Monster of the Week: The Baba Yaga

3
Baba Yaga of Vertigo's Fables.

Baba Yaga of Vertigo’s Fables.

The Baba Yaga (called Baba Jaga in Poland, Baba Roga in Bosnia, Baba Pehtra in Slovenia, and Ježibaba in the Czech/Slovak lands) is a forest-dwelling witch of Eastern European folklore. She is, in many ways, the archetype of the woodland witch, and traits such as the eating of wayward children and flying with brooms may be attributed to legends of the Baba Yaga. In the Skazki (fairy tales) of Russia, she sometimes appears as a trio of “sister” Baba Yagas, much like the Greek Hecatae or gorgons (though when appearing as a trio, these Baba Yagas are usually less sinister, and often helpful). She is described as having a big nose, iron teeth, tangled hair, bony legs and a long reach. The Baba Yaga is very clever and powerful, having control over the elements and the “three riders”—the white horseman of the dawn, the red horseman of the sunrise, and the black horseman of nightfall. In the oldest Baba Yaga stories, her powers resemble those of a goddess more than a witch, and she and her hut act as guardians/gateways to the underworld. Continue reading

Monster of the Week: The Cluricaun

1
cluricaune book illustration

Wood engraving from Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (Croker).

You’ve heard of the Irish leprechaun, but do you know about the Cluricaun? Although considered by some to be the same creature, just more liquored up, the Cluricaun is among the “solitary” class of creatures of Faerie, who “are nearly all gloomy and terrible in some way” (Yeats). Like other Irish elvish creatures, Cluricauns are said to be descended from the Tuatha Dé Danann. The naughty drunkard of the family (called Clobhairr-ceann in Irish), the Cluricaun is a trickster, thief and mischief-maker who inhabits beer and wine cellars. He (for, as with leprechauns, there is no lore of the existence of females of the species) is known to go out drunk-riding on the backs of hapless dogs and sheep on moonlit nights. His face is flushed with gin blossoms and his clothing is neat and bright, and often includes blue stockings, gold-laced hats and silver-buckled shoes—but rarely an apron or tool belt. Unlike some other, more industrious creatures of Faerie, a Cluricaun doesn’t work! Continue reading

Constantine S01E08 Recap: The Saint of Last Resorts, Part 1

2

talons“The Saint of Last Resorts” is the first half of a two-episode story. The second half will air in its new 8pm time slot on Friday, January 16, 2015. There are a lot of references to new groups and creatures, so a little explanation of terminology may be in order.

La Brujeria in Swamp Thing  #46 (Moore/Bissette/Totleben)

La Brujeria in Swamp Thing #46 “Revelations”  (Moore/Bissette/Totleben)

•Brujeria: The Brujeria are members of an ancient coven of warlocks from South America. They are incredibly evil, and for centuries have worked toward the goal of destroying Heaven and unleashing powerful entities of greatest malevolence upon the earthly plane in pursuit of that goal. The Rising Darkness is not just facilitating their plans—the Brujeria are in fact the actual cause of the Rising Darkness. They are that powerful and malicious. The Brujeria’s “central committee” is called The Council of the Cave, the members of which are under the protection of a monster of their own creation: the invunche. Continue reading