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Mythical Beasts of Germany


Mythical Beasts of Germany


Welcome to the land of the Brothers Grimm. It is very easy to understand why they wanted to spend their time travelling this beautiful country collecting folklore and mythology. There are so many stories and so many stunning towns to visit. It has certainly been one of those countries that, as I researched it, I was pulled more into the country's stunning regions, and it took a lot of energy to keep reading through iffy translations of obscure myths and not just start planning a fantasy itinerary on Trip Advisor.


German mythical creatures share a lot with the countries surrounding it (as you'd expect), and we can see creatures we would recognise in Nordic, Slavic, French, Austrian, and Italian mythology. It creates a fantastic melting pot of moody mermaids, giant mountain spirits, mischievous kobolds and more than its fair share of Werewolves and Dragons.


A quick note: Obviously, I am not German. Nor do I speak German beyond the point of being able to ask for directions and get some food, which covers most of my needs in day-to-day life; if I'm not lost or in danger and I have access to a sandwich, I'm generally happy enough. It does present challenges when undertaking a new map though. It is always tricky to fully understand a legend through translations, I have tried my best, persisted and believe that in the end it has come together well. I do hope people enjoy looking at it and learning about the myths and folklore it contains as much as I enjoyed making it.


If you would like to pick up a copy they are available from the store.







On to the myths!


Aufhocker


The Aufhocker (leap-upon) is a popular motif in German folklore. It can take many shapes, such as a goblin, a beautiful woman, an animal, or the dead. Regardless of its appearance, it is there to hand out justice to thieves and other ne'er-do-wells in the form of non-consensual piggybacks. Just like a toddler, it will climb on your back, growing gradually heavier and heavier until you die from exhaustion. The Aufhocker is impossible to remove; the only way it will relent is if you manage to make it home before you die, and presumably, bribe it with juice, cheese, and agree to watch the same episode of Bluey again for the 322nd time. Unlike other pressure spirits, the Aufhocker can grow a bit tired of being tiring and impatiently opt for the quicker path of ripping out your throat. Interestingly, the Aufhocker is sometimes viewed as a metaphor for emotional burden. The Germans do despairing existential metaphors very well.


Bahkauv


The Bakhauv is very much like the aforementioned Aufhocker, in that it will jump on the backs of people, forcing them to carry it until they are exhausted before attacking them. The Bakhauv differs in the sense that it has a definitive form, that of a kind of messed-up calf mutant, and its favourite target was drunk young men who would often empty their pockets of money too. I have no idea why a Bakhauv needs money; what is it buying? It sounds like a pretty flimsy excuse for young men going out drinking and fighting, and possibly a few wives over the years may have wished their boozy, rent-spending partners had met a Bakhauv. Their favourite haunts are the springs and water fountains of Aachen, so if you're out getting a bit merry in Aachen, watch your back.


Buschgroßmutter


This old dear is in a bit of a state. Moss-covered feet, long louse-ridden hair, tattered clothes, and a bunch of other not-so-pleasant descriptors are used for her. But despite having the appearance of someone who may be prone to a bit of cackling and child-based larceny, she can, in fact, be good. She reveals herself to humans once every century and issues some kind of request, such as 'Can you get these lice out of my hair?' If you are kind enough to do so, you may be rewarded. Typical rewards could be a never-ending ball of yarn or some detritus from the forest floor which, if you have the decency not to sneer at and be all 'Wow, thanks, some manky leaves, just what I wanted," it will turn to gold the following day. The Buschgroßmutter can sometimes be malevolent; if sneered at or treated unkindly, she may bring illness upon you. In other forms, she can be a bogeyman used to scare children, referred to as Buschmutter, and in this form, she is just an absolute pain. She takes on the attitude of a slighted Brownie and just causes havoc, messing with livestock and attacking kids. So, Grandmother = good, Mother = bad. We'll leave that for Freud to unpick.


Der Lange Mann


Our first entry from the famous brothers Grimm is 'The Tall Man of Murder Lane in Hof', which I opted to shorten for the map, as Germans aren't afraid of throwing a tonne of letters at a sentence, and this would have taken up quite a bit of space. It is a legend dating back to 1519 about a plague that killed many in Hof. It was said that on the eve of the plague, a giant black figure was seen, so tall that his legs reached either side of the street and his head peered above the houses. When the giant figure brought his knees together, it shook the houses, and the plague befell Hof.


Der Wolf von Ansbach


The Ansbach Wolf was a giant wolf that terrorised livestock before turning its attention to children in the Ansbach region in the 17th century. And here's where things get weird: the locals believed it was their recently departed 'Bürgermeister' which isn't the name the staff 'affectionately' call me at the local take-out, but is more a role akin to a magistrate. They trap and kill the wolf and decide to display the carcass hung up on a gibbet, wearing clothes, a mask, and a wig so that it resembles the former Bürgermeister. I mean, they got rid of the wolf. I can see how killing it solved the problem, but I'm not sure what purpose the rest of the macabre game of dress-up played. It reminds me of sympathetic magic, the idea of 'like produces like', and maybe if they believed it to be the old Bürgermeister, then maybe symbolically hanging 'him' was meant to remove his spirit or curse or something.


Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten


The Bremen Musicians is considered a fairy tale and was popularised in modern times by the brothers Grimm. However, forms of the tale go back to the 12th century, and there are similar tales across Europe and into Asia. It tells the tale of four farm animals reaching the end of their usefulness as workers on their farms; they ultimately begin to be mistreated by their owners. They decide to run away and one by one meet up while on their respective journeys, ultimately deciding to become musicians in Bremen. But before making it there, they come across a house where they see three robbers counting their loot. They climb on each other's backs and make a cacophony of noises, scaring the robbers who promptly run away. The animals move into the house, eat a good meal, and settle in for a night's sleep. Later, the robbers return believing the house to be empty, only seeing two glowing coals in the fireplace (the cat's eyes). He enters the house and receives a barnyard kick-in: the cat scratches him, the dog bites him, the donkey gives him a hoof, and the rooster chases him out. He describes his assault to his fellow thieves and, presumably to save face, says a witch scratched him with her fingernails (cat), a dwarf had knifed him (dog), a monster had hit him with a club (donkey), and most scary of all to a thief, a judge had come for them (rooster).


Doppelgänger


From the same vein as the 'Fetch', a Doppelgänger is a vision or spirit resembling someone still living. It is seen as a sign of bad fortune.


Drachen


Drachen = Dragon in German. There are many dragon-type creatures in German myth, and while this seems a bit of a random generic placement of a random generic dragon, it is here on the map for a very good reason. Furth im Wald has been holding their annual dragon-slaying festival since 1590! It is bucket list stuff: medieval markets, music, parades, and shows that have a knight on horseback doing battle with an 11-tonne walking robot dragon that can breathe fire and smoke, as well as spray blood. Locals affectionately call it 'Fanny'. Furth im Wald also has a dragon museum, and I am mentally packing my suitcase while typing this.


Drak


A delightfully unique version of dragon myths appears in Germany. The Drak, though dragon-like in appearance, is smaller and shares more in common with a Kobold or Brownie. The Drak will help around the farm or deliver goods to the fortunate person; similar to the brownie, this is a fairly transactional agreement. The Drak will likely require something such as a bowl of millet every day, or it may have some other demands, or things you shouldn't do (these types of creatures are usually a bit temperamental and easily offended). Keep your pact, and you will be greatly rewarded; break it, and you will pay the price. With a Brownie-type household spirit, it is usually mischief-based, or things getting broken; the Drak is a bit more severe, and slights will usually be treated with maximum hostility, and you are likely to be found lacerated at the bottom of a gorge. A bowl of millet each day seems a small price to pay for wealth, help, and ultimately not being clawed up and disappeared by a miniature dragon.


Drei Jungfrauen


The Three Maidens is an incredibly abundant myth in South Germany, though there are as many versions as there are stories. Sometimes they are wealthy women gifting inheritance, fairies, saints, treasure guardians, or damned souls. The variations are nigh on endless.


Fáfnir


Fáfnir is a character from one of my favourite sagas, 'the Völsunga saga.' It is a saga that really has it all, and I would love to have a go at writing an accessible version of this one day as it's a great tale that I think a lot of people would enjoy. But anyway. Fáfnir was a dwarf who was also a bit of a git. He grew envious of his father's gifts and treasures that had been given to him by the gods. He, in particular, really liked a ring (precious?). So he decides to murder his dad and take all his swag and live in a cave by himself surrounded by his hoard. Whilst here, he is transformed by his greed into a wurm/dragon; dragons often being a moral tale of how greed corrupts a person and Fáfnir is one of our main examples of that. If this is sounding familiar, it should. Tolkien was a huge fan of sagas and may well have taken influence from Fáfnir. There are familiar elements to both our favourite ring-loving nut-case Sméagol/Gollum, as well as the great Northern fire drake Smaug. Northern always seemed so vague, like where are we talking here? Leeds?


"Revenge! T’ King under t’ Mountain is deed n wherest his kin that dare t’ seek revenge? Girion Lord of t’Dale is deed, av scranned his folk like a wolf among t’ sheep, an where are his kin that dare approach mi? A kill where a wish an none dare resist. A laid low t’ warriors of auld and their like aint in t’ world today. Then a was but a bairn n soft. Now I am old and strong, strong, strong, Tea-leaf in t’ Shadows!"

-Yorkshire Smaug


For those not familiar with UK dialect, that may not make too much sense, but if I wasted my day translating Smaug into Yorkshire, you can waste 30 seconds reading it. Anyway, Fáfnir's brother (Regin) crafts a sword for the hero of the tale Sigurð, who then lays down in a trench waiting for Fáfnir to pass over him on his way for a drink and sticks the sword up into his belly, disembowelling him. Regin then requests the heart to eat, 'cause why wouldn't you want to eat your dragon brother's heart? When cooking it, Sigurð burns his finger when checking if the heart is medium or well-done, so gives it a little suck and finds he has the new ability to hear the thoughts of birds. Must've been some strong heart, man. Anyway, because he can now hear the birds, or is tripping his nuts off on dragon blood, he gets paranoid and/or is told by the birds that Regin plans to kill him. So he kills him first and makes off with the dragon loot. Classic.


Feuermann


Descriptions of the fiery men vary wildly, which makes it hard to give a definitive description but certainly frees you up artistically. The common theme is obviously fire; they can be tall, short, skeletal, demonic, a column of fire, or eyes peering through fire, so there's a lot to work with if you mainly want to draw some fire. They may be demons, spirits, cursed, fae, or other; it is quite unclear, though they do seem to inspire a tremendous sense of dread in people who see them, which seems a fair reaction. I have found very few references to them and only managed to get hold of one book with information, which seems to suggest they are just there in the landscape inspiring dread. Other books give them more interactions with people, but not having fully read them myself I wouldn't like to say. The crumbs seem to suggest a very different being to what I've read about and place them more in a home setting, burning up cobwebs, lighting pipes, and eating bacon flans, so they seem a little less terrifying in that instance.


Frau Gauden


There are a great many variations of women who make deals with the devil for some kind of boon or magical abilities. Many of these have connections back to older pagan deities; in later times, deals with the devil became more common, and often many of them become members of the Wild Hunt. Frau Gauden starts as many often do, with some upper-class ladies who just love to go around shooting critters and utter something like, "Oh, I do declare, shooting little creatures gives me such a weird joy I would forsake heaven to blast their little fuzzy faces off for all eternity." And inevitably, the devil turns up with a 'smoke the whole pack of cigarettes' kind of deal, where they will indeed hunt for all eternity, and they discover that inevitably doing any one thing forever, no matter how much you love it, becomes tedious.

Where Frau Gauden differs is that she had 24 daughters (yes, 24!), and they all wished the same thing. Well, they got their wish too but were transformed into hunting dogs, 4 used to draw her carriage, the rest to hunt. As predicted, they get tired of this and hunt endlessly, lamenting their choice. On the 12 days of Christmas, the dogs can enter an open door of a house, where they persist in whinging at people as they try to sleep, which sounds just great, way to make your problem my problem. There is no way to calm the whinging dog; it will not be ushered out, and if you kill it, it will turn to stone and return for the whole year bringing misery, illness, and potentially causing a fire. Brilliant. They never mentioned the whingy, spontaneously combusting, cursed stone dogs in the Christmas carol. Frau Gauden isn't entirely evil; she has the potential to deliver a disgusting boon to those who help her. Once, her wagon broke down outside a farm, and she asked if a farmhand would help her; he dutifully did, and as thanks, she tells him to collect all the poop left by her 24 terrifying dogs; he eventually did, and the next day they turn to gold. Still in the shape of dog dirt? I'm unsure.


Glühschwanz


Maybe my favourite beast that I got to hear about making this map. It is a glowing dragon who is a friend and/or foe to witches. It would deliver them food, drink, and cash in exchange for sweet milk being prepared for it on the stove, though if this deal wasn't honoured it would respond in usual dragon fashion and simply torch the place. Which is kind of fair. It also reminds me of many household spirit stories in which goods/services are given in exchange for something fairly trivial, and a brutal response befalls those who would break the deal. The Glühschwanz seemed to have a particular trigger around fairness; if a farmer or lord mistreated their workers, underpaid, or was generally a bad person, it would fly over their house at night using its glowing tail to cast light on their roof, signalling their misdeeds. Like a glowing neon arrow showing 'this person sucks'. Other ways of meting out a bit of revenge on people included perching on their chimneys and letting 'something' fall into it, spoiling smoking meats and filling the house with a stench... it was poo wasn't it? He pooped down their chimneys. I've often thought if I was a wealthy man and had that time and freedom I'd dedicate my life to just messing with the kind of people who just make life harder and more miserable than it needs to be. The kind of person who isn't technically breaking a law, or at least not one severe enough for anything to happen to them, but will just be out there making life suck that little bit more than it should and not get their comeuppance. I think I have found a spirit animal in the Glühschwanz. To that raised pickup that parked in the last parent-child spot at the supermarket... I'm coming for your chimney, mate.


Haalgeist


A good spirit who is the guardian of the salt spring and protects the village by warning of impending disasters such as floods, plagues, and fires. He appears as a shaggy-haired goblin who is fond of a rude joke, though it is best not to make fun of him; his goodness has limits, and his responses to slights are often incredibly severe.


Irrlicht


The German will-o'-the-wisp bears a lot of the same traits, purposes, and explanations as wisps do elsewhere in the world. One thing I did notice that is slightly different from wisps that I've encountered in other lore is that they seem slightly more 'interactive', not just a confusing thing to leave travellers astray but they have slightly more story to them. My favourite tale tells of a man wandering at night and seeing an Irrlicht, and thinks to himself, "I'll save a bit of cash on candles if I can trap that." He manages to stuff it in a sack and hurries home to show it to his wife. When he gets there, he tells her what he's got and opens the sack. No Irrlicht, but in its place, a human skull, which I'm sure raised many questions with his wife, and probably more still when the skull floated up and started haunting the house. This is not what he wanted at all, so he decides to try for the supernatural refund, eventually stuffing the creepy skull back in the sack. He takes it back to where he found the Irrlicht and buries it. As he finishes, he hears a bell tower strike 1, and as it does, the Irrlicht appears and says, "Boy, are you lucky! If that clock hadn't struck one, I'd have broken your legs and neck!"


Klabautermann


A water kobold that protects sailors sailing in the Baltic Sea. He's a merry creature who enjoys a pipe and a song. He's an expert at all things ship-related and will rescue men who have gone overboard. A properly useful crewmate, though you will never see him, and you are lucky not to, because any ship where the crew do catch sight of him is doomed.


Klageweib


A giant Banshee! An enormous ghostly woman, dressed in fluttering shrouds, with sunken dark eyes, who will lean over a lonely farmhouse making a sombre weeping sound into the night. Someone inside will be dead within a month.


Krampus


Krampus has certainly been having a moment. He has become increasingly popular in recent times, with Krampus runs popping up all over, sometimes even in places with no ties to Alpine history. His resurgence is due to people wanting to connect back to older beliefs and traditions, and he has become one of the adopted figureheads that are being used all over. There are many other mythical beasts and folklore objects popping up in places they wouldn't usually be found. I'm always fascinated by how myths travel. Krampus goes way back, like waaaaaay back. He is more often now used as a kind of an anti-Santa, a hairy beast with horns, tail, whips, chains, and a big lolling tongue, that punishes naughty children at Christmas but he is potentially pre-Christian, originating in a similar entity called Percht.


Lorelei and Isa


I've included these two together as not only do they share the same function, but they are said to be sisters. They both mark treacherous points on their respective rivers that have a long history of boats sinking. Like many dangerous stretches of water, they seem to conjure up a sense of superstition, and before you know it, you've got mermaids, or sirens, or some other creature to blame for a captain with too much 'I got this' energy. Both Lorelei and Isa, and in general, other aquatic ladies in German folklore, seem confusing to tie down to what exactly they are. The lines between mermaid, nymph, siren, etc., seem blurry, and in some accounts, they will take on attributes of one, only to be contradicted in another. To cover my butt, I have simply represented them in the style of the statues that have been created of them in their hometowns. If it is correct in the eyes of the locals, and they have quite literally set a representation in stone, I'm happy to defer.


Morbach Monster


The Morbach Monster is a werewolf story that is still very much alive today. During the Napoleonic wars, a deserter named Thomas Johannes Baptist Schwytzer entered a farm to steal supplies. When confronted by an understandably angry farmer, he decided to murder him. He was seen by the man's family and proceeded to kill them all, but not before the farmer's wife could get a curse out: "From now on, at each full moon, you will change into a rabid wolf!" Schwytzer stayed in the area, robbing, murdering, and being a general pain in the arse for a while, all the time rumours circulating about his wolf-like nature.

Eventually, locals went full mob mode and killed him; wary of the curse they buried him and created a shrine with a lit candle, acting as some kind of binding spell. It is said that if the candle ever went out, he would return. And here's where things get interesting.

In 1988, whilst stationed at a US Air Force base nearby, troops were returning to the barracks when passing the shrine, they noticed the candle had gone out. They joked about the silly locals and their foolish beliefs, their laughter to be broken by the sirens ringing out across the base. Something had triggered the perimeter sensors, a guard was sent to investigate and reported seeing a large wolf-like creature stood on its hind legs. It held his gaze before leaping a 3-meter-high fence and running off into the woods. Military personnel attempted to track the creature, but the dogs refused to follow the scent. I loved this story; it spans a couple of centuries and brings us into the modern times. It is talked about as the last 'credible' werewolf sighting. You'll have to make your own mind up about that.


Mummelseekönig


The Mummelsee is a lake in the Black Forest that legend has it is inhabited by water spirits as well as their father, the king of the Mummelsee. At the bottom of the Mummelsee, there is a crystal castle where lived the Mümmlein, joyous mermaids (though again this term seems vague in Germany and they seem to appear more like nymphs in the stories I have read). Each day they would venture from the depths to visit the locals, look after the children, or work in the house or gardens whilst the women worked the fields. Their father, the king of the Mummelsee, was fine with this, on the condition that they returned to the castle as soon as there were stars in the sky.

The Mümmlein loved the village dances and one night whilst dancing with the guy she liked, one of the Mümmlein lost track of time. The clock struck 10, and she realized what she had done. She hurried out of the hall with her beau and went back to the lake. With a willow rod, she tapped the water three times, the water parting and creating marble-like stairs down to the castle. She said to her partner, "Now we will probably never see each other, because I will have to die. Wait a while longer on the shore. If blood rises from the depths, I have lost my life; if not, I shall soon be with you again."

Wait, what? This seems a bit dramatic. I mean, I know parents can be quite strict on curfews but 'die'? Seems a bit harsh. And well, ultimately, the water closes back in, a red wave breaks on the shore, and Romeo knows what has happened. The Mummelseekönig apparently has no wiggle room for disobedience. Massively harsh; surely he was young once. We've all been out dancing, stepped outside, and seen that the sun is coming up and thought 'oh crap.' The usual remedy is a taxi home, a cup of tea, some toast, and get a movie on, not to be turned into liquid gore.


Nachzehrer


A bizarre type of vampiric ghoul, the 'shroud-eater' was a person who, post-death, would drain the life force from their family members. It didn't do this in any blood-sucking way or by physically attacking anyone; instead, it would sit in its coffin and eat its burial shroud and ultimately itself. I wish I had a better grasp of German to understand this one, as a lot I read seemed to not make great sense, so I could only glean aspects of the full legends. I'll try to hit some bullet points, and you can dig deeper if you like.

The Nachzehrer, instead of leaving the grave and risking a good old-fashioned decapitation, would rather use other spirits to go about draining life force from others, or use some form of sympathetic magic through the act of eating its shroud. On the rare instances it did leave the grave, its shadow could kill people. Also, it could go clatter about with church bells, and whoever heard them would also die, so seemingly it did have a few methods of killing 'in-the-flesh,' as it were. Last weird bits: it could transform into a pig to sneak about without getting caught, which is a bit less goth than the more traditional/cliché bat, and it also got a kick out of tying cows' tails together.


Niß Puk


The Niß Puk is a highly changeable and enigmatic myth, varying depending on the region of Germany. In essence, it functions similarly to a household spirit, exchanging chores and boons for small contracts (such as providing a bowl of porridge), and reacting strongly if these contracts are disrespected. However, its attributes differ widely across regions. In some areas, it is depicted with little slippers that enable high-speed movement, while in others, it possesses strength equivalent to seven men, or even the ability to shapeshift. What sets the Niß Puk apart from regular household spirits is its willingness to engage in criminal activities on behalf of its owner. If spotted in the wild, it is often on a mission to steal as much loot as desired, though it may occasionally return with a pile of dirt.


Petermännchen


A household spirit from Schwerin Palace, it is said a pagan god used to live at the site, and when Christianity came to the area, he fled, along with his attending spirits, all except one who refused to leave his post: Petermännchen. Since then, he has stayed in the palace and taken his guarding seriously. He patrols the corridors, and if he finds a guard sleeping, he will wake him to avoid punishment. He also enjoys punishing thieves and intruders. He is kind of like a Brownie but mainly focused on his guard duties.


Poplitzer Popelmännchen


When Poplitz Castle was being built, it faced severe delays in a way you just cannot predict when quoting for a job as a castle builder. Every day when the workmen finished, a small goblin/leprechaun-type creature would come out and undo all the day's hard work. This sounds like the flimsiest excuse I've ever heard a tradesman come up with; you can guarantee they were paid by the day and not for the job. Anyway, they called in a holy person to consecrate part of a room, and that night, when the little fella ran past, he was thrown against the wall and turned to stone. Apparently, the statue is of a cat, which turns back to goblin form for just 1 hour a night. I think this fits my theory of dodgy tradesmen. If you're going to sack off work and blame it on a mythical creature, then pretend you solved it by getting a holy man to turn it to stone, it's probably best to check what stock of stone animals the local garden centre has beforehand.


Roggenmuhme


The Rye-Aunt is probably one of the most intense and visually striking of the field spirits. She is a demon of the corn with fiery fingers, bosoms full of tar, a birch whip that sparks, and parts of her may be made of iron. Quite a creepy vision. She roams the fields eating corn, and if the harvest is bad she will punish the farmer, though seeing her in the fields is generally an omen that the crop is good. She is mother to the rye-wolves, though that doesn't mean she is in any way to be trusted around kids. She is prone to leaving changelings, mashing kids up in her churn or forcing them to drink from her poisonous bosom, which is problematic at best. Definitely will not be asking for the Rye-Aunt to babysit


Rübezahl


He is a confusing figure with many stories and depictions. His earliest visual representation shows him as almost like a heraldic beast with antlers, a tail, animal legs, and a beak. He has become more commonly represented as a giant. I tried to mix a bit of the 2 for my image. He is often likened to a Schratt, a Bergmönch, a Bergeist, a mining entity, or more recently a giant.


Schlangenkönig


I only found a couple of stories about Snake Kings, but given the distance between them and how different the two were, I would wager that there are many other stories out there. The theme is simply a snake wearing a crown of the purest gold, and the stories differ. In one, I found a tale about a young boy who grew up playing with a Snake King, and though it worried his parents at first, they seemed to get on, so they left them to it. They played together until the boy was grown, and then for some unknown reason, he decides to kill his snakey friend and take his crown as a gift for his parents. I don't know what the moral is, but that kid is a sociopath. If I were his folks, I'd sell that crown and seek a therapist. The other story I found was of some fishermen having a bad day. They begin to swear, at which point some snakes show up. The fishermen get scared and run away. The snakes then chase them and perform some kind of bizarre dance with a crown-wearing snake in the middle. It freaks the fishermen out, as it would. I have no idea the point to this story either, except 'don't swear,' I guess. Snake-kind myths seem a bit odd.


Schöne Lau


Technically a fairy tale written by Eduard Mörike, but the environment it is set in is bound to have myths circling it. It tells of a depressed mermaid/nymph who cannot laugh or smile. She hasn't been able to birth a living child, so is banished by her Nix husband to the Blautopf (Blue pot), a very strange and beautiful little lake. It's easy to see why she's depressed at this point. She is sent away and told she cannot return until she has laughed heartily five times. She lives her days in the Blautopf with her various pets and plays chess at night with a dwarf who likes pulling silly faces to try to make her giggle. She comes up to enjoy the church bells, floods places when angry and hoards some trinkets to no avail. Ultimately, she does learn to live, laugh, love with the help of the friendly locals and by becoming involved in the daily lives of their families, and other such wholesome stuff about the community. She then returns to her husband who banished her and gives him healthy kids. I'm not sure why she returned; she found somewhere that made her happy only to go back to the source of her misery, though we've all seen a mate or two do that, I guess. I'm sure he's changed.


Sennentuntschi


Yeah, this one is weird. A Sennentuntschi is a female doll created by Alpine shepherds. It gets lonely up in them mountains, so why not create a female doll to keep you company? You can feed it, make light chit-chat, brush its hair, and if you must, 'take it to bed with you'. We're already in strange territory and it only gets weirder when the doll comes to life. Surprisingly not happy about various things that have happened to it, an Alpine horror fest is about to commence. A Sennentuntschi will want revenge, and it usually involves a skinned shepherd.


Tatzelwurm


A very famous Alpine mythical beast with surprisingly very little to say about it. There aren't really any great stories or morals; most encounters will simply describe its features. It is described somewhere between 4-7 feet, lizard-like but with a cat's head. Other features pop up in accounts, such as claws and bristles, but mainly it just seems there to give people a fright and steal milk from livestock. Cool-looking but not great depth, like an Instagram influencer.


Walrider / Alp


One of the most common mythical creatures in German folklore is the pressure spirit. There are many variations: Drudes, Walriders, Alps, etc. They all serve a similar function of sitting on the chest of a sleeping person and draining their energy. They vary wildly in appearance; they can look like hags, beautiful women, domestic animals, goblins, or anything in between, given many of them have the ability to shapeshift. The stories and origins vary wildly, making it an area you can delve into as much or as little as you like.


Uglei


"U.G.L.E.I, you ain't got no alibi. You Uglei." The Uglei is actually the name of a lake, and the figure in question is said to be responsible for its creation. The story tells of one of those less-than-chivalrous knights who fell in "love" with a local farm girl. He pursued her affection for a long time before she caught feelings for him too. He took her to a small chapel in the forest and promised to make her his wife "and may God strike me down if I'm full of BS". The poor girl believed him, and they met regularly, until one day he stopped showing up.

When she realized she had been abandoned, she caught full-blown type 1 emo. She started wearing black and became very depressed. Eventually, she died of the emo. The knight, being the arse that he was, met another woman and married her in the exact chapel in the woods where he'd previously declared his love for our favourite farm girl. The absolute cheek of it. As the couple were about to say "I do", a ghostly woman appeared all in black and pointed to the knight. He fell to the floor in fright, and an enormous storm appeared and sank the chapel to the bottom of the lake.


We hope you enjoyed our journey exploring the mythical beasts of Germany. If you would like a copy prints are available in our store.




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