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For the kingdom, and later republic, see Republic of Tal'Dorei.

Official map of Tal'Dorei by Andy Law.[art 1]

Tal'Dorei is the name used by humans to refer to the entire continent on Exandria in which the Republic of Tal'Dorei rests, though this is purely a human conflation.[1] The Elvish name for the continent is Gwessar, meaning "Fields of Joy".[2]

Society

Republic of Tal'Dorei

Main article: Republic of Tal'Dorei.

The Republic of Tal'Dorei succeeded the Kingdom of Drassig. It was for many years ruled by a sovereign, the final one being Sovereign Uriel Tal'Dorei III, alongside a council. Uriel later chose to step down in favor of rule by council alone. [3][4]

Whitestone

Main article: Whitestone.

Whitestone is a city-state in the Alabaster Sierras on the northeastern edge of the continent. It is ruled from Whitestone Castle, the home of the De Rolo family after it was reclaimed from the Briarwoods.

Iron Authority

Main article: Iron Authority.

The Authority is a hobgoblin nation in the southernmost region of the continent of Tal'Dorei.

Geography

Dividing Plains

Main article: Dividing Plains.

The Plains are a vast expanse in central Tal'Dorei of fertile, hilly prairie. Much of Tal'Dorei's farming takes place in the Dividing Plains.[5]

  • Kymal Icon d.png Kymal: Hometown of Kaylie; accommodated some refugees from the Chroma Conclave's assault on Westruun.
  • Westruun Icon.png Westruun: Site of the Cobalt Reserve, a collection of some of the oldest known records of civilization; home to the under-development second Gilmore's Glorious Goods shop (before the Chroma Conclave attacked).
  • Foramere Basin: a low-elevation region in central Tal'Dorei where water from two rivers comes together in a giant lake before draining into the Lucidian Ocean.

Cliffkeep Mountains

Main article: Cliffkeep Mountains.

The Cliffkeep Mountains are a system of mountains in northern Tal'Dorei.

  • Ft Daxio Icon.png Fort Daxio: Key Republic military stronghold located on the western side of the Cliffkeep Mountains, north of Emon and west of Kraghammer.
  • Gatshadow Mountain: an enormous mountain at the southeastern tip, just northwest of the Bramblewood Forest and Westruun.
  • Kraghammer Icon.png Kraghammer: Underground dwarven citadel; primary source of mithral; home of arcanists of House Thunderbrand.
  • Lyrengorn: Independent and neutral city-state of wild/wood elves in the far north. It is located on the southern edge of the Neverfields, the icy wastelands on the northernmost edges of the continent.
  • Earth Icon.png Terrah: home of the Earth Ashari, located in a bowl-like valley in the center of the Cliffkeep Mountains north of Kraghammer.
  • Vulkanon: A fire giant city-state and the heart of their civilization. It is located in the magma tunnels below the Cliffkeep Mountains[6]
  • Pools of Wittebak: a forest ravine with pools, and a single small home which was inhabited by Sprigg.[7]
  • Yug'Voril: An illithid city in the Underdark, it can be accessed through Kraghammer and it's the home of Clarota.

Bladeshimmer Shoreline

Main article: Bladeshimmer Shoreline.

The Shoreline stretches across the central western coast of Tal'Dorei.

  • Emerald Outpost: a garrison and town originally established by the elves of Syngorn as a secret outpost to keep an eye on the growing Kingdom of Drassig; now a shared military installation between Syngorn and the Republic of Tal'Dorei.
  • Emon Icon, d.png Emon: Capital of the Republic; home of Vox Machina, Shaun Gilmore, and Allura Vysoren; site of Greyskull Keep (former home of Vox Machina) and the original Gilmore's Glorious Goods.
  • The Shalesteps
  • Ruins of O'Noa
  • Daggerbay
  • Salar: Capital of an aboleth empire crushed at the end of the Calamity, but whose survivors have gradually rebuilt in the centuries that followed.
  • Vos'sykriss: Capital of an ancient serpentfolk empire, left in ruins by the Calamity but possibly re-emerging as of 810 PD.

Lucidian Coast

Main article: Lucidian Coast.

The coast is a region on the eastern side of Tal’Dorei. It is framed by the Dividing Plains to the west, the Lucidian Ocean to the east, the Parchwood Timberlands to the north, and the Stormcrest Mountains to the south.

  • Drynna: a sleepy town located where Mooren River Run meets Mooren Lake.
  • K’Tawl Swamp
  • Mooren Lake: a crystalline lake northeast of the Summit Peaks on the Lucidian Coast.
  • Stilben Icon d.png Stilben: Small port city on the Lucidian Coast where Vox Machina met.
  • Summit Peakshome of the Air Ashari village of Zephrah.
  • Air Icon.png Zephrah: home of the Air Ashari at the portal between the Elemental Plane of Air and Exandria in the Material Plane. Zephrah is located at the very top of the Summit Peaks mountain range, on a small plateau with cliffs on either side.[8]

The Neverfields

Main article: Neverfields.

Parchwood Timberlands

Main article: Parchwood Timberlands.

The Timberlands is a dense pine forest surrounding Whitestone and the Alabaster Sierras.

Verdant Expanse

Main article: Verdant Expanse.

The Expanse is a huge, dense primeval forest, full of fey energies and is considered, on the continent of Tal'Dorei, to primarily belong to the elves. It covers much of the southwest of the continent excluding the Rifenmist Peninsula, stretching from the Stormcrest Mountains to the coast of the Ozmit Sea.[9]

Rifenmist Peninsula

Main article: Rifenmist Peninsula.

The Peninsula is a landmass on the southern end of the continent, mostly covered in jungle. The southernmost region is home to the totalitarian Iron Authority.[11]

Stormcrest Mountains

Main article: Stormcrest Mountains.

Other Notable Locations

History

Before and During The Founding

Before the gods arrived in the world, a Primordial titan seed was planted in the area that, under its influence, would later become the Rifenmist Jungle.[13]

During the war between the Prime Deities and the Betrayer Gods, the Prime Deities imprisoned Tharizdun beneath Gatshadow Mountain.[14]

Fan art of a mortal exploring Gwessar, by Adrián Ibarra Lugo.[art 2]

Soon afterward, after the founding of Vasselheim, the mortal races ventured out to discover new lands.[15] In western Gwessar the elves felled the Molten Titan, giving birth to the Daggerbay Mountains.[16] An unknown civilization settled in the area that became the Ivyheart Thicket.[17] A noble race called the Kuul'tevir, created in the image of the first dragons and led by a "god-empress," built cities of power comparable to those of the elves, and the seat of their great empire in the southern part of Gwessar was Vos'sykriss.[18]

Arriving through a portal from the Far Realm, aboleths and other aberrations meanwhile conquered the Underdark beneath the Bladeshimmer Coast and drove their slaves to build their capital: Salar, the Unseeable City. They slowly began expanding toward the surface, and their psychic energies gradually produced the azuremite of the Crystalfen Caverns.[19] The underground city of Yug'Voril was also established during this era.[20]

Age of Arcanum

After the Founding gave way to the Age of Arcanum, some among the mortal races continued migrating to the continent that would later be called Tal'Dorei; some rock gnomes traveled over in this era.[21] The first tieflings, having been created in Issylra during the Age of Arcanum, fled from religious zealots and sailed to the continent.[22]

Acek Orattim, priest of Tharizdun, made his base in Gatshadow Mountain, under which Tharizdun had been imprisoned. Through Acek, Tharizdun's power twisted and elevated the mountain, riddled it with a maze of tunnels, and corrupted the surrounding region.[23]

During the Age of Arcanum, the Kuul'tevir society deteriorated as they turned to violence and lost much of their knowledge of magic. The serpentfolk empire's seers had visions of the the Calamity's vast destruction, and the serpents sought a way to survive it; they built a magical field of perfect stasis beneath Vos'sykriss and chose their most powerful to slumber until the danger had passed, then emerge and rebuild their empire.[18]

Possibly contemporary with the Kuul'tevir—and in apparently overlapping territory, in the Rifenmist Jungle—was an ancient civilization called the Qoniira Tetrarchy. Their culture rose long before the Calaimtiy and fell either prior to[24] or during the Calamity[25], and was ancient even to other ancient civilizations of Exandria.[26]

Possibly Before or After the Calamity Began

During one celestial solstice about 900 or 1000 years before the Campaign of Vox Machina[27]possibly before or shortly after the Calamity began—huge elemental rifts burst open across Exandria, causing terrible earthquakes, fires, and a flood of elemental monsters against which the peoples of the world struggled to defend. Though they eventually beat back the elementals, they were terrified of what would happen on the next solstice. The druidic Ashari, until then a single nomadic society on Gwessar, made a covenant to split into four tribes to seal the rifts and watch over the major remaining portals, where they settled. Two of these rifts were on the continent: the Air Ashari settled at Zephrah, and the Earth Ashari settled at Terrah.[28]

The Calamity

One of the first casualties of the Calamity was Lolth. Her suddenly leaderless drow followers fled from the surface world to rebuild their empire underground; in Gwessar they found themselves surrounded by aberrations, the eventual seat of their power would be Ruhn-Shak, and their leaders began hearing the whispers of Tharizdun.[29]

During the Calamity, the cities of the Kuul'tevir were reduced to rubble, and those who perished in Vos'sykriss began to haunt the city as ghosts.[30] The dwarven kingdom of Uthtor was likewise destroyed.[31] A wandering colony of elves fleeing the Calamity formed the beginning of what would become the Orroyen tribes of the Rifenmist Peninsula.[32]

In the northeastern reaches of the continent, Ioun baited Tharizdun to her central temple, resulting in her near-destruction.[33] Pelor's subsequent vengeful battle with Tharizdun was so violent, it created the valley where the Parchwood Timberlands stand and raised the Alabaster Sierras.[33] Badly defeated and wounded, Tharizdun retreated to Acek Orattim's realm, but Pelor chased and banished Tharizdun there, beneath Gatshadow.[34]

Whether it was in that battle or another, the land bridge connecting Gwessar and Wildemount was shattered, creating the Shearing Channel.[35]

In the far south of Gwessar, in one of the final battles of the Calamity, Bane and his goblinkin armies waged the last of their many battles with Melora and her Free Children. After a tremendous battle that permanently reduced the area to sterile ash, Bane was defeated and banished, the gigantic suit of pitted iron armor he wore fell to the ground, and the surviving goblinkin were scattered. This area would become known as the Beynsfal Plateaus.[36]

The final battle of the Calamity, in far-off Wildemount, sent shockwaves through Exandria and unintentionally collapsed much of the underground cavern network of Tal'Dorei, bringing about the fall of the aboleth civilization there.[37]

Post-Divergence

In the immediate aftermath of the Calamity, halflings began farming in the Dividing Plains and the foothills of the Cliffkeep Mountains,[38] and within that mountain range Kraghammer was soon founded by the survivors of Uthtor and led by Clan Jaggenstrike.[39]

Ley energies shifted by the Calamity, and energies left over from the Calamity, caused the accelerated growth and magical flux that gave birth to the Verdant Expanse in an area untouched by the Betrayer Gods.[40] Within a generation, wood elves returned from the Feywild united under the sorceress Yenlara, their first leader after the Divergence, and founded the city of Syngorn in the Verdant Expanse.[2][41]

Several centuries after the founding of Kraghammer, humans sailed from Issylra to the western coast of the continent; their first settlement was the port city of O'Noa. They spread until they controlled all the western shores, and founded the city of Emon.[42]

During these centuries of human expansion, hill giants wrecked the gnomish city of Wittebak; Kraghammer welcomed the refugees.[43][44]

Scattered War

Not quite 500 years after the Divergence, Warren Drassig rose to power in Emon, established the Kingdom of Drassig, severed diplomatic ties with Syngorn, and made new alliances with Kraghammer. Yenlara's grandson, Syngorn's diplomat to Emon, tried to resolve things diplomatically, but was tortured and killed, kicking off the 32-year Scattered War.[45] The elves of Syngorn established the hidden Emerald Outpost to keep watch on the growing Kingdom of Drassig.[10] Within the next nine years, the port city of O'noa was devastated in one of the bloodiest battles of the war.[46]

When Warren Drassig was ambushed and killed at the village of Torthil, his son Neminar succeeded him and made a pact with Bane to fuel his war effort. A human rebel named Zan Tal'Dorei later drew Neminar into the Verdant Expanse and killed him there, at which point Neminar's brother Trist Drassig took command of the kingdom.[47]

Zan scored a series of victories against Trist, forcing his forces into a valley at the base of the Cliffkeep Mountains, but as Trist had made yet another pact—this one with the Demon Prince Graz'zt who had once made the nearby Grey Valley a bastion of his influence—a flood of fiends poured into the battlefield. Against all odds, Zan Tal'Dorei's forces prevailed, ending the Drassig bloodline, the infernal pact the Drassigs had made, and the Scattered War. The blood of the demons thereafter blackened the grass and flowers that grow there, and the area became known as the Umbra Hills. The leaders of the Verdant Expanse convened a council, crowned Zan Tal'Dorei as Sovereign in a power-sharing arrangement, and named the realm Tal'Dorei in her honor.[48]

Icelost Years

Less than two years into Zan's reign, Errevon the Rimelord, taking advantage of another celestial solstice, opened a rift from the Frostfell, the elemental plane of ice, to what will later be called the Frostweald. With an army of frost giants and sentient blizzards, Errevon conquered most of the continent in a few years.[49]

The Council of Tal'Dorei convinced Syngorn and Kraghammer to join in an alliance against Errevon, and together their forces battled Errevon back through the rift, which the Ashari druids sealed shut. The victory was later celebrated annually as the Winter's Crest festival.[50]

Peacetime in Northern Tal'Dorei

Before 612 PD, a gold rush in the Ironseat Ridge made Kymal into a boom town.[51]

Not long afterward, Whitestone was founded by an expedition led by the de Rolo family from Wildemount.[52]

Within a century, Kymal's gold deposits began to run dry, and the mining industry died within a decade.[53]

The Iron Tide

In 722 PD, the Iron Authority conquered the Beynsfal Plateau, after years of territory disputes with little ground gained on any part. Within a decade, the Iron Authority united all the hobgoblin kingdoms of southern Tal'Dorei under Tz'Jarr, the Iron Emperor.[54]

Roots of the Chroma Conclave and Vox Machina

Around 761 PD, the ancient green dragon Raishan destroyed a temple of Melora and was cursed with an ever-worsening sickness.[55] Around three decades later, Raishan and the ancient red dragon Thordak the Cinder King met and formed an alliance.[56] Around this time, at the southern edges of the Council of Tal'Dorei's influence, Thordak began to raid caravans and autonomous villages, which sent requests to Emon for aid and protection. Sovereign Odellan Tal'Dorei rejected the idea of sending a regiment as too costly without confirmation of the threat. Over the next two years, Thordak proceeded to burn the fields of the Mornset Countryside and enslave the Outerfolk of the region.[57]

By 794 or 795 PD, Thordak laid waste to everything around the Gladepools, including Port Udall and Byroden. Thordak thrashed Emon's forces from Fort Daxio. Allura Vysoren's adventuring party, with the help of the Arcana Pansophical, eventually managed to seal Thordak in the Elemental Plane of Fire. In the years that followed, Raishan contacted Thordak across the planes, and plotted to return him to Exandria.[58][59]

In 802 PD, the Shadewatch was formed in Jorenn Village in response to the demonic corruption that still stalked the nearby lands, centuries after the Battle of the Umbra Hills.[60]

Around 805 PD, the Briarwoods slaughtered the de Rolo family and seized control of Whitestone.[61][62][63] Percival de Rolo escaped Whitestone with the help of his sister Cassandra, who was assumed dead after being shot with arrows during her escape attempt.

The Campaign of Vox Machina and Contemporary Events

An adventuring party that would later call itself Vox Machina met in 809 PD in the small port city of Stilben. They played a major part in resolving a series of crises affecting northern Tal'Dorei over the next three years:

In the meantime, in 810 PD, a half-orc professor of archaeology and spirit-speaker named Jorlund Vohr led an expedition to Visa Isle, where Vos'sykriss once stood, and unwittingly ended the spell that kept the ancient serpentfolk in stasis.[64]

The Fire Ashari sent firetamers and other druids to help heal the land corrupted by Thordak, and though their project was never expected to be complete, they mostly got the elemental bleeding under control in the next three decades.

Exandria Unlimited

In late 842 PD, a new crisis developed around the parts of the Emon area that had never fully healed from Thordak's elemental corruption. A powerful being of elemental fire overwhelmed several firetamers, a rune tracing back to the Qoniira Tetrarchy caused the sudden appearance of an ashen mesa in the Scar of the Cinder King, and the adventuring party that would later be known as the Crown Keepers was sent to the ruins of Qoniira to help discover a solution.

References

  1. From Matthew Mercer's tweet on Tal'Dorei's continent.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 8.
  3. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 10.
  4. See "Omens" (1x39) at 3:28:09.
  5. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 52.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 124–125.
  7. See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105).
  8. See "The Siege of Emon" (1x78) at 1:43:41.
  9. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 80.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 88.
  11. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 76.
  12. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 0:02:59.
  13. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 79.
  14. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 19. See also p. 51.
  15. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 6.
  16. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 87.
  17. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 54.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 123. See also p. 97.
  19. The caves predate the Age of Arcanum, and the veins of azuremite were formed from "millennia" of exposure to the aberrations' psychic energies before the final battle of the Calamity. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
  20. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 71. "Thousands of years old" may imply something earlier than what was described as "early Age of Arcanum." The Crypts of Thomara are "early Age of Arcanum" and alternately described as "thousands of years" old or "well over 1500 years, if not longer."
  21. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 26.
  22. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 28.
  23. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 63–64.
  24. See "A Glorious Return" (Ex03) at 1:52:14.
  25. See "A Glorious Return" (Ex03) at 1:55:20.
  26. See "A Glorious Return" (Ex03) at 1:54:55.
  27. See "Aramente to Pyrah" (1x22) at 1:17:27.
  28. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 30.
  29. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 23.
  30. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 97.
  31. As of 812 PD, the kingdom was said to have crumbled "nearly a millennia" [sic] ago in the Calamity. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 65.
  32. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 78.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 51.
  34. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 64.
  35. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 48.
  36. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 21. See also p. 79.
  37. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
  38. "Since the end of the Calamity." Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 24.
  39. "Not more than 800 years ago," in a book set in 812 PD. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 8. See also p. 65.
  40. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 80. See also p. 8.
  41. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 39.
  42. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 8. Several centuries after Kraghammer was founded. "Several" means "more than two, fewer than many."
  43. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 66. See also pp. 69–70.
  44. See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) at 30:05.  See also 52:53.
  45. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 8. This date is counting backward from the end of the Scattered War and the start of the Tal'Dorei dynasty. See also p. 39, which says Kraghammer's alliance with Drassig was "many centuries ago."
  46. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 94.
  47. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 9–10. This date is counting nine years after the start of the Scattered War, or 23 years before its end.
  48. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 10. Page 12 says that Tal'Dorei rule lasted "nearly three centuries" before the attack on Emon in late 810 PD ended it. Page 35 says it was "roughly three centuries ago."
  49. "Not two years into Sovereign Zan's reign." Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 10.
  50. Errevon had conquered most of the continent in "a few years" and this rule stood for "several years." A few can be as small as two; several means "more than two, fewer than many." Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 10–11.
  51. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 54. "Over two centuries before" 812 PD.
  52. As of 812 PD, "nearly two hundred years ago." Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 48.
  53. As of 812 PD, a century after "over two centuries" ago. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 54.
  54. As of 812 PD, "within a decade" starting "ninety years ago." Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 76.
  55. In 811 PD, Raishan says she was cursed a "half-century ago."  See "Trust" (1x70) at 0:14:30.
  56. See "Trust" (1x70) at 0:13:58.
  57. This was two years before Emon's forces, and Allura's allies, confronted Thordak. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 11.
  58. In late 810 PD, Allura said this was 15 years ago.  See "Desperate Measures" (1x40) at 2:36:36.
  59. This says Thordak was sealed for 16 years before the Chroma Conclave attacked Emon in 810 PD. Note also p. 77: Thordak attacked Byroden "nearly two decades ago." Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 11–12.
  60. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 64. The organization was formed "ten years ago" at the time the Tal'Dorei Campaign Guide is set in 812 PD.
  61. In 810 PD, Percy said it was four or five years ago.  See "The Feast" (1x24) at 23:36.
  62. In 810 PD, Matt narrates that the Briarwoods have ruled Whitestone for five years.  See "Race to the Ziggurat" (1x34) at 08:24.
  63. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 32. This, strangely, says the Briarwoods' reign lasted six years. See also pp. 48 and 50.
  64. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 96.

Art:

  1. Map of Tal'Dorei, by Andy Law. (source).
  2. Fan art of a mortal exploring Gwessar, by Adrián Ibarra Lugo (source).  Used with permission.
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