Home Forums Glorantha Glorantha Discussions Humakt killed Orlanth…

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    Hi everyone,

    I discovered Glorantha many years ago with RQ2 and slowly drifted away during the Avalon Hill’s years. The new HeroQuest line convinced me that it was time to return to this great setting and to share some mythical adventures with my friends.

    I must admit that a few things puzzled me, not the least of them being Elmal.

    Now that I have finally wrapped my head around the Orlanthi sun god, and I even like this cult now, I have been very surprised by the following lines in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes (page 168) about Humakt: “Orlanth was King then, and so he resisted, demanding obedience instead. But Humakt enforced his own Truth that was stronger, and so killed Orlanth too. But Humakt showed the secret of his honor and justice and let his brother arise again through the Lightbringers Quest.”

    If Orlanth is killed, he goes to the Underworld and can not start the lightbringers Quest he is supposed to be released through by Humakt. But I also know that there is no Time before the Dawn and that this chain of events is meaningless.

    But I am still puzzled and would like to know how you understand or how you cope with this piece of Humakti Mythos.

    Profile photo of Peter Metcalfe
    Peter Metcalfe

    Orlanth had to be killed by Humakt in order to pass through to the Underworld. When Orlanth was killed is unclear (or a cult secret) but my guess it was on or before the Westfaring.


    I have thought about this one but more or less discarded the idea because I imagine the Western Gates as a way to enter the Underworld without being previously dead.

    So Humakt kills Orlanth. Orlanth enters the Underworld through the Gates of Dawn. The Great Compromise leads to the Dawn and to show the secret of his Justice and Honor, Humakt lets his brother arise.

    The real order is not important as there is no Time but I think it could be told like that.

    Thanks for your reply.

    Profile photo of Charles

    It is a mythic truth that Orlanth died so that he could go to the Underworld. Humakt is the Orlanthi source of death, so he could only have been killed by Humakt. And yet, it is also completely true that Orlanth died voluntarily when he entered the Gates of Dusk, having asked Rausa to lock them behind him. And furthermore, it is true that even Humakt died, as Orlanth found him in hell, rusty and broken.

    And it is likely that Orlanth died “before” that, at a place where death may have been “permanent” for those that “later” became mortal but where Orlanth already had the secrets of Life and Death.

    Profile photo of Jeff Richard
    Jeff Richard

    Humakt is Death. Whenever you see the word “Death” it is mythically appropriate to replace that word with “Humakt”. When you enter the Land of the Dead, you are among the dead too – you might have entered the World of the Dead in a manner that gives your more options than most of the denizens there, but you aren’t in the world of the living any more, are you? So it is mythically correct to say that anyone who has passed the Gates of Death has been killed by Humakt. With the Compromise, Death released Orlanth and the other gods to return to their places in the world, and so it is mythically correct to say that they were released by Humakt.


    When I read The Westfaring I asked myself if Orlanth wasn’t dead when he crossed the Western Gates and reached the Underworld, this is something that seemed to be implied by Rausa’s thoughts. Isn’t death the collected fee the text is talking about ?

    Thank you for your answers, they are precious as they remind me I have to think differently when I try to wrap my head around a piece of Gloranthan Mythos. Things make more sense now.


    Orlanth’s descent into the Underworld occurred in an era when life and death became fuzzy – it took major effort in the Gray Age to separate the Living and the Dead, and some places like Esrolia still let the Dead walk about.

    Profile photo of aumshantih

    Also, you are thinking in terms of linear Time, which doesn’t exist quite yet in the Godtime.
    So yes, it is possible that Humakt kills Orlanth.. and Orlanth also ventures into Hell with the Lightbringers.. at the same time… without any contradictions. 🙂


    Yes, there is no real order of event in the God’s Age… just events as they are remembered and told by the various peoples of this world, their myths around 1620 ST.

    Thank you for the replies, you are all a source of insight. 😉

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