Glorantha – Notes

Glorantha is a detailed and immersive fictional world created by Greg Stafford, the creator of RuneQuest.

It serves as the setting for several tabletop role-playing games, including RuneQuest and HeroQuest. Glorantha is known for its deep mythology, rich cultures, and complex history.

Glorantha is a highly mythic world where the power of gods and myths shape the reality. It is a flat world surrounded by the “Great Darkness,” with various cosmic realms and planes layered upon it. The world is populated by numerous diverse and distinct cultures, each with its own pantheon of gods, myths, and magical traditions.

The mythology of Glorantha is central to its lore and gameplay. The world has a complex pantheon of deities, and the interactions between gods, heroes, and mortals play a crucial role in shaping the world’s history and destiny. The mythology reflects a deep understanding of anthropological and cultural concepts, resulting in a highly detailed and coherent setting.

The cultures of Glorantha vary widely, from nomadic tribes to highly organized empires. Each culture has its own unique customs, beliefs, and ways of life. They often have specific relationships with the gods and spirits of the world, which influence their everyday lives, rituals, and magical practices.

The history of Glorantha is rich and spans thousands of years, filled with epic conflicts, heroics, and grand quests. Major events in the world’s history have shaped its current state, including cataclysms, wars between gods, and the rise and fall of empires.

Glorantha has been expanded and explored in various forms of media beyond tabletop role-playing games, including novels, board games, and computer games. Its deep lore and immersive world-building have made it a beloved setting for fans of fantasy role-playing games.


Glorantha is a highly detailed and complex world with a rich and diverse geography. Here’s a general overview of some of the major regions and landmarks within Glorantha:

  • Dragon Pass: Located in the central part of Glorantha, Dragon Pass is a significant region known for its lush valleys, mountains, and the mighty River of Cradles. It is home to numerous human clans, trolls, and other creatures.
  • Holy Country: Situated to the southwest of Dragon Pass, the Holy Country is a sacred land dominated by the Lunar Empire. It is characterized by its fertile plains, powerful temples, and religious significance.
  • Prax: To the east of Dragon Pass lies the desolate and windswept plains of Prax. This region is inhabited by nomadic tribes such as the Bison Riders and the fearsome broos.
  • Lunar Empire: Covering a large portion of Glorantha’s south-central region, the Lunar Empire is a powerful civilization ruled by the Red Goddess. It includes cities like Glamour and the influential provincial capital of Sartar.
  • Balazar: Located in the northwest, Balazar is a wild and untamed region known for its dense forests, hidden valleys, and dangerous creatures.
  • Ralios: To the northeast of Dragon Pass lies Ralios, a region of varied landscapes, including forests, hills, and rivers. It is home to diverse cultures and is known for its sorcery.
  • Pent: A collection of city-states situated on the eastern coast of Glorantha, Pent is known for its maritime trade and the influence of the sea gods.
  • Teshnos: An island nation located in the far east of Glorantha, Teshnos is known for its exotic flora, fauna, and a strong influence of sorcery.
  • Kralorela: Far to the southeast, Kralorela is a vast and ancient empire heavily influenced by dragons. It is known for its intricate bureaucracy, magical arts, and the worship of the Celestial Dragon.

These are just a few examples of the regions within Glorantha, and there are many more areas with their unique features, cultures, and histories.

As for online map resources, there are several websites where you can find maps and explore the geography of Glorantha.

Here are a few options:

  • Chaosium: The publisher of RuneQuest and Glorantha-related materials, Chaosium’s website may materials available for purchase or as part of their published works;;
  • This was the official website for Glorantha provides various resources, including maps and geographical information. Visit the website’s Maps section for a collection of maps depicting different regions. Most Content has now moved over the Chaosium hosted site with materials located in the Well of Daliath;
  • Glorantha Wiki: The Glorantha Wiki is a comprehensive resource with articles, maps, and information about Glorantha’s geography. You can explore different regions and find maps specific to certain areas;

It’s worth noting that some of these resources may require membership or purchase, as Glorantha maps are often part of official publications or licensed materials.


Glorantha is a rich and intricate setting with a deep mythology, allowing for a vast array of stories and adventures to unfold within its timeline. The history of Glorantha spans thousands of years, and it is a complex and ever-evolving world. These are just some of the major events in Glorantha’s history, and there are countless smaller events, conflicts, and cultural developments that shape the world in more detail.

A simplified timeline of significant events in Glorantha’s history goes something like this:

Pre-Time: The universe is created and shaped by the actions of cosmic entities known as Elder Races.

The Golden Age: The gods of Glorantha emerge and establish their dominions, shaping the world and its mythic landscape. Various cultures rise and fall during this era.

The Great Darkness: The evil entity called the Devil captures the sun, plunging Glorantha into darkness. Heroes embark on quests to retrieve the sun, leading to the birth of new gods and significant upheavals.

The Storm Age: A period of conflict between the gods and their followers. The Thunder Brothers, Orlanth and Yelm, clash in a cosmic battle, resulting in the imprisonment of Yelm and the establishment of the Storm Tribe as a dominant force.

The Great Compromise: The gods form a pantheon called the Council to maintain balance and avoid cosmic catastrophes. The Council enacts the Celestial Compromise, establishing a new order in the cosmos.

The Lunar Empire: The Moon Goddess, known as the Red Goddess or the Lunar Empress, leads the Lunar Empire, a powerful and expansionist civilization that seeks to impose its influence on Glorantha.

The Dragonrise: Dragons, ancient and powerful beings, emerge and wreak havoc across Glorantha. They establish themselves as significant players in the world’s affairs.

The Hero Wars: A major conflict between rival factions and pantheons, where heroes and gods battle for control and influence. The Hero Wars reshape the political, social, and magical landscape of Glorantha.


In Glorantha, there are several major races and species that inhabit the world.

Here are some of the notable races:

  • Humans: Humans are the most numerous and diverse race in Glorantha. They are divided into various cultures and ethnic groups, each with its own traditions, customs, and mythologies.
  • Aldryami & Mostali: Glorantha features different types of elves, such as Aldryami (tree elves) and Mostali (dwarf-like metal elves). Aldryami elves are deeply connected to nature and live in harmony with the forests, while Mostali are master craftsmen and miners. They have a strong affinity for metals and are known for their craftsmanship and knowledge of engineering.
  • Trolls: Trolls are a diverse race with different types and subtypes, including the powerful and intelligent Dark Trolls, the regenerative and stone-like Rock Trolls, and the sneaky and amphibious River Trolls. They have their own unique cultures and societies.
  • Broos: Broos are chaotic, shape-shifted creatures spawned from Chaos. They are typically seen as vile and corrupt, embodying chaos and destruction. However, not all broos are evil, and some individuals may try to resist their chaotic nature.
  • Dragonewts: Dragonewts are enigmatic and highly mystical creatures resembling humanoid dragons. They are associated with cosmic truths and esoteric knowledge, often living in seclusion and following their own mysterious ways.
  • Durulz: Glorantha has sentient, anthropomorphic ducks. They are known for their water-based societies, their skill in sailing and fishing, and their connection to the deity known as the Duck God.

These are just a few examples of the major races in Glorantha. Each race has its own unique characteristics, cultures, and roles within the world. The interactions and conflicts between these races add depth and diversity to Glorantha’s societies and narratives.

Unique Attributes

Glorantha is known for its unique and distinctive aspects, setting it apart from other fantasy worlds.

Here are some key features that make Glorantha stand out:

  • Mythic World: Glorantha is a deeply mythic world where mythology, gods, and magic play integral roles in shaping the fabric of reality. The mythic narrative is woven into every aspect of Gloranthan cultures, influencing their beliefs, rituals, and daily lives.
  • Culturally Diverse: Glorantha embraces cultural diversity, with numerous distinct cultures, tribes, and civilizations inhabiting the world. Each culture has its own unique customs, social structures, and mythologies, creating a rich tapestry of beliefs and practices.
  • Heroic Tradition: Heroes hold a significant role in Gloranthan society. They are legendary figures with extraordinary abilities and are often central to the mythic narratives and conflicts of the world. Heroic deeds and quests shape the destiny of nations and have a direct impact on the balance of power.
  • Rune Magic: RuneQuest and Glorantha introduced the concept of rune magic, where individuals can tap into the cosmic forces represented by mystical runes. These runes are associated with elements, concepts, and deities, and understanding their symbolism is crucial for practicing magic.
  • Complex Pantheon: Glorantha features a complex pantheon of gods, each representing different aspects of the world. The relationships between these deities, their interactions with mortals, and the divine politics create a dynamic and intricate divine hierarchy.
  • Non-Typical Races: Glorantha offers a diverse range of races and creatures that go beyond traditional fantasy tropes. From trolls and dragonewts to intelligent ducks and shapeshifted broos, Glorantha embraces a variety of unique and often unconventional species.
  • Dynamic History: Glorantha has a detailed and ever-evolving history. Major events and conflicts shape the world, and the consequences of past actions continue to influence the present. This allows for a rich and immersive experience as players and readers engage with the ongoing narrative of Glorantha.

These unique aspects contribute to the depth and richness of Glorantha, making it a beloved and distinctive setting within the realm of fantasy role-playing and literature.

Novels & Source Material

Here are a list of some notable novels set in the world of Glorantha:

“King of Sartar” by Greg Stafford: This book is a collection of myths, legends, and historical accounts that provide an in-depth look at the world of Glorantha and its history.

“The Coming Storm” by Greg Stafford: This Guide explores the Hero Wars, a major conflict that shakes the foundations of Glorantha. It follows the stories of various characters as they navigate the turbulent times.

“The Lightbringers’ Quest” by Greg Stafford: This Guide tells the story of the Lightbringers, a group of heroes who embark on a perilous quest to restore light to the world. It delves into the myths and heroics of Glorantha’s past.

“Griffin Mountain” by Greg Stafford: This sourcebook presents a detailed setting within Glorantha, focusing on a remote and dangerous region called Griffin Mountain. It provides adventure scenarios and rich lore for players and game masters.

“The Complete Griselda” by Oliver Dickinson: This collection of short stories follows the adventures of Griselda, a fierce warrior and Rune Priestess, as she battles various enemies and explores the mysteries of Glorantha.

Please note that Glorantha has a vast and complex lore, and while these novels provide a glimpse into the world, there are many more publications and sourcebooks that delve into different aspects of Glorantha’s history, cultures, and mythology.

King of Sartar

“King of Sartar” by Greg Stafford is not a traditional novel but rather a collection of myths, legends, and historical accounts set in the world of Glorantha. It provides readers with an in-depth exploration of Gloranthan lore and offers a comprehensive understanding of the rich mythological tapestry that underpins the setting.

The book presents itself as a historical account, chronicling the life and reign of the titular King of Sartar. It covers various periods and events in Glorantha’s history, including the hero’s early life, his rise to power, and the challenges he faces during his reign. Through these tales, readers gain insight into the cultural, social, and political aspects of Glorantha’s civilizations.

One of the standout features of “King of Sartar” is the depth and authenticity of the myths and legends presented. Greg Stafford, the creator of Glorantha, brings his expertise and passion for mythological and anthropological concepts to the forefront. The book feels like a genuine compilation of ancient stories, complete with gods, heroes, and epic conflicts that shape the destiny of the world.

The writing style of “King of Sartar” is engaging and evocative, effectively capturing the grandeur and mythic tone of Glorantha. The stories are presented with a sense of gravitas and reverence, immersing readers in the world and making them feel like participants in the mythological history.

Stafford’s writing captures the epic scale and mythic atmosphere of Glorantha, immersing readers in a world of gods, heroes, and magical powers. The narrative weaves together personal stories and grand events, providing a multi-layered experience that showcases the diverse cultures and mythologies of Glorantha.

However, it is worth noting that “King of Sartar” may not be accessible to those unfamiliar with Glorantha or the broader context of the setting. The book assumes a certain level of knowledge about Glorantha’s mythology, cultures, and history, which could make it challenging for newcomers to fully grasp and appreciate.

Overall, “King of Sartar” serves as a valuable resource for fans of Glorantha and those interested in exploring the depth of its mythology. It offers a comprehensive and immersive experience, delving into the rich tapestry of stories that define the world. While it may not be the ideal starting point for those new to Glorantha, it remains a must-read for enthusiasts looking to deepen their understanding of this intricate and captivating setting.

The Complete Griselda

“The Complete Griselda” is a collection of short stories written by Oliver Dickinson, centered around the adventures of Griselda, a formidable warrior and Rune Priestess in the world of Glorantha. Each story follows Griselda as she battles enemies, unravels mysteries, and explores the complexities of Gloranthan cultures.

The book showcases Griselda’s journey through various lands and cultures, offering readers a diverse and immersive look into different corners of Glorantha. From encounters with gods and spirits to clashes with mortal adversaries, the stories present a range of challenges that Griselda faces with her strength, wit, and magical prowess.

One of the highlights of “The Complete Griselda” is its vivid and descriptive writing style. Oliver Dickinson brings the world of Glorantha to life, painting a detailed picture of its landscapes, peoples, and mythological elements. The prose is engaging, capturing the essence of adventure and the mysticism of the setting.

Griselda herself is a compelling protagonist, depicted as a strong and capable warrior with a deep connection to the spiritual forces of Glorantha. Her character development is gradual but evident throughout the stories, allowing readers to witness her growth as she confronts both physical and metaphysical challenges.

The book also explores the cultural diversity of Glorantha, with Griselda encountering various tribes, cults, and societies. This provides an opportunity for readers to delve into the intricate social structures, religious beliefs, and magical practices of different cultures within the world.

However, “The Complete Griselda” may not be for everyone. The stories assume a certain level of familiarity with Glorantha and its mythology, which could be a hurdle for readers new to the setting. Additionally, the collection consists of separate stories rather than a cohesive narrative, so those seeking a continuous plotline might find it lacking in that regard.

In summary, “The Complete Griselda” offers an enjoyable and immersive exploration of the world of Glorantha through the eyes of a captivating protagonist. The book’s engaging writing style, rich world-building, and diverse adventures make it a worthwhile read for fans of Glorantha and those looking for exciting tales of heroism in a mythical realm.


RuneQuest is a tabletop role-playing game (RPG) that was first published in 1978 by Chaosium Inc. It was designed by Steve Perrin and Greg Stafford. RuneQuest is set in a fictional world called Glorantha, which is richly detailed and known for its mythological and anthropological depth.

In RuneQuest, players assume the roles of characters in a variety of cultures and societies within Glorantha. The game emphasizes realistic and detailed character development, with a focus on skills, abilities, and interactions between characters and the world around them. It features a skill-based system where characters improve their abilities through practice and experience.

Magic plays a significant role in RuneQuest, with various magical systems tied to different cultures and belief systems within the game world. The game also incorporates a unique combat system that emphasizes tactical decision-making and realistic combat mechanics.

RuneQuest has gone through several editions and revisions over the years, with the most recent version being RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, released in 2018.

It has gather and retained a dedicated fan base and is considered one of the classic RPGs of the hobby.

Glorantha Computer Games.

TTRPGs have been the primary medium for experiencing the rich lore and immersive setting of Glorantha, but it’s worth noting that while these are some of the notable computer games set in Glorantha,

There have been several computer games set in the world of Glorantha:

  1. “King of Dragon Pass” (1999): Developed by A Sharp, “King of Dragon Pass” is a unique blend of strategy, resource management, and interactive storytelling set in Glorantha. Players take on the role of a clan leader and make decisions that shape the destiny of their clan and its interactions with other tribes and gods.
  2. “HeroQuest” (1991): Developed by Chaosium, “HeroQuest” is an interactive adaptation of the Glorantha tabletop RPG. Players can create characters and embark on quests in the world of Glorantha, experiencing its rich mythology and engaging in tactical combat.
  3. “Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind” (2018): Created by A Sharp as a spiritual successor to “King of Dragon Pass,” “Six Ages” is set in Glorantha and offers a similar blend of strategy, storytelling, and decision-making. Players lead a clan in an immersive narrative-driven experience, making choices that affect their clan’s survival and prosperity.
  4. “Glorantha: The Gods War” (TBA): In development by Petersen Games, “Glorantha: The Gods War” is an upcoming digital adaptation of the board game by the same name. The game focuses on the conflict between gods and their avatars in Glorantha, allowing players to engage in strategic battles and shape the world’s destiny.

King of Dragon Pass

“King of Dragon Pass” is a unique and captivating game that offers a fresh and immersive experience in the world of Glorantha. Developed by A Sharp, it combines elements of strategy, resource management, and interactive storytelling to create a rich and dynamic gameplay experience.

One of the standout features of “King of Dragon Pass” is its emphasis on decision-making and the consequences of those decisions. As a clan leader, players are faced with numerous choices that impact their clan’s fortunes, relationships with other tribes, and interactions with the mystical forces of Glorantha. Each decision carries weight and can have far-reaching consequences, making every playthrough feel unique and personal.

The game excels in its storytelling aspect, presenting a complex and rich narrative that draws heavily from Gloranthan mythology. The events, encounters, and quests encountered throughout the game are filled with lore and cultural depth, allowing players to delve deep into the world and its traditions. The writing is top-notch, providing vivid descriptions and engaging dialogues that bring the characters and the world to life.

The gameplay mechanics of “King of Dragon Pass” are well-crafted and strategic. Managing resources, making alliances, resolving conflicts, and conducting rituals are just a few of the tasks players must undertake to lead their clan to prosperity. The game strikes a good balance between strategy and storytelling, ensuring that decisions have real consequences while maintaining an engaging and accessible gameplay experience.

Visually, the game features a distinctive art style with hand-drawn illustrations and a rich color palette. While the graphics may not be cutting-edge by today’s standards, they effectively convey the unique atmosphere of Glorantha and contribute to the game’s overall charm.

One potential drawback of “King of Dragon Pass” is its learning curve. The game can be complex and overwhelming for newcomers, as it requires understanding various mechanics, systems, and the underlying mythology of Glorantha. However, once players become familiar with the game’s intricacies, it becomes an incredibly rewarding experience.

Overall, “King of Dragon Pass” is a remarkable game that successfully captures the essence of Glorantha and provides an engaging blend of strategy, storytelling, and decision-making. Its deep lore, immersive world-building, and meaningful choices make it a standout title for fans of both strategy and role-playing games.