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Humakti and the spell "Bind Ghost"


Soccercalle

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Humakti are dedicated to fighting the undead, who are abominations in the eyes of their god. At the same time, they have a Rune spell - Bind Ghost - that turns a dying Humakti into a ghost. Can someone give me some mythological explanation to this. I have an Humakti player in my group who are thinking about getting new Rune Spells. And we both have problem understanding how this spell can be "kosher" with the Humakti.

Edited by Soccercalle
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my opinion :

there is the spell name, the spell effect, and the worshipper/god intent

 

spell name : bind ghost

spell effect : a dying person spirit will stay into the area of its death

==> humakt(i) intent : a volontary humakti, understanding his body will die accept to stay  here to continue the fight / protect the cult / ... etc. she's not a ghost,  she's a cult spirit in mission until ... something happens

==> bad cult intent : the evil caster trap the spirit in the mundane world but the spirit want te go in the underworld. this supplice transform the spirit, now angry, it is now a ghost

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See pages 170-171 of Glorantha Bestiary for definitions of ghost and guardian spirit. The spell name and intent goes back to Cults of Prax days and hasn't changed, but maybe just think of it as Bind Guardian Spirit, if that helps?

It would be good to have a myth. Ghosts (IMO) aren't undead as they are disembodied, no different to other disembodied spirits except for their origin; they are just the spirits of dead people stuck in the "wrong" place. The essence of the Humakti spell is that the volunteer remains dead but their spirit need not pass out of the world. Humakti may not be "called back" from the dead, but this is different; they have essentially been delayed in their journey to the Humakti underworld.

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The Silver best-selling The Children of Hykim offers over 150 pages on Glorantha's shape-changing totemic animal people, the Hsunchen. "Magisterial ... highly recommended" - Nick Brooke. "An amazing labor of love" - Evan Franke, Exploring Glorantha. "A deep dive" - Joerg Baumgartner. "Excellent sourcebook, well-written and well-researched" - Niall Sullivan.

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1 hour ago, Soccercalle said:

The are dedicated to fighting the undead, who are abominations in the eyes of their god.

Ghosts are not Undead

1 hour ago, Soccercalle said:

At the same time, they have a Rune spell - Bind Ghost - that turns a dying Humakti into a ghost. Can someone give me some mythological explanation to this. I have an Humakti player in my group who are thinking about getting new Rune Spells. And we both have problem understanding how this spell can be "kosher" with the Humakti.

They'd be guardians of war graves, humakti shrines, battle sites, an honor to a great warrior to stay behind and not pass on to the afterlife, but still serve. Ideal for story hooks:

  • Guarding the sword of a great Humakti hero until someone worthy comes along
  • A group of ghosts bound to the area around the shrine of a humakti hero, perpetually worshiping him and maintaining the shrine.
  • A nasty surprise for those who would make zombies from the fallen.
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5 hours ago, Soccercalle said:

Humakti are dedicated to fighting the undead, who are abominations in the eyes of their god. At the same time, they have a Rune spell - Bind Ghost - that turns a dying Humakti into a ghost. Can someone give me some mythological explanation to this. I have an Humakti player in my group who are thinking about getting new Rune Spells. And we both have problem understanding how this spell can be "kosher" with the Humakti.

As David Scott correctly points out, ghosts are not undead. They are spirits tied to the mundane world. Humakti have no more dislike for them than they do for other spirits.

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The issue at hand, I think, is that in Glorantha the "undead" are very specifically creatures moving around in physical bodies after the bodies have died.  Ghosts are spirits not in bodies.  Disembodied "spirits" (whether ghosts or other) are thus not "undead."

It goes back, I think -- mythically speaking -- to the time before the Dawn when Death was new-come to the Middle World, and neither the living nor the dead were entirely clear on the matter, and the Dead sometimes wandered around, and nobody understood why they were so... different.

EVERYONE becomes (roughly speaking) a "ghost" after death (a disembodied spirit); it's just that -- almost always -- they move onwards to an afterlife.  The "ghosts" that most people interact with are those who continue to linger, for whatever reason (vengeance, love, duty, etc... but also Bind Ghost & other magics).

 

(n.b. a possessing spirit (animating someone else's corpse) is an odd corner case; I'm not sure how Humakti adjudicate this case)

 

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10 hours ago, Soccercalle said:

Humakti are dedicated to fighting the undead, who are abominations in the eyes of their god. At the same time, they have a Rune spell - Bind Ghost - that turns a dying Humakti into a ghost. Can someone give me some mythological explanation to this. I have an Humakti player in my group who are thinking about getting new Rune Spells. And we both have problem understanding how this spell can be "kosher" with the Humakti.

There are several views:

  • Ghosts are not undead
  • Binding a Ghost stops it flying around causing trouble
  • Humakti Warriors can remain in an area and guard it forever

Of course, it all falls down when you try to take it to its logical extremes. For example, Wraiths are like Ghosts but are classed as Undead, so a Humakti can become a Ghost but not a Wraith.

I wouldn't overthink it and, if it is a problem in your game, just ban the spell. Few Adventurers are likely to take it, anyway, unless they have lots of Rune Points.

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Humakt is dedicated to the destruction of embodied Undead... skeletons, zombies, and most especially vampires. I suppose Thanatar heads count as well, but that's debatable.

I asked this question earlier myself and the answer I got was that ghosts and spirits are NOT Undead as Gloranthans [and by extension RQG] define the term. Grandfather Mortal/Daka Fal teaches that ghosts are spirits that have lost their way, have a reason to stay in the Mundane World, or are trapped. But they are NOT abominations nor anathema to Life or Fertility.

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On 4/22/2022 at 12:02 PM, soltakss said:

There are several views:

  • Ghosts are not undead
  • Binding a Ghost stops it flying around causing trouble
  • Humakti Warriors can remain in an area and guard it forever

Of course, it all falls down when you try to take it to its logical extremes. For example, Wraiths are like Ghosts but are classed as Undead, so a Humakti can become a Ghost but not a Wraith.

I wouldn't overthink it and, if it is a problem in your game, just ban the spell. Few Adventurers are likely to take it, anyway, unless they have lots of Rune Points.

However, I'd draw a line at willing vs. unwilling ghosts as guardians. A Humakti that wishes to stay on the Mundane Plane to serve his temple or descendants one thing, but imprisoning a soul that wishes to translate to their afterlife smacks of Chaos and Thanatar.

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37 minutes ago, svensson said:

Humakt is dedicated to the destruction of embodied Undead... skeletons, zombies, and most especially vampires. I suppose Thanatar heads count as well, but that's debatable.

I asked this question earlier myself and the answer I got was that ghosts and spirits are Undead as Gloranthans [and by extension RQG] define the term. Grandfather Mortal/Daka Fal teaches that ghosts are spirits that have lost their way, have a reason to stay in the Mundane World, or are trapped. But they are NOT abominations nor anathema to Life or Fertility.

Ghosts are not undead. They are not undead for purposes of Detect Undead or Turn Undead. They are spirits of the dead who linger around the Mundane World.

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As everyone above has mentioned, in Glorantha ghosts are not undead. But, I think it's worth remembering that many people coming to RQ will be coming with the assumption that ghosts are a form of undead. That's a concept that informs another, very influential rpg (do we need to name it?) as well as many fantasy/horror stories. It also (I think) informs many people's understanding of folk stories, etc. - at least to the extent that said people have a concept of "undead." 

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9 hours ago, Jeff said:

Ghosts are not undead. They are not undead for purposes of Detect Undead or Turn Undead. They are spirits of the dead who linger around the Mundane World.

Sorry about that, @Jeff. Typo on my part. You'd made it clear in your earlier comments to me that ghosts/spirits are NOT Undead, and that's what I'd intended to say. I just forgot to add the 'not'.... D'OH!

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This topic made me think. In Glorantha, is the spirit is just a part of the soul or just an expression of of the whole "thingie"? I mean, is the Humakti spirit bound as a guardian and that is or, the rest of their soul goes to the underworld to say hello to granpa Daka Fal?

 

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14 hours ago, Beoferret said:

As everyone above has mentioned, in Glorantha ghosts are not undead. But, I think it's worth remembering that many people coming to RQ will be coming with the assumption that ghosts are a form of undead. That's a concept that informs another, very influential rpg (do we need to name it?) as well as many fantasy/horror stories. It also (I think) informs many people's understanding of folk stories, etc. - at least to the extent that said people have a concept of "undead." 

probably something to add in the rules book(s). Not a new rule, "just" a definition of "living", "undead", "spirit", etc.. could be very nice. Even if, probably, a lot of people will read it, continue reading and forget it !

 

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1 hour ago, Mameluco said:

In Glorantha, is the spirit is just a part of the soul or just an expression of of the whole "thingie"? I mean, is the Humakti spirit bound as a guardian and that is or, the rest of their soul goes to the underworld to say hello to granpa Daka Fal?

I don't have a canonical answer, but I'd say if your body or your disembodied spirit goes to the Underworld, that's the basic Gloranthan definition of being dead. The Lightbringers die when they pass through the Gates of Dusk, and must confront the guardians of the dead there. The shaman who can self-resurrect is dead when her spirit goes to the underworld: she just knows secret pathways to avoid judgement and sneak back out to reunite her spirit with her body. But at no time does she have a "soul" in the underworld and a spirit anywhere else. In comparison, when she discorporates and her fetch guards her body, she is not dead, because her spirit is in the Spirit World, not the underworld.

Following that logic, no, you can't have a soul that goes to the Underworld and a spirit that stays in the Middle World. Your disembodied self is indivisible.

Edited by Brian Duguid
typo fixed

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The counterexample would be intelligent undead, which have no spirit, or have had it destroyed, but they can have memories and work more or less normally. Humakt's aversion to them is because this is considered as cheating death, as you lack the part that dies and goes to the underworld. So a mind without a spirit is possible. And even a disembodied one (wraith).

I do not have references at hand, so I cannot say how that interacts with the different parts of the soul. 

Concerning the thread question, what interests me is what happens if the ghost binding is dispelled/destroyed. Does the humakti ghost just leave to the afterlife? Do they remain till all current enemies are no longer present, and then leave for Humakt's hall? Clearly they cannot remain indefinitely, or there would be no need for the ghost binding. Most ghosts are naturally bound to the material plane, but Humakti ones remain voluntarily, at least till the binding is cast. 

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

probably something to add in the rules book(s). Not a new rule, "just" a definition of "living", "undead", "spirit", etc.. could be very nice. Even if, probably, a lot of people will read it, continue reading and forget it !

See the first few paragraphs of the Spirits & The Spirit World chapter, Characteristics of Spirits, page 365. It defines spirits, corporeal, non-corporeal and death.

Undead have no POW is defined in Turn Undead, page 347 & Second Sight, page 264. Likewise in the Bestiary, search for undead.

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19 minutes ago, David Scott said:

See the first few paragraphs of the Spirits & The Spirit World chapter, Characteristics of Spirits, page 365. It defines spirits, corporeal, non-corporeal and death.

Undead have no POW is defined in Turn Undead, page 347 & Second Sight, page 264. Likewise in the Bestiary, search for undead.

If I were an eurmali, I would say it was the plan 😛 but no, i m just a poor guy 😢

1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Even if, probably, a lot of people will read it, continue reading and forget it !

 

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I asked questions about spirits, ghosts, and the definition of 'Undead' myself a few months ago.

My takeaways are these:

- Gloranthan definitions of Life, Death, and Undead are different than the tropes you know, mostly for God Time mythic reasons.

- A spirit is an intrinsic part of a living being and spirits are everywhere; they are no more threatening than Fire or Water.... you need them to live, but you have to be careful with them.

- Even some non-living things have a spirit associated with them, much like the Shinto concept of kami.

- Undead, in a Gloranthan sense, are incomplete beings without the POW stat. They must prey on the living for POW in order to cast spells.

- By and large, most Gloranthan Undead have bodies. Skeletons, zombies, and vampires are the main examples, but other also exist.

- Remember that most Binding Enchantments only last for the life of the binder! A spirit is released from the enchantment when the magician who bound it dies. So even a Humakti who is bound to a sword after Death is only remaining in the Mundane Plane temporarily.

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15 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

probably something to add in the rules book(s). Not a new rule, "just" a definition of "living", "undead", "spirit", etc.. could be very nice. Even if, probably, a lot of people will read it, continue reading and forget it !

Agreed!  This is something for Rune Fixes (at least) ... and very-likely for any new printings of RQG core, Bestiary, & RBoM.

It's decidedly not a one-time misunderstanding; the general issue is recurrent amongst newer fans.

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On 4/22/2022 at 12:02 PM, soltakss said:

For example, Wraiths are like Ghosts but are classed as Undead, so a Humakti can become a Ghost but not a Wraith.

In the RQG bestiary, wraiths are not considered to be undead. They have the Death rune at 100% and no Undead rune. They are described as friendly toward undead, but I'd read that as a natural impulse, an opposite of their natural malignance toward the living, rather than any sort of kinship.

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8 hours ago, g33k said:

Agreed!  This is something for Rune Fixes (at least) ... and very-likely for any new printings of RQG core, Bestiary, & RBoM.

It's decidedly not a one-time misunderstanding; the general issue is recurrent amongst newer fans.

I see I'm not alone ( @David Scott answer) 😉

 

however it could be fine to have in some "new version bestiary", or any other publication (wiki ? jc ? *) something presenting what are the different "status" * a specy has

we already have the rune for some races but we could generalize it with monsters and anything (even gear, after all)

- the runes would help (detection, sorcery spell, ...)

- the living / dead / undead / spirit / ...

- a kind of "family" notion could be helpfull too : draconic, human, troll, sword, tool,  ... (roll against knowledge, detect spell, ...). Of course the family notion should be aligned with the spell granularity

 - other I don't have in mind today

 

* note that something very important to me is the "canon" of this document. the point is to let no interpretation, people may have any house rule they want (I include myself) but my idea is to help understand official rules, to have the common fundation. So i'm not sure about Jonstown, would prefer ... Nochet.

 

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On 4/26/2022 at 12:42 AM, Dr. Device said:

In the RQG bestiary, wraiths are not considered to be undead. They have the Death rune at 100% and no Undead rune. They are described as friendly toward undead, but I'd read that as a natural impulse, an opposite of their natural malignance toward the living, rather than any sort of kinship.

Interesting. In the travelogues in Cults of Prax, it mentions that a Humakti became a wraith, I think, and the merchant was shocked as he was a Humakti.

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