Giant Species in Runetalras | World Anvil
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Giant

‘The Giants were once titans of Runetalras, dominating the known world with iron fist, now they are but shadows of their former glory and on the brink of extinction.’ - Perr Dithine

Giant is a hypernym used to refer to a number of creatures, which are typically enormous humanoids, however, when most people speak about giants they mean the closely related cloud, fire, frost, hill, stone, and storm giants, which are united by history, religion, and culture.  

Physiology

  Giants are a highly varied family of species, they are generally humanoids but much larger than most other races. The massive bodies of the giants are supported by dense bones and strong muscle structures, making them incredibly strong and even fast despite their hulking bodies. Most giants have superior sight and smell, when compared to humans.   Legends and myths say that prior Age of Titans giants did not die of old age, however, if that were ever true it is no longer the case now; Giants’ lifespans vary, with hill giants being capable of living 300-400 years, whereas stone and storm live on average 700 years but are capable of reaching over 1000 years.  

Society

  Giants possess an intelligence equal to that of many of the mortal races (Hill Giants are an exception), as such they have their own language, culture, customs. However, their cultures and customs differ based upon the type of giant and location.   Most giants believe that they are superior to other races, this is typically the result of the Ordering, a relic of the ancient empire of the giants known as the Jöur’ant, which dictates the social structure of giants and also outlines their supposed racial superiority.   Giants once lived in expensive cities tended to by exorbitant amounts of slaves made up primairily of dwarves and gnomes. Now they live in mountains, forests, caves, and derelict fortresses and citadels, with small clans or just family; as they are now limited by the food they can pillage from surrounding areas.   Giants believe ancestry, blood, and the accomplishments of their ancestors to be incredibly important. Most giants proclaim that it is their family that has lineage connected to their chief deity, Annam the All-Father.  

Religion

  Giant followed the Giant Pantheon, although tribes and types of giant differ in their specific beliefs. These beliefs have been known to spill over into religious wars over the existence of deities. Generally they all accept Annam the All-Father and the Ordering.  

Ordering

  The Ordering was supposedly created by Annam the All-Father upon the founding of the Jöur’ant.   The Ordering is a racial and social hierarchy which most giants adhere to, and it is considered heretical to oppose or even reject it.   The Ordering first ranks giants based upon their type in the following order, Storm, cloud, fire, frost, stone, then hill giants. Within the racial structure the Ordering ranks social roles, however, even the lowliest storm giant is superior to the greatest of cloud giants.  

History

  Giants are believed amongst the oldest of the races of Runetalras, with their myths and legends stretching well into the Forgotten Ages; it was during this Age that the Ordering and Jöur’ant were created.   It was during the Age of the Titans that the giants, and dragons, made their mark upon all of Runetalras, when the Jöur’ant supposedly controlled half of the known world. Giants reigned supreme, dominating the ‘lesser’ races with an iron fist subjugating them and binding them to their service, it was only dragons and their High Empire of the Dragons that could compare to their grandeur and power. In the Age the enmity between giants and Dragons, the Jöur’ant and High Empire of the Dragons, grew to cold war and then a conflict which devastated both race and their societies, with few ruins remaining of these civilisations which supposedly last millennia and stretched across the surface of the known world. The peoples that the giants had enslaved and subjugated for so long rose up against them, and finished the work the Titan War had begun, destroying what remained and brought the giants to the brink of extinction.   The giants clearly did not become extinct, although The Ages have not been kind to them. They are a race in ruin, their societies have fragmented, breaking down into clans, tribes, and families which rarely interact with others outside their cliques, no great civilisation has been created, and their numbers are still remarkably low.   An uncomfortable result of low numbers of giants and giants fragmenting into isolated tribes, clans, and families has been the emergence of hill giants. Hill giants themselves deformed creatures which are the result of generations of inbreeding.  

Types of Giants

Giants come in many forms, though to separate them into species would be incorrect as they are perfectly capable of breeding with one another, instead giants are broken into types.  

Storm giant

  Storm giants are the tallest of the giants standing a full 26 feet (7.9 metres) in height and weighing approximately 15,000 pounds (6,800 kilograms).   Most storm giants have pale, light green skin and dark green hair and eyes, but a small number have violet skin, dark blue hair, and silver eyes   Storm giants are capable of living underwater, being able to see and breathe equally as well on land and in the sea.   Their bodies are impervious to harm from lightning and thunder. They are even capable of generating and throwing bolts of lightning themselves, because of this battles involving them are often mistaken for lightning storms. Storm giants often make their home with castles and citadels, these can be located atop mountains, within the clouds, or within the depth of the oceans.  

Cloud giant

  Cloud giants are the second tallest of the giants standing at 24 feet (7.3 metres) and weighing around 11,500 pounds (5,220 kilograms). Their skin ranges in colour from milky white to light sky blue. Their hair is silvery white or brass, and their eyes were iridescent blue.   Cloud giant nobility seldom show their faces, instead owning and wearing a collection of exquisite masks that are made of precious metals and adorned with gemstones, an act of worship to their patron deity. These masks reflect the noble's current mood, thus masks are prized for how accurately they can express a mood and an individual might shift between many in a single day. Only the richest of nobles can afford the dozens necessary to show all of the possible, subtle differences in emotions.   Cloud giants have exceptional vision which allows them to see particularly well through fog and cloud.   Of all the giants it is the cloud giants that possess the greatest affinity to magic. Most possess an innate ability for casting spells related to the air, gravity, and weather. Some have an even greater control over the weather, being able to bring forth storms and steer the wind just as well as any storm giant. Cloud giants are also known to have traditions of runecasting as well as traditional magic.   Because of their appreciation for music, the majority of cloud giants are capable of playing one or more instruments. Harps are one of the most favoured instruments among them. The possessions they carried are usually well-made and well maintained.  

Fire giant

  Fire giants are master craftsmen giants that live in volcanic and mountainous environments. Fire giants have very broad bodies, making them bulky and dwarf-like in appearance. They stand roughly 18 feet (5.5 meters) tall, and weighe over 7,000 pounds (3,200 kilograms). Their skin was very dark, reminiscent of coal, and the colour of their hair tended towards a spectrum of flaming orange or red with similarly colored red eyes.   Fire giants are particularly well adapted to high temperature environments; they are impervious to fire and damage from heat, and their eyes are capable of seeing through the hazes and shimmers often associated with high temperatures.   Fire giants like to make their homes in hot environments like volcanic areas, and tend to build up their homes into citadels.  

Frost giant

  Frost giants can reach heights of 21 feet (6.4 metres) and they weigh about 8,000 pounds (3,600 kilograms). They have skin and hair whose colours can range a wide spectrum of blue and white shades, though some were known to have dirty yellow hair. Likewise, their eyes are generally shades of blue or yellow. Males often grow beards, which would become matted with frost and icicles.   Frost giants are particularly well adapted to low temperature environments, they are impervious to harm frost and cold.   Frost giants make their homes in mountainous and cold regions, and the far south of Runetalras. They dwell within poorly maintained castles or caves.  

Stone giant

  Stone giants are a reclusive and artistic type of giants that lived in underground and mountainous environments.   The bodies of stone giants have a grey to greyish-brown skin tone, hair that ranges in a spectrum of dark greys and bluish-greys, and eyes of a silver or steel hue. Adults average about 18 feet (5.5 metres) in height and weigh about 9,000 pounds (4,100 kilograms).   Stone giant family bonds are less important than the bonds between a master and student.   Stone giants typically live within temperate mountain ranges, caves, caverns, and also the subterranean world of Runetalras, including the Underdark.  

Hill giant

  Hill giants are considered a primitive and degenerative form of giant defined by stupidity and gluttony. They are the shortest giants in stature normally standing around 16 feet (4.9 metres) tall, and weighing around 4,500 pounds (2,000 kilograms).   Hill giants are solitary creatures that tend to wander the lands alone or in small groups, settling for short periods of time when they find a rich food source. The nomadic race can be found in many locations throughout the known world, terrorising the countryside of countries. A hill giant can consume an entire herd of livestock in a sitting, and will devastate any village they come across, pulling out and eating anything he they find amidst the stomped and splintered structures.   Breweries are especially favoured targets, as hill giants are notorious drunkards. Once a Giant has cleaned up all the available food within a region, they move on to find more fertile and unspoiled lands, often leaving behind the bones and husks of many villagers and their ruined villages in his wake.   Occasionally hill giants can be persuaded to join with mercancery or criminal groups, where they serve as effective and brutal enforcers.   Hill giants are the most recent type of giant to emerge, and their emergence is an uncomfortable one for the giant races. Inbreeding became common as giant numbers plummeted at the end of the age of the titans and giants became less able to breed with those outside their immediate family and clan, eventually resulting in the deformed hill giants.  

Notable Giants

  Mithnir- Storm Giant - Was the leader of the Fangs, a criminal organisation found within the City of the Sky in the Elemental Plane of Air, before the White Dragon Krasstron deposed her. Became the leader of the Fangs again when the Heroes of the Free States killed Krasstron.
Storm Giant
Cloud Giant
Fire Giant
Frost Giant
Stone Giant
Hill Giant

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