The Eternal Binding
Goliaths é uma parte do setting criada pelo Steam_punk—PC: Kor
Goliaths are massive creatures who live atop the tallest mountains. They are highly competitive and never back down from a challenge or a fight. They are extremely daring, almost foolhardy in fact. In their mountain homes, they leap from precipice to precipice as if it were nothing, heedless of the fatal consequences of a misstep. They fear nothing and are always curious and inquisitive about what is in store for them next.
Goliaths are a simple people who live in a primal society. They place great importance in clan life. Their religion is deeply spiritual and natural. They have no gods but believe in the powerful ancestral spirits of their mountains. They speak their own language, Gol-Kaa. Gol-Kaa is a strictly spoken tongue with a reduced phonetic alphabet. Goliaths who have significant contact with other races tend to know Common as well.
Goliaths are very big. They tower above even Dragonborn, standing between 7 and 8 feet tall, and weigh between 280 and 340 pounds. Goliaths have gray skin, mottled with dark and light patches – markings that are indicative of a Goliath’s fate. Lithoderms – coin-sized bone-and-skin growths hard as pebbles – speckle their arms, shoulders, and torso. Their eyes are a brilliant blue or green, and they often seem to glow a little.
Since the earliest times, Goliaths have lived atop the massive Skyscar Mountains, in the northernmost parts of the World. Throughout their history, Goliaths have mostly been content with living in their Mountains away from civilization at large. Despite their massive size, strength and their obvious potential to become a nation of conquerors, they have never stepped out into the world at large. Goliaths enjoy their simple way of life and want nothing to do with the great events of the world.
Goliaths first came to be known to the other races a long time ago, when they came across human explorers. Though the humans initially mistook the Goliaths for a giant offshoot race, they eventually came to a better understanding of the situation. Trade was established between both races, the Goliaths supplying rare materials from their Mountains and the humans providing superiorly crafted goods. Over time, Goliaths also came to be valued as guides for the few brave but ultimately foolish races that tried to cross or explore Skyscar. As time passed, other races came into contact with the Goliaths and though they were willing to trade with the world around them, Goliaths never felt the need to expand and they remained in their Mountains.
Goliath history took a darker turn when they met the dwarven race. The dwarves came to the Skyscar Mountains, hoping to establish an underground kingdom beneath it. The Goliaths would have none of it. Goliaths claimed all of Skyscar was theirs, even the underground. Dwarves, who are not known for their tact, refused to leave and began mining and construction operations. Even though the two races wanted completely different and even complimentary things, their arrogance and intransigence led them into conflict. The Goliaths declared war on the Dwarves and swore an Oath to kill every last one on their territory.
The conflict between Goliath and Dwarf was long and brutal. Sadly for the dwarves, though they are renowned warriors, their skill lies in siege warfare, especially if they are defending a fortified position. But the Goliaths assaulted the dwarves long before their fortress was complete. Without fortification and facing an enemy that could climb up and down the Mountains with tremendous ease, the dwarves were ultimately destroyed and never returned to Skyscar, where “giant stone men rained death from above”. Relations between dwarves and Goliaths have never gotten past the incident. Whenever they meet, tension is always high.
As time went on, the Goliaths have carried on living on their own terms. The conflict with the dwarves made other races all too aware of the danger of attacking this massive race so Goliaths have mostly been left alone to this day.
Goliath society is fairly simple and primitive at first glance. But in truth, there is more to it than meets the eye. Goliaths live in nomadic clans scattered throughout Skyscar. All clans are bound to the female side. The head of every clan is always the Matron. Men take care of combat and defense. The second highest rank within a clan is War Chieftain and that post is always taken by a man. On all other matters, Goliath are mostly gender agnostic. All clans share the Mountain as their homeland and thus the Goliath can be thought of as a sort of proto-nation
Goliath society is deeply spiritual. The shamans are the spiritual leaders of the Goliaths and advise the clan on all matters. They can commune with the great ancestral spirit of Skyscar so their word carries great importance. A clan has only one shaman who keeps several apprentices. When an apprentice has learned all he can, he must find a clan where he can serve as shaman. Shamans (and their apprentices) have many duties within their society. They are advisers, healers, teachers, prophets and much more.
One particularly important aspect of Goliath faith is the concept of fate and the Ritual of the Markings. The patches covering the body of a Goliath form a unique pattern for each of them. This pattern is indicative of a Goliath’s fate. When a Goliath comes of age he and his clan’s shaman perform the Ritual of the Markings, where the shaman will attempt to divine what he can about the young Goliath’s fate. Destiny isn’t always apparent though and some Goliaths go through much of their life trying to find and fulfil the fate they “saw” in their ritual. Because their markings are related to fate, Goliaths avoid covering them and would never tamper with them (for instance, getting a tattoo). Honor and Oaths also play an important part in Goliath life. It is said that an Oathbreaker’s Markings will fade, indicating that Destiny has cast him off. Since Oaths are so important to Goliaths, they tend to hold other races to whatever promises they make as well. The Goliaths will easily go to war to punish an Oarthbreaker who has betrayed them.
Goliath Clans wander the Skyscar Mountains with great freedom. There is no notion of clan turf. All the clans own all of Skyscar. That said, if a clan finds an occupied area, they tend to move along since resources are seldom sufficient for two clans. Most clans of Goliaths wander from peak to peak, tending their goat flocks and foraging for alpine roots and tubers. Typically, a clan sets up a temporary village (which must always be “founded” by the Matron) in an alpine meadow and remains there for a month or two, then moves on when the season changes or better hunting can be found elsewhere. Goliaths prefer high altitudes. They only move to lower elevations when they need to trade.
All Goliaths are expected to perform whatever tasks are needed for the continued prosperity of the clan. Life in the Mountains is very hard and challenging so all Goliaths make it a point of pride to contribute as much they can. This the origin of their great competitiveness.
Goliaths’ love of competition shapes a significant part of their worldview. For instance, a Goliath instinctively keeps score about anything that’s a challenge, and casually mentions how he’s doing compared to his comrades and rivals. Though Goliaths compete with others, they compete first of all with themselves. A Goliath who wins a battle will not be satisfied until he fights and wins a greater, harder battle.
Because tribes rely on the utmost effort of each member to survive in Skyscar, Goliaths are almost incapable of holding a grudge if they lose a fair competition. Also, cheating in a competition – which for Goliaths covers most life activities – is such a taboo that few Goliaths will risk the social consequences of being caught. Many can’t conceive of cheating, instead redoubling their efforts or finding another game or sport to try. Competition among Goliaths has a darker side as well. A Goliath who can’t keep up with the rest of the tribe, either literally or in terms of production, is carried for only a few days before the tribe begins to shun the weak Goliath. Such a Goliath must either prove his worth very quickly or he will leave the clan either by choice or force.
Goliaths in the World
All Goliaths possess a natural wanderlust. For most, it can be satisfied by moving about the Skyscar Mountains in their daily life. However, some of them are struck by a deeper lust to see the world below. These Goliaths are believed to have a special destiny to fullfill. Their Markings tend to be particularly complex and their Rituals very long. These Goliaths never know what their fate truly is. Only that it lies beyond Skyscar. They leave home following a mysterious call and though they are all told that their fate will one day bring them back home, few ever return.
Due to these “special” wanderers, one may find a Goliath almost anywhere. However, encountering one is always a rare occurrence as there are few of them in the world at large. The race itself is known for its prodigious strength and strange mountainous life. Stories about the stone-skinned barbarians of Skyscar have long circulated the world even though most people have never seen one. Most races can get along with a Goliath. Their constant competitiveness and score keeping can get annoying but once past that, they are valuable allies. Humans who belong or are related to the traders who do business with the Goliaths will generally get along the best with a Goliath. Conversely, most dwarves still hold a grudge from their war of long ago.
Most Goliath found outside Skyscar are wanderers of some sort. It’s possible that two or more wanderers may form a community and settle down somewhere but this is very rare. Because of their wandering lifestyle, most Goliath tend towards highly mobile jobs such as bodyguard, adventurer, tracker and such. When two Goliath meet outside their Mountain, they instantly share a unique racial bond and are friendly and helpful towards each other. They will also engage in typical Goliath competition. Because of their clan lifestyle, a Goliath will almost always get assistance and help from another Goliath when they are both in the world below.