Re: Humakt, the broad monolith

From: David Dunham (
Date: Thu 09 May 1996 - 18:57:25 EEST

Martin Laurie asked

> Is Humakt a broad church with many different views within a borad framework
> or a monolith of rigid ideals of behaviour?

I suspect the answer is "yes." Furthermore, this would be true for most
Orlanthi cults.

Most temples would have pretty narrow ideals of behavior. "At the Shrine of
Dried Blood, we expect all initiates to take the No Head Armor geas."
Anyone walking around with a helmet would be snickered at, singled out for
latrine duty, etc.

However, each temple is likely to be somewhat different, and there are
really broad differences as you go great distances (in East Ralios, the
cult was never called Humatharkat* -- they consider Arkat a traitor, not a
hero). In some cases, the differences are so great that they're called
subcults by the rules. Heck, in my campaign, in the Grazelands they don't
even worship Humakt at all, but the Feathered Horse Queen has a loyal
bodyguard of Hiia Swordsman initiates (all of whom can renew their rune
spells at Humakt temples).

This shouldn't be too surprising, since one individual can pretty much
dictate what goes on at only one temple. And there are no written
standards. (I suspect many Dara Happan noble cults are a lot more
standardized, though peasant cults like Lodril and Oria probably are just
as divergent as Orlanthi cults.)

As always, it's useful to distinguish between Humakt the God (which has
some sort of universal mythic reality, even if the Dara Happans might not
recognize stuff like the Death rune and the Westerners might consider him a
death-aspected sorcerer) and the Cult of Humakt (which is run by humans).
There may be one true Humakt, but there is not one true Cult of Humakt.
(Even Yelm's cult has changed radically over the years -- see The Fortunate

* My theory for the name difference. Arkat probably introduced the cult
into Dragon Pass via the Holy Country. Humath of Arkat -> Humatharkat ->
Humarkat -> Humarkt -> Humakt.

Michael Raaterova asked

>Anybody care to post the original Humakti Hearts article?

Peter Michaels already did. It's worth a read, but the (searchable)
archives are the way to do this.

David Dunham Pensee Corporation
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