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Critical Role: The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #4 is the fourth issue of the comic miniseries The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen, written by Darcy Van Poelgeest with art by CoupleOfKooks and cover art by Mildred Louis. The comic was published by Dark Horse Comics on March 9, 2022.[1] The story is set around 19 years after the end of Campaign Two, circa 855 PD.[2]

A variant cover featuring art by David Mack was available from Things From Another World by pre-order.[3]

Publisher's summary[]

Quana and Leylas struggle with the reality of their child's strange transformation. Ultimately, they are left with the question of whether or not her status as a symbol of hope outweighs the danger she could pose to the whole Dynasty. The decisions they make will ultimately reveal the mystery of Umavi Skysibil's ward and their identity.
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Publisher's summary[1]

Plot summary[]

Leylas Kryn has imprisoned Caelestis, upsetting Quana Kryn, who has not seen Caelestis in her monstrous form. Leylas urges Quana to understand the truth they've both been avoiding: that Lolth has corrupted the sixth Luxon beacon, Leylas' judgment, and Caelestis. Quana points out that everything Leylas has foreseen has come true, but Leylas says that this has caused more harm than good.

The next day, Leylas commands that Caelestis be killed beyond the beacons' reach in the Vermaloc Wildwood. Quana insists on doing so herself without Leylas, and she and the Aurora Watch take Caelestis to a waterfall in the forest. Quana convinces Roshan and the rest of the Watch to leave her to complete this alone. Though he initially hesitates, he takes the others away. Quana takes Caelestis behind the waterfall, revealing that she has previously imprisoned Dryca there. Urging him to use the goodness within him, she asks him to take Caelestis in hiding and care for her. Quana assures Caelestis that they will be reunited once she figures out how to free Caelestis from the corruption and convince Leylas to see Caelestis for who she is, Caelestis is distraught that she is being separated from her mother.

The Aurora Watch returns, and Quana draws her sword to allow Dryca and Caelestis a chance to escape. However, Caelestis transforms into a spider-creature and kills Dryca. The Watch attacks Caelestis, but Quana cannot bring herself to do so. Caelestis kills the soldiers of the Watch. Roshan pleads for Quana as he dies, spurring Quana into action. She and Caelestis mortally wound one another. Abrianna Mirimm tells the adolescent drow that, as Quana died, she lamented that Lolth corrupted such an innocent and perfect child and that she herself betrayed Leylas.

The adolescent is upset to hear that they all died beyond the range of the beacons. Abrianna says that Caelestis was carried by the river back toward Rosohna before she died within range. With horror, the adolescent concludes that Caelestis is a former life. Abrianna attempts to relay further information, but the adolescent has already left the room.

The adolescent flees to the waterfall in the Vermaloc Wildwood. Leylas arrives and attempts to offer sympathy but is rebuffed. The adolescent asks if Leylas is here to kill the adolescent "for good". Leylas instead tells a second story, clarifying that she arrived at the waterfall in time to bring Quana back into range of the beacons before she died. She says that she was certain before but, in this moment, she is more sure than ever that the adolescent is Quana in a new life. Quana tearfully realizes this herself.

Some time later, Leylas lightheartedly admonishes Quana, attired again in her armor, for being late. Quana reports that Caelestis killed two ettins near the Wuyun Gorge and has grown. Leylas remarks on the work that is to be done: restoring beacons, rebuilding alliances, and hunting Caelestis to save the child within. As they leave Rosohna, Quana says that she feels she finally understands what the Luxon was searching for and the purpose of living.

Again time after, Abrianna apologizes to an adolescent drow for letting herself reminiscence about another time. She begins the process of guiding this new adolescent through anamnesis.

Featured characters[]

Returning[]

Development[]

The comic was originally scheduled for publication by Dark Horse Comics on April 6, 2022.[4] Due to the 2021 global supply chain crisis and unidentified circumstances with creative teams, all Critical Role titles were delayed,[5] and the issue was instead released on March 9, 2022.[1]

Media[]

Editions[]

UPC Released Publisher Format Price Ref.
7 61568 00788 6 00411 March 9, 2022 Dark Horse Comics Comic book $3.99 [1]
March 9, 2022 Dark Horse Comics Digital $3.99 [1]

Cover gallery[]

References[]

Art:

  1. Cover of the physical and digital edition, by Mildred Louis (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. Things From Another World variant cover, by David Mack (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
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