Cimmerians are descended from the ancient Atlanteans. Their skin is on the dark side of fair and tans easily if ever they leave the gloomy mountains of their home. They have dark hair and blue or grey eyes. They are tall, physically powerful and very fierce, and are regarded by most Hyborians as one of the most barbaric races in the world. Unlike most Hyborian women the Cimmerian women fight alongside their menfolk, even in full-blown war. Cimmerians tend to be direct to the point of bluntness.
Culture: Cimmerian culture is survivalist and barbaric. Cimmerians are a race of fierce moody hill-men, dwelling as they do in a harsh, dreary and cloudy land. The Cimmerians despise weakness and the softness of Hyborian civilisation. They are feuding and war-like.
Names: Cimmerian names are based on old Irish or Scottish Celtic names, such as Conan. Here are some examples of names Howard intended to use for Cimmerians in stories he never completed. These names are presumably male: Eithriall, Eanbotha, Rotheachta, Giallchadh, Cruaidh, Eamhua, Cumal. Suggestions: (male) Amergin, Agh, Aodh, Brian, Cael, Cailt, Cathal, Conor, Cuchullin, Cul, Comala, Daol, Dima, Doon, Duncan, Fingal, Finn, Fionn, Hydallan, Moghcorb, Morne, Murdoch, Oscur, Ossian, Rayne, Sláine and Usnach. The following names are female: Credhe, Deirdre, Dersagrena, Maev, Melilcoma and Ros-Crana.
Religion: Crom, ‘Lord of the Mound,’ is the chief god of the gloomy Cimmerians. Others include Lir, the god of knowledge, Mannanan, the god of poetry and travel, Morrigan, the goddess of war, Badb, the goddess of fire and fury, Macha and Nemain ‘The Venomous.’ The Cimmerians do not truly worship these gods, believing that the gods despise weaklings who call on them for help. Creating the Cimmerian race was gift enough. As a result, Cimmerians are often sceptical of more demonstrative forms of worship.
Racial Features: All of the following are Cimmerian racial features:
- +2 Strength, –2 Intelligence: Cimmerians are a naturally tall and strong race, made stronger still, so they believe, by the gifts of Crom. Though many have a keen natural cunning, few Cimmerians are capable of a great deal of book learning, nor indeed do they have much opportunity for such education.
- +1 racial bonus to all Will saving throws: Courage even in the face of great adversity is another of Crom’s gifts.
- +2 racial bonus to all Climb checks: Cimmerians are renowned as the finest climbers in the world. Most will have climbed at least one peak that non- Cimmerians would regard as impassable before even leaving their homeland.
- +2 circumstance bonus to all Perception, Stealth, and Survival checks made in temperate or cold hills and mountains: Cimmerians are masters of their environment in every respect.
- –2 racial penalty to all Diplomacy checks and verbalbased Bluff checks: Cimmerians are famously blunt and direct in their speech, a habit that has been known to get them into trouble on any number of occasions. Note that this penalty does not apply to Bluff checks based on body language, as Cimmerians are often excellent at feinting in combat and other non-verbal uses of Bluff. The natural cunning of their savage race has caused many a civilised opponent to fall to their tricks in combat.
- Cimmerians may not have any religion other than Crom and the Cimmerian pantheon and may never gain any benefit from worshipping that or another pantheon. Crom has no priests and offers no assistance to his worshippers, other than gifting them with mighty thews and courage at birth. He despises weaklings and expects his Cimmerians to stand alone against the world, without need for either gods or demons. If a Cimmerian ever does worship a non-Cimmerian god, he loses the gifts of Crom: his +2 bonus to Strength and +1 racial bonus to Will saving throws. Whether Crom or indeed any of the other gods is real is a philosophical point and beyond the scope of these rules; the point is that the Cimmerians, at least, believe it to be so.
Favoured Class: Barbarian
Automatic Languages: Cimmerian
Bonus Languages: Nordheimer, Pictish, Aquilonian, Hyperborean,
‘That man is no Hyborian!’ exclaimed Xaltotun. ‘No; he is a Cimmerian, one of those wild tribesmen who dwell in the gray hills of the north.’ ‘I fought his ancestors of old,’ muttered Xaltotun. ‘Not even the kings of Acheron could conquer them.’ ‘They still remain a terror to the nations of the south,’ answered Orastes. ‘He is a true son of that savage race, and has proved himself, thus far, unconquerable.’
– The Hour of the Dragon