The Fourth Age
Men of Nurn
Men of Núrn
For a thousand years, first secretly and then openly, the lands around the Sea of Núrnen were worked by slaves to feed the orcs of Mordor. Núrn is a semi-arid plain, the only fertile part of Mordor, where the ash from Mount Doom enriches the soil. Núrn’s native people were enslaved by the Dark Lord, who added to their numbers other slaves imported from among the Easterlings and the Haradrim. After the Dark Lord’s defeat, King Elessar freed the slaves and granted them Núrn as their own country. Some returned to their homes, but others had no other homes to return to. They became a new people, a new culture, united by their shared experience of slavery beneath the Dark Lord and their shared future building something new — the Men of Núrn.
Standard of Living
Núrn is the only fertile part of Mordor, but it is still a semi-arid plain tainted by ancient evil that does not fade in a mere century. Its people know how to live in this land, but it is never an easy land to live in. They are a Frugal people.
Adventurers from Núrn
The Men of Núrn are united by a bitter history of slavery and abuse. Some of them see adventuring as their only way to find a better life that will never be simply handed to them. Others see it as their duty to take their knowledge of and resistance to the Shadow and put it to use to fight it wherever it may go.
Suggested Callings: Slayer, Treasure Hunter. Many from Núrn are motivated simply by desperation and the desire for a better life, making them willing to explore ancient barrows and cursed places for the chance to find a treasure that will improve their lot. Others carry the scars of their encounters with the Shadow and now carry a desire for vengeance in their hearts.
Unusual Calling: Scholar. The simple, desperate life one finds in Núrn rarely leaves time, energy, or resources for such leisured activities as reading and careful study.
Núrn lay under the shadow of the Dark Lord for a thousand years. Sauron fell and a century has passed, but Mordor remains a blighted place, even so. Men of Núrn do not have to roll Corruption tests for spending time in Blighted Lands. When making Corruption tests, they can roll the Feat die twice and take either result.
Endurance: 26 + Heart
Hope: 6 + Heart
Copy the following skill ranks onto the character sheet and underline the favored skill:
Choose one of the following two Weapon skill sets and record it on your character sheet:
- (Spears) 2, Bow 1, Dagger 1
- Great Spear 2, Bow 1, Dagger 1
Choose two traits from: Beast-lore, Fire-making, Herb-lore, Mordor-lore, Mountaineer, Stone-craft
1 — Restless Farmer
Your grandfather farmed this land as a slave of Sauron. Your father farmed it as a freed man. It is a hard life, and you often find yourself wondering what freedom means if you remain bound to the same cycles forever more.
Basic Attributes: Body 6, Heart 5, Wits 3
Favored Skill: Athletics
Distinctive Features: (Choose two traits from those listed) Determined, Forthright, Grim, Gruff, Hardy, Robust, Stern, Wary
2 — Orc-blood
Sauron oversaw many despicable eugenics projects to create creatures like goblin-men and uruk-hai. Some of those breeding experiments appear in your family tree, creating a line back to the first elves twisted into orcs by Morgoth.
Basic Attributes: Body 7, Heart 3, Wits 4
Favored Skill: Battle
Distinctive Features: (Choose two traits from those listed) Cunning, Fierce, Grim, Gruff, Hardy, Vengeful, Wary, Wrathful
3 — Enemy of Shadow
Many servants of the old Enemy still lurk in the Plateau of Gorgoroth — servants that you have hunted for many years.
Basic Attributes: Body 6, Heart 4, Wits 4
Favored Skill: Awareness
Distinctive Features: (Choose two traits from those listed) Bold, Cunning, Elusive, Fierce, Grim, Hardened, Keen-eyed, Swift
4 — Seeker of Harad
You trace your lineage to ancient Harad. Before their enslavement by the Dark Lord, before the colonization of Númenor, your people lived in peace. They are remembered in the histories of the Dúnedain only as enemies, but they forget that it was their Númenorean ancestors who first invaded Harad. You seek to rediscover and restore the ancient customs of your people, from a time before corruption.
Basic Attributes: Body 3, Heart 6, Wits 5
Favored Skill: Riddle
Distinctive Features: (Choose two traits from those listed) Curious, Determined, Fair-spoken, Fierce, Forthright, Honorable, Proud, True-hearted
5 — Mountain Guide
Mordor remains a dangerous place. There are old evils that still lurk within it, and its mountains attract bandits and outlaws from without. When men from Gondor come in pursuit of criminals or to hunt down some den of orcs, they hire men from Núrn who know the land to be their guides.
Basic Attributes: Body 5, Heart 6, Wits 3
Favored Skill: Travel
Distinctive Features: (Choose two traits from those listed) Adventurous, Cautious, Forthright, Hardened, Hardy, Keen-eyed, Quick of Hearing, Trusty
6 — Singer
Mordor is still the land where the shadows lie. Mournful, beautiful dirges help express that grief. But you also know ancient songs of joy that your ancestors sang at night to keep their spirits from breaking during the centuries of their enslavement. The Dark Land would hardly seem like a place for song, but you know that there is no place in Middle-earth that needs it more.
Basic Attributes: Body 3, Heart 7, Wits 4
Favored Skill: Song
Distinctive Features: (Choose two traits from those listed) Fair-spoken, Lordly, Quick of Hearing, Robust, Steadfast, True-hearted, Wary, Willful
- Main language: Westron
- Secondary langauge: The Black Speech
Names of the Men of Núrn
Most of the Men of Núrn can trace their lineage to both Easterlings and Southrons. They draw their names from both traditions, so that one sibling might bear a name from Rhûn, while another might bear a name from Harad.
Male Names: Abaan, Adnan, Al Tufayl, Amr, Amro, Aqil, Bakr, Borlach, Borlad, Borthand, Brodda, Bór, Böri (Wolf), Dirar, Edgü (Good), Ghasaan (Ardor), Gizik (Storm), Göktîg (Sky-Arrow), Haarith, Haashim, Hannad, Hudhafah, Hudhayfah, Huthayfah, Ikrimah (Female Pigeon), Jibran, Jubayr, Kargî (Spear), Kemik (Bone), Khaldoon, Khuzaymah, Kiliç (Sword), Kustîg (Bird-Arrow), Lubayd, Maazin, Maltök (Beast-Strong), Margöz (Snake-Eye), Marwan, Mus’ab, Muthanna, Nawfal (Sea), Nizar, Qusay, Sacal (Beard), Sufyan (Rock), Ubaadah, Ubayy (High Self-Esteem), Udayl, Uldor, Ulfang, Ulfast, Ulwarth, Umaarah, Umar, Umayr, Utbah, Waqqas, Yaban (Wild), Yaman, Yazan, Yiltîg (Wind-Arrow), Yumruk (Fist)
Female Names: Ana (Mother), Da’d, Firyal, Hind, Katun (Woman), Khawlah, Kuzu (Lamb), Mawiyah, May, Nusaybah, Oyna (Dance), Ramlah, Rudaynah, Rumaylah, Rumaythah, Sawda, Suhayr, Sumayyaa, Tamadhur, Tîgeke (Arrow-Sister), Tîgkiz (Arrow-Maid), Usaymah, Yileke (Wind-Sister), Yilkiz (Wind-Maid), Yusraa
Adventuring Age (14-30)
The Men of Núrn must grow up more quickly than others, like the Dúnedain, so some may set off on adventures at ages as young as 14. They do not live as long as the men in other lands, either, so by the time they have seen 30 years, they may be considered old.
Caragors are far too vicious to domesticate, but inspired by the old legends of the Gravewalker, the Men of Núrn have discovered that with patience and toughness they can form a personal bond with a specific caragor, which may become strong enough to even ride it. After you take this virtue, you have a new Fellowship phase action available when you go home: Tame Caragor. This allows you to form a bond with an individual caragor. Name it. You can now bring your caragor with you on future Adventuring phases. At the beginning of a combat, spend a point of Hope to activate your caragor. For any roll in that combat that your caragor would affect, you can use your character or the caragor for the roll. When you are with your caragor, you can also roll the Feat die twice for any roll using Awe and keep the higher result.
Resilience to Shadow
No other people in Middle-earth have learned resilience to the Shadow as the Men of Núrn have. When you take this virtue, remove one point of permanent Shadow. You can now regain a point of Hope each time you succeed on a Corruption test.
The Gift of Men
The Gift — or the Doom — of Men is their mortality. This frees them, too, from the Music of the Ainur, and grants them the free will to make their own destiny. When you have are wise enough to understand mortality as a gift, raise your maximum Hope score by 1 point, and when you die, double the heroic heritage you pass on to your heir.
Slavery is a terrible thing, for even when the shackles are removed from your limbs, they may yet linger upon your spirit. It is hard to learn to think in terms other than master and slave, owner and property, and it is hard to teach your children any other way. You know that the liberation of your people continues to this day — the liberation of minds and spirits from the Enemy’s terms of domination, property, and power. When trying to inspire people to cast off their bonds or to act as free people with Inspire, or try to free slaves with any skill, add one Success die to your roll.
The elves of Mirkwood believe themselves bitter enemies of the Shadow, but what have they suffered at the hands of the Enemy that could be compared to the experience of the Men of Núrn? When you are fighting in a Forward stance against servants of the Shadow (including spiders, orcs, trolls, and Morgoth-worshippers), add one Success die to all your attack rolls (up to a maximum of six).
Fell Spear (Great Spear)
These terrible spears were once wielded by uruk-hai captains and powerful servants of the Dark Lord. The Men of Núrn liberate these weapons and turn them against their former masters. If you get a Gandalf rune on the Feat die when attacking with a Bitter Spear, you get a +4 bonus to your Injury rating.
Red Armor (Armor)
In Harad, warriors wear bright red livery. Among the Men of Núrn, banded armor with flowing, bright, red cloth worked into it has become the mark of an honored warrior. When making a roll using Awe, roll the Feat die twice and keep the best result.
Uruk Shield (great shield)
The uruk-hai were equipped with strong, broad shields, which the Men of Núrn have taken from their dead. When using an Uruk Shield, your Parry bonus gets an additional +3 against ranged weapons.
Receive Title: Hero of Núrn
If you take the Receive Title Fellowship action with the men of Núrn, you will be acclaimed as a hero of their people. They do not have much to offer in terms of lands to go with that title, but you will receive a warm welcome and all the hospitality that the men of Núrn can offer in any of their villages.