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A Question About Heortling Steads

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1 hour ago, Mankcam said:

This is how I view rural Sartarite villages, except the houses are square (earth rune shaped). Looks like a mix of masonry and timber in the design.

setswi.jpg

I'm using this one for a Manirian village, as the G2G indicates that their villages are primarily timber based:

f492317462f6288b59eeafc5157cadb5.jpg

 

Jeff has certainly talked about half-timbered houses in the past, which is what those two pictures are showing. I like the first of those two a lot.

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I spent a lot of my twenties living in India, especially up in Himachal pradesh, high valleys that get lots of rainfall and are cold in winter, hot in summer. Their houses have always been in my mind when imagining mountainous Sartar. I would rent rooms with my friends and often a whole house and on several occasions ran Runequest games.

 

Wood and mud/cow shit walls, heavy slate roofs, mud floors. Living upstairs with big horned cattle below.

P1190718.jpg

Edited by Iskallor
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1 hour ago, Mankcam said:

My reference of 'Ancient Thraco-Dacian-Mycenaeans' is meant to describe a fusion of vague cultural traits from those backgrounds, all thrown in together in an attempt to portray a culture unique to Glorantha. Any references of 'Anglo-Saxon-Norse-Celtic' influences is likewise. Just very broad brush strokes in order to portray a sense of a culture. I could have described Darra Happans as 'Persian-Assyrian-Hellenic' or Lunar Imperials as 'Persian-Assyrian-Roman', just to conjure up a sense of an ancient world style and culture. 

With Persian, I assume you mean the era of Cyrus and Dareios, I don't see much that is hellenic in Dara Happa proper - the Phalanx influences are from Peloria, which has more of a Hellenic influence. Personally, I try to look for the Indus culture of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa for influences. Replace elephants with gazzam, and off you go.

 

1 hour ago, Mankcam said:

I'm not sure if I have offended any ethnic sensibilities here by speaking with broad brushstrokes, and that certainly was not my intention. Please excuse my ignorance if this is the case.

Those extremely broad brush strokes tend to tickle all the wrong associations. Getting specific doesn't help much, though, if the recipient simply files them under his preconceptions rather than taking a look at the suggested specifics.

Given my own ethnic background which covers most of central Europe from the Baltic Sea to the Alps, from the Hugenot lands in France to East Prussia and Hungary, I feel kinship to most of the European groups discussed here. Less to the Thracians and Dacians, I have to admit.

 

1 hour ago, Mankcam said:

I find mixing real world influences together helps get a sense of a culture in a fantasy setting.

I have done so for my worlds whenever I could.

There are practical considerations to this, too. If you want your "barbarians" to use ox-drawn plows and yet have a decentralized society, to find a suitable real world parallel you have little choice but to look towards temperate climate Europe or possibly parts of ancient India where you have reliable rains and no need for irrigation or flood protection. I have made a point of taking a look at what I could find about pre-contact North American farmers and housing, too.

A perhaps underused good inspiration for the Orlanthi of the high regions are the cloud people of the Andes, just north of the Inca empire.

 

1 hour ago, Mankcam said:

Yes, I also use references of Halstatt and La Tene period for Theylans. The ancient cultures that Jeff has said are good reference points are Halstatt, Dacian, Thracian, and Mycenaean. Fuse elements of all these cultures together to get a sense of who the Orlanthi are, particularly in the Dragon Pass/Holy Country region. 

Oppida are a very good reference point, especially for villages and small towns. Most of the ones I have seen in pictures are fortified with timber palisades, although I suspect brick walls was also used at times.

Don't forget the earthen ramparts.

There are a number of rectangular earthworks in the Danubian valley known locally as "Keltenschanzen" (Celtic earthworks). Whether these were actual steads or rather enclosed holy places remains open to debate, but the later oppida used Celtic Walls (as described by G. Julius Caesar in De Bello Gallico) upon such earthworks. Both Kelheim and Manching had these. (Those are the ones I visited in person.) Both were coopted by the Roman Empire when they changed the status of Noricum from associated kingdom to province.

 

 

1 hour ago, Mankcam said:

I'm using this one for a Manirian village, as the G2G indicates that their villages are primarily timber based:

f492317462f6288b59eeafc5157cadb5.jpg

 

This is how I view an isolated stead - square enclosure, main house probably somewhat larger, one or two of these houses as separate homes for the cottars sharing the stead, the round house as workshop, the elevated granary, and gardening, a pottery kiln etc. in between. Maybe not a palisade but a larger version of the pig pen enclosure in the previous image.

 

1 hour ago, Mankcam said:

However I feel the more urbanised settlements would better organised with stone villas and such, more in keeping with the Mycenaean citadels rather than large oppida. Something like this:

Or perhaps this:

cdd27c3cdef1f42951342bdfcd8f3eed.jpg

Possibly a little too vanilla-Mycenaean in some ways, although they do remind me of the citadels of Balazar, which I think were initially Theylan in origin. 

This is an aerial view of the map of the citadel of Elkoi.

The architectural style is Cyclopean as in giant-built. Similar walls are found in Old Karse and parts of Nochet.

These giants showed significantly more sophistication than Paragua and his friends at Robcradle, although all he did was to erect some field defence with stone slabs taken along from further north.

 

1 hour ago, Mankcam said:

(PS: I haven't worked out how to multi-quote yet, so sorry about the multiple separate posts)

That's simple - place the cursor where you want the new quote and quote the article you want to include, deleting all you don't want to repeat, or if it is all in a single post, create an empty line, then press return twice, to break the quote into multiple parts. (If you do it only once, you'll write from right to left...)

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

With Persian, I assume you mean the era of Cyrus and Dareios, I don't see much that is hellenic in Dara Happa proper - the Phalanx influences are from Peloria, which has more of a Hellenic influence. Personally, I try to look for the Indus culture of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa for influences. Replace elephants with gazzam, and off you go.

I think you are spot on with Harrapan influences playing a big role in Darra Happan architecture. A quick online search brings up some great images that I can really see working for Darra Happa. In regards to the flavour of Darra Happan culture, I should of clarified that I am vaguely referencing the Assyrian Empire, and the Achaemenid Empire. I think during the reigns of Cyrus and Darius provide some useful reference points, primarily in clothing styles and fashions.

However I blend cultures together quite a bit when I try to portray a fantasy culture, and I tend to envision Darra Happan armour often looking Hellenic; I suppose it is because of all the Solar Pantheon hoplite illustrations I have seen over the years. Same goes for Lunar Imperials; I tend to view them as Achaemenids wearing Roman armour (late Republic and early Empire era), although this also varies widely across various garrisons depending upon their cultural origins.

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Given my own ethnic background which covers most of central Europe from the Baltic Sea to the Alps, from the Hugenot lands in France to East Prussia and Hungary, I feel kinship to most of the European groups discussed here. Less to the Thracians and Dacians, I have to admit.

Well my own background has a strong English line on one side, and a predominantly Polish line on the other. However there are many others in the mix, such as Irish, Scottish, German, Norwegian, and Danish. It's all been bled together over various generations living in Australia.

I have an interest with many of the backgrounds discussed, but I must admit that until the advent of the internet my knowledge was limited to many mainsteam preconceptions that are common among non-europeans. I can see that this may have the potential to cause some irritation, as I certainly feel the same way when people indicate preconceptions about my own country being a nation populated purely by sports fanatics and rudimentary yokels. In future will try to clarify myself better before I actually type, in order to express my notions a bit more clearly and avoid confusion all round. 

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This is an aerial view of the map of the citadel of Elkoi.

Well, Tiryns actually, but yeah...Elkoi

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That's simple - place the cursor where you want the new quote and quote the article you want to include, deleting all you don't want to repeat, or if it is all in a single post, create an empty line, then press return twice, to break the quote into multiple parts. (If you do it only once, you'll write from right to left...)

Yep, you taught me something good here :-)

Edited by Mankcam

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10 hours ago, Mankcam said:

Well, Tiryns actually, but yeah...Elkoi

I recall at some point someone noting that the 3 Balazar citadel layouts in Griffin Mountain were taking directly from Mycenean originals.

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Wow!. Yes you are both correct - I have always assumed that Elkoi had been inspired by Tiryns, but after checking the map the layout of Elkoi is almost exactly the same as Tiryns. No wonder I felt the cities of Balazar have 'Mycenaean flavour!' :D

Edited by Mankcam
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17 hours ago, Mankcam said:

Wow!. Yes you are both correct - I have always assumed that Elkoi had been inspired by Tiryns, but after checking the map the layout of Elkoi is almost exactly the same as Tiryns. No wonder I felt the cities of Balazar have 'Mycenaean flavour!' :D

Many illustrations don't show it, but subsequent archaeology has shown that many Mycenaean citadels had significant urban areas outside the walls.

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After some pondering a few thoughts on house design;

1)  Local materials will play a large role in how buildings are made and thus designed.

2)  Weather and climate will be a large determining factor

3)  Available space and requirement factors make massive differences to urban and rural houses

        Size of the inhabiting and wider community are very important factors

4) Houses are very unlikely to be planned and built in one go, houses will be built lived in and then be added to over time, probably numerous generations.

5) Well planned and consistently built houses are the sign of wealth and prosperity.

6) Dressed stone is the preserve of the rich

7) Mud brick, uncut stone, thatch, wattle and daube are the likely materials of the more modest of means.

8) Religion means more to building in Gloranthan than it would in our history

9) The use of magic could bend some of the rules above

Edited by Jon Hunter
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2 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

6) Dressed stone is the preserve of the rich

I can think of exceptions in both Nochet and Pavis/Big Rubble where dressed stone previously used by the rich becomes available for reuse by survivors of various devastation (e.g. Veskarthan's eruption and the subsequent tidal waves washing over Nochet and leaving it with great ruins and 5000 people; nomadic and troll invasions of Old Pavis).

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22 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

I can think of exceptions in both Nochet and Pavis/Big Rubble where dressed stone previously used by the rich becomes available for reuse by survivors of various devastation (e.g. Veskarthan's eruption and the subsequent tidal waves washing over Nochet and leaving it with great ruins and 5000 people; nomadic and troll invasions of Old Pavis).

I'd be inclined to add Boldhome to that list.

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5 hours ago, Jeff said:

I'd be inclined to add Boldhome to that list.

My thoughts are that when Satar built the city everything was dressed stone from the richest to the poorest, as part of the magical build of the city.

What has been built since, or what has been repaired would be more subject to the other factors. Though history, local skills, material and urban wealth will make stone much more likely than rural Satar.

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6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I can think of exceptions in both Nochet and Pavis/Big Rubble where dressed stone previously used by the rich becomes available for reuse by survivors of various devastation (e.g. Veskarthan's eruption and the subsequent tidal waves washing over Nochet and leaving it with great ruins and 5000 people; nomadic and troll invasions of Old Pavis).

Factor one comes into play here then, local materials, dressed stone is probably cheaper in Pavis than wood, so things get turned about.

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Realized there was an important omission: the cellars.

By including the cellars, the 'Ernalda House' becomes virtually a cube.

I imagine the water table level in Pavis would determine how many houses could have a cellar, but the Pavis boxed set suggests there's a fair amount of underground excavation, and perhaps the Flintnail cult can waterproof cellars.

Orlanthi Houses7.PNG

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Esrolian house with basement and storage cellars. Family crypt/shrine in upper left corner. Cistern under the central courtyard.

 

Esrolian House.PNG

Edited by M Helsdon
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There's a reason stereotypes are a thing.  And they're not evil, either.

We've all been heavily conditioned in the postmodern era that stereotypes are bad, but the reality is that we don't have room in our head to hold the entirety of nuance and detail of every single person we've ever met as individuals.  Hell, I have trouble remembering where I am some mornings.  Stereotypes are mental shorthand; in a modern cultural context they're seen as inarguably bad, because they are equated with prejudgement and we recognize (reasonably) that individual variation within a group can make such pre-assumptions ridiculous.  But the fact is that they persist because they do predict "well enough" much of the time.

And to drag this back on-topic: for some - I'd daresay most - gaming, yes, that too is usually good enough.  I personally am about DMing and playing adventure games.  I (and the players who enjoy my games) don't have the time nor inclination to care about the nuances of difference between Orlanthi and Cherusci and Celts and Vikings.  If the players have a rough idea that the steading they've just arrived at looks *roughly* like a town from the Vikings TV show last night, we have enough shared visualization to let the action proceed.  They and I truly don't care if the lead priestess bares her left boob because of an ancient mythic reason - if it's not unusual in their characters' context, I wouldn't even mention it.  If the God Learner ruins they've just spotted on that deserted (?) coast ahead looks like that Mycenaen Citadel (nice finds, Mancam), again: good enough!

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Yeah I love the detail that Glorantha goes into. As discussed previously, I have plugged the authors brains a few times for visual references and cultural analogies (not for cultural 'clones'). In regards to Orlanthi, Jeff has previously steered clear of Norse and UK Celtic archetypes, pointing towards the La Tene period, Halstatt Kelts, Thracians, Dacians, and Mycenaeans. These are certainly the kind of images I will show my players, along with pictures from the Moon Design/Chaosium resources.

However, my players have grown up in Australia, and none have doctorates in Ancient History (myself included). For a quick visual in their heads, I'll probably just say 'Picture the Orlanthi culture as a vague cross between The Vikings and The Mycenaeans!'.

Such a hand wave notion may work equally well in the USA, although this may possibly be too broad perhaps if done the UK or Europe. Obviously it all depends upon the gaming troupe, and their knowledge of ancient cultures.

However if my players want to think of the Orlanthi as 'inland Vikings living in Mycenaean towns', then that's a start. 

Near enough is good enough, at least initially, as the players notions will be in the ball park just based upon those common preconceptions. Yes I am aware that Vikings are Dark Ages not Bronze Age. However they were considered to be 'barbarians' in the minds of the Franks and Saxon Christians, and the visuals from the current television series work well as a quick reference if the players cannot visualise more Dacian or Thracian influences. Although any images I show them won't be of Vikings, it will be more along the lines of what Jeff has suggested.

Anything else I can add as I go along. If I have done my job right, by the end of the session the players will understand that the Orlanthi are very much neither Norse nor Mycenaean, Agrath is is not a version of Ragnar or Achilles, however these are two broad cultural reference points to start from and somehow join the dots to create something very unique.

At the end of the day, good visualisation assists narration, ultimately prompting good improvisation; the very essence of our roleplaying hobby.

Edited by Mankcam

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Styopa - This is all perfectly fine. This is, after all, why Your Glorantha Will Vary. You just do and use whatever visual or stereotype or narrative device you want in your own games, as long as everyone is having fun!

However my argument would be that a lot of people then seem to take their own version of Glorantha and expect other people, and especially official publications, to conform to it, getting disappointed when it inevitably doesn't.  So my stance would be that a coherent cultural and visual depiction of a fantasy culture should be made and have it be there for people who care about it, and people who want to ignore it can do so freely without bothering.

So no, Orlanthi are not Vikings or Mycenaean or Celts or anything like that, they are Orlanthi and I want to explore, visually, how these people look, dress and where do they live and what items they surround themselves with. You are then free to not care about any of this and just do whatever you want in your own game for your own fun.

Edited by Jenx
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2 hours ago, Jenx said:

However my argument would be that a lot of people then seem to take their own version of Glorantha and expect other people, and especially official publications, to conform to it, getting disappointed when it inevitably doesn't. 

Yes this is the unfortunate result of having a popular setting being around for such a long time with differing artistic interpretations throughout earlier publications. 

From RQ2 my initial view of the people of Dragon Pass was that they must of been possibly along the lines of the classical cultures of Ancient Greece. This was due to the Hellenic influenced warriors depicted in the RQ2 rule book, and the fact that the Pavis Box set was very much an ancient (possibly near-eastern flavoured) setting which had a city populated by descendants of Dragon Pass colonists. 

Then when I saw the illustration of the Orlanthi warrior in the RQ3 Glorantha Box it depicted a warrior which could be viewed as Viking, Celtic, Gallic, Baltic, Dacian, almost anything from northern European background. This was still very much open to interpretation. However once RQ3 brought out the Dorasor book it showed an Orlanthi village that appeared much more early Anglo Saxon flavoured than Mediterrean. Although they were colonists, they felt very different from my initial RQ2 view of these people.

When once RQ3 finished up, there was a few fanzines that filled the gap and many of them depicted Orlanthi along the lines of Vikings, Saxons, and Celts. I remember that movies like Braveheart and Rob Roy were popular, and this may have had some impact of the Celtic emphasis at that time. 

Then the artwork in the Issaries Inc publications (Hero Wars, Hero Quest 1) very much reinforced this view of Celtic and Viking influences on Orlanthi. So it's quite logical that many people still use those cultures are reference points.

I really like the idea that Thracians, Dacians, and Myceaneans are suggested as current reference points, and the fact that these are only starting points to develop a unique culture. 

I totally agree that people should not be too prescriptive telling others how their setting should be, and the authors and artists should feel free to develop a consistent culture, and I really like the current direction it is all going in.  Really great stuff.

However it is easy to see why some people find it difficult to suddenly envision a different culture to what previous editions presented differently.

 

Edited by Mankcam
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1 hour ago, Mankcam said:

Yes this is the unfortunate result of having a popular setting being around for such a long time with differing artistic interpretations throughout earlier publications. 

From RQ2 my initial view of the people of Dragon Pass was that they must of been possibly along the lines of the classical cultures of Ancient Greece. This was due to the Hellenic influenced warriors depicted in the RQ2 rule book, and the fact that the Pavis Box set was very much an ancient (possibly near-eastern flavoured) setting which had a city populated by descendants of Dragon Pass colonists. 

Then when I saw the illustration of the Orlanthi warrior in the RQ3 Glorantha Box it depicted a warrior which could be viewed as Viking, Celtic, Gallic, Baltic, Dacian, almost anything from northern European background. This was still very much open to interpretation. However once RQ3 brought out the Dorasor book it showed an Orlanthi village that appeared much more early Anglo Saxon flavoured than Mediterrean. Although they were colonists, they felt very different from my initial RQ2 view of these people.

When once RQ3 finished up, there was a few fanzines that filled the gap and many of them depicted Orlanthi along the lines of Vikings, Saxons, and Celts. I remember that movies like Braveheart and Rob Roy were popular, and this may have had some impact of the Celtic emphasis at that time. 

Then the artwork in the Issaries Inc publications (Hero Wars, Hero Quest 1) very much reinforced this view of Celtic and Viking influences on Orlanthi. So it's quite logical that many people still use those cultures are reference points.

I really like the idea that Thracians, Dacians, and Myceaneans are suggested as current reference points, and the fact that these are only starting points to develop a unique culture. 

I totally agree that people should not be too prescriptive telling others how their setting should be, and the authors and artists should feel free to develop a consistent culture, and I really like the current direction it is all going in.  Really great stuff.

However it is easy to see why some people find it difficult to suddenly envision a different culture to what previous editions presented differently.

 

Nicely summed up. For the me the  steady change of the Orlanthi from classical inspired RQ2 to Viking/Celt/Saxon felt wrong, and made the setting confusing to get to grips with. It eventually turned into something I wasn't really interested in.

Having an inspiring ancient near eastern feel to Pavis, suddenly juxtaposed against neighbouring Viking/Saxon/ Celtic dragon pass just felt very wrong in tone/ flavour and put me off the setting. The "medieval" west was the final nail in the coffin.

Im very pleased to see Glorantha returning again to RQ2 ancient feel with mention of Mycenae and such. The things that put me off Glorantha after RQ2 seem to be being corrected. The tone is retunring to the that more ancient classical feel that inspired so much and helped make rq2 so popular.

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp
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Mycenae just doesn't work for me. It combines naval activities with highly centralized kingdoms in citadels, i.e. enforcing strong hierarchies, obedience... (everything you see in Sun County, but surely not in Sartar).

Even the Heuneburg Hallstatt people were too centralized for anything resembling Orlanthi clan life. The La Tene cities of Manching and Kelheim are much more egalitarian in their buildings, although they probably also had their privileged (thane) class.

My point for pressing for non-mediterranean parallels is the absence of the need of cooperation of an entire urban population to have gainful agriculture. The smaller social units like Germanic Hundreds or Island Celt clans work for this reason.

Such smaller economic/social units still can cooperate to have big cultic centers or highly sophisticated artifacts (Nebra disk, or the Goseck observatory) without creating the bureaucratic priestly hierarchies that we expect for the Mycenaean citadels. the Kretan palaces, or the fertile crescent cities.

Orlanthi are about the independent plowmen who take up weapons for raids, defense or even big wars. Cattle and sheep herders (possibly transhumant, like the Alpine farmers in the Noricum) and agriculturalists. They are about female earth cultists with fairly ecstatic rites while also hallowing the marriage similar to a Roman Catholic sacrament of marriage, and acting as the cool heads in their relationships, and as the cold long memory that sustains generation-long feuds. Priestly hierarchies aren't part of this, except in Grandmothers-dominated Esrolia, or Dara Happan-infected Sun Dome Counties. Vingkotling Kingship parallels the Heuneburg hierarchy, but still allows for the independent plowmen. And a would-be Vingkotling needs to be a powerful magician to avoid the fate of Arminius even after a great feat of victory.

 

 

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I guess the Mycenaean elements in Orlanthi culture are perhaps things like architecture (esp the cities), perhaps some armour styles and possibly some influence on clothing. I think the socieo-structure feels very anglo-saxon, and the mythology has both anglo-saxon and classical elements. 

Perhaps all of this is more flavour than anything else. Joerg you do raise some very good points as to whether all this elements could realistically mix. 

However perhaps an argument against that may be perhaps the magical ecology allowed things to develop differently to how it has happened in our history. Not sure how strong an argument that is, but this is Glorantha.

In any case I will be interested in seeing how the Orlanthi will be developed in The Coming Storm.

A return to the more ancient flavoured Orlanthi (and Malkioni) is a strong feature for me, as this is the kind of setting that initially grabbed me all those years ago.

Edited by Mankcam
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This is the danger of even naming background analogues. If you say "Orlanthi are more like Mycenaeans than Saxons" then a lot of people assume this means that Orlanthi have all the traits of Mycenaeans. 

Personally, I'd be happier if someone could list out the attributes of the different types of Orlanthi, so Esrolian Orlanthi would be different to Heortland Orlanthi, to Sartarite Orlanthi, to the orlanthi of Aggar or of Pamaltela. Perhaps that would be a lot to do, so maybe have a core "Orlanthiness" list of attributes and then a list where the Orlanthi types differ.

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4 hours ago, Mankcam said:

A return to the more ancient flavoured Orlanthi (and Malkioni) is a strong feature for me, as this is the kind of setting that initially grabbed me all those years ago.

Honestly, before Hero Wars came out, our Orlanthi were the least flavoured of the people. Praxians had a lot of background and flavour as did the Lunars, even the Oasis Folk and Pavisites had flavour, but the Orlanthi - nothing. They were in tribes, officially, but nothing was mentioned about the tribes in RQ2/RQ3,  Orlanth Adventurous was the cult of adventurers, people blown about by the winds. That was it.

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