Race - Goliath
At the highest mountain peaks — far above the slopes where trees grow and where the air is thin and the frigid winds howl — dwell the reclusive goliaths. Their bodies look as if they are carved from mountain stone and give them great physical power. Their spirits take after the wandering wind, making them avid monks who often wander from peak to peak before returning to their monastery homes. The goliaths are not a race native to Kelden. They hail from a world beyond—from a land far across the Sea of Velter. They are immigrants, refugees, scouts, and explorers, their lands functioning as a foothold in a world as strange and alien to them as they are to Kelden.
Most goliaths in Kelden live in the Eastern Mothlands, dwelling in monasteries high atop mountain peaks and wreathed in clouds. To the confusion and amusement of outsiders, the Eastern Mothlands is the westernmost nation on the continent. The country is named such because, in goliath culture, they trace lineage back to a nation, far across the Sea of Velder, known simply as the Mothlands, and claim their home on the west coast as its easternmost colony.
A typical monastery in the Eastern Mothlands spans the entire peak of the mountain on which it is build. Carved out of the stone itself as one singular building complex, the monastery is where a community of goliath live, sleep, eat, work, and conduct their odd religion – few outsiders have ever been welcomed into the faith of the inscrutable stonemen, and none at all have ever seen the worship chambers within the heart of each monastery. Though goliath treat all individuals as equal until proven otherwise, there is a hierarchy based on a combination of personal skill and religious understanding. The highest elder, being the one who is closest to being both strongest and wisest, is known as the Spherekeeper. This term has not ever been explained to outsiders.
A goliath is never more at peace than when they are amongst the rocky crags of their mountain home. They can climb higher peaks, breathe thinner air, and endure colder winds than any other race could dream. The towering peaks of the Eastern Mothlands are as natural a home to them as can be. Clouds gather around their mountain monasteries, where they train their bodies, study their texts, and practice their strange, animistic religion.
Being that they have kinship to the stones around them, goliaths consider themselves caretakers of mountains. They dislike dwarves, as the stoutfolk wantonly carve out the guts of the mountain, harvesting its bones for profit and craft. So, to, do they loathe those who would blast apart and flatten peaks for convenience. Both of these forces, and others who would destroy the mighty spires of the Eastern Mothlands, will find themselves at the end of goliath spears and axes.
Every day brings a new challenge in the harsh peaks. Food and water are rare in the uppermost mountain reaches. A single mistake can bring doom to an entire monastery, while an individual’s heroic effort can ensure the entire group’s survival.
Goliaths thus place a premium on both individual prowess and communal effort. Even as their religion teaches total cooperation, they have a compulsion to keep score, counting their deeds and tallying their accomplishments to compare to others. Goliaths love to win, but they see defeat as a prod to improve their skills.
This dedication to competition has a dark side. Goliaths are ferocious competitors, but above all else they are driven to outdo their own past efforts. If a goliath slays a dragon, then unchecked, they will seek out a larger, more powerful wyrm to battle. Few goliath adventurers reach old age, as most die attempting to surpass their past accomplishments in absence of the tempering influence of their prayers.
For goliaths, competition exists only when it is supported by a level playing field. Competition measures talent, dedication, and effort. Those factors determine survival in their home territory, not reliance on magic items, money, or other elements that can tip the balance one way or the other. Goliaths happily rely on such benefits, but they are careful to remember that such an advantage can always be lost. A goliath who relies too much on them can grow complacent, a recipe for disaster in the mountains.
This trait manifests most strongly when goliaths interact with other folk. The relationship between peasants and nobles puzzles goliaths. If a king lacks the intelligence or leadership to lead, then clearly the most talented person in the kingdom should take his place. Goliaths rarely keep such opinions to themselves, and mock folk who rely on society’s structures or rules to maintain power.
Every goliath has three names: a birth name assigned by the newborn’s mother and father, a nickname assigned by the tribal chief, and a family or clan name. A birth name is up to three syllables long. Clan names are five syllables or more and end in a vowel.
Birth names are rarely linked to gender. Goliaths see females and males as equal in all things, and they find societies with roles divided by gender to be puzzling or worthy of mockery. To a goliath, the person who is best at a job should be the one tasked with doing it.
A goliath’s nickname is a description that can change on the whim of a chieftain or tribal elder. It refers to a notable deed, either a success or failure, committed by the goliath. Goliaths assign and use nicknames with their friends of other races, and change them to refer to an individual’s notable deeds.
Goliaths present all three names when identifying themselves, in the order of birth name, nickname, and clan name. In casual conversation, they use their nickname.
- <u>Birth Names:</u> Aukan, Eglath, Gae-Al, Gauthak, Ilikan, Keothi, Kuori, Lo-Kag, Manneo, Maveith, Nalla, Orilo, Paavu, Pethani, Thalai, Thotham, Uthal, Vaunea, Vimak
- <u>Nicknames: </u>Bearkiller, Dawncaller, Fearless, Flintfinder, Horncarver, Keeneye, Lonehunter, Longleaper, Rootsmasher, Skywatcher, Steadyhand, Threadtwister, Twice-Orphaned, Twistedlimb, Wordpainter
- <u>Clan Names:</u> Anakalathai, Elanithino, Gathakanathi, Kalagiano, Katho-Olavi, Kolae-Gileana, Ogolakanu, Thuliaga, Thunukalathi, Vaimei-Laga
Goliaths share a number of traits in common with each other.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Goliaths have lifespans comparable to humans. They enter adulthood in their late teens and usually live less than a century.
Alignment. Goliath society, with its clear roles and tasks, has a strong lawful bent. The goliath sense of fairness, balanced with an emphasis on self-sufficiency and personal accountability, pushes them toward neutrality.
Size. Goliaths are between 7 and 8 feet tall and weigh between 280 and 340 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Natural Athlete. You have proficiency in the Athletics skill.
Stone’s Endurance. You can focus yourself to occasionally shrug off injury. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to roll a d12. Add your Constitution modifier to the number rolled, and reduce the damage by that total. After you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
Mountain Born. You’re acclimated to high altitude, including elevations above 20,000 feet. You’re also naturally adapted to cold climates, as described in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Giant.