I have been fortunate enough to learn much of the barbarians' complicated history in my time. Yet the origins of these large, mighty warriors are hazy at best. Legend holds that they are the offspring of Bul-Kathos, an ancient who embodied their ideals of strength, bravery, and courage.
The Children of Bul-Kathos settled in the Northern Steppes, an area that is now known as the Dreadlands. Theirs was primarily a nomadic and tribal culture, though they had a few permanent settlements such as Sescheron and Harrogath. A group of revered former warriors known as the elder council ruled the barbarians.
The barbarians have always defended their lands in the north from trespassers. They believe that it is their sacred charge to guard Mount Arreat and the Worldstone within it from the outside world. Unfortunately, their battle prowess and tenacity have been misinterpreted as bloodthirst and territorial savagery by soldiers in Westmarch.
Twenty years ago, Baal was loosed upon the world. He besieged the barbarian capital of Sescheron and used treachery to access the Worldstone Chamber, circumventing the three ancient guardians Talic, Madawc, and Korlic. In the end, he succeeded in corrupting the great artifact. Though Baal was slain by heroes, his damage was irreversible.
The archangel Tyrael shattered the corrupted Worldstone to prevent the demons from using it. But the impact of the explosion destroyed Mount Arreat, leaving a massive crater in its wake. With nothing to protect, the barbarians grew aimless and divided. Now they are scattered through the north among the ruins of their long history.