As an aside, most Gloranthan gods are not viewed as moral exemplars by their worshipers. Orlanthi readily acknowledge that when Orlanth used Death on Yelm that was a Bad Thing (although we cheer him on anyways!). That deed broke the world, and ultimately, Orlanth went on the Lightbringers Quest to restore the world.
Even the Lunars acknowledge that the Red Goddess did things with Bad or Dangerous consequences. These deeds might have been necessary (like Orlanth killing Yelm – the Emperor needed to die for the cosmos to develop), but they weren’t Good.
In short, few Gloranthans worship the gods because they view them as their moral superiors (indeed many mortals consider themselves morally superior to the gods). They worship the gods because they are powerful entities that define the cosmos and can aid and protect you, and if you don’t worship them, you better have other protectors.
This is a hard thing for many modern Westerners to wrap our minds around. Surely Orlanth must be morally superior to us to be King of the Gods? Well not really – he’s king of the gods because he is powerful and has allies among all the Elements and Powers.Now Orlanth is morally superior to most other gods because he did undergo the Lightbringers Quest. That’s a BIG deal. In the end, he made compromises other gods might not have – and he changed as a being. But that’s after he made himself king of the gods and all that jazz.
Humanities complaints that the gods aren’t fair is as ancient as humanity itself. Wisdom literature then often smacks humanity with a “how quaint it is that you attempt to measure Nature itself with your artificial ethical yardstick,” and then the gods smack humanity again.
So to say Zeus is a jerk is beside the point. You ever seen a tornado up close or been in a strong earthquake? Is the tornado a jerk when it destroys my house? Especially if it might have been possible for me to make sure that the tornado didn’t destroy my house by regularly offering Mr. Tornado God a sheep or two?
I might still say that – and we have plenty of examples of people in the ancient world doing just that – but our ancient world magic wasn’t as effective as our imaginary Gloranthan magic!
Yes, you forgot to give Mr. Tornado god his due. Or you blew off his priests. Or any of the ways the gods get offended.
What we all know is that Mr. Tornado God doesn’t decide not to smash your house because you are such a swell moral person but because you gave Mr. Tornado God his due. And you might be a swell person and REALLY piss off Mr. Tornado God.
The point of all of this is that Gloranthans generally don’t expect their gods to be moral exemplars. They expect them to be powerful, useful, and to honour the bargains you make with them.
I’ve been in plenty of earthquakes, a flash flood or two, near a tornado (in rural Oklahoma), and a volcanic eruption as a kid. I have a good idea what annoyed gods can do!
Humakt strictly follows his code of honor regardless of cost to himself or others. He brings death, often without mercy or concern for ties of kinship or friendship, He revels in war and destruction, and is the reason that all mortals will die. He sure as heck is not Neil Gaiman’s goth Death.