- 1 Description
- 2 Personality
- 3 Abilities
- 4 Divine Realm
- 5 Possessions
- 6 History
- 7 Relationships
- 8 Symbol
- 9 Worshipers
- 10 Temples
- 11 Appendix
Annam had a dual nature. He was an omniscient god of learning and meditation who could spend a thousand years contemplating a single subject, while at the same time being an entity who acts on impulse and instinct. He was patient, not caring about the passing of time due to his immortal nature, but simultaneously impatient for his long-reaching goals to reach their conclusion. He could also be incredibly stubborn, refusing to change his mind once it was made up even if new evidence proved his decision wrong, although there were exceptions to his stubbornness, such as when Hiatea proved to him that he was wrong for refusing to allow his consorts to give birth to daughters. As a god of creation and fertility, he was particularly lustful, having sired numerous children and keeping multiple paramours. However, the failings of his offspring and his lack of a true wife and partner caused him great sadness and depression. Additionally, all of his worshipers saw him as the embodiment of the particular traits that the worshiper values. For example, he was seen as a massive glutton to hill giants, an artist by stone giants, and a reveler and warrior to frost giants.
As a god of knowledge and magic, Annam's avatar could cast spells from any school and sphere. He could, with a wave of his hand, cause an earthquake, use telekinesis, create a massive wall of force, and use Bigby's crushing hand. He was also immune to energy drain effects, mind-affecting magic, petrification, paralysis, death magic, and any weapon that was not powerfully enchanted. However, he had a unique weakness in that any blow that struck the top of his head was guaranteed to leave him stunned.
Annam's original divine realm was Gudheim, a crystal palace at the center of Jotunheim, a realm in the first layer of the plane of Ysgard. The palace included an orrery crafted by his grandsons (the fire giant sons of Masud) in honor of his actions during the war with the dragons. It had an endlessly spinning model of all the planes, stars, and planets. Many of the other members of the Ordning regularly spent time in Gudheim, and pious giant priests were said to be invited to dine with them shortly before death. Stronmaus primarily dwelt in a cloud palace connected to Gudheim. The plains of Jotunheim surrounded the palace and the spirits of heroic mortal giants guarded the realm.
Following the fall of Ostoria, Annam left Gudheim for a new divine realm called the Hidden Realm, which was located in either the Outlands or his home plane of Jotunheim. It was an endless sort of demiplane, and not even his own children knew where it was or could enter it without his permission. He dwelt alone for the most part. He maintained a crystal mansion likely much like Gudheim in the Hidden Realm, including an orrery. Following the Spellplague, Jotunheim had fallen into the Elemental Chaos, but Annam maintained the Hidden Realm there.
Annam was an ancient god and much of his origin is unclear. He is rumored to be the offspring of the primordial forces of Law and Chaos. Some myths say that Annam wandered the multiverse, creating worlds and gods on a whim. Others say that he is a sleeping god whose dreams create the fundamental substance of reality that other gods use in their own creations. Regardless, he was one of the first gods to come to Abeir-Toril, arriving sometime prior to −30,000 DR. His arrival predated that of dwarves, humans, and even elves. At this point he had at least fathered Stronmaus and possibly several other male members of the Ordning.
Shortly after his arrival, he met and married Othea, who took the form of a mountain on the edge of the Cold Lands. She bore his first terrestrial children, who became the progenitors of the giant races. They were Lanaxis, Masud, Nicias, Obadai, Ottar, Ruk, Vilmos, and his two-headed son, Arno and Julian.
He also had dalliance with a giant woman after his terrestrial sons were born, resulting in the birth of his daughter Hiatea. Previously he had valued sons over daughters, using magic to change any expected female offspring into a male while still in the womb. However, Hiatea was hidden from him, and upon reaching adulthood proved her worth to the All-Father. From then on he allowed his daughters to be born unchanged, and Iallanis and Diancastra were born sometimes later.
Creation of Ostoria
After the birth of his terrestrial sons, Annam founded a kingdom called Ostoria for them and their offspring as a sign of his favor. He also established the ordning so that his mortal descendants could always know their status among each other.
Dragons began to develop on Abeir-Toril some time after Ostoria's founding, and when the wyrms grew big enough, they began to compete and wage war with the giants for territory. Giant traditions held that Annam stopped the resulting Thousand Year War by convincing the dragon god Garyx to settle the war with a game of wah-ree. So skilled were the two opponents that game ended in a stalemate, and the war came to an end. Unfortunately, Ostoria had already been reduced to a shadow of its previous glory.
There were many theories as to why Annam turned his back on the world. Some said he simply grew tired of watching over countless worlds he created and the conflicts on them, particularly those of his competitive children. Others, in a more humorous vein, say that he fled to escape his many nagging paramours, concubines, and wives, a result of his lustful nature. The most popular theory involves a betrayal by his wife Othea.
Shortly before the war ended, Othea began an affair with Ulutiu, resulting in several children who went on to be the progenitors of most of the giant-kin races. Othea attempted to conceal this from Annam, even going so far as telling him that that her son Dunmore by Ulutiu was actually Annam's, but the All-Father eventually found out in −2550 DR. His wrath was terrible, and ancient giant carvings show him slaying Ulutiu, causing a massive tempest. However, in reality Ulutiu bargained with him, agreeing to go into a slumbering exile in the Astral Plane if Annam would spare Othea. Ulutiu fell deep into the Cold Ocean, where his amulet began to freeze the waters around him.
Heartbroken, Othea refused to procreate with Annam again. He then tricked her by taking the form of a divine wind and blowing across her slopes, siring one more son who would restore the failing giant kingdom. However, she immediately realized what he had done and refused to give birth. They eventually came to a reluctant agreement in which Annam would leave Abeir-Toril till the son Othea would give birth to called his name. Othea in turn would not expel the child prematurely.
Unfortunately, this plan did not come to fruition. The ice spreading from Ulutiu's amulet formed the Endless Ice Sea and the Great Glacier, which destroyed much of what remained of Ostoria, even threatening the capital city of Voninheim where Lanaxis dwelt. He and his brothers knew how to stop the ice, but Othea had forbidden them from setting foot on the ice. Lanaxis developed a plan to defy her and retrieve Ulutiu's amulet, but Dunmore refused to support him. Lanaxis instead decided to poison Othea, but also accidentally poisoned most of his brothers when Othea insisted they all drink with her. Othea cursed him with her dying breath, and then her mountainous body died, trapping the half-grown final son of Annam within.
When he was finally born, the final son, known as Hartkiller, attempted to pursue his destiny of restoring Ostoria. Unfortunately, his mother's death had stunted his growth, and he was rejected by the other giants, eventually being slain in a war he provoked between the giants and his human and giant-kin allies. As a result, Annam remained bound by his word, for the most part unable to interact with the world. Where he resided was also a point of contention. Most said he lived in a new divine realm called the Hidden Realm, which was located in either the Outlands, his home plane of Jotunheim, or the Elemental Chaos following the Spellplague. Regardless, not even his own children knew where it was or could enter it without his permission, and he dwelt alone for the most part. This restricted his ability to interact with his priests, but he still granted spells to the rare few who worshiped him and would send a single vision of the future to any priest of the giant gods who became powerful enough.
In the Year of the Staff, 1366 DR, Annam's son Lanaxis was still trapped in the Twilight Vale by his mother's curse with his brother Arno/Julian. Believing that the echoes and voices in the Vale were those of his father, he had taken on the persona of the Twilight Spirit and began calling giants to him for centuries, proclaiming himself a prophet of Annam. He and Arno/Julien attempted to bring about the restoration of Ostoria and Annam's return by trying to abduct Kaedlaw Burdun, the son of Queen Brianna Burdun of Hartsville and a descendant of Annam through Hartkiller and a human woman. However, this plan failed, resulting in Arno/Julian's death and the loss of Lanaxis' immortality. Annam briefly broke his word, entering the world to rebuke his son. He stated that Lanaxis' actions had made a restored Ostoria impossible long ago and the voices of the Vale were simply his punishment.
By the late 15th century DR, beliefs about Annam's silence had changed. It was said that he had in fact disowned all giants after the fall of Ostoria, and that he was not under any compulsion to not interact with mortal giants, he simply refused to. He did not answer prayers, and so was no longer directly worshiped.
Sometime after the Year of the Iron Dwarf's Vengeance, 1485 DR, Annam shattered the ordning of mortal giants, believing they had fallen into complacency. This caused giants lower in the ordning to challenge the established hierarchy.
Annam had mixed relationships with his children, favoring Stronmaus, Hiatea, and Iallanis and despairing over Grolantor, Karontor, Memnor, and the ever-competing Surtr and Thrym, although Surtr did have his father's favor due to his skillful crafting of weapons and arms. His relationship with Skoraeus Stonebones was less well known due to his son's reclusive nature. Diancastra was also a favored child, as her wit amused him and lifted his depressions as little else did. Due to his isolation and high opinion of himself, he did not interact with other gods often.
Do not underestimate other peoples, but do not allow them to distract you from your destiny.
While giants might choose other deities as their patrons (particularly after Annam turned away from Toril), all giants revered Annam as the father of their race.
The stormazîn was the Great Priest of Annam and represented the peak of the religious hierarchy. The stormazîn was always a male priest of great power and held the title for life. They were required to tend Annam's grand temple in the Ice Spires but also regularly traveled to attend various ceremonies and to sort out disputes between clergy members. The position was highly respected in giant society, but they held no official sway over non-religious matters despite their opinion being valued on the rare occasion they gave it.
All true giants were required to strive for the restoration of Ostoria and the subsequent return of Annam. They were also not supposed to quarrel with other giants, although in practice this did not always hold true.
Any priest or shaman of Annam who struck another giant, whether purposely or not, was required to both leave the priesthood and give up all their worldly possessions.
Those who spoke Ultuiu's name at any ceremony honoring Annam were given an irrevocable death sentence.
The Grand Feast of the All-Father was celebrated on the first day of the new year. On this day giants would put aside their other responsibilities and have a massive feast celebrating Ostoria's eventual restoration. Ambassadors would be sent from one tribe to another during these feasts to show their unity, and the stormazîn would honor a favored chieftain by dining with that chieftain's tribe.
Once a month the stormazîn would hold a prayer vigil for Annam in which they asked for his aid. Giants who were dealing with something difficult often joined this ceremony.
Every two years, new giant priests of all members of the Ordning were anointed by the stormazîn in a ceremony dedicated to Annam.
After Hartkiller was slain, a being formed from purple mist appeared to every giant in the vicinity of Hartsvale. The entity rebuked the giants, saying that by rejecting Hartkiller they had rejected the will of Annam. The growing kingdoms of humans would be their punishment, although in time a new giant king would rise from the Hartsvale royal line to restore Ostoria. Several centuries before 1366 DR,[note 1] a mysterious voice began summoning giants to a massive cloaked figure that appeared in the Twilight Vale, claiming to be a prophet of Annam. This entity, known as the Twilight Spirit began directing the giants who followed it to begin restoring the glory of Ostoria. The stormazîn of the time, the cloud giant Xephras, vehemently denied the claims. However, the chiefs of many tribes made yearly pilgrimages to the Vale to ask for the Spirit's advice. The Twilight Spirit promoted the belief that the strange phenomena occurring within the Ice Spires were a sign that the king who would restore the giant empire was close to entering the world. Devotees of the Twilight Spirit were not technically priests, instead serving as wandering prophets trying to enlist other giants to their cause. The Twilight Spirit could grant spells to these followers, but never ones as powerful as a true god could. The Twilight Spirit was eventually revealed to be Lanaxis, still trying to bring about the return of his father. Annam eventually intervened and revealed to his son that there had been no hope of Ostoria being restored ever since Lanaxis had poisoned Othea and his brothers.
- The year is deduced from the "Presenting . . . Seven Millennia of Realms Fiction" article from Wizards of the Coast and the fact that Giantcraft describes its setting as taking place immediately before the events of the The Twilight Giants trilogy.
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