# Gods and Cults
One of the most important decisions a player can make is what cult the adventurer belongs to. An adventurer’s cult is often their most important resource, providing communication between mortals and the cosmic entities known as gods. More than mere patron deities or names to swear by, a cult is an extended family. It provides the adventurer with training in skills and magic and gives guidance to the adventurer in the form of Passions such as Devotion or Loyalty. A cult is a community as well as a religion and provides for the many needs of mortal beings.
Membership in a cult gives access to a fraction of its deity’s power, manifested in the form of Rune magic. An adventurer must have a strong affinity with one or more Runes shared with a deity to join its cult. A cult also teaches less powerful—but more ubiquitous—magic called spirit magic to its members. In exchange, the member supports the cult with sacrifices, worship, and loyalty.
Through participation in worship ceremonies, the adventurer’s ability to use magic relating to the god is maintained and strengthened, and cults and their members provide an important source of adventures and goals, as well as potential conflict.
Furthermore, each cult has its elite members, called Rune Masters. These Rune Priests, Rune Lords, or God-talkers each possess greater magic power and a more intense affinity with the god, but at the cost of greater responsibility and attention from that god’s enemies!
In short, the cult provides support for the adventurer’s way of life. By advancing within a cult, an adventurer gains magical power and important temporal resources.
Following are some of the more important Gloranthan deities and the Runes they are associated with. If a deity has more than one instance of a Rune, they are considered to ‘own’ it. They are listed in the table below, then in more depth below.
# Important Gods
Gods are real in Glorantha, and though not always worshiped, they are certainly acknowledged. Important deities acknowledged by everyone in the Dragon Pass area include:
# Aldrya, Goddess of the Woods
This goddess rules in pine forests, deciduous woodlands, or tropical jungle. She commands everything within the woods: plants, animals, wells and springs, bright glades and dappled glens, emptiness and shadow, ghosts and terrifying spirits.
Aldrya is also mother of elves and dryads, who are her servants in the forests. In ancient times, the Green Age, Aldrya and the elves ruled all of the world. She is bitter now about the loss, which explains why woods are intrinsically creepy to mankind.
# Argan Argar, God of Surface Darkness
Argan Argar was a leader among the trolls during the Darkness. He is messenger and translator for the troll pantheon, and the god of merchants. He is popular with trollkin, who claim that Argan Argar first taught them how to use spears.
# Babeester Gor, the Avenging Daughter
When the Gods War made the world evil, the earth brought forth its own grim defender. Babeester Gor was born from her mother’s corpse, axes in hand, body ritually scarred to carry deadly magic. She destroyed all kin-slayers, all oath-breakers who swore by her mother, and everything which desecrated the sacred places of the earth.
# Chalana Arroy, the Healer
This goddess is one of the Seven Lightbringers and is also Yelm’s Handmaiden. She knows how to heal all diseases and wounds, and she healed the world after the Great Darkness. Her worship is widespread, but few of her people know her directly, instead worshiping parts of her or the powerful healing spirits readily available from this lofty deity.
# Daka Fal, the Judge of the Dead
Daka Fal walked the world and separated the living from the dead, setting each in his place, making known to all their duties and affairs. He is invoked whenever people worship the dead.
# Ernalda, the Earth Mother
Ernalda is the Earth Mother and the most favored of all the Earth goddesses. Among her titles are Earth Queen, the Life-Giver, the Beautiful One, the Great Green Lady, Source of Bounty, the Giver, the Sustainer, Wife of Many, Supporter of All, and Midwife of Time. She and her daughters are the source of food, shelter, and society for most of life. She is the goddess of women, female sexuality, fertility, and motherhood.
Ernalda has many husbands, but the foremost of them is Orlanth. She presides over a sprawling pantheon of Earth deities, both benevolent and malign.
The Ernalda cult is of vast importance everywhere, even if her priestesses do not always possess direct political power.
# Eurmal, the Trickster
Trickster God, Fool, Lawbreaker, Outlaw, and Scapegoat, he is nonetheless one of the Seven Lightbringers. He is a dangerous and treacherous god, but he wields great divine power.
# Humakt, the God of Death
The mythology of Humakt is a long and unfinished tale of woe. Yet amid the multiple agonies which the God of Death bestows, this god also reveals a glimmer of hope. He idealizes the honorable intentions and beliefs of most men with a singleminded direction. He was born a child of the Primal Air, but he severed his ties to them when they used Death dishonorably. Though Humakt is no longer kin to the air gods, he usually remains their friend.
# Issaries, the Speaking God
Lord of Trade, Guardian of Roads, and Messenger of the Gods, Issaries is one of the Seven Lightbringers and psychopomp of that pantheon. Initiates of his cult are merchants and heralds, protected by their god’s reputation and power. The cult language, Tradetalk, is the closest thing to a common tongue in all Glorantha. The cult spread widely during the time of the Jrusteli empire, and still possesses widespread acceptance and influence, ever thirsty for more.
# Kyger Litor, the Mother of Trolls
This is the ancestress of all the troll races of the world, and she is widely worshiped. When the sun was slain, she invaded the surface world with her minions, where they conquered the land and, eventually, bore the brunt of the fighting against Chaos. The cult is simple and primitive, often savage or brutal in human opinion, but satisfying to the primal trolls.
# Lhankor Mhy, the Knowing God
Keeper of the Laws, Scribe of the Immortals, and History Singer are his titles. He is the god of the Gray Lords, the Sages of Glorantha. One of the Seven Lightbringers, during that epic voyage he inherited, found, fought for, and stole many pieces of the old powers, preserving them safely to re-enter Time. Holder of the sacred Stone Scrolls forged in the Underworld to hide the secrets of the Compromise from immature souls, even so his knowledge is incomplete, and he and his cult thirst for more.
# Magasta, the Lord of Waters
Magasta is the son of Daliath and Framanthe, the moving source of life in the waters. His family personifies the tremendous primal forces of the sea, but Magasta directs them. He is King of the Sea Gods, master of life and death within the depths.
# Maran Gor, the Earthshaker
A sister of Ernalda, she was once generous and kind. When the troubles of the Gods War came, she took the title of Gor, and became an object of fear and awe. She was then a destroyer and was powerful and famous during that black time. Now she is only actively worshiped by those that enjoy the carnage which is her most precious gift. Most great earth temples still include shrines to this deity, and prayers are sent to deflect her wrath.
# Mostal, the Maker
Machine God, Keeper of the World Mill, and Master of Stone are some of his titles. Mostal is believed to be a son of the earth and mighty Acos, god of Law from the Celestial Court. From his father he inherited power over stone, which is sometimes called the Lawful Element. He was skilled at all kinds of making and building and has an inborn distrust and lack of understanding for Aldrya. In the God Time he and his brother Stone were slain by elves. Now, dwarfs work steadfastly to repair Mostal’s machine, so that the world works correctly again.
# Orlanth, the Storm King
Master of Storms, Death Wielder, Bringer of Light, and King of the Gods are some of Orlanth’s titles. Orlanth is the chief of the Seven Lightbringers. His worship is very widespread. He is a dire foe of the Red Goddess of the Lunar Empire.
When known as Orlanth Adventurous, his skills as a poet, fighter, and lover are praised and learned. His aspect of Orlanth Thunderous represents the power the god possesses over the natural elements of storm. As Orlanth Rex, he is praised and worshiped to share in his skill at rule. He knows justice and leadership, fine rhetoric, and other skills needed to rule.
Many lesser spirits are attached to his cult. His religion is one of the largest and most complete in the world, as is only fitting for the King of the Gods.
# The Red Goddess
Moon Goddess, Mistress of Time, Sister of Chaos, and Lurker upon the Veil are some other titles of this unique goddess. She was born in the Gods Age, but was broken and scattered in prehistoric wars; not slain, but not alive either. Her religion is a strange mixture of mysticism and practical magic, of barbaric cruelty and dignified beauty, of freedom and of tyranny. Its philosophies are unique and complex. Although she was born inside of Time, and is therefore mortal, she quickly developed her internal abilities and set off upon a dread Godquest which ended with her apotheosis only 27 years later.
The Red Goddess earned and worked and danced and fought her way into the fabric of the world. She has taken for her domain the Middle Air, and so has earned the eternal enmity of Orlanth and other air gods. Her cult spreads beyond the bounds of her Empire and is very powerful. It includes many lesser deities within it.
# The Seven Mothers
These gods are mothers to the Red Goddess and their combined pantheon is the official state religion of the Lunar Empire. Unlike many Gloranthan cults, the Red Goddess cult is actively trying to recruit new believers and convert others to their religion. Their magic is strongly tied to the cycles of Glorantha’s red moon.
Despite their name, three of the “Mothers” are male. The seven demigods who conspired to resurrect the Red Goddess were Teelo Norri, Jakaleel the Witch, Queen Deezola, She Who Waits, Danfive Xaron, Yanafal Tarnils, and Irrippi Ontor. Associated cults include Etyries, Hwarin Dalthippa, Yara Aranis, Hon-eel, the Red Goddess, and the Young Elementals.
# Storm Bull
Storm Bull is a god of untamed animal power and passion. His wild and intense fury could even beat Chaos, and so the berserk deity led the war of the Greater Darkness. He fought the Devil to a standstill and trapped him under a mountain of adamant. Thus, he is grudgingly tolerated in many regions.
# Waha, the Butcher
Waha is the son of the Storm Bull. He appeared in Prax, among the leaderless people of the area, teaching them the new ways necessary to survive, and taking wives from among them to breed new dynasties. Among his many great deeds are the digging of the Good Canal to cleanse the earth; the taming of Oakfed, god of wildfire; and teaching people and animals each their proper stations for the new world.
# Yelm, the Imperial Sun
God of the Middle Fire and brother of Lodril and Dayzatar. Yelm was not always bound to his path in the Sky but traveled freely during the God Time. His disastrous feud with Orlanth was one of the most important struggles of the Gods War, for when he was slain by Orlanth, his demise marked the Lesser Darkness which filled all the cosmos with fear, allowing Chaos to seep in.
Yelm is worshiped in the Lunar Empire as the Solar Emperor and in the Grazelands as the Imperial Sun Horse.
# Yelmalio, the Bright God
Yelmalio is the bright sun that brings light but not heat. He is a son of Yelm and sometimes friend and sometimes foe of Orlanth. He’s best known for the Sun Dome Temples that provide mercenaries to both the Orlanthi and their enemies.
# Rune Cults
|Aldrya||epx||The goddess of forests and mother of the elves.|
|Argan Argar||ol||The god of surface Darkness, leader to the trolls.|
|Babeester Gor||et||The Avenging Daughter, a goddess of bloodshed and reprisal.|
|Chalana Arroy||lxl||The goddess of healing. One of the Seven Lightbringers.|
|Daka Fal||,b,||The father of all mortals and Judge of the Dead.|
|Ernalda||xeel||The Earth Queen and goddess of women, agriculture, and fertility.|
|Eurmal||iji||The god of lies and deceit. One of the Seven Lightbringers.|
|Humakt||tyt||The god of endings, Death, and war.|
|Issaries||ls||The god of merchants, travelers, and speakers. One of the Seven Lightbringers.|
|Kyger Litor||o,||An underworld goddess who resides beneath the Castle of Lead.|
|Lhankor Mhy||yc||The god of scribes, sages, and writing. One of the Seven Lightbringers.|
|Magasta||swwt||The mighty ruler of the seas and oceans.|
|Maran Gor||tej||The Earthshaker. Sister to Ernalda and a goddess of destruction.|
|Mostal||cec||The Maker, the dwarf god who tends the World Engine, keeping it running.|
|Orlanth||sggW||The leader of the Seven Lightbringers and king of the gods.|
|The Red Goddess||x//?||The Goddess of the Red Moon and goddess of the Lunar Empire, daughter of the Seven Mothers.|
|The Seven Mothers||/xt||The primary pantheon of the Lunar Empire.|
|Storm Bull||gBt||Enemy of Chaos and a manifestation of berserk, barbaric fury.|
|Waha||,t||The Butcher, son of the Storm Bull. Is the chief god of the Praxian nomads.|
|Yelm||x..t||The god of the Sun, who dies each night only to return with the dawn.|
|Yelmalio||Oy||The Bright God, son of Yelm and patron of the Sun Dome Temple.|