Here's another dressup game based on Norwegian folklore. You could say this is almost like a male counterpart to the Huldra game, except Nøkken is a bit more sinister.
Nøkken (pronounced Nuck-en) is an evil male creature that lives in dark waterlily ponds. When the sun has gone down, it comes to the edge of the water to lure people - especially women and children - into the water so they drown. In most fairytales about him he uses a violin (sometimes a harp, but the violin is more common) to play beautiful music to lure his victims into his pond. In Sweden he is usually depicted as a beautiful naked man, while in Norway he's mostly depicted as a creature made of twigs with glowing eyes. I did my best to combine the two, partly because the Norwegian Nøkken wouldn't be a very good basis for a character creator since you'd only be able to create an ugly monster and nothing remotely human, while the Swedish version on its own is kind of boring and unoriginal designwise in my opinion since it's just a naked human-looking man with no real distinguishing features (no offense to Swedes). He is also a shapeshifter, and often turns himelf into a tree floating in the water, or into a white horse, making people ride him and then takes them into the water when they're on his back, quite similar to the Kelpie from Celtic myths. In some myths you can also sacrifice something to him (Either a black animal, brandy, snuff, or three drops of blood from the ring finger) and he'll either teach you how to play the violin as good as him, or he'll give you his violin.
Nøkken is very often mixed up with Fossegrimen, which is a similar creature who's described as a beautiful naked man with flowing hair who plays a violin and dwells near waterfalls and rivers, but they are not the same thing. Fossegrimen is not a bloodthirsty monster, just a poetic elf who likes to play music. Fossegrimen may be mischievous, but unlike Nøkken he's not evil. It's easier to spot the differences between the two in Norwegian folklore since Nøkken looks more like a monster here, but in Swedish folklore they're extremely similar and can be easily mistaken for each other.
Sadly there aren't a lot of paintings of Nøkken, so I mostly just went with how I've personally imagined him looking, and for some reason I've always imagined him as a classy-looking gentleman with glowing eyes, playing his violin. The glowing eyes are inspired by the famous Nøkken painting by Theodor Kittelsen. ( upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia… )
Yes, this is another bloodthirsty fairytale figure. I have no idea why, but a lot of the supernatural creatures in Norwegian folklore are very sinister. =S Even our trolls are generally more sinister than the Swedish or Danish ones.
One little issue with this one was the tusser; I had decided to include tusser as drag&drop background figures along with hulders and trolls and whatnot. Problem is, I have absolutely no idea what a tusse looks like, they're not very often featured in fairytales, you often hear the phrase "tusser and trolls", but all you ever see are trolls. So I decided to ask Mr. Google, and I found out they're also known as "the invisible ones". *facepalm* In any case, I decided to include them anyway. When they do appear to humans the few descriptions I could find said that they were a bit smaller than humans, often wore green clothes, and were sort of similar to nisser but also sort of similar to hulders, so I went with something in between there. They also love nature, so I made them as naturey as I could.
Oh wow, I have never imagined than I would find something so perfect on the internet. It's like someone else wrote before in the comments: My dream come true! I love water spirits, especially male water spirits. In the slavic mythology we have a similar water demon. He is called utopiec or topielec in Poland ('topiel' means whirlpool), the czech version is called 'vodnik' (in many slavic languages this word is also used to mean the Aquarius zodiac sign). The interesting thing is, that these demons are very similar to your vision of nøkken. Utopiec and vodnik are consider to be original demons, who drown people in swamps and lakes, while topielec is a sipirit of drowned man (often a suicide) or unbaptised child, however still can be dengerous. But basically all of them have pale or grey skin and long, tangled hair. Depends on a local story - they can be very ugly, like corpses of a drowned man or rather handsome, but pale, with interdigital webbing. I like the second version better A creature like this is also the main character of my 'forever on hiatus' novel. I can't draw but I can create a nøkken which is very similar to my character so have to thank you for this opportunity.
P.S. Sadly, the slavic water demons can't play on fiddle...
The topielec sound a bit like draugen from Norwegian folklore; the spirt of a drowned man who tries to drag others under, though draugen only lives in the ocean, not in freshwater lakes.
Where by the marishes boometh the bittern,
Neckar the soulless one sits with his ghittern.
Sits inconsolable, friendless and foeless.
Waiting his destiny, - Neckar the soulless- "Brother Fabian's Manuscript" by Sebastian Evans
P.S. There is an old czech cartoon called 'Vodyanoy', which shows vodnik in a family friendly manner. Utopiec is present in a polish video game called 'The Witcher'.
P.S.2 For the first time I read about näcken in a swedish book for children called Alla vi barn i Bullerbyn: one of the main characters, a young boy called Lasse pretends to be a näcken to scare his friends. However, in the polish version word näcken is translated to vodník, so eventually when I grown up I taught that it wasn't czech vodnik, but swedish näcken.
Im not sure, to be honest. I dont really know what Nøkken was called in the Viking age, though I suppose it is possible. Another bit of trivia is that the Vikings also settled in much of eastern Europe, so maybe they spread those myths to the Slavic people?
Thats quite interesting. Its fun to see how all the European myths and traditions are related in some way.
Honestly, I'm rather shocked how ignorant some of the comments you receive are. That must be irritating, hahah.
Yeah, I get a bit impatient sometimes when people dont read the description properly. >_>
I know o---o If I ever have a question or a speculation about a certain game/image etcetera, I read the description first before asking. Most people don't like reading though.
Yep. =S Some are too lazy, I guess.
Oh yes, very lazy.
I'm glad I found out more about it though, thanks for informing me of your culture
I think much of the reason Norwegian fairytale creatures are so nature-oriented (they are all basically the embodiments of the forces of nature) is because Norway has always been a large country with a very small population, along with our harsh and barren landscape (Norway is literally 90% mountains, so most of our land cant even be inhabited), so nature has always been a very big part of our culture, to a larger extent than with the more city and civilisation-oriented cultures of France, Germany and England, where most of the fairytales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc. come from.
One thing, though, I think you should stick to English. Google translate doesnt always translate properly, so it can be a little bit hard to understand the sentences that are translated from English to Norwegian.