Humakti Philosophy debate

From: Simon Hibbs (
Date: Wed 25 Feb 1998 - 16:36:50 EET

Richard Ohlson :

> I just keep thinking that in a world as rich in
>magic as Glorantha is, perhaps Symbolic Death as part of a major
>ceremony is going to be pretty hideous. Technically, they would not be

>"unreseructable" until the end of the ceremoney, though perhaps they
>actually die. Maybe they pop into hell for a few minutes, and then
>come back into the real world, taking a "trip to the world of the dead"

>without actually dieing.

I think such a ritual would be far more apropriate for a cult dedicated
to proving that death isn't final and eternal, that for a cult that
believes that it is.

I don't think any Humakti thinks he's dead untill he actualy dies. The
funeral ceremony from Dave Hall's game is symbolic of the Humakti's
commitment to death and that's all. All it means is that he is nolonger
part of the family, the part of him that was a son, brother or father is
dead in some sense and will _never_ come back, but the rest of him's
very much alive untill he does die, then the rest of him will never come
back either.

To a Humakti, death is the start of a new phase of existence that should
be embraced fully. Leaving the family and joining the temple is also a
move from one phase of existence to another and it's irreversible too.
Muddying the issue with partial-returns from symbolic death, or
insitiutionalising the resurection of prospective humakti on the grounds
of legal technicalities (well, he's not a humakti yet) is, with respect,

>Well, if Humakt is so hung up on personal honor, I suspect that he
>be even more likely to take care of "mistakes" that he has made.

But that's the point. To a humakti Death is the final truth. It's
_never_ a mistake.

>However, after letting (or personally?) whacking Grandfather Mortal, he
>may have felt it neccessary to atone.

Humakt did not atone though, rather her voluntarily accepted all the
consequences of what he had done, and what he had become.

>Not because his clan or his family told him too, and not because
anybody >threatend those he cut himself off from, but because it was
what he thought >was the right thing to do.

What he decided was the right thing to do was to become the
personification of death in the world. He embraced it fully and never
looked back. That's why he bans resurect, because what death has done
should _never_ be undone. How does that logic fit with guilt and
remorse? The ideal Humakti shuns such feelings

>Yes, but in the end everybody dies. There may be better reasons to die

>than others. How about if we change, "unneccessary" to "untimely"?

Death is eternal, life only brief and temporary. When the end comes,
there is no turning back. That is Humakti philosophy.Your argument could
be used for becoming undead - to finish a job that needed doing - and
thus is inapropriate in this context. Zorak Zorani surely do hold this
view though.

>Well, assuming that there is a great secret tradition about how CA has
>on Humakt and has helped him become "Honorable" instead of a thug.

IMHO there is no such tradition and it's incompatible with the nature of
the myth. Humakt's honour stems from that single act, when he embraced
his new role on slayign Grandfather Mortal. It _wasn't_ a mistake. Death
is an awsome force for destruction, by embracing it Humakt found a role
for it and himself in the new Gloranthan order. He acepted the logic of
his actions without remorse and assumed the responsibilities of his role
as death bringer without hesitation. That was an act of exemplary honour
and integrity.

>Here's a question, WHY was the Lead Cross Quest banned?

Because slaughtering healers is widely regarded as being naughty, would
be my guess.

>If Humakti have such a callous disregard for all life, for society, and
for >Chalana Arroy in particular,

I don't believe this, and I don't think most Humakti do either.

>are they just fattening 'em up so they can get a really GOOD
>cross? I seriously doubt it.

What do you mean by fattening? Everybody dies in the end, fat or not it
makes no difference to Humakt.

>I also wonder if Chalana Arroy tries to force her "don't hurt anybody"
>philosophy on non CA's, or is it just a really good gimick to stay
neutral >and not get killed by opposing clans. [Though this cynical view
doesn't >explain the initiate requirements.]

CAs don't hut people because they believe it's wrong to do so. I don't
believe there's any cynicism involved. Do you? I'm sure the healers
proselytise the virtues of pacifism at every opportunity. If I were
roleplaying a healer, I know I would.

Mikko Rintasaari asks Re. the Lead Cross Quest :

>Excuse me? How do we "know" this? Whose campaign material is this
>strange sounding HQ?

Greg Stafford's. I've heard him refer to it at Convulsion at least

>Is somebody here forgetting the fact that Humakt was the god of truth
>honor even before the coming of death.

Yes he was, so?

>This is not a berserker cult,

No, true. It's a cult of cold blooded killers.

>Humakt severed himself from his Storm God kin, because death needed to
>be in responsible hands.

How would that make him more responsible? He's either responsible or
not. You've already said he was truthful and honourable already, so why
now does he need to make himself more responsible? He severed his ties
to his kin so that they could not be held accountable under Orlanthi law
for what he would do - for what he believed to be necessery.

>(I hold on to the old version of the myth,

Fine, whatever. It doesn't change things significantly and I'm sure
there are Humakti who do too.

>Er... no, I don't think so. Humakt is a part of the cycle of life and
>death. Humakt=B4s Death serves life and maintains existance. Absolute,
>eternal death sounds to me like complete destruction through chaos.

That I'm afraid is a failiure of your understanding of the nature and
role of death as seen by Humati (IMHO). The cycle requires that we (they
- - gloranthans) give up our personal existence, and be re-integrated into
Glorantha in body and spirit, our souls moving on to the next phase of
being. Resurection prevents this, taking you back against the flow in
the wrong direction, and so it is wrong in the eyes of Humakti. Life

isn't the be-all and end-all of everything. Chaos is worse because it
ultimately takes you out of Glorantha completely, into nothingness.

>Oh dear. Why is this beginning to sound like a 2000 AD comic. Tell me
>Simon, if nothing but death means anything to the humakti, why was
>such a thing as the Household of Death, _defending_ Sartar?

What, in all that I have said, is incompatible with that? When have I
said that nothing else means anything to them? They know that they fit
into a bigger picture, but strive to fill their place in the world as
perfectly as they can. Most Humakti are Thanes and Housecarls first,
they embrace the deathbringer because it suits them and their people for
them to do so.



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