The Greater Darkness began when chaos entered the world. Many gods died in the ensuing struggles, including Genert, the god of the land. Bemurok the Storm Bull led the defenders and managed to defeat the Devil.
Meanwhile, Orlanth and his companions set out on the Lightbringer's Quest to rescue Ehilm from Hell. After many trials, they succeeded, and Ehilm returned to the sky in the first dawn.
During the First Age, a god was created in Dorastor. His worshipers called him Nysalor the Bright One. Harmast Barefoot was the first human to enact the Lightbringer's Quest, returning with a knight named Arkat to combat Nysalor's empire. Arkat unmasked Nysalor as Gbaji the Deceiver, and used all possible means to defeat him, performing many heroquests and even becoming a troll. Ralios was the theatre for much of Arkat's 75-year campaign against Gbaji, which culminated in the destruction of both the god and his homeland. Arkat then retired to Ralios and with his troll allies founded the Empire of Peace.
The Second Age was dominated by the Jrusteli God Learners from the west, and the Empire of the Wyrms Friends to the east. The Jrusteli conquered and plundered Arkat's Empire, and by reckless heroquesting were able to twist the world. They were overthrown by many people who allied with the gods to restore the cosmos. Part of their demise was a mighty spell which closed the oceans to travel.
The Empire of the Wyrms Friends enjoyed a close relationship with dragons and their kin. Ingolf Dragonfriend from the Garanazar clan was one of their heroes. When the EWF became corrupt, Alakoring Dragonbreaker of the Orbuni clan fought them. Finally, the dragonewts rose and crushed the empire.
The most noteworthy event so far in the Third Age was the rising of the Red Moon to the northeast. An empire was founded by the worshipers of the Red Goddess, but they have had little contact with Ralios.
In 1413 King Bailifes the Hammer took most of Safelster, driving refugees into Vesmonstran and East Ralios.
In 1499, all communication with Fronela to the north was mysteriously cut off. Travelers over High Llama Pass find only a trackless miasma.
The many tribes of East Ralios share a common culture, called Orlanthi after their chief god.
The Orlanthi live by herding and farming. Cattle provide milk and meat, and sheep provide wool. Growing wheat is seen as a sign that you can't afford a herd, but it's important for brewing beer.
Families live in round buildings with conical thatched roofs. These can be quite large, and are sometimes found in ringforts or hillforts, huge earth and wood structures large enough to hold the herds in times of trouble.
The clan is the most important social organization, owning all land, and their own unique magic. Clans frequently form into tribes to further common goals. Tribes occasionally join into temporary kingdoms, usually to deal with an external threat. The clan thane and tribal king are each assisted by a council, or Ring.
People are ranked as thanes, carls, cottars, or thralls. There is much mobility between classes, and the clan thane is elected from a large group of eligible kin.
Men are feisty, unpredictable, and passionate while women are calm, calculating and possessed. Although each gender has their own roles, there are no firm rules, and women often become hearthguards or kings.
Marriage is a partnership, with husband and wife sharing in property. Children are part of the husband's clan. They're frequently fostered, and are initiated into adulthood with various tests.
The Orlanthi believe in spirits and gods which guide everything, and interpret events as being of divine origin. People are protected from the supernatural and harmful fates by geases, which prohibit dangerous behavior.
The major deities worshipped are:
Orlanth: King of the World, storm god, culture hero, men's god.
Ralia: Cow Mother, Wheat Goddess, Land Goddess, women's goddess.
Issaries: The Talking God, god of travel and heralds
Lankoring: The Knowing God, lawspeaker
Minor deities include:
Humath, god of swords and death; Mastakos, Orlanth's charioteer; Chalana the Healer; Heler the Rain Bringer; Voriof the Shepherd, god of boys; Odall the Hunter; Gustbran the Smith; Drogarsi the Dancer; Bemurok the Storm Bull, chaos killer; Vinga the Adventuress; Eurmal the Trickster. Most clans worship their own heroes or local deities, and have Kolating, or spirit masters.
Orlanthi law is usually settled in a court, though occasionally there are judicial duels. Judgments include fines and penalties, perhaps including outlawry.
It's said that the Orlanthi spend as much time tending themselves as their cows. Common adornments include bracelets, necklaces, torcs, elaborate buckles, dyed linens, and mirrors.
All adult males are warriors. Hearthguards are full time fighters in the service of thanes, and may fight from chariots. Given the choice of armor or a sword, an Orlanthi would choose the blade without hesitating. Many warriors fight clad only in magic. Most battles are small, and preceded by boasting, threats, and challenges. Heads are a popular trophy.
Trolls live in Halikiv and Guhan, and send caravans of giant insects between the two kingdoms. Dragonewts control Ormsland. There are elves in Ballid and Tarinwood. Dwarfs live in the Nidan Mountains, and trade at Bad Deal.
Safelster is a swirling kaleidoscope of city-states and variants of the Malkioni religion. All practice sorcery, though some worship Orlanth, Arkat, or other gods.
Other Orlanthi tribes live in Vesmonstran, but they are mainly farmers.
The hsunchen live in Telmoria, Vustria, Basim, and Pralorela, as well as within East Ralios. They're hunter-gatherers, and can turn into their totem animals. (The wolf tribes involuntarily become werewolves every Wildday.)
Incredible beasts can be hunted in Wonderwood.
Info Plaza David Dunham Page East Ralios