Beornings

Beorn

“Beorn indeed became a great chief afterwards in those regions and ruled a wide land between the mountains and the wood.”

The region along the upper portion of the river Anduin was once home to many men, but their number dwindled as the years passed. Only recently the land around the Carrock, a stony river-island, has started to see men returning to watch the Old Ford and the road to the High Pass on the Misty Mountains. Though few in numbers, they rapidly demonstrated to trespassers that only those who are welcomed by Beorn the skin-changer can hope to cross the Great River with their lives. And Beorn does not welcome anybody with ease…

When Beorn broke his isolation, he became a leader of men. His legendary ferocity attracted mountain-hunters and fighters without allegiance, warriors who lost their families or who forsook their clans due to their violent tempers, and needful souls drawn to his protective nature. In time, all kinds of individuals flocked to his side, giving rise to the Beornings.

Faithful to the teachings and will of their chieftain, they protect the mountain passes and the road that leaves the forest to cross the river Anduin, watching for every creature, on two legs or four, that dares defy them. men, Elves, and Dwarves still have to earn the trust of this suspicious folk, and often must pay heavy tolls for safe passage across the Beornings’ domain.

Description
Beornings are rugged men with brawny arms and legs, and lively women with undaunted eyes. Their spirit is reflected in their appearance: the women have long wild hair and the men unkempt beards. born free, they pay no tribute nor bow to any crown, keeping at peace the strip of land they have chosen as their own. All foes of the Beornings are mortal foes, but friends who prove to be trustworthy are friends for life.

Standard of Living
The Beornings sustain themselves by breeding cattle and horses and keeping hives of great bees. Recently, Beorn is considering requesting a safe-passage toll from all travellers crossing their lands. For the moment, though, the Beorning culture ranks as Martial.

Beorning Adventurers
Beorn and his chieftains cannot really oppose the many young warriors who express their desire to leave their land to explore. Many Beornings are naturally adventurous people who like to see things with their own eyes. Moreover, their tendency to be bluff and direct guarantees a never-ending supply of enemies. Whatever the reason for their leaving, every Beorning is expected to return home at least once a year, at Yule-tide, to feast at Beorn’s bidding.

Suggested Callings: Slayer, Warden. Beornings make enemies readily, and many is the slaughtered man’s son who goes seeking vengeance. Other Beornings are more inspired by their chieftain’s fiercely protective demeanor.

Unusual Calling: Treasure-hunter. Mere gold is of little interest to the men of the Carrock, who are more likely to be swayed by glory or adventure.

WHAT BEORN SAYS

  • Bardings: “They are a good folk, the Bardings, but all that gold makes them lazy. I would grow hungry waiting for a Barding to hunt for my food!”
  • Beornings: “If you choose to follow me, know that I don’t ask for your obedience, nor do I need your support. All I wish of you is to be as vigilant, as relentless and fiercely determined as you have been all your life, living here close to the edge of Mirkwood. I only ask that you remain true to yourselves.”
  • Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain: “Dwarves are a strange race. Some say they are cut from the living rock. Their heads are certainly hard enough…”
  • Elves of Mirkwood: “The Elvenking has a weakness for silver and white gems, and other useless trinkets. It would be funny if it wasn’t dangerous!”
  • Hobbits of the Shire: “Stout-hearted folk! Although they should be, with the amount they eat!”
  • Woodmen of Wilderland: “You think that they hide behind their stockades, and the cloak of a wizard. Fools! Radagast showed me a trick or two in his time, and he has certainly done the same with the Woodmen. You should know that sometimes appearances are misleading…”

CULTURAL BLESSING

Furious
“Swiftly he returned and his wrath was redoubled…”

A Beorning is filled with a red wrath when he is smitten in battle and his blood is spilled.

  • When a Beorning is wounded in battle, he ignores the effects of being Weary and Miserable for the duration of combat.

STARTING SKILL SCORES

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

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

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

  • (Axes) 2, Spear 1, Dagger 1
  • Great spear 2, Axe 1, Dagger 1

Specialties
Choose two Traits from: Anduin-lore, Beast-lore, Cooking, Fishing, Mountaineer, Story-telling.

BACKGROUNDS

1 – Child of Two Folks
Many years ago, your father came down from the mountains and took as his wife a woman from the tribes of Mirkwood. You grew up among two worlds, seen as a stranger by both folks. For many years, you encountered suspicion and mistrust, and many scoffed at the color of your eyes and hair. But you endured and were finally able to take what your heart deemed good from both your mother’s and your father’s kin.

Basic Attributes
Body 6, Heart 6, Wits 2

Favoured Skill
Insight

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Bold, Fierce, Grim, Gruff, Hardened, Proud, Tall, Willful.

2 – Errand-rider
Since the time your family joined Beorn’s folk you have been a runner, a messenger carrying news for your folk. In your hide shoes, you have countless times trodden the path that goes from the High Pass to the Old Ford, always welcomed by chieftains and families eager to hear your tidings. At times you have brought joy and merriment with news of victory, but also woe and distress with tales of war and defeat.

Basic Attributes
Body 7, Heart 5, Wits 2

Favoured Skill
Inspire

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Determined, Energetic, Forthright, Grim, Hardened, Robust, Swift, Trusty.

3 – Head of the Family
Beorn, the great chieftain of your folk, sent your father to watch the mountain passes for the best part of the year, leaving you to provide for your family. Whenever the pursuit of an animal’s trail led you westward towards the mountains, your heart leapt in anticipation of the day your father would be back, with new stories to tell and fresh scars to testify to their truthfulness.

Basic Attributes
Body 6, Heart 4, Wits 4

Favoured Skill
Awareness

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Curious, Determined, Generous, Grim, Hardy, Steadfast, Trusty, Wilful.

4 – Light-foot
They say that when your father was on the look-out, he could hide even from the sight of the Great Eagles. From him you learned that there is no dishonour in stealth, whether it is your task to spy upon your enemies or when you are keeping watch over a village of your folk. You have listened to your father’s advice and observed his crafty movements, trying to discover and learn his tricks.

Basic Attributes
Body 5, Heart 5, Wits 4

Favoured Skill
Stealth

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Bold, Curious, Energetic, Forthright, Grim, Reckless, Suspicious, Swift

5 – Keeper of Tales
According to the old men of your folk, when your grandfather died he was more than one hundred years old. He was a hardy warrior, but you remember him best wrapped in his white wolf-skin, recounting tales about the bygone days of his youth. He could use words as precious as fine diamonds or as loud as clashing iron as he spoke of battles won and lost, of kings forgotten and buried, and of a threatening Shadow so old its age could not be counted in men’s lives. You treasure his tales as an invaluable inheritance.

Basic Attributes
Body 6, Heart 5, Wits 3

Favoured Skill
Lore

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Fierce, Grim, Gruff, Hardy, Reckless, Suspicious, Vengeful, Wrathful.

6 – Voice from the Past
The elders and ancient warriors of your trive spend the long evening hours talking in front of the hearth, on the stepped dais of the main hall. To the young and restless, their soft speaking may seem idle talk, but you loved to listen to their wise words as they exchanged tales and songs, as old as the intricate images wound around the wooden pillars of the hall. One day you might well end up adding your own words to the songs of your folk, strengthening th ebonds of tradition.

Basic Attributes
Body 7, Heart 4, Wits 3

Favoured Skill
Song

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Generous, Grim, Proud, Robust, Steadfast, Tall, Vengeful, Wrathful.

BEORNING NAMES

The Northmen inhabiting the Vales of the Anduin River speak the same language and share a common vocabulary of personal names. The Beornings and the Woodmen favor different names, but they are set apart especially by their peculiar use of bynames and nicknames.

The Beornings are gradually embracing the custom of choosing for themselves names honouring their renowned chieftan, either by having a B as the first letter or containing the word for Bear (eg. Balderic, Beranald, Beormud, etc.). They further individualize their names by adding a byname, referring to their provenances or occupations, or physical or temperamental qualities (Arnulf the Old, Berangar the Eloquent). Bynames are often bestowed by an event, especially if connected to a special feat of skill or deed of renown.

Male Names: Adalard, Ageric, Agilfrid, Agiulf, Alaric, Alberic, Amalric, Amand, Andagis, Atalaric, Atanagild, Ansegisel, Ansovald, Aregisel, Arnulf, Audovald, Avagis, Badegisel, Baldac, Balderic, Barald, Beorn, Beran, Beranald, Berangar, Bertefried, Beormud, Cilderic, Eberulf, Eboric, Ebregisel, Ebrimuth, Ediulf, Ermanaric, Euric, Eutaric, Evermud, Evoric, Frideger, Gararic, Garivald, Geberic, Gisalric, Gerold, Grimald, Grimbald, Grimbeorn, Grimfast, Gundovald, Hartgard, harmut, Hartnid, Hathus, Heriwulf, Hildebald, Imnachar, Ingelram, Ingund, Iwald, Iwgar, Leudast, Magneric, Malaric, Maracar, Merovech, Munderic, Odo, Odovacar, Otbert, Ragnacar, Ramnulf, Rathar, Reginar, Ricfried, Rigunth, Roderic, Sigeric, Sigibert, Sunnegisil, Theodard, Theodebert, Theodemir, Theodwin, Theudebald, Theuderic, Thorismund, Walcaud, Waleran, Widuven, Willicar, Wulferd.

Female Names: Adosinda, Amalfrida, Amalina, Avagisa, Avina, Beranhild, Brunihild, Gailavira, Garsendis, Geleswinta, Gelvira, Grimhild, Hermesind, Heva, Hilduara, Radegund.

Beorning Bynames: …from a specific place (Baldac from the High Pass, Beren of the Mountains, etc.), the Bald, the Black, the Bold, the Captain, the Cloaked, the Crooked, the Eloquent, the Foresighted, the Good, the Good-sword, the Loyal, the Old, the Pugnacious, the Quick-witted, the Quiet, the Red, of the Red-shield, the Rich, the Runner, the Sad, the Sharp, the Smith, the Thin, the Trouble-maker, the Wise, the Young, etc.

Adventuring Age: 16-30
Beornings 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.

Beornings

Leaf and Land MichaelPerry