Every culture creates myths and legends which explain man’s existence and purpose. Glorantha is no exception.
Mythology of Glorantha
This tale agrees in most particulars with the diverse religious sources of the world, and of all possible creations it is the most comprehensive.
The egg of the world was formed in a way which even gods cannot understand. It was suspended in the Void of Chaos, an emptiness pregnant now with potential. The egg opened. From within emerged It, the primal androgyne, an infinite dragon. The entire cosmos and two other beings came from It. They were Maker and Grower.
Maker and Grower were each a creative energy, and each sought to improve the place where they resided. They used their powers so that the world grew and was built greater.
Maker and Grower, often called The Two, rose from The One, and from them rose The Third. Born was the Great Goddess, Glorantha, mother of the world which bears her name, who is the source of all mystery and compassion.
The Celestial Court
The first known gods were the Celestial Court. They are called children of Glorantha. They were perfect creatures, each the essence of a power or an element. All began as abstractions, but sought inner secrets, thereby quickening their inner parts to divinity. For example, the One Earth of the Celestial Court became many earths, and the One Truth became many, and the inner worlds were populated.
At first the Court danced alone, exploring only themselves. Later, sometimes, parts of separate devolutions found themselves in close harmony, and moved together as one. Where two creatures touched and moved in that timeless grace, was formed a third, unlike either parent. These new-born entities were the Burtae, the Younger Gods.
This cross-fertilization first occurred among the lesser spirits, then the greater, and at last among two of the greatest of the Celestial Court. The Sky God stretched forth and covered the earth goddess — the immortal Ether commingled with the infinite Earth. At the moment of their coupling, it is said, the goddess of Harmony stumbled and fell on her face. From that moment the perfection of the world failed. But worse would happen.
Umath, the Storm God, was the child of the Sky and Earth. His first action was to sunder his parents, making a place for himself by creating misery for others. He had his own children.
The Gods War
The Storm Gods began the Gods War. First was the Storm Age, or Lesser Darkness. It began when the Storm God Orlanth, son of Umath, killed Yelm, the Emperor of the Universe, who fled screaming to the Underworld. As had the father Umath, so did the sons seize places for themselves, and freely used their new power of Violence to change the world.
The Greater Darkness followed. This was an invasion by chaos, led by a being known as the Devil, and included creatures spawned outside of Glorantha and thus immune to many of its laws. These creatures had come to end the existence of the universe, which had danced its dance and was running down to a predestined end. The Celestial Court did not struggle, and most were destroyed when the Cosmic Mountain exploded under the attack of the Devil.
But other gods fought on independently. Yelm, deep in hell, exercised the strength of his pure will to bring justice to himself, and thereby overcame his own death. Magasta led his watery minions to close the breach caused by the explosion of the spike. Kyger Litor brought her grim kin under the starless skies, ever-seeking to destroy chaos. Orlanth, with doughty followers, defied the old laws and came alive to Hell to liberate the life forces.
Arachne Solara is a deity of unknown origin, who is critical to the rebirth of the world. She forged a compact, called the Great Compromise, between all the gods, dead and living, and as one they fought that which would end creation. They won, and from the struggle was born the new age. Time, sometimes called the last god, leapt from the womb of Arachne Solara and cast its mystical web of reality across the remains of the old world. Yelm led the dead gods back to life with the first sunrise, and at that moment of Dawning the new age was born.
- See articles tagged with Myth, Mythology.
- See also Myth of the Month in Greg Sez.
- Ernalda the Magician – A tale of Ernalda and her weaving.
- Drinking Giant’s Cauldron – This is an Orlanthi myth about Orlanth taking a great treasure of the Sea Gods for his people.
- The Silver Age and the Dawn – A collection of myths about the Silver Age and the Dawn, plus a map of the Dawn Settlements.
- Dragon Pass – A brief outline
- Glorantha in a Nutshell
- Gloranthan Geography
- Gloranthan History
- 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?