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"Many around Westruun call it The Cursed Mountain. They say madness lies deep beneath the rock. A power that draws all manner of vile things to it."

Gatshadow Mountain, also called simply Gatshadow, is an enormous, ominous mountain in Tal'Dorei at the southeastern tip of the Cliffkeep Mountains, just northwest of the Bramblewood Forest and Westruun. It got its name because of its ominous appearance, with a dark, blackened rock peak that stood out amongst the rest of the mountains. While other mountains crest at 4,000 feet up, this one is over a mile high. Gatshadow's peak is nearly always obscured by storm clouds or mist. Most of the trees are dead or dried out towards the top, but other than that the vegetation is pretty sparse.[2]

The actual stone that comprised this monstrous formation is of a darker, more dense stone and it is considered to be the finest stone for crafting on the Tal'Dorei continent, hence why many crafters and smiths made the dangerous journey there to quarry the rock—and not all return.[3]

Umbrasyl's Lair[]

Cave Entrance[]

Around the big cavern entrance high in the mountain, there are clumps of dead, petrified trees. Leafless, gnarled, and devoid of any life on top off melted stone and soot.[4] The entrance is an opening on the side of the mountain face with no walkable path up to it. 60 feet below is a smaller entrance with a 40 foot scalable wall leading towards it at an upward angle.[5]

Around the exterior of the entrance, there are two rocks embedded in each side of the cavern wall, about three to four foot in diameter that are nearly identical. Their texture and their weathered appearance is far younger than the rest of the stone around them.[6]

Small Cave[]

This hole continued for 15 feet into the mountain before it ended abruptly.[7] A layer of dust coats everything, and the site has remained largely undisturbed for a long period of time.[8]


Gatshadow Mountain3

Screenshot of the cavern within Gatshadow Mountain.[art 3]

In the cavern there are pieces of stone jutting out of the floor, two pools of somewhat greenish-brackish pungent-smelling acid.[9] Next to one of the pools there is an elevated platform where a large outcropping of stone has just slowly pulled itself out of the rock, nearly touching the very height of this cavern.[10] The ceiling is 70 feet high with a few stalactites points of rock throughout this cavern.[11]

There are portion of the mineral growth, and a lot of the moisture that have coalesced into the ceiling come into a central point, and over time, it has built up central columns of rock and natural materials. A few pools gathered towards the base. Portions of the ground have elements of the acrid liquid that filled the pool. The mineral build-up of the inside of this cavern leads to a direct, slick surface in the walls, and rounded off most of the stone.[12]


Age of Arcanum and the Calamity[]

Tharizdun, the Chained Oblivion had been imprisoned under Gatshadow Mountain[13] since the Founding.[14] A priest of Tharizdun, Acek Orattim, based himself at the mountain, which, under Tharizdun’s influence, then rose into a sharp spine much taller than the other Cliffkeep Mountains, and it was riddled with a maze of tunnels. Acek spread Tharizdun's corruption from Gatshadow to the surrounding region.[15] During the Calamity, Tharizdun escaped his prison and went on a rampage,[13] and when Pelor, the Dawnfather, crushed Tharizdun in battle in the Alabaster Sierras,[16] the Betrayer God fell back to Gatshadow, but Pelor pursued and used four Prime Trammels[17] to banish Tharizdun from the Material Plane. Some say Acek was so suffused with Tharizdun's power that the god's banishment caused Acek's body to be ripped apart, leaving his base vacant to attract other villains and devotees of the Chained Oblivion.[15]

Before the Stream[]

Long years before Vox Machina visited the mountain, there was an expedition to investigate rumors of a nocturnal creature at Gatshadow's peak that was stealing mountain goats and had killed enough people from a small village northward to cause it to be abandoned.[18] The members of the expedition found their way up to a small cave, made their camp with a small fire, but apparently couldn't escape, and four skeletons remained.[19]

"Vox Machina Origins Volume 2"[]

Searching for their friend Grog, Vox Machina arrived at the mountain where they found an entrance. Entering the cave, they encountered an abandoned subterranean city and eventually a crypt housing a mind-controlled Grog, the reanimated corpse of his father, Stonejaw, and a dying mage, Drath Mephruhn, attempting a ritual to lichdom.[20] Under control of Drath Mephruhn, Grog, his father, and skeletons attacked the party. Eventually Pike destroyed Drath Mephruhn and the fight was brought to an end, bringing Grog back to himself, but not before the mage could complete the ritual and embed his phylactery into Grog's chest. After burying Stonejaw they returned to Westruun, Grog with an itchy scar.

"The Family Business" (1x47)[]

Umbrasyl made his lair in the mountain after the Chroma Conclave's attack on Emon.

"Umbrasyl" (1x55)[]

After the Chroma Conclave attacked Emon, the ancient black dragon Umbrasyl roosted in a cave at Gatshadow's peak, receiving tribute from Westruun. Several scouting parties from the Herd of Storms were sent to Gatshadow in preparation for an attack on Umbrasyl, but they didn't return.[21] Shale's age and disabilities slowed her down, so she survived Umbrasyl's slaughter of her party by a twist of fate, then descended from the mountain in time to meet Vox Machina.

Scaling the mountain, Vox Machina and Shale discovered a small entrance with four long-dead skeleton corpses. There were remnants of a small camp that was long iced over through winters past. There were roughly 85 gold pieces among their corpses and spare change in silver and copper; an oil lantern; climbing gear for four people; some long-spoiled rations; and a very moldy diary. They ascended Gatshadow further and slew Umbrasyl in his cave.[22]

After Campaign One[]

Umbrasyl's corpse by Clara

Fan art of Umbrasyl's corpse, by Clara.[art 4]

After the death of the Hope Devourer, his spilled blood, combined with the strange magic of the Gatshadow Mountain, caused the corpses of goliaths spattered by it to rise again as undead black dragonborn with skeletal wings;[23] this Black Snow tribe would fly to the Ashen Gorge, attracted to a gemstone called "the Ruby of Oblivion".[24] Moreover, in the following years the mix of the dragon's acid and his magical blood seeped through the ground, forming maze-like caverns inhabited by black half-dragons, oozes and the ghosts of the goliaths defeated by the ancient black dragon.[25] Due to those dangers, by 836 PD not many people try to approach the area, despite the valuable materials that could be taken from Umbrasyl's body.[26]


  1. See Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Volume #2, Issue #2, pp. 3.
  2. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:19:09.
  3. Some of the information on this page was imported from Matthew Mercer's Vox Machina Wiki article, "Gatshadow".
  4. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:46:57.
  5. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:49:58.
  6. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 2:12:56.
  7. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 2:02:13.
  8. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:59:13.
  9. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:57:53.
  10. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:56:16.
  11. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 2:20:26.
  12. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 2:23:27.
  13. 13.0 13.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 51.
  14. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 19.
  15. 15.0 15.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 63–64.
  16. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 49.
  17. See "The Endless Atheneum" (1x106) at 1:09:35.
  18. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) from 2:00:46 through 2:01:59.
  19. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:59:13.
  20. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) from 0:00:50 through 0:01:41.
  21. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:15:45.
  22. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 3:55:37.
  23. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 73.
  24. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 109.
  25. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 64.
  26. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 95.


  1. Official art of Gatshadow Mountain, by Olivia Samson from Vox Machina Origins II 2. Used with permission.
  2. Official map of Gatshadow and surrounding areas, by Andy Law from Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting. 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.
  3. Screenshot of the cavern within Gatshadow Mountain."Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 2:44:35
  4. Fan art of Umbrasyl's corpse, by Clara (source). Used with permission.