Saturday, September 30, 2023


Inspired by my post yesterday: - a correction to the math in that post, storm giant bones wouldn't need to be 41 times stronger than human bones, but instead only 19.3 times stronger.

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

-Genesis 6:1-4

The old world was wicked - the old world was drowned, all its wickedness washed away.

The sons of Noah, and their sons, and their sons after them have wandered from the foothills of Ararat, and once again is the earth divided - into cities, into nations, into the righteous and the wicked.

Warrior-tyrants have raised themselves above all peoples, bedecked in armaments of bone. Not the pale and fragile bones of mortal beasts, but the red, invulnerable bones of the nephilim - those men of renown in days ancient even now, hybrids of angel and human. Half-spirit, they did not perish wholly with their bodies, but wander the earth as immaterial, whispering shades. It was these nephilitic shades that led great Nimrod to their bones, bade him sharpen them into spears and arrows, and to lay the infernal foundations of the tower that may yet reach heaven in Babel.

The nephilim too are divided - while they all long to return to their lives of power and glory, and all hate and envy the descendants of Noah, they vary in how they've adapted to their new existence. Some have taken it hard, and rage near-mindlessly across the lands, spreading madness and disease. Some conspire with warlords, leading them to their own boneyards for the tools to carve out their conquests and their monuments - send them dreams and murmurs to encourage their brutality - and then lead would-be rebels to the same, with any outcome furthering these nephilims' goal of slaughter. And some enter into a twisted partnership with humans - witches, sorcerers - creating illusions, terror, and illnesses for them in return for service and sacrifices.

Point is: you're the downtrodden underclass in this changing world of warlords armed with super-strong bones and witches in league with evil ghosts. Can you take the weapons and allies of your masters and make them yours, flee into a further wilderness untouched by mankind since the waters fell, or achieve a true miracle?


  1. So, Charlton Heston from The Ten Commandments fights Near East Liche-Kings in a twisted Fertile Crescent? I can dig it.

  2. Of course, there are beasts bigger than Nephilim.

    I spent a while trying to find out how big a/the Leviathan is supposed to be. There quite a lot of info in the Talmud. Some of its skin will be used to adorn the walls of Jerusalem at the end of days, and the rest will be fashioned into a tent that will hold all the righteous; so at least city sized, maybe larger depending on how righteous you think people are. Even more impressively, there are great horned fish *300 miles long* which are eaten by the Leviathan. On the other hand, it lives in the Mediterranean and drinks the waters of the Jordan, which puts some upper bounds on size - the Mediterranean is 990 miles wide and 2,4000 miles long. Humans are famously incapable of slaying the Leviathan, *but* it may have had a mate that was slain by God at the beginning of time whose bones are available, and that 300-mile-long horned whale thing seems fairly abundant given Leviathan is snacking on them.

    The Behemoth, interestingly, is explicitly described in the Book of Job thus: "his bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron". So that would seem to be pretty clear regarding how the tensile strength of its body compares to various metals! This seems a *little* disappointing for a famous elemental beast, but it also explicitly shelters under trees, so it can't be all that big really... unless they were quite large trees (, which bring with them some interesting possibilities for giant wood...

    Last of the classic Jewish kaiju trio is of course Ziz, the King of the Birds. It's size is described quite straightforwardly in the Talmud: it stands with the ocean lapping around its ankles and its head scraping the top of the sky. If we take a modern definition of the extent of the atmosphere, that suggests it's reaching 50-60 miles above sea level or so. Of course, as a bird, it's bones might be hollow, but they're still by definition more than strong enough to build a space elevator/tower to heaven sort of structure out of... assuming you don't just climb the bird.

    All of these are dwarfed by Azrael of Islamic tradition, who's said to be so large "if the Earth were put on his shoulder, it would be like a bean in an open field". Good luck getting your hands on his bones, but they call to mind Niven's famous ringworld Scrith in terms of presumable tensile strength.