Critical Role's newest comic contains a shocking twist that involves a key NPC from the second campaign. Dark Horse is currently publishing Tales of Exandria, a new series featuring some of the many NPCs that have appeared in various Critical Role campaigns. The first miniseries focuses on the Bright Queen, the leader of the Kryn Dynasty that rules over a portion of Wildemount, in a tale that takes place after she encounters the Mighty Nein and allows them to help broker peace between her nation and the neighboring Dwendalian Empire.
When Dark Horse started publishing Tales of Exandria, some Critters were surprised to learn that it takes place chronologically after Campaigns 2 and 3. However, that decision makes more sense after the events of Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #2, which was released last Wednesday.
[Spoilers for Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #2 follows]
Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #2 involves the aftermath of a surprise assault that led to the capture of the Bright Queen's partner Quana. The Bright Queen learns that Lolth, the Spider Queen goddess responsible for creating the drow, is responsible for the ambush and has taken Quana captive in the Abyss. Through the use of a ritual, the Bright Queen was able to briefly enter into the layer of the Abyss where Lolth resides to rescue her partner. However, while rescuing Quana, the Bright Queen is confronted by Lolth and is killed. Quana manages to escape back to the Material Plane and learns that the Bright Queen always intended to sacrifice herself to save her.
While members of the Kryn Dynasty are reincarnated thanks to the Luxon, the entity that they worshipped, the Bright Queen noted that the Abyss was beyond the Luxon's light. Assumably, this meant that the Bright Queen's death was a permanent one. However, the end of the issue provides some hope to the reader, as we learn that Abrianna Mirimm, a key NPC from the Kryn Dynasty, is explaining the Bright Queen's death to an adolescent drow. By the end of the issue, it's clear that the Bright Queen has found some guarantee her reincarnation despite dying in the Abyss. Whether the Bright Queen's return is successful remains to be seen, as the nature of her return is left ambiguous. It's also possible for her to suffer from typhros, a condition in which she's unable to reconcile the memories from her multiple lives. Plus, Lolth's scheming is likely not over yet, especially as there's several more issues remaining in the comics series.
Are you surprised by the Bright Queen's death? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to pick up the first two issues of Critical Role: Tales of Exandria – The Bright Queen at comic stores.