Re: Humakt and Healer

From: Jon Green (jonsg@harlequin.co.uk)
Date: Wed 25 Feb 1998 - 13:32:53 EET


In a possible past, Simon Hibbs said:
 
> >Likewise, it could create a tradition where
> >Humakti perform euthanasia on patients the Healers can not help and are
>
> >in terrible pain.
>
> A Humakti would be glad to bring the release of death to one in
> suffering, but then to live is to suffer. I doubt CA has a euthanasia
> ethic though.

Well, IMG, Humakti do perform this exact service, with the tacit approval
of the CA Healers. Whilst the Healers' mission is to bring health back
to the unhealthy, and mend broken bodies, sometimes they simply cannot
assist. Once they have exhausted the available magicks, when their
last appeal to their Goddess has gone unanswered (or when the hapless
unfortunate simply could no longer afford their attentions -- after all,
they can't be dishing out Divine magicks to all and sundry, there must
be an economic brake on it, since they don't get their magic back any
more quickly than the rest of the Gloranthans), they're left with an
individual they cannot Heal, who is in extreme distress and is headed
for their next existence anyway. Better to bring in an Humakti, who
can wield Death mercifully and honourably (don't forget that honour
is not an alien concept to CA either), than to leave the poor soul
suffering their way to a certain grave, or surrendering their soul to
some ghastly disease spirit.

(Some would claim that a CA member would say, "There is always hope."
IMG, they're more pragmatic: if someone's definitely dying, using up
CA resources and suffering too, it's the Healer's last duty to
ensure the suffering doesn't endure. They can't wield Death themselves,
for obvious reasons, otherwise they'd just administer a little too much
poppy-juice, or similar, but they can -- with the patient's consent of
course -- hand over the patient to someone more qualified to adminster
their final treatment. A last resort, in every sense, and not undergone
lightly, but sometimes wise.)

Shamans offer the Peaceful Cut to their prey and pack; Humakti do so
for their comrades and fellow sentients.

> >I would even go so far as say that after a Humakti makes Sword, and
> >is initiated into the innermost secrets of the cult, he may learn just
> >how reliant Humakt is on Challana Arroy.
>
> _Reliant_?

Funnily enough, I feel there is a kind of mutual reliance. I see
Humakti and CAans treating each other with a mutual -- if distant --
respect. An Humakti could trip on the buried stub of a fence-post, and
impale himself on the next one. He would not be bound for an
honourable Death, for a Death which would glorify his God. He then
has a choice: call a comrade to administer Death, and waste his one,
his precious and all-important Death on an accident caused by a broken
piece of wood; or find a Healer who can restore his health, so that his
next chance at Death could be a valiant one.

And, as I said above, Humakti -- under similarly limited conditions --
can be vital to a CA Healer's work, too. I don't think the
relationship's exactly pally, but they each have their jobs, and
sometimes they intersect, usually against the better will of the
person who brings them into confluence, and there is a formal respect
between these polar extremes of the span of Life.

Jon

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