Valkyrie Bestiary

Doing Our Best to Care for the Fae

Draugs—like vultures with teeth

November 14, 2076

Since this is a fairly new blog (thank you to everyone who commented on my first posts!), I’m going to continue with my examination of creatures both mythical and real. This is not a definitive encyclopedia by any means. I think of it instead as a bestiary, like the ones that travelers to the far reaches of the world used to catalogue the strange and wonderful creatures they found. 

This blog’s mission is to document my experiences with fae creatures and to gather information from you, my readers. Together, I hope we can pool resources about caring for these beings and learn to live with them instead of against them.
Today’s topic is ghouls.

Almost every culture has stories about the undead. In my formative years, the stories around the campfire were about draugrs or draugs—a creature closer to ghouls than to zombies or vampires on the undead spectrum. Like ghouls, draugs frequent graveyards to feast on dead flesh, the more putrified, the better. But where I grew up, the residents were long-lived. There wasn’t much dead flesh to go around, so draugs weren’t above killing to create more rotting flesh. 

But where do they come from? Legend says they were made in error by a witch clan long ago. The witches, mostly women, were tired of their men going off to war, so they created the ghouls from corpses of soldiers who fell in battle. They were meant to be a new army, one that would fight their enemies and leave the men to tend the fields and raise their families. 

Of course, like most black magic, it didn’t quite work out that way. The witches lost control of their undead constructs. The draugs, which have the mental capacity of a psychopathic first-grader, decided killing soldiers was too much work. They turned to easier prey, like small children and untended sheep. 
No one quite knows how the draugs reproduced, but thousands of years later, shepherds still blame draug ghouls for lost sheep. The fact that draugs are able to shape-shift into almost any animal form—including wolf—makes it difficult to verify these claims.

There are always stories about black witches creating new draugs, reanimating corpses (Aesir, human or animal) to do their bidding, but it takes a lot of power to create a draug. Most witches just don’t have it in them. Thank the gods for small blessings.

A last word about draugs: they are solitary creatures. Put two draugs alone in a room and there would be a cannibalistic feast. To a draug, any flesh is good flesh. 

Tell me tales of the undead from your culture!

Comments (5)

Mmmm. Putrefied flesh—nom-nom-nom.
LeGourmand55 (November 14, 2076)

Now I have a plan for all those bitches who are too high and mighty to date real men. Draug bimbos for all!
Incel69 (November 14, 2076)

    Don’t bet on it. Even ghouls have eyes, dickhead.
    LeeryLamb (November 14, 2076)

My Malaysian grandmother used to tell me stories about toyols—little goblin thieves made from the reanimated corpses of stillborn babies. Gran has been gone for nearly fifty years, but those stories still keep me awake at night.
DelimaD (November 14, 2076)

    Thank you, DelimaD. Unlike the other commenters, these stories are exactly what I want to hear about. Scary or not, they shouldn’t be forgotten.
    Valkyrie367 (November 14, 2076)