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Author Topic: Folkloric Creatures  (Read 5982 times) Average Rating: 0
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Fabio Leite
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« on: September 07, 2011, 09:35:51 AM »

In another thread, Nektarios mentioned the домовой, a folkloric house spirit in Russia.

Probably due to my RPG years, I am very interested in folkloric and mythological creatures - as culture of course, and maybe as monsters or characters for RPGs. Smiley

Anyway, since we have such a diverse group with different ethnic backgrounds here, I thought it could interesting if we shared some of the creatures popular imagination came up with in our cultures.

Since I'm suggesting it, I start. Here are some of the folkloric creatures of Brazil. Most are treated as just cultures characters and most people don't really believe them.

The most beloved of all is the Saci-Pererê or just Saci, pronounced /sah-SEE peh-reh-REH/.
The Sacis are archetypical playful and mischiveous creatures. Black, one-legged, wearing red caps, always smoking a pipe, they like to play tricks on people and animals. They can turn into small windwhirls and are supernaturally agile and fast, always surprising those who understimate them for having just one leg. They can be caught if, when they are in windwhirl form, you throw on them a sieve with a cross shaped on it. Then you must put a bottle underneath it where the Saci will hide and must close it with a cork with a cross on it. Also, if you manage to grab his red cap, the Saci must serve you until you return the cap. Inveterate smokers, they use to ask for tobaco for their pipes and those who deny it will surely be victims of his tricks. The Saci is probably the "child" of European legends of monopodes, tales of runaway slaves and local indian legends of forest spirits.






Here is the Curupira, direct from indian legends. Some of the indian nations believe in the concept of "mother" or "father" of each tree or animal. This is not the "spirit of the tree" but a spirit that protects the tree. This is the Curupira, protector of game animals and, nowadays in eco-correct times, elevated to "protector of the forest" status. The Curupira would punish those who were cruel to game animals or who hunted during improper times or improper animals. His main feature is that his feet are backward and he has the "power" of making the bad hunters get lost in the forest. When the punishment has to be tougher, the Curupira changes the bad hunter into the hunted animal.




The Headless-Mule is another well-known monster. According to legends in Brazil, a Roman-Catholic country, the woman who marries a priest or simply becomes his lover, will be punished by changing into the form of this monster. Then, the Headless-Mule will ride accross the region, visiting 7 churches each night and killing animals and humans alike in her path. The only way to "disenchant" the monster is to bleed it and only a drop of blood will do, saving the woman from the curse.



There are several others, but to finish this post, here is another very well-known one, the Boto.


The Boto is an actual animal, a river dolphin, found particularly in the Amazon River. The legend says, though, that the Boto can change into a man, usually wearing a white suit and panama hat, who visits the parties of the river towns to seduce women. If the Boto falls in love or, for some reason, is endeared by one of its many bastard children, it may try to take the woman or the kid to its kingdom at the bottom of the river where there are palaces and abudant food. Like in European fae myths, one must not eat anything from the kingdom of the bottom of the river or they never come back. The Boto wears the hat because the only thing that does not change while in human form is that it keeps its blow hole at the top of the head, which allows humans to identify the seductive man at the party as the Boto.




« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 09:48:10 AM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2011, 09:43:37 AM »

I love the story of the Boto! I've never heard that before.
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2011, 10:14:04 AM »

I'm fresh Grin

The first one is the hell horse.


In old times it was customary to bury a white horse(or lamb) alive under the foundation of the church bell tower. According to the legend the spirit of the dead horse will rise in the night and walk around the area. Anyone who saw the horse could be sure that either he or someone close to him would die soon. Therefore if you heard the threelegged horse approaching you was to close your eyes and run(don't ask me how you can run with closed eyes)

The next one is the valravn. According to legend when a king or a chief died on the battlefield the ravens would come and eat him. The ravens that ate the heart became valravne. Creatures with human knowledge who could harm humans, lead people astray and had supernatural powers. In other accounts the valravn was peaceful and was searching for redemption. To break the animal curse the valravn had to consume he blood of a human child.



¨The third is strangely enougth Santa Claus. As many people know Santa Claus originates from St Nicholas. But some may wonder where the pagan part of the myth comes from. In prechristian Scandinavia my people celebrated the feast of Jól, the winter solstice celebration. According to legend Odin would give presents to his warriors dressed in a red cape. There is also another story where Odin rides out on his eight-legged horse Sleipnir. The children should then place boots filled with carrots for the horse and the next morning there would lie presents. Odin was at this time called Jolnir, an earlier form of the word julemanden which is the danish word for Santa Claus.

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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2011, 01:05:58 PM »

Being a non-ethnic American, I am boring and have only the Boogeyman to mention.  But everyone already knows about him, and many of you who have an ethnicity other than Boring American, probably have a better version of the Boogeyman from your countries of origin.
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011, 01:11:11 PM »

Being a non-ethnic American, I am boring and have only the Boogeyman to mention.  But everyone already knows about him, and many of you who have an ethnicity other than Boring American, probably have a better version of the Boogeyman from your countries of origin.

Here you can see a list of mythological creatures who originates in America Smiley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folklore_of_the_United_States#Legendary_and_folkloric_creatures
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2011, 01:41:56 PM »

Tarman (Return of the Living Dead)


Henrietta the witch (Evil Dead 2)


Evil Ash (Army of Darkness)


Ferd Mertz (Redneck Zombies)
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2011, 01:47:58 PM »

Tarman (Return of the Living Dead)


Henrietta the witch (Evil Dead 2)


Evil Ash (Army of Darkness)


Ferd Mertz (Redneck Zombies)

Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2011, 01:49:43 PM »

Let it never be said that the baby boomer generation couldn't produce sophisticated and profound mythology and folklore  Grin
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2011, 02:10:02 PM »

I'm a Western Canadian, so the only monsters we have here tend to come from the government.


However I identify with my Scotish and Irish roots, and though I don't know much about gaelic folklore I am familiar with the banshee, the wailing woman. If you hear her screams it means someone close to you will soon die.
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2011, 02:32:44 PM »

The european monsters are really friendly. They warn us before they attack. Like a rattle snake  Cheesy
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2011, 04:22:37 PM »

I have to admit that I don't know much about Finnish mythological creatures besides couple of names. It must be stressed though that Santa Claus lives in Finland. police
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2011, 04:46:22 PM »

I have to admit that I don't know much about Finnish mythological creatures besides couple of names. It must be stressed though that Santa Claus lives in Finland. police

HERESY!!

Everybody knows he lives on Greenland.

We even have his mail bow   Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2011, 04:47:38 PM »

Sorry I mean mail box  Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2011, 06:40:19 PM »

I have to admit that I don't know much about Finnish mythological creatures besides couple of names. It must be stressed though that Santa Claus lives in Finland. police

HERESY!!

Everybody knows he lives on Greenland.

We even have his mail bow   Smiley

Yes, and all that mail is on its way to:

Santa Claus
North Pole  H0H 0H0
Canada

(yes, it's a real postal code  Cheesy)
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2011, 06:53:13 PM »

Um... tiny question here, wasn't St. Nicholas the bishop of Myra? Isn't that in Turkey today, or am I thinking of the wrong saint?

 Huh

Sorry.
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2011, 07:25:52 PM »

Um... tiny question here, wasn't St. Nicholas the bishop of Myra? Isn't that in Turkey today, or am I thinking of the wrong saint?

 Huh

Sorry.
If you had a sleigh pulled by magic reindeer wouldn't you relocate when the Turks invaded?



Ok, so now we've explained why he left Anatolia, now we just have to explain why he moved to a place where you freeze to death if you stand outside for three minutes.
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2011, 07:38:47 PM »

Um... tiny question here, wasn't St. Nicholas the bishop of Myra? Isn't that in Turkey today, or am I thinking of the wrong saint?

 Huh

Sorry.
If you had a sleigh pulled by magic reindeer wouldn't you relocate when the Turks invaded?



Ok, so now we've explained why he left Anatolia, now we just have to explain why he moved to a place where you freeze to death if you stand outside for three minutes.

 laugh  laugh Do you have no magic in your soul!!

Having an Irish, Welsh, English heritage the persistent mythical creatures I can think of, off the top of my head, are;

1: Dragons. The Welsh flag has a beauty!

2. Selkies.  Theses are seals that cast off their skins and transform into humans. They frollock on the sand during the night hours. If you can capture one of the skins, a selkie made a wonderful, loving wife, but the skin had to be kept safe. If she ever found it, she would remember her past life in the sea and leave her man heartbroken. Why he just wouldn't just destroy the skin in the first place is anyone's guess.

3. Mermaids

4. Leprechauns

5. Fairies - in particular, the tooth fairy!

6. Unicorns
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« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2011, 07:42:37 PM »

I would think that in northern climes, they probably have really awesome jackets. That would help.  Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2011, 08:57:19 PM »

Um... tiny question here, wasn't St. Nicholas the bishop of Myra? Isn't that in Turkey today, or am I thinking of the wrong saint?

 Huh

Sorry.
If you had a sleigh pulled by magic reindeer wouldn't you relocate when the Turks invaded?



Ok, so now we've explained why he left Anatolia, now we just have to explain why he moved to a place where you freeze to death if you stand outside for three minutes.
It's really very simple. At the North Pole you can traverse all the world's time zones in a matter of seconds. That's how Santa gets around the world overnight. And remember, it is night at the North Pole on December 24 - on both calendars!
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« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2011, 09:16:11 PM »

Huzzah!  angel
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« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2011, 10:10:12 PM »

Thank you Ansgar, I'm now reminded of the only good American mythological creature, the Jersey Devil.

Riddikulus, I suddenly was reminded of something, by your post.  Did anyone ever watch that History Channel (or was it Discovery Channel?) faux-documentary about finding a dragon's skeleton?  I, several years ago, was watching it and I'd come in part way through.  I had the unfortunate displeasure of, the next day at school, telling several friends about how they found a dragon...
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« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2011, 10:27:50 PM »

Thank you Ansgar, I'm now reminded of the only good American mythological creature, the Jersey Devil.

Riddikulus, I suddenly was reminded of something, by your post.  Did anyone ever watch that History Channel (or was it Discovery Channel?) faux-documentary about finding a dragon's skeleton?  I, several years ago, was watching it and I'd come in part way through.  I had the unfortunate displeasure of, the next day at school, telling several friends about how they found a dragon...

 laugh I don't recall seeing the documentary. I do remember Ken Ham (of Answers in Genesis fame - or infamy, depending on one's point of view) claiming that the dragons of folklore were merely dinosaurs that lived concurrent with humans. But that's probably a topic for another thread!!
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« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2011, 04:40:37 AM »

I have to admit that I don't know much about Finnish mythological creatures besides couple of names. It must be stressed though that Santa Claus lives in Finland. police

HERESY!!

Everybody knows he lives on Greenland.

Is outrage! Maybe Santa will send one of his tonttus (tomte/nisse/etc.) to correct this outrageous heresy.



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« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2011, 05:37:12 AM »

I have to admit that I don't know much about Finnish mythological creatures besides couple of names. It must be stressed though that Santa Claus lives in Finland. police

HERESY!!

Everybody knows he lives on Greenland.

Is outrage! Maybe Santa will send one of his tonttus (tomte/nisse/etc.) to correct this outrageous heresy.




Yike! I wouldn't meet him on a dark night.
I say, let them come. I will meet them with a flock of cannibalistic reindeers Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2011, 07:24:00 AM »

Dovregubben


Tusseladd






Huldra


Nykken


Fossegrimen


Fjøsnisse
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« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2011, 09:15:44 AM »

Dovregubben


Tusseladd






Huldra


Nykken


Fossegrimen


Fjøsnisse

Are there nykker in Norway too?
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« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2011, 01:21:51 PM »

Are there nykker in Norway too?

Never seen one personally Smiley

Another member of the troll family: Raglefanten
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« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2011, 01:57:24 PM »

Are there nykker in Norway too?

Never seen one personally Smiley

Another member of the troll family: Raglefanten


It's not fair  Angry
Why do you have to have all the cool throlls. In Denmark a grown up throll should appearently be about the size of a 10 year old child.
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« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2011, 02:04:50 PM »

It's not fair  Angry
Why do you have to have all the cool throlls. In Denmark a grown up throll should appearently be about the size of a 10 year old child.

Cause we have all the cool landscapes. You need big mountains to have big trolls Wink
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« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2011, 02:10:54 PM »

Well, some more Brazilian folkloric creatures:

The fetid human-eater Mapinguary. This one-eyed monster dwells in the forest and its mouth is on the beast's belly.




The Iara, a fresh-water mermaid. Said to comb her hair at the surface on full-moon nights. Curiously, this is the one that is actually most believed by some of the Afro-Brazilian religions as aspects of the goddesses of the water.



This is one comes from a ghost (or saint?) story, the Little Black Sheppard Boy (Negrinho do Pastoreio)



The legend says that in the time of the slavery a farm owner told this 14-year old black slave to sheppard his newly acquired horses. When the farmer returned one of the stalions was missing and the farmer whipped the boy until he bled. Even in that condition, he told the boy to go find the missing horse. The boy went and found it, but was unable to catch it with the lasso and had to return empty-handed. The farmer got so angry that he spread molasses over the boy's body and tied him to an anthill. When the farmer returned the other day, he was surprised to find that the body of the boy was no longer on the anthill. The boy was standing next to the anthill, perfectly healed, with the Most Holy Virgin Mary to his right and the missing horse to the left. The boy kissed the Virgin's hand, mounted the horse and all the new horses followed him. Even today, specially in the countryside of the south, some people claim to see the little black sheppard boy on his stallion, followed by the other horses, laughing, free and happy. Those who loose something light a candle for him, hoping the boy will help them find it.
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« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2011, 03:03:06 PM »

It's not fair  Angry
Why do you have to have all the cool throlls. In Denmark a grown up throll should appearently be about the size of a 10 year old child.

Because they have places like Trollveggen, Trolltinden and the Jotunn Mountains to hide in. Denmark's geography favours smaller trolls. laugh
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« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2011, 03:21:03 PM »

It's not fair  Angry
Why do you have to have all the cool throlls. In Denmark a grown up throll should appearently be about the size of a 10 year old child.

Because they have places like Trollveggen, Trolltinden and the Jotunn Mountains to hide in. Denmark's geography favours smaller trolls. laugh
It ssucks. I wish we had some more awsome nature.
The coolest thing we have is northern Europes largest moving dune Sad
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« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2011, 06:38:53 AM »

Are there nykker in Norway too?

I Finnish they are called as "Näkki".

Fabio Leite & Orthodox11,

do you actually know all these creatures without checking Wikipedia?
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« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2011, 10:24:46 AM »

Fabio Leite & Orthodox11,

do you actually know all these creatures without checking Wikipedia?

Yup. I was terrified of 'huldra' when I was a child.
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« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2011, 10:31:05 AM »

Are there nykker in Norway too?

I Finnish they are called as "Näkki".

Fabio Leite & Orthodox11,

do you actually know all these creatures without checking Wikipedia?

I do, studying myths and legends was part of my hobbies in the teens. Later, I used it for my "Changeling: The Dreaming" RPG stories. Smiley In fact I know a couple of creatures that you won't find in Wikipedia but only in compediums by specialists in Portuguese. Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2011, 10:43:09 AM »

Are there nykker in Norway too?

I Finnish they are called as "Näkki".

Fabio Leite & Orthodox11,

do you actually know all these creatures without checking Wikipedia?

I do, studying myths and legends was part of my hobbies in the teens. Later, I used it for my "Changeling: The Dreaming" RPG stories. Smiley In fact I know a couple of creatures that you won't find in Wikipedia but only in compediums by specialists in Portuguese. Smiley

Those White Wolf RPG books tend to be poorly researched.
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« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2011, 10:47:51 AM »

The Jiang Shi, the Chinese hopping vampire: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiang_Shi

There was a series of Hong Kong action-comedies about a Daoist priest fighting the Jiang Shi, called "Mr. Vampire."

From Ireland, there's the selkie, seals that turn into humans and back again. Unfortunately I couldn't find any pictures online that weren't crappy softcore fantasy porn. But there's a good movie about selkies called The Secret of Roan Inish.
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« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2011, 10:59:16 AM »

Lindorm


Lindorme or Lindworms are ancient nordic dragons ( in old norse the word orm means both worm and dragon)
Lindworms only have two front legs and instead of fire they emit poison which can kill a man by just touching him. According to legend an Earl named Herraudr gave her daughter a lindworm as a present. As the worm grew bigger and bigger it eventually encircled all of Herraudrs hall taking his daughter hostage. The lindworm demanded one ox every day in change for the safety of the girl. This kept on until a man named Ragnar got the idea of making a suit of bear-skin thereby protecting himself from the poison.

The belief in lindworms persisted in Sweden into the 19th century.
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« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2011, 01:06:04 PM »

Speaking of Fossegrim, there is a song with that title on Empyrium's 2004 album Weiland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsjDcSLzk0k

This Austrian band is a former doom metal band that became neofolk. Their themes tend to be folklore and other Romantic concerns. I highly recommend this album to anyone who digs that stuff- it was created in the 21st century and reflects some slight prog-rock influences (don't worry, nothing cheesy) but I think it basically the ultimate musical summation of 19th century German Romanticism, along with their previous album Where At Night the Wood Grouse Plays.



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« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2011, 01:38:32 PM »

*Prostrates before Fabio Leite & Orthodox11*

That's an exemplary knowledge of your heritage. I wish I knew Finnish folkloric creatures as you do know your own. Especially since I believe much of Finnish tradition is common with Norwegian one so it could be fun to compare these similarities.
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« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2011, 01:42:56 PM »

Um, I think you meant 'prostrates,' not 'prostates.' Sorry.
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« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2011, 01:47:34 PM »

Um, I think you meant 'prostrates,' not 'prostates.' Sorry.

Thank you for correction. No need to apologize.
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« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2011, 02:11:23 PM »

This is a neat thread. It makes me want to go to the library. Thanks.  Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2011, 06:36:30 PM »

*Prostrates before Fabio Leite & Orthodox11*

That's an exemplary knowledge of your heritage. I wish I knew Finnish folkloric creatures as you do know your own. Especially since I believe much of Finnish tradition is common with Norwegian one so it could be fun to compare these similarities.

I wouldn't call it exemplary. All it takes is a visit to any souvernier shop anywhere in Norway, where you'll find figurines of all the things listed above (along with vikings, norse gods, and whatnot) all over the place.
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« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2011, 10:46:06 PM »

It's not fair  Angry
Why do you have to have all the cool throlls. In Denmark a grown up throll should appearently be about the size of a 10 year old child.

Because they have places like Trollveggen, Trolltinden and the Jotunn Mountains to hide in. Denmark's geography favours smaller trolls. laugh
It ssucks. I wish we had some more awsome nature.
The coolest thing we have is northern Europes largest moving dune Sad

Then maybe you have northern Europe's largest moving dune troll... Cheesy
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« Reply #45 on: September 11, 2011, 05:15:24 AM »

It's not fair  Angry
Why do you have to have all the cool throlls. In Denmark a grown up throll should appearently be about the size of a 10 year old child.

Because they have places like Trollveggen, Trolltinden and the Jotunn Mountains to hide in. Denmark's geography favours smaller trolls. laugh
It ssucks. I wish we had some more awsome nature.
The coolest thing we have is northern Europes largest moving dune Sad

Then maybe you have northern Europe's largest moving dune troll... Cheesy

I haven't seen him yet, but if I do I'll let you know Wink
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« Reply #46 on: September 11, 2011, 05:55:14 AM »

I wouldn't call it exemplary. All it takes is a visit to any souvernier shop anywhere in Norway, where you'll find figurines of all the things listed above (along with vikings, norse gods, and whatnot) all over the place.

Apparently Norwegians value their traditional culture more than Finns do. Finnish souvenir shops sell postcards and Laplandish junkie, not mythological creatures.
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« Reply #47 on: September 11, 2011, 07:55:14 AM »

The noble American Jackalope. It's pretty much my favorite animal.

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