“Know Your Giants,” by Pearl Honeywine — Being an exhaustive study into the history and habitat of Norrathian giants.
Sweet and sour. Up and down. Left and right. Fire and ice. What do these pairs of words have in common? They are opposites. And some opposites have more in common than one might first imagine.
First, a discussion of the fire giant, or Krombral. They are one of the more magically adept giant types on Norrath, although they are also one of the fiercest and brutal giant races. It is said that they are titanic versions of the barbaric tribes that existed during the Age of Blood.
Fire giants are often skilled in metalwork and smithing. As they live in some of the most inhospitable areas of the world, they are able to handle the hottest materials without damage to themselves. In part due to their environment, fire giants do not need to wear much in the way of armor, but if they are armored it is of a design that no other being could make.
With their high resistance to magical forces, fire giants must be addressed directly. If one is attempting to negotiate with a fire giant, be forewarned that they have a very suspicious nature and have in the past mistaken friendly advances for aggressive behavior.
Second, a discussion of the ice giant. As ice is the opposite of fire, so the ice giant is often considered the reverse of the fire giant. This assessment is true on certain levels. Some common characteristics both giants share include their height and mass as well as the temperature extremes in which both giants dwell.
The similarity ends there between these two massive beings. Ice giants, or Kromise, were once frost giants such as one might have encountered in the land of Velious. However, during the Elder Age when all the children of Rallos Zek earned the hatred of the gods of the Plane of Earth, the frost giant suffered a terrible fate — one they had brought upon themselves.
While many frost giants had been driven out of their ancestral lands by a bitter, inhospitable cold , those that foolishly remained were slowly changed from beings of flesh to beings of ice. The very blood of their veins turned to freezing water while their skin transformed into ice. Their minds, tormented by the changes of their bodies, gradually lost the ability to reason and filled with mindless fury.
The ice giant is a formidable opponent. As with fire giants, ice giants have a natural immunity to attempts to magically defeat them. It is necessary to use one’s wits and to remain calm in battle. Remember, they are enraged and the enraged do not think so clearly. This may prove the key to surviving an encounter with them.
There are, of course, other giants throughout Norrath besides fire and ice giants. Hill giants, for example, can still be found. They are not quite so imposing as their elementally challenged brethren, but they are still extremely tall. While fire giants are intelligent and ice giants mad (and is not madness simply uncontrollable intelligence?), hill giants are generally considered crude, uncivilized and stupid.
Once, a hill giant called Hammertoe stomped through Nektulos with a dwarf, who was hollering for help and generally appearing nonplussed, stuck between his toes. Hammertoe was oblivious to the thrashing of the dwarf, who remained wedged tight until the thoughtless giant stopped while crossing a river. As Hammertoe wiggled his toes in the cool stream, the dwarf worked his way free and made it to the surface.
I hope this information provides you with enough basic information about giants that you will be able to learn more about them on your own. While they can often be seen from a distance, it is only by getting up close that one will learn more about these titanic beings.