The High Mountain Nation

Note From The Authors: The Thrin'Li'Ani are based on the Khazak and Uyghur peoples, with a few ideas borrowed from Han China. Please read more about these peoples at the bottom of the page. These real-world cultures are struggling today, and they deserve our support and respect. 


In the backbone of the continent, a race of humans live who've learned to thrive with the intense cold and of high mountian pastures and rocky passes. These are the Thrin'Li'Ani, People of the Mountain, and in their words they have lived in this harsh place since the gods led them to it.

Few outsiders know Thrin or the Thrin'Li'Ani well: their rugged home is not exactly welcoming to outsiders. Their cold world has little space for argument or foolishness, and the people have been shaped into a reserved, competent folk, living by traditions that have kept them alive for thousands of years. They are the peak of inscrutable stoicisim to outside cultures, and the steryotype made of them is of the foolish yokel just down from the hills or the stoic and devious wild man who would kill you as soon as look at you. Both steryotypes are complete misunderstandings of a people whose history is as deeply rooted as their mountains.

Exports and Trade


Each clan among the Thrin'Li'Ani exports a unique set of goods, decided by tradition and the produce their Clan territory provides. All clans also make a small amount of money on guiding travelers through their mountains, though they will do this work pro bono when it seems appropriate. It is against clan custom to leave a man helpless on the Mountain.


 The Ice clan deals mostly in embroidered silks and furs. The Earth clan exports cereal produce and a wide variety of herbs.  The Fire clan exports famously well-forged iron, copper and clay goods.  The Air clan exports written manuscripts including maps, poetry and artistic

decorations, as well as cultural trade goods widely traded as wedding and ceremonial gifts.



Society and Religion


The society of the clans is intricately tied into their religion. Each grouping consists of elder clans and junior clans.  Elder clans are considered to be larger, more important, and more powerful.  While

junior clans are often held in esteem, they are not as autonomous as an elder clan.  Elder clans are chosen by the seasons prevelant in their territories, with junior clans being an offshoot or derivative of the main clan.

Elder: Air Clan - Est’dan (Spring)

Junior: Lightning Clan - Bin’doron

Elder: Ice Clan- Tia’ath (Winter)

Junior: Water Clan- No’yord


Elder: Fire Clan - Ale’ril (Summer)

Junior: Iron Clan - Ko'Jen


Elder: Earth Clan - Ir’athi (Fall)

Junior: Herb Clan - Che’rili


Each clan, both elder and junior, holds the rights to the lands that they inhabit.  There is a deep connection to their lands and to the god that each clan group worships. The clans integrate this importance in their names: as a group they are Thrin'Li'Ani, but an individual will call himself by his clan name first, naming himself Ti'Ath'Li'Ani, Bin'Dorin'Li'Ani and so forth.  While the Gods of Thin can manifest in a single form, their parishioners believe that their gods have a diffuse consciousness embodied in all forms of their element.  They use this mentality as the filter to understand the world around them and focus their magics.



Two gods do not have an official clan and are universally worshipped. These gods are Miris and Atir, twin gods.  Miris is the embodiment of fatherhood, the sun, and knowledge.  Atir acts as the embodiment of motherhood, the moon, and hidden wisdom.

There is a surprisingly high ratio of magic users in the Thrin'Li'Ani population, which the people themselves believe is a gift of their Gods. Through very early and constant cultural training as well as a certian amount of unconscious genetic selection, the powers invariably take the forms of clan elements: Herb Clan people have amazing facility with plants, Ice Clan people can use atmospheric moisture to create ice crystals and control ice and snow where it already exists, and Air Clan members can control air patterns and, in fact, create enough lift to fly. It is strongly believed that a failure of piety to the gods and devotion to them will cost the devotee their magic.
Internal Organization And Customs
Most clans have a hereditary clan leader who consults with a democratically elected group of elders who act as privy advisors.  The elders listen in on topics and give council where council is needed.
Clan roles and gender roles are so much a part of the society that they are all but unquestioned. Women care for all women's work, including fabric work, cooking, and animal rearing. Men's duties include wood working, hunting, animal slaughter, and camp guard duty.
In a society where the difference between good and poor quality clothing is the difference between life and death, women's work is not seen as less than men's work, though protection of women is a man's duty. The clans use the image of a home tent as the metaphor for gender roles: Women are the fabric of the tent, and men are the poles and fastenings. Each will die without the other.


As we said, we were inspired by several cultures that deserve a great deal more than a passing mention. Below are links to several good resources.

Mongolia Live: an English language portal for Mongolian Music, Art and News

An Introduction to China's Uyghur People

The Uyghur American Association: works to promote the preservation and flourishing of a rich, humanistic and diverse Uyghur culture, and to support the right of the Uyghur people to use peaceful, democratic means to determine their own political future

The Culture, Customs and Traditions of Kazakhstan