Thellingerstan is a small region located high in the mountains beyond Nirhamsa, basically consisting of a single large valley and several smaller side valleys. Being so close to the glacier, Thellingerstan experiences short summers and long, hard, winters. The economy is mostly based on mining metals and transhumanse agriculture. Thells farm the rich valley floor and keep flocks of goats, sheep and longhaired cattle on the slopes. The population lives in caves around the sides of the valleys - these are both natural and man-made complexes, and the major settlement is Thellinger on the only major southbound pass to the outside world.
Thells tend to be tall and well-built with pale skin and long red or blond hair. Men usually go bearded. They are a troublesome, rebellious lot given to brawling, drinking and generally having a raucous time. They were only controlled by the Empire when it could afford a permanent garrison in Thellingerstan, and as soon as the Imperial forces showed weakness they were ruthlessly driven out.
The most noticeable idiosyncrasy in Thell society is that full-blooded Thells always give birth to twins, although not always same-sex twins and rarely identical.
Thells tend to wear trousers and tunics, with dresses for women and robes for men on special occasions. Fur hats, gloves and leather coats are worn as outer-wear. Their preferred weapons are mace, axe and morning star, with the huge Thell longbow, able to punch through Imperial lacquered armour at three hundred paces, forming the main missile weapon.
Each community has a headman or woman, chosen by popular consent at the death of the previous one. Every five years a meeting of all headmen and women is held at Thellinger to decide who will rule there. Anyone may speak at this meeting, and it is also an opportunity to discuss other issues. Thells don't much like authority, however, and the powers of those in government are limited. They are only really there to provide sure leadership in times of crisis and to settle disputes.
Thell religion is shamanistic, and as with all other walks of life, open to both sexes. They worship four gods - two sets of twins. Num the Drunk, Bal the Strong, Fel the Provider and Gud the Skilled. Num governs all things celebratory, drinking, singing, dancing, joy and love but also magic and healing. His brother Bal governs warfare and feats of arms. Fel and Gud are sisters. Fel is a goddess who is responsible for the bounty of the world, Gud governs all crafts from mining to weaving to farming. While Gud gave the gift of mining to the Thells it if Fel who provides the raw materials to be mined, for example.
Num and Bal were born first, straight from the primordial ooze. Bal battled great demons and evil forces and Num helped him by using magic and summoning strong spirits to befuddle his enemies. When the evil had been driven back it was safe for the sisters to be born. Fel produced all the raw materials to make up the world and those in it, and Gud set about shaping them and making them useful. Num is usually depicted with a mug and a fiddle, Bal with a mace and shield, Fel is usually pregnant and Gud usually has a tool such as a hoe, spindle, hammer and chisel etc.