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Stilben[3] also known as The Rotted Lot[4] is a swamp port city in the kingdom of Tal'Dorei. Vox Machina originally met and formed their group in Stilben.[5][6]

City DescriptionEdit

The Lucidian Coast

Stilben is located on the east coast near the Lucidian Ocean.

Stilben is a shady city built around the Bay of K'Tawl on the shore of the Lucidian Ocean. Surrounded by a sprawling marshland, the air is usually sticky, humid, and uncomfortably warm. The ever-present sound of insects buzzing and distant bird calls mingle with the constant din of creaking wood, grumbling voices, and beasts-of-burden carrying cargo from the docks to the tradelines. Money flowed here primarily through a strong textile trade, a dynamic black market (influenced heavily by what ships arrive to port), and a loosely-kept set of laws that could be briefly "purchased" should they stand in someone's (or someone's business's) way. The social atmosphere is relaxed, the nightlife fairly lively, and there is enough work to go around... especially mercenary work.[7]

Points of InterestEdit

  • The Vas Estate: a large mansion built over two hundred years ago by the Vas Lordship, one of the more powerful trade families that have held power in Stilben. The estate is once home to the heir to the Vas family fortune, Fendril Vas, but it is not known what became of the estate, nor the fortune, after Fendril is slain by Vox Machina.[7]
  • The Gold Leaf Inn[8]
  • Waterwatch Stockade[8]
  • The Post[8]
  • Rampart Gate[8]
  • Northern Ramparts[8]
  • The Livery[9]

Upwater WharfEdit

Muckfront RowEdit

  • Waterwatch Garison[8]

Downwater WharfEdit

The Low CommonEdit

  • The Bucket & Spade Tavern[8]
  • The Sunset Stride Tavern: the largest tavern within Stilben, the Sunset Stride is where many of the blue-collar grunts of the local trades come to unwind. Music and laughter permeated the warmly-lit interior, and a large job-board loomed over the far wall. The tavern's barkeep is Father Moordek Vart.[7]

The Run-OffEdit

Bay's End SlumsEdit

Bay DocksEdit

  • K'Tawl Lighthouse[8]

Durth's SinkholeEdit

SocietyEdit

DemographicsEdit

Stilben is a small city with a population of about 9,015. The population is mostly human (70%), but there are significant proportions of elves (10%), halflings (10%), and half-elves (5%), with a small percentage of other races scattered about (5%).[2]

Notable PeopleEdit

Name Type Description
Iselda[10] NPC Summoned by the Myriad in illusion.[11]
Spireling Harrock[12] NPC Head of the The Clasp in Stilben.[13]
Alchemist Lustran Zeth[14] NPC The Alchemist in Stilben.[14]
The Servant, Flesh Golem[15] NPC Servant of Iselda.[15]
Thurista[16] NPC In a mercenary group with Grog and Scanlan before the forming of Vox Machina. Left for Whitestone.[17]
Arnicor[16] NPC In a mercenary group with Grog and Scanlan before the forming of Vox Machina. Left for Whitestone. [17]
Vash[18] NPC In a mercenary group with Grog and Scanlan before the forming of Vox Machina.
Stitch[16] NPC In a mercenary group with Keyleth and Tiberius before the forming of Vox Machina.[19]
Brul[16] NPC In a mercenary group with Keyleth and Tiberius before the forming of Vox Machina.[19]
Helicax[16] NPC In a mercenary group with Keyleth and Tiberius before the forming of Vox Machina.[19]
Fendril Vas NPC The heir to the Vas Estate.[7]
Father Moordek Vart NPC The barkeep of the Sunset Stride Tavern.[7]

Factions Edit

Waterwatch Regiment Crossbow Concept,

Waterwatch: fanart concept

Politics Edit

Like the other major satellite cities within the Realm of Tal'Dorei, Stilben is ruled by an appointed Margrave, in this case the rather ineffective Wendel Truss. The Margrave of Stilben also commands the Waterwatch, the local constabulary. The reality of the current situation in Stilben, though, is that in spite of the Margrave's pretensions, the city is really run by the guilds and The Clasp… With the foreign interlopers of The Myriad making ever-deeper inroads as well.[6]

HistoryEdit

"Vox Machina Origins Volume 1"Edit

The children of the peasants of the port town of Stilben are stillborn, lifeless. Someone is poisoning the swamp. The peasants use for their industry. There are three different groups, each acting in dependently, all orbiting around the same problem.

Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia try to solve the mysterious curse afflicting the residents. Along the way they run into a young druid named Keyleth who believes the "curse" is actually an intentional poisoning of the water supply. Retuning to Stilben they stalk alchemist Lustran Zeththat is responsible, and find themselves enmeshed in a conspiracy of assassins.

Scanlan Shorthalt, Grog Strongjaw, Thurista, Arnicor, and Vash recover a vial of the potent poison from a swamp temple. They want to get a potion identified by the alchemist. Entering the establishment there the Myriad is ready for a fight. During this encounter Vash is killed, but the group gets the upper hand and slay the remaining Myriad members. Celebrating and mourning the group decide to go to a bar where they meet a sorcerer named Tiberius Stormwind. Tiberius identified the potion as Aqua Caedis and trade it with them for a diamond before leaving the group. They attract the attention of a watchman who wants the poison. Scanlan agrees to give him the potion at midnight and they part ways. Scanlan and Grog depart from the group to search for the sorcerer.

Keyleth, Tiberius, Stitch, Brul, and Helicax are hired by The Clasp, to find out who's poisoning the peasants they rely on for their prostitution supply and narcotics sales. They uncover that the Myraid is trying to kill everyone in the Muck. Stitch wants some compensation for a job well done but gets poisoned. They get 12 hours to get to the bottom of the killings our else stitch dies. Each team has a different piece of the puzzle, the pairs converge at the alchemical laboratory where the poison is refined. There they fight each other and then some thieves. After the fight Iselda emerge from a mirror getting a few hit in before she put Grog into a ball.

The group fights Iselda to free grog but she flees into the mirror with Alchemist Lustran Zeth, resulting in the freeing of Grog. The group argues over the alchemist book, and the twins disappear in to the shadows. The twins argue when Iselda coms from the mirror and kidnaps Vax. Vex swallow her pride and ask for aid from the others. But when they refuse, Vex decides to retrieve Trinket outside of town, but not before Keyleth catches up to her and pledges to help.

Vax is alone on the Myriad's floating fortress galleon, The Mockingbird. Vax fights his way to freedom with nary a weapon or ally around save his wits and agility to escape his captors. Meanwhile Vex retrieve Trinket and introduced Keyleth to him. They meet everyone again by coincidence on the dock searching for the ship Vax is held. There is an explosion and vax jumps out of a hole on The Mockingbird.

The group board The Mockingbird and fight their way to Iselda as well as the source of the poison that has been plaguing the inhabitants of Stilben. Fighting Iselda she turn in to her ultimate form but the group manage to kill her while the ship is on fire. They escape through the previous made hole in the side and decide to get shitfaced in an tavern. Meanwhile Brul and Helicax retrieve Stitch from the clasp and continue their partnership, and Lustran Zeth begins a relationship with the myriad trough the mirror.

"Vox Machina Origins Volume 2"Edit

Vox Machina's was hired by Fendril Vas in Stilben to investigate the seemingly dubious and dangerous new business conglomerate called "the Myriad". Vox Machina eventually entered a chamber housing a planar rift that pulled the group into a room with Crysa-Thul. Fendril was actually a worshipper of the stillborn god and had intended to feed the party to this deity like many previous mercenary groups. Vox Machina destroyed Crysa-Thul and returned to slay Fendril for his treachery.[5][20]

After a night out drinking the party goes to bed and in the morning discover that Grog has left them. The group discover he went north towards Westruun. Tiberius leaves the group to continue on his own path the others rent some horses and go after him.

TriviaEdit

  • Mercer, back in high school, created a game in RPG Maker for PlayStation, and the first town one encountered in that game was called Stilben.[21]
  • The city's name was originally spelled "Stilben" in Matthew Mercer's Vox Machina Wiki, which was published in February 2015, before the launch of Critical Role.[22] A few months after Critical Role launched, Mercer released the map of Tal'Dorei using the "Stillben" spelling (which was subsequently adopted by the Critical Role Wiki). However, the city's name was officially restored to "Stilben" with the release of Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting.[3]
  • In Mercer's Vox Machina Wiki, Stilben was listed as a shady town with a population of 820.[22] However, in the Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, it is listed as a small city with a population of about 9,015.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Issue #1, pp. 7.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 43.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Official spelling is "Stilben".  Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 43.
  4. See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Issue #1, pp. 7.
  5. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 0:00:11.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 44.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Some of the information on this page was imported from Matthew Mercer's Vox Machina Wiki article, "Stilben".
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Trade Paperback, pp. 139.
  9. See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #2, Issue #1, pp. 16.
  10. See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Trade Paperback, pp. 141.
  11. See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Issue #1, pp. 23.
  12. See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Issue #3, pp. 4.
  13. See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Issue #3, pp. 6.
  14. 14.0 14.1 See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Issue #1, pp. 19-20.
  15. 15.0 15.1 See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Trade Paperback, pp. 143.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Trade Paperback, pp. 166.
  17. 17.0 17.1 See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Issue #2, pp. 27.
  18. See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Issue #2, pp. 13.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #1, Issue #3, pp. 3.
  20. Some of the information on this page was imported from Matthew Mercer's Vox Machina Wiki article, "Fendril Vas".
  21. See "Explorer's Guide to Wildemount Q&A and Fireside Chat with Matthew Mercer" (Sx53) at 1:24:27.
  22. 22.0 22.1 See Matthew Mercer's "Stilben" article on the Vox Machina Wiki.

Art:

  1. Official art of Stillben, by Kent Davis (source).  Used with permission.


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