See him hiding in plain sight, with charm and flair, smoking your cigarettes and drinking all the rum, promising you the moon with one face and stealing your immortal soul and your pocketwatch with the other. The trickster more often than not cannot be understood, merely guessed at, for he wears many masks and takes delight in playing the fool to make greater fools of others. He is a black hole at the centre of the story with many reflecting facets, a blind spot in the hero’s vision, sucking up all the love and light and truth and turning them into shining rupturing distractions. He is a gateway to transformation and the underworld, with chaos at his right hand and death at his left, and a terrible whimsy in between. Change is the song he sings, and chaos the ruin that he wreaks. Like a particularly toothsome shark, he will never stop moving onward.
He cannot abide any absolute or rule, will rattle at the cages of authorities until they come tumbling down. He likes to watch worlds crashing and burning and whirling like a whizzing firecracker with them. He has no care for good or evil, no need for the usual vices and virtues of humanity. Where others see fate and patterns, morality and honour, gods and righteousness, he sees only lies stretched over mayhem, and plays with them like a child playing cat’s cradle. Lies are his mother tongue, and with them he shapes and reshapes himself and the world to his liking. He may be destructive or merry, precise or bacchanalian, dealing out death or candy or all at once, but he is never, ever tame. He has no means but chaos, no plan but disorder, no motive but winning whatever fickle game he is playing against the universe, and so may be left standing alone in a burning wreckage that he never intended to create. (He will probably laugh for the flames anyway).
He charms, he whittles at wills, he holds up a mirror to your soul and will twist your mind until everything you see is so warped you will trust only him to speak the truth. And the truth he will speak; only just enough truth to fit his purpose best. He is not a guide; though he may become one by chance or boredom. Humanity is a fascination for him; an ongoing project. He may hate, or he may love, but only in strange ways unbound from traditional emotion, from right or respect or truth, but in creeping, crawling, manic ways that burn and turn the object of his love inside out; that sends them howling mad into the abyss until they destroy themselves or come out the other side burned clean, like earth scorched and made fertile to grow things not seen ever before.
What he desires above all else is to be free, free to pursue his pleasures in all their caprice and recklessness through the playground of the world. Yet often, in the end, he is bound for his crimes against nature. He will always rise again. Change is his game.
Examples: The Devil, Hannibal, Jack Sparrow, Tyler Durden, Loki (when he’s not trying to rule the world), Robin Goodfellow, Iago, Prometheus, Howl Jenkins, the Doctor, Alice Morgan, Moriarty, Anansi, Coyote, The Joker.