Jump to content
None

All about Tricksters

Recommended Posts

I've allways found trickster characters in myths among the more interesting and consequently I have a fondness for tricksters in glorantha. I'm also a bit sad about how negatovely tricksters seem to be portrayed in the setting and how hostile and wary everyone living inside it seem to be against tricksters (for instance I remembe how everyone in the player clan got reallly nervous when several tricksters turned up at once awith the motion bannner) and befuddled over what they can actually do.

HeroQuest Glorantha doesn't really help there unfortunately. The cult writeup there pretty much say 'everything goes but each trick has to be really narrow and you have to get each at a separate shrine'.

edit: turns out I remembered wrong. I looked up the cult write-up in the Sartar Companion and noticed that Tricksters do get examples for rune powers. It's the subcults that are one per shrine (although they're treated a bit diferently than other cult's subcults) and Devotees that are realy different. I feel a bit silly now. Oops.

I mean sure Eurmalli has to have the Illusion Rune and the Dissorder Rune. That tells me something (even if my grasp of the later is a bit vauge) and the way King of Dragon Pass treats tricksters in some of the events make me understand that they can create illusions more real than reality, that's pretty powerful, almost too powerful game mechanics perspective so there must be some limiting factor.

 

Anyway this thread is all about tricksters (and the Illusion and Dissorder Runes i guess). Not just my questions. I asked a few (two I think) in the Personalities of the Fire, Light and Heat Runes thread but decided that tricksters deserve their own thing.

 

With that said here are some questions:

  • Did the God learneers ever take an interest in trickster? What did they do and what happened went horribly right?
  • What about Illuminated tricksters? What about an illuminated trrickster with both the Illusion Rune and the Truth Rune?
  • Are there tricksters aside those bellonging to Eurmal (and outside the Orlanthi, I've heard everyone else just kill them on sight)?
  • How exactly does trickster magic work and how does it differ from normal rune magic?
  • Are there any friendly tricksters? I've heard about 'Eurmal Friend of Men' but don't know anything about that particular variant of everyones favourite scapegoat.
  • Does every trickster have to be cowardly?
Edited by None

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, None said:

Did the God learneers ever take an interest in trickster? What did they do and what happened went horribly right?

Very definitely. They created a school to study the Trickster. The result: Slontos suffered the effects of the Goddess Switch, was cut off by the Closing, and then sank beneath the Seas.

GtG p.352: Civilized Slontos was renowned as an important center of the God Learners, who established a great school at Thanor to study the various incarnations of the Trickster god.

and p.361: Underwater in this area are the remains of the world’s largest Trickster Temple, which is often blamed for the destruction of this once-great land. Others say it was a part of the God Learners’ Doom.

and p.362: Thanor (ruin): In the Second Age, this city was the capital of Slontos. The notorious “Trickster College” was here, an important school of the God Learners. The ruins are now half-submerged and home to schools of fish and Ludoch.

So what went "horribly right"? They created a happy, peaceful home for fish and merfolk!

1 hour ago, None said:

What about Illuminated tricksters?

One was named Arkat. One is named Argrath. 

1 hour ago, None said:

Are there tricksters aside those bellonging to Eurmal (and outside the Orlanthi, I've heard everyone else just kill them on sight)?

Yes, or no. Bolongo has confirmed there are, but Eurmal denies it and says they are all just pieces of Ratslaff anyway.

1 hour ago, None said:

How exactly does trickster magic work and how does it differ from normal rune magic?

There are obviously the Illusion spells, and variations of those. Consider the Hallucinate spell. Cast by the Trickster upon himself. He can now clearly see the Door to the Underworld that no one else can. He goes through it. Everyone else wonders where he has gone. They are surprised later on during the Lightbringer's Quest when the Trickster turns up out of nowhere in the Obsidian Castle.

1 hour ago, None said:

Are there any friendly tricksters?

Of course! Until they aren't. They are pranksters, rogues, charmers, lazy swine, willing to go drinking at anytime of day or night, and everything else that encourages your base desires. But then they get jealous, or angry, or greedy, or suspicious that you are trying to make off with their toy... and then they betray you (or perhaps strike you dead), and lament later on that they did so.

In my Imther campaign, I always had room in clan or village for "friendly" tricksters. They were important in helping the clan/village/community survive. But never more than one! 

1 hour ago, None said:

Does every trickster have to be cowardly?

No, but they all inherently have some base Passion. Could be: greed, sloth, gluttony, envy/jealousy, lust, addiction to X, rage/hatred, etc. 

  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. The God Learners had an entire institute devoted to exploring Trickster. Trickster was in a way key to their efforts to understand Glorantha, as they recognized that Trickster could be found in their mythology, and in the mythology of the other people they encountered, but playing a similar role every time. It's been suggested that they were even inspired to begin their researches by a manifestation of Trickster that crawled out of a book they had recovered from the ruins of the Bright Empire. Unless that was Gbaji. Or Wakboth. Their institute was located on Slontos, and so it is buried under a vastness of earth and sea from when Slontos rolled herself over. 

2. Trickster has many names and guises. Many of these are not very well established, but we know that Trickster manifests as the spirit Raven, as a hare god in Pelanda, is known to the Arbennan people of Pamaltela, and presumably is, if not a universal figure, at least nearly so. (One wonders what Trickster looks like in Brithini society, but possibly in Arolanit Trickster goes around complimenting things for how grey and lifeless they are.) 

3. Being a Trickster is all about crossing boundaries, so Trickster magic does that too. It's different from standard magic in that it crosses the seemingly firm boundaries of the culture's understanding of magic. It's also different from standard magic in that it's more likely to blow up in your face. Being a Trickster is, in contemporary language, all about self-ownage. 

4. and 5. Tricksters are basically people who behave in deliberately contrarian ways. This means that, say, Orlanthi Tricksters are cowardly because courage is so important to Orlanthi societies as a cultural value. Thus, Tricksters will behave in just about every way humanly possible, so long as it's running against the grain of the culture they live in. Usually, though, they behave in deliberately immoral ways because moral values do tend to a sort of similarity across cultures. Eurmal Friend of Men, though, is Trickster when he's stealing Fire from the gods to bring it to humans. (Or some other benefit that crosses the boundary between sacred and profane- one wonders if Trickster brought the secret of smothering fires to the Uz?) 

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A somewhat mischievously contrary point, but since we're talking about a phenomenon that is in part about challenging the very basis and ownership of knowledge and understanding...

Duck Tricksters worship Humakt.

It's fairly obvious when you think about it. We're used to Tricksters being modelled as provocative, contrary and absurd figures that challenge cultural insight and convention. But what happens when the cultural norm is itself provocative, contrary and absurd? But that is perhaps not the main reason.

Greg was, for the most part, content to leave ducks as a lightly sketched and ambiguous element in the margins of Glorantha. But, very occasionally, he had a rummage and dug a little deeper. One of the most interesting insights was his belief that ducks are, like Delecti, liminal. Inbetweeners. Defined as either one thing nor another,  but with potential to each. Between satire and seriousness, tragedy and comedy, acceptance and derision, Man and Beast, etc. Liminality is one of the most interesting and poweful concepts in myth, but also—by its very nature—one of the most difficult to describe.

Greg said that he believed the ducks' relationship to the Death rune was a "misinterpretation" of their inbetweenness. That relationship itself highlights the tension often inherent in liminality; the lack of resolution. Because Death is Separation; the clear push over the threshold into another state; resolution and the crossing of the boundary. But the entire condition of ducks is rooted in irresolvable ambiguity.

So your little warbling Death-cultists provoke and challenge the very basis of reality for the Durulz as much as your, say, Eurmali does elsewhere. And consider that several stories have the duck-people and Delecti living a curiously symbiotic and almost neutral co-existence: Mutually Assured Liminality. Duck Humakti gnaw at the security of this existence by provoking the necromancer and his minions at every opportunity, and questioning truths. Tricksters.

A lot of people use ducks as a light-hearted, silly, mundane antidote to the mythic basis of Glorantha. But they're got a few provocative stories to teach us, too. Unsurprising, really, as they're Tricksters to us as their Humakti are to them...

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Each ruling deity has been tricking their opponents at some occasion on their way to power. Orlanth using Death in a contest of weapons, Ernalda inciting the Dark Tribe to attack the assembled clans in the Making of the Storm Tribe (and tricking those Storm Boys and the Darkness folk), Yelm the White Goddess by refusing to give up judgement after dealing with a comparatively minor issue in her name, ...

Trickster's image is shady because usually there are plenty of victims of his crimes. Stealing Fire from the gods may have been his only victim-less and altruistic deed - a mere copyright infringement breaking an unfair monopoly. That earned him the title "Eurmal Friend of Men" in the West. But then the gods are regarded as tricksters themselves by the Westerners, original rune-holding people having tricked mortals other than the Westerners into worshiping them.

Pamalt is very much a positive trickster, with Bolongo combining all the evil aspects.

Kadiola (a minor sea deity in Fonrit) might be the most beloved Trickster entity anywhere.

 

The Trickster causes disruption or out-of-context situations to bamboozle and overcome his opponents. This disruption may be necessary to initiate change, but usually there are forces that lose from change. These forces are usually not amused.

As to Stewart's leading question, do Tricksters worship Humakt?

Not impossible - after all, he stole Death from them (we stole it first, that means it's ours!), and regained it even after they stole it back and gave it away. They can respect that.

Ever now and then, Tricksters perform some meaningless cruelty. In case of bonded Tricksters, as retaliation for having been denied an earlier impulse. Like the time when Eurmal seduced and then killed the son of the Only Old One.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, jajagappa said:

So what went "horribly right"? They created a happy, peaceful home for fish and merfolk!

That sounds like a great diplomatic step in peaceful merfolk landfolk relationship!

More seriously though. All of that just  because there were too many tricksters in one area? Or was it the 'study the various incarnations of the trickster god' that did it?

21 hours ago, Eff said:

1. The God Learners had an entire institute devoted to exploring Trickster. Trickster was in a way key to their efforts to understand Glorantha, as they recognized that Trickster could be found in their mythology, and in the mythology of the other people they encountered, but playing a similar role every time. It's been suggested that they were even inspired to begin their researches by a manifestation of Trickster that crawled out of a book they had recovered from the ruins of the Bright Empire. Unless that was Gbaji. Or Wakboth. Their institute was located on Slontos, and so it is buried under a vastness of earth and sea from when Slontos rolled herself over. 

When you put it like that it souns like Slontos herself suddenly noticed what was going on and said "Nope, too much trickster."

 

21 hours ago, Eff said:

Trickster has many names and guises. Many of these are not very well established, but we know that Trickster manifests as the spirit Raven, as a hare god in Pelanda, is known to the Arbennan people of Pamaltela, and presumably is, if not a universal figure, at least nearly so. (One wonders what Trickster looks like in Brithini society, but possibly in Arolanit Trickster goes around complimenting things for how grey and lifeless they are.)

Funny how you can mention that there are tricsters everywhere (just to be clear, its not that I don't belive you) when I distinctly remember something aout the Orlanthi being the only ones to accept tricsters? How does that work out?

Also, slightly off-topic but I have to ask. Have any of you tried choosing a tricster as your clan chief in King of Dragon Pass? It wen't, well, predictable I gues. Funily enough, one of the times I tried everything went superb and morale soared, right up to when those trickster as cheif events began to fire. Then morale wasn't so good anymore.

 

21 hours ago, Eff said:

Being a Trickster is all about crossing boundaries, so Trickster magic does that too. It's different from standard magic in that it crosses the seemingly firm boundaries of the culture's understanding of magic. It's also different from standard magic in that it's more likely to blow up in your face. Being a Trickster is, in contemporary language, all about self-ownage. 

So it's as a thought? Its literally about the Illusion Rune claiming "Everything's just an illusion anyways so why care about rules? " I have to assume that the Dissorder Rune is the reason for most of the blowing up in your face bits.

 

20 hours ago, jajagappa said:
22 hours ago, None said:

What about Illuminated tricksters?

One was named Arkat. One is named Argrath. 

I didn't think they were tricksters. (I defenitely remember one of them beeing a Humakti for at least some part of his life.)

21 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Yes, or no. Bolongo has confirmed there are, but Eurmal denies it and says they are all just pieces of Ratslaff anyway.

Uh, Ratslaf? (I'm assuming Bolongo is another trickster god.)

 

21 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Of course! Until they aren't.

Thats nice (and potentially hillarious). Maybe I should have asked: are there tricksters that aren't insane?

 

21 hours ago, Eff said:

4. and 5. Tricksters are basically people who behave in deliberately contrarian ways. This means that, say, Orlanthi Tricksters are cowardly because courage is so important to Orlanthi societies as a cultural value.

The fist thing I immagined when you said that was an Orlanthi trickster behavong as a model Dara Happan citizen. (Realy though, how possible would that be?)

I suddenly also want to imagine a minoutaur (or Broo) trickster. (No wait, the later actually sounds horrible.)

 

19 hours ago, Stew Stansfield said:

Duck Tricksters worship Humakt.

I think I just fell in love with the ducks (again).

 

19 hours ago, Joerg said:

Pamalt is very much a positive trickster

 

19 hours ago, Joerg said:

Kadiola (a minor sea deity in Fonrit) might be the most beloved Trickster entity anywhere.

Which makes me immediately interested. I've heard so much about tricksters being not-nice that any exmples of the opposite interst me.

Only, isn't Pamalt some kind of regional or guardian god? The southern one?

 

So how do tricksters learn their spells in RuneQuest? The way they're handled i HeroQuest feels a little wierd and hard to grasp.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, None said:

More seriously though. All of that just  because there were too many tricksters in one area? Or was it the 'study the various incarnations of the trickster god' that did it?

All of that, plus the non-Trickster God Learner activities that Slontos was infamous for, like "greek fire" and sorcerous war machines.

Unlike Seshnela, Slontos had local Orlanthi (though not Heortlings), and learned a lot about Orlanth and Ernalda from them by forcing God Learners into their myths. The Goddess Switch wasn't performed here by accident, but because it had been well "researched" and exploited.

 

Quote

When you put it like that it souns like Slontos herself suddenly noticed what was going on and said "Nope, too much trickster."

The event is also known as "The Devastation of the Vent", as that is where the three meter waves through solid land emerged from.

It looks like something propagating from whatever it was that the Luatha planted into the Seshnelan peninsula, and spread out slowly. 1049 it affected Seshnela, in 1050 the Vent sent out its devastation, and in 1051 the Dragon's Awakening Shudder did its part of re-drawing the coasts of the continent.

 

 

Quote

Funny how you can mention that there are tricsters everywhere (just to be clear, its not that I don't belive you) when I distinctly remember something aout the Orlanthi being the only ones to accept tricsters? How does that work out?

You'd have to be a sorry trickster if you cannot cause mischief from being disguised and actively hunted for... If there ever was a counter-culture, the Tricksters fit that bill.

Quote

I didn't think they were tricksters. (I defenitely remember one of them beeing a Humakti for at least some part of his life.)

Uh, Ratslaf? (I'm assuming Bolongo is another trickster god.)

Ratslaff is the origin of the Disorder Rune, one of the eight celestial Power deities.

Bolongo is the God-Slayer of Pamaltelan myth, the one who killed Earthmaker (even before there was Death), transforming him into Amuron, the World Spirit. A role as necessary as it is regrettable.

 

Quote

Thats nice (and potentially hillarious). Maybe I should have asked: are there tricksters that aren't insane?

Some have the delusion that they aren't.

 

Quote

I think I just fell in love with the ducks (again).

@quackatoa is a disease master in that regard...

Quote

Which makes me immediately interested. I've heard so much about tricksters being not-nice that any exmples of the opposite interst me.

Basically a divine case of "the Farmer and the Devill", with the opponent making a specific rule, and the trickster finding an unconventional way around that rule.

Kadiola was a sea spirit who got rulership over Koraru Bay in a wager by making the local human hero Bornotin build a bridge across the way too wide estuary of the Barueli River, fulfilling an impossible task by that.

Quote

Only, isn't Pamalt some kind of regional or guardian god? The southern one?

That's sort of my point. The successful guardians of order have been relying on trickster powers forever. At times they take a companion to do the improper stuff, at times they themselves are the con-man. (While playing the straight person, as part of the con)

Genert turning his followers into the Copper Sands and having his own body eaten by Hyena is another case of a Lord tricking the enemy.

 

Quote

So how do tricksters learn their spells in RuneQuest? The way they're handled i HeroQuest feels a little wierd and hard to grasp.

Basically the same. Find a shrine, complete the demeaning test the shrine guardian will make you undergo, and sacrifice for the rune spell. (Or occasionally, learn the Spirit Spell).

Edited by Joerg
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Bolongo is the God-Slayer of Pamaltelan myth, the one who killed Earthmaker (even before there was Death), transforming him into Amuron, the World Spirit. A role as necessary as it is regrettable.

Also the reason Pamaltela has no dragons, so my pileus is off to him.

4 hours ago, None said:

Only, isn't Pamalt some kind of regional or guardian god? The southern one?

Ga emanated Herself as Gata when she produced two sons, the Earth Kings, Genert and Pamalt. Genert bore many daughters with Gata, the "grain goddesses" like Pela etc., but got ganked heroically during the Chaos Wars, leaving Prax and the Wastes where His Edenic garden used to be.

Pamalt did not get ganked - He survived the Chaos Wars. He also didn't have grain children. Result: the Earth in Pamaltela (yes, that Pamalt) is worshipped in the form of Pamalt and Gata's daughter Earth Witch Aleshmara, who is the patron of yams.

I think beautiful Afidisa might also be an Earth goddess? But she's a Blue Person, a goddess from the Blue Moon, and she reminds me of Xiola Umbar. She's kind of an Earth goddess. Tangentially. Harmony and Fertility runes, Healing focus, but She's "throw back the ones unfit to live". I mean, c'mon, this is XU, right?

Genert-ela lost Genert, so it's all Gata's daughters, particularly Ernalda-forms. I can think of only Barntar in terms of male gods in Genertela. (Don't say Nandan, Nandan is female, that's the point of Nandan.)

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/30/2019 at 2:32 PM, None said:

Did the God learneers ever take an interest in trickster? What did they do and what happened went horribly right?

Yes, as has been mentioned, the God Learners established a Great Temple to Trickster and included every aspect of Trickster there, giving them access to every trickster spell.

It was smashed by the end of the God Learners and was submerged beneath the waves, where it exists as a bubble. I like to think if this being like in the Roadrunner cartoons, where Wile E. Coyote runs off the edge of a cliff, stops and only falls when he realises that nothing is beneath his feet, the Trickster Temple only survives because they haven't yet realised that the waves are about to crush them.

One of the results of the God Learners' manipulating of Trickster is that people talk about Trickster and claim that Trickster is one deity with many different Aspects. Before them, each Trickster was treated separately, with each Trickster Deity having its own cult and spells. Now, they are treated as being part of some pan-Gloranthan Trickster cult.

On 11/30/2019 at 2:32 PM, None said:

What about Illuminated tricksters? What about an illuminated trrickster with both the Illusion Rune and the Truth Rune?

An illuminated Trickster is just the same as a normal Trickster. illuminated Tricksters are immune to cult Spirits of Reprisal, which is hand. They can also ask Riddles as part of being a Trickster, which is also handy. However, don't forget that people thought of Nysalor's Riddlers as being Tricksters when they went around asking people questions, so illuminated Tricksters might have to be careful.

I don't think an Illuminated Trickster is more dangerous or powerful than a normal one.

On 11/30/2019 at 2:32 PM, None said:

Are there tricksters aside those bellonging to Eurmal (and outside the Orlanthi, I've heard everyone else just kill them on sight)?

Absolutely yes.

In Prax, Raven is a Trickster, as is Hyena. in Pamaltela, Bolongo is the Trickster, but he is also an Empty Mask, which is an interesting idea.

There may well be more, I just can't think of any. Some Thief Gods are also Tricksters, or there is some overlap.

On 11/30/2019 at 2:32 PM, None said:

How exactly does trickster magic work and how does it differ from normal rune magic?

It works in the same way as normal Rune Magic, I think.

In RQ3, all Eurmal initiates had access to reusable Rune Magic, probably to make up for them only being to learn one spell at each Temple.

I haven't seen the final version of Eurmal in RQG, but it might work differently to the RQ3 version.

Personally, I think that there is nothing different to the Rune Magic of Trickster deities as opposed to spells from other Deities. They use the same rules, but probably use the Disorder or illusion Runes to cast the spells.

On 11/30/2019 at 2:32 PM, None said:

Are there any friendly tricksters? I've heard about 'Eurmal Friend of Men' but don't know anything about that particular variant of everyones favourite scapegoat.

Of course there are. That's like asking if there are any friendly Humakti or friendly Zorak Zorani.

"Friendly" might mean different things to different people, though.

There are a lot of Tricksters who are not malignant little creeps, but a lot are.

Worshippers of Hyena sit around, telling people dirty jokes. That can be friendly, although not particularly useful.

Worshippers of Raven are thieves as well as Tricksters, and use illusion and darkness magic to hide and steal things. Whether or not they are friendly is up to the NPCs and the GM.

Some Eurmali are friendly buffoons, others are town drunks, others are seducers of women, others are village idiots, others are clowns who make you laugh and cry. Many Tricksters are a combination of all the above and more. Some can be friendly, some can be downright malignant, but all are predictable.

There is a scene in one of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, where a Trickster builds a great tomb for himself and tomb robbers are hit by his zany traps, a custard pie in the face, an exploding balloon, a fart noise and so on, until they reach the centre of the tomb, when a great granite block falls and blocks their exit, with an inscription on their side which says "Who's Laughing Now?"

On 11/30/2019 at 2:32 PM, None said:

Does every trickster have to be cowardly?

No, of course not. In fact, many Tricksters are brave and Heroic.

People think that Tricksters are cowardly, because they lie and cheat and run away from danger. However, how many people are brave enough to walk down a Dragon's Throat, hoping that they can use Find Crack to slip outside its stomach? How many people are brave enough to walk through a raging battle, blind drunk, and still remain safe? How many people are willing to have their head chopped off to prove a point? Tricksters are brave, but they are unpredictable. One day they might be cowardly, the next brave. They might always be brave until it comes to a real crunch point and they become cowards, or they might be cowardly all the time until they are brave once. It depends on the Trickster.

On 11/30/2019 at 2:32 PM, None said:

HeroQuest Glorantha doesn't really help there unfortunately. The cult writeup there pretty much say 'everything goes but each trick has to be really narrow and you have to get each at a separate shrine'.

Yes, I have issues with that.

In my Glorantha, which always Varies, Eurmali get one spell per level of the Temple, so a Shrine grants one spell, a Minor Temple two spells, a Major Temple 3 spells and a Great Temple 4 spells. The same Temple grants the same spells. So, an Eurmal shrine in an Orlanth Temple always grants Charisma and an Eurmal Shrine in an Issaries or Lhankor Mhy Temple always grants Clever Tongue.

For other Cults, I just play that the "One spell per temple" just doesn't apply. So, a Shrine to Hyena might grant Group Laughter and Swallow.

5 hours ago, None said:

More seriously though. All of that just  because there were too many tricksters in one area? Or was it the 'study the various incarnations of the trickster god' that did it?

Imagine a Great Temple with tens of thousands of Tricksters, all learning each other's spells. So, clowns, murderers, thieves, gluttons, jokers, riddlers and so on, all working together in Harmony. but, of course, Tricksters don't do Harmony, as they are normally bound to Illusion, so instead you have ten thousand Tricksters causing chaos (with a small "c"), sometimes working with each other, sometimes working against each other. Imagine being a God Learner visiting the temple, he is going to encounter said clowns, seducers, murderers, pranksters, jokers and riddlers, his clothes might disappear, he might nod and his head falls off, his eyes might continually change colour, his magical items might be stolen, he might find a Hell Hound appears in front of him, having travelled through a Crack that Nobody can Look At, he might see and hear the most unimaginable things.

That's what happens with so many Tricksters all in one place.

5 hours ago, None said:

When you put it like that it souns like Slontos herself suddenly noticed what was going on and said "Nope, too much trickster."

Maybe, that makes as much sense as any other explanation.

5 hours ago, None said:

Funny how you can mention that there are tricsters everywhere (just to be clear, its not that I don't belive you) when I distinctly remember something aout the Orlanthi being the only ones to accept tricsters? How does that work out?

Orlanth, as King of the Gods and a Lightbringer, can bind Eurmal to his service. Because of this, many Eurmali in Orlanthi Lands are Bound to an Orlanthi, who vouches for them and keeps them out of trouble. Those unbound Eurmali are not wanted anywhere and tend to be driven out of places, as they are free to cause whatever problems they like.

Orlanth, however, has no ability to bind other Tricksters to his service, so he has no power over worshippers of Raven or Hyena.

Many other societies accept Tricksters. They might not like them, or want them, but accept them as part of society, sometimes being outside society given them a part in society as the Outcast.

5 hours ago, None said:
On 11/30/2019 at 4:02 PM, jajagappa said:
On 11/30/2019 at 2:32 PM, None said:

What about Illuminated tricksters?

One was named Arkat. One is named Argrath. 

I didn't think they were tricksters. (I defenitely remember one of them beeing a Humakti for at least some part of his life.)

It's a bit of an extreme view. both caused Change and could be said to have caused Disorder. They are as much Tricksters as Orlanth the Thief is, in my opinion, i.e. not really tricksters.

So, this is more a point of view issue.

6 hours ago, None said:

Thats nice (and potentially hillarious). Maybe I should have asked: are there tricksters that aren't insane?

Tricksters aren't insane, unless they have been Divinely Touched by the Red Goddess. The Mad Sultanate is full of insane Tricksters.

6 hours ago, None said:

So how do tricksters learn their spells in RuneQuest? The way they're handled i HeroQuest feels a little wierd and hard to grasp.

As far as I am concerned, just the same way as everyone else.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Tricksters aren't insane

This being said, I do agree with @None that the impression I got from most of the introductory material on Trickster, or at least Eurmal, is that they tend towards violent and unpredictable behavior that one might consider psychopathic or sociopathic. It's a darker form of antisocial behaviour than I personally associated with the term before I started getting into Glorantha. 

Less "early-Heimskringla Loki" and more "late-Heimskringla Loki", less making people embarassed and engaging in wordplay fights and more murdering someone because they looked at them wrong. 

I want to stress that both varieties obviously exist (and everything inbetween), but the texts that I came across definitely tended to play up the "this person cannot exist normally in society and so must be bound or be driven off or killed"-perspective.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it’s important not to get too hung up on a “role” for trickster. Trickster just is. Orlanth might have convinced Trickster to stop trying to destroy the world by handing death to everyone, but Trickster is still capable of treachery, even against his master.

The EWF was a big joke - Trickster taught a human how to think like a dragon, the result was centuries of confusion, war, attacks against old ways Orlanthi.

Though to be fair EWF magic confused God learners enough they found it difficult to subvert, and Argarath used EWF magic in his campaign to bring down the Red Moon.

Maybe it all started when Eurmal went to Orlanth and said “I have an idea...”

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For player characters:

There was a story I read online, someone might recognise it, of someone's campaign (?). The Eurmali was a woman and aside from her guileless inability to not say what she was thinking at every second out loud, borrow everything, and otherwise just be difficult, she would cause absolute chaos at least once a day.

At one point someone asked her why she did something spectacularly stupid and she said she got an itch. If she didn't scratch it by doing something staggeringly reckless once a day, there'd be Retribution. So, like, taunting drunk storm bulls and running like Wiley Coyote.

This was useful - or terrible - when facing enemies.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, None said:

I didn't think they were tricksters. (I defenitely remember one of them beeing a Humakti for at least some part of his life.)

Well, no one of course says so because they say they are heroes!

But, you have Arkat: I'm a Malkioni! No, I'm really an Orlanthi! No, I'm the Son of Humakt! And see I brought Death from the Underworld! The Unbreakable Sword! (wonder who did that before...) No, actually I'm a troll! (oops, there went those body parts - just have to find some new ones) No, I'm Gbaji (how's that for a laugh!).

And then you have Argrath: wandering through the Godtime to make friends with the "strange gods"; digging up dragon magic; proclaiming himself a white bull (we can guess what Trickster has to say about that!); capering around with a madman named Harrek; etc.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I want to stress that both varieties obviously exist (and everything inbetween), but the texts that I came across definitely tended to play up the "this person cannot exist normally in society and so must be bound or be driven off or killed"-perspective.

The only written version of sympathetic prank playing Eurmali I have seen was in the old fanzine Tales of the Reaching Moon. Brigpiece Badstink  from the Greydog Clan of the LIsmelder Tribe  Accepted for the most part (and even on the clan ring) but usually driven away for his misdeeds until they are forgotten seems to be a bit of a clan ritual

Edited by Bill the barbarian
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Joerg said:

The event is also known as "The Devastation of the Vent", as that is where the three meter waves through solid land emerged from.

That does sound like something enough tricksters should be able to acomplish. Although I assume this was far more than mere trickster magic.

 

21 hours ago, Joerg said:

Bolongo is the God-Slayer of Pamaltelan myth, the one who killed Earthmaker (even before there was Death), transforming him into Amuron, the World Spirit. A role as necessary as it is regrettable.

Kill as in captital k kill?

Is Amuron something similar to the Horned Man, who I belive os strongly conected to the Spirit rune?

 

21 hours ago, Joerg said:

Some have the delusion that they aren't.

And who many of those claim that its everyone else that's insane?

 

17 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Also the reason Pamaltela has no dragons, so my pileus is off to him.

Can  you (or anyone) expand on that?

 

17 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Ga emanated Herself as Gata when she produced two sons, the Earth Kings, Genert and Pamalt. Genert bore many daughters with Gata, the "grain goddesses" like Pela etc., but got ganked heroically during the Chaos Wars, leaving Prax and the Wastes where His Edenic garden used to be.

Pamalt did not get ganked - He survived the Chaos Wars. He also didn't have grain children. Result: the Earth in Pamaltela (yes, that Pamalt) is worshipped in the form of Pamalt and Gata's daughter Earth Witch Aleshmara, who is the patron of yams.

I think beautiful Afidisa might also be an Earth goddess? But she's a Blue Person, a goddess from the Blue Moon, and she reminds me of Xiola Umbar. She's kind of an Earth goddess. Tangentially. Harmony and Fertility runes, Healing focus, but She's "throw back the ones unfit to live". I mean, c'mon, this is XU, right?

Genert-ela lost Genert, so it's all Gata's daughters, particularly Ernalda-forms. I can think of only Barntar in terms of male gods in Genertela. (Don't say Nandan, Nandan is female, that's the point of Nandan.)

All this makes it seem like Pamaltela  is much less tumultous place. Am I wrong?

Also, could someone tell me more about Nandan? The HeroQuest books basically only say 'oh yeah Nandan exist, lets talk more about Vinga'. Not that I mind in particular that they explain Vinga but the information on Nandan is ... scarce to say the least.

 

15 hours ago, soltakss said:

It was smashed by the end of the God Learners and was submerged beneath the waves, where it exists as a bubble. I like to think if this being like in the Roadrunner cartoons, where Wile E. Coyote runs off the edge of a cliff, stops and only falls when he realises that nothing is beneath his feet, the Trickster Temple only survives because they haven't yet realised that the waves are about to crush them.

Wait. The Trickster Temple is still there?

 

15 hours ago, soltakss said:

One of the results of the God Learners' manipulating of Trickster is that people talk about Trickster and claim that Trickster is one deity with many different Aspects. Before them, each Trickster was treated separately, with each Trickster Deity having its own cult and spells. Now, they are treated as being part of some pan-Gloranthan Trickster cult.

So they basically managed to make every trickster more powerful?

 

16 hours ago, soltakss said:

In my Glorantha, which always Varies, Eurmali get one spell per level of the Temple, so a Shrine grants one spell, a Minor Temple two spells, a Major Temple 3 spells and a Great Temple 4 spells. The same Temple grants the same spells. So, an Eurmal shrine in an Orlanth Temple always grants Charisma and an Eurmal Shrine in an Issaries or Lhankor Mhy Temple always grants Clever Tongue.

For other Cults, I just play that the "One spell per temple" just doesn't apply. So, a Shrine to Hyena might grant Group Laughter and Swallow.

Why do trickster have the whole may only learn spells at hrines and only one spell per shrine thing?

 

16 hours ago, soltakss said:

Orlanth, as King of the Gods and a Lightbringer, can bind Eurmal to his service.

Is there anyone else who can bind any kind of trickster like that (and what does it exactly mean, it sound like more than just a formality)?

 

13 hours ago, jajagappa said:

But, you have Arkat: I'm a Malkioni! No, I'm really an Orlanthi! No, I'm the Son of Humakt! And see I brought Death from the Underworld! The Unbreakable Sword! (wonder who did that before...) No, actually I'm a troll! (oops, there went those body parts - just have to find some new ones) No, I'm Gbaji (how's that for a laugh!).

And then you have Argrath: wandering through the Godtime to make friends with the "strange gods"; digging up dragon magic; proclaiming himself a white bull (we can guess what Trickster has to say about that!); capering around with a madman named Harrek; etc.

I see. Yes, Akat's whole cult changing shenanigan is a bit a lot wierd but he doesn't feel like your typical trickster.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, None said:

All this makes it seem like Pamaltela  is much less tumultous place. Am I wrong?

Also, could someone tell me more about Nandan? The HeroQuest books basically only say 'oh yeah Nandan exist, lets talk more about Vinga'. Not that I mind in particular that they explain Vinga but the information on Nandan is ... scarce to say the least.

Nandan really doesn't have much more information available. What information does exist (mostly in the form of old Glorantha Digest/mailing list discussions/arguments) is likely very outdated. 

From that information, there are kind of two broad interpretations possible: @Qizilbashwoman takes the tack that Nandan is the goddess of trans women (or more specifically those trans women who wish to take on a traditionally feminine role within Orlanthi society) and I, personally, take the tack that Nandan is a god of a complex nonbinary gender identity wherein the person is identified as taking on a feminine role (to the point of pregnancy and childbirth) while still also being masculine for other social purposes. It all depends on whether you want to keep the pronoun usage from older material consistent or not, and how you interpret the six genders of Orlanthi society. 

Beyond Nandan's involvement with gender identity within Orlanthi society, Nandan is also probably invoked for those instances when Orlanthi men have to take on a feminine role for whatever reason. (Title card for Gloranthan showings of Some Like It Hot and Three Men And A Baby: "The blessings of Nandan lie on this film".) 

Nandan also allows men and masculine people a route into the Ernaldan mysteries and rituals, but this is a very vague statement and I have no idea how definitive it will be for NPCs in future game products products. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, None said:

All this makes it seem like Pamaltela  is much less tumultous place. Am I wrong?

 

Ostensibly, yes, although I would argue that this is mostly true for the Doraddi regions, ie. the Veldt/Savannah south of the large mountain ranges that go east-west. 

The material states that Pamaltela is naturally more fertile, and generally more peaceful than Genertela, and that this is attributed to Pamalt's survival, however we know that war and conflict is common to Fonrit at least, as well as Elmale or Onlaks, I forget which. Umathela has some too, but not quite to the same degree. 

The Doraddi are probably some of the chillest people you can find in Glorantha though, to put it colloquially. That's not to say they don't have their problems, including various big chaos (and other kinds) monsters wandering about, and various tribal rivalries, but these are issues that are mostly solved through heroic quests and competition, rather than outright warfare, which the Doraddi see as primitive and barbaric (this makes the Veldt a pretty interesting setting for a campaign). As the Hero Wars near, however, some Doraddi, known as the Arbennan federation, are reviving the old art of mass warfare against an group known as the Kresh, so peace isn't guaranteed for much longer.

1 hour ago, None said:

Is there anyone else who can bind any kind of trickster like that (and what does it exactly mean, it sound like more than just a formality)?

 

Orlanth is the only "ruler-god" known to have this arrangement with a Trickster, but I would personally say that there is probably some others out there, although maybe not ruler-gods. Orlanth is all about connecting diverse groups of gods through innovative bonds, however, so this is typical Orlanth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

2 hours ago, None said:

Is there anyone else who can bind any kind of trickster like that (and what does it exactly mean, it sound like more than just a formality)?

I'm writing this based on what Greg Stafford wrote and spoke of, not conforming with desires of many Gloranthaphiles to have Trickster be a prankster with cool magic and without having read any of the latest (pre)publications.

Orlanth tolerated Eurmal before the Gods' War and gave a limited protection in return for bonding. And during the Lightbringer's Quest, Eurmal betrayed the group and then helped them escape. For these reasons, Eurmali may be allowed to live (perhaps worse than thralls) under the 'protection' of an Orlanthi chieftain or king. Their alternative (pre-Argrath) is to die because they have no protection from the elements or from anyone that cares to beat them to death for any reason (or for no reason).

In some of Greg's talks and writing on Tricksters, it was unspoken but fairly obvious that the fate of many 'neuro-atypical' was to be tagged as tricksters so that they could be ejected from society without divine retribution. In most of the cultures that Greg designed, there are some very positive aspects blended with very very negative aspects.

An Orlanthi King or Chieftain gets several things from bonding a Trickster. First, and likely most importantly: RESPECT. Only rich and strong Orlanthi can afford the costs and risks of having one around - eventually the Trickster WILL betray the person and/or the community. Second: a scapegoat - no matter who did what, in almost all cases short of obvious chaos worship, the trickster can be blamed and then beaten or maimed as punishment. Third: access to unusual magic /stronger communal magic.

And magically, Trickster gets some control over their own body and magic that they do not get without the bond. They will frequently be beaten but only with the permission of the chieftain and usually will be fed and given some access to community.

No other Gloranthan culture has ritualised this protection to this extent.

2 hours ago, None said:

Why do trickster have the whole may only learn spells at hrines and only one spell per shrine thing?

Because Tricksters are generally so outcast, they do not get the chance to organise and they maybe oppressed to the point where they are unable to organise / never learned to organise. And given the whole betrayal thing, Orlanthi don't want Tricksters to organise and teach each other, so won't allow it and will destroy / barricade / destroy Trickster shrines where possible.

Edited by Charles
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Charles said:

I'm writing this based on what Greg Stafford wrote and spoke of, not conforming with desires of many Gloranthaphiles to have Trickster be a prankster with cool magic and without having read any of the latest (pre)publications.

It's perhaps useful to add that Orlanth Adventurous and Yinkin and quite a few other Gloranthan gods will be happy with a prankster worshipper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Charles said:

In some of Greg's talks and writing on Tricksters, it was unspoken but fairly obvious that the fate of many 'neuro-atypical' was to be tagged as tricksters so that they could be ejected from society without divine retribution. In most of the cultures that Greg designed, there are some very positive aspects blended with very very negative aspects.

 

Yeah, uh, I kind of suspected this, but didn't want to bring it up for fear of lighting up a lengthy discussion.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Yeah, uh, I kind of suspected this, but didn't want to bring it up for fear of lighting up a lengthy discussion.

The Orlanthi are my favourite Gloranthan culture for storytelling. They are not and should not be anyone's dream of a 'perfect' culture. They are violent beyond almost all Earthly cultures and times.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, None said:

That does sound like something enough tricksters should be able to acomplish. Although I assume this was far more than mere trickster magic.

The faults and crimes of the Archduchy of Slontos were many in their wars against the Kingdom of Night and the EWF. The Devastation was a reckoning for all of that. The Trickster Temple was a symptom, but certainly not the entire disease.

Quote

Kill as in captital k kill?

Kill as in capital K separation that wasn't reversible. Much like Umath never recovered from being slain despite Death not yet having been invented.

Quote

Is Amuron something similar to the Horned Man, who I belive os strongly conected to the Spirit rune?

The Horned Serpent, so yes, pretty identical. At least as far as the Fiwan (the local name for the Hsunchen) were concerned.

 

Quote

And who many of those claim that its everyone else that's insane?

The usual number.

 

Quote

Can  you (or anyone) expand on that?

Apart from the greater and lesser hydras and possibly chaotic stoorworms, there are no draconic beings on Pamaltela. The Dinosaurs of Slon appear to be a rather recent addition, and free of any proven draconic connection. (Although all it takes is an initiative to claim proof for that connection, quest a bit, and make it so.)

With the Horned Serpent firmly located in the Spirit World, no other (horned, winged, otherwise attributed) serpent deities manifested in Pamaltela.

Quote

All this makes it seem like Pamaltela  is much less tumultous place. Am I wrong?

Pamaltela had its Chaos invasion, but fought it off. The south experienced the Firespill when the Sky Dome emptied some of its fire to the Surface World after having been pushed back southwards by Kalikos (defining the tilt of the Sky Dome within Time).

Various neighbors invaded - the Vadeli from the West, the Antigods of Shekdurba from the East, the Oceans from all around, the Artmali from above - and a number of refugees arrived, like the Thinobutans (Maslo, Thinokos, Kimos). According to the Doraddi, the Aldryami are an invasive species, too, but the Aldryami have an ancient history of being allied to Pamalt. Possibly "the Other Pamalt" (as in Monty Python's "the other Kilimanjaro"). That said, the Doraddi invaded the coastal forests of Banamba, too.

The Gods War was exciting enough in Pamaltela. Vovisibor aka Filth Which Walks made a deep incursion to the cental lands of Jolar, leaving destruction and possibly annihilation behind, but his advance was turned back by Pamalt using his Necklace, and then Pamalt and his followers pursued and overcame Vovisibor far in the north (still south of Magasta's Pool, though).

The Doraddi voluntarily removed themselves from their previous urban civilization, electing a mix of nomadic and sedentary oasis life in the Veldt, while those who had followed Pamalt into the North may have been tricked by Bolongo (gotta stay on topic...) into retaining urban culture and other achievements. They would become peoples like the Fonritians - especially the Banambans, which have very little if any admixture of Artmali ancestry - or the Exigers of the Mari Mountains.

 

Quote

Also, could someone tell me more about Nandan? The HeroQuest books basically only say 'oh yeah Nandan exist, lets talk more about Vinga'. Not that I mind in particular that they explain Vinga but the information on Nandan is ... scarce to say the least.

Nandan as a player-cult is fairly un-exciting - no wild quests, remained alive/awake when Ernalda had gone to sleep, gave birth and nourishment despite the lack of organs to do so normally. Nothing relevant while on a normal adventure/problem solving mission, other than the key to Ernaldan magic which of course can be wielded by female player characters at least as well. Ernala cult in the hard mode...

But then, Vinga is as un-exciting, except that the woes of the woman warrior are all in her myths and stories.00

Following some ex-cathedra statements about Vinga by Greg there was a debate (which caused some dysphoria in previous Vinga fans) about VInga being a husband cult and "not into men" (perceived as "at all"), a reaction which surprised and saddened Greg at the time.

 

Quote

Wait. The Trickster Temple is still there?

If you build a structure to house Tricksters, wouldn't you build it pretty fool-proof to keep maintenance cost down?

The land it was built on has been lowered below sea level by the Devastation of the Vent, but apart from that mighty shake-up, there was no additional attack on the structure.

Quote

So they basically managed to make every trickster more powerful?

At the very least, they made it easy for lazy Tricksters to achieve as complete a set of Rune and spirit maic as they wanted and could afford.

In addition, the temple provided a ready source of Tricksters for God Learner raids into the Hero Plane enabling certain transitions or insertions. You might regard the temple as a detached section of a God Learner university, with "graduates" to be harvested for the occasional use in heroquesting.

Quote

Why do trickster have the whole may only learn spells at hrines and only one spell per shrine thing?

Because nobody sane (hybris is a form of insanity, after all) would allow more than a hundred Tricksters permanently in one place. That temple in Slontos was the one glaring exception to this rule.

Argrath's Warlocks of the Magical Union include Tricksters. They may work alongside the Black Fang Brotherhood.

 

Quote

Is there anyone else who can bind any kind of trickster like that (and what does it exactly mean, it sound like more than just a formality)?

Drona the Earth King of western Fronela might have a similarly tolerant position towards Eurmal Friend of Men. The occasional goddess was "blessed" to give birth to a re-incarnation of Eurmal and priestesses of these goddesses may possibly allow some maternal feelings for that offspring.

Uleria offered herself to the Boggles, and tamed them (enough to stop them from destrying the Spike) by fulfilling their desire. At least temporarily, and a temporarily neutralized Trickster is about the best outcome you can hope for.

Quote

I see. Yes, Akat's whole cult changing shenanigan is a bit a lot wierd but he doesn't feel like your typical trickster.

IMO he isn't, as his career was way too consistent and goal-oriented. While a Trickster can impersonate a straight-laced person for quite a while (possibly hiding his outbreaks o glee at how the people interacting with him get duped), keeping things together for half a century, even having been dragged down to Hell, is pretty irregular for a Trickster.

A Trickster impersonating a priest of Dayzatar for his entire life has effectively become a priest of Dayzatar, with the trick on him.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, None said:

Wait. The Trickster Temple is still there?

Yes, all you need to do to get there is swim down, go through the Wave Stop without making it crash and then you are in a Great Temple to Eurmal, filled with 10,000 Tricksters and their descendants, who have lived there for centuries, eating each other, or creating banquets for each other and generally doing what Tricksters do, without constraint.

On second thoughts, maybe it's best to leave them alone.

One of the Events in the Hero Wars, for me, is when someone does this and breaks the wave, releasing the Tricksters. What would happen when 10,000 Tricksters are let loose on the world at the same time?

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
  • Confused 1
  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, soltakss said:

One of the Events in the Hero Wars, for me, is when someone does this and breaks the wave, releasing the Tricksters. What would happen when 10,000 Tricksters are let loose on the world at the same time?

I believe the technical term is "Big Oof."

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...