Re: Shadows Dance and the GIant Land adjacent

From: jorganos <joe_at_CDbq5x1fn7OXBWJKFBx7IxEAxb4GVIWmniHOc_paP4VUrzUhNm3Istzf-tURcSA2grhcpIku>
Date: Sun, 02 Sep 2012 17:48:59 -0000

Peter Metcalfe:
> The only evidence for the Elder Giants as a distinct species
> is that their children are bigger (10m infants whereas adult
> giants are between 3 and 15 metres).

I agree - without that distinction, we would simply have a continuum of sizes.

I'm not convinced that 15 metres are the absolute upper end of the scale of ordinary giants. Boshbisil is described as fairly "young" (though not the giant equivalent of teenage as Sa Mita or Hen Cik), and while he is no Elder Giant, his magical and intellectual capacity and potential appears to be greater than that of any other giant description other than Gonn Orta or his daughter (and Paragua and Thog). He might grow into a size that might let him sit on Gonn Orta's seat and dangle his feet a bit.

Simon Phipp:
> I would agree. However, I can't see them mating, so perhaps
> they are more like trollkin to Mistress Race trolls.

IMO the ordinary giants of Giants Walk are the unmagical distant offspring of Elder Giants, much like Clay Mostali are to Ancient Mostali, or modern Malkioni to ancient Logicians.

Perhaps the stunted offspring of youthful matings (once again? - see dragonewts)

> To answer the original post, I think that Giantland covers
> the whole of the Inner Rockwoods, on both sides of Dragon Pass.

The only notable giants of the Aggar highlands are the Dringi - the Jolanti freed by Gonn Orta and given life by the aldryami. I always saw the mountains around the dragon pass gap more draconic in nature - even one of the Greatway peaks (Ormfang) has a draconic nature, and Ormsgone Valley in western Tarsh really says it all.

> If you look at the maps, there are an awful lot of mountains in
> the Rockwoods (except for the bit near Dorastor which seems to
> be very thin). East of the Elder Wilds, or rather between the
> Elder Wilds and Dagori Inkarth, is a huge mountain range, full
> of impassable mountains. I can see Giants living there without
> being bothered by outsiders.

In my map of giant peaks, the Nine Good Giant mountains form something like the western border of giant habitat in the Rockwoods.

> The Giant's Walk through the Vale of Flowers ends in the
> Rockwoods. There is also a place called "Door" that is a giant
> door leading to Giantland.

I always thought that the door led directly to a hero plane where the giant myths took place, rather than being a physical entry to giant-inhabited valleys, but that's a personal opinion backed up by no source.

> The Faceless Statue is a giant artefact to the south of
> Giantland and the Throne still remains.

The Faceless Statue is a giant Jolanti, perhaps the largest of its kind, certainly larger than the pair from Dwarf Mine on the (Creekstream) River. I'm not sure about the seaward facing giants of southern Prax, one of which ended up as the Watchdog of Corflu, but they seem to be constructs as well.

> Even Gonn Orta has settled as close to Giantland as he can
> without actually being in it.

> I can see Giantland as being a semi-magical place and could
> accept short worlds being part of it.

Ok, that kind of Giantland would be reached through Door Mountain.

> As for it being too small to house giants, have you ever looked
> at a map and measured how big it is? It is easily big enough to
> be a small village for the giants, if you multiply distances by
> 100. How big is a big village, 1000m wide? Multiply that by 100
> and you get 100 kilometres, which fits into Giantland. That is
> all giants really need.

Take the geography of Dragon Pass in the Otherworlds. It serves as Ernalda's cottage, as the Storm Village, or as the Storm Realm, taking different scales. An Otherworldly Giantland is not restricted by topographic measurements.

The lesser giants appear to have been driven out of that Elder Giant paradise, and to have lost much of the understanding of the magic, leading to Sa Mita's cute worries about the troll caves in the mountains. Their stunted growth may be the result of grievous wounds taken in ancient battles, curses like that afflicting Karl the Midget from Elder Wilds, or simply an evidence of devolution as in Peter's scheme below.

> As for giants turning into mountains, we have evidence for the
> Nine Good Giant Mountains, the giant Dolog who sat on Canis
> Chaos, the other Eleven Big Giant Mountains and the reference
> in Gonn Orta's Castle of him sitting waiting to turn into a
> mountain.

More evidence in Thogsarm Hill, where poor Thog lost his arm when Joraz Khyrem did his Beowulf feat. A similar feature is Grizzley Peak.

Tada sort of turned into a mountain, too - his Tumulus is both burial site and his mountain. The King Under The Mountain or the King Mountain are only two ways of looking at such a place (compare Barbarossa resting under the Kyffhaeuser).

> We have more evidence of giants being active. Gonn Orta has a
> history that has stretched back into the Greater Darkness.
> Paragua and Thog fought against Robcradle and Pavis respectively.
> MRQII had an Elder Ginat turn up at Pavis asking about a missing
> Cradle. The Cradles regularly went down the river.

We can be certain of an active Elder Giant community interfering with the human habitats as late as Thog's expedition against Pavis. Afterwards, it took Gonn Orta's tryst (IIRC with one of the Nine Good Giants) to prepare another cradle.

(I don't think that all cradles had to have a Gold Wheel Dancer to guide them - Pinchining was available through the actions of Urrgh, and had been chosen as wyter of the vessel.)

Peter Metcalfe:
> Pavis and Big Rubble actually had a line about how the Elder
> Giants were made like the Jolanti, only flesh and blood instead of stone.

> I dunno how true that is because Jolanti are made as is and do not
> grow. Also if the Elder Giants are made not born, then who made
> the first Elder Giant?

I don't buy this - while Gonn Orta appears to claim some kinship to the Jolanti, it took the intervention of aldryami to make them a reproducing, living species.

> My opinion about Giant mythology (or rather what the Giants did
> during the God Time) is as follows. I'm also restricting this
> reconstruction to the Giants in and around Giantland and possibly
> Fronela (since Gonn Orta travels and lives there). Gigantic
> cultures further afield like say Pamaltela or south beyond Slon
> will be different.

> In the beginning was the World Giant, the Gloranthan Ymir. By
> an unknown process, he splits and in his wake there are several
> or several dozen great giants. We could probably reconstruct
> the names of some of them - He Who Moves, Genert, maybe Lodril etc.

Why not take the giant bit of the Annilla myth for the first giant? Gets killed, has lesser offspring, and a soulless child inhabited by its mother.

> As a result of the War Against the Dragons and other mythic
> conflicts, the Second Generation of Giants are either killed
> or become stone. They leave behind the Third Generation of
> Giants, who are known as Gonn Orta, Gerendetho and so on.

I would make these two generations the second tier.

> The Fourth Generation of Giants are classical RQ Giants.

> The Fifth Generation of Giants are ordinary humans. During the
> Storm Age, many clans of this generation left Giantland and
> became Orlanthi, Tadashi or Dara Happans.

Yet another myth for the origin of humans, just what we need...

IMO the eldest giants precede the man rune, and the elder giants didn't inherit it, either. Their mortality is similar to that of true dragons.

Lesser giants are mortal (in the sense of dying of old age if no other cause applies), I suppose, and don't turn into mountains at the end of their lives.

> An unexplained feature of the classical giants is their
> fondness for Human Flesh. I'm inclined to draw a parallel
> with Saturn devouring his children and posit that the giants
> eat human flesh to reverse their degeneration.

That sort of resonates with my old Alternate Earth/Alternate Glorantha setting, which had the ogres (doubling as Fomorians for a dose of Celtic myth) as the least gigantic giant race.

The Vingkotlings, the Tada-Shi and other peoples of that era apparently were able to take greater stature - at the battle of Luathela the Vingkotlings fought the Luatha on eye level.

Classical giants come in a couple of flavours. Titans, elder kin of the gods, as progenitors. Cyclops as one type of lesser giants, offspring of gods (Poseidon and a daughter of Varchulanga, err, Phorcys). Atlas as a non-threatening lesser (?) kin of the titans (?).

Norse giants have three powerful giant tribes (muspelli, hrimthurs, jotun), and the aesir as kin of the jotuns.

> The Elder Giants don't do this but I'm uncertain as to why.

Boshbisil doesn't, either, nor do the other friendly giants of Gonn Orta's castle.

Giants are devourers, not that different from trolls except that they don't seem to feast on rocks. You killed (or caught) it, you eat it.            

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