#NotAllGiants (Storm King’s Thunder #5)
We traveled to Zymorven Hall and met with Harthos himself…who’s very friendly but no longer has the axe we were hoping to borrow. He told us his son Harthal stole it when he ran off to marry some thief lady. They live in Yartar now, so we’d have to go there to track it down. (But maybe the son is just using it on his own, which would also be ok. Just don't want it to go to waste.) Harthos is fine with letting us stay here in the hall for a few days while we ride around and investigate giant sightings.
We head out again to begin tracking the giants. On Harthos’s advice, we leave the road and head north toward the Saubrin River, because there are several little hamlets and communities which might have sighted a giant. Folk were pretty friendly, and though they’d heard rumors, they had no encounters to report. We finally reached a fishing village on the banks of the river, and that was the first place we met someone who actually saw a giant. Conrad and his daughter both said they saw a giant walking by on the other side of the water two days ago—but the giant did not seem to notice or care about the village.
We camped for the night pretty close to the village, and had FISH FRYYYYYYYY, which was great. It was a quiet night, but in the early, foggy dawn Bardalph saw the shape of a giant through the mist! He woke everyone up and we watched the creature pass by. Svela saddled her horse to follow the giant further, hoping to learn where it was headed.
Along the banks of the river, Svela tracked the giant until the fog lifted and he saw her and was all like “Yo, you a stalker?” Svela said she was just curious, and was heartened by the fact of having an actual conversation with a giant, instead of a fight. The giant strolled on his way, and Svela circled back to the group. We decided to catch up to the giant so Redfang could converse with him in Giant, and hopefully learn something more useful.
After a little while, we approached the giant again (very. very. carefully.) Redfang introduced himself (in giant) as an emissary of his elven people, and the giant revealed his name is Harshnag. Hey, we’ve heard of him! He’s good and is an ally of the little folk. We sat down with Harshnag, who gave us a run-down on how giant society works. Most importantly, there’s a hierarchy called the Ordening. (Fun fact: Chickens have a similar structure, called the Peckening). The Ordening sorts different types of giants into castes, so hill giants are pretty low, and storm giants are the highest. Not coincidentally, it helps to be taller/bigger.
Harshnag explained that the main ruler of the giants, King Hackitin, has gone missing, and that has caused a lot of confusion and dissension among the race of giants. With the Ordening no longer working, many giants have tried to figure out new ways of establishing dominance, like Who’s Sacked the Most Villages, or Who Found the Most Artifacts, or Who Beat the Most Shit Out of Other Giants in Single Combat, etc.
Harshnag is worried that this mess will lead to war with the little folk of Faerun, so he’s off to consult an oracle called the Eye of the All-Father, which is in a cave in the mountains known as the spine of the world. Redfang proposes that we travel with Harshnag, and that together we might find a workable answer that we can carry back to our respective people. Somewhat surprisingly, Harshnag digs this notion. Together we head to the Moonwood as we begin the journey north.