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Tricksters in Orlanthi society; How to make them playable. lol


skulldixon

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As a semi-related aside, I love than Lanbril is so sneaky that his name only appears in the Guide once, and it's not even on the list of gods. Just enough presence to establish his continued existence in the setting, but not one word more.

I like to think that Lanbril's followers have their own versions of other gods' myths where some side character (charioteer, minion, bearer, healer, advisor, guide, etc.) to the main god or hero was in fact Lanbril in disguise, using whatever the central conflict of the myth is as cover to make off with some choice loot (especially things that might otherwise be thought to be destroyed or lost-forever in the less-informed version of the tale). I bet they smuggled the tech behind Whumpers and such out of The Fall of Zistorwal by heroquesting to it as Mostali who confiscate contraband items to keep them from falling into the wrong hands.

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On 9/27/2021 at 5:15 PM, Alex said:

The shrine of Eurmal the Scientist.  "If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be research.  Woop-woop-woop!"  "The operation was a complete success -- the patient died.  Honk-honk."  "Within the limits of experimental error, results are consistent with our hypothesis that an acceptable number of people were killed!  Nyack-nyack."

I know I have a bad habit of making references to MLP:FiM, and this time it will be to a fan-fic: https://www.fimfiction.net/story/426477/the-potion-shop Cross your "Eurmal the Scientist" with Arca from that story, and toss in some Coyote-style mishaps.

22 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

It's worth mentioning that Loki once attached his ballsack to the beard of a goat and played tug of war with it in order to make a goddess laugh.

I just wanted to add that, since Loki isn't always the diabolical mastermind he's portrayed as in pop culture.

I wonder which was more uncomfortable -- tug-of-war with the goat, or transforming into a mare to lure away a stallion (thereby causing the entity doing some rebuilding for Asgard to lose a bet on completion time) and having to stay in mare form for a year -- finally showing up to present eight-legged Sleipnir to Odin.

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On 4/10/2021 at 12:20 PM, skulldixon said:

So I get that Tricksters are frowned upon in Orlanthi society, and for good reason and that for the most part they are killed unless they are bound to an Orlanth Rune Master - who takes on the responsibility for the Trickster's actions. I get all of that. In my current game we have one Trickster whose main trickster trait isn't stealing but is a con man whose long term goal is to be the man behind the curtain who is pulling the strings. He has some loft goals, in my mind. Currently, no one knows that he is a trickster - so until he is discovered the orlanth binding hasn't happened yet.

But there is a lot of aspects to a none exposed trickster or even a bonded trickster living in Orlanthi society that I am trying to warp my head around still.

For instance, There is a Eurmal Shrine in every Lightbringer temple. I assume that these still follow the same rules of any other shrine and require at least one Rune Priest to maintain the shrine. If this is the case, if this was runegate, would the popluation of Runegate know who the person Eurmal Rune Priest was? I guess what i'm trying to get at is how open is the worship Eurmal. Is it like a known secret, for instance?

Granted, I assume some people will offer worship Eurmal, lay member, in order to dissuade disorder or trickery taking root in their day to day lives.

This is not my view at all.

Eurmal is recognised by the Orlanthi as an important god, and his followers are protected - as long as they remain within their proscribed role. The one exception is when a public scapegoat is needed - then Eurmal is blamed and the Clown is outlawed or driven out of town. When a Trickster swears loyalty to an Orlanth cultist, they gain additional protection (and the Orlanthi becomes liable for the acts of that Trickster), but are subject to that Orlanthi.

SOCIAL/POLITICAL POSITION AND POWER

In Orlanthi society, Tricksters form a sort of clown society. They are contrarians, jesters, and satirists, who can violate social constraints freely. These clowns both show what is wrong with the way things are and also how to do ordinary things the wrong way. Paradoxically, by violating these norms and taboos, they help define acceptable boundaries. 

In other societies, Tricksters are typically outlawed.

No one would be caught dead seeking a trickster for social support, advice, or political power. Even among their own kind, famous or powerful tricksters are likelier to be the butts of practical jokes than objects of respect. Any influence possessed by the Trickster cult derives from actions and pranks aimed at satirizing or mocking foolish or ridiculous acts on the part of rulers.

Tricksters are not trusted by anyone. They are not well liked and are tolerated only when necessary (as in Orlanth’s case). Tricksters are ill mannered, gluttonous, and selfish in every way. No sane society supports such misfits.

CLOWNS

A social oddity and convenience for the Orlanthi, Clowns are Tricksters and, as such, can get away with almost any social disruption and trouble because of the useful functions they provide through showing what is serious, absurd, baffling, or wrong, fearful or comical about life and the cosmos. The Orlanthi recognize this as powerful magic that both disrupts and helps to maintain the cosmos.

Another function of the Clown is that of public scapegoat, for whenever there is some official cause to find a person at fault the Clowns are the ones chosen. They may be outlawed, driven out of town, or (rarely) killed. 

Until they are used as scapegoats, Clowns can violate sacred laws freely while they carry out their ritual roles. However, Clowns are required to dress in special costume to enjoy this protection. Some initiates paint their body with black and white stripes, cover themselves with mud or filth, wear false phalluses, or simply wear their clothing backwards and inside out. 

Clowns sometimes appear—usually without invitation—at the ceremonies of other Orlanthi cults and mock them along with other attendees. At other public ceremonies, clowns may dance out of step, sing out of tune, and imitate cult and other societal leaders. They beg food, throw food away, or are gluttons. They even use magical regalia in inappropriate ways, engage in foolish, silly, or even obscene side-shows, often with respected members of the community.

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Could a trickster be a serious man behind the eurmal mask ?

I mean there are two possibilities :

1) Once trickster (aka eurmali initiate or eurmal call or ... ) the mind of the trickster is in "disorder".  he does what et does because... he does (or because he follows an insane plan)

2) some tricksters could be sane, no madness, no "disorder" in their mind. But they are tricksters and they play their role. The only difference is, behind the mask, they are serious people, knowing why they do what they do, because that is their role, because it helps the world or their own interest

 

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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

In Orlanthi society, Tricksters form a sort of clown society. They are contrarians, jesters, and satirists, who can violate social constraints freely. These clowns both show what is wrong with the way things are and also how to do ordinary things the wrong way. Paradoxically, by violating these norms and taboos, they help define acceptable boundaries. 

Putting on my clown hat (yes - I have worked as a clown, professionally, etc in Europe, China & Tanzania). This is how it really is. There is no difference in what Jeff has said here, than what i did when clowning. You really can get away with (nearly) everything, providing you do it as a clown. Most people are powerless to act, lest they become a laughing stock. Clowning is about being the clown and not a dick pretending to be the clown. As a clown you can get people to participate in the most ridiculous things. Little is premeditated (except any props you might use). Don't confuse clowning with red noses and giant shoes, circus clowning is a different show.

If most trickers are the Orlanthi clown society type, then everybody loves them (I mean who is ever going to admit they don't like fart jokes publicly when the clown is around). 

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13 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Could a trickster be a serious man behind the eurmal mask ?

I mean there are two possibilities :

1) Once trickster (aka eurmali initiate or eurmal call or ... ) the mind of the trickster is in "disorder".  he does what et does because... he does (or because he follows an insane plan)

2) some tricksters could be sane, no madness, no "disorder" in their mind. But they are tricksters and they play their role. The only difference is, behind the mask, they are serious people, knowing why they do what they do, because that is their role, because it helps the world or their own interest

 

Ah, you're talking about the Church of Eurmal, Scientist.

Eurmal Scientists believe that since the entire world is an illusion, only by embracing the illusion rune can one hope to discover the path to ultimate truth.

They dress in robes, try to look serious all the time, and write angry pamphlets about how unfair it is that the ignorant followers of other knowledge gods do not take their faith seriously, and refuse to engage them in debates as fellow knowledge seekers.

They play pranks on each other at cult meetings via a formal rota, with a selected member ritually deploying a series of fart spells or other trickster pranks, while other members discuss the deeper meaning of what they are witnessing and experiencing.

Many outsiders are hostile to the cult, and allege it entraps vulnerable new members with deceptive group discussions and community events.

The Church of Eurmal, Scientist is widely  believed to have started when a trickster hero bet another lightbringer he could start a new religion, but members of the cult vehemently reject such offensive trivialisation of their sacred beliefs. Members claim their founder, Eh Wrong Cupboard, received his divine revelation while standing alone in the middle of a magical elven grove while performing an unspecified trickster ritual.

Edited by EricW
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