In the past desert giants were numerous and lived in the deserts of Zakhara, but their number was decreased by a curse of the gods, which slowly but steadily turns them to stone. Being they are shepherds, they often travel with their herds. In the past they had built a great civilization but it has since succumbed to the ravages of time. Many desert giants, even the young often have an aged appearance due to the constant exposure to desert storms. They have dark hair and blue eyes, which turn brown before the giant turns to stone. The females cover their faces in a veil. They can live to about 400 years old and typically stand 17” tall and weigh about 7,000 pounds.
Desert giants prefer to fight while mounted. Usually gigantic forms of insects, reptiles, undead horses and even the rare roc. Sultans of the past sometimes hired desert giants as mercenaries. The sight of these fearsome warriors could cause the stoutest units to turn and flee. Unlike other giants desert giants do not hurl boulders, as they are rare in the desert and taxing for the nomadic warriors to carry with them. But during their wanderings when they happen upon a jungle they will use the trees to make giant spears. Considered cherished items, they are passed from generation to generation. Chieftains often wield great scimitars handed down from their ancestors. Even an unarmed attack from a desert giant can cause serious harm. Certain desert giants have the special ability to return ancestors from a state stone or they may choose instead to summon stone battle mounts. The returned giants turn to dust and rock when defeated. They are known as sand-shifters due to the way the returning ancestors cast away sand. Only 10 % of desert giants have this ability. The complexion and texture of their skin so closely resembles their natural surroundings, that given sufficient time a desert giant can conceal itself to set an ambush. Some use this tactic after becoming bandits when they have lost their herds, something that is happening as their numbers decrease.
Having no permanent settlements desert giants are often found with or near their herds. They can strip all the vegetation with their passing. Others living in those lands can expect no reimbursement for the damage done as the giants feel the lands belong to those who can take them. Sultans often offer bribes to get the giants to leave, rather than try to drive the giants off the valuable farmland.
Desert giants’ livelihood is dependent upon the rain. Driving their herds after the rain to the green fields it brings. During droughts, the younger males will seek employment as mercenaries, using their pay to supply food for their tribes. When the drought continues for many years the giants are forced to seek refuge in the cities, even when this happens their numbers are miniscule compared to the other races.