Barbarians of the North
Conan! What is Best in Life?
To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!
Ulm is a nomadic nation of barbarians far to the north, whos lives revolve around the creation and forging of a metal known as Black Steel. Though the actual forging process was lost, there are still a few smiths that make weapons from the fabled material.
After the fall, only chaos existed in the plains of Ulm. Many tribes went to war with each other, slaughtering man, woman, and child. Till at last a lone figure rode down from the great forge and began to unify the tribes. He was called The Smith and eventually he declared himself god of the people of Ulm.
Around 150 AF The Smith Having united the tribes of Ulm set up the nomadic kingdom of The Conclave in order to constantly patrol the borders of the kingdom.
Around 175 AF The Conclave completes its first rotation, a national holiday is declared. Great games are held every time the conclave reaches this spot. The first blademaster is chosen this year, great warriors who wield enormous Black Steel weapons and act as the divine representatives of The Smith.
Modern Ulm At this point, Ulm has begun to trade and interact with other cultures, although Black Steel is still an Ulm secret. The Ulm primarily deal with Arcoscephale but some small trading is done with the dwarves of Hammerfast
Climate and Geography
Ulm is primarily a cold nation, from the open plains in the south all the way to the great ice fields in the north. The Frozen mountains hold two of the greatest structures Ulm has. At the base of a large frozen volcano lies the great Forge of Ulm, where The Smith first tread down from the mountains. Also in the foothills of these mountains lies the Keep of Ulm, the last retreat for the barbarian horde. In some of the black forests, the temperatures drop so rapidly, that trees freeze and explode as the sap within them turns to ice.
Leadership Leadership is everything to the barbarians of the north, if a leader is percieved as frail or weak, he is challenged, defeated, and removed from the position. Above all is The Smith every rotation at the festival of endurance warriors come from hundreds of miles to challenge the god to single combat in the hopes that they can defeat him and lead the nation.
Economy Many would gladly give their lives for the secret to the riddle of steel, but it seems to have been lost to time. Black Steel is perhaps one of the rarest metals in the world, if only due to the fact that Ulm lets so few pieces leave their sight. A single bar of Black steel could buy yourself a small hamlet somewhere. The great caravans from Arcoscephale travel here to trade.
Society Life in Ulm is a struggle everyday. Any sign of weakness or sickness is expunged either through combat, or physical torture. Individual clans are lead by the strongest and most combat capable leaders and this could change at any time.
Warfare Ulm’s war tactics are usually simple and brutal. The barbarians of Ulm can withstand an incredible amount of damage and as such charge recklessly into battle. A Blademaster fully armored in black steel armor, wielding a black steel greatsword is a terrible sight to behold.
Language Common is the language most fluently spoken throughout the nation, with each tribe having its own dialect. The antlered druids of Irminsil are said to speak with the spirits of nature.
Religion for the most part is not openly practiced. The tribes of Ulm show their loyalty to The Smith by sending their best and brightest warriors to the conclave for training and placement in the standing army of Ulm. The only time reverence or worship seems to creep into a barbarians eyes is with the mention of Black Steel.
Adventuring in Ulm
In the great untamed wilderness of Ulm there are countles chances for adventure. Whether its braving the northern Ice Fields to reach the ringwall, or exploring the black forests for the blessing of the antlered druids, a party can spend their entire lives living the life of a barbarian.
A few locations ripe for adventure in the barbarian lands.
Hammerfast The great dwarvan capitol, this underground fortress lies deep within the Frozen Mountains to the north
The Conclave The great nomadic capitol of the Ulm people, this group of tents, horses, and men can sometimes stretch from horizon to horizon.
Irminsil Deep in the black forest lies the small clearing of Irminsil where the antlered druids bless the blademasters and worship at the black temple.