calamity, Zehir ambushed and killed many followers of Melora near one of her shrines. Her screams created the tortuous, thorny Lushgut Forest, which crushed the followers of Zehir and sent them into retreat.
In one of the last battles of the Calamity, Melora and her Free Children battled Bane and his goblinoid legions, this time on the Beynsfal Plateaus of the Rifenmist Peninsula, where Bane was defeated and his armor was scattered across the region. The site of the battle was reduced to ash, and plants wouldn't grow there ever again.
Towards the end of the Calamity, the Wildmother planted a seed in the most desolate place in the world before withdrawing beyond the Divine Gate along with the rest of the Prime Deities. That place is now the Barbed Fields of Xhorhas, where the huge tree stands alone in the middle of dangerous plains. Called the Arbor Exemplar, it is considered the sister of the Seed of Rebirth in the The Abundant Terrace, the main temple of the Wildmother in Vasselheim.
"Within the Nest" (2x28) The remaining members of the Mighty Nein sought out the priest located in the Blooming Grove, a holy site to Melora, in order to avenge Mollymauk Tealeaf's death and free their friends from captivity. They discovered Caduceus Clay there, who joined the party to help find a cure for the rapidly spreading disease plaguing his home temple.
"In Hot Water" (2x43) After being banned from Darktow Island, Caduceus cast Divination asking the Wildmother where the safest place to port and repair the Squalleater would be. She responded back, "Bisaft Isle brings you safest harbor in what you seek." After casting the spell, Caduceus felt more confident on the seas. 
"The Second Seal" (2x47) Caduceus Clay cast Divination, asking The Wildmother what Fjord's former mentor Vandran was doing. He heard a warm voice along with an unexpected warm wind on a cold night say "Staying out of sight. Making amends."
"A Game of Names" (2x49) While the Mighty Nein were trying to figure out who had kidnapped Yeza Brenatto, Caduceus Clay cast Divination asking The Wildmother, "What is Yeza's destination?" He felt the wind around him pick up and a voice speak through the wind: "Ghor Dranas".
"Duplicity" (2x55) Jester Lavorre cast Revivify on Caduceus Clay after Nott accidentally killed him with an explosive arrow. For an instant she felt a presence and saw a matronly smile and a figure with tumbling hair in the shadows. Jester told Caduceus she saw The Wildmother looking over him and smiling. While in darkness, Caduceus had a vision of green fields, ice-covered land, a fiery forge, and glimpses of scattered historical families. A warm breeze blew east past the mountains and the wastes. Caduceus mysteriously felt like he was on the right path.
"Chases and Trees" (2x65) Caduceus Clay cast Commune while the Mighty Nein camped near the Arbor Exemplar in the Barbed Fields. He asked if the tree was hers. The Wildmother responded it was her last and final seed. He asked what was keeping her away. She responded that the land was still scarred since the gods all left. He finally asked if he was here to fix the landscape. She responded: "It's too big to fix. Your path is your own." That night, Fjord dreamed of Uk'otoa threatening him, when a voice said "Come with me, child." He swam into a small chamber of tangled vines and roots, and the voice spoke once more, "The womb I grant, but withers without faith. His will shall find you again... but until it does, rest." That same night, Caduceus also had a vision of a mountainous area with a volcano. Shards of green glass were thrown into the magma and turned purple in color. The vision then shifted to a jungle oasis holding a temple next to a pool. The same crystals were placed in the water and grew roots like a germinated seed.
"Beneath Bazzoxan" (2x66) While on their night watch, Fjord told Caduceus about the vision he had the night before under the tree. Caduceus explained that the voice he heard is the Wildmother, the deity that Caduceus's family worships. Fjord shared that he had been surrounded in warmth and wanted to feel that again. Caduceus taught Fjord how to meditate, and he heard the familiar sound of waves crashing on the shore.
"Refjorged" (2x76) While meditating, Fjord saw Melora's face in the sky. She told him the seed of darkness in him was too deep for her to heal, but she could help him if he would swear to protect all that is hers. He agreed without hesitation, and she gave him her boon as tendrils of seaweed encased him. In the morning, he awakened stronger and officially became her paladin.
"The Folding Halls" (2x80) After realizing that they had been scryed upon, Caduceus cast Commune to ask the Wildmother about it. She affirmed that it had been someone in the Kryn Dynasty, that it was not Essek, and that it was by command of the Bright Queen. During the communion, Fjord and Caduceus's hair unexpectedly moved to an invisible gust of wind.
"Lingering Wounds" (2x89) Fjord used his downtime in Rexxentrum to meditate and allow himself to be more open to the Wildmother. After some time focusing, a calm breeze washed over his mind and he heard the familiar sounds of the ocean waves.
"Family Shatters" (2x96) Caduceus and Jester were able to restore the petrified members of the Clay family and several of the Stone family as well. Caduceus fulfilled the last step of the visions the Wildmother had sent him by dropping his transformed residuum crystals into the pool in the Menagerie. He then gave the crystals to his sister Calliope, and asked her to plant them within the Blooming Grove in his stead.
"High Seas, High Stakes" (2x99) After Fjord was revived successfully by Caduceus and had the Cloven Crystal taken out of him, he began to remember the cold isolating darkness that came along with death as he slept. Melora sent a "bloom of green and warm blossom" that helped wash away the lingering anxiety and fear. 
"The Ruined Sliver" (2x104) Caduceus successfully cast Divine Intervention and asked the Wildmother about Vokodo's true nature. He was shown that Vokodo had fled from the Astral Plane while being pursued and crashed on Rumblecusp, dragging slivers of multiple other planes with him. 
"Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) As Caduceus was trying to meditate in the evening, visions of the floating city in the Astral Sea flooded his mind once more. He felt afraid and a cold chill shot through his body, knowing that this entity was a perversion of the values he held dear. The next day, Caduceus cast Commune, asking the Wildmother if she knew anything about this creature. She responded back with a cold breeze, indicating she didn't know what this creature was or if it was coming for them.
"Traveler Con" (2x108) Caduceus cast Commune, asking the Wildmother if the Traveler was being reasonably honest about his plans for Traveler Con the following day. She responded only with a comforting embrace, indicating she didn't know the answer.
"The Chase Begins" (2x112) The Wildmother spoke to Fjord while aboard the Midnight Hammer, and he took the Oath of the Open Sea as a paladin in her service. The same day, Caduceus cast Commune, asking the Wildmother about the locations of Cree and Lucien. A warm breeze indicated that they were both ahead of them in the Biting North. He then asked if Vess DeRogna knew more about the Tombtakers than she let on. A stagnant chill indicated uncertainity.
"Fair-weather Faith" (2x123) Caduceus cast Commune, asking if Essek could help them on their quest, if the red eyes on Beau and Caleb could be used against them, and if the Tomb Takers needed a sacrifice. Caduceus first saw a twinkling star in the distance, promising safety and comfort for them. Then, he saw the nearby fog thicken, showing uncertainty to the second question. Finally, after a brief pause, a cold breeze came through the jungle to signify Melora saying no.
"Long May He Reign" (2x140) After seeing Caleb unsuccessfully cast Raise Dead on Mollymauk, Caduceus quietly decided to use Divine Intervention and beseech the Wildmother to bring Molly back to life. After a successful intervention, Molly was able to open his eyes again for the first time.
"A Test of Worth" (E1x05) While trying to search for something to help translate the rune the party found in "The Oh No Plateau" (E1x02), the group began to hear Melora's voice in the jungle. She then created a challenge for the party that involved fighting a mossy alligator. The party eventually won after Opal was able to subdue the creature by flipping it on its back.
Appearances and mentions
- Campaign One
- Campaign Two
- "Lost Treasures" (2x22), mentioned only
- "O Captain, Who's Captain?" (2x36), mentioned only
- "The Second Seal" (2x47), divination
- "Homeward Bound" (2x48), mentioned only
- "A Game of Names" (2x49), mentioned only
- "Cornered" (2x53), mentioned only
- "Duplicity" (2x55)
- "In Love and War" (2x57), mentioned only
- "Chases and Trees" (2x65), dream
- "Refjorged" (2x76), in a vision
- "The Beat of the Permaheart" (2x82)
- "Ghosts, Dinosaurs, and Stuff" (2x102), commune
- "A Fog Lifted" (2x106), mentioned only
- "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107), commune
- "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained" (2x122), mentioned only
- "A Walk to Warmer Welcomes" (2x124), commune
- "The Calm Before the Storm" (2x130)
- Exandria Unlimited
- "A Test of Worth" (E1x05)
- Exandria Unlimited: Calamity
- The Wildmother's holy day is Wild's Grandeur, celebrated on the vernal equinox.
- See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 21.
- See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 18.
- See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 23.
- See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 67.
- See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 50:01.
- See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 31.
- See "A Name Is Earned" (1x49) at 4:46:03.
- See "Loose Ends" (1x84) at 2:44:31.
- See "Trial of the Take: Part 1" (1x18) at 50:01.
- See "Steam and Conversation" (2x09) from 0:40:39 through 0:43:10. Claudia Sheed lists the approved deities of the empire, which do not include the Wildmother.
- See "Within the Nest" (2x28) at 1:01:22.
- See "Talks Machina #143: 'Family Shatters'" (TMx143) at 0:53:10.
- See "The Ruby and the Sapphire" (2x33) at 53:39.
- See "The Ruby and the Sapphire" (2x33) at 2:58:51.
- See "Beneath Bazzoxan" (2x66) at 1:16:59.
- See "Chases and Trees" (2x65) at 2:41:48.
- See "Family Shatters" (2x96) at 0:09:05.
- See "Causatum" (2x70) at 3:32:41.
- See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 108.
- See "Liam's One Shot: The Song of the Lorelei" (Sx36) at 2:35:01.
- See "At Dawn, We Plan!" (1x53) at 0:21:34.
- See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 116.
- See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 147.
- See Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep, p. 45.
- See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 31.
- Marisha Ray discussed her and the Ashari's worship in a tweet.
- See "At Dawn, We Plan!" (1x53) at 22:12.
- See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 13.
- See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 165.
- See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 178.
- See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 217.
- See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 210.
- See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 110. The Spire is on pp. 115–116.
- See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 21. See also p. 76.
- See "Chases and Trees" (2x65) at 2:41:49.
- See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 7.
- See "Vorugal" (1x71) at 4:39:39. Vox Machina recover the Spire of Conflux from the corpse of Yenk the goristro
- See "The Deceiver's Stand" (1x83) at 2:29:47.
- See "Trust" (1x70) at 14:31.
- See "Within the Nest" (2x28) at 55:25.
- See "In Hot Water" (2x43) from 2:31:08 through 2:31:44.
- See "The Second Seal" (2x47) from 3:21:12 through 3:22:34.
- See "A Game of Names" (2x49) from 2:27:53 through 2:29:00.
- See "Duplicity" (2x55) from 4:05:11 through 4:08:18.
- See "Chases and Trees" (2x65) from 2:37:57 through 2:40:16.
- See "Beneath Bazzoxan" (2x66) from 2:47:02 through 2:48:43.
- See "Refjorged" (2x76) at 4:26:55.
- See "The Folding Halls" (2x80) from 39:40 through 41:28.
- See "Unwanted Reunions" (2x88) at 1:21:40.
- See "High Seas, High Stakes" (2x99) from 1:45:45 through 1:47:36.
- See "The Ruined Sliver" (2x104) from 35:55 through 39:43.
- See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) from 1:22:40 through 1:24:45.
- Matthew Mercer confirmed that the Oath is a homebrew put together based on the themes Travis wanted to incorporate.
- See "Fair-weather Faith" (2x123) at 3:12:42.
- See "A Walk to Warmer Welcomes" (2x124) at 3:42:55.
- See "Long May He Reign" (2x140) at 4:25:25.
- Symbol of Melora from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting.
- Symbol of Melora from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount by Claudio Pozas. (source)
- Fan art of The Wildmother, by @TheRileyOMalley (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of the Wildmother, by Binky (source). Used with permission.
- Official art of Melora and Erathis, by Zuzanna Wuzyk @zuzartii (source). Artwork from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn. Used DM response with permission.
- Fan art of Melora, the Wildmother, by Christian Thor Lally (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Caduceus Clay casting Commune, by Nikki Dawes (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Fjord's symbol of Melora, by Doug Myers (source). Used with permission.