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Additional Races & Cultures of Middle-earth

The following are general descriptions of the rare races of Middle-earth that for some reason or another
were left out in the publication of the MERP handbook. These descriptions were taken from various
sources mostly from previous MERP magazine publications such as Adventure Club, Grey Worlds, and
Other Hands. Whenever possible, the source along with the author was provided.
Naturally, certain individuals will differ to varying degrees. Certain modifiers are included for purposes
of realism, but GMs should feel free to omit them if they consider them to be unwieldy. The information
is intended to serve as a guideline for equipping and developing both player characters and powerful or
otherwise significant non-player characters.

The Dark-Dwarves
The MERP rulebook only includes the most common type of Dwarves, the Naugrim in the tongue of the
Sindar. But known to only the most wise is a small group of dwarves known as the Dark Dwarves or
Mornaugrim as spoken in the tongue of the Sindar. The Mornaugrim are related to the dwarves but
having been under the shadow of the Dark Lord for so long, their spirit and physical form have been
corrupted. This article is an attempt to bring the Dark Dwarves to life for MERP players to use as an
additional character race.
The Dark-Dwarves1
The main tribes of the Mornaugrim know only that Draven was a great and beloved servant of
Mahal/Sauron, and gave his life in battle. While they don't generally revere ancestors, they do revere
Fadon Stonetoe as the father of their tribe(s), and Draven Stonetoe as the greatest hero of their kind.
Mornaugrim are few in number and secretive. Only a few of the Wise know they exist and they keep the
legend to themselves. Dwarves know the tale of the Mornaugrim as a childhood bedtime story meant to
frighten them when they were younger. The Mornaugrim, through the years, have become twisted and
evil with their long association with the Dark Lord. They serve him and wrought melancholic weapons of
cruel might to be used against the Free People of Middle Earth.

Physical Character
Build: They possess hard and very angular facial features. In contrast
with dwarves, they are gaunt (for dwarves) and taller. They are hump
around the shoulders. Males average 140 pounds while females
average 120 pounds. Their hair and beard is thick as wire and often
left unkempt and tangled.
Coloring: They are distinguishable from other dwarves by their
remarkable alabaster to light bluish-gray complexions. Their hair
tends to be black with provides a shock contrast to their complexion.
Brown hair is uncommon while red is rare. Their eyes tend to be more
round than oval and range in coloring from fiery red to auburn brown.
Dark Dwarves have a high rate of melanism, which results in ebony or

Idea taken from Iron Crown Enterprises Gorgoroth, Charlottesville, 1990 and special assistance from The
Crimson Pryrate.

purple skin with vanilla-white hair and beard. Those suffering from melanism tend to have eyes that
are crystal blue to ice blue in color. Dark Dwarves consider melanism as a sign of good fortune.
Endurance: Exceptional. They carry medium burdens over long distances with little rest.
Height: 4 to 5 feet tall.
Lifespan: 175-300 years
Resistance: Since their subversion to the Dark Lord, Dark Dwarves have lost some of the renown
dwarven toughness. They are not as strong willed and resistant to magic as other dwarves. Still they
are very hardy. They are resistant to fire and cold (+20 bonus versus heat and cold). Also, due to
their close proximity with grimy orcs and filthy goblins over the centuries, they have developed a
special resistance against poisons.
Special Abilities: Dark Dwarves see well in the extreme darkness. In dim light they can see 70'
perfectly, and well to 140'. They can see 10 in total darkness (non-magical). Their eyes glow with a
faint reddish hue. Their eyes are sensitive to sudden bright light. They receive a 10 to bright light
and blinding attacks.

Clothing and Decoration: Most wear their beards long, tangle and unkempt. Some are clean
shaved. Their hair is much the same way as their beards. They favor black or dark colored clothes,
with hooded cloaks.
Fears & Inabilities: Like most dwarves, they are poor swimmers (-50 to Swimming maneuvers).
They suffer from the Curse of Durin, which makes them feel extremely uncomfortable in the
presence of other dwarves. (-10 to all movement and maneuver activities in the presence of dwarves;
this does not apply in the heat of battle)
Lifestyle: Dark Dwarves are very secretive; even more so than other dwarves are. They are great
craftsmen and stoneworkers. But the things they create lack the intrinsic high-quality showmanship
as other dwarves. Instead their crafts shows a dark brooding melancholic quality of strange designs
and grotesque forms. They live in underground cities cut deep into the mountains. They often shun
the outdoors preferring the darkness of their carved forlorn caverns. A circle of clerics rule over the
secretive city with a supreme cleric presiding over the circle. They appoint a king who acts as
commander in chief in times of war and administrator in times of peace. Females play an important
role in the governing of the city. Several are members of the circle of clerics.
Marriage Pattern: The ratio of female to male among the Dark Dwarves is much higher than
dwarves in general. Marriage is tends to be monogamous and for life. The line is traced through
Religion: They hold formal religious practices design to promote loyalty and fear of Dark Lord. The
Mornaugrim believe Sauron to be the incarnate form, or at least incarnate representative of Mahal.
Although a few in secret, still revere Mahal, the maker of all Dwarves and do not allude to the Dark
Lord. Unlike other dwarves they do not hold their kings nor their ancestors with any special
reverence except for Dravon and Fadon who are respected as founding fathers of their race.
Other Factors
Demeanor: Secretive, mettlesome, nervous, cynicism, relentless and often ambitious and greedy. In
battle, they are fierce and deliberate. Unlike other dwarves, they do not share kinship with other
dwarves only with their immediate and extended family members. They have a strong sense of
family honor. Each family seeks to improve their lot and are in competition against the other
families. Like other dwarves, they always honor agreements to the letter. They always try to obtain
the best bargain.
Language: Starting Languages: When in public or about in the wild, Dark Dwarves speak Westorn
(Rank 2), or some Logathig (Rank 3). Among themselves, they speak Khuzdul (Rank 5), the secret
tongue of all Dwarves. Skill Development: They have many doings with the Dark Lords many

minions, which provide a great opportunity for learning the languages of foreign lands. They can
learn the languages of Adnaic (Rank 2), Varadja (Rank 3), Haradaic (Rank 3) and Black Speech
(Rank 2).
Prejudices: Due to their Sauronic views, they do not like Elves and Dunedians. By necessity, they
interact with goblins with a wary eye. They feel a pang of guilt and uncomfortable around other
Restrictions on Professions: Like dwarves, Dark Dwarves cannot become Bards or Magicians.
Outfitting Options
Weapons: Scimitar, dagger, cross bow, sling, short sword, hand axe, war hammer, battle axe, and
spear, and javelin.
Armor: Any. They tend to favor fine chain armor. Target and wall shields are popular.
Clothing: Outer garb: Like dwarves, they wear detachable hood fastened with a brooch. Heavy
chains are often used as belts. Steel-toed dark leather boots are worn with chains and studded metal.
These garments are solid black or various shades of black color. Inner garb: They wear loose fitting
leather trousers and jerkins or wool tunic, usually of black, red or dark blue hues and often decorated
with metal studs and epaulets.
Money: 2 gold pieces or a gem of comparable value.
Background Options
Normal, 3 background options.
Special Abilities: All available. Replace the range 56-60 with; Earth Sense, an ability to discern
different types of minerals by sound. This ability adds +10 to knowledge to earth lores and locating
minerals. Replace the range 71-75 with Underground Orientation; character always knows the
direction of true north and the approximate elevation of his or her location.
Special Items: All available. Usually with fanciful engravings but without gems, etc. Finely-made
weapons and armor is common.
Extra Money: Precious stones or coinage worth 2-200 gp.
Hobbies: Primary Skills: M/M in any armor; 1-H edged, missile, concussion, and pole-arm weapons
skills, disarm trap, tracking, and stalk/hiding skills; perception; and body development. Secondary
Skills: caving, contortions, trickery. Artistic Skills: instrumental music. Craft Skills: smithing,
fletching, trap building. Influence Skills: Torture, public-speaking. Lore Skills: Earth lores, Orc lore,
Demon lore, local geography, local history, and other geographies.
Stat Increases: Any stat may be increased except Intelligence and Presence.
Extra Languages: In addition to the tongues listed above, a Dark-Dwarf might in unusual circumstances
learn: Adunaic (Rank 2), Apysaic (Rank 2) and Dunael (Rank 1).

The Petty-Dwarves2
Also know by other names, the Petty-dwarves remain a scattered tribe, apart form the original Seven
Tribes. Petty-dwarves are a stunted people; being smaller than their Dwarven kin. Unlike dwarves, they
are wise in the lore of plants and the wild. They have lost some of the secret of smithcraft for which

By Jorge Quinonez First Published in The Adventurer's Club, Issue Ten and Eleven, 1986 with additional
information taken from Jens Peters, Hall of Fire, Issue Forty, April 2007.

dwarves are renowned but still can do great things with stone if given time. They are great miners and
stonecutters. Like dwarves, they do not forget easily, and especially remember the wrongs done unto
them. Petty-dwarves are very proud and unsociable, rarely communicating outside their own kind. The
most famous of the Petty-dwarves mentioned in the history of Middle-earth is Mim, from the story of
Turin Turambar.
Physical Character
Build: Short and stocky, with bowed shoulders. Their heads are
slightly larger than dwarves. Males average 120 pounds; females, 90
Coloring: Dark brown to gray. Ruddy complexion.
Endurance: Exceptional. They carry medium burdens over long
distances with little rest.
Height: 3 to 4 feet tall.
Lifespan: They are considered adults at the age of 30 but their life
span are shorter than that of dwarves roughly 250-300 years
Resistance: Resistance against flame and ice (+30 bonus versus heat
and cold attacks)
Special Abilities: Petty-dwarves see well in the dark. In dim light
they can see 50' perfectly, and well to 100'. From long years in the
wild, Petty Dwarves have learned how to be secretive and avoid being
seen. They received a +5 to stalk & hide skill.

Clothing and Decoration: Beards, hardly ever braided. Unkempt long hair. Medium garb, usually of
gray hue, with hooded cloaks.
Fears & Inabilities: Poor swimmers (-35 to Swimming maneuvers).
Lifestyle: Petty-dwarves are secretive; even more so than regular Dwarves. Individual families, and
sometimes, whole communities, make homes which are cut into hills. Since they are food-gathers,
such homes always near a forest, where they can gather plants, roots, herbs, etc.
Marriage Pattern: Monogamous and for life. In Dwarvish life only one third of the race is female,
whereas in Petty-Dwarvish life, the number of females roughly equals the males. The line is traced
through the male.
Religion: They revere Aule, the maker of all Dwarves and since nature plays a large role in the lives,
they honor the spouse of Aule, Yavanna.
Other Factors
Demeanor: Quiet, possessive, greedy, suspicious, and often treacherous. In some respects they are
weaker than Dwarves, but they make up for this in slyness and cunning. They do not always honor
agreements, which they often try to make when their lives are threatened.
Language: Starting Languages: When in public or about in the wild, Petty-dwarves speak Westorn
(Rank 5), or some Sindarin (Rank 3). Among themselves, they speak Khuzdul (Rank 5), the secret
tongue of all Dwarves. Skill Development: They have great opportunity for learning the languages of
foreign lands. The languages of Adnaic (Rank 2) and Black Speech (Rank 2).
Prejudices: They hate Orcs and Elves, especially the Noldor, who stole their old lands. PettyDwarves shun dwarves.
Restrictions on Professions: Petty-dwarves cannot become Bards. Unlike other Dwarves, the Pettydwarves do produce Mages on rare occasions. Petty-dwarves can cast powerful curse spells (+10 to
all curse spells).

Outfitting Options
Weapons: Scimitar, dagger, cross bow, sling, short sword, hand axe, war hammer, battle axe, and
spear, and javelin.
Armor: Soft Leather and loose chain are common although most favor chain mail.
Clothing: Outer garb: detachable hood with flaps sewn into it, permitting the face to be covered;
heavy cloak fastened with a brooch; boots of heavy leather; these garments are solid dark colors.
Inner garb: a leather jerkin or woolen tunic of a deep hue; a wool or linen shirt; close-fitting trousers.
Money: 2 gold pieces or a gem of comparable value.
Background Options
Normal, 3 background options.
Special Abilities: All available. Replace the range 56-60 with; Herbalist, an ability to work with
herbs and poisons add +10 while working with herbs and poisons. Replace the range 71-75 with
Miner; character always knows the direction of true north and the approximate elevation of his or her
location when underground. Replace the range 91-95 with Whispering Ancestors: character can sense
and see undead up to 50 away. Character also receives a +20 RR to Undead fear effects.
Special Items: All available. Usually with fanciful engravings but without gems, etc. Finely-made
weapons and armor is not uncommon.
Extra Money: Precious stones or coinage worth 2-200 gp.
Hobbies: Primary Skills: M/M in no armor and chain; 1-H edged, missile, and pole-arm weapons
skills, tracking, and stalk/hiding skills; perception; and body development. Secondary Skills:
appraisals, caving, contortions, cookery, foraging, first aid, trickery and weather watching. Artistic
Skills: instrumental music. Athletic Skills: Jumping, sprinting, tumbling. Craft Skills: Weapon
smithing, gold smithing, fletching, trap building and wood crafts. Influence Skills: public speaking,
public-speaking. Lore Skills: Animal and plant lores, local geography, local history, and other
Stat Increases: Any stat may be increased except Intelligence and Presence.
Extra Languages: In addition to the tongues listed above, a Petty-dwarf might in unusual
circumstances learn: Adunaic (Rank 2), Labba (Rank 2), Umitic (Rank 3), Dunael (Rank 1).

The Beffraen were the original inhabitants of Cardolan. They are descended from the ancient Woses, but
possess blood from other peoples (typically by kidnapping), making them somewhat larger than a true
Wose. The Beffraen now live only in the area around Eryn Vorn (the old Forest) and the woods south of
the mouth of Gwathlo, though they once inhabited all the coast of Cardolan.
Physical Character
Build: Beffraen generally have a board, stumpy profile marked by wide, flat features, and eep-set
eyes. Short thick legs, heavy lower bodies, and pronounced brows help give them an eerie character
unlike any other man. They have little body hair. Men average 185 pounds, females 155 pounds.
Coloring: Dark hair and eyes with ruddy to swallow complexion.
Endurance: Average.

Height: Men average 5 feet, women 4 7.

Lifespan: 40-60 years
Resistance: Average
Special Abilities: They have excellent night
vision and can see at night as well as they
can during the day. The wide noses of the
Beffraen give them an excellent sense of
smell. Range 100 upwind, 2000 downwind,
and 500 in still air, which provides +25 to
perception by scent and tracking. They excel
in the ways of the forest and tend to live in
tough environments. They receive a +10 to

Clothing and Decoration: Clothing is
simple, leather or fur loincloths and robes.
Most Beffraen decorate their bodies with
large tattoos that make religious statements
or relate personal and family history. Males
tpically shave all their heads save for a topknot.
Fears & Inabilities: The Beffraen have been
tainted by their associate with Sauron during
the Second Age. Because of this, their
ability to use magic has been affected and
they suffer 10 to all spell casting static
Lifestyle: The Beffraen are a hunter-gatherer culture, people with little better than stone technology,
although they have many captured weapons. A chief known as klag, who may be either a warrior or
a shaman, leads their tribal groups. They have a very simple tribal organization and a language few
understand. The Beffraen are quite adept at handing their small hide skiffs along the rocky coasts of
Eriador where they fish; and they must excel in the ways of the forest in order to survive the terrors of
the Eryn Vorn.
Marriage Pattern: Monogamous, producing few young. The line is traced through the female.
Religion: Although the rumor that claims their shamans are on a first name basis with demons is
nonsense, the Beffraen religion is a bitter and grim one, having much to do with the fear of nature and
the outside world.
Other Factors
Demeanor: Quiet, suspicious, emotionless, robotic, and xenophobic but at other times, they can be
jolly and personable.
Language: Starting Languages: When they do talk, the Beffraen use Pukael (Rank 5) which is
ideally suited to their deep voices and is alien to that of other men. Most know a smattering of
Westron (Rank 2). Skill Development: They many learn Dunael (Rank 4) and Black Speech (Rank
Prejudices: They are xenophobic and harbor a particular hatred for the Dunedain. .
Restrictions on Professions: Essence spell casters are not permitted. Explorers and Burglars are also
not permitted.

Outfitting Options
Weapons: Club, dagger, short bow, sling, mace, short sword, hand axe, war hammer, battle axe, and
spear, and javelin.
Armor: Typically none. However, some do wear soft or rigid Leather armor.
Clothing: Clothing is simple, either plain hide leggings, loincloths or robes. They wear sandals with
leather laces racing up their legs.
Money: 2 gold pieces or herbs or poisons comparable value.
Background Options
Normal, 5 background options.
Special Abilities: All available. Replace the range 56-60 with; herbalist, an ability to work with
herbs and poisons add +10 while working with herbs and poisons.
Special Items: All available. Usually with fanciful engravings but without gems, etc. Finely-made
weapons and armor, which were stolen, is not uncommon.
Extra Money: Rare herbs or stolen coinage worth 2-200 gp.
Hobbies: Primary Skills: M/M in no armor; 1-H edged, missile, and pole-arm weapons skills,
tracking, and stalk/hiding skills; perception; and body development. Secondary Skills: caving,
contortions, cookery, foraging, first aid, mediation, trickery. Artistic Skills: instrumental music.
Athletic Skills: Jumping, sprinting, tumbling. Craft Skills: fletching, trap building. Influence Skills:
public speaking. Lore Skills: Animal and plant lores, local geography, local history, and other
Stat Increases: Any stat may be increased except Presence.
Extra Languages: In addition to the tongues listed above, a Beffraen might in unusual circumstances
learn: Adunaic (Rank 2).

The Tatyar (Dark-Elf)3

Generally, this description applies to the Dark Elves of the far south or east, or some survivors of
Beleriand. The Tatyar are often called "Dark-elves" because they decided not to seek to see the Light of
Aman. They are found, partly assimilated, amongst the elves of Rhun. Others clans have spread over the
Northwestern forests and the Far East of Middle Earth. Of the elves, they are pronounced in their
xenophobia, grim of nature, and dour personalities.
Being lovers of the night and dark woods, they were startled and uneasy at seeing the Sun rise for the first
time. Those born in Ages since the appearance of the Sun, have less anxiety for it, but the brutal aversion
to the Sun, her heat and brilliance, endures. For this reason the oldest of their homes are hidden in shade,
but are not shielded from the beloved stars.
Physical Character
Build: The Tatyar are more muscular in appearance in comparison to other elves. Males average 190
pounds, females 155 pounds.
Coloring: Tatyar possess very pale complexions, their hair tend to range from dark brown to pitch
black. Their eyes are either black or gray, in some rare instances are emerald green.

By Jeff Erwin, First Published in The Otherhands, Issue Twenty Eight, 2000

Endurance: They, like most elves, do not carry great burdens, but they are capable of traveling 16-20
hours a day. The Tatyar do not sleep; instead they rest in a trance for 1-3 hours a day (this restores
any Power Points used casting Spells).
Height: They are the shortest of the elves. Males average 6' females 5 9". Some with pure
bloodlines show greater stature.
Lifespan: They are immortal and will only die if killed by violence or if they grow weary and lose
the will to live. In either case they go to the Halls of Mandos.
Resistance: They can not become sick and are virtually immune to disease. They get +10 versus cold
Special Abilities: Vision and hearing are same as that of other elves. The Tatyar, like the Noldor,
have a natural affinity for artifacts and items of power (+10 to Item Use rolls) and all develop a
particular craft or lore specialty (+10 to one Craft or Lore skill).
Clothing & Decoration: Their garb is functional but
realized impeccably. They prefer dark color clothing
in the shades of gray, blues, blacks and deep dark
green. Their dress is outwardly austere and presents
a quiet noble presence. Frequently their dark
clothing is laced with slightly tinted patterns, like
vines, mineral striations, or constellations. They
dislike the sun and do not use it in any of their
Fears & Inabilities: The Tatyar dislike the sun.
They are nocturnal by preference; they also are not
accustomed to the sea and are not shipbuilders, which
has limited them to river, foot and horse travel as
they migrate. They are happiest in darkness. (-10 to
OB and MM when operating on a boat or performing
seafaring maneuvers)
Lifestyle: They live in small well-hidden kingdoms
ruled by a monarchy and a council of lawmakers.
Their isolated villages and fortresses are hidden,
often in inaccessible locations. Most are
underground. They give great importance to families
and loved ones. Calm melodic music and intellectual
stimulating games or hobbies occupy their free time.
Marriage Pattern: Monogamous. They sometimes divorce finding another mate. Divorce is
accepted in society.
Religion: Informal and intensely personal. They revere Eru and Vala. They hold in high esteem
Aule, Orome and Varda. They are uncomfortable with Osse, due to their uneasiness with the seas.
Other Factors
Demeanor: They are perceived to be secretive, suspicious and grim in nature even by other elves.
However, in company of friends and family they are both passionate and emotional. They love lifes
quiet moments. Their humor is cool and intellectual.
Language: Starting Languages: Their native tongue is Quenya (Rank 5), and when among other
Elves, they usually speak Sindarin (Rank 4). They also know Westron (Rank 4) Skill Development:
It is possible for a Sea Elf to come to know Adunaic (Rank 4), Atliduk (Rank 4), Logathig (Rank 4),
Nahaiduk (Rank 4) or Labba (3).

Prejudice: They dislike the Noldor whose pride is too akin to their own. However, they do retain a
curious amity with Dwarves and tolerate Dunedians well. The Tatyar hate goblins and Orcs.
Restrictions on Professions: None. They are the quick to employ magic in their daily life.
Outfitting Options
Weapons: Sword, bola, dagger, hand axe, scimitar, short sword, short bow, longbow, flail,
quarterstaff, two-handed sword, whip, javelin, and spear.
Armor: Any. The Tatyar prefer to remain mobile and tend to constrain themselves to leather, either
pliant or reinforced with metal studs or plates.
Clothing: Dark wool, cotton or silk undershirt (pale or grayish colors preferred); comfortable wellfitted tunic, jerkin or tabard, short or medium length (in dark colors), belt of fine rope or braided
leather; sometimes a weapon sheath is worn over the shoulder. Long boots made of soft hide or
durable canvas. Clothing worn by either sex is cunningly and subtly decorated with familial and
personal symbols. They find symbols of the sun and like distasteful.
Money: Jewelry (bracelets, necklaces, etc.) or coin worth 2 gold pieces.
Background Options
Since the Tatyar are Elves, and tied by their immortality to the third theme of the Song of Creation, they
only get four background points.
Special Abilities: All available. Replace range 61-65 with Mystic Calling, the high sense of magic
that provides +10 when casting any illusions and enchantments in the Open Essence lists.
Special Items: All available. Most should be beautifully crafted, items constructed from metals or
Extra Money: Gold or silver jewelry or actual coinage worth 2-200 gp.
Hobbies: Primary Skills: M/M with no armor, 1-h edged and pole-arm weapon skills, ride, climb,
stalk/hide, tracking, perception, spell lists, and body development. Secondary Skills: Acting, Trickery,
meditation, caving, signaling, and sky gazing. Artistic Skills: storytelling, and dancing. Athletic Skills:
sprinting, tumbling, jumping. Craft Skills: woodworking, blacksmithing, carving, leatherworking,
sewing, weaving. Influence Skills: Public Speaking, Leadership, trading, leadership. Lore Skills: They
enjoy to learn and therefore have not limitations to what lore they can learn. In general they are
knowledgeable in geology or geography lore.
Stat Increases: Any stat may be increased.
Extra Languages: In addition to the tongues listed above, a Dark Elf might learn Apysaic (Rank 3)
Labba (Rank 2), and Haradaic (Rank 4) or any of the local languages.

The Teleri (Sea-Elf)4

The Teleri are often called "Sea-elves" and call themselves the Lindar. Unlike the Noldor and Vanyar,
they lingered a while on Middle-earth (some of the Teleri in fact stayed behind and became the Sindar
and the Nandor) before eventually coming to Aman. They lived in the easternmost part of Aman, on the
Bay of Eldamar, where they established their port and city of Alqualonde ("Swan-haven").

By Jorge Quinonez First Published in The Adventurer's Club, Issue Ten and Eleven, 1986

Physical Character
Build: Somewhat slender when compared with Men, the Teleri are slightly taller than their Sinda
cousins are and slighter of build and height than the Noldor. Males average 200 pounds; females 160
Coloring: Teleri have sandy blond, or light brown hair with grey or hazel eyes. Like the Vanyar, they
have light skin.
Endurance: They do not carry great burdens, but they are capable of traveling 16-20 hours a day.
The Teleri do not sleep; instead they rest in a trance for 1-3 hours a day (this restores any Power
Points used casting Spells).
Height: Males average 6'6", females 6'2".
Lifespan: They are immortal and will only die if killed by violence or if they grow weary and lose
the will to live. In either case they go to the Halls of Mandos.
Resistance: They can not become sick and are virtually immune to disease. +15 versus water and
cold attacks.
Special Abilities: Vision same as that of other elves. The Teleri are also the first ship builders in
record history. +20 to ship-building maneuvers. They love to sail. +20 to sailing maneuvers.
Clothing & Decoration: The garb of the Teleri displays High-elven quality; rich embroidery and
decorations using pearls and other precious sea articles found along the Bay of Eldamar. As with the
Noldor, they incline towards a utilitarian design, while retaining as much aesthetic value as possible.
Their favorite colors tend to be what is found in the sea, such as light-blue to algae-green.
Fears & Inabilities: The Teleri shun confined and subterranean areas. -5 to OB and MM when
operating in underground regions.
Lifestyle: The Teleri are Aman's most aloof race. While not unfriendly, they tend to stay out of the
dealings with the Vanyar and the rest of the Eldar, concentrating on their own affairs. Virtually all of
the Teleri live on the isle of Eressea.
Marriage Pattern: Monogamous and for life.
Religion: Informal and centered around communal celebration and personal meditation. They revere
Eru and Varda. They hold a special respect for Osse, the "Lord of the Inner Seas" and Uinen, Osse's
spouse; and Ulmo, the "Lord of the Waters."
Other Factors
Demeanor: The Teleri are highly competitive, as displayed in their ship races in the Bay of Eldamar.
They also love their ships as much as the Noldor love their jewels. They tend to be peaceful, as shown
by the few weapons they own.
Language: Starting Languages: Their native tongue is Quenya (Rank 5), and they also know a good
deal of Sindarin (Rank 3) which is barely useful due to the amount of change the language has
experienced since they were separated form their cousins, the Sindar. Skill Development: It is possible
for a Sea Elf to come to know Adunaic (Rank 3), Atliduk (Rank 4), Logathig (Rank 4), Nahaiduk
(Rank 4) or Labba (3).
Prejudice: The Teleri hold Morgoth and his servants as enemies. Even after the Valor made peace
between the Noldor and the Teleri after the Kin-slaying at Alqualonde, they still do not particularly
trust or like the Noldor and are suspicious of them at times.
Restrictions on Professions: None. The Teleri produce many Bards.
Outfitting Options
Weapons: Sword, dagger, scimitar, short bow, composite bow, longbow, flail, quarterstaff, twohanded sword, javelin, and spear.

Armor: Any. The Teleri prefer to derive the protection given by armor from magical clothing (robes,
capes, gauntlets, belts, veils) where such is available rather than from encumbering leather or metal
Clothing: Smock of gauze or light silk; close-fitting vest or tunic of fine liene, cotton, or heavy silktunics vary in length from short garments barely extending below the waist to long ones slit up the
sides for freedom of movement; leather or metal belt or a sash of linen or silk. The colors of the
garments are all variation on grey and blue. Embroidery and applique are used sparingly, usually to
create texture or pattern rather than for contrast.
Money: Jewelry (bracelets, necklaces, etc.) worth 2 gold pieces.
Background Options
Since the Teleri are Elves, and tied by their immortality to the third theme of the Song of Creation, they
only get three background points.
Special Abilities: All available. Replace range 61-65 with: Weather-wise, the ability to sense the
direction of true north and the approximate weather patterns for the next eight hours.
Special Items: All available. Most should be beautifully crafted, bearing oceanic floral or sea fauna
motifs, and constructed form fine or relatively rare materials: steel, ivory, mithril, crystal, agate,
Extra Money: Gold or silver jewelry or actual coinage worth 2-200 gp.
Hobbies: Primary Skills: M/M with no armor, 1-h edged and pole-arm weapon skills, ride, climb,
stalk/hide, tracking, perception, spell lists, and body development. Secondary Skills: Acting, boathandling, meditation, rope-mastery, signaling, and Sky Watching. Artistic Skills: storytelling, singing,
and dancing. Athletic Skills: sprinting, tumbling, jumping. Craft Skills: woodworking, blacksmithing,
fletching, carving, ship-building, sewing, weaving, fishing. Influence Skills: Public Speaking,
Leadership, trading, leadership. Lore Skills: Navigation, Sea Lore, and weather lore.
Stat Increases: Any stat may be increased.
Extra Languages: In addition to the tongues listed above, a Sea Elf might learn Apysaic (Rank 3)
Labba (Rank 2), and Haradaic (Rank 4).

Clansmen of Saralainn
The clansmen of Saralainn has been documented in several MERP modules and one or two fan-modules.
Because of this and the uniqueness of their culture, they had to be given their own race descriptions. This
article brings the clansmen of Saralainn to life for MERP players to use as an additional character race.
Clansmen of Saralainn5
After the downfall of the kingdom of Cardolan, large groups of people consisting of Northmen,
Dunnelings tribesmen, and common folk flee from the ensuring chaos to settle in the plains of Saralainn.
Over the years and with the assistance of Gandalf, the three groups of folks intermingled to form a new
vibrant culture called the clansmen of Saralainn. The clansmen of Saralainn are individualistic diligent
colorful folk. They also have a rough sense of social equality. They are known for their skills in healing,

Saraliann first came about from the Iron Crown Enterprises, Lost Realm of Cardolan, Charlottesville, 1990.

oratory and artistic bronze and silver work. Most live rustic and rowdy lives, herding goats or sheep for

Physical Character
Build: They are of medium to stocky build. Males weigh 165 pounds while females average 130
Coloring: They tend to be slightly swarthy due to their long exposure to the outdoors although those
with a ruddy complexion are common as well. Their hair color ranges from the darkest brown to
sandy blonde. In some instances, a few will possess fiery red hair. Their eye coloring varies from
brown to blue.
Endurance: average.
Height: Clansmen average 57 but clansmen over 6 is not unheard of. Clanswomen average 54
although like the men some are over 510.
Lifespan: Moderate, 60-70 years
Resistance: Average.
Special Abilities: Clansmen are known for their oratory. They receive a +10 to Public Speaking.
They also get a lot of experience healing the wounded from the constant attacks from the evil
creatures surrounding Saraliann and their boisterous political intrigues. They receive +10 to first aid
and Herb lore.
Clothing and Decoration: Most men tend to have long side-burns. In clothing they favor bright
colors. Yellow is the most popular color. They wear wool trousers (which they call trews) and short
sleeveless shirt. They top this with a long bright wrap over their torso. The women wear long dresses
with a long wrap. Their wraps often contain intertwining designs of animal or geometric forms.
Fears & Inabilities: They have no fears.
Lifestyle: Clansmen are mostly herders raising sheep and goats for a living. They live with extended
families in villages. They are ruled by a monarch, which in turn rules over nine clans. The clans, due
to their independent nature and scheming ways, seldom listen to their monarch. Each clan is headed
by a chief and is located around two or three towers. The towers are large enough to accommodate
the local population in times of danger from the evil creatures that raid Saraliann. The clansmen hold
the arts and especially those of great healing knowledge with a great deal of respect. Several artists
and healers have become famous outside of Saraliann for their skills. Clansmen will go great
distances to buy a product or have their children serve under the tutelage of a great artist or healer. In
the arts they excel in bronze and silver works which are often in designs of animalistic and geometric
forms or never ending knots. They also excel at playwrights and storytelling. Being true to their
sense of social equality, women are considered the nominal equal to men.
Marriage Pattern: Monogamous. Marriages are common between the clans with the wife settling in
with the husbands clan.
Religion: Variations of subdue religious practices design to give reverence to the Valar (particular
Orome and Varda) and Eru.
Other Factors
Demeanor: Independent, rowdy, rustic, diligent, scheming, individualistic, valiant, rugged and
straightforward. They enjoy celebrating, physical games and battle (which results in surprisingly few
deaths). They are individualistic and hold a rough sense of equality. Clansmen would treat a king the
same as a baker.
Language: Starting Languages: Clansmen speak Westorn (Rank 5), or some Duneal (Rank 4). Skill
Development: They have doings with a variety of folks, which provide a great opportunity for

learning the languages of foreign lands. They can learn the languages of Kuduk (Rank 2), Pukael
(Rank 3), Rohirrc (Rank 3) and Adunaic (Rank 1).
Prejudices: They distrust Dunedians. They hate Beffraen, orcs and trolls.
Restrictions on Professions: Warriors and Rogues are the most common although quite a few are
Bards and Animists. Magicians are very rare.
Outfitting Options
Weapons: Mace, dagger, cross bow, sling, spears, pole axes, short sword, hand axe, war hammer,
battle axe, short bow, spear, and javelin. The more experience warriors use long two-handed swords.
Armor: They favor soft or rigid leather. Round and buckle shields are popular.
Clothing: Since they spin the wool from their sheep, they wear woolen clothes, which they dye in
bright colors. Bright yellow being the most common since they derive the dye from a local plant.
Although dark blue, forest green and Tuscan orange are not uncommon. Those from the upper class
will have clothes dyed purple or dark red. The men (and some women) wear pants and sleeveless
shirts normally of uniform color with intricate trimmings endings. The women wear long flowing
bright dresses containing a conglomerate of Celtic knots designs. In some years, simple animalistic
designs are popular as well. Both genders wear a long wrap around the torso. The warp tends to be of
a solid bright color with geometric design. The warp is fasten by a brooch of bronze or silver make
at the shoulder. These brooches are highly detailed in the form of knotwork, the more expensive ones
are those of knotwork embedded with an animal design. Outer garb: They wear tight fitting woolen
or leather jacket of a solid bright color. In some instances when the weather gets extreme, they wear
hooded cloaks of a solid dark hue such as forest green or dark blue hues. Both genders wear leather
boots or shoes with wooden soles. Clansmen also wear jewelry. Armbands and wristbands of bronze
or silver knotwork are common and are worn by both genders.
Money: 2 gold pieces or a herb of comparable value.
Background Options
Due to their colorful individualistic nature they get 4 background options.
Special Abilities: All available. Replace the range 56-60 with; Herbalist of Varda, an ability to
discern different types of herbs and poison by sight and taste. This ability adds +20 to Cookery and
Foraging Skills. Replace the range 71-75 with Individualistic Clansman; Character has a deep sense
of social equality and individualism that provides added protection to some magical attacks. Charm,
sleep and fear attacks are halved for attack level and duration.
Special Items: All available. Usually receive rare herbs, or a fancy silver or bronze brooch or
armband with embedded 5th level healing or bardic spell. Or a finely made weapon is common.
Extra Money: Herbs or coinage worth 2-200 gp.
Hobbies: Primary Skills: M/M in soft or rigid leather; 1-H edged, concussion, and pole-arm weapons
skills, disarm trap, tracking, and stalk/hiding skills; perception; and body development. Secondary
Skills: cookery, first aid, foraging, animal handling, acting and acrobatics. Artistic Skills: singing,
story telling, poetic improvisation, dance. Craft Skills: smithing, leather working. Influence Skills:
public-speaking, seduction, trading. Lore Skills: herb lore, troll lore, local geography, local history,
and other geographies.
Stat Increases: Any stat may be increased.
Extra Languages: In addition to the tongues listed above, due to their proximity to the Dark Wood
and the Warlords Empire, a clansman might learn the following in unusual circumstances: Pukael
(Rank 4) and Black Speech (Rank 1).


The Lossidil (Snow Elf)6

The Snow-elves are of Silvan origin. They began wandering the Talath Uichel (Northern Waste) on a
permanent basis from about S.A. 1700 onward, and joined the Ystavat Talven in their westward
withdrawal from the Sled-Horde, which brought them to the Cape of Forochel. After the globing of Arda,
many of the Snow-elves journeyed north onto the Landless Land and founded Helloth, though some
continue to wander the lands of Forodwaith.
Physical Character
Build: While more muscular than their kinsfolk in the South, the Snow-elves do not quite equal the
stature of the Sindar. Males average about 175 pounds, with females, only slightly less well-built,
averaging 165 pounds.
Coloring: Uniformly very pale of complexion, the skin of the Lossidil often resembles the whitest
ivory. Eyes are usually blue (ranging in shade from pale to dark), though grey and light green hues
are not uncommon. Hair often resembles silver or pale gold, though reddish-brown tones are not
Endurance: Exceptional. They can travel over long distances with little rest in the coldest terrain.
Height: Snow-elven males average 6'4" and females 6'2", though individuals may depart
considerably from the norm.
Lifespan: As with all Evles, the Lossidil are
immortal. Alone of the Eldarin kindreds they
feel little or no longing to depart from Middleearth.
Resistance: Snow-elves can not become ill,
diseased or scarred, and are rarely affected by
adverse temperatures. However, their long
habitation of the frozen North has left them
more susceptible to heat than other Elves (+30
against cold, -5 against heat).
Special Abilities: Lossidil share the superb
vision of all Elves, enabling them to see as well
under moonlight and starlight as a Man would
see during the day. Under other dim conditions
they can still see well to 100', though in
absolute darkness they can not see at all.
Lossidil share the Elvish trait of lightness,
being able to walk on newly fallen snow as if it
were soft earth. This, and their affinity for the
frozen North, enables them to maneuver
without penalties in the worst of snowy
conditions. This same affinity gives the Snow-elves a +10 to +20 to other maneuvers that could be
affected by snow and cold (e.g. Stalking & hiding).

By Randy Maxwell, First Published in The Northern Waste, 1997.


Clothing and Decoration: Males and females prefer close-fitting garments of reindeer-skin. In
contrast with their place surroundings and coloring, the Lossidil use a variety of dyes to array
themselves in a wide range of vibrant hues. Individuals can also add ornaments such as brooches,
rings, bracelets and other jewelry as the mood takes them.
Fears & Inabilities: None.
Lifestyle: The harsh environment of the North demands a greater degree of cooperation than is the
norm for Silvan Elves. All Lossidil acknowledge a monarch as the foremost of their people, and
follow her guidance willingly. Nearly all Snow-elves spend some of their lives wandering the
Northern Waste in small companies, though only a few chose this way of life for long periods of time.
Marriage Pattern: Monogamous and for life.
Religion: They pay greater reverence to Ulmo than to Varda, because of the Sea-lord's visitation to
them after the Second Cataclysm.
Other Factors
Demeanor: True to their Silvan roots, the Snow-elves are great lovers of freedom, an attitude
strengthened by their historical resentment towards the intrusion of the Grey-elf Oropher into their
ancestral homeland of Rhovanion. Among those not of their race, the Snow-elves are calm and quiet.
When with their own they are apt to show stronger emotions, While generally peaceful, generous and
loving, anger and jealousy are not unknown among them.
Language: Starting Languages: The Snow-elves speak their own tongue Lossidilrin (or Sindarin
from which Lossidilrin is devised from) to Rank 5. Most also know Labba to Rank 4. Skill
Development: They may learn any of the languages of the Northern Waste to Rank 3.
Prejudices: They hate all creatures of Morgoth and minions of Sauron. While friendly with the
Noldor, they have a strong dislike for any Sindarin Elves (though this would never drive a Snow Elf
to physically assault a Grey-elf).
Restrictions on Professions: None.
Outfitting Options
Weapons: Snow-elven weapons are those used for the hunt- spears, bows, long sword, harpoons,
short sword, hand ax, or daggers.
Armor: Only the guardians of Helloth regularly wear armor. This is a hauberk of enchanted ivory
that protects as chain mail. Others can acquire soft or rigid leather armor.
Clothing: Both genders wear shirts, vests and breeches made from reindeer-skin. Males usually don
round hats, while females prefer hoods. Footwear usually consists of boots made from toughened
hide, though within Helltoth lighter and suppler shoes are often worn. Bright colors and ornaments
made from antlers, bone and enchanted ice add variety to their garb.
Money: Snow-elven characters may trade or sell a variety of goods: reindeer-skin cloak, jewelry and
ivory. The Lossidil, however, have little use for money, preferring the currency of friendship and
Background Options
Normal, 3 background options.
Special Abilities: All available except 56-60, which is replaced by Snow Reader, the ability to "read"
ice, Lossidil with this ability may sense what has passed by or affected a patch of ice over the past 24
hours. The "reading" is often vague or shadowy.
Special Items: All available. Especially powerful items may be artifacts from earlier ages or relics of
the war against Morgoth.

Extra Money: Herbs, tanned reindeer-skin and ornaments can all provide Snow-elven characters
with extra money. Again, though, the Lossidil normally have no desire for coinage, even if they could
obtain it in their icy domain.
Hobbies: Secondary Skills: Cookery, First Aid, Foraging, Mediation, Sky-watching, Artistic Skills:
Ice Sculpture, Instrumental Music, Ivory Carving, Singing. Athletic Skills: Skiing. Influence Skills:
Dying, Leather Crafts, Leadership, trading, public-speaking. Lore Skills: Elvish History, Animal and
plant lores, Herb lore, local geography.
Stat Increases: Any stat may be increased.
Extra Languages: The languages that Lossidil may learn are restricted by their isolation.

The Beornings7
The following essay was originally conceived as a contribution to Rohirrim and Other Northmen, a
projected volume in ICE's "Peoples of Middle-earth" series which never reached completion. (The book
was to be a revision and expansion of materials which had appeared in the 1985 Riders of Rohan
module.) Written and submitted to ICE in 1995, the contents of this essay do not take into account
subsequently published MERP material relating to the Beornings (e.g., The Northern Waste and Hands of
the Healer); nor did the author have access to information concerning the Northmen made available in
1996 by The Peoples of Middle-earth. Some discrepancy between this essay and the aforementioned
works is therefore inevitable. Rather than attempting to completely update the piece, it is here presented
as it was written (with minor editorial changes)as one writer's interpretation of these two Northman
The origin of the Beornings is not swathed in mystery, nor is it
forgotten in timeit is just a highly guarded secret. The roots of this
Northman clan reach back to the Awakening of Men. Some even trace
their blood to Bor the Old, who died in Beleriand. Beornings are
descendants of the thousand who followed Bereg, great grandson of
Bor, out of Beleriand when Morgoth's shadow was cast upon their
hearts (Sil: 145). These were the first Men to knowingly turn their
backs to the fight against the Black Enemy. As their descendants, the
Beornings remember this with shame, and vow to hunt until all Shadow
is destroyed. At first, this was not so. The Years of Wandering, during
the late First Age, when the Darkness was still fresh upon their hearts,
brought no prosperity and little hope to the despairing band. Ever they
traveled, their numbers fading. These wanderings eventually brought
them into contact with the Gwathuirim of southern Eriador. With
promise of a peaceful home, the band settled. Lore, craft and blood mingled between the peoples. Life
was good, but the darkness on their hearts weighed heavy. It was there, on one of his hunting forays, that
the Vala Orom discovered them. He lifting the Shadow from their hearts, he opened their minds to Eru
and the Song once again. Many realized the folly in letting their fears control them, taking flight from
Beleriand, and so they begged forgiveness of Orom. It was in his Song to do so that day.

By Anna Arquette, Other Hands, Web Article, 1998.


Taking the repentant into the Misty Mountains, Orom began teaching their women-folk of the friendship
of animals, their men of the hunt. In the seventh year of the Second Age, deeming them ready, he set
them, henceforth, to hunting far and wide the scattered minions of Morgoth. But first, a blessing he gave
them, and to some a gift:
"Of the warriors, Orom chose fiveOtrugar, Erskine, Beraulf, Owein, and Targrinto receive his
gift. He took them aside and taught them in secret, as would they, in turn, teach future generations. These
gifted five were known ever after as the Shifters."
from the teaching of Bair
Thus began the five secret houses of Bor, the Hounds of Orom, a people unto themselves. Hunting
continually, the Beornings prospered on the western slopes of the Misty Mountains. Yet ever northward
the secret clan was pushed as Eriador became more populated. They had grown in number to a few
thousand when Sauron's host invaded Eriador during the Second Age. Vastly outnumbered, the Beornings
begrudgingly retreated into the highest vales of the Misty Mountains. Within four years, there was no
trace of any lowland settlement. For three thousand years, the high mountain valleys were their homes,
the majestic carrocks their hunting grounds. In the Third Age, when dark things began to stir once more,
4,000 Beorning warriors made ready for the hunt. Angmar proved the stronger, and many died.
Reluctantly, the Beornings began slowly moving to new homes in the lower valleys on the eastern side of
the Misty Mountains, into the Anduin Vale, and over to the Grey Mountains of the North.
By T.A. 1640, the war with Angmar had taken its toll. There were only 2,500 men, women and children
left in the clan. Thankfully, the Plagues little affected this secluded people. Dragons on the other hand, lay
waste to the Narrows of the Grey Mountains, forcing the houses to flee to their kinsfolk in the West.
There was a slight reprieve when, with the fall of Angmar, the Orcs of Gundabad lost their organized
force. Thus, not until Sauron began to stir again (T.A. 2480), were the last of the Beornings forced to give
up their mountain homes, pushing east across the Anduin. By the time Beorn carved the steps into his
Carrock, few Beorning manors remained, due to the relentless onslaught of the Orcs. The clan's numbers
were now as few as when Orom first gifted them, but still the Shadow did not touch their hearts. In T.A.
3019, Mirkwood was cleansed of its evils. The Beornings were granted a section of it, but for the present
they renewed their vow of old, once again setting out to hunt in the mountain vales.

Society and Culture

The leader of the Beornings is called the waildanbair. He has the final say in all matters concerning the
safety of the clan as a whole. Due to the independent nature of his people, he is rarely bothered except in
times of emergency or war. To become waildanbair, a man must shift and be chosen by consensus of all
of the family heads. The waildanbair is advised by the heads of the Five Houses. These five men come to
their decisions by listening to the heads of each manor belonging to their house. These in turn listen to the
heads of the families who reside within the manors. A man entering the Order of the Bair must relinquish
any authority he may possess as head of a family, manor or house. His authority passes on to his brother
or eldest son. It is not unheard of for couples to marry at the age of fifteen, but because of the long
lifespan of the Beornings (80-100 years), weddings are most common around the twentieth year. Some
men even wait until their thirtieth year or later, so as to fully develop their martial skills.
At the age of seven, every Beorning child receives a necklace hung with a number of carved, wooden bear
claws (denoting the child's house) and braided with warg-leather (denoting his or her family). When a
couple marries, they retain their number of claws, but re-braid the leather into their own unique pattern.
This is done in a private ceremony, and the promises exchanged are personal. An extremely festive
celebration follows, sometimes lasting for days. Kinship in Beorning society is always reckoned

according to the father's house. If a woman is widowed, she has the choice of remaining with her late
husband's kin, returning to her own, remarrying or living at the Place of Women. Women are not allowed
to be heads of families, manors or houses. However, the eldest female oversees all the daily activities of a
Beorning manor. She is responsible for the teaching of animals and the smooth operation of such
mundane tasks as laundry, cooking and child-rearing. A well-run manor displays such oddities as
raccoons dicing carrots in the kitchen, badgers digging potatoes in the garden, deer and cows holding
laundry in their horns so that squirrels can fasten it to a line, sheep and dogs setting tables for meals,
geese keeping watch over young toddlers, and goats ever fussing over the perfection of great thorn
hedges. All items in a manor are constructed so that animals can manipulate them with ease, except for
the one chair at the head of the table, which never moves.
The befriending of animals, as taught by Orom, is the reason Beornings seldom eat meat. When eaten, it
is always warg-flesh. Fish and eggs are not considered meat, and are eaten freely by all. Naive Beornings
visiting another culture may mistakenly assume that the meat being eaten is warg. Once they learn
otherwise, they tend to be reclusive around meal times. (Getting sick-at-the-stomach is a common
Beorning ailment when adventuring.) One of the most joyful Beorning festivals is the celebration of the
last days of winter. Families gather together for the first hunt. Running wargs from the lowlands and
valleys, hunting, slaughtering and feasting through an entire night (sometimes two) are interrupted only
by singing and dancing. The Dance of Sun Return, the Maiden Toss and the Joy Dance are popular at this
active feast. All is not considered done until the last drops of the winter brews have vanished from the
kegs. The summer solstice, known as the Gathering, marks another large festival. The entire clan
convenes for two weeks in a large mountain meadow. Although the Gathering involves religious
ceremonies, its focus is purely social: counsels are held, goods bartered, contests of strength and skill are
undertaken (most favored are the honey-judging, brew-tasting and jam-sampling).
Games that are very physical are also enjoyed.
A favorite game with the men is otterball. This game
developed by watching river otters at play, and is best
described as "no-rules rugby in the river" (drowning
opponents is frowned upon). An odd custom, cultivated by
this game, is the stealing of some or all of a young man's
clothing by a girl who finds him attractive. This mission, if
successful, shows the daring and stealth of the young lass. It
is then left to the lad to show his intelligence and wit by
finding her and his clothes. Any differences are settled with
an excellent meal or the promise of an embroidered outfit,
thus furthering the woman's claim by showing her skills as a
Though self-sufficient, the occupants of a Beorning manor
commonly barter with their neighbors (within the clan) to
add more variety to their lifestyle. Such exchange stimulates
the perfection of crafts, such as brewing, tanning and
needlework. It also encourages friendly competition between
households. Thus Beornings are famous for their honeys,
waxes, candles, leathers, yarns, felts and brews. Surplus
goods are traded for the buttons, buckles and other fine products of the Woodmen. Sewing needles,
swords and other metal items are acquired from the Gondorians or their Northman allies. With Elves the
Beornings barter for frivolities: spider silk, fine thread, jeweled hair combs and musical instruments.
Never do the Beornings use their animals or bees as trade goods.

Religion and Worldview

Beorning lifeways are founded upon the teachings of Oromnothing is more revered than the hunt,
nothing more precious than their animals. All Beornings respect Eru and the Valar deeply, and many are
the ceremonies in their honor; but these pale in comparison to the devotion given to Orom. He is the
Remover of the Shadow, the Giver of the Gift, the Master of the Hunt. Individual families frequently hold
private ceremonies or prayers, the entire house gathers for the two most important ceremonial days (the
spring Blossom Feast and the Day of the Gift). If a Beorning is traveling and can not attend these
festivals, the entire day is spent in meditation and prayer. Beornings celebrate the coming of spring with
great praises to Yavanna and with the Blossom Feast, which focuses on the harvesting of the first
blossoms of the grapeleaf magnolia by the young maidens. These blossoms, woven into garlands and
wreaths, are worn by the maidens throughout the festival. (Later these will be made into herbal
distillations for other ceremonies.) The ritual ends with the Blossom Dance, but it is not until the
"Blessing of the Bees" (the Honey Dance) that the festival is over. The shifters of the clan imbibe liquors
made with the blossoms in the most sacred of dances: the Dance of the Gift. This is enacted in the fall,
before the first snow comes, at the Festival of Orom on the Day of the Gift. For this festival, all shifters
return to their houses to celebrate with their relatives the sacredness of Orom and his teachings. This is
the one night when shifters dance openly in bear-form. Animals too dance this night as the women of the
clan renew their bond of friendship in the Dance of the Living.
It is Beorning women who teach and train the animal servants of their homes. From mother to daughter
the teachings of Orom pass, but there is a great mother who guides this to ensure that the teachings are
correct. The great mother lives in a manor forbidden to men (the Place of Women) where she oversees the
teachings of Orom. This manor has extensive flower, herb and vegetable gardens for learning the ways
of plants, healing and cooking. Many women come to aid in this teaching, or to further their own learning.
None except men are ever refused entrance, and a woman may come for nothing more than wanting
When a great mother dies, she is buried with respect equal to that of a waildanbair. Her manor is tended
solely by animals until another woman asks for the title. Though there have been times of two or even
three great mothers (none are refused who ask), there has never been a time of none. All Beornings adhere
to the true Cult of the Bear, but only shifters are allowed to participate in the Order of the Bair. Such men
transmit the teachings of Orom to the clan. The waildanbair serves as head of this order, being advised
matters of cultic observance by a council of three: the orobair. These preside over most Beorning
ceremonies. It is a great honor to host an orobair in one's house.
Subordinate to the orobair are eight bair whose duty is to teach the children of the clan all aspects of
Orom's teaching. Each year at the Gathering, five are chosen to teach the houses, and one to study under
the orobair and guide the twenty-one tirbair. Tirbair spend four months out of the year under the tutelage
of this bair and the other eight traveling far and wide to gather news, carry messages and hunt. It is this
constant movement of the tirbair that helps keep the Beornings so closely-knit as a people. The teachings
of Orom mark off several creatures and things as sacred. Here follow some of the most notable items:
Bears. The most sacred of animals, it is thought to be good luck to come across one in the wild. Mercy
killings (e.g., for a rabid or badly wounded bear) are accompanied by great sorrow, and a day of mourning
follows the burial. Bears motifs are a common feature of all Beorning crafts (pottery, sewing, scrimshaw,
leatherwork, etc).
Bees. As honey is the staple of their cuisine and helps them to observe their dietary prohibitions,
Beornings always ensure that there are enough flowers surrounding their manors to keep their bees happy.
The bees of the Beornings are uncommonly large, but not aggressive around their keepers. As with bears,

bees are a leit-motif of Beorning artwork, especially as decoration between flowers on embroidered
Naming Necklaces. Given to a child at the age of seven at a child's public naming ceremony (See
above.), the expertly-crafted bear claws of a naming necklace are carved from stained hardwood. It is an
Absurd maneuver to perceive they are not real.
Red Mead. Brewed from bee's honey derived from the grapeleaf magnolia blossoms (also gathered in
spring by maidens for use in special herbal distillations). All parts of the magnolia plant are widely used
in ceremonial situations and are a common motif on clothing and jewelry.
Splayfoot Goodwart. The root of this plant is pounded into flour and mixed into the batter of travel
honey cakes (+5 for 4 hours).
Though each Beorning household has its war leader, it is the waildanbair who directs their tactics. In most
cases the main force keeps an enemy busy while the shifters sneak to the flanks and rear in bear-form.
Charging at the signal, the shifters surround the luckless fiends. A shifter in bear-form may sometimes
carry an archer on his back, depositing him in an advantageous spot. If the foe holds a strong line or has
many ranks, shifters serve as shock troops. Charging as a unit, teeth bared and growling, they scatter the
opponent's lines by force or fear, supported by the rest of the Beorning warriors, wielding polearm, spear,
javelin, throwing mace and bow. Enemies that escape are ruthlessly hunted down.
The Beornings use warg-leather for armor. Designs range from a rigid breastplate to softer coats. Bone
and horn (from goat and deer) are used as stiffeners and plates for added protection. Shifters do not wear
armor, preferring to fight in bear-form (though they use weapons when in man-form). The throwing mace
is a stone-headed mace, balanced for throwing. If wielded in hand it is -10. (Use 1HC/mace table.) Its
ranges are as follows: 0'-10' (-0), 11'-25' (-15), 26'-50' (-30), 51'-60' (-45). Other widely used weapons are
slings, clubs and quarterstaves. Less common, but still used, are broadswords and hand-axes.

Beornings are the greatest among the Northmen in stature, the males standing 6'4" on average and
weighing 215 lbs or more (most of this in the chest and shoulders), the women, equally hardy, averaging
5'7" and 145 lbs (though rarely stocky). Most Beornings have red hair, varying in shades from mahogany
to strawberry. Occasionally, the old blood comes through, and a child is born with black hair. (These are
almost always shifters.) All Beornings have fair complexions and eyes that tend towards grey or light
blue. Women in the clan make clothes from furs, leather and wool. All leather and fur is warg, the softest
being from the young. Earth pigments are used to dye these various shades of brown and red. Wool is
traditionally kept its natural color (tan, brown, black), but is often spun into tweeds. Special materials,
such as white leather (tanned with stale urine), wool of green or blue (dyes obtained through trade), or
Spider silk (from the Elves at high price) are reserved for feast day garments. The average Beorning owns
two sets of clothes for everyday wear, and one for festivals. The tradition of embroidered woolen
garments harks back to a legend that Owein, one of the original shifters, changed form while still dressed,
thus ripping apart his clothing. There was naught to do but sew it back together, hiding the odd seams
with embroidered decoration.
This is why most Beornings know how to sew, and the women take this craft to a perfection, rivaling

even the Elves. Men wear a mid-sleeved soft leather over-tunic, reaching to mid-thigh and split for
walking, over a long-sleeved woolen under-tunic (both trimmed or embroidered at hem, sleeve and
collar). Stout wool or leather breeches accompany this. Women replace the breeches with a suede skirt,
lengthening the over-tunic to knee-length, or have a fine wool under-dress (ankle-length) and a stouter
over-dress (suede or heavier wool) that reaches at least to the lower calf. If a woman must go out on
extended travel, she wears breeches, like the man's, but with a knee-length tunic. Tunics and dresses are
belted at the waist with finely tooled leather belts, or lavishly embroidered cloth ones. Buckles and
buttons are made of wood, bone or horn. Silk and other rarities are used for special clothing and
frivolities, such as wedding clothes, hair ribbons and undergarments.
Shifters never wear fur unless a cloak of shame is involved. (See below.) They go barefoot or wear crossgartered sandals. Loose fitting woolen trousers and tunics are preferred. Some have adapted to wearing a
kilt-type garment if doing a task that may involve shifting. On no account will animal parts be worn by a
shifter, be it simply a horn button. Heavy woolen cloaks lined with warg-fur are used during the colder
months. Fur hats and hoods keep heads warm. As the weather warms, lighter woolen weaves and felt hats
are worn. Stout-soled leather boots designed for rough, mountainous terrain are worn by everyone when
outside the manor, but women prefer suede slippers when at home. Thick, knitted wool socks help protect
the feet. Children resent clothing and are generally found without it.
Shifters are Beorning men who shift into the form of a bear at will. Not all Beornings can do this (7%
chance). Women do not shift, but they may become berserkers if the 7% chance was made. This ability is
treated as battle lust (there are no controlled berserk states), and those subject to such fits may also
succumb to blood lust (Treat as insanity.) women who berserk are rebellious and often become warriors.
They are sought as wives, for their blood is said to be strong; and a union between a shifter and one of
these women increases the chance of an offspring being gifted with shifting to 14%. Shifting takes 1 full
round to complete. (Treat as spell casting.) Clothes and accessories do not shift, falling to the ground or
entangling the wearer. A solid bracelet, if it does not break, becomes embedded in the flesh. Shifters
necklaces are always measured for fit in bear-form. Shifters do NOT eat meat (fish and eggs being the
only exceptions); nor do they wear ANY animal parts (fur, buttons, sinew, etc), unless it be of warg origin
or a cloak of shame.
For every week during which a shifter consumes animal flesh (mistakenly or otherwise), he suffers a -5
penalty to all control rolls vs. blood lust. This penalty can only be removed by an extensive and painful
purification ritual. A control roll must be attempted each time meat is eaten, increasing the penalty for
every week in which this is done, until the shifter is cleansed.
(E.g., Tsadhoq eats a vegetable soup made with beef broth: roll control at -5. Next week, he eats pie that
has finely ground meat in it: roll control at -10. Three months later, unaware he has eaten meat in the past,
he is served meat at a peace meeting with the Woodmen. Not wanting to insult his host he eats: roll
control -15.)
Blood Lust
Blood lust is an affliction of Beorning shifters who eat meat. It manifests itself as a loss of control over
their Mannish side. If a shifter succumbs to blood lust (loses control after eating meat), he is no better
than a rabid bear and must be killed. There is no cure. The affliction brings great shame upon the shifter's
house and family, incurring the following punishment:
1. The immediate family of the shifter skins, tans and makes a cloak of the his pelt.
2. The eldest male of the house wears this cloak.

3. All other men are given a scrap of the remaining pelt to wear openly on their left arm.
4. After a year and a day, a ceremony is held to remove the cloak and "bury" the shifter. (The stigma
of shame is harder to shake.)
Battle Lust
Blood lust is not to be confused with battle lust (a loss of control due to pain and excitement). Though the
latter shows immaturity and lack of control, it does not convey the great shame of the former. When a
shifter receives a critical blow in man-form, he attempts a Control roll at Static (after melee). The results
of a failure to stave off battle lust may be represented in one of the following ways:
A set penalty of -10/severity level of critical received (A = -10, B = -20, etc). If 2 or more criticals are
received in the same round, roll for each.
A cumulative penalty of -5/critical received (3 criticals taken in 1 round = -15; if hit with only 1 the
following round, the penalty increases to -20). Make only 1 roll/round. If a shifter succumbs to battle lust,
he becomes enraged and will attack anyone or thing in sight. In this state, it is a Folly maneuver to
distinguish friend from foe, all prior stun is negated, DB is -10, OB is +10, concussion given is x2.
Attempts to regain control may not be rolled while in a combat environment.
Game Stats and Beorning Spell Lists
The below are game stats for the typical Beornings and a Beoring Spell list which is common among the
Great Mothers.


(as bear)


(as bear)






Melee OB
130ha 100sb









110ha 95sb










90ha 75sb

(as bear)






100LCl 85Hbi
80ha 55sb










(headman as
Elite Warrior
Elite Scout
(as bear)
Great Mother


All are shift-changer. Most possess
several magical items. Some are

50% chance as shift-changer. Some

possess magical items. Few are

20% chance as shift-changer. Might

have magical items.
10% chance as shift-changer. Might
have magical items.


85LCl 709Hbi
Remaining Folk
135ha 115sb

4% chance as shift changing bear




110ha 100sb

4% chance as shift changing bear





120LCl 95Hbi






110ha 95sb
95ha 75sb
90LCL 75Hbi
90ha 60sb
80ha 55sb

1% chance as shift changing bear

1% chance as shift changing bear

Animist, 11 spell lists; base 20;

directed spells 55; 20PP


Spell List: Beorning Ways

Mostly the Great Mothers are taught this magic and those that learn it pass it on to the next generation
discriminately. This spell list is considered as an equivalent to an Open Channeling list.
Area of
1 or 1 hive
Teach Speech (rank 1)
1 animal
Train (simple tasks)
1 animal
Calm II
2 or 2 hives
Teach Speech (rack 3)
1 animal
Calm III
3 or 3 hives
Calm IV
4 or 4 hives
Train (complex)
1 animal
Teach Speech (rank 5)
1 animal
10 Dance
1 animal
1, Calm I (F/RF10): Target takes no aggressive/offensive action, fighting only
if attacked. 1 bee hive is considered a target.
2 Teach Speech (Rank 1) (U/RF5): Caster may teach an animal to understand
any known language to Rank 1. Animals cannot speak or write, but may read.
This spell is cast on the animal 1x/day for 1 week (requiring 2 hours of
3, Train (Simple) (U/RF5) As Teach Speech (Rank 1), but an animal may be
trained to perform a simple task (e.g., wash vegetables, open doors, etc).
4, Calm II (F/RF10): As Calm I, but all targets must be in view.
5, Teach Speech (Rank 3) (U/RF5): As Teach Speech (Rank 1), but animal
may learn up to Rank 3.
6, Calm III (F/RF10): As Calm I, but 3 targets or hives may be affected.
7, Calm IV (F/RF10): As Calm I, but 4 targets or hives are affected.
8, Train (Complex) (U/RF5): As Train (Simple), but a complex task may be
learned (dicing carrots, manipulating lanterns, etc.).
9, Teach Speech (Rank 5) (U/RF5): As Teach Speech (Rank 1), but animal
may learn up to Rank 5. (Caster must also know Rank 5.)
10, Dance (U/RF5): As Train (Simple), but a dance may be learned. (Used for
Dance of the Living.)