Bestiary

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Giant

by T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.0
art by C. Steele

Summary

Creature Type: Humanoid

Diet: Omnivore
Activity:
 Any
Disposition:
 Depending largely on the tribe of giant: Kashalans will be aloof, distant while Hidulans will be hostile.
Socialization:
 Complex socialization.
Special Talents:
 Scaled Down Damage, Impervious to non-magical weapons/attacks
Special Attacks:
 Quaking Stomp, Crushing Blow
Locality:
 Zoda and Tirania and Miroa.
Longevity:
 Between 200 and 225 years on average.
Class Types:
 (Hidulans: Berserker 75%, Shaman 25%. Kashalans: Soldier 30%, Witch/Warlock: 30%, Mage of some sort, except necromancer 40%).
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Description

Giants are roughly seventy five feet tall for the males and sixty feet tall for the females of both tribes. Kashalans (or Mountain Giants) have snowy white, silver or sometimes pale blue hair, while Hidulans (or Plains Giants) will have red, auburn, brown or black hair that will eventually gray. Eyes match the hair in all cases, with very rare variations to occur. All giants weigh in at over twelve tons for the males and ten for the females. Kashalan Giants have a refined sense of clothing and are often found donning elaborate Xannti scale armor, or finely crafted robes. The more primitive Hidulan Giants will wear whatever they can cobble together, often donning patchwork armor make from stone and leather, sometimes armor made from mundane metals, such as iron and bronze.

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Lore

After the giant clans were separated by Zorah and Kaal, it had been the collective agreement of the Kashalans that while they did not embrace their father's murderous ways, they also had no interest in following the edicts of the Old Gods, wishing only to live and create in peace, free from the influences and troubles of the Gods and the other mortal races. Content that this was the best possible outcome, the Old Gods respected this wish and troubled the Giants of the Mountain no longer. Because of this, to this day the Kashalan Giants worship no deity and have no priests or knights amongst them. They are however very capable magic-wielders, having a very similar style of spell-casting to the Asyndi, to whom they are distantly related, thanks to Hidul's use of Kasha's body in the dark rite that created the giants.

Nearly all of the Kashalan Giants that practice magic, are some sort of Elementalist, favoring Air Magic for combat and Water Magic for both defense and healing. It is rare indeed that their skills with combative magic are tested however; they remain removed from the world for the most part, save for trade they enjoy with the Kaal`Kor Dwarves of the Hammerspark Clan. They are philosophers, scholars and students of the Cosmos, having little care for the troubles elsewhere on Imarel. Because of this focus on knowledge over bloodshed, the Kashalans' only city, Jhormdir is said to have splendor rivaled only by Farwind and the long-lost city of D`Mir. Fashioned entirely from ice by the Kashalan Elementalists, it is said that the vast City of Giants can be seen gleaming in the sun, for those who travel to the crown of the world.

Those Kashalans that do not become Magi entertain a more militant lifestyle, training mostly in defensive tactics to make safe their homes and to keep themselves safe when they travel Imarel. While it could be argued that there are few things that could harm such immense creatures, the most far-traveled have encountered the demons of the Burning Lands and the legendary Vocorian Titans of Vocor, to whom even they are small by comparison. So understanding how to fight and defend one's self is still relevant to the Kashalans. These sorts of Kashalans are referred to as Guardians and make for the majority of guards and protectors Jhormdir has.

The Hidul by comparison do not have any Magi amongst their kind; nearly all are warriors or berserkers, who are led by a tribal seer, who acts as the spiritual compass for his or her tribe. Hidulans have no permanent settlements, or cities; the Giants of the Plains prefer to make temporary settlements that can be easily abandoned or disassembled, in order to be moved elsewhere. This is largely because Hidulans spend the majority of their time attacking other Hidulan tribes, or attacking Masoq, Voraath or Northlander tribes when they encounter them. It is also not uncommon for these Plains Giants to attack cities if they have sufficient numbers. With the advent of gunpowder and sorcerously-aided cannons, these sorts of attacks have lessened a bit.

When they aren't attacking, plundering and pillaging, Hidulans spend their time crafting weapons (which they are surprisingly good at) and hunting for food and supplies. Because of their sheer size, it isn't difficult for them to hunt an entire pack of wild Lasher or Kavah alone for their meat and pelts. Little else occupies their time; they are creatures bent to warfare and the exploitation of other races. Unlike their knowledgeable kin, The Hidulans are slow-witted, but cunning and deceptive. They aren't generally afraid to bully Humans or Masoq to serve them as a rag-tag army, or as servants.

Just as the two giant clans have very different ways of life, they also have very different mating and family customs. Kashalans will choose one mate for life, then add to an extended family which can span three generations or more. The eldest male is the head of this household, until either he dies, or abdicates to the next eldest male. Hidulans are not known to marry at all, being content to simply take one of their women (against her will if necessary) and leave her to deal with the result of their union. Hidulan women are expected to raise their children alone and do nothing but raise their children and provide for them. There is no recorded history of a female Hidulan ever donning armor or entering battle (though there have been more than one female tribal leaders).

Both clans of giants are similar in their abilities in combat, each being able to cause a Quaking Stomp with their feet, that causes a major ground tremor for fifty feet around the giant. These stomps are strong enough to upend poorly built structures, startle pack animals into flight and knock people off their feet. They are also able to flail with their fists, delivering a Crushing Blow to their enemies. The force of these swings is such that it has a 25% chance to kill the victims of this swing outright for the sheer magnitude of the impact. Failing this, substantial damage is still accrued from such a brutal hit. These sorts of forceful swings can be used to topple building, with a 25% percent chance to send a non-magical structure tumbling to the ground.

Because of their immense size and power, all giants are entirely impervious to non-magical weapons of any kind. Furthermore, the damage from magical weapons and spells suffers a degraded effect against giants. A fireball or a blast of lightning from an Elven Mage for example, might do incredible damage against an Asyndi or a Human, but against a giant, it will be 50% less effective, unless the spell can generate a comparatively larger effect (such as giant-sized fireball, or a blast of lightning from the sky, rather from one's own fingertips). Congruently, a giant using magical effects and attacks on smaller humanoid races as a 50% greater effectiveness.

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