Among the Iroquois, rock giants are known as fearsome predators who are rumored to be the children of the spirit known as Cannibal. With their ravenous appetites and unpredictable tempers, rock giants are both feared and highly respected for their strength. Most legends of rock giants feature them in the role of terrible foes, though a few tell of kindly giants who befriend a worthy warrior and fight by their side against all their enemies, even when mortally wounded and certain to die. Such unswerving devotion is one of the main positive sides to these enormous Nunnehi. Darker tales speak of their rapacious plundering of all who live near their homes and of their penchant for consuming human flesh.
Other tales of rock giants tell of the smaller ones' raids on Iroquois camps, where they search through the ashes of the fires for scraps of food and tobacco that may have fallen nearby. Though mischievous, these rock giant children (as the natives called them) are not dangerous, and they willingly trade their healing powers for tobacco or fresh meat.
Because they are kin to the Iroquois tribes who once inhabited the Northeast, rock giants most often manifest among the Mohawk and Seneca. Many rock giant braves have found their mettle tested as steelworkers atop the highest skyscrapers in Manhattan. Working without safety equipment gives them almost as big a high as a six-course dinner or a fistfight in an alleyway. Their greatest dreams include winning worldwide Toughman contests; especially the females. Since rock giants come from a matrilineal society, the males, as rough as they are, cannot even begin to hold a candle to the granite resolve and unbudging tenacity of the females, who are trained from birth to be leaders of the Nation. This is not to say that males never assume leadership positions, but they are always conscious that their rulership depends on the consent and support of the females.
Rock giants were born to eat and fight; it's what they do best, and they know it. They are very straightforward, being little concerned with pleasantries and trivial chat. They speak when they have something important to say, and prefer others not to clutter the air around them with too many unnecessary words either.
Rock giants live near their mortal kin, either in the cities where they have been dispersed or on reservations near mountains and rocky outcroppings. Rumors persist of a rock giant city high in the mountains where they hibernate during the winter months. It is said that when spring comes, hikers and wilderness aficionados had best beware lest they become the main course at the rock giants' winter's end feast.
Appearance EditDepending upon their current aspect, rock giants may appear as huge (troll-sized), fearsome-looking creatures who look as though they are gigantic humans encased in flint coats. Their hair appears similar to cave formations like stalactites, their eyes are pools of inky black, and they are covered from head to foot in what looks like gray rocky armor. When they sit or curl in upon themselves, they might be mistaken for large boulders. This is the form they assume when threatened, angry or at war. In either guise, they often carry flint hatchets or war clubs.
- Younglings are referred to by their elders as "pebbles." They are extremely mischievous, though hardly ever threatening. Younglings are small enough that they can appear as either small boulders or largish, flat stones when the need arises. When native camps are raided for food, it is usually the hungry younglings who are to blame.
- Braves are usually the most dangerous rock giants. Cursed with a voracious appetite for both food and destruction, braves resort to raids on enemy encampments (or nearby apartment buildings) for food and tobacco. During such raids, they hope to encounter defenders whom they can pound into mincemeat as well. Always spoiling for a fight, when in their Summer aspects, rock giant braves are treasured as fierce, loyal warriors; under Winter's influence they become ravening barbarian butchers who indulge in ritual cannibalism.
- Elders are more sedentary than the braves, making them less dangerous because they get out less often. Age and experience have made elder rock giants crafty and more deliberate. Where the braves go on raids, elders set up ambushes for unwary hikers and mountain climbers (or urban gangs). When roused to anger or truly hungry, however, elders can be even more fearsome than braves because of their larger size and greater strength. Elders appear more seamed and craggy than their younger kin. When ruled by their Winter aspects, elders, too, indulge in cannibalism, though their favorite food is white bear meat.
Eating and fighting are the two main passions of rock giants. The way to a rock giant's heart (and undying, sworn friendship) is to invite them to a gluttonous feast followed by several dozen boxing matches, bar fights and gang wars, featuring the rock giant as the main contender. Once a rock giant's friendship is won, they stay loyal forever.
Birthrights & Frailty Edit
- Affinity: Nature
- Flint Coat: All rock giants have skin that is like rock armor. This gives them an extra Health Level (an extra Bruised Level) against damage from weapons not made of stone (firearms, wooden weapons, brawling attacks). Against stone weapons of any sort (stone-headed war clubs, flint-tipped arrows, hurled stones, etc.), their armoring protects them completely. No weapon made of stone can harm a rock giant.
- Prowess: All braves gain one extra dot of Strength, even if this raises them above five. Elders gain an additional dot (for two total). No rock giant can botch a roll on Brawl or Intmidation.
- Hothead: Whenever their bravery or prowess is called into question, rock giants immediately assume their Winter aspect. They cannot resist a battle when such a change occurs, even if the one who insulted them apologizes or tries to run. The rock giant will follow such a person to the ends of the earth, if necessary, to prove his strength and fighting ability. In such a case, at least one blow must be struck by the rock giant against the one who insulted him or a designated champion. Until given the chance to avenge himself in this fashion, the rock giant can think of nothing else. All his actions are dedicated to facing off against the one who denigrated him.
Views of Others Edit
- Canotili: These little sneaks are too hard to catch and no good in a fight.
- Inuas: Who appointed them the keepers of Nunnehi Medicine? A good pounding might make 'em a little less whiny.
- Kachinas: Clouds? They appear as clouds?
- May-may-gway-shi: These little guys are on to something. We share an affinity for rock. But why they eat those slimy fish is beyond me.
- Nanehi: A bunch of gallopers and yodelers who pretend they know everything about the "old ways."
- Nümüzo'ho: Now these are our kind of people! Let's have a party...and a fight!
- Pu'gwis: Yuck. Ugly. Let's pound 'em flat.
- Surems: Strong, but just yell or threaten, and they turn into cream puffs.
- Tunghat: You might think they're wimpy, but watch out. They can command the animals, and even we can be overrun by a stampede.
- Water Babies: Wispy, wimpy and not worth the trouble.
- Yunwi Amai'yine'hi: Yum, yum. Not too sour, not too sweet. Good with watercress.
- Yunwi Tsundsi: These Nunnehi have good heads on their shoulders. Now if you could ever find one when you need him...