It is worth repeating the key event of the Lunar religion, and let its significance sink in. In 1220, after years of searching the world and planes of spirit for the broken pieces of a dead goddess, the Seven Mothers reassembled her and she was reborn as the Red Goddess within the confines of Time.
Almost everything in that sentence is remarkable. Of course this was Chaotic – any fundamental change in the cosmos inside of Time is. But a Greater Goddess – one who died and was broken in the God Time – was reborn as a living entity inside of Time. Her broken and scattered pieces had been found and reassembled.
That alone explains why the Seven Mothers are worshiped. It also goes a long way to explain why the Lunar Way is so feared – it uses Chaos in its core myth, it violates the Cosmic Compromise by taking something that this dead and broken in the God Time and reassembling it in Time, and it is a break with the God Time. That’s amazing stuff – terrifying and awe-inspiring at the same time.
Yelm is tied into this and worship of fragments of the broken goddess such as Annilla and Gorgorma are closely connected to this mystery. And a few Chaotic deities as well – Primal Chaos, Nysalor, and the Crimson Bat. But otherwise the Red Goddess and her followers are a break with the Old Gods. They had to fight the Old Gods and force them to accept her existence. The Lunar religion is not a progressive evolution from the old, but a radical departure from the past.
Now the Lunars are perfectly happy letting people worship their traditional gods and spirits in their traditional manner so long as they do not challenge the Red Goddess or her empire. Even in the Lunar Heartlands, most people (nearly two-thirds) follow their traditional gods and only worship the Lunar deities as lay members. But other than the aforementioned exceptions, most Lunar initiates view the Old Gods purely pragmatically – they are useful tools but little more.
It also explains why most Lunar initiates (other than a few scribes) don’t really care that much about the broken pieces of the Red Goddess. She’s been reassembled and reborn, complete and whole.
The broken parts of the Red Goddess do not help you understand her better than what the Red Goddess herself taught, did, and experienced. Going down that path can get you in very big trouble with the Red Goddess herself, as Valare Addi discovered.
It doesn’t matter if there wasn’t a Red Goddess in the God Time and that those parts were once separate. She is whole and complete NOW.
When Orlanth, Yelm and all the other gods stitched together the Great Compromise, the Moon Goddess wasn’t included. Do you know why? She’s a Greater Goddess, after all… She is now. But she was broken into pieces, not quite dead and not quite alive. Lunar elements were easily recategorised as Darkness or Light, as Plentonius and the God Learners did. But the Seven Mothers found her parts, put her together, and a Greater Goddess was remade inside of the walls of Time.
Now it makes me wonder if there are other elements, powers, conditions, or forms hiding in the world?
Of course the really more incredible thought is – maybe there was no Lunar Rune but it was forged in Time by assembling bits of other discarded things. Things that might not have ever been associated with each other before, but once put together (and given the catalyst of Chaos) they formed something new but also undeniably true.
And just as there once was no Peloria, Red Goddess, Orlanth, or even Dragon Pass in Glorantha, it became undeniable that there is now and must always have been.
Questions like “Where was the Moon Goddess at the Cosmic Compromise” are mysteries. They do not (and IMO should not) have clear answers – especially as within the setting they do not and cannot. The answer probably needs to be experienced, not debated about on forums.
What any good initiate of the Seven Mothers knows is that in the God Time there was a “Moon Goddess” but she was broken, scattered, and left neither quite dead nor alive. Within Time the Seven Mothers gathered those parts and the Red Goddess was reborn. We don’t go to some prehistoric Moon to experience the Red Goddess, she is here and now. Various priests, mystics, and scribes have their own take on what was before, but the Red Goddess never spoke on this, and when some of her followers tried to tell her that she was Entekos or whoever, the Red Goddess shut that down hard (just talk to poor Valare Addi).
So maybe there was a pre-existing Moon Rune, maybe there was not (at least not in any tangible manner). There’s a White Moon and a Blue Moon on the Hero Plane, I’ve been there a few times. I’ve heard there is a Black Moon in Limbo. I’ve even seen the Red Moon on the Hero Plane, although It wasn’t on any God Learner maps.