'Slaught (for naught?).

From: MSmylie@aol.com
Date: Thu 02 May 1996 - 21:09:35 EEST

Hello all.

As a quick aside, Nick noted:
>Her *father* had h.t.o.l? Strange innuendo. I think I'm missing something
>here... unless you have far stranger male fantasies than myself (or, for
>matter, Martin "Big Sword" Laurie).

Mm, while the MPHG parallel wasn't exact, it seemed an appropriate reference
at the time; OTOH I would be willing to guess that my fantasies, male or
otherwise, are indeed stranger than yours (or Martin's), but as I'm under the
impression there are a number of newsgroups already dedicated to discussing
that sort of thing, nevermind...

Martin Laurie wrote (my apologies to the many who feel this has gone on way
too long):
>...its been noted many times that the rules do rather break down at these
>levels, particularily when heroquests are involved.

Actually, I agree with Martin that the lack of heroquest roolz of any
substantive kind is problematic; as it stands, "heroquesting" often seems no
more than a convenient out for explaining away the unexplainable ("Where'd he
learn the Seven Dances of Death? Err...on a Heroquest? Yeah, that's it, a
Heroquest!"). OTOH, while heroquesting may break "da roolz", on another
level heroquesting seems to follow very explicitly "the rules" -- the
fundamental laws and logic of how a magical world like Glorantha works (on
which I cannot claim any real familiarity, come to think of it).

Maybe it's because I tend to follow Campbell's thinking on this point, but I
tend to believe that the succesful conclusion of a heroquest is the "return"
with something -- whether it's knowledge, power, the "magic elixir",
whatever -- which benefits the community which the heroquester represents.
 As Humakti tend to be, by choice or otherwise, "kinless", I would actually
tend to think that there were relatively few true Humakti Heros or
heroquesters (and the only ones I can think of, Arkat and Yanafil Tarnils and

maybe Ralzakark, arise in very unusual circumstances) -- although I suppose a
distinction could be made between minor heroquesters, cult heros, and Heros.
 Some Humakti, as members of temples or regiments, could heroquest on behalf
of those communities, but loners should be in a much more difficult position
when it comes to the hero path.

Minor heroquesters and cult heros in particular actually strike me as being
rules-followers, not rules-breakers -- the heroquests they perform are
cult-sanctioned or cult-revealed, and they perform them to become more like
their god (as might be the case with a minor heroquester) or to explore an
"incomplete" (?) aspect of their god or cult (as might be the case with cult
heros and their heroquest gift, the subcult specialty spell). Most
heroquesters probably remain at this level, IMO, and at the least begin
within this framework.

What's struck me as odd about Onslaught (shit, I'd managed to get this far
without actually mentioning His name) is the couple of moments in which
Onslaught actually seems, in his own thinking, to contradict the thinking and
actions of Humakt, of whom he considers himself a loyal follower. Frex:

>Unless geased he tries to be competant with all weapons and his use of the
>axe to him is still killing which is what its about to him. He, like his
>prefers swords but he doesn't believe thats all he should weild. Deaths
>first form was the sword but it is in many other forms too.

_Onslaught_ may think of all weapons as mere tools, but _Humakt_ does not,
IMO. The most interesting aspect of Humakt, Yelmalio and Thanatar is the way
in which their gift and geas systems give us a pretty clear picture of those
gods and what they acted like on their different paths (in fact, I really
wish there were gift & geas systems for all cults, come to think of it; I'd
love to see gifts & geases for Ernalda, Eiritha, Voria, etc.). A truly
"loyal" Humakti, particularly one who thinks of himself as a true
representative of his warrior god, wouldn't bother to wait until he's been
geased to accept one of his god's possible prohibitions, nor would he be
rationalizing away his use of Healing magic as dwarf-talk "flesh repair"
(unless these were meant as hints as to how much of an apostate Onslaught
really is). If Onslaught were a Humakti heroquester, then he should be
becoming _more_ like Humakt with every passing day, either by changes in his
thinking or perhaps enforced by odd occurence (something along the lines of
Loren's excellent suggestions -- axe handles burn him when he touches them,
he gets allergies when he wears armor, etc).

>Hmm, I think that Onslaught pays the greatest price of them all, losing his
>humanity. Deville loses his place in the Empire which he loves (as an
>ideological concept but not in reality). I guess it depends on what you see
>as being a bonus and a price.

I suppose it's true that such prices might be best described in "literary" or
"role-playing" terms, and with the right narrative touch Onslaught's
desperate loneliness might even make him an object of sympathy and
compassion; OTOH, I would be just as willing to suggest that his Stats and
skills would reflect his lack of humanity: a low POW, low CHA (even lower
than his appearance of "8"), an Oratory of 10%, bad communication skills.
 Training other people (or even being around them) should be difficult for
him, horses and dogs don't like him (shying away from his soullessness), etc.

Just some thoughts.


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