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The Raven Queen, the Matron of Death is the ancient goddess of death. She is so old and mysterious that her true name has long been lost. Her patrons seek her favor to guide them in death and prevent the curse of undeath from falling on them.
Because of her hatred of undeath, she and the demon lord Orcus are fierce enemies. The Duskmeadow District of Vasselheim is devoted to worshiping her and is also where her temple, Raven's Crest, is located.
As an NPC, the Raven Queen is played by Matthew Mercer.
- 1 Description
- 2 Biography
- 2.1 Background
- 2.2 "The Sunken Tomb" (1x44)
- 2.3 "Those Who Walk Away" (1x45)
- 2.4 "The Family Business" (1x47)
- 2.5 "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50)
- 2.6 "In the Belly of the Beast" (1x54)
- 2.7 "Duskmeadow" (1x57)
- 2.8 "Trust" (1x70)
- 2.9 "Curious Tides" (1x89)
- 2.10 "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90)
- 2.11 "Thar Amphala" (1x101)
- 2.12 "The Fate-Touched" (1x103)
- 2.13 "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106)
- 2.14 "The Chapter Closes" (1x115)
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Commandments of the Matron of Ravens
- 5 Known Worshippers
- 6 Quotations
- 7 Trivia
- 8 References
The Raven Queen is described as a tall and slender woman, with flowing black hair and pale, porcelain skin. She almost always wears a blank, porcelain mask. On the rare occasions she removes it, she is described as a beautiful woman with red irises.
The Raven Queen was originally a mortal mage who lived during the Age of Arcanum. She was a follower and partner of the previous god of death, but she developed rites that allowed her to destroy him and take his place, becoming the first mortal to achieve godhood. Her rise to godhood is variously described as either involving her challenging her predecessor and overtaking him or as having instantly destroyed him upon her ascension.
In fear, the remainder of the pantheon swiftly destroyed and prohibited these rites. Her name was subsequently either lost to or removed from historical record. However, another powerful mage of the Age of Arcanum, Vecna, reconstructed the Ritual of Seeding and attempted it, but the ritual was interrupted and he was all but destroyed. The Raven Queen's ascension also inspired Vespin Chloras to release the imprisoned Betrayer Gods back into the Material Plane, leading to the Calamity. Centuries later, in 812 PD, Vecna returned and successfully completed the ritual.
"The Sunken Tomb" (1x44)
The Raven Queen first appeared as a spectre during the revivification spell of Vex'ahlia, summoned by the opening of her late champion's casket. At first, the party mistook her for Vesh (due to Kashaw's part in the ritual), but she was revealed during Vax'ildan's contribution to be, in fact, the Raven Queen. Vax offered his life to her in place of his sister's. The Raven Queen reached her hand out to Vax and nodded, agreeing to the offer. At that point, Vax unwittingly became her new champion.
"Those Who Walk Away" (1x45)
While Vax'ildan and Keyleth discussed the Raven Queen, a raven appeared at Keyleth's window, cawed at the two, then disappeared. It was insinuated to be sent by the Goddess.
"The Family Business" (1x47)
In his sleep, Vax'ildan had a brief vision of the Raven Queen and the tapestry of threads she oversees. She identified him as "fate-touched," and told him he could be anything.
"Best Laid Plans..." (1x50)
The Raven Queen was summoned during Grog's revivification by Vax'ildan. As a second form of aid, Vax pledged to serve the Raven Queen unconditionally and with conviction. The Raven Queen sent Vax a vision, seemingly agreeing to the offer.
After these events, Vax found a raven's feather laying on his pillow which he symbolically put in his hair, similar to the blue feathers worn by his sister.
"In the Belly of the Beast" (1x54)
"Curious Tides" (1x89)
First, The Raven Queen directly appeared to Vax'ildan, now dead, in a space similar to the first time he communed with her. She then asked him what his destined thread is.
Later, as a part of Vax's resurrection ritual, Vex'ahlia made a bargain with The Raven Queen to hunt down Orcus in return for her brother. Apparently seeing this to be favorable, The Raven Queen manifested in some physical way, allowing Vax to be brought back to life and calling Vox Machina "to meet [her] behind the Divine Gate". Seeming to have disappeared to the rest of Vox Machina, The Raven Queen was still seen by Vax as she gave him an ominous message about future activities of his employment before actually leaving.
"Voice of the Tempest" (1x90)
"Thar Amphala" (1x101)
"The Fate-Touched" (1x103)
"The Endless Atheneum" (1x106)
"The Chapter Closes" (1x115)
Vox Machina returned to the Platinum Sanctuary in Vasselheim after defeating Vecna and sealing him away beyond the Divine Gate. As Keyleth finished addressing the crowd, the Raven Queen appeared behind Vax'ildan and put her hands on his shoulders. Percy tried to get in between the two of them, but she froze him in place.
Keyleth, Scanlan, and Vex asked the Raven Queen for more time. The Raven Queen gently sympathized with their grief but insists that a deal was a deal. Vax said goodbye to each member of Vox Machina, promising that he would see them again. Vax used Druidcraft to create snowdrops out from him to Vox Machina and walked to the Raven Queen. Vax saw a bright light from inside the Raven Queen's cloak. In the light was his mother, telling her son she is proud of him. As Vax walked towards the Raven Queen, her cloak faded, the snowdrops continued until they turned into feathers and both were gone.
Vax'ildan offered his life to the Raven Queen in place of his sister, Vex'ahlia, as part of a revivification spell. The goddess appeared before him and seemed to agree to those terms. Not long afterward, Vax became a paladin devoted to her cause. Most recently, he made a bargain with her to defeat her hated enemy, Vecna, in return for continued life as a revenant.
Commandments of the Matron of Ravens
- Liam and Matt discussed the relationship between the Raven Queen and her Champion, Vax'ildan, on Talks Machina on February 21st, 2017. Matt said that Raven Queen and Vax'ildan did not have a typical cleric-deity relationship, but that She had told Vax the road She wanted him to take and is now just letting him walk the path on his own. If he strays from that path, She will intervene.
- The Raven Queen is typically categorized with the Prime Deities, a group usually defined by its actions during the Founding, even though she was not present during the Founding.
- The Raven Queen's holy day is the Night of Ascension, celebrated on the thirteenth of Cuerssar. Some also associate her with Winter's Crest.
- The Raven Queen's alternate title of the Matron of Ravens in the Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting is modified to the Matron of Death in the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, presumably to avoid redundancy.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 21.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 17.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 24.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 25.
- See "Trial of the Take: Part 3" (1x20) from 0:51:54 through 52:52.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 6. Also Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 12.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 17. Also Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 25.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 29.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 38.
- See "Curious Tides" (1x89) at 0:56:22.
- See "Curious Tides" (1x89) at 0:57:54.
- See "Curious Tides" (1x89) at 1:01:17.
- See "The Family Business" (1x47) from 0:53:34 through 0:56:17.
- See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115) at 1:29:59.
- See "The Chapter Closes" (1x115) from 1:27:42 through 1:42:40.
- See "The Sunken Tomb" (1x44).
- See "Umbrasyl" (1x55).
- See "The Fate-Touched" (1x103).
- See "Rime and Reason" (2x75) at 2:09:55. Caduceus explains the history of his family.
- See "Dinner with the Devil" (2x110) at 3:29:24.
- See "Talks Machina #13: 'A Bard's Lament' and 'Daring Days'" (TMx13).
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 21. See also pp. 24–25.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 14.
- But note that the language changes from "The circle of Prime Deities involves the leaders and luminary creators that battled the Primordial Titans and instigated the Founding, forging the mortal races of Exandria" to "The circle of Prime Deities includes the leaders and luminary creators" etc. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 20.
- Symbol of the Raven Queen from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting.
- Symbol of the Raven Queen from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount by Claudio Pozas. (source)
- Fan art of the Raven Queen, by NLN4 (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of the Raven Queen and Vax'ildan, by Mikael (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of the Raven Queen, by MargaretChurchA (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of the Raven Queen and Vax'ildan, by advocatingAvian (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Vax'ildan and the Raven Queen, by NLN4 (source). Used with permission.