To-mal, Giantman Barbarian

To-mal. That is my given name. More specifically To-mal Kata-veinaro. But this is not what I am typically called. I come from a village of Giantmen that are part of the White Hand tribes. In most Giantman tribes, individuals are not referred to by first or last name. They are given an honorific name by the tribe. It is something like a nickname. A giant’s honorific can even change over time if they do something befitting of a new name. This is the story of two new names. And how those names led to where my family is now.
Bloodwrecker. Warreaver. Myself and my brother. Well, adopted brother. His real name is Goluk. He became a part of my family when we were both 15. My father and I had been in the forest near the village hunting. We were tracking wounded game when we heard something in the bushes. We approached and found Goluk on the ground, a large boar nearby, ready to finish him off. My father quickly killed the boar. We carried both back to the village. It wasn’t till several hours later that two things became apparent. Goluk had been left in the forest, exiled from his own village. The real issue was when we realized what village he was from. It was one not far from ours, that belonged to our enemies, the Bloodaxes. The Bloodaxes are another tribe that we are constantly at odds with.
Goluk realized what we were discussing and began to explain. He had been injured some months back in a hunt and his wounds had not healed properly. He was exiled from his village and tribe because he could not keep up as a warrior or hunter. He was of no use to them anymore. He was left in the woods to die. He fended for himself for a few days, and had been hunting the boar that day. Things took a turn and he found himself running from the creature. His old injuries became a problem again and the boar had cornered him. That’s when we showed up.
That day, my father and the village leaders had a meeting. They saw no reason for Goluk to stay. He was the enemy. But at the same time, there was also no reason for him to be forced to live on his own at his age. So it was decided that he would stay for the time being. At least until he could prove he was able to protect himself.
Two years later, Goluk and I were hunting with father. He had become a part of our family, and more importantly, like a brother to me. But there were many in the tribe who still didn’t accept him. We believed he would probably still have to leave at some point. But that all changed one day. Goluk and I were in the forest hunting with father like usual, when we heard something moving quickly through the brush. Not just one something, but many. We did our best to blend in but still see what was passing us. What we saw was terrifying. It was the Bloodaxe warriors from Goluk’s village. But they weren’t alone. Soldiers were with them. Human soldiers. Father recognized them immediately. They were the troops from the Seriade Empire. Seriade was an evil country that was constantly at war with the Elves. Many times, the Bloodaxes helped them. The White Hand tribe would have probably sided with the Elves, if we didn’t spend so much time defending ourselves against the Bloodaxes.
We knew where they were going. They were headed right for our village. For their assistance against the Elves, Seriade had agreed to help them attack us. Thankfully, we knew a quick way back. We got there right as the attack started. Father made my brother and I return to the family huts to protect my mother and sisters. He ran into the center of the village, right into the fight. We reached the huts right as the enemy did. There were five of them. Three from Seriade, and two Bloodaxe. Neither of us hesitated, Goluk and I had the blood of three Seriade soldiers on our blades before they could react. The Bloodaxes were a different story though. They were adults, warriors, and knew more about fighting that either of us could hope to at 17. One charged me, knocking me back against the hut. The other recognized Goluk. He paused, laughed and moved towards the hut. He was just going to ignored Goluk. He remembered him and believed him to still be as weak as when he was exiled. That was his mistake. Goluk dropped him in two swings with his axe. The one who hit me turned to rush Goluk. This was the opportunity I needed. I ran him through with my gouge.
Goluk and I turned to look for more enemies nearby. There were no more. They were all in the center of the village fighting a group of White Hand warriors. Before I could object, Goluk was racing towards a group of Bloodaxes. He had no problems attacking them. He harbored no love for his old people. Before they realized they were being attacked from another direction, he had killed two. As I moved to go help, I noticed bolts, like from the crossbows I had seen on humans in the past, flying towards my father and the others. I took off running towards the ones shooting. I turned a corner in the village and found four Seriade soldiers firing crossbows. I killed two before they could reload. The other two put bolts in me before I got them. I had one in my leg, one in the shoulder.
Slowly, our village turned the tide. By the end, we had killed all but a few of the Bloodaxes, and two Seriade officers. Those we kept as prisoners. They were interrogated by my father and other tribal elders before being killed.
It is customary for a Giantman to receive a new honorific title when something of significance takes place. The chief of the local village typically assigns them. Many new names were given after that day. Including Bloodwrecker and Warreaver. Bloodwrecker was given to Goluk. This was his first positive title given by the tribe. Before he had been Outsider, Weakling, or even simply Bloodaxe. But he had proven himself. Both as a capable warrior, and a part of our tribe. He killed several Bloodaxes that day. He was now Bloodwrecker.
My title was something different. It wasn’t so much something I earned in battle, as it was the promise of an opportunity. It became clear we could no longer ignore Seriade. It was time to throw ourselves in with the Elves and their allies. The chief contacted people he knew in the Elven Nations. When I turned 18, I would leave the village and join the Elven Nations army. We were going to take the fight to Seriade. I was officially given the title of Warreaver the day I left the village. The name again took a new meaning. It was no longer the promise of an opportunity from the chief. It was now my promise as a member of the tribe to bring war to Seriade. They would no longer be ignored by the White Hand.
I am now 24 years old. I have been fighting in the Elven Nations for 6 years. Well, actually fighting for two years. The first year was spent learning the ways of war in training. The next two were spent on patrols and in scouting troops. The fourth was as a bodyguard to a caravan of military officials traveling around the Nations. It was on one of my scouting missions that things changed again. It seems I often find interesting things in the forest. It was the day I turned 20. I was assigned to a unit of elves fairly close to the front. I was sent out with two elves to patrol and scout the area for Seriade camps and patrols. The intention was to move the local units forward some distance, pushing the local Seriade encampments back. We had been on patrol for maybe two hours when one of the elves tripped over something. I moved the brush aside to find a small girl. Well, small to me. She looked to be an elf. Or she used to be one. She almost looked dead. But she had stirred when the elf tripped on her. I touched her. She stirred again. One of the elves suggested we take her back to camp. So I picked her up. That’s when she awoke completely. She was scared. She tried to fight me but was too weak. She passed out. We took her back to camp. Several hours later, she awoke again, having been tended to by the cleric in the unit. The commanding officer, the girl, and I talked for some time. She had no memory of anything before waking up when we found her. No idea who she is, how old she is, or where she is from. All we know is that she must have been some kind of hunter or ranger. She was found with a bow. And despite remembering nothing else, she can use it as well as I can use my gouge. It comes naturally to her.
Once she displayed an aptitude with a bow and the skills to be useful, the commander decided to let her stay. Since she didn’t remember what her own name was, she picked a new one. Ninesse. I call her Nina. Easy to remember. She has been part of every patrol and scout unit I have been in since. She was also part of the bodyguard unit. And now we serve together in the regular military.
Nina and I are something of a team at this point. She watches my back, I watch hers. She reminds me of Goluk in a way. Left in the woods for dead and thought useless, but deep down they are both fighters. And strong willed. She is much like Goluk and the other Giantmen in another aspect. She loves getting tattoos. Most Giants have a few. I myself have several. But I have gotten them over many years, starting when I was just 14. She has gotten more in the four years I have known her than my family has combined. I consider it an unhealthy obsession. After the first several I began to get on her each time a new one was added. But she won’t stop. She will almost have to soon. I believe she will soon run out of places for them. If nothing else, seeing a small, tattoo covered elven girl launching arrows at you faster than you can blink seems to scare the Seriade regulars. It is almost amusing in a way.

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