Great Gods

From: Peter Metcalfe <>
Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2001 21:06:32 +1200

Keith Nellist:

>Me> With Great Gods, the topic
> > is the _theistic_ expression of that quality or Power while
> > the Spirits and Essences can go hang.

>I am not entirely sure we are strictly speaking of Theists, after
>all the list in the Runequest Companion includes the Cosmic Dragon,
>Hykim, Daka Fal, the Horned God, Malkion, Kyger Litor, Eurmal, Aldrya,
>Mostal, Arachne Solara.

>Hardly Theistic entities.

I agree. But the concept of Great Gods has since been restricted to theistic entities and I'm not too strong on what the big 'uns (i.e. those with substantial transcendent selves) of other viewpoints are called now. Great Spirits refers to any big spirit that can be worshipped and I'm iffy about the Glorantha: Intro usage of "Giants". I'm even less sure about the interplay in Malkionism between the primal concepts and the schools.

>We might be better listing theistic cultures
>in Glorantha and then deciding their Great God/Gods:

Okay, I'll give that a try. What follows are my thoughts.

Dara Happa: Yelm (Fire), Shargash (Destruction), Oria (Earth), Lodril (Male Earth*), Erissa (Fertility)

Comment: Male Earth is my interpolation referring to the masculine cthonic powers. Aspects are volcanoes, peasants and lowfires AFAIK. The Orlanthi don't have these powers ever since Maran Gor imprisoned Veskarthen. Before the Great Darkness, Dayzatar (Truth) would have been on this list but since he can now be reached only through mystical practices, he is no longer a great god.


Ompalam (Law), Yran (Moon), Ernamola (Earth), Orjethulut (Death)

Comment: I've heard from Greg that Fonrit is theistic (which demolished my carefully arranged edifice of sorcerous mullahs and animistic sufi cults). I'm damn sure they have other great gods for Sun, Storm, Earth etc. but they haven't been listed so far.

Lunar Way: Sedenya (Moon)

Comment: Aspects of Sedenya include the seven Nathic aspects (HW:RiG p83-85), Rufelza, and the Seven Mothers.

Melib and Trowjang: Tolat (Destruction)

Orlanthi: Orlanth (Storm), Ernalda (Earth), Humakt (Death), Chalana Arroy (Fertility), Eurmal (Illusion or Disorder), Mastakos/Larnste (Mobility).

Pelanda: Turos (Male Earth), Oria (Earth), Uleria (Love), Idovanus (Law).

Comment: Jernotius would have been up there but I think he's reachable only through mystical practices. The Pelandan cult of Idovanus is different from the Idovanus as worshipped by the Magi.

Teshnos: Somash (Fire), Solf (Male Earth), Furalor (Death), Calyz (Man)

Comment: Zitro Argon (Truth) is solely reachable through mysticism so he's not a Great God. Furalor has a death rune yet her cult is different from Humakt's and hence I inclined to make her a different aspect of death.

>Kralorela - ? - I guess the gods might be viewed as aspects
>of the Cosmic Dragon?

That's true but the Kralori also have sorcerous, animists and just plain strange magicians among the general population. So the portions of the Cosmic Dragon manifests in the magical worlds as Gods, Spirits and Essenses. Likewise for the Vithelans.

>Trolls - Kyger Litor
>Aldryami - Aldrya

Uz and Aldryami are mostly animists and I'll have to comment that I don't know what magical differences one would observe between a "giant" and a great spirit. Of the demons of the Uz, the only one that I can know of is Subere (Darkness) although this could change. For the Aldryami, Flamal (Plant), Ernalda (Earth) and Uleria (Love) are known.

>Mostali - Mostal

Mostal (Stasis). I think there's a connection between the Decamony to the Powers, thus Iron (Death), Tin (Life), Gold (Truth), Quicksilver (Movement), Diamond (Law/Perfection) but this exercise leads to procustean judgements and it's far better to acknowledge that the connections are imperfect.

>Westerners - Malkion

Zzabur (Magic), Zoamalos (Beast) from Anaxial's Roster, Malkion (Law). Many names are so far unknown or unpublished and some of the known names (Ehilm, Worlath etc) are False Gods. I do think that Caste Founders (Zzabur, Horal etc) are the equivalent of Great Gods with Hrestol (Knighthood) being a historical addition.

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