- Their titanic forebears granted the gigas their immense strength and stature, but it was the planes themselves that imbued these mighty beings with mythical powers and otherworldly appearances. The quintessence that makes up the planes themselves fills these gigantic creatures. Just as one must understand the battlefield of war to win a skirmish, so too must we understand realms beyond in order to vanquish the primal forces that come from them. And though we fight extraplanar invaders on our own doorsteps far too often, we must take care to prepare for the dire alternative as well— for may the gods help us if our battles against the gigas take us to these ancient monsters’ homes.” ‘’
- —Ranqual the White Warden, speaking to a group of new Rif
The grandchildren of gods and parents to various mortal races, gigas are the awkward and unquiet middle children of divinity. The gods formed their progenitors—the titans—from the raw substance of creation while the cosmos still cooled on Torag’s forge. They bade these servants to help them f lesh out the still-infant multiverse, showering them with power and wealth to complete their tasks. But the titans, for reasons still fiercely debated, cast aside their masters and pronounced themselves the true rulers of eternity. The resulting war rocked every sphere of creation and shattered entire planes, but by its end, the gods stood victorious and banished the usurpers—the Thanatotic titans—to the darkest corners of Abaddon.
Those titans who sought peace with the gods—the Elysian titans—were richly rewarded, both with comfortable domains of their own and free passage across the infinite planes of creation.
The titans—still molten-hot with the fires of creation—trod across every plane, and in their footsteps arose new life: the gigas. Spawned from the stuff of the planes themselves and their titan parents’ divine spark, the gigas exhibit only the tiniest splinters of godly power—outmatched sometimes even by mortal magicusers—but share their progenitors’ immense size and strength as well as supreme adaptations to the lands that bore them. In time, the gigas themselves bred with all variety of mortal creatures, spawning young of incredible size and, like their parents, uniquely adapted to their environments. Legends ascribe gigas contributions to any number of colossal beasts, from rocs to enormous vermin, but realistically the gigas’s true scions are the myriad races of giants.
Invested as they are with titanic energy and urges, gigas bear legendary hatred toward or love for the gods. The vile among them scour their home planes for servants and minions to press-gang into their impossibly far-reaching plans for conquest, personal glory, or deific vengeance.
The kindly among them, however, ply the multiverse as divine servants, guardians, and messengers, thinking nothing of millennia of service when weighed against their natural immortality.
Regardless of their plane of origin and personal dispositions, gigas embody power and survival. Many scholars theorize it was the titans’ quest to determine their own destiny that stirred the primal sparks they left in their wakes, causing gigas to rise up as well—rebelling from the structure of creation just as titans rebelled from the beings that built creation. That willfulness defines them, and is one of the few traits shared across their breed. A gigas may bow to the gods or wish for their destruction, but will always mind their own needs and safety first.
When the titans, envious of the gods’ divine powers, rebelled against their deific creators, the gods punished them by scattering their ilk across the multiverse. While most were banished to the Abyss (or Elysium, in the case of those who sided with the gods rather than rebel), some titans f led to other corners of the Great Beyond, seeking refuge among the other evil planes of the Outer Sphere or unleashing their madness among the realms of the Inner Sphere. Separated from their kind, these planar refugees eked out their relatively meager existences quietly and carefully, so as not to attract the attention of the deities that ruled over these realms. They eventually conceived children to carry on their legacies as the age of titans waned. These children were the gigas.
Whether they came into being among brimstone and unholy fire in the nine layers of Hell or manifested among the life-giving waters and celestial aeries of soaring Heaven, gigas are imbued with the magic and properties of their planes of birth. For this reason, gigas are varied and unpredictable even among their own kind—even two gigas born on the same plane may have vastly different strengths and weaknesses, depending on the circumstances of their genesis and the nature of the titan (or titans) who bore them.
The gigas are ancient beings, predating even some of Golarion’s deities. Gigas have immortal life spans, and live forever unless slain. Such longevity is proportionate to the far-reaching nature of their desires and plans. Because gigas live through countless millennia and were born among planar strife, it comes as no surprise that their goals are often related to guarding their planes of origin or waging wars upon other planes around the Great Beyond.
Most gigas share the humanoid shape of their parents, but are built as much from planar detritus as titan flesh.
They are invariably inhuman, either glorious to behold— such as the scintillating eclystrogens of Heaven—or else repulsive—such as the bone-and-brimstone forms of Hell’s phyriphlegeians. Beings of true flesh rather than an outsider’s quintessence, they must feed and rest as mortals do—an embarrassing condition their parents do not share, and which most gigas detest. Their bodies act as cosmic furnaces, burning the substance of their home planes for fuel. This allows a gigas to feed on anything from beasts and plants or even stones and soil, so long as it hails from its own plane. Away from their native environments, gigas must feed as any humanoid would, on animals, fruits, and vegetables—none of which taste right to their extraplanar palates. The gigas’s immense size makes sating their appetites on foreign worlds nearly impossible in the long term. Without food or drink, gigas slow and eventually fall comatose, sometimes remaining still long enough to be covered under the local landscape until they’re called home or some planar conjunction reinvigorates them.
The gigas have never been a prominent species. They were nearly hunted to extinction by deific agents after the titans’ rebellion. In the time since the gods brought down the titans and scattered them to the farthest reaches of the multiverse, gigas have only become rarer.
Gigas aren’t born in the same fashion as humans and other animals; the conception of a gigas doesn’t necessarily involve two titans. Scholars catalog a wide array of gigas lore and origins, though no two accounts tell the same story. From Egervar the Gray’s manifestation among the blessed tide pools of Nirvana’s Sea of No Shadows, to Iltdur Uskubur’s supposed emergence from his mortal mother’s womb during an elemental lightning storm on the Plane of Air, the tales of gigas’s beginnings grow as tall as the gigas themselves.
Though born of titans or titanic forces, gigas don’t typically associate with their near-deific parents. Because they come into existence with the same incredible power that guides them through their immortal lives, gigas have no need for mentors or guardians, even in their “infancy.” Exceptions exist, of course (among the unusually social gigas and titans from Elysium, for example), but in general, destiny condemns gigas to lead lonely lives.
Gigas rarely interact or even come into contact with one another. When they do, it’s typically by accident, and the encounter often leads to strife. Woe betide those who bear witness to a confrontation between gigas, for the battle could take decades to resolve, and the collateral damage caused by these beings may tear entire worlds apart.
Scholars speculate what circumstances might inspire two gigas to ally with one another and what havoc such a pair might wreak, though most disregard the unnerving proposition in favor of more optimistic discussion.
Gigas care little for the affairs of mortals on the Material Plane, except when the massacre or recruitment of such tiny beings benefits their extraplanar struggles in some way. When they are cowed by greater beings such as titans or gods, gigas carry out tasks on the Material Plane, but they loathe doing so. When serving as such agents, goodly gigas act as protectors of overwhelmed innocents by guarding cities or wading into battle against vile forces, while evil gigas spread their masters’ agenda by laying waste to civilizations and shrouding once-peaceful lands in the haze of war.
On occasion, desperate mortals and monsters of crude intellect worship gigas, mistaking them for gods. Such reverence typically takes place after a gigas infiltrates the Material Plane and impresses its significant might upon a local population. While clerics, inquisitors, and scholars of religion know that gigas lack the divine spark of true gods and therefore can’t grant spells or answer prayers, many cults and fringe religions—from small-town preachers to isolated tribal shamans to secret societies of nobles— claim to glean great power and insight from gigas.
A COSMOLOGY OF GIGAS
Gigas are as varied as they are immense. In addition to the qualities of its parental titans, a gigas’s plane of birth greatly inf luences its powers and general makeup.
Abaddon Gigas: Vile beyond comprehension, miserable to behold, and rotten to the core, the gigas of Abaddon share much in common with the most populous of the twisted denizens of this foul plane—the daemons. Lore says much of these gigas. One chronicler wrote that upon witnessing an Abaddon gigas, he initially mistook the immense being for a corrupt, fetid mountain. The divs of Thuvia have begged their master, Ahriman, to summon them a gigas from their home plane of Abaddon, but even the Lord of All Divs is hesitant to bring such a horror to the Material Plane. And when the dreaded Oinodaemon was shackled to his eternal prison at the heart of Abaddon, it is said that the air filled with the mournful cries of all Abaddon gigas, who felt and expressed the ache of the Fifth Horseman’s imprisonment in a collective, plane-shaking moan. For more information on Abaddon gigas, see page 86.
Abyss Gigas: These ashen behemoths are feared forces, even among the mindless monsters of the Abyss. These unholy sons and daughters of the titans enslave demons and weak qlippoth to serve as minions in their twisted armies. But even Abyss gigas too must bow before stronger forces, including demon lords with an interest in giants, such as Kostchtchie. More information on the Abyss gigas, including full statistics, can be found in Pathfinder Module: The Witchwar Legacy.
Axis Gigas: Long ago, in the early eons of the multiverse, the titans laid siege to Axis, the Eternal City.
The city’s defenders managed to repel the titans, and left the massive carcasses to rot in the wastelands just beyond Axis’s borders as a warning to others of their kind. While the axiomites worked tirelessly to create the first inevitables to repel the encroaching proteans, the formians of Axis called upon their own only semipredictable allies: gigas. These metal-clad gigas were channeled into devastating battles against the invaders and ultimately turned the tide against the Maelstrom’s hordes. In the conf lict’s aftermath, though, they simply vanished. Rumors say that now the gigas of Axis lurk just beneath the cobblestone streets and grassy hillocks of the Eternal City, waiting for the day when they are called upon to combat chaotic forces beyond even the inevitables’ strength.
Boneyard Gigas: Behemoths of preserved f lesh and smoldering red ash, the gigas of Pharasma’s Boneyard are mysterious beings whose very existence proves the inscrutability of Pharasma’s far-reaching goals.
Where these gigas came from and why the Lady of Graves allows them to stay within her planar home remain questions without answers.
Elemental Gigas: The gigas of the Elemental Planes of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water are beings of elemental fury, as simple-minded as true elementals and as violent as the elemental lords. On the Plane of Air, hulking, alabaster-skinned brutes enshrouded in whirling winds launch lightning bolts with just a gaze.
Earth gigas look like rotting things caked with ever-crumbling mud and earth, their labored breaths choked with elemental dust. Among Ymeri’s burning kingdoms, many gigas of elemental fire serve as the Queen of the Inferno’s immortal sentries.
Their charcoal-black skin looks like scars on the sky as they vigilantly stand watch on the soaring towers at the gates of the Blistering Labyrinth. The eeriest of their elemental kin, the gigas of the Plane of Water drift in a semiconscious haze, f loating silently amid the ancient waters of the Boundless Se.a They only awaken to perform inscrutable tasks when the elemental oceans carry them word of dangers and strange imbalances in seas far away.
Elysium Gigas: While good gigas are rare, they are not unheard of, and Elysium is the place to find most of them. The immortal spawn of the Elysian titans are as benevolent and headstrong as their elders, performing miracles for the denizens of this wild realm and protecting its borders from extraplanar invaders. Unlike most gigas, Elysium gigas maintain close ties with the titans, and many of these gigas even serve their forebears as interplanar messengers, agents, and emissaries.
Energy Gigas: Even the fierce, obliterating light of the Plane of Positive Energy and the life-draining darkness of the Plane of Negative Energy couldn’t stop the titans from setting foot on these epic domains. In recent memory, however, only the native gigas of the Negative Energy Plane—called necrophyscians by their neighboring sceaduinar—have been sighted. Whether the behemoths of the Plane of Positive Energy—referred to as lumigens in ancient texts—died out in some longforgotten struggle or hid themselves away until the jyoti need them, no one knows for sure.
Heaven Gigas: The term “gigas” carries a negative connotation among the rulers of Heaven, and so the celestial hosts refer to their titanic vassals as eclystrogens.
Titans have not dwelled on Heaven’s mountain for many eons, so the eclystrogens are widely thought to be the descendants of visiting Elysian titans who sowed their kin among the lower levels of the plane. The most wellknown eclystrogen, Tryanas, stands 70 feet tall and serves the empyreal lord Arqueros. Clad in armor of molten gold but bearing no weapons, Tryanas stands proudly beside its demigod master, and protects the gates to Heaven whenever Arqueros must tend to other matters.
Eclystrogens are known to be weaker than almost all other forms of gigas, but few would guess as much upon meeting one.
Hell Gigas: Creatures of war and destruction on a planar scale, the Hell gigas are composed of infernal heat, twisted bone, and bloodstained iron. They avoid devils and stray toward the borderlands of Avernus, Dis, and Phlegethon, where they live out their lonely existences in hopes of being summoned to the Material Plane. More information on the Hell gigas, including full statistics, can be found in Pathfinder Adventure Path #30: The TwiceDamned Prince.
Maelstrom Gigas: The chaotic, swirling energies of the Maelstrom provide perfect stalking grounds for the equally unbridled gigas. Here, powerful and inscrutable demigods command gigas servants to patrol scraps of hotly contested territory. The most ancient protean lords have also dominated gigas in this realm. Such twisted monstrosities said to resemble both giant and protean, and have names such as Intessurek the Guardian, Buiaroth Gored, and Omranu of Imperfect Veils. Each bears ill will toward any who would tread on their masters’ domains without permission.
Nirvana Gigas: Also known as the Eternal Sleepers or the Lucid Ones, the black-eyed gigas of Nirvana have slept for untold eons, and they exist in a hazy, neverending somnambulistic state. They trundle through the mountains and meadows of Nirvana without apparent objective. As they walk, Nirvana gigas create and control phantasmagorical landscapes and even entire worlds based on a reality they have seen only in their dreams and nightmares. Entire populations are born and destroyed in the minds of these gigas, and some say that those who wake these beings from their endless slumber secure their eternal allegiance.
Shadow Gigas: Though loyal and obedient to the members of the Umbral Court, the shadow giants of Nidal are not without their own secrets, and if questioned about the possibility of gigas on the Shadow Plane, they exhibit a silence that is eerily ominous, even for their kind. Even shadow giants puzzle over the fate of their ancestors, who supposedly once walked the gray lands of the unearthly Plane of Shadow. Some whisper that the shadow gigas died out in a war against the kytons when those refugees from Hell settled in the Shadow Plane, but the shadow giants refuse to respond to such claims, lending credence to the idea that some gigas still stalk that gloomy realm.
Other Gigas: The titans claim they ruled the Great Beyond for many eons, and if so, then their gigas kin certainly dot the entire planar cosmos. The Ethereal Plane and the First World are mysterious realms and even the gods would balk at trying to find a gigas amid these near-infinite expanses. Gigas rule more than a few of the countless demiplanes and other extraplanar realms scattered throughout the multiverse. These strange pocket universes offer sanctuary to the gigas and their favored giant disciples, but prove inhospitable to any other creatures. While grand fortunes and impossible treasures surely rest within gigas’s various demiplanes, the deadly cost of even stepping foot in such a place is more than most mortal adventurers bargain for.
Some scholars speculate that the giants of Golarion are descended from gigas who once ruled the Material Plane and vanished or fell at the hands of their children. Others— mostly eccentric researchers and mad dreamers—claim that a few of these primal gigas still yet remain, locked in immense vaults beneath Golarion’s surface. Lying dormant in ancient temples that have been lost to the ages, these ages-old beings await the time when they and their gigantic kin can once again walk the path of power and glory in the mortal realm.
GIGAS ON GOLARION
While the history of giants and their immensely powerful ancestors on Golarion is a long one, the list of encounters with gigas in mortal memory is thankfully short. The following instances of gigas meddling on the Material Plane can be used as plot hooks for adventures or quests to challenge high-level PCs who have completed the Giantslayer Adventure Path and are looking for more giant-felling action.
Blackrift Gigas: The conjurers and summoners of the Blackfire Adepts are known for their destructive tendencies and extraplanar minions, but even these power-hungry nihilists abide by a certain code. A renegade cadre of Blackfire Adepts calling itself the Order of the Blackrift has been stirring up trouble in the northlands between the Realm of the Mammoth Lords and the Crown of the World, summoning uncontrollable spirits to plague the long polar nights and besiege Erutaki tribes. Leaders among the Blackfire Adepts learned that the Order of the Blackrift has summoned its most devastating monster yet—a Maelstrom gigas—to lay waste to the scant settlements left in the region and lead the group’s charge into southern Avistan. Now the Blackfire Adepts have sent out missive for bold (or suicidal) giant hunters to destroy the gigas and disband the outlaw mages before it’s too late.
Kell the Denier: Born in the wretched, fiery forges of Hell, Kell the Denier willingly serves the infernal duke Uruskreil, and in so doing has earned the eternal hatred of his own kind. A merciless warrior and eager torturer with legendary appetites his infernal master is all too eager to sate, Kell subdues his fellow gigas and twists their bodies and minds to serve Hell’s will. Uruskreil regularly sends the gigas to crush those who offend him upon the Material Plane. This arrangement leaves the infernal duke more time to indulge himself at his diabolical forge, while the Denier works for him without question or error. The gigas regularly disappears for a short period when he journeys to the world of mortals, though—an idiosyncrasy that has not gone unnoticed.
The Planebreaker: Not simply rulers, gigas also pursue professions with the same gusto that gods display when crafting worlds, and few smiths stand as prominently in legend as Atognachrius the Planebreaker. A fire gigas born of uncommon will, even among gigas, Atognachrius crafted a legendary hammer capable of shattering the very walls of reality in order to escape his enslavement at the hands of Ymeri, Elemental Lord of Fire. For untold eons the gigas has f led from one plane to another, always with agents of the Queen of the Inferno at his heels. He pauses from time to time, dredging up magma vents to serve as his forge, but inevitably, powerful efreet and fire elementals find his newest lair. Such results in incredible battles and blazing maelstroms before the towering smith smashes his way through reality to f lee once more, leaving volcanic ridges and burnt wastelands in his wake.
Quesamian Hill: Lost amid Isger’s foothills and rediscovered every few decades, Quesamian Hill haunts fables and tavern songs for hosting an ever-shifting structure within itself. Alternately a temple complex, treasure-laden tomb, or nightmarish prison depending on who tells the tale, this dungeon punishes the wicked and rewards the good. The true story of Quesamian Hill, however, begins in Nirvan.a Eons ago, before humans ever claimed the rocky mountain valleys of the area, Qanar, a sleepwalking Nirvana gigas, dreamed herself a portal and passed onto the Material Plane. An avalanche knocked the somnambulistic giant prone, burying her and eventually creating Quesamian Hill. Qanar remains there still today, her dreams weaving an ever-changing complex filled with fantastic treasures, illogical puzzles, and a cavalcade of fantastic beasts. Though the dungeon is filled with unique treasures, the greatest reward within is Qanar herself. This near-divine being would be endlessly grateful toward any mortals who wakened her and help her return to the endless bliss of Nirvana.
AN OVERVIEW OF GIANTKIND
Though different cultures ascribe a variety of mythologies to giantkind and posit the existence of other types of these beings, the words titan, gigas, giant, and giantkin are the most widely accepted terms for members of this towering family. Titans: The gods formed the first titans at the beginning of time, when the stars were young and before mortals existed. When the titans rebelled against their deific creators in an eons-long war, the gods banished titankind from their sight. Now, the only titans left are those who betrayed their kin during this struggle and those who managed to flee the gods’ wrath.
Gigas: The gigas are the progeny of titans, and roam the planes wherever titans once trod. Many claim that gigas are the forebears of other, lesser giants, and gigas do little to dissuade such theories.
Giants: Encompassing many oni as well as the traditionally accepted variations of giants (such as hill giants, fire giants, and so on), this term encapsulates most of what people mean when they refer to “giantkind.” Though giants’ origin stories are as varied as the towering beings themselves, most scholars believe the giants that walk Golarion are the distant descendants of titans or gigas.
Giantkin: Those creatures who are related to giants but who don’t fit the neatly defined model described above—such as ogres, ogrekin, trolls, and ettins—are often called giantkin. These creatures lack the immensity of true giants, but still possess a measure of their hulking power and pose significant risk to smaller beings.
- Tueurs de géants #6