The Beornings were the people of Beorn, those who held him and his scions as their chieftain. Probably counted among their number were the close kin and direct descendants of Beorn, such as his son Grimbeorn, as well as more distant kin and other followers. As a people, the Beornings were among the descendants of the Northmen, being related to the Woodmen of Rhovanion, the Men of Dale, and the Rohirrim. The tongue of the Beornings seems to have been very closely related, possibly mutually intelligible, to that of the Rohirrim, for the name of the line’s progenetor is given translated into Old English, the same language used to translate that of the Rohirrim (Beorn, Old English personal name meaning “bear”; compare to Old Norse Björn, of the same meaning, which would be the translation of the equivalent name in the tongue of the Men of Dale). Beorn himself was a skin-changer, able to change his shape to that of a bear, probably by donning a ber-serkr (O.N. “bear-shirt”, a garment made of a bear’s hide) and entering a furious rage (this is the origin of the term “berserker”), and we are told that some or all of the men of his line had this ability as well.
This little Beorning is the son of the son of Grimbeorn the Old. What a day he has had! His father and mother keep a beecroft, and early this morning the family of three went down from their cottage to check on their many hives, carefully collecting honeycomb, wax, and royal jelly. Their labours completed at last, the family enjoys a picnic among the flowers in the bee yard before returning to their snug cottage.
Worn out from his eventful day, the little Beorning, still wearing his ber-gríma (his bear-mask) in immitation of his mighty father and his father before him, prepares to curl up for a deep sleep. But what’s this? Has someone been sleeping in his little bed? His face wrinkles in confusion and displeasure, but his small squeaks of anger are as nothing compared to ferocity with which he will one day be endowed! Fortunately, the misunderstanding is soon resolved and not only does the little Beorning now have a new flaxen-haired playmate, but he is safely tucked in to bed, dreaming of the honey he’ll eat tomorrow.
Why on earth would bears live in a cottage and sleep in beds, or have picnics for that matter? I thought I’d reconstruct an answer to that question and create a cute Harvestmath guise at the same time by turning to the lore of Middle-earth: clearly those bears must really have been skin-changers! (Note that Goldilocks also happens to be the name of the one of Sam’s daughters.) While writing this post, I’ve realized that I have a lot more that I’d like to say about skin-changers in Middle-earth, but I think that will have to wait for another (more serious) post in the future!
You could extend this guise into a great four-person group cosmtume as well, perhaps by repeating the same costume on a Man and a Woman (maybe using the Visage of the Bear from the Store in place of Avornhar on the mother and father bears) and recruiting a golden-haired Hobbit-lass with pigtails to play the part of Goldilocks.
- Head: Avornhar (quest reward — Hunter  The Hunter’s Path), navy
- Shoulders: Westfold Campaign Shoulder Pads (crafted — tailor T7), umber
- Back: Heavy Fur Dunlending Cloak (quest reward — Dunland  Captain of Fangs), rust
- Chest: Blacksmith’s Apron (purchased — any outfit vendor), rust
- Hands: Oven Mitts (bartered — skirmish camp cosmetics quartermaster/cosmetic items), orange
Tips: There are a number of medium armour helms that drop in highler level zones which share the same skin as Avornhar, and it is also available for purchase from the Store under the name Ceremonial Avornhar. It is also available as the Archer’s Cover (bartered — Gath Forthnír reputation vendor/Council of the North reputation).
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