Kryn Dynasty


The Kryn Dynasty is a political entity that encompasses the northern reaches of Xhorhas.[2] The lands of the Kryn Dynasty are covered in dark clouds that blot out the sun.[3][4] In Tal'Dorei, the Kryn Dynasty is simply referred to as the "Xhorhas Empire".[5]

Description[edit | edit source]

The Kryn Dynasty is a Xhorhasian society established by drow who renounced the Spider Queen in favor of the Luxon. Having originally emerged from below the ruins of Ghor Dranas following the Divergence, the Kryn have reclaimed the ruins and built the city of Rosohna as the capital of their rule.[6] Aims of the Dynasty include uncovering more Luxon beacons and spreading awareness and acceptance of the Luxon.[7]

Rosohna is deliberately kept under near-constant darkness. While this is often considered by those outside the Dynasty to be a sign of its evil nature,[8] it is in fact a pragmatic measure due to the drow sensitivity to sunlight.[9]

Notable locations[edit | edit source]

  • Asarius: also known as the "City of Beasts".
  • Bazzoxan: A village at the northernmost point of the Penumbra Range of Xhorhas.
  • Jigow: A northern village on the shores of the Emerald Gulch.
  • Rosohna: The capital of the Kryn Dynasty, built on the ruins of Ghor Dranas.
  • Many Hosts of Igrathad: A collection of villages south of the Sorrowseep Waters.
  • Urzin: A mobile swamp city in the northwestern corner of the Dynasty, home of the horizonback tortoises.

Society[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

The Kryn Dynasty is composed mostly of drow.[10] Essek Thelyss estimated that the total population was somewhere around 300,000.[11] The populace of the Kryn Dynasty inhabits the northern lands of Eastern Wynandir and is spread between concentrated cities, small townships, and nomadic peoples.[12]

Notable people[edit | edit source]

Religion[edit | edit source]

Those of the Kryn Dynasty primarily worship a deity they refer to as the Luxon. According to their limited research on the Luxon as of 835 PD, the Cobalt Soul considers the Luxon to be a "new and dangerous" false god, and writings within the Valley Archive in Zadash claim the Kryn "seek to bring all under its burning banner".[14]

In Rosohna, periods of worship can involve lowering the city's perpetual night sky such that worshipers may bask in the sun's light, the timings of which are determined by Luxon priests.[15][16] Followers of the Luxon use the phrase "light be with you" as a farewell.[17] Despite the Kryn's overall devotion to the Luxon, they do not force anyone to follow their religion according to Wursh the blacksmith.[18] Though not nearly as well tended as Luxon temples, small shrines to other deities can be found in the Dynasty.[19]

Artifacts[edit | edit source]

Kryn Dynasty's six beacons, by CoupleOfKooks and Cris Peter from The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #3.[art 2]

Culture[edit | edit source]

According to stories Yasha had heard, the drow of the Kryn Dynasty would use man, beast, and demons for labor and would use them to fight under their war banner.[10] They also keep the skies above their capital city dark to protect their majority drow population from the sunlight. The Kryn use the Luxon beacons to reincarnate certain members of their society who have earned consecution. These reborn individuals slowly begin to remember their previous lives as they reach adulthood. More lifetimes bring one closer to being an umavi, someone so wise through their life experience they are considered a "perfect soul".[20]

"Crick"[edit | edit source]

As referenced in the semi-historical portions of the Courting of the Crick, this derogatory slur use against those from Xhorhas by those of the Julous Dominion, and later by those in the Dwendalian Empire, originated from the cricket-like noise the armor worn by the soldiers of the Kryn Dynasty made when they charged into battle. Designed with tubes and holes, the armor would make a high-pitched sound like an orchestral swarm of crickets rushing into battle.[21]

Dunamancy[edit | edit source]

Many mages of the Kryn Dynasty use a school of magic called Dunamancy, the secrets of which are rarely shared outside the Dynasty. The Kryn Dynasty's experiments in dunamancy focus on the manipulation of gravity, entropy, and time.[22]

Dumamancy is the manipulation of Dunamis, the magical energy of potential. It is connected to the Luxon beacons, and is an important part of Kryn culture. Some Kryn who specialize in dunamancy become wizards specializing in Chronurgy Magic or Graviturgy Magic, while others harness the force of possibility to become Echo Knight fighters who can create shadows of their potential self.[23]

Politics[edit | edit source]

The Kryn Dynasty was formed in the first century following the Divergence, and has since been headed by its continuous leader Empress Leylas Kryn.[24] The governing power over the Dynasty is concentrated by the three ruling Dens who also control access to the consecution ritual. Sometimes the Dens choose distinguished individuals of the empire who has proven their faith through word and deed to be adopted into their Dens and receive an opportunity to undergo consecution.[25][26]

Public office and titles[edit | edit source]

In Kryn society there are different positions in political and/or military fields, and all of them have some function in the Dynasty. A common feature in most of them is that the names they receive are related to the sky, the times of day and night, and the celestial lights.

The known positions and what is known about their functions are listed below:

  • Bright Queen: The title of the ruler of the Kryn Dynasty. Leylas Kryn has been its only bearer.[27]
  • Dusk Captain: The title of the leader of the Aurora Watch. Quana Kryn is its current bearer.[28]
  • Skysybil: This title, based on its current bearer, Abrianna Mirimm, seems to be related with divination, lorekeeping, and spiritual guidance.[29][30][31]
  • Shadowhand: This title can be given to "those who focus on the dark mysteries of Exandria for the Bright Queen", such as high-ranking mages, investigators, and spies.[32] Its only known bearer, Essek Thelyss, specializes in dunamancy and seems to have had an authoritative connection to both the Dungeon of Penance and the Lens, indicating these roles can overlap.[33][34]
  • Taskhand: The title of certain military captains, including Verin Thelyss and Durth Mirimm. Taskhands are "commonly assigned to a location or specific "task"", such as governance and overseeing local military operations.[35] Previous Taskhands include Adeen Tasithar.
  • Sunbreaker: This title, based on its current bearer, Olomon, might be military-related.[29]
  • Starguide: This title, based on its current bearer, Uraya Hythenos, seems to be connected with an advisor-like position.[36][37]
  • Lightbroker: This title, based on its current bearer, seems to be related to diplomacy.[38][39]

Twelve noble Dens[edit | edit source]

Ruling Dens[edit | edit source]
Other noble Dens[edit | edit source]

Other Dens[edit | edit source]

Laws[edit | edit source]

Sentencing for crimes is carried out by presiding officials entrusted with the wisdom of the Bright Queen. All fines and punishments for crimes against an Aurora Watch soldier or noble are doubled. All fines and punishments regarding crimes against a Den official or member of the Bright Queen's council are tripled.[45]

  • Theft: 2-5 days incarceration and a fine equal to the worth stolen.
  • Slavery: 10-20 months incarceration and a fine of 1500 gp.
  • Trespassing: 5 days incarceration and a fine of 120 gp.
  • Damage to Private Property: 5-20 days incarceration and a fine of twice the worth of property destroyed.
  • Damage to Dynasty Property: 12-50 days incarceration and a fine of twice the worth of property destroyed.
  • Kidnapping: 60 days incarceration and/or fine of 800 gp.
  • Worship of Betrayer Gods: 150 days incarceration, or execution.
  • Assault with Intent to Injure: 12 days incarceration and a fine of 200 gp.
  • Assault with Intent to Kill: 200 days incarceration and a fine of 1200 gp, or execution.
  • Murder: 5-10 years incarceration and/or a fine of 4000 gp, or execution.
  • Treason: Execution.

Military[edit | edit source]

Aurora Watch[edit | edit source]

The regular forces of the Dynasty are called the Aurora Watch, and they perform the functions of both gendarmerie and regular army. Their current established strength is at least 21,600, divided as follows: 13,200 divided among the cities under Kryn protection, 3300 in the capital itself, 5100 stationed at various places in the Underdark and the rest stationed on the border with the Empire.[46]

Characteristic armor/uniforms[edit | edit source]

Soldiers and assassins from the Kryn Dynasty wear chitinous insect-like leather armor that protrudes in large sweeping hooks at the joints and the shoulders. Additionally they wear form-fitting helmets of similar black leather that has onyx studs wrapped around the head. The brow plate of these helmets have backwards facing horns, looking almost demonic.[47] Kryn Dynasty soldiers additionally wear metal cups as part of their uniform.[48]

Espionage[edit | edit source]

The Dynasty's spy network is called "The Lens".[49]

History[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

A few centuries prior to the Divergence,[28] some of the drow living in the Underdark in Eastern Wynandir found a Luxon beacon and forsake their worship of Lolth in favor of the Luxon. They developed a society under House Kryn, and following the Calamity emerged as the only nation in the region.[50] While they frequently reach out to the surrounding peoples of Xhorhas, they maintained a fairly closed face towards the rest of the continent until the early 700s PD.[51]

The Dynasty and the Dwendalian Empire had, as of 835 PD, been on a cold war footing for some time. The book Courting of the Crick, featuring a romance between soldiers of the two nations, had been banned in the Empire since 820,[52] and the Empire blamed the Dynasty for recent abductions of adolescent children in Nogvurot.[53] What information Caleb Widogast could find in the Cobalt Soul library in Zadash spoke of a barbaric society being slowly corrupted by Tharizdun.[54]

The Kryn Dynasty, meanwhile, suspected the Empire of having stolen one of the Luxon beacons a few years prior.[55]

The Dynasty, like several other powers in Wildemount, maintains an outpost, Vurmas, in Eiselcross for research and potential military purposes.[56]

Campaign 2[edit | edit source]

While the Mighty Nein were in Zadash, Kryn operatives attacked the Zauber Spire and stole a Luxon beacon that was being kept there. The tower collapsed.[57] While there had been border clashes for some time, this began open conflict between the Kryn Dynasty and the Dwendalian Empire in what would be called the War of Ash and Light.[58] A Dynasty drow named Thuron stole the beacon from the Hall of Erudition in Zadash as part of a detailed plan from Empress Leylas Kryn.[59] It was taken from him when he was killed by the Crownsguard in the Sewers.[60] The Mighty Nein stole the beacon from the Crownsguard as they were taking Thuron's body away.

On the third of Fessuran 835 PD[61] word reached Starosta Wyatt of Zadash that The Ashguard Garrison at the Brokenveil Bluffs had fallen to the Kryn Dynasty. With accounts numbering the dead at over 1000, war had been formally declared against the invading forces and on the wastes of Xhorhas.[62] These advancing armies brought with them the spread of dark skies which hung over the Kryn lands to the east of the Ashkeeper Peaks.[3]

On Bisaft Isle after some time at sea, the Mighty Nein learned that Kryn Dynasty soldiers had attacked Felderwin after finding a way to travel underneath the mountains of the Ashkeeper Peaks.[63] They traveled to Felderwin to investigate the Kryn attack. They learned the soldiers came up from a tunnel under the ground, set several buildings and fields on fire, then left.[64] Nott's husband Yeza was kidnapped, and the drow burned down the surface level of his apothecary. When they investigated the ruins, the Mighty Nein found that Yeza had been working with the Cerberus Assembly to study Dunamancy. The research notes they found talked about Kryn experiments in Ghor Dranas to use Dunamancy in battle. The experiments involved a Luxon beacon like the one the Mighty Nein took from Thuron.[65][66] They decided to travel to the Dynasty to rescue Yeza.[67]

The Mighty Nein took on a task for Lady Zethriss Olios involving investigating the source of the rifts to the Abyss spawning in Asarius. Upon completing it, they sought a favor from Leylas Kryn, the Bright Queen, as payment. They met with the Bright Queen in Rosohna, but things quickly went awry as their origins in the Empire and their fight alongside the Muck Men were revealed. Before they were imprisoned, Caleb opted to reveal to the Bright Queen their possession of the Luxon beacon, presenting it to her while saying he was "a child of the Empire, but no friend to the Empire." This revelation stunned all present, and the Bright Queen said this brought the Dynasty hope, calling the Mighty Nein heroes to the Kryn.[68] After giving the Dynasty back one of their beacons, the Mighty Nein were rewarded with a house in Rosohna, which they named The Xhorhaus.[69]

The Mighty Nein later notified the Bright Queen of the Laughing Hand's release, considering her their most powerful ally.[70] Additionally, Caleb asked to meet with the volstrucker captured by the Dynasty, and was escorted to her cell to speak with her.[71]

The Kryn Dynasty began an attack on Rexxentrum while the Mighty Nein was fighting to retrieve Yasha, but was convinced to hold off by Allura Vysoren's request, as she along with the Mighty Nein had uncovered people on both sides working together in the Angel of Irons cult, which aimed to unleash the Chained Oblivion.[72] The Mighty Nein's relationship with the Dynasty became known to the Empire, and King Bertrand Dwendal along with Martinet Ludinus Da'leth tasked them with brokering a peace treaty.[73] They negotiated a cease-fire with the Bright Queen.[74] The treaty was completed not long after, on the neutral meeting ground of the Lucidian Ocean off the coast of Nicodranas, following a prisoner exchange.[75]

The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen[edit | edit source]

Between 836 and 852 PD, the rumors were spread of the conception of Caelestis Kryn, the child of the Luxon born from the union eylas and Quana Kryn. Amid these news, the Kryn Dynasty began expanding the reach of the Luxon faith and persuading new followers to join its rows, undergoing the rites of the consecution. The Koshtask clan and its leader Arakki, previously following the Ruiner, became the worshipers of the Luxon, and Arraki got consecuted.[76]

The Kryn Dynasty delegation, headed by Leylas Kryn and the Lightbroker, visited the city of Xarzith Kitril. The queen believed they could convert the local government (Scars of Scale and Tooth) to the Luxon, which would promise the Kryn Dynasty a valuable military outpost and deepen its trade routes in the western Wildemount. The Scars were divided — the green dragonborn member rejected the idea, stating that the rumoured dreams were a curse, this child a lie, the following news were a propaganda forged by the corrupting powers of the dunamancy, and this faith conversion mission was a part of the Dynasty's plot to dominate the continent of Wildemount. Leylas, partially affected by the recent Lolth's nightmares that peaked her anxiety, was irritated and quickly drew her sword, beheading the green dragonborn. The delegation hastily left the city.[76]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Yasha described Xhorhas as a dismal place, and Kryn as frightening people.[10] Ashley later revealed on Talks Machina that this was an exaggeration so that the Mighty Nein would not wish to travel to Xhorhas.[77]
  • The name Kryn is similar to Krynn, the world in which the Dragonlance setting takes place, as well as K'ryyn, the name of the first drow to appear on Critical Role.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 19.
  2. "Whispers of War" (2x18) at 1:25:02.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Whispers of War" (2x18) at 1:29:50.
  4. "In Love and War" (2x57) at 1:08:08.
  5. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 99.
  6. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", pp. 38–39.
  7. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", pp. 39–40.
  8. "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) at 1:37:14.
  9. "In Love and War" (2x57) at 1:08:06.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Whispers of War" (2x18) at 1:37:04.
  11. "Stone to Clay" (2x91) at 1:25:02.
  12. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 38.
  13. "Feral Business" (2x52) at 1:09:09.
  14. "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) from 1:37:14 through 1:37:47.
  15. "In Love and War" (2x57) at 1:08:18.
  16. "Agreements" (2x61) at 3:21:49.
  17. "Well Beneath" (2x54) at 1:36:35.
  18. "Agreements" (2x61) at 3:03:24.
  19. "Domestic Respite" (2x62) at 54:13.
  20. "In Love and War" (2x57) at 29:17.
  21. "Zemnian Nights" (2x11) at 2:10:42. Courting of the Crick
  22. Liam O'Brien shared pictures of the notes pages used in game on his Twitter.
  23. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 182–183.
  24. "The Favor" (2x56) at 2:14:39.
  25. "In Love and War" (2x57) at 27:06.
  26. "In Love and War" (2x57) at 1:09:15. For his exceptional abilities in dunamancy Essek was adopted into the Den Thelyss and was offered to undergo consecution.
  27. "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) at 1:38:20.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 40.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 41.
  30. See The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #4.
  31. "Causatum" (2x70) at 2:39:19.
  32. Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "Shadowhand is a title granted to those who focus on the dark mysteries of Exandria for the Bright Queen. This includes both subterfuge and arcana (like a specialist in the dangerous unknown). Spies, mages, and investigators that reach a certain station can be granted this title." (October 21, 2021).
  33. Essek is aware of the general movements of the Dynasty's spies. "A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 1:01:25.
  34. Essek has "a few operatives" looking into the Angel of Irons. "The Folding Halls" (2x80) at 56:39.
  35. Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "Aye, you've got it! A captain commonly assigned to a location or specific "task" to oversee adjacent and directly related military operations." — in reply to @thebadluck: "Thank you Matt! Then a taskhand is somehow some sort of military big position?"
  36. "Solace Between the Secrets" (2x118) at 55:20.
  37. "A Walk to Warmer Welcomes" (2x124) at 3:25:06.
  38. The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #2.
  39. The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #3.
  40. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 39.
  41. "Domestic Respite" (2x62) at 56:50. Fjord introduces himself to Lord Biylan. (spelled as "Bilan" in captions)
  42. Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "Well… I will say that when a child born of royal blood undergoes anamnesis and absconds to Xhorhas, they will be quickly struck from history. It doesn't prevent them from establishing a Den as a mockery of their former life, and that Den rising in prominence over the years. ;)" (October 12, 2021) — in reply to @booksherpa: "If you would be so kind, @matthewmercer, I have one lingering question from C2 before I head to a theater (squee!) to watch C3 kick off - Den Dwendalos / King Dwendal - coincidence, something more you can share, or a mystery that may yet be revealed? Thanks, and good luck!"
  43. "Wood and Steel" (2x58) at 3:12:10. The Mighty Nein meet Foreman Bodo.
  44. Call of the Netherdeep, Chapter 1: "A Fateful Competition", p. 28.
  45. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 40.
  46. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 39. The numbers of the first three enumerated categories, when added together, exactly correspond to the initially mentioned total. This would leave none left over to constitute "the rest" that it says occupy the border regions. Thus, it is here assumed that the initial total was a baseline establishment in peacetime, not a current total maximum.
  47. "Midnight Espionage" (2x12) at 4:01:11. Thuron's initial appearance when the Mighty Nein encountered him escaping from the chaos of the attack on the Zauber Spire.
  48. "Xhorhas" (2x51) at 1:49:50.
  49. "Dark Waters" (2x98) at 24:14.
  50. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 19.
  51. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 38. States that they have only revealed themselves "within the past century"
  52. "Zemnian Nights" (2x11) at 1:10:51.
  53. "Steam and Conversation" (2x09) at 1:28:20.
  54. "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) at 1:35:00.
  55. "Lost & Found" (2x13) at 50:54.
  56. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 131.
  57. "Midnight Espionage" (2x12) at 3:53:00.
  58. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, "Welcome to Wildemount", p. 6.
  59. "Lost & Found" (2x13) at 1:04:37. The Empress sent Thuron and his companion to retrieve the beacon. The name has no additional meaning due to being a proper name.
  60. "Lost & Found" (2x13) at 1:18:30. The Crownsguard carry the beacon after killing Thuron.
  61. "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) at 2:59:58. Also Confirmed by Tal'Dorei Campaign Guide.
  62. "Harvest Close" (2x17) at 2:25:32.
  63. "A Storm of Memories" (2x46) from 25:44 through 27:15.
  64. "Homeward Bound" (2x48) from 3:20:59 through 3:22:55.
  65. "Homeward Bound" (2x48) from 3:32:21 through 3:35:49. Jester and Nott read Cerberus Assembly notes on Dunamancy
  66. Liam O'Brien shared pictures of the notes pages used in game on his Twitter.
  67. "A Game of Names" (2x49) at 2:35:42.
  68. "The Favor" (2x56) from 2:55:02 through 2:56:19.
  69. "Agreements" (2x61) at 3:12:03.
  70. "Causatum" (2x70) at 34:53.
  71. "Causatum" (2x70) at 2:44:31.
  72. "Punishment and Politics" (2x87) at 3:04:34.
  73. "Punishment and Politics" (2x87) at 3:08:13.
  74. "Bathhouses and Bastions" (2x90) at 3:12:00.
  75. "High Seas, High Stakes" (2x99) at 3:30:25.
  76. 76.0 76.1 The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen.
  77. "Talks Machina #111: Domestic Respite" (TM2x62) at 44:10.

Art:

  1. Official art of the Kryn Dynasty Banner, by CoupleOfKooks from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 39. 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. Kryn Dynasty's six beacons, by CoupleOfKooks and Cris Peter from The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #3. 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.