The legends of the tribes of the West contain stories of fearsome giants who terrorize intruders into their lands. Reputed to be cannibals and feared for their destructive and malicious tempers, these spirit beings were also respected for their strength and honored as reminders of the inherent power of nature to destroy as well as create.
These tales refer to the Nunnehi known as nümüzo'ho, named after one of the heroes of their Family, a giant who taught mortals how to fashion tools from stones before he disappeared from their sight.
The truth behind the malevolent behavior and violent tempers of these giants is the story of their anger at what has happened to the world around them. Even before the ways to the Higher Hunting Grounds closed, the elders of this Nunnehi Family had glimpses of the devastation mortals would cause to the natural world. Their anger grew within them until it became a prime force in their lives. The oldest nümüzo'ho swore a sacred oath, binding on all their descendants, to act as the avengers of the natural world. In return for the special powers granted them to enable them to keep their vow, they accepted the eventual loss of part of themselves as the price they would have to pay.
Unlike other stories told about them, however, these giants are not cannibals. In times of great hardship, one of their elders may offer their body as food for the Family, but this is only an act of desperation. The nümüzo'ho have no particular appetite for human flesh.
The nümüzo'ho are not always instruments of destruction. Occasionally they will assist lost travelers or aid the victims of natural disasters (ones they do not cause) such as rockslides or avalanches. They respect the traditions of their mortal tribes, although they usually have little contact with humans. Some braves or younglings, however, demonstrate an uncharacteristic desire to associate with mortals or with Nunnehi outside their Family. These individuals are ones who have managed to quell their constant anger and allow their Summer personas to rule them. These nümüzo'ho make loyal companions, although they must continually struggle to remain calm in the face of blatant examples of human despoliation of the environment.
Nümüzo'ho appear as extremely tall and muscular examples of their mortal tribes—the Washoe, Kalispel, Flathead, Paiute, Coeur d'Alene, Wishram, Miwok, and other natives of the Far West. Their eyes glow with an unearthly luminescence, and their elders are frequently deformed in some fashion.
- Younglings appear to be very large, though well-proportioned, children. They learn very early how to intimidate mortal children and have a reputation as bullies.
- Braves are frequently troublemakers, and most of them give themselves over to their Winter natures. They reach their full size and strength at this time.
- Elders calm down considerably from the violent behavior of their younger years, but they also succumb to some physical deformity that distorts their appearance so that they become truly grotesque. Sightings of elder nümüzo'ho have given rise to legends of fearsome one-legged or one-eyed giants. Ironically, these elders have learned to control their tempers as their bodies begin to fail them.
Nümüzo'ho live in conical houses or stone dwellings concealed in the mountains or other rock formations such as canyons. They are great workers of stone and spend much of their time shaping rock into useful items, especially weapons. They have invented a ball game using rocks with which they challenge one another and, occasionally, luckless humans.
Birthrights & FrailtyEdit
- Affinity: Nature
- Extraordinary Size: Nümüzo'ho gain two additional dots in both Strength and Stamina, even if this increases their rating above 5. It is impossible for them to botch a Stamina roll, allowing them to always soak at least one dice worth of damage for every blow that strikes them.
- Rouse the Elements: These Nunnehi have an affinity with the more violent aspects of the natural world. By spending a point of Willpower and a point of Medicine, they can cause great disturbances in their surroundings; raising violent windstorms, causing avalanches, or inducing minor earthquakes in a five-mile radius of their chosen center. They can only perform this feat of nature mastery once during a phase of the moon (no more than four times a month).
- Weight of Years: These giants do not seem to exhibit any Frailties until they reach the onset of their elder seemings. At that time, one of their limbs (usually a leg) begins to atrophy until it drops off entirely. Knowing this, most nümüzo'ho braves fashion a special stone crutch so that this catastrophic event does not leave them entirely helpless. Elders suffer a - 2 to all Dexterity-related rolls due to their limited mobility and the need to use one arm to support themselves. In other cases, a nümüzo'ho will instead become blind in one eye, thus suffering a - 2 to Perception rolls. Only one of these afflictions will strike a given individual.
Views of Others Edit
- Canotili: Their small bodies are not large enough to hold as much anger as ours.
- Inuas: They still have hope for their people. We envy them.
- Kachinas: Their dreams are as thin as their cloud-forms. Humans will never learn from their mistakes.
- May-may-gway-shi: They understand the earth and the water, but they are too kind-hearted toward those who pollute their waters and kill their fish.
- Nanehi: They sing and dance and tell stories. What good is that when the world is dying?
- Pu'gwis: Next to them, our elders are examples of beauty. Are they as angry as we are?
- Rock Giants: Good fighters, but their anger is pointless and self-indulgent.
- Surems: They are traitors to the earth. They will never succeed in their attempts to reform mortals.
- Tunghat: They are nearly gone because they were not angry enough.
- Water Babies: Of course they do not steal human children. Who would want them?
- Yunwi Amai'yine'hi: They are too cheerful for their own good.
- Yunwi Tsundsi: They are fine crafters but waste themselves on mortals.