The Tharn are a race of bestial, cannibalistic barbarians that live in the wilderness of western Immoren and worship the Devourer Wurm. They are one of the strongest allies of the Circle Orboros and make up half of their standing army, with the other filled by the Wolves of Orboros. Since the time of the ancient Molgur, the forests have echoed with their savage cries. In the Thornwood alone they once numbered in the tens of thousands, living in tuaths and led by powerful kings or chieftains. Though their population dwindled drastically, the Tharn are once more on the rise as a result of an alliance with the blackclads, who helped save them from extinction.
The Tharn arose among the Devourer-worshipping human tribes of the Molgur. Some tribes could channel the Devourer's power to flow into their bodies, transforming into hulking brutes with bestial strength and savagery. The Tharn ranked among the most fearsome warriors of the Molgur. Through countless generations of devotion and sacrifice to their hungry god, Tharn have transformed into something other than human—which they now see as prey. They deem it their primal birthright to channel the Devourer into their bodies, transforming into bestial warriors or preternaturally swift hunters.
After the fall of Horfar Grimmr and the Molgur to Priest-King Golivant, the Tharn survived the early Menite crusades, as did several other wild human tribes like the Vindol and the Vorgoi. The early blackclads of the newly-formed Circle Orboros integrated themselves to the Tharn and turned their strength against civilisation when possible. Tharn chiefs made promises to the blackclads that have been passed down through generations.
Records from the Orgoth occupation make scant mention of Tharn, though it was the scribes of that time who first used the name. Records of barbarian attacks and Orgoth reprisals survive, but they indicate few clashes after the invaders claimed Tharn territories.
The Tharn generally did not contest lands the Orgoth desired. Instead, they moved to regions of little use to the invaders, although the Orgoth did drive them from the Thornwood and elsewhere. After the defeat of the Orgoth, the Tharn had greater liberty to raid into the newly formed Iron Kingdoms. They destroyed whole villages and murdered isolated columns of soldiers before falling into obscurity and returning to the Thornwood, where they became most numerous.
In 293 AR, Tharn tribes of the northern Thornwood were convinced by Queen Cherize of Khador to terrorise northern Cygnar. Although they enjoyed a glut of bloodsheed to offer the Wurm, the Cygnaran Army retaliated against them, resulting in heavy casualties. The Tharn had no interest in claiming territory and willingly gave up ground when the Cygnarans rallied against them, but the Church of Morrow declared a holy war against the Tharn, calling it a battle against the darkness itself. Morrowan knights and priests fought alongside Cygnaran soldiers against the Tharn, loaning their spiritual power to the war. Decrying them as abhorrent, the Exordeum invoked a withering curse against the Tharn known as the Ten Ills. The curse made them impossible to recover their numbers.
Survivors of the war soon became too few to risk their lives in battle. The Tharn withdrew to the deeper forests and mountains, and lost sizeable portions of the Thornwood to rival trollkin kriels.
By 575 AR, Morvahna the Autumnblade led a cabal of blackclads to lift the Ten Ills, after which the Tharn immediately experienced a dramatic upsurge in births. The Tharn have rapidly regained their former numbers and have committed utterly and completely to the wars of the blackclads.
Nearly all aspects of Tharn culture revolve around Devourer worship and the desire to become perfect predators in the name of their god. They show obeisance to the Wurm through many rituals, often tied to the cycle of the moons and incorporating elements of sacrifice, bloodletting, and the hunt.
Tharn society is chaotic and primal, with the strong ruling the weak. Life is a swift and unforgiving cycle of battles and revelry. Given the violence of their society, longevity requires peerless skill; eager to seize their own glory, the young watch their elders for any sign of weakness. An elder who remains strong is highly respected, while one who can no longer hunt may be killed or driven out.
The Tharn speak Molgur-Tharn, a guttural dialect of Molgur full of hard consonants and only a few, sparsely used vowels. Its simplicity allows the Tharn to communicate with one another even while transformed; more nuanced speech is difficult to pronounce, but Molgur-Tharn is easily growled. The Tharn are not literate but instead have a strong oral tradition for maintaining tribal lore and family histories.