The World of Glorantha



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Created On 17 September 1997
Last Updated On 17 September 1997
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1997

Genertela
Pamaltela

Glorantha is a fantasy world created in the sixties by Greg Stafford. Since then, it has been expanded and written about by Greg Stafford and many other people. At the moment, it is an expanding and vibrant world, with many of the previously unexplored places being revealed.

Glorantha exists as a bubble within the Primal Chaos of the universe. It consists of several areas, all connected. Hell is deepest, the land of Darkness and Dark Creatures. Above Hell lies the Primal Ocean upon which all the Earth floats. The continents and islands are next, floating upon the Primal Ocean. Around the land there are the Seas and Oceans of the Surface World. Above the lands, the Air is next, thrust between Earth and Sky. Finally, the Sky covers Glorantha with its Dome and the Heavenly World above it.

The Surface World of Glorantha is divided up into different areas. In the East are the Lands of Dawn, inhabited by immortals and demigods and containing the Gates of Dawn from where the Sun appears each morning. In the West are the Lands of Luathela, again inhabited by immortals and demigods and where can be found the Gates of Dusk, where the Sun disappears through in the evening. To the South is the land of Pamaltela, covered with Jungle, Desert and grassy Plains. To the far north are the Glaciers of Valind, inhabited by Ice Demons and Snow Trolls, and the Lands of the Altinae, another race of demigods who occasionally help those mortals who contact them. The East Isles stretch westwards from the Lands of Dawn and each one has a different people living there with their own beliefs and culture. Several other islands are found in the Oceans, notably Jrustela, Teleos, Loral and the lost land of Brithos. In the centre of the Surface World is Magasta's Pool, an immense whirlpool many miles wide, which draws the waters of the world down into Hell. Finally, north of Magasta's Pool but south of Valind's Glaciers lies the continent of Genertela, where most of the published Gloranthan material is set.

Genertela

Kralorela
Pent
Prax
The Holy Country
Dragon Pass
Lunar Empire
Ralios
Fronela
The West

This land is named after Genert, the god who ruled it in the God Time and was slain by Chaos. This act left the land blasted and dying, decreasing its fertility. However, the land is home to many varied peoples. In the West are the lands of Wizards and Sorcerers, the Malkioni of the Kingdoms of Seshnela and Loskalm. In he North are the lands of Fronela and the White Sea, near Valind's Glacier. In the East is the Golden Empire of Kralorela, ruled by Dragons. In the centre lies the lands of the Lunar Empire, Ralios, where live Malkioni sorcerers, Dragon Pass where the Dragonewts live alongside Orlanthi barbarians, Prax and the Waste, inhabited by animal-riding nomads, and the Holy Country, ruled by a mighty Hero, centuries old. North of Kralorela and the Lunar Empire, but South of Valindland lies the Pentian Steppe where horse nomads ride and prey on the neighbouring lands.

Kralorela

This is similar to Cathay (Ancient/Legendary China), although it has its own Gloranthan flavour. It is a land of toiling peasants, Dragon Emperors, mighty mandarins and strange mystics. It does not welcome outsiders and is effectively a closed world. To the north is the Land of Ignorance, a land of trolls ruled by the Kralori mandarins. To the west are the Fever Trees, Iron Forts and mountains which protect the Empire from the Wastes.

Pent

This land of Steppe grassland stretches from the Kingdom of Ignorance to the White Sea and is inhabited by nomadic horsemen, based loosely on the peoples of the Mongolian Steppes. These nomads were far stronger in the past, being rulers of the lands of Peloria at least twice, but have been defeated more and more often. However, they are regaining their strength and are looking to raid the Lunar Empire once more. The people worship gods of Fire and Light, or those of Storm, and especially revere an ancient chieftain, Sheng Seleris, who was bound into a Lunar Hell after his conquest of the Lunar Empire. They ride horses and herd cattle, although some traditionalists only herd horses.

Prax

This land is inhabited mainly by animal nomads who ride different animals, depending on which nation they belong to. Thus there are the Impala Nation, Sable Nation, Bison Nation, High Llama Nation (who ride a beast unique to Glorantha but more of a cross between a camel and a llama) and the Morokanth Nation who are a nation of animals who herd unintelligent humans, rather like those in the film "Planet of the Apes".

Many other tribes live in Prax and the Wastes, including the Unicorn Tribe, Rhino Riders, Unicorn Riders, Baboons, Agimori or Men and a Half, Newtlings, Cannibal Cult, Bolo Lizard Riders and Zebra Riders. Chaotic Broos live in the Wastes and the swamps of the Marsh. A land of Sun worshippers exists in Sun County, on the Zola Fel river, or River of Cradles. The city of Pavis sits on the Zola Fel, ruled by Lunars and acting as a gateway to the Big Rubble, remnants of a Giant City destroyed by trolls.

The Lunar Empire has conquered Prax and has driven the hostile Nations into the Wastes, a harsh place of deserts and chaos. The Lunars are bringing the effects of civilisation to the nomads, especially to their allies the Sable Riders.

The Holy Country

This strange land is a confederation ruled by a mighty Hero called the Pharaoh. He rules many different people including storm worshippers, trolls, sorcerers, volcano worshippers, mermen and newtlings and an earth matriachy. Part of his power is the ability to bind these different, and often hostile, people together into one kingdom.

Dragon Pass

This land lies north of the Holy Country and south of the Lunar Empire. It was conquered by the Lunars within the last 20 years and is a land of unrest. Dragon Pass is made up of many lands. Sartar lies west of Prax and north of the Holy Country, peopled mainly with storm-worshipping barbarians. The Grazelands lie west of Sartar and are inhabited by horse nomads, kin to those of Pent. Further west still, inhabited by sorcerers riding Demon Steeds are the lands of Sir Ethilrist and his Black Horse Troop. North of Sartar are the lands of Tarsh, a client state of the Lunar Empire. Dragonewts and Dragons live in Dragonland, next to Sartar. To the north lies the Queendom of Dagori Inkarth, lived in by tribes of trolls.

Lunar Empire

This Empire worships the Red Goddess, or Red Moon, a Goddess who was born some 400 years ago. Her Empire has spread from it humble foundations and has conquered the lands of Dara Happa, inhabited by Sun Worshippers, Carmania, inhabited by Sorcerers, Dragon Pass and Prax. They are planning to invade the Holy Country in the near future.

The Lunars embrace all things and accept the worship of Chaos. For this it is hated by many people, especially the worshippers of Orlanth and his kin. These people are strongest in Sartar and the Holy Country, so the Lunar Empire is trying to defeat those lands, to drive the cult of Orlanth into destruction and to bind the God once and for all.

Ralios

This is a land of small kingdoms and dukedoms. In the north are storm barbarians and animal-worshipping Hsunchens. Trolls and Dragonewts also live in the north, in Monsterland. In the South are many city states and dukedoms following the Western Way of Malkionism and fighting amongst themselves. All claim to follow the ways of Arkat, a Hero from the First Age, but all follow him in different ways.

Fronela

This is a cold land, lying south of Valind's Glacier and north-west of the Pelorian basin. It is a land of contrasts, from the Elven Great Forests to the barbarian kingdoms and the Lunar settlements. Many hsunchen, animal-worshipping people, live in the tundra and lands of Fronela. Harrek the Berserk is the most famous son of Fronela.

For many years, the land of Fronela was under the effects of a magical force known as the Fronelan Ban. This caused segments of the land to be isolated, being completely separate from each other. This caused fast evolution of the cultures and caused Fronelan culture to be broken up very quickly. When the Ban was lifted, the cultures came into contact with each other.

The Rathori Bear Folk simply went to sleep when the Ban started and woke when it ended, carrying on as before, until Harrek slew their Polar Bear God. The Kingdom of War burst forth and began its campaign of conquest. The elves in their forests carried on as before. The kingdom of Loskalm remained intact and became strong after the Ban. Jonatela also remained intact, with the king raiding a neighbouring land. The Arrolian States have contact with the Lunar Empire, but have not as yet rejoined the Empire. Some places still remain under the Ban, mainly the land of Charrg.

The West

This land is inhabited by those of the Malkioni culture, advanced in culture and technology, users of sorcery. There are several kingdoms sharing a common background but separated by changes in their culture. Elven forests lie on the edges of the land, Demigods rule an archipelago on the coast. Immortals from Brithos live in the land of Arolanit. The kingdom of Seshnela is split into warring dukedoms. Outsiders are not wanted, with their heretical beliefs and strange customs.

Pamaltela

This is a land ruled by the god Pamalt. During the Gods War, the land of Genertela was ruled by Genert, a God of Earth, son of Gata. Genert was killed by Chaos, which caused the land to be broken up into warring factions and blasted lands. Pamaltela, however, remained intact and was not as affected by the forces of Chaos, as Pamalt was not slain and survived the Gods' War.

The Southern part of the continent is a vast, unbearable desert caused by fire pouring from the Sky where it touches the land. No mortal lives here, but creatures of fire are rumoured to inhabit the land. North of the lands of fire is the Nargan desert. Further north are vast grasslands and great mountains, raised to block the advance of chaos in the Darkness. Further north still are great Elven Forests and Jungles. On the coast are city states and kingdoms, inhabited by humans.

The Jungles and Elven Forests are inhabited by Green and Yellow Elves who rule the lands from their Great Councils. Human cities often dot the nearby coasts, but are usually ruled by the Elves. Where the Elves do not rule the humans, there is often warfare.

The great grass plains are inhabited, on the most part, by the Agimori nomads. These are members of Glorantha's black race of humans and have a highly developed primitive culture with shamans and priests ruling the tribes and clans. The enormous wagons of the Kresh also move through these grasslands, but nobody knows much about these people.

The great marshes of the east and west are inhabited by Dinosaurs and Red Elves or Goblins and are wastelands which no sane human would enter.