Date: Sat 04 Jan 1997 - 17:30:53 EET

Stephen Martin starts a new topic and asks about Praxian
and/or Troll tricksters.

Stephen, are you really considering a "HeroQuest Sneak
Preview" written over 18 years ago, where the forms of
trickster are not much more than a d6 chart to see what shape
you trade riddles with, as the gospel for understanding
trickster in Praxian society? If so, please reconsider.
Besides, the Trickster Form chart has Coyote, not Hyena. Nor
does it have Rattlesnake.

Figuring out the cultural and social relevance (huh?!) of such
gods as Hermes, Loki, Elegba, and Iktomi has been difficult
enough for humans here on Terra. (I again invite everyone to
visit Fools Paradise at
tml>. And please feel free to write me with comments, cries
of outrage, criticisms, etc.!) I certainly found that trying to
create a contextual understanding (as well as MGF) for such
Trickster deities as Eurmal, Raven, and Rakenveg for the
Gloranthan human societies to be challenging enough. ("Eurmal
Happens!") But when I have tried to also consider the
NON-HUMAN biopsychosocial factors of the Elder Races, I've
felt a bit overwhelmed. Not that this hasn't stopped me from
trying, of course!

Below are my working ideas for Trickster among the Elder
Races. I know some of them are probably going to cause a bit
of a stir, and I'm willing to be convinced differently if you can
explain to me what YOU think Trickster represents to the
trolls/elves/dwarves and what socio-cultural effect he has or
function he serves.


Uz: (I note that the name and the inspiration for Sacry Monster
came from Paul Reilly in a long ago RQDaily discussion)

Scary Monster is an incarnation of the Fright, Truant, Glutton,
and Destroyer aspects of the Trickster.

Scary Monster represents the capacity for senseless hunger all
Uz know resides within themselves, which if loosed ultimately

leads to both self-destruction and the destruction of others.
It is their own violently selfish devouring urges taken to an
extreme. It cares nothing for community or procreation, and is

Scary Monster's role is to remind trolls (by negative example)
to respect their hunger, but to control it and to fulfill one's
social responsibilities to one's clan mothers and children.
Trolls don't understand Scary Monster. He appears to be
something terrible from the Darkness, and yet is beyond the
raw command of Subere and Dehore (but not the communal
strength of Kyger Litor).

A troll generally comes to (always covertly) worship Scary
Monster when he or she desires to gain more power in their
community. Initially a troll will sacrifice for either Cause
Fear or Devour, both of which are used to awe and scare others
into submission. With this, their hunger for food and for being
feared starts to grow. Eventually realize that this hunger is
consuming them, and this usually results in the use of the
spell (and the substance) Powzie! in an effort to reduce the
hunger. Eventually such a troll will always transform into the
Black Eater, which then terrorizes the whole region until
contained and banished by the most powerful of Uz.


Panmal is an incarnation of the Imp, Shapechanger, Sexual
Insatiate, Destroyer, and Cultural Hero aspects of the

Panmal's Imp and Sexual Insatiate aspects are most often
worshipped by the Aldryami sprites. Trickster worshipers
who find a Panmal shrine can sometimes also worship him.

Panmal (in part) represents what happens if an Aldryami
allows their desires for reproduction and growth to blossom
uncontrollably. His role is to remind elves (by negative
example) to enjoy their growth, but to respect and control it
while fulfilling their responsibilities to the forest. He is also
the Monster Scarer, who saved Aldrya by frightening the Dark
Eaters away.


Paradox: non-function/function feedback loop. DANGER!


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