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 Good sources for Giant culture?
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Mi-Go
Acolyte

Finland
9 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2019 :  07:33:06  Show Profile Send Mi-Go a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Well met, friends!

In the game I am running we are soon encountering Giant kingdoms of the Stone and Fire variety. However, as with most monsters, I find that they lack characterisation and available sources often either make them too viking/Norwegian for my tastes (rune magic, Norwegian names, horned helmets galore, Valhalla this and that) or give them only a very basic description, if even that.

I admit that Giant origin and pantheon are quite well established, as is their Ordning morality but their hierarchy, culture, goals, ambitions and culture less so.

For an example, I was very interested in the Stone Giants, who consider most of the surface world as a magical dream but noted how absent they were in most articles or books I tried to read for inspiration. Very little follow-up on this amazing philosophical detail, unfortunately.

Can the wise sages here point me towards the best sources for Realmslore in the current daily life and culture of the giant-folk of Faerun? With the massive footprint (pun intended) they've left in the history of the world you'd think the shadow left by their former empire would be longer and more detailed than this!

Edited by - Mi-Go on 23 Jan 2019 07:38:26

The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2067 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2019 :  10:12:54  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Start with giantcraft. Then Monster Mythology. Then Bestiary of Dragons and Giants. Then Against the Giants. Then the 4th E Giant books... I can't remember their names at the moment.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5395 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2019 :  12:20:09  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The 5E adventure "Stormking's Thunder" appears to have information regarding giant life and giant culture.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7761 Posts

Posted - 23 Jan 2019 :  12:44:56  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Honestly, regarding fire giants, I don't think you'll find much more on their culture because they are pretty much established as you say... they like metal.. they're worried about their honor... they're master crafters.. they like combat... they like runes.

That being said, I could picture a giant society that somewhat mirrors the concept put forth in the avatar TV series with the fire nation. I could see "fire benders" who are giants, and maybe they learn martial arts in some form (it may be boxing, wrestling, or karate/kickboxing/whatever). Maybe they also specialize in developing mechanical marvels like we see in the tv series (a humongous metal tank full of fire giants would literally decimate the terrain it crosses)

Stone giants... check out the Dodkong. On the stone giants and their ties to dreams, one of the brimstone angels brings out some "stone" giants who are more like galeb duhr, but they use dream magic. I'd agree though, the idea of stone giants somewhat acting like ents in that they move slow and spend their time in "the dreaming" might be interesting. Maybe they even experiment with various chemical compounds that induce dreams, but might kill other beings. They may have "sweat lodges" or "smoking dens". They might often talk about seeking their inner eye, and perhaps there is a tradition of psionics in some of their cultures.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 23 Jan 2019 12:47:23
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

851 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2019 :  04:39:53  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I kind of like the idea that fire giant society is inherently nihilistic, paving the way for Surtr's eventual unmaking of all that is when the End of Days finally comes. Basically, they're a society of Lawful Evil Harrims (from the Kingmaker game).
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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1494 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2019 :  11:08:08  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As for the viking influence, one thing that wonders me is that there are fire giant longships in the Moonshaes...

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7761 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2019 :  13:00:28  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

I kind of like the idea that fire giant society is inherently nihilistic, paving the way for Surtr's eventual unmaking of all that is when the End of Days finally comes. Basically, they're a society of Lawful Evil Harrims (from the Kingmaker game).



To that end, burial rituals for fire giants might involve body burning. Maybe since their bodies are so fire resistant maybe their bodies burn slowly and for days/weeks/months? This might be something that is put on display at a central point in their colonies to help people mourn.


It might also make sense for fire giants and efreeti to have a relationship of sorts. Maybe fire giant sha'irs are a thing (in 5e using warlock rules to simulate sha'irs, and requiring the pact that produces a familiar, and having a magma, smoke, or steam mephit familiar). Surtr may change the fire giants of particular skill into efreeti to serve him specifically, and these efreeti would fall out of the hierarchy of rulership of the City of Brass. This might cause some conflict with the efreeti ruling said city, especially that they serve a god. These fire giants who are changed into efreeti might actually use their magics to continue to appear as fire giants, using the disguise self variant rule in the 5e MM.


Along these lines, fire giants may sacrifice captured individuals through burning them, in a ritual that also attempts to transform them into servants of Surtr (in the forms of gen and/or mephits). This essentially steals their souls from their own deity and is a source of conflict with some other gods.

ASIDE: Contrary to the 5e monster manual, maybe this is why it believes that efreeti don't mate and produce offspring, because these fire giants-turned-efreeti may lose the ability to produce offspring, but the efreeti of the City of Brass can and do produce offspring (exactly how may be shrouded in mystery, and may actually involve ritually modifying a child born as a fire genasi once they reach the age of adulthood. This ritual may, and possibly often does, result in the death of the fire genasi before the completion of the ritual, usually resulting in the complete destruction of their body).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5395 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2019 :  22:36:36  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

As for the viking influence, one thing that wonders me is that there are fire giant longships in the Moonshaes...



I'm pretty sure there are fire giant longships near Tuern in the northern part of the Trackless Sea. Mentioned in FR5 "The Savage Frontier" IIRC.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
604 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2019 :  03:04:16  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
5E actually has great info on Dragon culture, all based on FR lore. Check out Volo's Guide to Monsters for a whole chapter on giant culture and I agree Storm King's Thunder also has a lot of info about giants in so far as the whole adventure is based on the history of the FR giants to a large extant (it frankly is far superior for describing the giants than the classic Against the Giants modules, which remain classic adventures, but don't have nearly the lore or cultural info of Storm King's Thunder). Other than that, I agree with others. Giantcraft (and to a far lesser extent Monster Mythology) is very good and the basis for the Volo's info.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7761 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2019 :  17:13:22  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You know, one thing that I've always wanted to explore, but I'm sidetracked, is what kind of beasts might giants use as beasts of burden or mounts, etc... I know we've all seen pictures of giants using say mammoths as mounts. We've all seen them on dragons, but I would think that exceedingly rare. Dire animals, which we might consider viable mounts, for the most part would be comparable to pet dogs for most giants (i.e. a dire wolf might be the equivalent of their beagle). While I could see some giants having dinosaurs as beasts of burden, for the most part, those are hard to find. Giant Elk appear to be size huge, so those might fit in with hill and frost giant cultures, and might be something they specifically breed and protect. According to the 5e monster manual, behirs were created BY storm giants to fight dragons, so I'd expect to see them amongst the higher orders of dragonkind. Hydras, remorhaz, and giant crocodiles might make ok pets, but they would tend toward the savage and untamable. Is there any BIG type creature that I'm not thinking about that would fit in well with their cultures? I mean, we've always seen hell hounds with fire giants and winter wolves with frost giants but size wise, that's comparable to chihuahuas or cocker spaniels.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4339 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2019 :  17:15:55  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm pretty sure Rocs are mentioned somewhere as mounts for giants, or I made it up and forgot

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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1494 Posts

Posted - 29 Jan 2019 :  11:20:29  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I'm pretty sure there are fire giant longships near Tuern (...) Mentioned in FR5 "The Savage Frontier" IIRC.

-- George Krashos



Exactly!

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2067 Posts

Posted - 29 Jan 2019 :  21:53:46  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, there are the Twilight Giants novels.
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