Goliaths are a humanoid race of distant giant ancestry, with a notable relation to stone giants. They average between seven to eight feet tall in height, although some, such as Kevdak, can be noticeably taller. Goliaths are known for their incredible strength and fortitude, being naturally capable of various athletic feats and possessing an inherent ability to resist damage. Goliath males lack hair, but females have hair along their scalp. They have grey skin, similar in color to stone.
In Tal'Dorei, some goliaths live in small, solitary villages and communities along the Cliffkeep Mountains and Stormcrest Mountains, where they maintain an advanced form of a hunter-gatherer society, typically known as "herds", and some herds in the Stormcrest Mountains tame wyverns as mounts. Some have left this lifestyle in favor of venturing south to the Dividing Plains as nomadic raiders, stealing from the various villages that reside among the plains. One notable example of such a group was the Herd of Storms, which, after its dissolution, saw many goliaths formerly among its ranks having since becoming wanderers, such as mercenaries along the Lucidian Coast or bandits around the Ruins of O'Noa and Stilben. Others, however, turned to a more devotional lifestyle of spirituality and survival.
Herd of Storms
- → Main article: Herd of Storms
The Herd of Storms was a roving band of goliath barbarians led by a Thunderlord that roamed the countrysides of Tal'Dorei. By the time of the Chroma Crisis, the Herd, led by Thunderlord Kevdak, had led the Herd down a violent and savage path. After Kevdak was slain during the liberation of Westruun, his son Zanror became the Herd's new leader and the remaining members agreed to renounce their brutal lifestyle and merged with the more peaceful Rivermaw Tribe.
While the Herd was led by Kevdak, it is known that one custom was for the leader to accept a challenge for the title of Thunderlord in single combat to the death, as was the case when his Kevdak's nephew Grog Strongjaw challenged him while the Herd was occupying Westruun.
It appears that goliaths are more commonly found in civilized society among other races in Wildemount than in Tal'Dorei. Two notable examples are former Victory Pit champion Jermai Kull and musician Camilla. Goliaths are also not an uncommon sight among the piracy off the Menagerie Coast, such as Plank King Wyatt Maranoss. One of the deep scions killed by the party near Urukayxl and the Inkclaw Reef on their way to the peace negotiations was originally a goliath.
According to goliath legend, stormborn are born beneath a raging storm and grow to become mighty warriors with the ability to command lightning. Reportedly destined to become mythic heroes, stormborn often fight with reckless abandon and are often prideful, typically ignorant of the actuality of fate. After the dissolution of the Herd of Storms, what few stormborn remain, raised during the ruling of the Herd by Kevdak, are now members of the Rivermaw Tribe.
Goliath brawlers refuse to use weapons, instead favoring their own body strength and skill in fist-fighting. In the Rivermaw Tribe, goliath brawlers usually lead the charge on the battlefield. Beyond the Dividing Plains, goliath brawlers can be found within criminal organizations, such as personal bodyguards for wealthy individuals or hired muscle in underground fighting rings. In Emon, the most famous brawlers have made a name for themselves within the Godsbrawl Ring, representing the Stormlord in the annual holy tournament.
Goliaths' compulsive competitiveness translates to the world of sport.
In Tal'Dorei specifically, goliaths are known to compete against giants in the quadrennial Sky Queen's Favor tournament at Skyanchor Citadel. Goliath brawlers also compete in a Brawler's League and, as mentioned above, the annual Godsbrawl Ring.
(Formerly) Herd of Storms
- Grog Strongjaw - Member of Vox Machina
- Kevdak - Former Thunderlord
- Seer Greenbeard - Former advisor to Kevdak
- Shale - Helped defeat Umbrasyl
- Stonejaw Strongjaw - Grog Strongjaw's father
- Worra - Zanror's apparent mate
- Zanror - Succeeded Kevdak as Thunderlord
- Camilla - Drummer in Deastok
- Dimble Thaydeen - Shopkeeper in Rexxentrum
- Jermai Kull - Champion of the Victory Pit
- Santy - Boat captain in Shorecomb
- Sorah - Employee of the Gentleman
- Wyatt Maranoss - The second Plank King
- See "Test of Pride" (1x51) at 2:16:43.
- Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins #6
- See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 26-27.
- See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 62.
- See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 133.
- See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 57.
- See "High Seas, High Stakes" (2x99) at 0:31:08.
- See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 133-134.
- See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:14:59.
- See "Misery Loves Company" (2x93) from 18:54 through 19:14.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 125.
- See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 134.
- Art of a female goliath, as depicted in the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 26.
- Fan art of Grog Strongjaw landing the killing blow on Kevdak, by David Rodrigues (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Wyatt Maranoss, the Plank King since 820 PD, by Nguyen Minh Hieu (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Dimble Thaydeen, by BlackSalander (source). Used with permission.