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ve4grm

Humakti and Zorak Zorani in the same group?

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(Technically this game is 13G, but all of the questions are from a flavour standpoint, not mechanical, so I figured I'd post in the more active forum.)

So we're starting a Glorantha campaign. I have little knowledge of the setting, but have been reading a lot. I chose to play a Humakti (Sword of Humakt) and another player was looking at a Zorak Zorani character.

Obviously there's the fact that the gods themselves aren't fans of each other, and there will be conflicts in the way we fight and/or treat the dead. Gore and massacre, vs honour and respect, etc. That's fine. We can roleplay around that, and still work together for a greater cause.

But the undead thing is giving me trouble. ZZ characters can summon undead, even to the point of having a constant undead companion. Is there any legitimate way that a Humakti would excuse that and not want to murder the ZZ?

(Secondary question - the ZZ character might actually use the ZZ class mechanics, but be more closely associated with Zolan Zubar (so many Zs...) who seems to not really like undead either? I can't find much about Zolan Zubar. Any insight into the god would be useful.)

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I’d say a ZZ and a Humakti could be forced to work together in the right circumstances. Same patron, same clan, or same war band. Or if they’re facing some existential threat together (Chaos, the Lunars, etc). There’s lots of great fiction where philosophically opposes characters who otherwise might murder each other come together for the common good. 

“Normally I would kill you and decorate my armor with your entrails, but today, Sword, the fates smile on you. And we will fight for the same cause.”

“Today I swear by Humakt to fight by your side, savage. Tomorrow, if Death does not take us, we will discuss this matter again.”

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In our RQ2 Campaign, we sometimes had Humakti and Zorak Zorani in the same group. What normally happened was they got their challenging out of the way first, perhaps by challenging to a duel or to a nice game of chess. Then they started posturing and chest-slapping until both sides were happy. Finally, they agreed to work together "Just this once", against a common enemy. Of course, this might be the tenth "Just this once".

Undead is a problem and can be handled several ways. The Zorak Zorani might agree to keep his little helper away from the Humakti, perhaps out of sight, moving on ahead or behind. The Zorak Zorani could dress the little helper in robes with a mask, concealing its nature. the Zorak Zorani could argue that this is "Good Undead", not "Bad Undead" and show that it is going to kill some Undead itself, but I am not sure how this would work in practice.

In our RQ3 Campaign, that continued our RQ2 campaign with fewer PCs, we have a Zorak Zorani Death Lord  and an Orlanthi/Lhankor Mhy/Humakti PC. They were taking a Battle Wagon through Dorastor and the Death Lord had slain two Bison, brought them back as Zombies and used them to pull the Wagon, day and night without tiring, but he had covered them with thick armour, so they couldn't be seen as Zombies. However, after several days, the Humakti realised that they did not eat, did not sleep and did not tire, so he pulled their armour off, saw they were Zombies and slew them on the spot. That left the party in the middle of Dorastor with a heavily-reinforced battle Wagon that they couldn't pull.

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2 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

I don't think any of those are "right enough".  They would not be in the same warband. If I were a Humakhti and my patron hired a ZZ, I'd leave, and possibly kill the patron.  Humakht doesn't particularly hate chaos or Lunars.

I wouldn't expect anything else from someone called Dangerduck.

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IMO this isn't any worse than having a Grazer Yelm worshiper or a Yelmalian in the same party as a Storm worshiper. Or a Seven Mothers cultist and a Storm Bull or Orlanth initiate.

Both Orlanth's Camp and the Lunar Way provide precedents for inclusion of enemies.

Zorak Zoran was the primary War God of the Second Council - a predominantly human organisation.

Problems will occur when the Zorak Zorani reanimates a fallen companion or minion as a zombie (in order to honor the dead, btw). But something like that is a roleplaying opportunity rather than an impossible situation.

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16 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Humakht doesn't particularly hate chaos or Lunars.

Humakt does hate chaos, but not lunars. IIRC my 'Cult of Prax', Humakt is neutral to Lunars, but enemy to Chaos. Same for RQIII 'Gods of Glorantha', Humakt is enemy to undeath and chaos.

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Humakti don't go on rampages in and around Ezel, either, so there's clearly ways to have animate dead people that are at least grudgingly acceptable. I suppose the cheapest way out would be for a Lhankoring to engage in a lengthy disquisition about how ZZ zombies aren't actually undead because when they eat brains they're just empowering the Dark within themselves or peeling the Fire parts of the body out of people to feed their god's Fire within. 

Edited by Eff

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32 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Humakt does hate chaos, but not lunars.

Humakt hates Yanafal Tarnils, who is a heretic and a traitor. By extension, he hates the Seven Mothers, who include Yanafal Tarnils in their number.

33 minutes ago, Kloster said:

IIRC my 'Cult of Prax', Humakt is neutral to Lunars, but enemy to Chaos

Cults of Prax doesn't have Primal Chaos, but Cults of Terror does.

In Cults of Prax, Humakt is Hostile (1) towards the Seven Mothers, mainly, I think, because of Yanafal Tarnils. The Seven Mothers, however, are Neutral (2) to Humakt, as Yanafal Tarnils still respects his old master.

In Cults of Terror, Humakt is Hostile (1) to Seven Mothers and Neutral (2) to Primal Chaos. Seven Mothers is Neutral (2) to Humakt, as is Primal Chaos.

In our RQ2 Campaign, one GM loved to bring out a Chaotic Rune Lord of Humakt, just to rub Humakti PCs' noses in the fact that Humakt has no problem with Chaos.

43 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Same for RQIII 'Gods of Glorantha', Humakt is enemy to undeath and chaos.

I can't see that stated anywhere in Gods of Glorantha. There is no Cult compatibility Chart, except for Pantheons and that is unreliable for individual deities. The writeup for Humakt does not mention a hatred of anyone.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Humakt hates Yanafal Tarnils, who is a heretic and a traitor. By extension, he hates the Seven Mothers, who include Yanafal Tarnils in their number.

Yes. This I remember. Yanafal, but not Lunars.

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Cults of Prax doesn't have Primal Chaos, but Cults of Terror does.

In Cults of Prax, Humakt is Hostile (1) towards the Seven Mothers, mainly, I think, because of Yanafal Tarnils. The Seven Mothers, however, are Neutral (2) to Humakt, as Yanafal Tarnils still respects his old master.

In Cults of Terror, Humakt is Hostile (1) to Seven Mothers and Neutral (2) to Primal Chaos. Seven Mothers is Neutral (2) to Humakt, as is Primal Chaos.

My memories are not so detailed. I defer to your texts (mine are too far away).

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

In our RQ2 Campaign, one GM loved to bring out a Chaotic Rune Lord of Humakt, just to rub Humakti PCs' noses in the fact that Humakt has no problem with Chaos.

Nice idea. I love it.

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

I can't see that stated anywhere in Gods of Glorantha. There is no Cult compatibility Chart, except for Pantheons and that is unreliable for individual deities. The writeup for Humakt does not mention a hatred of anyone.

You're right. My mistake. I should have checked before (I have part of my RQIII books closer).

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10 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

There are several myths where they later reconcile, or at least come to honorable terms.  YGMV.

Humakt also hates Eurmal for stealing Death.  By extension, does he hate the Lightbringers?

Perhaps one of the main reason that Humakt and his devotees sever ties...

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40 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

 ... Humakt also hates Eurmal for stealing Death.  By extension, does he hate the Lightbringers?

No.  But he keeps himself a step removed.

The Lightbringers wouldn't have been needed if they'd just behaved honorably in the first place!

But even though Orlanth performed one of the most massive F***UPS  EVER, he did eventually fix things... mostly.

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5 hours ago, ve4grm said:

Obviously there's the fact that the gods themselves aren't fans of each other, and there will be conflicts in the way we fight and/or treat the dead. Gore and massacre, vs honour and respect, etc. That's fine. We can roleplay around that, and still work together for a greater cause.

As long as the ZZ cultist does not reanimate the dead, you should be able to work them together. Remember that for the most part, dead bodies simply represent food for trolls. No issue with that for the Humakti. ZZ will be more focused on mindless rage and hate, Humakt on the inevitability of Death. That violence and hate come to Death is not an issue.

5 hours ago, ve4grm said:

Is there any legitimate way that a Humakti would excuse that and not want to murder the ZZ?

No, for the first part. Doesn't mean the Humakti will murder the ZZ, but might sternly emphasize that Dead is Dead. If the ZZ accepts that constraint at whatever point they attempt to raise the undead, then fine. If they continue, then clearly the Humakti must act to keep the boundary between Life and Death secure - anything else breaks the Great Compromise.

5 hours ago, ve4grm said:

who seems to not really like undead either? I can't find much about Zolan Zubar. Any insight into the god would be useful

Zolan Zubar was a Dawn Age god, who largely seems to have been subsumed into Zorak Zoran after the Gbaji Wars. Possibly still accessible as a Darkness spirit, but not a figure particularly known in the 3rd Age.

4 hours ago, RHW said:

I’d say a ZZ and a Humakti could be forced to work together in the right circumstances. Same patron, same clan, or same war band. Or if they’re facing some existential threat together (Chaos, the Lunars, etc). There’s lots of great fiction where philosophically opposes characters who otherwise might murder each other come together for the common good. 

A good common point of interest/reference is Arkat. Arkat became Humaktsson to drive back Gbaji, but it was not enough. He later became Arkat Kingtroll to embrace the rage and violence needed to destroy that manifestation of Chaos. 

Perhaps both have had a vision that they must reform Black Arkat's Lost Band to keep the World from Ending. Or maybe drawing on the 13th Age One Unique Thing concept, they are the last living "Children" of Arkat despite their cult affiliations and different species.

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2 minutes ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

"no issue"

Dead is dead. And if the Humakti has truly separated themselves from society/humanity, how they make their ways to the halls of the dead should be immaterial. (And if eaten, they certainly cannot be resurrected or turned into undead!)

Edited by jajagappa
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From the classic cults book: Included in the dislikes is the Darkness god, Zorak Zoran, a bloody-handed slaughterer who glories in massacre and atrocity. The dislike is mutual, for Zorak Zoran considers Humakt to be effeminate and squeamish. The two cults do not actively war upon one another, but their members are usually found on opposite sides of a struggle. 

 

I've read conflicting on Chaos. One book did say they were not necessarily anti-chaos, but because so many were from Orlanthi traditions and they hated chaos it tended to follow over. I cannot remember other books just because the house is full of people and my brain is rapidly shutting down.

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This is all great stuff, everyone.

1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

As long as the ZZ cultist does not reanimate the dead, you should be able to work them together. Remember that for the most part, dead bodies simply represent food for trolls. No issue with that for the Humakti. ZZ will be more focused on mindless rage and hate, Humakt on the inevitability of Death. That violence and hate come to Death is not an issue.

No, for the first part. Doesn't mean the Humakti will murder the ZZ, but might sternly emphasize that Dead is Dead. If the ZZ accepts that constraint at whatever point they attempt to raise the undead, then fine. If they continue, then clearly the Humakti must act to keep the boundary between Life and Death secure - anything else breaks the Great Compromise.

Zolan Zubar was a Dawn Age god, who largely seems to have been subsumed into Zorak Zoran after the Gbaji Wars. Possibly still accessible as a Darkness spirit, but not a figure particularly known in the 3rd Age.

A good common point of interest/reference is Arkat. Arkat became Humaktsson to drive back Gbaji, but it was not enough. He later became Arkat Kingtroll to embrace the rage and violence needed to destroy that manifestation of Chaos. 

Perhaps both have had a vision that they must reform Black Arkat's Lost Band to keep the World from Ending. Or maybe drawing on the 13th Age One Unique Thing concept, they are the last living "Children" of Arkat despite their cult affiliations and different species.

Yeah, my general thought was for the fighting styles and mindless rage, we might disagree on things, come into conflict on how to treat the dead, but largely be able to work together.

The undead was really the big issue, and I can see I was right to question it. Right now we're discussing reflavouring his summoning of undead to actually be Darkness Spirits (elementals, basically?) So that's one option.

As for the Zolan Zubar connection, since this is 13th Age, every character has a One Unique Thing. His is that he is a reincarnation of Varzor Kitor. (Who himself was an incarnation of Zolan Zubar I guess?)

(For reference, my own One Unique Thing is going to be that my Humakti died on the battlefield and was brought back somehow. He doesn't know how or why, and it certainly wasn't by choice, but it left the Rune of Life burned into his flesh. Life is now his personal rune, as well.)

My only real source of Zolan Zubar information that I've been able to find has been a wiki: https://glorantha.fandom.com/wiki/Zolan_Zubar

And they basically say this:

Quote

They fight the six foes: undead corpses, possession spirits, ghosts, death spirits, spirits of disease and curses send by women.

Based on other things I've found, this might be referring to bound spirits from Zolan Zubar? Something for Shamans? I'm not entirely sure. If this is true, though, then finding a way to reflavour the summons as something else would probably be best from a story perspective as well.

Any thoughts, besides just "Darkness spirits"?

Or am I wrong about Zolan Zubar?

Edited by ve4grm

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Way back, a friend of mine wrote a tournament adventure set in  Dorastor where a  ZZ and Humakti had to work together, a lo ng with  a Storm Bull and s o other characters. In play it was tense, but they worked together against  the nasties in Dorastor.

The interesting  bit  turned out the be the Storm Bull.  While the players had expected  to b e closer to the Zorak  Zorani due to cut ties, the Humakti proved to be more reliable, as a vampire was involved and  the Humakti pretty much led the way.  

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

Have you seen this thread, @ve4grm ...?

I did, yeah (though I admittedly had trouble parsing it). Lots of interesting theories about the Kitori that I'll pass on to that player if he's interested. The runes listing (Air Darkness Death) will be interesting, for sure.

And I see far below that it confirms Zolan Zubar to be enemy of undeath. Useful!

Edited by ve4grm

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That Humakt hates undead but is neutral to Chaos is bizarre as all hell and feels really gamey. I first assume it had to do with some kind of thematic myopia (he's the god of death, cares only about doing that thing), but then we know his character is all about oaths and honor and stuff, so that doesn't quite cut it. 

There's obviously ways to explain this away - there always are - but it's weird.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

That Humakt hates undead but is neutral to Chaos is bizarre as all hell and feels really gamey. I first assume it had to do with some kind of thematic myopia (he's the god of death, cares only about doing that thing), but then we know his character is all about oaths and honor and stuff, so that doesn't quite cut it. 

There's obviously ways to explain this away - there always are - but it's weird.

I always took this as related to the statements that Humakt and Uleria were preeminent among the gods who listened to Rashoran and took heart rather than seeking annihilation. Certainly, Humakt's involvement in Sedenya's Godquest is quite ambiguous...

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12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Perhaps both have had a vision that they must reform Black Arkat's Lost Band to keep the World from Ending. Or maybe drawing on the 13th Age One Unique Thing concept, they are the last living "Children" of Arkat despite their cult affiliations and different species.

Good. Very good.

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16 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Perhaps both have had a vision that they must reform Black Arkat's Lost Band to keep the World from Ending. Or maybe drawing on the 13th Age One Unique Thing concept, they are the last living "Children" of Arkat despite their cult affiliations and different species.

 

3 hours ago, Kloster said:

Good. Very good.

Missed this suggestion earlier. I may revise my own OUT to accomodate this. Thanks.

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To the original post, I recommend that you and your fellow player watch the movie 48 Hours together, rinse, repeat.  The two of you then go on to play Bad-Cop/Bad-Cop with every opponent you meet.

Zorak Zorani: "Hey!  Hey!  I'm gonna kill you!
Humakti: "No you're not!  I'm gonna kill him first!"
Zorak Zorani: "Yeah?  Well, I'm gonna kill him more!"

Ah, buddy-cop movies...

!i!

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