Mythical Creatures in Writing, Part VII.
These spirits like to remain secluded in the forests and mountains, enjoying the freedom to fly through the skies, but beware – to spot one could leave you paralyzed. I love the idea of such spirits living in woodlands, especially in stories where characters are unaware of their existence and just happen to stumble across them dancing. What would you do? Recoil and pray they didn’t spot you?
What is it?
An iele is similar to an elf or fairy from Romanian mythology with seductive powers, magical skills and attributes similar to the Greek Nymphs or Naiads. They are spirits who grow up in groups of three or seven of other iele and said to live in forests, caves, skies and isolated cliffs or marshes.
They appear at night as dancing hora (a type of circle dance originating in the Balkans) and enjoy eating flowers.
To please the iele, people dedicated festival days to them: the Rusaliile, the Stratul, the Sfredelul or Bulciul Rusaliilor, the nine days after the Easter, the Marina etc. Anyone not respecting these holidays was said to suffer the revenge of the iele.
Ability / Power
The iele can fly without wings, traveling with incredible speeds.
Anyone who refuse their invitation to dance, or dares to mimic their movements will be subject to terrible punishment – paralyzed or crippled. Also, anyone who randomly hears their songs becomes instantly mute. Ouch! When they wanted to punish a man, the ieles used to charm him by their songs, to make him sleep in sweet dreams, then they would dance around him and start cursing. In order to keep this type of fairies away, people used to put a horse skull in their fence. Reminds me a bit of Godfather…
While they are usually invisible to humans, they have been known to show themselves to mortals – mostly during the night.
They are beautiful women, usually virgins, dressed in white from head to toe, with flowers in their long hair and bells on their ankles.
Iele appear sometimes with bodies, at other times only as immaterial spirits. They are young and beautiful, voluptuous immortals, their frenzy causing delirium in onlookers, and with bad tempers, but not being necessarily evil.
Did you know? These supernatural beings get their name from the Romanian feminine personal pronoun in the plural (the feminine of “they”), because it was advised not to disturb them, so what better way to do that than not to give them a specific name!
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