Humakti Stuff

From: Michael Raaterova (
Date: Thu 09 May 1996 - 15:50:19 EEST

Hi all -

Martin Laurie asks:

>(1). The connection with Death, what effects does an avatar of this power have
>on his surroundings? (Very important this one)

The most obvious effect on the environment would be emotional. As the
Deathwielder is a Herald of Death, domestic animals will treat him like a
dangerous predator - birds take to the sky en masse, dogs bark and howl,
horses and cattle panic. People get nervous and edgy and realize they have
things to do elsewhere. Feelings of Lust and Love (Fertility) will fade and
vanish in the Deathwielder's presence.

The Deathwielder has Separated himself from kin and kith, and is a Stranger
wherever he goes and will be treated as such. He can inspire Loyalty and
Honour but never Love.

He has propably already sacrificed most or all of his Hearts of Life (Love,
Friendship, Lust, Fertility, Forgiveness, Trust etc) to gain the Separation
Rune and the Hearts of Death (humakti can also gain the Hearts of Honour
this way).
Sacrificing a Heart means that the character cannot experience that feeling
again, and that that feeling will fade or vanish in the presence of the

[Anybody care to post the original Humakti Hearts article?]

If the character is acutely tied to Death, then Bless Crops (and fertility
spells of all sorts) will falter, fail or be warped, pregnant women will
miscarry, the defenses of fertility temples will trigger, plants may wither
and die, animals may sicken and possibly die, people will experience the
Chill of Death down their spines and Resurrection won't work.

[No, i don't know what the uz version of the Chill of Death is]

A somewhat bizarre effect of the Separation Rune has to do with the passage
to the Spirit World. The World of Flesh and the World of Spirit were
separated by the Compromise (or some earlier event) which means that
Avatars of Death might make it difficult for spirits to manifest on the
mundane plane, and that Shamans have a hard time discorporating in the
presence of the Deathwielder.

This is written with a bias on Humakti. I guess Axe Maidens, Hunters and
Death Lords might work similarily but with important differences as well,
as these cults have other runes than Death which affects the nature of
their Death Runes.

Axe Maidens should be Death-in-service-of-Life, Hunters are
Death-in-Harmony-with-nature, Death Lords are Death-for-Disorder. Then
there are all the other cults with Death Runes.

>(2). What is the social impact of such a person and how do they fit in with the
>Humakt and social heirarchy? (This seems to me to be the most tricky one to

The only societal functions for Humakti i can think of is Temple Guardian,
Executioner and Oath Witness, and i can think of none for Avatars of Death.
In a War Tribe i guess the Avatar of Death can be used as Champion and to
curse the enemy.

I guess most peaceful cultures have some social restrictions and taboos
regarding Humakti (and Axe Maidens), including touching (taint of death,
infertility), restricted areas (fertility temples, houses of pregnant
women, places of healing, crop fields in sea season) and uncleanness
(eating from the same bowl, bathing in the same water), so Avatars of Death
would have even harsher taboos.

Humakti barely fit in with society, but i doubt Avatars do. They have the
same Outsider status as Tricksters, even if they aren't treated the same
way as tricksters.

Those who estrange themselves from a society are not accepted in that
society. The more you estrange yourself, the less accepted you become.
Avatars of Death, who strive to sever all bonds they have except the bond
with Death, are Outsiders and thus not accepted. They can be tools used by
society, as assassins and mercenaries, but they are not a living part of

The Cults of Humakt can be an integrated part of society on macro levels,
but on micro levels individual humakti who have estranged themselves are

>(3). What powers other than those related to combat does a minor hero of Death
>have access too? Eg can the cause a field of Death around themselves that
>causes seperation?

Here's some samples i just made up:

Fear of Death (automatic Demoralize), Infertility, Shatter Love (decrease
Love passion), Banish [manifested] Spirit, Curse Crops, Curse Wound
(magical healing fails), Wither (lose stats), Sever Bond (like loyalties,
mindlinks, bonds to allied spirits and familiars, blood ties etc), Calm
Death (person can meet death without fear and with a calm heart).

>(4). Is Death really the opposite of fertility for without Death would their be
>room and materials for new growth? I think that pre-death fertility was
>_different_ to current fertility. Any ideas anyone?

Death is not objectively opposed to Fertility. They are mutually dependent.
Without Death, no Fertility. Death is the end of a Mundane Life, but not
the end of Existence, which is Chaos. The Dead live on in the Underworld or
Afterworld, whence they can be resurrected. Death is merely the separation
of your existence from the world of flesh.

Birth and Death are the opposite ends of a linear lifetime, which means
that they can be interpreted as opposites. If life is cyclical with birth,
death and rebirth/afterlife, then Life integrates Death, and Chaos, with
the power to end the cycle, becomes the opposite.

Tthe living want to continue to live, and thus they try to dodge death.
Some sacrifice themselves that others may live. Some sacrifice a few that
many may live. Some fear they will end up in Hell and thus fear Death. Some
believe they will end up basking in the glory of their god and thus do not
fear death, even if they enjoy life and wish to prolong the pleasure of

Death is a great mystery to the living for it is something they have never
experienced and thus it is pretty normal to be cautious about it. It is the
fear of the unknown.

Death-in-the-service-of-Life and Death-in-the-service-of-Society are
accepted in society. Death-in-the-service-of-Death is not. Every individual

is a member of a larger community - their society - even outcasts, for they
join another society, create a new society with other outcasts or die alone
and unmourned.

>(5). Humakts character. What does the God really want, is he a force that is
>given a form by the perceptions of his worshippers? This one applies to most
>other gods too.

Humakt doesn't really want anything, because emotions are the result of
Life and Humakt has separated himself from all that. He does what is
necessary and what is asked of him by those whose prayers reach him, if he
is able to grant the wish. No aspect of death is wrong, for everything will
die eventually.

The Cults of Humakt, on the other hand, may want a lot of things and
project their ideals onto their god.

>(6). Is Humakt a broad church with many different views within a borad

In my Glorantha the Cults of Humakt differs from culture to culture, as
does the humakti. Whether Humakt has an absolute nature or not is largely
irrelevant as it doesn't affect gameplay.


- -------
Michael Raaterova <Sig omitted on legal advise>


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