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You’ll Fall For This Stunning Mantle of the Tempest Cosplay
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You’ll Fall For This Stunning Mantle of the Tempest Cosplay

“This gorgeous mantle of dark green leathers unfurls a cloak of autumn-colored leaves when worn by the proven leader of the Zephrah Ashari.” – Matthew Mercer 

Warning: Minor spoilers for Critical Role follow.

Cosplayer Arkady is no stranger to taking on the mantle of Keyleth; you might recognize her from her appearances in the Critical Role music video “Critical Hit” and a Talks Machina episode earlier this year.

Tackling the Mantle of the Tempest as a new Keyleth costume, however, was an incredible undertaking, and the hours and work were almost as grueling as the Aramente itself. But, as you’ll see, the results were well worth the effort.

“I originally cosplayed Keyleth just in her regular red outfit with the Spire of Conflux,” says Arkady. “The week after I finished that costume, Keyleth became the Voice of the Tempest and received this amazing Mantle on the show. As soon as I heard the description of it, I instantly knew I’d be going right back and revamping her outfit around the Mantle.”

Keyleth (Arkady)

Arkady started watching Critical Role about a year ago, after her friends encouraged her to give it a try. Now it’s one of her favorite shows to watch, especially as she works on her cosplay. While she may feel like a relatively new fan, there’s no question Vox Machina has had a big impact on her. “Keyleth has ended up becoming a huge part of my cosplay year, and I’ve ended up making some of my most beautiful costume pieces for her,” she says.

When Keyleth completed her Aramente and the Mantle of the Tempest was bestowed upon her, Arkady immediately fell in love with the cloak’s description and felt compelled to create it. “It seemed like a really interesting challenge to see if I could make a giant cloak of leaves feel like a weighty, organic piece,” she says. “As soon as I felt confident in my method to make it, I ordered several thousand leaves, cut my long red hair short, and started working on her Voice of the Tempest look.”


It took 6,000 leaves and two weeks to create the cascading, one-of-a-kind cloak. “I worked from the bottom up with both sewing and painting so they were done simultaneously,” Arkady says. “I would sew and paint for usually 2-8 hours a day on it, so I’d estimate there’s about 60 hours of work in it.”

The result is breathtaking.

Mantle of the Tempest

“My favorite part about it is that it ended up looking almost exactly like it does in my mind,” says Arkady. “I think I was able to achieve my goal of making it look like an organic, growing piece with a lot of depth and color in it.”

No matter what Keyleth may wear on her adventures with Vox Machina, the character will always have a special place in Arkady’s heart. “I found her story arc about finding her voice, accepting responsibility, and learning to be a leader without sacrificing her morals and optimism incredibly inspiring and relatable,” she says. “I also absolutely love her antlers! They were the first part of her costume I made because I wanted them so badly and they are so much fun to wear!

“So between her very relatable characterization and her personal style, Keyleth was really the only character for me from the very start.”

Catch Keyleth and Vox Machina every Thursday night at 7:00 PM Pacific in the next exciting episode of Critical Role on Geek & Sundry Live.

Featured Image: Coldbluesky Photography 

Other Images: Mark Edwards and Arkady Cosplay


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