|Disclaimer: While it is the intention of the foremost members of this website to keep pages as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be taken fully as mythical, legendary or folkloric canon (let alone as a resource for any paper, report or journal). Cite pages at your own peril.|
The German (pronounced Gher-Mon) is one of a race of creatures with origins in Slavic mythology, legend and folklore. In particular, accounts of its existence are first documented in Eastern Serbia and Northern Bulgaria. For their amazing powers as spirits of rain and hail, they were widely respected, loved and feared.
Many rituals were dedicated to flattering them and invoking their favor; among which included setting food and wine out near the edge of a forest (often on the family woodpile) to appease or propitiate them, and then shouting out to them an invitation to join them for dinner.
If the German does not accept, it makes no difference, but if he does accept, it is seen as a great honor, and as a sign of good agricultural fortune to come for the area.
Some would even make dolls or effigies of German (out of rags, fired clay or fruits/vegetables; a proper effigy or doll would include a generous depiction of the German's erect genitals).
Participants (typically young virgin girls, but also occasionally adult women) would then either bury the effigy/doll (often near a body of water; lake, river, beach shore, etc) or put it into a makeshift casket, set into the water and hold for it a mock funeral, to show how well loved and respected the German is.
In return, they hoped their shows of kindness and appreciation would bring forth rain, to bless their crops for a good harvest. If their ritual called forth too much rain, or if hail resulted, the effigy would be quickly unburied and discarded (or destroyed).
For some reason, Christianized interpretations of Pagan beliefs closely associate the spirit with Saint Germanus (a saint associated, in Catholic belief, with hail and sometimes lightning), and occasionally also with the biblical Elijah.
The German are an all-male species; no female German can, or do, exist. Females born of a German father have only a chance of taking after their female parent, or being Half-German (which have varying German traits, but are easily recognized as mixed-race by other air, water and ice elementals). Even in a union of a male and female Half-German, or a Half-German and a German, only the males have a chance of being true German.
The skin of the German can be any of numerous, various shades of blue (indicating their nature as water, air and ice elementals), and they can be found in either a solid form or a gaseous, insubstantial, incorporeal form. They can be anywhere from 5'0 to 8'0 tall, ranging between lean, medium, chunky or muscular body types (they are never underweight or overweight).
The hair of the German may be long, medium or short; straight, curly or wavy in texture; hair colors range from black, brown, blond, red, white, or a darker shade of blue than their skin. They may even be bald (which is fairly common). Facial hair, body hair and eye color also varies widely.
The German RARELY wears clothes, often valuing its nudity as a sign of its freedom; likewise, they are unashamed and unbothered by seeing the nakedness of others. When, or if, they do wear clothes, the clothes will be light and veil-like. They are fond of capes, cloaks, veils and loose tunics. Though, even these are more common among those influenced by the cultures of the Plane of Air (rather than those influenced by the Plane of Water).
Also, due to their capabilities (and their origins at the point where the Plane of Water and the Plane of Air converge), German are calm, pleasant and serene. They despise violence, and are unwilling to fight at all; they would sooner simply vanish into thin air (to the upper air of the atmosphere or to their home plane) than take place in what they consider frivolous and pointless behavior.
Furthermore, the German are free-spirited and nomadic. They love to travel wherever their whim takes them (often a place where it rains frequently, due to their fondness of the rain, or to a place where rain is needed), and will spend very little time in any one place.
Their nomadic nature is due to their capacity as bringers (or stayers) of rain and hail. When they visit new lands, they are often given to observing the place's inhabitants from afar (like in neighboring forests) as they go about their day unawares. By their observation, the German can make a judgment as to whether the people deserve the sky's punishment or it's reward.
As such, their wide travels and their observations of other sentient races often lead to a very philosophical perspective on life.
Despite this, they perceive schooling and the work of domestic life to be pointless, except when necessary to finding food, shelter or a mate. And should they ever find love, rather than settling down in one place, they will invite their mate to travel abroad with them.
If their mate refuses, the German will leave them behind, no matter how difficult it may be (even if they leave behind children). This is about half of the cases with those romantically involved with German. Children of German may take on traits and/or abilities of their father, but only male children have a chance of being German themselves.
Because of their nature as spirits of rain and hail, German are capable of perceiving and predicting weather with keen psychic accuracy. They can sense current weather patterns, when changes will occur, how intense they will be, how long they will last and what areas they will hit. This sense is so keen, in fact, that it is often used to determine the route of the German's travels.
In addition, the German can turn entirely invisible, intangible, inaudible, inodorous or even imperceptible to the all of the senses simultaneously. They are also capable of flight and levitation, standing on clouds as though standing on solid ground, generating miniature rain clouds to sit/move/ride on, and the like.
Furthermore their touch rapidly restores and nourishes plant life as though it were touched by the rain. Simply walking over grass, for example, can leave behind it a trail of it grown knee-high.
However, its most famous capabilities lie in its weather manipulation. After secluded observation of the inhabitants of a society, and judgment of the society's overall character, the German can decide between calling forth, intensifying, stopping or preventing the rains or the hail.
Preventing the rains might even be so extreme as to result in a prolonged drought, while bringing forth the rain may be intensified to the point of devastating floods.
Though, strangely, to bring about or stay these events, it must first literally give up its own life, simultaneously stopping its brain, heart and breathing of its own will. Fortunately, this 'death' is temporary (it only lasts until the rain/hail/drought has passed), and the German is rendered into a spiritual form, or protected by its home plane, for the duration.
And should the German ever be successfully (and permanently) killed, the weather will shift to bring forth (or withhold) rain/hail for a time period somehow proportional to the number of years that he lived.
Though, it must be noted: not all rain is caused by the German.