Giants are rare race of humanoids that physically appear almost identical to humans (other than their size), and are endemic to the Northern, largely unexplored regions of Stormwater – though they are occasionally found in other parts of Eletreus such as in the arena of the Badlands and in some isolated parts of Tuath De where they live alone deep in the woods or in the hills and mountains.
While most are basically very stout oversized looking humans, many have some kind of strange deformity, such as cleft palates, heavily pointed ears, club feet, cutaneous growths, extreme hairiness and even a horn or two are not unusual and seem to be somewhat random in distribution, not following any specific bloodline or clan.
Though in common folklore they have a reputation for stupidity, this reputation is largely undeserved. For while they have by necessity slower metabolisms and may take longer than a human to process a rapidly changing situation, given time they are capable of intelligence that rivals the smartest human. As most giants live several hundred years, time is a luxury they usually have in abundance, and it is said that they can recall everything ever said to them and moment of their life – many even having a vague memory of their birth and others even recalling their time in the womb..
Most giants stand around twice the height of a fully grown adult human, but are typically four to six times stronger and heavier, and a single unarmed blow from a giant is enough to instantly kill even a sturdy warrior or rip them limb from limb if so provoked. A very few of their number reach truly gargantuan proportions, yet despite their fearsome size, it is not uncommon that the largest of their number are often the wisest and the slowest to aggression, with the smallest ones (close to man size) and the younger males, typically downright hostile unless in the presence of an elder.
Despite their great strength, physical prowess and considerable intelligence, giants have a slow rate of reproduction and as noted in the Giant Wars of Stormwater, and are unable to replenish their number quickly enough to survive a sustained conflict. Because of these wars, these days Giants tend to be extremely reclusive and shy, avoiding human settlements and contact whenever possible and preferring to move away and ignore them.
Giants tend to be extremely resilient to cold and hot climates both, though prefer colder locations that humans cannot access for extended periods. They are omnivorous and due to their slower metabolisms can survive long periods with only minimal sustenance relative to their size, but will feast if food supplies are plentiful and the more they eat, the faster they move and can react to the point that the footfalls a well fed giant bounding along at full speed can be heard from several miles away.
While they have little use for armor, as their skin is thicker than two gambesons and largely insensitive to pain, they do wear furs of stitched animal hides in the colder regions as extra protection against the most biting cold conditions, and are able to mine and forge steel weapons (often of surprisingly good quality, as they take their time to make them as close to perfection as possible) – primarily axes, and ‘daggers’ which are more like swords to a human (though cannot be used by a human as the handles are too thick to hold easily).
Despite their size, Giants get drunk quite easily and are typically rather ‘Happy Drunks’, often dropping their guard, talking faster than normal and will typically become quite friendly to strangers when intoxicated. While they rarely drink, if they do after much merriment and booming songs, they soon lose coordination and fall into a deep slumber which may last several days.