Terminology: Heortling, Sartarite, Heortlander


A few notes on terminology. I rarely use the word “Heortling” to describe the Orlanthi of Sartar and Heortland, prefering “Sartarite,” “Heortlander,” or even just “Orlanthi.” When I get manuscripts with the term, I usually edit it to one of the above – unless the term is referring to the people of Dragon Pass and surrounding lands the First Age or early Second Age.

The reason for this is that the culture – its organization, language, even cultic practices, so dramatically changed that it is quite an anachronism to call them “Heortlings”. Most Sartarites call themselves “Sartarites”, while the Heortlanders often call themselves Heortlanders or Hendriki.

In between the First Age and the Third was the Empire of the Wyrms Friends. The Dragon Pass Orlanthi were the foundation of the EWF. They lost much of their ancient culture during this period of dragon worship. The splendid and colorful age combined many parts of many ideas to make a new wholeness. When the EWF collapsed and was destroyed the successors were not a restored version of the First Age Heortlings, but something new.

What we have in the Third Age is not the same culture as in the First – even the Orlanth cult has changed, with the Orlanth Rex cult giving great authority to the Prince and tribal kings. The Orlanthi of Heortland had far greater cultural and religious influence from Esrolia (remember they had tried to conquer Esrolia in the late Second/early Third Ages), and later strong influences from the Holy Country (and lesser influences from the Lunar Empire). I think a different and less anachronistic term is more than warranted.

Didn’t the Dragonkill kill most of the Heortlings living in todays Sartar? Wouldn’t the Colymar pre-Sartar be more like the Hendriki than the pre-Dragonkill Heartlings living in today’s Sartar? The Dragonkill killed pretty much anyone who could call themselves Heortling with a straight face. The Hendriki were not a Heortling tribe (they were formed out of rebels against the Broken Council and called themselves Hendrikings for a good reason) and outside of the Kingdom of Dragon Pass (which later became the EWF).

What about the language? Sartarite/Heortlander is heavily influenced by Esrolian. Old Pavic might be the closest to Second Age “Heortling”.

How do you pronounce ‘Heortling’? Heort (Hee-yort) plus ling.

Is Heortling a similar term to ‘Celt’ or ‘Mycenaean’ I.e a term of convenience? In the First Age, the people of Dragon Pass called themselves the “people of Heort” or Heortlings. This lasted a bit into the Second Age, but when the old tribes disappeared, the old institutions were gone, and folk started to talk with dragons, I expect that changed. Only Lhankor Mhy scholars likely still do that, like the use of the Latin title “Dei Gratia Suecorum, Gothorum et Vandalorum Rex” by the early modern Swedish kings.

How closely do Manirian and Ralian Orlanthi mirror the First Age cultures? They have changed a LOT since the First Age as well.