Troll Tricksters (fwd)

From: James Frusetta (gerakkag@wam.umd.edu)
Date: Sun 05 Jan 1997 - 22:20:49 EET


Stephen Martin writes:
>So, what _does_ protect troll tricksters? Are they milder than Orlanthi
>ones, or is their role in troll society different? I want more info on
>their place in society than aspects.

How about milder, more useful or more fertile?

Trolls with a good sense of humor might well put up with tricksterism, in
a limited form. If yer pals with the local Karrg's Son, and he gets a
regular chuckle out of your antics, you're safe from immediate revenge.
As long as you don't target your immediate family (which protects you),
what's the harm? And note that an _aspiring_ Uz trickster has a large
pool of "captive targets" that an Eurmalite doesn't have -- the Trollkin.
So by the time you're playing tricks on the more able trolls, you've
probably got a few years of experience at this sort of thing.

Useful tricksters might be protected if the gains outweigh the losses.
This includes raiding the Elves and Dwarves (as it were), but I'd think
there'd be potential opportunity for tricksters in the ever-present
conflict between Karrg's Sons and Death Lords (as well as other politics).
A good trickster might exploit the dissention; alternatively, each group
might use a "house" trickster to undermine the other side (hard to
establish dominance when you're a laughingstock). The trickster as
character assassin.

Finally, of course, there's more fertile. If you're a wizened trollish
grandmother trickster with a passel of dark troll children and
grandchildren, you don't have to worry too much about enemies. :) I always
sort of envisioned Trollish matriarchs doing exactly what they pleased on
their home ground -- if that includes throwing kin pies at the local Death
Lord, so be it.

IMO, since there is not a major Trollish deity or ancestor as trickster,
it's difficult to figure out what place a trickster would take in society.
(This might not be true -- one of the 7 sacred ancestors _might_ be the
Troll trickster figure. Boztakang, maybe -- after all, what was he doing
before he became Boztakang, Chaos Fighter? Boztakang, Couch Potato? And
that business with the damn rocks _does_ seem a bit on the tricky side,
methinks.... :)

***
Peter Michaels, on Troll Tricksters:
>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.

Hrmmmm.... that make sense, inasmuch as IMO trickster was more-or-less
unknown to the Uz of Wonderhome. Since hunger was much less there, that
would make sense. It fits neatly. But this does sound somewhat dark --
almost closer to Krarsht than Eurmal. Granted that no few RW Trickster
deities are dark (Coyote, Loki) but what's the "lighter side" of a big
galumphing monster fed by ambition? It seems like Scary Monster isn'tthe
complete Troll trickster.

I also think you might be able to make a case that human forms of
Trickster have penetrated into Uz society. For one thing, other "Human"
conceptions of gods have entered Troll society (e.g., Asrelia, Lodril
don't seem to be _that_ much different). If Trolls can worship Orlanth,
why not Eurmal? By now, there would have been enough time to see distinct
Trollish manifestations. If Eurmal knew the underworld well enough to
find Death, he may well have known of the Uz.

James Frusetta

------------------------------

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