Great Humakt

From: Peter Metcalfe <>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 22:17:01 +1200

Peter Larsen:

> >>Besides, Chalana Arroy "owns" a rune and she isn't a Great God.

> >Yes, she does. She's been so since RQ3.

>I don't buy this. CA is important, being "perhaps even the source
>of all healing" (Storm Tribe, p.31), but she does not have enough variety
>to really be a great god -- she does one thing in different ways.

I'm sorry but I am far from convinced about your definition that variety makes a great god. CA has been accorded Great Goddess status in print.

>Yes, I'm aware of this, but I find it hard to believe that a great
>god wouldn't be worshipped as something other than a subcult of
>another god.

Like Pole Star, the King of Heaven, is worshipped as a subcult of Orlanth? Like the son and daughter of Donandar, the High God of Music are worshipped by Orlanth and Ernalda?

> >Secondly merely because Shargash is described as ancestral to
> >the people of Alkoth does not make him a fertility deity. By
> >that logic, Bagog, Thed and Malia are fertility deities.

>Well, Bagog is the fertility of the Scorpion Men. Thed is mostly
>dead, and Malia deliberately corrupted her fertility, so I'm not
>sure the last two are good examples. Besides, isn't Thed more of
>a "step-mother to the Broo?"

Thed is the mother of the Broos and Malia is a death goddess. Bagog has no fertility rune but merely man, beast, darkness and chaos. For a god to have fertility powers requires a narrower definition of fertility than merely "being alive".

> >That is an interpretation of Shargash's names and Stone and Stick
> >refers more probably to weapons. The actual list of Shargash's
> >names is (this is Alkothi material BTW):

> >Doesn't sound like a god of life and death.

>Shargash, I think, doesn't bring much life outside of Alkoth.

But I just quoted what the _Alkothi_ think about him. That was an Alkothi poem and therefore the Alkothi do not consider Shargash to be a god of life. Yet he is a Great God nevertheless.

>Besides, one hymn is not necessarily going to address all of a god's

A hymn listing the _names_ of Shargash is not necessarily going to address all his functions?

> >I'm not a great fan of the implication that belief is what makes
> >a god great.

>Well, maybe it's the other way around -- within their domain, a
>great god has many faces and can call many worshippers. Outside
>that domain, the god can call fewer worshippers and offer less
>potent magics, so they simplify.

I think you are confusing the identity of a god as a Great God with the issue of how he is worshipped in a particular place. A god is great if he has a substantial transcendent component and this will not vary depending on what a worshipper believes.

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