Bardings

Bardings

“Bard had rebuilt the town in Dale and men had gathered to him from the Lake and from South and West, and all the valley had become tilled again and rich, and the desolation was now filled with birds and blossoms in spring and fruit and feasting in autumn.”

The city of Dale lay in ruins for almost two centuries, under the shadow of the Lonely Mountain. It was destroyed by the Dragon Smaug when he descended from the north to claim the vast treasure of the Dwarves of Erebor. Five years ago, the Dragon was killed and Men, led by Bard the Bowman, the Dragon-slayer, started to rebuild the city. Since then, Bard has been crowned King, and Dain Ironfoot, the Dwarf-lord from the Iron hills, is the new King Under the Mountain. Under their rule, Men and Dwarves have laboured hard, collaborating to rebuild Dale as they used to do before the Dragon came, and the city is approaching the glory it attained hundreds of years ago.

Bardings are descended from the same cultural group as the Beornings and the Woodmen of Wilderland. They are rapidly becoming the most powerful group of Men in Wilderland, strategically positioned as they are between the Elven kingdom of the Woodland Realm and the Dwarven Kingdom under the Mountain.

Under the guidance of the new king, the city of Dale provides the Dwarves of Erebor with everything from food and clothes to wood and ceramics, in exchange of the many products of their skillful metalworking and stonecraft. Trading with the Elves gives access to the superior quality of their woodworking.

Description
The Men of Dale are Northmen of noble origins. They are often tall and strong-limbed, with fair hair, although dark or even black hair is not unknown. Their men usually shave their beards completely unless they are very old, and cut their hair shorter than the Woodmen of Wilderland. Women let their hair grow very long, but often braid it in tight tresses. Adventurers from Dale can be easily recognized as they carry the best equipment to be found among the Men living in Wilderland.

Standard of Living
Thanks to their trade with Elves, Dwarves, and far lands to the south, a Barding can choose any trade and be almost sure to thrive. Craftsmen from Dale include carpenters, cartwrights, shoemakers, tailors, tanners, weavers, not to mention those apprenticed to Dwarven weaponsmiths and masons. For these reasons, Bardings are considered a Prosperous folk.

Barding Adventurers
The figure of King Bard himself and the memory of his great deed inspires the most loyal among the youth of Dale to suppress their adveturous side and put their swords at the service of the city. But not everyone shares this ambition, and some dream of forgotten hoards buried in distant lands, and of exotic courts under foreign skies…

Suggested Callings: Scholar, Treasure-hunter. As Dale regains its former glory, it has become a place of learning as well as of enterprise, and the wise sometimes strike out into the world, to broaden the city’s knowledge. In the meantime, the stories of Smaug’s great wealth have inspired many of Bard’s followers to seek their own treasures abroad.

Unusual Calling: None.

What King Bard Says…

  • Bardings: “Ours is a small kingdom, and a very young one; we cannot claim much more than what is encircled by the walls that protect our city. But within these walls now dwells a folk whose blood is the same of those lords of old whose banners flew in many winds. Today I accept theis Crown that once was theirs, and a day will come when all Men from the North will recognize its rule, from the Running River to Redwater. And even if I won’t live to see that day, my heirs will.”
  • Beornings: “Beorn does not welcome guests easily in his hall, but he recognizes that our two folks are of one blood. A sea of darkness separated us, but after the Battle of Five Armies, ours is a bond that neither hundreds of leagues of distance nor centuries of estrangement can sever.”
  • Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain: “Dain Ironfoot is our greatest ally and most trusted friend. The fate of the Folk of the Mountain is closely tied to our own.”
  • Elves of Mirkwood: “The Silvan Elves are formidable warriors, and their king is strong. Unfortunately, he rarely concerns himself with anything taking place beyond the borders of his forest.”
  • Hobbits of the Shire: “Bilbo the Hobbit has shown us an aspect of valour that our fathers did not tell us about. I wish that more like him could find their way to our lands.”
  • Woodmen of Wilderland: “As hard as it can be to recognize it, we and the woodland dwellers share a common heritage. I hope that one day they will find a leader capable of demonstrating that they can join us in our destiny.”

CULTURAL BLESSING

Stout-Hearted
“Which King?” said another with a grim voice. “As like as not it is the marauding fire of the Dragon, the only King under the Mountain we have ever known.”

Living for many a year under the ever-present menace of Smaug the Dreadful has made the Bardings a courageous race. After all, there are not many creatures more fearsome than a great Dragon…

  • When making a Fear test, Barding characters can roll the Feat die twice, and keep the best result.

STARTING SKILL SCORES

Common Skills
Copy the following skill ranks onto the character sheet and underline the favoured skill:

Awe 1 Inspire 2 Persuade 3
Athletics 0 Travel 2 Stealth 0
Awareness 0 Insight 2 Search 1
Explore 2 Healing 0 Hunting 0
Song 1 Courtesy 2 Riddle 0
Craft 1 Battle 2 Lore 1

Weapon Skills
Choose one of the following two Weapon skill sets, and record it on the character sheet:

  • (Swords) 2, Spear 1, Dagger 1
  • Great Bow 2, Spear 1, Dagger 1

Specialties
Choose two Traits from: Boating, Old-lore, Smith-craft, Swimming, Trading, Woodwright.

BACKGROUNDS

1 – By Hammer and Anvil
Your parents paid richly for a Dwarf-smith to take you as an apprentice in his forge, and you worked hard under his severe discipline, to prove that your craft could reach his people’s high standards. In the long hours you spent hammering on the anvil under the close scrutiny of your master, you have learned that it is possible to create amazing things, but it is only by putting your heart into your work that you can succeed in creating a masterpiece.

Basic Attributes
Body 5, Heart 7, Wits 2

Favoured Skill
Craft

Distinctive Features
(choose two traits from those listed)
Adventurous, Cautious, Determined, Generous, Hardy, Merciful, Proud, Stern.

2 – Wordweaver
King Bard has earned his throne by accomplishing a feat deemed unthinkable by most, setting an example to generations to come. But it is another deed that caught your interest and fired your imagination: that of the witty halfling who crossed words with Smaug the Golden in his lair. While you yourself do not expect to ever see a living Dragon, you look forward to your chance to win renown with your cunning.

Basic Attributes
Body 4, Heart 6, Wits 4

Favoured Skill
Riddle

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Adventurous, Clever, Eager, Fair-spoken, Lordly, Reckless, Tall, Trusty.

3 – Gifted Senses
You grew up in Lake-town, the son of a merchant who traded goods with the Raft-elves from the woods. You often joined them to row on their crafts, proud of your strength as a youth. Under the shadow of the Dragon, your family’s business struggled for survival and you dared not venture far, but since the death of Smaug, you and your brothers have started to journey to the Elvenking’s forest stronghold. After many visits to those magical halls, your eyes and ears seem to notice details that escaped your attention in the past; perhaps a subtle gift from the Fair Folk.

Basic Attributes
Body 6, Heart 6, Wits 2

Favoured Skill
Search

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Adventurous, Cautious, Cunning, Fair-spoken, Patient, Steadfast, True-hearted, Wary.

4 – Healing Hands
You have long served on a trading boat from Esgaroth, first leaving the Long Lake when you were very young. Once, staying for months in a distant haven to the South, waiting for a caravan from the East to arrive, you fell victim to a foreign sickness, and were succoured by a lady speaking a strange tongue. She saved your life, and taught you how to save others in time of need.

Basic Attributes
Body 4, Heart 7, Wits 3

Favoured Skill
Healing

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Adventurous, Clever, Fair, Hardy, Lordly, Proud, Reckless, Tall

5 – Dragon-eyed
Your great-grandfather witnessed the destruction of his father’s house, burned when the Dragon razed Dale. He escaped with his life, but from that day his eyes turned the color of pale ashes. Through your grandfather and your father after him, his unrelenting gaze lives on in your ashen eyes.

Basic Attributes
Body 5, Heart 6, Wits 3

Favored Skill
Awe

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Adventurous, Cunning, Determined, Eager, Generous, Just, Stern, Trusty.

6 – A Patient Hunter
Faithful to your ancestors’ heritage, your family never embraced the ways of the Lake-men, and sinc eyou were a child, you spent long days hunting on the mainland. For many years it was a dangerous trade bearing little fruit, but now the land is again blooming with every new spring, and birds and animals alike are returning to claim their old nests and lairs. Now, you will have a chance to properly hone your skills once again.

Basic Attributes
Body 5, Heart 5, Wits 4

Favoured Skill
Hunting

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Adventurous, Just, Fair, Merciful, Patient, Steadfast, True-hearted, Wary.

BARDING NAMES
A traditional Barding name is usually composed of one or two elements (eg. Dag, Day, or Lif-stan, Life Stone). Like most Northmen, Bardings often name their sons and daughters after a renowned ancestor or relative, or choose a name beginning with the same sound or sharing one element with that of the father (whose name is often given with their first name when introduced formally – for example, Listfan son of Leiknir, or Ingrith daughter of Ingolf).

Male Names: Aegir, Agmund, Agnarr, Alfrim, Alfwald, Arn, Arnulf, Bain, Balki, Bard, Bern, Bragi, Brand, Brandulf, Dag, Domarr, Drengi, Egil, Einar, Eirik, Erland, Erling, Farald, Farmann, Farulf, Fastarr, Finn, Finnulf, Folki, Folkmarr, Galmann, Galti, Gautarr, Geirmun, Gismund, Gorm, Grimarr, Guthorm, Hafgrim, Haki, Hakon, Halfdan, Hamarr, Hedinn, Helgi, Hergrim, Hildir, Holgeir, Holti, Hovidur, Hord, Ingi, Ingolf, Ioli, Isolf, Jarl, Jarmarr, Joalf, Joar, Jofur, Jokell, Karl, Ketill, Ketilmund, Kol, Kolbeinn, Kori, Leiknir, Lifstan, Lodin, Lomund, Magni, Mord, Munan, Nari, Nefstan, Nerulf, Odd, Oddmarr, Odvarr, Olaf, Olvard, Omund, Ornolf, Ottarr, Ragnarr, Randur, Reinald, Runolf, Sandarr, Saxulf, Sigdan, Sigfast, Sigmarr, Sigvald, Sigward, Thorfast, Torwald, Ulfarr, Ulfied, Unnarr, Valbrand, Valdimarr, Vali, Vandil, Varinn, Varr.

Female Names: Aldis, Aldrif, Asfrid, Adny, Astrith, Bera, Bergdis, Brinhild, Dagmar, Dagny, Dalla, Edda, Eilif, Erna, Eydis, Estrild, Frida, Geira, Gerda, Grimhild, Gudrun, Gundrid, Gunnhild, Halla, Halldis, Halldora, Helga, Hild, Holma, Inga, Ingirun, Ingrith, Kelda, Lif, Linhild, Ragna, Runa, Saldis, Sigga, Signy, Sigrid, Sigrun, Solveig, Thora, Thordis, Thorhild, Thorleif, Ulfhild, Ulfrun, Una, Valdis, Vigdis, Walda.

Adventuring Age: 16-30
Bardings don’t usually become adventurers before their 16th year of age, and rarely continue beyond their forties when they retire to serve their family and folk.

Bardings

Leaf and Land MichaelPerry