Re: One Thing About Glorantha; Defining Gods

From: David Dunham (
Date: Sat 25 May 1996 - 11:17:43 EEST

D M McNamara wondered

> If you had to choose one thing that said to you 'glorantha,' what would
> it be?

Hmm, how about a one-word answer: gestalt? No, that's cheating. A more
meaningful one-word answer might be: bronze. I like the idea of a Bronze
Age game (though I found my recent pre-Dawn Neolithic Peloria game fun
too). It's nice there's a better metal, too. And what makes it Glorantha is
that bronze is the bones of the gods.

A more elaborate answer might be: the Lightbringers Quest. After all, it's
the myths that make Glorantha what it is, and this is such a central myth.
It really defines Orlanthi culture, as well as being a fun story. And while
it's an archetypal strory, it contains many uniquely Gloranthan elements.

Mike Cule claimed

> lots of people around here seem to believe that the gods of Glorantha are
> totally defined by what people believe of them (even the Crimson Greg)

I don't *think* that's what Greg Stafford thinks, and it's not what I
think. Greg has said that Shargash (the destructive war god of Alkoth) and
Tolat (god of love and war of the Amazons) are the same being (they are
definitely the same planet). Their cults are radically different.

A.R.Wilson (are you Britons taxed on names or something?) wondered:

> What exactly IS a HeroQuest, and how would one be initiated?

Initiation is simpler: it's a tie between you and your deity. It is
probably a very minor heroquest.

Joseph Campbell explains heroquesting (in somewhat scholarly prose) in Hero
With A Thousand Faces. You cross to the Otherworld and after various
challenges return with an Elixir. This can either be for your own use, or
for the use of your community.

> What is a "Rune Level" character (this confuses me, in a system without
> 'levels')?

A priest or rune lord ("rune level" is an RQ2 term). They are a level up
from initiates.

> What is 'ownership' of a Rune? How does one get to own/be associated
> with a Rune?

In RQ2, it was used to justify calling the owners "rune levels." (Gods are
said to own runes as well, but that's a different story.) You have a close
affiliation with the powers of the rune. Some of the effects associated
with mastery of the Death rune were posted recently -- flowers might wilt
as you walk by, etc.

RQ fans might want to check out


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