Back to Myths

The Sword of Life

by Julian Lord

http://glorantha.temppeli.org/digest/gd9/2003.11/2802.html#2805qlink1

I posted some some details about this in an old GD, don't ask me which one.

Briefly, the Sword Quest is parallel to the LBQ, and is hinted at in the RQ write-ups of the Grim One, as well as on p. 68 of KoS, and in a few other places, amongst which Drastic:Chaos IIRC.

The Sword of Life myth.


It's a Greater Darkness thing anyway, when the Living World turns into the dead place. Humakt, with one foot in Life and the other in Death is one of the very few who still feels right at home, even though his living portion and his dead portion are swapped over.

He is one of Orlanth's followers during the LBQ, but he has his own Quest which is to gather the scattered shards of Old Death to reforge it, and this involves many apparently paradoxical tasks, such as separating the Evil Cut from the Broken World, facing himself in a fight to the death, killing his best friend and beloved brother Orlanth (which is the deep Severance of Kin ritual) in order to give him life and love, butchering Chalana Arroy in Hell using the Killing Death Cut so that Death and Life become One, contrary to his own philosophy and magic, slaying Yelm in Hell, again, so that the Emperor's gaping death wound is as finally and perfectly filled as the scabbard is with its sword, and to teach Yelm enough command of death that he could finally transcend it, and return.

There are obviously many variants to the Quest, but the heart of it is that Humakt faces himself (or Kargan Tor) in single combat and kills himself, in the Land of the Dead, so that he is severed therefrom and returns to the Living, and killing the souls of all the honourable dead so that they can precede, accompany, or follow Yelm on the Life Bringer's Path, to cut open Zugorteg and rip the mewling Voria from her bloody womb, and finally cut Glorantha herself into pieces so that each of her cancers is separated from each other as separate and lesser evils instead of the Greater Wakboth Evil she was embodying.

But Humakt himself continues his presence in both worlds, which is his final and ultimate sacrifice, to sever himself from the Path of Rebirth and continue to be Death so that the rest of the World can be Life.

Honour ? You bet your arse !!!

Oh, and his involvement with Arachné Solara's Web is that he severs himself from it, of course ...

... needless to say, Humakt's return to Life is a pretty difficult HeroQuest path to follow ; but that's what the Einherjar are preparing themselves for, en masse, and for the Devil's return.

And, technically, "Resurrection" would be a misnomer.

Urox may be the one who defeats the Devil, but Humakt's the one who _kills_ him. By killing _everything_. Including himself.

This is, of course, Disciple-level stuff ...

... possibly the/a Disciple-level Initiation Quest.

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