Critical Role Wiki

This wiki contains spoilers for the entirety of Critical Role and The Legend of Vox Machina. Proceed at your own risk!

READ MORE

Critical Role Wiki
Advertisement
Critical Role Wiki

Giants or giantkin are humanoid creatures of great strength and size. There are two classifications of giants—highborn and lowborn—but some types of giants are either outside those classifications or have an unknown position in them.

Giants can live up to three centuries, although due to the hardship of their lives, lowborn rarely live past 200.[1]

Types of giants[]

Highborn[]

Although there are no different races of highborn giants, humanoid races still divide them into types: cloud, fire, frost, stone, and storm. These are different cultures of giants and although they have adopted different magics, codes of ethics, law, and fighting styles, they are all highborn. Hill giants were highborn as well, but they were stripped of their nobility and exiled by the Council of Seven Scepters.[2]

Cloud giants[]

Giant-Cloud

Depiction of a cloud giant, by Justin Sweet from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 154.[art 1]

Main article: Cloud giant.

The cloud giants have a flying city-state, Jovatthon, floating invisibly above Tal'Dorei and are ruled by two wedded kings who are particularly concerned with appeasing the storm giants, who lost their own flying city long ago and whose remnants could easily conquer Jovatthon.

Fire giants[]

Fire-Giant

Depiction of a fire giant, by Daniel Ljunggren from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 154.[art 2]

Main article: Fire giant.

On the Material Plane fire giants have a civilization beneath the Cliffkeep Mountains (that occasionally allies with the duergar of the Emberhold) and beneath the Ashkeeper Peaks. In the City of Brass in the Elemental Plane of Fire, most fire giants were enslaved or cast out following a betrayal by some of their own. Some of these exiled fire giants served the ancient red dragon Thordak when he controlled Emon.

Fire giants are known to have a deity of their own, Surtr.[3]

Frost giants[]

Giant-Frost

Depiction of a frost giant, by Justin Sweet from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 155.[art 3]

Main article: Frost giant.

The mostly nomadic clans of frost giants roam the northern wastes of Tal'Dorei and Wildemount. They are are master animal-tamers, seen with such dangerous creatures as purple worms, remorhazes, mammoths, and even white dragons at their side. (That said, one ancient white dragon, Rimefang, destroyed a society of frost giants and kept some as slaves.) An artifact recovered from the ruins of Aeor instantly turned a fortress of frost giants in Eiselcross into zombies; the Mighty Nein fought three zombie frost giants near an entrance to Aeor.

Stone giants[]

Giant-Stone

Depiction of a stone giant, by Marco Nelor from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 156.[art 4]

Main article: Stone giant.

Stone giants prize physical perfection, and to that end they hold a quadrennial sporting tournament at the greatest of their strongholds, Skyanchor Citadel, carved out of a mountain in the Alabaster Sierras. One nearby group of stone giants was killed and raised as zombies to enforce the Briarwoods' rule over Whitestone. Over in Xhorhas the Mighty Nein helped a group of stone giants retake their home from a demon incursion.

They were partially responsible for the doom of Wittebak, causing vengeful earthquakes after the local rock gnomes boasted about their technology and called them "ignorant".

Storm giants[]

Giant-Storm

Depiction of a storm giant, by John-Paul Balmet from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 156.[art 5]

Main article: Storm giant.

These mysterious giants had a flying city-state long ago that was cast into the Lucidian Ocean; now they are relatively isolated, protecting themselves and their families. As of 836 PD storm giants were blocking the sea trade routes from Icehaven to Balenpost.

Lowborn[]

Ogres, cyclopes, and hill giants are the lowest of the giants. The lowborn group together, cast out from highborn society and forced to fight and forage to survive. They tend to be ruled by cyclopes, and some hill giant warriors are known to ritualistically tear out an eye in order to imitate their rulers. Wealthier hill giants create exotic eyepatches to wear over one of their eyes. Ogres rely entirely on numbers and brute force to overwhelm their foe. Sometimes lowborn tribes are taken over by trolls or oni—creatures so detestable that the highborn banished them from the caste system—and transform lowborn communities into terrifying armies of evil.[2]

Many of the free settlements of the Mornset Countryside strike alliances with local "lowborn" giantkin to help protect against incursions by the Iron Authority.[4]

Hill giants[]

Hill Giant

Depiction of a hill giant, by Justin Sweet from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 155.[art 6]

Main article: Hill giant.

Among the giantkin cast out of highborn society, hill giants were forced to fight and forage when Hillqueen Ovam'mura was banished from the Council of Seven Scepters. There are no dates for the time on Exandria when this took place. However, it is known that it happened before the fall of the storm giants, presumably at some point between 512 and 612 PD;[5] moreover, it is known that around the first half of the 5th century after the Divergence there were displaced hill giants looking for new homes,[6][7] so it is possible that such displaced communities were in those situations as a consequence of becoming lowborn.

Hill giants were partially (and apparently unwittingly) responsible for the destruction of the gnomish city of Wittebak. One of the villages of Igrathad is a hill giant fortress.

Ogres[]

Ogre

Depiction of an ogre, by Mark Behm from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 237.[art 7]

Main article: Ogre.

Ogres look like large, muscular humanoids with large heads, and they are integrated enough with humanoid society that several have joined crews at the margins of society: Buddy joined the then-struggling Darrington Brigade, Kutha works for the Gentleman's Troupe, and Bouldergut served as bodyguard for the pirate Avantika.

Cyclopes[]

Cyclops

Depiction of a cyclops, by Tomas Giorello from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 45.[art 8]

Main article: Cyclops.

Cyclopes tend to rule the lowborn giantkin settlements, and some hill giants remove one eye to imitate their rulers. When born during a powerful storm, a cyclops might become a stormcaller, with innate magical ability offsetting a smaller stature and reduced physical strength; there has been a locus of stormcaller activity in both the Daggerbay Mountains and Stormpoint Mountains of Tal'Dorei. Packs of cyclopes are indigenous to the higher Serpentwind Peaks of Marquet. There is also a roving band of cyclopes in the Iothia Moorland of Xhorhas.

Outside the caste system, or unknown position[]

Ettins[]

Ettin

Depiction of an ettin, by Kieran Yanner from D&D: Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 132.[art 9]

Main article: Ettin.

A pair of these two-headed giants ambushed and chased the Mighty Nein's wagon in the Wuyun Gorge.

Fomorians[]

Fomorian

Depiction of a formorian, by Conceptopolis from D&D: Monster Manual, p. 136.[art 10]

Main article: Fomorian.

Vox Machina encountered one of these fey-cursed giants outside Yug'Voril, named him Tiny, and dropped him on K'Varn's temple to destroy the apparatus he used to control the mind flayer colony there.

Oni[]

Oni

Depiction of an oni, from D&D: Monster Manual, page 239.[art 11]

Main article: Oni.

Oni have innate spellcasting abilities, and are sometimes inaccurately called "ogre mages." The disguised oni Lorenzo, who headed the Iron Shepherds, killed Mollymauk Tealeaf and changed the course of the second campaign.

Trolls[]

Troll

Depiction of a troll, by Daniel Ljunggren from D&D: Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 291.[art 12]

Main article: Troll.

There are various kinds of trolls. Vox Machina's fight with common trolls in the pre-stream adventures led to a funny anecdote, they fought a group of zombie trolls in the Crypts of Thomara, an ice troll fought in the Victory Pit in Zadash, and a venom troll caused trouble for the Mighty Nein in the Labenda Swamp.

Society[]

As of 812 PD, giants lived far away from other civilizations, as they had been hunted down for centuries and driven away.[2]

Giants from across Tal'Dorei gather atop the Skyanchor Citadel to compete in tests of strength, agility, and endurance during the quadrennial tournament of prowess called the Sky Queen’s Favor. The competition welcomes not only giants but goliaths and even some champions of the smaller races.[8]

History[]

There are various versions of giants' origins. They might be the gods' first attempts in the creation of humankind. Or instead, giants are humans who tried to ascend to godhood, making bargains with fiends and imbuing themselves with essences of the elemental spirits.

During the Calamity, Alyxian witnessed battles in which giants were among those killed.[9]

The storm giants' flying city-state of Tempestar was destroyed by an unknown force in times long past, and all the glories of their realm were cast into the Lucidian Ocean, hundreds of miles off the coast. Centuries have passed since Tempestar was the seat of the Council of Seven Scepters, yet the reclusive storm giants are still considered part of the highborn out of fear of their sorcerous power.[8]

Among the giantkin cast out of highborn society, hill giants were forced to fight and forage when Hillqueen Ovam'mura was banished from the Council of Seven Scepters, although she refused to surrender her scepter.[10]

Post-Divergence[]

Gwessar/Tal'Dorei and the City of Brass[]

Before 312 PD, Othendin Pass, a valley in the Cliffkeep Mountains, was a contested territory between stone giant clans and the dwarves of Kraghammer. However, when humans arrived on the continent well before 494 PD and discovered rich mineral deposits, they clashed with the giants until the giants were forced to retreat into their caves higher in the mountains to the northeast. The humans then established Fort Daxio to protect their gains.[11]

Circa 511 PD to 536 PD, when Errevon the Rimelord invaded Tal'Dorei through a rift from the Frostfell, he did so with an army of frost giants.[12]

Hundreds of years before 812 PD, hill giants moved in to the area around the subterranean gnomish city of Wittebak, stomped around in the geothermal pools like it was a water park, and ended up filling the entire city of Wittebak with fumes and poison. This killed most of the gnomes living there, and the rest fled to Kraghammer.[13]

A few years before 811 PD, in the City of Brass in the Elemental Plane of Fire there was a coup organized by Sugan against his kin fire giants and supported by Whaska, Juuraiel, and her late husband (whose name was either Guras or Drogat). In aftermath, most of the giants were enslaved or cast out of the city, the only four who remained free elevated their social status and became more powerful figures within the city.[14][15] Whaska and Juuraiel became key figures in Vox Machina's adventures late in their campaign against Thordak, as the adventuring party sought the Plate of the Dawnmartyr. Some of the exiled fire giants joined Thordak's army, including Ordis, who became a general and led the attack on Fort Daxio.[16]

Wildemount[]

Roughly around 635 PD, on the island of Foren in Eiselcross, Jarl Conessa Berg collected artifacts from the crashed remains of Aeor, but one unstable artifact instantly turned all the giants in her castle of ice into zombies.[17]

As of 736 PD, hill giants were among the factions that battled over the region south of the Sorrowseep Waters. Then the Kryn Dynasty reached out to the village leaders and brokered a peace between the warring tribes, getting the factions of various races to settle together in a collection of villages collectively called Igrathad. The southernmost of these villages, Dodafir, is the crudely constructed fortress village of the hill giants.[18]

Ogre Lord Buhfal was champion and ruler of Urzin for decades, holding the Kryn Dynasty at bay, until around 796 PD, when Sunbreaker Olomon challenged and defeated him.[19]

In 836 PD, an oni named Lorenzo led the Iron Shepherds, whose roving to capture slaves brought them into conflict with the Mighty Nein. Lorenzo's subsequent killing of Mollymauk Tealeaf during an attempted ambush to free the slaves[20] turned out to be highly consequential, as it allowed Cree Deeproots to resurrect Lucien Tavelle. Lucien went on to kill an archmage of the Cerberus Assembly and took over the lost city of Cognouza in the Astral Sea, threatening a catastrophe should it reach Exandria. The Mighty Nein managed to stop Lucien and Cognouza.[21]

In the meantime, the Angel of Irons cult spurred a demonic incursion that forced the stone giants of the Braan from their home. When the Mighty Nein removed the cause of the incursion, an Abyssal Anchor placed by Vence Nuthaleus, they learned more about the cult's plot.

In 837 PD, the storm giant Thoonum was working on behalf of Uk'otoa in the Lucidian Ocean near the Twinward Isles, seeking the third and final Cloven Crystal from Fjord. Once the crystal was recovered, he attacked and destroyed the Nein Heroez,[22] then raced northward toward the temple holding the final key to unlock the leviathan.[23] At the temple the giant was instrumental in the final battle to unseal Uk'otoa, though he died in the attempt.

References[]

  1. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 220.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 124.
  3. See "Where the Cards Fall" (1x75) at 0:54:19.
  4. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 114.
  5. Tempestar fell "centuries ago", so at least 200 years ago; storm giants can live around three centuries, and there is at least one from Tempestar, Galadawna, that still lives, so presumably it happened during her lifespan.
  6. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 69–70. See also p. 66.
  7. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 105.
  8. 8.0 8.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 124–125.
  9. See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 159.
  10. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 221.
  11. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 69.
  12. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 10.
  13. See "The Fear of Isolation" (1x105) from 29:36 through 30:34.
  14. See "Where the Cards Fall" (1x75) at 15:34.
  15. See "Where the Cards Fall" (1x75) at 1:06:23.
  16. This takes place during Campaign One Arc 3: The Chroma Conclave.
  17. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 128.
  18. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 141.
  19. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 146.
  20. These events take place between "Divergent Paths" (2x25) and "The Stalking Nightmare" (2x29).
  21. These events take place over the remainder of Campaign Two.
  22. See "The Mighty Nein Reunited Part 1" (Sx73) at 1:11:48.
  23. See "The Mighty Nein Reunited Part 1" (Sx73) at 4:31:14.

Art:

  1. Depiction of a cloud giant, by Justin Sweet from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 154. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  2. Depiction of a fire giant, by Daniel Ljunggren from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 154. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  3. Depiction of a frost giant, by Justin Sweet from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 155. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  4. Depiction of a stone giant, by Marco Nelor from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 156. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  5. Depiction of a storm giant, by John-Paul Balmet from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 156. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  6. Depiction of a hill giant, by Justin Sweet from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 155. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  7. Depiction of an ogre, by Mark Behm from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 237. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  8. Depiction of a cyclops, by Tomas Giorello from D&D Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 45. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  9. Depiction of an ettin, by Kieran Yanner from D&D: Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 132. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  10. Depiction of a formorian, by Conceptopolis from D&D: Monster Manual, p. 136. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  11. DDB Oni on D&D Beyond. This file is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  12. Depiction of a troll, by Daniel Ljunggren from D&D: Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 291. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
Advertisement