The Lost Tales
“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-islnad, 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 anyone 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 to 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.
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.
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.
Furious – When a Beorning is wounded in battle, he ignores the effects of being Weary and Miserable for the duration of combat.
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 colour 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.
Favoured Skill Insight
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 mer r iment with news of victory, but also woe and distress with tales of war and defeat.
Favoured Skill Inspire
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.
Favoured Skill Awareness
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 learnt 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.
Favoured Skill Stealth
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.
Favoured Skill Lore
Voice from the Past
The elders and ancient warriors of your tribe 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 the bonds of tradition.
Favoured Skill Song