Human—Varanar Barbarian Tribes
The Varanar are tribes of barbarian humans that dwell throughout central and southern Varanthus. The Varanar are essentially the native population in the region, having migrated into the area many centuries ago from the far north-east. Loremasters and sages believe that the Varanar tribes originally came from various mountain ranges in distant lands of the north-east, but were forced out of the region by larger, more powerful barbarian tribes. Many sages also conclude that a good number of the Varanar tribes must also have lived in the vast grasslands, where they embraced various horse-deities.
The Varanar people are of average height and weight, though they often tend to have broad and thick physiques. Varanar typically have dark brown or dull black hair, and dark brown, grey, or blue-grey eyes. Varanar typically have skin of dark tan, tawny brown, or olive-brown in complexion, and are often hairy. Male Varanar customarily favor full beards, and wild hair worn to the middle of their back. Varanar men favor bright, vividly colored clothing, and especially prize finely-embroidered cloaks. Varanar men typically wear neck-torcs, arm-torcs, rings, and necklaces as jewelry, but nose-rings, toe-rings and earrings are strictly for women. Varanar women are very fond of silver jewelry, and bright, shining gems. Varanar women are especially fond of vibrant colored clothing, and fine perfumes, oils, and cosmetics. Varanar barbarians speak the native language of Varanar.
N.B. Player characters are encouraged to review the Varanar Character Tables, presented below.
Varanar Character Tables
Varanar Character Skin Tone
Dice Roll/Skin Tone
01-05%: White, Pale
06-15%: White, Olive
16-30%: Tan, Olive
91-00%: Dark Tan
Varanar Characters Hair
Dice Roll/Hair Color
41-45%: Chocolate Brown
46-50%: Chestnut Brown
76-90%: Dull Black
91-00%: Ebony Black
Varanar Characters Eyes
Dice Roll/Eye Color
Varanar Height and Weight Tables
Male Varanar Base Height: 5’6”-6’4”; (5’4”+2d6”);
Average Height: 5’10”
Male Varanar Base Weight: 136-280-lbs; (120+16d10);
Average Weight: 200-lbs.
Female Varanar Base Height: 5’2”-6’0”; (5’0”+2d6”);
Average Height: 5’6”
Female Varanar Base Weight: 90-200-lbs; (80+12d10);
Average Weight: 140-lbs.
The Varanar tribes are traditionally led by a strong chieftain, elected from members drawn from a group of candidates deemed worthy by the whole tribe. The whole tribe votes for such candidates, through reputation, achievements, contests, and other meritorious actions, and from this body of elected nobles, the tribal council confers and appoints a tribal chieftain. The tribal council is composed of various elders, nobles, and shamans, and senior members of the tribe—both men and women—who are known and celebrated for their bravery, skill, wisdom and judgment.
The Varanar have seven tribes that have traditionally settled the region—with different Varanar tribes that migrated further south, into the land of Drathenar, as well as into Dharthanya, to the south-east. The seven Varanar tribes that have settled the Varanthus region are composed of the Ardani, Arbalu, Chalari, Dhalmar, Naebas, Rhubaan, and Varanu.
There are four Varanar tribes—the Varanu, Ardani, Chalari, and Rhubaan--that have urbanized, and fully embraced the Vallorean culture, and become strong allies of the Valloreans. In addition, the urbanized Varanar have interbred prodigiously with the conquering Valloreans, and have also largely embraced the Vallorean religion. The four urbanized, pro-Vallorean tribes refer to the three primitive, traditional Varanar tribes as the “Rebel Varanar” or the “Rebel Tribes”. However, having said that, there is also at various times and in different areas, a different position from this—such other members of the pro-Vallorean tribes that do not hold such a stern view of their brethren, but see them as simple and primitive, misguided and caught up in the grip of primitive superstitions and a fearful xenophobia—but faithful, noble, and heroic for seeking to maintain the old ways.
However, the three “rebel” Varanar tribes—the Arbalu, Dhalmar, and Naebas—have violently rejected Vallorean culture and dominion, and are rebellious at every turn. The three traditional Varanar tribes remain determined, proud, and fiercely independent, while steadfastly holding to their own native religion, and zealously committed to preserving the ancient and traditional Varanar culture. The three traditional Varanar tribes—the Arbalu, Dhalmar, and Naebas—are also generally hostile to their brethren Varanar tribes, whom the traditionalists view as heretics and traitors. Much like the four pro-Vallorean tribes, the “traditional” Varanar tribes also have divergent factions that hold more sympathetic views of their fellow countrymen, seeing them as misguided and deceived, but noble, proud, and sincere in trying to change and do what is best for their people.
While traditionally, the Varanar tribes have been independent from each other, they remained united by their common culture, language, and religion. Since the arrival of the Valloreans, much of these commonalities remain the same, however, the influence of the Vallorean culture and the embracing of such by the four pro-Vallorean tribes, has significantly started a process of rapid change for the members of the four urbanized tribes. This process of a changing culture, as well as the importation and spread of the Vallorean religion, has increasingly driven a large wedge of differences between the two factions of Varanar tribes. The changes have shaped and changed the four urbanized tribes in such significant ways, that the traditionalists feel that they can no longer recognize them as the same culture, and a common tribal identity. Despite the four urbanized tribes’ protestations to the contrary, their tribal identification is increasingly being transformed more into a political label and casual, loosely-connected fraternity—as opposed to a dynamic, living and breathing reality that is the basis for an intense, daily identity that is a vital and essential focus of their way of life.
The Varanar people are sociable, engaging, optimistic, proud and stubborn. The Varanar are deeply spiritual and mystical, and take omens and various portents, oracles, and superstitions very seriously. The Varanar are excellent musicians, singers, dancers, and are skilled horsemen and archers. The Varanar are passionate in everything they do, from eating and drinking, partying, love, hatred and war. The Varanar are skilled in mining, as well as forestry, woodcraft, as well as native styles of textiles, clothing, ceramics and pottery. The Varanar are infamous for grim determination and tenacity in warfare, and are savage warriors who are feared for their skills in ambush, mountain tactics, and using guerilla-warfare and ferocious raids throughout their dark forested homelands.
The Varanar are generally patriarchal, and hold to particular customs that shape and define gender roles within the Varanar society. Having said this, however, Varanar women enjoy broad social and sexual freedoms, as well as nearly-equal rights, responsibilities, privileges and opportunities as Varanar men. Women are expected to do the vast majority of the cooking, child-rearing, and other domestic chores. Most women do not become warriors of any kind, though exceptional women may do so, as there are some examples in tribal history of women of particular skill, courage, and ferocity becoming warriors. Women are believed to have special mystical powers, insight, and affinity into the spiritual world, emotions, passions, music, dancing, the earth, wild beasts, plants, and wisdom. Men are believed to have affinity for, and special insight and power with fire, storms, metal, beasts, warfare, hunting, discipline, and strength.
The traditional Varanar tribal society embraces monogamy as a marriage custom, but also a custom of tribal and group marriage, where a particular couple may have multiple marriage partners, of either or both sexes. Thus, such a tribal marriage unit may have only a single couple, or three or four couples, married together. By tribal law, however, all such additional spouses must have the approval of both the men and women involved. For example, suppose two couples are joined in a tribal marriage, and contain two men and two women. One of the men could not go outside the marriage unit, and decide to marry a new woman, without the approval of the other two wives and the other husband. Likewise, a married woman is not permitted to do the same thing, without abiding by the law. In the event that all members of the marriage unit agree on the new bride, for example, then the tribal marriage unit would then be allowed to expand to include the two husbands, and now three wives. In Varanar tribal society, married spouses have greater inheritance rights and authority than unmarried lovers, slaves or concubines, which have very limited inheritance rights or none at all, in the eyes of the law. The Varanar tribal customs permit all of the spouses involved in the marriage to enjoy very broad social and sexual freedoms, and all may enjoy many lovers, slaves and concubines.
Monogamy and Tribal/Group; Loose, Informal, Concubinage
Loose: People involved have varying expectations of absolute sexual fidelity and exclusivity; mistresses, lovers, and so on are fairly common, and generally accepted.
Informal: The culture has no strict requirements concerning divorce, and divorce is relatively easy and simple to do, with no social, religious or cultural stigmas for anyone involved. In addition, children born out of wedlock are not subject to being outcasts, and may be common and entirely accepted.
Concubinage: The culture embraces the custom of maintaining concubines for a married person, whether male or female. In the cases where concubines provide children, the children have some rights of inheritance. In addition, concubines have an official, legal and social status, and enjoy specific social, legal and inheritance rights.
Traditional barbarian tribes of Varanar dwell in fortified villages of strong, rough houses of timber and mud bricks, as well as occasionally some stone, and typically feature a circular style of architecture. Roofs are typically made of mud, timber and thatch, bundled and woven together. The Varanar village always has pens and corrals for herds of horses, as well as kennels for the hunting dogs. Chickens, pigs, and goats are commonly domesticated animals, as well as small herds of cattle. Traditional Varanar tribes generally use bartering systems for conducting trade, though coins are occasionally used. The Varanar tribal economy is largely self-sufficient, and while the Varanar enjoy gaining new goods, and trading their own goods for profit, coins hold little value to them personally, beyond their own consciousness of the coins’ value to others. Furthermore, traditional Varanar often view coins as a subversive element used by the Valloreans and other such urban peoples to spread spiritual corruption and weakness amongst the Varanar people.
Traditionally, Varanar religion embraces a pantheon of savage, violent deities, led by a powerful, “Great Mother” goddess, and a powerful supreme god of war and thunder. The Varanar have fierce gods of war, mountains, forests and storms, as well as beasts, rivers, magic, death, disease, horses and fertility. Varanar shamans may be male or female, while there are tribal societies of witches devoted to various deities of the pantheon, such witches are exclusively female.
The Varanar gods are described below:
Dharmogg—the supreme god of the Varanar pantheon, and the god of thunder, lightning, mountains and war
Dodallia—Goddess of the sky, stars, rain, beauty, healing and knowledge
Sarvog—God of crafts, smithing, fire and mountains
Serovan—God of strength, battle, courage, and battle frenzy
Bhalnogg—God of the sun, honor, nobility and fire
Khalladya—Goddess of the sun, magic, knowledge, and healing. As goddess of the sun, Khalladya is responsible for the sunrise; the goddess Mharanna hunts her every day, seeking to stop Khalladya and bring darkness. Khalladya is the wife of Bhalnogg.
Zaraina—Goddess of beauty, knowledge, wisdom and war
Sedarra—Goddess of fate, prophecy, destiny and knowledge
Zhilbog—Goddess of the moon, knowledge, magic, joy, fertility, and sexuality
Zivara—Goddess of love, fertility, sexuality, passion, and spring
Sarbog—God of love, fertility, marriage, strength, and summer. He is the lover and consort to Zivara.
Kharpallia—Goddess of fertility, sexuality, passion, joy, music, singing and dancing
The Zorina—three guardian goddesses of the morning, evening, and midnight
Rhunogg—God of the hunting, forests, wild beasts, and the earth
Dhywona—Virgin goddess of hunting, forests, horses, wisdom and knowledge
Parandar—God of forests, hunting, explorers, travelers, lost voyagers, luck, and journeys
Zhemera—Goddess of the earth; “Mother of the earth”; goddess of nature, storms, animals, knowledge, nobility and druids.
Varpallen—God of autumn, harvests, agriculture, nature and animals
Pardaga—God of farming, agriculture, crafts and trade
Markosh—Goddess of spinning, weaving, crafts, and the home.
Dhargada—goddess of healing, compassion, mercy, singing and music
Ozzierra—Goddess of knowledge, gossip, fame, glory and trickery
Vhelas—God of darkness, chaos, earth, waters, and the underworld
Mharanna—Goddess of darkness, harvests, witchcraft, winter and death
Berrezogg—God of darkness, forests, hunting, and savagery
Marattu—God of darkness, plagues, disease, suffering, and pestilence
Charnogg—the god of darkness, chaos, war and death
Zharnatra—God of darkness, knowledge, magic, and trickery
Jharbogg—God of darkness, magic, the moon, madness and werewolves
Dharzelya—Goddess of darkness, lust, sexuality, fertility, ambition and greed
Marzhanya—Goddess of darkness, vengeance, rivers, winter, and destruction
The Varanar deploy bands of skirmishers at all times for scouting, as well as to encircle, harass, and raid any approaching enemy forces. Varanar troops are a mix of infantry and fast-moving cavalry. The cavalry are equipped as light lancers and horse-archers. Infantry forces are equipped with a broad range of weaponry, and Varanar chieftains typically seek to engage enemy forces in dense, darkened forests, or in rugged hills and mountain terrain.
Cultural Weapons and Armor
Varanar Tribal Weaponry and Armor
Leather Armor (AC 8)
Hide Armor (Leather, particular treated animal and beast hides, and furs; AC 8)
Studded Leather (AC 7)
Dagger, Dart, Club, Hand-Axe, Battleaxe, Broadsword, Javelin, Spear, Lance, Shortbow, Composite Shortbow, Two-Handed Sword*
The Varan Greatsword is a native weapon design, of a large, two-handed sword that features a long handle, and a gleaming blade that sweeps out in a slight increasing curve. The Varan Greatsword is finely balanced, strong, and very deadly. Varanar noblemen often favour the Varan Greatsword, as well as bands of berserkers, elite raiders, and veteran bands of assault troops.