Tricksters

From: David Cake (davidc@cs.uwa.edu.au)
Date: Mon 13 Jan 1997 - 12:20:56 EET


        I've just been visiting Peter Michaels excellent Tricksters page
( http://members.aol.com/pmichaels/glorantha/foolsparadise.html ) and have
had many thoughts. Great page.

        Peter describes the Malkioni Trickster as Errml, and says that he
was Zzaburs first apprentice, declares himself to be the Invisible
God,tries to recreate the world in his image, and is struck down by Zzabur
(with the authority of the IG). Nice idea, but I don't think it quite holds
- - for a start, Zzabur does not acknowledge the Invisible God, being
Brithini. It also doesn't seem funny enough or otherwise quite tricksters
style (its overwhelming pride sure, but not petty or crude enough for
trickster). Perhaps Errml is the sorcerers apprentice whose ambitions
outweigh his ability, the one whose magical abilities always cause
disasters? and the multiplying broom story?

        I thought the discussion of Rakenveg, Umatum, and Kazkurtum as
representing the Other of various Yelmic gods, and the insight that there
is at least something of trickster in the Other, to be very useful.
        Rakenveg is obviously the only one who approaches the crudity of
trickster in some other cultures, though. On the subject of Kazkurtum,
though, its worth bearing in mind the relationship to the Black Sun, or at

least the figure of Basko, who links the two. I feel that the Black Sun and
the figure of Kazkurtum are linked in some way, perhaps only by the figure
of Basko, which may even be a God Learnerism (though why God Learnerisms in
areas never visited by them and presumably of little interest,I don't
know). But I'll skip lightly over how the Black Sun fits in ( a question
I'm very interested in), and concentrate on Basko. There is definately a
connection between Basko and Kazkurtum, They are both 'Yelms Shadow' in
some sense, they are connected to each other in GRoY, and sometimes
confused. The Basko story links him to Yelm directly. And while Kazkurtum
is seen as very sinister, that is only from a conservative Dara Happan
view. Basko, whose story is told from a more external view, is definately
more trickster like, wearing fish as armour etc. And look at the the
description of the Kazkurtum period in the Fortunate Succession - while the
description is horrified in tone, there are lighter parts. For during the
time of Kazkurtum, people do things that they normally would have found

unthinkable, some of which we might consider horrifying too (it is the
Great Darkness after all), but also includes such things as having
pleasurable sex, enjoying being artistic, etc. I think we are in Trickster
territory!
        Of course, the figure of Kazkurtum is a complex one, one that
cannot be so simplistically explained. As the Other of Yelm, and Yelm
representing just about everything that is 'good', the figure of Kazkurtum
comes to represent everything bad and not-Yelmic, without much distinction.
So Kazkurtum represents Darkness, Chaos and Trickster, with a fair bit of
opposition to Yelm for its own sake. He's just a Dara Happan bogeyman, no
worshipped entity has all his attributes as represented by them. But still,
a touch of Trickster.

        Cheers

                Dave

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