Hi I was reading threads about varushka and people advise that I learn some stories to tell. So I’m wondering where I can learn stories, how they are created and I like to learn more about the monsters in varushka. Are there more monsters than those listed on the wiki and do Nordic folklore play in. For example necken the naked music playing man that lures people into the river?
Hey there! So, there isn’t much in the way of existing Varushkan stories written down for you to learn, people tend to make their own. There is a fair bit of flexibility, but also consider not to take anything too “obvious” (for example, not high fantasy such as elves or dragons sitting on hoards of gold).
The best place to start is on the Wiki here https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Varushkan_Monster but I suspect you’ve seen that already. It’s good to keep in mind that “Wolves” are not necessarily literally wolves, but tend to be a bit of a catch-all for a variety of monsters. The example you give could work as a starting point, though be aware that existing names could be recognisable. As @LauraH says, Russian and Germanic is a good place to start, as well as Polish, Czech - Eastern European/Slavic countries.
Thank you now I have something to start with. I was thinking about taking some inspiration from Sami a people that live through northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Do the stories tend to be “true” stories or are they more folktales that start “along time ago” or “in a land far away”?
Before that is plenty of time for legends and myths…
And even during history, Emperor Nicovar the Mad did his best to burn all the libraries, archives, repositories, and so on. So there are plenty of conveniant holes in history for lost stories.
I have made up a good Varushkan/Dawnish (slight variations depending on audience) story, but it could well be a tale of the early Empire, as all the elements are similar and present in setting.
Some useful prefaces:
“Here is a tale handed down from the ages, decide on its truth for yourself…”
“I know not if this is true, but it may well be.”
“Here is the tale as it was told to me…”
“This is an old troubadours tale…”
“Whether this be history, legend or myth, I know only that it is a good tale…”
The main thing to keep in mind with adapting existing tales is ensuring they fit into the world - for example, the Sami people have a lot of myths surrounding the underworld which wouldn’t be appropriate for Empire.
Yes I want to refer to places and things that I know exist or people might believe exist. I’m mostly concerned about the creatures and what is said about them. For example do people believe that giants excited, do people know what a wearwolf is.
Werewolves are a no-no as far as I’m aware, though I could be wrong - Empire is quite vast. I think the closest you’d get are things like Mora and Rusalka (which are like water Mora), which are monsters that can take on a human/Orc form. If you do opt for some kind of werewolf tale, I’d avoid calling them that.
but something I’ll note on that is that the Wolves and Sovereigns are broad catagories of power levels. So there’s a LOT of disturbing things that could be wrangled in. I don’t recall any stories about giants and werewolves, but it’s entirely possible, I suppose.
I’d be more inclined to go with the “realistic” huge (20 foot tall) brutish humanoids from A Song of Ice and Fire, lingering in the wild places with stone age tech at best, than with (picking an example) Giants living in huge castles with their own society. Ironically, Jack and the Beanstalk works fine… because it’s visiting some other realm (up in the clouds) through a portal of woven spring magics (climbing the gigantic vines) to find beings of a different scale with strange and enchanted riches. Do not drop in on Eternals, steal their shinies, and then close the portal (chop down the vines) on the way out…
As for werewolves…crazy feral bestial tribes lurking in the shadows? Blessings of Wendigo or The Howling Queen to allow shapeshifting into a huge hairy muscular form? Entirely doable. I’d avoid having lycanthropy as a transmitted disease though. Keep it a mystic curse or horrific “blessing”.