Gamma Ray Giants
Pest’s Crossing is a logging town that sprung up in 450 CY near a shallow ford of the Blue Oyt River near the eastern reaches of the Hornwood. A crafty thief named Sezon the Pest arranged to have a few heavy logs set into the ford to allow a dry crossing and began to charge people a small toll to use his “bridge.” Other entrepreneurs began developing small businesses that depended on the loggers (blade sharpeners, teamsters, two small taverns, and so-on) and the thief’s bridge soon became a settlement.
Over time the frontier village grew, and in 512 CY the extremely dilapidated crossing was torn down and rebuilt with stone. The human loggers were able to establish a system where they worked with the Sylvan Elves to find trees of the highest quality and leave others untouched, keeping the forest largely intact and avoiding the wasteful destruction of inferior wood in search of materials suitable for weapons of the highest quality.
In exchange for this knowledge, the slyvan elves were given information on the outside worlds and some trade goods, especially silver and fine wines. The people of Pest’s Crossing lived off small gardens and sheltered groves of fruit trees, trading lumber and elven bows to other towns in exchange for other foodstuffs.
The fight to defend Pest’s Crossing was fierce and drawn out, but ultimately doomed. Led by the fire giant chieftain Mogthrasir, two dozen fire giants forced their way through the Hornwood, accompanied by five hell hounds, twenty ogres and eight trolls. The loggers (and the few sylvan elves who chose to stand with them) harried the invaders, using their superior knowledge of the terrain and ability to hide. The giants, however, had no qualms about setting the forest aflame to flush out or kill the defenders.
Mogthrasir declared himself the new “King” of Geoff. King Mogthrasir had the surviving Human slaves construct a large hill on the outskirts of town where a great fortress called Castle Thrasmotnir was built with rock imported from the Crystalmist Mountains.
He then had surround both the castle and town with a deep moat, effectively making the town secure from almost any large-scale attack.
Eight years of careless deforestation has devastated the surrounding forest creating an enormous clear-cut for miles around Pest’s Crossing.
The surviving sylvan elves now live in the most isolated parts of the Hornwood, harrying ogres or giants who stray too far into the wilder areas. They regret the losses that their human friends have suffered and seethe in anger at the destruction of the woodlands, but their numbers are too few to attack the town with any effectiveness and their natures too independent to unite long enough to force the giants out.