Question From Geoffrey Dalcher. Answer 1998 Greg Stafford.
Q: What is the difference between the Heortlings, Vingkotlings, and “modern” Orlanthi?
A: These three labels basically describe the same peoples in the same regions, but at different times.
Orlanthi is a very inclusive term, basically meaning everyone who worships Orlanth (in any space or time.) All of these peoples are called Orlanthi.
The Vingkotlings were the first Orlanthi tribe, named after their first king, Vingkot. They existed during the Storm Age of the mythic era. They thrived, but the people were nearly exterminated during the Great Darkness. Thus they are the best-known Orlanthi tribe from mythic times.
After the Vingkotlings came the Heortlings. Heort the Great taught new survival skills and divine mysteries to many people who were lost int he Darkness, and organized a new tribe. He was the first king of this new Orlanthi people. Thanks to him they survived the Great Darkness, and at the Dawn were the core for one of the most powerful peoples in early history.
Modern Orlanthi generally consider themselves to be Heortlings. However, they are also called Alakorings, which is less used but perhaps more correct. Alakoring was a leader in the tenth century whose social reforms significantly altered the peoples and tribes who followed him. (He instituted the worship of Orlanth Rex, with powers to control the priesthood.) He opposed the traditional Heortlings whose leadership followed draconic ways. However, the tribes east of the Rockwoods retained their ancient title of Heortlings after the dragons left, while those of Ralios preferred to keep calling themselves Alakorings.