The setting for RuneQuest is the area called Dragon Pass. Dragon Pass is the crossroads of the northern continent of Genertela, and is the only passage for large armies through the Rockwood mountains, which extend unbroken for more than a thousand miles to the west and another thousand miles to the east. This alone makes Dragon Pass an extremely strategic location.
More important is the fact that Dragon Pass is an extremely magical region. It is the ancestral home of the dragons and center of the world for many Gloranthan myths. The greatest mountain in Glorantha, Kero Fin – the home of the gods – rises an impossible 40,000 feet and can be seen for hundreds of miles. Here the storm god Orlanth was born and it is the homeland of the culture bearing his name: the Orlanthi. However, a greater proportion of the region’s population is nonhuman than almost any other area in Glorantha.
Dragon Pass contains many forests, hills, mountains and other easily defended terrain. Its warlike population and many magical entities make it a daunting region for any one political entity to conquer and for more than a century, two Orlanthi kingdoms ruled most of Dragon Pass: the kingdoms of Tarsh and Sartar.
North of Dragon Pass, in the region called Peloria, arose the Red Moon Goddess. In her were balanced Stagnation and Change, Life and Death, Love and Apathy, and all the dichotomies of the Universe, including Chaos. Her arrival violated the Great Compromise and changed the face of Glorantha. After living in Glorantha a short time, the Red Moon Goddess ascended to the heavens where she remains, viewing the Empire which she left to her family below. The immortal Red Emperor of the Lunar Empire is her son and her pride.
The Lunar Empire expanded from its founding four centuries ago. When defeated it rebounded stronger than ever. They went north to the icy wastes, east to the bounds of the horse barbarians, and west until they were halted by powerful sorcery. But in the south, the Empire continued to grow and grow.
When the Lunar Empire reached Dragon Pass they found it ruled by the kingdoms of Tarsh and Sartar. After many years of resistance, both kingdoms fell to the growing power of the Lunar Empire. The Red Moon sent one of her daughters to seduce and conquer the Tarshites. The kingdom of Sartar, ruled by a wise dynasty cautious to maintain the great and magical laws which gave it its strength, resisted far longer. But despite many defeats at the hands of House of Sartar, the Red Emperor eventually marched into the Sartar capitol of Boldhome. He defiled the Temple of Orlanth and ravaged the city. That was in 1602 ST, sixteen years ago. It is now the year 1618 ST.
Despite the Lunar Conquest, great events, magical and religious, are occurring in Dragon Pass. Many prophets and scholars predict that the Hero Wars that threaten to again plunge Glorantha into Darkness will begin in Dragon Pass.
- Glorantha in a Nutshell
- Gloranthan Geography
- Gloranthan History
- Gloranthan Mythology
- Gloranthan Readings
- Gloranthan Runes & Fonts
- Gloranthan Sky
- Greg Sez (1997-)
- Online Prosopaedia
- Personalities of Glorantha (1998-99)
- Petersen’s Campaign Log (1984)
- References for Glorantha (2021)
- What is Glorantha?