Healing Herbs, astrology, Humakt in DP

From: Stephen Martin <ilium_at_juno.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 1997 18:12:43 EDT

Responses to Jane Williams:

>1) Balance of elements: several similar systems exist. This says that
>the human body consists of a number elements (four is average), and that

>these have to be kept in balance for health. All illnesses are described

>in terms of imbalance (a cold is excess water, for instance), and herbs
>containing the approppriate element are presceibed to correct the
>imbalance. So for a cold, you add the opposite element: fire. Ginger,
>cloves, and so on. (Yes, this is oversimplified!) Quite how you assign
>plants to elements is down to "intuition": assigning them so that they
>work is a good move.

>Of these three theories, the elemental one seems to me to be unlikely to

>be used by Gloranthans where their society is tied to one element: Air,
>Sun, etc. The idea of balance between the elements being desirable just
>doesn't fit.

Actually, I think Jane is wrong here. Greg seems to favor a view that has the Orlanthi believing they are made of (originally) equal parts of each of the five elements. Thus, the primal humans were equally part Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Darkness. After all, the first humans were made by all gods in the Golden Age, before the Gods War.

This is explicit in one playtest Greg ran a few years ago.

Later human creatures were formed because different deities and events affected the balance of elements. Trolls obviously have a huge amount of darkness in them, whereas Orlanthi have a slight majority of Air, and so favor the Air Gods.

I think a similar procedure can be seen in Dara Happa, where the first humans were formed from a mix of Fire, Heat, Light/Intelligence, Earth, Shadows, and Emotion. Later humans have an imbalance of these ingredients. The Dara Happans are either balanced or have more Light. Orlanthi obviously have too much of their Beast/Emotion nature, and probably have a bigger Shadow true.

A lot of this theory depends on what you consider to be the "elements" of the creation. I would love to see Kralori and Doraddi explanations following this theory.

>Astrology: sounds like a possibility, but I'm not sufficiently familiar
>with Gloranthan astronomy or astrology to comment. Do we have a Zodiac
>play with?

For non-healing reasons, I have been wondering about this for quite some time. Because the constellations in Glorantha do not precess in the same way that terrestrial ones do, it is harder to determine. That is, they do precess over the course of a year, but not over the course of centuries. How long does it take for them to precess on earth -- is it enough to make a difference?

Also, the movement of the Gloranthan planets is more regular than that of those on earth, and that hampers any development of an astrological system. Unless things change, pretty much everything would have to hinge on the Southpath planets, since the Sunpath planets repeat their exact pattern every 62 years. Entekos is the reason for this -- without her, they would repeat every 2 years. So she might be important as well.

I suppose the place where Lightfore rises on certain days of the year might be the basic determinant of a "zodiac", though there would be a lot of other factors to take into account.

Anybody got any views on some of the things to consider here? I don't know enough about terrestrial astrology to start thinking much about a Gloranthan system.

Responding to Chris Bell on a New Subject

Yes, there is a contradiction in the concept of Humakt as being introduced to Dragon Pass by Arkat, and of the Humakti entering Prax in 35 S.T.

Here is one possibility. What was known in the First Age to most Orlanthi was a subcult of Orlanth which worshiped him as the wielder of death. Note in _King of Sartar_ that one myth says that Orlanth's sword is named "Humakt". This is very important, IMO.

Thus, the people who invaded Prax were not Humakti, per se, they were Orlanthi "soldiers", who worshiped the subcult of Orlanth's Sword.

When Arkat came to Dragon Pass, he was already an initiate of the Ralian storm god, Humath, Lord of Storms and Lord of Swords. For whatever reason, he forced his god to change, to lose his Storm Aspect in favor of becoming solely the Lord of Swords. This cult, of Humakt, eventually (and probably quite quickly) supplanted and absorbed the Orlanth Death-Wielder subcult, so that now there is Orlanth, with no Death powers (not even Trusword, note) and Humakt, with absolutely no Storm Powers. Thus, the myth of Humakt's severing all ties with the Air Gods originates in Arkat's severing of his ties with the Storm Gods, to focus exclusively on the best tool against Gbaji, the Unbreakable Sword. Think about it: in this context, the Unbreakable Sword itself _is_ Humakt.

Does this work for you, Chris? Does it work for anyone else?

Stephen Martin

- -----------------------------------------------
The Book of Drastic Resolutions

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