The Lost Tales
“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 to 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 Bowmen, 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 labored hard, collaborating to rebuild Dale as they used to 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.
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.
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 adventurous 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
Stout-hearted When making a Fear test, Bardings can roll twice and keep the best result.
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 learnt 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.
Favoured Skill Craft
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 do not ever expect to see a living dragon, you look forward to your chance to win renown with cunning.
Favoured Skill Riddle
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 in 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.
Favoured Skill Search
You have 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 succored by a lady speaking a strange tongue. She saved your life, and taught you how to save others in time of need.
Favoured Skill Healing
Your great-grandfather witnessed the destruction of his father’s house, burnt 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.
Favoured Skill Awe
A Patient Hunter
Faithful to your ancestors’ heritage, your family never embraced the ways of the Lake-men, and since you 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.
Favoured Skill Hunting