3 – The Underworld

Characters: Argrath

The Initiation of Orlanth, continued

Vadrus stirred the Well so rapidly that the gods there streamed into one swirling pool of water, and Vadrus escaped through the seams in the well lid.

Urox confronted the carnivores of the wild, and did not run from them, but stamped them beneath his bloody hooves. Then he broke down the corral and released all the creatures.

The other brother failed, and was driven mad by the demons.

Humakt already knew everyone in the Fighting Pit, and they could not stand before him. They were all disarmed, or surrendered, and Humakt climbed from the pit on their weapons.

Orlanth quarreled at first with the Strange Gods, but some of them were friendly. With them Orlanth prepared a plan, and they escaped from the Prison of the Strange gods.

The successful brothers met, and Orlanth urged them all to help their failed kinsman. They formed the Brothers’ Ring, and they moved into position around the Sex Pit. They made their chants and prayers there, and after a struggle he came out before them, and together they did their best to heal him.

Then they went to the great hall, where their uncles had prepared a great feast. Their hosts were surprised to see them, but realized that they must honor their nephews now as gods with powers. So they held a great feast, and since then all the storm gods and the people of the storm tribes have held victory feasts after initiation.

The Underworld

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.

Most people of the Middle World believe that the Underworld is the source of their worst enemies – Death, Darkness and Chaos – though not all of these beliefs and connections are correct. The Underworld is also the source of Fertility.

The Underworld is not any one of the Other Worlds, but encompasses them all. For some cultures, most notably the Uz and the Aldryami, the Underworld is their Otherworld. For the Uz, the Underworld is Wonderhome, a place of total darkness until dead Yelm was cast down, accompanied by his weeping and mourning minions. For the Aldryami, the Underworld is the home of Flamal the Father of Seeds and source of the Primal Plasma that animates all Life.

There are many deities of death or of the dead in the Underworld. It was the place where Death was born, and when the God Time was regressing back into Chaos all dead things gathered in the Darkness. Since that mythical act, all things which have died go to the Underworld first, into ignorance and fear and facelessness. Their fate after that depends upon themselves, upon their actions while living, and upon their friends among the deities or spirits. Among the better known places in the Underworld is the Court of Silence, where the Judge of the Dead assigns the dead to their fate.

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.

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