Helgrind ("The Gates of Death" in the ancient language) was a four-peaked mountain near the city of Dras-Leona. It was an object of religious reverence to Dras-Leona's cult and was also the home of the Ra'zac and the Lethrblaka.
Helgrind was located just south-east of Dras-Leona in central Alagaësia.
Helgrind was a sort of religious icon to many citizens of Dras-Leona and a prominent cult existed in the city dedicated to the worship of the mountain. A cathedral modeled on Helgrind's three highest peaks was built in the city and the beliefs of the cult were codified in the Book of Tosk. The acolytes of this religion practice self-mutilation and drink human blood. Sacrifices of human flesh were offered to Helgrind, which would be consumed by the Ra'zac and the Lethrblaka.
Unknown to those outside of the cult, the clergy of Dras-Leona did not, in fact, worship Helgrind itself: they actually revered the Ra'zac and the Lethrblaka that lived there.
Helgrind is a massive landform, being more than a mile high. It is made of a black mineral and is large enough to be visible from Dras-Leona. It is also very steep and nearly impossible to climb, making it an ideal for the Ra'zac's lair, since their flying steeds can carry them there. It is devoid of life, except for a single blue flower marking the Lethrblaka and Ra'zac's lair. At this section of the mountain is a tunnel leading into the Lethrblaka and Ra'zac's warren of caves, but it is masked from view by magic. Normally, it appears that the opening is merely solid rock.
Christopher Paolini got the idea for Helgrind when he saw Shiprock in New Mexico. Shiprock is a rock formation rising nearly 1,800 feet (540 meters) above the high-desert plain on the Navajo reservation, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of the northern New Mexico town of Shiprock, which is named for the peak.
The word Helgrind comes from Norse Mythology where the gates of Hell, the underworld, are called Helgrindr and were sometimes known as the gates of hell/death and in the ancient language Helgrind means "gates of death".