Rangers of the North
Along the eastern banks of the River Anduin, the benign race of Men called the Beijabar have made their homes for who knows how long. Their dwellings can be found from the point where the River Silverlode joins the Anduin, northward even beyond the isle called the Carrock (not far from the greatest of all the Beijabar: Beorn the Big.) One might wish to call their loose gathering a community, but to better describe it one must borrow a term like “pack” or “den” from the world of animals. For the Beijabar, Men though they are, live together in that sort of languageless, ruleless, instinctive way that a pack of beavers or a den of bears might live.
Leadership rests with the oldest male member of each family unit.
The Beijabar’s daily concerns remain focused on the rigors of daily sustenance: gathering the fruits and nuts on which they live exclusively, tending to their homes of earth and wood. Their great strength is in animal husbandry, for they raise animals so shrewd and gentle, from Cows
and Bees to Bears and mountain lions, that they have come to be able to depend on those animals for the care of their homes, their household tasks, and their children. A Beijabar household is a bustling menagerie of animal workers, none speaking in an articulate tongue, but all moving together intuitively in productive harmony.
The Beijabar speak a curious language, distantly related to other Northman tongues, but enhanced by sounds learned from the animals with which they dwell. They have also learned to dress themselves through lessons from their animals, for they gather shedding fur and spin
and weave it together into dense, thick cloth. The Beijabar mate for life. They raise their children together as a couple, and as a couple they also tend and train their own household beasts, although no Beijabar would consider that he owned his animals.
THE CULT OF THE BEAR
The religion of the Beijabar is pantheistic, worshiping the forces of Nature in every form that manifests its overwhelming powers, from lightning to sunshine, from the full moon to the ever-running waters of the Anduin. Only one force is esteemed above all others, that of the Great Bear Spirit, sacred to the pre-eminent Cult of the Bear (Rh. Bairkyn), for the very being of the Beijabar is associated with the blood of these awesome beasts. The focus of this cult is the worship of Bema (Orome) in rites involving elaborate dancing accompanied by skinchanging
and costumes. These rituals commemorate the gift of Skuiftlaik (Rh. “Shapechanging”) bestowed by
Bema upon the Beijabar in the Elder Days. The Bear shape is said to bring the Beijabar close to their beloved Bema, for the great Vala is a hunter of foul beasts and master of changing ways. (All Valar, of course, possess the latter trait.) In the Elder Days, the Beijabar, in the shape of Great Bears, accompanied Bema into battle against the armies and servants of the Black Enemy. Now they gather in one of their traditional glades to dance and commune with their Fathers. Then they go forth in search of the creatures of Darkness, hunting and killing with brutal determination. This instinctive slaughter runs deep in their blood, and in times of war, or at the sighting of one they call a “monster” (e.g., an Orc or Troll), the Beijabar lord might see fit to revert to the ways of his venerated bear-cousins.
(Source: ICE MERP #2019 Mírkwood)
Beoraborn – a young Bejibar wanderer