The center of their culture is the city of Themm, on the islands to the north and west of Calibran. The islands are where the best sailors come from, and the hardest warriors. There is little living to be had on the islands, which may account for the inhabitants developing other skills.
Tribes of barbarians have moved to the mainland to the east of the islands, bordering the tundra and fighting for territory with the orcish tribes to the south.
Barbarians are human, and share their traits as far as biology goes. They are, in general, stronger and larger on average than the normal run. In many cases, while they rarely are as tall as minotaurs, they are often as strong as the bull men.
Their lives are hard, and many fall in battle. The average life expectancy is perhaps 40 or 50. Those who manage to live to old age are respected for their luck, if nothing else.
By and large, barbarians are not given to collecting in large cities. They prefer to live in small towns, and the geography of where they live is not, in any case, very hospitable to large numbers of people living together. The exception is the city of Themm, which is a gathering place of the clans, and the center of the barbarians' religion.
The city is sheltered in a large bay, and it is built around the docks and the water. Dockyards are spread around the bay, and it is a rare season when at least one new ship is not launched.
The buildings are mostly of wood, with some stone being used. The barbarians have a unique method of building ships, and they are known as great shipwrights and sailors. The talent for carpentry extends to construction, and many buildings have carved animals and fanciful designs on the beams and eaves. They are brightly colored, also, in contrast to the fairly bleak and grey countryside.
Themm is home to a mixture of clans. Many clan heads make their home in Themm, or spend some part of the year in the city. They form the leadership of the city, along with the eldest citizens and a representative from the priesthood.
Cael the Hunter is the chief god of the Barbarians, and the center of his worship is in Themm. A temple has been built to him, and there are a class of professional priests that lead his worship.
Cael the hunter is the chief god of the barbarians. He wields a spear, and pursues prey alone. The barbarians follow his lead in respecting the object of their hunts. Prey are not allowed to suffer, and are given a swift and merciful end. The Hunter's Prayer is said over their bodies, and often a sacrifice of salt is made as well.
Many barbarians use the King's Speech. They have their own language as well, and will mix the King's Speech with this guttural tongue freely.
Barbarians generally take one of two approaches to magic. Either they seek to control and propitiate the spirits of nature and the elements, to manipulate fire, water, earth and air. Others find they have a natural ability for simply taking hold of the stuff of reality, and twisting it to suit their needs. These sorcerers can create a wider range of effects. Some, the truly dangerous, are able to use both sorts of magic.
Major Historical events Edit
Their history is told in sagas and legends, but it mostly concerns the deeds of their own heroes, and their own small dramas. They've killed dragons, they claim, and fought monsters such as Yetis and giants from the far north. While there were certainly barbarians at the Battle of Farsalon, their names and roles have not been recorded.
Named and Important Characters Edit
None so far.
Naming Conventions Edit
Conan-inspired, Cimmerian. Surname is “son of FATHER NAME”. Irish or Celtic bent. Examples: Adair, Ahern, Cael, Cahan, Bran, Brogan, Lochlainn, Lorcan, Lunn, Earlene, Neala Nessa, Eavan, Sile, Talla
Notable Skills and Traits Edit
Barbarians are strong, and skilled warriors. They are also great hunters, able to track prey across the frozen tundra, or the endless waves. They do less well away from their native environments, but are still highly skilled.
There are warriors among them that draw from the same well of rage as the minotaurs. Berserkers, often from the Bear Clan, are feared warriors both among the barbarians and their enemies.
There are few better sailors on Calibran. Their longships are as likely to come to trade as they are to raid.
Cultural notes Edit
Bride Price Edit
Women in barbarian culture have a certain degree of freedom, and there have been several notable woman warriors and leaders. However, young women are considered wards of their fathers. A man wishing to marry a woman must seek her father's approval. The father will then set a bride price which the man most pay to take his bride. If the father approves of the match, he might set a low or easily met price. If he disapproves, he may name an impossibly high price, or one that will most likely kill the suitor if he pursues it.
There are a few self proclaimed kings, princes, and lords among the barbarians, but their control is very fluid. Some villages may decide to stop following them for any reason, or none at all. The leaders of the villages are the elders, old and wise members of the community who make decisions and guide their fellows. It is an informal group. Members are not chosen, but if no one is willing to listen to you, you cannot be a leader. The elders have many ceremonial roles, but the majority of their decisions are made around a warm fire with a mug of ale in their hands.
Winter Suits Edit
In the far north, it gets, and stays, bitterly cold for much of the year. The those among the barbarians who live in that area wear full suits of leather and fur to keep themselves warm, often including face masks and wooden goggles they call snow eyes.
Many people call barbarians tribal, and say they divide themselves among different tribes. Barbarians take great offense at this. Orcs have tribes, they say. Barbarians have the much more sophisticated clans. This may seem a quibble, and in fact there are many similarities between the two ways of life. There are some differences, however. It would be rare to find a member of a tribe living apart from that tribe for any length of time. Clans might be spread out among many towns and villages, and a village may have members of several different clans among its inhabitants.
Clans are usually named for an animal that the members admire, and that has traits they wish to partake of. There is a Wolf Clan, Bear Clan, Hawk Clan, and many others as well.