On the Shoulders of Heroes
The folk from the far North are taller and stronger than most Humans. These people have legendary stamina and seem to be largely unaffected by the winter cold. Tall as trees and almost as strong are the Half-giants. Although the Giant blood in their veins sometimes runs thin, it is undeniably there.
Adult male Half-giants typically grow a pair of short horns, which are treated like prized possessions. Female half-giants may never show horns: those that do grow them are sacrificed or left in the woods for the animals. Giants of different clans often have different types of horns. When a male Giant doesn’t grow a pair he is often treated with dismay, ridiculed by the tribe and must work hard to show his peers his worth.
Most Half-giants grow long, shaggy manes and beards as extra protection against the harsh environment. They wear practical clothing made of, and adorned by, the animals they hunt.
Artwork: Eoghan Kerrigan
Half-giants are a young race, that first appeared during the great war between Human and Giant. Their resistance against the cold allowed them to move to more desolate, inhospitable locations, where they developed their own culture, a cross between that of the nomadic people of the north and the wild Giants. Giants saw the half-bloods as a good way to track and control Humans, but they were sorely mistaken. Half-giants turned out to be headstrong, stubborn and disobedient.
In the area north and west of Gamleland the Half-giants roam the tundra and frozen forests. Sometimes they stop to trade in Mjerhemmen, where younglings who must still prove their worth are left to explore the world on their own. A number of tribes live in the mountains and hills of Vuorilas, but not in such numbers. Half-giants are viewed with suspicion, although they are valuable labourers, guides and mercenaries.
Males are dominant in Half-giant culture. They are the fathers, hunters and leaders of the clans. Proudly they display their long, braided beards and decorated horns. Disputes are settled in man on man skirmishes, often unarmed. If they do not die the losers are cast out.
Like their ancestors, the Half-giants have a harsh culture. When a tribe member has no further value they are slain or left behind. Young men have to prove themselves many times over before they are seen as adults. Traditionally this is accomplished through a long adventure, after which they must bring their trophies back to the tribe. Animals have an honoured place in Half-giant society, although they do not hesitate to kill and eat them when necessary. When they do kill an animal, however, their entire body is used in one way or another.
Half-giants worship nature and her inhabitants. They carve totems from trees, in the shape of their guardian beasts, and dance around them on cold, moonlit nights while chanting wildly. It is commonly accepted that defeating a powerful foe brings luck and prosperity.
Rules – Half-giant, lesser
- +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom. Half-giants are tough folk, but rash and impulsive.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, Half-giants have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Half-giant base land speed is 30 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: A Half-giant can see twice as far as a Human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish colour and detail under these conditions.
- +2 racial bonus on Survival, Ride and Handle animal checks concerning mounts. Half-giants are nomads and have a great deal of respect for their animals.
- Hardy: Half-giants are resistant against cold. They can survive in colder climates without having to save against hypothermia and receive a +2 bonus on saves against cold magic.
- Bull-headed: Half-giants receive a +2 bonus on saves against the effects of enchantment [mind affecting] spells or abilities and a +2 bonus on saving throws against fear.
- Giant blood: For all effects related to race, a Half-giant is considered a Giant.
- Automatic Language: Gamli.
- Favored Class: Ranger.