Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Ördög

I first saw the word Ördög in the pages of Dracula. It was the Hungarian word for Devil I came to learn.  As is my habit, I wrote the name on my bookmark and went on.  It was not till later that I saw the name again that I starting thinking it would make a good devil-type.

The Ördög is part of the Hungarian folk tradition. They appear much as a satyr or faun; humanoid with the upper torso of a human male and lower portions of a goat.  Their hooves are black and cloven.  Their features are bestial and they have long ram-like horns.  It is sometimes remarked that the best way to know the difference between an Ördög and a Satyr is by the size of  their horns, but this is not always foolproof.
The Ördög also has a long black tail that ends in a blade.  They can't attack with it, but it looks frightening.  Another part of the ördög that is frightening is their overtly large phallus.

The Ördög shares more than surface similarities to the satyr.  Like the satyr, the ördög can be found in rural or wooded areas. Also, the ördög is summoned up most often to partake in the sabbats and rituals of witches.  These devils partake in the infamous orgy-like sabbats of witches, held at midnight.   Children born to the witches after these orgies become ördög themselves if male or witches if female.
One of the more famous (or infamous) Ördög was Caliban, son of Sycorax.

An Ördög can appear as human male, albeit one with thick black hair and black eyes, or as a large fox.

Some occult scholars believe that ördög share the same relationship to hags as satyr's do with nymphs.
Consequently, the offspring of  an ördög and a nymph is a Forlarren.

Since today is Sword & Wizardry Day, here is the ördög in S&W format.

Hit Dice: 6
Armor Class: 4 [15]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d6)
Special: Magic resistance (45%), regenerate (1 hp/round), shape change (human, fox)
Move: 18
Save: 11
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge/XP: 7/650

Ördög are among the lowest of the Shedim. They spend quite a bit of time in the prime material plane where they work as messengers for higher level demons.  Much like imps, they can teach witches of the Malefic, Diabolic or Demonic traditions spells.  A witch can learn one new spell per interaction with an Ördög; once per sabbat.  The ördög needs payment for learning this new spell; usually in the form of a sacrifice or sexual congress.
Ördög are wild demons, they attack with their claws like that of animal; often ignoring weapons even when they are handy.

Swords & Wizardry post is later today.


RaveAir said...

Our folktales are full of the Ördög apperances. It's a very common negative character in the Hungarian tales.

Natasha said...

Ordog- that's a word I had never heard of before. But not surprising. My knowledge of fantasy begins and ends with Harry Potter, Narnia and Percy Jackson :-(

Thank you for stopping by.

Coffee Rings Everywhere
Snapshots and Random Thoughts

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Don't undersell Harry Potter. There is a lot of world myths in those books!

I found a lot of stories about the Ördög and thanks to magic of Google translate I was able to read them!

Anonymous said...

Hi there. Thanks for the folklore! I didn't know about the Ordog.

Matthew over at the A to Z Challenge sent me. I'm glad he did!

~Brandy~ said...

Very cool! I'm always interested in learning more about folklore. I'll have to spend a bit more time on your blog!

Thanks for stopping by N is for Northanger Abbey. Austen is my home gal so please do spend some time on my blog and check out some of her novels. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Brandy from

Unknown said...

A very interesting read! :) I was sent by Matthew MacNish.
A to Z April Blogging Challenge

Reese Ryan said...

Folklore is rich with characters which can be incorporated outright in fantasy. However, these characters can also provide inspiration for characters in historical and contemporary fiction. I find Roman and Greek mythology fascinating. Both are full of gods that would make interesting characters.

Border-breaking bound said...

Always great to learn a new word! Great post!

Ynas Midgard said...

As a Hungarian, it was nice to read this post.