When the First Wish broke the titan's runic reign and caused them to degenerate, two major peoples resulted from choices made. The dwarves are the more common (at least in Noefra) of the two; the giant kindred are the others. The name the learned use for the giant kindred is the Jazuu, the Written People. While most people in the Federated Nations believe that the Jazuu belong to multiple races, the truth is more complicated.
Regions and Cultures
The Oelfran continent is home to the vast majority of Jazuu. They dominate the northern portion and have constructed major cities. As of 211 AC, nothing is known more about this content or its cultures; what is known comes from fragmentary records indicating that the continent is home to Jazuu, dwarves, goblinoids, and a very few humans who migrated during the 3rd Age. The records speak of the seemingly-ageless Storm Emperor who rules from a floating palace above the clouds and cities housing peoples of gigantic proportions carved out of mountains.
On Noefra, there are two regions with significant Jazuu populations. The first is in the west on the Nocthian Plateau. Frost giants have been encountered as part of the Encroaching Frost, so the Federated Nations believes that a significant populace of Jazuu serves the master of that frigid host. Oddly enough, no goliaths have been encountered as of 211 AC, which has puzzling implications. The Night's Children also have no records of a Titanwall (see below) in that area, so how they're creating more (if they are) is unknown.
The second (and more well-known) population is in the Giant Spine Mountains on the north-eastern border of the Council Lands. Here a nation that calls themselves the Tuura Adam (True People) inhabits the valleys and peaks of this harsh land. The Tuura Adam are an insular people. According to the Immortal Bard (who wrote the only treatise on these people), there are two disparate subcultures. The pastoral Koi Ehl follow the sheep in tribes and families, wandering through the high valleys during the summer and returning to the cities during the harsh winters. The cities house the Uruu Ehl, the stationary people. While the Koi Ehl are almost entirely goliaths by race (with an occasional hill giant tagging along), the Uruu Ehl have many more of the other true giants in their midst. The Uruu are by far the more prestigious of the two people; they demand deference from the Koi, who seem to accept them as the rightful masters. The Uruu are organized regionally, with neighborhoods acting as pseudo-tribal organizations (selecting elders, practicing exogamy, etc). Families rarely move between neighborhoods unless they have a major change in standing.
Both groups are intensely competitive and driven--laziness or complacency is not tolerated. Those who will not work for their living are shunned and exiled. Life is quite orderly and hierarchical--each person knows where they belong and stays there until they can challenge for higher status. The nature of this challenge depends on the occupation of the individuals--craftsmen show off creations, warriors engage in mock combat, sages hold debates. The winner takes (or keeps) the higher status; the loser is relegated to lower ranks. Each craft and each neighborhood has their own hierarchies. This competition extends to the family level--Jazuu are recognized as adults when they can overcome the Initiation Trials of their apprenticed trade or craft. Fair play is central to this--everyone must compete by the established rules. Cheating is a serious crime; "innovation" is discouraged.
Families are centered around the mothers. The fathers may or may not be in the picture, as women rarely bond monogamously. A Tuura woman with 4 children might have had them with 4 different men and be living with a fifth (or with another woman and her family). Mates are chosen primarily based on status, which forms another avenue of competition (both among women for strong Ata, or child-fathers, and among men for the right to have children). The unchosen men live in communal buildings (or tents for the Koi). Strangely, jealousy is not a common vice of the Tuura. Being beaten out for a mate is a sign that one needs to work harder or smarter, not a cause for bitterness. Overall, the Tuura are a very practical, down-to-earth, level-headed people.
The Koi are led by a chief and a council of elders who serve as sages and advisers. There is no gender preference here--men or women can be chosen as chief or elder; the choosing is done by acclimation of the tribe (usually after besting the former chief or elder in a competition of some sort). One primary job of the chief is to keep the records of the tribe. This is done in formal Too-til runes carved into bone. These records include the parentage of every child and the transfiguration of any giants from the tribe, as well as in-marriages and out-marriages and other notable events.
The Uruu (and thus the Koi as well, more tenuously) are led by the cloud giant Bulut Boron (titled "High Regent"). He rules from the mountain citadel of Too Tekterin (High Rock) that surmounts and is built into Skypiercer Peak, the highest mountain in the Giant-Spine Mountains as well as the highest point on the continent. Underneath the citadel is the capital city of Kozhuyn, home of the only known full Titanwall on the Noefran continent.
The Titan Transformation
When a Jazuu attains high enough status (including having fathered/born multiple children), he or she may be eligible for gigantification. This is the process whereby a set of runic commands and powers is imposed on the individual, transforming them into a true giant. This ritual process has several requirements:
- It can only happen at a Titanwall. These huge, semi-circular arcs of stone are covered in runic writing dating back to the Titans and the First Wish. Very few intact specimens remain--there is only a single complete Titanwall on Noefra (plus maybe 6-8 incomplete or damaged walls, some of them much too hazardous to use).
- The ritual requires the willing participation of four individuals of the same station as the candidate (so goliaths for the first transformation, etc). These candidates are forever ineligible for the transformation ritual, although they can stand as ritualists for future candidates. Doing so increases the risk of a faulty transformation, however. This limit puts strong barriers to the number of true giants that can be created.
- The ritual requires extreme endurance, both from the candidate and from the ritualists. This is especially true of the first transformation. Failure to complete the first block of "code" results in a malformed creature (an ogre, a troll, an ettin, or something else) or simply results in the death of the candidate.
The code is presented below--text after # marks are comments.
**START PHYSICAL BLOCK**
GROW IN STRENGTH, SIZE # failure here results in an ogre or ettin. Big, strong, dumb.
LIVE FOR LONG DURATION # failure here tends to be fatal
HUNGER BE SATISFIED # failure here results in a troll. Big, strong, long-lived, always hungry.
BECOME # success here results in an ettin
**END PHYSICAL BLOCK**
**START IMPERATIVES BLOCK**
BECOME # hill giants
BECOME # Stone giants end here
BECOME # Frost giants end here
**END IMPERATIVES BLOCK**
**START RULING BLOCK**
COMMAND UNLIVING ELEMENTS
BECOME # Fire giants
BECOME # Cloud Giants
BECOME # no one has succeeded in this stage since the Titans. Storm giants came close and are seriously powerful, but seriously rare
**END RULING BLOCK**
True giants gain extended life, increased size and strength, and freedom from the hunger/physical drives that would normally accompany such an increase in mass. While they do eat, they don't need much food (only slightly more than a goliath) and mainly do so for taste and pleasure. The higher giants don't eat much at all; they are sustained by the runes and their imperatives. One side effect is that true giants are all sterile and generally (but not always) lack sexual urges. Those that retain such urges are considered strange by their peers. Giant-kin (the failed ones) are not sterile and breed true (hence the plague of ogres and the like). Those that fail are exiled or killed.