Category Archives: Nektulos

The Monsters

This book is titled “The Monsters – by Maria Scalius”. It is a fictional account of a young couple and how they found shelter for the night in the Nektulos Forest.
It was a dark and stormy night. A young couple, having been lost for days in the Nektulos forest, now sought shelter from the rain. As they aimlessly wandered, a bolt of lighting struck the earth in a nearby valley. As they glanced over at the flash, they saw their only hope for shelter – a castle.

As the young couple quickly approached the castle, they were relieved to see candlelights in the windows. They banged on the front door and were shortly greeted by the butler. The couple was invited inside at once and told they could stay there for the night, only as long as the master of the castle gave his permission.

The young couple was led to what appeared to be a workshop of sorts and told to wait there. All manner of strange instruments lined the shelves of the workshop, which were all arranged around what appeared to be two coffins. The young man walked up to one of the caskets, fully intent on peering inside. At that moment, a shadow stretched out from the doorway

The shadow belonged to an old man who introduced himself as Lord Everling, owner of the castle. He told them they were welcome to stay the night if they so desired. He apologized in advance, however, for any noise that might disturb their rest. He explained that tonight he would finally complete his greatest creations to date.

The young couple expressed interest in his creation. Everling invited them to watch its completion, but asked them to stay out of the way. He then called in his assistants who gathered around the coffins. All of the women were of varying ages, from little girl to young woman, yet they all shared the same face. Everling introduced them one by one, explaining they were his daughters.

For the next several hours, the couple watched as Everling, assisted by his daughters, adjusted the various instruments around the workshops. When he was done, the hush in the room was deafing. A moment later, a bolt of lightning coursed down a rod, straight into the caskets. Lord Everling stepped over to the coffins and removed the lids, smiling proudly.

Inside the coffins were nothing more than dolls, just like a child would own. Everling asked the couple what they thought, and confused, they just nodded and congratulated him on his… creations. He told them he was overjoyed that they liked the dolls. He pointed out that the hour was late and that they should all retire for the night.

The young couple were both led to their bedchambers by the littlest daughter. The child told them that they may want to consider finding somewhere else to sleep for the night, for her father wasn’t feeling well. Having seen how proud the man was of his dolls, they knew what she meant. But they also knew the dangers of the forest as well. They would take their chances this one time.

The storm broke with the dawn, and the young couple awoke. They had never felt better in their short lives. They thanked Lord Everling for everything he did for them and left. They trekked through the Nektulos forest, following a direct path straight to Freeport. They made it safely to the city, and have led ordinary lives there to this day. Well, ordinary save for one minor detail.

The couple has a reputation for purchasing clothing that are many sizes too small and even sometimes forgetting their own names. In addition to that, they have been reported to have an odd look in their eyes whenever they are in the company of small children. When asked what they’re thinking, they just smile and say “I remember when I that small.” THE END

Zeke Two Tone’s Diary

The pages are torn and difficult to decipher, but this appears to be Zeke Two Tone’s diary. Reading it might help Zeke get back his memory.

Day 28 – I have circled all of Norrath it seems, trying to find what happened to the Two Tone family. Am I really the last Two Tone? My forebears came from Nektulos Forest, but there is no one there now who remembers us.

Day 36 – Perhaps I should not have taken passage aboard that creaky freighter after all. It went aground in waters so still I could see my own reflection! There were few other survivors, the ship sank so quickly. Fortunately I had this journal in my pocket. My harp is damaged, but at least I have it as well.

Day 59 – Cannot find water. The shimmering spring I straggled to with the others is poison. Must find shelter. They came at night and took some of the men but I hid from them. What foul purpose these creatures may have, I do not know. I do not know.

Day 108 – My companions and I were rescued by the djinn, who brought us to their shining city in the sky! And yet, my heart fills with foreboding. I lacked nothing, until I asked for my harp. The response was dreadful. They separated me from the others. I am lost, in these dark caverns that hang beneath the beautiful citadel of the djinn. Are all things of beauty so corrupt? Someone comes.


The woodlands are filled with a mysterious beauty. Some of that beauty is due to the unseen influence of mana. Infused with mana, sentient beings known as treants are the guardians of the woods. This is their story.

“Treants,” by various authors — Being a collection of the thoughts and feelings evoked by these fascinating forest creatures.

“It nearly ripped my arms off.” — Griffon Barkstripper, Baubbleshire, after mistaking a drowsy treant for a willow and attempting to remove its bark to brew some tea. Lesson: A treant’s bite is worse than its bark.

“Are those…eyes?” — overheard in the Orcish Wastes, followed by a high-pitched scream. The Orcish Wastes are the known habitat of a darker form of treant that is preoccupied with exterminating any other being in its path. They apparently view everyone else as the cause of the decay in their lands. Lesson: If it has eyes, it can see you.

“A single treant can breathe life into a forest,” Daryann Stormrider, wood elf of the Willow Wood. The breath of the treant may be a source of renewing the concentration of mana within a forest, although this is not proven. Lesson: Wood elves know the woods.

“Arbos is father and mother to all trees,” anonymous dryad, Oakmyst Forest. In mythology, Arbos is often cited as the tree from which all other trees sprung. Apparently, this relationship extends to the sentient treants as well. Lesson: Even a potential enemy has parents.

“Put that out!” an elderly treant to a camper lighting an improper campfire. Treants may be living beings, but they are still made of the same fibers as other trees. Generally, if you are in a deciduous forest, the treants there will appear as deciduous trees rather than coniferous trees. Lesson: Make sure your fires are completely out before abandoning a campsite.

“It’s magic!” a Runnyeye goblin surprised by a treant, immediately before being crushed by its roots. Treants are very strong physically, however they are also well-known magic users. In some areas, magic-wielding treants outnumber other treants three to one. Lesson: This could be magic!

“Mmm. Jumjum juice,” Xanuusus, a treant in the old Northern Karana Plains. As with most sentient creatures (and some that are not), jumjum is an excellent way to make friends. There is no guarantee that this will work with all treants, but it could be worth a try. Lesson: Sometimes, it is better to give than to hoard but it may be impossible to tell when.

“Zzzzzzz…” a sleeping treant in Nektulos Forest. As they age, treants tend to become less mobile. It could be the result of their sap flow slowing, making them more sleepy. Eventually, treants pause for longer and longer naps, finally losing all mobility and turning into regular trees. Lesson: Not every great oak sprang from a normal acorn.

“Sharp axes make for small treants,” a Bloodskull lumberjack battling treants in the Orcish Wastes. Sadly, many treants have been turned into kindling by the orcs who continue to clear large swaths of land. While a lone orc is no match for a healthy treant, the orcs send in vast numbers of lumberjacks when they suspect a treant is living amongst the trees in their way. Lesson: Even the oldest and strongest can be felled by strategic planning.

I hope this information provides you with enough basic information about treants that you will be able to learn more about them on your own. Remember to walk carefully through the forests and beware of all big sticks!

The Storm Shepherds – Gremius Hazzengrav

This book is one of the Storm Shepherd series titled “Gremius Hazzengrav”. It is the story of a man raised on the streets of Freeport, his rise to notoriety, and his quest for atonement.
Gremius Hazzengrav was born the son of simple bandage merchant in the city of Freeport. When he was only a boy of seven years, he witnessed an exchange between his father and a member of the Freeport Militia. He watched as the militiaman insisted that his father needed to pay more protection money. When his father insisted that he didn’t have any more money, the militiaman ran a sword through him and left his corpse for the ratonga to loot.

Not having any other family, Gremius nearly starved on the streets. He was taken in by a ratonga who taught him how to pick people’s pockets as they passed by. Gremius was forced to give his guardian all of the coin he earned in exchange for a place to sleep at night. Ten years would go by with Gremius forced to steal for food, while the ratonga did nothing and became rich. The day he turned seventeen, Gremius walked into the sleeping ratonga’s room and slid a dagger into his throat. The next morning, he enlisted in the Militia.

While he was training to be a member of the city’s law enforcement, he received constant praise for his dedication to the job. The most praise would come from his drill instructor, and took Gremius under his wing. On the final training day, the soldier with the best scores would be made into an officer and the one with worst would be lowered into a pit of hungry, rabid hyenas. As the ceremony began, Gremius was made into an officer and an unfortunate ogre was chosen to feed the hyenas.

As the drill commander put all of his weight into pushing the lever that held the victim suspended over the pit, something unexpected happened. Instead of pushing the lever, he stumbled over it and clumsily fell over into the pit, just barely catching the lip with one hand. For you see, someone had greased the lever. The commander screamed for Gremius to help him up before he fell in. Officer Gremius walked over to the pit, looked down and said, “You killed my father ten years ago” — and then crushed the commander’s fingers with his foot. Gremius didn’t leave until the commander finally stopped screaming.

Gremius would become notorious throughout Freeport for his merciless enforcement of the law. If a merchant tried to bluff his way out of protection payment, Gremius would kill them. If a soldier forgot to salute the image of the Overlord whenever they passed one, Gremius would kill them. If a citizen walked within the city without proper papers, he would kill them. This would continue until the day that he tortured and killed some worshippers of a long forgotten god, Karana.

For the next several weeks, he would wake up screaming from horrible nightmares. He would dream of a wizened old man who stood in the center of a massive rainstorm. The winds would begin to tear Gremius apart until he would plead for the man to stop the rains. When the rains stopped, Gremius could see a broken crystal sphere that floated above a pool of darkness that was slowly seeping into the ground. All around him, endless trees would turn black and the darkness would spread, moving towards the ocean. Eventually, the darkness would surround him and finally eat his soul.

Gremius finally realized that the dreams were a vision. Not only did the darkness represent what he had become, but within them were a clue on how he could atone for all of his past rimes. He began searching throughout the Nektulos Forest for answers, but found nothing to give him insight on how he could “clean” the taint on his soul. Then he remembered the pirate’s stories of countless islands out within the ocean. He knew what he had to do.

Gremius began constructing a sailing vessel from the trees in the Nektulos Forest. He spent the next year trying to build a boat to take him to the island that he saw in his vision. Having left Freeport, he was now an outlaw and would be killed on sight, or else he would have just stolen a boat from the harbor. During the construction, he had much time to contemplate what he could to change his life around, but could never come about to a clear answer.

When he finally completed the boat, he sailed off into the Neriuss Flow. His plan was to sail upon the turbulent ocean, stopping at island after island, until he finally found the one in his dream. He spent many months searching island after island. On one desert isle he found to be inhabited by nothing more than numerous cyclopses, he stopped to refresh his water supplies. As he carefully looked for water, wanting not to disturb the natives, he came across an interesting sight.

A cyclops was about to kill what appeared to be a High Elf, sharing the same physical traits as many of his countless victims. Believing this to be his chance to atone for his past sins, he came up behind the cyclops and slew it before it could kill the elf. Not feeling the expected sense of absolution, Gremius looked at the elf and prepared to kill him in anger. Seeing the helpless person in front of him caused Gremius to remember the heinous actions he performed upon the worshipers in Freeport. For the first time since the day he saw his father killed, Gremius felt a long-forgotten emotion. Pity.

The Freeport Citizen’s Guide to Opportunity – 2nd Edition

Now that you are a citizen of Freeport, you will want to do your part to bring glory to the Overlord. There are many ways to gain prestige and earn coin. As you grow and learn, your efforts will reflect on our city. Journey through Norrath and know that your efforts will inspire our foes to reconsider their allegiance. Might is not only demonstrated by the sword, but by knowing what can be used to our benefit. Your citizenship is not affected if you discard this book without accepting the tasks. If you work on these tasks, you should keep this book until you finish them all.

On your journeys you may encounter items which are part of a larger series. You can collect these items as you travel, inspecting them to determine whether they are worthy of retention. You will find this hobby quite rewarding as you learn to identify different animals and their parts.

Once you have completed a collection, you should present them to Renny Parvat in East Freeport. He will offer rewards for your completed collections. And should you complete an entire series of collectable items, you may receive something special for your home as well. Go, then, and investigate the wilds to find the rewards beneath your feet.

Freeport’s history is filled with the greatest explorers of all times. Now that you belong to the Overlord, your finds will add to his glory throughout Norrath. You may have already identified key features throughout the city, such as the Fountain of the Fallen Soldier in the Scale Yard. You are strongly urged to take this moment to look upon the Execution Plaza in West Freeport. Go, now.

As you explore lands new to you, remember that you represent Freeport and the Overlord. He will not be well-served if you are unable to put the glory of our city before your own insignificant life. Therefore, go without fear through the lands. Should you see something interesting, investigate it more closely that you may learn more about it for your sake.

The Overlord is proud of the high literacy rate among Freeport’s citizens and he strongly encourages those who do not read to learn immediately. To this end, he has graciously allowed Sage Navarius Orvalis to set up shop in North Freeport, even though many of the tomes he sells are incomplete. Despite their lack of pages, Sage Orvalis’s tomes are fascinating.

By purchasing a tome such as “Bird Watching: The Do’s and Don’ts of Nektulos Forest,” you will explore Norrath and gain new insight into its creatures, history and the folk who inhabit our world. You can also gain new skills by completing any of the Mastery tomes available. Indeed, you are very strongly urged by the Overlord to take advantage of the Sage’s stock and to also read any tomes you find while in the wilds.

An active mind is an active soldier for Freeport. While you are going about your work for the glory of the Overlord, you must always carefully observe your surroundings. Is anything out of place? Is there an unusual object jutting up through the ground? Investigate these things, for they may provide clues to activities with which you will want to concern yourself.

Many unusual items you will find in your travels hold the keys to mysteries in which the Overlord is interested. It would behoove you to find these items and complete any task necessary to determine their exact nature. This way, if the Overlord should summon you into his Presence Chamber, you will be able to explain exactly what you know and how you came to learn these things.

One of the hallmarks of a citizen of Freeport is his willingness to take on tasks to further the reputation of the Overlord. Freeport has long been a center of commerce throughout Norrath. Look to assist the Far Seas Trading Company’s taskmasters where you find them. Strengthening our ties to commerce strengthens our economy as a whole.

Throughout Norrath’s history, there are certain items which seem to offer their owners greater protections or abilities. The Overlord is interested in these items and therefore, so must you be. Use your keen observation skills to identify those items, such as the greater lightstones. Learn how to obtain these things and you will please the Overlord.

The Overlord requires that all citizens be of some use to the city by advancing their training in their current adventuring profession. We will not have deadbeats and mendicants within the walls of Freeport. Get familiar with organizations that have a local presence. The Seafury Buccaneers are in South Freeport. You will find both high-ranking representatives of the Freeport Militia and the Coalition of Tradesfolke in West Freeport. The Dismal Rage can be found in North Freeport.

This book is only a guide to what you will be expected to look for and achieve on the Overlord’s behalf. Do not waste your time by lazing about. The Age of Destiny is upon us and only those who act quickly will reap the benefits that the world offers.

Nektulos Forest, by Torq De’Rech

When I first traveled this forest as a young dark elf I found many things fascinating. The weather here under the trees is mild and rarely changes. The air is stagnant and thick, festering with rotting life and the iron tinge of blood. Fog is prevalent, so one learns quickly to watch their step.
Nektulos Forest in the days of my ancestors was not half as dangerous as the Nektulos of today. The Nektulos of old was bordered by the Eastern end of the Commonlands, the Lavastorm Mountains and the great dark elf city of Neriak. There are rumors that the Lavastorm Mountains have been rediscovered and are in a much more dangerous state then the Lavastorm of old. There are still ruins of the old wizard spires deep in heart of the woods and ruined druid rings remain as well.

The old Nektulos was inhabited by far less species than today, but several of the old species have remained, becoming stronger through the cataclysm. The undead of old still roam, now joined by those who suffered in cataclysm. The shadowmen also remain. There were texts that were found in the ruins of Neriak that speak of worshippers of a strange god that lived in the forest, where they are today I cannot say.

The ancient dark elf city of Neriak was once protected from invaders by these woods. All the warriors knew these lands better than any interloper could ever dream of knowing them. Neriak was strong and fortified. The forest protected the entrance to the Foreign Quarter, which protected the entrance to the Neriak Commons. An invading force would have to fight through these regions before making it to the Third Gate. The Third Gate housed the training halls of the great warriors and mages. No force besides the cataclysm could have ever hoped to take on the might of the great city of Neriak. It is said that the ruins of the mighty city have been unearthed and explored.

The burial chamber of D’Morte has also been unearthed in the woods. It is told that the undead and vampires who reside within heed no visitors. As long as they remain beneath the ground the Order will not strike out against them. Let them feed on the weak; we have no other use for them. The biggest strength that the Order possesses is we know these woods as our ancestors did, none would survive challenging us here.

Nektulos Creature Catalog

Before the Rending, Nektulos often lay covered in pumice-laden clouds that obscured visibility. High winds, while rare, stir up exposed layers of ancient ash to redistribute them across the land. This area was formerly known as Nektulos Forest and is considered part of the former Teir’Dal empire.
Nektulos forms the northern half of D’Lere, separated from The Commonlands by the Razorrock Mountains. It is relatively easy to reach from Freeport, although the overland route is perilous. Off the shore of its western-facing shores lies the Neriuss Flow which is surrounded by the Tranquil Sea.

The skies of Nektulos are often hazy due to the fine ash that still drifts through its air. This blocks out much direct sunlight, keeping the region’s weather relatively stable. The air can feel stifling, however, so the few residents in the area tend to congregate near lakes or the seashore where slight breezes make living conditions more tolerable.

Much of the lowlands is covered by thick woodlands which thrive on the nutrient-rich soil. The hazy light means the plantlife is less dependant upon the sun for rejuvenation. Indeed, most of the flowers in Nektulos are night blooming specimens. The trees have developed a thick bark to withstand the weight of accumulated ash on their branches.

In the woodlands, one will find owlbears, treants and various insects. There are places in Nektulos where remnants of a distant past still find their way to the surface. It is not uncommon to encounter skeletons and other less savory (yet more elusive) forms.

Leatherfoot Tales: The Last of the Teir’Dal, Part Two

The Houndslayer and his comrades make their way through Nektulos Forest, encountering something unexpected.
The Kithicor rangers, the Leatherfoot elite and Gumpy Nattoo paused on the edge of Nekutolos Forest. They had all heard the fireside tales of ash-filled trees dropping clouds of life-choking pumice on unsuspecting travellers. After conferring about their route, the ranger who had befriended Gumpy nodded toward him: “I say let the Houndslayer lead the way, for he is crafty and shall surely lead us unscathed through these perilous woods.”

Everyone was quick to agree with the ranger, and they pushed Gumpy to the fore of the group. Gumpy had given up trying to explain himself to the admiring rangers, ever since that incident with the dread wolf. After being considered a bumpkin for most of his days, the adulation was rather pleasant. In fact, maybe the rangers were the only folk who saw his true worth! Gumpy’s heart swelled with pride as he led the way.

Three days later, Gumpy heard one of the gnomes (they were being carried in rucksacks on the Kithicor rangers’ backs) say, “I had no idea Nektulos Forest was this huge! I always thought it pretty small.” Another gnome in another rucksack further away agreed. Gumpy heartily wished an ash-laden branch would break over the little chatterboxes’ heads. They came to the edge of a clearing and stumbled into another group of Leatherfoot halflings.

The Sarge took over all the talking, never explaining why they were in Nektulos Forest, but apparently asking the way to Neriak. The Kithicor rangers frowned at the Sarge and one of them whispered to Gumpy, “Has he no shame, to stop and ask for directions thusly? Your way is much better, for it confounds those who would follow us. I name you ‘Pathfinder,’ friend.”

It seemed rather odd to Gumpy that the Kithicor rangers kept “naming” him, yet none of them ever gave out their own names. He’d asked a couple of them, but they merely laughed and said that the Kithicor rangers left their names behind with their families. An odd group, but Gumpy was getting used to their peculiar ways. Whatever strange habits they had, there was one thing for certain: they were generous in sharing their rations.

One of the Leatherfoot scouts they’d found camping in Nektulos Forest accompanied them the rest of the way through. “There’s that river again,” Gumpy heard one of the gnomes comment from the protective covering of its rucksack. At that moment, in accordance with Gumpy’s earlier wishes, the branches of the tree above it cracked and poured thick ash and pumice on its head. Unfortunately, the ranger carrying the gnome did not survive either.

“We’re down to three gnomes,” the Sarge grumbled. His rucksack bulged with the array of sprockets, gears and flizgigs taken from the deceased gnomes along the way. “One of these little fellows has got to make it to the First Gate or we won’t know how to put their mechanamagical thing to work.” The Kithicor rangers concurred and decided to gag the gnomes to keep them silent for the remainder of the journey. Gumpy was not alone in his glee.

Dawn the next day found the Leatherfoot elite and the Kithicor rangers within spitting distance of the Foreign Quarter. They could see (and smell) the trolls that inhabited the sector. A dark elf patrol wandered close by and Gumpy was very glad he had the ivy-covered gladius given to him by the rangers at hand. These dark elves looked particularly fierce.

A rustling from the nearby brush caught the attention of both dark elves who turned quickly on their heels in one coordinated, fluid motion. Gumpy could swear he saw their pointed ears prick up like a cat stalking a mouse. One of the gnomes, inexplicably out of its rucksack, stumbled out of the woods pulling the gag from its mouth. Barely had it said, “Whew!” when the dark elves surrounded it and sliced it to ribbons.

Now they were down to two gnomes. No one else among them knew how to put together the mechanamagical device meant to ensure no dark elves reinforced the forces attacking Felwithe. Things were looking mighty grim. At that unfortunate moment, Gumpy’s stomach gave a loud and irritated grumble. The dark elves stopped stabbing the fallen gnome and pricked up their ears again. Gumpy pushed on his gut with his free hand and thought, “Whoops.”

Leatherfoot Tales: The Last of the Teir’Dal, Part One

The Houndslayer’s adventures continue as he and his comrades make their way through the dangerous regions of Kithicor and Nektulos.
Debate rages through history as to the origins of the dark elves, or as they call themselves, the Teir’Dal. Considering how different they look, it’s easy to see why folks might think they’re not elves. Looking at them closely, though, one can see the tilt of their eyes and the ears and realize they really are elves. Sometimes folks call them elves and sometimes Teir’Dal.

Battles are fought every day in some form or other through the world. It seemed to Gumpy Nattoo, whom the Kithicor rangers had named “the Houndslayer,” that it would be much simpler if they could get from point A (Rivervale) to point B (First Gate) without anyone else trying to stop them. But no, that would indeed be too simple. Though the units traveled through Kithicor quickly and silently, they still ran into occasional problems.

Gumpy was tasked with relaying messages between the halfling’s Leatherfoot units and the Kithicor ranger units. As they were traveling through the woods quickly and as silently as possible, Gumpy’s messages were often late by the time they reached their destination. “And I’m about ready to pass out,” Gumpy said under his breath. “Any more running around and I will name them Gumpyslayer.”

On one of his fruitless treks, Gumpy unexpectedly encountered a group of gnomes. In the past several months, gnomes from Ak’Anon on Faydwer had been seeking refuge in Rivervale from an advancing force of dark elves. These gnomes, however, were not heading toward Rivervale but rather, away from it. “We’re with the Leatherfeet,” said one of them when Gumpy approached. “We’ve got a mechanamagical device that we’re finishing up for your fight.” “Oh,” said Gumpy blankly, “that’s nice.”

Meeting up with the gnomes wasn’t the first time Gumpy wished he hadn’t slipped out for a snack during the Sarge’s briefing. When the units camped down for the night, he tried to overhear any discussion of the forthcoming battle so that he might know their plan. He felt as though he may as well be on the dark elves’ side as he had no idea what the halflings and Kithicor units were going to do once they reached the First Gate. And what of the gnomes?

The gnomes proved a chatty group and Gumpy found himself tagging along with them more and more frequently as their journey continued through Kithicor. Every so often, an arrow would whistle out of the dark and take out one of the gnomes. For a few minutes thereafter, the remaining gnomes whispered anxiously, but in time they forgot their caution and would chat normally again. Until the next arrow whizzed in, whereupon they began whispering anew.

From their incessant chatter, Gumpy learned that the gnomes, while fleeing the battle, were also doing a favor for the high elves in Felwithe. The high elves were concerned that the dark elves would overtake the city by keeping it besieged. They’d asked the gnomes to head to Neriak to stop any reinforcements from leaving, and in turn the gnomes appealed to the Kithicor rangers and the Leatherfoot’s elite units for help.

“But what exactly are we going to do?” Gumpy asked one of the handful of gnomes left. “Why, it’s easy-peasy!” laughed the gnome, patting his chest confidently. “You see, we gnomes know there’s one way in and out of Neriak and that’s the First Gate, right? So, we’re going to take this mechanamagic device and…” At that unfortunate moment, an arrow struck the gnome and Gumpy learned nothing more about their mission.

“There won’t be any gnomes left at this rate,” Gumpy thought. “I wonder what he had in his pocket?” Slipping his fingers into the dead gnome’s coat, Gumpy located a small jumble of sprockets — or were they cogs? he could never remember — and pulled it out. It looked interesting, but Gumpy wished it had been something like venison jerky instead.

“Here, I’ll take that, son,” the Sarge’s whisper nearly caused Gumpy to leap out of his ivy-etched jerkin. The Sarge added, “Hopefully, we’ll have at least one gnome left by the First Gate or we won’t know how it’s to go together. Come on, then!” All around them, Kithicor rangers emerged from the shadows of the trees, each grabbing a gnome by the scruff of its neck before disappearing again.

Know Your Giants

“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.