RPG a Day 4: Weapon

Having avoided and skirted a couple of prompts, here is one that I can’t avoid. My favourite character is a Humakti. The Death God has a holy weapon, the Broadsword.

Most RQG players will know this, but I’ve written it to be readable by people who don’t. This game is RuneQuest, and it’s in the world of Glorantha.

The god Humakt is a manifestation of the power of Death, or the power of Death is a manifestation of him. It’s rather hard to tell. The Rune that represents him is a cross, the shape of a sword. He also has the Rune of Truth, but he doesn’t own that one – he lives by it, not as it. Death is a separation of the body and the spirit, and the power of Death is to separate.

The fun thing about RuneQuest is that all the myths are true, even when they are different. Here are some true myths:

  • Humakt discovered Death in the Underworld.
  • Eurmal, the trickster god, discovered Death in the Underworld.
  • Umath, the Great Storm, was the first thing to kill anything or anyone. (He separated the Earth from the Sky.)
  • The first killing was the doom of the world.
  • Death was guarded by a demon that became the first vampire
  • Death was guarded by a great being, and a shard cut from it became the first vampire
  • The Rune took its shape when it first killed someone
  • The Rune took its shape from the sword, Humakt’s favourite weapon before he found it
  • The Rune has always been in the shape of a sword

Some myths are more common and powerful than others, and can help an adventurer more. The reason I love Humakt and the Sword Myth so much is that it’s been through several evolutions in the history of the game. There are lots of different versions, all true, and the Death-and-Truth god is many, many different things. It’s very Gloranthan, and it gives a vibrancy to the world.

A fun extra thing is that the Temples of Humakt are sword-shaped. They are the Rune of Death. Just think what building one of those does in the world.

Swords are great. They’re even better when they are such an integral part of the world that the sword IS Death. Glorantha’s richness comes from having that level of detail all over.

You can look into Glorantha for free, with the quickstart: https://www.chaosium.com/runequest-roleplaying-in-glorantha-quickstart/ – scroll to the bottom for the free downloads, and learn about a world in which the myth of the sword is the myth of the world.

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