Taliesin's characters all suffer from competency syndrome.
What I mean by that is, they're good at convincing the other characters and the audience that they have things figured out. That they know how the world, or at least how their world, works. Percy thinks of himself as the only grown-up, even as he makes bad and self-destructive choices. Ashton laments 'has no one crimed!?' while not actually criming very well themselves. Molly declares that 'the truth is vicious,' and Caduceus insists honesty is usually the simplest and best strategy, while Taliesin shakes his head lovingly at what idiots they both are.
But because each is so firmly rooted in their beliefs, they come across as having their shit together, as being people that don't want or need guidance and advice. They handle themselves, and have private panic attacks along the way. Other characters rarely call them out on their BS. Percy literally had demonic smoke pouring out of him before Vex confronted him. Molly died, struck down by his own blood curse, before anyone could make him question himself.
Taliesin's character's have always been studies in hubris. He ends up taking some of the biggest risks in the game because his characters think they know what they're doing. Things often work out alright, but when they don't, as with Molly, the results can be catastrophic. Think back to Caduceus and Vokodo. Cad was convinced he’d figured out something about the entrance to Vokodo's layer. He swam close enough to test his theory, and got caught. If Fjord hadn't been close at hand, if Marisha hadn't rolled a natural 20 for Beau's search, the situation would have been dire. And yet Caduceus’ judgement was never really questioned. (Love that for him. Baby boy.)
And so I’m very interested to see what happens with Ashton. Because there is obvious, visible trauma there. And their outlook, the outlook that the word friend “implies a level of trust that isn’t necessarily healthy…” that outlook has to change at some point, by the very nature of the game. So far, the group has followed them, and no one has questioned them, not even Laudna But-how-did-they-die Laudna.
I wonder how long it’ll take the group to confront him, to challenge or question him, and what outside circumstances might push them to do so...
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Hot take: Ashton is like a really great blend of Mollymauk and Beau.
Fun loving, tricksy but can also be compassionate, like Molly.
Smarter than people seem to give them credit for, probably because they can be blunt and scrappy, just like Beau.
Street smart, non-gender-conforming, and definitely gay.
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tfw i made this a day before i watched episode 26
ive never been more depressed in my life
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Written for a fic prompt in the shadowidomauk server. Prompt: “Can’t believe you thought this was real”. Its more of an outline then a fic, but enjoy.
Molly is in Hupperdook, having a great time, everything is as it should. Caleb isn't drinking as much, and he is being surprisingly flirty. The night goes on, the dance, drinking contest happens, but Molly cant help but feel like Caleb is standing too tall. Making too many jokes.
At the end of the night, he finds himself in a booth with the wizard, who strangely …. asks him for his cards to give him a reading. Through the cards, Caleb tries to tell Molly something, but he isn't quite getting it. The human keeps talking in the past tense. Keeps referencing things that didn't happen, or events Molly didn't know. Its ….. Unnerving.
Still Caleb weaves a story of regret and lost, potential and danger, into the cards he pulls.
It’s clear he is searching for something. But Molly cant figure out what it is. And then … Caleb asks for a kiss. Just one. Just to know what it would feel like to “kiss Mollymauk Tealeaf”.But Molly cant, because there is something wrong.
This Caleb is different than the one he knew. The one he harbored a secret crush on. “I have done this 78 times, and you never kiss me,” Caleb confesses, before explaining that Molly isn’t real, and only part of a demi plane in the 8th floor of “The Tower” he created, and he was just there to try and understand why Molly cared for him … because he is trying to find out why Essek does as well. After 24 hours hours, he will be gone .... and Caleb will try again.
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Every so often I think about how Taliesin created Mollymauk in case the resurrection ceremony didn’t work for Percy. And how Molly’s intro would be telling the tale of the Terrible Tinkerer of Taldorei in the middle of Whitestone
And then I think about how, blinded by rage and grief, Vex would very likely have murdered Molly before he had a chance to join them.
Like, just how cute Taliesin was, thinking this new character would last more than one session. Especially because I think that was still when Vex’s alignment was chaotic neutral, so she would have barely hesitated.
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Critical Role Main Characters by Age
At the time of their adventures, from youngest to oldest. Plus my speculations for the C3 gang.
FCG- ??? (He could hypothetically only be a year old cuz robot, but we’ve no idea what race/how old Dancer was, when she built him, or how long he was left there deactivated.)
Mollymauk/Kingsley Tealeaf- 2 or younger (technically in his 20s, but I mean… y’know.)
Ashton Greymoore- at least 15, early 20s at most (I SWEAR to GOD I am 100% this boy is secretly a child, mark my words!)
Keyleth- 20 through 24 (BABIEST!)
Imogen Temult- early 20s (everything about her just screams Baby, but not teenager like Ashton 👀)
Percy De Rolo- early to mid 20s (BABY.)
Beauregard Lionett- 23/24 (Great! Explains having the same feral sense of martyrdom Percy has.)
Dorian Storm- mid to late 20s (it’s all about vibes yo, he may have anxiety but he doesn’t come across as Super young to me)
Veth Brenatto- 25 (wasn’t expecting this crazy wine mom to be on the babier side of the scale but in hindsight… yeah XD)
The Vessar Twins- 27 (Comparatively? BABIES)
Jester Lavorre- between 20 & 28 (so she’s either as young as Keyleth, or around the same age the twins were at the end of CR1, huh.)
Taryon Darrington- 29 (aww, he’s a man child! Lmao)
Fjord Stone- early 30s (“I am this much older than you, you think you’ve peaked?!” Asdfghhkl)
Caleb Widogast- 33 (though really, he lost 10 years to an asylum, so it’s more like he’s Beau’s age)
Yasha Nydoorin- mid 30s (as confirmed by Ashley on Talks Machina)
Shaun Gilmore- late 30s (if Essek counts Gilmore counts!)
Pike Trickfoot- 30s to early 40s (which for Gnomes is like being in your early 20s)
Grog Strongjaw- at least 43 (if he was a teenager when Wilhand and Pike adopted him after Kevdak beat him up and left him)
Orym- anywhere between 30 and 60 (no matter what he’s still undeniably a Dad, fairly young Halfling but still old enough to be a bit mellowed and worldly)
Laudna- Early 50s to 60s (prob doesn’t age physically anymore as a Hollow One, was around for the Briarwood Coup)
Scanlan Shorthalt- 70 (I thought he was younger for some reason?? Still old compared to the rest of VM but 70?!)
Bertrand Bell- late 70s early 80s (old fart, totally counts until we get introduced to Travis ACTUAL character)
Caduceus Clay- between 80 and 120 (could understand why he lost count, poor thing, early 20s by Firbolg standards)
Fearne Calloway- 112 (how tf do Satyrs age?? Idk man.)
Essek Thelyss- 121ish (ELF BABY, who made this child a SPY?!)
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Widomauk, all the questions!!
1. Who makes the other hot chocolate?
Molly does. Absolutely that fanart where Caleb is super focused and is then confused as to where this mug of hot chocolate in his hand came from.
2. Who listens to Christmas music way too early?
Molly. “WINTERCREST IS COMING!!” “Molly, it is Quen'pillar.” “CLOSE ENOUGH!!”
3. Who is excited for trimming the Christmas Tree?
Caleb pretends he doesn’t get into decorations, and then he spends hours getting the Christmas Tree Perfect.
4. Who puts up the Christmas lights?
Caleb. They are on timers, they flash to music, they change colors.
5. Who wants to go see the neighborhood Christmas lights?
Molly. Molly delights in all of them and then has to assure Caleb that he most definitely made the most impressive display on the block.
6. Who bakes cookies?
It is a team effort. Molly gets most excited about them and is fantastic at decorating, while Caleb is the one who makes sure they actually get baked properly.
7. Who wraps the presents?
Molly. He gets super creative with them and makes the most fantastic bows. With Caleb, you’ll get brown paper and string.
8. Who hits up Black Friday sales?
Caleb. He Pre-Plans with a stack of sales flyers and then goes to wait a ridiculous amount of time for them to open.
9. Who wants to build a snowman?
Molly! He can talk Caleb into it every time.
10. Who starts a snowball fight?
Molly. But Caleb is always the one who will finish it.
11. Who wants to cosy up to the fire?
Both. After a day in the snow they both want to snuggle up and enjoy their cocoa in front of a roaring fire.
12. Who looks best in a jacket?
Like I could choose. They are coat men.
13. Who wants to see the Christmas parade?
Molly. Caleb thinks they’re loud and garish. Molly LOVES loud and garish.
14. Who still believes in Santa?
Molly. And don’t you dare burst his bubble, or Caleb WILL cut you.
15. Who throws the Christmas party?
Molly, but he sets Caleb to decorating and always has the best decorated party.
16. Who picks out matching ugly sweaters?
Molly. Caleb sighs.
17. Who makes homemade gifts?
Both of them. Caleb will work tirelessly on some spell for Molly, while Molly will spend hours sewing something for him.
18. Who is the best gift giver?
They’re both pretty good at it. Caleb always wows with grandeur though, being the dramatic wizard he is.
19. Who wants a kiss under the mistletoe?
Molly. He has been known to sneak mistletoe places just to make sure they can kiss some more.
20. Who wants to go caroling?
Molly. He has fun both entertaining people that want to be entertained and pestering Scrooges who try and escape.
21. Who is bad at ice skating and keeps falling on their butt?
Caleb. He grew up in a cold environment and has been ice skating since he was a child. Molly gets a bit too exciteable and ends up on the ice a lot.
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MOLLY!!! THEY BROUGHT MY CIRCUS MAN BACK!!!!
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OH LORD HE’S DONE
I spent 1,025 hours over 3 years making this glitter bomb of a jacket 😭😭😭
wtf do I do now though
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matt mercer: i have created the most hardcore d&d class yet. they use their own blood magic to fight. they specialize in hunting the undead. they can invoke blood curses on their enemies.
taliesin: yeah, sure, I’ll build one of those
taliesin: so first of all, he works at the circus
taliesin: and second of all, he’s two years old
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Lucien’s Tarot Card Reading vs. Final Battle Parallels
“Vines and flowers and roots and ferns begin to bloom and blossom out of the ground surrounding his body. Begin to encase it in a way that's oddly familiar to one of you. You feel in this place of cold stillness, of death and vacancy, a warm breeze. It smells sweet, with hints of ocean. The green turns to brown and pulls away. Your eyes open for the first time.”
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I'll always be a sucker for the found family trope
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I spat this out faster than I thought I was going to haha.
Thank you again Critical Role and your amazing story telling.
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Long may he reign indeed <3
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I forgot to post this here! Wanted to draw this scene cus Taliesin's frame moving to the top row was hilarious but this mental image seared itself into my jiggy brain and refused to leave 🍻 so welp!
Do NOT Repost without credit! Reblogs are appreciated!
Er give me a Follow if you like my stuff? Ok XO
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Me: That natural one. It’s poetic tragedy. It’s closure. It’s sad but it feels right. The Nein that were always short of Nine.
Me two minutes later: The divine intervention. It’s love overcoming death. It’s new beginnings. It’s hopeful and it feels right. The Nein are Nine, finally complete.
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Life's short, do something to a bagel
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Taliesin, three and a half years ago: Alright, we did a respectable and mostly honorable PC last time, so let’s change things up a bit and go with a bit more disrespectful, dishonorable hedonist?
Taliesin, today: ALRIGHT THEN MOTHERFUCKER LET’S GIVE THIS ANOTHER FUCKING TRY
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