Barbarian society is one of living harmoniously with the earth. They tend to be nomadic in nature, following the great migrating herds of wild beasts that are the sources of food, clothing, materials and shelter for their people, or, during harvest season and the first melt of snow, in their famous longships, raiding the coastline. They erect longhouses in their permanent winter camp and live in large tents or temporary huts during the warmer nomadic seasons. Hunting, fishing, and surviving in the wilderness are the way of life for barbarians.
Some barbarians are “berserkers” who, in the heat of a fight, go a bit mad with battlelust. This is a role-playing aspect of being a barbarian and provides no in-game benefits or skills. Once the battle is over, the barbarian will spend some time calming down and may be unable to do much more than sit still for a while.
Barbarians come from nomadic tribes and are unused to “civilized” society. They are a very superstitious lot and may often perform unusual small ceremonies to rid themselves of a “curse.” (“Oh-oh! Seven hoblings just crossed path! Bad luck! Now I must walk backwards for an hour!”) This is not to imply that barbarians are stupid—they are merely uncultured and somewhat primitive.
Barbarians do not refer to themselves as such, and usually take being called a “barbarian” as an insult.
Barbarian tribes are often very competitive and not too friendly with each other. Leaders are usually chosen by their battle skills. These tribes are very earth friendly and usually do not like celestial magic because it is “not natural.”Barbarians generally fear and distrust celestial magic and will dislike having celestial protective spells cast upon them.
Honor plays an intrinsic role in everyday barbarian life. Every member of the tribe, from the aristocracy to the common folk, has what is called an Honor Price. An Honor Price is the value in cattle or gold of a person according to status within the tribe. Crimes against a person are dealt with by the offender paying the Honor Price of the victim to the victim or the victim’s family. Otherwise, criminals are dealt with as the tribal leaders see fit.The ancient system of justice known as the Honor Price is used only for serious crimes, such as murder against an individual.
Oaths are very sacred and important things in Barbarian society. They are never made lightly. Once given, an Oath is kept or the barbarian faces shame and is marked as honorless by the tribe. Each village, tribe or traveling group of barbarians possesses an iron ring that is considered sacred and is known as The Oath Ring. Oaths are sworn on it and must never be broken, for it is the highest form of oath making. The Oathmaker takes hold of the ring and swears her or his oath.
Hospitality is also highly valued among Barbarians and part of one’s honor is determined by their hospitality. Barbarians consider it bad form to refuse a traveler shelter and food, even an enemy, and will not bring any harm to that person while under their roof. Though the next day, after breakfast, it is quite acceptable to ask that person to leave.
Barbarians have the same life expectancy as a human. In order to be identifiable as a barbarian, you should talk poorly, dress in furs, and otherwise look primitive. Decorative face paint may also be applied based on the barbarian’s local customs.