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Ancient allies of the Halskapan people, the Firbolg are a race of reclusive giants that live in the hills of Dvasviik, Helkstraad and the Siren?s Realm. They avoid contact with most outsiders and are treated as a physically unique nomadic tribe with all the benefits and requirements that this status entails. Unlike many giants, the firbolg do not depend on raiding for subsistence and are not brutish and violent by their nature.
A firbolg looks like a 10-foot-tall human and weighs more than 800 pounds. Its skin is a fleshy pink color and can have hair of almost any shade, although blond and red are most common. The stylish firbolg wear their hair long and males grow long, thick beards.
Firbolg speak their own language, related to giantish, and Rjuven.

[top]History of the People

An ancient race, the firbolg history is mythological before the coming of the Rjuven. They speak of ancient wars with humanoids and elves, of long dead heroes and educational tales of the adventures of nature spirits.
When Hjarring met the firbolg tribes in the hills of Halskapa, they were a people in decline. 53 warriors returned with Hjarring that year, representing half of their adult males. In total, there were only around 230 firbolg surviving in ?450 HC and most of them had believed that they would be one of the last generations of firbolg. The alliance with the humans gave them a measure of protection that they had not had for centuries.
The numbers of firbolg increased as time passed and they adopted more and more Rjuven traditions, including dress, the use of lesser magic, weaponry (the Rjuven introduced steel to the Firbolg) and writing. However, they remained loyal to their religion of ancestor worship and reverence for nature spirits.
At Deismaar, the firbolg sent 250 soldiers (1/3 of all of their people) to the battle. Strongly allied with the druids due to a personal friendship with the High Druid Erik (though they still disagreed theologically), the firbolg marched with the followers of Reynir. The roughly 150 survivors returned with two gifts to their people, the first was the bloodline of Reynir and the second was a strong faith in the new god Erik.
They integrated Erik into their long-held beliefs and established their own druidical tradition, which is not allied with either the Emerald Spiral or Oaken Grove (though it has more in common with the Spiral).
Today close to 1,000 firbolg live in Halskapa in a number of extended families. The bloodline of Reynir has evened out among the population so that every firbolg has a bloodline strength of 11-13.

[top]Firbolg Society

Over the centuries of contact between the two peoples, the firbolg social organization has become very similar to that of their Rjurik neighbors. They are semi-nomadic, moving from summer hunting/fishing camps to their winter halls. Their summer camps are tents made of caribou skins usually arranged in a circle near a source of water. The winter halls are huge wooden buildings high in the hills of Dvasviik, surrounded by palisades and watchtowers with a large number of support buildings within the defensive walls.
In accordance to Erik?s teachings, the Firbolg live in harmony with nature, taking only what they need. Rjurik are often confused by their faith, though, because they add in rites to animal spirits and prayers to the dead that might be considered heretical among some Rjurik. They believe firmly in totems and spirit possession.
The combination of their Long Life blood ability and natural long life (350 years before Deismaar) means that the firbolg lifespan today is around 1,750 years. Several of the firbolg that fought in Deismaar still live today and have considerably higher bloodlines than their descendants. This has helped to keep alive the firbolg religion and language as well as their unique identity. It also gives a timeless patience to the firbolgs that balances their fiery pride.
One area of particular importance to the firbolg is music, especially singing. To the firbolg, the world was created in song and that music is the essence of being. Humming or light singing accompanies all of their daily activities and all of their social events revolve around singing. The incredible firbolg choirs sing praise choruses to Erik in five parts: alto, tenor, meso-basso, bass and a unique basso-profundo. Long ago they learned the spell-song from the elves and integrate it into all of their magic, whether it be from their magicians, skalds or druids. Skalds have even more respect among the firbolg than they do among the Rjurik.
The firbolg hold a deep hatred for humanoids due to years of conflict in the highlands between Halskapa and what is now the Siren?s Realm. Many firbolg were enraged that a girl, not one of their number, killed their ancient foe, the Dusk Man. Today their old enmity for the Dusk Man has been transferred onto the Siren, though it seems to be more profound than it was before: where the hatred for the Dusk Man came from his association with humanoids and his dishonorable behavior, the firbolg seem to view the Siren as even more of a perversion than he ever was. Some believe this to be related to her singing ability, which they describe as an abomination. The firbolg have called for the outright conquest of the Siren?s Realm and its conversion to a firbolg-dominated land ? thus far the Halskapans have ignored their calls.

[top]Game Statistics

Large Giant

Hit Dice: 4d8 + 15 (31 hp)

Initiative: +1 (Dex)

Speed: 30 ft

Armor Class: 18 (-1 size, +1 dex, +3 masterwork studded leather, +5 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 17

Attacks: Huge Greatsword +8 melee, or rock +5 ranged

Damage: Huge Greatsword 2d8 +6/19-20, rock 2d6 +6

Face/Reach: 5 ft by 5 ft/10 ft

Special Attacks: Rock throwing, Trample (2d8+6)

Special Qualities: Rock Catching, Blood Abilities

Saves: Fort +5, Ref +1, Will +2

Abilities: Str 23, Dex 13, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 14

Skills: Knowledge (nature) +5, Move Silently +5, Spot +8, Wilderness Lore +8

Feats: Blooded Scion, Improved Unarmed Strike, Track

Bloodline: Reynir, Minor, 12 (+1)

Climate/Terrain: Temperate hills and forest

Organization: Solitary, pair, gang (3-8), squad (9-16), or troop (20-40)

Challenge Rating: 3

Treasure: Standard

Alignment: Usually chaotic good

Advancement: By character class

[top]Combat

The Firbolg are both cautious and crafty. They distrust civilization (settled Rjurik, Anuireans and Brechts) and elves and despise evil humanoids. If possible they avoid encounters, though a group of evil humanoids that encounter Firbolg are often ambushed provided the firbolg are not grossly outnumbered (and one firbolg can stand up against a large number of goblins). If they do fight, the Firbolg are cooperative, employing effective combat strategy.
Blood Abilities (Su): The blood of Reynir is expressed uniquely in the Firbolg people, mixing with their latent magical abilities. 1/day the firbolg may cast Alter Self, but only for the purposes of changing their size (usually to appear as humans). They also have the Long Life ability at a minor level and Healing at the minor level. However their healing ability only works upon themselves meaning they can regain 1d8 hp 1/day.
Rock Throwing (Ex): An adult firbolg receives a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls when throwing rocks. It can throw rocks weighing 40 to 50 pounds each up to three range increments (range increment 130 feet).
Trample (Ex): As a standard action during its turn each round, a firbolg can trample opponents at least one size category smaller than itself. This attack deals 2d8+6 bludgeoning damage. A trampled opponent can attempt either an attack of opportunity at a ?4 penalty or a Reflex save (DC 29) for half damage.
Rock Catching (Ex): A firbolg can catch small, medium-size or large rocks (or projectiles of similar shape). Once per round, a firbolg that would normally be hit by a rock can make a Reflex save to catch it as a free action. The DC is 15 for a small rock, 20 for a medium and 25 for a large one. The firbolg must be ready for and aware of the attack.

[top]Playing a Firbolg

  • +3 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma, -3 Dexterity
  • Large-sized (9?6? to 11? tall); base speed of 30 ft
  • Blooded: All firbolg start play with the Blooded Scion feat and have a minor bloodline of Reynir at a level of 11-13. PCs may opt for normal firbolg blood abilities or may choose their own (though they only get 1 minor and 1 major ability in that case).
  • Rock Throwing: Firbolg characters may throw or catch rocks like standard members of their race. They have a +1 to hit with thrown rocks
  • Trample: Firbolg characters may trample enemies like standard members of their race.
  • Dense Skin: The Firbolg have a natural AC of 13 due to their thick skins.
  • Large Size: In combat Firbolg are treated as large creatures. They also need specially created armor and weapons, consume twice as much food as a normal human and often cannot fit in human dwellings. They cannot ride horses.
  • Firbolg do not get a bonus starting feat (they are blooded)
  • Skill Background: Much like the elves and dwarves, the firbolg have a unique package of skills that are considered Class Skills in addition to those gained by the character?s class. They include: Animal Empathy, Craft [Smithing], Heal, Hide, Intuit Direction, Knowledge [Nature], Knowledge [History], Move Silently, Perform [Sing], Profession [Hunter], Spot, Wilderness Lore. Firbolg may choose to be illiterate and gain +2 bonus skill points instead.
  • Class Restrictions: For unknown reasons, firbolg may not be sorcerers or wizards despite their bloodlines. Aristocrats, Cloistered Clerics, Monks and Paladins are unknown among the firbolg. All known firbolg Clerics are dedicated to Erik. However, they may become barbarians.
  • Automatic Languages: Rjuven, Firbolg (a dialect of giantish)
  • Favored Class: Bard

See Also: Giant ecology

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