Genertela is nearly 9,000,000 square km in area. That’s more than twice the size of the European Union or a little smaller than continental Europe. Or for us North Americans, it is bigger than the continental US.
Now that is smaller than some imagine, but it also means Genertela is a BIG setting where we can end up anywhere in it. It is not unreasonable for adventurers from Dragon Pass to end up in Sog City, the Kingdom of Ignorance or the Blue Moon Plateau. Don’t assume that it is Afro-Eurasia! Genertela’s size is intended to allow your campaign to go wherever you want.
Not only that, but Pamaltela is only three weeks sail away. To put that it context, it took at least 6 weeks to cross the Atlantic in the 16th centuries (with better boats mind you). Which means Maslo, Fonrit, Umathela, and Jrustela are not all that far off. The Homeward Ocean is not nearly as wide as the Atlantic! Pamaltela is significantly larger than Genertela.
However, these different lands have different approaches to magic from central Genertela (Dragon Pass, Holy Country, Lunar Empire, etc). Sorcery is predominant in the far west of Genertela, but also used in Kralorela and in the coastal cities of Pamaltela and in parts of the East Isles. Shamanism is very important in Pamaltela and in parts of Ralios and Fronela, as well as among the Hsunchen in the east. And so on. In many cases our familiar gods have new names and different stories. There are even some locally important gods largely unknown to central Genertelans (Ompalam, Godunya, etc.).
Now this is part of the reason that the RuneQuest rules includes more than it needs to run a campaign in the core homelands. There’s far more about sorcery than is necessary for a Lhankor Mhy sage – and that is intentional. As the Cults series continues, more of this stuff will open up.
And here’s the great thing – between the core rules, the Cults Books, and the Guide to Glorantha, there is more than enough information for a determined GM and players to explore these places. Are they as thoroughly described as Dragon Pass? Of course not, but to be honest they are still better defined and described than most of Gondor in Middle Earth or much of Faerun once you get away from the Sword Coast.
My hope is that between the various cults books and the Guide, we will have enough to really explore Glorantha, without needing to have countless splat books filled with ill-conceived ideas that I later need to walk back!
So if we think about it, we have a variety of intersecting mandalas as we move away from Dragon Pass:
Dragon Pass we have Orlanthi, Lunar, Grazelander, Dragonewts, Beast People, Trolls, Dwarves, and Elves. Only the core rules, Lightbringers, Lunar, and Earth Goddesses are needed.
The mandala around Dragon Pass has Lunar Heartlands, Orlanthi, Balazarings, Praxians, Esrolians, Caladralanders, Esvulari, God Forgotites, more Trolls, Dwarves, and Elves, Dorastor, Wolf Pirates, Triolini, and Islanders. Only the core rules are really needed here, the current cults books, plus Solar, Sea and Darkness.
The mandala around that has Pentans, West Reaches, Orlanthi, Trolls, Elves, Dwarves, Triolini, Trader Princes, and Praxians. Now we need to add the Spirits and Invisible God books.
The mandala around that has Rathori, Orlanthi, Malkioni, Stygians, Barbarian Dragonewts, Triolini, Trolls, Elves, Dwarves, Brithini, Wolf Pirates, Kralorelans, More Hsunchen, and Teshnites. Now we really need the Spirits and Invisible God books! And we might need to think about the Kralorelan Dragon Religion.