Barbarian Clans

A barbarian normally takes his clan name according to his region or local chieftain, and many keep at least some record of their history. Sometimes the cheiftain is the keeper of the history for the tribe. Among the clans that have preserved their heritage, the five most renown are the ones that survived the first Wave of Darkness which consumed the Barbarian Empire. They are as follows:

Highlanders: These men of light skin, dark hair (red, brown, or black), and great stature, are distinguished by their preference for melee weapons in combat, especially straight swords and axes, but also clubs, with or without shields, as they stand their ground and fight. They may keep a short sword as a backup weapon, but their preferred weapons may reach lengths in excess of 6 feet (Greatsword, Bastard sword & buckler, Longsword & shield). They demonstrate proficiency with bows as well as slings; they keep to the higher ground in general, amongst wooded lands and rolling moors. They are the only clan to shun mounted combat, though they rarely find it difficult to ‘level’ the playing field – often dispatching the mount before the rider. A few among them develop their magical talents; usually natural rather than arcane. They sometimes rear wolves as guard and attack animals, and often mark themselves with blue paint.

Berzerkers: These barbarians, though not always as tall as the highlanders, are lighter of skin and hair (blond, red, or light brown), but still great in stature, broad shouldered and muscular. They typically prefer the axe or hammer, often used with a shield, though they too will sometimes have a short sword or short spear at hand as a secondary weapon. Neither are they averse to mounted combat, often charging through foes swinging their battleaxes about them furiously. Some of their number prefer short bows at range; others prefer slings; but many prefer thrown axes. Few raise horses or wolves and what magical traditions they have are subtle to the point of non-existence, though they do use fire quite effectively. They sometimes mark their faces with blue paint.

Jochee: These relatively slight men are often darker of hair and skin (red, brown) than highlanders & berzerkers, and typically give preference to seemingly simplistic weapons such as the club or spear, which they utilize with deadly efficiency; they will also use shields. More of them are apt with a short bow than a sling, though many of their number still prefer throwing axes or javelins; and they are not averse to fighting on horseback. They have a distinguised magical tradition, though more natural and spiritual than arcane; they also value the art of stealth, and they often rear horses, wolves, and great cats. Many of their tribes tattoo or paint themselves, and they prefer to live on the lowland plains and woodlands.

Sarac: These dark-skinned barbarians are also dark haired (though they often shave their head), and have many builds from small and slight to tall and broad. They seem to prefer curved blades (falchions & scimitars) to all other weapons, though they may use daggers or kukri as secondary weapons, but many are proficient with “primitive” weapons such as clubs and spears, or with various exotic weapons (chain, shakram, double scimitar etc.); they almost never use shields. Ranged combat usually entails a thrown spear or club, but some rely on short bows which they may fire from horseback. While they are not particularly averse to mounted combat, they do not generally prefer it, relying on mounts primarily as a means of mobility; horses are the most often reared, but one tribe raises great cats. This clan has a strong tradition of dervishes, and a burgeoning arcane tradition; many tattoo themselves with blue ink.

Kel-Jorac: Descended from giants, these imposing men have light skin and dark hair. They are arguably the most chaotic of barbarians, not taking any particular preference for a weapon except what “works”. They are the most frequent users of less traditional weapons such as the flail or pick, though they will just as readily take up the axe or hammer or spear. They may or may not use shields, but their limited tolerance for ranged combat tends to prefer thrown weapons such as clubs or axes or slings. In keeping with their strong druidic tradition, they are the best at rearing animals, and attempt to train many exotic mounts which they and their brothers ride into combat, tearing at foes with blade and claw alike. Interestingly they also keep a notable shamanic tradition and arcane tradition; sometimes blurring the line between these distinctions. They do not generally mark themselves in any way.

Barbarian Clans

The Chronicles of Erdon Beaumains