Leaf and Land
"Bard had rebuilt the town in Dale and men had gathered to him from the Lake and from South and West, and all the valley had become tilled again and rich, and the desolation was now filled with birds and blossoms in spring and fruit and feasting in autumn."
From the Ashes
The city of Dale lay in ruins for almost two centuries, under the shadow of the Lonely Mountain. It was destroyed by the Dragon Smaug when he descended from the north to claim the vast treasure of the Dwarves of Erebor. Five years ago, the Dragon was killed and Men, led by Bard the Bowman, the Dragon-slayer, started to rebuild the city. Since then, Bard has been crowned King, and Dáin Ironfoot, the Dwarf-lord from the Iron Hills, is the new King Under the Mountain. Under their rule, Men and Dwarves have laboured hard, collaborating to rebuild Dale, as they used to do before the Dragon came, and the city is swiftly approaching the glory it attained hundreds of years ago.
Bardings are descended from the same cultural group as the Beornings and the Woodmen of Wilderland. They are rapidly becoming the most powerful group of Men in Wilderland, strategically positioned as they are between the Elven kingdom of the Woodland Realm and the Dwarven Kingdom under the Mountain. Under the guidance of the new king, the city of Dale provides the Dwarves of Erebor with everything from food and clothes to wood and ceramics, in exchange for the many products of their skillful metalworking and stonecraft. Trading with the Elves gives access to the superior quality of their woodworking.
The Men of Dale are Northmen of noble origins. They are often tall and strong-limbed, with fair hair, although dark or even black hair is not unknown. Their men usually shave their beards completely unless they are very old, and cut their hair shorter than the Woodmen of Wilderland. Women let their hair grow very long, but often braid it in tight tresses. Adventurers from Dale can be easily recognised as they carry the best equipment to be found among the Men living in Wilderland.
A traditional Barding name is usually composed of one or two elements (for example, Dag, Day, or Lif-stan, Life Stone). Like most Northmen, Bardings often name their sons and daughters after a renowned ancestor or relative, or choose a name beginning with the same sound or sharing one element with that of the father (whose name is often given with their first name when introduced formally – for example, Lifstan son of Leiknir, or Ingrith daughter of Ingolf).
Male Names: Aegir, Agmund, Agnarr, Alfrim, Alfwald, Arn, Arnulf, Bain, Balki, Bard, Bern, Bragi, Brand, Brandulf, Dag, Domarr, Drengi, Egil, Einar, Eirik, Erland, Erling, Farald, Farmann, Farulf, Fastarr, Finn, Finnulf, Folki, Folkmarr, Galmann, Galti, Gautarr, Geirmund, Gismund, Gorm, Grimarr, Guthorm, Hafgrim, Haki, Hakon, Halfdan, Hamarr, Hedinn, Helgi, Hergrim, Hildir, Holgeir, Holti, Holvidur, Hord, Ingi, Ingolf, Ioli, Isolf, Jarl, Jarmarr, Joalf, Joar, Jofur, Jokell, Karl, Ketill, Ketilmund, Kol, Kolbeinn, Kori, Leiknir, Lifstan, Lodin, Lomund, Magni, Mord, Munan, Nari, Nefstan, Nerulf, Odd, Oddmarr, Odvarr, Olaf, Olvard, Omund, Ornolf, Ottarr, Ragnarr, Randur, Reinald, Runolf, Sandarr, Saxulf, Sigdan, Sigfast, Sigmarr, Sigvald, Sigward, Sigmund, Skarf, Skefill, Smidur, Steinarr, Thorald, Thorfast, Torwald, Ulfarr, Ulfied, Unnarr, Valbrand, Valdimarr, Vali, Vandil, Varinn, Varr.
Female Names: Aldis, Aldrif, Asfrid, Asny, Astrith, Bera, Bergdis, Brinhild, Dagmar, Dagny, Dalla, Edda, Eilif, Erna, Eydis, Estrild, Frida, Geira, Gerda, Grimhild, Gudrun, Gundrid, Gunnhild, Halla, Halldis, Halldora, Helga, Hild, Holma, Inga, Ingirun, Ingrith, Lif, Linhild, Kelda, Ragna, Runa, Saldis, Sigga, Signy, Sigrid, Sigruun, Solveig, Thora, Thordis, Thorhild, Thorleif, Ulfhild, Ulfrun, Una, Valdis, Vigdis, Walda.
Standard of Living
Thanks to their trade with Elves, Dwarves, and the far lands to the south, a Barding can choose any trade and be almost sure to thrive. Craftsmen from Dale include carpenters, cartwrights, shoemakers, tailors, tanners, and weavers, not to mention those apprenticed to Dwarven weaponsmiths and masons. For these reasons, Bardings are considered a Prosperous folk.
Bonus Equipment: A fur-lined travelling cloak, travelling gear for the current season, a bedroll, a backpack or saddlebags, comfortable boots, 5d6 silver pennies, plus choose any two: a tent, extra blankets, rope, a magical toy, a silver comb, an amulet of a raven's feather, a bottle of wine from Dorwinion.
Your character has certain traits deriving from your Barding ancestry.
Ability Score Increase – Your Constitution score increases by 1 and you may increase two additional ability scores by 1.
Adventuring Age - 16-30. Bardings don't usually become adventurers before their 16th year of age, and rarely continue beyond their forties, when they retire to serve their family and folk.
Size – Most Bardings stand between 5 and 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed – Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Clear Eyed – You have proficiency in the Insight skill.
Starting Virtue – You gain one Barding Cultural Virtue of your choice.
Languages – You can speak, read, and write Dalish – an archaic version of the Common Speech.