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This wiki contains spoilers for the entirety of Critical Role and The Legend of Vox Machina. Proceed at your own risk!


Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

The Gladepools are a large cluster of broken lakes and ponds drawing both freshwater from the Stormcrest Mountains to the east and saltwater from the Ozmit Sea to the west, creating an unusual, marshy grassland around them.[1]


The Gladepools - Kiyoko

Fan art of the Gladepools, by Kiyoko.[art 2]

The odd habitats created by the Gladepools' mix of water support a strange mix of fauna, attracting Syngornian hunters from the Verdant Expanse and fishermen from the Rifenmist Peninsula to the south;[1] many people in the small town of Byroden on the banks of the Gladepools fish the pools for a living.[2]

The clay from the shores of the saltwater lakes is particularly good for making ceramics and simple constructs that fetch a good price in northern Tal'Dorei.[1]



Around 792 or 793 PD, the ancient red dragon Thordak, long thought dead, began to raid caravans and the autonomous villages of the Mornset Countryside, at the edge of the Tal'Dorei Council's influence. The people of the area asked the Council for armed assistance, describing a "nightmare of fire and malice," but Sovereign Odellan Tal'Dorei found the rumors too vague to justify the great expense of sending a regiment.[3]

Around 794 or 795 PD, the reports grew clear: it was a dragon, more massive than any on record. At the time, Allura Vysoren wasn't a part of the Council of Tal'Dorei; she was a member of an adventuring party, much like Vox Machina. Allura's party traveled to investigate, but arrived to find this creature destroying everything surrounding the Gladepools, including Port Udall and Byroden. (Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia, who lived in Byroden as children, were away in Syngorn, but their mother was killed in the attack.) By that time Thordak had bent the Outerfolk of the Countryside to slavery and claimed dominion over the land. Emon finally sent its forces from Fort Daxio, but in a terrific battle south of the Stormcrest Mountains they were thrashed. Allura's party also failed to stop Thordak and had to fall back. But with the help of the Arcana Pansophical, and losing several compatriots, the party managed to seal Thordak in the Elemental Plane of Fire.[4][5]

During the Campaign of Vox Machina[]

The adventure hook No Basis for a System of Government in the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting sourcebook, set in 812 PD, involves a fighter or paladin spotting a longsword, which no other members of the party can see until the sword is retrieved, on one of the lakebeds of the Gladepools. On it is written a sentence in Undercommon (which uses Elvish script): “Whosoever draws this blade has the power to free Ruhn-Shak from madness.” But if the sword is taken to Syngorn for translation, the translator nervously substitutes the word "city" for "Ruhn-Shak" and has nothing more to do with the party.[1]

In the adventure hook Glass Waters, the War Ringer of Byroden is sent to investigate a series of youth drowning suicides in the Gladepools, and the War Ringer is in turn found trying to drown himself, but afterward has no recollection of doing so, suggesting that there may be an enchantment or sinister creature at fault.[2]


According to Syngornian tradition, an oracle's spirit is bound to the lakes and will, if given sufficient offerings and respect, make trades for information on one's fate.[1]

Notable people[]

See Notable People of Byroden.


  • A bottle of extremely expensive elven plum wine liqueur bought by Ashton Greymoore in Jrusar came from the Gladepools of Tal'Dorei.[6]



  1. Official art of Byroden, on the banks of the Gladepools, by BlackSalander (source). Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of the Gladepools, by Kiyoko (source). Used with permission.