I. Origins & Locations
II. The Second Age
The lineage of giant folk has always been in question. Some believe
that giantkin were created by the Arkati to become their servants.
Others believe that giantkin came about as a matter of interbreeding
species with various giants. This theory is most popular when
trying to divine the origins of the Wsalamir clan - many believe
the first Wsalamir were the product of a human and a frost giant.
Unfortunately, the giantfolk oral histories that covered origin
have long since been forgotten or untold, and the cave paintings
which tell the tale can no longer be found. Until either is relocated,
the exact origin to the giant folk will be unknown.
Ever since the first Chieftain Kiremgrea banded the T'Kirem Bear
Clan together, they have resided on the southeastern edge of the
DragonSpine range. Dwelling in the crook of the mountains directly
west of the ruins of ShadowGuard granted them privacy and easy
migration between plain and mountain for seasonal travel. This
also kept them within a month or two of a city, should they have
need of supplies not available in their wanderings. The Bear Clan
only breeds warriors, with the occasional ranger or rogue exception.
Giantkin displaying other aptitudes are invited to find a different
clan with which to live.
Under the leadership of their first Chieftain, Baklarin, the
Grishknel Wolf Clan broke off from the stomping grounds of the
T'Kirem clan and moved to the southernmost tip of the DragonSpine
range. They chose this area because it kept them reasonably close
to their parent clan while granting space, placed them next to
water for faster and easier coastal travel, and moved them closer
to Ta'Nalfein for the trading of information. The Wolf Clan specializes
in stealth and mechanical aptitude, thus giving rogues precedence
in its ranks. Others displaying the proper skills of hiding &
stalking are allowed, but it is no secret that rogues are the
favored class here.
The Wsalamir Arctic Clan lives far to the north, in the heart
of the frozen DragonSpine Mountains roughly a month's travel northeast
from Icemule Trace. Why their first Chieftain Aemarlantea chose
this area for their home is unknown, although some speculate that
it has to do with the clan's banders being one-half frost giant.
It is here that ninety-five percent of them reside today, with
the other five percent never wandering much further from their
icy home than Icemule Trace or Pinefar.
Traveling in small bands, or kegritsha, the Issimir Ogre Clan
spans the widest geographic area of all the giantman clans. There
are kegritsha of Ogre Clan giants in many of the major cities
all over Elanthia, including Icemule Trace, Solhaven, River's
Rest, and Ta'Nalfein. The band that inhabited Wehnimer's Landing
left several years ago with no explanation, although other Ogre
Clan members cite they were experiencing frustration at an unstable
economy and overcrowding. The first clan leader, Issimir, is rumored
to be buried where he would have been the happiest - somewhere
under a bank.
Covering the entire continent, the Araime Sun Clan likes to live
wherever the sun warms the ground below them. Their favorite places,
however, seem to be Solhaven and River's Rest. They banded under
the guidance and wisdom of Araime, who was discontent living under
the stipulations of the Bear Clan. Taking those who would accept
change with grace and love all living things, they parted peacefully
and began to wander the plains. The name Araime was taken from
the first chieftain's surname, Fahnamor Araime, as an honor to
him and his line for taking the first steps in a new direction.
The Wind Runners originated as a branch of the Sun Clan, fixating
on one concept of their recent departure from the constant warlike
stance of the Bear Clan. They believe that freedom is the most
important thing in the world: personal freedom to do as one pleases,
should it not harm another. To this end, they roam the continent,
looking for injustices done to others and offer assistance to
right them. In the event their offer is not taken, they typically
tend to quietly resolve the matter in their own fashion. The Wind
Runners were banded and formed under the leadership of Rajin Maeramil,
who recently died in a conflict with the Krolvin.
The Grot'karesh Hammer Clan have placed themselves in the most
defensible part of the Southron Wastes. Their fortress city, Kilanirij,
sits perched on the side of a large mountain south of Tamzyrr
and west of the new Ta'Faendryl. The Hammer Clan has made a science
of magical fortification here, strong enough that the city walls
give a wispy, dark blue glow at night. Construction on the city
began shortly after the first group of giantkin was exiled from
their clans. Their chieftain, Samarak the Grim, wished to keep
the ruins of Maelshyve in view via magic, so they would have the
first warning on the coming of the Second Age of Chaos.
The Grishknel Wolf Clan
III. Maelshyve to Kragsfell
During the Second Age, the giantkin of the T'Kirem Bear clan
spent much of their time battling each others' tribes. The northern
tribes of the clan would migrate south, following their whim or
their livestock, and meet up with their southern clan-mates for
a seasonal battle. The victors primarily got bragging rights only,
but in the event there was a real dispute to be hammered out between
the two tribes, it would be settled at these skirmishes.
This period of skill honing lasted roughly a millennium (the
giantkin oral histories reference a time of 15 generations worth
of friendly battle). This was stopped for a short time by the
splitting of the T'Kirem into a new clan - the Grishknel Wolf
Clan. Their first chieftain, Baklarin, felt it unnecessary to
go rushing headlong into each skirmish, and wanted to try to use
subtlety and ambush for a victory. The chieftain of T'Kirem thought
this was dishonorable and lacked courage, and threatened to banish
Baklarin from the clan if the subject ever came up again. Baklarin
took this to heart, and asked all that would embrace his way to
join him. The Bear Clan lost about a third of its numbers, and
the Grishknel Wolf Clan was born.
The remaining years, up to the Battle of Maelshyve, were spent
in even more constant practice for the Bear Clan. They would often
go so far as to travel and fight once per season instead of once
per herd migration, and the periods of battle would be much longer
and more ferocious. The Grishknel, like the Wsalamir, were not
invited to join in the practices.
The Grishknel moved south to the tip of the DragonSpine range.
They, like the T'Kirem, continued to practice, but not in the
same manner. They began to put themselves through rigorous training
to become as silent and as deadly as possible without being seen.
Baklarin also began a study of traps and of locksmithing, and
opened up an avenue of information trade with the elves of Ta'Nalfein.
Slowly the Grishknel began to gain the respect of not only the
Bear Clan, but the information traders of Ta'Nalfein as well.
The Wsalamir Arctic Clan
The Second Age was a bit more of a trial for the Wsalamir Arctic
Clan. Living far up in the northern part of the DragonSpine range,
they often were seen in the company of the wendigo. The nature
of their association is unknown at this time, although there is
quite a bit of speculation as to the relationship between the
two groups. Some speculate that the wendigo are the link between
the original giants and their current, more humanoid, form. Others
entertain theories that the Wsalamir and the wendigo have come
to a kind of friendship in their reverence for nature, and still
others wonder how far this friendship has gone behind closed doors.
Whatever their relationship, the Wsalamir were understandably
upset when the humans and elves of the north began to hunt the
wendigo. They laid traps for the wendigo, killing off all the
game in an area to force them into the open to search for food.
Once the wendigo was in the open, the hunters generally used bows
to kill them, many being too afraid to get close to one unless
it was dead.
Unfortunately, with a few other wendigo kills to his name, one
hunter named Templeton Mannelig got particularly bold and managed
to trap one and drag it back to his village alive. There they
toyed with it and tortured it, trying to find out more about its
species and fellows back in the mountains. Soon the wendigo tired,
and lost patience with the humans abusing it. It lifted back its
head and bellowed, a howl of frustration and anger lifting into
the night air. The sound echoed off the buildings and the valley,
into the mountain peaks where some of the other wendigo waited
his return. Guessing at the situation, a few of them gathered
just outside the valley where the town lay. They formed a circle
and joined hands, then also tilted their heads back and howled,
answering him. Some instinct buried deep in human nature understood
this cry, and those assembled in the village below began to stir,
becoming afraid. They told the hunter to release the wendigo,
but he said he could take many more of this kind, and killed his
captive. The waiting wendigo howled once more, then threw their
arms up to the sky and began to chant.
A thick fog settled over the village and the inhabitants began
to seek shelter, screaming at things in the depth of the haze.
The cries were slowly replaced with a low chattering, then silence,
and then the rhythmic sound of hammers smashing ice. When the
fog lifted the next day, the village was coated in pieces of frozen
and defrosted villager. The center of the hamlet had a burial
mound, with the frozen head of the hunter upon it as a macabre
The surrounding villages found this horrifying. They quickly
mobilized small groups, armed with bows, to search and destroy
any wendigo - and Wsalamir Clan giantkin. They thought the Wsalamir
taught the wendigo the powerful ice magic, and blamed them as
much as the wendigo who destroyed the village.
The hunt for the Arctic Clan and their wendigo totem lasted
just over a century. During this time, dozens of hunting groups
died, the final body count in the hundreds. Some Grishknel scouts
ended the hunt. They arranged a truce with the self-proclaimed
leader of the province up there, and he called the war off
the next day. Those that hunted the Wsalamir Arctic Clan or
their totem, the wendigo, were subject to a punishment of the
Only once was this tested - the ruler turned the offender over
to the wendigo with no further comment. The offender was never
seen or heard from again. The official retired from the public
eye shortly thereafter, amidst rumor of secret midnight meetings
with the Grishknel scouts, silver exchanging hands, and the
unusual disappearance of his daughter.
While lasting only a short time compared to most historical standards,
the Arctic Clan became even more isolationist after this series
of incidents. They are rarely seen outside the hunting grounds
of their home, but when they are it is occasionally with the mysterious
Part I: Maelshyve
IV. Events / Recent History
Maelshyve was a huge turning point for the giantkin as well as
the elves. The Battle of Maelshyve not only drove the clans to
divide further and into more diverse groups, but the result of
that division helped the giantkin to finally create their own
written language and become solidified in the worlds of trade
All existing clans of giantkin assisted in the assault on Maelshyve.
Warmaster T'Syrinal directed the efforts of the T'Kirem Bear Clan
via chieftain Geramik, the Grishknel Wolf Clan via chieftain Bolerak,
and the small group of warriors sent from the Wsalamir Arctic
Clan led by warrior Eahnimaki.
Geramik would take nothing less than the front line of battle,
so the Warmaster ordered him there to have his men break the front
line. Bolerak took his clansmen and flanked the men of the Bear
clan, firing volley after volley of arrows into the enemy ranks.
Eahnimaki and his small band were so skilled they gave support
to the first two, moving to wherever the battle raged thickest
and turned the tide.
The release of the banshees was devastating to the front line,
giantkin included. As in any battle, there were moments of bravery
and courage, but in general the screams of the banshee and the
dying ruled the field at that moment. All of the Wsalamir but
three died defending the front line and the Grishknel archers
to the sides. The Grishknel, knowing this was far too much for
them to handle, accepted the sacrifice the Wsalamir made and slipped
off into the shadows, not to be seen at the battlefield again.
The T'Kirem, following Geramik to the last, charged into the banshee
lines and died, taking an equal number of the creatures with them.
In the end, though, the wails of the banshee won out and the remaining
soldiers were forced to retreat. It was at that moment that the
Faendryl chose to unleash their new magic.
The three Wsalamir warriors were nearly all that remained at
the battlefield of the giantkin forces. They were the warriors
leading the Arctic Clan force, Eahnimaki, and his two cousins,
Kantoran and Mishka. Each had sustained many injuries, although
these seemed to be healing at an abnormally rapid rate. Seeing
the elves fall back into infighting and unrest immediately after
the battle, the three Wsalamir left them to their bickering and
Unfortunately, of those three, Eahnimaki was the only one to
return to his clan well. Mishka had sustained a strangely unhealing
wound that continually festered and rotted in her leg, and Eahnimaki
frequently carried her. In later years, he went on to be a great
leader of the Wsalamir Clan.
Mishka's wound never healed. It continued to rot, causing her
horrible pain and releasing its toxins into the rest of her body.
Whether it was these poisons, the constant pain she was in, or
the magics she had been exposed to that drove her insane, no one
is certain. Mishka's sanity slowly slipped away, and nothing her
Clan did seemed to help. Finally, late one night, she ran off
into the mountains. She was never heard from again.
Kantoran was consumed by the violence and blood lust that some
other post-Maelshyve warriors were, and was therefore banished
to the Southron Wastes until the urges left him. He later became
one of the original banding members of the Grot'karesh Clan.
It is rumored that many of the giantkin heroes had their weapons
and armor inscribed with the names of Clan members influential
in the battle, to have the spirits of those who fell watch over
the wearer or wielder of such items and give them strength. However,
many of these items cannot be found, or are in the possession
of the giantkin Warmaster, the clan chieftains, historians, or
Part II: End of the Age of Chaos
After the Battle of Maelshyve, the remaining warriors returned
to their clans and homes. They were greeted as heroes, and many
of them went on to either retire from fighting altogether or step
up to lead their clans. The end of the Age of Chaos also saw the
forming to two clans: the Grot'karesh and the Issimir.
The Issimir Ogre Clan was banded primarily out of a love of silver
and a desire to earn more. They also enjoy helping people on occasion,
constructing buildings, and guarding their creations, so they
decided to put these skills to good use. They aided in carting
the dead back to their homelands and burying them. Assisting the
rebuilding of the outer Ta'Vaalor wall also gained them work,
silver, and respect.
The first chieftain of the clan, Tormala Issimir, made the requirements
of kegritsha, tribe, and clan very important in order to keep
the clan together over the tests of time. The first level of relation
or family is the kegritsha. Translation of this word is difficult,
but the concepts it relays are blood-sworn friends or siblings.
A kegritsha usually is no larger than 7 or 8 members, with most
being 3 or 4 members. For an Issimir to betray their kegritsha
is to bring death from the other members: their silver is slowly
and systematically stripped from them, their belongings are sold
and the silver given to urchins, and their home is burned to the
ground. They are then beaten, and in some cases given a crippling
poison, then left to die in the most remote spot the kegritsha
can find. The next level of organization is the tribe, which is
a more loose (but still very binding) organization. Ogre Clan
members generally can't betray their tribe without betraying their
kegritsha, but it is possible for the kegritsha itself to not
heed its tribe. Not following the edict of the chieftain of the
Clan, however, usually finds the offending Issimir broken, missing,
Despite these strict family regulations, the Issimir continue
to thrive and grow. Several kegritsha do their clan credit by
working with the economic councils for several cities. Others
work caravan detail, making sure goods or lockers get from one
city to the next safely and without incident. Some even opt to
take a more proactive stance in lawkeeping by setting up small
districts in towns to keep an eye on, making sure the residents
are not subject to burglary and wanton destruction. The Issimir
are rarely crossed, not only for the positions of power they hold,
but the silver they amass and the skills they have make righting
a wrong against kegritsha, tribe, or clan rather easy.
The Grot'karesh Hammer Clan banded under the belief that while
the first Age of Chaos may be over, Despana is not entirely gone,
and with her return there will come another. The people that banded
the Hammer Clan were outcasts from T'Kirem and Grishknel Clans.
They seemed to have slowly gone mad after the Battle of Maelshyve,
becoming more violent, consumed by nightmares, and in some cases
totally overcome with a desire to consume blood. This period of
"insanity" often lasted a full moon cycle, then slowly lifted.
During their madness, they were banished from their Clans. Some
died. Most wandered to the Southron Wastes.
Samarak, often referred to as Samarak the Grim, was the first
chieftain of the surviving individuals. He banded them all together
under the name Grot'karesh Hammer Clan, which translates out to
"magically cursed" or "magically haunted" Hammer Clan. Some of
the elder elven scholars contend the translation is "Daemon-tainted"
but neither side has been proven, and the Hammer Clan offers no
illumination on the topic.
Samarak decided to build a fortress city in the Wastes to house
all those that were coming to join him in his vigil for the Second
Age of Chaos. He decided they should be prepared for the onslaught
of Despana's second wave, and they would need a capable structure
for the libraries he had planned. Samarak hoped to be able to
see Despana's next incarnation when it came, but felt the world,
and the Hammer Clan, would not be powerful enough to stop her
despite constant practice and preparation. Regardless, he and
the other outcasts began construction on Kilanirij - a fortress
city on the side of Asharikan Mountain. The walls of Kilanirij
are covered in protective, strengthening runes, causing the walls
to glow a faint dark blue at night.
The Grot'karesh clan primarily remains behind the walls of their
fortress-city, Kilanirij. Some wander the world, studying at various
magical academies like the one at Ta'Illistim. Others simply wander,
searching for signs that the Second Age is coming so that they
might record the knowledge and send it back to the city.
Part III: Sunfist
Approximately 25 generations ago on the peaks of Rockspear mountain,
the Highmen Tribe and the Obanmenas (Black Fang) Tribe of the
T'Kirem Bear Clan met for their seasonal battle. They climbed
to the higher ranges of the mountain, set up their semi-permanent
camps, and began the tradition of drinking and tale telling for
the first three nights. After that, the seasonal battle would
During the second day of the feasts, dwarves appeared in full
battle armor marching over the top of the hill. The two tribes
armed themselves, some of the more intoxicated members giggling
at the stout little goblins in armor. They found out quickly that
these were not bearded goblins, but dwarves. They also found out
that they were not nearly so easy to defeat as they first thought.
The battle between the Highmen and Obanmenas tribes and the dwarven
contingent lasted the entire summer. After they each realized
that neither could kick the other off the mountain, they decided
to share ale together and talk. During this time, they not only
gained respect for the dwarves, but also forged a pact that would
ally the two races. They named the pact for the peak it was signed
Part IV: Kragsfell
In the southern part of the DragonSpine mountain range, the Shartenal
mountain series has been the home to some of the tribes of the
T'Kirem Bear Clan during the fall and winter seasons for hundreds
of years. This began to change, however, when an imperial army
began to move into the territory for reasons of expansion and
Four generations before, the Baloran tribe of the T'Kirem Clan
had traveled to the western peaks of the Shartenal mountain series
as they had for hundreds of years to spend the winter. Their original
trek to these peaks was prompted by their herd migration, but
later on they moved simply for the change to climate and scenery.
Nearly a month after their arrival this time, however, they were
awakened by the tribe scouts near dawn. They had spotted a large
horde of armored humans marching into the mountains, fully armed
and in formation for battle. Not thinking the humans would come
looking for a fight so far up in giantkin land, their Chieftain
T'Syranak instructed the tribe to take loose positions about the
mountain and waited to see what would come of the visit. As the
humans approached they began to open fire with crossbows, announcing
their intent. The skirmish that followed lasted two days, with
the humans and the Baloran tribe taking even losses. T'Syranak
opted to gather more information, sending runners to the nearby
Durendine tribe of the Grishknel Clan for scouts. In the meantime,
they slowly began to work further back into the range, giving
the scouts time to gather information and allowing the imperial
army to advance deeper into terrain they were unfamiliar with.
The scouts did what they were sent for, and quietly came to T'Syranak
after a few weeks of observing the imperial army. What was discussed
is unknown, but the chieftain then made it a point to draw out
the battles between the tribe and the opposing force afterward,
as well as drawing them deeper into the mountains. The battles
were fought on and off over the period of a decade, and the humans
were drawn deep into the mountain series to a large mountain called
Kragsfell. Here the Baloran tribe made a stand, using the harsh
terrain to its fullest advantage. They stopped the imperial army
dead in its tracks, and held them to the peaks with little effort.
The army decided Kragsfell was good enough for them for the time
being, and began to fortify parts of the mountain. Over time,
the fortification merged into a fortress, and the humans began
to mine the mountains that were not their home.
This period of unrest lasted roughly a century. During this time,
the humans established regular travel routes for the ore they
hauled from the mines. The keep grew into the defensible Kragsfell
Fortress, and the army troops and miners settled within its walls.
Unfortunately for the humans, the end of this quiet time was fast
Yunnag-sihr, now the chieftain of the Baloran tribe, decided
that the humans had gotten far too comfortable on the giantkin
winter home. It was time to remove them. He called a warparty
- a summoning of all giantfolk in the area - to help him to drive
the humans from the peaks. With several small packs of scouts
from the Grishknel and a kegritsha of thugs from the Issimir,
Yunnag-sihr devised his attack on the fortress. At the darkest
point of the night, the T'Kirem attacked.
The Grishknel scouts found a ledge of unstable rock several weeks
before, and had been quietly digging up to the night of the attack.
At the signal from Yunnag-sihr, they pounded hammers on the newly
weakened ledge, and broke it at the constructed fault line. Rocks
and dirt barreled down the mountain, driving hard into the side
of the fortress. The remaining scouts filled the sky over the
battlements with arrows, removing many of the sentries posted.
As the arrows stopped, the T'Kirem rushed in the breached wall,
diving over it screaming for blood. The berserking giantkin ripped
into the forming imperial army, forcing them out the front gate
in retreat. During this time, the Grishknel moved from their perch
above the fortress to the edges of the valley trail. The army
abandoned the fortress into the waiting arrows of the Grishknel.
They fired until they were out of arrows, the bodies of the skewered
and the spilled blood making the valley slick to navigate. The
humans retreated, regrouping several miles away in a series of
vales the gold ore caravan was supposed to travel through.
The gold ore caravan traveled through the vales, but the humans
that were guiding them had been killed and thrown by the wayside.
A mile or so into the series of clearings they found the remains
of the carts and the drivers. The Issimir kegritsha had their
payment for their assistance in setting up the assault and the
plans for collapsing the fortress, and had left the melee.
Yunnag-sihr, standing amidst the carnage and destruction of the
fortress as the sun rose over the eastern wall, ordered the mines
closed and the fortress ripped down. That night began a three
decade war between the imperial army and the T'Kirem Clan. The
battles raged all over the span of the Shartenal (the humans named
it the Highmount range) mountain series, driving the humans steadily
back out of the valley.
The primary advance of the giantkin to regain their home came
to a slow halt when their leader Yunnag-sihr died twenty years
after the assault on Kragsfell. His tribe, as well as all the
other members of the clan present, wrapped the body and carried
it to the highest of the peaks. There they built a huge pyre and
placed him on it, and after a day of chanting his deeds and wishes
to the heavens, lit the fire. The flames leapt high into the night
air, visible even to some as far away as Tamzyrr. After the ceremony
was complete, the tribe acknowledged Krulgon as the new chieftain,
having been named such by the late Yunnag. There was a brief induction
ceremony and a speech by Krulgon, then the giantkin began down
It was at this time the Grishknel scouts left the T'Kirem warparty.
They felt that Krulgon was too headstrong, and predicted he would
lead the tribe into unnecessarily dangerous situations. Krulgon
bade them leave and return home, as he was filled with the triumphs
that Yunnag had achieved and the visions of success from his shaman.
He told them they would finish the expulsion of the humans on
his own, without their shadowy ways.
The warparty re-formed at the base of the peaks and planned the
next places they would drive the humans from. The dawn of the
next day, they set out to not only push them out of the valley,
but from the Shartenal range entirely. Driving the humans toward
the foothills went quickly, many of the clashes just skirmishes
to test the strength of the horde and their leader it seemed.
After several years of this guerilla-style fighting from the
imperial army, the warparty pursued a small group of troops from
the imperial army into a clearing later named Wefter's Vale. It
was here the imperial army made a stand against the tide of the
T'Kirem warparty. General Reminord led his troops to overwhelming
victory by nearly surrounding the T'Kirem in the vale. The Battle
of Wefter's Vale lasted nearly a full day, but the imperial army
took nearly 60% of Krulgon's forces and lost less than a third
of their own. The warparty retreated into the peaks, and after
viewing the remainder of his force Krulgon decided to use Yunnag's
strategy to prevent further massacre.
The bloodshed continued for another twenty years. The clan didn't
have enough numbers to inflict sufficient damage to press the
imperial army back, but the imperial army couldn't overcome the
natural defenses of the mountain to finish the tribes off. The
T'Kirem eventually found themselves within sight of the ruins
of Kragsfell fortress, and Krulgon decided to place his tribes
to either side of it. Should the army try to move further into
Lost Soul Pass than the ruins, then they would use the rocky cliffs
to either side of the pass to crush the imperial army.
Fortunately for both sides, the army chose to stop at the ruins
to Kragsfell. They camped and regained their strength, and sent
messengers back to Tamzyrr to begin sending materials and craftsmen
to rebuild the keep. Several weeks passed, and the fortress began
reconstruction. The imperial army remained in case the giantkin
attacked, but no attack came. Krulgon had taken a consensus from
his tribe and the other T'Kirem clans there and they had all opted
to let the matter drop.
The others that had joined the Baloran tribe when Yunnag-sihr
called the warparty went back to their homelands. Krulgon moved
the tribe to the north, returning to the lands they called home
before clashing with the imperial human army over a century ago.
The Festival of the Dead at Kilanirij
Highman Games at Jirkirl's Hilltop
Every decade since the end of the Undead War, the Grot'karesh
Hammer Clan holds a Festival of the Dead. This is done to remember
those that fell at the Battle of Maelshyve, to honor those who
made it through the Time of Trial and came to be with the Grot'karesh,
and those who lost their lives to it.
The Festival is a 3-day period of remembrance. During this time,
all the members of the clan (even those away from the city) wear
only a deep-cowled black robe. At the top of every hour, a hymn
is sung to those that have passed on and reside on the other planes.
At the end of each 24 hour period, there is a ceremony that the
elder scholars perform. The ritual is led by the Arbiter (the
city's leader) who directs the Preceptors (the magical instructors
of the city) through the steps to send knowledge and wishes to
The first day, Ronlon, is a public remembrance of the dead. Those
in the taverns, libraries, and other gathering places sit and
tell tales of those long gone. Should an Arbiter or Preceptor
have been lost in the previous decade, small shrines are erected
to honor their memory and teachings.
The second day, Bolia, is for families to privately grieve their
lost ones. They attend to their family tombs below the city, cleaning
them, decorating them, and lighting them. The family lines which
have no living members are not forgotten, simply handled by the
The third day, Kamiir, is the most sacred of the Festival days.
This is the day when the living who wish to try to communicate
with the dead enter their family's tomb. Here they meditate, offer
knowledge and other gifts, or simply sit and wait. Those Grot'karesh
that choose to enact this part of the Festival are locked in the
tomb by the caretaker until the Festival is over. In earlier times,
this portion of the Festival sometimes made the participants mad,
depending on the information gained. Those that remained sane
often discovered that what they found out they couldn't make sense
of. The last several centuries of the Festival, though, has led
to increasingly fewer communications from the other side and many
fewer cases of insanity.
As the sun rises, marking the beginning of the fourth day since
the start of the Festival, the living that are locked in the tombs
are released by their family members or the caretaker. Those that
did not retain their sanity are taken by their family and one
of the Preceptors to the Asylum for study and rest.
The Death of Rajin Maeramil
Jirkirl's Hilltop is located near a half-day hike and climb from
the base of the Yuriqen tree settlement. Its founder, Jirkirl,
was an Issimir who decided to take advantage of some of the scruples
of the Yuriqen merchants who would not sell metals and other goods.
He set up several small shops with his kegritsha a small distance
away from the sylvan village on the top of a small hill. Before
long other giantkin came along to Jirkirl's Hilltop to start new
businesses, new lives, or just to get away from the larger cities
and be with other Giantkin.
During a particularly harsh winter, the Highman and Shantira
tribes of the Bear Clan decided to move off the freezing peaks
to a climate a bit more suited for their seasonal battle. The
closer they got to the Hilltop, more and more of them decided
to head to the city to replenish their alcohol supplies before
fighting. As both tribes realized all of the members of the other
were there, they decided (in quite the drunken planning session)
to forego the seasonal battle in interest of contests of a slightly
different nature. Thus was the Highman Games born.
The tribe chieftains met just outside the Tavern of the Hairless
Rolton to plot what contests would be had. They eventually settled
on Log Tossing, Hammer Throwing, Arm Wrestling, and of course
the Drinking Game. After they argued about whether the drinking
game had already been started and concluded, they decided to bring
one game their tribes played on their own time. The Shantira decided
to bring their Shantira Slalom, which consists of sitting on one's
shield and rocketing down a snow-covered slope while avoiding
obstacles. The Highmen decided on a massive Tug of War game involving
every member of each tribe and one of Elanthia's strongest ropes.
The first set of games was won by the Highman tribe, who decided
in their victory to name the event after their tribe. They also
vowed to make the Games a yearly event to replace that season's
battle. Ever since, both tribes have kept their part of the bargain
and met at Jirkirl's Hilltop to try to best each other in the
contests. A room in the Hairless Rolton depicts the victory marks
of the year's champions all the way back to the very first Games.
Rajin Maeramil, the founder of the Wind Runner Clan, was always
something of a scout at heart. When he wasn't directing clan movements
or handling similar problems, he was out searching the land for
slavers. It was in this manner he met his end.
After spending several days in River's Rest visiting some Clan
members, Rajin moved north by day toward the town of Solhaven.
Three days into his run, he discovered something troubling to
him - Krovlin raiding ships moving slowly along the coast looking
for the mouth of the river, seemingly on a course to the Rest.
Pulling out his spyglass and viewing them for a short time, he
saw a combination of warriors, scouts, mercenaries, and several
Krolvin dressed in spellcaster garb. He sent his concerns to his
clansmen in the village via crystal amulet, then set about getting
ahead of the ships in order to ambush them.
He found a semi-covered ravine and quickly grabbed a few hours
of rest in it, rising as the sun fell. Moving at top speed, he
quickly overcame the distance they made, then ran well ahead of
them the rest of the night as they slowed to navigate the coast.
In the twilight before dawn he came to a place slightly inside
the mouth of the river that would work for the ambush. He secured
his satchel, slipped into the water, and waited.
An hour later, a Krolvin scout crept along each side of the river,
watching for possible interference from parties on the land. They
failed to notice Rajin, who waited with only his eyes and nose
above the water under some foliage near the north bank. Half an
hour passed, and he saw the two slender raiding ships come into
He waited until they had both drifted by, then quietly attached
himself to the second ship's rudder. Climbing up it, he placed
handfuls of driftwood and riverweed in the hinges, hindering the
rudder's movement almost completely. Realizing that not being
able to properly steer the ship was likely to get some attention
fairly quickly, he climbed across the ship's back to the starboard
side and scaled the railing, moving onto the deck.
Once on the deck, he waited until the sailors were busy trying
to figure out what happened to the rudder before sneaking below.
He killed the below deck sentry, stuffed him below the stairs,
and proceeded to the hold to disable the ship permanently.
The hold was filled with the things Krolvin enjoy most after
conquering: oil for burning the conquered town to ash , rope for
tying the captives, netting and chests for hauling the loot, and
an excessive amount of very strong ale (which, it should be noted,
could possibly have been more flammable than the oil). Rajin dragged
the netting and rope over and tied the second hold closed, then
tapped all the oil and ale barrels open with his dagger. Flooding
the hold and below decks with oil and ale, he lit the dangerous
mixture and burst out of the first hold door. Smoke quickly billowed
out of the cracks, and flames licked up the hold openings.
It didn't take the Krolvin captain long to realize the treachery
as he spotted Maeramil running out of the hold and toward the
side of the ship. He yelled, and Krolvin swarmed to that side
of the ship to deny Rajin his escape.
A chaotic fight ensued as they caught up to him. Fighting with
a longsword and a stolen Krolvin backslasher, the chieftain of
the Wind Runner Clan began to slay or maim nearly all the Krolvin
that crossed his path. Though he took serious wounds, he managed
to kill 13 of the raiders before an explosion shook the ship from
below. Many of the sailors fell, as did Rajin. He stumbled backward,
then launched himself overboard into the murky river and stayed
below for a minute or two to further the thought that he died
in the unexpected detonation from the hold.
After surfacing, he drifted to shore, too weak from his wounds
and the blast to swim. Coming to rest near the bank on some of
the river's foliage, Rajin watched the Krolvin ship burn and the
remaining slavers crawl from the burning wreckage to join the
remaining craft. After the ship's flaming skeleton crashed into
the bank upriver, he pulled himself out of the water and back
to a cluster of trees. Realizing his time was already short, he
tore his clothes into strips and bandaged himself as best he could,
then resolved to hide and wait for his clansmen.
The group of warriors from River's Rest arrived that afternoon.
They found the wreckage of the ship, and searched until they found
Rajin, who was now fading rapidly. He imparted the tale of the
Krolvin sighting and their demise, gave them some final orders,
The warrior group carried him back to the clan meeting place
and summoned their brethren. After imparting his final orders
and requests, the group collectively built him a large funeral
pyre and placed him on it. One of the clerics performed a small
ceremony to assist the soul in its journey to the afterlife, then
they lit the pyre and camped around it for three nights. Then
they said their good-byes, and returned to their homes and lives.
"Giantman Runes" (in Giant known as
This is the largely unknown writing system of the Grot'karesh.
Using the theory that the past repeats itself, they decided it
would be important to create a written alphabet. Then they could
keep histories and see how the future was going to turn out, and
thus divine Despana's possible return to begin the Second Age
of Chaos. They attempted to teach this writing form to the other
giantkin clans, but it never caught on. Many felt the task of
transcribing thousands of years of history from stories and pictographs
too great, others simply thought the Grot'karesh mad and paid
them no attention.
The system is still around and in use today by the Hammer Clan.
Outside of that clan, those that feel the need to use written
language more than pictograms, for example marking shields and
axes, use this runic form. Some Araime and Grot'karesh have even
taken to writing with it on stones and selecting some as a means
of divination, although this meets with mixed reviews at best.
Clan Binders by Name, Tribe, and Clan
||Darkstone Bay Tribe
||Maeramil Wind Runner
|Samarak the Grim
Major Tribe Listing:
T'Kirem Bear Clan - Lanik'tal Tribe (ancient
translation, pre-Saramar, for Children of the Bear. 1st
tribe.); Obanmenas (Black Fang) Tribe; Highmen Tribe; Shantira
Grishknel Wolf Clan - Durendine Tribe (1st
tribe); Night Sun Tribe; Baloran Tribe
Wsalamir Arctic Clan - No Tribe distinctions.
Nearly all of the members are from the same geographic region,
if not the same village.
Issimir Ogre Clan - Kaprea Family (1st
family); Rakan Family; Aselmora Family
Araime Sun Clan - The Sun Clan bases their
tribes on geographic region. For example, the members of the Sun
Clan living near the Landing would belong to the Darkstone Bay
Tribe, and those living near Yuriqen would be grouped into a tribe
based on one of the mountain or forest names nearby. They wouldn't
use city/village/settlement names, and things like "DragonSpine
Tribe" gives no clue as to where that member would be from as
the range is so long. Further, there are enough tribes (regardless
of size) that listing them here would be folly.
Maeramil Wind Runner Clan - Eclipse Tribe
(1st tribe); Firewalker Tribe
Grot'karesh Hammer Clan - Hammer Clan
has no tribes. The tribe system was originally set up for giantkin
to be able to quickly identify where other giantkin they met in
the wilds came from, their general disposition, and possible skills.
The few Grot'karesh that do wander from their city sometimes refer
to themselves as Ishan (translates to "wanderer/seeker"),
but otherwise there is no distinction between clan members as
all Hammer Clan members are from Kilanirij.
T'Kirem Clan's Highmen Tribe - There is
a fairly large tribe of T'Kirem that refer to themselves as Highmen.
This term comes from the climate they normally reside in, which
is any grouping of high altitude hills or cliffs. They are primarily
fighting men, and distinguish themselves by speaking and dressing
differently from other giantkin. Kilts, dyed various patterns
and styles, are worn in place of breeches or pants. This is usually
accompanied by knee-high hard sole boots of some kind, as well
as a hard-leather pouch worn in front called a sporran. The outfit
is rounded out by a sturdy shirt and a full-length traveler's
cloak of some kind, as Highmen usually camp wherever the end of
the day happens to see them. Many of them prefer two-handed weapon
styles, but by far the favored weapon by Highmen is the claidhmore.