QUESTS END: Matthew Lillard’s Exclusive Whiskey Was Inspired By Dune and… Resident Evil?

The creative team behind Quests End: Sandkheg's Hide reveal the inspirations behind their narrative pieces.
Quest's End Sandkheg

Matthew Lillard (Scream, Scooby-Doo, Five Nights at Freddy’s) and Find Familiar Spirits are back with yet another limited-edition Dungeons and Dragons-inspired whiskey. But this time, they brought some friends along for the ride, partnering with Critical Role on Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide.

Ripped straight from the world of Exandria and Campaign One: Vox Machina, the latest drop brings to life the potent liquor produced in the deserts of Marquet. Every box comes with more than just a bottle of super-premium whiskey, featuring an exclusive coin medallion, a “found” journal from the Exandrian maker of Sandkheg’s Hide, written by Jasmine Bhullar with original art by Tyler Walpole, and a map created by fantasy cartographer Deven Rue.

RELATED: QUEST’S END: Sandkheg’s Hide is an Exclusive Fantasy Whiskey Brought to Life

I got to talk with the creative team behind the narrative pieces of Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide. We spoke about inspirations outside of Exandria, some of which may surprise you.

Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide was a collaborative effort

Illustrator Tyler Walpole, whose work includes Magic: The Gathering and countless Critical Role prints, lent his stylus to Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide as the illustrator for the journal. Given the sandy focus of the project (and a well-written headline), you can probably guess which desert-themed blockbuster franchise inspired his work.

Since this was a desert setting for the story, and Dune was being promoted a lot at the time, I was thinking of Dune quite a bit, which I think manifested itself in the reverence for the sandkheg that is explained and demonstrated in Jasime‘s writing.

Tyler Walpole, Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide

RELATED: DUNE: PART TWO Review – The Pinnacle of a Great Movie-Going Experience

Outside of the latest installment of Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic, Saturday morning cartoons influence Walpole’s work. He uses motion to bring the illusion of life in all of his still frames.

Dune: Awakening Artwork
Image courtesy of Funcom.

Deven Rue is the official cartographer for Critical Role, so it’s no surprise her name was first on the list when the Quests End team decided they needed a map. Rue prides herself on taking something as seemingly simple as map-making and using cartography to tell a story.

For her inspiration on Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide, Rue looked no further than her fellow creative team members.

Most of my inspiration actually came from Jasmine’s amazing words and Tyler’s illustrations. I love actual collaborative storytelling and being able to work off of other people’s ideas and imaginations—also, my already vast knowledge of the landscape of Exandria. I love being able to flesh out any part of it because it’s just so neat. It has so much to it.

Deven Rue, Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide
Quest's End Whiskey

Jasmine Bhullar put pen to paper, writing the “found” journal that comes with each bottle of Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide. The story focuses on the Exandrian creator of the Critical Role liquor and details the in-world process of crafting the unique concoction.

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Bhullar, whose previous work includes DMing for Geek & Sundry and Dimension 20, wanted to write an epistolary story that would make fans feel like they just got a piece of Exandrian history when Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide arrives on their doorstep. While she’s an avid fan of Dracula, she leaned into a beloved Capcom franchise to craft her narrative.

The thing that inspired me for this story in particular, other than Exandria and the lore of Critical Role, was actually Resident Evil. I love those games, and I love the idea of discovering different things about these viruses in every game through these lab notes written by the researchers who have died since then… This one was definitely a love letter to Resident Evil and discovering the narrative through a journal.

Jasmine Bhullar, Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide
Quests End bottle next to journal

Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide is available now through Find Familiar Spirits’ official website. The limited-time sale lasts only three weeks before it’s gone for good. Get yours before May 23.

What do you think about everyone’s inspirations for Quests End: Sandkheg’s Hide? Do you like that Find Familiar Spirits includes narrative goodies with each bottle? Will you be ordering a bottle? Let us know your thoughts on social media, and keep following The Illuminerdi for more content like this.

KEEP READING: QUEST’S END SANDKHEG’S HIDE: Matthew Lillard and Critical Role Collaborate for a New D&D-Inspired Whiskey


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Danny Bojic

Danny Bojic is a writer located in Nashville, TN, who's had a lifelong obsession with video games, comics, movies, and other nerdy things. He's written thousands of articles on topics ranging from movies, TV, and comics to automotive, tech, and video games. With The Illuminerdi, he's attended countless press events, covered conventions, produced online content, and interviewed talent.