Ashes of the Empire
Like Rangers, Barbarians normally dwell beyond the bounds of normal civilization. They trust to their personal strength, ingenuity, and resourcefulness to protect them instead of laws. To barbarians the most important thing is freedom. Unlike Rangers they feel no responsibility to protect civilization and the weak. They believe in survival of the fittest and if a civilization cannot protect itself then in their view it should fall.
In Morset barbarians are very common among the half-orcs. The society of the kingdom and the syndicates sees them as savages and half-breeds, and they see those dwelling inside that civilization as weak and lazy. The half-orc barbarians prefer the wilderness and the wild half-orc strongholds along the Bloodridge Peaks in the southwest of Morset.
There are barbarians from every race, but they are most uncommon among the Elves and Veln. The elves who can live over 1000 years, regularly rely on magic, and are raised in a rigid and civilized society rarely develop the qualities of a barbarian, however sometimes when an elf has lived away from his brethren for centuries he may develop that attribute of self reliance after watching shorter lived friends grow old and die around him many times. Veln are also very rarely barbarians, as they are natural born empire builders. It is the nature of the Velnish people to build complex societies where community is extremely important, however there are outliers in every group.
Barbarians and Syndicates
Barbarians normally do not see eye to eye with the syndicates, as they have no concern for following the rules and regulations a syndicate would impose upon them. Barbarians are known to go “off mission” with little provocation. However they can do well in some instances where their goals align with a syndicate’s goals. If a barbarian has been with a syndicate a long time it is usually due to a loyalty to his squad-mates rather than to the organization itself.
Cold Steel has a military style which prides itself on structure and discipline, thus you can see how a barbarian would not do well in such an environment. Barbarians rely on instinct, power, and fearlessness to overcome their adversaries, rather than the rigor of drills and training. Many of Cold Steel missions involve escort or guard duties which involve waiting for the danger to come to you. Barbarians prefer to seek out adventure and danger and also have little interest in protecting the weak.
With their strong focus on treasure hunting and adventuring missions, Underdog is the syndicate that most appeals to the barbarian. If the barbarian is part of a strong squad in which he and the other members share a mutual respect, then the barbarian may tolerate the occasional guard or escort mission in their company.
The Sahlah Archive
Barbarians generally have no use for the esoteric studies of the Spire. A barbarian is interested in practicality and the physical, not the slow and steady accumulation of secrets and information which may someday come to fruition. However sometimes when the Archive needs something which is both dangerous to collect and not too secretive, they may post a general reward instead of going through their own or other syndicate channels. Barbarians have been known to go after these objects to collect a reward.
In general the consortium seeks to avoid barbarians. Many evil or neutral barbarians see the raiding of a traveling merchant or caravan either single handed or in small groups as a good test of strength with a good reward. Barbarians prefer to earn their keep through their own deeds instead of the buying, selling, and money counting of the Consortium.
When hunting game barbarians can be amazingly stealthy, however when fighting other intelligent races and fierce monsters barbarians prefer to fight out in the open with weapons swinging. This is to say that subterfuge is not the barbarians strong suit in combat or in personality. The shadow operates mostly within syndicate society and does a lot of work involving syndicate politics. Due to these reasons, The Shadow and barbarians rarely concern themselves with each other.
The Ruby Guard
The Ruby Guard has a mostly aggressive relationship with the barbarians. It’s not uncommon for individual orc or half-orc strongholds to start performing raids on royal targets. The members of these raids are mostly composed of barbarians. At best the Ruby Guard regards barbarians with suspicion and unease, and hopes the orc and half-orc barbarians stick to fighting each other. They have a similar problem with recruiting individual barbarians as Cold Steel does. The Ruby Guard is very military focused and composes the royal army. This includes uniforms, duties, training regimens, and other things which don’t gel with the typical barbarian lifestyle.
Notable Barbarian Organizations
One of the defining traits of barbarians is that they rarely gather into large organizations. Individual barbarians may sometimes choose to join organizations such as syndicates or ranger groups, but organizations composed chiefly of barbarians are unheard of. The closest thing would be the half-orc strongholds along the Bloodridge Peaks. While these are not entirely composed of barbarians, many half-orc barbarians in the region will call one or other stronghold home for periods of rest and resupply, and because of this will help support the stronghold in raids or defense. This is no formalized organization though.
Barbarians will sometimes form temporary impromptu groups in times of danger or risk, such as a small group forming to raid a caravan or defend themselves, but these only last as long as necessary and are quickly dissolved afterwards. These are mostly formed by chance or convenience, such as a few barbarians encountering each other while traveling to the same destination.