“...And the manfools piled rock on rocks and
raised a treesie roof, Hammers saws tear the skin of goodsie wood... and laughs
at The Woodsie Lord. And when learns The Lord of
this, He sends his beastessess to the manfools... who attacks and hammers saws
their useless fleshes, and build him a house of they rottings skins” (Unattributed Trickster Song).
Worshipped by the chaotic pagans, the Trickster (also known as The Honeymaker, the Jacksberry, the Leaf-Man, the Woodsie One, the Leafy Lord, the Harvester, the Gillsweet, the Bear, the Worming Death, the Hoofed Liar, the Leaf Devil, The Woodsie King, the Leafy King, the Chaotic One) puts himself sharply against all technical progress of crafting in the world, like stone and metal buildings, dreaming about a future similar to the past, in which the pure forests covered the territory entirely and people trust only in the land to survive. He is considered an evil entity by the Hammerites and their god (the Builder), while pagan parchments face him as holy.
Appearance, Abilities and Allies
The Trickster’s image, as well as his part in the Thief franchise, appears to be a mixture of the Greek god Pan and the Christian demon Satan. Some portraits in Thief: The Dark Project depicted him accompanied by gorgeous women, playing the bagpipes. In his forehead, the pagan eye symbol can be found marked. His appearance also resembles that of a faun or satyr of ancient myth.
He has the ability of shapeshifting, often using the disguise of a bald nobleman named Constantine to live unnoticed in The City. He also is able to perform some kind of ritualistic mystic magic, commanding the four elements and an army of hybrid beasts, with human, plant and animal features combined. He seems capable of warping and distorting space itself, and grants his followers, the Pagans, the power to raise the dead.
Viktoria, a wood nymph, is a powerful ally of the Trickster, acting as a personal messenger between him and the city’s authorities. She also disguised herself as human, like him, but was more attuned to society.
Historical and Religious Roots
The Pagans believe that the Woodsie One was the father of all nature, who created and nurtured his children and endowed them shelter if they respected the wilderness. In the final chapter of Dark Project, Garrett mentions that the Maw of Chaos is the Hoofed Liar’s lair.
On the other hand, the Hammerites accuses him of employing malicious methods, like stealing, to fulfill his evil purposes, and seducing followers with false promises. It is unclear if there is a relation between the origins of Trickster and the Builder, but the Hammerites state that their god offered tools and ways to the men to work the land and develop their intellect, while the Woodsie Lord kept preaching about the necessity to maintain primitive ways of life, what eventually turns the two deities into natural enemies.
According to recorded history kept by the Keepers and the Kurshok, the Trickster once used to walk the earth. He allowed the Kurshok to build immense cities and ships from raw materials, since he hates those who cut down trees and extract minerals to shape them. He used to dedicate sincere affection for this race, but he ended banishing them and their cities to the underground, after their king Gruliac proclaimed himself to be above the Trickster, refusing to give him back his crown.
The Pagans also are permitted to rise small huts and simple temples, as seen by Garrett during Thief II: The Metal Age. Besides, the members of the faction are yet allowed to dress themselves with basic clothes, write precarious parchments with ink, and use rudimentary gardening and cooking utensils.
It is believed that fifty years prior to the events of The Dark Project the Trickster may have used the magic of The Eye to unleash the Cataclysm in Old Quarter, raising a horde of undead from a Hammerite cathedral into The City. In spite of that, the Keepers have managed to stop the tragedy in time, utilizing four Elemental Wards to restrain The Eye sealed inside the building. A whole section of The City was then completely isolated from the rest of it by the order of the City Council, with the construction of a wall to contain the spreading of the undead.
The Dark Project
In the first Thief game, the Trickster disguises himself as Constantine, an eccentric nobleman who lives in a very weird house in The City: alien sounds can be heard inside architectonic crazy halls populated by bizarre beasts and luxurious plants. He hires Garrett to steal a sword from his own mansion, in a sly plot set to test the master thief’s abilities. Happy with the result of this endeavor, the aristocrat then sends Garrett in a mission to retrieve a mysterious artifact known as The Eye from the innards of a haunted Hammerite cathedral.
Upon the delivery of the item, the true identity of the Hoofed Liar is revealed and The Eye is stolen from Garrett, who has one of his own eyeballs violently plucked out from its orbit by the wood nymph Viktoria, a Pagan ally of the Woodsie Lord (see above), to be used to someway “activate” the artifact. This seems to focus its magic and open a portal to the true world, the Maw of Chaos.
Demise or Disappearance?
The Trickster’s plan to merge the material plane (in which The City exists) with the Maw of Chaos, in order to put an end to all forms of civilization and bring total chaos to the world, was foiled when Garrett was able to sneak inside his lair and exchange The Eye with a fake one forged by the Hammerites. This ruined the Great Ritual that was being performed by the Trickster, making the magic energy kill him in the process. The Pagans, however, still worship him to this day and believe that he will eventually return to exact revenge against his enemies.