Humakt Gains Death

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Created On 30 June 2002
Last Updated On 30 June 2002
Copyright © 2002 Simon E. Phipp


Humakt was busy one day, polishing his swords so that they shone like the sun. Then a shadow passed over the swords, dulling them slightly. Annoyed, Humakt looked up and saw Eurmal sneaking past with a bad look on his face. Humakt challenged him and asked what he was doing there. "Nothing," Eurmal replied, but Humakt could see that he was lying and he grabbed the troublesome one. As he hung Eurmal upside down, Humakt forced him to admit that he knew of a Secret. Humakt ran his dagger over Eurmal's feet and made him tell of a new weapon that would make him even more powerful. Pleased with this, Humakt forced Eurmal to show him where this weapon was.

The two gods left for the Underworld and passed through many dangers. First were the Guardians of the Underworld, great creatures of the Earth who blocked all who would raid their kingdom. Humakt had faced demigods like these before and cut them in two, leaving them bleeding on the ground. Next was the Winding Way that confused all those who travelled there, but Eurmal had been here before and knew the way through. Then was the Sword Bridge that spanned a chasm without a bottom. Humakt was the Master of Swords and he could walk the Sword Bridge with ease, but Eurmal cut his feet badly and left a trail of blood behind him that was followed by the creatures of the Underworld. The Falling Caves almost crushed them, but Humakt used his shield to protect them as Eurmal helped them slip through a crack in the wall. At the banks of the Styx, Humakt paid his dues and Jeset ferried them across. Now they were in Hell itself and they knew that there were dangers here. They were beset by Hell Hounds, by Shadows and by the trolls that lived there, but they overcame all their enemies with the help of Humakt's Sword.

Finally, they reached a dark part of Hell, shrouded by impenetrable shadows. Hidden behind these dark curtains was a cleft that was even darker. In front of this cleft was a deity whose shadow towered over him like a cloak. This was Vivamort and he was the Guardian of Death. Humakt and Eurmal spoke to Vivamort and asked him to show them Death, but he refused. As Humakt tried to reason with him, Eurmal slipped inside and stole Death away. Vivamort sensed that Death had gone and challenged them, but Humakt cut him with his sword and sliced his shadow away, which Eurmal picked up and ran of with.

The two ran through Hell, evading their enemies with Vivamort's Shadow Cloak. Humakt told Eurmal to stop while he looked at Death. He was pleased with its power, but he knew that he had to forge it into a Sword if he wanted to use it. They settled beside a dark pool and Humakt went to work. He shaped and pulled Death until it took the correct form. He breathed on it and hit it until it became hot and soft, then he hit it again until it became hard. Finally he quenched the sword in a flagon of water and forged Death into a sword. Humakt was well pleased with this and gave Jeset his old sword to allow them to cross. As they left, the Pool Nymph reminded him that he owed her a favour and that the next time he entered Hell, he would not be allowed to leave.

They passed through the Underworld easily, for the others had seen what Humakt's Sword could do and some were still trying to put themselves back together after their last meeting. They reached the surface and met Grandfather, who was Father of Many but had no powers. Eurmal asked him if he would like to try Humakt's new toy and he agreed readily. Humakt swung Death and cut Grandfather's Spirit away from him, so that he fell and became Grandfather Mortal. Humakt realized the power of Death and performed his first Death Rites, covering Grandfather Mortal with Vivamort's Shadow to hide it from the rest of the world, for Death should be hidden.

As he had seen the power of Death, Humakt knew that it would be misused by others who were not as morally strong as he was, so Humakt vowed that he would not give Death up, that only he could be trusted to use its powers honourably.

The HeroQuest

This Quest has quite a few Stations, some of which can be combined together, so some Questors simply have a Descent to the Underworld that contains the Guardians of the Underworld, Winding Way, Sword Bridge and Falling Caves Stations. Keen observers will notice that this is different to Eurmal's Story of Death. This is simply because the emphasis is different between the two Quests.


Eurmal's Secret

Humakt meets Eurmal and forces him to reveal what he is hiding. Eurmal tells him of a new weapon that he has found. The two set off to find the weapon.

Humakt must use some skill to force Eurmal to reveal his Secret. He can use an Intimidate or Bully skill or something similar. Sometimes threatening Eurmal with physical force works, because Eurmal is a coward at heart.

This Station may be Invoked to force someone to reveal a Secret.

Guardians of the Underworld

Humakt and Eurmal face the Guardians of the Earth. They try to stop the Questors from entering the Underworld, but they are normally defeated by Humakt's sword or Eurmal's cunning.

Typical Guardians may include Gargoyles, Demons, Stone Men or even Babeester Gori.

Humakt normally attacks these and defeats them. However, sometimes it is necessary for Eurmal to trick them into letting the Questors pass. This can be simple trickery, seduction or whatever means are at Eurmal's disposal.

This Station may be Invoked to defeat or pass by a Guardian.

Winding Way

This is a confusing maze of tunnels and caves. Eurmal knows the way, for he had been here on his trip into Hell to find Death for the first time.

Eurmal must use a skill or ability to navigate through the tunnels. Sample skills are Scout (Underworld), Remember Way, Track or Get There in the End. During this journey, the Questors may encounter various denizens who may be friendly, neutral or hostile. Failure in navigating will mean being lost in the Underworld.

This Station may be Invoked to find the way through a complex underground maze.

Sword Bridge

This is a wide chasm that seems unbelievably deep. Across the chasm is a narrow bridge made of a sword on its edge. The Questors must cross the chasm using the bridge. Any attempt to jump, fly or teleport across will be met with failure, jumpers will always fall short, flyers will be met by demons, spirits and flying monsters, those who teleport will find that they are also short of the other side. Of course, those who can Invoke other Stations here may be able to cross using other means, but this is HeroQuest Manipulation and is outside the scope of this description.

The Questors must make rolls against Humakt's favoured Personality Traits. Failure of each trait means that the Questor has taken damage, perhaps 1D6 to each foot. Damage cannot be healed until the bridge is crossed and ignores armour and protection spells. If a Personality Trait is fumbled, the Questor will fall - roll a Luck Roll to grab hold of the bridge, taking 2D6 damage to the hands as above.

This Station may be Invoked to cross a narrow bridge without falling.

Falling Caves

These are seemingly normal caves, but when the Questors pass through, the caves will collapse, causing a cave-in.

Humakt normally protects the Questors with his Shield and Eurmal uses his Slip Through Crack ability to escape. This Station provides the Slip Through Crack spell Heroically to the Eurmal Questor and Parry to the Humakti.

This Station may be Invoked to survive a cave-in.

River Styx

The Questors must pay Jeset the Ferryman in order to cross the Styx. There is no other way across.

Each Questor must give Jeset a sacred coin or a magical item to be ferried across. Any attempt to cheat Jeset will result in him not ferrying the Questors across.

This Station may be Invoked to force a ferryman to ferry a party across a river in return for proper payment.

Shadow Path

This is the journey through Hell. The Questors are faced with the inhabitants of Hell and must fight their way through.

Humakt must use his sword to fight these monsters. Eurmal can help and usually does, for it is better to fight and live than to become a slave to the beings of Hell.

Typical creatures encountered here include trolls, Dehori, shades, insects, demons and other Questors.

This Station may be Invoked to travel through hostile terrain relatively safely.

Vivamort's Cleft

Humakt faces Vivamort and tries to persuade him to show Humakt Death, normally Vivamort refuses and Eurmal sneaks into the Cleft and steals Death away. When Vivamort senses that Death has gone, he challenges Humakt and is defeated by him, losing his Shadow to Humakt's Sword.

Humakt must try and persuade Vivamort to show him Death, he usually uses Orate, Fast Talk or some similar skill. Vivamort has a save here, even if Humakt succeeds Vivamort may attempt to roll his Loyal/Steadfast or similar trait to be unmoved.

Assuming that Humakt fails here, Eurmal must sneak through the shadows (Sneak, Move Silently, Hide, Slip Through Crack, Hide in Shadows) and steal away Death. He must make a Brave roll to enter the Cleft and another Brave roll to steal Death.

Vivamort senses that Death has gone and challenges Humakt. If Humakt defeats Vivamort here, he may take some Darkness spell from the Vivamort Questor.

This Station may be Invoked to allow a guarded item to be stolen, the guard will know the item has been stolen.

Forging the Sword

Humakt and Eurmal flee the Cleft, evading their enemies with Vivamort's Shadow Cloak. Humakt asks to see Death and forges it into a Sword. He is given a flask of water by a nymph so that he does not quench death in her body.

Humakt and Eurmal must flee through Hell, evading Vivamort and other enemies. They can use the Darkness powers stolen from Vivamort. This Station also provides the spell of Cloak of Darkness (1 point, reusable, temporal, passive, adds POWx5% to Hide in Shadows skill) heroically.

Humakt must attempt to forge Death into a sword. He can use his Craft (Weapon Making) or similar skill to make the sword. He can also attempt to build special powers into the sword at this stage, with success depending on the level of success achieved in the Craft skill.

Fumble Sword is useless and all POW/spells cast into it are lost
Failure Sword is poor and has no special abilities
Success Sword is a normal one but with one special power
Special Sword is superior (extra APs, lower ENC) and can take two special powers
Critical Sword is excellent (extra APs, lower ENC, extra damage) and can take three special powers
Special Critical Sword is superb (extra APs, lower ENC, extra damage) and can take four special powers

Humakt may sacrifice POW and spells in order to give the sword special powers. Enchanting the sword costs 1 POW. Each power takes a different amount of POW, but each one costs 1 POW to enchant plus POW depending on the strength of the power. Any spells given to the sword are lost as if cast one-use. Some examples can be seen below.

Spirit Spell Matrix 1 POW + 1 POW per point of spell Can only enchant known spells
Divine Spell Matrix 1 POW per spell + 1 POW per point of spell + loss of Divine Spell Can only enchant known spells
Heroic Casting Matrix 1 POW per spell + 1 POW per point of spell + loss of Divine Spell + loss of Heroic Casting Can only enchant known Heroic Castings
Bound Spirit 1 POW + 1 POW per 10 POW of spirit Spirit must be controlled by the Questor and must be willing
Crystals 1 POW + 1 POW per crystal
Skill 1 POW + 1 POW per skill + Loss of skill Can only use known skills 
Permanent Ability Double POW cost of normal ability

So, a Humakti making a sword makes a critical Craft (Weapon Making) and can add three abilities. He chooses Permanent Truesword (4 POW), Permanent Bladesharp 4 (10 POW) and the Sense Undead skill (2 POW). In doing so, he loses his Truesword spell and his Sense Undead skill and 17 POW. His sword is an excellent one and has +25% AP and 75% ENC of a normal Bastard Sword. It has a permanent Truesword and permanent Bladesharp 4 (Doing 2D10 + 2 + 4 on a normal hit) and allows the owner a Sense Undead skill of 25%. In this case, he loses his Sense Undead skill but gains it at a lower chance.

The Questors must cross the Styx and pay Jeset. Humakt must give up the sword that he brought into Hell. This is the only payment that Jeset will accept.

This Station may be Invoked to make an enchanted sword using the Craft (Weapon Making) skill rather than the Enchant skill.

Back to the Surface

Humakt and Eurmal return to the surface, most creatures avoid them if Humakt has Death.

If Humakt has Death with him, they will be avoided on a POWx5% roll. If not, then they may be attacked, but a show of bravado will see the opponents off.

This Station may be Invoked to allow an escape without fear of attack.

Grandfather Mortal

Humakt and Eurmal meet Grandfather Mortal. Eurmal persuades him to try out Humakt's new power. After he kills Grandfather Mortal, Humakt performs the first Death Rites and pays homage to him.

Eurmal must persuade Grandfather Mortal to accept Death. If he fails, then Humakt can always try and attack him anyway. Otherwise, Grandfather Mortal will simply accept the blow with good grace.

Afterwards, Humakt lays the Shadow Cloak over Grandfather Mortal to hide the body and performs the Death Rites to send his soul to Hell. He may sacrifice POW to learn the Free Ghost spell here.

This Station may be Invoked to kill an enemy and perform the Death Rites so that the enemy's soul will go to Hell. Depending on the circumstances, this can mean that the target cannot self-heal or regenerate back alive.

Iron Grip

Humakt must make a vow that he will not give the power of Death to others. This vow can take many forms depending on the particular Quest:

This Station may be Invoked to allow the Invoker to keep a magic item that would normally have to be surrendered to another.