Welcome to the fifth 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:
Have you ever walked near a linden tree during winter and thought you heard the faint sound of breathing? Have you ever walked past a wintery oak tree which for some reason has kept its leaves? Then you have unwittingly come close to a hibernating lindorm. They hibernate in the trees, and their touch transfers power and health to their host. A few lindorms grow so large that they are forced to hibernate curled around mountain tops instead.
Closely related to the dragons, the mysterious lindorms are great, wingless serpents with a pair of front legs. No one knows for how long they have been around, but they were a common sight on Viking runestones as far back as 1000 AD. It is said that everything beneath a lindorm grows bigger as the lindorm does, such as wealth or honour, making the lindorm an appealing motif.
There are two types of lindorm and the first is kind and benevolent. If you are lucky enough to meet one of these, you will notice that their skins have magical properties that can be transferred by touch. Some say that these benevolent lindorms are charming princes, cursed to live in the shape of a terrifying beast until freed by the love and sacrifice of a fair maiden able to see past their frightening facade and see that ugliness – just like beauty – is only skin deep.
Perhaps it is worth taking the chance?
Not so quick! The second type is dangerous and evil. Several meters long, they are said to move by biting their own tail and rolling through the woods like a huge wheel. If spotted, one would be very lucky to survive the encounter. Some of these evil lindorms also have a long mane. Just as some people say that good lindorms are cursed princes, some say that these evil lindorms are giants in disguise.
On second thought, perhaps it is best not to take any chances.
Illustration by tokitty