LESHY – Slavic Demon And A Caring Spirit Of The Forest

He is very unfavorable towards hunters and lumbermen…

Dmitry-pintor (CC0), Pixabay

LESHY (LESZY) – a Slavic Demon and a caring spirit of the forest. He is a guardian of trees and animals. He and his helpers, the minor demons, take care of all aspects of the forest. He is particularly unfavorable towards hunters and lumbermen. Depending on the crime, he may entangle the hunting trails, feed the hunters to predators or brings them to madness by urging them to eat poisonous fruits.

Leshy usually manifests himself as a humanoid creature with the face of an old man. He can change his size and take the form of a wolf, a bear, or even turn himself into the wind. He is always on guard and always watchful. He’s very powerful so it’s better to please him than to fight him.

Leshy depicted in Slavic boardgame STWORZE

In Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni, leshy is described as a forest-dwelling, iron-resistant, highly intelligent monster. For unknown reasons, many peasants consider him to be a spirit that protects the forest. In reality, it is a very dangerous creature that hunts woodland creatures and lone wanderers. It has the ability to polymorph.

In its natural form, it is a wildcat-sized creature that looks like a cross between a wildcat and a bear, with mighty fangs and sharp claws. It mostly lurks among the tree branches, from which it quickly jumps on its victims. It usually devours the whole prey. Its mightiest weapon is the ability to shift shape. It can morph into a humanoid being that looks like a harmless, old man or into a tree branch that is practically identical to real ones.


Leshy depicted in WITCHER 3

The dark silhouette was clearly visible against the spring sky. The mighty, bearish snout sniffed the air, bearing its sharp teeth. Tomir’s hunt had been a good one. But now, Tomir stood frozen. Not a hair on his body moved. His extremities became numb. His tongue was dry but he was afraid to swallow. He was afraid to make any noise.

He glanced at the stump where he had been sitting just moments ago, and the carefully displayed carcasses of two hares that he had killed earlier that day.

The huge bear roared, while moving determinedly towards Tomir, sniffing and snorting. As he drew closer to the terrified, young hunter. Tomir started to tremble. His teeth chattered audibly in his mouth. The Bear stopped just a few steps away from him.- Off-off-offering – the boy stuttered – Lord of the Wild woods, I brought you offerings to show you my gratitude for your help, care and protection.

Lord of every living here in these woods,thank you for letting me hunt in your realm and feed my family. A loud snort from the bear’s menacing mouth, so close that Tomir felt the warmth of the animal’s breath on his face. And then the bear stood, a monstrosity on his back legs.

Leshy depicted in WITCHER 3

The boy was shaking like a dry leaf in the wind. The sharp odor of the animal so close to him that it overtook his senses. Tomir opened his eyes, slowly and one at a time, in disbelief that a fatal blow hasn’t already been delivered by the massive beast, and looked at the edge of the clearing, where he left offerings for Leshy. Dried pears and apples in honey, sweet Kolacz. The bear’s head turned and followed the hunter’s gaze. The beast snorted, spread its nostrils and moved towards the clearing. He took a few heavy steps and there he was at the altar. His huge head swayed as he surveyed the content of the bowls.

The bear sat down, rearing back on his haunches. A moment later, the young hunter heard chomping and gum-smacking noises, as the bear began gorging himself on the sweet dishes. Tomir, still trembling with fear, gathered up his hares. He cautiously took few steps, trying not to step on any twigs or startle the bear in any way. But his efforts were wasted. It was clear that the animal had lost interest in him. After Leshy finished his meal, he licked his lips, turned away from Tomir, and slowly disappeared into the grey mist of the dawn.

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