Re: Heropaths

From: Alex Ferguson <>
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 00:56:12 GMT

Richard Ohlson:
> For one, does a hero path have to represent the direct
> actions of a god, or can they reflect the actions of a hero.

There's a diiference? ;-)

> [Lead Cross Quest]
> Now, this doesn't really reflect the "will" of Humakt, or recreate
> anything he does, but people who repeat the quest are doing a Humakti
> HeroQuest.

>From the PoV of the Questor, he's proving that Humakt _did_ do such a
thing. Or that Humakt would have done so in the same situation, or that Humakt does in fact approve of such actions, even if it really was an Original Idea of the Questor. Or such shades of interpretation.

> Now, why can't Humakt himself, through divine intervention, contact on the
> HeroPlane, etc, tell his Swords, "Do not repeat that blasphemous quest."???

To do this _spontaneously_ would seem to be an apparent violation of the Compromise, so we can infer that it doesn't happen that way from the PoV of the average Theyalan cult. However, it this could still occur in a Divination or a HeroQuest. But apparently it hasn't, or at least, not on a pan-Genertalan scale. Why not? I dunno... From the PoV of the cult, it means that Humakt does not, in fact, disapprove. Assuming anyone bothered to ask him, that is.

> Free will or no, it might be part of Humakt's character to be offended by
> pointless killing, and the fact that a Hero went nuts and carried things
> "to far" doesn't really change the god, does it?

>From the PoV of his Hero Cult, and anyone who subscribes to, or even
acknowledges it as a Humakti quest, then it has, effectively, presuming they know the ins and outs of the Before and After situation (which typically, they won't).

> Second, is it possible to steal a hero path from another cult?

Well, sort of. What's more common is to steal the _results_, which may involve stealing/adapting _parts_ of the other cult's myth, or certainly, interacting with it in some way. "Har-har. Beat Lightboy up, steal Light's Hot Thing..."

> if you play that every Runespell
> has an associated quest (even if minor) and if you play that Y.T. is a
> splinter from Humakt, then there is a very good chance that they have
> the same ritual for getting the spell.

Well, similar, yes. YT is not just a splinter from, but a significant modification of its "parent". And similar not to the barbarian god, but to the Carmanian "Humakt".

> it's gonna have to be REALLY difficult, no?

Yes. The "easy" way is to do as close to the same thing as the other cult as is feasible. Foreign idols in the temple, etc. But if they're an enemy, you don't want to do that, obviously. The hard way is to do a pretty "high level" HQ which involves beating up an enemy HQer of equivalent power, and _taking_ it from him. This is gonna smart if you do it less than superbly, and even if you do, it doesn't affect the whole cult, just you, and if you found a Hero Cult, your (successful) followers. If you do a _particularly_ "deep" HQ, with the explicit or tacit consent of the whole cult (at least, after the fact), and you "win" against effectively the whole enemy cult, then it can be made "universal", or as near as one can get. That's more than just "REALLY difficult", though. That's getting into "is your name now, or has it ever been, "Arkat"?" territory. Failing on such a quest wouldn't be pretty, nyder.

In the case the Wachazans, presumably: they don't deign to ape the ways of the lozenge-lubbers; don't have access to GL stuff no more; and haven't had a major-league Hero in recent times to do this sort of power-pillaging with impunity.

> Oh, and just wondering, do you think that Orlanth and Humakt have the same
> ritual for Shield? What with them both being storm gods and brothers? Or
> is it a matter of, "Different spell, similar effects?"

Probably, "similar spell, different myths". And hence somewhat different ceremonies and quests.


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