A central theme of Glorantha is the relationship between mortals and the gods, between the mythical and Mundane Worlds. Gloranthan religion and magic are basic to existence and accepted by everyone. The gods are acknowledged, experienced, and exert powerful influence upon the world. The most prevalent religious practice in Glorantha is polytheism.
An individual worshiper may have a special relationship with their chosen deity but acknowledges and often worships other gods. Other religious practices exist as well, such as shamanism, philosophical materialism, and mystical illumination. The omnipresence of magic in Glorantha means that day-to-day life is different in many ways from that which we experience. Life centers around a person’s cult or religion.
Magic is a source of both increased safety and ease of life but is also a source of conflict and terror. In Glorantha, magic plays a decisive, even primary, role in warfare. Priests cast bolts of lightning or call down flames from the heavens; shamans unleash spirits like the all-consuming Oakfed; Rune Masters of war or storm gods shatter regiments; and the Lunar Empire has units like the Field School of Magic, the Crater Makers, or the awesome Crimson Bat that devastates entire armies. In Glorantha, victory is often not on the side with the biggest battalions, but the side with the mightiest gods and spirits!
This can have surprising results; for example, a band of huntergatherers, backed up by powerful shamans, can overwhelm a superior civilized phalanx lacking magical support. In melee combat, magic is similarly decisive. When two equally skilled weapon masters fight, the one with the better magic usually wins. A combat-oriented adventurer is wise to join the cult of a war god!