Some 150,000 Orlanthi live in the foothills north of the Western Rockwoods, in Brolia and Anadikki. The population density here is about 6 people per square km, a little more than half that of Sartar (in actuality more like a third of the average population density for settled areas).
Brolia is a poor land, and herding of sheep and cattle is the main source of food. Livestock is pastured in the hill country, and then sold in Worion or Arir for grain and crafted goods. Anadikki is richer, with a more mixed economy of farming, herding, and hunting.
Anadikki has two traditional tribes, the Nungarings and the Vesgarings. The tribes pay tribute to the satrap of Doblian but the tribute is not heavy and the tribes are largely ignored by the empire, event though Glamour is less than 200 km away. There is a small martial aristocracy at the top in the tribes, who prove themselves with deeds of bravery – raiding, bear hunting, fighting trolls, or even fighting Chaos in Dorastor.
Brolia has no overall organization, and consists of more than a hundred kinship groups. Because of this, they do not pay tribute to the Overseer of the West Reaches, although Brolian warriors are often found in the employ of the satrap of Worion. Orlanth, Humakt, and Storm Bull are particularly important cults, and Valind is more popular here than among most other Orlanthi.
So why is Brolia so much poorer than Dragon Pass? Simple – first it has much less arable land than Sartar or Tarsh. Second, Brolia is not on a trade route. West of Brolia is covered by the Ban, and so there’s no trade. South of Brolia is Top of the World, and the Rockwoods are nearly impassable here. It is a poor land that nobody wants, and is easy for the locals to flee into the mountains.
What was the reaction of these tribes to Windstop? They were not directly affected by Windstop.
I kind of imagine it as something akin to the medieval Tibetan kingdoms, like Guge, or some of the semi-nomadic peoples of the Zagros Mountains. Not usually much of a threat to the lowlands, except when the lowland central authority is going through a crisis.
Brolia and Anadikki are a good location if you want to play Orlanthi who aren’t as tied into trade, cities, and the rise of Argrath’s kingdom – all that stuff going on in Dragon Pass. They are far more the “backwater barbarians” – think Howard’s Cimmerians or Fafhrd’s Snow Clan – than the Sartarites. You have Lunars, trolls, elves, and Chaos as well.