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HUMAKT AND THE TRUTH

By Reinier (Hrolf)

As told by Grimbeak Deathblade of the Thunder Ducks
This is a tale of Humakt, who was once son of Umath. You should know that Humakt and his brothers were once much like the Durulz, for they and their father were born without a place in the world, and had to take or make their own. So listen carefully, and learn how to make your place with dignity and honor.

From the beginning Humakt and his brothers were violent and restless; they fought many other gods. But Humakt was different from his brothers. He did not fight out of cowardice like Valind, out of malice like Vadrus, out of greed like Gagarth, or out of pride like Orlanth. Nor did he fight out of envy or even love. Humakt was not sure why he fought at all, except that when he did he did not feel incomplete.

One day when he was blowing around the world, looking for opponents worthy of his sword, he encountered Kargan Tor, the ancient god of conflict and war. “Go away, windling,” Kargan Tor bellowed, “or I will cut you into ten thousand pieces.” But Humakt was not afraid, and he did not go away. Then Kargan Tor cut Humakt into ten thousand pieces before he could even raise his arm. That is how quick and how skilled the Old Warrior was.

Humakt had to find and put together the ten thousand pieces of himself, but the old god had scattered them far and wide. Sometimes someone else would find one of these pieces and try to eat it or keep it for himself. Then Humakt would have to fight. So Humakt had much travelling to do, and met and fought many strange creatures he would not have met otherwise. When he put himself together again, Humakt went back to Kargan Tor, who sneered, “Go away, windling, or I will bash you into mush.” But again Humakt stayed, and Kargan Tor did what he said he would do, and Humakt spent a long time putting himself together again.

Again and again Humakt went back to Kargan Tor, and each time the ancient war god would defeat him with some new attack, sometimes one that Humakt had never even heard of. Each time Humakt had to travel to new lands, and each time he met new creatures he had never met before. It was a grim and bitter struggle, for Humakt had never been defeated so badly before, and every part of his body and even some parts of his mind was broken at least once by Kargan Tor.

Then, one day, he saw something wedged under a tree root deep in a dark forest. He immediately knew it as part of himself, but it had a strange shine to it that he did not immediately recognize. When he picked it up, he saw he had found a piece of the Truth, and he felt stronger. When he next went back to Kargan Tor, he found he could hold his own a little longer than before. But he was still defeated, and so back he went to find the broken pieces of himself in the wilderness. And this coming to Kargan Tor and going to find himself again (and sometimes finding a piece of Truth) continued many, many times - Ten Thousand times. But even in those days if something escaped Humakt once he would come back again and again until he defeated it.

One day, after Kargan Tor had beaten him ten thousand times, Humakt went back again. The ancient god assaulted him immediately. This time, however, he could not defeat Humakt, because he had already used his cutting, bludgeoning, stabbing, burning, and freezing attacks, and all his other attacks on the young wind god, too. Humakt had endured and learned how to counter them all. "You have become very strong through my teachings, wind warrior," Kargan Tor intoned. "Now kneel, and you shall receive my blessing." And Humakt did so, because even then he was an honorable god and did not know the depths of deceit. But when Kargan Tor made to strike him while his head was down, Humakt sensed the attack and cut off Kargan Tor’s head instead.

“Excellent!” roared Kargan Tor as his head rolled back to his body (for in those days Death had not yet been discovered). “Humakt, you are made of Truth, and in all our battles have fought with honor. Though I defeated you ten thousand times, you are the only foe who has never tried to ambush me. Know that though you act in truth, your foes will often act in falsehood. Now you are ready for them. Go with my blessings!” So Humakt found the piece of Truth that gave him a place in the world. It told him that he had mastered war, and honor besides. And it told him the secret of Truth, which is that it can only be found through struggle.

Now what I want you all to learn from this story is that like Humakt you must fight, and fight not for greed or glory or - worst of all - gore, but in the hope that you might find a little piece of Truth, and so find your place in the world.
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