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two_fishes

Can Humakti leave the service?

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I'm playing a Humakti character. Her backstory is that she became a Humakti initiate after her family and clan were almost entirely murdered by her treacherous sister, who had become an initiate of Thanatar. Now my character has killed her sister, and may soon kill her sister's master, successfully avenging her family and clan. This seems like a moment for profound change for the character, and maybe a place for her to start over. Might she leave the service of Humakt? Or are the Humakti always in it to the death?

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During your initiation you learn secrets of the god and devote yourself to the deity. Leaving the cult is a form of oath-breaking and triggers the spirits of reprisal. In Humakt's case, you lose your magic and your gifts, you keep your geases, and you can never hold a sword.

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Humakti are always in it to the death, although you can stop being a humakti if you're willing to face the consequences listed above. There might be some weird exceptions for converting to a cult that will protect you from them or Illumination, although there's nothing set in rules and the orlanthi cults definitely won't like that. I wouldn't worry about those anyway, it's not thematically as interesting.

The real question is: can your character really stop the way of the sword? Have a look at their Death and Truth Rune affinities? How much of their POW have they turned into rune points? What are their passions? Have you seen how good Sword Trance is? These aren't questions you can get an answer by just rolling them, but at the very least it's an internal conflict for your future. Also losing your cult is a huge mechanical loss to your character, so I wouldn't ditch it immediately.

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Perhaps the question is not whether she has to give up the service to Humakt, but whether she can side-line it to just part of her identity, and adopt another one without abandoning Humakt. Look at Londra of Londros, who continues as an associate priest of Orlanth after her Humakti community was taken out of her hands.

There may also be an involuntary "no longer Humakti" effect to be gained while heroquesting. King of Dragon Pass had the unfortunate outcome of the Humakt heroquest where the Humakti lost the duel with Orlanth on the "I am not a farmer" stage, turning said quester into a farmer rather than a warrior. Now the Orlanthi farmer is in no way a subdued pacifist. He just lacks the single-minded pursuit of death and warfare.

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7 hours ago, two_fishes said:

I'm playing a Humakti character. Her backstory is that she became a Humakti initiate after her family and clan were almost entirely murdered by her treacherous sister, who had become an initiate of Thanatar. Now my character has killed her sister, and may soon kill her sister's master, successfully avenging her family and clan. This seems like a moment for profound change for the character, and maybe a place for her to start over. Might she leave the service of Humakt? Or are the Humakti always in it to the death?

I'd suggest that the character may now become a weapon master and sword thane to a clan, but is no longer bound to continue their quest. The exemplar is Humakt returning to Orlanth's service after turning his back on his brother, and being re-adopted into the Storm Clan. You will always be marked by death, but now your duty is to teach and to defend.

Vinga and Orlanth Adventurous do work in that way as you can transfer to another associated cult (a Vingan who dyed her hair and pursued vengeance can return to the Loom House and the hearth, and Orlanth has peaceable aspects that could be chosen when a violent, dangerous path has come to an end), or In mythic terms, a different related god, but Humakt has no kin; the only path is to chose a different face of the god, perhaps, as I suggest, the sword thane of Orlanth.

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Yes, you can retire from being a professional killer (a lot of older Humakti seem to become trainers as a day to day job), but not from being a Humakti, at least not without serious consequence.

It is different for Yanafals Tarnils, of course - just ask them, they will be only too happy to explain how the path towards Illumination can heal the soul from the need for violence. 

 

 

 

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One way for such a story to end would be for the protagonist to become as bad as the enemy (well, not entirely as bad, but have to make a terrible choice), but I guess that that stage has already passed where they could betray Humakt in their final confrontation (e.g. ambushing, using a non-cult weapon, trusting an Aldryami, etc.) in order to defeat the foe.

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Lots of good perspectives above!

Jeff gives the "canonical" answer, of course; but equally "of course" -- YGMV.  Talk to your GM, your table; play your Glorantha the way you want it!

I'll offer another "Humakt, but not" option -- swordsmith.  It's one of the "still in the cult, but not as an active fighter" choices, like a trainer (as suggested above).

So you might pursue some other Cult as your "primary adventuring" Cult (assuming Humakt isn't actively opposed to that one) but not 'quit' Humakt in a reprisal-triggering way.

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I played a Chalana Arroy who was a former Sword of Humakt who'd turned against Death during a failed Heroquest (all backstory). He had amazing sword skills he couldn't (and wouldn't) use, any sword he wielded would shatter (a feature, not a bug!) and he was determined to battle Death in all its forms with his new Life magic. His various geases all still existed, but the GM ruled that since the penalty for breaking them was having his swords shatter, he could do what he wanted. He mostly still didn't lie, though he did drink to excess and he talked whenever he damn well pleased.

I think a former Humakti could probably do whatever she wanted so long as she was willing to never touch a sword again. I suspect she would still be impossible (or at least extremely difficult) to resurrect though.

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4 minutes ago, RHW said:

I played a Chalana Arroy who was a former Sword of Humakt who'd turned against Death during a failed Heroquest (all backstory). He had amazing sword skills he couldn't (and wouldn't) use, any sword he wielded would shatter (a feature, not a bug!) and he was determined to battle Death in all its forms with his new Life magic. His various geases all still existed, but the GM ruled that since the penalty for breaking them was having his swords shatter, he could do what he wanted. He mostly still didn't lie, though he did drink to excess and he talked whenever he damn well pleased.

 

That is a great concept, bravo!

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On 6/11/2019 at 2:33 PM, metcalph said:

One could always retire from the Humakti by joining Yanafal Tarnils and then retiring from that.

I think the Seven Mothers missionaries have a whole spiel along those lines, including how the Red Goddess allows you to reconnect with Life and joy without having to reject your warrior past and so on. 

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1 hour ago, davecake said:

I think the Seven Mothers missionaries have a whole spiel along those lines, including how the Red Goddess allows you to reconnect with Life and joy without having to reject your warrior past and so on. 

And they actually have a point - Yanafal Tarnils is a much more sensible cult while still doing about the same work for you.

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On 6/9/2019 at 8:08 PM, two_fishes said:

I'm playing a Humakti character. Her backstory is that she became a Humakti initiate after her family and clan were almost entirely murdered by her treacherous sister, who had become an initiate of Thanatar. Now my character has killed her sister, and may soon kill her sister's master, successfully avenging her family and clan. This seems like a moment for profound change for the character, and maybe a place for her to start over. Might she leave the service of Humakt? Or are the Humakti always in it to the death?

Sounds like Vinga would have been a better choice, same avenging mission but can retire afterwards.

There is nothing to stop her from still worshipping Humakt but retiring and putting up her sword. She can still go to worship ceremonies and so on. 

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Sounds like Vinga would have been a better choice, same avenging mission but can retire afterwards.

Could have been worse too, could have been Babeester Gor.

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On 6/11/2019 at 7:32 PM, RHW said:

I played a Chalana Arroy who was a former Sword of Humakt who'd turned against Death during a failed Heroquest (all backstory). He had amazing sword skills he couldn't (and wouldn't) use, any sword he wielded would shatter (a feature, not a bug!) and he was determined to battle Death in all its forms with his new Life magic. His various geases all still existed, but the GM ruled that since the penalty for breaking them was having his swords shatter, he could do what he wanted. He mostly still didn't lie, though he did drink to excess and he talked whenever he damn well pleased.

Great concept!
If someone threatens the CA or the ones protected by the CA just grab the sword of the attacker to disarm him (because it will shatter). :-)

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12 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:

If someone threatens the CA or the ones protected by the CA just grab the sword of the attacker to disarm him (because it will shatter). :-)

Too good!
 I'm not unsure that this doesn't belong in Egregious Munchkinnery, but here will do fine if just to prove you have a bit of the munchkin to ya...

Cheers and a no-prize!

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