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I am trying to do some background research for my world. I have found a ton of data explaining the hierarchy between septs, clans, and tribes, but above a tribe is where I start falling short on material.

Ideally what I am looking for to create is a group of clans that make up a tribe, that a group of tribes make up a... nation or some regional level entity... which then I hope form a Horde as the overall head of the hierarchy.

This comes to mind when thinking about the game World of Warcraft (WoW) where Horde isn't used to denote a large angry/violent mob destroying all in the way (a horde of zombies, a horde of barbarians, a horde of protesters, etc), but rather a territorial, sociopolitical entity under a war-chieftain. From there, the various fictional orc groups are broken down into tribes and clans.

Would the Horde structure system in WoW be acceptable where it goes from tribes to the main Horde group or do I need regional entities to bridge the gap between a Horde and a Tribe?

To give some background information, I am looking to have the beginnings of each tribe grouping to be regional in parts of the world/map. Then, One group of tribes/region fight to unite all regional tribe groups into one Horde group. Think of it like the early days of the Greek Empire where a regional group aka Spartans rose up to unite the other regional Greek states into the Greek Empire.

EDIT: @Raditz_35 provided a link about a Khanate which brought me to a map:

enter image description here

The term or a term like Khanate would very much be what I am looking to use in a tribal theme.

EDIT 2: It seems that a Horde would be on par with a regional grouping according to this wiki about Ordas. This also goes in line with @AlexP's suggestion to make Horde sub of Khanate. However, it was also claimed that the Golden Horde eventually broke up into smaller Khanates and contradicts the notion that a Horde is smaller than a Khanate.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you know that, but just to be sure: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Horde read the section "name" $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jun 21, 2017 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 yes thanks for that! I did see a few articles about the Golden Horde, so it does appear to be historically okay (though this was the only time I found where a Horde was used as a central location). Would it be okay then to assert that I can have multiple regional groups make up a Horde? I am also still falling short on an entity between a tribe (city) and a more regional thing (such as a state) then Horde (or nation). There doesn't seem to be a state term for a group of tribes. $\endgroup$
    – ggiaquin16
    Jun 21, 2017 at 21:50
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    $\begingroup$ Are you maybe looking for en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khanate ? The Mongols became a thing once they united multiple regional groups. But I'm no historian. This might get a great answer in a history forum $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jun 21, 2017 at 21:53
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    $\begingroup$ Wikipedia has an article on horde as a Turkic / Mongol organisation. In the Eurasian steppe it is basically the equivalent of an American Indian extended tribe, such as the Apaches or the Cheyenne. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jun 21, 2017 at 22:06
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    $\begingroup$ You may want to reverse the order between Horde and Khanate -- historically a Khanate was (usually) the larger entity. But then, of course, everybody and his neighbour begans calling themselves Khans... $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jun 21, 2017 at 22:23

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Yes, because first of all you can define terms for groups in fiction however you want to.

In my opinion, if a question over terminology for fiction requires too much research or arcane study in order to answer, you can just make up whatever you want and arguably call it plausible, because there are very few people who know, and for those who do know, so what--? See my first answer. To care too much about the "plausibility" of elements in a world is to care more about technicalities than the story.

Star Trek throws plausibility out the window every time they go faster than the speed of light, for crying in the mud. At light speed any object of substantial mass gains infinite mass and destroys the universe.

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  • $\begingroup$ You make a very good point that if I need to do a lot of digging around, more than likely it won't matter to the general public. I also understand it is my world and I can do what ever, but I also want it to flow with familiarity so that people aren't spending time having to understand it through context. $\endgroup$
    – ggiaquin16
    Jun 27, 2017 at 21:17
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    $\begingroup$ Frankly, as a writer, even if it mattered to a select few, I wouldn't care. They can read other literature that strains "plausibility--" by which I mean they can read any literature, and be unhappy with it, if that's their attitude ;) $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2017 at 21:21
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure I really responded to your comment :p I'd guess that the noun your after wouldn't be familiar to most folks, but I also expect readers would pick up its meaning easily through context. For example, a leader could order a summons of everyone in the Khanate to battle, and be met with incredulity; and/or as a result, in the story every group shows up; so the readers know Khanate means everyone. $\endgroup$ Jun 28, 2017 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure the Star Trek comment is physically correct =) But if opinion is the issue here, most fantasy grounds itself using terms and principles that are valid for the real world. This makes fantasy settings easier to "get into", more immersive, because they resonate with the consumer. The opposite is also true - when a principle that is present in the real world is used in a fantasy setting, but it is poorly researched and as a result - grotesquely warped (resonates, then completely wrong the next moment), it becomes difficult to accept, and the immersion is lost. $\endgroup$
    – MishaP
    Aug 6, 2021 at 12:38
  • $\begingroup$ When I research it I find some sources interpreting Einstein's relativity as predicting near infinite mass for objects when they approach light speed, and then I find this article which claims that notion is false and that it's more correct to describe it as kinetic energy. :shrug: wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2013/06/18/… $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2021 at 15:47

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