Fomorians were a race of giant-kin hideously deformed by an ancient curse,[8] considered to be the most hideous and wicked of all the giant races.[5][6][9]

Description[edit | edit source]

The deformities that fomorians had varied widely between individuals. These included such things as randomly distributed facial features (e.g., eyes on the sides of their head), disproportionate[8][5][6] or crooked limbs, humpbacks,[2][5][6] long pointed heads, flapping ears, large noses, or mouths that were either gaping or tiny.[5][6]

General features shared by all fomorians was a skin tone that ranged from purple-gray[2] to pale-white, varying degrees of large warts scattered across their body,[5][6] and one eye that was larger than other. This eye, known as their "evil eye," had a cat-like iris and varied in color.[2]

Hairlessness was relatively common among fomorians of both sexes[2] though some were known to have scattered patches of hair that were as tough as wire.[5][6] There was no single odor associated with them — some were completely lacking, while others smelled strongly due to having overactive sweat glands.[5]

Due to their deformities they largely wore mere scraps of cloth,[8] though some were known to dress in kilts and tabards of fine quality.[2][note 1] They tended to work any bits of metal or pieces of armor they could find and scavenge into their clothes for added protection.[5][6]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Fomorians were known to be very chaotic evil-aligned creatures, greedy and disloyal by nature.[8]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Due to sometimes having enlarged ears and/or noses,[6] as well as the grotesque positioning of their sensory organs, fomorians possessed keen perceptive abilities that made it hard to sneak up on them.[8][5][6] Their deformities were also said to render them immune to all forms of lycanthropy.[10]

Fomorians were capable of passing their race's curse on to other creatures, which was a remnant of their race's lost spellcasting abilities. This was done by staring at creatures within 60 feet (18 meters) of them with their "evil eye." Those afflicted would temporarily have their bodies twisted and deformed, subjected to the malice and pain they live with,[8] and in some cases even immobilize them.[2]

Some fomorians became so obsessed with beauty that they took on the role of a witch. Such fomorians learned how to use their "evil eye" as a source of magic and how to alter bodies through alchemy. They primarily used these to alter their own bodies into more desirable forms, but being unable to perfect themselves these witches were often driven to using their powers to find or create flaws in other people.[11]

Combat[edit | edit source]

An armored fomorian fights off an adventurer with his giant-sized flail.

Due to their deformities, fomorians were incapable of throwing boulders the way other giants did.[8][5][6] In combat they utilized all varieties of blunt weaponry.[5] They were often known to wield greatclubs,[8] flails, maces,[2] and giant-sized bolas. The strongest among them would wield crude shields and typically had better armor.[6][note 2]

A typical strategy for them was to sneak up behind their opponents and hit them as hard as possible.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

The progenitor of this race was one of the four sons that the giant goddess Othea produced from her union with Ulutiu.[12]

Fomorians were once an incredibly beautiful race, the most handsome of all giants.[13][8] During that time they lived in the Feywild and were allies with the plane's elves.[13]

However, over time the Fomorians' hearts became twisted by a lust for power and magic that drove them to try and conquer the Feywild. They sought to enslave its inhabitants and take their magic for themselves. The fey ultimately fought back against them and subjected their race to a curse. This warped their bodies to reflect the evil within their hearts and robbed them of their spellcasting abilities. The fomorians would then flee from the light of the surface world, down into the Feydark and Underdark.[8][13]

Circa −2000 DR, after forces on the Moonshae Isles united against the unleashed Kazgaroth, Malar brought fomorians over from the Feywild to be its allies. The conflict dragged on for decades until the minions of Kazgaroth were driven to isolated corners of the Moonshaes. The fomorians conquered the firbolgs, forcing them into slavery.[14]

Circa −500 DR, most of the fey, including the fomorians, abandoned their domains in the Moonshaes and retreated back into the Feywild.[14]

In 1369 DR, fomorians were among the alliance of giant-kin that sieged the Wynn Castle to retrieve Queen Brianna and her newborn child.[15]

Following the Spellplague, a group of fomorians loyal to Queen Connomae and their servitors entered parts of the Moonshae Isles from the Feywild, taking up residence in Dernall Forest and conquering Oman's Isle in 1479 DR.[16]

Society[edit | edit source]

Fomorian society was based around viciousness, with the cruelest and strongest among them typically taking the role of leader. They were also highly patriarchal, typically treating their women and children no better than slaves.[3][5] Acts of violence were common among them.[5]

In the Feydark, fomorian rulers were typically known to enforce their rule through fear and oppression. They were notorious for being incredibly paranoid, fearful of insurrection, and having extensive spy networks that they relied on to oversee their domains. This paranoia wasn't unwarranted through, for fomorians often plotted against one another and schemed to usurp the power of those who ruled them.[17]

Diet[edit | edit source]

Fomorians could live on little to no food for many weeks. Some typical foods eaten by those underground included fungi, lichen, various types of plants, bats, fish, and mice. They especially favored the taste of large mammals.[5]

Homelands[edit | edit source]

Fomorians were primarily known to inhabit the Underdark[8] and its counterpart in the Feywild, the Feydark.[18] They could be found throughout the Underdark, but were most prevalent in the Middledark. Proper cities or holdings were unheard of to most creatures in the Underdark,[9] though all-fomorian settlements certainly existed.[19]

Their lairs within the Underdark typically were abundant in fish, water, and mushroom forests. They marked their territories in a variety of macabre manners, such as painting their cavern walls with blood, stitching together limbs and body parts to make mockeries of the creatures killed, or simply by using the corpses of their enemies.[8] Beyond these underground realms, solitary fomorians were occasionally found in mountain caves and abandoned mines.[5][6]

In northwest Faerûn, a clan of fomorians lived in the southern arm of the Spine of the World, near the Dungeon of the Ruins.[20] In the region of Anauroch, they could be found in the Plain of Standing Stones. In Anauroch, they could occasionally be found in the fertile areas of the Plain of Standing Stones,[21][22] where they competed with local hill giants for resources and would even resort to eating the flesh of other giants.[22]

In the Underdark they were known to inhabit Tethyamar and the kingdom of Xothaerin, the latter of which was home to scattered tribes.[23]

In the Feydark, fomorians lived in incredibly large caves full of glowing crystals and bioluminescent fungi.[2] Those who lived in the Feydark could easily enter the Prime Material Plane through portals, crossings, and their own ritual magic.[18] Their largest domains on that plane were Harrowhame, Mag Tureah, and Vor Thomil.[24] These domains had no central court organizing or ruling over them all.[25]

Besides the Feywild, fomorians could be found in the plane of Acheron.[26]

Languages[edit | edit source]

Fomorians were typically known to speak Giant and Undercommon.[8]

Religion[edit | edit source]

Some claimed that fomorians held esteem for no deities,[2] however, they were primarily seen to worship the deity Karontor.[19]

Most fomorians believed that the prophesied king of giants would be born as a fomorian and would not realize his destiny at first, but when he did, he would be transformed into a giant larger than any titan, and subsequently transform the entire fomorian race also.[7]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Within the Ordning, fomorians like other giant-kin were considered "maug".[27] Among giantkind, the only races that were known to tolerate them were frost giants, hill giants, and ogres. A large number of the fomorians that inhabited the Ice Spires region were known to perform manual labor for them, jobs that were often dangerous or distasteful, in exchange for food and lodging of poor quality.[19]

They were known to forge alliances with other creatures when it suited them[8] or when completely dominated. Such agreements typically lasted only as long as a fomorian feared their cohorts or until their interests no longer coincided.[5] However, fomorians were also likely to just betray their allies on a whim due to their disloyal nature.[8]

Throughout their existence, eladrin were one of the races most hated by fomorians due to their world views being such polar opposites.[17] Along with their cyclops servants, fomorians were considered the Feydark's greatest organized threat to that race.[28]

Fomorians were often known to engage in slavery.[8] With some of the creatures they were known to enslave including cyclopes,[2] gnomes, xvarts,[29] myconids, and spriggans.[30]

Other creatures that they were often known to keep within their lairs or settlements included boggles,[31] derros,[32] giant beetles, carrion crawlers, gorgons, ropers, and troglodytes. Out of all the dragon types in the Realms, they were most likely to ally themselves with deep dragons.[33][note 3]

Notable Fomorians[edit | edit source]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 4th edition's rendition of fomorians was much more civilized than previous incarnations, thus they were described as having a more refined wardrobe. While many of those civilized aspects were carried over into 5th edition, their attire was not. One could interpret this to mean that refined clothing was a rarity among them or that it was only seen among those in the Feywild.
  2. This book describes one of their known weapons to be, "chains with heavy metal balls attached," which can easily be assumed to be bolas.
  3. Boggles and derros are implied by their respective sources to be within fomorian settlements willingly. Whether troglodytes were willing inhabitants or slaves is not made clear.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Out of the AbyssWaterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Referenced only
Hordes of Dragonspear
The Titan of Twilight
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (#5)A Darkened Wish (#1, #2)
Video Games
Icewind Dale IINeverwinter (Fury of the Feywild, Sharandar)
Card Games
AD&D Trading CardsDragonfire (Moonshae Storms)
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
The Quest for Sporedome

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 136. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 110. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter (September 2002). Monster Manual II 3rd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 105. ISBN 07-8692-873-5.
  4. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 139. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 David "Zeb" Cook, et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume Two. (TSR, Inc), p. 53. ISBN 0-8803-8753-X.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 68. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ray Winninger (September 1995). Giantcraft. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 19. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 136. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 118. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  10. Brian P. Hudson (December 1999). “The Dragon's Bestiary: Giant Lycanthropes”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #266 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 76–80.
  11. Cryptic Studios (August 2013). Neverwinter: Fury of the Feywild. Perfect World Entertainment.
  12. Ray Winninger (September 1995). Giantcraft. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 9, 16. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Brian R. James (December 2007). “Grand History of the Realms: The Moonshaes”. Dragon #362 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 25. Archived from the original on 2009-06-01.
  15. Troy Denning (September 1995). The Titan of Twilight. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 8. ISBN 0-7869-3798-X.
  16. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 152–153. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Chris Youngs (March 2008). “The Eye of Madness: Tyrants of the Feydark”. Dragon #362 (Wizards of the Coast).
  18. 18.0 18.1 Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Ray Winninger (September 1995). Giantcraft. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 40. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  20. Jennell Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  21. James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “Explorer's Manual”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), p. 15. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
  22. 22.0 22.1 James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “Anauroch”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), pp. 15–16. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
  23. Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 142, 178. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  24. Rodney Thompson, Claudio Pozas, Steve Townshend (2011). Heroes of the Feywild. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 978-0786958368.
  25. Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 40. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
  26. Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 124. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
  27. Ray Winninger (September 1995). Giantcraft. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  28. Rodney Thompson, Claudio Pozas, Steve Townshend (2011). Heroes of the Feywild. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 978-0786958368.
  29. Mike Mearls, Greg Bilsland and Robert J. Schwalb (June 15, 2010). Monster Manual 3 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 208. ISBN 0786954902.
  30. Rob Heinsoo, Stephen Schubert (May 2009). Monster Manual II (4th edition). (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 165, 193. ISBN 978-0786951017.
  31. Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  32. Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 121. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  33. Paul F. Culotta (December 1998). “...The Harder They Fall”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #254 (TSR, Inc.), p. 38.

Connections[edit | edit source]

True Giants
Cloud EttinFire (Fire titan )FogFrostHill (Earth titanMouth of Grolantor)MountainStoneStorm (Storm titan)Titan

True Giant Offshoots
Cyclops (Cyclopskin)FirbolgFomorianOgre (Oni)VerbeegVoadkyn
Zakharan Giants
DesertIslandJungleOgre giantReef

Other Giants
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