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My Glorantha Varies

The God Learner

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I have been drifting away from Glorantha for a while now, but I thought I'd at least dump my bullet points on how MGV in its latest incarnation. I'll just say it: it's a magpie's nest. Some of the points remain to be written too, I'm afraid. Perhaps it can give someone some inspiration or amusement anyway.

Some of these notes came from  discussions here a while ago. Joerg enlightened me regarding Utuma and a few other things. And Soltakss has always been an interesting read with a very good feel for Glorantha and heroquesting.

Please note that there are some spoilers, of sorts, towards the end. (In particular if you prefer to translate that part of Life of Sedenya yourself.) On the other hand, some things described are new-ish while other parts are plainly against what has been published. 

Here we go!


My Glorantha Varies


  • The gods are greek-style, you can meet them fairly easily but not by appointment.

  • Polytheism but heroes favored by a god (or even several, etc). Orlanthi may pay respects at Lunar shrine.

  • Like paying your respects to the local crime boss

  • Worship and ceremony is often transactional, mass ritual for harvest etc. 

  • Temples have painted statues that in flickering shadows may come alive to commune with any visitor

  • Evil gods are propitiated, seldom worshipped.

  • There is no special god-time.

  • There is no special hero plane or god plane, but Glorantha has a mystical geography

  • There is no concept of Free Will or anything like it (well ... almost). 

  • Ascending to Godhood is not forbidden by the Compromise.

  • The Compromise exists, basically like Cold War

  • Time Travel is possible, if you defeat Time

  • Runes ...

  • Heroquesting is almost always spontaneous and non-ritual.

  • Arkat instead discovered how to somehow access and combine the old myths. 

  • Once attained, using Arkat's knowledge requires heropoints

  • There are chaos quests too.

  • When Arachne Solara ate Kajabor/Entropy and produced Time, the practical effect is that what existed eternal and was forever strong and vital now gradually breaks down and is destroyed. Loss of vitality. Descendants are ever reduced. Transition from Golden age to Silver and Iron ages, etc.

  • Heroquesting can reach Arachne Solara’s nest on the outside of Glorantha; using Kajabor/Time is easiest way to get there (though that’s sort of a chaos quest)

  • The Sunstop ...


  • God Learner Secret actually is “it’s a game”.

  • Obvious from context, death to munchkins

  • GL riddles are dumb metalevel stuff about HP, dice etc.

  • God learner illumination means you realize you’re a worthless puppet in a meaningless game, but get that loot to score highest and win

  • Illumination may feel like truth but is not ultimate truth -- god learners were destroyed by the GM who didn’t like munchkins in his game

  • God Learnerism also symbolizes (our history) Enlightenment, Atheism, Industrialism.

  • GL also has similarities with Simony and Simon the Magus, esp. using the gods rather than revering them

  • Hence these are not appropriate themes for Glorantha. 

  • GL did not originate from some trap/book as suggested in docs

  • Some God Learners are still around (15% of them?), their school is taken up by the 7M and Lunars, primarily.

  • Some 7M were GLs, that's how they knew what to do


  • Lunar illumination means realizing Arachne Solara is the Devil, aka Blaskarth

  • (Arachne Solara consumed Kajabor, was she a chaos deity before that?)

  • Lunar illumination means insanity, to a varying extent. Perhaps it waxes and wanes with the moon.

  • Lunar empire and Glamour are lovecraftian in mood. There is always an undercurrent of fear and plain insanity. The laughter is too shrill.

  • However, some of the Lunars are also unnaturally good at keeping it together. Hard, greedy, ruthless, exploitative of myths and magics.

  • Chaos features are not too rare in Lunar Empire. As a wane darkens, they become common. 

  • Chaos creatures are lovecraftian too, often mind-shattering/SAN. Not just smelly broos and gorps.

  • Lunes created by and from Red Goddess …


  • Red Goddess is an assembly of dead deities, mostly moon goddesses, parts collected during the Seven Mothers quest. Unclear how 7M learned how to do that, traces of GLism. 

  • Red Goddess includes Nysalor, thus Solar Illuminated even before God Quest. Then got Lunar Illumination too.

  • 7M secret: Red Goddess is not just a great success but also a failure (insane, chaotic)

  • Secret relation between Yelm and Red Goddess … Love?

  • RG = shock troops from Sky to Middle Air

  • Yelmic heroes quest to the top of mountains to touch the Sky directly, without going through Middle Air. Disliked by Orlanthi.

  • Red Goddess actually is Uleria, or the Heart of Uleria, or includes Uleria. (Hinted in Life of Sedenya) (Uleria also appears in GRoY, no. 69, “the awakeners”.)



  • Orlanth Dragonfriend and Orlanth Dragonslayer, unified by draconic Utuma

  • Sartar inspired somewhat by Greek islands, with extremely isolated monasteries built in impossible locations; just fly there (or try)

  • Many modest Orlanth shrines can be found, often on mountain tops, mountain sides, ledges, and similar. (Cf. Greece, Meteora and others.)

  • Certain sacred acts, like making pilgrimage to all seven shrines in the XX mountains.

  • Dorastor pilgrimage is very holy. 


  • Mysticism is always flawed, for various reasons depending on the form. (Sorry, Greg)

  • Illumination is a trap. There are many levels. 


  • Draconic illumination - split brain; illuminate each brain; form third, invisible, “true brain” which can be draconically enlightened

  • Some require a four-way brain split, X, or three-way, Y

  • Dragonewts are less connected to Dragons than one may think, real reason for Dragonkill = ???

  • Kralorela is seldom visited, but are most advanced seekers of draconic illumination. Can split your brain or help you do it yourself

  • True Draconic Illumination requires one or more Utumas


  • Trolls … basically as written, esp. Trollpak.


  • Elves ...

  • Elves are rooted and unrooted.


  • Dwarfs …

  • Mostal is a magnetic mountain.


  • Sorcery ...
  • Shamans ...


  • Malkioni, do not appear a lot in Dragon Pass. Classic ‘western’ style knights and wizards. 

  • Brithos now a province of Solace, yet you may be able to visit Brithos


  • Third Age ends with the death of Lhankor Mhy (knowledge). Green Age activists?

  • The gods getting tied up in Arachne Solara's web and killed actually means they actually lose all 'Free Will'(!) and become cogs

  • "The Great God Pan is dead!"

  • King of Sartar written/assembled in the Fifth Age, whereas the Fourth Age is blank.

  • Fourth Age: Invisible Moon

  • Fifth Age: White Moon. 


  • Lower magic setting than RQG. The further away you go, the stranger things get.

  • Chalana Arroy is less powerful, e.g., no routine resurrection.

  • The Hero Wars still some way off, more 1615 than 1625 for this.

  • Select the interesting parts of Argrathsaga. Saga is not written in stone. 

  • Players may be Argrath, replace Argrath, etc. 

  • The LBQ has been heavily overused in the docs, use other quests for inspiration. (Documented on ancient scrolls?)

  • Orlanth does not provide teleport, but Larnste might.

  • Heroes and heroquesting more like ‘super runequest’, System: Superworld-style or superhero game. It is absolutely possible to beat up Humakt in the game. Deities & Demigods is real.

  • Heroes get Gifts from the gods, e.g., artifacts or talents. They may also receive helpers or direct Aid, where the god steps onto the battle field, confuses the enemy, etc. This tickles the Compromise.

  • Heroes almost always have a short career, even if successful. Quick advancement, quick retirement. 

  • Heropoints exist, you must spend a heropoint to kill a hero or god. Otherwise they’re defeated but return. 

  • Gods are trickier to permakill, they for example have Aspects.






Some sources



When all else is gone, and the Self slips

away, we think it is Nothing which is

left.. Yet the impression one receives is

Love.. Sedenya is Love.. Love is the

Message, and Love is the vehicle, and Love

is what we seek, and Love is wha(t) seeks Us..



The all appeared within a year and a half, followed by the First Dawn and the rise of Uleria. The return and recognition of Entekos led to a surge of wild prophesy, based in part upon the Brass, Silver, and Coal Tablets. These prophets believed that all of the old bodies would return. But the appearance of a new and radically different body in #69 shattered all illusions of prediction. 


69. Uleria The early sky was full of many swirling bits of shapeless debris, both good and evil. They were usually extinguished by the Young God, although many crashed down upon the earth. However, among all the dashing debris one small and immortal bit attracted others to gather around itself. This was the Heart of Uleria, and as it grew it became stronger than it had been before. At the urging of Entekos she moved upon the Planetary Path, to conform to the rules of the world. But unlike other deities who had died, Uleria was made totally of Life, and so she could not enter the Underworld, where the Path always led. Thus, when she first traversed the heavens, upon reaching the Western Gates she did not enter them, but as her body disappeared in the west simultaneously reappeared upon the eastern horizon, rising. She had not traversed the Underworld, as proved by her immediate re-appearance in the east. Thus, she proved how powerful were the Old Powers, and prepared the world to come together again. She reappeared again to us in this form in the year 110,842. 



 "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought [Gr. Epinoia][21] of thine heart may be forgiven thee, for I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity."







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