The Galeborne are a mysterious race of giant humanoids characterized by unparalleled brutality and savagery. Not native to Erdea, they arrived from across the oceans centuries ago, their true origins unknown even to them.
At the most basic level, the Galeborne resemble giant humans; twice as tall as the average man, both genders have powerful, muscular builds with thick limbs and bodies. Despite this, they move with a frightening speed and seem far more agile then their hulking frames would suggest. Their features are heavy and craggy, sometimes appearing weathered beyond their years.
Their skin is typically fair, but they are often tanned and appear darker then they actually are. Their hair ranges from black to near-white, however, blond and red seem to be the most common colours. Hair is usually worn thick and long and often braided, and most men sport thick beards. Their eyes are usually black or brown, but blue eyes also appear; some females also have bright yellow eyes, but this seems to be exceptionally rare.
The Galeborne appear to be supernaturally tough and resilient; they can withstand the harshest of conditions, and have been known to shrug off horrible wounds that would cripple most others. Similarly, they seem to be very resistant to disease. Their strength is said to match an Ogre's and their stamina is, if anything, greater. The Galeborne live for about a hundred years, but it is rare for a one to die of old age.
From what can be determined, the Galeborne live in a self-perpetuating cycle of constant battle. Their philosophy seems to be to battle in order to become stronger so they can battle further. Certainly, by all appearances, they seem to live for violence and bloodshed; to them it is the center of their existence. To die in battle is the greatest honor that can be achieved; however, those that this surrounded by the fallen corpses of their innumerable foes are hailed as the greatest of their kind.
Conversely, they expect every member of the community to join in battle; being unwilling to fight is viewed as cowardice and weakness. Violence, to their mind, is the way to resolve any matter. Disputes are resolved in battle between the combatants; leaders are chosen from battles between the claimants and so forth. Mercy and kindness are despised as weaknesses; the rule is to kill or be killed. Despite their love of violence, they are neither suicidal nor fatalistic; they know when a battle is hopeless, and know when not to fight. If things turn against them, all but the most hardened warriors will be willing to retreat, accepting that today's temporary defeat can be turned into a glorious victory tomorrow.
They seem to have very little life outside of battle; everything they do seems to be in preparation for the next conflict. Their art is limited primarily to decorative weapons and armour, their storytelling and legends are chiefly about great battles and glorious victories. They seem to have very little respect for other races, seeing them simply as foes to be defeated; however, they will work with other races from time to time, if only as an opportunity for more violence.
Magic use is almost non-existent amongst the Galeborne; it appears that they never had many spell casters amongst their numbers and, like most other races, those numbers have withered over time. Curiously, most of their magic users appear to be the rare, yellow-eyed females. Those individuals, even if not combatants, seem to wield far greater power within their communities.
The exact origins of the Galeborne are unknown; they first appeared about five hundred years ago, their ships appearing from the oceans and attacking the west coast of the Erdea. At first, their ferocity served them well; they carved out a substantial kingdom for themselves, made of the bloody conquests of the native humans. However, over time, their kingdom fell into infighting and territorial disputes between individual clans. The humans took advantage of this, driving them back.
Today the Galeborne have no homeland as such; instead, isolated communities can be found scattered across western Erdea. Attempts to drive them out or exterminate them have proven to be largely unsuccessful, the Galeborne proving to resilient and strong to be fully defeated. Interestingly enough, they seem to have no idea of their own history, or where they came from. Some scholars speculate that they may have come from Darklonia; however as that continent remains unexplored, the truth will probably never be known.
Their communities are clan-based; the leader of the clan is the strongest warrior; however, leadership is not hereditary. Any warrior can challenge for leadership of the community. In order to do such, however, not only must he prove his prowess as a warrior and have an unblemished history, but he must also defeat the current leader in combat. In most field,s men and women are seen as equals; the exception being the rare female casters. It is rare that a clan leader will be female, however many of the greatest leaders have had a female advisor.
Galeborne communities usually consist of heavily fortified, entirely self-contained villages. They never trade with communities outside their own, preferring to take what they need.