If you’re new to Critical Role and haven’t had the time to watch all episodes from the beginning, you might hear some names repeated often while our plucky adventurers are planning their next strategy (at dawn) or returning home to stock up on supplies. Or you may be a longtime Critter who missed a first meeting along the way, and you’re wondering how and when these glorious characters were introduced.
We’ve got you covered with a list of both non-player and recurring player characters that frequently make an appearance in Critical Role. These are just a few of the NPCs from Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer’s incredible imagination, along with some notable guest stars who regularly cross paths with Vox Machina.
So let’s meet some of Vox Machina’s closest allies and worst enemies, starting with the heroes themselves.
[Warning: Slight spoilers for Critical Role follow.]
Critical Role first kicked off with the group’s arrival at Kraghammer, but Vox Machina has been adventuring together long before that fateful day. You can get the full story of how the group came together in “The Story of Vox Machina,” an illustrated look at how the group met and their first escapades in the magical and dangerous world of Tal’Dorei.
Have you ever wondered how Trinket and Vex’ahlia became besties? Read about it in a tale penned by Laura Bailey herself.
Vox Machina’s first mission on the stream is given to them by Allura Vysoren, a powerful arcanist who sits on the council of Tal’Dorei. She’s also one of the group’s oldest friends and allies. Allura’s first meeting and interactions with Vox Machina are described in “The Story of Vox Machina,” when they worked together to save Sovereign Uriel Tal’Dorei and his family from a demonic force.
Allura is a human wizard and Abjuration specialist. “A member of the Arcana Pansophical, she has lived under the constant banner of responsibility for her talents, her people, and the realm she wishes to protect,” Matt Mercer revealed.
Lady Kima is a well-respected halfling paladin that serves Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon. After leaving for her pilgrimage and not being heard from in some time, Vox Machina is charged by Allura to find and get the halfling to safety. They find her in the Underdark, tortured and angry, but as time passes after her rescue, she becomes one of the group’s most trusted allies.
“Kima was always a bit impetuous and impulsive by nature, her wisdom gained through training and devotion to Bahamut,” Matt Mercer says. She’s a formidable paladin, coming to the party’s aid on more than one occasion.
A fan favorite and certainly one of the most charismatic men in Tal’Dorei, Shaun Gilmore shares a special connection with the intrepid group of adventurers. Proprietor of Gilmore’s Glorious Goods in Emon, Gilmore is not only a savvy businessman and the sponsor of Vox Machina, he’s also a powerful arcanist.
A “good-looking man” (as Vax puts it) sporting fine, gold-trimmed purple robes, thick black hair pulled back into a ponytail, and a well-kept goatee dangling down in a braid, everything about Gilmore is smooth and charming. “Gilmore is a man of great power, charisma, and flair for the flourish,” says Matt Mercer.
Jarret is the captain of the guard in Greyskull Keep, Vox Machina’s stronghold in Emon. A human fighter/rogue hired by the group to lead their guards, Jarret is respectful but can’t help the half-grin on his face when he encounters Vox Machina’s quirks. (Which is often.)
Jarret, who comes from the city of Ank’Harel in Marquet, is a dark-complexioned young man with short, jet black hair. He favors the crossbow, but is also deadly with a rapier. “He’s a bad ass, this guy,” Vex’ahlia says with admiration.
Sylas and Delilah Briarwood are as elegant as they are deadly. Lord Briarwood has a chiseled and handsome face framed by dark brown hair, and Lady Briarwood wears her hair in a bun to match her exquisite gowns. The pair rules over Whitestone, having schemed and fought their way to power by murdering Percy’s family. Vox Machina must help Percy confront the greatest enemies of his past before their true plans come to fruition.
The Briarwoods have a “burning commitment to one another” and a “violent passion to do whatever it takes to protect their union,” says Mercer. “Burn the world down, so long as it keeps them together.”
Thordak, The Cinder King, is a massive red dragon unlike any Vox Machina has encountered before. The dragon once attacked Ank’Harel 400 years ago and was turned away by the city’s defenses, fleeing to an island to bide his time and gather his strength.
He launched another attack on the mainland not long ago, and was banished by Allura, Kima, and others to the Elemental Plane of Fire. But Thordak has been released, and he’s set his eyes on the city of Emon.
Thordak isn’t alone. He has created an uneasy alliance of dragons of different colors, all under his command: Raishan, the green dragon; Vorugal, the white dragon; Umbrasyl, the black dragon; and Brimscythe, the blue dragon, who was slain by Vox Machina before “Arrival at Kraghammer.”
Recurring Player Characters
The tiefling warlock Zahra is often intimidating to anyone who crosses her path, and for good reason. She’s powerful and cunning, a skilled weaponsmith, and an ally of the Slayer’s Take hunting guild in Vasselheim.
When she teams up with Vox Machina to hunt a white dragon, an alliance and deep friendship with Vex’ahlia is formed. Zahra comes to the group’s aid on multiple occasions, helping even when she can’t be there herself.
When Vox Machina is tasked with teaming up with the Slayer’s Take of Vasselheim, the group is split and merged with adventurers chosen by the guild. One of them is Kashaw Vesh, a human cleric who has little patience for his new comrades, especially Keyleth.
But beneath that prickly exterior lurks a heart of… something, maybe not quite gold. Regardless, the group manages to earn his begrudging respect. Kashaw teams up with Vox Machina when they need him most, but his true loyalty lies only with Zahra.
Do you have a favorite Critical Role character? Tell us about it in the comments.
Featured Image: Vasselheim by Brandon Chang