The Northern Danasians, also known as the Shanren (snow people) are a loose coalition of primitive nomads and herders who live in the Northern mountains and outside of the clan based culture of the Danasians.

The Shanren people have always valued freedom and what leadership they have is determined annually after a ritual hunt. Magic use is generally viewed with some disdain, with the exception of the Feng Shui geomancers, who often oversee rituals, but do not jostle for power the way Danasian alchemists or Thessan wizards do. The culture - including societal organization, governance, land management, cultural customs, and material culture - was largely shaped by the nomadic lifestyle and followed those who could provide the most resources.

Shanren valued connections to various beasts including falcons, giant snow leopards and bison. The most important animal to the Shanren was the horse and many of their warriors developed extremely close bonds with their mounts. Shanren barbarians were often totemic barbarians and chose the horse as their spiritual animal.