To me, one of the more interesting celestial phenomena in Glorantha is the relationship between Lightfore and the Sun. Lightfore rises each dusk in the east, and sets each dawn in the west. It is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and the Red Moon.
During the era after the Great Darkness but before the Dawn, Lightfore was the primary source of light in the celestial realm. According to the Solar cultists, this “Little Sun” was originally very erratic in duration and intensity, but was enough to see by, and with magic, agriculture was possible. In some stories, the Little Sun seems to be much brighter then than it is now (although not as bright as the Sun), but that could also be the magic of the various Little Sun cults.
At the Dawn, the Little Sun set and the Sun rose. Many religions link the two, as Lightfore and the Sun follow exactly the same path. Some versions of the story have the Little Sun carry or pull the Sun through the heavens.
Now this is very different from our terrestrial sky. One way of thinking about this is Glorantha has two “suns” – one bright like ours, the other much dimmer but still there.
Anyways food for thought!
What happened at the Dawn? One version is that Antirius “chained” the Little Sun when the New Sun rose. The Yelm cult, as we understand it now, took a couple of centuries to take shape, as people discovered ways to draw magic from the New Sun.
One of the problems with GRoY is that it is a document from the mid-First Age when a lot of stuff was still being explored.
Part of the legacy of GRoY being a mid-First Age document. It is trying to make sense of phenomena that from the Third Age perspective have long been resolved.
In the Third Age this is easy – the Sun is Yelm. The Orlanthi accept this, the Pentans accept this, and the Sun Dome Temples accept this. Lightfore is the Little Sun (Yelmalio). The Orlanthi accept this, the Pentans accept this, and the Sun Dome Temples accept this.
The difficulty comes when we take a First Age document and try to impose its concerns on the Third Age.
As an aside the brightest objects in the night sky are (from brightest to least bright):
- Red Moon (full moon phase)
- Dragon’s Head
- Donkey Holder
- Boat Planet
- Twin Stars (in brightest phase)