First of all, I would like to clarify that with this text I do not intend to end a debate as complex as that of the truth in Glorantha. I am rather a new person in the setting, attracted thanks to my fanaticism in the "deep lore" of Elder Scrolls that later became an obsession with religion and folklore. I just wish to give my vision about it, a vision perhaps ignorant, but open to corrections and criticism.
I've been reading these pages for a while now in silence. I only uploaded a post once, and since then I have dedicated myself to read and feed myself with the excellent discussions that you guys have here. However, when I encounter certain topics related to certain eternally controversial issues (Yelmalio-Elmal for example) I cannot help feeling that we forget one of the main characteristics of ancient religion and mythology, a serious thing, because ancient religion and mythology is the base of glorantha.
I honestly believe that it is impossible to define a god as a fixed entity with personality, and treat their myths as if they were some kind of historical book (or a thousand historical books) that together will give us a complete and accurate view of the events that happened in that Glorantha's timeless past. This is not something new: I have read it several times here and elsewhere regarding the setting, and yet, I think that many times we do not realize how deep this goes.
No doubt there are primary, cosmic, magical forces that manifest themselves in Glorantha through the cult of the deities, and no doubt heroquesting gives access to powerful magic that defines the characteristics of entire cultures. However, I do not believe that this means or brings with it some kind of literal knowledge about the nature of a deity or its personal tastes: God in Glorantha does not wear masks, as if by removing them we could find a "more true" primal entity than all the other ones. On the contrary, God in Glorantha is a mask, and it needs to be a mask because it is impossible for the mortal to approach what lies beneath without that little help.
Heroquesting, myths, magic, etc. All this tells us more about people and about religion than about God in himself, just like any other cult in our mundane real world. We cannot expect to separate or unite two extremely similar deities as if they were opaque reflections of a third person that we are not able to see clearly, since being one, two, three, four or five thousand is irrelevant: At the end of everything , it will be the community, the cults, the people, who mold this mask and use it as a vehicle to access that reality that the mind can neither define nor understand without help. It is the people who end up shaping the magic and I have no doubt that it is the people who ultimately "create" or shape the heroquest, putting together a narrative from a convergence between history, metaphysical knowledge, truth and metaphor.
I don't see anything said as something negative, complicated or strange; quite the opposite. This is what makes Glorantha the best fantasy setting since it appeared so many decades ago. It is ultimately an environment that speaks not only of epics but of individuals, peoples, cultures, human spirits trying to get in touch with the indefinable reality that has given birth to the most destructive forces and also the most benevolent in our world . Honestly, the more we try to define a deity as if it were an individual (no, not even that: As if it were a cardboard cutout), the further we will be from what makes this setting great.
Again, this is just an opinion and I am still quite new in all this. I apologize if I seem arrogant or ignorant. I just wanted to get this off my chest, hahahaha.
Sorry for a grammar or spelling mistake, I am not the best with English and I have to help myself with the translator when writing.