The Vodyanoy

This is a creature idea I developed for the AT&T Creature Feature contest. Text from the image transcribed below:

Also known as vodyanik or vodnik, the vodyanoy is a type of male water spirit originating in Russia. They are related to the nix of Germany and are sometimes considered the “male” version of the rusalka.

A vodyanoy is a malicious creature that is found in bodies of fresh water. He drowns hapless humans and stores their souls in porcelain teapots and samovars. Some tales say that these captured souls become the servants of the vodyanoy. In olden days, drownings at local lakes and ponds were said to be the result of an angry vodyanoy.

This design of the vodyanoy was inspired by a catfish. In his human guise, the vodyanoy wears his hair longer than most men so he can cover his gills. But when he reveals his true shape, his face becomes smoother and sprouts small tendrils, his ears become larger and fin-like, and his skin turns a sickly blue-green color. He has webbed hands in his natural form, and fins on his forearms and lower legs. His fingertips end in claws, and he has deadly, sharp teeth. His eyes also grow larger so he can see better in darkness and deep underwater.

A vodyanoy is adept at blending with humans, but he cannot stay away from water for extended periods of time. As a result, he takes to water-related activities such as swimming or fishing. He tends to dress a little oddly by human standards, preferring strange colors or mismatching styles. He has an affinity for card games and other forms of gambling.

It is said an enraged vodyanoy can cause a flood to rise up and destroy all human life near its lake. Thus, people living near a vodyanoy’s waters try to keep him appeased, sometimes with living sacrifices.

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