Cave giant

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Cave giant
Orcs enslaving a cave giant.
(Creature)

Cave giants are a race of cave-dwelling and Darklands-dwelling giants who resemble a cross between ogres and very feral orcs. Relatively unintelligent and technologically backward, any metal objects or weapons they possess are stolen from their defeated foes.1

Appearance

Cave giants appear as oversized humanoids with large tusks growing out of the back of their lower jaws. They share features of both orcs and ogres, but are bigger on average than both, standing over 10 feet in height, and weighing upwards of 1,000 pounds. Their true height is hard to judge, as cave giants walk with a perpetual stoop, most likely due to their overdeveloped musculature and their need to constantly crouch in cramped tunnels. Their arms are quite long, most likely due to their hunched posture.12 Their skin tones range from slate gray to a dark mossy green, and their dark hair runs from their head down their backs like a mane. They most often wear hides decorated with bone.3

Ecology

Cave giants who live below ground are hunter-gatherers who collect plants and hunt animals.3 They are known to be particularly fond of kobold eggs, and because of this are mortal enemies of the diminutive reptilian humanoids.4 Most cave giants could live to be over 100, but rarely make it past 60 due to their violent nature.1

Society & Culture

Cave giants are violent raiders who manufacture few goods, preferring to steal them from others. They are particularly fond of and skilled at wielding axes, and take them off other giants at any opportunity. They take their foes as slaves whenever they can remember to not give into their bloodlust and kill all who stand before them. Those who are captured rarely live long, and end up being either fatally mistreated, or else being eaten when the giants run out of other food; this means that there is high turnover among the cave giants' slave population. Most slaves are either xulgaths or orcs, with dwarven slaves being particularly valued due to their metalworking abilities.1

Like many giants, cave giants carry a bag containing some of their most prized possessions.5

Cave giants keep all manner of giant lizards as both guards and sport, although they prefer the less dangerous giant monitor lizards to the more dangerous giant frilled lizards. These creatures are trained in the most brutal manner possible and, because of this, will turn on their masters at the first sign of weakness. They are generally fed live victims (often slaves), with the ensuing slaughter being a source of great amusement and gambling for the cave giants.1

Religion

The few cave giants who bother with religion are worshipers of Rovagug, honoring him as the lord of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Some of his more ambitious followers have even concocted plans to free him from his prison so that he might blot out the hated sun but so far have failed.3

Cave giants on Golarion

Cave giants are known to inhabit the Darklands of Tian Xia, particularly the tunnels beneath the Wall of Heaven Mountains.6 In the Inner Sea region, they are known to inhabit the caverns below Hollow Mountain in Varisia where they and their ogrekin allies are active slavers.7 They have also been spotted in deep sea caves in the Shackles,8 living in a dangerous part of Cheliax's Whisperwood caves known as the Scar Thicket,9 and in caverns below the Kodar, Mindspin, and Tusk Mountains; they are particularly common in the Hold of Belkzen where these three mountain ranges intersect.3 Further east, several tribes of cave giants dwell in the Zho Mountains, some of these tribes even offer protection to the nearby Rovagug-worshipping town of Rikhist.10

References

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary 3, 127. Paizo Inc., 2011
  2. Patrick Renie, et al. Battle of Bloodmarch Hill, inside front cover. Paizo Inc., 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 David Schwartz. “Giant Primer” in Battle of Bloodmarch Hill, 64. Paizo Inc., 2015
  4. Mat Smith, et al. “Tribes” in Kobolds of Golarion, 11. Paizo Inc., 2013
  5. Adam Daigle, et al. “Bestiary” in Battle of Bloodmarch Hill, 81. Paizo Inc., 2015
  6. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 21. Paizo Inc., 2011
  7. Amanda Hamon. Redcap” in Fey Revisited, 45. Paizo Inc., 2013
  8. Robin D. Laws. Pathfinder's Journal: The Treasure of Far Thallai 6 of 6” in From Hell's Heart, 77. Paizo Inc., 2012
  9. Alexander Augunas, et al. “Giant-Hunting Organizations” in Giant Hunter's Handbook, 19. Paizo Inc., 2014
  10. Jessica Price. “Adventuring in Qadira” in Qadira, Jewel of the East, 38. Paizo Inc., 2017