Giaks are humanoid servants of the Darklords. They are not very intelligent, but they are fierce and strong.

History[edit | edit source]

The Darklords first appeared in Magnamund and began to breed Giaks in MS 3072 [1]. In MS 3262, the Darklords began construction of the city of Helgedad, which eventually claimed the lives of a million Giak slaves [1].

Once Helgedad was completed, Darklord Vashna began to breed new types of Giaks, which could better withstand the heat and poisonous atmosphere of the Darklands. These were the Mountain Giaks, which went on to persecute the weaker earlier breeds, ruling over them in a society founded on strength, cruelty, and fear [1].

As the Darklords expanded their empire, and as their need for bigger armies increased, the Giaks were used less frequently as slaves and their society became wholly military. During this time, a well-developed language evolved to fulfill their need for clear communication [1].

Although the Giaks are organized into a military society, they are still used for large-scale manual labor, such as quary work [2]. They are still used as slaves for menial tasks in Kaag [3].

Physical Characteristics[edit | edit source]

These traits apply to Mountain Giaks. Joe Dever did not spell out the traits of other types of Giaks in detail, although there are distinctions in the expanded universe of the Lone Wolf Adventure Game.

Mountain Giaks can see normal sunlight and infrared light. They are impervious to all non-corrosive poisons. A Mountain Giak's trachea can filter and neutralize inhaled toxins. Mountain Giaks are resistant to extreme temperatures. Their bones are twice the strength of human bones [1].

Types of Giaks[edit | edit source]

Mountain Giaks[edit | edit source]

Mountain Giaks are the type used in the army of the Darklords. When another type of Giak isn't specified, you can assume that a Giak is a Mountain Giak.

Swamp Giaks[edit | edit source]

Swamp Giaks are a weaker, smaller sub-species of Mountain Giak. They have mottled greenish skins and ochre-colored eyes [4].

Swamp Giaks were the first of Giak-kind to be spawned during the early years of the Age of the Black Moon (MS 3004 – MS 3799). They were named after the swampy slime-filled rifts of the Darklands where initially they settled and thrived. Hundreds of thousands of them were used by Darklord Vashna as slave labour in the construction of Helgedad. Upon its completion, Vashna began producing the Mountain Giaks. Following the rise of Mountain Giaks, the Swamp Giaks were still spawned in large quantities, but not for slave labour or military purposes. They were used primarily to provide food for the Kraan and the other creatures of the Darklands, including the Mountain Giaks. They were also skinned for their hides. Giak hide is used throughout the Darklands armies, most commonly for belts, bags, straps and pouches. After MS 4711, Swamp Giaks were sent to the island stronghold of V’ka in the Maakenmire swamp to serve and provide a ready supply of food for the Gourgaz allies of the Darklands. Most recently (MS 4755 – MS 5000), the numbers of Swamp Giaks spawned for food has diminished dramatically, except in the Maakenmire. The creatures of the Darklands are now more likely to be fed on the bodies of Mountain Giaks that emerge dead or deformed, from the spawning process [4].

Swamp Giaks are rarely to be found outside of Darklands city-fortresses or the fortress of V’ka in the Maakenmire. The exception to this rule are the wild bands of Swamp Giaks which still occupy the slime-filled rifts of the Naogizaga desert, most notably to the southeast of the Darklands’ fortress-city of Aarnak [4].

Szalls[edit | edit source]

Szalls are a small and warty-skinned breed of Giak. They have been natives of the Wildlands since the Age of the Black Moon, when thousands of their kind migrated from the Durncrag Mountains to avoid the tyranny of Vashna. They are harmless and cowardly and they coexist with humans [5].

Giak Language[edit | edit source]

Giaks have a well-developed language, which is both spoken and written. The spoken version is harsh and guttural. The language is richest in the areas of warfare, military construction, and hunting [1].

The Giak language is the only one explicitly mentioned in the Darklands. A reader may infer that the Darklords have their own language, since they arrived and operated before the Giak language was developed. The Gourgaz must have had their own language too, since they are intelligent creatures and lived in the Makenmire Swamp prior to the Darklords discovering them. In any case, it is clear that the Giak language serves as a common tongue for all the creatures serving the Darklords [1]. This may be because the Giaks served the Darklords first, or because there are more Giaks than other creatures, or because the Giaks aren't smart enough to learn multiple languages.

Although it is clear that the Giak's have a written version of their language [1], it is not clear how many Giaks are able to read and write.

The Giak language has dialects, with different pronunciations for the same words. The human Drakkarim use the plural suffix "-im," rather than the more common suffix "-a" [1].

Giak Reproduction[edit | edit source]

Giaks reproduced naturally up to the time when Vashna completed the construction of Helgedad and began to breed new types.  (This is implied in Joe Dever's writing but never explicitly stated.)  Mountain Giaks are created in vats through wizardry. 

Joe Dever's Writing on Giak Reproduction[edit | edit source]

Joe Dever has never explicitly written that Giaks switched from natural reproduction to magical reproduction, but it is strongly implied.

In the Magnamund Companion, Dever wrote that the Darklords arrived in 3072 and "bred" Giaks (p. 66 [1]).  The language turns from "breeding" to "spawning" with completion of Helgedad, when "Vashna began breeding new types of Giak in many dreadful spawning pits deep below his infernal city" (p. 66 [1]).

When Lone Wolf meets Mountain Giaks for the first time in Book 1, Dever writes that they are the "descendants" of the Giak slaves who built Helgedad (section 243 [6]), but this could mean that the Mountain Giaks are derived from earlier Giaks through sorcery.

In Book 2, Lone Wolf encounters Szalls, who live on their own in the Wildlands.  Dever writes that the Szalls fled from the Durncrag mountains during the Age of the Black Moon more than 1,200 years earlier (section 195 [5]). Unless the Szalls have extraordinarily long lifespans, it is clear that they must reproduce on their own.

In Book 14, it becomes explicitly clear that Mountain Giaks are spawned in vats.  Lone Wolf travels to Kaag and learns that the Giak vats are a point of contention there.

"The two warring factions are fighting principally for control over the Giak spawning vats located in the dungeons of the citadel. The vats are the key to power here; they produce both an unending supply of fresh troops and a source of raw food for whoever controls them" (section 170 [3]).

Later he sees Nadziranim working at the spawning vats firsthand.

"These mysterious sorcerers are gifted in the black arts of Right-handed magic and, before their demise, they slavishly assisted the Darklords of Helgedad. These particular Nadziranim are busy at slime-filled vats, engaged in the harvesting of Giak spawn, a process that at first fascinates then rapidly repulses you" (section 200 [3]).

Giak Reproduction in the Lone Wolf Adventure Game[edit | edit source]

The expanded universe of the Lone Wolf Adventure Game adds some detail to the history of Vashna's development of Giaks. It notes that Szalls "have evolved to the point where they are now capable of natural reproduction," although that is not logically how evolution works [4].

Female Giaks[edit | edit source]

There might not be a single reference to a female Giak in any of the Lone Wolf literature.

If Giaks reproduce sexually, then that implies there are female giaks who give birth in some fashion.  It could be that there are no female Mountain Giaks, or maybe they are kept hidden away as part of the spawning process under Darklord cities.

Military Organization[edit | edit source]

Giaks are famed for their instinctive sense of order. Their armies are highly disciplined and well organized, with a strong chain of command. It is said that they fear their officers more greatly than any enemy, and this is borne out in many tales of Giak battles. With a strong leader they are fearless foes, but should their leader prove to be weak, or should he fall at a crucial moment, then Giak nerve is swift to break [1].

Gourgaz Commanders[edit | edit source]

The Darklords were worried by the Giaks' need for strong leadership and sought to find better leaders for their Giak armies. Their search lasted many centuries, but eventually they discovered the ideal creature to lead their Giaks in battle—the Gourgaz. Gourgaz are huge reptilians that inhabit the Maakenmire swamp of Eastern Magnamund. Not only are they intelligent and uncannily battle-wise, they also have a special ability that makes them perfect for the role of Giak army leaders. When a Gourgaz engages in combat, it secretes an oil from scent glands that ridge the underside of its tail. This scent is odourless but when it is inhaled by Giaks, a chemical reaction takes place in their blood, stirring them to frenzy and total fearlessness [1].

Other Notes[edit | edit source]

Giaks ride both Doomwolves and Kraan [6].

The Darklords see the Giaks as being very disposable. At times, Giaks are fed to Kraan [1], Drakkarim, Gourgaz, and other Giaks [3]. They are used to trigger traps [2].

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Dever, J. & Chalk, G. (2015.) The Magnamund Companion. Project Aon. pp. 6, 34, 36, 64, 66-67, 70-71, 114
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dever, J. & Chalk, G. (2018, Feburary 15.) Shadow on the Sand. Project Aon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Dever, J. & Chalk, G. (2018, February 15.) The Captives of Kaag. Project Aon.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Dever, J., Lazzari, V., Hahn, A. & Pearce, D. (2017.) Lone Wolf Magnamund Menagerie. Cubicle 7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dever, J. & Chalk, G. (2018, February 15.) Fire on the Water. Project Aon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dever, J. & Chalk, G. (2018, February 15.) Flight from the Dark. Project Aon.
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