It never ceases to amaze me when I come across yet another fascinating myth and legend. There are quite literally thousands of them across the globe, more than enough to keep any fan of ancient mythology and legend with enough material to write a superb yarn as a salute to these wonderful tales.
Just today, I came across yet another new legend, and I thought that I would share it with you.
Rubezahl , Moritz von Schwind , 1859
According to legend, Rubezahl is a capricious giant or mountain spirit. He is described as characteristically having ambivalent “contrariness” who could be helpful one moment then, thieving and fraudulent the next.
The mountain spirit man can appear in a variety of forms. He is often seen as a monk in a cowl , but he has also been seen as a miner, a craftsman a trader, and even seen in various animal forms or can disguise himself as an object, such as tree or even a cloud. Rubezahl can control the weather and has ‘the look’ of a Wild Huntsman . When approached by people who are good, he is usually friendly, but if they are disrespectful to him or a bad person, he can be extremely unpleasant. Sometimes he has deliberately led hikers astray. According to legend, he also has a herb garden which he defends vehemently against tresspassers. He can turn mundane items, such as apples into gold, or conversely, change money into worthless items. The origins of this mythical being are hotly debated; but the first known written reference to him occurred in the 16th Century.