Exandria

Exandria
Screenshot of Exandria, by Cyarna Trim from "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Mx12) at 5:09.[art 1]
Astronomical information
TypePlanet
Satellites
Satellite ofThe sun
Day length24 hours[1]
Year length328 days[1]
Sociological information
DemonymExandrian
Primary inhabitantsHumanoids, such as:

Exandria is a world on the Material Plane and the primary setting of Critical Role.[2][3] Exandria orbits a single sun and has two moons, Catha and Ruidus. Exandria has four continents on its surface, and is populated primarily by a wide variety of humanoid races. Like most places in the various Planes of Existence, Exandria is suffused with magic, which crosses its surface in flows of invisible energy called ley lines.

History[edit | edit source]

The first known age of Exandrian history is the Founding, in which the gods came to Exandria and created the peoples that live in it, including elves, dwarves, humans, and many others. The gods fought alongside their creations against the elemental titans that already lived in Exandria, resulting in the Schism, which divided the gods between the Prime Deities and the Betrayer Gods who aligned with the titans. The era ended with the titans banished to the Elemental Planes and the Betrayers banished to prisons in the Outer Planes.

The second age that followed was the Age of Arcanum, a long era characterized by mortalkind challenging the gods that created them and accomplishing grand feats of magic, such as great flying cities and even one mortal mage ascending to godhood. This era came to an end with another mage releasing the Betrayer Gods from their prisons, resulting in the Calamity, a centuries long war between the gods that ended with two-thirds of Exandria's population being wiped out. The Betrayers were imprisoned again, and the Prime Deities voluntarily withdrew from the world, erecting the Divine Gate to prevent them from returning to the Material Plane. This divine exodus came to be known as the Divergence.

The third era, known as the Post-Divergence, has seen mortalkind slowly reclaim what was lost from the Calamity and rebuild many new nations across Exandria's reshaped lands. The events of Critical Role take place in this era, with Campaign 1 beginning towards the end of the year 810 PD.

Calendar[edit | edit source]

An Exandrian year lasts 328 days over the course of 11 months. Each day is 24 hours in length and the 7 days of the week are named Miresen, Grissen, Whelsen, Conthsen, Folsen, Yulisen, and Da'leysen.

Geographic characteristics[edit | edit source]

Screenshot of Exandria in Crit Recap Animated.[art 2]

Continents[edit | edit source]

Oceans[edit | edit source]

  • Frigid Depths: The cold ocean to the north of Issylra, Tal'Dorei, and Wildemount.
  • Lucidian Ocean: A vast ocean to the south-east of Tal'Dorei and south of Wildemount, containing the Shattered Teeth.
  • Ozmit Sea: The sea separating Tal'Dorei from Issylra and Marquet to its west.
  • Beryl Sea: The sea to the south of Marquet.[9]

Underdark[edit | edit source]

The Underdark is a vast subterranean region that exists below the continents of Exandria. A dark and hostile place, the Underdark is almost a world unto itself, with civilizations, monsters, politics, economies, and threats that may interact only sporadically or indirectly with the surface world.[10] Notably, the Underdark has significant connections to the Far Realm, from which many aberrations emerge.

Satellites[edit | edit source]

Official art of Ruidus and Catha, by Clara.[art 3]

Exandria has two moons,[11][2][12] named Catha and Ruidus.[13] Though often depicted close to each other, Catha and Ruidus have different orbits and can appear in different points in the sky.

Catha[edit | edit source]

Catha is similar in appearance to Earth's Moon, though it is closer to Exandria and appears larger in the sky.[12] It has a 30 to 40 day cycle during which it waxes and wanes.[14]

Ruidus[edit | edit source]

Ruidus appears smaller in Exandria's sky due to its further distance from the planet, and its deep reddish color gives it a dimmer glow.[12] Unlike Catha, it has little to no effect on lycanthropy.[15] It has a very slow orbit, taking around six months (up to 182 days) for a revolution, and is visible for about half of the year.[16] Myths and rumors about Ruidus abound. Some believe it to be as old as the primordials, pre-dating the arrival of the deities in Exandria. Others believe it was created by the Betrayer Gods as part of an ongoing plan, which their defeat in the Calamity prevented them from enacting.[17] Many cultures, across Exandria, believe it to be a sign of ill-omen.

Languages[edit | edit source]

Many different languages are spoken across Exandria. Common is the most widely spoken among humanoids, though most races nations also have their own language. Ki'Nau people native to the Menagerie Coast, have their own regional language Naush; Marquesian, which is widely spoken throughout the continent of Marquet; and Zemnian, an important language within the Dwendalian Empire, spoken in the Zemni Fields region.[18]

Map gallery[edit | edit source]

As with real-world maps, the features on the flat map can be to scale when the region mapped is small enough for the curvature of the Earth to be neglected, such as a city map. However, when mapping larger regions, where the curvature of the round Exandria cannot be ignored, the features of the map appear larger than is accurate.[19][20]

Tal'DoreiShattered TeethWildemountSwavain IslandsEiselcrossIssylraHespet ArchipelagoMarquetOzmit SeaLucidian OceanFrigid Depths
Official map of Eastern Exandria, including Tal'Dorei, Wildemount, and the Shattered Teeth, by Andy Law. Click a landmass or an ocean's name to go to the corresponding article.[art 4]

Presence in 5th Edition[edit | edit source]

Outside of Critical Role and its own sourcebooks, the world of Exandria has been mentioned in various books and adventure modules within Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition:

  • The first mention was made in Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus, as the world where Arkhan the Cruel got the Hand of Vecna,[21] a reference to Joe Manganiello's role at the end of Campaign 1.[22]
  • In Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, the Flotket Alps of Wildemount are suggested as a possible alternative location to run the adventure, instead of using the world of Toril.[23]
  • In Candlekeep Mysteries, different worlds and cities are offered to place the large library where the main plot of the book is focused. One of those worlds is Exandria, putting as examples of good locations the Soltryce Academy of Rexxentrum and the Cobalt Reserve in Westruun.[24]
  • In The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, two NPCs are mentioned as people that arrived to the domain of Prismeer in the Feywild, coming from "the world of Tal'Dorei": Klee Westerly, a nonbinary human; and Hogus Pinsworth, a male stout halfling commoner.[25]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 41.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "Exandria is the world. Tal'Dorei is the region, and it has two moons, but one is so small as to be negligible in the night sky" (November 24, 2015) — in reply to @IridiumDepot: "Hey @matthewmercer, what's the planet of CR shenanigans called by the by? And how many moons does it have?"
  3. Artagan explains, "This is but one of many Prime Materials." "Blessing in Disguise" (2x95) at 17:53.
  4. "Critical Role Panel w/ Matthew Mercer and Mary E. McGlynn from MomoCon" from 32:58 through 34:30.
  5. Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "That is correct!" (August 2, 2016) — in reply to @Tallsquall: "@matthewmercer can you confirm Exandria = world, Isilra = continent, & Ozanthia = region where Vasselheim is?"
  6. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 6:00:04.
  7. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 98.
  8. "The Frigid Doom" (1x64) at 3:14:22.
  9. "The City of Flowing Light" (3x42) at 3:25:50.
  10. See, for example, Matt's discussion of the illithid after they were freed from K'Varn's influence. "Talks Machina Special #5: Fireside Chat Q&A" (TMSx05) at 52:42.
  11. Matthew Mercer stated that Exandria has two moons. "The Midnight Chase" (2x03) at 51:48.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "One resembles our earth moon, if a bit closer (so larger in the sky). The second is much more distant and deep red/purple in color, so it doesn't reflect as much light/show as strongly in the sky." (January 26, 2018).
  13. "Manifold Morals" (2x74) at 1:35:24.
  14. "Refjorged" (2x76) at 1:44:26.
  15. Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "The smaller one is vestigial. No affect by comparison. ;)" (January 26, 2018) — in reply to @jamesjhaeck: "Hey Matt, how does having two moons affect Exandrian lycanthropes? [prepares to take notes]"
  16. "Chasing Nightmares" (3x11) at 2:56:37.
  17. "Manifold Morals" (2x74) at 1:37:56.
  18. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, "Welcome to Wildemount", p. 9.
  19. See Wikipedia article about maps
  20. Deven Rue (@DevenRue) on Twitter: "However, not only were both maps drawn at different scales & are representational (not exactly to scale) of the continents, Exandria is a round planet being drawn on a flat surface. This causes scale (projectory) issues. When in doubt, use what you feel is a good scale. - 2/3" (April 23, 2020). (backup link)
  21. Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus, p. 112.
  22. "Vecna, the Ascended" (1x114) at 5:32:05.
  23. Icewind Dale: Rise of the Frostmaiden, p. 8.
  24. Candlekeep Mysteries, p. 1.
  25. The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, p. 156. See also page 176

Art:

  1. Screenshot of Exandria, by Cyarna Trim from "Exandria: An Intimate History" (Mx12) at 5:09. 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. Screenshot of Exandria in Crit Recap Animated (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.
  3. Official art of Ruidus and Catha, by Clara (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.
  4. Official map of Eastern Exandria, including Tal'Dorei, Wildemount, and the Shattered Teeth, by Andy Law (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.
  5. Official map of Tal'Dorei, by Andy Law from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn. 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.
  6. Official map of Wildemount, by Deven Rue from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount. This file is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  7. Official map of Exandria from "The Fate-Touched" (1x103) at 3:18:47. 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.

External links[edit | edit source]