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Goliath

Out in the mountain ranges and high peaks of Edda, dwell a reclusive race of people known as the goliaths. The goliaths are large specimens standing anywhere from seven to eight feet tall and seem to be built from pure muscle. They're a nomadic people that dwell in tribes made up of several extended families and travel with a wanderlust befitting of any out-lander. With their skin being ashen-grey it's almost as if they were carved from the mountains themselves and it isn't known whether or not the black markings on their bodies are ritualistic in nature or just natural parts of their skin. They only make themselves known when they have to and to see one is a rare event indeed. Even knowing one, or being friends with one, is a privilege that only a handful of people can take pride in.

Basic Information

Biological Traits

Goliaths stand anywhere from seven to eight feet tall and can weigh up to 340 pounds. Like almost all humanoid species they reproduce sexually and are very close to humans in terms of growth rate and development. Humans tend to fully mature in their early twenties while goliaths become adults in their late teens. Goliaths also live less than a century, but they also tend to live a little bit longer than the average human.

Genetics and Reproduction

Like most humanoid species goliaths reproduce sexually. They're life spans are similar to humans, so it is believed that the fertility rate for goliaths and time spent in the womb is around the same.

Growth Rate & Stages

Goliaths live and grow at about the same rate as humans. They tend to mature a bit earlier than humans though, reaching full maturity/adulthood in their late teens; when for humans it is in their early twenties.

Ecology and Habitats

Goliaths are a nomadic people and can typically be found throughout the peaks and mountain ranges of the world.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Goliaths are omnivorous. They survive on a diet of both plants and animals and seem to not have a preference one way or the other. They're nomadic and forage for whatever they can get their hands on or find.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Goliath society is based in competitive fairness where everyone is held to an equal standard -- no matter the gender. Goliaths live in small tribes that are made up of several different extended families. There are specific roles in the tribe that need to be filled by the most capable members.

  • Chieftain: Main authority figure who decides when and where the tribe should move. They also pick and choose who fills the other key roles within the tribe.
  • Captain: Two captains are assigned for the duties of cooking, scouting, hunting, and gathering. Each captain builds a team to complete the task at hand. Since goliath society is built on competition, this sort of develops a friendly rivalry between tribesmen.
  • Skywatcher: Main religious figure in the tribe. The skywatcher tends to be the most experienced shaman, who makes sure that resources aren't over harvested, game isn't needlessly slaughtered, and they oversee certain festivals and religious rituals.
  • Dawncaller: A dawncaller's responsibility lies in guarding the camp at night and alerting everyone if they're attacked. They wake everyone up at sunrise with songs about the past deeds of heroic goliaths. A new dawncaller is assigned every day and they're given the least amount of work throughout the day so they can effectively do their jobs at night.
  • Adjudicator: Adjudicators are the judicial authority of the tribe. They referee sporting events and settle disputes between other tribesmen. Tough decisions are settled through competitions designed by the adjudicator. If a tribesmen makes an appeal against an adjudicator's decision, then the chieftain must settle the dispute, and the adjudicator is dismissed from their duties.
  • Tent-Mother: This is the only role within the tribe that is gender specific. They're essentially wet-nurses and are chosen by the chieftain every morning. They're responsible for looking after and teaching the children while their parents are off taking care of their responsibilities. Tent-Mothers also decided when a child was ready and old enough to start contributing to the tribe.
  • Lamentor: A lamentor is responsible for determining whether or not a tribesmen is too old or weak to continue being a productive member of society. Good lamentors are supposed to approach said individual to explain their decision, the situation at hand, and then consult the chieftain. Once everything was decided, the lamentor prepares a long chant for the goliath, to commemorate them before they're exiled from the tribe for being too old or weak.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

  • Blue Mountains
  • Caledonian Mountains
  • Iron Mountains
  • Dark Mist Mountains

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Names: Aukan, Eglath, Gae-Al, Gauthak, Ilikan, Keothi, Kuori, Lo-Kag, Manneo, Maveith, Nalla, Orilo, Paavu, Pethani, Thalai, Thotham, Uthal, Vaunea, Vimak, Kragun, Parad, Vaurok, Vaunoth, Neogan, Korathag, Ililok, Kauthio, Kepeo, Noneo, Mekea, Pakea, Thuvu, Olathia, Gathio, Apagal, Thagak, Vinak, Liki, Dathia, Mekko   Nicknames: Raineye, Stonelogger, Truewanderer, Brightchaser, Stonemaker, Floweraid, Wiseleaper, Lumberclimber, Bearkiller, Fearless, Flintfinder, Horncarver, Keeneye, Lonehunter, Longleaper, Rootsmasher, Steadyhand, Threadtwister, Twice-Orphaned, Twistedlimb, Wordpainter, Dawnjumber, Tribekiller, Hornfriend, Mountainstriker   Clan Names: Anakalathai, Elanithino, Gathakanathi, Kalagiano, Katho-Olavi, Kolae-Gileana, Ogolakanu, Thuliaga, Thunukalathi, Vaimei-Laga, Egumatho, Athunatho, Elananathi, Agu-Ulathai, Kolakekali, Nugalathino, Ovethalathi, Muthaliogne, Thuluthala, Vunakageane, Inulgiane, Veomiaga, Valu-Nakume, Elanavea

Gender Ideals

Since goliath society is steeped in a tradition of equality, competitiveness, and fair-play, genders are truly held equal in societal eyes. Goliaths find roles distinguished by gender to be a silly thing (except for that of a tent-mother) since they believe that the most capable individual should hold an acquired position -- no matter the gender. If a king is a bad king for instance, a goliath believes that, that king should be replaced by a more capable individual, whether that more capable individual be man or woman.

Culture and Cultural Heritage

Goliath culture and society is born of a competitive spirit. This stems from the fact that for a goliath tribe, every day brings about new challenges and hardships; one simple mistake could spell doom for all, while one's heroic efforts on the other hand, could ensure the survival of the whole group. Being a competitive society, goliaths often keep score of their accomplishments and seek to outdo themselves. Even though they love to win, they take defeats as an opportunity to improve and hone their skills. A darker side to their competitive nature and society is that when a goliath accomplishes a great feat, they will seek to outdo themselves over and over. Many die trying.   Fair play is a concept of goliath culture that goes hand in hand with competitiveness. Competition can only exist when the playing field is level. These factors determine a goliath's talent, determination, and effort which in turn help them survive. A goliath will happily rely on certain benefits outside of competition such as magic, but they also keep in mind that these advantages can easily be lost. Goliaths are also a very blunt and direct people who rarely beat around the bush. They'll make their intentions clear and known, and will often criticize and mock bad leaders and others in non-goliath societies who rely on social constructs to keep their power.   Other than competitiveness, being self-sufficient is quite important. Everyone is expected to contribute to the well being of the tribe no matter their age or physical state of being. Everyone is expected to contribute in some way and goliaths have little pity for those who can't take care of themselves. Goliaths tend to be quite friendly to anyone who doesn't threaten their tribe but if a traveler can't keep up with them then they're left behind.   When it comes to names, goliaths have three. They have a birth name which is given to them by their parents, a nickname that is given to them by the chieftain and a clan name which tends to be the name of the family. Since goliaths hold genders on an equal standing, there is no real distinction between male and female names. Nicknames are acquired through a goliath's deeds and these nicknames can change on a whim depending on circumstances. When introducing themselves, a goliath will use all three names, but in a casual conversation they will just use their nicknames.

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

A lamentation is a common goliath custom. When a member of the tribe is no longer fit to contribute to society either through old age or weakness, they're exiled for the good of the tribe. Sometimes this will also happen to goliaths who have been permanently wounded and can't carry on in their duties. They're life's deeds and accomplishments are commemorated and sung about through the tribe's lamentor and it is a quite somber affair. On occasions when a goliath is mortally/permanently wounded or has failed the tribe, it is often expected of them to exile themselves and not burden the tribe. They also receive a lament and commemoration. Criminals who have been exiled though, receive no lamentation whatsoever.

Common Taboos

Goliaths have certain laws and customs that they've written down, but there are also certain unwritten societal norms. Each law has its own form of punishment. If a goliath is caught stealing, cheating, or disobeying the chief then they're beaten. If a crime is more serious or committed again after multiple offenses then they're shunned for a duration of time in which they're existence isn't acknowledged at all. The length of a shunning is never spoken outright, and is usually determined through body language. The worst punishment a goliath can face is exile. The exiled will receive a new nickname from the chief and if they're a criminal then they will receive no lament or commemoration. Those who have failed the tribe and are too stubborn to leave are predominantly forced out.

History

As for the exact date in which goliaths appeared in the world of Edda isn't known. After the First Great War in which the High Elves and Dark Elves participated in the first Kin-Slaying, the dwarves appeared from their subterranean civilizations beneath the mountains and came to the surface. They came and established their mountain kingdoms, but found another race of people already living in among the mountains and peaks. These people were the goliaths. The goliaths are a nomadic people that never stay in one place for too long and they're divided into numerous tribes with each tribe wandering around specific territory. Whether the goliaths were already living in the mountains before the dwarves can't be known for certain. Some scholars hypothesize that the goliaths are sub-species of the gaians, the ancient precursors to giants.   The dwarves seeing that as long as one didn't threaten the goliath tribes, one was in good standing with them. Both goliaths and dwarves found it beneficial to trade with one another and enter into certain political alliances that stand to this very day. Goliath tribes tend to stick to their mountainous domains and only venture outside when they have to. Throughout history, goliaths have been seen by others as great heroic warriors who have stood up to monstrous creatures such as dragons, trolls, and giants. They have also been known to be quite effective mercenaries since they have lent their services to armies during certain military engagements in the past.   During the Great Catastrophe and the coming of the orcs and goblinoids, many a goliath tribe that made their home in the Dark Mist Mountains, were either slaughtered or driven away like their dwarven compatriots. Some goliath tribes have managed to still live in the Dark Mist Mountains, but tend to avoid certain areas due to a lingering dark presence that even the orcs dare not go near. With such a violent introduction, the orcs and goliaths aren't on friendly terms and often try their hardest to not boil over into conflict at the sight of one another. Goblinoids on the other hand are an exception. Goliaths will often attack goblinoids on sight since they're seen to be more terrible than the orcs, and the goblinoids committed greater atrocities against the goliath people as a whole.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

  • Humans: Indifferent
  • Dwarves: Friendly
  • Elves: Indifferent
  • Gnomes: Friendly
  • Half-Elves: Indifferent
  • Firbolgs: Indifferent
  • Aasimar: Indifferent
  • Tieflings: Indifferent
  • Orcs: Unfriendly
  • Half-Orcs: Unfriendly
  • Goblinoids: Hostile
  • Giants: Hostile

Goliath
N/A by N/A
Lifespan
90 years
Average Height
7-8'0"
Average Weight
280-340 lbs.
Average Physique
Goliaths tend to be bulky, broad shouldered, and quite muscular.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Ashen grey skin mottled with black markings, and the occasional bony protrusion

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Cover image: Mountains by flaviobolla

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