Cimmerians

"You laugh greatly, drink deep and bellow good songs; though I never saw another Cimmerian who drank aught but water, or who ever laughed, or ever sang save to chant dismal dirges."


"Perhaps it's the land they live in," answered the king. "A gloomier land never was— all of hills, darkly wooded, under skies nearly always gray, with winds moaning drearily down the valleys."

"Little wonder men grow moody there," quoth Prospero with a shrug of his shoulders, thinking of the smiling sun-washed plains and blue lazy rivers of Poitain, Aquilonia's southernmost province."

"They have no hope here or hereafter," answered Conan. "Their gods are Crom and his dark race, who rule over a sunless place of everlasting mist, which is the world of the dead. Mitra! The ways of the Æsir were more to my liking."

—The Phoenix on the Sword, Robert E. Howard


A shroud hangs over the people of Cimmeria. While one might assume it is the pall of the dark weather overhead, eternally threatening grim days and violent storms, the truth is that the Cimmerians live under a shroud of impending doom. As the Hyborian Age enters its final centuries, few people feel it as acutely as the northern barbarian clans. It is a subconscious sensation—more a subtle, ever-present melancholy than any true emotion. But it is there, in the blood and bones of every Cimmerian. They all feel it. They each sense, deep within, the end is coming.

In Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, players will find that playing the Cimmerians can be a very varied experience. Their barbaric nature, their stout posture and their willingness to charge into a battle where the odds are against them, should appeal to those players who would solve a dispute with the blade rather than with words. Still, Cimmerians are a people with an interesting culture that often runs deeper than the roots of mountains, and exploring this society as a player will yield many surprises. They are certainly barbaric, but they have hearts – hearts that beat for the land that surrounds them and for their bloodline. Weaving an interesting story for your Cimmerian should pose no challenge.

 

King Conan I of Aquilonia is Hyboria’s most renowned Cimmerian, though he is not a typical example of his people. He treasures life while his people struggle through and endure it. He burned with a curiosity to see the world’s wonders, while his kinfolk even now stay within the mountainous boundaries of their homeland and care nothing for what occurs outside their clan territories. Life is hard in Cimmeria, and no greater evidence for this fact exists than the dour Cimmerians themselves.

The Cimmerians are a barbarous people, with a culture shaped by their harsh and dreary land to the point where foreigners look askance at the tribes of the north and wonder if they ever laugh or sing any songs beyond dismal dirges. To the world beyond Cimmeria, the barbarians of this cold and rugged region are locked in the misery of internal wars between feuding tribes and surviving through the efforts of dedicated hunters that provide for each community. The Cimmerians live hand to mouth in a hostile realm. It earns them the pity of the other nations, but it gives them a strength no training can ever teach.

While the Cimmerians acknowledge Crom as their god, they do not worship him as the Aquilonians revere Mitra and the Stygians fear Set. Crom watches and broods from his mountain throne, but he cares nothing for the lives of mortals. The Cimmerians believe that Crom gives them strength at birth—the strength they will need to meet the trials of life. After that, they are on their own, as it should be.

The barbarians have little in the way of writing or book-learning, instead passing their lore verbally in fireside tales or whispered legends. They value martial prowess over their enemies, physical strength, and the ability to provide for oneself over all else. While they have their seers and shamans, the supernatural holds terror for most barbarians, not any wonder or tempting appeal. They pride themselves on working through life with their strength, skill and cunning, and never relying on the arcane mysteries that blacken the souls of the men in other nations.

It should come as no surprise to you that the path Cimmerians usually choose in life involves weapons, blood and a lot of hard work. As a player you will have the option of choosing between three of the four archetypes, namely Rogues, Soldiers and Priests. The path of the Mage is closed to Cimmerians, but most of their people have little interest in delving into the deep mysteries of magic, anyway. Those who do have an affinity for the otherworldly will rather dedicate their life to becoming a Priest and later join the ranks of the Bear Shamans. Those who choose to go the way of the Rogue may explore classes such as the Ranger and the Barbarian, while Soldiers may become Guardians, Conquerors or Dark Templars. Regardless of your choice, playing a Cimmerian will be a challenge!

The classes a Cimmerian can play are:

  • Soldier: Conquerer, Dark Templar, Guardian
  • Priest: Bear Shaman
  • Rogue: Barbarian, Ranger