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Have you heard the legend of Shale?
One eye, elderly, frail.
To a black dragon, she told,
"You may be ancient, but I'm old!"[5]
And somehow lived to tell the tale.
– 
Inspiration by Scanlan Shorthalt[6]
[!h]

Shale is a goliath fighter from the Herd of Storms. She was played by special guest Chris Perkins.

Description

Appearance

Fan art of Shale, by Thomas Brin.[art 2]

Shale is an older goliath woman. She has dark hair in dreadlocks that she wears back in a ponytail. Her body is covered in tattoos, as is customary among goliaths. She is heavily battle scarred, missing her right eye and her left forearm,[7] which she lost in an avalanche.[8]

Personality

Biography

Background

Old and physically impaired, the herd had not afforded Shale much respect in recent years, especially under Thunderlord Kevdak's brash and battle-hungry leadership.[9] As part of a goliath scouting party to Umbrasyl's cave on the peak of Gatshadow Mountain, Shale was slower than her companions.[10]

"Umbrasyl" (1x55)

Descending Gatshadow after the loss of her party, Shale made her way through the Bramblewood Forest and emerged just as Vox Machina was recovering from their attempt to kill Umbrasyl.[11] Grog Strongjaw recognized Shale, and after agreeing on a wary alliance to finish off the black dragon, Shale and the group flew on giant eagles to the mountain peak in search of Umbrasyl's lair.

Willing to enter battle against a dragon that she was, by all accounts, almost certain to lose, Shale had a general sense that her life was already over and a glorious death was all she could hope to achieve.[12] She offered her possessions to Vox Machina in the event of her demise, even explaining what the items can do.[13] Shale survived the battle and gave her dragon-tooth necklace to Grog, who dealt the repeated killing blows, in honor of his victory.[14]

After aiding Vox Machina in the successful slaying of Umbrasyl at Gatshadow's peak, Shale returned to Thunderlord Zanror outside Westruun. Zanror, upon considering Shale's wisdom on their victory and the nature of life and death in battle, announced that the Herd of Storms was destroyed and perhaps the survivors should now join the Rivermaw Tribe for a more peaceful life better suited to raising children. Shale commended the decision.[15]

Relationships

Character Information

Abilities

Notable Items

  • A large, runed, +1 quarterstaff (this custom weapon functions as a Robe of Useful Items with runes instead of patches[16][17])
  • A dragon-tooth necklace (doubles hit points restored by hit dice; given to Grog Strongjaw[18])
  • Horn of Blasting[19]

Quotations

  • (to Umbrasyl) "Oh, shut up, you flying suitcase!"[20]

Trivia

Fan art of Shale, by Lady Rossë.[art 3]

  • When Matthew Mercer gave Chris Perkins the option to play a goliath, Chris said "[...] chose to play a character with nothing to live for."[21][22]
  • Shale is the fourth character featured in Critical Role missing a hand, after Anna Ripley, Cerkonos, and Tyriok Gadsworth. (Victor is missing his fingers on his right hand, but he still has the actual hand.)
  • Shale was introduced in "Umbrasyl" (1x55). For the next episode, "Hope" (1x56), Sam Riegel wrote a limerick about Shale, and Scanlan Shorthalt used it to provide Bardic Inspiration to Kerrek.[23]
  • Shale is the only player character in the first Critical Role campaign to be a different gender than their player. There have since been two other such characters in Campaign 2, Veth Brenatto and Calianna Mordsson, as well as one in a One Shot, Lieve'tel Toluse.
  • In the Critical Role Major Arcana Tarot Card Set, she represents XX - Judgement.
  • When asked what became of Shale after her appearance in the show, Chris Perkins stated that she died by falling off a cliff soon after Vox Machina said their goodbyes. When asked if said death was canon, Matthew Mercer stated that it is, because he will not take away how a player chooses their character's death.
    • In a special message from Chris Perkins for the Vox Machina wedding one-shot, Shale revealed she was in fact still alive picking berries on an undisclosed mountain and had been watching their adventures from a distance, before incorrectly wishing Percy and Vex a happy birthday.[24]

References

  1. Shale's class was displayed onscreen with the character portraits.  See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:06:48.
  2. Battle Master martial archetype is presumed from Shale's attempt to taunt Umbrasyl.  See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 3:00:13.
  3. See "Talks Machina Fireside Special: Q&A with the Critical Role Cast" (Sx33).[citation needed]
  4. Shale's level 13 stat card was shown onscreen.  See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:02:23.  Ability DC was calculated using option of Strength for the Battle Master[presumed] maneuver DC, as indicated in the Player's Handbook, p. 73.
  5. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 2:05:17.
  6. See "Hope" (1x56) at 2:34:57.
  7. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:11:45.
  8. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:22:54.
  9. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:13:34.
  10. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) from 1:15:47 through 1:16:14.
  11. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:11:16.
  12. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:54:16.
  13. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:52:53.
  14. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 4:01:33.
  15. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 4:14:41.
  16. Chris Perkins tweeted about Shale's quarterstaff stats and custom creation.
  17. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:52:53.
  18. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 4:01:33.
  19. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:53:04.
  20. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 2:46:51.
  21. See "Umbrasyl" (1x55) at 1:54:16.
  22. Chris Perkins intentionally created Shale with nothing to live for.
  23. See "Hope" (1x56) at 2:34:57.
  24. https://twitter.com/ChrisPerkinsDnD/status/1167222979962388480

Art:

  1. Official portrait of Shale, by Kit Buss (source). 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.
  2. Fan art of Shale, by Thomas Brin (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Shale, by Lady Rossë (source).  Used with permission.


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