Author Topic: For Barovians and such - Monstropedia resource  (Read 3238 times)

hugolino

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For Barovians and such - Monstropedia resource
« on: October 27, 2010, 04:29:45 AM »
I have found an interesting Web site entitled Monstropedia, which has folklore information on monsters that  could be useful for those playing local characters. See http://www.monstropedia.org/

For example, see below to learn about the "varcolac," which is a Balok word for "werewolf" (according to a DM post on the PotM forum).

Spoiler: show
A varcolac (or vârcolac or vircolac) in Romanian folklore may refer to several different figures. In some versions, a vârcolac is a wolf demon. As the Norse Fenris, a varcolac may swallow the moon and the sun; it's thus responsible for eclipses.

Origin

Some legends say it is a ghost or vampire (Strigoi) while others say it is a werewolf (in some versions, a werewolf that emerges from the corpses of babies). There are many different explanations given for a varcolac's origin. They are said to be:

  • souls of unbaptized children
  • children of unmarried parents, cursed by God
  • rising because one swept dust out of the house at sunset, in the direction of the sun
  • rising if women spin at night without a candle or if they cast spells as they spin

Etymology

In Romanian, varcolac commonly means "werewolf". It can occasionally mean "goblin". The word vârcolac is a loan from Slavic (Bulgarian varkolak, and vulkodlak, Greek vrykolakas), meaning "werewolf" (etymologically "Wolf's Fur"). The pricolici is another form of varcolac, also resembling a werewolf.

Main Belief

Varcolaci are said to fasten themselves to the thread of people spinning at midnight, then going up to eat the moon and cover it with blood.
Their power is said to last as long as the thread is not broken. If the thread gets broken, they go to another part of the sky.
Varcolaci are recognized by their pale faces, as well as the deep sleep they fall into when sending their spirits out through their mouths to eat the sun or the moon. If they are moved during their sleep they die as their returning spirit won't be able to find the mouth where they came from.

http://www.monstropedia.org/index.php?title=Varcolac


Or folklore on "strigoi," another Balok term.

Spoiler: show
In Romanian mythology, strigoi (same form singular or plural) are either witches or the evil souls of the dead rising from the tombs (or living) that transform into an animal or phantom apparition.

Appearance

By Slovenian mythology a "štirga" is most likely a woman but there are exceptions when she is a male.
According to Romanian mythology a strigoi has ginger hair, blue eyes and two hearts.
Also, strigoi can leave its body at night in the form of an animal or a small spark of light that can be seen flying through the air. Sometimes it was said that a Strigoi Viu took animal form by stealing the form from the animal.

Behaviour/Features

In most ways, the Romanian Strigoi Morti resemble the undead vampires found in other Eastern European countries. They were frequently blamed as the cause of death in cases of epidemics.
The Strigoi Vii join together in covens and meet with the Strigoi Morti on special Sabbath nights, such as the Eve of St. George April 22nd
The Strigoi Viu is not a blood drinker, but its powers include what could be called psychic vampirism, as it can steal the vitality of his neighbours' crops and animals to enhance its own.

Main Belief

There are different types of strigoi:

  • strigoi vii are live witches who will become vampires after death.
    They can send out their soul at night to meet with other witches or with Strigoi mort, who are dead vampires.
    strigoi mort are the reanimated bodies which return to suck the blood of family, livestock, and neighbours. They are most often associated with vampires or zombies.
  • A strigoaica (singular feminine form), or Strigoica, is a witch. Strigoi are also known as "moroi" in some parts, especially rural areas. They are close relatives of the werewolves known as "pricolici" or "varcolac", the latter also meaning "goblin"

How to become a strigoi?

A person born with a caul (a veil of fetal membrane still attached to the head), tail, born out of wedlock, died an unnatural death, or died before baptism, was doomed to become a vampire. As was the seventh child of the same sex in a family, the child of a pregnant woman who didn't eat salt or was looked at by a vampire, or a witch. And naturally, being bitten by vampire, meant certain condemnation to a vampiric existence after death.

Other people doomed to become a strigoi are:
  • unmarried people (their corpses should be stabbed in the heart with a sickle to protect their families).
  • corpses walked over by cats. To get rid of them, a wine bottle must be buried next to the grave, then six week later has to be exhumed by relatives and drank by relatives.
  • a person filled with pain and regret will turn into a cat or dog after death, then return as a strigoi. Piercing a body with a needle will prevent it from leaving the grave.

Powers

Strigoi are not necessarily evil though they are feared for their appearance bodes ill and they are omens of misfortune and sickness.

How to ward off a Strigoi
  • a remedy against a strigoi to leave its grave is to bury a bottle of whiskey with the corpse: the strigoi will drink it and not return home
  • Strigoi may be destroyed after exhuming their dormant bodies from the grave by such typical means as impaling them with a stake or by cremating them.
  • the Gypsy remedy to kill a strigoi is the following: dig up the corpse, remove its heart, cut it in two, then dig a nail in the forehead, place garlic under its tongue, smearing the body with the fat of a pig killed on St. Ignatius’ day. Then placing the corpse face-down back in the coffin.
    It was believed that if a strigo was not destroyed within seven years after burial, then on the seventh year it would no longer have to dwell in its own grave and could pass as a normal mortal human. According to one source, the strigoi also then loses his need to prey upon humans and, eventually, even animals. Like the Serbian vampire at such a stage, it would then depart to another region where it could not be recognized, marry, and have children But each week, from Friday night to Sunday morning, such a strigoi would either have to rest in a grave in a nearby cemetery or meet with the local strigoi for supernatural social activities. The children of such a vampire were all "living vampires", destined to become undead themselves.

How to kill a Strigoi

One of the ways for ending her powers is to expose her to public after witnessing her powers.
Folklore superstitions also says she can't be killed unless killed while she is feasting on the life-force of the prey.

http://www.monstropedia.org/index.php?title=Strigoi
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 07:47:55 AM by hugolino »

herkles

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Re: For Barovians and such - Monstropedia resource
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2010, 06:53:17 AM »
great resource, just remember that not everything is exactly like that ICly. For example the word for shapeshifter/were-creature isn't varcolac but Neuri. But in general i like things like this site, as it can help prove where a lot of the superstitions come from and so forth, also here is a link to a thread about superstitions.

hugolino

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Re: For Barovians and such - Monstropedia resource
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2010, 07:37:05 AM »
great resource, just remember that not everything is exactly like that ICly. For example the word for shapeshifter/were-creature isn't varcolac but Neuri.

Actually its "varcolac," according to the PotM forum. (http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=18974.0)

Spoiler: show
Re: Ravenloft Languages
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 10:29:13 AM »

Monsters / Foes

hag: hârcă (hahr-kah)
ghost: strigoi (strii-goi)
gypsy: tigan (tih-gan)
phantom: fantomă (fahn-toh-mah)
undead: imorţii (e-mor-tee)
vampire: vampir, vrolok  (vam-pihr, fro-lohk)
werewolf: vârcolac (wahr-coh-lahk)
wolf: lup (loop)


EDIT: The confusion comes from the common usage of the Luktar word for werewolf, neuri, and confusing it with the Balok word (varcolac) for the same. (http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=1757.msg18040#msg18040) I blame the Gundarakite rebels for subverting the purity of the Barovian tongue. ;)

Spoiler: show
Gundarakite -RP- Resource
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2006, 10:36:04 AM »

Glossary

Ba’al Verzi—secretive guild of assassins that has existed as long as Barovia.
Boyar—landowners of Barovia; together with the burgomasters they represent local governments
Castle Hunadora—the fortress home of Duke Gundar.
Dreadmount—a cluster of mountains in western Barovia and the subject of many fearful rumors
Dreadpass—the narrow gorge beneath the Dreadmount through which the Luna River flows and along which rests the Keep of Forgetting
Ijrail—a demon in Barovia legends that was sent by the Tergs to tempt Strahd I
Keep of Forgetting—an old ruin pre-dating the emergence of the Mists, said to be haunted by the spirits of those who once resided there but were slain by the Von Zaroviches
Majr—Moth-like demons in Barovian folklore; their descriptions change from story to story
Mamliga—a cornmeal mush, common to every household
Mititei—grilled pork and lamb meatballs
Neureni—barbrians who invaded Barovia in 230 B.C.
Neuri-Werewolves or shapeshifting wizards
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 07:45:23 AM by hugolino »

herkles

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Re: For Barovians and such - Monstropedia resource
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2010, 07:45:40 AM »
Some Common Terms




Glossary

Ijrail—a demon in Barovia legends that was sent by the Tergs to tempt Strahd I
Majr—Moth-like demons in Barovian folklore; their descriptions change from story to story
Neureni—barbrians who invaded Barovia in 230 B.C.
Neuri-Werewolves or shapeshifting wizards
Nocnitsa—blood-drinking, flesh-eating crones of folklore
Poludnitsa—beautiful, reclusive nymphs of Barovia folklore who said to decapitate those unfortunate to wander into their groves.
Veela—water spirits who tempt mortals with their charms only to drown them
Vrolok—vampire, in the Balok tongue


actually you are wrong, what soren likely did was copy words exactly from the romanian language and not use the canon words that are found in the source books. i you want I can quote the exact phrase from the gaz I that contains the infromation?
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 07:50:29 AM by herkles »

herkles

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Re: For Barovians and such - Monstropedia resource
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2010, 08:52:30 AM »
Quote from: Gazetteer Page 16
Today, a corruption of their name, NEURI, is synonymous in BALOK with werewolves or shape shifting wizards.

So as you can see this is the canon word for were-wolf.

EO

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Re: For Barovians and such - Monstropedia resource
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2010, 09:01:34 AM »
The Gazetteer does override the forums, it's a canon resource we use. The term likely entered the Barovian language because of the Neureni, the people that first invaded Barovia temporarily and a mix of the luktar word.

On POTM and in Ravenloft in general, neuri is the term Barovians use to describe werewolves. And luktar is -not- a dialect of Balok, it's a completely foreign language with different roots altogether.

hugolino

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Re: For Barovians and such - Monstropedia resource
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2010, 09:05:55 AM »
And luktar is -not- a dialect of Balok, it's a completely foreign language with different roots altogether.

It was incorrectly described as such elsewhere on these forums. Thanks for the correction. My original point still stands though. Varcolac is another Balok term for werewolf.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 09:08:01 AM by hugolino »

EO

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Re: For Barovians and such - Monstropedia resource
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2010, 09:17:09 AM »
And luktar is -not- a dialect of Balok, it's a completely foreign language with different roots altogether.

It was incorrectly described as such elsewhere on these forums. Thanks for the correction. My original point still stands though. Varcolac is another Balok term for werewolf.

Not quite, it's a Romanian term for Balok, perhaps, but Balok is not Romanian. While the authors of the Ravenloft books, especially third edition ones, used real life languages to portray Ravenloft dialects, nothing says that they are. It's likely just a mistake on our end when we created the expanded language primers; we overwrote some stuff.

herkles

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Re: For Barovians and such - Monstropedia resource
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2010, 10:26:50 AM »
Nah, just human error I would say. I suggest fixing the language primers but largely they are good for fluff and so forth.

But on the main point the idea for different folk lore ideas for superstitions is a good thing and I approve. *nods*