East Ralios Orlanthi
All Orlanthi hate Arkat. He rampaged through Ralios, and destroyed the Bright Empire that had brought civilization, enlightenment, and unity to the many tribes and peoples. His war killed off many hsunchen tribes entirely, such as the Zebra folk and the Kivitti elephant people. With the Bright Empire no longer defending against it, chaos returned to the land. Arkat fought that too, but forswore all his oaths and became a troll. He then left Ralios, until just when things were returning to normal, he returned and with his troll allies, ruthlessly conquered everyone again and set up his Dark Empire, which ruled for years with a leaden fist. Nowadays, the name Arkat is usually heard as a swear word.
The Orlanthi know that Arkat is revered by the sorcerers of Safelster, which is just one more reason to hate them.
The dead are buried in the earth, a symbolic return to Mother Ralia. For that reason, corpses are arranged into a fetal position. They are supplied with grave goods, and a cairn raised over them.
Harmast Barefoot was a mighty hero, who travelled westward through Ralios recreating Orlanth's Lightbringer's Quest. He reintroduced many forgotten rituals.
The Orlanthi of Ralios speak languages of the Ralian sub-family of Theyalan. Their languages are divided into the Eastern and Vesmonstran groups.
The Eastern group consists of Delelan, Keanish, and Saugan. Speakers of one of these languages can use the others at 2/3 of their skill in their native language. They can make themselves understood in Vesmonstran languages at 1/3 their skill, and are 1/10 their skill in languages of the Fronelan, Pelorian, Umathelan, and Manirian subfamilies. In addition, they are at 1/10 their skill in Naskori, which is not a Theyalan language but has many loan words.
The Vesmonstran group consists of Otkori and Lankan. Speakers of one of these languages can use the other at 2/3 of their skill in their native language. They can make themselves understood in an Eastern language at 1/3 their skill, and are 1/10 their skill in languages of the Fronelan, Pelorian, Umathelan, and Manirian subfamilies.
Each of the Hsunchen tribes speaks their own language. None of these are mutually intelligible. However, the language of a given tribe is the same throughout Glorantha -- the Basmoli at the fringes of Ralios can easily communicate with the Basmoli of distant Prax.
The people of Safelster speak Safelstran, a Western language. They speak Seshnegi at 1/2 their native skill, and other Western languages at 1/5. (Actually, there is no single Safelstran language, but the many national dialects, such as Naskori, are mutually intelligible at 3/4 the native skill level.)
Orlanthi traders often learn Uz (the language of trolls) or Traveller's Talk. Mercenaries usually pick up some Safelstran.
Orlanthi leaders (clan thanes, tribal kings, and kings of the tribal confederations of Delela and Saug) are all elected. Rules for eligibility vary slightly, but typically a candidate must be a noble -- related to a former thane. Since clans associate more or less voluntarily as tribes, and tribes technically form confederations only temporarily, kings have little direct power. They lead through a combination of respect, tradition, personal power, politics, and their generosity. Although they are almost always acolytes or rune lords of Orlanth Rex, they have little control over the Cult of Orlanth.
See also A Summary of the Orlanthi
Copyright ©1997 David Dunham. Last updated 3 May 97.
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