# Myth and History
Glorantha was created from the Primal Void of Chaos by its deities. At first, there was no history, for the initial creation formed the period of magic and timeless simultaneity called God Time. In God Time, the entire world was populated with beings and races of the Golden Age.
The birth into this world of Umath, the Primal Air, shattered the period of peace, bringing crowding, confusion, and fear. This escalated into the Gods War. The universe exploded with strife, and Orlanth the Storm God used Death to kill the Sun God. Darkness shrouded the world and creatures from the Underworld invaded, claiming their place.
At the edge of the world, the Unholy Trio— Ragnaglar the Mad God, Thed the Mother of the Broo, and Mallia the Mistress of Disease—let Chaos loose. All the cosmos was turned upside down, as the Sun lay dead in Hell and night demons ran amok in the skies. The herds of Chaos came and devoured all the food. People and their beasts starved. Once friendly spirits of nature—Air and Water, Fire and Darkness—turned hostile, as each sought to take a piece of the dying world for themselves. Utter destruction seemed near.
But Glorantha was not destroyed. Spurred on by Hope and Chance, the Seven Lightbringers— Orlanth and his companions Chalana Arroy, Eurmal, Flesh Man, Ginna Jar, Issaries, and Lhankor Mhy— traveled through the Chaos-ridden Cosmos and, after harrowing adventures, liberated the life-giving Sun God. The joyful god leapt to his rightful place in the sky and the Dark was banished.
# The Beginning of History
To keep entropic Chaos from coming to their realm again, the gods swore great oaths and compacts, resulting in the Great Compromise. Men call this Time. By altering the world, the gods saved it, and history began.
Time began with the Dawn Ages, periods of peace and growth, as the survivors rebuilt and taught themselves the way of the world inside Time. The Elder Races—Aldryami, dragonewts, dwarfs, and trolls—were as healthy and as proud as humans. In Dragon Pass, on the continent of Genertela, the First Council was a balanced organization, including humans and non-humans, mortals and divinities.
This age of innocence could not last. Ancient feuds were remembered, and conflicts grew between peoples outside the Council. Dissent inside and enemies outside forced the formation of the Second Council, a warlike empire that grew in arrogance and power until it dreamed of bringing back the God Time.
The experiment ended in the birth of Gbaji the Chaos God. His reign of terror kept Glorantha at war with itself for 50 years. This was the death-knell of the Elder Races: they have never had the same stature in the world since. This was the end of the Dawn Ages.
# The Empire of the Wyrms Friends
Out of this shattered world grew new political entities. Among the most powerful was the state called the Empire of the Wyrms Friends. Centered in Dragon Pass, it lasted for 500 years, proud of and famous for its friendship with the dragons and wyrms of the Pass. Its peoples and places thrived, contacted two other continents, and delved deep into spiritual byways. After 300 years, the traditional rulers were replaced by a ruling body of men and gods called the Third Council. Legends relate that there was no telling the men from the gods in the Council chambers.
But the magic of the Council could not counter the miseries of its worshipers, nor could they control the swords of the rebels who did not sacrifice to them. Foreign gods gained power and prestige as the provinces of the Third Council revolted or were overrun by invaders.
At last, the Council turned its energies to defending its worshipers. Epic battles raged across the land. Finally, in 1042, after being dormant for centuries, the dragonewts rose against the Council and slew them all.
Less than a century later, the humans aiding in the destruction of the empire turned against the dragonewts. With few allies, the dragonewts seemed helpless before the might of the Invincible Golden Horde, an alliance of most humans. Dragonewt nests were scoured with wildfire, planted with seeds laid by Chaotic parasites, sealed by diseases unnameable, and cursed by fear and loathing for any that would mourn them.
Heartless and relentless, humans crushed and plundered, but in 1120 when they closed in upon Dragon Pass, the assembled human armies met those who would mourn the loss of dragonewts. Dragons from across Time and Space assembled in their ancestral home to preserve the purity of their birthplace. The Dragonkill War got its name from what the dragons did, not what they suffered. Despite draconic indifference, humans have feared the dragons since that time. Now none seek to smash the dragonewts’ eggs, though humans might plunder a nest city.
Dragon Pass was abandoned by humanity. Elsewhere, old empires shook, and the seas were utterly closed to human crossing. New kingdoms rose to fill the power vacuums and new magics and deities broke free from ancient shackles.
# The Empire of the Red Moon
Peloria, to the north, is the home of the ancient Dara Happan civilization founded by Yelm the Sun God in the Golden Age. After the fall of the Empire of the Wyrms Friends, the cruel Carmanian Empire conquered Peloria. The Carmanians threatened to extinguish the last lights of Peloria until seven desperate heroquesters conspired to revive a dead goddess—the Red Moon. She was a victim of the Great Darkness, robbed of immortality and death at the same time, making her unique among the gods by existing equally in both worlds. The terrible shock had torn her asunder, scattering her throughout the worlds. After questing deep into the Underworld along lost or forbidden paths, she was reformed as the Red Goddess. In her were balanced Constancy and Change, Life and Death, Love and Indifference... all the dichotomies of the Universe, including Chaos. Her arrival in Time changed the face of the land. The Heartlands of Peloria submitted to the Red Goddess and overthrew the Carmanian Empire’s rule.
After living in Glorantha a short time, the Red Goddess ascended to the heavens, where she remains in her cyclical beauty, viewing the land she left to her family below. The ever-reincarnating Red Emperor of the Lunar Empire is her son and her pride. The Lunar Empire expanded from its founding. When defeated, it rebounded stronger than ever. The Lunars went north to the icy wastes, east to the bounds of the horse barbarian lands, and west until they were halted by the magical Syndics Ban. But in the south, the empire continued to grow and grow.
When the Lunars reached Dragon Pass, they found it populated again. Moreover, it was dominated by the Kingdom of Sartar, ruled by a wise dynasty cautiously maintaining the great and magical laws that gave it its strength. Despite initial defeats, the Red Emperor eventually marched almost unhindered into the Sartar capital of Boldhome in 1602. He defiled the Temple of Sartar and ravaged the city.
So far, it was a typical Lunar conquest.
# The Liberation of Sartar
The remnants of the Household of Sartar, however, incited the natives to rebel against the Lunar Empire. Starbrow’s Rebellion in 1613 temporarily overthrew the Lunar Occupation. After the latest rebellion was ruthlessly put down by General Fazzur Wideread, a puppet Prince was installed in Boldhome.
To extend the Glowline and put an end to the uprisings, the Lunar College of Magic began to construct a Temple of the Reaching Moon in the foothills of the Storm Mountains. The location of this temple would enable the Lunars to vanquish the rebellious Storm God, winning the Middle Air as the uncontested domain of the Red Goddess.
Complete Lunar victory seemed imminent after the fall of Whitewall in 1621. But the final victory never came—rebellions erupted in Sartar and Heortland, the Lunar Army was routed in Esrolia by an alliance of rebels and Wolf Pirates, and Pavis fell to a new warlord called Argrath. Worshipers of the Death God assassinated the Lunar puppet, Prince Temertain.
As the Lunars gathered to finally consecrate the Temple of the Reaching Moon in 1625, the Sartarites somehow summoned a True Dragon immediately beneath the Temple’s foundations. It devoured the assembled priests and priestesses performing the dedication ceremony as well as half of the Lunar military in Dragon Pass. Called the Dragonrise, this catastrophic event awakened ancient draconic powers and thoughts quiescent since the Empire of the Wyrms Friends. People and beings across the world panicked at these terrifying phenomena and many set into motion their ancient curses, cosmic defenses, secret plans, and doomsday rituals.
Soon after the Dragonrise, Kallyr Starbow liberated Boldhome and proclaimed herself Prince of Sartar. The bravery and glory of Sartar’s fight for independence attracted thousands of volunteers, and people from all over Glorantha became adventurers to take their places in its ranks.
Now begins the long-prophesied period known as the Hero Wars: the fighting around Dragon Pass draws the greatest collection of Heroes in one place the world has ever seen. In these pages, adventurers begin their first steps upon the path to becoming Heroes, to take their places amongst others in the Hero Wars.