Critical Role Wiki

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


Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

Orly crit recap animated

Orly in Crit Recap Animated.

Orly Skiffback is a tortle bard and sailor. He was hired by the Mighty Nein to serve as the navigator of The Mistake. He continued to serve as navigator after the Mighty Nein took over the Squalleater. Orly now serves as acting captain of the Nein Heroez, which Mighty Nein acquired on Rumblecusp. As an NPC, Orly Skiffback is played by Matthew Mercer.



Orly Skiffback by BlackSalander

Fan art of Orly Skiffback, by BlackSalander.[art 2]

Orly is a tortle with an eyepatch and three ivory bagpipes emerging out of his shell. He has series of magical tattoos on his arms imbued with Aquamarine dust, that look like swirling water.[3][4]


Befitting his role as a bard, Orly is talkative and engaging. However, he does not sing; rather, he expresses his music through the bagpipes installed into his shell. Orly speaks with a Cajun accent and has a stutter.



"Encroaching Waters" (2x34)[]

The Mighty Nein introduce themselves to Orly at the Wayfarer's Cove.

"O Captain, Who's Captain?" (2x36)[]

Jester Lavorre sent Orly a message via the Sending spell that a ship called The Mistake would hire him as a navigator. Orly came to the ship. He and Fjord agreed on a rate of twenty-seven gold per week on the condition Orly got to choose his quarters.[5] Orly assisted Fjord navigating to the Inkclaw Reef and through the shelves to Urukayxl.

Orly - Mateusz Wilma

Fan art of Orly, by MateuszWilma.[art 3]

"A Pirate's Life for Me" (2x41)[]

Orly told Jester he learned how to create magical tattoos from gem dust during his travels around the Swavain Islands and showed her his own magical tattoo infused with aquamarine dust. He then showed her how to create non-magical tattoos.[6][7]

"A Hole In the Plan" (2x42)[]

Orly was asked by Fjord to watch over the Mistake and the crew while the Mighty Nein were getting ready to go out exploring with Avantika. If they didn't come back soon, Orly would be the new captain of the ship.

"In Hot Water" (2x43)[]

The Mighty Nein and the rest of the crew sailed away from Darktow Isle and made their way towards the Diver's Grave. with Orly's guidance

"The Diver's Grave" (2x44)[]

Fjord asked Orly to get as close as possible to the Diver's Grave in order to find the shipwrecked Tide's Breath.

"The Stowaway" (2x45)[]

Orly helped Fjord guide the ship to Bisaft Isle to be repaired and restocked.

"A Storm of Memories" (2x46)[]

Orly warned Fjord about the incoming storm they are about to face.

"The Second Seal" (2x47)[]

Fjord decided to bequeath the ship to Orly once they reached the shores of Nicodranas.

"Homeward Bound" (2x48)[]

When they reached Nicodranas, the party agreed to give the ship to Orly, but Orly responded that he would simply take care of it for them, use it to earn money trading, and give them their share of the profits. Orly told Jester if they ever needed anything, she had "some of that fancy magic word stuff". Jester confirmed she would definitely use a Sending spell if they needed anything. Orly said he probably could, too, and wished them safe travels. Marius LePual handed Orly Fjord's captain hat, which he put on.[8]

"Titles and Tattoos" (2x84)[]

After giving the Mighty Nein their cut of the Balleater's profits, Orly gave magical stat-raising tattoos for constitution to Jester, wisdom to Beau, and charisma to Nott.

"The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97)[]

Orly greeted the Mighty Nein in Nicodranas's harbor, telling them the Balleater was ready to leave for the peace negotiations whenever they were.

"Dark Waters" (2x98)[]

While under attack by agents of Uk'otoa, Fjord and Orly were killed before the Mighty Nein ended the fight.

"High Seas, High Stakes" (2x99)[]

Caduceus successfully Revivified Fjord, and Jester cast Revivify on Orly, bringing him to one hit point. Orly asked the Nein if there were any more creatures on the boat, and thanked Jester for healing him. He walked over to shout to the other ships coming to investigate the disturbance that the danger had passed. After completing the negotiations, Fjord directed Orly to navigate south of the Inkclaw Reef towards the island of Rumblecusp.

"Traveler Con" (2x108)[]

After finishing up their duties on Rumblecusp, Fjord, Jester, and Caduceus used Control Water to move the Eden's Horizon out of the cave. Orly and the crew took possession of the new ship, renamed the Nein Heroez, and said their goodbyes to the Mighty Nein.

"Frigid Propositions" (2x109)[]

Before the Mighty Nein left for Nicodranas, Orly gave Yasha a magical stat-raising (dexterity) emerald and residuum tattoo that spelled in runes "Orphanmaker" with vines and flowers weaving through the runes. He claimed it was one of his finest works.



Orly and Fjord have a strong professional relationship. Orly defers to Fjord and respects him as his captain, and in return Fjord entrusts Orly with command of his ships while he's away. When Fjord gave Orly custody of the Balleater for the first time, Orly insisted that he was only interim captain while Fjord was away.[9] Orly seemed genuinely distressed when he spotted Fjord overboard in "Dark Waters" (2x98).[10]

Marius LePual[]

Orly and Marius were friends since before they met the Mighty Nein. On occasion, when Marius needed a place to stay, Orly would let him crash on his couch.[11] Orly was suspicious of the Mighty Nein when they began prying for information about Marius, and deliberately withheld information to protect Marius.[12] While on Darktow, Orly and Marius were protective of the rest of the Nein's hired crew.[13] On Rumblecusp, Orly joined in with the Nein's ribbing of Marius.[14]

The Mighty Nein[]

Orly and the Mighty Nein have mutual respect and affection. They enjoy each others' company, and exchange warm greetings whenever they are reunited after some time apart.[15][16]

Character Information[]


Orly is able to infuse gem dust into his tattoo ink and through a process taught to him by the descendants of the Ki'Nau [17], he is able to imbue his tattoos with magical properties that alter a person's physical capabilities.[18] The gem dusts in the amounts listed below are the ones currently known to give the following effects when used:[19][20]

  • Ruby dust: +1 Strength (2200gp)
  • Emerald dust: +1 Dexterity (2200gp)
  • Diamond dust: +1 Constitution (2500gp)
  • Jade dust: +1 Wisdom (2200gp)
  • Sapphire dust: +1 Intelligence (2200gp)
  • Aquamarine dust: +1 Charisma (2200gp)
  • Fire Opal dust: Fire resistance (5000gp)
  • Black Sapphire dust: Cold resistance (5000gp)

Tortle Abilities[]

  • Claws
  • Hold Breath
  • Natural Armor
  • Shell Defense

Bard Abilities[]

  • Bardic Inspiration
  • Ritual Casting
  • Spellcasting (Charisma-based)

Bard Spells[]


Notable Items[]

  • Surgically implanted bagpipes.[23]

Appearances and mentions[]




Travis dressed as Orly for Halloween 2020.

  • The character of Orly was created as a collaboration between Matthew Mercer and the Critter community during "Fireside Chat & NPC Build with Matthew Mercer" (Sx34) . Matt took suggestions from twitter polls and the live chat to decide what race, class, and special traits would that character have.
  • Matt had a stutter himself when he was younger and used that knowledge to give Orly depth.
  • Orly's enchanted tattoos are a traditional ritual of the Ki'Nau people (the indigenous natives of the islands along the Menagerie Coast), and they taught Orly this cultural practice during his many travels throughout the archipelago.
    • An Expositor of the Cobalt Soul interviewed Orly about this practice in Rituals and Magical Practices of the Ki'Nau.[24]
  • Travis Willingham dressed as Orly for the Halloween 2020 episode.[25]


  1. See "Fireside Chat & NPC Build with Matthew Mercer" (Sx34).
  2. See "High Seas, High Stakes" (2x99) at 0:18:08.
  3. See "The Ruby and the Sapphire" (2x33) at 3:37:59.
  4. See "A Pirate's Life for Me" (2x41) at 42:12.
  5. See "O Captain, Who's Captain?" (2x36) from 2:03:05 through 2:07:23.
  6. See "A Pirate's Life for Me" (2x41) at 39:35.
  7. See "A Pirate's Life for Me" (2x41) at 42:12.
  8. See "Homeward Bound" (2x48) at 17:00.
  9. See "The Second Seal" (2x47) from 3:16:54 through 3:17:55.
  10. See "Dark Waters" (2x98) at 3:10:19.
  11. See "Encroaching Waters" (2x34) at 24:24.
  12. See "Encroaching Waters" (2x34) at 25:10.
  13. See "A Hole In the Plan" (2x42) at 1:23:21.
  14. See "Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107) at 1:20:50.
  15. See "Titles and Tattoos" (2x84) at 1:11:52.
  16. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) from 33:05 through 33:28.
  17. See "A Pirate's Life for Me" (2x41) at 0:39:35.
  18. See "A Pirate's Life for Me" (2x41) at 0:39:35.
  19. See "A Pirate's Life for Me" (2x41) at 0:40:46.
  20. See "Titles and Tattoos" (2x84) at 0:57:28.
  21. See "Dark Waters" (2x98) at 3:18:16.
  22. See "Homeward Bound" (2x48) at 0:16:40.  Orly tells Jester "I can too probably" in response to her telling him she will use Sending if they need him
  23. See "Encroaching Waters" (2x34) at 0:17:59.
  24. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Mighty Nein, p. 197.
  25. See "An Open Window" (2x114) at 0:00:32.


  1. Fan art of Orly Skiffback, by David René (source). Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Orly Skiffback, by BlackSalander (source). Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Orly, by MateuszWilma (source). Used with permission.