As the World Burns
Centuries ago, sorcerer-kings magically combined giant and human stock to breed powerful minions, creating the hardy race of towering warriors known as goliaths (commonly called half-giants). Most sorcerer-kings have hundreds of goliaths in their armies and shower the mighty warriors with luxuries in exchange for their loyalty. Other half-giants become urban thugs or mercenaries. They adopt the culture and traditions of the cities in which they dwell.
Over the years, many goliaths have found their way into the untamed reaches of Athas. Wild goliaths are fierce, mountain-dwelling barbarians who raid the people of the lowlands in search of plunder, captives, and prestige. Half-giant tribes are fractious and quarrelsome as a rule; ambitious young warriors challenge established chieftains, and long remembered slights and insults threaten to erupt into deadly feuding. Shamans, druids, and others who wield the power of the elements or nature lie outside the bounds of such disputesand rivalries, and they serve a vital role as peacemakers and advisors. Regardless, a goliath sometimes leaves his or her enemies behind for a few years and seeks out new opportunities elsewhere. After all, returning to the tribe as a wealthy, successful warrior with an impressive train of treasures and captives is the best revenge.
Half-giants are often violent and short tempered, but their moods are mercurial. They can pass from frothing rage to gales of laughter in the blink ofan eye.