From: Peter Metcalfe <>
Date: Sun, 09 Sep 2001 12:45:21 +1200

Alex Ferguson:

>(Such a characterisation [of Shargash as the Greater God of
>Annihilation/Void, with only an also-ran connection to Death]
>would weaken his ostensible identification with Tolat, who is
>fairly consistently described as a Death/Fertility entity.)

Hardly. The comments about Tolat are fairly sparse and in the only one-line description of his cult (Player's Book: Genertela p34), his "cult somewhat resembles a combination of the Humakt and Uleria cults". Which for all anyone could know, could easily have been handled as a quasi-Humakti cult in which advancement was dependent on passing APP tests.

Since Tolat has his origins as the War God of the invading Zaranistangi and was only later adopted as the lover of the Marazi Amazons, I really see the Love in their cult as being Lovers of the Lord of Destruction, rather than Tolat's core nature having equal amounts of Death and Fertility.

> > Shargash however is both a Great God and not Humakt. Even
> > his "death" is not separation and division (ST p90) but
> > universal destruction. So I do not believe his core
> > nature corresponds to Death.

>I think this "proof" rests on the (IMO incorrect) assumption
>that the divine world can be rendered discrete in some objective
>way. (Obviously it can be rendered discrete in any number of
>subjectively satisfactory ways: that's more or less a given
>for successful theistic worship.)

I really don't give a damn about whether the classification of the divine world is objective or subjective. If it is objective, then there is nothing to worry about. If it is subjective, then it joins other subjective classifications such as taxonomy, and again there is nothing to worry about.

Insofar as it is easily understood and useful, I have no qualms about using a schmobjective classification system to distinguish between Shargash's Destruction and Humakt's Death.

>The starkest example of the problems with such exercises is perhaps the
>Dendara/Entekos "problem".

This really has no relevance. The problem with Dendara/Entekos has one deity being two, but a goddess having two aspects in one land while apparently having a fused aspect in another land (a circumstance so far not covered in the Hero Wars line).

>If one were to try and construct a
>non-theist, but truly "universalist" model of the relationship between
>the powers the lie behind the theist entities, I think one would have
>to say that indeed, Humakt and Shargash cannot be "identified" (and
>nor can Shargash and Orlanth, some to that...), but that's not to say
>there's no "deep" connection between them.

A "deep connection" being where Shargash has a death rune and Humakt owns it? What I was already saying, I believe.

>It rather suggests to me that he's manifesting a power that would be
>seen, at least in Heortling eyes, as chaotic.

But he isn't. Shargash is mentioned in Heortling mythos as Jagrekriand and there is no indication in TR that he is chaotic. Evil, yes...

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