Leylas Kryn

Leylas Kryn
Non-player character
Basic information
ActorMatthew Mercer
RaceElf (Drow)
Biographical information
Full nameLeylas Kryn
Pronounsshe/her
Titles
Age1200+[2] (cumulative through eight lifetimes)[3]
PlacesRosohna, Xhorhas
FamilyDen Kryn
PartnerQuana Kryn[3]
ChildrenCaelestis
ProfessionEmpress of the Kryn Dynasty
AffiliationsThe Luxon (follower)
Status
StatusAlive (has reincarnated seven times as of 835 PD)[3]
Mechanical information
Creature typeHumanoid
AlignmentLawful Neutral [3]

Leylas Kryn, the Bright Queen, is the Empress of the Kryn Dynasty of Xhorhas. As an NPC, Leylas Kryn is played by Matthew Mercer.

Description[edit | edit source]

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Leylas Kryn is a drow woman with dark blue-gray skin, waist-length white hair, and turquoise eyes. When the Mighty Nein first time met her, Leylas Kryn wore a warrior dress made of crystal and mithral chain, and a headdress of three white crystal ibex-like horns that curved back past her shoulders.[4]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Cobalt Soul accounts of the Empress speak of her as a powerful and dangerous warrior on the battlefield and seemingly well over six hundred years old or more.[5] She is a devout follower of The Luxon.[6]

Between 836 and 855 PD, the echo of Leylas Kryn visited the Demonweb domain of the Spider Queen, scaring Leylas with recurring nightmares of Loth saying that Leylas was the false queen. After the incident in Xarzith Kitril, the queen became insular refusing to see the child of her spouse Quana Kryn, which brought tension to her relationship with Quana.[7]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

In circa 855 PD, Leylas Kryn is the Empress of the Kryn Dynasty. In 836 PD was ruling for over six hundred years[8] and aging past 1,200 years — due to being consecuted and reborn seven consecutive times.[3] She has ascended to the level of Umavi, meaning multiple reincarnations have allowed her to discover her soul's true purpose.[9] Her partner through multiple lifetimes is the current High General of the Kryn Dynasty, Quana Kryn.[10]

"The Favor" (2x56)[edit | edit source]

After the Mighty Nein completed a job for her, Lady Zethriss Olios granted them an audience with Leylas Kryn. Jester and Nott told the Queen they were hired to find Yeza Brenatto to question him about experiments he had done and possibly bring him back where he is from to face justice. The Bright Queen saw through their lie then noticed Nott use a Fragment of Possibility. At this point, Lythir VaSuun spoke up and identified the Mighty Nein as the group that attacked and injured him and an Echo Knight on the border. Fjord tried to convince the Queen that attacking Lythir was a misunderstanding but failed. She ordered the Mighty Nein arrested.

As guards surrounded the Mighty Nein, Caleb shouted that they had they have brought something for the Dynasty. He walked to Jester, reached into Jester's haversack, and took out the Luxon beacon. Leylas Kryn walked down from the throne, tears on her face, and approached Caleb. The Queen ordered the Mighty Nein released and proclaimed them heroes of the Dynasty.[11]

"In Love and War" (2x57)[edit | edit source]

Depiction of the Bright Queen and her court from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount pg. 35.[art 2]

Leylas Kryn gave the Mighty Nein a chance to ask her questions about the Kryn Dynasty, Xhorhas, or anything else they would like to know. She agreed to let them see Yeza Brenatto, but only agreed to release him on the consent of her Shadowhand, Essek Thelyss. The Queen gave the Mighty Nein medallions that symbolize her favor so that they could move freely through the Dynasty's lands.[12] She asked the Mighty Nein to join the Dynasty in getting revenge on the Dwendalian Empire. The group responded they did not know enough about the land of Xhorhas and needed time to consider the offer.

"Intervention" (2x63)[edit | edit source]

The Mighty Nein went to see Leylas Kryn at the Lucid Bastion to warn her of the Empire's plans. They were allowed an audience, and explained what Jester saw through Scrying. Leylas confirmed with Essek that the Nein's information was trustworthy, and thanked them for their service. While discussing the war, Jester asked why the cycle of violence could not be stopped. Leylas explained that the cycle will be constant as long as people live, and that pain is a part of life. Someone will always incite violence, despite having a "duty to keep those base designs at bay". The Dynasty cannot "bow down when others do not show that same will of understanding, or else [they] will lie slaughtered." Caleb tried to persuade her to use the Nein to target the Cerberus Assembly, but she did not give an opinion and silenced him when he assumed she had rejected his request. She then asked the Mighty Nein to observe the meeting at the apothecary and bring her back the Empire spy alive. When Jester expressed nervousness, Leylas asked if the Nein had any doubts, since there were others capable of the task. They convinced her they would be successful.[13] Later she sent a chest of gold to their house.

"Causatum" (2x70)[edit | edit source]

Screenshot of Leylas Kryn in Crit Recap Animated.[art 3]

Jester used Sending to warn the Bright Queen of the Laughing Hand's release. The spell limited the information she could provide, and Leylas asked the Nein to return to Rosohna to explain the situation in more detail. Jester replied that they would return the following day, which Leylas found acceptable. Leylas also told the Nein not to warn anyone in Bazzoxan themselves to prevent spreading hysteria. When the Nein spoke to the local guards later, however, they learned that the Queen warned them herself.

On their return to the Lucid Bastion, Leylas welcomed them back and thanked them for their prior service to the Dynasty. Their warning of the Empire's plans had saved many Kryn lives, helped them maintain control of the Ashguard Garrison, prevented assassination attempts, and allowed them to capture an Empire Scourger. Leylas told the Nein they were worthy of the rewards they'd been given. Caduceus explained the Laughing Hand's release, and Leylas told them she appreciated their warning and had reinforced the guard at Bazzoxan. Researchers were already working on finding a way to destroy the creature. She reassured the Nein that they had done what they could, and the Dynasty would now take over. Caduceus asked permission to travel north to seek a solution. Leylas said they were free to do as they would, but explained that doubts from other members of the court in the Mighty Nein's abilities prevented her from providing them many resources. Caleb asked to learn more about Dunamancy, but Leylas told him that something so integral to their culture could not be given away too freely, and he had already learned some. If he wished to learn more, he must prove himself further to the Dynasty. Caleb retracted his request and instead asked to speak to the captured Scourger, which she allowed.

"Bathhouses and Bastions" (2x90)[edit | edit source]

The Mighty Nein were immediately granted an audience with the Bright Queen upon arriving at the Lucid Bastion. She told them about Allura's visit, and that she knew they had spoken with Bertrand Dwendal. She asked for an explanation of their meeting, but Essek cut in to update her on Adeen Tasithar. Jester told her that Adeen may have been mind-controlled, likely by the now-dead Obann, and Yasha came forward about her own experiences under Obann's influence. Leylas asked Yasha if she saw herself as redeemable for her actions, and Yasha replied that she hoped so. A military woman standing near the Queen urged Leylas not to act rashly, and Leylas softened and agreed. The Nein then told Leylas about the Empire's offer. At first she laughed, until she realized they were serious. Caleb tried to convince her of the need for peace now that Tharizdun was attempting to return, saying that the Nein served neither her nor the Empire. When he knelt to beg she replied that that was not necessary. She said she was less troubled by the possible threat of Tharizdun than by the very present violence of the war, but they wanted the beacon returned. She agreed to a negotiation at sea on the condition that the ceasefire was maintained. She told the Nein their presence was unnecessary at the meeting, but when they insisted she allowed it. Leylas dropped her hardened persona at the end of their meeting, appearing softer, more like when the Nein first spoke with her. She told them they were unique before dismissing them.

"High Seas, High Stakes" (2x99)[edit | edit source]

The Nein could see Leylas taking part in the peace talks at sea through a mirror. After the first day of peace talks concluded, Jester Sent to Leylas, asking how the negotiations were going. Leylas replied in a frustrated tone that she was in the middle of a discussion, but the negotiations were not going poorly yet.

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

At some point after 836 PD,[fn 1] the Dynasty sought to collect a sixth beacon found in the Ghostlands. Quana worried that the search for the beacons consumed her and Leylas, causing them to overlook something. To reassure her, Leylas, who had a dream from the Luxon, showed her a new soul within a beacon. She told the joyful Quana that this child was "the light incarnate, dependent on our union" and that their love was essential to the Dynasty's future. Shortly after, while collecting the sixth beacon, Quana was abducted by agents of Lolth. Using dunamancy, Leylas left Rosohna to attempt to save Quana. Leylas arrived in time to grab her but could not hold on. Quana told Leylas that she had "seen it" before being taken away.[14]

Leylas had the Aurora Watch search for Quana's betrayer, Dryca. Though she sought to kill Dryca, he said that he was forced to act by Lolth and that he wished to help Leylas. Led by Dryca to Bazzoxan, Leylas used a magical pendant to travel to the Dreadnest in the Abyss and rescue Quana. They take the beacon and flee from Lolth and her driders. Leylas urged Quana to return home and bring the beacon to its rightful place. As Quana left the Abyss, Leylas was impaled by Lolth and seemingly killed.[15]

However, Leylas escaped the Abyss as well using a Manifest Echo spell cast by her Umavi before she left for Bazzoxan. After her return, Leylas was haunted by visions of Lolth and, although she never physically visited the Abyss, she felt that part of her never left the Dreadnest. With the six beacons collected, the events of Leylas' prophecy began to unfold, and Quana became pregnant with a child that was believed to be conceived through the Luxon. News of the child spread, and Leylas set out weeks before the birth to consecute thousands across Xhorhas and preach of a bright destiny heralded by the child. She repeatedly prolonged her campaign until she was forced back to Rosohna after she lashed out and killed a disbelieving councilor of Xarzith Kitril. Upon her return, Leylas became withdrawn and refused to see the child, Caelestis, who had grown into a toddler while she was away. Though she and Quana believed that the child would strength their bond, their relationship became strained.[16]

One day, while Caelestis was playing in the courtyard, a black portal opened and Caelestis walked through. Caelestis' caretaker quickly informed Leylas, who ordered that Quana be fetched as well. Leylas found Caelestis in the room where the beacons were held by two freshly killed soldiers and witnessed Caelestis shifting out of a monstrous spider-like form.[16] Leylas had Caelestis imprisoned, much to Quana's distress. Leylas urged Quana to understand that Lolth had corrupted the sixth beacon, Leylas' judgement and Caelestis, and that although all she had foreseen had come true, more had come from it than good.[17]

The next day, Leylas commanded Caelestis' execution beyond the beacons' reach in the Vermaloc Wildwood. Quana insisted on doing this herself, without Leylas present. There, Caelestis killed several soldiers and mortally injured Quana, even as Quana landed a similarly fatal blow on Caelestis. Leylas arrived at the scene in time to carry Quana's body back within the reach of the beacons before she died.[17]

Some years later, Abrianna Mirimm related this story to an adolescent undergoing anamnesis. Leylas asked to see the adolescent, but was turned away, as Abrianna believed it was too soon. Before the conclusion of the story, the adolescent fled, believing themselves to be Caelestis reborn. Leylas followed them back to the waterfall where both Caelestis and Quana died and tried to offer them comfort. They rebuffed her, and asked if she was here to kill them for good. Leylas clarified that Quana did not die beyond the beacons' reach, and that she believed the adolescent to be Quana reincarnated. Quana tearfully realized this herself.

Some time later, Leylas lightheartedly admonished Quana, attired again in her armor, for being late. Quana reported that Caelestis killed two ettins near the Wuyun Gorge and has grown. Leylas remarked on the work that is to be done: restoring beacons, rebuilding alliances, and hunting Caelestis to save the child within. As they left Rosohna, Quana said that she feels she finally understands what the Luxon was searching for and the purpose of living.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Quana Kryn[edit | edit source]

Matt revealed in "Talks Machina #137: Lingering Wounds & Bathhouses and Bastions" (TM2x90) that Leylas's partner through multiple rebirths is her high general, the woman who spoke to her in "Bathhouses and Bastions" (2x90). She has not yet been named on-stream, but in the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, she is identified as "Dusk Captain Quana Kryn"[3]. Quana was the representative of the Dynasty at the peace negotiations between the Dynasty and the Dwendalian Empire.[18]

Character information[edit | edit source]

Notable items[edit | edit source]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Unless otherwise noted, the following abilities are assumed from the standard Dungeons & Dragons materials:

Elf abilities[edit | edit source]

  • Darkvision
  • Keen Senses
  • Fey Ancestry
  • Trance
  • Subrace: Drow
    • Superior Darkvision
    • Sunlight Sensitivity
    • Drow Magic
      • Dancing Lights cantrip
      • Faerie Fire spell
      • Darkness spell
    • Drow Weapon Training

Appearances and mentions[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Mentions[edit | edit source]

Quotations[edit | edit source]

  • (when Caleb gives her the beacon) "You bring us hope. And you have undone one of many great wounds against us today. I have no words. My emotions burn within my chest."[20]
  • "The cycle cannot be broken until there is nothing living. All we can do is our best to keep it slow."[21]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

  • Her name is a variant of the Hebrew and Arabic term for "night".[22]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. The official Critical Role time line graphic, accompanying the official post "What You Need to Know Before Watching Exandria Unlimited", identifies the events of The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen as happening in 855 PD. However, as there are two concurrent narratives occurring at different times, one centering on Leylas and Quana Kryn and one centering on Abrianna Mirimm, it is unclear which is 855 PD as of the miniseries' third issue.

References[edit | edit source]

Art:

  1. Leylas Kryn, by CoupleOfKooks and Cris Peter from The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #1. 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. Depiction of the Bright Queen and her court from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount pg. 35. 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.
  3. Screenshot of Leylas Kryn 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.