Thellingerstan is a small region located high in the Throne of Heaven mountains at the headwaters of the Anhoi River, basically consisting of a single large valley and several smaller side valleys. Being so close to the Great 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 noyaki, tembu 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.
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, said to be 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.
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.
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 governs all things celebratory, drinking, singing, dancing, joy and love but also magic and healing. His brother Bal the Strong governs warfare and feats of arms. Fel the Provider, wife of Num, is a goddess who is responsible for the bounty of the world, whilst her sister, Gud the Skilled, wife of Bal, governs all crafts from mining to weaving to farming.
The brothers 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. While Gud gave the gift of mining to the Thells it is Fel who provides the raw materials to be mined, for example. 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.
Giant eagles nest in the high reaches of Thellingerstan, large enough for a man to ride on. It is possible to train these animals if you are present at the moment a chick hatches from its egg, in order to imprint upon it. Attempts to breed from domesticated birds have proved difficult and irregular, and the Thells have instead developed a custom for would-be eagle riders to find and imprint a chick as part of their initiation into an elite warrior society.
Another famed animal of the region is the ice beast. These are large bear-like creatures that move on all fours and have three eyes, three large horns and a horned tail for striking with. They have white and grey striped fur that is much prized. Also, when they die their eyes freeze instantly into translucent watery blue orbs, known as ice pearls, that are very precious. They live above the snow line but sometimes raid Thell herds.
Witches of Seltak
In one of the furthest, highest valleys lie the Ice Caves, where the Witches of Seltak live. As the name suggests these are a series of caves cut into one of the fingers of the Great Glacier itself. A waterfall of icy pure water issues from the mouth of the caves into a round pool far below. It is said that the water will heal any wound or illness if drunk, but the recipient will have to carry out a task for the Witches in return.
Thellingerstan is a wild mountainous land, less civilised than neighbouring Ut'Bharma and more isolated from the rest of the Imperial lands. Adventures in Thellingerstan can range from hunting ice beasts for ice pearls, trying to tame a Thell eagle or seeking the Witches of Seltak. The Thells are wary of outsiders but not all are actively hostile. Different clans may have different reactions; player characters may find one clan to be friendly and helpful whilst another will try to sacrifice them to their ice-demon demi-god.
The Thell longbow is never sold to outsiders, only granted as a gift for great favours. Made from composite materials, it is the most powerful bow known on Conclave and requires a Strength bonus of at least +1 (Str 12 or more) to use. Mighty versions of this bow are also known, usually crafted for clan headmen and warriors. The cost of these are calculated normally, e.g. +100 gp (10,000 yen) per point of Strength bonus. A mighty (+1) Thell longbow, for example, would be worth 300 gp (30,000 yen) and cause 1d10+1 damage.
|Cost||Damage (M)||Critical||Range Increment||Weight||Type|
|Thell Longbow||200 gp (20,000 yen)||1d10||19-20/x2||130 ft.||4 lb||P|
The Thell longbow is a martial ranged weapon that requires two hands to use, but can be used whilst mounted. Elite Thell warriors learn how to use it from the back of an eagle.
The Thell gods offer the following domains:
Thell priests are not limited in their domain selection to just one of the gods; it is quite common to see those who revere the two brothers, the two sisters or either of the husband-and-wife couples. The only combinations that are never seen are Num and Gud or Bal and Fel. Those who use the Conclave shaman class have access to multiple domains but, again, they will never exclusively use domains from the in-laws only. If a shaman has a domain from Num and a domain from Gud, he will also have one from either Bal or Fel as well, for example.
- Num the Drunk: Community, Healing, Magic, Luck
- Bal the Strong: Nobility, Protection, Strength, War
- Fel the Provider: Creation, Earth, Plant, Weather
- Gud the Skilled: Artifice, Knowledge, Rune, Trickery
The deities have no favoured weapons individually, but where one is required they collectively favour the mace and the Thell longbow.
The Eagle Lodge
The Eagle Lodge warriors are considered to be the elite fighting force of the Thell clans, comprised of men and women who have tamed a Thell eagle that they ride. Most will have been given a Thell longbow, often masterwork, mighty strength or even magical. The character given below uses the base barbarian class with the Eagle totem variant, gaining a bonus to spot and Lightning Reflexes feat in lieu of fast movement and trap sense. It also uses the barbarian variant that exchanges rage for ranger-like abilities. The favoured enemy of magical beasts implies that this warrior is famed for hunting ice beasts.
Thell Eagle Lodge Warrior
Human Brn3: CR 3; Medium Humanoid (human); AL CG
Abilities Str 14 (+2), Dex 15 (+2), Con 13 (+1), Int 8 (-1), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 10 (+0)
Initiative +2; Speed 20 ft.
Armour Class 15 (+2 Dex, +3 armour) touch 12, flat-footed 13
Saves Fortitude +5, Reflex +4, Will +1
Hit Dice 3d12+3; hit points 22
Base Attack/Grapple +3/+5
Melee Battleaxe +5 (1d8+2, crit. x3)
Ranged Thell longbow +6 (1d10, crit. 19-20, 130 ft.)
Ranged Rapid Shot Thell longbow +4/+4 (1d10, crit. 19-20, 130 ft.)
Special Attacks Favoured enemy +2 (magical beasts)
Special Qualities Uncanny dodge
Skills (armour -3) Climb +2, Handle Animal +6, Jump +2, Knowledge (nature) +1, Ride +10, Spot +3, Survival +7
Feats Lightning Reflexes*, Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Rapid Shot*, Weapon Focus (Thell longbow)
Possessions Hide armour, Thell longbow, 20 arrows, battleaxe.
Krolt the Godspeaker
Krolt the Godspeaker is a priest of The Brothers, a typical example of a relatively powerful warrior-priest. Krolt is a wild, shaggy-looking individual who fights with little regard to tactics, wearing a broad grin as he wades in to the fray. Krolt uses the cleric variant that replaces Turn Undead with a smite feature, and aura of courage as a paladin. Conclave has no Good or Evil to smite, so Krolt smites creatures with the Spirit descriptor.
Krolt the Godspeaker
Human Clr5: CR 5; Medium Humanoid (human); AL CG
Abilities Str 14 (+2), Dex 10 (+0), Con 14 (+2), Int 8 (-1), Wis 15 (+2), Cha 12 (+1)
Initiative +0; Speed 20 ft.
Armour Class 14 (+3 armour, +1 shield) touch 10, flat-footed 14
Saves Fortitude +6, Reflex +1, Will +6
Hit Dice 5d8+10; hit points 32
Base Attack/Grapple +3/+5
Melee Heavy mace +5 (1d8+2)
Special Attacks Smite spirits 2/day (+1 attack, +5 damage)
Special Qualities Aura of courage
Skills (armour -4) Bluff +7, Concentration +6, Craft (weaponsmith) +3, Intimidate +3, Knowledge (religion) +3
Feats Persuasive, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (heavy mace)*
Possessions Hide armour, small wooden shield, heavy mace, holy symbol (crossed axes)
Spells Typically Prepared
3rd level (2/day, save DC 15) - magic vestment*, prayer.
2nd level (4/day, save DC 14) - bull's strength, cure moderate wounds, enthrall, invisibility*.
1st level (5/day, save DC 13) - bless, cure light wounds, divine favour, magic weapon*, shield of faith.
0th level (5/day, save DC 12) - cure minor wounds, guidance, inflict minor wounds, resistance, virtue.
Krolt uses the Trickery and War domains and tries to emulate the gods with a mixture of cunning and strength to defeat his foes. He's still working on the cunning.
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Anhoi River States
Empire of Splendour
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