Let’s try a little to get a sense of scale of an Orlanthi tribe. Let’s start with one of the biggest – the Colymar. The tribe has about 13,000 members. Most are clustered in little villages scattered between the Stream and the Creek, but there are also important clusters in Boldhome and Jonstown.
The patron gods of the Colymar tribe are the Lightbringers, led by Orlanth Rex, and Ernalda. There are several regionally important temples controlled by the tribe – most important is the Clearwine Earth Temple.
At 13,000 members, there are somewhere around 8500 adults. This is about the size of a small US city like Spearfish, SD, Steamboat Springs CO., or Baker CIty OR (I’m picking cities that are not mere suburbs of a larger metropolitan area).
Of course the tribe has many smaller kinship groups or clans. The Colymar have about a dozen, with an average population of a little over a 1000 per clan. Some of these kinship groups enjoy higher status than others – the Ernaldori, Konthasos, and Orlmarth enjoy a “noble status” because of their descent from Colymar and Hareva, and the Taraling are closely connected through marriage. Within these clans, there are small aristocratic lineages – think of these as the well-connected, old families that dominate affairs in many small towns.
The most important institutions in any tribe is going to be the tribal Orlanth Rex cult, and the various priesthoods. This gets moderated by the tribal assemblies – when all the members of the tribe gather to resolve disputes and discuss issues. That’s also when the tribal militia gathers to train and show off.
Above the tribe is the Prince of Sartar, who the tribe is sworn to. This figure is of great religious and political importance, but is not part of the tribal structure. The Prince is also a tremendous source of largess and gifts, and the head of the Orlanth Rex cult. Boldhome is not all that far away – only three or four days travel from Clearwine Fort, and Jonstown is a about a day or two from Apple Lane.
Most Sartarite tribes are small communities. Clans are even smaller – a cluster of related families.
What is the physical size of the Colymar lands? About 40 km north to south by about 24 km west to east, or about 960 sq. km. That’s a bit smaller than most US counties.