The race of Giants are one of the Firstborn races. There exist a handful of different sub-races of giants, but most of these are rare, uncivilized, and live in the wilder reaches of the world. The people commonly known as Giants are the group that built up the great civilizations after the Titans departed Mire-Brissay. They call themselves Gayo-Marten which means “great-people” in their own language.
Giants tend to be larger than humans, usually 7 feet tall and sometimes exceeding 10 feet in height. Humanoid in shape, though more muscular than humans, and with more prominent bone structures. Giants are hairless creatures and some have described them as having an almost rock like appearance, much like the edifices they build.
Personality and Characteristics
Giants tend to be very proper and aware of social situations. It is a rare Giant who will go against the approved behavior, at least openly. They are generally devoted to the people close to them and to the groups they belong to. They tend to believe in the power of routine and rituals and in the teachings of the elders. If they oppose something or someone they can be righteous and implacable in their opposition since they have a strong belief in their own. Giants tend to consider themselves as the best of The Races of People and can be arrogant and haughty at times. They are strongly religious and believe it is the destiny of their race to bring together the disparate parts of the world, which some believe would be the fulfillment of the Fourth Prophecy. Among individuals some will embrace this role with caring for all creatures, while others will take it as the right to be harsh in achieving their goals.
Relations with other Races
- Giants are grudgingly accepting or even admiring of Elves, though their views are quite different.
- They are antagonistic with both Dragons and the Demondim, and openly at war with the latter. The Demondim are also the one race of people that a Giant can kill with impunity.
- They have a patriarchal relationship with Janissa and accept them as members, though to a lower degree, of their society.
- They have mixed feelings towards Dwarves, sharing a love for craft and building, but disapproving of the Dwarves’ isolation and apparent love of gold.
- Relations with Humans are a mixed bag. Some humans, especially those who grew up in the lands of the Giants, are accepted as members of society, much like the Janissa. Outsider humans are considered more warily since their allegiances are so uncertain.
- Orcs are viewed with open distrust and sometimes hostility. Individual or small groups may be allowed into Giant cities and towns, but would be carefully watched.
The Giants were raised by the Titans and their culture, the Giantish culture, derives much from them. Their settlements and nations are well-ordered and emphasize building solid, long-lasting edifices. This applies both to physical things, such as buildings and roads, and to insubstantial things, such as guilds, rules for society, and military organizations. This drive to build led them to form the one world-spanning empire that Mire-Brissay has seen, the Empire of Giants, along with The Great Church, which is really the only religion of the Giants.
Everyday life for Giants is also well-ordered. Every male child, and some female, is apprenticed to a guild when he is just 15 years of age. This link to a guild, along with obligations to family, will be the two biggest influences in the Giant’s life, outside of the Empire and the Great Church which are absolutes in Giantish culture. Each organization – The Great Church, The Empire of Giants, each guild, and each house – has a strict hierarchy leadership, almost always male. Each giant is expected to listen to and obey the instructions of their leaders, as they would their father. The leaders of these groups always come from the Great Houses, the nobles of the Giants. Breaking the bonds to any of these groups is anathema in the Giantish culture. Giants are supposed to focus on what is best for the entire race, which is usually colored by what is best for their family and their guild, but not to the detriment of the Gayo-Marten in general. Peer pressure and societal views are extremely powerful influences for Giants.
A Giant is expected to place his or her allegiance to the following groups, in order of importance: The Great Church, The Giant Empire, their guild, and their house. Any other allegiance is seen as less important or invalid.
Place in History
The Giants have played a major role in the history of Mire-Brissay. They founded a pan-global empire which fostered the spread of knowledge around the world, including magical and religious knowledge. They also fostered trade and contact with the other races of the world. This, and their military might and organization, led to the eventual withdrawal of Ompre and eventually to the defeat of the demondim-spawn. Today the Giants remain a driving force in the world due to their organization, their strong cities, and their ability to communicate between the Fragments. They are viewed as the most powerful force on Mire-Brissay today.
The Great Church is the one and only religion of the Giants. Giant children are raised in the Church and the major events in a Giant’s life – birth, coming of age (joining a guild), marriage, ordainment or election, and death – are punctuated with religious ceremonies that the community participates in. Any Giant who is outcast from the Church will find life very difficult among other Giants.
Giants, especially those of a higher guild, usually speak two languages. The first is their own language, that of the Giants, and the second is the Trade Tongue.
A giant’s name reflects his or her place in society. The standard form of a giant’s name is:
Given name – father’s name – house name “a” birthplace “a” guild
For example, xxxxxxx
If a Giant earns particular honors or ranks, then these are appended to his name.
One exception is priests of The Great Church who select a new name when they are ordained. After which their birth name is forgotten and they are known by the title of their church rank and their ordained name.
Adventurers are uncommon among Giants because of the formal structure of their lives. Some adventurers are acting on behalf of their guild or country, while others have chosen to leave the formal guild hierarchy either willingly or through a forced outcasting. In most cases Giants view adventurers somewhat suspiciously since their apparent motives are individualistic.