A while back when we were discussing Lances and Spears and such, I said that I would be posting my version of the Leofrings as a Culture which a PC could choose.
Here is the first part.
NOTE: Anything taken from a Cubicle-7 product is copyright by them, and is for personal use only and not to be sold/made profit from without their clear written consent.
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When the Eotheod departed the northlands and migrated onto the plains of Calenardhon, not all were content to simply leave their homes and follow their King. Several groups of riders and their kinfolk chose to remain in the north while others, struck by the sheer beauty of the Eastern Nether Vales, decided that they would travel no further.
Within less than a decade of the departure of the Eotheod, these disparate groups had come to realise that the Vales were no longer the safe haven they had once been when Eorl could put thousands of riders in the field.
The largest group had remained in the vicinity of Framaburg, believing that the stout palisades and deep ditches would protect them from the goblins of the north. They united under a powerful nobleman named Leofr, who had served with distinction under Eorl at the Field of Celebrand, but it was not long before the foul denizens of Gundabad poured forth from their mountain stronghold and forced them to abandon the fortress. They migrated further south and settled in the western part of the Nether Vales where they first adopted the name of Leofringas (People of Leofr). Through time, the term Leofrings would come to be used in reference to all the Horsefolk who dwelt in the southern vales.
Unlike the Eorlingas, these Leofrings chose no King. Leofr realized that for him to claim Kingship would jeopardize such good will as remained towards them in the new Kingdom to the south. King Eorl still considered the Leofrings to be his subjects and thus it was decided that riders would be sent out to each of the extended family groups (Cohorts) to invite their Thanes to sit in a tribal council, to be convened in the ruined town of Dwarrowhall.
Dwarrowhall was built by the Dwarfs of Khazad Dum many years earlier. It had been populated by members of many different Northmen tribes, all living together under the watchful eyes of the 'Longbeards' and farming the lands of the Dimrill Dale.
When Durin's Bane forced the Dwarves to abandon their ancient halls, the Northmen of Dwarrowhall left in their wake, in search of new homes and new markets for their skills and produce. The newly arrived Leofrings claimed the deserted town as their own. This they would make the stronghold of their new homeland and here they would spend the cold months of winter. While most of his folk departed to begin a semi nomadic existence, Leofr and the remainder stayed to fortify the ruins.
Following the death of Eorl, his sons and their descendents showed little interest in the affairs of the Leofrings. The young men might still journey south to join the 'Muster of Rohan' or find wives but the Leofrings became, in effect, an independent people.
As the power of the Shadow grew in Mirkwood, those of the Leofringas who dwelt in the Eastern Nether Vales either migrated west across the Great River or fell under its sway. A number of 'cohorts' traded openly with the servants of the Necromancer and several were rumoured to have entered his service. In the winter of 2940TA, when the Leofringas had gathered at the Dwarrowhall to celebrate the Feast of Yuletide, a horde of Orcs attacked and over whelmed their defences, driving the survivors south.
The Leofring s are now greatly diminished in number. They still maintain the semi nomadic existence of their Rhovanic ancestors, unlike the Eorlingas, who have adopted a sedentary lifestyle on the fertile grasslands now known as 'The Mark'.
They tend their herds in that area that lies between the Golden Wood and Fangorn as well as in the northernmost regions of the Wold and the Field of Celebrand. A scarce handful remain in the lands of the Western Nether Vales, eking out their existence in the ruins of Dwarrowhall or diligently maintaining a vigil over the Ford of theLeofrings.
Although few in number, the riders of the Leofrings are fearless. They prefer to engage their foes at close quarters, reliant on the strength and manoeuvrability of their steeds to offset any disadvantage in numbers. The swirling melee and the charge are where these warriors gain the honour and reputation they crave. Some few are skilled with the bow, but these weapons are considered less honourable than the tall spears and swords that they wield to devastating effect.
The Leofrings are Northmen of the same stock as the Rohirrim, which is to say that they are tall and brawny, fair of skin and light eyed. They are generally fair haired and the younger men tend to be clean shaven, but sport moustaches. Both sexes wear their hair long. Men favour it loose although veteran warriors often plait the hair at their temples as a mark of their standing. Young girls wear their hair long and loose but older, especially married, women tie theirs in two long plaits. Both of these are customs that date back to the time of their ancestors on the plains of Rhovanion. The most distinctive feature of any warrior of the Leofrings however, is a slightly bow legged gait. The mark of a life spent in the saddle
The Leofrings speak both Westron and the Rohirric tongue of their neighbours in the Mark.
They tend to favour names that are Rohirric in style.
Male Names: Aldor, Bregdan, Brego, Derngar, Dunhere, Eomod, Eomund, Eorl, Fastred, Feolca, Gamling, Grimbold, Guthlaf, Haldred, Haleth, Herumer, Leofr, Walda
Female Names: Barhilda, Dernwyn, Eohilda, Gleowyn, Herufrid, Theoda, Theofrid
Horse Names: Arod, Hasufel, Felarof, Firefoot, Shadowfax, Snowmane, Windfola
Standard of Living
The Leofrings possess little in the way of wealth and much of what they had was stolen from them during the sack of Dwarrowhall. Many have little more than than the clothes on their back and such possessions as they managed to retain during their flight. Their standard of living is considered to be Frugal.
Bonus Equipment: Riding Horse, traveling cloak, traveling gear for the current season, backpack or saddlebag, belt dagger, 2d6 silver pennies, plus choose one from: hand carved gaming set, drinking horn, decorative cloak clasp, leather arm-band or choker.
Ability Score Increases - Your Wisdom score increases by 1, and you may increase any two additional ability scores by 1.
Adventuring Age - 16-30
The Leofrings don’t usually become adventurers before their 16th year of age, and rarely continue beyond their forties.
Size - The Leofrings, men and women, are generally tall. Generally well over 5 feet and often above 6 feet. Your size is Medium.
Speed - Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Horse Mastery - you have proficiency in the Animal Handling skill.
Mounted Combat - you have proficiency in the use of the Tall Spear, both when mounted and when afoot.
Starting Virtue - You gain one Leofrings Cultural Virtue of your choice.
Languages - Vale of Anduin Tongue and Rohirric, as well as the Common Tongue (Westron).
Tall Spear (martial weapon)
Damage 1d8 piercing Properties: Reach, Thrown (20/60), versatile (1d10)
Weight 4lb cost 8s
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