A clan is a tightly knit group of people, a community tied together by blood, marriage, culture, religion, that share common goals. Orlanthi clans are led by their clan rings.

Clan composition

A clan is typically composed of two different classes of people, the common folk, and the nobles.

The Common Folk

The common folk are the people that tend to the crops and the herds.

  • Cottars tend to the sheep, they possess less land, and are the poorer class.
  • Carls are the upper-class farmers, they typically own good land and care for the cattle.
  • Crafters manufacture goods for the clan.

During raids, the farmers will fight in what is called the fyrd. (Crafters do not fight at all.)

The Nobles

The nobles are the ruling class of the clan.

  • Weaponthanes are the trained warriors of the clan. They are in the service of the clan or clan chief, and strive to protect the people.
  • Nobles, also called Thanes, are the handpicked best and brightest of the clan. Some (not all) nobles choose to volunteer for the Clan Ring. In case of a noble shortage, replacements are drawn automatically from the population.


  • The Clan Ring is composed of a few chosen from the nobles. They speak for the people and advise the chief of the clan. The people may come to the clan ring to settle disputes.
  • The Chief of the clan is the leader, and part of the clan ring. He listens to the views of the other ring members, and is responsible for the final decisions.
  • In addition to the Clan Ring, there is an informal Outer Ring, made up of about 20 wise people.


A clan may also own slaves, called Thralls, that have no legal status. They can be captured from raids, or bought. In the world of Glorantha, it is not badly viewed to own slaves. But make sure your ancestors kept thralls if you want to have some, going against your ancestors traditions has consequences!

Clans of Dragon Pass

Other Orlanthi inhabit Dragon Pass as well. You can see their descriptions and possible names on the Orlanthi Clans in Dragon Pass page.