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Worshiping Humakt, the God of Death and Truth


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I have a player character who wants to worship Humakt 

I thought the rules for the worship of the God of Death should be pretty severe so I came up with the following worshiping requirements.

Love to hear some feedback and suggestions of what you think.

Humakt Cult Special Rules

Humakt Ritual Duel
A Humakti Duel Ritual is fought during a Worship ritual usually when the martial prowess of the combatant needs to be displayed for worship obligations. A Humakt Ritual Duel will be performed by Humakti Initiates and Rune Lord combatants of  equal status within the cult, often in the case of one vs one duals, although teams versing each other, or a combination or both is not unheard of. Initiates fight Initiate and  Rune Lords fight Rune Lords. Humakti members who take part in the  Ritual Dual  considered eligible to take part in the Worship Ritual of the Holyday.
Duels are rarely end in the death of the combatant although this sometimes does occur. The losing party are expecting to concede and surrender after the first wounding hit or if their sword breaks. If either combatant drops their sword or falls to the ground their opponent must step back and allow them to retrieve the sword and get to their feet without attacking them. The winner honours the bravery of the losing party and the loser declares the martial prowess of the winner. 
These ritual duals are fought between Humakti for honour and demonstration of martial prowess and consequently any form of Rune or Spirit magic, slight of hand or trickery is forbidden. This includes enchanted objects (such as armour and weapons) or allied spirits. In game terms this means characters may not use skills to augment their combat rolls. They may, however, use either the Death Rune or the Truth Rune  as well as any suitable passions to augment themselves with. The Ritual Duel is fought in any plain armour and shield the combatant may have to hand. The combatant must fight the Ritual with a sword. It would be typical for both combatants to be identically armed and armoured.
Healers are usually present to heal the combatants of duels and a victorious warrior is expected to look after and heal any warrior they injure in a duel or pay for the funeral arrangements and take care of the dependents of a Humakti they kill in a Ritual Duel. Resurrection is of course forbidden.

Humakti in Battles, Hero Rites and  Burial Rites
 
Humakti Initiates and Rune Lords who successfully rolled a suitable loyalty passion at the start of a battle, may treat the battle as a minor Holyday, unless the battle is actually taking place on a Seasonal Holyday.

After the battle the Survivors are honoured in a Hero Rite and the Dead are honoured in a  Burial Rite. Only those who inflicted an injuring blow on an enemy combatant  may roll their Worship skill  for the Hero rite. A killing blow that caused the death of another combatant gives an automatic critical success for the Worship roll. If neither of these  happened then the Humakti may challenge another Humakti of equal  status who both took part in the battle and who also did not cause any injury to an enemy, to a Humakt Ritual Duel after the battle. This challenge cannot be refused without the Humakt character suffering a permanent Gease. After the Duel ends both combatants may attempt a Worship roll.

If they pass a Worship  roll after the battle they gain the following benefits.
Ritual Death and Truth Magic has a +5% success if cast during the remainder of the day. A Critical success Worship roll will double this to +10%
Initiates get 1D6 Rune points restored and Rune Lords get 1D6+1 Rune points replenished at the end of the battle.
With a failure, no Rune points are restored.
A critical success worship roll grants an immediate Humakti Gift that lasts until the next season’s Holyday. (This does of course mean the character may pick up many such gifts in one season if they are particularly successful in battles.)

A fumble Worship results in a Humakt Gease that lasts until the next Seasonal Holy day where a successful Worship role will remove this Gease otherwise it becomes permanent. 

Normal bonuses may be applied by the GM to the Worship roll with the exception of anything living or had been alive may not be used in a sacrifice to Humakt. (There is an exception to this that is not spoken of here….) See the individual Holyday’s Special Outcomes.

Edited by Mossmac
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Sea Season, Season Holyday, Waterday,  Death Week 

Central Myth: 
Humakt was a child of Umath and was defiant and aggressive, like his father and his brothers, and constantly moving and fighting. Their uncles, who were afraid of the new gods, performed their initiations. Humakt was tested by Combat, but he defeated all his enemies and made a pile of their skulls and a shrine of their weapons. The gods returned to the feasting hall. The uncles greeted them as Gods and equals, and a huge feast was held the young gods had found their powers.


Location
Any sight that honours the fallen in battle may be used. More closely linked to Humakt the holier the sight will be as will the scale of the deaths caused through battle and/or a location where a great warrior died and if the battle occured in the Season the worship is being carried out in.
A Battlefield that the Humakti have fought upon is considered very sacred. This site might be very ancient or quite recent.
An actual Battle on the Holyday is often sought out to be fought  and is preferred not least for the Rune, skill and spell benefits the Humakti may receive both during and after the battle. Many of Humakti enemies are wary of this and will often wisely refuse to engage until after the day or strike early the day before. Likewise, if it can be justified, Humakti may arrange their battle plan to engage specifically on the Holyday.

Length and Action: 

If a Battle that the Humakti took part has occurred since the last Holy Day then the Humakti may offer Worship to Humakt in reflection of this battle. This may occur in addition to any worship roll made after the battle. A worship roll is made as normal. (See the Humakti in a Battle special rule above.)
If the battle occurs on the Holyday only one Worship roll is taken.
Otherwise the battlefield chosen will dictate the rite. The ceremony will be closely linked to the battle site legend and will look to incorporate as much of the Central Myth of the season into the Ceremony.  
The rite will be from Dawn until Dusk if the site was a day battle or from Dusk until Dawn if the Battle was a Night Battle. Martial Prowess is demonstrated in a series of worship combat rites. 
Some Rites are parade and war songs or Sagas of Humakt as well as weapon and armour preparation rites where fresh enchantments are made.  One rite in the ceremony all Humakti who have not taken part in a battle that season  must participate in is a  Humakti Ritual Duel. (See Humakt Ritual Duel Special Rules above. 
A lone Humakti who has not taken part in a battle that season is still expected to honour the Holy day with a show of martial prowess and may challenge any willing non-Humakti warrior of equal worth to a Humakti Ritual Duel if they cannot find a fellow Humakti opponent. The challenge can be refused. Wild animals are not permitted to be opponents as consent is needed for the duel. This can be a risky business as a non Humakti may choose to use magic and other trickery while the Humakti is not allowed to do so.
Note that sacrifices to enhance the worship must not be of living things or things that give life such as animals or crops or drink or food  (Humakt is sterile).(There is an exception to this but it is not spoken of here….) Combat Equipment and weapons are the most acceptable offerings. Those taken from the battle fallen, both Humakti and Enemy, that the worshiper took part in are worth twice the normal bonuses at least (GM discretion).
The day ends with a great feast.

Special Outcomes
Death and Truth Rune Magic has a +10% success if cast during the ceremony. A Critical success Worship roll will double this to +20%
With a successful Worship roll on a Seasonal Holy Day, Initiates get 2D6 Rune points restored, and  Rune Lords get all Rune points replenished. With a failure, an initiate gets 1D3 Rune points replenished; Rune Lords get 1D6 Rune points replenished.
A critical success worship roll grants an immediate Humakti Gift that lasts until the next season’s holyday. (This does of course mean the character may pick up many such gifts in one season if they are particularly successful in battle.)
A Humakti who has not successfully completed a Worship roll at either a Holyday or after a battle will suffer a random Gease that will last until a successful Worship roll on the next Holyday. If this worship roll is failed the Gease becomes permanent and the character will likely receive another Gease that will last until the next Holyday as before.

Edited by Mossmac
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19 minutes ago, Mossmac said:

Humakti in Battles, Hero Rites and  Burial Rites

After the battle the Survivors are honoured in a Hero Rite and the Dead are honoured in a  Burial Rite. Only those who inflicted an injuring blow on an enemy combatant  may roll their Worship skill  for the Hero rite. A killing blow that caused the death of another combatant gives an automatic critical success for the Worship roll.

 (...)
A critical success worship roll grants an immediate Humakti Gift that lasts until the next season’s Holyday. (This does of course mean the character may pick up many such gifts in one season if they are particularly successful in battles.)

From my perspective, humakt cult is enough powerful (big gifts, big spells) if you compare with other martial cults. However I agree a little change about number of days to replenish would be good.

My main concern is about battle :

1) the role of an humakti is to participate in battle and bring death to the opponents. That is the job, I don't see why they may gain any gift from their god if they do only what it is expected. I would do the opposite, if they don't participate in a battle without good reason (a good reason may be the humakti swears to protect someone honourable) they should be cursed by Humakt

2) you propose rewards depending of results on battle, that is a good idea, but it seems very easy to have gift :

 if humakti kills someone in a battle, he gains automatically for one season a gift. Well... I would say it is a shame for an humakti to participate in a battle and to be unable to kill the first guy he fights.

The gift ( stronger than any gift in the rules) I propose is "continue to serve Humakt in this world, bringing death to your ennemies, hunting the undead aberration, showing how honorable you and your god  are"

 

 

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On reflection you are right gaining an auto critical worship roll with a kill is too much as you said they are just doing what they should.

 

I do want to draw players into the worship aspect of the gameworld so I like the route of critical success on worship rolls gives  certain rewards. I particularly like the mechanism as the chance can be improved with in world interaction of sacrifices etc depending upon what the players choose to do

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Nice, if maybe a tad too powerful on the powers with crit.

The only thing on Humakt worship I've declared in my Glorantha is that the night before the battle is a minor (or bigger) holy day of Humakt for all going into the said battle, if decreed so by the leading Humakt's Sword.

The same is true when Stormbulls will be facing chaos, if the leading Storm Khan can be persuaded to not go meet the enemy early! 

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15 hours ago, tnli said:

Nice, if maybe a tad too powerful on the powers with crit.

The only thing on Humakt worship I've declared in my Glorantha is that the night before the battle is a minor (or bigger) holy day of Humakt for all going into the said battle, if decreed so by the leading Humakt's Sword.

The same is true when Stormbulls will be facing chaos, if the leading Storm Khan can be persuaded to not go meet the enemy early! 

I think I will manage something like that. Maybe not naming it an "holy day" but an "holy local event" (with exactly the same effect)

not for Humakt or Stormbull, but for any deity where this day (or night, special dedication to uz friends) is important

You're right, a battle (a true one, not a struggle) is important for Humakt, and a fight versus big chaos is important for Stormbull.

But imagine, a divination said that next week a new sacred entity for you god/dess (for example a dryad) will be born. Then I would allow too this kind of "holy local event". Because the god/dess needs all the worshippers to use all their magic to improve this event.

Or just the clan is creating the new reaching earth temple. A large profusion of sacrifice will be made, and a lot of spells will be cast too. Not to gain an advantage against opponents, just to proove the clan's faith.

 

It is important to me to not reduce magic to battle magic.

Gloranth is too rich to create rules/advantages only to people exploring a dungeon looking for a red dragon !  😛 

By the way, I would love to see official tables of gift/geas for not war divinities. I know that means more pages, more cost, more work, unfortunately.

So at the end of the day, this kind of stuff is done only with role play. But let's remember there are other than warriors and battles in the mundane world

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36 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I think I will manage something like that. Maybe not naming it an "holy day" but an "holy local event" (with exactly the same effect)

not for Humakt or Stormbull, but for any deity where this day (or night, special dedication to uz friends) is important

You're right, a battle (a true one, not a struggle) is important for Humakt, and a fight versus big chaos is important for Stormbull.

But imagine, a divination said that next week a new sacred entity for you god/dess (for example a dryad) will be born. Then I would allow too this kind of "holy local event". Because the god/dess needs all the worshippers to use all their magic to improve this event.

Or just the clan is creating the new reaching earth temple. A large profusion of sacrifice will be made, and a lot of spells will be cast too. Not to gain an advantage against opponents, just to proove the clan's faith.

 

It is important to me to not reduce magic to battle magic.

Gloranth is too rich to create rules/advantages only to people exploring a dungeon looking for a red dragon !  😛 

By the way, I would love to see official tables of gift/geas for not war divinities. I know that means more pages, more cost, more work, unfortunately.

So at the end of the day, this kind of stuff is done only with role play. But let's remember there are other than warriors and battles in the mundane world

Oh, totally! Either the event is organised so that it will fall on an established holy day, or that event itself can be declared holy by it's very nature. 

I haven't had reason to spec other things, my players have these combinations of cults:

  • Orlanth, Maran Gor (Idrima sub-cult) 
  • Storm Bull, Maran Gor (Idrima sub-cult) 
  • Eurmal, Maran Gor (Idrima sub-cult) 
  • Foundchild, Yinkin, Orlanth, Maran Gor (Idrima sub-cult) 
  • Humakt (maybe you can tell who was not present during the finale of the Broken Tower?) 

Humakti player was concerned on how they can regain rune points, as there are no associated cults. Well... That's when the inspiration struck me, and immediately after I realised the point for Storm Bulls against chaos being similar. And well, the point about the leading Storm Khan just riding against the chaos on their own? That's totally something I could see them wanting to do, only being stopped by their wife casting the Tame Bull. XD

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  • 4 weeks later...

Its just getting to Humakt’s high holy day in my campaign, so this thread is suddenly very relevant.

I like the idea of ritualised duals, and mock battles, thanks!  Though I think that they should relate to a myth, either of the god, or from the cult history.  So, I’ll be roleplaying them with the players helping to re-create that myth ritually through a worship ceremony, but still involving battle rolls, duels and “mock” battles.

Looking through the book of Heortling Mythology, I’ve found Humakt p32 (separating the living from the dead), Humakt the Champion, p33, and the Humakti Battalion p69. Are there any others that are useful?

Also, the Humakt in question is a Duck, who just happens to be in Duck Point at the moment, is there anything specific to the Druluz Humakt I could draw on?  I like the Humakt Champion myth, fighting with Orlanth, as it could resonate with the local history, of the Beastmen wars, and how the Ducks defeat the Sambari hero, Kurash Varn, and proving only they can protect against Delecti’s undead.

As for rewards for good rolls, that’s already come up.  Said Duck was very impressive at a previous (seasonal) holy day at Indrodar’s necklace.  That brought him to the attention of Cornard Deathdealer (who’s still alive in my campaign), who took him aside to offer advice, and is likely to prove an important ally.

 

Edited by Stephen L
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2 hours ago, Stephen L said:

Looking through the book of Heortling Mythology, I’ve found Humakt p32 (separating the living from the dead), Humakt the Champion, p33, and the Humakti Battalion p69. Are there any others that are useful?

Do you have Arcane Lore?  There's more references to Humakti myths there including the Combats in Kargan Tor's Court of Conflict (you could play as a series of duels/fights to become Champion of the Court).  There are also the tests to gain the Berserk Rage or the Mighty Blows.

Humakt is ALWAYS a Threshold Guardian too.  Someone who you MUST fight if you want to reach the Underworld.  You can figure that for any given ceremony there is someone (considered "evil") who is trying to cross the Threshold to rob the Underworld of some treasure without paying the price to do so (i.e. Death).  This can be formalized into a relevant duel.  

Of course, as a former Storm God, Humakt fought all of his brothers at one point or another.  

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Humakt is ALWAYS a Threshold Guardian too.  Someone who you MUST fight if you want to reach the Underworld.  You can figure that for any given ceremony there is someone (considered "evil") who is trying to cross the Threshold to rob the Underworld of some treasure without paying the price to do so (i.e. Death).  This can be formalized into a relevant duel.

So in order to make a Lighbringers Quest you have to fight Humakt? 

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47 minutes ago, Jape_Vicho said:

So in order to make a Lighbringers Quest you have to fight Humakt?

Well, you do have to go to the Underworld, so at least ritually someone has to die.  Whether or not you'd always face Humakt is another question.

Arcane Lore outlines a few different variations of the quest, particularly the Westfaring.  As it says in one version: "Humakt will appear after the mists clear. To pass him there must be a death: Humakt's or one of the questers'."

In another version it notes: "The particular death is not important. In the Lightbringers' Quest it is either one of the party, at the hands of Humakt, or the Humakti guardian. Whatever the case, only one person can engage the guardian. One of the two must die."

And, of course, to leave the Underworld you will have to defeat Humakt again because you have become part of the Dead and the Dead are supposed to stay dead.

Edited by jajagappa
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11 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Well, you do have to go to the Underworld, so at least ritually someone has to die.  Whether or not you'd always face Humakt is another question.

Arcane Lore outlines a few different variations of the quest, particularly the Westfaring.  As it says in one version: "Humakt will appear after the mists clear. To pass him there must be a death: Humakt's or one of the questers'."

In another version it notes: "The particular death is not important. In the Lightbringers' Quest it is either one of the party, at the hands of Humakt, or the Humakti guardian. Whatever the case, only one person can engage the guardian. One of the two must die."

And, of course, to leave the Underworld you will have to defeat Humakt again because you have become part of the Dead and the Dead are supposed to stay dead.

Interesting, thanks! Curiously I don't remember it ever being mentioned neither in Orlanth's nor in Argrant's LBQ in KoS, though that may be just that, that I don't remember it.

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6 minutes ago, Jape_Vicho said:

Interesting, thanks! Curiously I don't remember it ever being mentioned neither in Orlanth's nor in Argrant's LBQ in KoS, though that may be just that, that I don't remember it.

It's not explicit, but you can see pieces of it.

"Argrath and his companions set off over the broken realm of myth." - i.e. they had to cross the Threshold to enter the Gods War.

"All went well after that until they saw the Blue‑Like‑A‑Corpse Woman, who sent decayed vilgars at him, armed with Argrath’s own weakness. He was wounded to death" - i.e. he experienced a Death.

"When Orlanth and the Lightbringers reached the edge of the world, they had to enter into the Underworld to continue their travel. At that place, where Sky, Earth and Sea meet, Orlanth gave up his possession and attachment to Death, and he named Humakt to be the honorable wielder of it. In this way Orlanth gained entry into the Land of the Dead, and with that judgment Humakt gained control of Death once again." - i.e. he had to pass Humakt, and gave up "Death" to gain entry (and since Humakt "gained control of Death", I think we can see who won)

At the Gates of Dusk, Rausa "collected the fee for going to the Underworld" - i.e. someone had to die.

"The guardians, who all wear purple masks, question the visitor. There might be a fight." - i.e. a symbolic death to pass the Gates of Dusk.

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