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The Reghedmen were the barbarian tribes of Icewind Dale, also known as the men of the tundra. They eked out a harsh and bitter life between the Reghed Glacier and the Sea of Moving Ice. The Reghedman were tall - taller than most southerners by a head. They were fair-haired (blond, red, or light brown) and blue-eyed. Like the majority of barbarians, they were suspicious of magic, equating it with both weakness and evil. The only power they recognized was the power of a man's weapon arm and their god Tempos. Each tribe was formally ruled by a king. Known tribes were the Tribe of the Elk, the Tribe of the Wolf, the Tribe of the Bear, the Tribe of the Tiger, the Tribe of the Seal and the Tribe of the Caribou. However, by the late 1480s DR only the tribes of the Elk, Tiger, Wolf, and Bear remained.
These beast totems were also great spirits, similar to the beast totems of the Uthgardt. Unlike the Uthgardt, reghedmen shamans could not call upon a beast power, however, extremely motivated or experienced shamans had been known to become possessed by the spirits of their totem animals.
In the past, the reghedmen were hostile toward the Ten-Towns and raided them relatively frequently. In 1351 DR, the reghedmen sought to invade the Ten Towns, only to be repulsed by an unexpected alliance of the towns and the dwarves of Kelvin's Cairn. Heafstaag, the wily and powerful king of the Tribe of the Elk, allied the tribes with Akar Kessell for the evil wizard's help in taking revenge on the Ten-Towns. Wulfgar, a barbarian youth whose life was spared by the dwarf Bruenor Battlehammer, slew Heafstaag in a challenge and became king. He brought the barbarians to the Ten Towns, but as allies, not enemies. With their aid, the townsfolk repulsed Kessell's horde but barely fifty reghedmen warriors had survived the battle against Kessel's army - and the particularly harsh winter that followed killed many women and children - forcing them to realise that they did not have the numbers to survive.
Relatively few reghedmen roamed the wilderness after that. The survivors dwelled in the Ten-Towns, mostly in Bremen and Caer-Konig while others went south to Settlestone, learning the ways of civilization and rebuilding their strength. Over the next couple of decades though, more and more tribesmen decided to return to their traditional ways, splitting along similar tribal lines. Two new tribes sprang up, the tribes of the Seal and Caribou but they were both eventually absorbed into the Tribe of the Elk which had again emerged as the strongest of the reghedmen tribes.
Over a century later in 1485 DR the tribes of the Wolf and Tiger were barely managing to exist out on the tundra. The Tribe of the Tiger tried to gain entry to Bremen during the winter of that year but were refused by suspicious townsfolk, forcing them to make camp on the northwest shore of Maer Dualdon where they suffered repeated attacks from beasts. The Tribe of the Wolf took shelter against the wind in the lee of the Spine of the World near Ironmaster but lost its king in the journey. The Elk and Bear tribes were much more prosperous, although over the past year the Tribe of the Bear had come under Auril's sway and they had begun to exclusively worship the Frostmaiden in a makeshift temple in the lair of the dead dragon Icingdeath. The Elk tribe too was experiencing problems as the tribe's king Jarund Elkhardt was getting old and had no heir to follow him.