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I come from a small costal town, and recently we've been having some giant trouble.

This particular giant isn't particularly evil, but he eats cows like crisps and frankly we're all rather worried what will happen when the herds run out! He's about 60' tall and unfortunately not at all dimwitted.

We have a medieval level of technology so planes and bombs are out of the question but we do have a fairly hefty trebuchet!

We don't actually want to kill our marauding giant. That may bring more of its kind, how can we hope to overpower and restrain him so we have a fighting chance of converting him to vegetarianism before we end up on the menu?

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I'm not sure how you will convert him to vegetarism, but you can worry about this after he's caught.

To overpower him, you need to get him down on the ground. You might try make him slip on a bunch of loose logs, large amounts of oil or maybe even mud, released at the right moment. Unfortunately, he'll probably fight your attempts to restrain him right away causing large amounts damage and killing your people. So poison would be probably a better solution, well hidden in his "meal" (strap it to a cow or two ;-)).

This paper suggests that mandrake as a possible candidate. It also describes a technique where a certain sedative is applied by inhaling (yield sponges soaked with sedative at the giants mouth nose if you prefer more action).

Now he's flat down on the ground, you can start restraining him. Hurry before he wakes up. Given his size (and therefore, strength), you'll need vast amounts of strong rope. Use nearby trees and bury logs to secure the ropes.

Given that you never caught a giant before it's still risky. But your local healer surely has a poison to keep him weak or tired to add extra security.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I see Gulliver is hanging around! ;) $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Sep 27 '15 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre Of course, you've always to learn from the best ;-) $\endgroup$ – Marcus Bitzl Sep 27 '15 at 17:51
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On the same idea as Marcus, but slightly different method of delivery.

Use punji sticks coated thoroughly with wolfsbane. Dig holes (4-5 ft deep) in the ground around cow pens and bury several punji sticks. He steps on, foot sinks in the hole, gets impaled by several punji sticks. Would get limp. Would not be able to run swiftly, so you can safely chase him from a distance silently.

After he's down due to nervous paralysis (he will weaken, then get on his knees and finally drop down on his side), go in and tie him up strongly. Rest is up to you.

Make sure to install artificial respiratory aid (by utilizing a blacksmith's bellows) until poison effects clear out and he breathes naturally.

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Poison the cows (well, not really).

Collect some herbs with laxative properties. Pack them tightly, and discreetly tie those to the cows. Bonus points if you can somehow make all the cows look "sick".

The advantage of this method is that you do not need to convince the giant of anything; in his own volition he will change his diet or go elsewhere.

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I'm going to take a different tack. Rather than restrain him and convert him to vegetarian, why not try to deter him with a method that is cheap, non-lethal, and mean: trebuchet full of rock salt.

Pain is a fairly effective deterrent in intelligent (and not so intelligent) life. So you figure out where he is coming from, set up your trebuchet a fair bit outside the town (very important because this next part is going to suck for the giant and he might be a little peeved), load it up with some chunks of salt that aren't large enough to kill the giant, but are large enough to pierce his skin, and shoot him. It may be wise to have a back up plan in case that isn't enough to deter him, but I defer that to the previous answers.

(It should be noted that I got this idea from a friends grandfather who drove off a bunch of home invaders with a shotgun loaded with rock salt.)

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Sic a wizard on him.

Giants mean magic, to beat that pesky square-cube law. So it's just a matter of figuring out the magic and applying it.

A boatload of archers.

Archers can put out an eye. And he's a BIG target. Find out how well he swims, by putting your archers in a sailboat. Easier to flee, and he won't be able to run them down (negating his best advantage). Mind the boulder-flinging.

Get rid of the cows.

No crisps, and yeah, he'll have to figure out what to do then. If your neighbors also take a nice vacation, there's no more food for him, and he'll move on - since he doesn't seem inclined to raise his own cows.

Hire a more amicable giant

Takes one to beat one.

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