News from the Midnight Court:
Tune in TONIGHT at 7pm Pacific on Twitch and YouTube as Critical Role streams a Let’s Play of Queen by Midnight with an amazing cast: Princesses Aimee Carrero, Aabria Iyengar, Laura Bailey, and Taliesin Jaffe, alongside our illustrious Midnight Crier and game designer Kyle Shire.
To whet your appetite, designer Kyle Shire brings to life two more Princesses by giving us their letter responses to the call of the Rule By Midnight! On the heels of Hephesta and Doctor Lux last month, today we meet Rosaline, Princess of calamitous prophesies, and Boss No, ruthless leader of the assassin’s guild, the Seven (voiced by Laura Bailey in the game’s trailer video!). Read on for their correspondence as well as Kyle’s design notes and behind-the-scenes fun facts!
If you like playing a long game and using social engineering to your advantage, Boss No is a lot of fun. Make an alliance early and commit to it until it is no longer of use for you. Trade Agreement is a particularly powerful Bazaar Card to be used by Boss No. Boss No is also one of the only Princesses that can reliably alter another Princess’s Armory through their Mirror, Mirror card.
Fun fact: Boss No is my love letter to some of my favorite fictional characters; Emma Frost, Selena Kyle, Mrs. White from Clue (the movie, go watch it), and there’s also a little Carmen Sandiego in there as well. There is also a ludonarrative reason as to why there is only ONE Send In The Seven card in Boss No’s Vault: because Boss No secretly cares deeply about The Seven, they are her only true family, and she will not put them in harm’s way flippantly.
My Dearest Elliock,
First of all, congratulations on your recent promotion to Second Steward of the Midnight Court. While I am deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty, I am relieved to know that she heeded my advice and promoted you before she passed away. I was more than happy to put in that good word on your behalf. I too come from humble beginnings and understand the value of having trustworthy friends in high places.
Of course I will honor Her Majesty’s wishes and heed the Rule By Midnight. It just so happens that my carriage is already packed with fruitful gifts and some of my signature corrosive poisons. It’s almost as if I was expecting this to happen. But that would be absurd, wouldn’t it, Elliock? I don’t divine the future, that’s Princess Rosaline’s silly little delusion. I prefer to reflect on the present.
Speaking of reflections, a pallet of my patented Crystalore infused mirrors was shipped alongside this letter; a token of my good will. See that they’re hung in the right places, darling. There’s nothing more disarming than a good long look in the mirror, don’t you agree?
Oh, and one last thing, are plus-ones allowed at this event? Because I’m going to need seven of them. Like the old saying goes, “better to HAVE seven deadly assassins and not need them, than to NEED seven deadly assassins and not have them.”
Princess Noelle, The Fairest Of Them All
(But you, you can call me Boss No, everyone else does)
PS — Would my body double also count as a plus-one? If so, I’ll need eight plus-ones.
As for Rosaline, she is perhaps one of the most complicated characters in the game mechanically. But when played correctly, she often comes out of nowhere as the winner in the end. My advice with her is commitment. Either commit to her kit and mostly buy cards from her Vault, or ignore her Vault and build your deck from the Bazaar, capitalizing off her incredibly high Major Caster score.
Fun fact: the card art for Dream Dragon (by Ultimate Card artist Mike Pape) may be my most favorite piece of art in the game, which is saying a lot, because there are so many stunning pieces in this game.
Dear Elliock, Daughter of Ellise, Second Steward of the Midnight Court,
We have never met, but I have dreamt of you several times. I dreamt of you reading this letter while you climbed a precarious ladder. I dreamt of the red in your ledgers, wiped clean by a pale, seven-fingered hand.
And I dreamt of the Queen’s death.
You need not panic, Elliock. I do not judge you. I believe Queen Ostere’s demise may have been inevitable long before you or I ever drew breath. You believed this to be one simple task, in service of your ambition, but unfortunately Fate’s vengeful eye is now fixed on you. I can protect you, but only if you do exactly as I say.
There is a future in which the clocktower tolls for my victory, but it will require a series of specific events to play out in the correct sequence. I can’t know which events written within my Tome of Visions must transpire, or their correct order, until I am in the Midnight Court and able to go into a dream, a trance-like state…
The other Princesses will see me as vulnerable while I am dreaming, but that is their mistake to make. The briar thorns that have protected my castle for centuries will grow from my dreams, surrounding me. Protecting me. The poison spindle prick that sundered my sister, hidden out of sight.
Once I have the correct series of prophecies, all I will need is the right moment to set the domino effect in motion.
On the eve of the contest, Elliock, I need you to do one thing.
At 7 o’clock, drink the Sandwoman Shade you keep hidden in your desk drawer… and dream of the great green dragon, the one that’s haunted your nightmares since you were a child. I will do the rest.
Your secrets are safe with me, Elliock. But not with her. The stakes are far greater than you can imagine. For Twelvefold to survive, I must be victorious.
Please help me.
Tune in tonight to watch the game in action on Critical Role channels! The battle begins at 7pm Pacific on Twitch and YouTube. If you miss the live debut, catch the VOD on YouTube starting on Thursday at 10am Pacific.
Queen by Midnight is now available at Darrington Press Guild stores (which carry special foil versions of each Princess Ultimate card as a promo!) or Critical Role shops (US, UK, CA, AU, EU)! The full backstory of each Princess can be read in the game’s rulebook, which recently received some clarifications and errata fixes to the PDF version! Download the PDF here, with an overview of changes here.
Let us know which Princess you’re playing on social media with the hashtag #QueenByMidnight!