Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Will-o'-the-wisp idea


Taken from the book British Goblins by Wirt Seke and researching into Will-o'-the-wisp I have an idea to transcribe a Will-o'-the-wisp character.

"This form presents a peasant who is returning home from his work, or from a fair, when he sees a light travelling before him. Looking closer he perceives that it is carried by a dusky little figure, holding a lantern or candle at arm's length over its head. He follows it for several miles, and suddenly finds himself on the brink of a frightful precipice. From far down below there rises to his ears the sound of a foaming torrent. At the same moment the little goblin with the lantern springs across the chasm, alighting on the opposite side; raises the light again high over its head, utters a loud and malicious laugh, blows out its candle and disappears up the opposite hill, leaving the awestruck peasant to get home as best he can." (http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/wfl/wfl02.htm)

The thought process behind this idea is turning the Will-o'-the-wisp into a Siren-like faerie who after being abandoned by who she thought was her soul mate in the woods became vengeful and acts out her revenge on passing travellers. She would have two forms but I am interested in only the second, the first being a beautiful young woman shining in the night elegantly walking away from the victim calling out to them, the second is where the Will-o'-the-wisp brings her victims out far from their path to cause them to be lost and reveals her might and appearance so ravaged by anger and revenge. The lead characters of the game would be inclined to answer her cries and follow her (maybe led more by male orientation from the Will-o'-the-wisp's apparent beauty) into a dangerous Marshy area or like the story from Seke's book at the end of a cliff where a battle could ensue.

Helpful sources -

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/wfl/wfl02.htm
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/folklore/will-o-the-wisp.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will-o'-the-wisp

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