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Samodiva
Samodiva sm
"Samovila, dance, in the woods, in the woods..."
Information
Alternate Names/Spellings
Origins Slavic Mythology, Legend and Folklore
Alignment
Element Aether/Quintessence/Divine Essence, Air/Wind/Sky, Light, Lightning/Thunder/Electricity, Mind/Spirit/Psychic, Plant, Sound, Water
Species Fay
Appearance Often, beautiful Slavic maidens (often dancing in diaphanous gowns)


Also Called

  • (pl) Samodivi/(pl) Samodivy/(pl) Samovili
  • Samovida/Samovila

Origins

The Samodiva is one of a race of creatures with origins in Bulgarian mythology, legend and folklore. In particular, they are often regarded as a type of Slavic Fairy or Nymph.

Many believe Samodivy are the spirits of women and/or girls who died after having been frivolous or idle (unproductive) in life. Though, some of their traits have led speculators to conflate them wrongly with Vily, so as of yet, this origin has not been definitively confirmed.

Appearance

Samodivy are a single-gender race, composed solely of women. These ladies vary in height and weight, as well as hair length and texture, eye color and skin color.

Samodivy often appear either in thin, diaphanous gowns or dresses made from feathers. Though, while some describe them as lithe and beautiful young women, others describe them as being old and ugly.

Samodiva by mitakis-1-

"Whose flute do I hear playing, at this, the midnight hour?"

Aside from this, a number of animal forms are also available to them, by virtue of shapeshifting abilities (as described below).

Behavior

Dwelling places for Samodivy include beautiful homes in forests (especially mountain woods), but some Samodivy have been known to live in the clouds, waters like lakes or the like. They commonly make use of their powers to bridle deer (especially grey deer) or winged horses with snakes, to ride them as mounts.

Though, while they enjoy singing and dancing, and greatly resemble the more light-hearted and free-spirited Vila, Samodivy are known far and wide for a much more capricious temperament.

In some cases, they have been known to visit children at birth, and bestow upon them unfortunate gifts, even curses. Or some Samodivy may claw out the eyes of young maidens, in a fit of jealousy. And if one should interrupt the dancing of a Samodiva, they have been known to attack with bows and arrows, or in some cases, to behead the offending party in a rage.

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"That foolish maiden thinks herself more fair? I'll rip out her eyes!"

In other cases, they might snatch up children who have been cursed by their parents (even if those parents merely speak off-hand in a moment of anger), as well as young maidens, and either use their bones to construct their homes, or use them in their homes' foundations. Some Samodivy have even been known to repeatedly tear down towers built by mortals, refusing to let them be completed unless they were made with the bones of youths or maidens in those foundations.

There are even cases noted, wherein Samodivy have used their vast powers to deprive nearby townsfolk of vital resources, and charged them for use of the water supply or the like.

Though, there seems to be a respect held, among the Samodivy, for heroic, deeply relevant social figures, or those gifted with talents. On these, they may bestow gifts and favor, in hopes of being thought of like a "mother" or a "sister". Three Samodivy are said to have traveled to the site where the baby Jesus Christ was born, to bestow their own gifts: a shirt, a knitted band and a trimmed cap. A number of cases also refer to heroes being fostered by Samodivy, suckling on them as babies to gain strength.

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"So sorry, dear husband Stoian! Houses suit not the Samodiva!"

And while Samodivy are drawn, generally, to the sound of light, airy music (like that of a flute), they have been known to steal away a talented musician whose beautiful playing can be heard nearby their residence around the midnight hour.

And while uncommon, people have been known to gain favor of a Samodiva (or, at least, avoid her wrath) by gifting her with offerings (ie fruits and flowers left in caves, cakes left near wells, ribbons hung on the branches of trees), or setting out a trough of clean water in which they would be allowed to bathe.

Some Samodivy have been known to have romantic relationships, or even marry. In these unions, they are dutiful, but tricky and opportunistic to escape back to the wild. They may adhere to the faith tradition of their husband--and while they are married, the husband's social status is elevated--but if she is ever asked to 'dance as the Samodiva do', or the like, she will say that she is unable to perform the dance without the clothing she was found in. When those clothes are given back, she will take off right away (perhaps even flying up the chimney of the house), and if she had a child during her marriage, she will take it with her. After departing, the Samodiva will find a sacred body of water to perform a magic ritual that restores her virginity.

Abilities

  • Magic- the ability to channel supernatural energy to induce and manipulate events and phenomena.
    • Animal Communication- the ability to psychically perceive, communicate with and/or command animals.
    • Apoplexy Inducing- the ability to cause a cerebral hemorrhage or stroke.
    • Blindness Inducing- the ability to disable a subject's sense of sight.
    • Deafness Inducing- the ability to disable a subject's sense of hearing.
    • Flight- The ability to propel oneself through the air.
    • Healing- the ability to psychically cause the body to recover from injury and/or illness.
    • Rain Inducing- the ability to cause the onset of rain.
    • Shapeshifting- the ability to alter physical appearance to assume a new form.
      • Astral Form- the ability to assume the form of a spiritual body.
      • Hypnotic Beauty- the ability to channel hypnotic power through aesthetically appealing features.
    • Storm Inducing- the ability to cause the formation of a storm system.
    • Strength Bestowal- the ability to endow subjects with strength.
    • Superhuman Durability- the ability to resist physical injury beyond human norms.
    • Superhuman Strength- the ability to exert physical force beyond human norms.
  • Heroic Affinity-

Weaknesses

  • Being Seen Naked- If a Samodiva is seen naked, they lose their abilities and become mortal again.
  • Hair-
  • Losing a Battle-
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