Cloud giant

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Cloud giant
Nalbia, cloud giant witch.

Dwelling amidst the highest mountains, cloud giants make for either serene and gracious neighbours or huge barbaric raiders, depending on their alignment.1


Cloud giants were used in Thassilon as shock troops by their slavers, and were found throughout the empire. Their numbers decreased sharply after Earthfall and the fall of Thassilon; although cloud giant culture recovered after the Age of Darkness, the cloud giant species has never reached the numbers it had before Earthfall. Many cloud giants retreated in isolation to the peaks of the Kodar Mountains after the fall of Thassilon, although others traveled to more distant ranges such as the Mindspin and the Menador Mountains, while others settled ruined Thassilonian outposts and settlements such as Xin-Shalast.2

During the Age of Anguish, the cloud giants began to establish contact with other humanoid species, which caused their own society to divide into two camps. One camp sought to nurture and guide the development of other societies, both out of a feeling of duty to use what they saw as their inborn gifts to uplift less-advantaged species and a desire to never see the cruelty of Thassilon arise again. The members of the other saw it as their right to rule over other species, and that those who could not defend their property did not deserve to keep it. This disagreement led to a deep rift among the cloud giants, as the divide escalated into bloodshed and the assassination of prominent scholars, and remains unhealed into the present.23


Cloud giants are divided into two distinct and rival societies. One tradition of cloud giants lives in harmony and peace with nearby humanoid societies, often acting as mentors and guides for other species; these cloud giants tend to prefer inhabiting luxurious and elegant mansions and castles, and are very fond of expensive and expertly spiced foods and delicacies. The other believes in the cloud giants' inborn right to take what they wish from other species, living in seclusion in lairs of roughly-hewn rock in the mountains outside of brutal raids on other species' settlements. These latter cloud giants view their kin's preference for luxury and elegance as needless wastes of effort, leading to their preference for rougher, undecorated homes. Regardless of moral alignment, cloud giants are strictly monogamous and tend to enter arranged marriages calculated to join distant communities and mitigate their species' low fertility.4

Cloud giants hold flying creatures in high regard, and keep and train multiple kinds ranging from common birds to griffins, hippogriffs, and rocs that are sometimes used as enormous flying mounts. Benevolent cloud giants also keep pegasi and dragon horses, while their evil counterparts are known to ally with harpies and mihstus. Cloud giant druids and rangers who form particular bonds with flying features are known as bird mavens, and hold positions of honor among all cloud giants.3

Many cloud giants worship Gozreh's male aspect as the god of the sky and storms, whom they refer to as Ioz'om the Sky Father and depict as a beautiful, towering cloud giant man. In cloud giant religious belief, Ioz'om brought the first of their kind to Golarion from the Great Beyond. Some evil giants worship Rovagug instead, while magically inclined cloud giants are know to worship Nethys.3

On Golarion

Tied as they were with the fallen nation of Thassilon, cloud giants are still most common amongst the mountain ranges of modern-day Varisia such as the Kodar, Menador and Mindspin Mountains.2 Skyborne Keep, a floating castle under the control of the storm giant Lona Orames, is home to a clan of cloud giants that assist Lona on her raids.5

Beyond Golarion

Millennia ago, a group of cloud giants fled Runelord Karzoug alongside his former apprentice Grazulk to the Elemental Plane of Air where they established the unique fortress known as Grazulk's Resplendent Fastness.6


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.