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g33k

Do the Uz have a Trickster deity?

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Googling 'round, I see various arguments for ZZ and/or XU, for the idea that the role exists and is irregularly/occasionally filled by various deities or heroes... but... no info that's really solidly canonical.

So... is there any official word on this, @Jeff, @boztakang?

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

Googling 'round, I see various arguments for ZZ and/or XU, for the idea that the role exists and is irregularly/occasionally filled by various deities or heroes... but... no info that's really solidly canonical.

 

I have had the chance to examine life near troll realms in my game and wonder... You know that Argan Argar has a reverent following in the trollin who see him as a helper against those in power. Kind of a promethean role. no. Might be that the trickster role itself is a bit of a trickster... a chameleon or even a Rorschach test. Different groups see different tricksters in different dieties; to some AA others ZZ or XU.

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Eurmal is a terrific fit for trollkin - God of the underdog, irresponsible, scatterbrained, downtrodden, hated outcasts. But I suspect the troll response to evidence of trickster infiltration would be extremely violent, trickster magic makes the downtrodden dangerous.

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Ignorant question: why is it that "human gods" don't seem to cross over to Elder Races that much? I mean, we have the Cold Sun (Yelmalio) for the Aldryami, but why don't trolls have Eurmal, Issaries, etc. (not necessarily literally, but analogues, I don't much consider AA a direct Issaries analogue)

While they are usually depicted as "humans", this is obviously a narrative convention. "Greek gods look like Greeks, Scythian gods like Scythians, and if the cattle had gods, they would be as unto cattle", and all that. So why don't we see depictions of an uz Humakt, Aldryami Issaries, uz Chalana Arroy or Ludoch Lhankor Mhy? 

These are just examples, of course. LM writing does not work well for Ludoch, but beyond specific examples, I am more wondering why these "non-elemental" deities don't seem to cross over into the elemental Elder Races pantheons.

Is it simply a case of - at least in the case of the trolls - them emerging from the Underworld with a (to borrow a linguistic term) "pantheon isolate"? They didn't have access to these other archetypes, so they had to develop their own?

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Zorak Zoran is the closest thing to the Trickster the trolls have. Eurmal is responsible for the trolls being forced out of Wonderhome and is a pretty hated deity.

The trolls do worship some human gods, but they have mainly kept to their ancestors and underworld deities. In Dagori Inkarth, about 5% of all dark trolls are initiates of either Orlanth or Storm Bull. In the Shadow Plateau and Troll Woods it is closer to 7%. There has even been a dark troll hero of Orlanth.

The aldryami worship Babeester Gor, Chalana Arroy, Ernalda, the Grain Goddesses, Voria, and Yelmalio. A few Green Elves even worship the Herd Mother! About 21% of Brown Elves, about 18% of Green Elves.

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How does ZZ work as a trickster? Violent, raging hellbeast doesn't seem to quite fit that role, at least on a surface level.

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42 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

How does ZZ work as a trickster? Violent, raging hellbeast doesn't seem to quite fit that role, at least on a surface level.

He stole Fire, defeats foes through treachery and ambush, is transgressive even by troll standards (undead, fire, etc.), and is a murderer and a destroyer. All good Trickster archetypes.

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24 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Is it simply a case of - at least in the case of the trolls - them emerging from the Underworld with a (to borrow a linguistic term) "pantheon isolate"? They didn't have access to these other archetypes, so they had to develop their own?

That's a career-launching question. If this were an easier question to unpack we'd have "-paks" for several elder viewpoints now. Arguably J.G. Frazer spent a quarter century on the definitive Elfpak and it's still a mess even for its fans.

Since we don't have a quarter century right now I'd suggest that while nobody IMG with Person Rune is a true isolate,  each of the elder viewpoints has evolved as an alternative to the way we construct "normal" identity and the social persona. They're variants. Just like the subcultural / professional narratives that inform most of the Power cults you mention, many of which might actually originate in archaic elder contact situations. In these scenarios, the cults themselves are masks for pre-human spirituality . . . Arroin as vegetable deity and so on.

Any elf, troll, dwarf, beast, mer or miscellaneous IMG can always come in from the wilderness and try to get a job in town when times are tough at home. Some don't find a compatible fit. The ones that "succeed" end up assimilated within a couple generations and the kids have the same opportunity as everyone else to be healers or traders or tricksters or whatever. And we can always go out and spend a lot of time with the ones who stay home in an effort to figure out how they individuate in isolation.

People have discovered that trolls have their own job gods, their own professional roles, their own specialized performance of the universal troll experience. We're lucky to have those records. Elves seem to have these roles too, but the ecosystem is different. Dwarves are arguably nothing but role. You either perform your caste expectations or you're broken. The totemic beast psychic economy has been better explored. The mer are still waiting, and so on. They probably have their own healers and traders and tricksters but they haven't surfaced yet and nobody who's gone down there has reported back yet in the documents we have.

TLDR parallels to "race as class" versions of D&D are superficial.

44 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

How does ZZ work as a trickster? Violent, raging hellbeast doesn't seem to quite fit that role, at least on a surface level.

They also really love the Three Stooges.

XU as troll trickster is extremely interesting. AA, XU, ZZ . . . three choices to disrupt and survive in negotiation with the hateful pain world. 

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Also it is important to remember that the Elder Races are generally more closely connected to their Ancestor/Creator than humans. To be a troll means worshiping Kyger Litor and a little less than half of all trolls worship Kyger Litor alone - which is way higher than any human cult dominates any sizeable human society. The Dark Mother rules her children. But a minority of trolls worship outside 

The elves are even more extreme - almost all elves worship Aldrya and two-thirds or more of all elves worship only Aldrya. She gives them everything they need to exist. A minority of elves worship something else, these elves have something gnawing at them and are half-way to being rootless.

The dragonewts do not generally worship gods or spirits, but do honour their ancestral dragons and follow the draconic way.

And the dwarfs worship nothing.

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There's also Tokaz Veraz, the Wild Dark, who taught the trollkin to go bump in the night!

According to the Cult Compendium, "He was a gibbering son of Kyger Litor, and a spirit of all that’s mysterious and spooky in the night. Because of his example, Trollkin will as often play pranks as attack, and vary from helpful to antagonistic in a matter of hours. Rune Lord and Rune Priest status is almost never open to Trolls, only Trollkin."

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1 hour ago, Shawn Carpenter said:

There's also Tokaz Veraz, the Wild Dark, who taught the trollkin to go bump in the night!

 

I am not saying Yohai would gladly bring a rune priest of Tokaz Veraz back with her when she returns to the Anmangarn...but I am not saying she WOULDN'T WANT THIS AWESOME CREATURE OF CHAOS. You know, until you had us run into some Storm Bulls later. :D 

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5 hours ago, Jeff said:

Also it is important to remember that the Elder Races are generally more closely connected to their Ancestor/Creator than humans. To be a troll means worshiping Kyger Litor and a little less than half of all trolls worship Kyger Litor alone - which is way higher than any human cult dominates any sizeable human society. The Dark Mother rules her children. But a minority of trolls worship outside 

The elves are even more extreme - almost all elves worship Aldrya and two-thirds or more of all elves worship only Aldrya. She gives them everything they need to exist. A minority of elves worship something else, these elves have something gnawing at them and are half-way to being rootless.

The dragonewts do not generally worship gods or spirits, but do honour their ancestral dragons and follow the draconic way.

And the dwarfs worship nothing.

How large proportion of trolls are just lay members in cults and only initiated in their wyter.

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5 hours ago, Jeff said:

He stole Fire, defeats foes through treachery and ambush, is transgressive even by troll standards (undead, fire, etc.), and is a murderer and a destroyer. All good Trickster archetypes.

Ambush strikes me as VERY much a Darkness thing -- secrecy & surprise.  Likewise the Dark is ever-hungry, so "murder" and "destruction" are not so negative as in most human contexts.  I don't really see these as Trickster-y to a Troll.

Fire... Undead... Yeah, I gotta give you those as transgressive things from a Troll POV !

So I kind of got back to the "sometimes" conclusion -- ZZ is sometimes an Uz Trickster (ish... very ish!) figure.

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On 11/26/2019 at 1:59 PM, Brootse said:

How large proportion of trolls are just lay members in cults and only initiated in their wyter.

I would say very very few. The practical and social pressure to initiate into Kyger Litor is immense. Membership in the cult is the technical definition of "Uz" as applied to the prohibition on killing other Uz as food. Trolls dedicated to other gods to the exclusion of KL are not technically part of troll society, though they may be tolerated, or even highly respected, if they are useful or powerful enough. 
---
on the OP topic:

While the Uz don't have any single "Trickster God" as such, I'd say that most of their gods have one or more "trickster-ish aspects." Vanekara subverts traditional gender roles. Korasting is the unfortunate victim. Jakaboom talks to spirits and dresses funny. Gorakiki sometimes encroaches on Kyger Litor's sovereignty at the expense of her devotee's "man-rune-ness" (read like "humanity" but for non-humans). Xiola Umbar tolerates and protects weaklings. Argan Argar talks to strangers, and does weird tricks with coins and whatnot. Zorak Zoran is openly defiant and transgressive. Jeset lets folk in and out of hell. And so on.

Eristi the Doubter is definitely a "Trickster Figure", though I don't think anyone actually worships him.

Aside from ZZ, Boztakang might be the closest thing they have to a traditional trickster deity, but he still only gets away with it in his role as "naughty, spoiled, youngest child." 

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2 hours ago, boztakang said:

Trolls dedicated to other gods to the exclusion of KL are not technically part of troll society, though they may be tolerated, or even highly respected, if they are useful or powerful enough.

indeed, that may be how we ended up with muri, who apparently didn't suffer the womb-curse...

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