A Glimpse of Giants

Every now and then I’m left in the morning with the barest glimpse of a dream from the night before and I scramble to collect the pieces and discover if it’s a thread worth following. This week I had one of those experiences and was left with a strange image of a giant statue leaning at a strange angle, watching for something… And it led to this potential encounter.

Idalion was an ancient city in Cyprus, near modern Dali, Nicosia District. Idalion was one of 10 Cypriot kingdoms listed on the prism (many-sided tablet) of the Assyrian king Esarhaddon (680–669 BC). Eventually dominated by the Phoenician city of Citium, it became the centre of a cult of Aphrodite and of the Helleno-Phoenician deity Resheph-Apollo. A terra-cotta model found there (now in the Louvre) is believed to represent the Resheph-Apollo temple http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IdaliumThe hall before you is lined by six strange statues of giant humanoid figures, three on each side of the once-beautiful carpet. Each figure sports a curly-haired head atop a naked, muscled torso and crossed arms. Across their chests lay curved swords, crossed and touching their stony skin, hilts clenched in tight fists. They lean forward, eyes open and focused on the floor before them as though they knew you’d come.

Though your eyes are drawn to their upper half, their other half seems unfinished or locked in the square blocks of stone anchoring them to the floor.  If you look closely, you see some cracking at the top of each block where the torso emerges.

Who are they? What do they want? What are they about to do?

The GM part of me sees this encounter playing out in a long hall with a high ceiling and smaller doorways on either end. Running down the center of the hall is a once-fine carpet long faded, worn, and dusty.

3272_351_205-booby-traps-triggersAnd what should happen when the PCs cross before their gaze? They arise as one, shaking the stone from their legs and feet to attack. Each statue is roughly 18-20 feet tall and has a long reach with their twin swords and will make quick work of whoever or whatever moves within their attack zone.

I would probably play it as though the PCs entered a trapped area and set off some kind of tripwire or magical condition (i.e. crossing in front of the statues) to set it off. And I would give the PCs a round as the statues swing wildly and shake off their stony covering to go after them – it’s possible they could just run headlong to the other door, which the statues would not be able to follow through. I’d probably be mean and have that other door locked though. 🙂

Some other possibilities came up when I discussed the scenario with a friend of mine:

  • Did the party bring an item into the hall that activated the statues?
  • Did they break a ward?
  • Does the PCs arriving signify that a prophecy has been fulfilled?
  • Did the big bad further along in the complex wake the statues up for some reason?

And then I came up with a few more questions…

  • Have the statues moved in the past? There’s a hint that they may have started to (“cracking at the top of each block”), which implies that perhaps another party figured out a way around them without getting them all riled…
  • If they did move, how did they get their stone back together? Did someone else in the complex take care of the cleanup? Are there more than a few cracks in those stone blocks?
  • What clues might be in the carpet before the statues? Blood covered by dust? Holes that may have been cut by the statues’ swords?


This is not the first time I’ve had these weird glimpses of dreams that have become something more. And it won’t be the last. 🙂

Let me know if you use it!

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