The Fimir are creatures of mist and darkness, and shun bright light. When they travel outside their strongholds in the daylight hours, their mists always move with them, shielding them from the sun and making their numbers almost impossible to assess.
Fimir communities consist almost entirely of males, and are divided into four castes. The lowest caste is that of the Shearl, or thralls - a caste of servitors and menials; next is the caste of Fimm, or warriors, to which the bulk of Fimir nobility belongs and from which the race takes its name. Then there are the Dirach, or demonfriends, a small but powerful caste of magicians. Most feared of all, however, are the Meargh, or hags, the witch-queens that rule over Fimir strongholds. The Meargh are the only female Fimir.
Fimir frequently mount raids on isolated human farms and villages, in search of food and captives. The Meargh are sterile and so the Fimir abduct Human women, though their offspring are always full-blooded Fimir rather than crossbreeds. The caste of the young Fimir is evident from birth and females are very rare, being born perhaps once a century in any stronghold. When a female is born, it is usually killed, unless the Meargh in charge of the stronghold is old and near death. In these cases, it will be raised by the Meargh as a daughter and successor.
Fimir raiding parties generally consist of a dozen or so Fimm and a roughly equal number of Shearl, under the command of a young noble. In coastal areas, they travel in low-hulled, black longships. Occasionally, there may also be one Dirach in a raiding party, to whom the leader will usually defer. Larger units are known in time of war, and a Meargh will take the field with her entire people in defence of a stronghold, along with as many demons as she and her Dirach can summon. The Fimir appear to be on friendly terms with demons generally, and it is rumoured that some of their Human captives are used for trade with their demonic allies.
Favourite weapons are great heavy maces and axes, which a Human would need both hands to wield; some Fimir, especially the nobility, go into battle with one of these weapons in either hand. Fimir do not generally use missile weapons, since the fog which is their natural element precludes missile fire.
Fimir are generally of low intelligence and invariably use force rather than wit to solve problems. The Dirach, however, do approach Human intelligence, while the Meargh are possessed of a great and terrible cunning, and they rule by fear as much as much as by respect for tradition.
Little is known of the religion and deities of the Fimir; it may be that they worship certain of the more powerful Greater Demons to whom they are allied or the unknown being or beings whom those demons serve.
Fimir dress in an almost Human fashion, but always leave the legs, arms, and tail bare. The Fimm often wear shirts of chainmail in battle and nobles favour long cloaks fastened at the shoulder by heavy brooches of gold set with gems. Garnet is a particular favourite, being the colour of Human blood. Dirach and Meargh wear long, drab-coloured robes and cloaks.
Having a single eye, Fimir lack depth perception and it is though that they use their magical mist to compensate for this, judging opponents' distance by how clearly they can be seen.
Most Fimir can live for about 200 years. Dirach live to about twice that age and Meargh are almost immortal - ages in excess of 2,000 years are not uncommon.
The Fimir are roughly humanoid, with great barrel-like chests, short, powerful legs ending in three-toed clawed feet, and long sinewy arms which reach almost to the ground. Their bodies are broad and strong, with powerful muscles hidden under a layer of surface fat which gives them a deceptively soft appearance. Their heads are large and almost hairless, with a flabby, potato-like surface, and taper slightly to a noseless tusked snout. There is a single, pupil-less, amber or milk-white eye set lown down in their head, and in place of ears, the sides of their skulls have two honeycombed areas beneath the skin which act as sounding-boards. Fimir have broad, hunched shoulders, and average about 6 feet in height, although they can rear up to a height of about 8 feet. They have powerful, snakelike tails, which average about 6 feet in length. Their hides are smooth and leathery and colour varies from buff to a light olive green.
The Thralls are distinguished by their slightly smaller build and smooth tails.
The Warriors have tails set with a row of bony knobs and tipped with a knobbed bony excrescence which looks much like a heavy mace. Nobles have a spiked tail furnished with a terrible cleaver-like blade at the end. The number of spikes and the size of the tail-blade is a source of great pride.
The Magicians have slightly narrower heads with two or more horns growing from the top or sides. Their tails are smooth.
The Witch-Queens differ in that their heads are covered in lank, greasy hair, generally dark green or blue-black. They frequently have horns, although these are smaller than those of the Dirach. Their skin is heavily wrinkled, indicating the great age to which they can live. Like the Dirach, their tails are smooth.
Dirach and Meargh have the ability to generate a magical fog, which surrounds groups of Fimir on the move in daylight. This can cover a radius of 3 yards per magic point expended and lasts until dispelled, but is otherwise similar to the level 2 Battle Magic spell Mystic Mist. Any character entering a Fimir mist must make a successful WP test or suffer a 10% penalty to Ld, Cl, and WP while in the mist. By doubling the magic point cost, the mist can be made mildly poisonous, causing all non-Fimir who enter it to make a Poison test or suffer streaming eyes and coughing (M -1, WS -10, S -1, I -10, Dex -10, Ld -10, Cl -10, WP -10). Missile fire is impossible within a Fimir mist.
Fimir can see 15 yards through fog, mist, or smoke and have Night Vision to a similar distance. They suffer no movement penalties when in a fog. Without a surrounding mist to help them judge distances, WS is reduced by 5% and BS by 20%.
Fimir have one or two weapon attacks; Fimm also have a tail attack, which can be to the side or rear. This is treated as a weapon attack (mace or axe) rather than a tail-lash.
The following profile is for a Shearl; members of the other castes may be treated as Champions (Fimm Warriors), Minor Heroes (Fimm Nobles), level 1 Wizards (Diarach), and level 2-4 Wizards (Meargh).