The northern tribes (or barbarians or tribesmen) are a recurring feature of the Northrealms, in the borderland regions. Men and women with long traditions of being one with the lands have roamed the plains, forests, hills and mountains of the north since well before the Barbarian Conquest and their ancestors hail to the times when the Nine Kings rose to power and where most 'romantic' ideas of warfare originates among all of the Realms.
Some people call the tribesmen "barbarians" because of their harsh dialects of the common language, sounding a lot like "bar bar bar" to educated ears. The pronounciations and some grammar is in fact so different that it really is its own language, and one that can vary greatly between different tribes.
Tribesmen roam large areas that they call their own and this includes a lot of temporary tribal wars between one another. At any given time it's just as likely that two tribes have intermarried their leader's children as it is they have killed one. Or so the scholars say. The men of nature do have strong wills and they frequently disagree with one another but they also work to stop the influence of black-blooded races of the realms. To some degree they look upon themselves as the unsung (though they make their own songs!) champions of all men and very much cherish their heritage from before the Nine Kings. Just about every family and bloodline claim to have been friends with one of the Nine Kings or to have chosen to stay with nature rather than building kingdoms and sow the lands.
Tribesmen usually divide up their forces in "bands" such as for hunting, fishing or war. Most adult males and some adult females also join the warband of the tribe. Usually they also take part in other tribe activities, but they are dedicated to the protection of the tribe and that may sometimes mean to attack other tribes in order to gain resources for survival. A lot of the time it also means defending from exactly that type of attacks or to clear out unwelcome visitors such as kobolds or orcs.
Tribes have often originally picked their names a long time ago and choosen things of power, guile or just toughness to describe themselves so many tribes are actually calling themselves the same thing. In some cases this can be because tribes split, but the reasons vary. In any case the tribes often complete their introductions with not just name, parental name and tribe but also what area they are from.
Area notability is often not used when discussing with other tribes from the same area.
Generally a child is named shortly after birth but long enough to see him or her survive. At the age of about 12-14 they are taken though initiation rituals such as being left alone in the wilderness and following this they can choose to keep their name, change it or just pick an additional name. Epithets such as "Strongarm" are earned through the songs of their lives and are normally not very formal until they are well into adulthood and they are normally given to them by their peers (as opposed to their parents), but can also be assumed to presume honour or to honour someone else. Most such names are literal stories of the life of the individual but on occasion they are not; instead they are honourary epithets based on the attributes of the previous owners of said epithets. Like Harald Blacktooth may be in his 20's and have no black teeth, but an ascestor known for particular habits or skills may be the namesake instead.
A tribesman can have any number of epithet names, but a tribsman who is seen as not deserving some or all of his names will be laughed at behind his back.
Like most non-nobles, tribesmen don't have surnames (unless you count the epithet as such) but the tribe and parentage becomes part of the name and the de facto surname. The parent of the same gender is the one mentioned.
So Harald Blacktooth's full name may be Harald Blacktooth of the Molar Crow Tribe, son of Rigmund Eagle-eye of the Molar Crow Tribe.
Note how the tribe name is repeated to leave additional force behind anscestry as well as lengthening the actual name.
Technically, all of these ways of saying tribe names are correct, but practically, it can be seen as "floating" borders of what is a name and what is not. A tribesman would, of course, disagree.
- Gunnar Wolfheart Berntson of the Molar Crow Tribe
- Gunnar, Son of Bernt, of the Molar Crow Tribe
- Gunnar of the Molar Crow Tribe, Son of Bernt
The biggest concentration of tribesmen is in the large expanse west of Pineshield's and north of the Morfans's territories where numerous clans vye for power but also fight local menaces such as kobolds, goblins and orcs coming down from the mountains. The odd troll is also found in the areas and very rarely occuring giants. Other than that the tribes are spread out between Kingdoms that take the threat less seriously and are more worried about seeds or paperwork.
- Swardvald Forest - lots of pine, named as it blocks out a lot of the daylight.
List of Tribes
List of several names of tribes:
- The Bear-tribe - The strong and dangerous tribes that may take a while to anger but is surely the most powerful in a fight.
- The Scale-tribe - Tribes named after ancient involvement with dragons, mainly located in hilly landscapes or in the mountains.
- The Wolf-tribe - Tribes named after one of the intelligent apex predators in the forests where these tribes are also found.
- The Elk-tribe - Tribes named after the "king of the forest", powerful and self-sufficient and with no natural predators at adult age.
- The Other Tribes - Loads of them
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