This giant has chiseled, muscular features and a flat, forward-sloping head, looking almost as if it were carved of stone.
AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 20 (+2 Dex, +11 natural, –1 size)
Speed 40 ft.
Str 27, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Environment temperate mountains
Organization solitary, gang (2–5), band (4–8), hunting party (9–12 plus 1 elder), or tribe (13–30 plus 35% noncombatants, 1–3 elders, and 4–6 dire bears)
Treasure standard (greatclub, other treasure)
Stone giants prefer thick leather garments, dyed in shades of brown and gray to match the stone around them. Adults are about 12 feet tall, weigh about 1,500 pounds, and can live to be 800 years old.
Stone giants fight from a distance whenever possible, but if they can’t avoid melee, they favor gigantic clubs chiseled out of stone. A favorite tactic of stone giants is to stand nearly motionless, blending in with the background, then move forward to throw rocks and surprise their foes.
Stone giants prefer living in enormous caves in high-altitude, rocky peaks. They rarely live more than a few days’ travel from other bands of stone giants, and even raise shared herds of goats and other livestock between tribes. Older stone giants tend to wander away from the tribe for a significant period of time in their later years, either living in seclusion somewhere or attempting to merge into other humanoid civilizations. After decades of this self-imposed exile, those who return do so as stone giant elders.
To outsiders, stone giants may seem more elemental than truly alive, enigmatic beings of stony silence whose flesh seems hewn from living rock and whose demeanors are as unchanging and tough as the earth itself. Yet the chiseled faces of stone giants are flesh, not rock; their hardened bodies skin, rather than granite; and in their veins runs blood as red as any other, not sand or dust. Myths about stone giants abound, and ignorant travelers in the mountains blame them for landslides, washed out roads, and even thunderstorms. Many flee at the first glimpse of a stone giant, believing such beings to be no better than some of their more destructive cousins.
If others tell tall tales of their kind, the stone giants have only themselves to blame, for they wear enigma as comfortably as their stone-colored hides. Reclusive by nature, stone giants generally avoid contact with outsiders. Those few who do mingle with other societies rarely discuss their own kind or traditions. They make no apologies for their isolationist ways, as the mixing of stone giant culture with those of others has never brought joy to their solemn people.
Stone giants claim to be among the oldest of giantkind, their clay molded by the gods to set precedent for many to follow. Stone giant elders and storytellers say that in ancient times, when they were the only giants, they stayed true to their ancestors and their traditions. That lasted until they encountered humans. The humans coveted their skill with earth and stone, and bent the stone giants to their will. The enslaved giants built countless great structures, architectural wonders destined to be buried and forgotten. In time, these stone giants escaped the yoke of slavery, but the lessons they learned stuck. No more were they simple herders and cave dwellers. They had learned the ways of iron and stonemasonry. Some had even turned from revering their ancestors to the worship of human gods. These modern stone giants find themselves torn between two paths: the crafters and builders who reshape the world with new found knowledge, and the spiritual giants who respect their ancestors and adhere to the old ways.
From a distance, stone giants resemble statues and golems rather than living creatures. Their gray skin, complete lack of hair, and angular faces make them look more like the product of a sculptor’s chisel than actual flesh. Even their eyes, with wide, gray irises and little white, resemble stone carvings. Stone giants view their rocky countenances as a blessing from their ancestors, and have nothing but pity for the thin skin and unmanageable hair of less fortunate beings.
Though a typical stone giant stands 12 feet in height and weighs 1,500 pounds, individuals of both shorter and taller stature are not unheard of. Both male and female stone giants tend toward lanky but muscular builds. Their over-sized bones are surprisingly light for their size, which allows stone giants to move much more quickly than one might anticipate. Within the bones themselves, an extensive honeycombing structure helps reduce the weight of the skeleton while maintaining structural integrity and strength. Stone giants have massive chests, prodigious lung capacity, and prominent nostrils, all well suited to the rarefied oxygen of the soaring mountain heights at which they dwell.
Stone giant hides are dusty gray in color and thick enough to turn a blade, hence the stories that their flesh is made of stone. As they age, their hardened skin develops deep cracks and creases and their muscles bulge like rocky nodules—the oldest individuals frequently boasting calluses up to 2 inches thick in some places. Some stories say that young stone giants grow patches of moss on their bodies, but this is a scurrilous rumor likely spawned by the clever mossy camouflage occasionally worn by stone giant scouts. In fact, even without such disguises, stone giants blend in with rock well enough to elude casual observation. Stone giant sentries excel at standing or crouching almost completely motionless for hours on end, and often allow small groups of intruders to pass right by, only confronting the unwanted visitors once they’ve closed off all avenues of escape and secured their tactical position.
A long-lived species, stone giants live as long as 800 years, and those who develop the magical talents of their elders live even longer. Stone giant youths mature at a similarly glacial rate, with individuals being accepted as adults at the age of 120 for males and 90 for females. The prime of stone giant life lasts from their second century into their fourth or fifth, after which their youthful vigor slowly declines into senescence. Stone giants are only intermittently fertile, despite having a long reproductive lifespan. Couples typically experience only one or two pregnancies a century; thankfully for them, fraternal twins are extremely common, making up nearly half of stone giant births.
Omnivores by inclination, stone giants are expert herders, and tend droves of hardy mountain animals such as sheep and goats , even sharing their homes with their animals during inclement weather or threat of invasion. Stone giants supplement their diet with wild game and gathered vegetation during the warm seasons. They disdain anything more complex than the most rudimentary agriculture, save for growing grapes, which they cultivate for the sour, tannic wines favored by their people. They flavor their food with a mixture of salt and finely ground digestible minerals, making stone giant meals rather gritty fare for weaker teeth and stomachs.
Stone giant clans are ruled by their eldest couple. This couple claims no special title and receives few privileges, but is responsible for numerous matters that directly affect the well-being of the clan. Both must reach agreement on matters before presenting their decision to the clan, insulating their people from rash decisions and despotic rule. Should one or both members of the ruling couple pass away, stewardship of the clan passes to the next most senior couple, whether they desire the burden of rule or not. Widows and widowers of past couples retain positions of respect as advisors within the clan for the remainder of their days, and it is not uncommon for an elder couple to have several such advisors during their rule.
Though a stone giant clan is ruled by only one elderly couple, many tribes recognize numerous stone giant elders, a title given to individuals both in recognition of their advanced age and their spiritual prowess. Such ancient beings often possess sorcerous powers over earth and stone, taught to them either by previous elders before their passing or by communing with their ancestral mountain and the spirits of their forebears. The distinction between such elders and the ruling eldest couple can be a tricky one for outsiders to grasp. The oldest couple rules the tribe, but are not necessarily elders. Likewise, although old, elders might not be the oldest members of their tribe. Instead, to a stone giant, the term elder denotes an individual who has passed beyond youth, adulthood, and even old age into a fullness of maturity and enlightenment few achieve. In theory, the words of the elders carry no weight of law, but in practice stone giants follow the requests of their elders with little question.
The elders refer to their calling as “hearing the voice of stone.” Each elder bears a responsibility to train promising young giants in the ways of shaping and understanding stone as well as in the history and ideals of their clan. Despite these teachings, few students hear even a whisper of the voice of stone during their lifetimes. Some leave their tribe and wander alone until the stone speaks to them; others join communities of smaller races for a time and find the voice there. Many never return from their spiritual journey. Though most tribes have at least one elder, mishap or violence occasionally leaves a tribe bereft of an elder’s guidance. Such tribes rarely prosper, and often turn from their peaceful traditions to more violent ways.
Stone giant society organizes itself into clans, each clan consisting of a number of interrelated families (usually a dozen or fewer) living in the same region. “One mountain, one clan” goes the stone giant saying. Two clans rarely share the same mountain, and larger clans sometimes claim multiple peaks. Clans with a common bond of blood or history usually have cordial relations and may even share grazing grounds, while unrelated clans rarely cooperate. Regardless, wars between clans are almost unheard of. Any violent feuds that do arise are swiftly decided, and the weaker clan usually concedes to the demands of the stronger rather than perpetuate bloodshed.
Balanced equally between good and villainy, stone giants offer numerous campaign and encounter opportunities beyond simple combat. Normally nonaggressive, their most natural fit leans toward advice and shelter. In wild lands, a stone giant lair may offer succor to harried adventurers, perhaps leading to the PCs bargaining for assistance or merely winding up privy to the telling of grand tales. Such settlements offer storytelling advantages over the normal humanoid sort, as there need be no question of how the giants survive in such fierce environs, and their long lifespans ensure they possess much wisdom. Such encounters with stone giant lairs can provide numerous adventure hooks in and of themselves; the giants may approach the party to ask for aid against their enemies, or perhaps invite them on a hunt through the mountains, or even permit a shared exploration of the forbidding tunnels beneath their lair.
Solitary stone giants often wander alone in search of penitence or wisdom. PCs encountering such a wanderer might hear the giant’s tales of what she has glimpsed in her journeys. Some wandering stone giants resent any intrusion into their solitude, and might well warn away interlopers with a few well-aimed boulders. Most people have no trouble understanding the message, but a rash PC might well mistake an intentional miss for a clumsy attack. Other wanderers seek wisdom among the other races of the world, and may join the PCs in their adventures for a time.
Great tapestries adorn most stone giant lairs, used to divide their caverns and great halls and to give color to otherwise drab stone. The stone giants weave such great cloths with thread spun from the thick fur of their herd animals. The largest tapestries weigh up to 500 pounds and stretch as far as 20 feet high by 50 feet long, and usually feature scenes of stone giant life, including great hunts, battles between clans, and grand buildings. Their weaving generally avoids religious themes. A tapestry in good condition that depicts an interesting scene might fetch as much as 1,000 gp from the right buyer, while less favorable tapestries still sell for a few hundred gold pieces.
In addition to their ubiquitous stone greatclubs, stone giants favor picks, spears, and hammers. Tribes that work steel craft fine armors to protect their leaders and elite hunters. Such giants often own magical weapons and armor, along with a variety of useful potions, while the rank-and-file members make do with cruder weapons and hide armor.
Stone giants particularly prize magic items useful for building and excavation. Especially sought after is the fabled mattock of the titans, usable by stone giants through size-increasing magic such as enlarge person. Other favorites include mauls of the titans (small compared to the usual stone giant greatclub, but usable in one hand), lyres of building, earth elemental gems, and rings of sustenance (to better labor long hours).
Stone giants prefer stone to metal, and gems to gold. They cut gemstones into lovely and often non-traditional shapes in celebration of the beauty of the earth. Such stones often possess major flaws that would harm their value to traditional jewelers, but for the giants these imperfections merely enhance their appeal. Stone giants’ love of gemstones has more to do with appearance than rarity, and an exotically colored quartz or striated opal is prized more than a flawless diamond.
The following list of random treasure includes items one might normally find either on a stone giant’s person or in his dwelling.
|01–06||Teeth (2d8, giant-sized) in a soft leather pouch|
|07–09||Cave bear pelt, well preserved but weathered, no head (100 gp, 50 lbs.)|
|10–15||Desiccated Small or Medium animal corpse|
|16–21||1d4 gems. For each gem, roll d%:
01–70: 100 gp
71–90: 500 gp
91–100: 1,000 gp
|22–27||Hunting horn (5 gp, 3 lbs.)|
|28–30||Intricately carved section of tusk (1,000 gp, 50 lbs.)|
|31–36||Large hammer and chisel (2 gp, 5 lbs.)|
|37–42||Large masterwork stone dagger (304 gp, 2 lbs.)|
|43–48||Large waterskin filled with vinegary wine (8 lbs.)|
|49–51||2d4 masterwork throwing stones (300 gp, 40 lbs. each)|
|52–53||Marble-sized pellet (dust of dryness already used to absorb 10–100 gallons of water, 425 gp)|
|54–59||Pair of well-worn knucklebones|
|60–65||Polished pieces of stone (2d6)|
|66–68||Potion of bull’s strength|
|69–71||Potion of lesser restoration|
|72–77||Pouch of rock salt and powdered minerals|
|78–83||Rough gold nugget weighing 2d4 pounds (40 gp per lb.)|
|84–89||Vine rope, 100 feet (as hemp rope)|
|90–94||Well-used over-sized toothpick, 8 inches in length (5% chance of being a wand of a random 1st-level spell with 2d10 charges remaining)|
|95–100||Wheel of sharp cheese (25 lbs.)|