Bad Girl XU, Uz Trickster & Raven

From: James Frusetta (gerakkag@wam.umd.edu)
Date: Wed 08 Jan 1997 - 08:01:00 EET


Peter Tracy writes:
>James Frusetta's Uz rebirth story is great,
Why, thank you.

>but perhaps it was an Uz trickster who went with XU, just to prove he was
>better than Eurmal, since XU is usually a nice quiet girl at heart
>(though not afraid to chastise the naughty) who seems not to take direct
>aggressive action.
Not a bad idea, but I think XU is perfecly capable of a little aggression
now and then. I mean, sure, she's meek, but next to Zorak Zoran just about
anybody looks meek. <g> Might have two varients of the same myth -- XU &
Uz trickster, showing how clever the Uz trickster is, and XU alone,
showing how mercy and kindness triumph over wicked Trickster. <shrug>

Say, wait a minute! Maybe _Xiola Umbar_ is the Troll Trickster! Yeah, see,
she just takes Zorak Zoran's seeming! _She_ stole Death! _She_ chopped
down Flamal! _She_ bushed Yelmalio at the Hill of Gold! It was her, all
along! Zorak Zoran is innocent of the many wrongs attributed to him! And
the patients she doesn't heal, where do they go? The undead pile! It all
fits together!

Well, maybe not. <g>

Stephen Martin writes:
>we must of course replace the name "Eurmal" with something more
>culturally (and racially) appropriate.
Yah. Erm... I'd toss out a varation of roko/romko/romkom/rokom, using the

using the "ko(m)" prefix from "Komor" (hurtplace) and the ro(m) prefix
from "Romal" (Nose Loper) for "Nose Hurter," or "Nose Puller." <shrug>
Beats "Working Title" until something better comes along.

>Didn't a Xiola Umbar priestess heal Arkat at the Castle of Lead?
Close. Garazaf Hyloric healed him after "the troll army marched from
their fortress and headed south to join Arkat," and was a preist of KL,
Subere & XU. (I suspect that XU has _lots_ of experience dealing with
wounds inflicted by ZZ). Maybe she recognized his inner trollness there?

>I also wonder whether some trolls might not use this as an explanation of
>trollkin, rather than humans being adopted.
I dunno about this. The troll adoption ritual seems to predate the Curse
o' Kin (IMO, as the rituals used for Arkat didn't seem to be improvised).

No reason why you couldn't have a role for Romkom/Eurmal, though. Said
Curse was created when Gbaji tried a quick vivasection of Korasting (yeah,
yeah, Black Eater my fanny. Illuminati propaganda, all of it).

But Korasting was in Yelm Hell -- that's why the uzuz began to decline.
(And if she had been freed, by extension, the uzuz would have flourished
again. Since they didn't, she wasn't.) So how the heck did Gbaji do this?

Maybe Romkom/Eurmal was in a malicious mood, or maybe Gbaji outsmarted
him. Either way, Romkom guided Gbaji to Hell to commit the evil deed.

On Troll Adoption:
Trollpak seems to infer that Arkat's adoption ritual wasn't the first such
adoption. But was it the first/only adoption in which an uzuz was the
result? I'd always _assumed_ so, but I noticed recently that I don't seem
to see any proof of it. Any thoughts on this? Is it possible to become an
uzuz, or is heroic stature necessary?

On Ravens:
Raven might be a Praxian trickster, and TotRM #14 calls him a Darkness
spirit, but I'd posit that the Uz don't see him as a trickster figure.
And why...

Ravens are to some degree "symbiotic" with large predators. In snowfall,
Ravens need wolves and coyotes to dig out carcasses, and to penetrate
frozen hide; in other seasons, they may need predators/scavengers to
penetrate the carcass to allow ravens access to the goodies inside. In
return, the foraging behavior of ravens (especially calls) leads wolves
and coyotes to carcasses in the winter, when food supplies are low.
Trolls would fit this niche nicely. Troll hunters might thus leave a bit
of a kill behind for the birds; in lean times, they can follow ravens to
carcasses.

There might be a mythic link, too. When the trolls first arrived on the
surface, they were probably hampered in their hunting skills (in
Wonderhome, aren't the bugs supposed to just sort of jump in your mouth?).
Friendly Ravens may have led them to caracasses, allowing the trolls to
survive until Zong could teach them how to hunt. Raven would have thus
been granted darkness powers in gratitude (explaining why he's a darkness

spirit in Prax), powers I wouldn't think birds (which are mostly tied to
Yelm & the Sky) would have otherwise.

Note that the uz might claim that the raven is black not becuase Sunhawk
burned the White Raven, but because Vrihawk (or whatever Yelm's feathery
minion deity of birds is called) burned him black as a sign of his
treason (namely, helping trolls).

Lastly, some of the RW myths about Ravens ascribe, er, inaccurate
behavior to the bird.. I recall a Tlingit story about Raven being a "lazy
hunter" because he justeats other animal's kills. Turns out ravens _do_
hunt, but generally not around humans (when there's lots of fish offal and
McDonalds' dumpsters for the taking). Since Praxians see the bird when
it's stealing their food, eating their dead, scaring the animals (I read
an account about a raven swooping down on sheep. Didn't want to eat 'em:
it just liked to scare them. Now, imagine this in a bison herd...) and
other naughtiness, it's a Trickster.

Since it's a helpful beast for the trolls and has various praiseworthy
features (intelligence, social tendencies, the ability to eat or destroy
just about anything, including windshield wipers and satellite TV dishes

- -- I kid you not, they rip 'em to shreds in Alaska) the Trolls see Raven
as a helpful spirit of surface darkness. There might be prohibitions
against killing them (not eating them: I believe ravens will eat ravens),
the feathers might be prized, leaving a bit of offal might be part of the
troll's peaceful cut analog, etc. An interesting possibility for cultural
divergence.

James Frusetta

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