So as I check over some of the material about to go to the printer soon, I was comparing things to a list Greg had written some years ago, listing all the gods of Glorantha he knew. They were then classified as Greater, Major, Minor, and Demigod.
The Greater and Major are what concerns us here. These are the universally acknowledged Gloranthan deities. Greater Gods are of great cosmological importance; major gods are perhaps less cosmically important but enjoy recognition throughout the world and are among those that shaped the cosmos.
If your god isn’t on the list, then it is likely a minor god or even a demigod. That includes such favorites as Argan Argar, Issaries, Yelmalio, the Seven Mothers, Oslir, and Polaris. Such deities are normally only of regional importance.
- Chalana Arroy
- Daka Fal
- Dayzatar/Zitro Argon
- Ernalda/Great Green Lady
- Invisible God
- Jotimam (Note: No cult)
- Primal Chaos
- Red Goddess
- Wakboth (Note: No Cult)
- Babeester Gor
- Kyger Litor
- Lhankor Mhy
- Maran Gor
- Mee Vorala
- Sky River Titan
- Storm Bull
- Ty Kora Tek
- Xiola Umbar
- Zorak Zoran
Omissions: Korgatsu (aka Hykim and Mikyh) was too abstract to add – just as entities like Aether, Zaramaka, or Ga don’t show up.
Greg’s purpose in this list was to try to look at the gods “big picture”, as part of how the cosmos fits together.
So if we think about the roughly 21 greater gods listed, about a quarter of them are associated with Chaos, which gives you an idea how much Chaos is a part of the world thanks to the Compromise. Entropy (and its child Time) are a key part of our cosmos, whether we like it or not.
It is worth carefully looking at that list, as it provides quite a lot of insight into how Greg constructed Glorantha’s cosmology.
Actually the more I look at that list, the more helpful I find it. Of course, I’m looking at the full big list, which also includes all the minor gods that Greg could think of at the time.
Gloomshark is a Greater God! A lot of the sea entities are more important than surface dwellers imagine. Gloomshark is the primary Chaos entity in the Water. He’s that entropic hunger beneath the waves, devouring all that stop moving. He threatens to even devour Magasta, when the Great Turner even stops turning, even for a moment.
With the exception of the Invisible God and Jotimam, we have write-ups of all of these cults coming out soon. Including Sea Gods, I have write-ups for Brastalos, Daliath, Drospoly, Murthdrya, Nelat, Tholaina, and Triolina. Some have longer cult descriptions than others, of course.
Yelmalio? A minor deity, as are Shargash/Tolat, Issaries, and Aranea. Yelmalio is a minor god, even if he is the patron deity of many Pentans, the god of the Sun Dome Temples, and one of the parts of Yelm. Eiritha is the god of herd animals, and a major deity, just like Aldrya, Murthdrya, Gorakiki, Tholaina, and Mee Vorala.
So all of the Vithelan pantheon are minor deities, including the High Gods? No, the Vithelan deities are there, under different names. The East Isles are a part of Glorantha, and not a separate setting. These are the Greater and Major Gods of GLORANTHA as a setting. Some of the High Gods are abstract concepts, supposedly worshiped by the gods themselves and might not be Greater Gods but something else. But many are also Greater or Major Gods with a different set of stories about them, approached in a different direction.
Arachne Solara? Arachne Solara is a rank above all of these.
Could Eiritha could be Busenari in Peloria or maybe Busenari is one of Eiritha’s daughters? Yes. Just because a god is called something else in another language doesn’t mean it isn’t the same deity.
Wakboth there in the Greater Gods and not with a ‘No Cult’ note. So are we getting a full write up of the worldwide Wakboth cult? He has no cult. There’s nothing to contact. If he could be contacted, it would lead to the end of the world. In short, he doesn’t have a cult… yet.
Note that Argrath/Arkat are definitely not Wakboth. Not by a long mile. Even those who hated Arkat did not say he was Wakboth. After all, he was a mortal. Although Arkat was apotheosised in 500 ST, prior to that he was a mortal (albeit a very powerful one). His ability to heroquest is proof of that.
Mastakos is a greater god! Owner of the Movement Rune.
Oria? Oria is just a grain goddess. A minor goddess.
Isn’t the concept of “ownership” of runes a God Learner construct, so irrelevant? Why would you say that is a God Learner “construct”? Deities with the fullest and most powerful use of a given Rune are said to own it. That classification system is of God Learner origins, but the fact that the deity in question is the greater god of the Rune is not.
I thought all Lightbringers was at least Major Gods. Even Ginna Jar as the ”Ghost of Glorantha ”? Ginna Jar is pretty darned enigmatic. And Issaries – despite being perhaps one of the most socially important and widespread cults in all of Glorantha – is a minor deity. I initially took a double take when Greg listed Issaries as minor. But upon reflection, I agree with it. Trade and commerce is incredibly socially important but it is of relatively minor cosmological importance.
But why are Babeester and Gorgorma greater than Issaries or Argan Argar? Both are entities of far more than social importance. The trio of Babeester Gor, Gorgorma, and Maran Gor contain the malevolent and dangerous powers of the Earth. They overlap – if we thought of them as one, they’d be a greater deity. Fortunately, they are a trio!
Isn’t Bolongo, Eurmal under another name? Bolongo is Disorder, Eurmal is Illusion. They overlap in areas but are not the same. Even the God Learners agreed. One huge difference is that Eurmal provides magic, Bolongo does not. Bolongo is a strange entity. His cult is best described as an empty mask.
Note that Thed was never a greater goddess.
Lhankor Mhy is Major! Lhankor Mhy is more than just the scribe god – he is the god of Knowledge, which is a counterpoint to Daliath, a major god of Secret Wisdom.