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Carmanian Hum'akt's Cult (HQ)

Mythology
Emgarvu the Hum'akt is the traditional god of War and Death for the Carmanians. He is the severing tool used by Idovanus to sort between Lie and Truth, the perfect severer, the thin line between shadow and light, both Light and Darkness or none of them.

Before time, when Ganesatarus tried to rule the world from the sky. Emgarvu the Hum'akt killed the evil Emperor who was usurping the rightful throne of Idovanus.
When Ganesatarus used the Great Darkness to build is own Empire of Oblivion, Emgarvu the Hum'akt went to Hell to liberate the True Light of Idovanus.

After Dawn, when Ganesatarus sent his brilliant Herald, Gabji, to rule the world again, Emgarvu the Hum'akt sent his son and champion, Hum'arkat, to scatter the new false god away. When Ganesatarus clothed himself in Darkness to dupe Arkat's heirs and succeeded to seduce them with their own beliefs, Emgarvu the Hum'akt sided again with the Right Light of Idovanus and sent Sironder (Syranthir Forefront) to fight the spolite witchcraft sowed by the arkati heresy. When Ganesatarus aroused the Dragons in the South to conquer Carmania, Emgarvu the Hum'akt sent Survilstar to lead the Carmanians, to liberate the Solar Empire from draconic oppression and to kill all the Dragons around. When the Red Goddess challenged the universe by defying the carmanian nation, Emgarvu the Hum'akt rose in person at Castle Blue and answered the call, obliging the Red Moon to side on Idovanus's Side.

Emgarvu is the Hum'akt which means the Champion of Idovanus, his Separator, his Divider. He ended the Great Darkness; He is Death, and he is able to bring others to him, whether he does it with blade, stare, or word. He lives in swords; his magic is to fight for Truth to keep Lie visible. Only when the Hum'akt liberated Idovanus's Light did the Darkness end. Only when the Hum'akt liberated Idovanus's Darkness did the reign of Gabji end. The Hum'akt is slow to rouse until Order is violated, whereupon he finds the Truth of it and delivers death to the liar. Hum'akt welcomes all his initiates to his house in the Underworld, and does not allow his worshipers to be resurrected.

History
Before Time, Carmania lowlands were part of the Pelandan Empire lead by the great lord Turos. There Art was invented, but there Death had no real place.
When the Pelanda felt under Dara Happan domination and the great sun felt from the sky, Death was seen as evil, even under the form of the necessary Shargash.
During the lower Darkness, Trolls invaded the Yolp Moutains and probably introduced in the area the first formal cult of Death with Zorak Zoran.
Then war waged between Water and Land and created lake Oronin while orlanthi barbarians and hunshen invaded the western and southern borders.
Telmor was an Hunshen Greater Animal Spirit who used to be from this time a commensal of Death.

After the first dawn, some telmori tribes were converted to the orlanthi civilization like it happened in Ralios, but because of their ancestors' traditions Death/Humakt was seen has the dominant aspect upon Air/Orlanth, giving birth to some quite warmongering clans.

Nysalor's empire went up to Pelanda but when Arkat the Troll arrived, Trolls from Yolp Mountains called him for help to cleanse Gabji's influence. Humakt was then formally introduced in the area as a civilized instead of a propitiatory cult, a cult already without its usual links to the Storm Tribe because Arkat wasn't supported by the orlanthi since a long time by now and had cut all relations with the Storm to avoid being trapped by Lokaymadon.
Arkat built the base for a local stygian government that didn't succeeded to be as stable as would be later the ralian stygian empire. The Trolls went back to their mountains leaving the humans with Darkness and Cold cults. This aggressive community named itself the Gloom Empire and fought the weakened dara happan influence. At this time, Death was a useful tool for the Spolite Empire which maintained its values inversed against solar ones.

When Syranthir Forefront came from Loskalm, the 10.000 braves fought the humakti clans all along the way. Even if Death was evil for the fleeing hrestoli knights, it wasn't unknown to them: Syranthir Forefront used his iron sword to sever his relationships with his former house and nation.
As the western knights, barbarous men-at-arms and servants took lands among the conquered pelandan and spolites, they had to deal with the remains of the Gloom Empire. Soldiers themselves, Death was an appalling cult. Karmanos gave them the solution by making Emgarvu the Hum'akt a blessed tool of Idovanus and both Shargash and Zorak Zoran, foreign demons of Ganesatarus.
Conquered wolves clans which were included into the southern Carmania gave a solid base for the worship of Hum'akt in which the absence of the Air rune was definitively excluded.

The cult of Hum'akt was institutionalized this way and grew even bigger when Survilstar, the half-brother of Shah Samandar, embraced the cult in 910ST, discovered the secrets of carmanian Dragonslaying and lead a major force against the Empire of Wyrm Friends to free Peloria.
For the next two centuries, many Carmanians fought against the EWF and embraced the cult until the Dragonkill.
Then the cult diminished, but it remained an important war cult until the battle of the Four Arrows where the Red Goddess showed her current superiority.
Today the cult is in competition with other lunar cults of war but it remains for the traditionalist carmanians the only reliable tool of Idovanus to deal definitively with the lies of Ganesatarus.

Entry Requirements:
None to join, but Initiates and devotees must choose a gift and its associated geas.
Death Sword (Disciple) must be a devotee, have the backing of an important hum'akti troop, have reached at least 1W2 in a Close Combat skill, Recognize Lie, Mythology of Emgarvu the Hum'akt, Brave, Honourable and in three affinities. He must also know three fighting style or Close Combat weapon skills, have three gifts from Hum'akt or his heroes and know the Secret of the Sharp Shadow.

Physical Skills:
Craft Weapon, Dagger Fighting, Greatsword Fighting, (Sword) Fighting.

Mental Skills:
Detect Lie, Mythology of Hum'akt.

Affinities:
Hum'akt's affinites are: Battle, Combat, Death (from ILH1 p43)
Hum'akt doesn't have an Honor affinity. In this version, this fact is explained by the telmori, spolite, and late arkati origins.
This variation seems to indicate that the cult of Hum'akt is even more grim and fearsome than the heortling version of Humakt.


Some magical feats were described here, the affinities are different from the heortling version of the god:
http://www.stormloader.com/users/timblackler/CarmanianCults.html

If we keep the cult building with two main affinities, a Hu's affinity and several secondary ones acquired by some sub-cults, we may have:

Death (different feats from the Heortling cult: Fearless of Death, Unhealing Wound, Hew Spirit, Stop Resurrection)

Battle (instead of Honor affinity: Demoralise Foe, Charge of Death, Headless of Loss, Penetrate Line)

Combat (this affinity is in fact the Hu's Sword Combat)

Name Origins Requirements Abilities Virtues Affinities
Efrodar Blackhands First founder of a hum'akti military unit during Gabji wars Must have served as Commander in at least two different battles Survive Battle Disciplined, Obediant Battle Command (Orderly Retreat, Rally Warriors, Stand Fast, Unbreakable Formation, Voice of Command)
Hu the Sword Hum'akt usual face, followed by Sword Masters since Hum'akt has a cult None None Fatalistic, Taciturn Sword Combat (Cut Deep, Decapitate Foe, Great Blow, Sword Help, Truesword Stroke), Death (Shield Destroyer, Weapon Destroyer)
Ing'new Redson The divine smith forged swords for Hum'akt during the Gods War Must know Craft Weapon at 5W or better Work Iron None Sword Enchantment Rituals (Enchant Bronze, Enchant Iron, Enchant Silver, Imbue Sword with Magic, Strengthen Metal), Death (Enchant Banesword Ritual)
Kargan the Warrior Master of all weapons, he is the inheritor of the teachings of the Gods War None Close Combat (Weapon Fighting), (Fighting Style) Boastful, Independent Combat (Blinding Fury, Disarm Foe, Great Blow, Unbreakable Weapon, Weapon Help), Death (Shield Destroyer, Terrify Opponent)
Li Phanquann Undead fighting Hero for the EWF None None None Death (Detect Undead, Wound Vampire)
Makla Mann King of Otkorion, Arkat's follower during the Gabji Wars Worshipper may receive no Healing from Chalanna Arroy healers None Loyal, Ruthless Loyalty (Fight to the Death, Inspire Loyalty, Sense Disloyalty, Stand Loyal)
Polarch One of the 10.000 braves of Sironder, get lost and came back to Sironder holding the power of Death Must command soldiers Hum'akt Military Strategy Disciplined Battle Command (Visualize Battle, Ever Vigilant Leader, Know Ally, Know Foe)
Tel'menas Leader of a mercenary troop, he heroquested by following ancient family traditions and get back with new strange powers that he used against the Bull-shah's enemies Must be a Wolf-Mercenary (today a pro-lunar troop) Act in Pack Ferocious Wolf (Scent Blood, Inspire Fear, Howl for Brotherhood, Follow Prey, One Pack Against One Foe)
Survilstar Famous fighter against the EWF's troops during the Dragons wars Must have killed a dinosaur or a dragonnewt Resist the Dragon Fear Determined Death (Fight Dragon)


Secret:
Sharp Shadow (Acts as a mystic strike; in addition to contest results, if the target's AP are driven to 0 or below he dies.)
Hum'akt being the exact border, the thin line between shadow and light, his disciples may earn the secret of the Sharp Shadow, making it in the likeness of a true sword... killing both in Light and Darkness. Something the Ganesatarus's parodies of the Sword Disciples can't do... Vampires have no shadow!

Worshippers:
Hazars, Mercenaries, Executioners.

Other Side:
Hum'akt’s Keep of Death stands on the far bank of the River Styx crouching over the imposing Gates of Hell and bars the cold road to the Underworld. From the Keep initiates can sally to the Storm Age, the Darkness Age or into the Underworld itself. After death, Hum'akt’s worshipers serve to strengthen the Gate Watch ensuring that only the dead pass through. The Watch spends their time endlessly practicing the arts of killing.

Other Connections:
Hum'akt other aspects : Humath and Humakt
Each time some cultist of one of the three cults of Humath, Humakt or Hum'akt have tried to prove the superiority of his own cult, he just achieved that some his own traditions were righter while some were weaker than the ones of the other cults, thus every member prefers to hold on his own tradition. When the different cults meet, the encounter happens more generally in mutual respect if not in cooperation. Code of Honor is applied in case of Duel or War as if the different cults were one and the same.

Herw'Ard the Hero:
In Carmania, the Truth Blowers of Herw'Ard aren't considered as Humakti but only as possible honorable allies.

Yanafal Tarnils:
Lunars and lunarized carmanians following the Lunar God of War Yanafal Tarnils are currently seen as respectful competitors but access to Hum'akt temples are strongly denied and prevented.

Shargash and Zorak Zoran:
Ganesatarus makes deceiving parodies of everything in every configuration to lose the rightful ones into damnation, He created war gods both from Light and from Darkness.
Zorak Zorak is the evil Dark God of Death while Shargash is the evil Light God of Death. The only true God of Death, always siding on the opposite side of these evil gods is Hum'akt. Shargash and Zorak Zoran are still currently on the black list of Karmanos, depicted as direct servants of Ganesatarus. If cooperation is absolutely needed, this may only happen under the strict and careful guidance of a very capable neutral commander. In fact even wise lunar generals avoid such cohabitation.

Disadvantages:
Hum'akti may never be resurrected. Hum'akti are usually avoided by normal people simply because they are the servants of Death.
Many worshippers are or become mercenaries and so are mistrusted by most people.
Leaving the cult means losing the gifts but keeping the geas.
Divine retribution is the Sword-Breaking curse which can't be resisted.

The Hum'akt's Gifts and Geases
Hum'akti gifts are tied to specific geases. Most temples allow the worshiper to choose his gift (and its associated geas) freely. Initiates are required to take a gift when joining the cult. Devotees must take a gift when joining, and may take another gift during the Sacred Time ceremonies each year.

Gift Effect Geas
Efrodar's Blessing Gain Mental Ability Survive Battle at 12 or +5 Never leave battle while it's been fought
Hu's Combat Blessing +5 to any Sword Fighting Skill Never use one type of non-sword weapon (e.g.: mace, spear, axe, bow...)
Hu's Sword Blessing Raise one sword's weapon rank by 5 against all foes Never accept healing from non-hum'akti
Inginew's Sword Blessing Raise one sword's weapon rank by 5 against a specific foe species Never accept magical healing
Kargan's Combat Blessing +5 to a Hum'akt or Warrior keyword ability (except a sword fighting skill) Remain silent one specified day of the week
Kargan's Weapon Blessing Raise one non-sword rank by 5 against all foe Never sleep in any building except a temple of Hum'akt
Jononrol's Blessing Recover 1 AP/rd during any physical combat as long as AP are above 0 Never refuse a challenge to one-to-one combat even from non-Hum'akti
Li Phanquann's Blessing Begin Sense Undead ability at 12 or +5 Additional 10% duty to the cult
Makla Mann's Blessing Begin Sense Assassin ability at 12 or +5 Never participate in ambush
Harstarkus's Blessing Gain the physical abilities of Resist Poison and Resist Disease at 12, or +5 at one ability Never use Poison
Polarch Begin Night Vision ability at 12 or +5 Never receive better comfort and reward than his last soldier (hum'akti or not)
Tel'menas Gain the physical ability of Resist Hunger at 12 or +5 Always use weapon for mercenary purpose
Survilstar's Combat Blessing Begin Draconic Expert at 12 or +5 Never surrender
Idovanian Champion Increase natural armor by 1 rank Never lie

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