Giant deities

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In many campaign settings for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the giantish pantheon of gods consists of the leader, Annam, as well as Diancastra, Grolantor, Hiatea, Iallanis, Karontor, Memnor, Skoraeus Stonebones, and Stronmaus. Other powers worshiped by giants or giant-type creatures include Baphomet, Kostchtchie, and Vaprak.

Annam[edit]

Annam
Game background
Title(s) The Prime, the Great Creator
Home plane Concordant Domain of the Outlands
Power level Greater
Alignment Neutral
Portfolio Magic, knowledge, fertility, philosophy, giants
Domains Knowledge, Magic, Plant, Sun
Design details

Annam is the giant deity of Magic, Knowledge, Fertility, and Philosophy. Also known as the All-Father, is the creator god of the giant pantheon. His symbol is a pair of crossed hands, held palms together with their fingers facing downward. Annam takes the form of a 60' or 100+' tall giant with white hair, wearing a robe of midnight blue.

Annam fathered the gods Stronmaus, Grolantor, Iallanis, and Skoraeus Stonebones on an unnamed sky goddess. Surtr, the dead goddess Shax, Diancastra, Hiatea, Thyrm, and Karontor are also said to be his children, but perhaps with different wives or concubines. Memnor is sometimes said to be his son with the sky goddess, and other times said to be his brother, or the spawn of a world-devouring monster that Annam or Stronmaus destroyed. An enormous, hideous ogress is said to have seduced Annam, with Vaprak as the result. Annam’s Hidden Realm is on the plane of the Outlands. He originally lived in Ysgard, in a realm called Gudheim. Annam is worshipped by almost all giants, who see him as the greatest example of their own subspecies, personifying the traits that they value the most. To hill giants, he is an enormous glutton; to stone giants, he is the greatest of artists. To frost giants, he is a mighty warrior and reveler.

Annam came across the planet of Abeir-Toril at a time before the existence of dwarves, elves and humans. He met and married Othea who took the form of a mountain on the edge of the Cold Lands. They had children, who were not Annam's first (he had previously had immortal children), but they were Annam's first terrestrial children. His favourite sons were Lanaxis, Masud, Nicias, Obadai, Ottar, Ruk and Vilmos, who all went on to form one of the main giant species, and his two-headed son, Arno and Julian, went on to become ettin, meaning "runt".[1] He also believed that Dunmore was his son, but this was not the case: Dunmore's father was Ulutiu.[1]

Annam discovered that his wife was having an affair with Ulutiu and killed Ulutiu as a result. He wanted to have another child who would be able to rebuild his kingdom of Ostoria after the war with the dragons, but Othea was so upset by the death of Ulutiu that she refused. Annam tricked her to get her pregnant, and the pair reached a compromise whereby the child would be allowed to live if Annam agreed to leave Toril until it called his name.[1]

It's unclear how Ulutiu returned to life, but he made a deal with Annam whereby the giant god would spare Othea in exchange for Ulutiu's voluntary exile. Ulutiu sank into the Cold Ocean with his necklace; the sea flash-froze into the Great Glacier. Othea planned to reunite with Ulutiu but was murdered for her adultery by one of her sons, who for reasons unknown to mortals could not venture onto the ice while his mother lived.[2] The dwarf war god Clangeddin Silverbeard famously believes the only good giant deity is a dead giant deity.[2] Annam is more or less forced to oppose Clangeddin by default.

Annam first appears in the 2nd edition book Monster Mythology (1992).[3] His role in the giant pantheon of the Forgotten Realms setting is detailed in Giantcraft (1995).[1] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[4] Annam appears in 3rd edition in Defenders of the Faith (2000).[5] His priesthood is detailed for this edition in Complete Divine (2004).[6] His role in the Forgotten Realms setting is revisited in Faiths and Pantheons (2002).[2]

Diancastra[edit]

Diancastra
Game background
Home plane Wanders
Power level Heroine/Demigoddess
Alignment Chaotic Good
Portfolio Trickery, wit, impudence, pleasure
Superior Annam
Design details

Diancastra is the trickster-goddess of the giant pantheon. Her symbol is a sea-green streak, which is based on the mysterious mark she bears on her shoulder.

Her rank is given in Monster Mythology as "heroine/demigoddess," which is the same given for the hero-goddess Zinzerena.

Diancastra has many faces and wiles, from a 4-foot-tall (1.2 m), slender elven maid to a 25-foot-tall (7.6 m) giant. Two traits remain constant in all her forms: her green-flecked amber eyes and the streak of sea-green skin along her left shoulderblade. She is sometimes accompanied by a magical owl.

Diancastra is both impudent and arrogant. She often defeats her enemies by taunting them until they are enraged beyond reason, and then ensnaring them in illusions. She enjoys worldly pleasures and drinks to excess. She can charm people, especially males, merely by gazing at them. She casts elemental spells as an 18th level wizard. She can walk on water and her skin has an automatically renewing stoneskin effect.

Diancastra is the daughter of the creator god Annam and a mortal giant, most probably of the storm giant or cloud giant breeds. Like her half-sister Hiatea, she won divinity from her father through great deeds, but she did so through wit and guile rather than heroic feats in battle. Her father demanded that she circle the Oerth in an hour or less, and she did so by tearing a picture of the world from one of Stronmaus's atlases, walking around the image instead. Some believe the only reason Annam accepted this trick was that he believed that his only way back from his despair and ennui would be Diancastra and her wit and humor.

Her other half-siblings include Grolantor, Iallanis, Karontor, Skoraeus Stonebones, Stronmaus, Surtr, and Thrym. Memnor and Vaprak are also sometimes named as her relatives.

Diancastra's adventures and misadventures are long and storied. She has stolen a magic necklace from Blibdoolpoolp, snitched spellbooks from a demigod servitor of Surtr, won a drinking contest at the Seelie Court (who trained her as a bard), and solved the puzzles of Lyzandred. She has been the lover of Deep Sashelas, who gave her a sea-green mark and the ability to breathe in water. She often takes on lovers for the things they can teach or give her.

Diancastra is a wandering deity, calling no plane her home for long. She lives by her wits, solving riddles, making grim sages laugh. She searches for knowledge of illusions, bardic magic, obscure legends and lore, and handsome men.

Worshipers[edit]

Diancastra is slowly becoming recognized as a minor fertility deity among non-evil giants, who invoke her name if they wish their romances to be blessed with children. The result is often children, called by the ominous name "Diancastra's brood," as cheeky and willful as Diancastra herself. Her cult is still very small, however, and she has no priests or shamans as yet.

Grolantor[edit]

Grolantor
Game background
Home plane Tarterian Depths of Carceri
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Hunting, combat
Domains Chaos, Death, Earth, Evil
Design details

Grolantor is the deity worshiped by the hill giant race, as well as ettins, and some frost giants and ogres. His sacred animal is the dire wolf. His holy symbol is a wooden club.

Grolantor looks like a 25-foot-tall (7.6 m) hill giant, wearing several belts of woven dwarf beards. He wields an oversized club named Dwarfcrusher.

Grolantor is one of the third generation of giant gods, disdainfully called the "runts" by their elders - the other is Karontor. His mother is an unnamed sky goddess. He was banished to Carceri by his father Annam for allying himself with treacherous Memnor, but now that Annam has retreated from the rest of the multiverse, the ban no longer applies. He now splits his time between Carceri and the Abyss.

Grolantor is evil second and stupid first, disowned by his brothers for his foolishness and relative weakness. Some say he created the race of hill giants by collecting and interbreeding the runts of earlier giant broods, then further polluted this stock by mating with various serpents, medusa-like hags, and the goddess Cegilune. The ettins are said to have descended from Grolantor and a monstrous serpent with a head on both ends of her coiled body.

The god has had to flee the wrath of his sister Hiatea on many occasions. He also has many enemies among the goblinoid and dwarven deities.

Grolantor's realm in Cathrys, the second layer of Carceri, is called the Steading. The orbs above his realm are ruled by shator demodands, a weak-willed, toadying lot that cede to him their vassalage, more out of fear of the giant petitioners that make up the armies of Grolantor than out of any love for the hill giant god. His realm itself is little more than a wooden house.

Worshipers[edit]

Grolantor is worshiped by hill giants, ettins, and some frost giants and ogres.

Grolantor is strong and willfully stupid. He teaches his followers to persecute "lesser races" - that is, those smaller than hill giants. His hill giant shamans stubbornly refuse to admit they are smaller than any other giant breeds.

Ettins worship Grolantor in a dual-aspected manner, and their dogma differs from that of the hill giants in many crucial respects, often preventing alliances between the two races.

The most important thing for a follower of Grolantor is to never admit weakness, and to crush the weak.

Grolantor's priests wear dark brown armor made from horn, and adorn their heads with skulls. They regularly organize hunting parties and skirmishing warbands, and take it upon themselves to root out what they perceive as weakness among their kind and elsewhere. They are not permitted to ever back down from a challenge. Grolantor's favored weapon is the club.

Grolantor has no particular holy days, and is unusual among evil deities in that he demands no sacrifices. The closest thing to formal ritual among his worshipers is eating and drinking contests.

Creative origins[edit]

Grolantor was created by James M. Ward for the Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia (1980).

Hiatea[edit]

Hiatea
Game background
Home plane Blessed Fields of Elysium
Power level Greater
Alignment Neutral (NG tendencies)
Portfolio Nature, agriculture, hunting, females, children
Domains Animal, Good, Plant, Sun
Design details

Hiatea is the giant deity of nature, agriculture, hunting, females, and children. Her symbol is a flaming spear. She takes the form of a tanned, lithe giantess with long legs, wearing leather armor and carrying a spear that flames on her command, a bow, and a quiver of arrows. Her hair is red-golden, and her large eyes are hazel-brown. She is sometimes said to have used her spear to slay an enormous hydra, preventing its heads from regenerating by cauterizing them with fire. She is strong, confident, and an exceptional hunter.

Hiatea has two aspects. From her firbolg upbringing, she has an affinity for community, agriculture, and family. Once she discovered her true patrimony (another myth said it was due to Stronmaus' teasing), she reinvented herself as a mighty hunter and protector.

Hiatea is a daughter of Annam. Her mother was an unnamed sky goddess or, according to some myths, a mortal giant. Annam originally preferred sons over daughters, and used magic to ensure the gender of his offspring was male. Hiatea's mother hid her pregnancy from Annam and had her daughter raised by firbolgs so that Annam would never learn of her existence. When she came of age, a messenger was sent from her mother's deathbed to tell Hiatea of her true parentage. Hiatea proved herself with a series of daring feats, cumulating in an epic battle with a great monster, sometimes named as a Lernaean hydra with fifty heads and sometimes as the Tarrasque. She brought a trophy of her kill to her father, who recognized her valor and worth, accepting her as one of his own offspring. Upon learning of her existence, her brother Stronmaus celebrated by creating mighty storms that flooded the worlds and washed away great evils.

Hiatea's other siblings or half-siblings include Skoraeus Stonebones, Surtr, Thrym, Grolantor, Karontor, Iallanis, Diancastra, and possibly Vaprak and Memnor.

Because of her patronage of the wood giants, Hiatea she has begun to develop real friendships with some of the elven deities, notably Solonor Thelandira, whom she often engages with in archery contests.

Hiatea lives in Woodhaven on the wild, rugged layer of Eronia on the plane of Elysium. She often journeys to the Beastlands on hunting expeditions, impressing all who dwell there.

Worshipers[edit]

Hiatea is worshipped by giants of all species, especially females. Firbolgs and voadkyn (wood giants) of both genders are particularly fond of Hiatea, and consider her to be their special patron.

Hiatea teaches that Nature is both creator and destroyer, and that admitting defeat is the worst shame a giant can bear. Still, some prices are too high to pay even for victory, for Hiatea is a goddess with tendencies toward good.

Hiatea's priests typically have one of two roles, although the boundary between the two can occasionally be fuzzy. There are the community priests ("priests of the steadings") who tend to agriculture and the raising, protection, and education of children; there are also the protector (or sentinel) priests who patrol woodlands and forests and keeping an eye on other races. Her voadkyn protector priests go out of their way to maintain relations with the wood elves. Among the firbolg, female clerics may be somewhat more numerous than male ones, though males and females are considered of equal merit in all of Hiatea's sects. The highest priests of Hiatea belong to no community, visiting the giant steadings only to issue orders to the priests of the community.

Hiatea communicates frequently with her priests and shamans, sending omens in the form of distinctive shapes in the fires, or in flaming spheres within dying embers. Her community priests may see omens in the dreams of children. She may also send omens in the form of a gigantic (2-foot wingspan) yellow-gold moth that will spiral around flame. Her priests perceive messages in its path of flight. Those who capture the moth alive will be invisible in woodlands for days.

All of Hiatea's clerics must be capable of surviving and hunting in the wilderness. Those who lose this ability due to age, injury, or other ailment must retire.

Hiatea's favored weapon is the spear.

Once a month or so, the community priests accompany the sentinel priests and the faithful on a ceremonial hunt. Once a year, usually in the spring, they select a particularly challenging creature to kill.

Making family decisions without consulting a community priest of Hiatea is considered a minor sin by the faithful.

Iallanis[edit]

Iallanis
Game background
Home plane Olympian Glades of Arborea
Power level Lesser
Alignment Neutral Good
Portfolio Love, mercy, beauty
Domains Good, Healing, Strength, Sun
Design details

Iallanis is the giant deity of love, mercy, and beauty. Her symbol is a garland of flowers. She appears as a graceful giant, 25' in height with fair skin. She wears a short green dress from which grows living flowers. She is always bare-legged and bare-footed.

Iallanis is a daughter of Annam and the younger sister of Hiatea. She is an ally of the swanmay goddess Fionnghuala. Her other siblings and half-siblings include Diancastra, Grolantor, Karontor, Shax, Skoraeus Stonebones, Stronmaus, Surtr, and Thrym. Memnor and Vaprak are also sometimes named as her relatives. Beautiful, loving Iallanis is one of her father's favorite children.

Iallanis has a realm called Florallium, which can be found on Arborea. Florallium is a place of quiet gardens and crystal springs. It is a neutral place where terms of peace can be arranged. It is said that when the Seldarine drove the other giant gods out of the plane they allowed Iallanis to remain, as she stayed by the hearth instead of fighting. They don't respect her, though, as they do her warlike brothers and sisters.

Worshipers[edit]

Iallanis has worshipers among the cloud giants, stone giants, storm giants, firbolgs, and voadkyn.

Iallanis teaches that mercy is to be honored above all else, save the gods themselves. Beauty is to be honored above all else save the gods and mercy. Punishment will naturally come to those who do evil and rewards will naturally come to those who do good. "Kindness is the milk of might; passion is the milk of life."

Iallanis will accept any good-aligned true giant into her priesthood, treating every race as equal to the others. She would treat giant-kin such as firbolgs, fomorians, verbeegs, and voadkyn as equals as well, but this was forbidden by her father; thus, they are limited to places of lower status in her clerical hierarchy. Her clerics strive to bring the whole of giantkind into the ways of good, to show mercy to all, and to cooperate with other good creatures. Her clerics and shamans are expected to become happily married if they are to attain high rank. She sends omens to her priests in the form of floral scents, tinkling sounds, and similar gentle, pleasant events.

Clerics of Iallanis concentrate on uniting the races of giantkind, bringing mercy and absolution to those who need it, and creating beautiful things. They forgo worldly possessions beyond those they require to do their duties.

Clerics of Iallanis say prayers over every gift or meal they receive. They conduct nearly all marriage ceremonies among the giants, even those involving evil giants and priests of evil deities.

Every year, on the first day of Growfest, Iallanis's priests assemble for a grand revelry. If possible, one or more marriages are performed at the climax of the event.

Karontor[edit]

Karontor
Game background
Home plane Tarterian Depths of Carceri
Power level Lesser
Alignment Neutral Evil
Portfolio Deformity, hatred, beasts
Design details

Karontor is the giant deity of deformity, hatred, and beasts. His symbol is the head of a winter wolf. He manifests as a uniquely hideous fomorian giant dressed in rotting, stinking furs and wielding a club. He may also appear as a winter wolf.

Karontor, like his brother Grolantor, is one of the third generation of the giant pantheon, one of the so-called "runts." He is far more evil than his brother, and far more intelligent.

Karontor dwells in a mausoleum of beast and giantish bones in Minethys, the third layer of Carceri, which he calls the Rack of Injustice. He is served by petitioners and by a pack of ever-hungry winter wolves. He was banished to Carceri by Annam, who wearied of the endless fights between his sons and found Karontor the easiest to rid himself of.

Karontor despises giantkind; this reflects his own deep self-loathing. He spends much of his time in introverted self-reflection, sending avatars to kill and destroy during his infrequent fits of rage.

Worshipers[edit]

Karontor is worshipped by many fomorian and verbeeg giants, as well as other giants considered deformed by most.

Karontor's priests are encouraged to kill good creatures, using trained beasts (especially wolves) for this purpose. They urge their followers to war and conflict.

Myths and legends[edit]

Some myths say that Karontor was once beautiful and shining, but his jealousy of Stronmaus caused him to twist into a form as hideous as his heart. As the corruption grew, he descended into the underworld where he learned dark secrets from an ancient race of subterranean hags. On his return, he used this magic to twist some of the fairest mortal giants into fomorians and verbeegs as hideous and corrupt as he is.

Memnor[edit]

Memnor
Game background
Home plane Bleak Eternity of Gehenna
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Neutral Evil
Portfolio Pride, mental prowess and control
Domains Death, Evil, Knowledge, Trickery
Design details

Memnor is the giant deity of pride, honor, mental prowess and control. His symbol is a thin black obelisk. He appears as a kindly, golden-skinned giant with piercing eyes, wearing a deep blue robe. He is subtle, intelligent, charming, cultured, articulate, and cruel beyond words. Many giants consider him to be a loyal servant of Annam, but this is a lie. Memnor, in his arrogance, wishes to usurp Annam and Stronmaus and become the new leader of the giantish pantheon.

Memnor is variously said to be the son, brother, or enemy of Annam, the giant god of creation. One myth says he was born from the severed head or ripped-out entrails of a titanic, sub-sentient, planet-eating monster slain by Annam or Stronmaus.

Memnor is allied with Grolantor. Of all the gods, Stronmaus is Memnor's greatest and most implacable foe.

Memnor's realm of Thraotor can be found on the plane of Gehenna. His realm is similar to that of Stronmaus in the Beastlands, a palace built atop a storm cloud, but where Stronmaus's palace is made of silvery marble, Memnor's is made of black adamantine.

Worshipers[edit]

Memnor is worshiped almost exclusively by evil cloud giants, his chosen instruments in his bid for power. He corrupted them by telling them of their natural superiority, that they were the first-born of giantkind and that all other breeds are inferior.

Memnor teaches his followers that Annam has grown old and weak and that the fall of the ancient giant kingdoms was due to the creator god's own ineptitude. The sharpest weapon ever forged is cunning; used with surprise and secrecy, cunning will win the day.

Memnor's clerics consider keeping their true ambitions a secret to be their highest duty. After sworn into the priesthood by the cleric of Amman, they are visited by senior clerics of Memnor and initiated in a secret ceremony, where they pledge to aid their master to overthrow the god of creation and put the god of pride, honor, and mental prowess on the throne. Even their followers do not know this, viewing their deity as an honest god of racial honor and pride. Memnor's clerics also play the role of wise counselors and advocates for the underprivileged.

There is a special sign involving touching the left wrist with the index finger of the right hand that clerics of Memnor use to signal or warn one another, and several shades of meaning are possible through context and emphasis.

High-level clerics of Memnor receive wyvern servants from their god, which they summon by means of a fierce talon they wear in leather pouches around their necks.

Clerics of Memnor must be well-dressed and regal of manner. They proclaim the superiority of giants in general and cloud giants in particular.

Three times a year, Memnor's cleric hold feasts in which other giants are invited to attend. Among themselves, the clerics meet with Memnor's avatar and his wyvern servants on midnight every one hundred days. After these meetings, they gather their faithful cultists to discuss strategy and tactics.

Myths and legends[edit]

Childhood games[edit]

One myth tells of the childhood of the giant gods, when a malicious game played by Memnor and his brother Grolantor resulted in a minor war between the giants and ogres. As a result, Annam forbade either son from interfering with the affairs of giants and their kin as long as he ruled the pantheon. When Annam retreated, despairing, to the Outlands, Memnor and Grolantor managed to convince Stronmaus and Hiatea that this order was no longer valid. Since then, both have meddled incessantly.

Ancient war[edit]

A rival myth has a more epic take, portraying Memnor as an extremely ancient and clearly evil deity, perhaps Annam's brother, who tried to take control of the giantish pantheon by force. Annam and Memnor battled, neither able to best the other, until finally Annam managed to banish Memnor to Gehenna. Annam himself, it is said, retreated to the Outlands in order to recover from his wounds.

Othea[edit]

In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, Othea is the mother of all giants, giant-kin and ogres according to the mythology of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role playing Game.

Skoraeus Stonebones[edit]

Skoraeus Stonebones
Game background
Title(s) King of the Rock, the Living Rock
Home plane Wanders the Prime Material Plane
Power level Intermediate
Alignment Neutral
Portfolio Stone giants
Domains Earth, Healing, Knowledge, Protection
Design details

Skoraeus Stonebones is the deity worshiped by the stone giant race. He is also known as "King of the Rock" and "The Living Rock". His sacred animal is the cave bear. His holy symbol is a stalactite. He manifests as a huge stone giant with muscular limbs and skin like granite. He knows much of the secret banes, magics, and wonders buried in the core of the world. Skoreaus regards both Law and Chaos with suspicion.

Skoreaus is part of the second generation of giantish gods, born at about the same time as Surtr and Thrym. It is said that his brothers' evil drove him to hide himself below the world and ignore everything apart from himself and his people. When he absolutely has to, he'll deal with the gods of the dwarves and svirfneblin. He is allied with Dumathoin, and has been occasionally known to consort with the gods of the svirfneblin.

Skoreaus is the son of Annam. His siblings and half-siblings include Diancastra, Grolantor, Hiatea, Iallanis, Karontor, Stronmaus, Surtr, and Thrym. Memnor and Vaprak are also sometimes named as his relatives.

Skoraeus has no permanent home, and wanders the Material Plane and Outer Planes. Skoraeus is sometimes said to dwell at the heart of the world, where he senses all that occurs while touching stone by feeling the vibrations that reach him. Skoraeus will never venture above ground, and cannot even be gated there.

Skoreaus cares for nothing except for that which directly concerns his people, the stone giants. Stone giants, as far as he is concerned, would be better off if they never came in contact with other races at all. Skoreaus teaches his followers that beauty is truth and knowledge is power; a secret is the ultimate power and the Underdark is filled with secrets.

Worshipers[edit]

The reclusive Skoreaus is worshipped almost exclusively by stone giants, who may be found in mountains and caves in a variety of places in the Flanaess, including the Crystalmist Mountains and the Lortmils.

Skoraeus's priests wear stone gray vestments, and animal skins. They dominate stone giant society, creating an environment of stifling orthodoxy. They are grave, serious, folk, seeing it as their duty to advance their race and guarantee that stone giants continue to make ever-greating works of art and intellectual discoveries. They avoid, and teach their followers to avoid, even other races of giants, let alone other species. Their favored weapon is the warhammer. They are capable of seeing omens in the shapes and hues of rock and subterranean features, and spend much of their time meditating and creating elaborate sculptures and friezes.

Once every three months or so, priests of Skoreaus travel underground alone without food, returning four days later. They assure their followers that these expeditions are vision-quests in which Skoreaus supplies them with instructions in the form of omens and dreams.

Skoreaus's clerics force any stone giant, even those who have pledged allegiance to other deities, who violates their god's teachings to atone through meditation.

Stronmaus[edit]

Stronmaus
Game background
Home plane Wilderness of the Beastlands
Power level Greater
Alignment Neutral Good (Chaotic Good tendencies)
Portfolio Sun, sky, weather, joy
Domains Chaos, Good, Protection, War
Design details

Stronmaus (STRAWN-mawz) is the giant deity of sun, sky, weather, and joy. His symbol is a forked lightning bolt descending from a cloud that partly obscures the sun. His avatar appears as an enormous (up to 80' tall) giant with blue eyes and flowing auburn-red, wavy hair, wearing a simple gold-edged white robe. He is far more youthful and carefree than his father Annam. He is normally depicted smiling and reveling. He cannot help but smile, for the energy of life flows through him so strongly that it is hard not for him to express his continual exuberance. He revels in the storms he calls up and in the thunder that booms from his magical hammer.

Stronmaus has inherited some of his father's fickle lusts, and may send avatars simply to woo and seduce beautiful female giants.

Stronmaus is the eldest son of Annam and thus the default leader of the giantish pantheon since Annam's withdrawal, though he does not covet his father's power. He will happily defer to Annam the moment the creator god returns. Stronmaus' closest relationship is with his sister Hiatea; the two are commonly seen as a pair, the oldest and most powerful of Annam's children. His other siblings and half-siblings include Diancastra, Grolantor, Iallanis, Karontor, Skoraeus Stonebones, Surtr, and Thrym. Memnor and Vaprak are also sometimes named as his relatives.

Stronmaus often flies the skies of the Beastlands with Aerdrie Faenya and Remnis as companions. He is well-disposed toward the gods of the asathalfinare, who include Syranita, Surminare, and Trishina, and may send avatars to help them in times of need. He is also an ally of his fellow god of lightning Muamman Duathal. Stronmaus despises Memnor above all others, and will send avatars to restrict the evil cloud giant god's activities.

Stronmaus lives in the realm of Stormhold, which can be found in the Beastlands in the midnight layer of Karasuthra, though it is believed by some to be attached to Gudheim, Annam's former realm in Ysgard. Stronmaus travels the layers of the Beastlands freely, but keeps his fortress in Karasuthra because he appreciates the way the moon of the Beastlands, Noctos, reflects off his gold-adorned marble battlements.

Stronmaus, the sole greater deity known to inhabit the Beastlands, delights in soaring above the forests and savannas of the plane with his companions, the laughing, cloudlike mortai, booming his own laughter in time with theirs and creating powerful storms in celebration of life.

Stormhold itself is a mighty palace of marble adorned with gold, platinum, and gemstones rising from a truly storm cloud, guided by mortai who shoot quick lightning bolts at one another as a form of electric conversation. Within is a magical opal pool where Hiatea and Surminare often visit. This pool, potent with healing magics, appears only 100 feet long to those outside it, but infinite to those swimming in its waters. Communities of those souls who worshipped Stronmaus in life dwell throughout the cloud, forming camps and congregations and spending most of their existences in the open air.

Worshipers[edit]

Stronmaus is the patron of storm giants and non-evil cloud giants, but he is worshipped as a sky and weather deity by giants of all races. To hill giants he is a mighty fisherman, to frost giants he is a bold sailor and explorer, and to the cloud giants he is a thundering god of storms.

Stronmaus's faith stresses the cleansing and redeeming effects of rain, and the joys of freedom. Cloud giants stress the epicurean merriment of the deity, while storm giants are a fatalistic, though passionate, folk who believe life is a test of will and that most actions are futile in the face of the great elemental forces.

Stronmaus's cloud giant clerics are skilled in the arts and music. They wear fine jewelry and keep large personal fortunes; the quality of jewelry and dress is a sign of rank. They are proud and organized, and believe in ridding the skies of evil creatures.

His storm giant shaman-priests are shabbily-dressed and ascetic. They must sit atop a cold, deserted peak for 100 days without food before they are accepted into the priesthood, and they remain solitary, dealing with the creatures of the sky or sea. They are visionaries, mystics, and meditators who treat each other as equals.

Priests of Stronmaus, regardless of their breed, always stop to pray during or immediately after a rainstorm or thunderstorm. They are forbidden to build fires, though they may warm themselves by fires built by others. Stronmaus's favored weapon is the warhammer.

Cloud giants who worship Stronmaus scatter handfuls of incense and spices to the winds every morning as soon as they wake. Twice every year or so, they declare a sacred sky hunt (omjag in the giant tongue) to battle evil sky creatures such as chimeras, wyverns, and chromatic dragons. The slain beast is then ritually offered to Stronmaus.

Storm giant worshipers of Stronmaus organize ceremonies designed to demonstrate their ability to overcome earthly obstacles, testing their limits and placing them in great mortal danger. They also atone for their sins through such punishing rites as flagellation.

Surtr[edit]

Surtr
Game background
Title(s) Lord of the Fire Giants
Home plane Ysgard
Power level Intermediate deity
Alignment Lawful evil
Portfolio Fire giants, fire, war
Domains Destruction, Evil, Fire, Law, Purification, Strength, War
Superior Annam
Design details

Surtr is the lord of the fire giants. His animal is the hell hound. His symbol is a flaming sword. Surtr looks like an immensely large fire giant with crackling flames for hair and eyebrows. He wears armor of blazingly hot iron and wields a flaming iron sword 15 feet in length.

Surtr, a son of Annam, is part of the second generation of giantish deities, born at about the same time as Skoraeus Stonebones and Thrym. While Surtr's cult is similar to that of Thrym's, fire and ice do not mix.

Surtr rules Muspelheim, an ever-burning realm on the fiery second layer of the plane of Ysgard; the layer is also called Muspelheim, named for Surtr's realm. Surtr's domain contains portals to the City of Brass and to an efreeti outpost called the Suhkteh Albarrana where fire giants often hire themselves as mercenaries to the genies of flame. The realm of Muspelheim can also be reached through certain volcanic regions on the first layer of the plane.

At the highest point in the earthberg upon which Surtr has built his realm is a range of mountains called the Serpent's Spine. The only liquid in the realm is the Lake of Lead, a body of molten metal where the fire giants drown their criminals. Other prominent sites include the town of Njarlok, a blacksmithing site called the Forges of Surtr, and the magical tower of stone known as Surtr's Spire.

Worshipers[edit]

Nearly all of Surtr's worshipers are giants, but a select few members of other races have earned his approval. They conceal their devotion to the giant destined to end the world.

Surtr teaches that fire is pure, cleansing, and strong. The weak and impure burn, while the strong survive. Fire is useful as a tool, but must be respected. It is dangerous when uncontrolled.

Fire giant priests are normally architects or smiths. Those few who aren't are charged with the responsibility of keeping the rest of the tribe productive, largely by recounting inspirational tales.

Clerics of Surtr wear war helms and iron plate. Their color is fiery red, and Surtr's favored weapon is the greatsword.

Surtr's temples in the lands of men are hidden affairs. Those that are not hidden are huge buildings ringing with the sounds of forges and storing weapons in preparation for the battle at the end of the world. Visitors have only a few seconds to prove their intentions before the fire giants attack. Fire giants do not enjoy leaving witnesses to their activities.

The holy day of Surtr is the Summer Solstice. Surtr does not demand sacrifice or propitiation.

Myths and legends[edit]

Ragnarok[edit]

At Ragnarok, the battle at the end of the world, Surtr is destined to set the world on fire, burning it to ashes to make way for the new world to come. He will destroy Bifrost, the rainbow bridge, beneath his weight and that of his subjects.

Creative origins[edit]

In Norse mythology, Surtr (modern Icelandic Surtur, sometimes Anglicized Surt) is the leader of the fire giants in the south, the ruler of Muspelheim, the realm of fire. His name means "Swart" or Black, and at the end of the world, Ragnarok, his hordes will rush north like a south wind to overwhelm the gods.

In Snorri Sturluson's Edda (1179–1241): "Surtur is the one so named who stands on Múspell's border, guarding the land. His sword is flaming and as the world ends he will go out, make war against and triumph over the gods. And he will burn the whole world with fire" (Gimlé Gylfaginning, iv). Only Hodmimir's Forest will remain, because that is the only thing his sword can not destroy. He will kill the unarmed god Freyr as well.

In the final battle, Surtr and his Fire-Giants burst forth: "In Surtur's grasp the Sword of Revenge blazes, adding a blood red colour to the twilight of the whole world."

Thrym[edit]

Thrym
Game background
Title(s) Lord of the Frost Giants
Home plane Ysgard
Power level Intermediate deity
Alignment Chaotic evil
Portfolio Frost Giants, cold, ice, war
Domains Chaos, Cold, Earth, Evil, Strength, War[7]
Superior Annam
Design details

In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Thrym is the lord of the frost giants. He is a god of cold and ice, as well as a deity of magic. Thrym is a hulking menace, appearing as a mighty frost giant with white eyes, blue hair, and a constant snarl.[7] He can plunge any part of the Prime Material Plane into a state of extreme cold. His animal is the white dragon. His holy symbol is a white, double-bladed greataxe. Like Surtr and Skoraeus Stonebones, Thrym is part of the second generation of giantish deities. Although Surtr's cult is similar to Thrym's, fire and ice do not mix. Thrym is credited with creating the first minotaur from the vestige Haagenti, and with creating the first icebergs during his battle with his sister Shax.

Thrym was first detailed in Deities and Demigods (1980).[8] Thrym was detailed in the 2nd edition AD&D book Legends & Lore (1992), including details about his priesthood.[9] His role in the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting was described in On Hallowed Ground (1996).[4] His role in the giant pantheon of the Forgotten Realms setting is detailed in Giantcraft (1995).[1] Thrym was described briefly in Defenders of the Faith (2000).[10] He was detailed in the third edition version of Deities and Demigods (2002).[11] His priesthood is detailed for 3rd edition in Complete Divine (2004).[12]

Vaprak[edit]

Vaprak
Game background
Title(s) The Destroyer
Home plane Infinite Layers of the Abyss
Power level Lesser
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Combat, greed
Domains Chaos, Destruction, Evil, War
Design details

Vaprak is the deity worshiped by ogres and trolls. Vaprak is also known as "The Destroyer." His symbol is a taloned hand.

Vaprak has a humanoid form colored an exceedingly horrid mottled brown and green. He has an elemental, savage quality that endears him to ogres and trolls. Vaprak holds the other giantish gods in awe and respect, however, and fears that his race may abandon him to worship them. He is not a planner or a thinker; he merely destroys, ferociously, as quickly as he can, urging his followers to do the same.

Vaprak is an enemy of the giant pantheon led by Annam. One legend says that a vastly tall, hideous ogress disguised herself in order to seduce Annam, and that Vaprak was the result of this deceitful coupling. Vaprak himself has three sons: Anori (or Agmori), Hakuni, and Muaj, who are believed to have sired the three races of ogre magi.

Vaprak makes his home in Shatterstone, the 524th layer of the Abyss. There, he dwells in a pitiful cave at the base of a great cliff.

Worshippers[edit]

Vaprak is worshipped chiefly by ogres and trolls.

Vaprak urges his followers to combat, aggression, and frenzy; his own fears help fuel his anxiousness that they keep themselves busy.

Vaprak's priests wear blood red plate mail and war helms. They must be ferocious and constantly on the look out for opportunities to fight. They must devour all they can, but remain physically fit. They often exercise by ritually bashing one another with clubs, which helps determine rank in their violent society. Vaprak's favored weapon is the greatclub.

Vaprak is worshiped in the lairs and dens of ogres and trolls.

One curious rite practiced among the ogres of one tribe is the "Six Day Night," where ambitious tribesmen demonstrate their loyalty to Vaprak and their tribal leader by being placed in a dark cavern for six days with no food and only a small amount of water. If the initiate survives this ordeal, his status is greatly increased.

Creative origins[edit]

Vaprak was created by James M. Ward for Deities and Demigods (1980).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Winninger, Ray. Giantcraft (TSR, 1995)
  2. ^ a b c Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
  3. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  4. ^ a b McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  5. ^ Redman, Rich, and James Wyatt. Defenders of the Faith (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  6. ^ Noonan, David. Complete Divine. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004
  7. ^ a b Baur, Wolfgang, James Jacobs, and George Strayton. Frostburn. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004.
  8. ^ Ward, James and Robert Kuntz. Deities and Demigods (TSR, 1980)
  9. ^ Ward, James and Troy Denning. Legends & Lore. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1990
  10. ^ Redman, Rich and James Wyatt. Defenders of the Faith (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  11. ^ Redman, Rich, Skip Williams, and James Wyatt. Deities and Demigods (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  12. ^ Noonan, David. Complete Divine (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)

Additional reading[edit]

  • Grubb, Jeff. Manual of the Planes. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1987.
  • Baker, Richard, Travis Stout, and James Wyatt. Player's Guide to Faerun. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004.
  • Conforti, Steven, ed. Living Greyhawk Official Listing of Deities for Use in the Campaign, version 2.0. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2005. Available online:[1]
  • Smith, Lester W., and Wolfgang Baur. Planes of Chaos. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1994.
  • McComb, Colin, Dale Donovan, and Monte Cook. Planes of Conflict. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1995.