What We Know About Vandren and Uk'otoa (and Friends!)

Thanks to Spencer H. (@Shut_It_Spencie) for this art piece!

We received another big series of lore drops in the last few episodes since the last time we covered them, so we thought it was time for an update. (The transcripts have been updated to episode 40.)

Uk’otoa and Friends?

As the Mighty Nein discovered in the temple on Urukayxl, Uk’otoa was not the only powerful being created by the gods during the Calamity. Many of these beings were created as servants of the gods, and at least two others of them appear to have attracted quite a following in the years after the gods were sealed away behind the Divine Gate.

In addition to the carving of Uk’otoa with his three amber eyes and three followers, there were depictions of a dark phoenix with three onyx eyes and a giant worm with three ivory eyes, each with three chosen followers of their own. It is unclear if these other creatures were also created by the Cloaked Serpent, as Uk’otoa was, or by some other god. It is also unclear if they too were sealed away, but finding the imagery all in the same place, with the same theme of three eyes and three chosen seems to imply some kind of connection between the three creatures.

To connect this to the universe at large, we have seen other examples of non-deities that develop followings. In Campaign 1, Kashaw had a deity that he loathed, Vesh, though she is not a member of the pantheon. Vecna started his career as a powerful necromancer, becoming a lich, and amassing a cult of followers that grew and spread during his absence in Exandria. He later ascended to godhood through the efforts of those followers. More on him later. The gnolls near Alfield worshipped Yeenoghu, a demon lord of the Abyss.

Over in Xhorhas, the idols to the Spider Queen and Chained Oblivion are largely abandoned while the people passionately follow a new, false god, The Luxon. (The Urukayxl yuan-ti also described Uk’otoa as a “false” serpent.) Most notably, Jester follows the Traveler, who isn’t a member of the pantheon and freely travels throughout the Prime Material Plane (while the Prime Deities and Betrayer Gods cannot).

Vandren, Avantika, and the Sword of Fathoms

Before Fjord and Avantika *ahem* sealed their deal to work together to release Uk’otoa, Avantika finally revealed the name of the Chosen she knew before Fjord: Fjord’s former captain and mentor, Vandren. Before Vandren had ever met Fjord, he first convinced Avantika to help him serve Uk’otoa. The two were supposed to travel to Urukayxl together to break the seal, but before they could do so, Vandren “betrayed” their cause, took both the sword and the eye, and disappeared. She never saw him again, and eventually gave up looking for him, instead choosing to find the other two eyes on her own.

Avantika found her eye in an auction in Port Damali. She killed the merchant selling it before absorbing it into her hand, eventually using it to break the seal in the temple on Urukayxl. It appears that Fjord has the second eye, found in a shrine in a merrow den underneath The Gentleman’s safehouse in the Labenda Swamp. Avantika seems convinced that the eye Vandren stole is lost near the wreck of Vandren’s ship, somewhere on a trade route between Darktow and the Bisaft Isle, where Fjord washed ashore.

Avantika also revealed the name of Fjord’s falchion, or at least what Vandren called it: The Sword of Fathoms. Interestingly, the sword was non-magical up until Fjord absorbed the Wastehunter Blade. If the sword was impressive enough when Vandren wielded it that he gave it a name, it must have taken on enchantments that were lost when the falchion was separated from its former wielder.

Finally, Avantika appears to have received her reward for doing her part in releasing Uk’otoa: she lost her hand-eye, but she now has an impressive amount of control over the sea. Mechanically speaking, Avantika’s new powers so far behave similarly to a Control Water spell, though we’ve seen her cast it at least twice, and she describes herself as only being able to “do it in bursts.” The limits to this power beyond that are thus far unclear. Fjord now has a living example that Uk’otoa keeps his promises, and additional motivation for breaking the next seal if he decides he wants that power for himself.

Nines

We would be remiss at this point to not bring up the extreme coincidence of the number nine in this campaign. It started as a joke, then became a bit of a running theme with Mollymauk’s mysterious former life, but now it has become A Thing with the creatures depicted in the temple on Urukayxl. So, a complete list of non-joke, non-dice-roll nines in the current plot:

  • Mollymauk had nine eye tattoos (confirmed by Taliesin and Ashley)

  • Lucien, Mollymauk’s former identity, asked Cree and his other co-conspirators to call him Nonagon. A nonagon is a polygon with nine sides.

  • Each of the three creatures depicted in the temple on Urukayxl had three eyes and three “chosen,” for a total of nine eyes and nine chosen.

  • There were originally eight Betrayer gods. However, 20 years ago, Vecna The Unholy ascended to godhood. If he has joined the ranks of the Betrayers after being banished beyond the Divine Gate by Vox Machina (possible but unconfirmed), there are now nine Betrayer gods. At the very least, there are definitely now nine evil-aligned gods in the pantheon.

There is zero solid evidence so far for a connection between Mollymauk and Fjord beyond both being members of the Mighty Nein (and roommates). However, Matt has said that we haven’t seen the last of Molly’s backstory, so given the coincidence of nine eyes, it is worth at least mentioning as a possibility. Even if he were still alive, Molly himself was entirely ignorant of the meaning of the nine red eyes on his body and the title “Nonagon” (confirmed under the power of a Zone of Truth). Given who we have been introduced to so far, the best we can hope for to learn more depends on if that Cree knows more than she said.