The two most common times our adventurers interact with the Hero Plane:
- Worship ceremonies. Whenever we worship the gods we pull the God Time close to our world. That’s how we renew and reinforce our links with the gods. In game mechanics, that’s how we replenish our Rune Points.
- Gaining Rune spells. Rune spells are not an intellectual activity – we don’t learn them! The priests bring the God Time close to our mundane world and WE experience being the god. That’s how we are able to wield some part of the god’s magic – because for that moment we are the incarnation of the deity. This is done as part of a bigger ceremony, hence the reason new Rune spells either cost a lot of money (you are paying for the community to bring the God Time into proximity) or is done as a reward (or incentive) for the temple.
Both of these are common, and your characters have no doubt participated in dozens of these rituals. This is why we don’t need to have “little heroquests” for the harvest – we have the Bless Crops spells which is gained through these ceremonies.
All of this is taken care of already in the rules, and nobody calls them “heroquests” even though this is the same type of activity – bringing the God Time into proximity of our the mundane world so that we can interact with it and draw magic from it. But pretty much every adult Gloranthan has participated in this – this is a routine, regular part of spiritual life.
What we call “heroquesting.” goes far beyond this. It is outside of the routine and regular.
What we call “heroquests” starts with the next step of complexity and danger. Initiates and Rune masters (who are of course also initiates) of one or more cults are prepared to wield the magic of their gods, while the greater community brings the magic of the God Time close to our world. Then the appointed initiates try to more or less re-enact some event of the God Time in our world. Some opponents are selected from among the community, others are recruited as volunteers, impressed into the task, or come trying to disrupt the ritual. Others just come.
This is obviously more unpredictable and dangerous than a Worship ceremony or gaining new Rune magic. The opponents that come into the ritual don’t pull their punches, and even some of the community members may use this as an opportunity to go against the questers to gain magic, settle scores, etc. And sometimes really powerful things show up in the ceremony.
So what is the Hero Plane? Real simple – it is the overlap of the God Time or Spirit World and the mundane world of Time.
It is not a “place” so much as where our mundane world enters into proximity with the Divine. Sometimes that is the result of ritual and sacrifice, sometimes it is a place where the Divine punches through into the mundane (Kero Fin Mountain, the Crater, the Block, etc. are all good examples of this).
So when priests build a shrine (or a temple) they divine locations that are as close to the God Time of their god as practical. They then perform worship on days where the god is going to be close to the mundane world. That means the priests start with the God Time already close before they start their ceremonies.