'Barbarian' is a term that most of you will be familiar with in reference to the world of Conan, as Conan himself hails from one of the so-called 'barbaric' regions in the vast and forbidding north of the Thurian continent. The civilized folk that occupy the vast majority of its territory know little of the barbarian peoples. They are feared as more beast than man, often raiding southern territories to supplement the lack of bounty in their respective regions.
The Aesir and Vanir occupy the vast and desolate area called 'Nordheim', where the hands of ancient gods still seem to take a direct hand in the lives of their subjects and the brutal climes make survival itself a test of courage.. Their culture can best be described as 'proto-Viking', with the Aesir following a warrior culture that sought death in battle to achieve entry into Valhalla. The Vanir, while similar culturally, venerated highly the frost-giants and their god-king Ymir.
The Cimmerians occupy the territory just to the south of Nordheim. They are a grim and clannish people, known for their great strength and ferocity throughout the western world. Routinely raided by both the Vanir and the Aesir, it comes as no surprise that Cimmerian culture is very warlike. Codes of honor and loyalty are of the utmost importance and political subtlety is an art seldom practiced. A hard region of tundra, mountains, and wooded fields seated beneath a cold, gray sky were the lands of Cimmeria.
Though barbarians in the south were rare in terms of their number, many such adventurers made a strong impact on foreign cultures through their numerous exploits. Often taking work as mercenaries, bodyguards, and guardsmen, they make for doughty and reliable companions and are thusly highly sought after in martial roles.