What are the Vestiges of Divergence Coming in the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount?

What are the Vestiges of Divergence Coming in the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount?
Credit: Critical Role via YouTube

Get ready for a bit of a lore dump – and if you haven’t caught up on Critical Role (especially the first campaign), then be ready for some massive spoilers.

By now, fans of Critical Role and Dungeons and Dragons have likely heard about the upcoming Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, the campaign setting guide based on Critical Role’s Wildemount. There’s plenty of new things coming in the Guide – new Dunamancy magic, new monsters, new classes, and even a new set of extremely powerful and unique artifacts.

These artifacts are called the Vestiges of Divergence, or just Vestiges. Storywise, you have to go deep into the past to discover their origins – about 835 years, to be exact.

Over eight centuries ago, gods and deities walked the material plane with their subjects in a world filled with Mageocracies – civilizations primarily consisting of and ruled by mages. This time was known as the Age of Arcanum, and ended with a great war known as the Calamity.

As a result of the Calamity, a handful of malicious entities known as the Betrayer Gods were banished from the material plane while the rest of the gods decided to leave of their own volition in an event titled the Divergence. This event began a new era, which is the era that the current Critical Role campaign and the Explorer’s Guide take place in.

Vestiges of Divergence come from this period and are specifically the artifacts wielded or otherwise utilized by the champions of the gods that fought during the Calamity. Many of these take the form of weapons or armor, as we saw in the first campaign. Vox Machina found themselves in possession of eight Vestiges, enough for each member of the group to have one, with Vax’Ildan possessing two.

All eight of these were either armor or a weapon, and were from either good (or neutral) aligned deities, many of which supported the members of Vox Machina directly. However, Vestiges aren’t specifically good-aligned items, and there are plenty of Vestiges that haven’t been discovered yet that were tools of immense evil. Agony, for example, is the name of an evil flail used to torture countless prisoners to death, and is so steeped in evil that good-aligned characters can’t even wield it.

It’s unknown how many Vestiges there are in Exandria, and Mercer has only hinted that there are still plenty left to discover. While there will likely be a list of them in the upcoming Guide, it almost certainly won’t be exhaustive. If nothing else, there’s a great chance that Mercer will someday add more Vestiges to fit with narrative and gameplay.