Welcome to the fourth installment of Vette of the Month! This is a feature which will be published monthly up until NordicFuzzCon 2015, where our theme is Scandinavian Folklore: the Enchanted Forest.
Vette (plural: vetter) is an archaic Norwegian word which serves as catch-all term for supernatural beings. In these installments we will introduce you to a different creature (or vette) from Scandinavian folklore every month, as well as giving you an artist's interpretation of said creature.
Without further ado, we would like to present you to this month's vette:
Large, still ponds and lakes found in the desolate areas of the forest are Nøkken's domain. Nøkken is an expert shapeshifter of many forms. Perhaps best known for taking on the shape of a majestic, white, shimmering horse, popularly known as the Bäckahäst; he is also known to appear as a handsome young man. He can even take on the shape of certain inanimate objects capable of floating, such as a deceitfully sturdy rowboat, or as an old log waiting to make you stumble.
His shapeshifting has but one goal: to lure the unknowing—particularly women and children—into his waters. Once within his reach, he will pull you down with him and never let go. Some believe that his goal is simply to drown and eat his victims. Others believe you will be forced to join him in his private underwater kingdom where you'll be held captive until the end of time.
While prone to take on attractive and beautiful shapes, Nøkken's true appearance reflects his dark nature. A pile of decomposing sea-grass, twigs, leaves, and mud warped into a humanoid shape. His presence is a turgid one, clouded by fog, pierced by eyes possessing the fiery essence of gold.
The venerable water lily, also called nøkkerose, is known to inhabit his waters, and like a bee to the flower, so will the Nøkken attract the unwary. If you are foolish enough to be taken in by his beguiling exterior, you will be pulled into his waters, kicking and flailing, with only his twisted smile to accompany your journey into the abyss.
Illustration by ramthedragon