Exploring Critical Role’s Echo Knight Ahead of the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount (Spoilers!)

Exploring Critical Role’s Echo Knight Ahead of the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount (Spoilers!)
Credit: Critical Role via YouTube

Recently, it was announced by both Critical Role and Wizards of the Coast that there would be an upcoming adventure setting guide titled the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. This setting is based entirely on the continent of Wildemount on the realm of Exandria, featured in Critical Role’s second campaign as the primary setting.

Matthew Mercer, the dungeon master of Critical Role and creator of the world of Exandria, has spoken on what fans can expect from the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount ahead of launch. One of those many things is the addition of a new family of magic, Dunamancy, and three classes that will use it heavily – the Echo Knight, the Chronurgist, and the Graviturgist.

The names suggest heavily what these classes will utilize as a feature of their Dunamancy – Chronurgists deal with time, Graviturgists with gravity, and Echo Knights with echoes. But what are echoes?

In the canon of Dunamancy, echoes are essentially the remnants of timelines that were lost when a choice was made. Potential energy made of the element Dunamis, created by the branching of timelines in the wake of a decision, fuels these echoes. To put it simply, an echo is a shade of the Echo Knight, that never came to fruition.

It’s all very esoteric and confusing, which is something that Mercer loves. Echo Knights have been featured in the campaign, namely when the adventuring party of Critical Role watched only two take out an entire enemy troop with ease.

Mercer lays out a handful of uses that Echo Knights can use their echo for, describing them as a “pseudo shadow clone.” Some of the examples that he lays out are for users to swap spaces, defend allies, or even send it long distances and as a scout in a way similar to how a wizard may with a familiar.

Echo Knights are elite spellcasting fighters, and though it hasn’t been confirmed, one feels safe in the assumption that the subclass will be in the Fighter family. We won’t know until we can open the book (coming March 17th, by the way) what exactly the Echo Knight can do, or when it gets its abilities.

It will also be interesting to see, working under the assumption that the Echo Knight will be a fighter, what Mercer does to separate it from the seemingly-similar Eldritch Knight. Given that both are melee fighters that utilize magic to accent and amplify their martial prowess, it seems that Dunamancy will be the main difference in these devastating spellswords.