Giants are powerful creatures, tall of stature, and possessed of immense strength and long life. They inhabit nearly every region of Toril, and once were part of a vast empire that covered all the northern lands of Faerun from the Great Glacier to Amn.
Nowadays, giants are restricted to inhabiting fringe environments by the more populous humanoid races (elves, dwarves, humans, etc) and live in the hills, mountains, deserts, etc, that lie on the edges of humanoid civilization.
The history of the giants began when a titanic creature known as Annam arrived on Toril in the aftermath of the destruction of the Aearee Empires around -30,000 DR.
Legends say he married a being known as Othea (often depicted as a huge mountain) and sired many children, others say he crafted his children out of the very rocks and earth itself. In all likelihood Annam was a powerful user of raw magic, and created life in his own image from the limitless supply of magic that Othea provided. These “children” of his were known as the Titans.
It is known that the empire of Ostoria was created and portions of it were ruled by each of Annam’s children. The empire itself was governed from Voninheim by Lanaxis, the most powerful of the Titans. Ostoria stretched from the Spine of the World to the Vilhon Reach.
Unfortunately the giants dominated Toril at the same time as another powerful creature was in the ascendance; Dragons. In time the giants and dragons came to blows, and for a thousand years the two races fought a war of attrition. Ultimately the war was decided in a single great battle that decimated both races, and in the aftermath the elves wove great magics that would prevent the more dangerous dragons from ever achieving such heights again.
Giants never recovered from the blow the dragons dealt to them. Slowly the giants refounded smaller kingdoms, only to lose them to the rising power of the elves, and dwarves, and humans, who forged their own empires in the space created by the destruction wrought by dragon and giant.
Annam sired many children with Othea, and the descendants of those children are known as known as true giants. They were the rulers and citizens of the Colossal Kingdom and are known as Hill Giants, Stone Giants, Storm Giants, Cloud Giants, Fire Giants, Frost Giants.
True giants, like all giants, are possessed of amazing adaptive, evolution capabilities, that sees them quickly adapt to their environment and form new “subraces”, how else could fire giants migrate to volcanic areas all across the world without being present anywhere else despite the huge distances between them.
This accelerated evolution was kept a secret among giantkind and in the modern era has likely been lost to all but the most ancient and learned of their kind. Most humanoids certainly have little experience of such rapid adaptation, for changes in environment are often gradual and take many hundreds of years.
Annam is not the single ancestor of all giants. Legends speak of other beings; Vaprak, Ulutiu, etc, siring children on the mountainous form of Othea. The descendants of these unions are known as the firbolg, verbeeg, fomorian, ogre, troll, and many other giant like races.
Giantkin are notable for being second-class in giant society (should they ever co-exist in the same environment). Accepted or shunned as is the wont of the more powerful true giants, but rarely slaughtered or devoured as they do with other humanoids.
The Firbolg are a race of giantkin on average 10 ft tall, with thick muscular appendages and long wavy hair. They are most often compared to the northmen
Et: The number one
Hotun: Sage or Tale
Huslyde (r): Family (families)
Ordning: Roughly translates as order
Rever: Reaver or Queller
Sal: Roughly translates as “speak” but is most frequently used to mean “song”
Shal: Literally refers to the past tense of speak or song, but is most often applied to mean a reverberation or echo.
Skald: Singer or Speaker
To: The number two