Barbarian Desert Scalvin

The Scalvins

Scalvin Tribe

al'Saqlab (Aubaydi Title)



The Scalvin (Σκλαβηγοι (Sclavini)), known in the Aubayd Caliphate as the Saqlab are among the most mobile of Barbarians on the continent. They are based in the Slaverlands and the neighboring Deserts of the area, ranging throughout the region in a desperate war against their former captors.

The Scalvin are masters of ambush and escape, using their knowledge of the sands to avoid Pursuitgivers, and to strike at slaver convoys heading into the Slaverlands. They are constantly being hunted down and harassed by allies of the slavers, and by bounty hunters, making them untrusting of outsiders.

Views of Technology

  Unlike most Barbarian groups, the Scalvin are interested in some metal based technologies to aid in their fight for freedom, however suits of metal armor are viewed with great enmity. They are highly suspicious of magic - and all forms of Magic Casting are met with great antagonism, except that of summoning. Summoning Magic is something they themselves practice in various forms - but only Summoning and Healing Magics have been witnessed with signs of appreciation from the Scalvins.

Metal Weaponry


Most metal weaponry (iron, steel, bronze, brass, adamantium)

All Metal Weaponry that is magical

Scalvin Permitted Metal Weaponry:

The Scalvin have been known to use the following metal weaponry:
Daggers, Bastard Swords, Broad Swords, Longswords, Scimitars, Short Swords, Scimitars, and Spears.

Usual - non-metallic weaponry used by the Scalvin include:
Spear, Sling (due to lack of wood for missiles), Darts,
Silver Weapons
  The Scalvin are fascinated by silver - they value it more than gold - which can cause problems in terms of accumulating wealth and carrying it all. However, they value it not because of it's monetary value but rather because of it's effects on weaponry. They will melt down silver to place it as coating over their weaponry - often going so far as to coat some of their teeth in the metal or so it is rumored.

In practice, the Barbarian must file down silver pieces and ingots and mix that dust with the powder gained from filing down magical items, this allows the silvered dust to be placed onto any metal weapon of the previous stated types - provided they have at least 1d10X10gp worth of silver dust on them and preferably the weapon itself will be an alloy of silver too (normally 1D4 X normal value).

Non Weapon Proficiencies

From the start the Scalvin Barbarian automatically gains the following three Non Weapon Proficiencies (Free):

Riding, Land-based (Horse or Camel) 1 Wisdom 3 Player's Handbook (pg. 62) PHB 62

Animal Training (Horse or Camel) 1 Wisdom 0 Player's Handbook (pg. 56) PHB 56

  Animal Lore 1 Intelligence 0 Player's Handbook (pg. 56) PHB 56

Beyond this, other Non Weapon Proficiencies must be purchased as normal - unless stated otherwise.

  By Level 3 they are expected to have learned:
Direction Sense 1 Wisdom 1 Player's Handbook (pg. 56) PHB 56, and

  Fire-building 1 Wisdom -1 Player's Handbook (pg. 58) PHB 58

  By level 5 they are expected to gain:
Animal Handling 1 Wisdom -1 Player's Handbook (pg. 56) PHB 56

Falconry 1 Wisdom -1 The Complete Ranger's Handbook (pg. 83) CRang 83


Riding, Horse Specialization 1 Wisdom 4 Al-Qadim Arabian Adventures (pg. 76) AlQadim 76  

  By level 7 the Barbarian must gain:
Weather Sense 1 Wisdom -1 Player's Handbook (pg. 65) PHB 65 (Sandstorm detection speciality)

Metal Armor

All metal armor is prohibited.

Magical Non-metal armor is acceptable if plain in appearance

Shields are permitted but not commonly used.

Magical Item Usage

  Standard for Barbarians - but they are most especially against Mage related magical items.


Scalvins trade with other ethnicities - most especially Garama. As with all Barbarian tribes they will trade in magic metal item dust.

Naming Traditions

Family names

All family names of the Scalvin must include at least one of the following letters: I, V, X, L, C, D and M. These letters are the Roman Numerals, and are the basis for numbering of the slaves when they are caught by the Caliphate of Aubayd. The escaped slaves are said to turn part of their number into a part of their family name to show that they have outlived their capture and thrived.


Major language groups and dialects

The language of the Scalvin is Aubaydi. The dialect is said to be changing over time - but each new influx of escaped slaves ensures that the language largely remains the same. Many slaves have second, third and even fourth languages which are their original native tongues from when they were enslaved in the past. (15% only know Aubaydi)

Culture and cultural heritage

The Scalvin celebrate the change of the season into Winter (the shortening of the days) as the Day of Freedom. It is a Freeing from the Heat of the Desert as much as a Freeing of their bodies from the slavery of the Aubaydi.

Average technological level

The nation as a whole is a hunter-gatherer culture with neolithic levels of technology in most areas, but with components of much more advanced ages of technology appearing among the more adventurous of the Scalvin.

Common Etiquette rules

The standard greeting among Scalvin is to say:"May the Moon leave you Unchanged." Shprtened in modern times to: May the Moon.

Common Dress code

The Scalvin wear clothing that allows them to blend in within the barren sand-swept landscape. They are covered from head to toe in robes and headgear that protects their eyes, mouths and nose, from the sand and winds of the area. The coloring of the clothing preferred are therefore browns, yellows, ochres and greys. The armor worn is similarly created from the skins and hides of creatures in the deserts, but other skins are used too.

Metal armor is what was commonly used by the Slavers to encase slaves prior to them being put into gladiatorial games - or literally roasted alive within to be devoured by the demonic servants of the Aubayd Caliphate - anyone seen in metal armor is seen as offering themselves up as a sacrifice and therefore a willing-participant in the empowerment of the Aubayd slave masters.

Art & Architecture

The tribal groups are constantly on the move - rarely staying in one place very long, this is due not only to the scarcity of resources in the desert but also due to them being hunted. Oases are commonly scouted out long before the tribe arrives - to ensure they are not walking into a trap.

Coming of Age Rites

A young Scalvin is given their first piece of silver after having killed an Aubaydi slaver or a member of their family. For this reason, many Scalvin actively maintain some ties to the Aubayd Caliphate as a means by which to more easily slay an easy target when it comes time to come of age. The Scalvin joke among themselves that at least 1 in 20 slaves is actually either a spy or an up - and - coming Scalvin warrior pretending to still be subjugated - but this is said to be an exaggeration. 

Funerary and Memorial customs

A key is always included in the mouth of the body of a Scalvin - and indeed many Scalvin develop the ability to hide keys on their bodies. This is to give the Scalvin a chance to free themselves from death just as they freed themselves in life. 

Common Myths and Legends

The Scalvin are a mixed group of peoples thrown together over centuries. Originally a growing number of groups escaped bondage. The One, Scalvi the First, The Five, a handful of slaves, The Ten - a decade later, and the Fifty - all broke out of bondage and entered into the desert - seeking to survive. It is said that this is another reason why the Roman Numerals are honored still in the culture - as it appears that the escapes have been pre-ordained by the Roman Numerals themselves. The Scalvin still await the escape of the Hundred, and the Thousand.


Beauty Ideals

Fitness and health are a key component of beauty in the Scalvin Tribes - every point of Constitution above 16 gives a Scalvin +05% in reaction bonus among other Scalvin when first meeting them. (Every point below 15 gives a =05% reaction penalty)

Major organizations

The tribes of the Scalvin are a hodge-podge of wanderers, ranging in size from a dozen or fewer in most cases, upto bands of 50 barbarians travelling together. The tribes always keep moving and only seek each other out once every few months during the times of rains and winds, so that all traces of their meetings are guaranteed to be wiped away.

Parent ethnicities
Encompassed species
Related Locations