Verbeegs

Verbeegs are notorious mercenaries and rogues. Though they have their own settlements and societies, they are frequently encountered alongside giants and ogres. In fact, outside of the Ice Spires, some verbeegs have been known to actually claw their way to dominion over small hill or frost giant tribes —an obvious byproduct of their unrivaled cunning.   Although the firbolgs speak loudest of kin unity, the verbeegs tend to make their half¬brothers, the giants, the most uncomfortable. Their omnipresence in giant society, obvious intelligence, and penchant for underhanded¬ness add up to make some of the more skittish members of the Jotunbrud a bit neurotic. A few particularly addled giants have convinced themselves that the verbeegs have already united all the kin and are carrying out a plan of infiltration aimed at conquering and enslav¬ing all the giant races. Usually, such para-noiacs also spread rumors of a vast, unseen population of verbeegs and a huge under¬ground verbeeg kingdom that is connected to a network of tunnels that criss-crosses the Ice Spires.   Of course, it's extremely doubtful that any of these rumors contain more than the smallest kernel of truth, though the Jotunbrud still have plenty to worry about. Many of the ver¬beeg servants and laborers have been planted in the various giant steadings as spies at the behest of a mysterious figure who is actually no less than an avatar of the giant god Karan- tor himself. Years ago, Karantor actively recruited followers in all the largest verbeeg tribes and directed his priests to force the ver¬beegs to follow the dictums of the mysterious stranger who occasionally came to visit bear¬ing treasure in exchange for promises of fealty. Only the priests are aware that the stranger — who takes a slightly different form in each set¬tlement he visits —is actually Karantor's avatar. For hundreds of years now, spies dis¬patched by the avatar have been keeping Karantor informed of the comings and goings in many of Faerun's most prominent Jotun- brud settlements. Recently, the avatar has also started dispatching some of his verbeeg ser¬vants to collect specific artifacts scattered all across Toril's surface. Exactly what Karantor has in mind for the verbeegs and how they are assisting him remains a mystery.   Unlike firbolgs, verbeegs are firm believers in the concept of ordning. Through treachery — the greatest of their skills — the verbeegs have designed a unique process for bettering themselves in their society. To ascend in the ordning, a verbeeg must plot to discredit or defeat a superior. Such disposals are not nec¬essarily violent. In fact, ousting a superior via a slow, subtle scheme brings far more glory than crude brute force. One popular tale con¬cerns two verbeegs who played a single game of wah-ree for more than 40 years. Throughout the course of the game, the rivals often spent months planning and measuring their moves. Eventually, one of the verbeegs sent his daughter to tempt his rival, a ploy that ulti¬mately resulted in a marriage. The verbeeg then lived happily with his rival's daughter for 30 years and raised a large family. As the end of the wah-ree game approached, how¬ever, the daughter started to behave strangely, acting the shrew and refusing to tend to her children. This broke her husband's concentra¬tion, allowing his rival to win the game and seize the higher ordning rank. Only after the game was over did the loser discover that his entire marriage was merely another facet of the plot.   Besides treachery, verbeegs are well known for their skill as thieves. Verbeegs are particu¬larly well suited to this role since they have no concept of private property. To them, all things are owned by all people. Anything they can steal they feel they deserve to own. Visitors foolish enough to sleep in verbeeg settlements often awake to find their sup¬plies, equipment, and sometimes even their clothing missing.

 
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