Leaf and Land
Woodmen of Wilderland
"There were many of them, and they were brave and well armed, and even the Wargs dared not attack them if there were many together, or in the bright day."
Against the Shadow
Almost two thousand years ago, a shadow crept from the South and slowly drew all light from the heart of Greenwood the Great to its farthest eaves. People began calling the forest Mirkwood, and learned to fear its deepest recesses. In spite of the darkness, many lingered along the forest's borders, fearless sons of Men who defied the menace of the Necromancer in his dreaded abode. These Woodmen have fought the growing darkness for as long as their oldest tellers of tales can remember, and they will continue the fight now that the Shadow has deserted its lair.
The Woodmen of Wilderland are frontiersmen of the North, having a shared ancestry with the Bardings. They live in sparse, isolated villages and homesteads surrounded by wooden stockades, built along the borders of the great forest, or in the valleys to the west of the river. Threatened by the shadow of Dol Guldur and what lurks in the depths of Mirkwood, the Woodmen are hunters and trackers of wild animals, battling Orcs and Spiders in self-defense.
Traditionally, women fight and hunt alongside their men, or even alone if unmarried or widowed, in their struggle to survive the hostile environment. The Wizard Radagast, one of the Wise of Middle-earth, has chosen to live amongst the Woodmen since time immemorial, taking residence in Rhosgobel. A master of shapes and a tender of beasts, his teachings have proven invaluable to the hunters and animal-tamers among the Woodmen.
As all Men of the North, they are commonly light-haired and tall, but often brown-skinned with a little red in their cheeks thanks to a life in the open. Sometimes deemed surly of speech and unforthcoming by other folk, they are rangers and hunters, haters of Orcs and Spiders, skilled in fighting in the deep woods with bows of yew, stout spears, and long-hafted axes. They were once skillful tamers of steeds and hunting dogs, but their life under the Shadow has forced them to mostly abandon the training of horses, and to favor that of hounds.
The Northmen inhabiting the Vales of the Anduin River – the Beornings and Woodmen – speak the same language and share a common vocabulary of personal names. The two folk favor different names, but are set apart by their peculiar use of bynames and nicknames.
The Woodmen do not show particular preferences, but it is a common practice among adventurers to keep their real name a secret, preferring to let themselves be known only by a nickname (the Bride, the Hound).
Male Names: Adalard, Ageric, Agilfrid, Agiulf, Alaric, Alberic, Amalric, Andagis, Atalaric, Atanagild, Ansegisel, Ansovald, Aregisel, Arnulf, Audovald, Avagis, Badegisel, Baldac, Balderic, Barald, Beorn, Beran, Beranald, Berangar, Bertefried, Beormud, Cilderic, Eberulf, Eboric, Ebregisel, Ebrimuth, Ediulf, Ermanaric, Euric, Eutaric, Evermud, Evoric, Frideger, Gararic, Garivald, Geberic, Gisalric, Gerold, Grimald, Grimbald, Grimbeorn, Grimfast, Gundovald, Hartgard, Hartmut, Hartnid, Hathus, Heriwulf, Hildebald, Imnachar, Ingelram, Ingund, Iwald, Iwgar, Leudast, Magneric, Malaric, Maracar, Merovech, Munderic, Odo, Odovacar, Otbert, Ragnacar, Ramnulf, Rathar, Reginar, Ricfried, Rigunth, Roderic, Sigeric, Sigibert, Sunnegisil, Theodard, Theodebert, Theodemir, Theodwin, Theudebald, Theuderic, Thorismund, Walcaud, Waleran, Widuven, Willicar, Wulferd.
Female Names: Adosinda, Amalfrida, Amalina, Avagisa, Avina, Beranhild, Brunihild, Gailavira, Garsendis, Geleswinta, Gelvira, Grimhild, Hermesind, Heva, Hilduara, Redegun.
Woodman Nicknames: The Bird-keeper, the Bowman, the Bride, The Bright one, the Eagle, the Healer, the Hound, the Hunter, the Quick, the Shepherd, the Shield-bearer, the Silent one, the Spear-shaker, the Wood-goer.
Standard of Living
The woodmen carve a living out of meager hunts, burning charcoal and breeding animals. Their constant fight with the Wood and its wild things leaves them struggling to do more than simply survive. Their culture ranks as Frugal.
Bonus Equipment: A travelling cloak, travelling gear for the current season, a belt dagger, 2d6 silver pennies, plus choose any one: a basket of berries, a hunting trap, a hand-carved gaming set, a decorative leather armband or choker.
Woodmen of Wilderland Traits
Your character has certain traits deriving from your Woodman ancestry.
Ability Score Increase – Your Dexterity score increases by 1 and you may increase two additional ability scores by 1.
Adventuring Age: 16 to 30 – Woodmen 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 Woodmen stand between 5 and 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed – Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Woodcrafty – You have proficiency in the Survival skill.
Virtue – You gain one Woodmen of Wilderland Cultural Virtue of your choice.
Languages – You can speak the Vale of Anduin Tongue – an archaic version of the Common Speech, closely related to Dalish.