Heroquesting Lexicon


Many terms get thrown around when talking about heroquesting. Here’s a short list of terms used in the heroquesting rules – be aware that Gloranthans are definitely not going to be this precise in their own language!


The Challenge is a formal contest in which participants pit their very selves, or parts of themselves, in a magical battle against a similarly anted foe. Challenges are deliberate and can only be accidentally triggered by a heroquester’s chosen opponents, in which case they will have some warning beforehand. Many cults and religions have specific challenges that their worshippers can undertake with a good chance of success if the preparations and teachings are followed.


In the God Time, there was no division between the worlds of men and gods, between Life and Death, or body and spirit. The events and deeds of the God Time made the cosmos and established its patterns.The Gods War introduced the power of Death, which separated all with violence, death, and entropy. Reality was fractured. The eternal gods would have ceased to exist but for the Cosmic Compromise, whereby the gods voluntarily abdicated their free will within the temporal world rather than lose all into the maws of nonexistence. The gods remained eternal at the cost of being limited to their God Time patterns.


The realm of eternity. Every god and goddess who performed great immortal deeds is found here. Within this world of extremes lie the heavens and hells of the cults, where initiates and devotees go after death. Here, too, lie the great pools of creative material from which were made the primal oceans, ancient mountains, and first skies of the mundane world.Often synonymous with the God Time.


A hero is any mortal that exists simultaneously in both the Mundane and the eternal Gods World.


This plane exists simultaneously in the temporal Mundane World and the eternal Gods World (and sometimes the Underworld). There live legendary beings, including worshiped heroes or traditional enemies. Incarnations of the gods manifest easily here and interact with beings and things. Mundane beings can interact with the Gods World while on the Hero Plane, enabling them to experience the God Time and bring its power to the Mundane World.


The Hero Soul is that part of a mortal being that has immortality in the God Time. The Hero Soul must be awakened through heroquesting. Once awakened, the hero exists in two worlds, the Mundane World and the God World. The Hero Soul can lend its power to its mortal self, but requires worship to replenish itself.


Glorantha is crossed by many magic “roads” that enable a quester to quickly travel to specific holy places along paths that skip in and out of the mundane planes, covering the distance in far less time than travel wholly on the mundane plane. Deities and spirits, or their avatars, are presented here, summoned by the magic of traveling on the road; ritual enemies are often summoned by the same magic.


This is the world of mortal beings, bound by Time. This is the physical world, of Life and Death. This is the world of your RuneQuest adventurers.


This world is made up of non-physical (discorporate) entities and things. It has a correlation with the Middle World in that many spirits maintain their relative spatial positions in the Middle World and the Spirit World. It is a place of sublime beauty and life, but also where lost spirits wander, where broken dreams coalesce, and where nightmares feast.The Spirit World can be visualized as a place without gravity or an exterior light source, but which is instead filled with various shapes of color. Real perception is limited, and depends on both the power of the viewer and the viewed.The Spirit World is made of many smaller parts that are distinct but connected to other locations through spiritual pathways.


The Underworld is the irrational ancestress of known Glorantha. It precedes all that can be known, and thus cannot be truly known. It houses mystery, spawns mystery and is a mystery itself. Many Gloranthans think that all the worlds of Glorantha spawned from the Underworld.Hidden deep underneath the center of the bottom of the lowest Underworld is the Chaosium, the Fount of Chaos, which spews forth both monstrosities and raw unformed “stuff” into the world. What no sane Gloranthan really understands is that, without this Chaos entering the world, everything would be locked into Stasis.