Shadow Cities Spirits Legends and Lore
Shadow Cities Spirits Legends and Lore by Chiemichan
hey everyone! I’m not sure about you all, but I’m very interested in learning some of the legends behind the entities we see in the Shadow World.
before any further, I’d like to give credit and major thanks to Verdoknight, most of the wording is his, but I will be updating his information as I go.
“During the last 600 years, the fire between the planes has diminished, allowing visionaries, artists and madmen to extend their minds to the Shadow World. A few mages have only very recently discovered where the fire no longer burns at all. These clear spots have revealed something alarming – the second plane is still not accessible. A seal behind the fire blocks access to the Shadow World. Cracks in the seal have appeared in populated areas. These gateways are now tapped for magic.
Bigger holes in the seal also exist. These breaches are large enough that magical creatures long forgotten are able to enter our world. There are believed to be four breaches in the Seal – one near the British Isles, one in Northern Europe, and two in Eastern Europe. Through these breaches pour the spirits of Dannan, Tiermes, Inrik, and Drioma into our world.”
– Shadow Cities, “The Brief History of Magic”
Dannan – a shortened and modified spelling on the race of people known as Tuatha Dé Danann meaning “peoples of the goddess Danu”; this group was the fifth group of people to settle into Ireland and took this country from the Fir Bolg, the previous inhabitants.
Banshee – a female spirit seen as an omen of death and messenger from the Otherworld; anytime you hear this spirit wail, someone is about to die.
Bean Nighe – similar to a Banshee; is seen washing the blood-stained clothes or armor of those about to die.
Bucca – a fairy in Cornish folklore believed to inhabit mines and coastal communities as hobgolbins of the storm; it is suggested that this had originally been the ancient pagan deity of the seas or fertility.
Cu Sith – translates to “fairy dog”; dark green in color and the size of a large calf; it was considered the harbinger of death of the Scottish Highlands, similar in nature to a Grim Reaper; if you heard three barks from this fairy, it would be a warning to farmers to lock up their wives unless they want the dog to steal them away and take them to a fairy mound to supply milk for the children of the fae.
Ellylldan – a Welsh spirit similar to a Will o’ the Wisp; it will appear as a light to mislead travelers from their path and into dangerous bogs.
Ellyllon – plural form of ellyll; pigmy elves who haunt groves and valleys
Far Darrig – translates to “red man” because of his red cap and coat; a solitary fairy that loves to do practical jokes, especially those that are gruesome.
Gwyllgi – Mythical dog from Wales that looks like a mastiff with red eyes.
Gwyllion – A word with a wide range of possible meanings, including ghosts, spirits, and night wanderers up to no good.
Kelpie – a supernatural water horse said to haunt rivers and lakes of Scotland and Ireland; it is said to lure humans, especially young children, to their deaths in the form of drowning and eats them except for their heart and liver; also can take on a human appearance.
Korrigan – a fairy or dwarf spirit in Breton folklore; often described as beautiful females in springs and rivers that are able to make men fall in love with them and eventually kill them by drowning.
Nuggie – A water horse similar to the Kelpie.
Phouka – a shapeshifter capable of assuming terrifying and pleasing forms mostly with dark skin; commonly seen as a black horse with a flowing mane and golden eyes and does no harm; associated with Samhain.
Sidhe – A supernatural race of fairies or elves. They live in the fairy mounds, in a parallel universe. Their proper name, aos sí means people of the mounds. And people, it’s pronounced like she.
Theena Shee – Another name for the daoine sidhe.
Drioma – Spirit of the evening and the night, often a kindly old woman or man.
Bagiennik – Water demons, subjects to the lady of the lakes and the shallow streams. Capable of emitting an oily substance from their nostrils, which caused burns but could be used for healing rheumas, deep wounds, indigestion, heart illness, and infertility.
Beregenia – Not sure about this one. I’ve found references to a Beregenia as a protector of Ukraine, but there’s also a central Asian flower genus called Bergenia.
Bogatyr – A term from an ancient Turkic term for hero or warrior. Similar to a knight errant.
Bolotnyi – female spirits of marshes and swamps
Devana – The Slavic equivalent of the Roman goddess Diana.
Domovoi – A house spirit of Slavic folklore. Protects a house from the evil eye. Sometimes described as a small, hairy, old person, other times as a doppelganger of the master of the household, Domovoi are not generally harmful.
Leshii – A male woodland spirit that protects wild animals and forests. Seems to be equivalent to woodwose.
Likho – A creature with one eye. The embodiment of evil fate and misfortune.
Lugovik – a modified spelling of Luguvik; the spirit of the meadow.
Mara – While there are several Mara in different mythologies around the world, the originator of the word nightmare is most likely the inspiration here. These Mara are spirits or goblins which ride on the chests of sleeping people, producing bad dreams.
Ovinnik – Malevolent spirit prone to burning down threshing houses. What a jerk.
Polevoi – translates into “field spirit”; it is said that he kills those who are lazy at work, are drunk, or trespass onto his territory.
Rusalka – Female water based demon or ghost that lives in a waterway. Not always malevolent, but usually a woman who dies before her time.
Skrzak – A small flying imp
Vodianoi – A male water spirit who seems to exist exclusively to drown swimmers who have angered him. Millers and fisherman are generally safe from his wrath.
Vytiaz – Seems to be a corruption of Vityaz, a Russian term for a valiant warrior who has proven himself in battle.
Inrik – suggested to be a modernized spelling of Henrick, meaning “home ruler” or “ruler of the house”.
Alkonost – A creature with the body of a bird but the head of a beautiful woman. They make sounds that cause forgetfulness in those that hear them. Sounds like a Siren. Get it? Sounds!
Bannik – Bathhouse spirit. Possessed of precognition.
Bayard – a magic bay horse in the chansons de geste, the “songs of heroic deeds”.
Cikavac – A winged animal with a long beak and a sack. Bred from an from a black hen carried by a woman under her armpit for 40 days, during which time she could not confess, cut her nails, wash her face, or pray. Anyone wanna test it?
Gargouille – a serpent-like water-spouting dragon that is said to terrorize boats and can flood the land.
Irod – Romanian Orthodox minstel shows, played in the Christmas Season
Kikimora – A female house spirit, sometimes said to be married to the Domovoi. She lives behind stoves or in cellars. Not always malevolent, but not always nice either.
Koschei – Properly titled Koschei the Deathless, usually an antagonist who kidnaps a hero’s wife. He cannot die, because his soul is hidden inside a needle, which is in an egg, which is inside a duck, which is inside a hare, which is inside an iron chest, buried under a green oak tree on the island of Buyan in the middle of the ocean. Safe enough? Probably not.
Marzanna – Goddess associated with death, winter, and nightmares. Often burned or drowned in effigy at the end of winter. Yeah. Let’s make her angry. Good idea.
Psotnik – An elf or mischief maker.
Rarog – A hawk, falcon, or fiery dwarf who turns himself into a whirlwind.
Samodiva – Woodland fairies with the appearance of ethereal maidens with long loose hair and occasionally wings. They can bring about drought, but they are not inevitably hostile to people.
Veela – Slavic nymphs who have power over storms. Can appear as swans, horses, wolves, or beautiful women.
Vesna – Female mythological characters associated with springtime and youth.
Zmey – Word used to describe a giant Slavic dragon. They often have heads in multiples of threes. Usually bad guys.
Tiermes – The Nordic Sami God of thunder.
Aarni – spirit being, guardian of treasures.
Ajatar – Spirit known as the Devil of the Woods. Evil female spirit that manifests as a snake or Dragon. Said to be the mother of the devil.
Einherjar – The warriors who have died in battle and been brought to Valhalla by valkyries. They fight and die and are reborn every day in preparation for Ragnarok.
Eksitaja – Evil spirits that guide people the wrong way in bogs or forests.
Etti – a dwarven spirit that, together with his brother Brokk, created three enchanted items: the Mjollnir war hammer for Thor, Draupnir ring for Odin, and Gullinbursti the golden bristled boar.
Fenrir – A monstrous wolf and the son of Loki. Foretold to kill Odin during Ragnarok. Not a nice dude.
Hiid – The only thing I could find is a small note in Wikipedia that calls it “a giant.” So we’re gonna go with it’s an Estonian giant.
Huldra – Stunningly beautiful from the front, hollow like an old tree from behind. Has an animal’s tail, usually either that of a cow or a fox.
Jotunn – A giant from Jotunheimr. You might know them better as Frost Giants. Often depicted in opposition to the Norse gods.
Magni – translates to “strength”; a giant in Scandinavian myth.
Muspel – one of the fire giants of Scandinavian legend.
Peikko – A kind of mountain troll. The picture on a page seems to indicate that it either is, or can become a mountain.
Staalo – A human shaped supernatural being, often accompanied by a dog.
Valkyrie – Member of a host of female supernatural beings who decide who will die in battle. They bring their chosen warriors to Valhalla, where they become einherjar. Valkyries also appear as lovers of heroes on occasion.
Vanr – One of the Vanir, a group of Norse gods associated with wisdom, fertility and the ability to see the future.
Vittra – A type of invisible wight from Northern Sweden. Mostly they’re distant and don’t bother humans, but if we manage to get them angry, they can be quite fierce.
Arcane Weaver (Rare Shadow Dannan) – derived from the myth of Arachne, the girl who challenges Athena to a weaving contest. in most myths, Arachne loses to Athena and hangs herself in despair. instead of letting Arachne go as she pleased, Athena transformed her into the weaving eight-legged spirits we now see in the Shadow World.
Tomte (Common Fire Tiermes) – believed to protect a farmer’s home and children from misfortune at night while the residents were asleep; this spirit is associated with Christmas in the 1840s when it became the bearer of Christmas presents in Denmark. (first encountered 12/16, Eternal Struggle; disappeared 01/02, Academic Resolutions)
Yule Goat (Rare Fire Tiermes) – one of the oldest Scandinavian and Northern European Yule/Christmas symbols; this spirit in our shadow realm is believed to be a reference to the Finnish spirit Joulupukki, the equivalent of Santa Claus. (first encountered 12/16, Eternal Struggle; disappeared 01/02, Academic Resolutions)
Ghostly Light (Rare Fire Dannan) – reference to will-o-the-wisps, a natural phenomenon where “ghostly lights” (hint, hint) are seen at night over bogs, swamps, and marshes. (entered during The Ghostly Light; vanished 12/12, Full Moon Madness)
Breath of Khaos (Rare Air Inrik) – Khaos (literally translated to “the gap”) is the Greek goddess of Air who emerged at the beginning of the universe. she is the sister of Gaia (Earth), Tartaros (Underworld) and Eros (love-bringer), and the creator of Nyx (Night), Erebos (Darkness), Aither (Light) and Hemera (Day). (appeared August 29, Elemental Tempest; vanished September 26, Academic Zeal)
Spring of Lenus (Rare Water Dannan) – Lenus is the Celtic god of healing, usually identified with the Roman god Mars. and believe it or not, there is a spring sacred to this god in Trier, Germany. (appeared August 8, Spring of Life; vanished ???)
Baldr’s Bonfire (Rare Fire Tiermes) – translated to “lord, prince, or king” (used in a plural term, such as “lord of men, “lord of warriors” in Old High German, or the “brave god”; one of the Ӕsir, and a son of Odin. he was the first god killed in the tales of Ragnarok. Baldr’s brother Höðr killed Baldr with a spear or arrow made from mistletoe (the only living or inanimate object that would kill him. all others swore not to harm him.) given by the mischief-maker Loki. upon his death, his body was ceremonially burned on his ship Hringhorni, the largest ship of all. (appeared June 20, Embrace the Horizon; vanished August 8, The Harvest – Lugnasadh)