Origins of the Colymar

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Mon 27 Apr 1998 - 12:55:53 EEST

Joerg Baumgartner:

JB>>>IMO the Colymar came from the Creek-Stream River valley just north of
>>>the place where now the Lead Hills block its path.

Me>>That is far too close to the Shadow Plateau for my liking. If that were
>>the case one would expect the Colymar to be dominated by Darkness like
>>the Torkani are.

>Well, they do have the Black Spear. Sounds very Argan Argar to me, at least.

If the Spear's origin is AA (and I doubt it very strongly), that does
not make the Colymar 'dominated by darkness like the Torkani' are.

>And the Colymar claim that the Kitori granted them safe passage.

An enemy of my enemy is my friend.

>>>Fragments of the clan are likely to live elsewhere, too - remember that
>>>Hendriki clans can easily reach the size of Sartarite tribes.

>>I find this improbable. How does their clan structure cope with it?

>By allowing sub-clans to develop.

Why don't the sub-clans just split up and call themselves normal

>IMO the Hendriki oversized clans are loathe to call themselves "tribes"
>in the Alakoringite way, so they cling to the clan structure and tamper
>with it.

I don't see why this should be so. Most of the Sartarites who
are descended from the Hendriki do not follow this custom and
it is not hinted at in the Report on the Orlanthi. Furthermore
Questlines shows the Volsaxi tribes occupying territories roughly
the same size as the Sartarites.

Me>>After Colymar's death, the clan had to split itself up fivefold barely
>>one generation of unrestricted expansion.

>After 10 years of exposure to "tribes" smaller than their own "clan".

These tribes came from Heortland! So why would the Heortlanders
suddenly adopt a radically different system of clans in the ten or
so years after the Colymar migrated?

>switching from the careless "nobody will attack us" mode of settlement
>(which seems to have worked with strong patrons disallowing fortifications -
>do you expect Vendref villages to have stockades?) to the Alakoringite hill
>fort settlement.

Which does not require any change in clan structure.

>>Moreover this puts the origin of the Orshanti dissidents
>>further to the east and means they came from the Volsaxi rather than
>>north of the Lead Hills.

>There were no Volsaxi prior to Tarkalor's coup which removed the Kitori
>rulers. There were subject clans who paid tribute (still called Arkat's
>Command?) to the Kitori.

As argued elsewhere, the Kitori would be the last people who collected
Arkat's Command. Furthermore 'An Earlier Argrath' explicitly mentions
the Volsaxi as having existed before Tarkalor (ie 'when Tarkalor was
among the Volsaxi...').

>We don't know how the Black Spear Clan led by Beneva and Colymar traveled
>before they reached the Cross Line, either.

They would travel from A to B by the quickest way, methinks. Thus
the Colymar came from near Whitewall.

>>>It is perfectly possible to be good Orlanthi and yet live
>>>in North Esrolia, with firm ties into their earth worship.

>>They would not be Hendriki if they lived in Northern Esrolia.

>This sounds like "Harmast can't have been a Berennethtelli if he lived in
>southern Kerofinela". When I lived and worked in Norway (for a year only, I
>admit) I still remained a German.

Apples and Oranges. There is practically no room for an entire clan
(according to you the size of a tribe!) to migrate to densely populated
Esrolia and expect to maintain their integrity and to maintain tribal
loyalties to a far-off tribe in another country!

>If tribal membership is an ancestral relation, I can't see why splinters
>maintaining an identity cannot live far from the main group.

Tribes are not measures of Ancestral relations in the Third Age,
Bloodlines are. IMO even in King Heort's Time, clans could defect
from one tribe to another. There is no benefit in maintaining tribal
affiliations when one moves into a new area in the third age.

>The Colymar severance of their ancestral ties seems to be unusual, and
>caused by the extreme situation when they entered a forbidden land.

They did not sever any ties. They simply formed a new clan which
is the basic Orlanthi social unit.

>(Note how the Pure Horse People survivors who formed the Grazers about
>65 years before the Colymar entered did the same thing...)

Did they?

- --Peter Metcalfe


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