Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Headless Jotun

One of the areas I was revising for the Black City campaign last week is the Great Glacier.  The city is cut in half by a glacier that's pushed through the ruins, calving off ice chunks into the fjord along which the ruins sit.

A curious item to be found in the dungeons is the severed head of a jotun - the never-ending ichor that oozes from the neck has formed a pool which spawns nasty frost mites and other pests in the dungeon.  The headless body, on the other hand, is still frozen in the glacier…

The Headless Jotun
The jotuns are mythological ancestors of the races of giants, semi-divine beings dwelling beyond the world in their realm of Jotunheimr.  The passage beyond Midgard was once near the icy north of Thule.  This jotun's head was sliced off by an energy beam from the city's defense system, the Face in the Ground, and the ichor-covered head quickly melted into the glacier.  The headless body dropped onto the glacier - it radiates extreme cold and has long been covered by ice and snow.

Characters searching in the hex [I'm redoing the map, so I'll add the hex number later] have a chance, equal to finding a secret door, of noticing the 20' tall, blue, headless body, buried under 5-10' of ice.

If the Jotun Head is dug out of the dungeon and reunited to the body, the jotun's power is restored and the being will come back to life.  Roll a standard reaction to determine if the jotun immediately starts eating characters; if the reaction roll is positive, perhaps it offers a divine boon before stalking off to the north.

One other thing - the Face in the Ground may have been reactivated during excursions into the ruins; if so, it's entirely likely the Jotun is attacked all over again.

Fornjot the Jotun
AC as plate and shield, MV 18, HD 20, Atk By weapon or smash, damage 7d6, ML 11, AL C.

The jotun radiates extreme cold when angry, causing 1-3 damage per round to characters in melee with it.  The Jotun can cast magic user spells as a 13th level magic user, preferring spells of illusion, wind, or cold.

I always loved the part of Princess Mononoke where the mercenaries are running around with the head of the forest god of the wood, so I'm amused to have a bit with Vikings carrying around the head of an immortal giant.  I'm sure players will wonder what a jotun's head is worth, and it could lead to interesting problems if brought back to camp.


  1. I think this has a lot of potential, comedic and otherwise.

  2. I'm almost afraid of what my players would do with a Jotun head. Considering how much time and effort they put into killing and then skinning a homebrew monster in my current game (a Jotunnking Troll, in essence a forty-foot-tall troll with thick, calloused growths on its shoulders that resemble extra heads) in order to have it stuffed and mounted and put on display in the home base. Actually, now that I think about it they forgot all about that thing as soon as it was skinned, never took it to the taxidermist. Oh well, their loss now that it's rotted away.