I am wrapping up the final text of the Gods and Goddesses of Glorantha book, while making sure that it all ties into both the new Heroquesting chapters in the GM Sourcebook and into the Hero Wars Campaign. It is increasingly looking like this will be a two-volume book, as it includes the long form of more than 70 cults.
It is perhaps easier to say what the book does not have:
- The Invisible God of the West. This needs its own book, as my notes keep expanding. Additionally, the Invisible God needs to provide a materialist and humanist interpretation of the Gods and Goddess book – and serve as the Sorcery Book. So this one gets pushed into its own book.
- Godunya and the East. Same deal as above.
- Pamalt and the South. Same deal – I toyed around with including Pamalt in this book, even wrote up his cult. BUT I’ve concluded that it would make far more sense to include Pamalt and his version of the pantheon in a Pamaltela facing book.
- Minor gods of purely local importance, such as Pavis, Lanbril, Flintnail, other city gods, etc. These are better placed in their settings. Deities that can be better handled as masks or variant names of other deities, e.g., Elmal, Buserian, etc. So what is left?
Well the book is more than 50% bigger than what was previewed at GenCon and has been pretty intensively revised. Here’s the current list of cults that are definitely in it (cults are listed by elemental grouping and not alphabetically):
- 1. Kyger Litor
- 2. Annilla
- 3. Argan Argar
- 4. Gorakiki
- 5. Xiola Umbar
- 6. Zorak Zoran
- 7. Magasta
- 8. Choralinthor
- 9. Dormal
- 10. Engizi
- 11. Oslira
- 12. Ernalda
- 13. Aldrya
- 14 .Asrelia
- 15. Babeester Gor
- 16. Caladra & Aurelion
- 17. Donandar
- 18. Eiritha
- 19. Flamal
- 20. The Grain Goddesses
- 21. Hykim & Mikyh (includes Telmor and Basmol)
- 22. Maran Gor
- 23. Mostal
- 24. Ty Kora Tek
- 25. Uleria
- 26. Yelm
- 27. Dayzatar
- 28. Dendara
- 29. Gorgorma
- 30. Lodril
- 31. Lokarnos
- 32. Lowfires
- 33. Polaris
- 34. Shargash
- 35. Yelmalio
- 36. Orlanth
- 37. Chalana Arroy
- 38. Eurmal
- 39. Issaries
- 40. Lhankor Mhy
- 41. Daka Fal
- 42. Foundchild
- 43. Heler44. Humakt
- 45. Mastakos
- 46. Odayla
- 47. Storm Bull
- 48. Valind
- 49. Waha
- 50. Yinkin
- 51. Seven Mothers
- 52. Danfive Xaron
- 53. Deezola
- 54. Etyries
- 55. Hon-eel
- 56. Hwarin Dalthippa
- 57. Irrippi Ontor
- 58. Jakaleel
- 59. Nysalor
- 60. Red Goddess
- 61. Yanafal Tarnils
- 62. Primal Chaos
- 63. Bagog
- 64. Cacodemon
- 65. Crimson Bat
- 66. Krarsht
- 67. Krjalk
- 68. Mallia
- 69. Pocharngo
- 70. Thanatar
- 71. Thed
- 72. Vivamort
I am still debating about whether to add Horned Man, Triolina, Subere, Wachaza, and Voria to the list. For me this has been comparable to writing the Guide – especially realising how these various groupings of gods overlap, intersect, and form a magical whole. Even in the West, South, and East, these are the deities that form the cosmic foundation (although often with different names and different stories).
It even includes Cult Distribution charts for Kethaela, Dragon Pass, Prax, and the Lunar Empire.
I am considering including Wachaza (who you aren’t going to encounter unless you are doing a game that spends a lot of time dealing with the Sea or with God Learners).
Pavis, Flintnail, Zola Fel, Lanbril, and Black Fang all go in the new Pavis material.
Many of the lesser Uz gods will appear in their own book. But this book includes the cults I think are needed in order to understand the overall framework of Gloranthan mythology.
Spirit Cults? There *might* be Horned Man, which actually covers all of that. But I go round and round on including it, as it doesn’t actually fit in that well in this book. Horned Man ends up being a horizontal line in what is otherwise a pretty vertically aligned book.
Will there be a note saying “storm bull” is also known as “Urox”? In many, perhaps most, cases, there is a note about other names commonly used. But since Urox is supposed to just mean “Storm Bull”, I am not even sure that is “another” name.
Urox is not a name used in any of the RQG books. Storm Bull is the name used in the Glorantha Sourcebook as well.
Both names are used in HeroQuest Glorantha, although Storm Bull is used more frequently. So to not know Storm Bull, you’d have to be coming from the Issaries years, which isn’t exactly newcomer.
As the Storm Bull entry states (under “Nature of Cult”):
Storm Bull is known throughout Genertela as the savage Bull God who fights against Chaos. He is most popular in Prax and among the Orlanthi, but he is also known amongst the Pentans, Fronelans, and Carmanians. He has many names including Urox and Bisos, but he is best known as the Storm Bull.
I did that with plenty of cults as well. Lodril’s reads:
Lodril is the Volcano God, and among his titles are the Lustful One, the Warmthgiver, the Spear God, the Fire Beneath the Earth, and the Lord Beneath the Earth. Lodril is known throughout Glorantha, although he is called by many different names. Lodril is his best known; however, even in Peloria, he is also called Deshlotalas, Gerendetho, Turos, and Vi-Turos. In Kethaela, he is known as Veskarthan. In Kralorela, he is called the Minister for Fire. In Teshnos, he is Solf. In Pamaltela, he is called Bendaluza or Balumbasta.
She Who Waits? The identity of this mysterious entity is unknown except to the illuminated Initiates of the Red Goddess. Even today, she is only worshiped separately within the city of Glamour and even there has no individually distinct cult. Which means, she does not get an individually distinct cult writeup.
I don’t suppose we’ll be seeing HW Storm Tribe/Thunders Brothers sub-cults making a re-appearance perchance? At 11k words, Orlanth is the single biggest entry in the book (although Yelm, Ernalda, and the Seven Mothers are pretty comparable). I think you will find it pretty comprehensive. Many of the “sub cults” are actually better handled as associated cult.
But I think even old-timers will find plenty of new material even in familiar cults like Orlanth. Like this little line:
As both the murderer of Yelm who plunged the world into darkness and the leader of the Lightbringers who revived the world, Orlanth is the God of Heroes, an untamed destroyer who nonetheless protects life and aids civilization. He destroys not to end the world but to make way for the new. Orlanth made the world what it is through his deeds and his cult is destined to play a central role in the Hero Wars.
Pavis gets a full writeup. But it is way more useful for him to be in the Pavis book. I toyed around briefly with having a few city gods in this (Glamour, Pavis, and Nochet-Norinel), but decided against it. They just didn’t fit into how I wanted the structure of the book to feel.
Besides, no harm letting some cults be introduced in their own books.
Does Jakaleel have a shamanistic aspect like in HQ, or purely theist like RQ3? Both!
Vinga is the female incarnation of Orlanth. Or Orlanth in female form. Or both. Orlanth has plenty of deeds as a she. Some might think of her as Orlanth’s daughter, but her subcult members know she is Orlanth. And so Vinga is a subcult of Orlanth.
Vinga is the goddess of warrior women. Variously Orlanth’s daughter or the female avatar of Orlanth, Vinga wields Orlanth’s weapons and is one of the most martial incarnations of Orlanth. She is described as a dread rouser of battle-strife who delights in the cry of war and battle. Vinga is worshiped by women of the Orlanth Adventurous cult; her worshipers dye their hair red. She provides her worshipers with the special Rune spell of Fearless.
I can certainly see Orlanth As A Woman having a specific interest in the protection of women. And teaching women to defend themselves and take their own vengeance is very Orlanthi.
On the Lightbringers’ Quest when Orlanth went through the Valley of No Men, was he Vinga then? Could have been! Orlanth is a deity known to change forms. Women can be men and vice versa as far as the Orlanthi are concerned.
Both Orlanth and Ernalda have their own Ardhanarishvara form. Most Storm cultists probably wouldn’t understand why anyone would have a problem with that, but would happily join in at the duelling ground. Many – heck most – Gloranthan deities have many incarnations. Not all are the same gender or sex, of course.
Zong is not appearing in this book. I got too many hunting related deities as it is. He can wait until Troll Pack. Same thing with Aranea.
I view the gods and goddesses book as being essential to understanding the setting and its mythology. And something you’d want in its totality. You might not initially want to read every cult, but they all fit together and illustrate a total picture. It is much more than some modular collection of character classes, but a way of presenting the setting itself. Far more game oriented than the Guide (skill lists! spirit magic! Rune magic! Requirements for joining a cult! Etc.) but still something more than just a gaming supplement and an enjoyable read in its own right.
I’m not seeing Rigsdal. Functionally identical to Polaris? He is Rigsdal. Same deity different language