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Ainda

Adding more variation among Orlanthi?

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So, I came to Glorantha about a year ago after playing King of Dragon Pass (now easily one of my favorite computer games, and I've played a lot of them,) and purchased the Guide to Glorantha in July. I'm overall happy with it, though I have plenty of hang ups, one of them being the relative homogeneity of Orlanthi religious views, despite the lack of a centralized authority to enforce an orthodoxy. There are essentially three variations on Orlanthi religion as presented in the Guide; Heortling, Esrolian, and Malkioni/Orlanthi fusion. This just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. How can a people spread out over such a wide area and so often isolated from one another have so few permutations of their belief system? To illustrate how I think more perspectives on Orlanth and his worship by his followers could help the setting, I will point to The Elder Scrolls, which owes much to Glorantha, and a figure central to it's cosmology in the same way Orlanth is to Glorantha: Lorkhan/Lorkhaj/Shezzar/Lyg/Shor/Sheor.

In the mythology of The Elder Scrolls universe, Lorkhan is at the center of the creation of Mundus, the mortal plane(t). What varies is why he did this, whether or not it was good, and how he did this. I won't go into great detail, but here are a few views on Lorkhan from various peoples:

Altmer: Lorkhan tricked the Et'Ada into creating Mundus, and thus sacrificing their own power. He did so because he was evil and jealous. The Mundus is a prison and we must escape it. Triminac, a hero to the Altmer, tore out his heart in just revenge for his crime. He is the god of Men.

Dunmer: Lorkhan tricked the Et'Ada into creating Mundus, and thus sacrificing their own power. He did so because he knew the truth of things, but the Et'Ada were so stuck in their ways that only evil and lies would convince them to do the right thing and create the testing ground of Mundus and the Psjiic Endeavor, which we must escape to learn the truth of things. Triminac, a hero to the Altmer, tore out his heart in anger. He is the god of nothing, for he is dead.

Nords: Shor and the Et'Ada banded together in sacrifice to create Mundus and end the stagnation in the universe. The creation of the Mundus ensured an always-changing place, which would reset itself every Kalpic cycle and be created anew. He tore out his own heart in sacrifice. He is the god of warriors, leaders, and visionaries.

I could go on. The point of this thread isn't to say "TES is better than Glorantha," because for one that's not productive, and for two I don't think that's true. Now the situation with Lorkhan is not the exact same as Orlanth; these views come from wildly different cultures, and have much less in common than the various Orlanthi peoples. My problem is, as stated before, the Orlanthi don't have nearly as much internal variation as they should, logically, and that the setting suffers for it. I think it might be helpful to think of the Orlanthi as being unified in much the same way old European mythologies are unified; most of them have some kind of storm god at the head of their pantheon, but have myriad variations on just who they are, what they're called, and what their personalities are like.

TL;DR I feel that the various Orlanthi peoples are too similar to one another and that this hurts the setting and, frankly, makes the Orlanthi feel old and overdone. What do you think?

Edited by Ainda

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We haven't seen much of an in-depth description of Orlanthi outside of Dragon Pass or Talastar.

The Talastari are quite similar to the Dragon Pass - they battled it out a millennium ago, and for a while Lokamayadon's ways dominated all the Orlanthi in the Bright Empire until Harmast "returned" the ways of Heort (as he knew them). Basically that's reformation and counter-reformation.

A strong unification occurred in the early Dawn Age when Theyalan missionaries brought their ways and their addresses to the gods to all the Hill Barbarians, creating a greater unity than there had been as the consequence of immigrating pastoral clans or conversion of beast folk in the Storm Age. Later there have been numerous waves of obligatory doctrines like Lokamayadon's Greater Storm or Obduran's Dragonfriend, not to mention God Learner meddling in Slontos and Umathela (and possibly Fronela), and strong counter reformations like Harmast or Alakoring that spread out among the hill barbarians. Such religious indoctrination/renewal does help to create some continuity while maintaining local identities. That said, for most of the last 600 years, no internal re-definitions of the Orlanthi religion have shown up, and the struggle with lunarized Orlanthi vs. traditionalists is mostly limited to those regions described in depth.

The Sylilans were Orlanthi following Odayla in his guise as the Star Bear. Does this offer enough variation to you?

The Yelmalian Sun Dome Temples in Saird basically are Orlanthi in culture - compare them to the Germanic descended Limitati of the Roman Empire.

The Harandings are (or were) boar worshipping Orlanthi. Greymane's tribe retain Basmoli/Pendali features integrated in their Orlanthi ways.

The Ralian Orlanthi are infused with strong Arkat or anti-Arkat stances (depending when and where you ask). Some of them may still think that Nysalor's Bright Empire was the best thing that ever happened to them.

Fronelan Orlanthi might be worshipping Vorthan as their war god, the god of the Red Planet that is anathema in the name of Jagrekriand or Shargash to the Dragon Pass Orlanthi.

Then there is the question of Orlanthi with foreign overlords. Such as the Lunars, the Jonatings, the Trader Princes, the Safelstran city states. As an afterthought, add the Kingdom of Night followed by Belintar's Holy Country for the core region of Kethaela.

 

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As far as I understand it, the Orlanthi have a lot more variation than just the three groups you mention.  My understanding is:

Sairdites: a long-term entanglement with Dara Happan and other Pelorian Customs.  Currently wrestling with the Lunar Way.

Odayalans:  Bear Orlanthi.  Used to be prominent in Sylila.  Now a minority there.

TalastarI;  Different from the Heortlings in ways not yet understood.  As well as the lowlanders, they have to cope with incessant raids from Dorastor.

Ralians:  Descended from the Galanini.  Have to cope with Safelstran customs and the legacy of the Autarchy.

Fronelans:  A fair bit of Beast worship.  Politically dominated in many places by the Loskalmi and other Malkioni.  On the other hand, the aloof Malkioni rarely intervene in their spiritual affairs as they consider it backward superstition unworthy of their time.

Manirians:  Influenced by the Handrans, the Esrolians and the Trader Princes.

Umathelans:  Dominated in the west by the Elves.  Influenced in the east by the Sedalpists and the Fonritans. Hostile and vulnerable to Vadeli influences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If similar ethnic groups are separated by geographical location I would also expect some variations and interpretations of their cultural and religious practices. Also I think you'll find culture-bleed influences everywhere throughout Glorantha, just like it was in the historic ancient world. 

Edited by Mankcam
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The various Orlanthi people speak numerous related languages (although often mutually unintelligible beyond Stormspeech), and range in social organization from hunter-gatherers (as in parts of Fronela, East Ralios, or Umathela) to literate inhabitants of a megacity like Nochet. We'd likely get a much better feel for their diversity if I didn't just use English words for king, clan, tribe, etc, (just as rex, roi, könig, basileus, and voivode all give a better feel for the diversity within Europe), and if I used local names for Orlanth and Ernalda instead of just "Orlanth" and "Ernalda". But some concessions to practicality need to be made! 

Religiously they all include the worship of Orlanth and Ernalda (hence the name), but beyond that include plenty of local and regional gods and heroes, as well as local and regional subcults of Orlanth and Ernalda (the split of Orlanth into Adventurous, Thunderous, and Rex is not universal). 

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The Orlanthi of the Holy Country are different to those of Sartar and those of Tarsh, becoming more different as you head north and westwards. 

 

Sure, they have clans which have tulas, they worship Orlanth and Ernalda, but the other deities would vary depending on location and type.

 

In Sartar, clans are formed into tribal confederations, in the Holy Country, the Orlanthi of Heortland seem to be formed into several tribes, but those of Esrolia seem to be clan-based. I am not sure about Tarsh and beyond, but I would guess that clans are more important than tribes.

 

Sure, it could be argued that this is just nitpicking and Sartarites having clans and tribes, worshipping Orlanth and Ernalda makes them all the same, but that loses a lot of the subtlety of each area.

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Thank you for all the replies everyone! There is definitely more variation among the Orlanthi than I had previously thought, and I appreciate that being pointed out to me.

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Joerg and Peter have both noted Saird, where the Orlanthi and Dara Happan cultures overlap (and get Lunar cultural trappings overlaid on top of that).  Aggar is the most 'traditional' whereas the area around Mirin's Cross and along the Oslir have a strong heritage of Lodril farmers mixed in.

Here's a bit of my cultural keyword for Imther: "The people of Imther are a hardy, rustic pastoral folk, and considered hospitable with a reputation as hard-working and honest.  But underneath this surface is a conservative, stubborn, and quarrelsome nature, as rough as the land they live in.  The clans cling to old Orlanthi ways, though many in the lower and more fertile lands have embraced the Lunar Way.  For many, the adages "No one can make me do anything" and "Violence is always an option" hold firm.  Feuds between clans are common and are long-lived, even erupting over matters such as the theft of a cheese secret.  Only in the western and southern regions do tribes exist."

And a similar bit for Vanch: "The people of Vanch are widely considered thieves, a people who will eagerly take whatever is of use to them without concern for their own traditions and others’ rights, whether a god, a city, or a treasure.  The Vanchites themselves know better – survival and a ready adoption of new ideas are actually central to their tradition, taught by their wily raccoon god, Tunoral, and the nest-building Green Woman, Negalla.  Many gods and peoples have conquered them, but they have always survived and come through the experience somehow richer.  They are like raccoons: nocturnally successful, omnivorous, opportunistic, and mean and ornery as hell.  Neighboring peoples were all robbed of survival traits useful to these people.  The result is a culture made up of such a blend of bits and pieces that it has gone beyond imitation and created something new."

And then down in Nochet in the Holy Country, you have something totally different:  urban Orlanthi where the 'clan' is an extended family dominating part of a neighborhood and "chiefs" run protection rackets, and organize skilled crafters, merchants, weavers, potters, and so on.

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I suppose what I am really looking for is a less extreme form of the contradictions and opinions surrounding Arkat/Nysalor/Gbaji. For instance, look here, here, and here. Granted, this page is 19 years old, and contradicts itself in regards to Arkat, but it shows a few differences in not only naming conventions for various deities among Ralian Orlanthi, but also variants on their myths. According to this, Vinga in Ralian mythology disguised herself as a man, fought, earned a place among the Battle Brothers, and then revealed herself as a woman. This is different than the other two myths about Vinga I have heard. Additionally, in their mythology, Ernalda is the second wife of Orlanth, and Ralia the first, and rather than marrying her out of love, he married her to be able to rule the land (much in the way Irish chieftan/kings used to do.) One of the pages also mentions that Ralian Orlanthi bury their dead in the ground below cairns, rather than burning them, perhaps indicating that they are Earth peoples before they are Storm peoples. Likely that they had never heard of Orlanth until the Heortling missionaries came, and that they have retained much of their own culture from prior to the Heortling's arrival.

Edited by Ainda

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Thank you! Very interesting. Another thing on material culture: how common is armor? It seems just about every Orlanthi the Guide and other recent material depicts is wearing some kind of armor, but then most depicted are rulers or warriors. How common is armor? Would your average carl have any kind of armor, or would they rely only on their shields and spears for protection? Would they own a sword, typically? I'm a weirdo who plays almost exclusively outcasts and the lower classes, so this stuff is important to me :p.

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You seem to have missed the Prince of Sartar comic, which has seen rather few armored Orlanthi.

The average carl family head probably has some armor, although hardly anything like the kind of armor a weaponthane would field. Other members of carl families probably make do with hard hats and some quilted cloth under leather, relying on their shields for armor (if any). A good alternative is woad, if the character is somewhat strong in magic.

Spears are the typical weapon - affordable, and useful in other situations. Same goes for axes. Swords as we understand them are probably the province of nobles and weaponthanes, shorter blades like the seax or the Crocodile Dundee-style bowie knife would be more common (again serving for more purposes than just warfare).

Weirdos might specialize on bows rather than slings. Slings are popular since they can convey Thunderstones and are cheap missile weapons to keep medium-sized predators away from the herds.

 

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On ‎12‎/‎21‎/‎2015 at 8:35 AM, Mankcam said:

If similar ethnic groups are separated by geographical location I would also expect some variations and interpretations of their cultural and religious practices. Also I think you'll find culture-bleed influences everywhere throughout Glorantha, just like it was in the historic ancient world. 

Based on the material available on the Sacred Peaks of the Orlanthi, and their impact (see especially the Guide pages 296/297) it is likely that the Orlanthi vary far more than is immediately apparent. The detailed cult descriptions are centered on Sartar/Prax, but even then cannot be expected to convey the variations (and I'm sure there are many) in that 'small' area. Suspect we tend to see the basic template of Orlanthi society and culture, and not the rich regional variations.

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8 hours ago, Ainda said:

Thank you! Very interesting. Another thing on material culture: how common is armor? It seems just about every Orlanthi the Guide and other recent material depicts is wearing some kind of armor, but then most depicted are rulers or warriors. How common is armor? Would your average carl have any kind of armor, or would they rely only on their shields and spears for protection? Would they own a sword, typically? I'm a weirdo who plays almost exclusively outcasts and the lower classes, so this stuff is important to me :p.

The illustrations in the forthcoming The Coming Storm offer a wider representation of Sartarites in terms of social class, occupation, armor and weapons. Good weapons and good armor are expensive, and available only to the wealthy and/or fighting specialists.

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I don't think the source material supports the idea of a limited understanding of Orlanth. 

The Thunder Brothers give a great deal of variation, and can be understood as regional interpretations of the Great Storm King concept.  Similarly, the Ernaldan sub-cults may be understood as a conflated series of local earth deities.  The red-headed warrior woman of Saird may be identified as Vinga, but she is far more than the female aspect of Orlanth, and far more than the cult of Vinga as known in Dragon Pass.

As a RW example, the Treaty between Mursilis of the Hittite Empire and Duppi-Tessub of Amurru invokes at least (some parts of the Treaty are missing) nineteen different deities simply as 'the Storm-God of x', without mentioning any names.  It is the Orlanth function that is common, and so named by Theyalan Dawn Missionaries and by God Learner scholars, not a single god himself.

"My clan follows the noble storm-raider Orlanth Finovan, our neighbours are untrustworthy Orlanth Desemborth skulkers!"

 

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5 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

I don't think the source material supports the idea of a limited understanding of Orlanth. 

The Thunder Brothers give a great deal of variation, and can be understood as regional interpretations of the Great Storm King concept.  Similarly, the Ernaldan sub-cults may be understood as a conflated series of local earth deities.  The red-headed warrior woman of Saird may be identified as Vinga, but she is far more than the female aspect of Orlanth, and far more than the cult of Vinga as known in Dragon Pass.

As a RW example, the Treaty between Mursilis of the Hittite Empire and Duppi-Tessub of Amurru invokes at least (some parts of the Treaty are missing) nineteen different deities simply as 'the Storm-God of x', without mentioning any names.  It is the Orlanth function that is common, and so named by Theyalan Dawn Missionaries and by God Learner scholars, not a single god himself.

"My clan follows the noble storm-raider Orlanth Finovan, our neighbours are untrustworthy Orlanth Desemborth skulkers!"

 

My feeling is the opposite, in that Orlanth exists as a Greater God and is worshipped in a number of different cults, each tapping into an aspect of Orlanth. These cults might be different in various areas, because they remember different things about Orlanth, but they are all Orlanth.

The idea of Finovan or Desemborth as cub-cults of Orlanth comes from the Hero Wars and is OK, for a very pantheonic view, but I don't think it reflects Gloranthan reality. Finovan and Desemborth are worshipped both as deities in their own right and as part of the Thunder Brother subcults of Orlanth, but the subcults are not Orlanth Finovan, but Finovan friend of Orlanth.

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3 hours ago, soltakss said:

My feeling is the opposite, in that Orlanth exists as a Greater God and is worshipped in a number of different cults, each tapping into an aspect of Orlanth. These cults might be different in various areas, because they remember different things about Orlanth, but they are all Orlanth.

The idea of Finovan or Desemborth as cub-cults of Orlanth comes from the Hero Wars and is OK, for a very pantheonic view, but I don't think it reflects Gloranthan reality. Finovan and Desemborth are worshipped both as deities in their own right and as part of the Thunder Brother subcults of Orlanth, but the subcults are not Orlanth Finovan, but Finovan friend of Orlanth.

I think that this is fine, if one buys into the Monomyth being the actual truth.  If you don't, and I certainly do not, then it can't be. It all depends on the vision that one is following.  YGWV, which is essential and half the fun in playing in such a complex and well-realised world.  I prefer to use a RW Bronze Age model for much of what I do, which is why I see it this way.  "Gloranthan reality" is in the mind of the beholder.  Eegads!  I sound like a post-modernist!  Perhaps because I am.

In the clash between the Heortling and the Talastari way of worshipping the storm there is an interesting way of seeing the 'reality' of a unified Greater God of the storm.  For me this is reminiscent of the clashes between the prophets of Ba'al and those of YHWH in the late Bronze and early Iron western Semitic religious RW cults.

Have yourself a merry little mid-winter festival, birth of Mithras, Children's Day, Constitution Day, Good Governance Day, Malkh-Festival, Newtonmas Day, Quaid-e-Azam's Day, Takanakuy, or even Christmas.

 

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13 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

I think that this is fine, if one buys into the Monomyth being the actual truth.  If you don't, and I certainly do not, then it can't be. It all depends on the vision that one is following.  YGWV, which is essential and half the fun in playing in such a complex and well-realised world.  I prefer to use a RW Bronze Age model for much of what I do, which is why I see it this way.  "Gloranthan reality" is in the mind of the beholder.  Eegads!  I sound like a post-modernist!  Perhaps because I am.

In the clash between the Heortling and the Talastari way of worshipping the storm there is an interesting way of seeing the 'reality' of a unified Greater God of the storm.  For me this is reminiscent of the clashes between the prophets of Ba'al and those of YHWH in the late Bronze and early Iron western Semitic religious RW cults.

Have yourself a merry little mid-winter festival, birth of Mithras, Children's Day, Constitution Day, Good Governance Day, Malkh-Festival, Newtonmas Day, Quaid-e-Azam's Day, Takanakuy, or even Christmas.

 

In Glorantha, EVERYTHING is the actual truth.  You're expected to only buy into part of it.

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Reading the Guide about the Orlanthi of the west Rockwoods and Fronela, it is striking how different are the gods that they worship. 

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I wonder if the belief that the Orlanthi are all very similar is derived more from our liking of labels that provide an easy handle on something, than the reality presented in the canon source material?

Consider, for example, the label Keltic. Whilst there were very general similarities from north to south, to east to west, the cultures we call Keltic displayed a very wide variation in time and in space. However, if you could go back to the second century BC and could talk with a Kelt, and called them Keltic, they'd look at you blankly, unless they happened to belong to the Keltoi tribe near Massilia or the Celtici in Iberia. The name seems to have had a wider usage, but possibly because of the use of the term by the Greeks.

The Guide gives an overview of the Orlanthi, as a major culture, and in a few pages cannot be expected to detail the actual diversity among them. However, the Distribution and Subtypes section suggests a very much larger diversity than the overview might indicate. Snippets elsewhere throughout the Guide highlight some of the distinctions, but I suspect it would need an entire Book of the Orlanthi to present their cultural and religious diversity.

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12 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

I wonder if the belief that the Orlanthi are all very similar is derived more from our liking of labels that provide an easy handle on something, than the reality presented in the canon source material?

Consider, for example, the label Keltic. Whilst there were very general similarities from north to south, to east to west, the cultures we call Keltic displayed a very wide variation in time and in space. However, if you could go back to the second century BC and could talk with a Kelt, and called them Keltic, they'd look at you blankly, unless they happened to belong to the Keltoi tribe near Massilia or the Celtici in Iberia. The name seems to have had a wider usage, but possibly because of the use of the term by the Greeks.

The Guide gives an overview of the Orlanthi, as a major culture, and in a few pages cannot be expected to detail the actual diversity among them. However, the Distribution and Subtypes section suggests a very much larger diversity than the overview might indicate. Snippets elsewhere throughout the Guide highlight some of the distinctions, but I suspect it would need an entire Book of the Orlanthi to present their cultural and religious diversity.

I couldn't agree more.  The differences we already know about are significant enough, let alone those covered by the concept of the 'Orlanthi All'.

Back in the ancient days of RQ3 the culture was described as the 'Barbarian Belt' IIRC, and I think that is a very useful term.  If one looks at RW history, the various Roman authors' struggle to differentiate between the 'Gauls' and the 'Germans' is almost comical. 

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After doing some thinking, I'm wondering how everyone feels about making slavery a larger part of Orlanthi society? They're basically the only non-nomadic culture that doesn't practice it, and too often it frames the Lunar v. Orlanthi question as one of Slavery v. Freedom, when it could be (and is, sometimes,) a much more nuanced thing.

Edited by Ainda

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We have a couple of labels for the Orlanthi culture - Theyalan, Barbarian Belt, Orlanthi, Hill Barbarians. I like @M Helsdon's comparison to the label Celts/Keltic. I remember a discussion I had with Jeff Richard where I posited that the (Kethaelan and Kerofinelan) Orlanthi material culture was very similar to that of the (Danubian) Celts. Jeff disagreed strongly, and instead pointed me to the Hallstatt and preceding Urnfield peoples. The very ones I was talking about, but Jeff assumed I was talking about the Irish.

The term Orlanthi has a double meaning, too - in the narrower sense it is a worshipper of Orlanth, in the wider sense a member of the culture that worships Orlanth and Ernalda (in various guises).

The Theyalan mode of theist worship originated with the Heortlings of Kerofinela and Kethaela (including the Esrolians here). They spread this to the rest of the Barbarian Belt during the First Age all the way to the places where Westerners and their opponents had their own, distinct Gray Age experience and memories. Other than the Pendali, Enjoreli and the Dangkae, most of the clans in between didn't have distinct Gray Age memories but only vague ideas about surviving the Greater Darkness. The lowland city peoples had memories of the horse warlords instead (all the way to Oronin Valley), and a repository of writings and other pieces of art to remember their earlier culture.

Many of the Hill Barbarians had at best distinct memories of their founders and their arrival in their settlement area, then bad attrition during the Greater Darkness. Those further west also may have had memories of contact with the Kachasti of Danmalastan who had come from the west and established a presence between their lands, and an exchange of ideas until their destruction. This Kachasti exchange will have influenced their material culture, their language and probably quite a bit of their magic, too.

When I speak of the hill barbarian founders, I also mean their beast totems. The Vingkotlings didn't see many of the hill barbarians of Ralios, Tanisor and Fronela as Orlanthi but as beast folk, if I interpret the Plundering of Aron correctly - this describes a conflict between Ralian beast folk and Vingkotlings. Those Ralians became (or already were) the Enerali. I wonder what the Ralian version of the Plundering of Aron looks like. The Fronelan version might be hidden in the myth in Anaxial's Roster where the Orlanthi gods are hiding in beast shape from the sorcerers coming out of the west (leaving it unclear whether this means the Kachasti, the Vadeli who usurped them, both, or neither).

When I include the Pendali in the definition of Orlanthi, I do so because of their eastward migration after their defeats against the Serpent Kings - some of their descendants ended up in Basim, others in the Solanthi valley. Greymane clearly is the epitome of a Solanthi Orlanthi. He also is a heir to the Pendali lion magics. Note that a lot of the Pendali descendants ended up becoming Seshnegi Malkioni after the monotheistic reform that followed the Serpent King dynasty.

I include the Enjoreli (also known as Tawari bull people - a similar case to the Pendali Basmoli and Eneraii Galanini, linking a pastoral or even agricultural and early urban culture to a hsunchen folk) in my observations on hill barbarians even though most of these ended up to become upright Loskalmi westerners.

This is supported in the Guide:

Quote

Oranor: This powerful tribal confederation was freed from the Ban in 1612. Its kings claim an unbroken heritage dating back to the late First Age. They worship an Orlanthi pantheon centered on Orlanth, the thunderbolt-wielding, bullriding chief  of  the gods; Eurmal, the friend of  man; Bakan the Boar God, a masculine fertility god; Ladaral the Fire God; and Oran, the first king, and his wife Frona, the land goddess. They have friendly relations with the elves of  the Erontree.

The bull-riding clearly is a nod to the Tawari/Enjoreli, and probably continues at least as a ritual duty of the kings (much like the bull-drawn wagon that had to be operated by the Merowing kings according to Einhard's Vita of Carolus Magnus). (English translation of Vita Karoli Magni) (Einhard writes about oxen, but he is quite partial about the uselessness of the Merowings, and never witnessed the rite himself.)

The Hykimi alliance shown in the same map, between the Enjoreli and the Talsardian Kingdom, mentions cattle-herding pastoralists. That means Tawari, and a continuum of Tawari bull people from the Esus river to the Neliomi Sea.

When I see a mention of KefTavar in the Bisos cycle in Entekosiad, I see a hill barbarian origin that uses the same ancestor as the Enjoreli, which makes me assume that these folk had kin further east (beyond the bear lands, in Charg and Vanstal). The Talsardian kingdom probably built on the Bisos mythology. KefTavar descends from the sky when he mates with Esus - indicating a star presence (not unusual for Orlanthi deities) and a possible foreign origin of the god (foreign to Arir, that is).

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13 minutes ago, Ainda said:

After doing some thinking, I'm wondering how everyone feels about making slavery a larger part of Orlanthi society? They're basically the only non-nomadic culture that doesn't practice it, and too often it frames the Lunar v. Orlanthi question as one of Slavery v. Freedom, when it could be (and is, sometimes,) a much more nuanced thing.

Already several of the Sartarite tribes and clans keep thralls - the Sambarri are (in)famous for trading humans. The Hendriki as a rule don't, but there may be other clans in Heortland descended from immigrants from e.g. Esrolia.

Esrolian houses often keep slaves, and at a guess so do the Solanthi and Ditali (in their case captives from Kethaela or neighboring clans/tribes kept as thralls if not ransomed).

Tarshites quite likely keep slaves, both those of Wintertop and those who accepted the Lunar Way. At a guess, several Far Point tribes keep slaves, too.

Not sure about the Sairdites and Talastari - some of the Lunarized ones probably do.

Safelstrans keep slaves, and the hill tribes of Ralios will likely do so, too.

Jonating Orlanthi are kept in a state of thraldom, not sure that they would have tiers of this. We have no data on Oranor.

Umathela probably has adopted some forms of slavery, living next to Fonrit. I don't see why the clans ruled by the Woodland Council wouldn't.

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