Special Qualities: Rockthrowing, stomp
Organization: Solitary or gang (2-5)
From the personal journal of Azalai Korias, Elven Wizard.
7 Eyre, 998
This morning over breakfast the others had a lively discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of each of their fighting styles. The warforged, Zarn, tends to be fairly straightforward in his tactics, charging the enemy, raging, and cleaving with his greataxe from one to the next. He relies on his adamantine plating and natural fortitude to survive the battles. Kleija prefers stealth and guile to direct confrontation, and her natural agility and smaller size cause her to tend to seek ranged combat rather than melee. Senna favors a defensive mindset, advancing slowly and striking when an opportunity arises. Khovis merely grunted, stating that his place wasn’t in the front line.
My belief is that each style has its place against certain opponents. Zarn is extremely effective against many opponents, but I’m afraid that today’s battle was not one for which he was well suited.
We were to take and hold a clearing in the jungle while a team of experts would decipher runes on an ancient column. Khovis and I were to stay with the team and assist them while the other three kept the area secure.
A pair of hill giants came to investigate the noises coming from the clearing, and were enraged when they saw us trespassing on their land. Charging from atop a hill, one slammed his greatclub into Zarn, knocking the warforged across the clearing and into a tree. It’d have been almost comical if the situation weren’t so dire.
The other roared and tore a boulder from the ground, hurling it at Senna, who deflected it at the last moment by raising her shield.
Hill giants possess great strength, but the intellect of the other giants is mostly replaced by bad temper. Kleija’s arrows stung the first giant, diverting its attention from the incapacitated warforged, and Senna carefully advanced into melee with the second.
The nimble halfling tumbled and dodged out of the way of attacks aimed at her, dancing about the creature but barely able to harm it in return. Senna waited patiently for openings, striking at her giant whenever it reared back for an attack.
Before either giant fell, the sound of a great horn echoed across the clearing. Our two opponents broke off and retreated into the foliage. From my vantage point, I could see a third giant’s profile on an outcropping, wearing a pelt of some sort over its head. I suspect that it is a shaman of some sort, and I do not look forward to that fight.
Standing some eleven feet (3.3m) tall and weighing more than a thousand pounds (450 kg), the hill giant towers over the field of battle with uncomplicated joy. His bounding steps quickly close between him and his foe, and then a greatclub taller and bigger than any human spills down. When the giant feels so inclined, often when attacked by more than one opponent, it can pound and shake the earth itself, sending weaker foes spilling to the ground.
Should close-ranged attacks fail, the hill giant relies on his practice of rockthrowing to send discouragement to more distant enemies. The giant carries an ample supply in its home environment, but do not place it beyond the strength of this titan to reach down into the soil and pick up large stones at a whim. About the only weakness commonly known to these large thuglike creatures lies in their relatively unarmored hide (low Armor Class) and their simplemindedness (poor Will saves).
Thankfully more rare, hill giant shamans and witch doctors have demonstrated the ability to call down powerful curses, and to heal wounds and dispel offensive magic cast by heroes.