Monday, July 22, 2013

Shadow Giant

Today we return to the Inner Sea Bestiary to look at shadow giants, courtesy of Greg Vaughan.  Shadow giants apparently arose on the Plane of Shadow, but have made their way to Nidal. Of course, you can reverse that trend—shadow might be exports from your world to the dark mirror plane.  They might even be the dominant species of giant in the multiverse period.  After all, the number of cyclopean ruins in your average Pathfinder/3.5 world vs. the number of giants doesn’t square.  So maybe the giants weren’t all killed or driven to extinction—maybe they just migrated…

Likewise, while the textbook shadow giant has a Central American (especially Aztec) feel, you can drop in any cultural overlay (real or fictitious) you want.  The fact that shadow giants can wield an exotic weapon of your choice with perfect skill makes them an ideal excuse to dig through Ultimate Combat or Ultimate Equipment and find the grimmest implements of destruction you can get your hands on.

The Embersfall shadow giants disdain close combat despite the advantage their energy-draining strikes would give them, preferring instead to hurl whirling hunga mungas.  The Tem Nesic clans have no such compunctions, using chain spears to trip up opponents and then drag them closer for a draining.  The feral Nightclaws go even further, refusing all melee weapons in favor of monk attacks, wrestling moves, and the curved iron claws of a tekko-kagi.

Laird Randall is more than “just” a highland shadow giant sorcerer.  He is also an ambassador and negotiator of great repute, happy to spend one of his day’s shadow cloaks to make a grand entrance and put his rivals on the defensive.  The fact that he uses the swirling shadow cloak to smuggle in greater shadow retainers and assassins doesn’t hurt his bargaining position either.

On Morbion, drow created the first shadow giants, wanting to mark their slaves with the same cursed ebony skin.  The shadow giants retaliated, sacrificing dark elf after dark elf to an obsidian lens to rob the drow of their ability to walk under the sun without pain.  Since then the drow have fled underground and the giants to the Shadow Plane.  They still hate each other, though.  Adventurers struggling with either drow or shadow giant adversaries might be approached by a stone giant spirit caller who recommends that they seek the aid of their foes’ ancestral enemies—but with a warning that allying with such evil creatures is always risky.

Inner Sea Bestiary 15

Grimnoir digs the shadow demon…or is eating a cupcake, judging by all those “Mmm”s.  Anagrammaton digs the seugathi.  Thanks for commenting!

Every week I say that my show is “The Best New & Independent Rock, Pop & Folk in the Capital Region”…and then this week I start things off with The Band’s “Chest Fever”?  Clearly I am sending mixed signals.  Download it, though—there’s a whole block of TV Girl in it for you if you do. 

(Remember that if the feed skips in your browser, you can always Save As an mp3 and enjoy in iTunes.  Link good until Friday, July 26, at midnight).

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