Mostali Tricksters, Eurmal & Uz Adoption (long)

From: James Frusetta (gerakkag@wam.umd.edu)
Date: Mon 06 Jan 1997 - 21:24:13 EET


In response to Shannon Appel's idea that the Mostali don't have a genuine
Trickster figure, I might throw out that Trickster is portrayed as an
enemy, gremlin-type of a deity, constantly attempting the throw a monkey
wrench into the works. Trickster tales would be mostly boring, staid
homilies to Dwarven steadfastness, describing how to fix certain problems.

As in...:

"Lo, and did Gremlin the Trickster sprinkle sand in the gears of
region 43 axis alignment subjunction 438-A, and he laughed to see the
gears lock. The attendant Mostali were greatly wroth. But Foreman said,
'Let us wash this sand away with lubricant type four.' And the gears
were cleaned, and Trickster defeated, and the World Machine moved closer
to perfection."

For the Mostali, Trickster might be a figure limited in myth to assembly
instructions, troubleshooting manuals and the like. (<Bing!> Trickster
Error Type 11. Restart?)

- ---

Tim Ellis writes:

>as a final gift to trolls, I suspect that the Troll adoption
>rites though whether he underwent them himself or merely explained their use
>for another victim, I don't know (suggesstions anyone?)

Just off the cuff, how about this (apologies for length):

  When the Uz fled Wonderhome after the Great Sunny One showed up and
spoiled the place, many tribes found themselves lost and abandoned in a
world full of enemies. To these tribes came Trickster, who listened
sympathetically over a mug or two.
  "Listen," he said, "you're surely in trouble, for there's nothing better

that the surface folk like to do than kill trolls."
  There was much lamenting at this, and the Elders begged him to aid them.
  "Well, sure." Trickster took off his skin, and showed the Elders how
they could take off their skins, too. Then he brought them some fine Human
skins. It took a little tugging to pull them on, put in the end each of
the Trolls marveled that they did, in fact, look like humans.
  "Now you're safe," said Trickster, "Because all that see you will think
you're humans. When you find your friends and families, just call me and
I'll bring you your real skins." So the Elders took off the skin of each
troll, and replaced it with a human skin.
  It took many years for the lost tribes to find their fellows, but one
day they finally stood beneath the Castle of Lead itself. They crowded up
to the gate, eagerly crying to be let in, but the gate guards refused to
let humans inside. The lost trolls laughed, and cried out for Eurmal to
come with their real skins.
  And waited.
  Soon their laughter turned to tears when they realized Eurmal was not
going to return their real skins, and they would not be able to enter the
castle. Xiola Umbar heard their cries, and felt sorrow. She took two great
vats of Skullbuster, and set out to find Eurmal. She had many adventures
in doing so, but finally found Eurmal at some mischief, somewhere.
  At first, Eurmal refused to bargain with the goddess. But he could
hardly resist the lure of liquor, and secretly believed that no other
being could match his capacity for alcohol. So he agreed that if Xiola
Umbar could outdrink him, he would return the skins.
  Thus agreed, they began to drink. Xiola Umbar took careful little sips,
and healed the damage encurred. Eurmal swallowed the contents of the vat
in one gulp, and grinned at her.
  Then his head exploded.
  Xiola Umbar had been expecting this, and caught the head as it flew off.
Despite Eurmal's angry demands, she refused to return it until he told her
how to make the Lost Trolls proper Uz again. Eurmal had long ago bargained
away the troll skins, but he knew another way, which he told her. And this
is how the Lost Trolls were reborn as trolls. They still looked a little
funny, because Eurmal did not know how to completely fix them, but
everything that matters was again trollish. The goddess generously healed
Eurmal's head, and though he was resentful at first, he later agreed it
was a fine joke.
  Occasionally, one of the Lost Trolls is reborn, and through perseverence
may rejoin the family of Kyger Litor through the adoption rites.

Only a 10 minute hack, I'm afraid, but it might be useful with polish.

James Frusetta

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