So for Christmas, I got a bunch of books on Algonquian wendigo folklore, which I have devoured. I would love to share a lot of the cool material within with /tg/, for use in campaigns, but I am unsure of where to start. Also, I have to be in bed in a little under three hours if I'm going to get to work on time tomorrow.
So if /tg/ has any questions in the next three hours it would like to ask about wendigos, please feel free. If you have a question and I miss it, I'll check the archive and try to answer it in a follow-up thread tomorrow.
How do I make a wendigo pc?
On a serious note, just how dangerous is a wendigo if we have a guy who can bend the laws of nature to his will, a robot that never sleeps, and a guy who can communicate with the Deep Ones?
And how many types of wendigo are there?
Not OP, but talking from experience. It depends on the level of the PC's. A wendigo makes a brilliant BBEG to a reasonably low-level party, but the moment they're even on-par with it, it's a middling threat at best.
Skinwalker, can perfectly imitate voices, extremely fast, horrifying, expert at hiding, among other things. I'm pretty sure a wendigo can be more than just a middling threat. The older they get, the more dangerous they are, right? That's how they work, isn't it? Can you imagine what would happen if they worked in pairs, or as a group? I'm shivering at just the thought of it.
>On a serious note, just how dangerous is a wendigo if we have a guy who can bend the laws of nature to his will, a robot that never sleeps, and a guy who can communicate with the Deep Ones?
Depends. The first guy could probably handle most anything, I'm guessing. In Algonquian folklore, a wendigo had a gradual development. People recently possessed by the spirit are easy to kill (strangulation or an axe to the back of the head were popular options, though it was wise to still burn the corpse) but as the transformation worsened, ice built up around their heart and they eventually became "invincible." What that means is that normal damage will not affect their body, and they will recover from it. There is one account of a woman turning into a wendigo who was riddled with arrows to no effect, until one hit and shattered her heart of ice. In most cases, though, the only solution to a truly ice-hearted wendigo was to kill it with fire or to call in a shaman. So as long as you could submit a wendigo to high, sustained heat you could probably kill it. Keep in mind the more powerful wendigos were thought to big gigantic (30+ feet tall) with incredible strength and the ability to summon blizzards.
As for different types, things really aren't that distinct in folklore, though there are many subtle variations on the wendigo theme. For example, in some stories the wendigo is not an emaciated giant with a heart of ice, but a giant of ice with the possessed human as its heart. In those cases, the human body must be destroyed to kill the icy monster.
30+ feet tall and summons blizzards? Ok, that's just fucking awesome! Imagine a Shadowrun campaign set in UCAS, where an old wendigo is terrorizing everyone. And in comes a cybered-up troll with a flamethrower, a firemage, drones with missiles and more, to fight this monstrosity. Sounds awesome.
You mentioned the account of the woman, are there any other (real life?) accounts you can tell us about? Just throw out random facts, it's late for me as well and I have to go to sleep soon. If I go to bed, I'll just check back later today. :)
There are a TON of "real life" accounts in various archives throughout Canada, mainly from the records of missionaries, Hudson Bay Company fur trappers and traders, and later on government records. In a few rare cases we even have indigenous accounts.
It's worth keeping in mind, though, that almost all of these stories were passed on second hand or were of a "a friend of a friend told me" quality. Few can be verified.
Well, let's see. In 1910 there was a woman, her name recorded as Marie Boucon, who was transported under armed guard to the Sisters of Providence at the St. Henry's mission, in Fort Vermillion, Alberta.
Marie was thought to be becoming a wendigo. Her family was terrified of her, thinking she had homicidal urges. They requested a local police Sergeant, McLeod, help them transport her. It was a long trip through the sub-arctic forests in the dead of winter. They kept rifles trained on Marie for much of the trip.
At the mission Marie was accepted by the nuns as one of many lost souls; they cared for orphans, cripples, the homeless, and many others at the mission.
At first Marie was well behaved and everyone thought the fear of wendigos was ridiculous. But she displayed worrying signs. After the nuns destroyed an amulet she kept with her, she became highly agitated and angry. She compulsively drank large amounts of holy water, perhaps in an attempt to melt the ice she feared was growing around her heart; native cures for wendigo transformation often involve such steps. Most of the people there didn't speak her language, and she was convinced they were making fun of her when they spoke different tongues. She became withdrawn, sullen, and hostile.
Things escalated when Marie started getting into fights, slapping and hitting others. She tried to choke one nun. When she was confined to quarters, she attacked a woman who brought her food. She had fits of rage and of laughter. Soon the nuns called for sergeant McLeod again. They were certain Marie was seriously mentally ill, and requested she be taken to an asylum. They decided to trick her, telling her she was going to visit friends and family. When the ship to take her upriver arrived, Marie as furious at the deception, and departed raging at the nuns and calling them devils. No record of her fate survives.
The last entry in the mission's chronicle referencing her simply read "Marie, witiko."
The reference materials I have usually use "Algonquin" for the people, "Algonquian" for the language group; the latter is often used when discussing wendigo lore because wendigo beliefs actually extend beyond the Algonquins alone, and are found in a number of peoples who belong to the overall language group.
Sure. They are:
>Dangerous Spirits: the Windigo in Myth and History, by Shawn Smallson
>The Manitous: The Supernatural World of the Ojibway, by Basil Johnston
>The Wendigo in the Material World, Robert Brightman
The first book is where I'm getting the bulk of my material. Johnston's book has more direct folktales, as he is a noted Ojibway writer himself, but only a small section of the book is about wendigos. Brightman's work is actually an academic article, not a book, which I found on JSTOR.
It's another term for a wendigo. It has a number of spellings including wendigo, witiko, windigo, wee-tee-ko, wihtikow, and so on. Some tribes call it by other names, such as "Chenoo" or "Atoosh," but it's clearly the same sort of being.
I guess it depends how much you like being thrown into the sky by shamans or living on an icy rock in the middle of the Arctic ocean.
I should note, though, that while in modern literature cannibalism is the only way to become a wendigo, it's not that clear cut in the folklore. People who suffered from starvation, froze to death, had bad dreams, were subject to a shaman's curse or were subject to "spiritual corruption" were all thought to be vulnerable. It seems to be thought that the wendigo spirit drove you to cannibalism, though being a cannibal of your own accord might attract it as well. People in the aforementioned list were simply the sort of people likely to attract the spirit's interest.
Bad dreams were especially a big one. The spirit attacked in dreams first, and if you were foolish enough to invite it in via a metaphorical dream, it then had you.
Does that go for wet dreams as well? Sorry, couldn't resist, it's too late for me. I'm hitting the hay now. With a whip. I hope you have lots of more stuff for us when I come back.
Well, I don't know how much I'll have; I have to be asleep before too long as well. But like I said, if anyone wants to post questions in the thread, I'll see them tomorrow and make a follow-up thread with answers.
Anyway, I'll throw out some minor things. Speaking of wendigo dreams, I should describe how they tended to work. Typically you would have a dream in which you met a stranger. If his name was asked he might identify himself as "Ice" or "the North Wind." These were traditionally thought of as very hostile nature spirits. The stranger would then offer the dreamer food. At first glance the food would look delicious; roasted duck and venison. But if the dreamer ate, he would find part way through the meal that he was eating human body parts and organs. Sometimes the stranger would also reveal himself as a wendigo. If the dreamer refused the food, he would be fine. Otherwise by eating he was inviting the wendigo spirit into his body.
It's also worth noting that wendigos were not thought to be dumb. They used tools, and were capable of tricking and outsmarting humans. However, they did sometimes seem to be easily confused, perhaps as a result of their lingering human memories. A common trick, if you were desperate and out of options, was to invite a prowling wendigo into your hut or campsite, talking to it like it were a beloved family member. If you fed it, and kept feeding it, it would be placated, though generally not friendly. Howevr, as the hunger of a wendigo is bottomless, you'd never be able to keep it sated, and so once you ran out of food it would turn on you. Still, this was a way to buy time to think of a way to escape or to kill the creature.
How might one kill a wendigo?
And, this has always intrigued me, how big can wendigos theoretically get? I've heard the more people they eat, the bigger they get so they can't satiate their hunger.
I mentioned a lot of the killing techniques here: >>44551901
But to reiterate, the usual way of dealing with a wendigo was:
A) Treat a person in the early stages of possession by giving them lots of alcohol or warm water to drink, while keeping them near a roaring fire, while providing them with certain medicine/magical fetishes/amulets. The goal of these methods was to melt the ice growing around the person's heart.
B) If those methods failed, and the affected person started attacking people, you strangled them to death or hit them in the back of the head with an axe. Then you burned them.
C) For a full grown wendigo more extreme measures were needed. You had to stab them with spears whose tips had been sharpened and heated in a fire, shoot them with burning arrows, and try to subdue and pin them if possible. Ideally you'd force them onto a roaring bonfire and keep them there. Failing that, if you could keep them pinned in one spot, you could build a fire around/on top of them. Menstrual blood was sometimes used as a repelling agent; splashing wendigos with it might send them into a self destructive frenzy where they'd try to eat parts of themselves, but it wouldn't last.
D) For the most powerful wendigos, only the direct intervention of a shaman would work. The shaman would attempt to "throw the wendigo spirit into the sky." One method involved summoning a whirlwind to carry the wendigo spirit off. another version involved baiting the wendigo to pursue the shaman into a hut, and then having the shaman's bear-spirit helper leap up from below, knocking the wendigo spirit into the sky. It's worth noting that this method carries off the possessing SPIRIT, not the wendigo itself. Though the accounts are less specific, this is generally thought to mean the wendigo would grow sick and die over time without the spirit. In the meantime, though, the shaman would still be stuck dealing with the physical monster. So, not exactly an ideal solution.
As for the second part of your question, the very big wendigos were generally noted as being as skinny and as tall as trees, sometimes taller. Somewhere between 8-30 feet is given as the range, but theoretically there isn't an upper limit.
It's worth noting here that wendigos were thought to be migratory. The spirits were thought to come from a series of icy islands far in the northern seas, whose exact location was unknown. They were supposed to be so far north that they never thawed or be touched by spring. People who turned into wendigos were thought to head north after winter ended, presumably heading for these islands. Up there, the eldest wendigos may still linger. They could potentially be enormous.
Of all the dangerous and evil places in mythology, the wendigo isles would be at the top of my "avoid at all costs" list.
Imagine being the poor son of a bitch who stumbles upon those islands. Imagine he makes camp before anything unusual happens. Imagine his dreams on that island.
He falls asleep, and dreams of an enormous gathering of strange people. They are not here to offer him food and try to get into his head. They are angry at his trespassing on their land.
So when he awakes as the permafrost shudders under him, and sees vast, gaunt forms clambering over the ridgeline, framed against the moon, their eyes like cold, distant stars... Well, he had better hope he can make it back to his boat before the wendigo he just made his camp on top of tears free from centuries' worth of ice.
It has possibilities and it's based on actual native lore.
Don't blame /x/ for shitting it up and over playing it.
The shit is purely /x/'s, not the idea itself.
Like, there is one in Dresden files and he is rather good as a villain. of course, "Evil Bigfoots" are also made to be somewhat impressive there, too. (They are big and strong, and they have big bad magical abilities, and are blithely immune to most mortal magic.)
Alright folks, OP here, I'm turning in for the night. Like I said, feel free to post more questions if you've got 'em. I'll reply to them tomorrow in a follow up thread, assuming this one isn't still around.
This is the sit man
Imagine a tense, short campaign about a party stalked by a colossal wendigo in a wintry forest, and they can't tell it from the trees around them.
Imagine wendigos so old, so ancient, their backs make up the mountains. I mean, Mount Everest is covered in corpses...
Well, the Skinwalker is a shaman who shapeshifts into an animal. What /x/ appears to have done is take a name they think sounds cool and slap it onto the encounter from the Algernon Blackwood story, 'The Wendigo', in which a missing party member, or something impersonating it, comes back briefly acting weird and disappears again. Hell, it's also known as Goatman. /x/ just drove it into the ground. If you've read one skinwalker story, you've read them. Copper and blood smell.
>People recently possessed by the spirit are easy to kill (strangulation or an axe to the back of the head were popular options, though it was wise to still burn the corpse) but as the transformation worsened, ice built up around their heart and they eventually became "invincible." What that means is that normal damage will not affect their body, and they will recover from it. There is one account of a woman turning into a wendigo who was riddled with arrows to no effect, until one hit and shattered her heart of ice. In most cases, though, the only solution to a truly ice-hearted wendigo was to kill it with fire or to call in a shaman. So as long as you could submit a wendigo to high, sustained heat you could probably kill it. Keep in mind the more powerful wendigos were thought to big gigantic (30+ feet tall) with incredible strength and the ability to summon blizzards.
That's some genuinely cool stuff.
From my understanding of wendigo lore, they're not really shapeshifters. They're more often than not either people possessed, turning into or are just emaciated, corpse-like creatures with optional antlers.
The /x/ skinwalker - for skinwalker is another Native American name for a shapeshifting shaman or medicine donning an animal skin - seems to be derived from a confused source, I place it with Algernon Blackwood, who's story kind of has little else to do with traditional wendigo folklore, i.e. zero cannibalism themes. The /x/ skinwalker doesn't ever seem to eat anyone, it just hangs around, is creepy, is gone.
I don't know how much you hang around /x/, God help you if you do, but there was an explosion of skinwalker/goatman stories there about a year or two ago, maybe a little longer, and they're all just the same goddamn story. I think it bled over into /k/ and /out/, too. Generally involves a party of friends, all of whom don't necessarily know each other, lots of friends of friends, the number of people in the group seems to keep shifting, there's a smell of copper and/or blood present at many points, someone acts really weird, narrator presumes they are an inhuman imposter, that's about it.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, link me to some reliable source, but a skinwalker is a completely different thing to a wendigo from everything I've ever read. /x/ seems to use it just because it sounds spooky.
The Ven can get fucking massive, like fifty foot tall emaciated bloody shadows that wander around in a blizzard they brought to murder and cannibalize entire villages / hunting parties.
The little ones are just bad and scary, the big, big ones are horrifying eldritch abomination type awful.
I live in alberta, there's some wendigo lore here but not a huge amount. I used to work with an old geezer who was big on native mythology and was more or less adopted into a tribe and passed their manhood ritual by killing a bear with an axeblow to the head (though he got a pretty wicked scar from it). It involved taunting the bear enough to get its attention, making it stand on its back legs and then throwing a block of wood at it before burying your axe in its skull.
I myself have enough native ancestry to claim native status, though my family knows nothing about our 'tribe' (my mothers, fathers, mother was full blooded native woman but she was an orphan).
While its not truly about the wendigo, I remember an /x/ tier story from my middleschool drama-slash-language arts teacher, who claimed he was the descendent of gypsies. Mostly he told it to scare / bullshit gullible and naive students but it was kind of fun.
I live(d) in the moderate sized city of Red Deer when our teacher decided to tell this bullshit story. It's named after the river that flows through it (red deer river) which was named after some mistaken elk. "Red Deer" was initially popular among native people as a place to ford the river and later it became established as a place semi important to the fur trade, these shallows are about 7km upriver from the actual edge of the city currently. Our story starts roughly here, after the decimation of the native bison population... Hard times began to fall upon the native tribes and alberta has some wonderfully harsh winters at times, which lead to rumors about wendigo - but our story isn't truly about the wendigo... it's about a skinwalker that could best be described as a 'moose-ataur', that was labeled as "The Mooseman".
--- I'm going to cut here and try to get in another post before my failing harddrive or the character limit fucks me over.
Now, at the time of writing this, I'm still fairly certain that the vast majority of this story is bullshit and/or purely made up.
The Mooseman was not a wendigo, though it may have been related to them. It was as described by my teacher possibly the spirit of a native american or a hunter who died during the winter however, hell I can't even remember if he said it was an angry spirit that possessed a hunter after the depopulation of the bison.
All I really remember though, is that this spirit was old and it was mad. It hated men, but in particular it hated the white man.
The Mooseman dwelled along the banks of the Red Deer river (originally 'elk river' in the tongue of the natives living there), particularly along the shallows, though sometimes it wandered closer to the city - it never got far away from the banks of the river or the forested areas near it.
Out of spite the mooseman reportedly mutilated game animals and left unusable carcasses for man to later find them. Sometimes - when it could catch them, it was implicated in the death and mutilation of men.
I forgot that I haven't really given a description of the Mooseman beyond 'Moose-ataur'. This thing was supposed to be fucking HUGE, somewhere around twelve to fourteen feet tall with an impressive rack of moose antlers. It had a mooses head with elongated muzzle, but unlike normal moose teeth it was supposed to have slightly more humanlike ones in some descriptions and fangs in others. Its eyes were supposed to be one of the biggest giveaways, as they were humanlike, intelligent and unbelievably rage-filled. Its upperbody was humanoid and muscular, though mostly (or entirely covered in hair). Its lower body was prettymuch what you'd expect from standard centaur descriptions - bovine, but in this case: Moose.
Reportedly (according to the what I'm still fairly sure is entirely bullshit) it was supposed to croon and almost wail at night, and that was one of the few sounds it actually made.
In addition the Mooseman was supposed to mark his territory in strange ways - rubbing his antlers on trees way too high up for normal moose, and in some cases just outright bowling them over.
Red deer as a city has attempted to put a lot of effort into cultural activities and general beautification. In 2003 it was named the cultural capital of canada by the department of canadian heritage, and there's all sorts of hiking trails in the city and in particular along the riverside area - which is reportedly where this creature hangs out (but only after dark and in the winter). The old train bridge from something like 100 years ago was converted into a walking path that got you from the northern riverside area to close to the downtown core (this becomes relevant to a personal anecdote later).
Part of why I often associate the Mooseman with Wendigo, is that it's frequently associated with winter and it only ever crops up 'after dark'. I forgot to mention that it apparently predates the 120+ year old bridge, because after the buffalo declined Red Deer and its river crossing were apparently mostly abandoned too (when it became a 'town' in 1901 it had less than 400 people). The Mooseman was an angry, hateful spirit but it was also fortunately left the fuck alone in the middle of nowhere and seemingly bound to the river itself - particularly around the shallows.
Now personally, I always found this story to be bullshit. Good for a gas over a teacher attempting to scare some students. But then one morning, I agreed to meet a friend for breakfast before sending him off on a greyhound to some other podunk part of canada, because neither of us at the time drove or had access to our own vehicles. So I decided to go across the old train bridge early in the morning, during part of canada's forever long winter, while it was still dark out. It was a long walk and I was really kicking myself because it was five in the fucking morning.
If it's real it must be fucking terrifying. Seen the damage a bull moose can do to a car while driving through some back roads with some buds. A near 20ft Moose-ataur? FUCK that.
The old train bridge is located in an area of the city that used to be nice, but is now essentially a low income housing slum that caters to poor people and natives. It's one of the higher crime areas of the city, so I'm already on edge because mugging's are not unheard of.
I normally consider myself pretty tough, as I've been in a few street fights. I've gotten bear maced, I've been held at gunpoint and I've been stabbed. But as I begin to cross this train bridge I hear a noise that sounds conspicuously like crooning.
The rational part of my mind screams at me "Dude, it's not strange to hear these noises - they moved the train tracks to the northern end of town, and the railway company runs the trains at night to avoid disrupting traffic along the calgary edmonton trail highway. You're hearing a train-horn" as I nope my way across the fucking bridge at max speed. "The wheels of the train are that clopping on hard ground noise you're hearing" my rational brain continues shouting at me, while my irrational brain is screaming "NOPE, WE'RE DONE, GET THE FUCK OUT. PORKCHOP SANDWICHES".
I finally get to the end of the bridge and turn around, and I swear to fucking god I saw something moving in the treeline near the riverbank on the opposite side.
I used to walk home at 3am in the dead of winter, and even though that train bridge could have saved me 30mins of walking and I'm like 99.99999999999999999999% absolutely fucking positive that it doesn't exist. I want *NOTHING* to do with that train bridge late at night.
Train sounds late at night are certainly scary, and I certainly spooked my own damn self, but fuck that teacher for putting this bullshit in my head originally.
I had breakfast with my friend and shared the story and he laughed his goddamn ass off at me. I laughed hard too, because it is silly as a grown ass man, but I still stay far away from that bridge at night - I'm not into elevating my heart rate to dangerous levels through panic alone.
Not OP, but there was some 3.5 books (fiend folio ones if I remember correctly) that handle demonic possession.
Two big factors are feeling cold, and feeling hungry. In the words of survivorman Les Stroud "if you can't hunt or fish in Canadian winter - you starve". Snow is hard as fuck to travel through and it gets unbelievably fucking cold here at times... -25 to -40c for weeks to months. There's nothing to forage, it's hard to even travel short distances without snowshoes or sleds and theres always risks like say falling into a 15 foot snow drift.
You're cold, you're hungry, you're isolated, you've lost your lips and the tip of your nose to frostbite... And then you have a dream about eating... that's when the real nightmare of the long dark that Canadian winter can be sets in.
>The spirit attacked in dreams first, and if you were foolish enough to invite it in via a metaphorical dream, it then had you.
How did it function in dreams? Any particular modus operandi? Is it possible to combat or slay it in the dream state?
OP here, posting during a slow moment at work. For more detail on wendigo dreams see: >>44553382
The dreams weren't combative, usually. Instead the spirits relied on trickery, trying to get you to willingly invite them into yourself. As long as you see through their deception and refuse them entry, you should be fine.
The closest thing I can think of to a more violent rejection of wendigo possession involved a story where two rival shamans sicced wendigo spirits on each other. One shaman awoke with no memory of his dream, but found he was in the middle of the woods, naked, all the trees around him had been smashed flat, and he later learned the rival shaman had died in his sleep several hundred miles away around the same time.
I'll get to this one later today.
So what if you fed the wendigo with warm alcohol and other warm foods, nearby by a warm fire with the offer of warm winter clothes, could the wendigo eventually be cured of the wendigo status? or do you need greater heat to melt its icy heart?
My interest is piqued because a guy I know suffered from recurring dreams like you described. After a few weeks of this he also felt chills in the left side of his chest and has gotten very sullen since.
The stupid thing, though, is that we live on the other half of the globe.
>or are just emaciated, corpse-like creatures with optional antlers.
Okay, so, first things first. I know this wasn't a question, but I wanted to point this out. I've read a lot of wendigo lore by this point, and not once, at any point, have I read anything where they were associated with deer or described as having deer-like features. My suspicion is that trend started with this picture, which was from a 1944 pulp magazine
(Famous Fantastic Mysteries, art by Matt Fox) which re-published Algernon Blackwood's short story, "The Wendigo." As mentioned earlier in the thread, Blackwood's story, while quite entertaining, bears almost no resemblance to the mythical creature whose name it borrows, and it also notably does not describe the monster. I'm guessing this version of the monster was simply an artist's personal imagining of what the undescribed monster in Blackwood's story looked like, and generations of later artists/writers just took it at face value and/or imitated someone who did.
Okay, so, there's really two parts to that question. One, how would you handle it in terms of managing the player, and two, how would you handle it aesthetically.
For the first part, I'd be careful. In my experience players do not like it when control is taken away from them, especially if it's not something they can fix. So I would not just yank control away from the player. I would make it gradual, and give them an opportunity to pursue a cure.
As for the second part, I would definitely make sure they were in a circumstance where a wendigo spirit might be attracted to them (freezing to death, starving, considering cannibalism of their own accord, angered a shaman, etc) and then give them a wendigo dream. The dream would have a number of skill checks where they could potentially see through the spirit's trickery and avoid being possessed.
For the transformation itself, in the lore it can take from a few days to a few weeks. I'd stretch it out for a game, give the players time to reach someone who could tell them the truth and how to cure it. For basic symptoms, the player would start to feel increasingly hungry and cold. One notable symptom from the lore is that an affected person feeling compelled to eat snow. If they start eating snow that is a very bad sign. I would also add subsequent wendigo dreams. Each night, they have a dream that is a metaphor for cannibalism, but does not outright reveal itself as such. As their hunger increases over the days/weeks they feel compelled to eat more and more meat, and begin to prefer it raw. The hunger will make them irritable and they may get into fights. Their body will start to show signs of starvation, even if they're eating regularly. the cold their in their chest is a signpost of how far the transformation has gone. The colder they get, the more ice in their heart, and the more ice the harder the transformation will be to reverse. Once the heart has totally hardened, there will be no going back.
So, while I just said in my previous post that once the heart turns to solid ice there's no going back, the lore's actually a bit fuzzy on this point. There ARE stories of a fully-transformed wendigo being cured. However, they lack consistency. There's no particular cure that crops up repeatedly, just weird one-offs. They also tend to apply to wendigos who haven't been transformed for very long. Two in particular spring to mind.
One is the story of the evil Shaman, Dark Sky, who despite having many wives lusts after another young woman. when her father refuses to marry her he enacts a strange ritual in which he puts a snowball in the crook of her neck as she sleeps while making her inhale the odor of certain herbs. A few days later she becomes a wendigo, killing and eating her entire family/village. Dark Sky returns to find his creation lurking in the ruins of the village. Since his power created the wendigo he is able to command it, and he has it follow him back to his village. There he puts her in a tent with heated rocks, which slowly melts the ice inside her. After a day of intense heat she is human again, but with no memory of what transpire. Dark Sky then forcibly marries her. She eventually learns the truth, though, and begins to relapse, turning back into a wendigo. She perceives this as the spirits using her as their instrument to punish Dark Sky, which she's okay with, but she doesn't want to kill everyone in his village too. She throws herself onto a pyre, and gets some small revenge in that she also kills Dark Sky's unborn son that she was carrying in the process.
The second example of a wendigo being cured involved an older wendigo being given a special concoction that made him vomit (in some traditions, feeding a potential wendigo hot grease was supposed to make them vomit up the ice in their bodies) causing him to vomit up a series of ice-hearts (or in another version, small human figurines made of ice). These icy hearts/figurines each represent the soul of someone he has killed and eaten, though the last one is his own and the wendigo swallows it again. After this ordeal he is described as "nearly cured."
The human-shape ice figure is worthy of note. In a variant of the "Dark Sky" story the evil shaman doesn't put snow in the crook of the sleeping girl's neck, but instead fashions an effigy of the girl out of snow, then submerges it in water until it freezes solid, and then takes it outside and burns it while chanting and engaging in other (undescribed) ritual acts around the fire. This causes the girl to become a wendigo.
Seriously emaciated humans, as if in the late stages of starvation, with grayish or sallow skin. In their endless hunger, they often chew away parts of their lips and shoulders, and sometimes a few of their own fingers and toes. They have hearts of solid ice, are followed by blizzards, and every time they eat their body grows in proportion, so that their stomachs are never full. They range, generally, from regular human height to 30+ feet tall. Despite their great height, though, they are still thin and emaciated, with long stick-like limbs. They can be mistaken for trees if they are standing in a forest.
Maybe use the vampire template? Just replace the need to consume blood with the need to consume flesh, drop the energy drain, and give it ice/snow/winter weather based abilities instead of the usual vampire paraphernalia. If that's too strong, throw in a weakness to fire.
Well, they don't talk much. When they do, it's sometimes incoherent. But they threaten and torment, and when they're more lucid they order people about. The confused ones sometimes act like they're still in a normal setting, but it's fleeting. Basil Johnston, the Ojibway writer, refers to them "shrieking" and their "booming voices" like "cracking thunder." When a group of wendigos chased a hero, he said they "roared." Keep in mind, even though wendigos are skinny, they can still be giants, and will have correspondingly giant lungs.
Personally, I always imagined them howling like a winter wind.
A couple more anecdotes about wendigos, then I'm calling it a night.
Most wendigo stories deal with lone wendigos. They seem to be primarily solitary creatures. This is not exclusively the case, though; there are other stories, usually set in the mythical past, where entire families or clans of wendigos ravaged a region.
There's one Ojibway story about a professional wendigo hunter called in by a remote village having trouble with one of the creatures. They send a delegation to find the hunter, named Nana'b'oozoo, and ask him to come help. He agrees, and treks for days to reach this remote village, barely stopping or talking. When he arrives he simply asks where the wendigo is. The villagers direct him to a local cave. He travels to the cave, passing a frozen lake on the way. Once he's standing a good distance outside of the cave he shouts all the foulest insults he can think of. A wendigo emerges from the cave, attracted by the noise... followed promptly by three dozen others. Nana'b'oozoo legs it, and the wendigo horde pursues. He leads them straight to the frozen lake. There are some half submerged stones in the lake, and he jumps from one to another. The wendigos, blinded by their maddening hunger, simply chase after him and crash through the ice, sinking to the bottom. Nana'b'oozoo then jumps back to shore and leaves them to freeze.
in the early 1660s the French Jesuits were trying to expand their missionary efforts into the still tribal-dominated regions around what is now Northern Quebec. They had an ambitious plan to organize a gathering of all the tribal factions of the region at Lac St. Jean on the Saguenay River, which was a major trading location. Now the Jesuits knew they needed to build up to this. Their missionaries couldn't just waltz in and demand a meeting. So they made arrangements with some middlemen, Native Americans friendly to them that they could send as delegates to set up this big meeting.
Communications being what they were at the time, the next step was to send their own party a few years later to meet with these delegates and discover their progress. In mid-June of 1661, they tasked two Jesuit priests, who were on their way to establish their own missions near Hudson Bay, to check in on all this. Both men were experienced travelers and had lived among the natives for prolonged periods. They traveled with four loyal Frenchmen and a team of native canoeists and guides.
Their trip was complicated by a mysterious outbreak of some sort in the region, the major symptom being severe convulsions. The expedition was delayed for three days at Tadoussac, where the Saguenay River enters the St. Lawrence, as their native canoeists were afflicted by this unknown illness. During this delay, the Jesuits received grim news: all of the delegates they were traveling to meet had been murdered.
According to the report they received, all their delegates had been struck with a mysterious disease, one that caused them "a more than canine hunger." They reportedly went mad with a craving for human flesh and were put down. Though their journals never use the word "wendigo" or any of its variants, the events described are pretty typical of wendigo cases from across a wide range of history.
The priests were understandably dismayed by this news, but decided to push on. As they traveled the epidemic followed them up the river, killing the eldest daughter of one of their guides and then spreading to the second eldest. The expedition was delayed again for three days, for the customary burial and mourning periods. Ultimately their guides refused to proceed further, their stated reason being fear of hostile Iroquois, but fear of the epidemic seems a likely reason as well, perhaps the true reason.
The death of the delegates is interesting for a number of reasons. There is a lot of documentation about wendigo scares and executions, and in them one can discern a pattern: they usually peaked in times of famine and during disease outbreaks. A lot of them also involved the executions of people who had not actually engaged in any cannibalism, but as a preventative measure against people thought to be transforming into the monsters, but who were likely just suffering from mental illness. In this context, the killing of the delegates makes some historical sense. They were an intrusive presence, something out of the ordinary, appearing during a time of great cultural strife and tension. It fits the pattern of past incidents.
On the other hand, the delegates were agents of imperial powers, looking to spread a foreign religion. So were they killed for religious/cultural reasons, due to witch-hunt hysteria whipped up by the epidemic? Or were these murders actually cunning political assassinations, carried out against men seen as dangerous agents of foreign powers?
Damn it. Reminds me of the days my dad would tell me about wendigos...I would shit myself if they were real and I saw one.
Come to think of it, weren't there like, reports of disemboweled guys found in 'Murican forests last year? Guess that's one reason to not migrate there
Would an automatic shotgun loaded with depleted uranium shards be able to kill it?
Found that a while ago on here
Not that guy, but /x/ used to be an okay place to look at for a Cthulhufag like me. The unsolved crimes threads used to be kind of intrigueing but these days it's devolved into nothing but tin foils, neckbeards trying to lose their virginity to a hallucination of their waifu and JET FUEL CANT MELT STEEL
On the odd chance that a decent thread comes up, it goes largely unnoticed or is derailed. Very rarely, they have a "let's make a monster" thread but /x/ never gets anything done.
>I wish there were a Cthulhu or even horror general on here
I'd actually thinking something along those lines, but something stranger; prions. Prion disease, such as mad cow, often have severe and unpredictable neurological fuckery going on. It's further verified by someone I know who grew up in the frozen north, where meat from wild deer you have to be especially careful with, as there is a risk of it being afflicted by prions. I'm not sure why others wouldn't be affected. Maybe you have to eat some significant neurological tissue to contract it, or maybe it only comes from parts not thoroughly cooked, or maybe it's a natural disease that is just floating around in the environment that you can catch.
Of course, his people's territory was more in Russia, and their deer don't have that. I should ask him if they have any stories about wendigo or something similar, if it's only in Northern Canada, then it could well correlate to prions in their wild deer population. Still, the main correlation between wendigo and prion-caused diseases like Mad Cow is aggression and madness, a slow onset that is both hideous and can be caught through exposure with the afflicted.
I'd almost compare some wendigo stuff to the burned out section of Yarhnam(???) in bloodbourne.
Particularly the bottom of the 'church' where they've strung up the giant werewolf thing.
The blood starved beast is almost an appropriate wendigo type creature... albiet it needs some tweaks to make it all wintery and cold and stuff.
The creatures in that area do possess a certain cunning and they're utterly terrified of fire.
None of this really has much to do with wendigo's proper, but it kind of feels similar.
This got me thinking. I always am a little annoyed when a setting/game/movie/etc takes a monster that has specific weaknesses and just gives it a generic regeneration effect to deal with other damage. I always prefer it if they do something more unique to the monster. Like in King's "Salem's Lot," he doesn't just have vampires regenerate from damage; instead bullets pass through them like they're not even there, making them seem more ghostly and otherworldly.
And this mention of giant wendigos made of ice made me think: what if damage wendigos take that isn't to their hearts is replaced by living ice? So you shoot it full of holes, and the holes fill back in with ice. You chop of its arm, and it picks the arm back up, attaches it to its stump, and you see ice fill in the wound and fuse the two pieces back together.
Thus the wendigos made almost entirely of ice are ones that have just taken a ton of damage over the years. It could allow for some cool visual effects, like a wendigo who had its head smashed with a hammer, so half of the head has been replaced by ice but the rest is still flesh and bone.
What would a really elder wendigo look like? I'm picturing a creature hundreds of feet tall, big chunks of its body replaced by ice, waves of cold mist radiating from its torso, generated by the ice heart within, body studded with thousands of arrows and spears from the many warriors its slaughtered over the years, always surrounded by an extremely intense winter storm of snow and hail.
How the hell would you kill that thing? It' be extremely difficult to set it on fire and keep it on fire long enough to destroy the heart.
By the above logic, I'd think that eventually they'd reach a point where it would be impossible to destroy one by conventional means. Once they got big enough the only way to put one down would be banish the spirit within it, then run like hell until the giant creature made of ice, storms and murder wound down and died/deanimates.
Actually, that makes me think of those frozen wendigo islands that are supposed to exist out in the arctic ocean, so far north that they never thaw.
Uh. What's global warming doing to that place? If all the old wendigos went there when their winters' ended, and are still there, sleeping under the ice...
If the regular big ones can wipe entire villages off the map than I don't think you can hide from these walking mountains. You might be better off with buying several tons of raw meat and white phosphorus.
Okay, now I'm genuinely thinking about a wendigo apocalypse setting.
The thing is, even if global warming wakes the wendigos up, it still is a problem for them. They're very climate oriented, hunting in the winter and then retreating to their islands for the rest of the year; they don't like warm temperatures. So a lot of people would be safe if they just moved further south. Still, while climate change is warming the world overall, it's also leading to more intense winter storms and colder temperatures during the regular winter duration, even in areas that didn't used to see snow regularly. If the shutdown of thermohaline circulation happens, the North Atlantic regions could get much colder. So the traditional wendigo territory (northern Canada, down to the Great Lakes) might expand some. That’d bad news for Britain and New England.
But outside of regions that stay cold enough, people would be free to arm and recover during the warmer months. So the wendigos would find barricades and flamethrowers waiting for them each winter. Of course, wendigos are both smarter and much more powerful than zombies, so they may be able to find ways around those defenses. They're also, in some ways, much harder to kill; you not only need to light them up, you need to prevent them from putting themselves out. And it, heaven forbid, one of the big wendigos comes south? Your barricade would be fucked.
I’m betting the elder wendigos, the really big ones, wouldn’t go too far south. They’d settle in northern Russia, Kamchatka, Svalbard, Alaska, the Northern Territories. I’m also guessing that waking up them means waking up all the wendigo spirits, who were probably floating around the wendigo isles in the spirit world. So during winter you’ll have to deal with them trying to enter people’s dreams and create more wendigos.
I think for a campaign it would be best to have it happen as they first start waking up. The people know that the wendigos are already slowly dying slowly from the heat and won't last a year, but the issue is making it through that first year while the wendigos are going through a swan song that will leave the world devastated. Less of a post-apocalypse and more of a massive magical disaster.
Even with global warming we aren't just going to lose winter. If the wendigos woke up there'd be no reason for them to go away unless we killed them all, and even then the disembodied wendigo spirits could potentially make more.
That's a nasty idea. But if the elder ones were interested in coming south, they would have done so. At some point, after having migrated from the wendigo isles and back during many winters, they just stopped coming south. Who's to say why? Maybe they're even less tolerant of warmer climes than their lesser kin, not more.
/k/ wouldn't know mythology if it kicked them in the nutsack. A skinwalker is just a shaman who can assume animal shape, and some of them use it for evil. they're not invincible. The stories /x/ and /k/ tell about goatmen and skinwalkers have nothing to do with their namesakes, they're just shit those yahoos made up.
As for wendigos, shotguns would just knock a small to medium sized one on its ass, maybe blow off an army or part of the head. They'd get back up after a bit, though. The bigger ones would just get annoyed, and the REALLY big ones wouldn't even notice.
I dunno, man. I'm assuming the heart of a wendigo is like the ice from the bottom of a glacier; hard and tough, compressed from centuries of ice weighing down on it, so dark a blue it's almost black.
Let's say you shoot the giant wendigo and it goes through the chest and hits the heart. Unless it completely shatters and melts the heart, shit don't matter. The wendigo will just get back up and tear you a new one. It doesn't help that the blizzard that surrounds the wendigo will help smother any fires that break out on its body.
You might be able to kill a small or mid sized wendigo that way, but the really big ones? You'd probably need to trap them in a ravine or a quarry or something and dump napalm them until there was nothing left.
I mean, hurting a wendigo is no issue. You chop their arm off or shoot them in the face, it's going to hurt them. But at best it's a delaying tactic, because they're still going to get back up and eat your face.
>How the hell would you kill that thing
A very short-lived thermonuclear sun.
OP here. Surprised this thread is still going. As a reward, here is one more wendigo story:
A man and a woman were crossing the Barrens, a cold and treeless place. One night they heard something prowling around outside their tent. Their dogs whined and squealed, and one by one they heard the dogs die. The creature scratched at their tent door a bit, but did not attempt to force entry. Perhaps it was temporarily sated with the dead dogs.
The next day the broke camp and tried to get as far away as possible. As daylight began to run out, they built an igloo and took shelter within. That night the creature circled the igloo, but the man barred the doorway and held a loaded rifle. The creature, again, did not attempt to enter.
The next day they again tried to travel as far as they could. As night fell, they heard something pursuing them. They dug a tunnel into the snow, in an attempt to hide. They heard their pursuer cross back and forth over them. It snapped off a long, sharp branch, and stabbed it down into the snow, probing, trying to find them, but it did not.
In the morning they dug their way out and fled once more. This time they found an abandoned cabin. The husband scrounged together enough wood and nails to board up the doors and windows. They heard their pursuer clawing at the sides of the building that night, but in the morning it had not gone away. They were trapped. With no other options, the couple hatched a plan. The wife set a large kettle of water boiling in the fireplace and set out all the food they had. The husband then unbarred the door.
He found himself face to face with a wendigo, its lips all gnawed away. Despite this ghastly sight he invited the creature in, calling it "grandfather" and treating it like a visiting relative. The wendigo soundlessly followed him to the table with the food, where it sat down and began to eat, but soon it had devoured everything the couple had, and it wanted more. The husband invited it to try the delicious stew cooking in the fireplace.
He lifted the lid off of the kettle, and as the wendigo bent down to investigate, he slammed the lid bad down, shoving the monster’s head into the boiling water. His wife rushed over to help him hold the wendigo’s head in the kettle until the creature stopped thrashing about. The husband then dragged the prone body outside, assembled a pyre, and cremated it before the wendigo could recover.
I'm imagining these read in an old Indian Shaman voice. More stories to scare us young braves please.
This thread is really cool, thanks for the read!
I'm writing a story where a some point the protagonist come across a yeti/sasquatch tribe that try to find a way to repell their tendancies to turn into wendigos by following strict precepts.
So basically sasquatch monks who worship warmth, light and fire.
Might rustle the ones that are only interested by the "real deal", but i thought you could be interested.
Anyway, thank you that was a cool read!
>not keeping a monstrosity menagerie full of strange and dangerous creatures
You're no fun at all.
That is how you wind up as a tortured dildo for a succubus.
I must reccoment Dukaj's book "Ice"
The premise is that the tunguska event brought about the "lute", amalgamations of pure cold and ice, which settle in nests over bigger cities, like Moscow and Warsaw, and are slowly expanding westward.
They metaphorically "freeze" time, as the action is set in the 1900s, but Russia is still ruled by a tzar, Poand isn't free, so on & so forth.
It's a really great book, also deling with some interesting philosophical aspects.
A confusing read at times, but I can't recommend it eneugh.
The Librarians of Candle Keep live in fear of a creature so foul that none dare utter its name.
It stalks the bookshelves, sometimes you would catch a sight of it, a shadow, moving from case to case. Sometimes while reading, your blood will turn cold, and no matter what you do, you cannot shake the feeling that there are eyes on you.
Books would go missing, only tattered scraps left behind. I never believed in it, until I saw it. I took a book from the shelf and saw these eyes peering out from the other side. I tried to run, but soon it was upon me. With unholy alacrity, the creature bounded over the shelf in a single leap, and pinned me to the ground. All I could do was close my eyes and pray as it devoured the book I was holding, while I was still alive.
Do not go into the library alone. For I tell you, the legend of the OP is true!
Or pull a Dresden Files and lure it into a nuclear test. Doesn't get much hotter than a man made sun. In fact a game set in Siberia where the party has to steal an old soviet backpack nuke to kill a slumbering elder wendigo
There is even a scenario somewhat like that in the Unspeakable Oath (Issue 24 I think) called dead man's hand though that involves an avatar of Ithaqua.
A thermonuclear exchange that brings about a nuclear winter would make more sense I think. No where to run.
The last survivors of humanity emerge into the bitter cold, thinking the worst is over when "Billl, I don't remember there being a mountain there, and I think it's moving
Actually, let's think tank this one together
PC Wendigos - What should be a reason for them keeping their consciousness? And what should be a trigger for a full turn? What could be playable Wendigo's abilities, besides super strength and constitution?
Perhaps the method and time length of the transformation could effect their mental abilitys.