..Arrakis / Dune A filmbook 1996-2004 Vers. 3.0

- The Fremen -

The Fremen culture changes significantly over the course of the Dune books. Given here is a rough template of the pre-Atreides era Fremen common on Arrakis during the Harkonnen occupation. These are essentially the Fremen encountered at the beginning of the book, Dune, but their culture already has begun to change by the end of that book -- change in very significant ways. Fremen Kempo, while not specifically discussed by Frank Herbert,wpe235.jpg (9978 bytes) can be derived from descriptions of Fremen history in conjunction with their daily life and activities. The Fremen -- prior to the arrival of the Atreides -- are a seminomadic people whose tribal culture is well suited to the hostile planet and its oppressive Harkonnen governors. Fremen education consists not of formal schooling in specific subject areas but of a total life training. A child is trained by all members of the tribe from his earliest days until maturity. The life and safety of the tribe depends upon each person's ability to observe the water discipline of the sietch and to know how to conduct himself on the dangerous open sands of Dune.

The Fremen are renowned fighters, and Advantages like Combat Reflexes, Immunity to Pain, and Toughness are common among their ranks. Because of the harsh environment of Arrakis, most Fremen with physical disadvantages do not survive, and even mental disadvantages can be fatal if they led to acting without considering the consequences. The Fremen are considered a worthless race of people by the Harkonnen government. Duty to the sietch, Intolerance of outsiders, and a lesser Status are common traits. Most Fremen are vicious in battle and their duels are to the death, not first blood.wpe234.jpg (1617 bytes)  The life of the desert leaves very little time to put on weight. Many Fremen are Skinny, and none of them are overweight. Due to life in a stillsuit, most Fremen also have a strong body odor which is mildly offensive to non-Fremen.

All Fremen are addicted to the drug, melange.

All Fremen possesses a high proficiency in Desert Survival , Camouflage, Stealth, Knife Throwing, Sandworm Riding , and the unique Fremen martial arts style: Fremen Kempo.

Fremen do not use Force Shields, as they a enrage sandworms and are prone to malfunction in the desert. This skill and its corresponding attack styles are not normally available to Fremen.

Fremen Kempo

This is the martial art of the Fremen natives to Arrakis. Almost unknown to the general population of the Imperium, Fremen Kempo is a dynamic combat style. Its roots are found in the ancient teachings of predecessors of the Zensunni wanderers who first colonized Arrakis. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different branches of the style, from "soft" styles similar to ancient T'ai Chi wpe236.jpg (4051 bytes)to "hard" styles not unlike kickboxing, and numerous variations in between as the various Fremen sietches personalize their own style. A mixed bag of the extremes is described here. There is a considerable body of legend around the Fremen and their role in the Imperium history. Their ferocity in battle is unrivaled in the galaxy.

The Fremen weapon of choice is the crysknife, a knife made from the tooth of a sandworm. It is considered most sacred by the Fremen. The tip, the hollow once occupied by the tooth's nerve, customarily holds a small amount of the most deadly poison available, most often a mixed derivative of the native desert plants. Fremen usually attempted to avoid killing a respected enemy with the tip of the blade; poison was considered a weapon more suitable for use against animals than humans. Other weapons included the kindjal, a curved, double-bladed short sword, short sticks, staffs, weighted chains, and whips. Weaponless combat also plays an important part in this style, with strikes, locks and throws being used.

Training is very intensive, designed to develop flexibility and speed more than strength.


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