Friday, July 10, 2015

River Giant

997…  998…  999…  Oh, hi there!  You startled me.  See, I was just counting up the number of entries of The Daily Bestiary we’ve had so far. 

And wouldn’t you know it?

WE’VE HAD 1,000.

(Pancake by my significant baker katerinasfire.)

Which, even taking into account the baker’s dozen of  posts I need to go back and finish, means we’ve looked at more than a thousand Pathfinder (and D&D) monsters over the course of this blog, dating all the way back to the aasimar.  On top of that, we’ve had the occasional “Best Of” list, reviews, nostalgic throwbacks, and a weekly radio show.  Which, y’know, feels like a pretty good contribution to the fantasy RPG scene and the Web overall, but you guys are the better judge of that than me.*

I probably should do more to commemorate the occasion, but it’s summer and life is busy.  (Still, if you have any ideas, leave a comment or shoot an email to dailybestiary [at] gmail [dot] com—written that way to avoid spam spiders of course.)  In the meantime, let’s get back to doing what this blog does best.  Or at least does regularly. 


Specifically, the river giant. 

As giants go, they're not…giant, that is, reaching only about 10 feet high.  They're also more on the mundane end of the scale rather than magical.  This is nice, because it means you can use them in both high- and low-magic campaigns, or even as one of the more-high level threats in an E6 campaign.  And since rivers are everywhere, you can use them in literally almost every campaign setting.  (Even a desert campaign has to have its Tigris and Euphrates.)  If you don’t believe me, check out their list of animal companions: crocodiles, grizzlies, and tigers.  In our world that would mean you could find river giants from Egypt to Alaska to Java.  In other words, wherever there are people, chances are there are river giants, too.

In fact, in some campaigns river giants might be the most common giant most humans ever see.  The chaotic good ones might be friendly fisherfolk, ferrymen, and traders, the chaotic evil ones brigands and bullies.  Either way, be ready to get your metal armor off—these are mercurial, very physical beings, and between thrown rocks to sink your boat at a distance and bull rushes up close, chances are you’re going to get wet.

A bog nixie’s minor wishcraft has a river giant family under her thumb despite their greater physical might.  When she’s not exhorting them to raid and steal, she’s having them hunt for a lost cairn that supposedly hides the cold iron blade of Seyford the Grey.  But what would a fey want with a blade so inimical to her people?

Fresh off of a vision quest, adventurers are tasked with returning a lost strix child fair upriver to his cliffside home.  While dealing with the ramifications of their psychic journeys, the adventurers most also defend themselves and the child from hostile river giants and their grizzly bear pets.

The River of the Dead is exactly that.  Rather than bury their loved ones, villagers who live within a week’s travel of the sacred stream send them floating downriver.  When the light is right or if you have the proper sight, you can see their souls traveling downriver too, floating as glowing misty forms above the water.  By ancient custom, only river giants travel the River of the Dead, and their oracles and other spellcasters often have power over them (such as through the bone mystery).  The benevolent giants defend the bodies and spirits of the dead, while evil river giants use both in dark rituals.  Adventurers are sometimes hired to escort particularly important bodies along the journey to the Last Port, defying custom and risking the wrath of good and evil river giants alike.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 128

*Except re: my radio show.  I know that’s awesome.  ;-)

Surely my thousandth post had to have shades of Ghostwalk, didn’t it?

Though it has little to nothing to do with river giants, this is where I’ll remind you that I enjoyed People of the River.

Have we had any river giants in the Giantslayer Adventure Path?  I’m currently behind on my Pathfinder reading, though I’m hoping to spend some time this weekend catching up. 

I also have some third-party books I need to ask you guys’ opinions of at some point.

Have a great weekend.  And thanks for sticking around for the last 1,000 installments!

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