This medium-sized clan herds cattle and sheep on the Starfire Ridges, and grow grain and grapes in the lowland valley. The Orlmarth are often called the “Woodpecker clan.” This clan is sometimes also called the “Starfires,” because of where they live; and the “Keeper of Secrets”, presumably because of their role in tribal male initiation rites.
The Orlmarth live along the Starfire Ridges to the west of the Quivin Mountains. This is a rugged area with much seismic activity. The Starfire Ridges are a high mass of tuff and sandstone, and there is geothermal area called the Cinder Pits with steaming sulfur vents.
The Ormarth are a medium-sized clan numbering some 800 people. Of these, 325 are free adults, and 125 are semi-free herders or tenant farmers. They have about 35 households. About 100 members of the clan live outside of the clan territory.
Twenty-six people are singled out in the clan to be of special significance, according to their social rank. They are:
1. Savan Kenstrelson, the chieftain
2. Chief Priestess
3-13. Priests and other thanes
14-16. Three crafters (red-smith, stonemason, pottery artist)
17-26. Heads of important households
About half the clan resides in Old Man Village, a walled village in the Nymie Vale near their border with the Ernaldori clan with about 400 residents. There are about 18 households, including that of the chieftain and the crafters. The village controls access to the Starfire Ridges. Another 12 households live in four small hamlets scattered around the Nymie Vale below the Starfire Ridges. Five more households live in steads on the Starfire Ridge itself. About 100 members of the clan live outside of the clan territory, mostly in Clearwine Fort about 8 kilometers away.
There can be up to 300 young men residing on the Starfire Ridges, in several makeshift camps.
The Orlmarth maintain a minor temple to Orlanth Thunderous, and shrines to Ernalda, Esrola, Voriof, Orlanth Adventurous, and one more deity. The clan has five full-time priests, five martial thanes, and eight god-talkers. The clan sage of Lhankor Mhy is part of the Knowledge Temple in Wilmskirk. For more important Earth Magic, the Clearwine Earth Temple is nearby. The Orlmarth control access to a major temple to Orlanth atop the Starfire Ridges, which gives them access to many powerful cult spirits and Air elementals. The clan’s magic is strongly oriented towards Air and Movement.The clan has several magical treasures including the Thunderer’s Wagon which needs four oxen to pull it, and numerous matrixes for Rune and spirit magic.
The red-headed woodpecker is sacred to them, and their guardian spirit is bound to one of the woodpeckers in the clan lands. It is taboo for clan members to harm red-headed woodpeckers.
The Orlmarth maintain five martial thanes from the Orlanth Adventurous cult and 12 full-time warriors, led by the clan chief. The clan can muster about 175 militia, including many slingers and skirmishers. The clan militia musters and trains as part of the Colymar tribal militia.In addition, there are often as many as 300 young men on the Starfire Ridges, where they hunt, raid, and learn to fight as a group. These bands serve as skirmishers.
The Orlmarth priests are an oral repository of Orlanth cult lore and of Colymar songs going back three centuries. The clan has a reputation for singing, typically accompanied by drumming.The clan sage records events, accounts, and clan and tribal legal matters, and writes correspondence on behalf of the clan chief.
The Orlmarth have enough arable land for subsistence; most of their surplus wealth comes from their livestock (particular sheep) and their control of the Orlanth holy sites on the Starfire Ridges.
The Orlmarth or the bands of young men on the Starfire Ridges often raid the Greydog Clan for additional resources.
The Orlmarth are closely linked by marriage, cult, and tradition to the other Colymar clans. The clan has significant influence in tribal affairs, and four of the last twelve tribal kings have come from this clan – all died heroically in the defense of the tribe.
This clan has a long-standing rivalry with the Greydog clan of the Lismelder tribe, who live on the other side of the Starfire Ridge.
The Orlmarth are well-listened to by the other Colymar clans. They are typically able to find good marriage partners throughout the Colymar Tribe.
The Orlmarth look to Clearwine Fort (only about 8 km away) for larger cultural activities, including athletic competitions, fertility celebrations, and for trade opportunities. The clan events are either strongly associated with the larger Orlanth cult or are “clubby” events where outsiders are rarely welcome.
The clan priests oversee male apprenticeship rights for several local clans, and bands of young men seeking to prove themselves can often be found on the Starfire Ridges.
The Orlmarthing have an agricultural surplus of 200W, with another 75W coming from their control of a major temple to Orlanth. They often raid the Greydog clan for additional resources. Out of this they pay:
- 40W for their chief and chief priestess.
- 100W for ten thanes and priests. They have five priests, and five thanes.
- 60W for 12 bodyguards
- 40W for eight god-talkers.12W for three crafters. They have a red-smith, a mason, and a potter.
- 6W for a scribe
About how much would you say raiding brings in? Because wow, that is an interesting dynamic now we have numbers. The Greydog clan lose money to the Orlmarth… I assume the Greydogs need to brew a lot of beer to make up the difference. Or send their warriors to guard their livestock from those teenagers.I kind of imagine that living near the Starfire Ridge is like dwelling near a permanent rock festival, filled with young men with something to prove and all out of food and money.
between the Boldhome Bronze Workers Guild, the Ernaldori, the Orlmarth, and the Varmandi, I think have presented a good and diverse range of Orlanth communities. Sure I could do more but this is probably enough to give a taste.
What I am pleased about is how different the Ernaldori are from the Orlmarth, even though they are traditional marriage partners, are only 8 km away, and pretty much interlinked. And the Varmandi just have it tough.
Who’s the “and one more deity” they have a temple to? I like to give the GM the opportunity of having a shrine to some minor god there to fit what she wants in her campaign or to make things easier on the players. In my game it is a shrine to Maran Gor, but it could be Yinkin or Humakt, etc.