Humakt, Chalana Arroy and Ernalda

From: Jeff Richard (jrichard@cnw.com)
Date: Sat 21 Feb 1998 - 20:24:09 EET


I'd like to make a quick comment on the Humakt healing debate. Instead of
discussing the healing of Humakt from a mythological or "game-rules"
perspective, I'd like to look at it within the context of Heortling
society.

After witnessing nearly a dozen or so clan battles, the Seattle Farmers
have noticed that most healing, first aid, etc., is performed by the women
of the clan. When the fyrd musters and the "bronze battle-briches" form a
thin shield wall before which would-be heroes challenge their enemies,
where do you think the clan women are? At home? Nonesense, they are there
on the field, behind the shield wall, encouraging their husbands, brothers
and sons to stand and fight. When their kin falls, it is the women who
succor them. When the battle winds turn ill, it is the presence of their
mothers, wives, sisters and daughters that keep the men from fleeing.

So what does this have to do with Humakti? Well, these women aren't
Chalana Arroy cultists with their weird obligation to heal the world - they
are good solid Ernaldan women who are there to heal their kin and their
friends. Those who have taken the Humakt rites are often kin to no one,
and have even fewer friends. When one of the chieftain's hired killers
goes down, does the wife of Illig succor him? No probably not, unless he
is kin or a friend. Does the magic that reenacts Ernalda's succoring of
Orlanth heal Humakt? Probably not. It is the responsibility of the clan
chief to look to the welfare of his hall-warriors, not the clan members.
 The warriors who have taken Humakt's rites are very useful to the chief -
they are doggedly loyal, fierce men who do not fear death. But that
doesn't mean they are well-loved by the rest of the clan.

Jeff

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