There is little of worth in this land, as it is mostly a place of endless hills and low, rough mountains, of dusky, wooded valleys and dark scrub forests, steep gullies, and stony plains upon which little grows. A few mean rivers and streams run through the countryside, feeding bogs and ponds and isolated lakes. Cloud and fog shroud the land, forcing upon it a lonely and dismal mien, and wind wails through the hills like a banshee, a never-ending lament that shortens tempers and drives men to gloomy, monstrous thoughts.

There are no major cities, no great accomplishments of engineering, and few roads, with the only notable man-made structures being the few forts made by Aquilonian colonists and ruins dating to the time before the Cataclysm. Despite this, the Cimmerians cling to it fiercely, and few stray from their homeland, though the south — with its wantonness, wealth, and indolence — beckons always. To a Cimmerian, their homeland is their rightful place, though at times it can seem more a purgatory than a heaven.

Cimmerians are among the oldest races, descended from the Atlanteans from a land that long ago sunk beneath the waves and was lost to history, and they have scarcely changed in appearance, demeanor, or temperament. Like the Atlanteans, they are dark-haired and have eyes of gray, blue, or green. They are tall and rangy, with powerful builds, and their skulls are long. Unlike the Nordheimers, though, Cimmerians are generally darker-skinned, almost as much so as the Picts, a race they despise from a rivalry that has outlasted the very Cataclysm. And like the Picts, the Cimmerians are adept climbers, able to find purchase in any rock-face or tree and scale it quickly and without fear. In temperament, Cimmerians are a dour and moody lot, practical, yet proud, prone to both brooding and boastfulness, often maddened by the futility of life. Cimmerians only exult in the heat of battle, and the rest of the time their moods are black and occasionally morose.

To Cimmerians, family and kin are the strongest bonds, and clans spread across settlements and throughout the land, so that they might find kinfolk far and wide. It is a rare Cimmerian that is curious about the world beyond their village, much less showing an interest in anything outside their grim and bleak country. Their language is their own, and is not spoken outside their lands. It has little in common with the speech of other folk and has more to do with the Atlantean strain than any of the Hyborian tongues spoken by their neighbors to the south, or the language of the Nordheimer.

Cimmerians as a people are independent and clannish, and are stubborn foes, holding fast in their hills, their valleys, and their bogs, resisting even the ancient Acheronians, who could gain no purchase against them, leaving the fierce hill-men to their own rocky abode. Many have tried to unite them, to no avail. Generally, the greatest of their leaders is little more than a glorified clan chief claiming to be king or queen, but such boasts are empty and meaningless when one’s own neighbors show little interest in respecting any claim of rule.

Lands of the Hyborian Age

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