Kralorela : Kingdom of Splendour



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The people of Kralorela toil under the benevolent eye of their Dragon Emperor, a great mystic who has sacrificed spiritual oneness in order to provide guidance to his subjects. Society is crowded and hence polite. Each person knows his place in the intricately ordered society. Each struggles for personal perfection, seeking to bring honor to his household and his ancestors. The highest Kralori value is stability of thought, of government, and of behavior. Now this stability is threatened by omens and signs that augur a time of great and disturbing change.

from Heroquest (Chapter 13 : Introduction to Glorantha)

...Through the Golden Age, most of the greater world had taken shape, especially the division between godly and lesser beings. The gods and great spirits were still able to change their form, but most mortals were not. The Animal Folk were exceptions. These folks naturally took either animal or human form. Both human-shaped and beast-shaped animals lived together as kin, because they possessed the same souls; for them, physical form was incidental...

When Telmor and his pack ate the Sun, the Long Winter began and everything went bad. Many of the Animal Folk kept their traditions and refused to take up any other way to survive. Others abandoned their traditions and lost their connection with their kin, becoming just humans or just animals. This way many survived into the hostile world of modern history, while many others became extinct.

The survivors are today called 'hsunchen,' a Kralori term that was spread by the God Learners in the Imperial Age. Those intrepid explorers discovered that the scattered and weak primitives of their West carried on traditions similar to those of the eastern tribes that dominated the Shanshan Mountains of Kralorela...

from Hsunchen Peoples of Genertela


...The deities of the Eastern Pantheons can be easily divided geographically into three regions: Kralorela, Vormain, and the East Isles.

The people who worship these pantheons are quite civilized. They are separated from other nations by vast oceans, barbarian-infested wastelands, and their own cultural barriers. They regard their own culture as self-evidently superior to the rest of the world. Though the easterners are slow to adapt foreign ideas, they are extremely innovative in their own right, and have exported many concepts and magical inventions to the rest of the world.

The empire of Kralorela is so old that records survive from when Yelm, the sun god, ruled. When Yelm's cosmic empire fragmented, the benevolent dynasty of the Dragon Emperors, which has continued to the current time, took over. Kralorelan mythology is largely concerned with the temptations and threats of the outside world, which must be met by the wise Emperor and his loyal subjects. Each Emperor is deified and worshiped forever after as a god. Since the Dawn, only one Emperor has died -- the saintly Yanoor, who fled prematurely to the afterlife to escape the assassins of the usurping God Learners...

from Pantheons of Glorantha

Kralorelan Deities

Allgiver - First Woman
Aptanace - the founder of civilization
Daruda - the Dragon Emperor
The Exarchs - masters of the cosmic mystery
Godunya - the living god
The Path of Immanent Mastery - mystery cult of dragon power
Metsyla - the Light of Enlightenment
Mikaday - Watcher of the Populace
Rice Mother - the generous one
Shavaya - the Emperor of Splendour
Thalurzni - Balancer of the Elements
Wild Man - father of the four hundred sacred races



Xcori is the Kralorelan name for a small shrub which grows in semi-arid soils across eastern Genertela. The juice extracted from the sinuous roots of the Xcori plant can be imbibed as a mental stimulant, and is often purchased by aspiring Kralorelan scholars before their examinations, which are lengthy, esoteric and crucial, as they determine the candidate's future advancement and status. They are also very expensive to sit for, and many aspiring mandarins can only afford to take the exams once in their life.

Xcori aids in mental concentration and negates the need to sleep (in fact, a user high on Xcori juice probably wouldn't be able to sleep even if he tried)... It is generally added to warm water and sipped.

It is very important that candidates continue taking Xcori throughout their examination cycle, because withdrawal symptoms include total nervous collapse and extreme fatigue for up to a week. This often happens to examinees who never took Xcori after the gruelling tests anyway!

Xcori is not particularly addictive, and a slight tolerance is acquired by the few frequent users. Although it is not expressly forbidden, the examining exarchs often penalize those they suspect of trying to pass with the help of Xcori. One tell-tale sign is characteristically shaky calligraphy, which inadvertently discriminates against fair-dealing scholars who are otherwise worthy, but mediocre with the brush.

Xcori grows wild in the northern reaches of Shiyang province and beyond, and has resisted attempts to cultivate it. During examination periods it fetches ludicrously high prices among desperate students (up to 33 silver taels a dose). Students are the main market, for slaves, the menial classes and merchants are prohibited from using it.

from Top Seven Drugs of Glorantha

Time and Dates

Most dating systems in Glorantha begin with the Dawn, when the Sun rose into the sky and inaugurated the age of history. Created by the Theyalans of Dragon Pass, this system is called Solar Time (abbreviated S.T.) and is the most common time-measurement system used in the world.

A Gloranthan day is the time needed for the sun to traverse the sky from east to west. A night is the time needed for the sun to traverse the underworld from west to east. Seven days make up one week. Eight weeks (56 days) make up one Season. Five Seasons (plus a 14-day interim period called Sacred Time) make up one year. Thus, a year is 294 days long.

Variant Calendars

from Introduction to Glorantha

Found wild near tropical rivers, domestic water buffalo are used throughout Kralorela because they are particularly suited to wading through waterlogged rice paddies. Fonmaleshan, the Kralori Mother of Animals, made water buffaloes long ago. In the reign of Emperor HeenMaroun, Mr. Good Paddy Worker, a son of Aptanace the Sage, tamed them. Out past the paddies the wild ones are threatening and aggressive to humans, eager to avenge their enslaved kin.

from Domesticated Animals


The god learners pioneered our understanding of the spirit plane. They knew of the travels of Arkat, and of others before him who did not often realize what they did. The god learners standardized many myths and methods for reaching to the secrets of the gods. They went into the mysterious Other Side to retrieve legendary artifacts or to view cosmic events which had been forgotten. They were accomplished mages, and several among them were noted as heroes of later ages.

Analogous to the god learners in the political sphere was the Middle Sea Empire, also called the Jrusteli Empire for the island from which they emerged. They dominated the sea after driving off the Waertagi shipbuilders. They rarely took a region, but seized individual cities or established colonies, then let their overwhelming culture infiltrate and take advantage of whatever outlets were available. They ruled almost all of the important coastal regions of Glorantha in the Second Age.

They fell because they bent Nature too much to their own ends. The forces of the old world and the old gods made abrupt changes which destroyed the newcomers. The brooding Waertagi struck suddenly and sank not only ships but lands as well. The Kralori lands mustered great mental powers and drove their oppressors into the ports first, then flushed them from the land altogether. The lands of Seshnela, Jrustela, and Slontos were sunk beneath the sea, and Brithos disappeared also.

from Glorantha: Cosmology and History

Other material

Links to other sources of Kralorelan information on the web.