Sunday, February 12, 2012

When Rise the Stone Giants!

Some islands in the Tranquil Ocean are noted for their rough-hewn monolithic statues. Sometimes these are whole human figures with oversized heads, other times just the heads. Explorers have wondered at these statues and proposed various theories of their origins. Only a few have witness first hand the statues' most startling secret: They aren’t statues at all.

The stone giants of the Tranquil Ocean are living things. It is believed that they are the remnant of a once wider spread species (similar beings have been encountered in other parts of the world), but they now only exist in numbers on scattered islands. Though they appear to be constructs, post mortem examination suggests they are living beings (though composed of more earth elements than humans) with a rocky integument. It's is theorized that (like gargoyles) the body of a stone giant slowly petrifies further over their long lifespans. It appears that this process may lead to the giants spending longer and longer periods immobile until they become sessile--statues, for all practical purposes.

It’s unclear how stone giants reproduce--or if they reproduce at all. Specimens which appear different ages (based on size and their level of activity) have been observed, but there are no apparent sex differences, nor do their appear to be infants or children requiring the care of adults. Some have suggested the stone giants came (or were brought) here from some distant world, but the true is unknown.


Stone giants spend long periods of time in torpor. They can stay immobile so long that they can be partially buried by sediment. Whether this is strictly physiologic or partially purposeful is unknown. Mobile stone giants can speak in booming, sonorous voices, but the immobile aged become incapable. There is some evidence that stone giants possess telepathy, and the ancients of their kind may continue to communicate in this fashion after they are immobile. Human psychics often report uneasy or fearful feelings around them that have been theorized to result from the giants’ attempts at communication at frequency below that which can be interpreted by the human mind, but can be “felt."

Caution should be taken in dealing with stone giants. They are territorial, and may attack those they feel have trespassed. Natives of islands with stone giants placated them with blood sacrifices in previous times, though it’s unclear the giants took any particular notice.

[Treat these stone giants as stone golems or greater stone golems, except that they aren’t constructs. Oh, and just in case anybody missed it, I did an interview about the origins of Weird Adventures with Chris Kutalik over at the great Hill Cantons blog last week.]

12 comments:

Canageek said...

Shiny! Have you read the old "Ecology of ...." articles back in Dragon Magazine by any chance? Some of the bits of that would seem a perfect fit for your blog.

Brutorz Bill said...

Very cool! Gonna have to borrow this one for my games!

George said...

Very cool. Bill - I'm gonna have to agree with you about borrowing this.

I love how on the cover of the comic book the one guy is basically making a verbal summary of the episode - all while running for his life. :)

ckutalik said...

Of course I dig any details about the Tranquil Ocean, it has me thinking of sea planes again.

Trey said...

Thanks, guys. Borrow away.

@CKutalik - I think I may have more Tranquil Sea material coming up soon. Stay tuned.

Tim Shorts said...

Nice Trey, I think this would work well in my campaign world also. And missed that interview, heading over now.

scottsz said...

Of interest:

Heads and more...

-and-

They're digging 'em up!

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

I want to visit Easter Island for that very reason ^^^

Reilly said...

oh wow so cool!

Gavin said...

It is a shame that anthology comics like House of Mystery died out because I loved them as a kid. If you only had so much of an allowance to spend on comics or could only convince your parents to buy you them once in a while these were great. You didn't have to follow an ongoing story line. Back then if you tried to collect a book which was seriously tied to continuity there was always the chance that the new issue was sold out by the time you could get to the store. So you would miss important issues and would have gaps in the story.

Anthologies meant you could read short stories which were self-contained. My favorite of all the DC anthologies was Weird War Tales. I also love the old school Tales to Astonish by Marvel, especially the Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko issues.

Those old comics could inspire a LOT of RPG creatures and scenarios.

Trey said...

@Gavin - I agree completely.

garrisonjames said...

Fun stuff. Weird War and House of Mystery were great, back in the day. The Warren anthology series 1984/1994 was also kind of a hybrid of those comics. there's loads of inspirational good-stuff buried back in those old comics.

That was an excellent interview over at Hill Cantons, by the way.