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Critical Role Wiki

Balthasar Bleakskull is a goliath bard and performer from Westruun.[1]



Balthasar is a surprisingly slim goliath of angular face. His skin has the characteristic whitish tone of half-giants, but on his face he also wears eyeshadow and black lipstick that contrast with said paleness. He wears elegant burgundy, dark blue, and white clothing with silver trim, puff sleeves, a cape, and dark boots. He also carries with him a humanoid skull and a burgundy and gray zither adorned with another skull, silver and of the size of his fist.[1]


In his youth Balthasar was a boy who enjoyed theater and followed his passions. After the incident that marked his arrival to adulthood he became tortured by the repressed emotions of that event, preferring to channel that anguish into moving performances that mark the public instead of facing his own pain.[1]


Balthasar was born in Westruun, being raised by two loving (and equally massive) goliath parents: one of them was a warrior, and the other was an astronomer of the Yuminor Obserbatory. The child grew up being exposed to both the adventuring and academic lifestyle, but from an early age he was drawn to the theatre, and it was towards it that he turned his passion, studying in one of the city centers that offered drama training. During that time, the young goliath developed his dramatic skills, and learned about the magic that bards weave in their art.[1]

When he reached adulthood, Balthasar became embroiled in a bloodcurdling academic conspiracy that led to the deaths of eight people, including his dramatic mentor and his lover. This incident deeply marked him, so he devoted his dramatic skill to the art of tragedy, becoming a tragic bard. As of 836 PD Balthasar tries to grant his audiences a catharsis that he hopes will eventually be able to give himself.[1]

Character information[]

Notable Items[]

  • Zither
  • Humanoid skull


Goliath abilities[]

Unless otherwise noted, the following abilities are assumed from the standard Dungeons & Dragons materials:

  • Natural Athlete
  • Stone's Endurance
  • Powerful Build
  • Mountain Born

Bard features[]

  • Spellcasting
  • Bardic Inspiration
  • Jack of All Trades
  • Song of Rest
  • Expertise
  • Bard College: College of Tragedy
    • Poetry in Misery
    • Sorrowful Fate
    • Tale of Hubris (potentially)
    • Impending Misfortune (potentially)


  • His name means "Bel protects the king" in Akkadian, or "The Lord protects the king" if Bel is translated as well.
  • The skull he holds is most likely a reference to Hamlet, one of William Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, in which one of the scenes (wrongly associated with the most famous monologue of its protagonist) has the character holding a skull like Balthasar does, as a physical reminder of the finality of death.
  • His backstory leaves unclear if one of the victims of the conspiracy he was entangled in was his own lover or his mentor's.
  • Balthasar probably studied in the Westhall Academy or in the College of the Savvy.[2][3]
  • He is from the same city as Honor Kinnabari, another adventurer representative of her subclass in Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn.[4]
  • Balthasar is, along with Camellia Springshower and Karzadrawn Sunscale, the only adventurer representative of his subclass who is not visible on the cover of Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, even though they were featured in said art originally.[5]
    • He is also the only one of those adventurers who only has one illustration (the one presenting him).



  1. Official art of Balthasar Bleakskull, a tragedy bard and performer, by Lauren Walsh from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, page 167. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.