WE DID IT! Thank you for supporting our Kickstarter for Book 1, A Few Good Elves!
Available now at most major retailers.

LaLoki "Loki's Night" (la-LOH-kee | /lɑ 'loʊ ki/)

When an apple cart needs kicking, Loki's chosen don red and green boots

In Elf communities, there are none more respected -- or feared -- than the clergy of the trickster-god Loki. There are many reasons for this, but one is likely the tradition of LaLoki, or "Loki's Night."   LaLoki is a 24 hour period during which free license is given to play pranks and jests on a broad, organized scale. The whole community is fair game, whether they wish to participate or not. Indeed, it's common for those who are least enthusiastic about the tradition to be pranked the most.

History

Loki by Arthur Rackham

  Loki's worshipers believe the tradition was founded by Loki Himself. This may well be true, because almost every elven community has their own origin story about the first time LaLoki came to them (some told in hushed whispers.) Occasionally Loki is said to have been joined on His exploits by Gob the King of the Gnomes, Thor, Puck, Raven, or even Mab Herself. Stories vary from lighthearted jests intended to raise spirits, to enormously destructive "pranks," like stealing the sun.

Execution

Any elf can declare a Loki's Night, as long as one of Loki's chosen is willing to sanction it (and why wouldn't they?) By tradition, the elf who is serving as Loki's Avatar (and their official co-conspirators) must don one red and one green boot as a declaration and warning to the populace. They do not, however, have to do this in public, or while anyone in the community is awake (hence, it is called "Loki's Night," even if it occasionally happens during the day.)   They then have free license to play tricks, even to the extent of creating public nuisances and committing crimes -- although elven communities usually do not tolerate jests that involve body counts. This doesn't necessarily stop Loki's chosen from executing those sorts of jokes, however, especially if LaLoki was prompted to redress an injustice.   Other communities rarely have such broad tolerance for Loki's Night, with the exception of Fey-Folk and Gnomes. Loki's chosen are frequently banished for engaging in this tradition -- not that they're prone to respecting such decrees.

Components and tools

It is imperative that anyone who serves as Loki's Avatar wear one red and one green boot to invoke their immunity. It's worth noting that pranksters have sometimes later invoked immunity by claiming to have donned the boots. Occasionally, the clergy of Loki choose to back such obviously false claims -- especially if they think Loki would approve of the joke.  

by Jon Luty

Adults stuff their pockets with candy to give to children who try out their nascent humourous efforts during LaLoki.

Participants

Loki's chosen have free license to play pranks upon anyone, regardless of age, social status, or desire. They may recruit others to their cause, or others may choose join in.  

by Mysticartdesign

Elven children have a lot of fun during LaLoki, even if adults use it for more political purposes.

Observance

LaLoki may be declared at any time and for any reason, as befits a tradition in service to a god of chaos. LaLoki might be inspired in an elven community in many ways:

For Fun

By far, the most common reason to declare LaLoki is simply to have a good time. At least once a year, most elven communities enjoy a Loki's Night to entertain the young and young at heart. Children are encouraged to play pranks and tell jokes, and even the silliest attempt is rewarded by adults with candy.  

As Reverence and Appeasement

The trickster-god is also thought to be the giver and taker of good fortune. Hence, even the most uptight Alfar communities declare LaLoki at least once a year, to avoid incurring Loki's displeasure.  

To Boost Morale

LaLoki may be declared to lift spirits. Pranks on this sort of Loki's Night tend to the outlandish and vulgar. Many become the subjects of bar-stories later, which are often deliberately embellished.  

As Social Commentary

It's a common practice to declare LaLoki to shake up the social structure, critique oppressive rules, or take authority figures down a peg. These are usually prompted by open displays of elitism or abuse of power, and the jokes tend to the poetic.  

As Poetic Justice

The most frightening use of LaLoki is as a tool to redress a perceived injustice. These "japes" tend to be harsh, poetic, and occasionally cruel or even violent.  

The Captive Robin by John Anster Fitzgerald

Fey-Folk appreciate the humour - and the apple-cart kicking - of LaLoki.
Don't forget that you can click on the blue compass on the left to access the Table of Contents at any time!
A Few Good Elves Cover Small.png

Want to read all of the Toy Soldier Saga fiction, even before the rest of the world does?Subscribe now!

(In)Famous LaLokia

Many Loki's Nights have had lasting cultural and historical significance, or have made it into popular legend. Here are a few:  

Location: Garnes

Occasion: The Troll Wars

  When the season’s fighting ended, prophetess Lleniares Moonchild and her Gnome friend Belvarn the Ballmaster decided to take the soldiers’ minds off the horrors of the Wars. They declared LaLoki and started a food fight in a local tavern.   A lot of soap was spilled while helping the tavern owners clean up. Belvarn strapped scrub brushes to his feet and skated in the suds. Attempts to grab Belvarn failed, since he was slippery from the soap. This devolved into a game of "catch the gnome," which became a tradition.   Eventually, soap was abandoned for grease. When Belvarn was injured, friendly spellcasters protected him with force bubbles. But since that made him more difficult to grab, a leather suit was created for Belvarn to wear. This suit was outfitted with leather handles at all angles, and imbued with a spell of invulnerability. This evolved into a complex game similar to rugby, except that Belvarn served as the "ball," and he was allowed to evade both teams.   The game became a popular pastime as others saw it and wanted to play. Other gnomes aspired to become "balls" themselves. Eventually, the widely-popular sport Gnomeball was born, which is still played between cities across Known Space in a formal competitive league.  

Location: Tohvassneris

Occasion: Last Stand of Lyrissande Verbena

  After Lyrissande Verbena tried, and failed to convince the Alfar city-state of Tohvassneris to join her fight against the Tyrannen , her friend Kaimen Stormbringer, a notorious Lokean priest, declared LaLoki in the city to avenge her death.   He (presumably with the assistance of their band of adventurers, though nothing was ever proven,) robbed every chit from their vast treasuries. As a result, when the Tyrannen eventually marched upon Tohvassneris, the Alfar lacked the funds to employ their typical strategy - hiring mercenaries. Kaimen's "prank" was therefore almost certainly responsible, at least in part, for Tohvassneris' fall.  

Location: Sol'Tohvassneris

Occasion: Social Commentary

  When Lleniares Moonchild and The Usual Suspects visited the restored city-state Sol'Tohvassneris in the company, again, of Kaimen Stormbringer, they found that there was still significant social stratification among the elves of the city. They declared LaLoki and in one night, the band managed to replace one shoe or boot out of every pair with a "matching" shoe or boot belonging to someone else. The citizens found themselves wandering the streets, searching high and low for the mates of their footwear.   Later, it was discovered that the footwear had been divided up to force elves of different social classes to interact with each other to recover them. Further, each missing shoe or boot was at least a mile away from its mate. Thus, the Sol'Tohvassnerisii were literally forced "to walk a mile in someone else's shoes." The point was not lost upon the city-state, and a series of social reforms followed that resulted in a more egalitarian society.  

Location: Somewhere in Known Space (assumed to be the Telasian System )

Occasion: The defeat of Sable's Privateers

  Sable's Privateers' ship was once crippled and a valued crew member, Storm of Clan Brightscale, was nearly killed. Princess Isolde of Silverwood, a.k.a. "Quicksilver", a Lokean priestess, called upon the very limits of her healing powers to save him.   Recovering their morale was difficult, so Quicksilver declared LaLoki. Spurred on by Kaimen Stormbringer, the tales of their pranks continue to circulate in bars across Known Space. Confirmed incidents include:
  • Star-Pilot Shaundar Sunfall was glued to his Helm-Chair (and what happened next between him and the famously-beautiful pirate Tala-Kryn, continues to spark ribald stories in dockyard taverns.)
  • A cream pie fight involving siege weaponry ensued, followed by a fight using ship's paint.
  • The party continued on Freebooter's Rock. They danced on tables in every elven bar in town and then continued their paint fight, annoying the local Avalonian Imperial Navy, with whom they were not on the best of terms.
  • Their spree concluded at the Gnome tavern The Long Nose, where Quicksilver, Kaimen, and the Privateers' compliment of bards put on a risque improv magical illusion show, to wide gnomish acclaim.
Everyone who has ever docked at Freebooter's Rock claims to have been there. At least half the tales told are clearly wistful fabrications; which, said Quicksilver publicly, "is the sign of a job well done."  
Related Ethnicities

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
21 Nov, 2020 03:46

I absolutely love your examples. What fun! And what clever uses of the holiday to further more political goals.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
18 Feb, 2021 00:21

Every single one of those was something that has actually been played in our RPG within this universe over the course of the years - so I can only take partial credit for them! (Quicksilver, Shaundar, and Lleniares Moonchild are characters I played.) :D

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
18 Feb, 2021 00:23

I should note that Belvarn the Ballmaster was Siobhan's character, and Kaimen Stormbringer was Erin's. ;)

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
Powered by World Anvil