Leaf and Land
Men of Bree
According to their own tales…they were the descendants of the first Men that ever wandered into the West of the middle-world. Few had survived the turmoils of the Elder Days; but when the Kings returned again over the Great Sea they had found the Bree-men still there, and they were still there now, when the memory of the old Kings had faded into the grass.
At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
The small region of the Bree-Land is perhaps all that remains of the vanished kingdoms of Eriador, a little island of civilization in the midst of a great deserted wilderness. The area takes its name from its chief village, the town of Bree. The great mound of Bree-hill shelters its houses from the cold north wind since time immemorial, there where two ancient roads meet. The Greenway comes up through Dunland and Tharbad from the Gap of Rohan. The East road – The Road, really – is even older. It runs from the furthest east to the shores of the Sea.
Like the Shire, Bree is a safe haven for its denizens and travellers alike, despite the many threats that surround it. These days though, only Dwarves come up regularly along the East Road, and the Greenway sees even less traffic. But Bree endures.
The other three villages – the farming village of Staddle, Combe to the east, and Archet in the Chetwood – see fewer visitors than Bree (and that's how they like it). Villagers come to Bree to bring goods to market, to trade with the wandering Dwarf-smiths and to drink in its famous inn, The Prancing Pony.
The Men of Bree tell stories of their ancestors, but if there is any truth left in those old tales, not even the Wise know, for they have been here for a long time even as the Elves measure the passing years.
The inhabitants of the Bree-land are mostly Men, but there are many families of Hobbits spread among the villages, especially in Staddle, and several of their customs and habits have been adopted by the Big Folk. The Men of Bree appear familiar to visitors from the Shire, and both the Big and the Little Folk live in very friendly terms. Their general appearance helps in this matter, too, as the Men of Bree are often brown-haired and rather short, tend to be stocky and broad, and are quick to laugh.
Bree-folk names consist of a first name and a family name. Male names are frequently short, while their female names tend to take after flowers. Bree family names sound a bit peculiar to outsiders. They often combine two natural sounding words not often placed together.
Male Names: Barliman, Bill, Bob, Nob, Giles, Tom, Rowlie, Mat, Willie, Harry.
Female Names: Daisy, Bliss, Joan, Agnes, Emeny, Lily, Flora, Rose.
Family Names: Appledore, Asterfire, Bellsap, Briarcleave, Butterbur, Cherryborn, Chesterstout, Droverwind, Ferny, Foxglow, Goatleaf, Hardybough, Hazelsheen, Heathertoes, Hedgedon, hollybirch, Kettlegrass, Lilyhawk, Mossburn, Oakstout, Pickthorn, Pollenroad, Rushlight, Sedger, Shrubrose, Sweetroot, Thistlewool, Wayward.
Standard of Living
The Bree-land is not as wealthy as the Shire, but the Bree-folk still maintain a lifestyle that is Prosperous. Part of their good fortune is due to the protection of their Guardians, the Rangers of the North; these mysterious wanderers roam the land, silently patrolling the borders and roads, without anyone in Bree-land knowing for certain what they are up to.
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 staff or cudgel, a dwarf-made set of cooking pans, a lucky ring of ancient design, a letter from your family, a spare set of walking boots, an extra travelling cloak.
Men of Bree Traits
Note: The traits listed here refer to a member of the Big Bree-folk. A player wishing to make one of the Little Bree-folk should make a Hobbit of the Shire, taking either the Harfoot or Stoor Family Ties (the Fallowhides never wanted anything much to do with Bree) and declare that they are from Bree-land.
Ability Score Increase – Your Wisdom score increases by 1 and you may increase two additional ability scores by 1.
Adventuring Age: 16 to 30 – In the rare cases where Bree-folk go adventuring at all, they do it when the strength of youth is in their limbs, and usually return home to settle down before their fortieth year.
Size – Most Big Bree-folk tend to be broad, rather than tall, and few are very much larger than 5 feet in height. Your size is Medium.
Speed – Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Crossroad Glance – You have proficiency in the Perception skill.
Starting Virtue – You gain one Bree-folk Cultural Virtue of your choice.
Languages – You can speak, read, and write Westron, heavily accented with the rough brogue of Bree-land.