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The Kindred of the Hills
Ettins, more commonly known as giants, are a hominid race of great size—over twice the height of a human and often four to five times as heavy. For the most part, they are dumb and slow-witted, but some of them have intelligence comparable to humans and Dworghs. Despite the tendency of humans (and most races) to disregard giants as “monsters,” this could not be further from the truth. Giants can be skilled craftsmen, and the more intelligent ones (who can be as brilliant as any human sage) are often competent in languages and leadership, often becoming the chieftain, medicine man, or lore-keeper of their tribes. They can make armor and weapons, but their skill in metallurgy is usually limited to lead, iron, copper, and bronze; they rarely add ornaments or artistic flourishes to their works.
Mountain giants are probably the most common of all Ettins, and they live in the Carsovian Mountains, the Mountains of Fire and Ice, the Black Mountains of Norithia, and the Barrier Mountains of western Celaphania. Mountain giants are generally more intelligent than other giants, and they are competent enough with metallurgy to sufficiently arm their people. They also mine gold and precious jewels, which they trade for other goods with humans and ogres. They typically have a great deal of hair and wear the pelts of animals for clothing. Their average height is about 14 feet, and they weigh between 1600 and 1800 pounds. They make fierce warriors, and many can be found as mercenaries in the armies of the Grand Imperium.
Desert giants are a race of Ettins found only in Tarrona. They have become increasingly rare, but tribes do still exist in the deep deserts of Suddaea and the Ruballi desert. Desert giants tend to be hostile and warlike, often acting as bandits by sacking human towns and raiding merchant caravans to steal food and other goods. Their average height is around 12 feet, and they weigh between 1200 and 1400 pounds.
Hill giants, the third type of Ettins, and are only found in Celaphania and Relania, in the more remote areas away from human towns and cities. Unlike their cousins, they are more concerned with farming. They prefer to live a quiet, peaceful existence, and make their homes in great mounds of earth—like burrows—which is why they are known as “hill giants.” A typical hill giant village looks like countless rolling hills that are surrounded by fields and pastures. (The hills, of course, are their homes.) Hill giants are not warlike, but they can and will fight if necessary. Most humans still mistrust them, even though hill giants are peaceful and willing to trade. Hill giants are the smallest race of giants, reaching no more than 10 feet in height. They generally weigh between 1000 to 1200 pounds.
Half-giants are born from a mating between a human and a giant. Though extremely rare, this generally occurs between a human male and a giantess (giantesses are typically smaller than male giants), or may be a result of rape. In either event, only one in ten such matings produces an offspring. Half-giants can typically pass as large, stalwart humans. Rarely will a half-giant exceed eight feet in height, but they can grow to be nine feet tall if their human parent was already large.
If he is born to a giantess and reared in a tribe, a half-giant can be as primitive and barbaric as any giant. If he is born into human society, he may be more intelligent due to human education. If he is too tall or too unusual looking, however, he may be shunned, mistreated, or even driven away. Like most hybrids, half-giants are sterile.