On the Formorians of the Flanaess: History, Culture and Nation
Date: Sun, February 21, 2010
Topic: Peoples & Culture

There's an old saying that you should never judge a book by its cover. In many cases that's true, but it should be noted that there is an exception to every rule. In the case of formorians, you really can judge a book by its cover.

 -Seline Roas Del Cranden, adventuring wizard.

Social mores and practices:


Formorian giants are nightmarish monstrosities over thirteen feet tall with bone-white skin and thick patches of black hair as tough as wire all over their bodies. Their eyes are a terrible blood red or black, and their voices tend to be screeching and unpleasant, although they have a wide variety in tone and pitch. Most horrifying of all are their various deformities, which make them among the most disgusting and unsettling creatures to witness. Such deformities, which occur in combinations unique to each particular giant, include misplaced arms or legs, large flapping ears, extremely large or small noses, very large hands or feet on very small arms or legs, eyes on the side or back of the giant’s heard, gaping or tiny mouths, crooked or overly large teeth, and many others too numerous to list here. Many of these giants also tend to smell very badly due to their overactive sweat glands, while others have no smell at all. Even the ones who otherwise have no smell still tend to reek unpleasantly, owing to the filth they live in.


Formorians dwell in mountain caves, underground mines, and other desolate, out of the way places. As with humanoids such as orcs and goblins, they are remarkably adaptable to almost any clime or environment. However, they almost never take steps to improve or decorating their homes, instead adapting to what is already there. If they find furniture or other salvageable items, they may make use of them, but otherwise make no crafts themselves. Formorians are remarkably skilled at finding use for almost anything they can obtain, stitching together the clothing of their victims to make new clothes for themselves, or taking large broken pieces of wood and stone and using them as crude clubs or flails. They particularly covet the weapons and shields of their fellow giants, although they will stitch any particularly fine-looking piece of metal armor they obtain from the smaller races into their own clothing for protection. As can be expected, formorians do not get on well with other races, only interested in murdering any neighbors they have and stealing anything they can use.


Formorian society, such as it is, centers around the largest and strongest male, who cruelly oppresses all those around him. He enforces his rule with beatings, and so violent fights tend to break out frequently among formorian clans. Power continually shifts from one male to the next, as each one bests his successor in combat. Such fights are rarely fatal, with the disgraced loser usually being maimed in some way as punishment for his disobedience. This social stricture applies not only to the formorians themselves, but any other race unlucky enough to find itself in the same territory as them. Other races serve only to provide the formorians with what they need. If these others should resist, or refuse service, then the formorians have no compunctions about murdering their victims in cold blood.


Hatred and sadism are an integral part of the formorian mindset. Constantly reminded of their own ugliness when they see each other and the more attractive races, formorians continually lash out at the world, consumed with self-loathing and jealousy. They have no positive relations of any sort with other races, and even within formorian society itself obedience is compelled only by fear. The women and children are treated as slaves fit only for beating and rape to conceive more of their own kind, although these unfortunates can and will engage in the same cruelty if their fortunes improve. Many are the male formorians who have been struck down by their own wives or children after one beating or violation too many…


Their only leisure activity is violence, whether against each other or other races. Hatred of other races is perhaps the one thing formorians can agree on, and they will set aside their own differences to unite against an enemy or raid and plunder the homes of other races. In combat they demonstrate considerable cunning, being surprisingly stealthy for their very large size. Their deformities are also a blessing and a curse, in that while they often cannot hurl rocks as other giants do, the large ears, eyes and noses they frequently sport heighten their senses to the point where ambushes and stealth are almost useless against them. Full of rage at the world, formorians also wield their clubs, maces and flails with deadly power in combat, making up what they lack in finesse with sheer brutality and anger.




Hated by other races and hating other races and themselves in turn, formorians are full of anger and self-hate, which causes them to lash out at the world. They take a sadistic pleasure in hurting those who would either hate them, or are simply unlucky enough to be more attractive than them. Their anger and hate give rise to sadism, as they take a perverted pleasure in the suffering of innocents who have done nothing to deserve suffering at the formorians’ hands.


The race of formorian giants was made in the image of its creator, the god Karontor. According to legend, the deity Annam, the greatest of the giant gods, observed the rise of mortal beings in the time after the Dark Lord was imprisoned, created by the gods and allowed to flourish upon the Oerth as a reward for their help in defeating Dread Tharizdun’s minions. As he had himself fought valiantly against the Dark Lord’s forces, Annam decided that he would also create mortal beings to revere him and live upon the Oerth. He sealed a pact with the Oerth Mother, who repaid his loyal service by giving him the same boon she had to the other creator gods.

Crafty Annam then devised a plan. His weakness for women of beauty had led him to father many sons, all of whom clamored for their father’s favor, and he feared that some of these might become a threat to his position. To avert this, he gathered his sons together in his hall and announced that he would hold a contest to determine the most worthy heir to his throne. As his sons eagerly listened, Annam proclaimed that he would take the boon granted him by Beory and share it with them, allowing them all to create races in his image. The son who produced the most worthy race would thus be given Annam’s position.

As the cunning Annam had foreseen, his sons competed vigorously with one another, creating multiple races who all came to revere him in some form, even as his sons soon became more concerned with besting one another and fighting for dominance in the contest, than seeking to overthrow him. In this way, Annam maintained his hold on power as ruler of the gods of the giants.


One of Annam’s sons was the god Karontor, known for his twisted, misshapen form and his horribly ugly appearance. Plagued with deformities since birth, Karontor was often beaten and bullied by his brothers, and even Annam made clear his distaste and embarrassment at having sired such a hideous being. Filled with hatred for his family because of his mistreatment, and insanely jealous of their more pleasing appearances, Karontor developed a profound anger and hatred of both himself and the world. Such was his loathing that eventually he developed a profound desire to lash out even at those who did nothing to harm him. Of his brothers, only Skoraeus Stonebones was viewed with less hatred by Karontor, as Skoraeus generally tended to treat him with far less loathing than the others. Surtur, Thrym, Grolantor and Memnor were despised by Karontor for the way they beat and mistreated him, while Stronmaus’s compassion and attempts to help and defend Karontor were viewed by the latter as patronizing and hypocritical.  


Despite the hatred afforded him by the rest of the family, Karontor nonetheless claimed a place in Annam’s contest. Electing to participate out of pure spite, Karontor did not seek to actually win the contest, but create a race that would bring suffering and misery to the beings created by his brothers. The deformed god created a race of beings that were as malformed and hateful as their creator, hating giants above all but also regarding all other living beings with loathing, taking a sadistic desire in bringing them harm and indulging their own hatred. Karontor’s relations with his brothers was made form in the relations between formorians and their brother races, namely that of hatred eternal, with no quarter given or asked.


Famous Formorian Giant Leaders:


            -Baron Doom-Eye: Dwells in the Yatil Mountains southwest of Perrenland; famous for having one extremely small eye and one extremely large one that is very resistant to damage and heals very quickly; famous for maintaining control over one of the major underground roads beneath that section of the Yatils and extorting tribute from caravans and travelers; famous for letting the flesh of his victims rot before he eats it.


            -Englekken the Kin-Slayer: Dwells in the Lortmil Mountains north of the County of Urnst; famous for having one arm sprouting from the front of his chest and the other sprouting from his back; famous for his love of dwarven spirits and the drunken rampages he goes on when he is intoxicated; famous for the “harem” of captive female giants he keeps, which he uses for his sadistic pleasure; famous for slaying three of his brothers in a vicious fight for leadership of his formorian band.


            -The Hated One: Dwells in the Hollow Highlands east of Idee; famous for his large right hand on a short right arm and his small left hand on a long left arm; famous for the raids he and his minions wage on the gnome and halfling settlements of the area; famous for the magically enchanted venomous dagger he wields in his small left hand and the elaborately decorated mythril mace he wields in his large right hand; famous for arousing the hatred of the demihumans of the region.


            -Zekhyos the Bloodstained: Dwells in the Cairn Hills west of the Duchy of Urnst; famous for his eyes and ears, which are all placed at evenly spaced distances around his head; famous for the demonic tattoos he carves on himself with ink derived from the blood of the umber hulks he enjoys eating; famous for the murals depicting images of suffering and terror that he creates out of mosaics created with the jewels his band obtains in its raids.

This article comes from Canonfire!

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