The Northern Tribes
“According to lengend, in time forgotten, the Father of Us All walked this world alone. One day he looked across the lands and wished to see new life. So he plunged his hands into the ground and spread life throughout the world. From the trees srang the elves, from the rocks came the dwarves, from the caves the orcs and from the grass lands came the humans. In spreading this life, the Father extinguished his own and his final breath became the Winds. He was consumed by his creation and his ashes were carried by the Winds to the four corners of the world. His essence is carried in the Winds and it gives them strength.”
Northern Tribes were originally a part of all the indiginous people in Salamon. Thousands of years ago the tribes divided between the Northerners who live in The Northlands and the Southerners, who became the Liel. This is why common elements are shared between the society and languages of these two cultures. The Northern tribes respect strength, honour and truth. They live in a number of nomadic tribes ranging between 100 and several 1000 people. They follow a typical hunter-gatherer system, where the men are the warriors and the hunters and the women are caregivers and foragers. Women are placed below men in this culture, but are respected as a neccessary and important part of thier way of life.
Tribes are centred around a single ruling family. The eldest male has dominance, followed closed by the eldest female. Most disputes within the tribe are settled by the Tribe Leader (Thane), and his judgements can involve duels, compensation or exile, which is often death. The Female Leader will often resolve domestic matters, involving marital disputes and child rearing. There is also often a Shaman and Head Warrior, who counsel the Tribe Leader on spiritual and combat matters respectively. The tribes are ruled over by the most powerful tribe. The leader of that tribe is known as the King, and has many Shaman and Warrior counsellers to help rule the North. His position is tenuous at best as any leader of any of the 4 ruling tribes can challenge him.
It is said that in times long past the Northern Tribes were ruled by cruel tyrants who enslaved all and domininated the North. 4 men helped to organise the tribes and led a revolt againt their cruel masters. These men went by the names Beorn, Aesgier, Thamos and Ludviel. Beorn was a strong but cruel warrior who would fight with a wicked spear without mercy. Aesgier was a noble and respectful leader of men who fought with an axe. Thamos was the wisest of all, his counsel was greatly revered and was seen always with his staff. Ludviel was a cunning and graceful hunter, capable of tracking any foe, and was a master bowman. Once the tyrants were thrown down these 4 men divided the men into the first tribes and scattered to the four winds. Over time, many splitter tribes formed off the ruling tribes, and now few are sure of the exact number of tribes that roam the North. The tribes are ruled over by the King, who is crowned by a consensus of the 4 ruling tribes’ leaders, or if that fails, strength of arms. If a leader of one of the tribes cannot attend a conclave any member of his family bearing the tribe’s sacred weapon can stand in thier stead. Until all 4 tribes are represented no King can be crowned. The sacred weapons of each tribe were the weapons used by the tribes founders and are passed down from leader to leader.
The Beorn tribe blew with the South wind. Thier symbols are the spear and the eagle. They are powerful and ruthless warriors who often try to incite war with southerners and even other tribes. They have been known to attack tribes in order secure thier hunting grounds or to increase thier numbers by taking women and children and killing all that oppose them. They have long coveted the throne of the King but thier merciless stance leaves whem with little support.
The Aesgier tribe blew with the North wind. The axe and the bear have become the symbols of the tribe. They honour thier founder and are gracious leaders of men. They are well respected by the other tribes and have been one of the strongest tribes for generations and thier leader has been King of the North for many years.
The Thamos tribe blew with the East wind. The staff and the Owl are thier symbols. They are wise and a highly spiritual tribe, but veiwed with much suspicion by the other tribes. They are the smallest of the ruling tribes and are very secretive. However, in times of trouble the counsell of thier leaders is highly prized.
The Ludviel tribe blew with West wind. The bow and the fox are thier symbols. They are famous hunters and trackers, but do not kill without need. They are well regarded by the other tribes, but they rarely seek to contend for the Throne as they are one of the smaller and more peaceful of the ruling tribes.
Northern Tribes worship the Anemoi, the spirits of the four winds. At birth a Northerner will be tattooed with the emblem of the wind spirit associated with their tribe. Over the years, this tattoo will stretch and deform as the child grows, watched closely by the Shamans of the tribes who interpret the tattoo’s shape and make predictions over the child’s life. Many children have been killed by their own tribe if their tattoo displays the wrong shape in their first years.
Darkfell’s tribesmen have a long standing animosity with the Dun-e-Dor dwarves who share the northlands with them. Although they have a history of trade and some shared respect much blood has been spilled over the centuries between the dwarves and the tribesmen. A more recent development is the human settlers who have founded Salamonis and Tor Acarne on the Darkfell continent. While contact between the southern settlers and the tribes is rare, raids do occur and these have been greatly exaggerated by the settler’s Capitavirate rulers. A northman who heads south should expect a certain amount of distrust, if not outright fear, from the softer people of the cities.
A character from the Northern Tribes is a human in every regard. Although his background will greatly influence his character and roleplaying he does not gain or loose anything in terms of rules compared to a normal human. Berserkers from the Northern Tribes are encouraged to take elemental totems to represent their tattoos but this is not a compulsory choice