The Bruke's Lair

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Religion in Glorantha

General Rules for All Pantheons

The world of Glorantha is home to many religious pantheons - more than I care to try and list right here and now. For the purposes of my campaign I'm going to limit my focus to just three pantheons that are fairly common in the Dragon Pass region - the solar pantheon, the storm pantheon, and the lunar pantheon. I plan to include additional pantheons later as time allows.

Before I detail the individual pantheons it would be useful to explain that religion has a very prominant place in the lives of nearly all the peoples of Glorantha. For most nomadic, barbarian, or civilized characters it would be a rite of passage into adulthood to become an initiate for at least one god; characters that have never been affiliated with a temple (or who have renounced their ties to the gods to become sorcerers) should take either Social Stigma (irreligious; -5 points) or Secret (irreligious; -5 points). A lack of religious involvement won't get a character killed but it will generally cause religious characters to react at -1 for commercial transactions and requests for aid if they are aware of the character's lack of faith.

Youths in most areas tend to become initiates in their parent's religion around the age of 15; prior to that they often attend services as lay members (Religious Rank 0 [0 points]). Older characters are rarely mere lay members but it is not unheard of for adults that are uncertain of their faith to attend the temple services for one or more gods without being formally initiated rather than be stigmatized as irreligious. Lay members can attend temple services but receive no other tangible benefits from their rank. A character can, if they wish, become a lay member to multiple gods (and goddesses) so long as all of them are allied to each other in some way.

Most adults are initiates (Religious Rank 1 [5 points]) of one or more gods. Initiates are usually able to learn any spirit magic spells associated with their god, if any. Initiates are also able to learn and use a limited amount of divine magic but not as much as priests. In addition to their rank, all initiates must take the Duty (to the church, ≤6) [-2 points]; this does NOT count against their disadvantage limit. A character may, if they wish, choose to be an initiate of multiple gods so long as they are all allied to each other in some way.

Acolytes (Religious Rank 2 [10 points] plus Clerical Investment [5 points]) have all the benefits of initiates plus possibly increased access to divine magic (although this varies by cult). Acolytes must take the Duty (to the church, ≤9) [-5 points]; this does NOT count against their disadvantage limit. A character that is an acolyte may choose to also be a lay member or initiate of another god that is allied to their primary god but no character may be an acolyte for more than one god.

Priests (Religious Rank 3 [15 points] plus Clerical Investment [5 points]) have all the benefits of initiates plus increased access to divine magic. Priests must take the Duty (to the church, ≤12) [-10 points]; this does NOT count against their disadvantage limit. A character that is a priest may choose to also be a lay member of another god that is allied to their primary god but no character may be a priest of one god and an initiate, acolyte, or priest of another god at the same time.

The position of high priest (Religious Rank 4 [20 points] plus Clerical Investment [5 points]) is generally limited to only one or two priests within a geographic region. High priests must take the Duty (to the church, ≤15) [-15 points]; this does NOT count against their disadvantage limit. A high priest might show respect to other gods but may never become more than a lay member in any cult other than the one devoted to their primary god.

There are some cults that include positions outside of the normal system, for example the Storm Khans of the Storm Bull cult. Details for these special ranks are provided in the descriptions of each cult and can supercede the more general rules given here.