Monday, August 29, 2022

Pygmy Giants

Drawn by yours truly

Pygmy Giant
Number Encountered: 1d8 (5d8)
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 1 weapon
Armor: as leather
Morale: 8
Bullied Followers: Pygmy giants are often bullied or otherwise forced into submission by other giants and sometimes the few humans who come by their islands, and will often be found in the service of giants and sometimes in the crews of sailors and pirates.
Herding and Fishing: Pygmy giants are avid herdsmen and fishermen; they will react violently if their herds or nets are disturbed.
Weapons: Wield clubs, stones, and spears.

Pygmy giants are children of 'Ajuj and Majuj, the monstrous pair of the far north, the twin fathers of monsters, beasts, and giants... but unlike 'Ajuj and Majuj's other children, they are much, much smaller. Having been confined to isolated islands in the Sea of Giants, or distant frigid crags on the always frozen sea far to the north, they have undergone insular dwarfism, shrinking down to just under the average size of a human. They are just as muscular and dense as true giants, however, packing a lot of punch in a rather small package. Their heavily plodding feet leave deep furrows and prints in the wet sand of their salty islands, as they herd beasts of burden and fish from the depths. However, sometimes pygmy giants are pressed into service for their larger brothers and sisters, sometimes especially callous giants depopulating whole islands of their pygmy giant inhabitants for some raiding campaign thousands of miles away. The pygmy giants are xenophobic and wary of outsiders, and resentful of their elder brothers and sisters, but size and might makes right in the terrible family of 'Ajuj and Majuj.

Pygmy giants in the northern reaches of the Land of Darkness tend to be furrier and woolier than their more southerly cousins, but there isn't a hard divide of pygmy giants into two groups, and they can be just as visually diverse as other giants.

I just really love including real world biological concepts in my games and in my settings, and insular dwarfism is such a fun phenomenon! I also just love the image of little squat giants fending off adventurers trying to land on their island, or using these little guys as go to humanoid opponents in scenarios involving giants. Thinking up adventure locations using them as we speak!

1d12 Herds of the Pygmy Giants
1. Sheep
2. Walruses
3. Land octopuses
4. Cows
5. Coconut crabs
6. Giant (or normal sized) snails
7. Goats
8. Sturgeon (herded in water for their caviar)
9. Dogs
10. Pygmy wooly mammoths
11. Pygmy wooly rhinoceroses
12. Ostriches

1d12 Pygmy Giant encounter activities (home islands)
1. Spearfishing in the craggy shoals, the salty waves licking at their ankles.
2. Roasting a herd animal whole over a fire, filling the air with jokes and booming laughter.
3. Cooking one of those comically large cauldrons, or possibly a clay vessel, full of boiling broth over a fire.
4. Reciting poetry to one another in their gravelly deep voices.
5. Goading on a pair of crabs to fight each other.
6. Crushing seashells between two stones to create pigment.
7. Absentmindedly staring out over their herd, leaning on a club or crook.
8. Squeezing a very stressed looking sturgeon to push out its caviar directly into their mouths.
9. Painting an elaborate scene of dolphins and flying fish on a cliff face.
10. Curing beast skin into leather on a rack of driftwood.
11. Wrestling each other in a dusty circle on the ground.
12. Butchering a herd animal into pieces, and attempting to glean prophecies from its guts.

1d12 Pygmy Giant encounter activities (elsewhere)
1. Being beaten with a whip by a giant general.
2. Getting in a fistfight with one another, with brass knuckles made from seashells.
3. Getting their teeth pulled out.
4. Riding on wooly rhinos, two or three pygmy giants to a beast.
5. Practicing combat maneuvers in a field.
6. Roving the countryside harvesting branches to make wicker shields and arrows.
7. Rolling a boulder through the valley to bring to their giant master.
8. Hunting birds with spears and slings.
9. Groaning in pain, recovering from injuries.
10. Carrying armfuls of eggs in a panic, chased by angry chickens and/or peasants.
11. Sharpening their tusks to razor sharp points.
12. Playing games of dice carved from sheep bones, betting on meager pieces of fish and mutton.

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