Between the Holy County and Ralios is the land of Maniria. About two-thirds of the human population are Orlanthi, similar to those of the Holy Country and the East Wilds. Most the rest are either Pralori or survivors of the disaster that struck the Jrusteli province of Slontos some six hundred years ago.
The sinking of Slontos was a terrible disaster on the scale of the Dragonkill War, and one I don’t really think gets the attention it deserves. In the Second Age, the peninsula of Wenelia and its associated islands along with the coastal territories of Maniria and Ramalia were part of the Middle Sea Empire. These territories were larger than the modern Holy Country, and rich and populous. Slontos was one of the great strongholds of the Middle Sea Empire and arguably the second most important center of the God Learners after Jrustela. Large cities such as Hermat, Herolal, Lukae, Thanor, and Veakmal, were great centers of trade and culture.
In 1050, Slontos sunk. Not slowly, but in a catastrophe like megatsunami resulting from the Minoan eruption. I hesitate to even imagine the loss of life but it was certainly in the hundreds of thousands. Slontan civilization was broken. Less than a century later, the Dragonkill War wiped out the human population of nearby Dragon Pass.
The Lightbringers had been powerful in Maniria since the early First Age. After Slontos sunk, Orlanth became dominant after this and the Lightbringers helped them survive.
Around 1170 bold adventurers from Ralios made their way across Maniria to Esrolia for trade. By 1200 Issaries caravans regularly traveled across Maniria, connecting the two lands and for nearly four centuries this was arguably the most important long-distance trade route in Glorantha. The so-called Trader Princes became the de facto rulers of much of Maniria, establishing tribal confederations such as the Ditali, Solanthi, and Nimistori.
The tribal societies previously living in isolation in Maniria were drawn to the riches and opportunities of the civilisations connected by the routes, taking on the trades of marauders or mercenaries. The Trader Princes established a network of markets and caravanserai, and dominated trade between the Holy Country and Ralios. Between 1490 and 1580, this was the only road between Western and Central Genertala and all trade between the areas traveled through here.
But it is important to remember that these Trader Prince Orlanthi are not successors of the Middle Sea Empire or the heirs of the survivors. That goes the the denizens of the New Coast, the New Fens, and most strongly to the oppressed people of Ramalia.
- Search this site for Maniria
Is it known, at least widely suspected why Slontos in particular was the place that sank? Was it a sort of warning shot from the gods? I am pretty sure everyone blames the hubris of the God Learners.
An Orlanthi is going to find is fairly easy to travel from Dragon Pass to Nimistor. Orlanth along with the Lightbringers and Ernalda are the main cults in most areas.
I would be remiss without at least mentioning the one semi-intact survivor of Slontos – the oppressive land of Ramalia.