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Draugr.

(For the most part this article has been copied & pasted, Although i have edited certain parts. I have included this because i think it plays an important role within the dark tradition. )
A draugr, draug or (Icelandic) draugur (original Old Norse plural draugar, as used here, not "draugrs"), or draugen (Norwegian, Swedish and Danish, meaning "the draug"), also known as aptrgangr (literally "again-walker", or "one who walks after death") is an undead creature from Ancient Norse mythology. The original Norse meaning of the word is ghost, and older literature makes clear distinctions between sea-draug and land-draug. Draugar were believed to live in the graves of dead Vikings, being the body of the dead. As the graves of important men often contained a good amount of wealth, the draugr jealously guards his treasures, even after death. The Old English cognate was dréag ("apparition, ghost"). The Gaelic word dréag or driug meaning "portent, meteor" is borrowed from either the Old English or the Old Norse word.

Traits;
Draugar are said to possess superhuman strength, have the ability to increase their size at will, and carry the unmistakable stench of decay. The draugr's ability to increase its size also increased its weight, and the body of the draugr was described as being extremely heavy. Thorolf of Eyrbyggja Saga was "uncorrupted, and with an ugly look about him... swollen to the size of an ox," and his body was so heavy that it could not be raised without levers. They are also noted for the ability to rise from the grave as wisps of smoke (Will o Wisp, the old Scottish folk tale, said to kill hillwalkers - and when seen today it is still evident as to why) and "swim" through solid rock, which would be useful as a means of exiting their howe/cairn/mound. In folklore the draugar slay their victims through various methods including crushing them with their enlarged forms, devouring their flesh, devouring them whole in their enlarged forms or simply drinking their blood. Animals feeding near the grave of a draugr may be driven mad by the creature's influence. (Animals to the old tribes were seen as protective forces and also omens of fertility.) They may also die from being driven mad. Thorolf, for example, caused birds that flew over his howe to drop dead. Draugr are also noted as being able to drive living people insane. The draugr's victims were not limited to trespassers in its howe. The roaming ghosts decimated livestock by running the animals to death while either riding them or pursuing them in some hideous, half-flayed form. Shepherds, whose duties to their flocks left them out of doors at night time, were also particular targets for the hunger and hatred of the undead: "... the oxen which had been used to haul Thorolf's body were ridden to death by demons, and every single beast that came near his grave went raving mad and howled

burn the body." Draugar are noted for having numerous magical abilities (referred to as trollskap) resembling those of living witches and wizards. Draugar also brought disease to a village and could create temporary darkness in daylight hours. a shepherd is killed by a draugr and rises the next night as one himself. it would not be sufficient to stop it." The creation of a draugr is not exactly clear. and he stuck his claws into the back of Hromund's neck. and seeing into the future. Among the creatures that a draugr may turn into are a seal. Glámr. One day that autumn neither sheep nor shepherd came back to the farm. as shown in the Grettis Saga where Grettir is cursed to be unable to become any stronger. such as shape-changing. While the draugr certainly preferred to be active during the night. conversely. controlling the weather. A good example of this kind of fight is found in the Hrómundar saga Gripssonar. tearing the flesh from his bones. it did not appear to be vulnerable to sunlight like some other revenants. The preferred method is to cut off the draugr's head. The draugr could also move magically through the earth. The draugar were said to be either hel-blár ("death-black") or." This fire would form a barrier between the land of the living and the land of the dead.. was reported to be "dark blue in color" and in Laxdœla saga the bones of a dead sorceress who had appeared in dreams were dug up and found to be "blue and evil . The draugr Thrain shape-shifted into a "cat-like creature" (kattakyn) in Hromundar saga Greipssonar: "Then Thrain turned himself into a troll. as is the case with many supernatural creatures. The shepherd at Hvamm often came racing home with Thorolf after him. Draugar also have the ability to curse a victim. Although iron could injure a draugr. swimming through solid stone as does Killer-Hrapp: "Then Olaf tried to rush Hrapp. In legends the hero would often have to wrestle the draugr back to his grave. but Hrapp sank into the ground where he had been standing and that was the end of their encounter.. The draugr is also often shown as haunting its living family. and only a hero has the strength and courage needed to stand up to so formidable an opponent. but in the Eyrbyggja saga." Draugar have the ability to enter into the dreams of the living. Sometimes the hero is required to dispose of the body in unconventional ways. and the barrow was filled with a horrible stench. and dump the ashes in the sea. the emphasis being on making absolutely sure the draugr was dead and gone. A draugr's presence may be shown by a great light that glowed from the mound like "foxfire. and a cat that would sit upon a sleeper's chest and grow steadily heavier until the victim suffocated.itself to death. thereby defeating him. a great flayed bull. the undead shepherd of the Grettis saga. a grey horse with a broken back but no ears or tail. Some draugar are immune to weapons. The "death-black" color was not actually achromatic but was a dark blue or maroon hue that covered the entire body. nár-fölr ("corpse-pale"). since weapons would do no good.

(see also "Wraith's) which would then warrant the exhumation of the draugr's tomb by a hero. armor. The greed of a draugr causes it to viciously attack any would-be grave robbers. The haugbui (from the Old Norse word haugr meaning "howe" or "barrow") was a mound-dweller. On the second night he got up again from his chair. Thus the reference relates to the Traditions of the time." This desire for the friendship experienced in life is one example of the manifestation of this aspect of the draugr. Draugar are able to leave this dwelling place and visit the living during the night. When Aran died. The haugbui was rarely found far from its burial place and is a type of undead commonly found in Norse saga material. sword brothers who made an oath that if one should die. The creature is said to either swim alongside boats or sail around them in a partially-submerged vessel. and the first thing he knew. hound. The notable difference between the two was that the haugbui is unable to leave its grave site and only attacks those that trespass upon their territory.. where a dying king declared: "My howe shall stand beside the firth. A variation of the draugr is the haugbui. always on their own. Similar creatures.. Such visits are supposed to be universally horrible events that often end in death for one or more of the living. The third night Asmund became very drowsy. Asmund brought his own possessions into the barrow: banners." The resting place of the draugr was a tomb that served much as a workable home for the creature. as shown in the encounter of Aran and Asmund. Aran got up from his chair and killed the hawk and hound and ate them. the dead body living on within its tomb. This idea is clearly expressed in the Friðþjofs saga. Then Asmund set himself to wait the agreed upon three days: "During the first night. stemming from a longing for the things of the life it once had. Draugr also exhibit an immense and nearly insatiable appetite. and horse. for it is well that we should call to one another. the blood streaming down from his mouth all the while he was eating. and killed the horse and tore it into pieces. witnesses portray them as "shape-shifters who take on the appearance of seaweed or moss-covered stones on the shoreline. In some accounts. hawk. but the draugr also expresses an innate jealousy of the living. Aran had got him by the ears and torn them off. the other would sit vigil with him for three days inside the burial mound. The motivation of the actions of a draugr was primarily jealousy and greed. then he took great bites at the horse-flesh with his teeth." This kind of imagery may also come from the common thought of "Inhuman" people as Werewolves. And there shall be but a short distance between mine and Thorsteinn's.looking.." .

) Draugr sightings in modern times are not common. both the serpent and the spirit serve as jealous guardians of the graves of kings or ancient civilizations. who spent some years living in Svolvær. where life and culture was based on fishing more than anywhere else. In other tellings. Up north. Dragons that act as draugar appear in Beowulf as well as in some of the heroic lays of the Poetic Edda (in the form of Fafnir). In Scandinavian folklore. dressed in oilskin and sailing in half a boat. The shepherd rises the next night as a draugr. but are still reported by individuals . the gleip. A somewhat ambivalent. alternative view of the draugr is presented by the example of Gunnar in Njál's saga: "It seemed as though the howe was agape. the tradition of sea-draugar is especially vivid. with the exception that its head is composed entirely of seaweed. as well as the drawings of Theodor Kittelsen. and that Gunnar had turned within the howe to look upwards at the moon. One of the best-known draugr in the modern world is Glámr. In Folklore. Then they saw that Gunnar was merry. but not a shadow to be seen. and the term draug is even used of vampires. the draug is described as being a headless fisherman. the creature is said to possess a distinctly human form. This trait is common in the northernmost part of Norway. Norwegian folklore thus records a number of different draug-types." In the Eyrbyggja Saga a shepherd is assaulted by a blue-black draugr. who was defeated by the hero of the Grettis Saga. Arne Garborg. They thought that they saw four lights within the howe. A recorded legend from Trøndelag tells how a corpse lying on a beach became the object of a quarrel between the two types of draugr. describes land-draugar coming fresh from the graveyards.The words "dragon" and "draugr" are not linguistically related. The Norwegian municipality of Bø has the half-boat of draugen in its coat-of-arms. However. A similar source even tells of a third type. the draugr is often identified with the spirits of mariners drowned at sea. The shepherd's neck is broken during the ensuing scuffle. (In Norway "vampires" is translated as "Bloodsucker-draugar". on the other hand. up to the intervention of Grettir who wrestled him back to death. The saga includes a short account of him as a living man and a full account of his haunting. In more recent folklore. with a joyful face. known to hitch themselves to sailors walking ashore and make them slip on the wet rocks. The connection between the draugr and the sea can be traced back to the author Jonas Lie and the story-teller Regine Nordmann.

.from time to time. Due to this trend. the term "draug" has come to be used to describe any type of revenant in Nordic folklore.