Greg Sez: Orlanthi Groups Q&A (2008)

Published 15th Aug 2008

Questions from Josh Reynolds answered by Greg Stafford.

Q:I’m trying to understand the relationships between the various Orlanthi cultures, but some of the material is still unclear.
A:Good questions here Josh. I am going to answer them in fragments.
Q:Before the Dawn, the Orlanthi spread across Maniria, Peloria, and Ralios (modern names, of course — the geography was quite different then). Their major divisions were the Vingkotlings, Durevings, and Helerings. Other groups included the Talastings, Andini, and Aluthorings.
A:These first three are the major divisions of the Orlanthi in the early Gods War. They had many internal divisions, some of which became more important than others. The last three you named are some of those small groups. Many others existed as well, such as the Harandings of Maniria.
Q:After the Dawn, the major divisions were the Heortlings (of Vingkotling stock), the Talastari, and the Ralians.
A:Actually, only the Heortlings were of great signficance. They had survived the Great Darkness relatively intact, thanks to their cultural hero Heort. Many other little Orlanthi groups existed, including those you named above. However, none were really important. For instance, in Ralios the Orlanthi only became important when many of the little clans and families adopted (Heortling) Orlanthi ways when Lightbringer missionaries came there in the First Age and united them into the Ralians.
Q:In the Dragonkill, Alakoring influenced the groups to the north and west of Dragon Pass, who afterwards were known as Alakorings.
A:Alakoring was a great hero from Ralios who influenced his local people during the time of the Empire of Wyrms Friends, and who also spread some new leadership methods. His influence was such that most peoples were called after him.
Q:In modern times, some of the groups are the Sartari, Hendreiki, and Aeolians (all Heortlings); and the Tarshites, Aldachuri, Bilini, and Ralians (all Alakorings).
A:All of these peoples except the Bilini and Ralians were, in the Dawn Age, Heortlings. A second prominent group (consisting primarily of peoples who were converted to the Orlanthi way) were the Tarumathings who eventually included all the Orlanthi west of the Heortlings, including the Talastari and Bilini. That organization lost its center when Lokamayadon was killed, and then was destroyed in the final Gbaji Wars.
Q:So, if the Heortlings are all Vingkotlings, what are the Alakorings?
A:As seen above, most Alakorings were originally Heortlings (if they were in southern Peloria) or “new Orlanthi” of the First Age (in Ralios).
Q:And which groups are descendents of the other two major prehistoric tribes, the Durevings and Helerings?
A:The majority of the Durevings and Helerings were exterminated in the Great Darkness. Nonetheless, families and clans of them continue to survive among the Heortlings. More importantly, the Dureving way survived as the “commoners” of Heortling culture because their ways were so important. Similarly, the Helerings survive among the Heortlings with significant populations (in the Dawn Age) in modern Esrolia and Wenelia.

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