The Ordening

Ordning of Omens
Each Storm Giant knows its status in the ordning by the signals the universe sends them. Omens might be seen in the wheeling flight of a flock of birds, the patterns in sand left by a receding tide, the shapes of clouds, or any number of other natural phenomena. Storm giants that receive the greatest number of such messages generally rank highest, but the significance of individual signs can also affect one’s status. On the rare occasions when storm giants meet, omens and signs accompany each individual, making it plain to all present who ranks where. Arguments about ranking within the ordning are rare, but all the giants in the group studiously examine every sign for evidence that one among them might be the greatest yet, since the revelation of that fact would herald Annam’s return. Ever since Ostoria fell and Annam abandoned his children, no sole king or emperor has ruled over giantkind. According to legend, the arrival of such a leader will be presaged by signs and omens in all the elements of the world: the sky (air), the sea (water), the continents (earth), and the underworld (fire). All of these are realms of the storm giants, which maintain a constant watch for the all-important signs. In ages past, when giant dynasties reigned, the signs that accompanied the leader of them all were clear and unmistakable. In the crawl of centuries since the empire’s collapse, the few signs manifested have been muddied, conflicting, and contentious.
 
 
 
For an obvious reason, every Storm Giant has a strong personal interest in how soon Annam’s return comes to pass—they all want to live to see it. Some individuals gain a measure of immortality for themselves by merging with elemental forces. The Storm Giant Quintessent is the most reclusive of its kind, lairing in remote and inhospitable sites surrounded by brutal winds and murderous weather. Without an emperor to serve as their political and spiritual head, the storm giants are adrift on an uncertain sea. Every possibility encapsulated in every sign is exhaustively examined. Debates over the meaning and validity of this or that omen are conducted across human kingdoms and spanning human lifetimes. Explorers and adventurers can find opportunity in this situation, since the giants sometimes hire agents that they dispatch to investigate portents and to retrieve items the giants need for their oracles. It’s dangerous work, for two reasons. The obvious one is that the task involves delving into Ostorian ruins that have been sealed for millennia. The less obvious one is that certain portents, if confirmed to be true, would indeed bring about the return of Annam, upending the giants’ social order and initiating a new age. Some would welcome such a change; others would oppose it bitterly and do all they could to stop it, possibly resorting to all-out war.

The Ordening

The Storm Giants Legion_Zero Treguard