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The Thaneeri
A Culture of the World of Therra
by Devin Cutler


Reader Introduction:

This piece is written as background for a third edition D&D campaign to take place in post-Deceiver Therra, on or around the year 5535. However, given the insular nature of Thaneeri society and its relative isolation from events of the Great War of the Deceiver, much of this piece is usable for campaigns taking place before the demise of the Deceiver.

Players of Thaneeri should keep in mind that what is stated here is generally the orthodoxy of the Thaneeri, and that, like in all cultures, exceptions exist.


The Thaneeri are a group of clans that share a common geography, culture, history, and claim origin from the same historical figure, Thaneer. In terms of modern labels, the Thaneeri would qualify as "barbarians", though in the context of the D&D game, Thaneeri are more technologically advanced than what was envisioned for the barbarian character class in both second and are probably at the upper end of barbarian technology for third edition D&D.

The easiest way to describe the Thaneeri, in a blanket sense, is to equate them to real world counterparts. In this sense, the Thaneeri are an amalgam of ancient Celts, Norse Vikings, ancient Scottish Highlanders, and with a bit of ancient Germanic tribes thrown in for good measure. In gaming terms, I will freely admit that the Thaneeri borrow HEAVILY from the Orlanthi of Sartar as presented in Greg Stafford's World of Glorantha, and many of the precepts of the Thaneeri in this piece have been lifted directly from Glorantha (e.g. the saying "Violence is always an option").

Technologically, the Thaneeri are somewhat in the late Iron Age. They know how to forge iron and steel, though such materials are rare enough that while axes and swords and steel arrowheads and spear tips are common, metal armour is rare, usually limited to studded leather armour or, in the case of a very wealthy lord, ringmail. Horses are known but generally disdained by the Thaneeri and it is considered an act of cowardice to ride a beast into battle.


All clans of the Thaneeri claim to have descended from a single ancestor, called Thaneer (who has a myriad of titles appended to him, such as the Great, the First, the All-Father, etc.). The exact origin and nature of Thaneer varies from clan to clan. To some he is said to be an outcast from the peoples who dwell in the frigid wastes of the icy north. To others he is a man driven out of the lands near Imbar. To others he is the son of various gods and goddesses, sent to earth to start a dynasty. There are, in fact, almost as many myths regarding the origin and nature of Thaneer as there are clans.

What is clear is that Thaneer, either alone or with his family and/or retainers, came from his homeland to the then wild and untamed lands on the western shores of the Oto Sea and chose to settle there. Some clans claim he was guided to these lands by omens or by the gods themselves, while others claim it was Thaneer himself who decided that these lands would be the proper place to plant his roots. The time frame for this varies according to local legend, but is often stated to have occurred before the gods went into Slumber, thereby establishing the Thaneeri claim to the land as ancient and ratified by the gods themselves. Imperial documents suggest the Thaneeri may have moved into these lands after Slumber, but that is a matter for dispute between scholars and pedants.

In any event, Thaneer made his home there, and according to many legends, defeated, allied with, or drove off many monstrous inhabitants of the land, proving his worth and skill and, in the case of those stories where he arrived wifeless, gained marriage to a female figure who is at times human and at other times a nymph or dryad or fairy spirit.

Eventually, Thaneer had three children, all sons. As his sons grew and Thaneer began to age (or contemplated joining the gods), he bequeathed to his sons his lands, which extended from the southwestern tip of the Oto Sea north to where the tundra line begins, and west to the mountains. Each of his three sons was given a third of this territory as his to rule, and so Thaneer passed from the mortal world at a ripe old age of anywhere from 100 years old to 1,000 years old (the latter due to his mother's fairy origins no doubt).

The sons ruled wisely in Thaneer's stead, though the legends say less so than their father. And they had sons and daughters to whom the sons of Thaneer bequeathed portions of their lands, and so forth until all the lands of Thaneer were divided into many small clans, each ruled by a great grandson or granddaughter of the sons of Thaneer.

As each generation passed, the progeny of Thaneer grew less long-lived and less wise and less allied to the notion that all the Thaneeri were one big family unit. Squabbles broke out and, at times, open warfare, and clans began to form and break alliances and engage in the sort of fluid structure observable in the Thaneeri of 5535. Still, tales tell of the Thaneeri banding together against outside threats, be it a horde of dragons, or minions of the Deceiver, or other non-Thaneeri foes, even to the point of halting internecine strife on the very field of battle to ally against interlopers. As such, there was always a sense of a single people, sort of a dysfunctional family if you will.

For centuries the Thaneeri thrived in this environment, with the rigours of the terrain and climate and the internecine warfare keeping the people strong, trim and fit and at the same time culling the population so that there was never any pressure to expand. While constant, clan warfare was highly ritualized, and this ensured that the Thaneeri never were in danger of destroying themselves or weakening themselves to such an extent that they were in danger of perishing or losing their lands.

In the year 4507 A.D., Thaneer was invaded by the forces of the Empire of Antorium. This proved to be the defining moment in the history of the Thaneeri, for it thrust them into unwanted contact with the rest of the world and focused their heretofore insular culture outward, in rage, towards the invaders.

The specific causes of and reasons for the invasion are best left to a treatise focused on the Empire. Suffice to say that the Emperor claimed it was in reprisal for raids made against Imperial caravans plying the Oto Sea to trade with Gerilong as well as raids made against its frontier settlements along the Upper Antorian Marches. And while undoubtedly the Thaneeri did raid Imperial interests in both theatres, such raids were sporadic, occasional, and certainly not intense enough to engender the effort and expense of the full scale invasion that took place.

Historians instead point to the disastrous series of military failures incurred by the Empire just prior to the 4500's, when its armies were rebuffed in Wyr and Jaggarth and an entire legion was lost in the cursed fogs of Pilong. These scholars are apt to point out that the Emperor took to attacking lands that were marginal in worth but also poorly defended, such as Girorium Island and Thaneer. It is believed that the Emperor wanted some quick military conquests to put under his belt in order to appease his critics and preserve his legacy. In addition, it is believed that the Emperor wanted to keep the now restless, dissatisfied, and unruly Imperial armies busy far away from the homeland and the Imperial person.

Whatever the reason or reasons, the invasion fell upon Thaneer. The Thaneeri had never really dealt with organized and civilized armies before, especially with regard to wartime magicks, and the superior organization, metal equipment, and magic acumen of the Imperial legions eventually took the field. The entire southern half of Thaneer was lost to the Thaneeri and was claimed and renamed by Antorium as the Far Coast (since it signified the farthest extent of the Empire at that time).

Why the invasion stopped where it did is also open to debate. Clearly the Imperial supply lines were severely strained and an attempt to extend them into the more rugged terrain of the north might have ended in disaster. In addition, the Emperor may have felt that he had what he needed already, that being a conquest to his name, an army blooded and now needed to be stationed on a remote hostile border, and enough land to reward his soldiers with settlements and farms to keep them happy and far away from the Imperial heartland. It is also likely that the Thaneeri were finally starting to learn how to effectively fight the Imperial armies and their mages and that the guerilla tactics of the barbarians were becoming more and more effective against an army at the end of its supply tether and which needed to leave a large garrison behind in the newly conquered lands to pacify the countryside.

Thaneer's history has since been dominated by this conquest. The Imperial forces were, though not malicious, efficient and brutal in their conquests and brooked no rebellion of any kind from its former inhabitants.

Many Thaneeri who dwelt in the southern half of the lands were killed in battle, especially the young males. Others were either taken as slaves (especially women and children) or fled north into the unconquered lands. Some clans, under varying circumstances, submitted to Imperial rule and a few were even bribed into willingly joining the Imperium. These were placed on reservations and eventually intermingled with the Imperial settlers and became Imperial citizens or provincials. A few bands remained but escaped Imperial justice altogether and became bandit families, some of which still haunt the Far Coast to this day.

Those Thaneeri who fled northward met varying fates as well. Those with allied clans or family in the north were often taken in and absorbed into the northern clans. Others, who fell into the hands of enemy clans, were often enslaved and sometimes massacred by their own people. Still others, now rootless and with none to call friend and none to call enemy, laired in the wilds or hills and became bandits and brigands.

Since the conquest, the remaining Thaneeri clans have adopted different attitudes towards their new neighbours to the south. Most have some degree of hostility to the Imperium. They regard the settlers as defilers of the land given to them by Thaneer and the gods. They view the Imperials as soft, decadent, and corrupt and consider mages and wizards to be demon-possessed or insane or both. Little angers and frightens a Thaneeri more than arcane magic displayed in their sight.

The Thaneeri have never warred with the Imperium since the conquest in any attempt to regain their lands. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that the Thaneeri are a disunited people and inter-clan rivalries, while capable of being put on hold to combat an active aggressor, manage to forestall any attempt to unite the clans and wage serious war on the Imperium now that peace has prevailed. From time to time strong clans or personalities have arisen and tried to unite some or all of the Thaneeri clans, but to a man they have eventually failed.

Raids against the Far Coast have been constant since the conquest, however, and these do exact a toll on both the Thaneeri and the settlers. However, the Empire has made no further moves against Thaneer and so a state of uneasy low-intensity conflict exists now between Thaneer and the Far Coast.

Thaneer Today:

Thaneer today is divided into 14 major clans. Each clan is named after its founder or a great hero who helped to establish the tribe.

The clans are (generally from south to north):

Each clan is described below, giving a brief overview of its location, history, make-up, attitudes, and population.

There are also a few rootless clans that are still intact, living on the margins of Thaneeri society, usually a semi-nomadic existence. The Vardekii are such a clan, as are the Thimili.

Most clans are organized under a High Chieftain who is sometimes called a King. These clans are usually divided into satulae. There are approximately 250 adults to a satula, though this can vary by as much as 100% (roll 1D100 x 5 to determine the adult population of a given satula, half will be males, half females, and children will equal one third the number of adults). Satulae are usually named after an animal or place name.

Most satulae are organized around a tula, or stead. This is usually a small thorp with a population of 50-150 adults that is often fenced or fortified in some way. The tula serves as the military centre of the satulae and usually houses its shrines and/or temples. The remainder of the satulae dwell in homes outlying the tula and work farms or hunt or trap or herd for the clan.

The population of the clans is rather sparse. This is for a variety of reasons. First, the Thaneeri are not great domesticators and farmers and prefer to hunt and gather, which means much more area is required to support a given population of Thaneeri. In addition, Thaneeri life is often brutal and difficult, due to the fact that the Thaneeri live in a world full of magic perils, yet they generally refuse to practice arcane magic to compensate. Also, much of the Thaneeri population was ravaged by the war against the Imperium and even though the war took place long ago, the Thaneeri have still not recovered its population.

The northern clans occupy more space than the southern clans. This is generally due to the harsher terrain, wherein more space is needed to support a given population. In addition, both Cilligh and Menelon Clans lost territory to the Far Coast in the war against the Imperium, and so are basically rump clans.

Cilligh Clan: Population 5,000 [50 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: friendly; Allies: none; Enemies: none; Wealth: furs, trade; Leader: King Olsonuv (Fighter 3/Ranger 2); Primary Religions: Lothar, Hindarr-Quag.

The Cilligh Clan is located on the border with the Far Coast, along the Oto Sea north of the town of Dwillingir. The Cilligh are friendly to the Imperium, have cut deals with the invaders in exchange for securing their southern border and allowing them to fight their longtime enemies the Tardaad.

Of all the clans, Cilligh does the most trade with the Imperium, and has benefited accordingly, gaining metal weapons and armour enough to defend itself against rival tribes and to turn aside any ire at their acceptance of the Imperium. Nonetheless, their alliance with the Imperium has cost them any friendships with the other tribes. However, many of these use Cilligh as a more palatable means of obtaining Imperial goods than having to trade directly with the soul-corrupted Imperial merchants of Indolle. This allows Cilligh to play middleman and it profits accordingly.

By treaty with the Imperium, Cilligh is not allowed to own or sail any ships larger than a canoe, and the tribe has pretty much abandoned even such boats. As such, Cilligh conducts no raids anywhere along the coast, even against the Morakki, and many of the other tribes derisively refer to the Cilligh as the "Dry Clan".

Cilligh clansmen are still in awe and fear of arcane magic, but are least likely to overreact in its presence. No self-respecting Cilligh would ever try to learn such arts however.

Until a few decades ago, Cilligh and Tardaad were bitter enemies. However, with the help of the Heroes of the Gem, Cilligh gave to Tardaad a helm of great power (known as the Helm of Invincibility) that served to end the formal feud between the clans. However, a good amount of raiding and skirmishing still takes place between the one-time enemies.

Menelon Clan: Population 5,000 [50 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: neutral; Allies: none; Enemies: none; Wealth: furs, meat, gems; Leader: King Rathor of the Hill (Ranger 3, Fighter 7); Primary Religions: Lothar, Firlott.

The Menelon Clan is far less friendly to the Imperium. However, its position as geographical rival with Cilligh Clan and its proximity to the Imperial border have led it to pragmatically and grudgingly adopt trade with the Imperium.

Nonetheless, the clan supplements its supply of civilized rarities and metal by raiding dwarven caravans around Nirzumbil, and it is considered a great deed for a young warrior to raid the dwarves and return with dwarven goods. Many are the satulae leaders of the Menelon Clan who sport captured dwarven helms upon their heads…too small to wear properly and so tied clumsily to their heads or worn over leather caps designed to hold them.

Obviously, due to such raids and the 5 gp a head bounty the dwarves of Nirzumbil have placed on the heads of the Menelon clansmen, the Menelon Clan and the dwarves of Nirzumbil are bitter enemies, and woe to the one who is caught alone in the lands of the other!

The Menelon Clan also borders the Aynayjor Mountains, and as such is subject to frequent raids from the humanoid tribes dwelling in the mountains. As such, many Menelon clansmen are practiced rangers with orcs, goblins, or kobolds as their favoured enemy.

Tardaad Clan: Population 7,500 [75 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: unfriendly; Allies: Bartiri; Enemies: Efendi; Wealth: fish, furs, gems; Leader: High Chief Burigur the Terrible (Barbarian 12); Primary Religions: Aghorrit, Lothar, Hotor.

The Tardaad are a fierce clan of warriors who have made a name for themselves by raiding other tribes and conducting raids all along the Imperial coastline. They rarely, if ever, raid Gerilong, for in their ancient past they conducted such a raid and a powerful wu-jen cursed the Tardaad and warned them that should they raid the Morakki lands in force ever again, a catastrophe would befall them.

The Tardaad Clan recently settled a longstanding feud with Cilligh Clan, with the help of the Heroes of the Gem, but the two clans are still very unfriendly to each other and raid each other constantly.

The Tardaad are renowned sailors, plying the length and breadth of the Oto Sea in their dragon-prowed longships. As a rite of passage, young Tardaad males must board a longship and bring back some plunder from a raid against the Imperial coastline.

The Tardaad have the largest number of barbarians with its ranks and rumours say some Tardaad warriors can change into a wild beast during their rage.

Some Tardaad satulae practice the ancient rite of Sumoomno, which involves leaving a child of between one and two years out in the wilderness for a week (usually in Spring or Autumn). If the child survives, he is welcomed back into the satula. If he is killed or never found, then it is said he was judged unworthy by Lothar. Since the Imperial invasion, this practice has diminished, but some satulae do practice the rite.

Hanarin Clan: Population 6,500 [60 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: unfriendly; Allies: Gerbunt; Enemies: Olodor; Wealth: gems, furs, lumber; Leader: High Chief Ingurr Hegirrson (Ranger 6); Primary Religions: Firlott, Lothar.

The Hanarin Clan is set astride the Morette River, and has set up posts at each end of its territory along the river to extract tolls, higher for Bartiri clansmen and lower for friendly Gerbunt clansmen. The Hanarin are expert rivermen and raft builders and there are even shrines to Erinhoru in the area, though this goddess is primarily worshipped by females. High Chief Ingurr is married to the High Priestess of the Cult of Rivers, she only known as "Queen of the Rivers" (Cleric 10).

Aside from rivering, the Hanarin are expert lumberers and woodcarvers, felling wood from the lower slopes of the nearby Aynayjor Mountains and crafting them into masts or ribs for longships for trade with the coastal clans, or carving wooden totems or other art and religious objects for trade with other clans.

Finally, the Hanarin range well into the mountains to trap for fur.

The Olodor Clan and Hanarin Clan are currently feuding, a result of disputes regarding river tolls and claims of piracy by Hanarin warriors against Olodor traders.

Atrago Clan: Population 10,000 [75 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: unfriendly; Allies: Efendi, Bartiri; Enemies: Coromos; Wealth: livestock, foodstuffs, fish; Leader: Priestess Malituk of the Lands (Cleric 7); Primary Religions: Lothar, Dhalis.

The Atrago Clan is also known as the "Belly of the Thaneeri", for its fertile valleys and coastal plains are dotted with farms and its well-populated steads are surrounded by a wealth of kine, sheep, and fields of grain and other produce.

Atrago Clan has historically been led by a female priestess of Dhalis, and the clan itself is one of the least warlike of the Thaneeri clans. As such, and due to its wealth, Atrago has had to ally itself with Efendi and Bartiri and pays tribute to both clans to ensure their protection. Tardaad raiders are a common occurrence along the southern frontier, but currently Atrago has no desire to start a formal feud with Tardaad. This is especially true since it is already in formal blood feud with Coromos due to frequent winter raids by Coromos sea raiders who come to take thralls and foodstuffs before the onset of winter.

It is rumoured by other clans that the Atrago are actually ruled by an inner cabal of very powerful druidic hierophants who are descended from Atrago herself, known to be a great grand daughter of Thaneer and who married a druid.

Atrago is currently trying to mediate the feud between Bartiri and Efendi, which has been instigated by Tardaad. The Atrago worry that Tardaad has drawn Bartiri into its feud with Efendi in order to break the tripartite alliance with Atrago, thereby leaving Atrago open to attack from Tardaad.

Bartiri Clan: Population 5,500 [50 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: neutral; Allies: Tardaad; Enemies: Simmern, Efendi; Wealth: livestock, furs; Leader: High Chief Mards of the High Mounds (Ranger 2/Fighter 5); Primary Religions: Aghorrit, Lothar.

The Bartiri are not a wealthy clan, their land being comprised of rugged highlands and steep tors cast out from a spur of the Aynayjor Mountains. They specialize in raising goats and heavily wooled mountain sheep and are a warlike people well accustomed to raiding for what they need. Fortunately, they have a current alliance with Atrago which garners them food in exchange for agreement to raid the enemies of Atrago.

The Bartiri favour blunt weapons, for it is believed that the dying curse of an enemy can be passed through his blood, and therefore most Bartiri are loathe to touch the blood of their enemies. They wade into battle with massive great hammers, large maces, and even simple clubs and cudgels.

Some trade occurs between the Bartiri and the Empire, though usually through Menelon middlemen. The Bartiri put up with the river tolls of the Hanarin Clan but take pleasure in raiding them as well. The Bartiri call such raids "Returning the tolls".

Gerbunt Clan: Population 6,000 [60 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: unfriendly; Allies: Hanarin; Enemies: Olodor; Wealth: grapes, hemp, silver, iron; Leader: High Chief Peller (Ranger 8); Primary Religions: Lothar, Dhalis.

Gerbunt Clan is nestled in the foothills of the Aynayjor Mountains, with its northeastern most tip descending into plains near the frontier with Olodor Clan. The terrain makes excellent growing for grapes in the summer, and these even grow wild across the clan lands.

In addition, Gerbunt Clan mines silver and iron in its western area and in the nearby mountains, and Gerbunt iron is in demand throughout Thaneeri, especially for those tribes that will not or cannot trade for Imperial weapons. The Gerbunt are known for their smithing skills and can forge masterwork battleaxes and longswords.

It is said that ancient Gerbunt crones who live in barrows in the hills of Northwestern Gerbunt can tell seekers the rituals needed to enchant weapons, but such rituals always extract an unexpected price from the practitioners.

The Gerbunt Clan is currently feuding with Olodor Clan, for the latter is experiencing intense pressure to grow and is trying to seize land from Gerbunt.

Efendi Clan: Population 7,000 [70 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: unfriendly; Allies: Atrago; Enemies: Bartiri, Tardaad; Wealth: fish, pearls, shells; Leader: High Chief Gondogar the Mighty (Fighter 10); Primary Religions: Hotor, Lothar.

Efendi Clan specializes in sailing and most Efendi members revere the sea. Even inlanders talk in slang and colloquialisms that refer to the ocean.

The Efendi are famous ship builders amongst the Thaneeri, rivaled only by the Tardaad clan, and while Efendi does engage in coastal raiding against other clans and against the Imperium, it also uses a good portion of its fleet to conduct both raids and trade with Gerilong and Nygoto. The Efendi have picked up from the Nygotans the use and making of yew and bone composite bows and the Efendi warriors rely heavily upon archery fire in battle, both on land and on sea. This has the tendency to cause other more warlike clans to regard the Efendi as cowards because of their use of "stand-off weaponry", but few can argue their deadly effectiveness in battle.

Efendi is currently feuding with Tardaad, initially due to rivalry for the best pickings along the Imperial Far Coast, and now they continually raid each other's coasts and engage in ship battles from time to time. They are also feuding with Bartiri, a situation that has the Atrago very worried.

Tensions are beginning to brew with Olodor Clan as well, due to clandestine attempts by the latter to colonize and settle Efendi lands, but so far Olodor has been reluctant to openly feud with Efendi.

Olodor Clan: Population 15,000 [85 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: neutral; Allies: Coromos; Enemies: Gerbunt, Hanarin; Wealth: furs, agriculture, kine; Leader: King Burothod (Ranger 4/Fighter 3/Rogue 2); Primary Religions: Lothar, Dhalis.

Olodor Clan is currently experiencing tremendous pressure to seize land from a neighbouring clan. It is by far the largest clan in terms of population, but its northern frontier is rugged and, relatively speaking, its satulae are overcrowded. As such, the Olodor, heretofore a fairly peaceful clan with good trade relations, has begun to adopt warlike practices. Worship of Aghorrit has been increasing, and large-scale raids to seize land from Gerbunt have taken place over the last several years.

Olodor Clan is neutral to the Imperium, mainly as a result of distance, but also because of the sudden need for Imperial weaponry to fight its neighbours. As such, she has allied with Coromos to gain access to the Oto Sea and thereby conduct some trade with the Imperium and with the Morakki.

While no Thaneeri ride into combat, for that is regarded as an act of pure cowardice, several satulae in the north of the clan breed giant weasels and dire wolves and have them accompany the warriors into battle. Sometimes these beasts have spikes or pieces of armour on them to protect them.

Benalzi Clan: Population 5,000 [50 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: unfriendly; Allies: Buhnda; Enemies: Simmern; Wealth: gems, furs, chavatka; Leader: King Reynar Heraldson (Ranger 4/Barbarian 2); Primary Religions: Lothar.

The southernmost of what are regarded as the Northland Clans, Benalzi Clan lies just south of the Wild Peaks and plugs the eastern end of the great gorges that form the path of the River of Tears as it wends its way from the west.

The water of the river is potable here, though the Benalzi will not drink or bathe or swim in the water anywhere west of their lands.

Many are the tales of things washing down the river, and many Benalzi spend their time casting nets across the river in order to catch things. Tales tell of strange carcasses and stranger items, some of them enchanted, that have washed up from the War Plains and the Vale of Tears. These include elvish items, which are regarded as very valuable and called "fey works" by the Benalzi. Such enchantments are acceptable as long as they do not too closely mimic arcane magic effects.

The Benalzi are enemies of the fierce Simmern Clan, and vicious raids take place across the frontier of both clans. In addition, many fierce creatures often descend from the Wild Peaks into the river vale seeking warmer climes and easier pickings, and the Benalzi have a great many warriors who specialize in combating the beasts of the mountains.

Unique to the western edge of Benalzi lands are threes that bear the large red fruit called chavatka. This fruit can be eaten directly from the tree, and is meaty and quite tart. However, when fermented with grain, sugar, and rock salt, it makes a potent brew called chavat'am which is well regarded by most Thaneeri.

Coromos Clan: Population 6,500 [65 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: neutral; Allies: Olodor; Enemies: Atrago; Wealth: fish, fur; Leader: High Chief Thev the Cormorant (Ranger 6); Primary Religions: Lothar, Hotor.

Coromos Clan adopts the cormorant as its clan emblem, and birds of all sorts feature heavily in clan myths. As such, the Coromos dress in feathers and feathers are a sign of status amongst the clansmen. In fact, feathers are a currency here, with the pattern, size, and colour determining their worth in an amazingly complex and precise system. Special "featherers" trained to recognize the precise value of feathers are in demand throughout Coromos.

The Coromos Clan has a modest navy, which it uses to trade Olodor goods with the Imperium and the Morakki and recently to raid Atrago's coastal satulae for food and thralls.

Legends say that there is a sacred cult of bird kind hidden in the heart of Coromos and that its high priests, worshippers of Yimik, can turn into birds and soar the skies.

It is forbidden in Coromos to slay or harm a bird or to eat bird flesh. The detractors of the Coromos Clan refer to them as "Coros T'hem" or "Bird Brains".

Simmern Clan: Population 4,500 [40 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: unfriendly; Allies: none; Enemies: Benalzi; Wealth: furs; Leader: King Ragnar Eater of Livers (Barbarian 11); Primary Religions: Lothar.

The most primitive and savage of the Thaneeri clans, the Simmern are to the Thaneeri what the Thaneeri are to civilized lands, brutal, fierce, uncaring, and awesome. Their lands, except for the southern border with Olodor, are frigid and harsh, rocky scrub and tundra with little fertile land. Life is harsh and the Simmern revel in this.

Like the Tardaad, some Simmern practice the rite of Sumoomno (refer to the Tardaad entry for details), particularly a group of quasi-independent Simmerns called the Gon-drillim ("Naked Ones") who are also known for traveling in the dead of winter in nothing but a loincloth and who often fight in battle naked and covered in blue woad.

The Simmerns raid all of their neighbours habitually. They believe that the strong deserve to take what they can from the weak, and that is Lothar's great law. However, the Simmern are particularly covetous of chavatka from Benalzi lands and as such the two clans have stepped up their conflict into outright warfare.

Simmerns, amongst all of the Thaneeri, favour swords as well as the more traditional hammers, mauls, and axes. Simmern barbarians believe that the blood of their enemies protects them for a time in battle and so seek to become gore covered, frenzied machines of destruction in the midst of battle.

However, the Simmern are also the most superstitious of the Thaneeri, and pay great importance to portents and omens and the prophecies of old crones. In addition, they are the most awestruck and fearful of arcane magic, and displays of such can either cow the normally fierce warriors or drive them into an even greater frenzy.

Buhnda Clan: Population 4,000 [40 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: unfriendly; Allies: none; Enemies: none; Wealth: furs, ice people goods; Leader: King Vathor (Barbarian 4/ Fighter 4); Primary Religions: Lothar.

The Buhnda are all tall, blond-haired and blue -eyed people of fair skin. Only intermarriage with thralls has produced a slight mixing of features with other Thaneeri clans.

While they dwell in as harsh an environment as the Simmern, the Buhnda Clan are less warlike, though by no means civilized. They conduct much of the trade with the Ice People of the far north, then selling the goods to neighbouring clans such as Olodor and Coromos. In this trade they compete with Urfaad, though this is a rivalry only and not a feud.

The Buhnda favour spears for their weaponry, and of all Thaneeri clans, the Buhnda have the greatest tradition of female warriors, called the Val'kry. These Val'kry (literally "Battle Breasts") wield only hammers and blunt weapons, for the Buhnda believe that only men should have the power to shed the blood of other men. A literal interpretation of this, of course, means that Buhnda women could attack other women or creatures with slashing or piercing weapons, but as a rule they all tend to wield only blunt weapons, including slings in combat. The Val'kry dye their hair red to signify their standing as warriors.

The Buhnda are prodigious drinkers of alcoholic beverages, and it is practice that even the babes are given strong drink from the get-go. As such, Buhnda starting characters can take the following feat:

BUHNDA BRED [General]:

Description: You were born in the Buhnda Clan of the Thaneeri barbarians and are accustomed to strong drink.

Prerequisites: 1st level character, Thaneeri born and born into the Buhnda Clan.

Benefits: You are used to strong drink so that you receive a +8 racial bonus to your Constitution when checking for intoxication and other effects related to alcohol.

Urfaad Clan: Population 5,000 [50 satulae]; Relations with Imperium: unfriendly; Allies: none; Enemies: none; Wealth: furs, ice people goods; Leader: King Hoggir (Barbarian 6); Primary Religions: Lothar.

The Urfaad Clan is the northernmost of the Thaneeri clans. They also claim to be the first clan founded in Thaneer from Urfaad the Great, son of Thaneer himself.

Near to middle coast of the Urfaad lands is a circle of menhirs that is said to be the site of the first dwelling of Thaneer. If this is true, it lends credence to the legends that Thaneer was one of the Ice People who moved south with his family to settle these lands.

The Urfaad are fairly prodigious seafarers, and though they rarely raid as far south as the Far Coast, they do raid Ice People encampments and Nygoto coastal camps. They also conduct trade with the Ice People and the braver of them even whale in the waters to the north during the summer season.

The Urfaad speak a native language that is a hybrid of the language of the Ice People (called Icirikukk) and Thaneeri. Speakers of either language can grasp about half of what is being said. The Urfaad also speak normal Thaneeri. All starting characters born in Urfaad gain this native language as a bonus language irrespective of Intelligence score.

The Urfaad worship bears, their legends telling that Urfaad himself was granted the blessing of lycanthropy by the gods and was actually a werebear. Although the Urfaad revere ursines, they respect them more than hold them on high, and the Urfaad often hunt and slay bears in order to wear their pelts or to consume their hearts, which they believe will transfer the bear's strength into the eater.

Urfaad warriors often head north into the trackless wastes of the Wild Lands to hunt the dangerous white worms that lair there. The fur of such worms can be enchanted by the Urfaad priests of Lothar into cloaks that provide cold resistance 5.

* Cloak of the White Worm: These cloaks are made from the pelt of the white worms that haunt the northern climes of Western Jerranq. Their ritual of creation is known to the Urfaad priests of Lothar, who know the proper rituals to imbue these cloaks with their powers. When worn, the wearer of the cloak gains cold resistance 5 as if protection by a Resist Elements (cold) spell.
Caster Level: 6th level; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, Resist Elements (cold), Prayer; Market Price: 3,000 gp; Cost to Create: 1,500 gp + 60 XP.


Traditional Thaneeri government takes place at the satulae level. While each Thaneeri identifies with a clan, clan distinctions are only important when dealing with other clans or when war occurs. In other cases, most Thaneeri identify most closely with their fellow satulae-mates.

It is possible and well known for satulae from time to time to leave one clan and join another. This is certainly not an everyday occurrence, but can happen due to war or trade.

Traditionally, a satulae is ruled by the tula ring. This is a council of seven persons chosen usually for their unique skills and contributions to the council. The seven traditional positions are:

1. Leader - the diplomat and most charismatic
2. Warrior - the strongest fighter
3. Trickster - usually a buffoon or rogue
4. Healer - often female, generally a worshipper of Vastalla
5. Frosttongue - priest of Lothar
6. Herder - usually female, usually a priestess of Dhalis
7. Lawgiver - usually the most knowledgeable or wisest, often an elder

The Leader of the ring is regarded as the chieftain of the tula, and a popular misperception by non-Thaneeri is that the Leader is some sort of primitive despot who rules by force of threat and coercion. This could not be farther from the truth in most satulae.

Generally, while the council will ultimately submit to the Leader's decision, especially when the rest of the ring is deadlocked on an issue, most Leaders preside at the sufferance of the rest of the ring and by tradition the Leader can be thrown off of the ring by a majority vote of the rest of the ring.

Similarly, the ring itself is generally empowered at the sufferance of the clan. Actual selection of the ring members varies from clan to clan. Some clans have formal votes for ring members. Others hold periodic contests involving the skills demanded by each ring position. Still others involve a free-for-all until enough ring members have established themselves and can retain power.

Satulae members are expected to obey their ring. The ring is expected to always act in the best interests of the satula. Should the ring not act in such a manner (or be perceived not to act in such a manner), then the satula members no longer owe fealty to the ring and may take matters into their own hands and establish a new ring.

Clan high chieftains or kings rule over all the satulae in the clan, but their rule is even less solid than the satulae rings. Generally, a king rules most solidly in times of war or crisis, and in this case is usually the strongest or most charismatic leader from among all the satulae. In peaceful times, the largest satula usually proclaims a king and no one much cares one way or the other as the king as very little power throughout the clan in peacetime.


The Thaneeri worship the gods of Slumber. They also worship their ancestors, and can gain spells and powers therefrom, though civilized scholars believe that what is really happening is that the ancestors are requesting that the gods they worshipped grant spells to their descendents.

Thaneeri generally revere the following deities:

Lothar - respected due to the northern climate of the Thaneeri lands and due to his affinity for nature and toughness. Often revered by Thaneeri warriors and hunters.

Dhalis - worshipped by women and cottars (those males who herd sheep and kine).

Aghorrit - the god of war is worshipped by carls, house warriors in the service of the ring Leader.

Vastalla - worshipped primarily by women who excel in the healing arts.

Hotor - sometimes propitiated by Thaneeri when sailing on the Oto Sea.

Firlott - worshipped by Thaneeri hunters and trappers.

The following deities are less often worshipped but are not unknown to the Thaneeri:

Yimik - worshipped by hermits and outcasts and Thaneeri who dwell in the wilds.

Hindarr-Quag - worshipped by the Cilligh Clan as an alternative to Lothar.

Mustiglior - worshipped by harlots.

Ringkol - worshipped by skalds.

Flupnir - invoked by fools and drunkards.

Erinhoru - spirit lady of rivers and lakes, primarily worshipped by Hanarin Clan.

Character Classes:

Thaneeri despise, for the most part, all arcane magic, regarding it as soul-corrupting. Those who deal with the Imperials on a more or less friendly basis have come to accept it from their neighbours, but even they distrust it and are nervous around it. The thought of a Thaneeri actually practicing such magic is anathema.

The sole exception to this is bardic magic. Bards have an important place in Thaneeri culture due to the high illiteracy rate amongst the Thaneeri, as they are the keepers of oral history, tradition, and laws. However, Thaneeri bards tend to choose those spells that mimic divine magic (such as Cure Light Wounds) or which can easily represent the effects of music (such as Suggestion or Hypnotism). Thaneeri bards would almost never learn spells such as Dancing Lights or Mage Hand or other "arcane-seeming" spells and any who did would likely be regarded as a wizard or dabbling in wizardry with appropriate consequences.

Character Classes are generally available to the Thaneeri are as follows:

Barbarians - usually represent those Thaneeri who are not based at a tula. This includes rootless Thaneeri or those who dwell on outlying farms or homesteads. This class is fairly common in Thaneer.

Bards - skalds are accepted in Thaneer and valued, but they are expected only to learn spells that mimic divine magic or which are explicable as the effects of their music.

Clerics - priests of the gods normally worshipped by the Thaneeri are respected.

Druids - Druids are not well known in Thaneeri lands and are certainly not a part of Thaneeri society. The Thaneeri and druids have fought in ancient times.

Fighters - most Thaneeri males are Warriors (from the DMG), but the house carls and other trained warriors would qualify as fighters.

Rangers - many Thaneeri are rangers, given their outdoor life and dealings with nature.

Rogues - the roguish skills are not admired by the Thaneeri, who regard battle as the test of manliness. However, there are scouts and the like who are not strong of arm and must rely on the less obvious means of attack and defense. Nonetheless, rogues are a rarity.

Sorcerers - Thaneeri regard elves as almost legendary creatures, and usually as very dangerous beings as well. Sorcery is mysterious, corrupting, and often evil.

Wizards - cowards who hide behind demonic possessions or soul-corrupting influences. Most Thaneeri despise wizards.

Thaneeri Starting Characters:

Most Thaneeri are illiterate. The exception to this is priests, and they generally can only read divine runes that are part of magic scrolls. There is no written form of Thaneeri, though there are runes and pictographs that have meaning.

Any character who is Thaneeri who elects to be illiterate may, in compensation, receive a bonus feat called Thaneeri Born.


Description: You were born in the harsh lands of the Thaneeri barbarians and are inured to the ways of that land.

Prerequisites: 1st level character, Thaneeri born. This option is not open to the barbarian class (which is naturally illiterate).

Benefits: You are illiterate at the start of the game but may choose to learn to read and write like a barbarian. Instead, you receive a +2 racial bonus to Survival.

Weapons favoured by the Thaneeri and available to starting characters include axes, swords, maces, and hammers. Slings, javelins and bows are the primary missile weapons. The Thaneeri d not generally craft or use crossbows.

Armour used by the Thaneeri includes mostly leather, padded and hide armours. Occasionally studded leather is available. Other metal armours are rare and a symbol of status. Shields are usually wooden.


Most Thaneeri dwell in a world of violence. A famous Thaneeri saying is "violence is always an option." This does not mean the Thaneeri are mindless, bloodthirsty savages. However, they are a society that values bravery and force of arms. Most Thaneeri male youths are initiated into manhood and prove their manhood by way of feats of bravery and battle.

Thaneeri raid each other constantly. Usually, this is along tribal lines but can also be along clan lines. Such raids are an almost ritualized sport amongst the Thaneeri, and usually involve a handful of young males sneaking into the territory of another clan or tribe and stealing off with sheep or cattle. These raids serve to prove the mettle of the young men raiding and are a source of status for the clan, which measures its riches in terms of herd animals for the most part.

Such raids are rarely viewed as hostile acts, as long as certain unwritten rules of decorum are observed. The cattle or sheep stolen should not be so much as to cause a clan to starve. In addition, guards of the herd being raided should not be slain if at all possible. Similarly, raiders caught by a raided clan are not slain, but likely beaten and roughed up a bit and then ransomed back to their clan in exchange for cattle or sheep.

There are basically five levels of attitude between clans of Thaneeri:


Allied clans are strongly bonded, likely share bonds of matrimony, and are pledged to come to the support of one another. Allied clans do not raid one another. A member of an allied clan is welcomed almost as a clansman of an allied clan and can find succor in the lands of their allies.

Friendly clans engage in commerce and hold festivals together and often join forces to raid rival clans. Members of friendly clans are generally welcome to enter the tula and interact with clan members, but must pay for their lodgings and/or food. Friendly clans do not generally raid one another.

Neutral clans engage in trade, but with the always unspoken threat that if they cannot get what they want by way of trade they may turn to force of arms. Neutral clans often raid one another, for they are most likely not to break the bounds of decorum of such raids.

Unfriendly clans trade only rarely, and only then if one clan is desperate and can offer the other clan a truly rich price. Raids against unfriendly clans are common, though less so than against neutral clans, since raiders caught are sometimes mistreated and even slain by such clans.

Feuding clans are essentially at war. No trade occurs and members of one clan will usually attack on sight or flee from members of the other clan. Raiding in the ritualized sense almost never happens between feuding clans. Instead, outright theft, murder, and warfare occur, with the target usually being less cattle and sheep and more to burn homesteads and slay warriors and carry off slaves.

Clan allegiances in Thaneeri life are always shifting. Some alliances have held for centuries, as have some feuds, while others last months, weeks, or even days.

Raiding a neutral clan too often may cause it to become unfriendly for example.

Most raids and attacks occur in the summer. This is after the planting of spring and before the harvest of autumn, both times when mustering men to attack would hurt the clan's food production. Winter also sees the men free from farming, but the weather is often too fierce to conduct large-scale attacks. Hence the Thaneeri poem:

Spring, the time for planting, and men and women to be together.
Fall, the time of work and to grow fat for the coming gloom.
Winter, the time to drink and teach the young conceived in the spring.
Summer, the time of blood when the sun looks down on the sweat of men in battle.

One of the few common and widespread taboos observed by all Thaneeri (along with the hatred of arcane magic) is the prohibition against riding animals into battle. All Thaneeri regard the riding of animals even in peacetime to be reserved for the sick, injured, or infirm, and the riding of animals into battle is regarding as an act of extreme cowardice. Thus will Thaneeri obligingly stand against a cavalry charge, sure that the very act of charging on horseback proves the inferiority of the forces bearing down on them. Often, this is a fatal mistake for the Thaneeri.


Violence is not, in and of itself, a crime in Thaneeri society. Violence is, in fact, considered a legitimate way to solve differences. The key is, however, that the violence must be open and "above-board". Thus, if a Thaneeri felt he had been insulted by a fellow clansman, he could, rightly, engage him in a fistfight. The opposing Thaneeri could then, that night, burst into his rival's front door and come at his rival with a battleaxe and even slay his rival, and it is likely that the matter would be considered settled (at least until and unless the dead man's friends decided to settle the score).

However, the same clansman, were he to poison his rival's drink, would be guilty of "secret murder" and would likely be chased and, if captured, executed. In other words, an open fight, even if not "fair" is acceptable in Thaneeri society. But killing someone in secret, so that the person being slain did not know who killed him and could not, in theory, look into the face of his slayer, is a heinous crime, for it is not only murder but murder through cowardice.

Most punishments in Thaneeri society that are not meted out by the aggrieved or the aggrieved's friends are meted out by the ring, usually with advice from the Lawgiver. Punishments usually fit the crime, such that a thief might have a finger or hand lopped off, a slanderer might have his tongue cut off, a rapist might be gelded, etc. Often banishment (under pain of death) is proscribed for major offenses.


The Thaneeri, like most less civilized societies, rely on slavery as a means of cross breeding. Thaneeri slaves are called thralls and have rights by way of Thaneeri custom that slaves elsewhere do not normally have.

Thralls are taken in battle, usually from a raid on an unfriendly or feuding clan. A thrall is expected to serve his master in most respects, but is not required to humiliate himself unduly, perform sexual acts at his master's behest, dishonour his god or ancestors, or to fight in battle.

Thralls serve for a period of ten years, and then are to be released or offered membership in the clan. Many thralls of opposite sex fall in love with their masters and end up marrying them, thus helping to mix the genetic pool of the Thaneeri.

Most thralls understand that their release will one day come, and as such, few attempt to escape. A thrall who does attempt to escape loses all protection of thralldom and may be slain or treated as brutally as desired.

Non-Thaneeri slaves usually suffer a worse fate than thralldom, for they do not have the protection of the rules of thralldom. Females taken from raids on the Imperium are often raped and used as sexual slaves as well as menial servants. Men are often gelded and again used as menial slaves. Such servitude is for life and is often brutal. Children are also so enslaved, but a few are adopted by childless Thaneeri and become full members of the clan.


The highest authority in Thaneeri life is the High Chieftain or King of a clan. Beneath him in the hierarchy ranks the high priests of the clan and the war leader of the clan.

In satula life, the ring Leader technically holds the highest rank and the title of chief. Below him are the ring members.

Priests and holy persons are accorded high status if they worship the proper deities.

Next are the carls are a group of professional warriors retained by the ring at the tula. These serve as the "police" force of the clan as well as its professional army. Carls are afforded status due to their prowess with arms.

Last are the cottars. Cottars are essentially commoners, farmers and fishers and herders for the most part. Cottars are expected to serve as warriors in times of battle or emergencies, but otherwise work towards the provisioning of the clan.

Gender Relations:

Females are certainly not regarded as chattel or property by any means, but given that the Thaneeri value strength and force of arms, it is not surprising that males tend to hold the dominant positions in the clan. That said, as noted above, some of the positions on the clan ring are customarily held by females, and this gives them power over the fate and decisions of the clan. However, it is rare (though not unheard of) to have a ring Leader who is female.

Females are expected to keep the hearth and raise children. They are also responsible for various crafts and other vital functions of the clan, such as gathering foods, making clothing, etc. A few Thaneeri females take the warrior's path or the priestess' path, and these gain status accordingly. There are legends and tales amongst the Thaneeri of powerful female warleaders who could slay the strongest of men in combat, and these figures are often admired even by males. Interestingly, most of these warrior women are said to have had red hair, and so a female with red hair is said to "have the flame of war on her brow" and redheaded females are afforded more leeway to pursue manly paths.

Thaneeri marry and are expected to be monogamous, though this is as successful as in most societies. They do not keep harems, though many a husband is known to dally with a pretty house thrall if the thrall is willing.

Property passes through the males in Thaneeri society. In marriage, dowries are given by the male to the family of the female in order to get approval of the parents of a female for a wedding. In a sense, brides are bought and sold in Thaneeri custom.

Relations with the Imperium:

Most clans of the Thaneeri are unfriendly to the Imperium. This is due to a variety of reasons, not the least of which include differing lifestyles and values, the war of conquest engaged in by the Imperium, and the Imperium's use and reliance upon arcane magic.

However, the war with the Imperium was long ago, and since it seems that the Empire has no legitimate designs upon the rest of Thaneer, the hatred of the Imperium is one that often only surfaces when a Thaneeri encounters or has to deal with the Imperium. The Thaneeri in far northern Urfaad, for example, rarely come into contact with the Imperium and do not spend their days stoking plans of revenge or hatred for the Empire. They are much more concerned with gathering food, whaling, raiding the Efendi, and fending off the Buhnda and Coromos Clans.

That said, Imperials trying to travel through Thaneeri lands are likely to be set upon and attacked or treated badly by almost every Thaneeri they meet.

Most Thaneeri fear the Imperium. Tales of the great battles and massive defeats suffered by the southern Thaneeri Clans of the now Far Coast have made their way into the legends of the northern clans, and these have been magnified, as myths are wont to do, over time. To most Thaneeri, almost all Imperial citizens practice vile magicks and are demon possessed.

A few clans are neutral to the Imperium. These still have an inherent estrangement and dislike of the Imperium, but, for one reason or another, have to rely on the Imperium, either for trade, protection, or both. Imperials traveling through these lands are less likely to be outright attacked, though they will still be feared.

From time to time a charismatic or powerful Thaneeri leader arises and tries to unit one or more clans. Often this involves promises of one day turning on the Far Coast and reclaiming it. A few have even promised to sack the Imperial Heartland! However, these are usually ploys to consolidate power and no concerted effort has been made by the Thaneeri to attack the Far Coast since the end of the war.

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