Humakt in risen from the dead shock

From: Julian Lord <>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 17:21:57 +0200

Guy 'n' Graham :

(Moved here because this was a GD topic : we're discussing the possible Death of Humakt, and/or his presence in the Underworld)

> > 1) how did Humakt get there? we know that Orlanth buckles on his
> > sword called Humakt before setting off on the LBQ - so was he carried
> > in? on the other hand, Humakti myth is that the big H helps Orlanth
> > head west with a well aimed blow, not that he was carried.
> Just because Humakt is carried into the underworld by Orlanth does not stop
> him from staying behind and also of already being in the underworld. Gods
> can be manifest in more than one place at once, especially before linear
> time has begun, as the Orlanthi believe.

But Humakt is a special case, because he is the god of Separation. Humakt's sword is actually a barrier (or a frontier, or a passage, or an edge) between the Living World and the World of the Dead, which means that Humakt's presence in both places is unusual. Unlike the other gods, he is in both places all of the time, and doesn't really go through the normal cycle of Life/Death as most other gods do. However, he *does* go through that cycle in other ways, that is to say during those parts of his story where he's lost the Sword and is questing for it. So I suppose that the answers to your questions depend very much on which Ages of the world you're talking about.

> > 2) the implication is that Humakt is dead - he's bent and rusty. who
> > offed him? come to think of it, are there any myths of Humakt's
> > great anti-chaos crusades during the darkness?
> Nobody offed him - see below.

In one way, he killed *himself* by performing the Severance from Kin ritual. But the difference between metaphor and mythic truth is a little blurred here (A Good Thing IMO) ...

> I'm not aware of any written myths of Humakt slaying chaos - at least not
> comparable to those of Urox - but his followers would doubtless know some.

The core myths about Humakt slaying chaos involve Vivamort and other undead.

There are also several stories suggesting that Chaos which slays is a manifestation of Humakt. Also see D:LoD for Ralzakark's Humakti.

> > 3) if he was dead, then he must have been resurrected along with
> > eveyone else during the compromise.

I don't think so. I think that he is both dead and living at the same time. He certainly wasn't resurrected.

What he actually did (according to the Sword of Life myths) was to kill Death itself, which is that he separated it from the Middle world and sent it into Hell, and then carried it back into the God world in the form of his Sword, and as the Power to guarantee the Cosmic Compromise.This is also why he is the Oath-Keeper god.

He actually cut the non-differentiated Greater Darkness World into two halves, with one half seen as living and the other as dead. This also means that, unlike any other non-predark entity (with the possible exception of Uleria, for different reasons), Humakt has both a Death force and a Life force that are actually a single transcendent Power. He is a Unity with the Power to Separate if that's not too abstract and HPG-like. This is actually a Pure Runic Power from the Celestial Court, tarnished mainly by the fact that the Death Power has been diffused throughout Glorantha.

Humakt is probably a Greater God, or would be if the cosmos weren't so terrified of acknowledging him as one or if other major Gloranthan entities didn't jealously keep portions of Death for themselves. Also, if he does have a Great Secret (Become One With Death) you would actually have to violate your god and all of his oaths and possibly the Compromise itself to attain it. So perhaps an Unattainable Great Secret, except that Humakt did it himself, and it may be necessary for ONE Mortal to do the same thing at the end of the Hero Wars.

> so where does he get off on
> > stopping his followers returning from the dead? he doesn't strike me
> > as being a hypocritical kind of god.

It's simply what he does. He separates the living from the dead. All good Humakti do the same, especially as pertains to themselves.

Every time a dead person returns to the land of the living, the structure of Glorantha is weakened. That is also why it is important to slay all undead. Perhaps the Humakti renounce the normal cycles of rebirth as a balancing effect.

> > 4) if flamal was dead, that means that the force of the grower had
> > left the world. if yelm was dead, it means that the sun and order
> > had left the world. but Humakt? surely death was the one thing the
> > world still had going for it? if Humakt was dead, what happened to
> > death?
> Even Death dies.

Yes, and Humakt's the one whodunnit.

Also remember that Heortling myths about Humakt are only *part* of the whole story.

Julian Lord

End of The Glorantha Digest V8 #486

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