The Monomyth

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


Ages of Glorantha
Golden Age
Gods' War
Storm Age (Lesser Darkness)
Age of Terror/Chaos Age (Greater Darkness)

The deities which devolved from the members of the Celestial Court performed many deeds. These deeds shaped the world of Glorantha into what it is today. The stories were collected by the Jrusteli Scholars and combined into a Monomyth. This was created to simplify the myths and deeds, forcing them into a pattern which suited the Jrusteli mindset. However, the events of the Monomyth did happen and did shape the world. It must be remembered that other deeds occurred which played no part in the Monomyth and that some of the myths are self-contradictory outside of the Monomyth.

The God Time was divided into several Ages. Each Age held a collection of myths which defined the flavour of the Age. Thus, the Golden Age was an Age of Peace, the Storm Age was an Age of War and the myths reflect this.

Ages of Glorantha

Golden Age

The Golden Age was an Age of Innocence, where the gods played with their new powers. The Gods created the Form Runes and populated the world with creatures made from the Runes. First was the Dragonewt Rune and Draconic Creatures trod the earth. Next was the Plant Rune and the world was covered with Plants. The lands were ruled by the Earth Goddesses at this time. With the advent of War, they looked to a new deity, Yelm the Fiery Sun, to protect them from their new foes. When the foes had been defeated, Yelm retained the title of Emperor despite the Goddesses' protests. Yelm, the Sun God and Emperor of the World, created the flowering plants. Next was the Beast Rune and the world was filled with animals and beasts. Finally came the Man Rune and humanoid races walked the earth.

Each of the major gods used the Man Rune, embodied in the person known as Grandfather Mortal, and created Races born of the Elements. Thus were created Elves, Trolls, Ducks, Baboons, Merfolk and Man.

At this time, Yelm was Emperor of the Universe. He was advised by Dayzatar, his elder brother, and helped by Lodril, his younger brother. He married Ernalda, the Bountiful Earth, and many Gods flocked to his banner. Many nations were crested and people lived without work, because food sprang from the ground and the water was magical and pure. It was a time of plenty and of peace.

Genert, son of Ga and brother of Gata and Empress Earth was ruler of the Northern Lands of Genertela. He fathered many spirits upon his sister and on his daughters. These were the Grain Goddesses and the Land Goddesses which helped feed the people. Genert also created races of people and other godlings who helped him rule the land. He lived in Genert's Garden where lay the Fields of Plenty.

Many of the spirits and minor gods joined together and created something new at this time. These new Gods were called the Burtae and were the delight of the Celestial Court as they were new, not merely devolved forms of the Old Gods. Aether and Gata, Sky and Earth members of the Celestial Court, lay together and formed another Burtae, Umath the Primal Storm. Umath demanded a place for himself in the world, the equal to those of his parents.

Gods' War

When his plea was refused, Umath grasped his great father and placed his feet on his mother and lifted, tearing his father and mother apart and making the realm of Air for himself. This act of violence started the Gods' War and set the pattern for his unruly children.

Many other New Gods followed Umath and left the Court of Yelm. Amongst them were Orlanth, Umath's Son. Orlanth became the Chief of the Rebel or Outlaw Gods, leading them to greater and greater victories. He challenged Yelm the Emperor to many contests. In one of these contests, the two gods crested new things, Yelm created the Sun Hawk and Orlanth created the Thunder Bird. The contest was judged by a Trickster spirit, Raven. The Trickster judged in favour of Orlanth and Sun Hawk, in rage, chased Raven from the field. The final contest was that of weapons. This was the contest which changed the world.

Eurmal, The Trickster, crept into Hell and met Vivamort, a Darkness God who guarded a terrible secret. Eurmal persuaded Vivamort to reveal the Secret, there they found Death. Eurmal then told Humakt, Orlanth's brother and god of War, of the Secret and both crept into Hell. Zorak Zoran, a Darkness God, saw them there and followed close behind. Humakt then took Death and left for the Surface World. They met Grandfather Mortal and Humakt asked him if he wanted to try out this new Power. Grandfather had previously turned down the chance to be Master of Thunder and Mirror Polishing, so he agreed and was the first thing to die, returning to Hell, from where Death had come. Orlanth found out about the new Power and asked Humakt for a loan of Death, but the War God refused. Orlanth asked Eurmal for help and the Trickster stole Death from Humakt, leaving a copy which worked in its place.

Storm Age (Lesser Darkness)

Orlanth took Death, his new sword, to the Contest of Arms and slew Yelm, the Emperor. The Sun God left for Hell and the Surface World was plunged into Darkness. Humakt, outraged by this act of betrayal, severed all ties with his brother and kin and gave up his Storm Powers. Zorak Zoran followed Death as Eurmal spread it around. It passed to High King Elf who killed one of Mostal's sons, then to Ironman, a Dwarf Hero. Finally, Zorak Zoran took up Death and used the Axe to slay Flamal, god of Plants. This deed caused the Great Hunger and worsened the suffering in the Darkness. Zorak Zoran raged with the Axe and tried to kill many Gods and Goddesses. One of these was Ernalda, the Bountiful Earth. She lay sleeping, along with all the Earth Goddesses, in mourning for Flamal's Death, when Zorak Zoran plunged Death into her body. Babeester Gor, The Avenger, lay sleeping in her mother's womb, and felt the passage of Death beside her. She reached out and removed the Axe Head, bursting forth from the womb, Axe in hand, forcing Zorak Zoran to flee for his life. From this day on, Zorak Zoran and his followers used Blunt weapons rather than axes.

Many Gods fought during the Storm Age. The Storm Gods were ascendant, yet the Darkness and Sea Deities also gained in power. Many of the lesser races followed the Greater Gods at this time, giving their worship to the Gods. As the fighting worsened, the lesser races became dependant on the Gods.

Many Water Gods came to the land and swept over the earth. The Seas and Oceans filled the world, drowning areas of land. Rivers crept from the Seas, advancing further and further into the earth, conquering more and more places. Great forces attacked the people, creating huge lakes and inland seas. The Blue People and the peoples of Ororin and Yar Gan attacked the Empire of Dara Happa and nearby states. Anaxial and his people escaped in a great boat and survived the onslaught. Lorion entered the Sky and turned it from Gold to Blue, becoming the Great Sky River Titan. He received a fatal blow and his life energies have flowed ever since in an enormous waterfall/rainstorm into Skyfall Lake where it drowned a great Chaos City.

Many disasters occurred, the earth rose from its roots, mountains were raised and destroyed, the sky overturned and hid itself beneath the earth. Lodril was forced beneath the earth and was captured by Argan Argar and forced to live in slavery.

The Great God Valind came from the North, creating a Huge Glacier which advanced inexorably, overwhelming the lands of the Sun, crushing many cities in its path and nearly destroying the Dara Happan Empire, save for a few cities which hid beneath a huge overturned boat. As Valind became more powerful and his icy Empire grew, the earth groaned beneath its weight and the gods feared that the sky would be flipped over once more. Kargzant, Yelm's Steed, ruled the Skies at this time and ordered the Hero Kalikos to fight Valind and force the Glacier back. Kalikos came with fiery powers, many allies and a Holy Mission and managed to force back the Ice, averting another disaster.

The trolls and Darkness Gods became strong at this time, fighting many battles against the sun-worshipping Dara Happans and their elven allies and Yelmalio, a god of Light. Orlanth fought Yelmalio at the Hill of Gold, where Zorak Zoran also fought and conquered Yelmalio, stealing his Fire Powers. Gadblad the Smith built a magical Castle of Lead in Dagori Inkarth and the trolls moved there, creating an Empire of Darkness. Lodril, the Volcano God, was chained by Argan Argar, God of Surface Darkness, and a mighty Castle of Black Glass was built near the sea and became the centre of another Darkness Kingdom.

Ragnaglar, son of Umath, was a mad god, sent mad by sex demons. He moved across the world, raping and pillaging, making the world worse. Once he raped the goddess Thed who went to Orlanth for Justice. He granted her the title of Goddess of Rape, to his shame, so that his wife and sisters would fear the act too. Ragnaglar fathered the race of broos on Thed and spread his urges far and wide, shaming Orlanth again. A goddess of Death, Mallia, came to Orlanth's Camp and infected everyone with her ways. They became sick and she had to be driven off. Finally, Orlanth sent Humakt to slay these three troublemakers and they were sent to Hell.

Age of Terror/Chaos Age (Greater Darkness)

When Vivamort allowed Humakt and Eurmal to steal Death, he remained behind and saw what was revealed by the theft. What he saw terrified him and sent him mad. For through the void left where Death had been came the forces of Chaos. As Vivamort fled, he was met by a God named Boztakag who tried to find out what had injured Vivamort. He saw the wound in the cosmos and found Arrquong, a Chaos Spirit who guards the entrance to Glorantha. Boztakang killed Arrquong and stole some of his powers, then he looked into the Void and saw what was to come. He used the knowledge to teach the trolls to fight what was coming.

As Death was used more and more often, cracks appeared in the world, allowing creatures to enter from the outside. One such creature was squirming on the ground when Larnste, God of Motion, saw it and trod on it to kill it. However, the creature, Krarsht, turned and bit him, sending him howling and limping in pain. The site of this is The Footprint in the Holy Country and the poison which dripped from the wound caused Foulblood Forest to be formed. Lodril saw the deed and turned himself into a Sky Spear and thrust himself deep into the earth to fight Krarsht. The two fought long and hard, but neither could overcome the other. Krarsht was forced beneath the Earth and can never return to the Surface. Lodril was infected by her Disorder and Violence and became more unruly as a result.

When Ragnaglar, Mallia and Thed were sent to Hell, they hatched a plot and cast a great spell to summon new powers to the world. Ragnaglar impregnated Thed once more and filled her with a new god, Wakboth, the Devil. Mallia acted as midwife and the Chaos God was born. Wakboth was the Defiler, the Terror and was the epitome of Evil. He led the growing Chaos armies to fight in the Wars.

Many other creatures of Chaos followed and weakened the structure of the world. They followed their gods and fought the other Gods and people, destroying as they went for it was their wish to destroy the world and return all to Primal Chaos. Sometimes the Chaos armies were victorious, as when they sacked the Storm Gods' North Wind castle and destroyed everyone there. Sometimes the chaos was defeated, mainly by the trolls and their kin.

Genert, Earth god and ruler of Genertela, faced a mighty army at the Fields of Plenty. Many Gods fought beside him, including Splendid Yamsur, Yelm's Son, and Seolinthur, Genert's River God. Armies of mortals also fought beside their King. However, the forces of Chaos destroyed the massed armies and killed all there. Genert saved many of his folk by turning his followers into Copper Dust and throwing it into the faces of the Chaos Army. He was killed, alongside the other gods, leaving the Fields of Plenty turned into the Krjalki Bog near the Copper Sands. The Chaos Army, led by Wakboth, Tien and Krarsht, split up and attacked the Castle of Lead amongst others.

Kajabor, the Great Fear, God of Entropy, was another leader of the Chaos armies. Once he led an army against Wakboth, since there was nothing left to fight. When the armies had fought for a time, Zorak Zoran came in and finished the rest off. This reduced the Chaos in the world. Kajabor was sent to Hell.

Later, the Chaos Armies reached the Spike, the Cosmic Mountain, and fought the gods there. Kargan Tor was forced to leave his post and allowed the Chaos in. As they fought throughout the Spike they weakened the Mountain until it broke apart , vaporising the Spike and its inhabitants. This left a great void in the centre of the world which drew everything into it. Many Gods leapt into the Void to fill it, amongst these were Magasta and Brastalos, deities of Water and Air, who combined their forces and created a huge whirlpool . All the Rivers of the World answered Magasta's cry for help and turned to flow into the oceans, from then on all rivers flowed downhill into the seas, rather than away onto the land.

Although things were terrible, there was still hope. The Sky People sent Star Captains to the world and opened the Stars as beacons. Eurmal, on the Lightbringers Quest, freed the Lowfires and sent them through the world. One of these, Oakfed, cleansed the land of Chaos and was fed the forests of Prax to light up the Darkness. People worked together to fight the Chaos, so Kyger Litor showed Zzabur how to rid himself of the Silence which affected him and Zzabur showed High King Elf how to enchant away gorp.

With the death of Kajabor, Chaos weakened and this also gave hope to those left. Wakboth wanted to die to enter the Underworld and fight the gods there, so he went on a rampage, fighting the great gods and trying to be killed. Many were killed at this time and Wakboth seemed to be unbeatable, until he entered Prax and faced Urox, The Storm Bull. This god was the Desert Storm, the raw power of the Violent Wind and he was backed by righteous outrage and strengthened by compassion. He fought against Wakboth, when he was torn and thrown to the Earth, he drew power from it, when held in the air he drew strength from his own breath, he was aided by fire and cold and, finally, when all seemed lost, even the cosmos answered his cry for help and sent a huge block of Truestone, a remnant of the Spike, which flew through the air and crushed Wakboth beneath its immense weight. Storm Bull was broken and near death, but he crawled to the Storm Hills where Chalana Arroy healed him. Many other heroes came to the Block where Wakboth was buried and cleared away some of the Chaos. Foremost amongst these was Waha, son of Storm Bull and Eiritha, who cleansed the Chaos area and forced the () River to wash the Chaos from that place. The river, shamed by her deed, hid from the world and her path lies often below the land in underground ways. From then on, a great marsh could be found near the Block, but the Chaos was spread and weakened.

Orlanth, Chief of the Storm Gods and slayer of Yelm, the Emperor, saw that the world was being destroyed and realised that he was to blame, to an extent. He decided to restore the world and to right the wrongs that he had caused. He took his advisors and friends and went on a mighty Quest. On the way, he met friends and allies and led the Lightbringers on their mighty Quest. The Seven Friends went West to the Gates of Dusk where they met terrible Rausa, Daughter of Yelm, who had sworn to slay Orlanth and to send him to Hell. When they met, Orlanth asked to be allowed into Hell and she laughed and opened the Ruddy Gates to the Underworld. The Seven went into Hell and made their way through Hell to Argan Argar's Palace and beyond. They met their worst foes, faced their greatest fears, each failed completely at one point, yet they survived and also met friends and allies, often in the most unusual of places, and finally reached the Halls of Yelm. There, Orlanth and Yelm met once more and Orlanth came to terms, with Orlanth undergoing the Tests of the Fire of Ehilm. He only survived with the help of his friends and family. When Orlanth had suffered enough, Yelm forgave him and said that Justice had been done.

As the people faced the Chaos, they reached a point when each must face the Forces of Evil alone. Each reached down into their own being and found a way to survive. Each had weapons of the Past, old powers , memories, hopes and fears, but each had the Will to Survive. Each fought alone, without help, and each won. This is called the I Fought, We Won Battle, for although each thought they were the only ones fighting, many participated and fought together, side by side. Among those who fought here are the Trolls, Elves, Dragonewts and Malkioni. HeroQuesting has proved that each told the truth and that all that was claimed to have happened actually did. This was the turning point, and spelled the end of the Darkness. Afterwards, there was more Hope and people became less afraid.

Daka Fal, who was said to be the Ghost of Grandfather Mortal, came and taught the living and the dead to be separate and taught each not to fear the other. The Hunter Gods came and taught the people how to survive. Other Heroes came and tried to rebuild the world.

Waha freed the daughters of Eiritha, his mother, from the Caves of Darkness where the Gods of Darkness held them. He also tamed the Wild Fire and taught new skills to the people of Prax, but it was not enough. Famine walked the land, slaying all, and the ruined lands of Prax were not plentiful enough to provide for all the people. Waha made the Survival Covenant whereupon half of each people would become food and could live off the land, whereas the other half would become Eaters and would live off the other Food. In all cases, bar one, humans became Eaters and the animals became food, the exception was the Morokanth people who eat and breed Herd Men who look like humans, but are not.

Arachne Solara, a minor and mysterious goddess, came to the gods and said that Kajabor was coming, but she had a plan to restore the world. All the gods and goddesses listened to her and agreed to participate and co-operate to mend the world. Even the deities of Darkness agreed, although they were the strongest in the world and had least to gain. Arachne Solara made a great Web and gave each deity a part to hold. When Kajabor came to Hell, the deities trapped him in their net and Arachne Solara leapt upon him and devoured him. Using the energies there, she then gave birth to a being called Time, assisted by 294 midwives. All the Deities swore on the new God and made a Great Compromise where each god accepted his or her place in the world and accepted the existence and power of the other gods. Finally, the gods made their way from Hell and fought their way back to the Surface. At the Gates of Dusk, Rausa flung open the Gates and Theya, The Dawn, rose first from Hell, followed by her father, Yelm. The World was set to rights and Time began, leaving GodTime behind.