Giant’s Retreat
“Savages? You rule-makers preside with words and edicts that kill just as easily as my sword. The Towerbound are much more honest with their killing.” - Tuatha of the Flame, Master of the Tower of Blood

Capital: Bloodshadow
Settlements: Bloodshadow (10,000), Hunter’s Creek (800), Iron Mounds (1,000)
Ruler: Master Tuatha of the Flame
Government: Kratocracy
Races: Half-Cyclops, Half-Giant, Half-Ogre, Half-Orc, Human
Faiths: Drothos, Enor Ashlord, Fenris Kul, Ferrakus, Ice Tyrant, Lord Grunzol Firestorm
Resources: Godmetals (adamantine, dreamstone, geranite, hellstone, linite), iron, ivory, mercenaries
Languages: Common, Giant, Old Porphyran, Orc
Border Conditions: Limited (porphyrite border with Mount Xoa)

History
Long before The Calling, the region currently called Giant’s Retreat was known as the Dagger Peaks. It was named after a small range of mountains that cut into the Opal Sea. Even in those times, it was a savage land, filled with barbaric peoples. Orcs, humans, and even ogres lived in tribes surrounding the Dagger Peaks, warring with each other not out of hate, but out of battle lust. For in this region, strength is all. Though the races kept to tribal regions, all in Dagger Peaks were of one nation. That is because there are only three laws in the region; ancient laws that persist to this day:

  • The strongest rules from atop the Tower of Blood
  • Do as you please, at the whim of the Bloodking.
  • You may kill any whom you disagree with.

There is no land more free, no land that marches to war with more relish. When the NewGod War began, the orc master of Dagger Peaks marched his tribes to battle, and famously split his forces between the elementalist and the divine forces, fighting one another to destruction.

When all was done, the survivors finally returned home to compete once more for the Tower of Blood; they did not do so alone. After the NewGod War many of the giants that served the elementals were enslaved or killed. Those that were not were welcomed by the barbarian hordes, for old allegiances did not matter in the Dagger Peaks, only that the three laws were followed. Now that a porphyrite border cut off the peninsula, the competition for the Tower was all the more fitting. Now, the region was one giant arena, and at its center, the only prize that mattered, the Tower of Blood.

Each year past that dire treaty, signed in the heat of the Siwath desert, the giants’ numbers only grew in the Dagger Peaks. All over the world the remnant soldiers of the elementals heard of this new land that welcomed them, and they journeyed to reach this new home. So many giant masters would take the Tower that soon the region’s name changed to Giant’s Retreat.

Current Events
Religion has come to the Giant’s Retreat in the last few generations, from the sinister church of the destroyer god, Fenris Kul, Lord of the Burning Throne. The Breaker cast his covetous eye on the land of perpetual bloodshed, and his mad clerics followed the influx of former dogs of the elementalists. He cast his influence over the warriors of the land, and soon his name could be heard bellowed from atop the Tower of Blood. The most recent call of claim, came, interestingly enough, from a human. Born from the people of Hunter’s Creek, Tuatha of the Flame honed his skills as a child, bringing down mammoths.

As he grew older, he would brawl with ogres, and lead many raids into the rival city of Iron Mounds. One day, while drenched in the blood of his comrades, and face to face with a giant opponent, he heard the chant of Fenris Kul. It cracked and roared from the fire of the village around him. Taking up the chant, Tuatha brought down the giant before him, and each successive fool who challenged him on his march to the Tower of Blood.

When he was done, the last to challenge him was the fire giant who was the former master of Giant’s Retreat. Tuatha roared Fenris Kul’s name into the night and great fires burned across the region beneath its echo.

The far-ranging frost giants in their enormous, slow ships are seeking favor in the competition for the Tower by finding and recruiting (or capturing) interesting and, more importantly, powerful races to throw into the fray. Some of their curious finds are the enigmatic qit’ar, the ith’n ya’roo of the southern Eternal Ice, and the fearful gnarl of the far eastern mountains. These races are sticking to their own, but they will eventually choose a faction, for good or ill.

Nearby nations are very nervous about the growing numbers of Kulite priests in the Retreat, as they will be able to bypass the protective godswall to the west, and softer lands. The Methysti clerics of Shankhil are scrambling to reassure everyone that the giants are too concerned with their internal conflicts to march west. Now, Tuatha of the Flame stands atop the Tower, awaiting his next challenger, praying to his god for a glorious war against anyone foolish enough to challenge Giant’s
Retreat.

Settlements
The major settlements of the Giant’s Retreat are:

  • Bloodshadow is at the foot of the Dagger Peaks, a city of the strongest warriors in the Retreat. Above them, on the tallest mountain peak stands the Tower of Blood, the ultimate display of strength. Every ambitious warrior of the region eventually battles their way here, in hopes that they will become the next master by the slaying the incumbent. Any outsiders here must be very wary, for battles spark in the city at the slightest provocation. Each warrior, after all, has something important to prove.
  • Hunter’s Creek is a tent-city that is indeed the calmest major settlement in the Retreat. Many have marched to their doom to take it, as the youth here are raised to the hunt, by stealth and cunning. For if you are raised hunting saber-toothed cats and mammoths, what challenge is a man? The camp-town carries a friendly war with Iron Mounds, but sells mammoth ivory and live arena-beasts at the same landings as their rivals.
  • Iron Mounds is on the opposite side of the Dagger Peaks and closer to the hated godswall. The iron mine there that these foothills people have toiled in for generations has produced all of the great weapons used in the myriad conflicts of the region—or so the belligerent folk here would have you think. The tribesmen here often do battle with their rivals in Hunter’s Creek, and sell ore to cautious outlanders at beach-landings on the north coast.

Intrigues

  • The PCs sit in a Bloodshadow tavern, admiring a beautiful but foolish princess of the Imperiax declaring her wish to see if the stories of Giant’s Retreat are true. Kulites can also be heard plotting the foreigner’s demise in hopes that it might bring the land to war…
  • A rich Blixian merchant intends to buy the superbly made weapons of the Iron Mounds and sell them for much profit back in the Consortium. To achieve this, he will need much aid in staying alive on the journey, and he is willing to pay handsomely.
  • Nervous Methysti clerics in Mount Xoa are considering issuing a bounty on Kulite priests in the Retreat, even though that would likely result in a nasty holy war between the devoted of The Twilight Man and The Breaker. Would the PCs seek bounties, or suggest a more diplomatic approach?
  • The Tower of Blood is in the center of the land, and many obstacles stand in your way. Can you dethrone Tuatha of the Flame and become the next Master of Giant’s Retreat?

See Also