Biology · Races

Giant

Overview

Giants are a sapient species of faye who, for the most part, superficially resemble large scaled-up humans. They also have a variety of unique features to properly function despite their weight and volume. With their large masses and volume, they can compensate thanks to their bodies producing lighter-than-air gases.

Quick Species Profile
(Faerie giganticus) “giant faye”
Life Expectancy
Average: 300 years
Max: 5000 years
Height:  6-9 m (20-30 ft.)
Weight: 540 kg-800 kg (1,200-1760 lbs.)
Creature Type: Faye Humanoid

Biology

Appearance

Hair: (Curly or Frizzy) Black, Brown, Blonde; White
Eyes: Brown, Green, Hazel, Blue

Skin color among most giants ranges from light tan to deep, ruddy brown. Thick dark body- and facial hair covers large parts of their skin, although the women are seldom seen with a more than modest amount of this curly hair. They also are usually a bit paler of skin, and their mass is distributed more to her hips in counter to the males upper torso.

Those few generations of giants born outside of their native lands however are becoming a bit more proportionally leaner and lighter hair colors but otherwise retain their species characteristic traits.

The exception comes with the Oni subspecies of giants, who often have skin color in bright colors such as red, blue, or rare green. Unlike other giants, they are often born with either two or one horn growing from their foreheads.

Physiological Traits

  • Immense Strength: Giants are able to perform staggering feats of strength, due to having  16 times more absolute strength than most natural humanoids. On average an untrained adult can push/pull/lift an object with a weight of 1175 kg/2590 lbs.
  • Enhanced Speed: Using their strength, Giants actually incredibly fast and agile, however due to their giant volume this speed is reduced to nil, this is why they have half the walking speed of beings 5-6 feet tall. For the smaller oni subspecies, a giant’s speed is visibly noticable as they are able to dodge rapid arrows or bullets fired.

Biomagical Attributes

  • Regeneration Factor: Faye can passively regenerate wounds in a short time via biomagical reactions speeding up the process. The extent of this regeneration can prevent the development of scar tissue and even regrow entire limbs within a few minutes to hours however these actions do not set any broken bones on its own. In addition, this trait is significantly slowed when the subject is increasingly exhausted.
  • Negligible Senescence: Giants lack any measurable deterioration from aging due to their cells high regenerative properties. They do not have any reduction in functional or reproductive capabilities past maturity. The rate of mortality doesn’t increase past old age either, meaning that most can live for centuries and are biologically immortal or ageless. Giants however are not deathless and still get ill or injured enough to die.
  • Buoyant Bones and Muscles: The bones and muscles of giants create and contain lighter than air gases within them. Their average density is reduced by this lift gas, which means that their weight is displaced by the lift gas and supported by the denser air.  When most creatures size height increase while keeping the same shape, the relative agility will be less than the original. However this same square-cube law greatly benefits giants as even small increases in size can quickly increase the volume of buoyant gas they can carry. For giants, buoyancy is an easy way to minimize the limitations of the square-cube law when increasing size, because buoyancy is dependent on density, not mass.
  • Piercing Durability– Counter-intuitively, giants are actually incredibly resistant to piercing attacks because they are fragile to projectiles. Regular sized  arrows, bullets, and even thin missiles can can pierce through a giant will pass straight in one end and out the other. The resulting entry and exit holes of arrows and bullets is so tiny in relation to the sheer size of the being, and the gas is under so little (if any) pressure, that it’s almost negligible. So giants do not explode when shot with ordinary munitions, or even incendiary bullets — fire inside thousands of cubic feet of gas, but without oxygen, is useless. And with their faye healing factor repairing their wounds, the gas leakage is fixed long before it ever affects a giant’s density.

General Diet

Although classified as omnivores, a giant’s lifestyle will mainly dictate what they will eat. The sedentary giants will partake of the many trees or animals in their territory. Traveling giants have a more variable diet, often taking cuisine from sedentary peoples they come across.

Reproduction

Because of their long lifespans and lack of many natural predators in their original habitat, giants have little libido for most of their lives, almost as low as elves. The smaller oni subspecies are an exception with some predation by a few megafauna leading to higher reproduction rates and more libido. Regardless of size, giants reproduce in the same fashion as other humanoids. Giant females will be pregnant for 9 months before birth.

Due to their size difference hybridizing with other humanoids is difficult to say the least, except maybe for oni. Reproducing with shapeshifting beings like spirits is more feasible.

Lifespan and Growth

Like that of humans except slower in time yet larger in scale.

Starting from adolescence, Giants are typically 3.65 -4.57 m (12-15 ft) except Oni who are born the same size as human children.

Subspecies

  • Oni

History

The ancestors of giants are that of early humanoid faye who travelled high into the mountains, where they wouldn’t have to compete with other mountain beings like trolls and orcs.

For some reason, they had gotten larger despite maintaining their body plan and during this process their physiology also changed and their bodies began to produce boyant gases which reduced the weight they had to carry around.

During the Ghulat Wars, Giants allied with the Faerie Courts and fought against the Shaytan invading forces and the Demons and eventually defeated them. After the Ghulat Wars Giants were sometimes hired by races of different kingdoms to provide them the battles to fight as mercenaries. As a result however, the Giants were slowly dying out due to deaths in battle they could find.

Soon the environmental disasters isolated giants back into the mountainside and those who survived were the one’s who made shelters in the caves behind the  thick mountainous forests where most remain. Some groups left these highlands and live a nomadic life around the world. One of these groups settled in the Sanreizan mountain range of Wakoku, known as the Oni with their recognizable appearance and smaller stature.

One of the smaller populations of the sapient races, giants number in the thousands in modern times though modest recovery has been increasing their numbers as of late.

 

Culture

Ethnotypes

  • Highland Dwellers
  • Lowland Travelers

Architecture

Giants in their native lands mostly take shelter in caves naturally carved out of the mountains or in they are in a group, construct longhouses. The longhouses inhabited by the Highland Giants are wood boards/bark-covered structures providing shelter for several related families. For the Travelers, they traditionally combine a household in a single long house and build a series of Longhouses in circular formations forming round villages.

Spirituality

Many giants are Naturists who celebrate nature itself to be worshipped. A significant number are of the elemental sect, who pray to idols that represent the pure (and sometimes combined) elements to bless the land with fertility.

Historically, Oni have incorporated a large amount of the Youkai belief practices with Giant naturism. Although they see themselves as followers of Youkai, there practices are syncretic with traditional giant practices.

Gender/Family

Most giants have a male dominated society, partially due to the imbalance of the sex ratio, meaning more males. Giant men generally strive to be machos– that is, confident, strong, dignified, brave men who should be overtly masculine and sexually active.  They are expected to have a wife with many children and possibly one or more mistresses.  Men are usually assumed to be adulterous by nature. Women, in contrast, are expected to be passive in responding to the demands of their husbands and to have sexual intercourse only with them and only when they are married. In reality, both men and women deviate from these ideals.  However, women are usually more often punished for it. Androgynous men may only suffer ridicule for their failure to achieve the difficult goals of machismo

Many marriages are polyandrous, usually, it is fraternal polyandry –that is, two brothers married to the same woman. This reduces the problem of determining what family their children belong to since both potential fathers have the same parents. This is due to a combination of a gender imbalance among giants where there are more males and the scarcity of land in the Hamaleh and Sanreizan mountains. The marriage of all brothers in a family to the same wife allows family land to remain intact and undivided. If every brother married separately and had children, family land would be split into unsustainable small plots. In contrast, very poor giants not owning land and the Travellers are less likely to practice polyandry, and more monogamous marriages among them.

Traditionally most giants are expected to get married.  Unmarried adults are usually pitied if they are women and distrusted if they are men. The acceptance of a division of labor based primarily on gender involves sharing the fruits of each other’s work.  For most giants, this results in women performing the routine domestic household tasks such as cleaning and food preparation as well as child rearing.  Men are usually responsible for the periodic household tasks requiring upper body strength and for work outside of the home.

Dress/Modesty

Fashion is no concern to Giants, as practically no clothes are large enough for them to wear,  so they dress themselves with clothing made with whatever material they can sew or animal hides to protect their bodies from the elements. Even Lowland travellers who may be in tropical humid areas, wear something to preserve some sense of public order and decency.

It is customary for Oni to dresss in tiger-striped clothes, as tigers are indigenous to where these giants live. Tiger skins became a symbol for strength overcoming the tigers, prompting many oni to kill tigers. Those who couldn’t kill or find tigers, made cloth dyed with a tiger pattern which became popular in places where tigers are protected.

Socialization

The Highland Dwellers and Lowland Travellers typically are gentle people who do not like violent, aggressive individuals. They along with blue Oni use parental praise and the threat of withholding praise to discipline their children. Red Oni parents tend to belittle or tease them for not behaving.

Giant children imitate what adults do in the form role-play games where they can practice and experiment with the basic skills they will need to know. Mothers and their female relatives are primarily responsible for teaching them about the world, their culture, and the occupational roles that their society has in store for them.

Magic Use

Giants in general prefer sorcery whether in the form of biomagic or their discovered endowment. Most giants spend most of their time doing manual labor and physical labor that can be assisted with sorcery. This also means that many don’t have the time to study how to prepare most spellcraft, except maybe gesture spells.

Giants have a peculiar set of magical attributes due to having rubbery bodies filled by buoyant gases. This odd combination makes them lighter and more maneuverable than expected, the living equivalent to blimps and zeppelins.

Many Giants have endowments based on some aspect of nature, or maybe somatic spells based on them. Highland Dwellers tend to have an affinity towards minerals and Oni tend to have a strong one for electricity.

Science and Technology

Transportation

Because of their large sizes, giants as a whole haven’t created their own forms of transportation.

Weaponry

Giants excel in the use of many handheld melee weaponry, although they are known by other species for favoring bludgeoning weapons like maces and clubs. Giants who have farming tools have often improvised them as weapons typically against megafauna, magical beasts, or invaders.

Oni in particular used a large amount of farming tools that became weapons like nunchaku, tonfa, or karsui gama. They are most famous for their iron clubs known as kanabo.

Communications

Giants traditionally have their own system of symbols they used as writing. The travelers also use the language and writing of the larger culture they are a part of. The oni adopted the Kanji system of the Yokai but with many terms borrowed from their original ancestral language.

Medical Treatment

Giants tend to have a rudimentary folk medicine, that focus on ingesting herbs or using messaging oils to relieve pain.

Manufacturing

Giants large size make it hard for them to craft most things in their mountainous homes. Most can make some simple tools from natural materials like entire tree trunks or large boulders. Travellers are usually employed to work with natural or artificial material collected by other races but too large for them. Oni not only live near metal ore deposits but are much smaller, giving them better dexterity to craft with metal.

 

Author’s Notes

Giants weren’t in the early drafts of the setting but a recent anime I watched convinced me they could be an interesting addition. Of course, giants left alone have a simple archetype and have a lot of reasons why the laws of physics would get in their way, especially the square cube law.

The point of this law is that with living beings, if you double a critter’s height while keeping it the same shape, you end up with four times the muscle power moving eight times the mass, so instead of having the same relative agility as the original, the double-sized creature actually has only half. The same goes for most machinery.

Then I read about some useful notes from an unexpected source: Airships, on the other hand, benefit greatly from the square/cube law, as even small increases in size can quickly increase the volume of buoyant gas they can carry. Buoyancy in general, whether it be in the air or in the water, is an easy way to minimize the limitations of the square-cube law when increasing size, because buoyancy is dependent on density, not mass.

Ergo how I came up with giants whose biomagic involves them making buoyant gases. And granted, in a hard sci fi this might have other problems but at the very least, I feel that this addition to their biology could set up interesting situations.

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