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Inactive Forums => HeroQuest => Topic started by: Kao Nashi on October 22, 2003, 04:55:22 PM



Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Kao Nashi on October 22, 2003, 04:55:22 PM
Great answer, Ron; thanks for taking the time. I hope this is also capturing the interest of others because we have few examples of really fundamental HQs: things that address what the players want the new world to be like. I need to ruminate over your answers before coming back with questions. Great ideas and great campaign!

I've found the issue of justice becoming increasingly important for me in Glorantha. I play one of the Humakti in Guy Jobbins' Swords campaign (see link below for not-quite-up-to-date chronicles), and the Humakti have a different sense of justice than their ex-kin. Easier for modern people to understand and play I think.

I have been puzzling over how Humakt would react to Thed's claim. It is hard to classify rape as the kind of perversion-of-death crime that Humakt takes really personally. On the other hand, as a holder of the truth rune he has opportunities to get involved in conflicts about honor and deception. Rape, especially spousal rape, clearly involves deception, dishonesty, and lack of integrity. It could be described as a falsification of the act of love.

We have found Humakt to be responsive of claims to truth and justice in unexpected ways - most recently to our detriment. We have ended up depriving a group of allied healers from their only source of water because of promises we made earlier, and also because we found ourselves unable to tolerate slavery (river god was enslaved). Interestingly, the idea that the healers will die is not so much of a problem for us ("Welcome to Humakt's bosom!") as the feeling that we haven't fulfilled our obligations to them.

Our Humakti have some very direct ideas about what the world should be like: "The old world is dying. We will cleanse its child of falsehood." Your ideas have been very illuminating and I look forward to putting them in practice in our game.

http://www.smartgroups.com/vault/swords


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 22, 2003, 07:14:50 PM
Hi there,

If you're interested in getting a bit deeper into Gloranthan myth, and if you're playing Humakti, then the guy to check out is Rashoran. The following is paraphrased from Cults of Terror (1981).

During the Lesser Darkness, Rashoran wandered the world counselling various entities not to fear in the face of darkness and chaos. A few of those he spoke with simply gave up and were eaten or destroyed, but a few seemed strengthened. The examples given are Humakt and Uleria.

People may disagree with me about this, but the counsel of Rashoran seems to me to be very Zen-like and transcendent, aimed at removing moral absolutism based on labels but yet preserving it based on ideals, especially highly localized by the place and time.

I don't know much about Uleria (high goddess of love, represented by a major planet or star in the Gloranthan sky), but as far as I can tell, both she and Humakt seem to have become something of meta-gods, represented through dozens of cultures and splintered/adapted into hundreds of aspects without losing their fundamentals. Love and Death are what they are.

Rashoran not only spoke with the Unholy Trio, he was killed by them. So whatever "identity in the face of chaos" he bestowed was gained by them as well. Hence disease, madness, and rape exist without recourse to heroquesting or magicking them away in any easy way.

Sedenya apparently also heroquested Rashoran-myths extensively, and thus one of the faces of Natha is Rashorana. In other words, the Lunar Way seems to have partaken extensively of Rashoran's teachings as well, which doesn't surprise me a bit.

It seems very likely to me that some Humakti can think "out of the box" in ways that followers of more locked-in pantheons tend not to do, especially in terms of cultural blind spots. They've severed themselves from "how it's done" in order to be Humakti in the first place. So justice as an applicable yet not label-bound concept would be kind of a quest or shining ideal for some of them. As opposed to the ones who merely wear black and kill people a lot ... the line between "deliverer of intuitive justice" and "serial killer" being kind of thin, potentially.

What strikes me most (and struck me way back when, in my first reading of Cults of Prax in the late 70s) about Humakt is that he's not an Orlanthi god. He's integrated into the Orlanthi culture and pantheon (as an alternative path), much like he's integrated into dozens of others. Ernalda is similar, especially given a close reading of Glorantha: an introduction to the Hero Wars (2000).

So in my game, Humakt was not a member of Orlanth's Hall. He has his own God-place, which currently is pretty well explained in the book Storm Tribes. Therefore he and his were not present for that particular scene.

They sure as hell showed up in my game, though! One of the daughters of Kistralde was a Humakti, and that meant that heroforming her conferred power that Orlanth could not overwhelm. I also enjoyed a small troop of Humakti that I tied into the assassination of Temertain (stop me if I'm babbling too much Gloranthan canon at once), especially their senior warrior who was blind and relied on using the Truth affinity in order to perceive his surroundings. Interesting, eh? I've been wondering about recasting that concept for a player-character one day.

Best,
Ron


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Kao Nashi on October 22, 2003, 07:59:54 PM
Quote
... the counsel of Rashoran seems to me to be very Zen-like and transcendent, aimed at removing moral absolutism based on labels but yet preserving it based on ideals, especially highly localized by the place and time.


Yep, I'm totally with you on the Rashoran connection. That's why Humakt is so interesting. His is a truth that must constantly be rediscovered. Very different from the way Lhankor Mhy is presented.

Quote
"identity in the face of chaos"


I'd never thought of it exactly that way, but that's spot on for a description of Rashoran's gift. It is, I believe, the only robust answer to the questions of loss, death and evil. E.g., humans can't overcome death, but they can say "I am here, and my dying will re-affirm my identity because I am going to die like myself." The same applies in the face of torture and other horrors.

Quote
As opposed to the ones who merely wear black and kill people a lot ... the line between "deliverer of intuitive justice" and "serial killer" being kind of thin, potentially.


Yes. The connection to truth is really the interesting part; I have found the death rune connection to be pretty stale although I guess you could play a Humakti who went astray and killed indiscriminately (wouldn't last very long I think). It gets interesting when Humakt recognizes his responsibility to keep and wield Death (especially in the face of his failure to do so), and recognizes that ending is also the power to separate. And that things that are split are linked and defined through their very separation ... e.g., life/death, truth/falsehood, etc.

Quote
Ernalda is similar, especially given a close reading of Glorantha: an introduction to the Hero Wars (2000).


Ernalda's mythology is deep and fascinating; I have often been tempted to play one. But I have to admit that it is Humakt who really put the hook in me.

There are a number of Humakti myths (and lots of others) that you might enjoy at Oliver Bernuetz's website:

http://www.geocities.com/bernuetz/mything/mything.html

Thanks for the ideas. I will get back to you with more thoughts and questions. I'm hoping some of my fellow players will also join the discussion here.


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 23, 2003, 09:34:06 AM
Hi there,

I decided to split the above posts out from the rape in Glorantha (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=8371) thread, in hopes that a big ol' Humakti discussion ensues.

Best,
Ron


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: RaconteurX on October 23, 2003, 11:27:59 PM
Humakt (or as the ducks call him, Hueymakt) has been my favorite Gloranthan deity. He is marvelously complex, encompassing all that is noble and tragic, liberating and absolute about Death. Nowhere was the dichotomy hammered home more thoroughly than in my Hero Wars playtest campaign, where we had two Humakti. Here are their narratives, updated for Thunder Rebels, Storm Tribe and HeroQuest:
  • Swordthane and Efrodar godi Heordan Keen-eye's strong arm is ready to aid all who oppose the Lunar oppressors. Living among the Sartar Exiles, he learned shieldwall and cavalry tactics, and the customs and languages of Prax and Heortland. Able to train and lead troops and gather military intelligence, Heordan is renowned as a war leader. His wisdom, persuasiveness and impartiality have allowed him to negotiate many alliances. At home, Heordan leads the worship of Humakt and dispenses justice to his people. He only has two regrets: the loss of Soulcleaver, and his love for Brenna. His geas requires that he abstain from strong drink.
  • Kelulf the Strong, a fanatical Makla Mann swordthane of fearsome demeanor, is disliked by his clanfolk for his belligerence and reputation as a killer. Tireless in his efforts to crush the Lunars and their allies, he questions the honor and courage of all those unwilling to rise against them. Possessing great battle luck, Kelulf prides himself on leading and training the clan's young warriors. His quick thinking and ruthlessness have saved his life on several occasions. Kelulf is a member of the Cold Wind movement and answers directly to Sarostip Cold-eye, its leader. Given the opportunity, Kelulf must always deliver a death blow to any fallen opponent.
  • [/list:u]
    As can be seen, both are leaders and competent warriors, but they could not be more different in essential nature. Heordan definitely falls into the Death for Life camp, while I can see Kelulf eagerly attempting the Lead Cross heroquest (in which the Humakti quester must slaughter followers of Chalana Arroy) to prove his devotion to Death over Life.


Title: Cross post; Humakti values
Post by: Kao Nashi on October 23, 2003, 11:58:14 PM
Posting bits of a discussion elsewhere which fit here. Sorry about the mess. This is Jane Williams replying to me.

>... why Vinga didn’t speak up for Thed (and this is indeed mystifying)

Probably because at the time the myth was written, Vinga hadn't been
invented :( She was out shopping, right?

> when she went to Orlanth to claim justice for Ragnaglar's abuse, but I’m sure Humakt would have spoken up too. Well, *our* Humakt would have! ;)

Whose? Yours, Dori's, Aelfs...? I think one thing we're finding is
that they're different. But all aspects of a greater whole.


> But I found myself wondering last night about Orlanthi justice (how
> come rape as crime wasn’t dealt with differently) and how Humakt
> would treat it as a crime/sin.

I was wondering about that. Would he? And if so, why? What is
Humakt's idea of justice based on? We know that it isn't kinship: but
what is it?

> Is it wrong because it is betrayal (a version of untruth), or what?

But it isn't betrayal, is it? Unless the victim is in some way
dependent on the attacker in the first place. It's just forcing your
will on someone else in a violent way. Which Humakt is all in favour
of :( Perhaps we need to look at the difference between Humakt and
(say) Vadrus?

> I don’t think Humakt would recognize what we think of as “inalienable rights”,

Probably not.

> but I also don’t believe he would allow or endorse or even tolerate violation either.

Nor me, but I'm still not sure why. Are we just projecting our
C20/C21 values on to Humakt?[/quote]


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: newsalor on October 24, 2003, 03:48:10 AM
I say that the Rashorana connection is 1st age hogwash! :)

No, really. I think that it has no relevance to your basic Sartarite Humakti. I think that this is Tarumathi influence.


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 24, 2003, 05:34:41 AM
Hello,

Discussions among Glorantha-philes tend to delight in quick references to arcana. Let's try not to do that in this forum, so much, because the goal is to help other people understand and enjoy HeroQuest and Glorantha.

So, newsalor, please clarify your point about the Tarumathi in a way that someone relatively new to the material can understand.

My thoughts on your post, perhaps hampered by the post's sketchiness, is that saying "no relevance" is overly general. In our group, and others I know, we consider Dragon Pass, by the 1620s, as a melting pot rather than a fixed set of single values. Heortling followers of the Lunar Way in Boldhome; deserters from the Lunar army setting up as warband leaders for rebels in Heortland. That sort of thing.

Furthermore, instead of "hard-line Sartarite rebels" being the default protagonists (as was typically the case back in the RQ heyday), a lot of HeroQuest play seems to be about people who are working out personal compromises among things like Chaos, love, death, family, and clan membership.

So sure, by the Humakti dogma according to the local priest out by Apple Lane, the Rashoran connection is either utterly obscure or total hoo-ha - obviously Lunar propaganda, etc.

But a character who's seen his assumptions challenged again and again, and who (accurately, to my way of thinking) doesn't really believe that any of the dogmas out there are really getting anywhere good, might discover it. Information about Lunar stuff is readily available in Dragon Pass. He might then latch onto it as a useful and personally meaningful new idea, staying strictly within Humakti myth, no need to become a Lunar or anything like that. And if it works, in practice? Hero band, over here! Sign on up.

Best,
Ron


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 24, 2003, 08:38:52 AM
Whoops, forgot to mention this too.

Michael, I don't suppose that your game included a final, deadly confrontation between these two player-characters? "The tragic duel" kind of situation? That's where my little heart goes pit-a-pat, when I see characters like these ...

Best,
Ron


Title: Pardon?
Post by: Jane on October 24, 2003, 12:37:43 PM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
Discussions among Glorantha-philes tend to delight in quick references to arcana. Let's try not to do that in this forum, so much, because the goal is to help other people understand and enjoy HeroQuest and Glorantha.

So, newsalor, please clarify your point about the Tarumathi in a way that someone relatively new to the material can understand.


I'm not that new  to Glorantha in general, and the reference to the Tarumathi meant nothing to me :( Want to explain?


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Jane on October 24, 2003, 12:40:25 PM
Quote from: newsalor
I say that the Rashorana connection is 1st age hogwash! :)

No, really. I think that it has no relevance to your basic Sartarite Humakti. I think that this is Tarumathi influence.


Well, the Humakti I'm trying to run and understand isn't Sartarite, and the sub-cult she's in (yes, we invented it) isn't Sartarite either. In fact, I'm not to sure just where it did start out. But I like the Rashorana connection. So where is it relevant to, in your opinion?


Title: Re: Pardon?
Post by: Mac Logo on October 24, 2003, 03:46:21 PM
[quote="Jane
I'm not that new  to Glorantha in general, and the reference to the Tarumathi meant nothing to me :( Want to explain?[/quote]
If no-one else is stepping up to (crimsom) bat (sorry).

Warning: This is all 1st Age Stuff concerning Nysalor/Gbaji/Arkat.

Tarumath was the replacement for Orlanth put up by Lokomayadon, High Priest of the Storm, in Nysalor's Bright Empire. For a complete generation Orlanth worship failed in the lands under it's rule (not just a few seasons).

I suppose you could claim Tarumath as the Illuminated Storm. Yeah, right.

Harmast's Lightbringer Quest was a rebellion against Lokomayadon and Tarumath.

Good sources for more details are Cults of Terror and King of Dragon Pass

Hope this helps.

Graeme


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 24, 2003, 06:51:24 PM
Hi there,

Kao Nashi wrote,

Quote
We have found Humakt to be responsive of claims to truth and justice in unexpected ways - most recently to our detriment. ...

Our Humakti have some very direct ideas about what the world should be like: "The old world is dying. We will cleanse its child of falsehood."


I suggest that this thread would benefit from learning more about the game and focusing on the issues of justice from that point on. I think my suggestion regarding Rashoran was potentially useful; I haven't seen anything to contradict that.

As a moderator aside, I'm inclined to perceive newsalor's post as disruptive. It's "Glorantha expert" one-line interference, much like throwing a rock into a discussion to disrupt it. Newsalor, you're welcome to participate, but please make an effort to communicate actual points.

editing in: Grrr ... and a few minutes thought following posting led me to think I am overreacting. Newsalor, I retract and apologize. All input is welcome.

Kao Nashi and Jane, do you want to pursue the Rashoran line of discussion? Or do you want to focus on something else?

Everyone else please wait for Kao Nashi and/or Jane to respond.

Best,
Ron


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Jane on October 25, 2003, 02:06:07 AM
Quote from: Ron Edwards

Kao Nashi and Jane, do you want to pursue the Rashoran line of discussion? Or do you want to focus on something else?


It looks interesting and relevant to me (very brief answer before I head out for the day.) Just the new name threw me.

Quick link to the sub-cult writeup as we have it so far, so you can see where we're coming from:

http://www.smartgroups.com/vault/swords/Public/hereward.htm

Lots of stuff in that area, too.... browse around.


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: nuanarpoq on October 25, 2003, 02:08:17 AM
hi folks - ron, sorry to crash in. this is guy, i narrate the game that kao and jane are talking about.

we've not discussed this much in game, and i think this is a fruitful area for development. i have some ideas which i'm leery about disclosing right now, for obvious reasons. let me just say this:

the pcs are followers of the Herocult of Hereward (an invention of our own), a First Age companion of Arkat. simply, what we know about Hereward is this:

1. he was a loyal follower of arkat, until arkat started illuminating everyone and turned into a troll
2. herewardi have poor opinions of the followers of maklamann (who remained loyal to arkat until the end)
3. herewardi traditionally have low opinions of illumination (and trolls)
4. following his refusal to follow arkat down the path of illumination, hereward went - well, mad, it appears, for quite a while. i think the text has it that he staggered around weeping blood and raging against the betrayal of his god for a couple of years, or something.

finally there are 3 key points we mustn't forget (said because i nearly did):

5. hereward was one of the three warriors who introduced arkat to the cult of humakt
6. hereward retains his air connection
7. hereward is obsessed with Truth (rather than justice, which is where this discussion started), which appears to stem from the experiences noted in point 4.

with this context i think that rashoran is germaine to the discussion, as is the events and propaganda of the 1st age, and the argument that arkat forged humakt from humath.

hope this isn't too gnomic

guy


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 25, 2003, 05:51:16 AM
Hi there,

Wow!

I'm thinking that at the philosophical level, two "truth" concepts might be a big deal for those who emulate Hereward. Especially since the core concept for Humakti involves applying Death. Which of the two is Real truth? Who knows?

1. Truth as absolute knowledge, gained by loyalty and effort. I think this is the kind of truth that Lhankor Mhy pursues, in the form of the Mistress of the Light of Knowledge, who was killed by Tien (later to become Thanatar) during the Greater Darkness. With all possible provisos that I'm speaking only of my own game, Irippi Ontor worship would be an extreme form of this same endeavor.

2. Truth as flash of insight, particularly in terms of momentary application: what actually to do now. This is more in line, to my way of thinking, with Rashoran(a), especially in the case of irreconcilable differences and in the absence (or rejection of) guidelines.

The hell of it is, both honor and justice rely on "truth." Anyone can say they prize their honor or justice. But which truth are they employing? How is it derived? When do you know you have it? Is it truth about "what happened" or about what that "means"?

As I read the source material you guys have linked to, the more Newsalor's brief comment makes sense: there's some serious bad blood between Hereward and the legacy of Rashoran. (By the way, there's no mention of Tarumath in Cults of Terror; must be a King of Dragon Pass thing.) Now, what does that bad blood entail?

... because the second sort of truth does seem a little more Hereward-like, you know? Did Hereward, in rejecting Arkat, actually reject what Nysalor offered, or come closer to it? Such questions always arise when dealing with Nysalor/Gbaji ...

Thanks so much for bringing this great game to the attention of the forum!

Best,
Ron


Title: Which Humakt?
Post by: Mark Galeotti on October 25, 2003, 07:47:38 AM
Just to muddy the waters, it is worth mentioning not only that there are different perspectives on Humakt within Dragon Pass (eg, the honourable king's bodyguard who puts the greatest emphasis upon law and honour vs. the Lismelder zombie-slayer, who regards reasserting the natural order of death upon the undead as the finest expression of Humakt's will), but there are also other takes on Humakt.

Hum'Akt is the Carmanian death god, and in his worship, the emphasis is put much more firmly on death and judgement rather than law and honour as such.

All this should help emphasise what is, after all, a central issue of this thread -- that in Glorantha, as in the real world, the most important and interesting differences are usually within 'us' rather than between 'us' and 'them'...

All the best

Mark


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: RaconteurX on October 25, 2003, 08:12:09 AM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
I don't suppose that your game included a final, deadly confrontation between these two player-characters?


After Sarostip Cold-eye was murdered, Heordan feared (and quite rightly) that Kelulf would draw the Cold Wind into a suicidal head-on confrontation with the Lunar Army. Rather than see a powerful Rebel force wasted on a petty act of revenge, he challenged Kelulf for the leadership of the Cold Wind movement. Kelulf responded with a demand that the duel be to the death. Heordan consented with great sadness.

The odds were greatly in Kelulf's favor, as Sarostip had groomed him for the position and he had a well-established connection to the heroband, so I permitted his player to augment Kelulf's Sword Fighting with both his Mentored by Sarostip Cold-eye and Member of the Cold Wind relationships in addition to the usual collection of automatic augments from his mundane and magical abilities.

Heordan, however, was Kelulf's better in Sword Fighting and magic, and possessed a greater reserve of Hero Points (which his player in turn spent to guarantee some really impressive variable augments). In the penultimate exchange, Heordan invoked the Sever Relationship feat from Humakt's Honor affinity, achieved a complete victory, and cut away Kelulf's Mentored by Sarostip Cold-eye... resulting in its loss as well as the loss of the augment it provided.

This tipped the balance once and for all, allowing Heordan to drive Kelulf well into Injured. A parting shot using the Inspire Loyalty feat (which Heordan had acquired especially for this occasion) gave Heordan a complete victory in the overall contest. Any doubt as to who God intended to lead the Cold Wind was stifled there, for all time. I awarded Heordan a sizeable Leader of the Cold Wind relationship, which his player immediately increased with Heordan's remaining HPs.

I also offered Kelulf a Loyal to Heordan Keen-eye relationship free of charge, at the level of his lost Mentored by Sarostip Cold-eye, or death. His player took the relationship; after all, he had spent a lot of HPs on it and did not want to lose them. The two immediately set to planning Heordan's first holy mission: the assassination of the Lunar puppet, "Prince" Temertain. But that is another story... :)


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 25, 2003, 12:11:31 PM
Wowsers again! Michael, that is one of the most satisfying posts I've read in a long time.

It's interesting that Kelulf went for the "submission" option, especially after demanding that the duel be to the death. I can think of some players, not all by any means, who'd be pretty enthusiastic about playing the guy's death-scene in these circumstances. But this makes sense as well, in the chivalric context that "winning means you must be right, so I guess I'll agree." Is that more-or-less the logic that was employed, in your judgment of the game?

Hi Mark! Good to have you here.

Best,
Ron


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: newsalor on October 25, 2003, 03:39:33 PM
Ron Edwards:

So, newsalor, please clarify your point about the Tarumathi in a way that someone relatively new to the material can understand.

My thoughts on your post, perhaps hampered by the post's sketchiness, is that saying "no relevance" is overly general.


Ok. Sorry if I confused you. I was not trying to impress you lot with my knowledge. I was just saying that nothing like that would be ever consider in our clan. Everyone who questions that may very well be a trice cursed Riddler! I see that the smiley did not help at all. I'll try to be more specific.

Pelanda is a country between Dara Happa and Karmania. They have been under the rule of Dara Happans for a long time (on and off) .

Rashoran/Rashorana is originally from Pelandan mythology. His/her origins are pretty far from your good old Heortling roots. Humakt does not appear in Pelandan myths as far as I know.

Tarumathi were/are a people that live near Dorastor and they were big time supporters of Nysalor and his Bright Empire. There we have a connection between Pelandan philosophers and Tarumathi Orlanthi.

Tarumath was/is a deity of High Storm. It was Lokamayadons own off-shoot of the more conventional Orlanthi ways - nowadays considered heretical as is everything else that has something to do with Gbaji (In this case, Nysalor) . I really believe that the connection between Humakt and Rashoran/a is due to Pelorian / Pelandan influence during the First Age. Those people did not worship Humakt. They may have heroquested to prove it, so the connection could exist still, but I think that it has very little relevance to your basic Heortlings.

I'm sorry if you don't like "hard-line Sartarite rebels". I won't force my players make new characters. I like my new clan based campaign. We do explore personal morals, but I think that it can be done better if the general moral values are presented first. It's not really a compromise if you don't believe in anything.

However, I'm not saying that your game should not include a heroband full of illuminated Humakti. YGMV. Have fun.


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Jane on October 25, 2003, 03:55:57 PM
Quote from: nuanarpoq
hi folks - ron, sorry to crash in. this is guy, i narrate the game that kao and jane are talking about.

we've not discussed this much in game, and i think this is a fruitful area for development. i have some ideas which i'm leery about disclosing right now, for obvious reasons.


It's all right, Guy, you can reveal secrets to me and I won't tell my character :)

Quote from: nuanarpoq

4. following his refusal to follow arkat down the path of illumination, hereward went - well, mad, it appears, for quite a while. i think the text has it that he staggered around weeping blood and raging against the betrayal of his god for a couple of years, or something.


From the current write-up we have:
Quote

But when Arkat told them to exchange their teeth for tusks, and lie dead in a birthing cave for a year, he knew the time had come to question his loyalty. He called on Humakt his Lord and Orlanth, the god of his tribe. They sent the sharp wind from the North; Occam's Wind; the wind that cuts most fine; also called the TruthWind. For one day and one night Hereward drove this wind against the words that Arkat spoke to him. At the end of that time he stood and walked from Arkat's commands and into the wilderness, where he wandered blindly for ten years. It is Herewards greatest shame that he could not see through Arkat's lies from the start. He swore a great oath never to be so deceived again

Hereward had learned Arkat's lesson that Honour Serves The Goal and he taught this in his turn. But after Hereward broke with Arkat he left his people and wandered the world in despair. Everywhere he went he trod in the footsteps of destruction, for the world was overcome with war. He travelled in each direction seeking guidance from renowned men and teachers, but everyone called on him to follow one side or the other. Unable to choose a way he did nothing, and so was forced to watch in agony as everything around him was destroyed. Finally there were no direction left to travel and he retreated inside himself to escape the horror of the world. There he found the truth and returned, re-armed, to lead his people against the enemy. Afterwards Hereward taught that Honour Is The Goal


Yes, "goes mad" would seem to cover that :) Or, as I seem to remember putting it once when excusing my character's dithering, he spent ten years navel-gazing to reach a conclusion that any sane person could have got to in five minutes.


Quote from: nuanarpoq

6. hereward retains his air connection


This is one bit that fascinates me. What version of Humakt was it that Hereward worshipped? Was it Humath, who was still a  member of the Storm Tribe? I gather there is a theory that Humakt only lost/abandoned his wind powers when Lokomayadon came on the scene, possibly due to some creative editing by worshippers at the time who wanted to keep (most of) their cult. This sounds like something I'd like to learn more about.

On Rashoron: as you can see from the bits of conversation between me and "Kao Nashi" quoted above, we're wondering what Humakt's definition of "justice" is based on, since it clearly isn't the Orlanthi idea of "my kin, right or wrong", but nor is it a RW/C21 definition (even if we had a clear one of those!). The Rashoron connection gives us some idea of why he gets a "pure" justice, but as yet very little idea of just what it is.


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Jane on October 25, 2003, 04:02:00 PM
Quote from: Kao Nashi

Quote
"identity in the face of chaos"


I'd never thought of it exactly that way, but that's spot on for a description of Rashoran's gift. It is, I believe, the only robust answer to the questions of loss, death and evil. E.g., humans can't overcome death, but they can say "I am here, and my dying will re-affirm my identity because I am going to die like myself." The same applies in the face of torture and other horrors.
quote]

Re-reading that, it seems very similar to the way each Heortling is supposed to face I-Fought-We-Won. Insisting on one's own individuality and responsibility, even in the face of obvious overwhelming defeat.

It also seems to have parallels with the end of the green age, when the whole concept of individuality was more or less invented.

Or am I completely on the wrong track here? In both cases,the timing/dating is way out, but the concept seems to be similar.


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: nuanarpoq on October 26, 2003, 03:34:40 AM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
I'm thinking that at the philosophical level, two "truth" concepts might be a big deal for those who emulate Hereward. Especially since the core concept for Humakti involves applying Death. Which of the two is Real truth? Who knows?


in Swords we've developed the idea that the key concept for the Herewardi understanding of Humakt is to cleave rather than Death. to cleave entwines the concepts of to seperate (Death) AND to adhere, in the sense of adhering to an oath (Honour).  see the myth Humakt's Oath (http://www.smartgroups.com/vault/swords/Public/oath.htm) for more on this.

hereward, navel-gazing worry-wort that he is, has some fixation with stripping away all that is false, seperating wheat from chaff etc, and this is characterised as a spiritual struggle. this correlates to your first truth value.

Quote
As I read the source material you guys have linked to, the more Newsalor's brief comment makes sense: there's some serious bad blood between Hereward and the legacy of Rashoran. (By the way, there's no mention of Tarumath in Cults of Terror; must be a King of Dragon Pass thing.) Now, what does that bad blood entail?

... because the second sort of truth does seem a little more Hereward-like, you know? Did Hereward, in rejecting Arkat, actually reject what Nysalor offered, or come closer to it? Such questions always arise when dealing with Nysalor/Gbaji ...


yes, twice Hereward encounters a gbaji figure & rejects him. first he goes to the side of nysalor and learns from him, "and one of the things he learned was that nysalor must be killed". then he meets arkat, introduces him to Humakt, and feels betrayed when arkat does the whole arkat thing. there is the suggestion that hereward was illuminated, despite rejecting both nysalor and arkat. and this relates to the presence of the second kind of truth that you mention. [/url]


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: nuanarpoq on October 26, 2003, 03:53:07 AM
Quote from: Jane
On Rashoron: as you can see from the bits of conversation between me and "Kao Nashi" quoted above, we're wondering what Humakt's definition of "justice" is based on, since it clearly isn't the Orlanthi idea of "my kin, right or wrong", but nor is it a RW/C21 definition (even if we had a clear one of those!). The Rashoron connection gives us some idea of why he gets a "pure" justice, but as yet very little idea of just what it is.


well, as has been pointed out we're gonna quickly get into trouble if we talk in generalities, i think. humakt's concept of justice will vary according to the culture in which he is being worshipped. amongst the orlanthi justice comes from orlanth through andrin, heort etc. humakti have obvious roles within non-humakti communities as jurors, witnesses and so forth. they are seen as impartial, and sheathed within the community their honour and oath magics can serve justice, bu they are not the source of it.

carmanians etc certainly have other concepts. these are all, including the orlanthi perspective above, non-humakti ideas about how humakt relates to justice. various cultures may have ideas that range from humakt being the impassive and neutral judge, jury and executioner, to being completely irrelevant.

within a strictly humakti community, for example a temple, concepts of justice are probably more limited. i would guess there are 2 basic cases that constitute a 'crime', or at least something that demands justice or retribution 'in the name of humakt'.

1. where a humakti has broken a code of honour, including a geasa, or has otherwise violated his relationship with the God.

2. where an outsider or humakti has violated or broken an oath or compact with the temple.

in the first case it may be simple to assume that the god will take his own justice. in the second, that the temple will take theirs, most likely at the point of a sword. however, i reckon that one raison d'etre for humakti 'justice' is that it serves as ritual where-by the 'sinner' or 'wrong-doer' or 'oath-breaker' can cleave to the path of righteousness again. it is probably most similar to a process of ordeals. the temple may recognise that - whilst a sword once broken cannot be remade - a blade may be folded several times during its forging. in other words, even humakti make mistakes, and if the warrior's ordeal can show that it was a mistake he had to make in order to learn from it and in that way cleave closer to the god, then justice rehabilitates him and has served its purpose.

i'm beginning to sound like a danfive xaroni, so perhaps i'm on the wrong path, and anyway my concepts of all this are probably hopelessly waylaid because of my close proximity to hereward ;o)

there is a third way in which a temple may talk about enforcing the 'law' or meteing out 'justice', and that is when fighting cult enemies, particularly the undead. but that is simply enforcing Humakt's will and being in the world. when the heroes in the swords campaign tried the vivamorti cultists in caravan alley they were merely demonstrating the mens' obvious guilt to the wider community, the caravan, so this is an unusual case of using ritual to gain social acceptance for the enforcement of humakt's will.

all of this started in the question 'why didn't humakt help thed?' so acknowledging the heortling context of the question and answer, i would say:
there's before Thed's rape (BTR) and after Thed's rape (ATR). ATR humakt, like all good gods, forbids his true warriors from raping. but that's because he doesn't want them spreading chaos and turning into broo. it may well in fact be social conditioning carried over into the cult rather than a stricture of humakt's per se. after all, there are humakti broo in dorastor. admitedly they are illuminated...

BTR, why should humakt care? he is a god of killing and honour. some aspects of humakt may eschew sexuality, but that doesn't mean he has any interest in the sexual acts of others. honour? well, there may be cultures that view humakt in a chivalric light, but this is a heortling myth and humakt is not the source of justice or refined social behaviour, so why should he act? he probably doesn't feel the shame that orlanth feels, ragnalar being his ex-brother, but why would we expect humakt to act, and not babeester gor, or voria for that matter, or anyone else?

hum. this has been a bit of a ramble. apologies.


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 26, 2003, 07:10:33 AM
Hi there,

Newsalor, I'm not sure if you saw my apology to you on the first page. Take a peek if you missed it.

Your Pelandan game sounds great, and I'd like to know more about it. A new thread about it would be perfect. (The Pelandans seem like the nicest people in Glorantha, don't they?) Please don't consider any dialogue in this forum to suggest that you need to change your game to satisfy anyone. That's not a goal here - keep your game the way you like it, and present stuff from it so that everyone can learn.

I would be especially interested, in this thread, to learn about how the Carmanian worship of Hum'Akt might be involved (or not involved) with the Rashoran/Humakt connection during Godtime. Do Carmanians get mixed up into your characters' business, in your story so far?

Best,
Ron


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ian Cooper on October 26, 2003, 07:18:44 AM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
What strikes me most (and struck me way back when, in my first reading of Cults of Prax in the late 70s) about Humakt is that he's not an Orlanthi god. He's integrated into the Orlanthi culture and pantheon (as an alternative path), much like he's integrated into dozens of others. Ernalda is similar, especially given a close reading of Glorantha: an introduction to the Hero Wars (2000).


Slight tangent on the Storm Tribe:

The Storm Tribe does seem to be a melting pot. Look at the gods represented in Storm Tribe. The Lightbringers are obviously a combination of religious identities: Chalana Arroy, Issaries, and Lhankor Mhy. Elmal and Heler are all obviously outsiders with myths of how they were included. Perhaps less obviously so is Odayla in Dragon Pass (he is a god of the barbarian peoples north of Dragon Pass, who seems to have been conquered by the Orlanthi. We include a couple of myths concerned with this when discussing Grizzly Peak in the forthcoming Dragon Pass supplement). And Urox might be Orlanth's brother but is very Praxian in origin. Even Vinga seems to have ‘emerged’ rather than have always been. Looking at Orlanth's cult in Thunder Rebels we discover cults like Yavor and Durev that seem 'adopted' (if you are not sure about the latter read the section on the Durevings in Thunder Rebels).

I suspect that some of this is not saying anything specific about Orlanthi, more about Greg's growing understanding of religions as evolving from and bleeding into one another. Some of it is also part of a transition from an ‘elemental’ view of religions in Glorantha to a regional one, a view shift which seems to have increased over time (so we have Orlanthi sun gods and Dara Happan storm gods now).

In game terms these broken relationships can be very powerful because it opens up the possibility of all sorts of connections or aspects being rediscovered by heroquesters and experimenters Indeed the rise of the Lunar Empire seems to have been founded in just such experimentation as does the Elmal and Yelmalio conflict as to who is to be the sun God among the Orlanthi, and the references to a more comprehensive Earth pantheon dating as far back as the supplement Snake Pipe Hollow.  I expect much more of this re-emergence and subjugation to be part of the plot of the Hero Wars.

I also think it opens up the possibility to newbies that you can discover new myths connections and ideas without fear, because this is exactly what is happening as the Hero Wars approaches. The differences between Orlanthi accounts of Humakt's leaving the tribe and Orlanth's for example are a great axis of conflict (se p.108 of Storm Tribe for an example).


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Jane on October 26, 2003, 10:08:57 AM
Quote from: nuanarpoq
Quote from: Jane
On Rashoron: as you can see from the bits of conversation between me and "Kao Nashi" quoted above, we're wondering what Humakt's definition of "justice" is based on, since it clearly isn't the Orlanthi idea of "my kin, right or wrong", but nor is it a RW/C21 definition (even if we had a clear one of those!). The Rashoron connection gives us some idea of why he gets a "pure" justice, but as yet very little idea of just what it is.


well, as has been pointed out we're gonna quickly get into trouble if we talk in generalities, i think. humakt's concept of justice will vary according to the culture in which he is being worshipped.


But the whole point of the Rashoron connection is that Humakt also has an absolute definition of truth, justice, and so on that is not dependent on the society he's in, and is the cause of most of his conflicts with that society. After all, according to one version of the story at least, he severed his relationship with Orlanth because of a disagreement over the nature of justice.

Variations on that theme, sure. Variations we can do. YHWV. But I'd really like to get a better handle on the main theme, and I'm not sure how to do it. So far we have, I think, been treating C21 morality as the main theme to some extent (unavoidable). Perhaps if we looked at all the known variations in the cult and established what they have in common?


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: nuanarpoq on October 26, 2003, 10:57:51 AM
Quote from: Jane
But the whole point of the Rashoron connection is that Humakt also has an absolute definition of truth, justice, and so on that is not dependent on the society he's in, and is the cause of most of his conflicts with that society. After all, according to one version of the story at least, he severed his relationship with Orlanth because of a disagreement over the nature of justice.


right, i misphrased that. perhaps i should have said that between cultures concepts of humakt in respect to justice may vary, rather than humakt's concept of justice varying.

Quote
Variations on that theme, sure. Variations we can do. YHWV. But I'd really like to get a better handle on the main theme, and I'm not sure how to do it. So far we have, I think, been treating C21 morality as the main theme to some extent (unavoidable). Perhaps if we looked at all the known variations in the cult and established what they have in common?


wow, well, ok. that would be quite a list. let's also think about what we mean by justice.

Just: 1. acting or done in accordance with what is morally right or fair. 2. (of treatment etc.) deserved (a just reward). 3. (of feelings, opinions etc) well grounded.

Justice: 1. just conduct. 2. fairness. 3. the exercise of authority in the maintenance of right. 4. juidicial proceedings. (OED).

Empower Oath, Know Truth, Sense Ambush, Sever Relationship, Shame Coward are the default feats given for the Honour affinity in Storm Tribe.

looking down that list i see connections from Know Truth to Just(1, 2, 3) and Justice (1,2), from Shame Coward to Justice(1) & Just(2), Sense Ambush to Justice(1) & Just(1).

Most of these honour feats appear to have to do with Just in the sense of honourable conduct. Sever Relationship and Empower Oath are means by which this code of honourable conduct can be worked within the host society.

Know Truth could be used to arrive at Justice in the sense of Justice(3&4), but i still maintain that would be a lesser connection.

of all the basic humakti subcults, only 2 get additional honour type feats. Rigsdal gets Identify Traitor & See Past Illusion. Maklamann gets a whole Loyalty affinity. neither of these are suggesting anything radically different from the norm. Rigsdal's feats are variations on Know Truth. Maklamann's affinity is a concentration on a particular aspect of an honour code.

actually, perhaps that's why maklamannis noteworthy. if i understand the rashoran connection it would imply the individual coming to the Truth of their identity on their own, an individual honour code. maklamann's difference is that he sublimated his own honour code to loyalty to his lord. or that loyalty was his honour code.

have to stop now... i'll be back ;)


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ian Cooper on October 26, 2003, 11:06:37 AM
Quote from: nuanarpoq
[well, as has been pointed out we're gonna quickly get into trouble if we talk in generalities, i think. humakt's concept of justice will vary according to the culture in which he is being worshipped. amongst the orlanthi justice comes from orlanth through andrin, heort etc. humakti have obvious roles within non-humakti communities as jurors, witnesses and so forth. they are seen as impartial, and sheathed within the community their honour and oath magics can serve justice, bu they are not the source of it.


Do you see justice as a primary Humakti concern? Is Humakt concerned with justice as society understands it? I always assumed he was concerned with honor - and that what was what his possession of the truth rune represented.

I have in in mind the Germanic warrior code of the 'comitatus' (see Tacitus, but I also have a great book by Pollington called the English Warrior which has some good info on saxon warrior rituals), but other cultures have their strict warrior codes too, which I am sure we can all identify.

Indeed p.90 of Storm tribe seems to support this assumption. it identifies honor, war, and death as primary areas of action, with justice stated to be concerned mostly with courage and honor. It seems more likely that Humakti justice has more to do with hunting down and killing a coward who deserted his post, perservation of the order of his warrior's community, than with preservation of peace in the wider community.

Obviously to the wider extent that society recognizes or provides the warrior's code of honor Humakt may be involved in the enforcement of 'correct' behaviour, but as you say Orlanth is the source of the rules that allow men to live together. Indeed humakt is not even part of that wider community. Obviously it is for player's in Guy's game to discover, but Hereward may have been more converned with Arkat sullying his honor as a Humatki warrior through his trollish ways thatn with notions of responsiblity to the wider community.

indeed one suspects that the main point that Rashoran revealed to Humakt was that your origin, chaotic or not, does not dictate your chances of upholding a code of honor. Hence the Humakt worshipping broos in Dorastor as seen in Lords of Terror and Dorastor:Land of Doom (and of course p.90 of Storm Tribe states that humakt has no specific dislike of Humakt).

So to return to the rape of Thed, one suspects that Humakt would not have been concerned


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 26, 2003, 11:21:31 AM
Hi Ian,

Looks like a typo gotcha in your parenthesis about p. 90 in Storm Tribes - clarify? I'm following this discussion very closely and don't want to miss anything.

Regarding Humakt's relationship with Justice in general, I think that in practice, Humakt's relationship with Truth will see action in instances involving justice. In other words, people enmeshed in some issue or conflict involving justice will turn to Truth, and quite likely, Truth as it relates to killing. It could be about who killed someone, or about whether we kill someone for what they've done, or anything like these. The Hereward game seems to be outstandingly focused on generating these issues and grappling with them through the medium of play.

So even if baseline Humakti myths and principles aren't about justice, I can see that Hero Cults and Hero Bands based on Humakti sub-myths or local history will quite likely swing in that direction.

I do agree with you about the Thed issue, by the way, mainly because rape is not killing.

Best,
Ron


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: simon_hibbs on October 26, 2003, 12:54:14 PM
Interesting thread, just a few comments.

The idea of a Humakt cult that retains the air connection is interesting. The orlanthi see a strong connection between breath and life, so obviously since the dead nolonger breathe the god of death is no god of air. But perhaps this subcult have found Humakt in the last breath exhaled by a dying man? But a subcult such as this isn't just about what you gain by such a connection, but also what you lose. Breath is a thing of life, and so perhaps this subcult blurs the distinction between the living and the dead in some way? The Lismelder humakti (anti-undead specialists) would surely have something to say about that!

I think the truth element of the Humakt cult is often taken very much out of context. For example someone mentioned their hero band being against slavery, and another said something about humakt being against rape. I realy can't see where any of this comes from. Taking thrals is an honourable heortling activity, and Humakt has no anti-chaos aspects whatsoever. It's even reputed that Ralzakark (a king of the broos) has a unit of humakti broo at his disposal. I think that's an exageration, but there's nothing impossible about it. All mortal things have a relationship with the god of death.

Humakt is not a god of society, he is a god of individuals because ultimately we all face death alone. Also I don't see justice 'in the world' as being much of an attribute of humakt. What release can the victim of any crime or any injustice expect from a god of death?

Simon Hibbs


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Jane on October 26, 2003, 01:29:43 PM
Quote from: simon_hibbs

The idea of a Humakt cult that retains the air connection is interesting. The orlanthi see a strong connection between breath and life, so obviously since the dead no longer breathe the god of death is no god of air. But perhaps this subcult have found Humakt in the last breath exhaled by a dying man?

Interesting idea, but no. This is Humakt as the North Wind. That sounds like a fun sub-cult, and one that perhaps I'd like to explore some time, but it isn't Hereward.

Quote

I think the truth element of the Humakt cult is often taken very much out of context. For example someone mentioned their hero band being against slavery, .... Taking thrals is an honourable heortling activity,

Quite possibly, but what do the Heortlings have to do with it? (Quite apart from the significant differences between thralls and slaves).

Quote

Humakt is not a god of society, he is a god of individuals because ultimately we all face death alone.

Oh, nice point! Although it emphasises Death over Truth.

Quote

Also I don't see justice 'in the world' as being much of an attribute of humakt. What release can the victim of any crime or any injustice expect from a god of death?

True, but again you're emphasising Death over Truth. Humakt is supposed to be a god of honour. When his worshippers are asked to choose who to help, who to support, who to execute, on what basis do they make that judgement? It isn't "kill them all, let Humakt sort them out." Nor is it based on the law system of whatever society they happen to have been born into, or to be operating within at the time. (At least, it shouldn't be. Half the roleplaying fun is the fallible human heroes failing to leave their cultural biases behind!)


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: nuanarpoq on October 26, 2003, 01:57:25 PM
Quote from: Jane
Quote from: simon_hibbs
Humakt is not a god of society, he is a god of individuals because ultimately we all face death alone.

Oh, nice point! Although it emphasises Death over Truth.


i don't know that it does. perhaps its back to the motif of humakt's truth being an individual truth.
Quote


Quote

Also I don't see justice 'in the world' as being much of an attribute of humakt. What release can the victim of any crime or any injustice expect from a god of death?

True, but again you're emphasising Death over Truth. Humakt is supposed to be a god of honour. When his worshippers are asked to choose who to help, who to support, who to execute, on what basis do they make that judgement? It isn't "kill them all, let Humakt sort them out." Nor is it based on the law system of whatever society they happen to have been born into, or to be operating within at the time. (At least, it shouldn't be. Half the roleplaying fun is the fallible human heroes failing to leave their cultural biases behind!)


on the previous page i listed some of the meanings of the words 'just' and 'justice'. first definition of each pertained to 'just action', or action in accordance with a moral law - ie an honour code. this seems extemely humakti. simon and ian seem to be referring more to a concept of justice as judicial process or the execution of judicial authority, which is more orlanth in the context of the heortlings.

my answer to jane's question would be, humakti make their judgements according to their individual honour codes. for some that may well be 'let humakt them sort out'. others may have chosen to remain sheathed in their community and will apply to due process in their society's law. in between there will be a whole host of variation.

it may be true that Humakt himself retains a single identity, but he's a god - too much for one mortal mind to adhere to. worshippers will concentrate on different aspects of him. if they are wise and skilled in battle, and they survive, they may become closer to the god and learn more of him. i suspect that at the levels of initiates and devotees there is more variation in honour codes than at the level of disciples. different subcults and temples will promote different aspects of honour codes, and these may become the basis for rivalry.

i like the idea that that the particular strictures of any individual honour code are less important than *the spirit of the warrior who cleaves to it*. this is another rashoran-ish idea, i guess. whether the warrior thinks mercy or death is more appropriate to a fallen enemy is unimportant. what matters is why the warrior thinks mercy or death is the correct line to take. are they acting in accordance with their true nature?


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 26, 2003, 01:59:24 PM
Hi there,

Simon, those are some great points. Here's my thinking on one of them which goes back to my point about "Truth by principle, but justice when the rubber hits the road" a bit back.

Quote
What release can the victim of any crime or any injustice expect from a god of death?


Release? Who knows. On the other hand, retribution, perfectly placed to sever the perpetrator from his or her gains, seems very likely to be desired by such a victim. Who could one turn to if not the (or a particular) Humakti?

This idea could be taken to a slightly more extreme level, in the sense of initiating oneself to Humakt as a final, hands-down recourse: "When seeking revenge, dig two graves." I kind of like the idea of a subcult or perhaps even just a little-known, rarely-acknowledged ritual, devoted to this practice.

Best,
Ron


Title: Honour/justice
Post by: Jane on October 26, 2003, 02:10:14 PM
Quote from: Ian Cooper

Do you see justice as a primary Humakti concern? Is Humakt concerned with justice as society understands it? I always assumed he was concerned with honor - and that what was what his possession of the truth rune represented.

Nice distinction. Honour for your own actions, justice for considering interactions between others, yes? The trouble is that as soon as one tries to apply Honour to control one's actions, Justice starts to creep in at the edges, because you have to interact with other people. Say two parties have an argument, and both try to hire the same group of Humakti to defend them. Which do you choose to help, if you want to do the honourable thing? You have to start looking at their claims, and choosing the "good" side. And that means having a moral code by which to choose. You're effectively trying to implement "justice" of some sort, like it or not (probably like it not, but being Humakti was never meant to be easy).

Suppose you've managed to get yourself into a situation of having sworn oaths to do two things which conflict? How do you resolve it?

To what lengths will you go to keep an oath, anyway? (This is where our group realised that forcing people - well, beings - into slavery was further than they were prepared to go, because some of us saw that as an unjust act, and rolled good enough dice to convince the rest). Obviously you'd rather die yourself than fail to keep an oath, but how about knowingly causing the death or suffering of a large number of innocent bystanders? Would doing that be dishonourable? Unjust?


Quote

I have in in mind the Germanic warrior code of the 'comitatus' (see Tacitus, but I also have a great book by Pollington called the English Warrior which has some good info on saxon warrior rituals),

Added to Amazon wish list: thanks
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1898281270/qid=1067204866/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_0_2/202-7895665-5036600

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Indeed p.90 of Storm tribe .... justice stated to be concerned mostly with courage and honor.

Is that how you read it?
Quote from: ST90

His initiates serve him by obeying his rules of justice. He encourages honor and courage...

That's two separate statements, surely?


Quote

Obviously to the wider extent that society recognizes or provides the warrior's code of honor Humakt may be involved in the enforcement of 'correct' behaviour, but as you say Orlanth is the source of the rules that allow men to live together.

Only in Orlanthi society. Which, as you say, even Humakti who were once Orlanthi are not a part of. Humakti sever their relationships with their community when they initiate, and I'm quite sure that this is important when we're trying to find out who they see as an authority.

Quote

indeed one suspects that the main point that Rashoran revealed to Humakt was that your origin, chaotic or not, does not dictate your chances of upholding a code of honor.

Good point: the "impartial" concept. And it's another moderately important Herewardi theme: the idea that each person has their own path to the Truth, and you shouldn't try to dictate that path to them, nor tell them that the Truth you perceive is the ultimate and perfect one.

But it also puts even more emphasis on the idea that Humakti honor is not dependent on any one culture: Orlanthi, Solar, Broo: all are equally irrelevant.


Title: The answer
Post by: Jane on October 26, 2003, 02:33:55 PM
Quote from: nuanarpoq
it may be true that Humakt himself retains a single identity, but he's a god - too much for one mortal mind to adhere to.

Too much for the poor insane PCs, anyway, hard though they try. Us players and Narrators had better not give up so easily, though :)
Quote from: nuanarpoq

i like the idea that that the particular strictures of any individual honour code are less important than *the spirit of the warrior who cleaves to it*. this is another rashoran-ish idea, i guess. whether the warrior thinks mercy or death is more appropriate to a fallen enemy is unimportant. what matters is why the warrior thinks mercy or death is the correct line to take. are they acting in accordance with their true nature?

Oh, that is great! All problems can be solved by introducing another level of indirection, to quote my old computer science tutor. Yet more excuses for introspection and navel gazing :) The Truth behind the Truth, of course, with a slice of "know thyself" for good measure.

Does this Forum system have a "this is the answer" button for threads? Because I think I'd like to press it.

Quote from: William Shakespeare

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Hamlet, I.iii.58


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ian Cooper on October 26, 2003, 03:33:52 PM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
Looks like a typo gotcha in your parenthesis about p. 90 in Storm Tribes - clarify? I'm following this discussion very closely and don't want to miss anything.


Yes, bottom of p.90 is a comment about Humakt not disliking Chaos (although perhaps significantly suggests that the cult's warriors tend to support the prevailing opinion of the society they are with).


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ian Cooper on October 26, 2003, 03:50:15 PM
[quote="nuanarpoq] different subcults and temples will promote different aspects of honour codes, and these may become the basis for rivalry[/quote]

I think we are on similar lines in our belief that the honor codes lie at the heart of the way of the Humakti warrior, but that different subcults might espouse different codes, which may also be different from those of the broader society Humakti are within at a given time. Indeed one of the aspects of your campaign that I like from afar is just this in-game exploration of what one such honor code could be. My reading of Kargan on p.103 of Storm Tribe is that the statement "Followers of Kargan say the Sword is only a symbol" seems to support this differing interpretations viewpoint. After all the implication is that not everyone accepts this viewpoint.

Perhaps this leads to a vision of the Humakt cult as untimately platonic as its adherents try to wring human meaning from a single-minded god who is perhaps more an impersonal force than anthropomorphizable. Are they doomed to only ever witness the shadows on the cave wall? Is there a sigificance to the fact that, more so than for example Orlanth, Humakt's subcults are defined by the heroes who seem to have first espoused thier interpretation of the Death? Perhaps.


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: simon_hibbs on October 27, 2003, 03:15:19 AM
Quote from: Ron
Release? Who knows. On the other hand, retribution, perfectly placed to sever the perpetrator from his or her gains, seems very likely to be desired by such a victim. Who could one turn to if not the (or a particular) Humakti?


I can see the motive of the victim, but what is the motive of the Humakti? Why should he help any more than anyone else should? I realy don't see humakti as moral crusaders because they are humakti. They may be for other reasons, but those reasons will answer your questions.

Quote from: Jane

Interesting idea, but no. This is Humakt as the North Wind. That sounds like a fun sub-cult, and one that perhaps I'd like to explore some time, but it isn't Hereward.


So it's even more of a living death. I'd be interested to see the writeup.

Re. Thralls

Quote from: Jane"
Quite possibly, but what do the Heortlings have to do with it? (Quite apart from the significant differences between thralls and slaves).


Heortling Humakti live in heortling society, so if you want to posit that they are against common heortling behaviour I think the onus is on you to demonstrate why. I fail to see why humakti would have anything in particular against slavery. Heortlings kind of do a bit because they are into freedom and movement, but it's not a realy strong drive for them.

Since Humakt has nothing to say about freedom, and in fact is more
heavily into obligations if anything, I don't see where the anti-slavery comes from. Humakti happliy operate in many slave taking societies (i.e. most Genertelan ones) with no apparent friction.

Quote from: Jane

Quote from: me
Humakt is not a god of society, he is a god of individuals because ultimately we all face death alone.


Oh, nice point! Although it emphasises Death over Truth.

Quote
Also I don't see justice 'in the world' as being much of an attribute of humakt. What release can the victim of any crime or any injustice expect from a god of death?


True, but again you're emphasising Death over Truth.


It emphasises death, but you seem to be implying that it does so at the expense of truth. Since I believe the statement is true, I don't realy see what you're getting at.

As an asside I'd comment that actualy Humakt does emphasise death over truth. In the old-fashioned God Learning days he held a double death rune, and is still the great god of death where he is not the great god of truth and so only holds some aspects of truth. Nevertheless I see no conflict between death and truth in what I have said.


Simon Hibbs


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: nuanarpoq on October 27, 2003, 04:38:04 AM
Quote from: simon_hibbs
Heortling Humakti live in heortling society, so if you want to posit that they are against common heortling behaviour I think the onus is on you to demonstrate why. I fail to see why humakti would have anything in particular against slavery.


jane was refering to the fact that in our game the subcult does not originate amongst the heortlings, and that her character and several of the other player heroes are not heortlings. this came up earlier in the discussion, when we were also talking about the universality vs regional variation of humakt.

it may be fair to say that heortling humakti are indiffierent to slavery, dependent perhaps on their clan practices. but if you want to talk the 'universal' attitude of humakt towards slavery, then the onus is equally on you to demonstrate why they wouldn't care.


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 27, 2003, 07:26:44 AM
Hi there,

This is a combined response to Simon's question:

Quote
I can see the motive of the victim, but what is the motive of the Humakti? Why should he help any more than anyone else should?


... and to nuanarpoq's statement regarding slavery:

Quote
if you want to talk the 'universal' attitude of humakt towards slavery, then the onus is equally on you to demonstrate why they wouldn't care.


Quickie note: let's not get all wound up about who's got the onus about what! No one is talking about "real" Humakti; there aren't any.

But I do think the second statement brings home my own response to you, Simon ... that what "the Humakti would think," or "Humakti in general think" is only a starting point.  

We're talking about player-characters and Hero Bands. As soon as the discussion focuses on that, then wham! "What they typically think" stops being "how to play" and instead becomes the starting template for change and transforming myth that's the core of playing HeroQuest. During the Hero Wars, even sticking with the traditional line of thought represents a wrenching decision with its own price.

No myth or myth-system in Glorantha can withstand what's happening in the setting. I think one can see the fault lines in both Orlanthi and Solar culture cracking apart already; finding such gaps and cracks is where the system of the game really shines in the long-term. For me, anyway, scenario creation is all about bringing this into the forefront of everyone's attention.

So where would a Humakti's personal motive come from in some local issue surrounding injustice? From my perspective, answering that question is what playing a player-character is all about.

Best,
Ron


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: nuanarpoq on October 27, 2003, 08:50:48 AM
Quote from: Ron Edwards
Quickie note: let's not get all wound up about who's got the onus about what!


didn't mean to sound snippy - just pointing out that the reverse is also true

Quote
No one is talking about "real" Humakti; there aren't any.


there aren't? holy shit - no santa, no easter bunny and now this? my life would be so much easier if people were straight with me from the beginning. as it is i'm just reeling from one catastrophic disappointment to the next. ;o)

Quote
what "the Humakti would think," or "Humakti in general think" is only a starting point.  

*snip*


what he said


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: MarkAdri on October 27, 2003, 08:54:30 AM
I have been following this discussion with great interest as some of the issues raised are similar to questions I am starting to ask about my Humakti character.

I sense that he is at a crossroads, and the next few choices he makes will have the most profound effect on him and possibly on those around him.  

Ian and Guy know the character as we all play in the same campaign together.

The cause is just - Defeat the Lunar Invaders and return the true heir of Sartar to the throne.

However a series of choices have been made which would be seen as decidely iffy by certain outside parties and even those with the same aims may be disturbed by them.

Duty and honour demand that he follows this through to the end, no matter what is needed.  Justice may not.  He will have to commit unjust acts, innocents may be harmed in the furthering of the cause.  He keeps his honour and thus he feels his connection with his god by accepting this and then simply acting.  

That is what I have seen this discussion to be about.  

I may be wrong and I expect to be told so if I am.

Thank you for helping me clarify my approach to my character.

Mark


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: simon_hibbs on October 27, 2003, 09:52:16 AM
Some good points from Ron, I'm replying here with those in mind.

Quote from: nuanarpoq

jane was refering to the fact that in our game the subcult does not originate amongst the heortlings, and that her character and several of the other player heroes are not heortlings. this came up earlier in the discussion, when we were also talking about the universality vs regional variation of humakt.


Fairy nuff, I missed that distinction since I didn't realise the subcult was non-heortling. Where is it from?

On slavery (new topic perhaps)?

Quote
it may be fair to say that heortling humakti are indiffierent to slavery, dependent perhaps on their clan practices. but if you want to talk the 'universal' attitude of humakt towards slavery, then the onus is equally on you to demonstrate why they wouldn't care.


Ok, for example Pelanda, Prax and Carmainia are slave owning cultures, so I don't feel any pressure to justify asserting that most Pelandan, Carmanian and Praxian humakti accept slavery as being normal. In fact I'm hard pressed to think of any genertelan culture that doesn't practice slavery in one form or other. I don't see why being humakti would cause someone's attitude in this respect to be different from the norm.

Simon Hibbs


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: nuanarpoq on October 27, 2003, 10:26:59 AM
Quote from: simon_hibbs


Fairy nuff, I missed that distinction since I didn't realise the subcult was non-heortling. Where is it from?


we made it up. or rather, the players made it up. i did a sort of 'temple generation questionnaire' thing for them. there's a link somewhere earlier in the thread, i think.

Quote
On slavery (new topic perhaps)?


i think slavery - like rape - is a good area to discuss these issues (honour, justice etc) in. if only because slavery & rape are so noxious to us that they force us to think hard about why others' reactions may be different.

Quote
Quote
it may be fair to say that heortling humakti are indiffierent to slavery, dependent perhaps on their clan practices. but if you want to talk the 'universal' attitude of humakt towards slavery, then the onus is equally on you to demonstrate why they wouldn't care.


In fact I'm hard pressed to think of any genertelan culture that doesn't practice slavery in one form or other. I don't see why being humakti would cause someone's attitude in this respect to be different from the norm.


well, i guess there are a number of reactions different humakti might have depending on how they stand with respect to their original culture. humakti 1 might say, "i stand with the Sambari, and taking slaves is what they do. i might be dead, but my sword serves them." humakti 2 might say "i was of the Sambari before I died. When the God took me the false beliefs of those people fell away before the His revealed Truth. now i know that it is evil to hold another in bondage, or to be held in bondage - that's is why why my temple works for coin, or for honour, but never for obligation".

on Fireday humakti 3 may say. "aaaaiiiiiiieeeeeeeee!  - embrace the point of truth!" to some slavers leading a caravan across Prax.  On Clayday he may sacrifice the slaves he freed, or sell them, if he happens to be the kind of humakti for whom a Truth of the moment is the basis of his code.*

i think the main reason for assuming that humakti can - not do, necessarily, but at least your player hero has the option - have wildly opposing views to anyone else in their original culture is because they may be no longer a part of it. they are aliens. part of their job is to be different. they may have taken to humakt *because* they were different in the first place, too.

*never trust these ones


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Jane on October 27, 2003, 10:35:29 AM
Quote from: simon_hibbs
Some good points from Ron, I'm replying here with those in mind.

Quote from: nuanarpoq

jane was refering to the fact that in our game the subcult does not originate amongst the heortlings, and that her character and several of the other player heroes are not heortlings. this came up earlier in the discussion, when we were also talking about the universality vs regional variation of humakt.


Fairy nuff, I missed that distinction since I didn't realise the subcult was non-heortling. Where is it from?


This is a good question, and one we're still trying to answer ourselves. We've got links to the subcult write-up further up this topic in any case, but to summarise: Hereward was one of the guys who told Arkat about Humakt. We don't know where he came from, but we suspect somewhere further west. And the version of Humakt he worshipped retained his Wind powers, and has an obsession with Truth.  We now know that there is also a Carmanian version of his hero-cult.

Quote from: Simon
I don't see why being humakti would cause someone's attitude in this respect to be different from the norm.


Nor do I. All that was originally said was that our particular hero-band had recently concluded that we are against slavery. We're not even typical for Herewardi Humakti, never mind about any other sort. And the conclusion even for us seems to have been reached by one person (my character, in fact) doing some deductions from a myth we'd just been told, and everyone else following along.


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ian Cooper on October 27, 2003, 11:17:41 AM
Ron comments that:

Quote
No myth or myth-system in Glorantha can withstand what's happening in the setting. I think one can see the fault lines in both Orlanthi and Solar culture cracking apart already; finding such gaps and cracks is where the system of the game really shines in the long-term. For me, anyway, scenario creation is all about bringing this into the forefront of everyone's attention.


and Mark notes, somewhat cryptically from the Firebull campaign that

Quote
The cause is just - Defeat the Lunar Invaders and return the true heir of Sartar to the throne.

However a series of choices have been made which would be seen as decidely iffy by certain outside parties and even those with the same aims may be disturbed by them.


Without going into too many details that are not know to everyone in the game - Mark is talking to events that exemplify just the kind of conflict that I think Ron is talking about.

Bruce not sure if you are a Forge regular, but you might want to back out from learning things your character does not now...

Heortling society says that Secret Murder is a crime, but assasination is a valuable tool for rebels fighting a guerilla war. We were asked by the rebellion to kill an Orlanthi traitor who had been passing information to the Empire. The question then became which was greater our loyalty to the rebel cause, or our adherence to the taboos of wider society.  

Out of such a moral dilemna was born our hero band, which formed around the core of the philosophy we adopted in reaction to such a problem. Our (public) message is that the old world is ending and taboos will need to be broken to forge the new world as we want it. But of course this 'revelation' goes much deeper for many of the characters who have begun to question whether the new world may not be quicker ushered in by actively defying society's taboos.

Indeed OiD makes anumber of statements about Orlanthi Total War and their willingness to use weapons like disease when waging it - that seem in conflict with social norms. This raised a number of fan eyebrows and some debate when it appeared. Great. They demonstrate an easy crack to wedge dilemna into and split the story open. (I would suggest that any area that causes fan flamewars is usually ripe for such scenarios from Humakti attitudes through Elmal/Yelmalio to ducks, yes ducks. These conflicts are built in to the setting, and the Hero Wars is the chance to have in-game fun with them.)

This attitude has now led us down the path of suggesting that the clan elects a sacrificial ruler in the Tarshite way, to renew the land...

I think that this is exactly what Ron is getting at. The Hero Wars are about knowing what the norms are and then challenging them for their contradictions.










[/quote]


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: simon_hibbs on October 28, 2003, 02:45:46 AM
Interestign discussion. I'm sorry if I went off at a bit of a tangent on the slavery thing, but I've been thinking about it a bit recently. I've half decided that if I get to pay HQ again, and if the concept fist the game, I'd be interested in playing a slave trader character.

Perhaps it comes from watching Gladiator too many times, but it seems to me that they fill an important ecomonic and social niche in ancient society. Some people were even willing to sell themselves into slavery rather than starve to death, and anyway there's a log and fine tradition of slave owning in Gloranthan gaming going all the way back to Biturian Varosh.

Angling back on topic, of course Ron is absolutely right that the Hero wars are all about re-examining social norms and looking for new answers to old questions to save the world. Either that, or all this re-examining and looking for new answers is actualy destroying the world. Actualy it's quite hard to tell which, but certainly standing on the sidelines simply isn't an option.


Simon Hibbs


Title: Humakt, Rashoran, and justice (split from rape/Glorantha)
Post by: Ian Cooper on October 28, 2003, 09:57:25 AM
Quote from: simon_hibbs
Interestign discussion. I'm sorry if I went off at a bit of a tangent on the slavery thing,


Off topic for Humakti maybe, but IMO the contradictions in Heortling society in attitudes to slavery are right on-topic for the idea of examining the contradictions and conflicts in society. Consider the  contrast between the Exiles and say the Hendrieki (the Orlanthi with a cult of freedom who free slaves). Both Orlanthi, but both with different attitudes to the practice and a ripe potential source of conflict. And different again in their concept of thralldom to the Lunar idea of slavery. In fact the Lunars in turn have a conflict of sorts between their "We Are All Us" and slavery. For a slaver character a game set in the Hero Wars might ask the player to peer into these cracks.