Monday, September 9, 2013

The Fossegrim... the what?!

Imagine if you will, a stunningly handsome man, semi clad; a sculpted body rivalling the perfection of some ancient Greek god.  He sits alone, playing a violin in the forest, luring and tempting women by his enchanted music...

(David Garrett, Violinist)

Is this some twisted erotic Pied Piper?

Well, yes, kind of...
Meet the Fossegrim (also known as näcken, strömkarlennäck, nøkk, nøkken, strömkarl )
Hailing from Scandinavian Legend, the Fossegrim, is most often depicted as semi clad (or naked) male faerie playing an enchanted violin. His amazing music lures women (and children) to lakes and streams, where they drown.
However, not all Fossegrim legends are bad. There are some accounts that suggest he may choose to teach a human how to play the violin as beautifully as he does, so that they may be successful as musicians.
Additionally; "Not all of these spirits were necessarily malevolent; in fact, many stories exist that indicate at the very least that Fossegrim were entirely harmless to their audience and attracted not only women and children, but men as well with their sweet songs. Stories also exist wherein the Fossegrim agreed to live with a human who had fallen in love with him, but many of these stories ended with the Fossegrim returning to his home, usually a nearby waterfall or brook. Fossegrim are said to grow despondent if they do not have free, regular contact with a water source. "
Read more:
There are some variations in the physical descriptions of the Fossegrim as well. Some suggest he is a beautiful but ordinary shaped man, another suggests he is a smaller, and in stead of feet moves about on a mist of water vapour. Finally, some legendary tales speak of the Fossegrim's unique ability to shift genders, which could be awkward!
In 2009  there was a competition in Sweden called "Water Fairy of the Year", in which naked men stood in a picturesque stream and played music before crowds of onlookers. The best musician won the title. Ironically perhaps, the winner was playing a horn...not actually a violin at all.
 **male nudity viewer discretion required!**
All I can say, is that the water must be terribly cold...
And on that totally bizarre note, if you happen to hear strange music in the forest, use your discretion before going to investigate. It could be any number of things including:
a) some strange naked Swedish musician trying to win a competition.
b) a sexy mythical male fossegrim trying to drown you.
c) a sexy mythical, transgender fossegrim also trying to drown you.
d) a fossegrim trying to teach you how to play the violin.
Or most likely
e) a disturbing hallucination.
Have a marvellous week!


  1. Nicey-nice! Love the Article. If you don't mind I'd like to use your blog as a resource link. Let me know, if I do not have permission. I'll take it down if requested. And if I do have permission, do you have any additoinal sources that do not evolve D&D or wikipedia (Currently, that's all I can find)? Maybe specific stories that evolve This creature? Just looking to increase my reservoir of documentation. Thanks

  2. Hey Takara, thank you for your kind comments. Yes, you have my permission to use information. The Fossegrim, (näcken, strömkarlennäck, nøkk, nøkken, strömkarl) isn't mythology readily found on the internet, I'm afraid.

    The Fossegrim first came to my attention in my book"Fantasy Artists pocket reference, phantastic faeries" by B. Hobbs. From there, I've done extensive internet searches. There are references to it as the the nakki in "The Element Encyclopaedia of Magical Creatures', by J & C Matthews, which is also in my personal library. In addition, I just trawled the internet looking at monstropedia, as well as links, and used the most common mythology I could find.