Tuesday, 30 November 2010

From the Rædwald Bestiary . . .

Eotenas (Giants)

There are six Giants in Rædwald when they are slain the Gígantmæog, the race of giants, will be no more.

Bevis of Hoarhunedell

On the border between Eastlandseax and the land of the Réðealingas (Wildlings) there stands a hillfort that was manned by the Wildlings. It protects a valley where hoar hune (grey hound) plants grow in abundance. It is said that Wildling Witta's can brew a potion from these plants that makes warriors fleet of foot. This was  both the Eolderman of Eastlandseax's reason for coveting the Wildling land and his excuse to his lord for his failure to take the land. But being both cunning and clever he lured the Wildling warriors out of their hillfort to make peace and then poisoned their mead. So angry at this treachery was the Wildling giant Bevis that he rose from his centuries long slumber below the hillfort to come to the defence of the Wildling folk with his great sword Morglay.

Bevis of Hoarhunedell: Armour Class: 3 [16]; Hit Dice: 9+3; HP: 39; Attacks: 1 Morglay (1d6+1); Special: Scything Slaughter; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 10/1400.

Bevis fights with Morglay a sword that is 6ft long. He sweeps it around in a great scything arc and does 1d6+1 damage to every hero fighting him and slaughtering many Frydmen. Roll Bevis' to-hit roll as normal, but then compare that result to all the combatants AC. Roll 1d6+1 and dish out that amount of damage to all those he hit. If the heroes have any Frydmen with them then the result of the damage roll is also how many of them were slaughtered. Bevis always hits Frydmen no matter the result of his to-hit roll.

Morgaly is far too large for any man to wield, but any lord would be grateful to the heroes who gifted it him to hang in his long hall.

Gill of Caldburg

Gill is named after the mountain where he lives on the North-western border of Rædwald known as Caldburg (Cold Castle).  Hairy, brutish and always red faced with rage, he rarely leaves his mountain fortress but every half-month he ventures down from the mountain to find a farmer to eat. Now the farmers of Westland Jute struggle to bring in the crops much to their kings’ despair.

The Giant Gill of Caldburg: Armour Class: 4 [15]; Hit Dice: 8+2; HP: 31; Attacks: 1 Stánhamor (2d6+1); Special: Hammer death 1d6; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 9/1100.

Gill fights with a huge stone war hammer. When he dies it shatters causing harm to all (1d6 damage to everyone fighting him).

Gill has a horde of 193 shillings, 1,157 silver pennies, 1,787 hapennies, and 900 farthings hidden in his lair and a pressed flower called Héahlufeblóstm (blossom of great love) that he took from a farmer's wife he ate. Any unmarried maiden who wears this flower in her hair may choose any man as her husband. Even a Wolfpack scieldmægden could take an Ætheling as a husband.

Groggar of Groaningbridge
Groggar lives in a tower in the mountain passes of Southlandseax. The smallest of the gígantmæog he makes up for his lack of stature with cunning. The only access to his home is across a bridge that groans a warning whenever anyone sets foot on it. He has a crow familiar that taught him scinncræft a skill he uses to transform himself into a fair maiden in need of rescue in order to lure heroes across the bridge.

Once they cross the bridge and enter his tower he changes into the likeness of a handsome youth, meets them in his hall and challenges one of them to a game of Hnefatafl. This is just a ruse to get them to sit in his riddling chair which they may not rise from until they answer his riddle. While they ponder the riddle he turns into a crow and tries to fly away with his familiar. If it comes to a fight he uses a black staff called Cráwastæf it does no damage but those who are struck with it are turned into crows and will only return to their human form if the staff is snapped in half.

The Giant Groggar: AC: *5 [14]; Hit Dice: 7+1; HP: 21; Attacks: 1 Cráwastæf  (special); Special: Hits turn victim into a crow ; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 8/1000. *Groggar can only be harmed with magic or magical weapons.

Groggar's Hnefatafl board and pieces were crafted by Dweorgs. The board is carved from dragontooth ivory the pieces made of silver and gold, the king carved of wildling red gold. It is worth 20 pounds of Silver.

The Long Man of Wighelm
The Long Man lives under the hill fort Wighelm on the northern border of Anglenland. So fierce is he that the Anglen Cynning and his Thegns had to abandon the hill fort and its nearby lands. The largest of his kin he fights with two spears, and wears the famed Wighelm (warrior helm) for which the fort was named. The helm  has the likeness of two arching snakes attached to the crest.

The Long Man of Wighelm: AC: 3 [16]; Hit Dice: 10+2; HP: 55 ; Attacks: 2 Spears (1d6+2 each); Special: His spears are poisoned ; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 12/2000.

If the Long Man is slain his spears turn into the giant snakes Nædre and Snaca and attack his killers.

Nædre and Snaca: AC: 6 [13]; Hit Dice: 5; HP: 19, 12 ; Attacks: 1 bite  (1d6+2); Special: Venomous anyone bit must make a Saving Throw or die; Move: 10; HDE/XP: 7/ 600 (each).

The Wighelm remains giant sized, but if anyone thinks to try it on it shrinks to fit them and Nædre and Snaca come back to life and turn into spears again (1d6+2 poisoned). If anyone but the new owner of the Wighelm touches Nædre and Snaca they will be bitten. The Wighelm cannot be removed while the wearer lives. If he is slain Nædre and Snaca will attack his killers.

The Rude Man of Hlæw
The rude man of Hlæw haunts the burial mounds of Midlandseax. Twelve foot tall, and naked he is a strange and intimidating foe. His head is comparatively small for his body size and he wears  a constant expression of shock, perhaps because his manhood is comparatively large for his body size and is in a constant state of excitement. Any man thus confronted must make a Saving Throw or run in fear (or perhaps shame). Strangely, the Rude Man's nakedness doesn't seem to scare women. He fights with a war club, his only possession.

The Rude Man of Hlæw: AC: 6 [13]; Hit Dice: 8+2; HP: 33; Attacks: 1 Club (2d6); Special: Induces fear in men (ST) ; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 9/1100.

The Thirskman
The Thirskman and his wife were content to live in peace, but when his wife left their homeland hills to swim in the river Deres, near the burg of Thirsk, the Fryd was summoned and out of fear they slew her. Mad with grief the Thirskman has taken up residence at the ford in the river Deres and slays all who seek to cross it. This has crippled trade between the towns of Deresford on the Geatish side of the river and Thirskburg on the Westlandseax side.

The Thirskman: AC: 6 [13]; Hit Dice: 8+2; HP: 35 ; Attacks: 1 Boulder (2d6); Special: Hurls boulders ; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 9/1100.

The Thirskman hurls boulders from the river at anyone who approaches the ford (max range 200') and then uses a boulder in melee. He has no riches, but the lords of Thirskburg and Deresford will be grateful to his slayers.


  1. Very cool. I see what you mean about these giants already being quite a challenge without the addition of runic magics.