Big Questions.....

From: Michael Cule (
Date: Sat 12 Apr 1997 - 01:43:12 EEST

Trent Di Renna wants a lot of answers to some Very Big Questions....

The following is all, In My Humble Opinion and my way of looking at some
very complex ideas.

> 1. HeroQuests: What exactly are they, and what are they supposed to do?

Glorantha is a Platonic Universe. Outside the 'real' or mundane world is a
world where the First Things are, where the Ideas of which the mundane world is
just a series of shadows really exist. The deeds of the Gods and other immortals
done at the begining of all things continue to exist there, Timeless and
eternally True. Life on Glorantha continues in its recognisable course because
of these Truths. Because Issaries exists and performs his Trades on the GodPlane
human merchants exist. Because Orlanth exists, the winds continue to blow free.

As above So below.

But also: As below, so above. The acts of worshippers in venerating and serving
the Gods make them more 'real' in the Mundane world and ensure that their myths
and legends continue to influence the world.

Now, it is possible for mortals to enter the divine realms. At the most basic
level, the regular rituals of the various cults take the worshippers to the
GodPlane and place them in the roles of the patron gods. Not very far in, nor
very deeply into the roles. But each initiation, marriage, priesting and so on
is a very small recreation of the events of GodTime and brings the Eternal into
the Mundane.

At the next level up, it is possible for someone to recreate some special part
of the God's myth and gain special advantages from this. This is dangerous and
risks terrible penalties if you fail. It is something for high Rune Levels to
attempt and then only once or twice in a lifetime. There are records, maps and
rituals to allow people to find their way through the GodPlane known to each
cult. The aim is to do as the God did and become more like the God thereby as
well as to gain power for yourself, your cult and your people.

At the highest, most dangerous level, it is possible for a mortal to go onto
the GodPlane and leave the known, mapped paths in an attempt to do something
new. The penalties for failure are even more horrendous than those from non-
experimental HeroQuesing up to and including total loss of selfhood and
identity or being the slave of some evil being for all eternity. But someone
who acheives it has become in effect a Living God, a new part of the eternal
pattern of the Dance that is Glorantha. Such a person is a Hero. And there are
an alarming number of them on Glorantha at the moment....
> 2. The Hero Plane: It seems to me that _this_ is where the gods actually
> live. There are numerous descriptions of gods existing in this plane
> (Yelm, Krarsht from LoT, etc.), and it is also where the "afterworlds" are
> said to exist. So then what is the God Plane for?

See above. The God Plane is the deepest part of the Other World, where the
deepest, hardest to change, oldest parts of Gloranthan reality dwell.

The Hero Plane is the part that is easiest to reach and contains the mortal
made and fairly recent and easy to change bits.

> 3. Rune Lords: I _think_ I know what these are, from what I remember
> from the RQ rulebook, and from the description of Krarsht's Jaws: special
> warriors and agents of the gods, not necessarily priests or acolytes, who
> nevertheless receive special powers and boons from the gods. I have read
> of Wind Lords and Wood Lords, who seem to be specific versions of Rune
> Lords (Orlanthi and elven, respectively), but I am not sure of this. What
> other Rune Lords are there?

See Gods of Glorantha for this. There is a silly theory about that cults who
have both RL and Rune Priests must be amalgams of earlier cults.
> 4. The Mostali: I like their "scientific" viewpoint and the World
> Machine. Their technology has been described as "advanced", but how
> advanced is this? Steel-making? Clockwork devices? Steam Power?

They certainly have gunpowder, clockwork and primative steam. The God Time
Mostali were even more advanced if the stories of the Walking Fort are
anything to go by. Greg Stafford once wrote a very depressing explanation of
his vision for Glorantha's dwarves called "Why I Hate Mostali".

> 5. The "Invisible God" of the West: Real, or just a myth invented by the
> West to explain away their sorcery?

That's a very good question. Now go and ask the Inquisitors that and let them
adjust your attitude.

No-one (with the possible exception of Mr Stafford) knows. Bear in mind that
given the plastic nature of Glorantha's Reality, it may not have been true
always but may be true now....
> and one more question:
> 6. Are _Gods of Glorantha_ and _Elder Secrets_ still published by AH?
> These are the only two RQ books that my local game store doesn't have, and
> I would definitely like to have these.

That's a very good question. We'd like to know ourselves.....

Given the recent split between RQ and Glorantha I'd doubt it myself but this
material may be reprinted in part in the new 'systemless' stuff Chaosium is
promising us.

- --
Michael Cule

Actor And Genius
AKA Theophilus Prince Archbishop Of The Far Isles Medieval Society
Arms Purpure An Open Book Proper: On the Dexter Page an Alpha Or
On the Sinister an Omega Or. Motto Nulla Spes Sit in Resistendo
(Resistance is Useless). Ask me about the Far Isles:
Better Living through Pan-Medieval Anachronisms.


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