Giants Species in Saleh'Alire | World Anvil


First Descendants of the Phet

I have studied these hulking, lumbering cousins of ours for nearly three decades. What I have found over that time may astound many: That they are not at all given to the need to explore that drives most other races I have known. Instead, I watch them worhsip their Gods, tend their Mammoths, and raise their children, content to live life the simple way that it is.   It's a shame that we treat Giants as such a terrible nuisance- stealing their grazing lands, hunting their Mammoths for sport, and running them from our cities and towns simply because of how they appear to us... This will be our undoing, however. If not now, then eventually. For to disrespect them is to disrespect ourselves, as we are both kin whether we like it or not.
Varist Tomani, Phetian Anthropologist, An Ethnographical Study of Phetian Descendants
  A simple and traditional nomadic people, Giants are one of the only sapient species known to be natives of the Material Plane- descending originally from the Phet centuries ago, and deliniating into all those who likewise call the Phet their ancestors... Unfortunately there are many in Saleh'Alire, especially among the Dwarven ethnicities, who would rather pretend that such a tightly defined ancestral link did not exist. Indeed, the ostrcization of the Giantkin has been long documented- helped in no small part by their history with the Dwarves, seemingly territorial natures, and general dislike of most outsiders for a variety of reasons. Stories and myths about these elusive groups, too, play no small part in peoples' perceptions of them elsewhere.

Geographic Distribution

  While they don't travel much on their own outside of specific ancestral land ranges established when they first came to the surface, Giants can nonetheless be found just about everywhere in Saleh'Alire. Geographically, however, as far as Archivists can tell their populations have always predominantly centered around two major ranges: The Domur Mountains in southern Olienn, and the Raasla Mountains in central Rusatar.   Migration by the Orkind has also led to significant settlement in the Hiatal Mountains of southern Tolara in recent decades, making them easily one of the most prominant groups in the Talaina'Vao region. But Giants can also be found in significant number at the intersection of the Maer'Wyn, Niesen, and Caerced ranges that separate Olienn, Martova, and Castrillis from one another. As these mountains are incredibly hazardous and difficult to navigate, though, few have actually ventured far enough into any of these ranges to encounter them there.  

Physiology & Appearance

  While humanoid in build, the appearance of Giants can be greatly varied. This is especially true between the Ovarketh and their cousins the Orkind... Broadly speaking, however, there are some similarities between Giants in regards to height, weight, and overall build.   All Giants tend towards broad and frequently barrel-chested frames that build muscle density easily- leading to extremely muscular physiques with often matching strength; Giants are easily capable of hurling a boulder up to 300 lbs (140,000 kg). Above average bone density compensates for this massive increase in mass. but results in an incredibly high metabolism. Overall, this makes them large and powerful creatures, if a little less nimble and slower to move.   Despite their mammoth size and proportions, however, Giants tend to have handsome, well-defined freatures. Among the Ovarketh, this manifests in longer faces featuring a strong angular jawline, broad sloping nose, and high cheekbones. The Orkind, however, are known for their flatter, wider nose not unlike a Firbolg's, and a slight underbite due to the tusk-like growth of their lower Canines.   Skin tones themselves vary between a soft, milky colors tinged with the lightest hints of blue, green, and lavender among the Ovarketh- to the paler green tones more common among the Orkind. Texturally, their skin is thick and tough, and hard to penetrate- much like stone or bark, though only lightly textured by comparisson. Silver-grey and brown hair are likewise common respectively among those who can grow it. Most Giant males, however, still produce very little head and body hair outside of a beard.
Genetic Ancestry   Genetic Relations   Ethnicities
Common Hair Colors
Giant Hair Colors.jpg
  Common Eye Colors
Giant Eye Colors.jpg
  Common Skin Tones
Giant Skin Tones.jpg

Lifecycle & Lifespan

Pregnancies among female Giants typically last anywhere between eleven and fifteen months, with offspring reach maturity at around 25 years. By 50 years of age, most are considered to have reached the age of majority among their peoples. And although their progenitors the Phet were nearly immortal, the lifespan of Giants are significantly decreased.
Average Lifespan
150 to 400 years
Average Height
9 to 15 ft
2.7 to 4.5 m
Average Weight
400 to 1,500 lbs
181 to 680 kg
  The general life expectancy for a Giant in the modern era is believed now to be between 150 and 400 years on average depending on the ethnicity- with Orkind living longer by an average of 48 years (if female, that average is increased to 62). The oldest Giants recorded, however, were nearly 600 years old before they finally died- making them legends not only among their own people, but among other Material inhabitants as well. Many of these were the original Giants created in the Soul Forges, however, and none have been recorded to have lived that long in seceral centuries.  

Special Abilities

  As a result of their ancestry, most Giants have superior senses well adapted to dark locations and dim conditions; in general their vision extendeds into the infrared range, although it's not true infravision- allowing them to see well in low light and total darkness alike. They can hear and smell twice as well as most, as well, with their sense of smell being the most keen of the two senses. This is further aided by a double set of lungs, making Giants particularly adept for both deep subterannean environments and high alititude environments alike.   In addition to having superior senses, Giants also have superior immune systems- making them immune to nearly all diseases. Likewise, they also have a slight resistance to poisons and toxins both. That being said, Giants are unusually susceptible to nearly all forms of Lycanthropy- though medical specialists have been unable to determine why this is the case.  

Social Basics

Giant camps spring up throughout the wilderness, typically in various jungles and select mountainous regions. These aren't permanent settlements, however; though they do have a habit of utilizing the same locations over and over again, Giants are still largely nomadic tribalists by nature. As a result, these camps are only temporary sites set up as they move from place to place.
Varist Tomani, Phetian Anthropologist,
An Ethnographical Study of Phetian Descendants
Giants and their relations tend to live in tribes- either as a collection of many family units, or as a single extended family unit. Typically each of these tribes are governed by a coucil of three individuals, consisting of a Voltak, a Yngva, and a Górtra- though individual tribes and ethnicities may have their own names for these positions, or may modify their duties to better serve the tribe's needs.   Regardless of tribe and ethnicity, however, all Giants consider themselves to be bound by what is known as the Bjorak: A complex caste system which assigns rank to every individual, based on a number of social and religious factors. The exact nature of ones bjúr (or place in the heirarchy) and how it is determined, however, is unknown to all but the Yngva who assigns it to the child at their birth. And to act againts ones bjúr is widely considered to be one of the greatest evils- one which prevents the trangresser from achieving their rightful place beside their Ancestors in death.
  Ancestry is important to Giants- far more so than any other race save perhaps their Dwarven descendants; most Giants take pride in their ability to accurately trace their lineages back to Annam or Baaga, and the original Phetian Giants. This lineage is recited formally during significant social and religious ceremonies- though abreviated to only the last five ancestors when introducing oneself formally to another Giant. In the later case, reciting one's lineage helps to dictate the relationship between the two, should any of the names recited be familiar to the other.

Cover image: Reaching Hand by Min An


Author's Notes

▼ Please Read Before You Comment ▼
I absolutely love getting feedback on my setting and its worldbuilding. I love it even more when people poke and prod at it, and ask questions about the things I've built within it. I want both. I actively encourage both. And it makes me incredibly giddy whenever I get either. However, there's a time and a place for critique in particular- mostly when I've actually asked for it (which usually happens in World Anvil's discord server). And when I do ask for critique, there are two major things I politely request that you do not include in your commentary:   ➤ The first is any sort of critique on the way I've chosen to organize or format something; Saleh'Alire is not a narrative world written for reader enjoyment... It's is a living campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons. To that end, it's written and organized for my players and I, specifically for ease of use during gameplay- and our organization needs are sometimes very different than others'. They are especially different, often-times, from how things "should be organized" for reader enjoyment.   ➤ Secondly, is any critique about sentence phrasing and structure, word choice, and so on; unless you've specifically found a typo, or you know for a provable fact I've blatantly misused a word, or something is legitimately unclear explicitly because I've worded it too strangely? Then respectfully: Don't comment on it; as a native English speaker of the SAE dialect, language critique in particular will almost always be unwelcome unless it's absolutely necessary. This is especially true if English is not you first language to begin with. My native dialect is criticized enough as it is for being "wrong", even by fellow native English speakers ... I really don't want to deal with the additional linguistic elitism of "formal English" from Second-Language speakers (no offense intended).   That being said: If you want to ask questions, speculate, or just ramble? Go for it! I love talking about my setting and I'm always happy to answer any questions you have, or entertain any thoughts about it. Praise, of course, is always welcome too (even if it's just a casual "this is great", it still means a lot to authors)- and if you love it, please don't forget to actually show that love by liking it and sharing it around. Because I genuinely do enjoy watching people explore and interact with my setting, and ask questions about it, and I'd definitely love to hear from you... Just be respectful about it, yeah?

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Dec 5, 2020 18:43 by Stormbril

I love the quotes from the book added to this, and the common colours/tones on the sidebar is an excellent touch!

Dec 5, 2020 22:20 by Anna Katherina

Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying <3

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