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

Diancastra[edit]

Main article: Diancastra

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.

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.

Grolantor[edit]

Main article: Grolantor

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.

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

Hiatea[edit]

Main article: Hiatea

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.

Iallanis[edit]

Main article: Iallanis

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.

Karontor[edit]

Main article: Karontor

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 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.

Memnor[edit]

Main article: Memnor

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.

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]

Main article: Skoraeus Stonebones

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.

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.

Stronmaus[edit]

Main article: Stronmaus

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.

Surtr[edit]

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.

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.

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.

Thrym[edit]

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).[3] His role in the giant pantheon of the Forgotten Realms setting is detailed in Giantcraft (1995).[2] 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]

Main article: Vaprak

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  2. ^ a b Winninger, Ray. Giantcraft (TSR, 1995)
  3. ^ a b McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  4. ^ Redman, Rich, and James Wyatt. Defenders of the Faith (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  5. ^ Noonan, David. Complete Divine. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004
  6. ^ Boyd, Eric L, and Erik Mona. Faiths and Pantheons (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
  7. ^ 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.