Characters of Cimmeria: Bigby

Bigby is actually not a creation of my own, but that of Gary Gygax and Robert Kuntz, two of the original creators of Dungeons and Dragons. My creation is more of tribute than a direct port of the character that Gygax and Kuntz created. If you’d like to learn more about the original Bigby, he’s actually important enough to have his own Wikipedia page! Who’d have thought?


Bigby was an elven sorcerer whose magical style revolutionized many magical fields and has been often duplicated since. He lived in the forest that now bears his name and defended it from attackers of all sorts. Bigby joined with the other heroes of his time to fight in the Dragon War. He imprisoned the green dragon matriarchs that plagued his forest in the Green Orb of Dragonkind. After sealing away his foe, Bigby slept along with the other heroes of the Dragon War, ready to wake when the world needed him again.

Bigby was born to elven parents in the forest that was once called the Dry Woods. In the time of his birth, the Dry Woods was ruled by two green dragon queens named Cordax and Hashterainon. The pair engaged in the foul practice of prima nocta with their subjects. This led to the bleeding of dragon magic into the bloodlines of the elves and pixies of the Dry Woods. Some say this is where Bigby got his peculiar magical strength from.

Bigby’s parents named him Bigarius, but their pet name for him stuck with him into his adult life. He was a precocious child and his parents gave him every freedom he desired. His mother was a magical sage and Bigby often watched and listened while she assisted clients. From these observations he learned the basics of magic.

Wanting to learn more on his own, Bigby went to a private meadow to practice. With no formal teaching, Bigby managed to master simple spells, but in a unique way. His manipulated his mage hand cantrip with his feet instead of his hands, and worked it into a three handed juggling routine. His dancing lights were composed of cube-shaped lights instead of globes. Bigby even made his own cantrip that enlarged his hands and feet so he could pretend he’d been stung by a bee and gain sympathy from his parents.

Bigby’s magical talents did not go unnoticed as he grew older. Rather than enter into a mage’s service as an apprentice, Bigby convinced his parents to pay for lessons with a different magical tutor every month. He incorporated elements of each teacher’s methods into his own unique style, taking the best of each and making it his own. Bigby entered adulthood as one of the best sorcerers in the Dry Woods.

Bigby could’ve used his magic for many things, building tree homes, healing the sick, or divining the truth, but he chose the path he thought was the most noble, defending others. Bigby protected the people of the Dry Woods using spells that have come to be known as Bigby’s Hands. The Hand spells summon gigantic hands composed of pure magical force. Bigby manipulated these hands with his feet to protect those in his charge by crushing or grabbing his enemies. Alongside the other sylvan defenders of the Dry Woods he kept their forest realm safe from harm.

The Dry Woods were attacked by orcs and Bigby fought them off. The Dry Woods were attacked by gnolls and Bigby fought them off. The Dry Woods were attacked by human loggers and Bigby fought them off. All this he did reluctantly in the name of the Queens of the Dry Woods, Cordax and Hashterainon.

While most of Bigby’s opponents never returned to the Dry Woods, the human loggers did. Bigby could’ve driven them off again, but he saw that they needed the wood his forest could provide. Thinking of unique solutions was Bigby’s specialty. He worked up a new spell that would allow the elves and humans to share the Dry Woods. His spell made the forest grow at an alarmingly fast rate. The tree line spread southward faster than the humans could harvest the lumber. The short-lived folk had all the wood they would ever need and Bigby could sleep soundly knowing they would never come into the deeper parts of the forest and cut down the home of one of his friends.

Eventually, the rule of the dragons would pull Bigby away from his favorite forest into the wider world. He and the other elves chaffed under the tyrannical rule of Cordax and Hashterainon. When word reached them of Tentineh’s rebellion, Bigby led his people alongside the other heroes in the Dragon War. By the end of the war he had imprisoned Hashterainon in the Green Orb and set Cordax to guard her for all eternity. Bigby entered a magical sleep along with the other heroes, ready to return should his Orb be broken.

Due to Bigby’s renown and the lasting effect of his spell on his forested home, many people took to calling the Dry Woods, Bigby’s Forest. Over time Bigby’s Forest became the proper name for the place and it now appears as such on all but the oldest maps. Bigby’s Hand spells still bear his name, but few have mastered controlling them with their feet as he did.


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