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This article deals with the quasi-deity worshiped by Jester Lavorre in Campaign Two. For the main article on this entity, see Artagan.

The Traveler is a quasi-deity of trickery and joy worshiped by Jester Lavorre. As an NPC, the Traveler is portrayed by Matthew Mercer. The Traveler was eventually revealed to be Artagan, an archfey encountered several times by Vox Machina in the first campaign.

The Traveler finds enjoyment in mischief and pranks, but rarely seeks genuine harm. When Jester masterfully rearranged all the books in a bookstore, he bestowed a sense of approval and amusement upon her.[2] Through Jester, he taught to cause mischief in the world, but always give back and provide balance.[3] According to Jester, the Traveler talks a lot about balance. [4][5]

Jester keeps a sketchbook that she appears to use as a means of communicating her experiences to the Traveler, and as a way of worship.

Jester's holy symbol for the Traveler is a door arch and path.[6]

AppearanceEdit

When the Traveler appeared to Jester in her room at the Pillow Trove in Zadash, he was hooded in a cloak of deep green. She saw verdant irises in the dark space of his hood. When she was a child, the Traveler appeared to be a child as well.
Traveler Symbol

Fanart Concept of a Traveler Symbol (Color)

SymbolEdit

The Traveler's symbol is an arched doorway over a road that vanishes into the distance.[7]

History Edit

"Steam and Conversation" (2x09) Edit

Jester confided in the Traveler when she didn't receive a package from her mother at the Pillow Trove. He manifested and reassured her, explaining that Jester's mother was unaware of her location at that moment. [8]

"Harvest Close" (2x17) Edit

After Jester had successfully defaced and made her getaway from the Hearth of the Allhammer in Zadash[9], he made his presence known by taking a bite out of the caramel apple she had been eating.[10]

"Lost Treasures" (2x22) Edit

Located among the many religious artifacts found in the Merrow lair, Jester finds two different iterations of the Traveler symbol. Despite having zero knowledge of anyone else worshiping or acknowledging the Traveler, Jester excitedly goes around to show everyone her find.[11]

"Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) Edit

Jester attempted an elaborate prank on the temple to the Platinum Dragon in Zadash that went off the rails and almost got Jester and Nott thrown in prison.[12] While Jester was resting alone in the inn that night, the Traveler appeared to her. Jester told the Traveler that she did it to get his attention after feeling abandoned when she was kidnapped. The Traveler claimed never to have abandoned her.[13] He asked to look at the dodecahedron, and after examining it, the Traveler told Jester he had never seen anything like it before and she should keep it hidden.[14] The Traveler told her there were others like her but she was his favorite. He told her about a summit of his worshipers happening on the Zenith of Unndilar, and Jester promised to attend.[15]

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

The Traveler appeared to Jester on the Squall-Eater to compliment her on her usage of Nolzur's Marvelous Pigments. When Jester asked him for advice on wooing Fjord, he noted that there were many enchantments he could teach her. He reiterated the planned summit of his followers, and asked Jester again to attend. [16]

"The Stowaway" (2x45)Edit

Jester and The Traveler vs the blue dragon by Amy King

Fan art of The Traveler helps Jester block an attack from the blue dragon, by Amy King.[art 2]

While fighting a blue dragon, Fjord and Jester both cast Blink on themselves. As a result, Jester could not see Fjord for most of the battle. At one point while he was on the Ethereal Plane, the rest of the party in the lair at the time were also hidden. Jester, badly injured and unable to see anyone else, said "I'm all alone"[17] before attempting an attack on the dragon. The attack missed, but luckily she was able to Blink into the Ethereal Plane.

When Jester reappeared, she was still within range of the dragon and severely hurt even after healing herself.[18] The dragon attacked Jester again. She closed her eyes waiting for the attack to come. She heard the voice of The Traveler in her head say, "Don't worry. I'm watching." She felt a hand push her arm up. Jester's shield deflected the dragon's attack, causing two teeth to break out of its mouth.[19] All of the Mighty Nein and Twiggy eventually managed to escape.

"Duplicity" (2x55)Edit

Jester cast Revivify on Caduceus after he was accidentally killed in battle. As she placed her hands on Caduceus, the Traveler's hand appeared with Jester's hand and his voice said "I'm proud of you." The spell was successful and Caduceus woke up.[20]

"The Favor" (2x56)Edit

Beau pointed out to Jester that a house in Asarius had a symbol that looked like the Traveler's on the door. Jester knocked on the door and spoke to Covak, a very old gnoll. Covak told her the Traveler came to him a few years ago and taught him to play pranks.[21] Jester revealed that the Traveler first appeared to her when she was a young girl, appearing in a form close to her own age.

"Causatum" (2x70)Edit

Feeling lost over Yasha's defection, Jester reaches out to the Traveler, who appears to her. He reminds her of the upcoming TravelerCon, saying he was thinking of holding it on the Menagerie Coast area island of Rumblecusp. Jester suggests Kravaraad, the volcano in the Greying Wildlands, and he agrees. She tells him that a lot of the world is sad, and he comforts her by reminding her that much of it is beautiful, too, and that she also gets to be happy. He also says there are many gods' eyes on the group, and suggests that the Stormlord is still watching over Yasha.

"A Tangled Web" (2x77)Edit

As Jester is falling asleep, she is visited by the Traveler, and they decide on Rumblecusp as the location for TravelerCon.

"Between the Lines" (2x78)Edit

After arriving in Zadash to investigate the attack on the Cobalt Soul, Caleb asks Archivist Zeenoth if he knows anything about a being known as the Traveler. Zeenoth retrieves a book about recent cults which contains brief notes about the Traveler. Zeenoth describes it as a recent phenomenon that was previously thought to be a mass hallucination, but a wide breadth of accounts worries him. He's not sure if the Traveler is a deity, but describes him as seemingly benevolent.

"Bathhouses and Bastions" (2x90)Edit

Caduceus researched the Traveler at the Rexxentrum Archive of the Cobalt Soul, learning that he is seen as a figure that has begun to show up in rural areas very selectively. All the notes about the Traveler are written in fresh ink and the reports are from the past decade or so. There is worry of the Traveler being some sort of devil masquerading as an entity, a mass hallucination, just a person who is convincing people he is a god, pure heresy, or something much darker.[22] Later, Jester attempted to contact the Traveler to share her ice cream and ask questions about TravelerCon, but he failed to appear, confusing and hurting her.[23]

"Stone to Clay" (2x91)Edit

Essek Thelyss asks Jester what she is seeking, and she describes TravelerCon and the Traveler, but her pitch is unpersuasive,[24] and after Essek leaves, several other members of the Mighty Nein try to help her with her pitch. Later, Jester confesses to Caleb that the Traveler had not appeared to her when she called earlier, and expresses concern that it might have been because she was not being an effective cleric for him.[25] Shortly afterward, the Traveler appears to Jester and reassures her, saying, "You were my first, and you will always be my favorite."[26]

"Misery Loves Company" (2x93)Edit

On the way to Mount Mentiri and their encounter with Isharnai, Jester sets up a makeshift altar in an alcove by the side of the path, where she casts Commune to speak to the Traveler.[27] For the first time, the others in the group see a hooded, green-cloaked figure emerging from the stone and protecting Jester from the rain, although they hear only her side of the conversation. Fjord uses his Divine Sense and discovers that although the Traveler is not a celestial, fiend, or undead, there is a "presence" affected by the Hallow spell.[28] Hallow can affect fey and elementals in addition to celestials, fiends, and undead.[29]

"With Great Power..." (2x94)Edit

At the Whitedawn Lagoon, the Traveler revealed his true identity to Jester, affirming her as his first disciple, and that he needed her counsel in how to proceed with the faith he now leads.[30]

"Blessing in Disguise" (2x95)Edit

The Traveler revealed himself to the rest of the Mighty Nein, stating that he needed help in figuring out how to handle his new following of people.

"Family Shatters" (2x96)Edit

Jester made a pendant of the Traveler for Nott and asked her to open her heart to chaos, and consider becoming a follower of the Traveler.

"The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97)Edit

The Mighty Nein revealed to Jester's mother that they had seen the Traveler for themselves. Marion became concerned about her daughter's safety, but Fjord assured her that Jester had more control over the situation than one might think. Marion was proud of Jester for not having the Traveler dominate the relationship they have. Marion also mentioned seeing someone similar to Jester's description of Artagan in the lobby of the Lavish Chateau.

"Maritime Mysteries" (2x103)Edit

After Jester cast Commune, the Traveler confirmed to her that he had known how Vokodo affected people's memories, which made Jester confused and sad. To try to cheer her up, Artagan manipulated the shadows surrounding Catha into a Tusktooth smiley face.

"Devoutness and Dicks" (2x107)Edit

While the Might Nein were planning TravelerCon, the Traveler appeared and they brainstormed how to get him out of the god business. They eventually settled on the idea of convincing his followers that he was actually the Moonweaver in disguise. On the eve of TravelerCon, Jester pulled him aside and he told her how much she's changed him for the better, and how much she's grown. She told him he was her best friend and always will be. He cautioned her that he doesn't expect things to last forever, and they should appreciate the time they have, then wandered off to enjoy the party.

"Traveler Con" (2x108)Edit

During TravelerCon, Artagan was present though mostly in disguise, and aided Caleb in providing special effects. At its conclusion on the volcano top, he made himself look like the Moonweaver, giving a speech about hiding "her" identity from them and starting a new sect of the religion. Suddenly the clouds parted, revealing a full moon. Jester and Artagan were confused, since the moon wasn't supposed to be in the sky. Gossamer chains rained down and bound Artagan as an angelic figure descended and called for the Traveler to be brought back to the Feywild to be punished. Jester grabbed his legs, begging the angel to forgive him. The chains began rising up from the ground, along with the angel. Fjord used his Relentless Hex to grab Jester, and the Traveler kicked them both off of him. Caleb cast Feather Fall to slow their descent. At that, the angel halted, asking Artagan if he was sorry for what he had done. He was. The chains broke apart sending him into a freefall halted by Veth's Feather Fall. Artagan addressed the crowd, saying they should go worship the Moonweaver, and walked away. He later visited the party as they rested in the dome for the night.

Known Worshipers Edit

Trivia Edit

  • The Traveler that Jester worships is not the same as the one in the Eberron setting of Dungeons & Dragons, as Matthew Mercer confirmed that they only share the same name. He also said that the Traveler may not necessarily be a god.[33]
    • Kashaw's patron Vesh is not technically a god, even though he believes she is.[34] Even so, he is a Life Domain cleric, confirming entities that are not gods may still grant clerics power.
  • In the Dwendalian Empire, "worship outside the approved idolatry is met with imprisonment".[35] The Traveler isn't one of the six approved deities and worshiping him is illegal, though most citizens of the Dwendalian Empire seem unaware of his existence.
  • It was a common theory in the fandom that the Traveler was actually Artagan from the first campaign, given new power and influence in this dimension. The theory was that, after Vox Machina completed their end of their deal with him and built a doorway from the Feywild to Exandria, Artagan took on the role of the Traveler in the hopes of finding a path to godhood. This theory was confirmed in "With Great Power..." (2x94). Evidence of this theory prior to its confirmation included:
    • Jester's drawings are frequently described in a style that is very reminiscent of Garmelie's (another form Artagan takes) preferred art style.
    • Jester's pranks resemble the pranks Garmelie had Vox Machina play as part of his deal when they entered Syngorn.
    • Artagan is commonly linked to the color green and the physical description of the Traveler included green eyes.
    • The Traveler's symbol is that of an open doorway leading to a path, a possible connection to the doorway Vox Machina made for Artagan to cross over with.
    • His name is "The Traveler" implying he traveled from someplace else, potentially the Feywild.
    • The Traveler and Artagan are both powerful mischief-makers.
    • Covak referred to the Traveler as one of the "fair folk", a common term for fey.[36]
    • When Fjord used Divine Sense within range of the Traveler at Jester's improvised shrine, Fjord sensed that although there was no celestial, fiend, or undead present, there was a presence that could be affected by the Hallow spell.[28] Hallow can affect fey and elementals in addition to celestials, fiends, and undead.[37]
      • This was presumably based on a misunderstanding. Travis was reading a character sheet exported from D&D Beyond, which paraphrases Divine Sense: "As an action, you can detect good and evil. Until the end of your next turn, you can sense anything affected by the hallow spell or know the location of any celestial, fiend, undead within 60 ft. that is not behind total cover." This is not exactly the same as the description of Divine Sense in the official rules, which state that Divine Sense can "detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell."[38] But based on Travis's reading from the character sheet, Matt looked up Hallow and presumably saw that fey are among the "things" that are ordinarily affected by the spell.
    • When giving directions to Jester as part of her Commune spell, the Traveler licked his finger before pointing the way, something Garmelie did consistently, despite the Feywild having no wind.[39]
  • Before Campaign 2 started, Laura asked Matt if she could play a character (initially a warlock, later a cleric) whose patron was Artagan; Matt agreed, but his in-game treatment of the Traveler led her to believe he had gone a different direction with the character.[40]
  • There has been speculation that the Traveler was disguised as Keelyn, the half-elven man working at the Landlocked Lady, because of the bright green eyes and red hair they both share.[41]
    • In a tweet, Matt confirmed this to be true.[42]
  • Prior to the Traveler being revealed as Artagan, he was often drawn in fan art with Matt's likeness.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 31.
  2. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 1:24:38.
  3. See "A Pirate's Life for Me" (2x41) at 2:37:20.
  4. See "Homeward Bound" (2x48) at 2:18:31.  Jester leaves a figure of The Traveler and a pamphlet for Yussa
  5. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 0:54:59.  Jester talks about The Traveler liking followers to do "good things and bad things," and speculates that a follower of The Traveler who committed murders might balance it out by making babies or something, but is ultimately confused and unclear as to his exact boundaries of acceptable action.
  6. See "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) at 0:45:21.
  7. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 31.
  8. See "Steam and Conversation" (2x09) at 3:18:36.
  9. See "Harvest Close" (2x17) at 1:18:11.
  10. See "Harvest Close" (2x17) at 1:21:45.
  11. See "Lost Treasures" (2x22) at 2:40:03.
  12. See "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) from 2:02:04 through 2:30:42.
  13. See "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) from 2:31:34 through 2:34:19.
  14. See "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) from 2:34:19 through 2:36:00.
  15. See "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) from 2:35:55 through 2:37:39.
  16. See "A Pirate's Life for Me" (2x41) at 2:35:35.
  17. See "The Stowaway" (2x45) at 4:05:16.
  18. See "The Stowaway" (2x45) at 4:32:06.  Laura reveals Jester had 13 hit points at this time.
  19. See "The Stowaway" (2x45) at 4:23:03.
  20. See "Duplicity" (2x55) from 4:05:11 through 4:06:44.
  21. See "The Favor" (2x56) from 0:41:13 through 0:41:58.
  22. See "Bathhouses and Bastions" (2x90) from 1:10:59 through 1:13:41.
  23. See "Bathhouses and Bastions" (2x90) at 1:29:54.
  24. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 0:53:54.
  25. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 1:54:50.
  26. See "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 2:00:05.
  27. See "Misery Loves Company" (2x93) from 0:43:30 through 0:43:54.
  28. See "Misery Loves Company" (2x93) from 0:46:23 through 0:47:27.
  29. Hallow on D&D Beyond
  30. See "With Great Power..." (2x94) from 3:55:26 through 4:00:19.
  31. See "A Fog Lifted" (2x106) at 1:36:52.
  32. See "A Fog Lifted" (2x106) at 1:37:27.  Celia is traveling with her bodyguard, Trudo, but it is unclear if he worships the Traveler as well.
  33. See "Talks Machina #53: 'The Open Road'" (TMx53) at 0:48:35.  Matt notes that the Traveler is a "unique entity" who isn't a member of any pantheon of Exandria.
  34. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 1:28:52.
  35. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 0:18:56.
  36. See "The Favor" (2x56) at 0:41:24.
  37. Hallow on D&D Beyond
  38. Divine Sense (Paladin ability) on D&D Beyond
  39. See "Misery Loves Company" (2x93) at 0:49:42.
  40. See "Talks Machina #141: 'With Great Power...'" (TMx141) from 0:19:29 through 0:21:03.
  41. See "GenCon 2019 Critical Role Talks Machina Panel" at 0:33:25
  42. [1]
Art:
  1. Fan art of The Traveler, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of The Traveler helps Jester block an attack from the blue dragon, by Amy King (source).  Used with permission.
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