The Myriad began as a small shipping company in Yrrosa, a city in the Dwendalian Empire. Originally selling exotic goods and services, over time it became more profitable to exploit illegal curiosities from the region of Othanzia and the city of Ank'Harel. Through years of establishing their underworld contacts and employing tactical blackmail, the Myriad evolved from illegal smuggling to a powerful and well-veiled criminal faction.
The Myriad has begun spreading into eastern Tal'Dorei. Much as they do in Wildemount, the Tal'Dorei Myriad keeps mainly to coastal cities and towns (such as Stilben). This has led to a rivalry with Tal'Dorei's native crime syndicate, the Clasp.
In "A Tangled Web" (2x77), Dairon stated that The Myriad was thought to be destroyed almost two decades ago (in approximately 816 P.D.), but that they still permeate both the Menagerie Coast and the outskirts of the Empire. In "The Adventures of the Darrington Brigade" (Sx49) (which took place in 826 P.D.), it was mentioned that the supposed arrests of high-ranking Myriad leaders and the following dispersing of the criminal organization in the Empire still left much mistrust and rumor-mongering.
No one knows who the true leadership of the Myriad is. The actual heads of the Myriad reside in Yrrosa, their identities unknown even to other members of the Myriad. The Myriad operates as a loose network of localized sects, each run by its own gang boss and without direct oversight from Myriad leadership. Known local leaders of the Myriad include:
- Lustran Zeth: a textile baron in Stilben (publicly), this Myriad mastermind runs the Stilben sect and acts as a double agent inside the Clasp (secretly)
- Korshad: runs the Deastok sect (secretly) and owns a platinum mine outside the city (publicly)
- The Gentleman: Runs the Zadash sect.
Howaardt Darrington took out several loans with the Myriad to aid the family's financial troubles. Howaardt had offered the Darrington Estate and their feudal lands and taxes as collateral. Thus, when Howaardt was unable to pay back the loans, the Myriad seized the Darrington lands and fortunes. Unwilling to challenge the powerful crime syndicate that ruled Wildemount in all but name, Howaardt had no choice but to comply.
Vox Machina once made a deal with the Myriad in Deastok. In exchange for clearing out an infested platinum mine, the Myriad would forgive the Darrington family's debts, return the Darrington Estate and the surrounding grounds, allow enough taxes to provide a reasonable income, and provide a small farm adjacent to the Darrington Estate.
A sect of the Myriad existed in Stilben, where it competed against the local chapter of the Clasp.
A sect of the Myriad existed in Kymal, where it competed against the local chapter of the Clasp.
A sect of the Myriad existed in Deastok where, much as like the rest of Wildemount, the sect ruled in all but name.
The Myriad are known for displays of opulence and social grace, preferring to misdirect, discredit, blackmail, and/or frame those who cross them. The Myriad tends to avoid overt violence (as it draws unwanted attention), but quickly resorts to kidnapping and assassination when manipulation fails.
The public front for the Myriad involves businesses similar to its humble beginnings: dealing in antiquities and shipping exotic textiles. However, the Myriad also runs an efficient black market.
Failure of a Myriad satellite to provide tithes and information, or if the rate of such begins to slow, results in either the enslavement or destruction of the localized sect.
Vox Machina's first official encounter with the Myriad was after being hired by Fendril Vas in Stilben. Fendril wanted the party to investigate new competition in town called "The Myriad".
The party would later re-encounter the Myriad in Wildemount, after Tary was kidnapped by K'ryyn, on orders from Tary's father: Howaardt Darrington. Howaardt revealed the extensive debt that the Darrington family had incurred, especially with several large loans from the Myriad. Vox Machina decided to help resolve the Darrington debt and met with Korshad, a representative for the local Myriad sect in Deastok. Korshad agreed to forgive the debt if Vox Machina could clear out the infestation of a Myriad-controlled platinum mine.
After fighting a swarm of ankhegs and symphior (a corrupted and deformed planetar baby), Vox Machina were able to complete their task. Tary was able to negotiate that in exchange for clearing out the mine, the Myriad would grant the Darrington family their estate, enough taxes to maintain a modest income, and a small farm adjacent to the estate's grounds (to provide food for the family and crops for additional income). Korshad agreed, though he refused Tary's proposal to share a percentage of the platinum mine's profits.
- "There's one way out of this... but a Myriad of ways to die." (common Myriad threat)
- The Myriad were one of the first Critical Role concepts created by Matthew Mercer, as they and the entire Fendril Vas storyline in Stilben were all part of Liam O'Brien's birthday D&D game. The story (and thus the continuation of the campaign) would pick up weeks later in Westruun after Grog went missing (see "The Story of Vox Machina").