Centuries ago, the Kytohan Empire created a race of giants to obliterate the barbarian hordes of western Aggradar. This giant race were designed to be immensely powerful engines of destruction capable of tearing down the strongholds of barbarian chieftains, smash through walls and scale mountains. They wielded weapons the size of trees and rode the ocean in ships that dwarfed all other seagoing vessels. The secambru waged dozens of successful campaigns against the enemies of the Kytohan Empire. The secambru were treated brutally by the Kytohan military. There were slaves, property, and nothing more to the generals that commanded them.
When the Sundering rocked the world, the Kytohan Empire was devastated. Taking advantage of the military's weakened state, the secambru rose up against the masters in a slave uprising. A massive revolt began and in the weeks following the Sundering, the renegade secambru slew thousands of Kytohan citizens. This became known as the Giant Slayer War. Led by a charismatic leader named Kurnoth, the renegades stole a dozen of the huge giant sized war galleys and fled the Kytohan Empire, heading for deep sea.
During the trek, a great storm hit and two of the ships were lost. One sank and the other was thrown against the rocks and stranded. Months later the surviving ships landed in south eastern Qeshir.
The majority of the giants settled in the grasslands of the southwest where they had landed. The group burned the great ships that had carried them there and vowed never to return to the slavery and suffering they had endured in distant Aggradar. There, on the coast, they built a town which they named Jaruska which means "free home" in Kytai. Here, they built great stone halls, arched gates, high walls and even a few aquaducts. These constructions were a marvel to behold.
Despite their freedom, there were seeds of discord from the very beginning. Many believed that to live as they had before only prolonged their slavery. These giants believe that they should abandon metalworking, stonecraft and other practices that they had been forced to perform as slaves. For them, these were the tasks of slaves. They were now free and they wished to live free, free of the reminders of the past, free of the tasks that they had performed under the whip. A cultural shift quickly swept through the secambru. Many believed that they should embrace nature and live by hunting and gathering, living off what the land provided naturally.
Disagreement led to conflict and then open warfare. Those giants favoring a primitive existance greatly outnumbered those who wish to use their skills. Amidst much bloodshed, the group splintered into several subgroups. One group, who favored stone work and metal craft, traveled north into the Rahjan mountains where they could build in peace. They eventually became the Jarkune Giants of the north. A second group traveled east toward the great volcano known as Mount Durrodis. Their fate remains a mystery.
The vast majority of giants, those who wished to embrace Nature, were still loyal to Kurnoth. They tore down the stone halls and high gates. They abandoned Jaruska, leaving the town in ruins. Never again would they set foot on to the ruins of that town.
They migrated west into the vast open grasslands of southern Qeshir. They embraced nature and chose to live off what the land provided naturally. To this day, they continue to live as primitive nomadic hunter/gatherers.
The secambru is the name that collectively refers to several breeds of giants that dwell in remote wilderness regions of eastern Qeshir. The various subraces vary somewhat, but they all share some basic similar traits. The current generations of secambru stand around 4 meters tall (12 feet) and weigh close to ,1500 kilograms (3,300 pounds). They tend to have long, shaggy brown hair and wild unkempt beards. Other than their great size, they very much resemble muscular humans in all respect. The males tend to be larger than the females (who stand 10 feet tall and weight about 2,500 pounds).
A side effect of their creation is that the secambru giants emit a very weak magical energy signature which detection spells will pick up at close range. This is not enough to detect the presence of a giant at range, but it can be used to differentiate one generation from another.
The nature of the secambru is that with each succeeding generation, the race grows smaller and weaker as the magic that created them slowly decays. The first generation of secambru were 60 feet tall and god-like in strength and stature. They were intelligent and skilled in many crafts and arts. They lived almost two thousand years old. Over the centuries, these giants have de-evolved. Despite their growing numbers, they are, in many ways, a "dying" race. Each generation is smaller and weaker than their predecessors.
Most secambru adults alive today are 10th to 12th generation. Many of the young children are 13th generation. Twelfth generation are the most common and they are only 10-12 feet tall and 1,500 pounds. The intellect of these great giants is also lessened with each generation. Twelfth generation secambru have an average life span of just under three hundred years.
Some two centuries ago, the elven Lore Master Quinlar spent five years living amongst the secambru and learning everything he could about them. He later wrote a treatise on them which is available at the Lore Masters in Ithell. Virtually everything known about the secambru came from his studies. Quinlar constructed the table below. It shows the life span, birth year and approximate year of death for what he called "the perfectly average secambru family line". Of course, there is a great deal of variation amongst individual secambru giants. They may live longer than average or have children earlier than average. But the table below gives a very good outline of the generations of secambru that have lived and died.
All of the following are estimates based on his research. The accuracy of the information presented in Quinlar's table has been questioned. Nevertheless, it does present a starting point for any discussion of the secambru.
|Generation||Average Height||Average Weight||Life Span||Birth Year||Maturity||Death Year||Age||Estimated Total Population||Estimated Current Population|
|1||18m||100,000 kg||2000 years||130 BT*||600||1400||Deceased||1200||0|
|2||16m||70,000 kg||1680 years||0 CY||504||1680||Deceased||1800||0|
|3||14m||47,000 kg||1411 years||504 CY||423||1915||Deceased||2700||0|
|33,000 kg||1185 years||927 CY||356||2113||Deceased||4000||0|
|5||11m||22,000 kg||1000 years||1283 CY||299||2279||Deceased||6,000||0|
|6||9.5m||14,500 kg||850 years||1582 CY||251||2418||1,133||9,000||1 (?)|
|700 years||1833 CY||210||2535||882||12,000||<10 (?)|
|8||7.5m||7,200 kg||580 years||2043 CY||175||2634||672||18,000||150|
|9||6.5m||4,700 kg||460 years||2220 CY||150||2716||495||27,000||1,000|
|10||5.8m||3,300 kg||400 years||2369 CY||125||2786||346||40,000||8,000|
|11||5m||2,000 kg||340 years||2494 CY||105||2844||221||60,000||24,000|
|12||4m||1,500 kg||280 years||2599 CY||85||2893||116||90,000||55,000|
|13||3m||1,000 kg||240 years||2687 CY||70||2934||28||130,000||100,000|
Life Span - Indicates the average expected life span of any one individual in that generation.
Birth Year - Indicates the median year of all the births of that generation. Another way to look at it would be the year that a secambru is born if all of his ancestors had been "average".
Maturity - The approximate age when that particular generation reaches maturity, as defined by the average year that the individual began procreating and adding to the next generation.
Death Year - Like birth year, this is the median year of all of the deaths of a particular generation.
Age - The average current age of those of that generation. Note that in the 6th generation, this is the theoretical average age of the lone surviving 6th gen, if he really exists.
Estimated Total Population - The estimated total of all the giants of that particularly generation who ever lived (or ever will live).
Estimated Current Population - The estimated total number of giants for that generation who are alive today.
The secambru are proud of their history and strive to live up to the greatness of their ancestors. The secambru have a sense of pride and honor which is important to them. A secambru giant will easily take offense if his honor or the pride of his ancestors is besmirched in any way.
Despite their pride, the fact is that the secambru are a dying race. With each generation, they grow weaker. In a few hundred years, they will be the size of mortal men and, one day, will die out altogether. Perhaps because of the decline of their race, they have fallen to preying on each other. Over the centuries, the central population of secambru has fragmented into many rival tribes. Much of the last 500 years has been marred by bloody tribal warfare. With each passing decade, their culture becomes more barbaric and primitive. There has been no development here in terms of culture, language or scientific development. On the contrary, they have reverted to an almost stone age society.
The secambru are a primitive race with an unending supply of superstitions, taboos and fearful beliefs. They dislike magic and have no talent for it. Only the magic of their own shamans is toleratec. They consider metal working, stone craft, pottery, mining, farming, lumber harvesting and other advanced trades and crafts to be a fearsome taboo. Such things are associated with a past life of slavery. The secambru have abandoned all such crafts and will never willingly learn or perform any of them. Asking or ordering a secambru giant to toil at any of these "slave tasks" will provoke a violent reaction.
For the most part, the secambru limit themselves to activities which bring them closer to nature. Only hunting and gathering are practiced by these people. They are nomadic hunters, following the herds, and gathering from the grasslands and forests whatever bounty it provides naturally. Although fruit is plucked from the vine and certain roots and tubers may be pulled from the ground, trees are not harvested and the secambru try to impact their environment as little as possible.
As slaves to the Kytohan Empire, writing was forbidden them and the secambru have never developed a written language. Hence, all history is passed down orally. Stories of the "great ones", the first few generations of secambru, have been passed down. Such tales form the backbone of their oral tradition and religious belief. Their religion is focused on a form of ancestor worship. The secambru worship ancient generations, the great early generations that made the ground tremble with their step and the world tremble with fear.
The secambru revere Nature and the natural order of things. They believe the world is a living thing, to be protected and loved. In turn, the world provides. They will hunt only for meat and skins, but never for pleasure. They will not cut down trees for lumber, but will use wood from a tree which has fallen naturally. They use stones from fields, but will not quarry stone from rocky cliffs.
The secambru have little talent for magic. Earlier generations may have some skill, but these varies from individual to individual. The current generations of secambru have very little magic about them, with the rare exception. Such prodigies became shamans and practice primitive magic that evokes spirits and makes use of the natural elements. Their magic is primitive and simple compared to the arcane wizardry practiced in the great civilized nations in distant parts of the world. Secambru magic deals mostly with healing, food preservation and finding game animals.
Secambru giants are notoriously resistant to mind affecting magic, especially charm spells. Some scholars believe this may be some residual effect from the magic that originally created them. Others believe that their creators intentionally made them resistant to such spells to make them less vulnerable to such attacks in battle. In any case, casting a spell on a secambru giant to charm or otherwise influence him or her is more likely to enrage the giant.
The secambru are primarily centered in the wild grasslands of eastern Qeshir which bear their name… the Secambru Tribes region. This region has mild seasons along the coast, but the seasons become more pronounced inland with hot summers and harsh winters. The east is bordered by the Darijun Jungles, the north by the Rahjan mountains and the south by the ocean. The west flows up into the Wind Plains.
The secambru are nomadic hunters. They follow the herds of game animals. A secambru band is very mobile, never staying in one place for more than a few days. Such communities are small, typically less than 500 individuals. They dwell in caves quite often and primitive tents and lean-tos when no cave is available.
The main race of Secambru dwell in the grasslands of south eastern Qeshir. However, several subspecies of the secambru are scattered about Qeshir. The “Rahjan mountain giants” are a subrace of the secambru and dwell in among the peaks of the Rahjan mountains. Some tales tell of a race of desert giants in the deep desert of the great Ahtabi, and these are likely descendants of a secambru tribe. The Sea of Ash is known to have a race of giants, likely a subrace of the secambru.
As writing was forbidden to them when they were slaves to the Kytohan Empire, the secambru refugees brought little literature and learning with them. Having abandoned all craft and science, they have likewise not had a need for higher learning. With the exception of a few shamans scribbling down formulae, the secambru have all but abandoned reading and writing. They have no mathematics, no glyphs of power, no poetry or literature or written records of any kind. Their history is oral, passed down from generation to generation in stories and song. What little art they do practice is visual in nature – cave paintings, bone carvings and the like.
The language of the secambru is called secambru. It is a corruption of the original Kytai language, having been softened and slowed by the tongues of giants.
The secambru tribes trade and barter a great deal with each other. They make and break alliances with each other year in and year out. Very little trade is conducted with foreigners because of the secambru superstitious nature and general dislike of outsiders.
The secambru are primarily hunter/gatherers. They migrate across the vast grassy plains, following the herds, each year. The men hunt while the women gather fruits, roots, tubers and flowers from the forests and grasslands. Excess meat is often salted and packed for lean months. There is never excess fruits and vegetables as they do not keep well and the women only gather what is needed. Every family within a tribe gathers their own food, so distribution of food is rarely an issue.
The secambru are quite primitive. Because of the history and cultural taboos, they have abandoned all arts and crafts of “higher learning”. This includes stonework, pottery, mining, farming, metalwork and carpentry. What this leaves them with is only the most primitive of crafts. Their clothing consists of leather, hides and furs. Their tools and weapons are fashioned from bone, wood and stone. Knives and clubs are the most common weapons. The secambru do not use bows, but have been known to fashion spears, javelins and nets. They also hurl simple rocks at opponents. Because of their tremendous strength, hurled weapons have considerable range and effectiveness.Their armor consists of leather boiled in animal fat and thick layers of fur and hide. Their architecture is equally primitive. They carry primitive tents fashioned from hide and branches. These “tents” are easy to pack and carry on a horse or oxen.
Because of their reverence for nature, the secambru do not mine metals or forge metal weapons. In fact, the working of metal is taboo for them. If they acquire metal weapons, tools and armor from slain opponents, they will gather up all such metal implements and bury them in great underground trenches and cover them over with dirt and boulders. In effect, they are returning the metal to the "wounded land". These caches contain huge amounts of weapons and armor - sometimes even magical items. However, these underground vaults are considered holy ground by the secambru. The giants guard these vaults ferociously and will be kill anyone even approaching them.
Because of their great size, the secambru cannot ride animals as steeds. However, they do use a wild horses, oxen and craghorns as beasts of burden. Craghorns, especially, are a source of leather, meat, milk and labor. Such animals are property of the tribe as a whole and accompany the tribe on its nomadic wanderings. An animal that succumbs to illness or injury is slaughtered for the meat.
The garro (GAR-row) is a breed of very large, short haired canines native to eastern Qeshir. The Secambru giants are particularly known for using and keeping these dogs. A typical garro weighs 80 kg and stands one meter tall at the shoulders. Garros have a short snout and a wide, somewhat brutish, face. The secambru have bred them for centuries and use them for hunting, tracking and as pack animals. The garro has an excellent sense of smell and can easily detect the presence and approximate location of an invisible intruder by scent alone.
All transportation and communication is usually done in the most primitive fashion – by running and talking. A chief may dispatch a runner to speed word to a nearby band or to recall hunters.
Shamans have a means of communicating with one another through their fires. They refer to this as "speaking to the flame" or "seeking [another shaman] in the fire".
As with all things in the realm of the secambru, might makes right. The strong dominate the weak, and with the secambru, that usually means the stronger, older generations rule the younger, weaker ones. There is no form of ownership laws, inheritance, money or debt here. Trade and barter at the most basic level is the limit of their economy.
The secambru are a rigidly patriachal society. The males of this species comletely dominate the females. Women have no rights in secambru culture. They are little more than sexual slaves and property.
Woman are often traded between tribes along with food, animals, slaves and crafted items. Because of this, women have no affiliation with any tribe. A woman may pass between a dozen tribes or more in her life.
In daily life, men do the hunting. Women do gathering, cleaning and care for infants and very young children.
There is no formal concept of marriage among the secambru. Indeed, relationships are rare. Secambru males simply take whatever female they wish. Most secambru males tend to keep a female as a mate for extended periods of time. Challenges and fights over females are common between males. Strong males may claim three or four females at a time.
Women care for the young, but there is little structure to the family in this culture. A band usually consists of several extended families and all of the families intermingle freely. All members of the band work, play, hunt and live communally.
No particular taboos or customs surround childbirth. The secambru tend to have few children and even fewer survive to adulthood.
Babies and young children are cared for and raised almost exclusively by the women. Women tend to form loose knit groups that take care of all the children collectively. Before puberty, boys will begin to associate with the men, learning to hunt and their role in the tribe.
Most children in the Secambru tribes are 13th generation at this time.
The secambru burn their dead on pyres of wood and bury the bones and ash beneath stones. It is tradition to do this exactly where the person dies.
Every secambru has a single name. Young boys and girls are given a name at birth.
Upon completing his spirit quest (see below) and joining the ranks of the warrior hunters, a secambru male is given his "true name" by the shaman (or chieftain if the band has no shaman).
Despite their chaotic and barbaric ways, the secambru have a rigidly defined social pecking order based on generation. In all matters, an older secambru giant (earlier generation) outranks and bullies a younger (newer generation) secambru giant. This birth status hierarchy extends to all facets of secambru life.
Secambru has a very loose tribal provincial government. All secambru giants are members of a tribe. There are more than a dozen tribes, each with many thousands of members. Some of the tribes are the Black Elk tribe, the Fire Eagle tribe and so on. It is these tribes that the lands are named for.
Each tribe is divided up into many bands. A band of secambru consists of a few extended familes who hunt, travel and live together. A band is typically between 200 and 700 members. Each band is ruled by a chief. The chief of the largest band also bears the title "great chieftain" and he rules over the entire tribe and all its bands. Chiefs of indivudal bands obey and respect the great chieftain.
Most bands have a shaman and the words of these holy men carry much weight with the chiefs and the great chieftains. The generation, size and strength of a chief generally determines the size of a band he can control.
Bands meet and trade frequently. On ocassion, many bands will unite in what the secambru call a "great meet". Such a gathering may last many days.
The secambru tribes are fierce warriors. Every man, woman and child will pick up a bone or stick and fight. Because of the great size, they are very dangerous to the other races. A single enraged secambru male is more than a match for a six Padashan warriors.
Any time two or more tribes (that aren't enemies) meet, they have a Fire Dance. This is a communal gathering around a huge central pit fire. There is dancing, singing, drinking and such. News is exchanged at these gatherings and announcements are made. But the main function is trading and bartering which takes place around the fire. Tribes will trade food, animals, slaves, crafted items and women. A Fire Dance is also a place where challenges are made and duels fought. Leadership is sometimes challenged and fought for at these gatherings.
When a boy reaches adulthood (a certain age which varies by tribe), he is equipped for the hunt and sent out on his "spirit quest". This is a very important ritual hunt. Such hunts may take the young man far away from his tribe. The secambru believe that Nature will provide a specific animal that the young man is fated to find and kill. This spiritually pre-destined animal is often referred to as the young man's "fate kill". The fate kill must be a worthy and dangerous animal and the young hunter must return with a trophy from the slain beast. An animal that is considered too weak or not dangerous is unworthy. To return with an unworthy trophy will only bring shame upon the young hunter and his family. Upon returning with a worthy trophy, the young hunter takes his place among the warrior hunters of his band. Many young secambru boys do not return from their spirit quest.
This website was last updated March 31, 2019. Copyright 1990-2019 David M. Roomes.