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Wait, what do you mean by "giants"? Are we talking about the Jack and the Beanstalks kind, or the ancient forces of nature kind?
Diana Black

Giants are often depicted as humanoid creatures of abnormal size, at times hundreds of feet tall, and unlike the monstrous and ugly Ogre, a giant tended to be depicted as very much a normal human, albeit greatly magnified.

In some cultures (most notably the Norse), giants were also seen as embodiment of nature itself and were seen as formidable opponents of the gods (perhaps a throwback to memories of the Titans, a similar race of gigantic beings that warred with the Olympian gods in antiquity).

Although not as hideous or dimwitted as ogres, the giant was seen as cruel and often cannibalistic, for they would dominate some distant domain and often hoarded treasure or other goods and would sometimes attack villages or unsuspecting travelers in their spare time. Also, unlike the ogres who were almost universally evil; giants were seen as beings that could choose to be good or evil and a great number of Giants aided humanity as well as opposed it.

A female giant was known as a giantess and she was often depicted as strikingly beautiful. In most fairy tales and folklore, the Giantess was almost universally peaceful and when malignant was more of a deceiver or trickster than a brute, though exceptions existed.


Ancient empires once cast long shadows over a world that quaked beneath the giants' feet. In those lost days, these towering figures were dragon slayers, dreamers, crafters, and kings, but their kind fell from glory long ago. However, even divided among secluded clans scattered throughout the world the giants maintain the customs and traditions of old.

In remote regions of the world, the last remaining plinths, monoliths, and statues of the great giant empires bow their heads in desolate obscurity. Where once those empires sprawled across all lands, now the giants dwell  in isolated tribes and clans.

Giants are almost as old as dragons, which were still young when the giants' heavy fee first shook the foundations of the world. As they spread across new lands, giants and dragons fought bitter generational wars that nearly brought both sides low. No living giant remembers what started the conflict, but myths and tales of their race's glorious dawn are still sung in their steadings and hold fasts, vilifying the primeval wyrms. Giants and dragons continue to harbor grudges against one another, and it is seldom that they will meet or occupy the same area without a fight.

Each of the main giant races-  the cloud, fire, frost, hill, stone, and storm giants-are related by common elements of history, religion, and culture. They view one another as kindred, keeping any inherent animosity over territory and ambition to a minimum.

Giants belong to a caste structure called the ordning. Based on social class and highly organized, the ordning assigns a social rank to each giant. By understanding its place in the ordning, a giant knows which other giants are inferior or superior to it, since no two giants are equal. Each of the giant races analyzes a different combination of skills or qualities to determine the ordning. Giants make excelling in these qualities the purpose of their lives.

At the highest level of the ordning, the races of the giants are also ranked according to status. Storm giants are the highest in the ordning, followed by cloud giants, fire giants, frost giants, stone giants, hill giants, and finally giant kin such as fomorians, ettins, and ogres.

Regardless of a giant's rank among its own race, the chief of a hill giant tribe is inferior to the most common of stone giants. The lowest ranked giant of any type is superior to the highest ranked giant of an inferior type. It isn't considered evil to disrespect or even betray a giant of another type, merely rude.

Types of Giants