Well, folks, the next post won’t come until after Christmas… so, a Merry, Happy Christmas to you all. Or, if you prefer, a Blessed Yule, or a prosperous Winter Solstice… Or maybe a Happy Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. Or, perhaps, if none of those fit you, a happy Snoggletog or Hogswatch. Regardless of what you celebrate… Happy Holidays folks.
Now with the important stuff out of the way… let’s talk folklore, shall we?
When I first heard of the Hounds of God, well… let’s just say it wasn’t from a very good source. Imagine my surprise when I learned it was true! However… I also found out that the general benandanti formula applied to several different types of folks. So, when I began outlining Eldritch and had Faith meet the benandanti werewolves, I had to take the other types of benandanti into consideration. I could simply ignore htme… but, frankly, they’re far too interesting to merely dismiss. So, while in history the Hounds of God, the benandanti werewolves, don’t seem to have interacted with the typical Agrarian/funerary benandanti, I threw them all into the mix and invented a social order for them. Is it ‘accurate?’ Oh heck no. But, I like it.
Now, regarding the ‘leyline gateways…’ that’s a reference to the ‘gates’ of hell the Hounds of God would go through in order to steal the crops back from. Different translations call them different things, though… for instance, one source referred to the place as the ‘hell-hole-cave.’ However, since I was trying to keep Eldritch vaguely plausible, unless I wanted to implement Hollow Earth theory, I had to put the vast ‘hell’ they visited someplace other than under the earth. Alternate dimensions made for a decent fix.
Now, about the Caul, yeah, that was a thing too. Those born with the Caul were said to be benandanti… and according to Slavic tradition, the caul is associated with the werewolf. For some reason, being born with a bit of amniotic sack stuck around your head was often seen to be a portent of supernatural ability. I suppose this is because of its general rarity, but I’ll be honest… aside from basic stuff, I don’t yet know much about the caul in folklore, save for what I needed to know for the comic.
Also… while wizards weren’t involved, yes, benandanti could transfer lycanthropy from one to another. Bu that’s a story for another time.
In addition… Theiss was a real guy. In fact, if it weren’t for him, our understanding of benandanti werewolves would be far less.
And… I’m tired. Have some sources or something:
The Night Battles --Carlo Ginzburg
Witches Werewolves and Fairies --Claude Lecouteux
Werewolves --Neigel Suckling
The Nets of Modernism: Henry James, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and Sigmund Freud-- Maud Ellmann
The Werewolf Handbook -- Dr. Robert Curran