Soft. Misguided. Greedy for fleeting, non-sensical possessions; that's what you city-dwellers are. We are one with nature and the world. We are stronger because of it - and stronger than you.
Long before humans built cities and walls, humankind lived in harmony with the wilderness. Now termed “primitives, nomads, and savages,” the barbarians of Ansalon continue to live as their ancestors lived thousands of yeas ago, choosing to dwell in the harshest climes and most inhospitable lands. The barbarians have conquered the mountains, plains, deserts, and tundras.
Barbarians take fierce pride in their ability to survive in difficult places on their own terms. They are people of few words, feeling no need to waste their limited resources on meaningless conversation. Likewise, they tend to be extremely practical in their activities and decisions. They are slow to trust newcomers or make friends but they treat those who earn their trust like family and will risk injury or death for those they consider friends. Barbarians intuitively understand that natural world and respect the power of nature.
Barbarians characters emphasize physical abilities to help them survive in harsh conditions and choose skills and feats best suited for their environment.
The human nomads of Ansalon are slightly taller than their civilized cousins, standing between 5'5 to 6'5 feet tall. The nomads of the mountains, plains, and desert are noted for their bronze skin, black hair, and dark eyes, while the Ice Folk in the south have fair skin, light-colored hair (often red), and green or blue eyes. Nomadic people in general gain a “weathered” look from regular exposure to the elements that may make them appear older than they are. They are also lean and physically fit, even in old age.
Each tribe has its own customs for appearance and dress. Such customs are both a part of tradition and practical for the environment. Mountain and plains nomads dress in form-fitting animal skins. The Ice Folk dress in thick furs to protect them from the cold. Desert nomads wear loose-fitting wool robes that protect them in desert heat by day and its chill by night. Most tribes make their own decorative jewelry worn by men and women, and tattooing is common as well.
Distrust of other races, including civilized humans, is deeply ingrained in the mind of every nomad. Even during the best of times, relations between tribes and outsiders are strained. Nomads respect elves-particularly Kagonesti- as a race that understands nature, but even then, nomads consider elves arrogant. Nomads make generalizations about other races, but they give individual members of those races the chance to prove themselves worthy of respect. Nomads inherently trust no one except members of their own tribe.
Civilized people assume that nomads lean toward chaos, but, in truth, they maintain a balance between a rigid sense of tradition and a strong commitment to individual freedom, tending to neutrality with respect to law and chaos. Similarly, their pragmatic lifestyle also leads many nomads to choose neutral alignment with respect to good and evil, rejecting those extremes in their constant struggle to survive.
Barbarians carve out homes even in the most inhospitable of regions. They take pride in surviving conditions that city-raised humans find intolerable.
Barbarians often worship Chislev, a god who rewards respect and understanding of nature. During the eras in which the deities were absent, many nomad tribes reverted to ancestor worship or venerated unseen spirits of nature.
Barbarians speak regional languages dependent upon their location, with varying dialects by tribe. Most tribal members also speak Common.
Barbarians take names that are descriptive of the person or a reflection of the natural world in which the tribe lives. Some names are unique to the languages and customs of the tribe, while others are indicative of the nomads' love of nature.
Tribal folk are very reluctant to leave their families and traditions behind, yet their strong sense of duty and inherent bravery serve them well when they venture into the greater world. Many nomad tribes have tests for their warriors involving quests that take them away from home. Such adventures can require a lifetime to complete.