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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

The Hodag is a fearsome creature. It's not just one of those obscure Midwestern things that only people driving through Wisconsin might ever encounter. The Hodag is one of those monsters that arose from the fertile fears of lumberjacks and booze-addled drifters who rolled through this area back when St. Paul was the 'Wickedest Town on Earth," a distinction that passed onwards to other places soon enough as the frontier kept moving farther and farther West.  For a while even Moorhead was considered a den of iniquity, wickedness and drunkeness. Good times.

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods is fun bit of turn-of-the-century folklore that might hold a few nasty-surprises-in-the-making for your players. Like Splintercats. Like Squonks. You'll find some of these things out in the dense woods surrounding Wyrmspittle for sure.

6 comments:

  1. Fearsome Critters is indeed a great book. I think somebody talked about statting all the creatures in it before, bu I can't recall who.

    Anyway, your comment about St. Paul once being the wickedest town--got me to thinking about a wicked (and migratory) genius loci...

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  2. back when St. Paul was called "Pigseye!"
    The river area was certainly different back then.
    What a great post about the twin Cities area and the strange legends that grow up around wooded places! Excellent use of Google Books, too.
    KUDOS!

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  3. @Trey: It's a great book. If someone is already statting these critters, that'd save us some time, but we'll probably do four or five of them anyhow, as they really do fit into Wyrmspittle nicely.

    Have to look around and see who else liked this book enough to try and use it...

    @Retrorpg: You have to admit, 'Pigseye,' is a really special name. It has a certain William Hope Hodgson kind of vibe to it...

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  4. Wasn't there a hodag in city state of the invincible overlord; or maybe the description of the Beast of Mung brought it to my mind?

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  5. @Blair: Really? I'll dig out our old copy of the original City State. Don't recall that being in there, but it would be cool if it was! They have a Hodag Festival over in Rhinelander Wisconsin that we hope to attend one of these years. It's too odd-ball a road-trip not to do it. Thanks for the tip--good to hear from you!

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  6. @Blair: We checked the copy of Citystate that we have here and you might be on to something--ours doesn't specify that the Beast of Mung is a Hodag, but it could work...good call!

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