One of the evil characters of the Slavic lore you are going to meet in the ninth book of the Shadow Enforcer Series is Blud. This demonic spirit of nature is not very well known. It’s mostly popular among East Slavs (Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus). So, what is so special about Blud?
Who is Blud?
Blud is an evil spirit that causes disorientation and can make a person wander around aimlessly, without recognizing his surroundings, for days. Once a person falls under the influence of Blud, they can walk in circles even in a smallest space. This demonic spirit is not harmless. In some cases, it can lead its victims straight toward deadly places like swamps, cliffs, and the deepest trenches of a forest, sending them to their deaths. Blud doesn’t care if it is day or night. It can make people wander around at any time.
You can say, of course, “Well, Blud is not the only Slavic spirit who can make a person lose their way in a forest. Leshy can do that, too!”
And you’ll be absolutely right! It’s true, Leshy loves to play jokes on unsuspecting travelers, who have the audacity to enter his domain, but… There is a big “but” here. Leshy is the guardian of the forest, and as such, the list of his responsibilities is quite long. For Blud, however, toying with people and causing disorientation is his main and ONLY job.
Legend has it that Blud is not attached to any place, and you can meet it pretty much anywhere. But there are some strange places where your chances of getting lost and disoriented are a lot higher. In places like this, Blud is king.
For example. In the Carpathian mountains, Ukraine, there is a forest with a very appropriate name—“Bludnik”. You can see the connection, right? 😉 Blud—Bludnik. Or, if you have read The Shadow Choice, book 7 of the Shadow Enforcer series, you may remember the adventures of Damian and Cole in the infamous “Bludnij Les” (Wandering Forest)—a mysterious place in the Komi Republic, where people get lost and wander around for days, sometimes never finding their way home.
How does Blud look?
That’s a good question, and unfortunately, there is no good answer, because Blud doesn’t have its own form. And since it doesn’t have its own form, it can take on any shape. When I say “any”, I mean ANY, Blud can look like animals, birds, inanimate objects, and even wind… But what is even scarier is that it can imitate the voice and appearance of people you know. So, by the time you realize you’ve been following and chatting around with Blud, most likely you’re already knee-deep in a swamp.
There is an interesting legend about Blud. Some say Blud is a demon who was cast from the sky but never reached the ground and stuck in midair.
What can you do to stop Blud from toying with you?
First of all, if you are a firstborn, you have nothing to worry about. For some reason, Blud has no influence on firstborns.
If you are not, there are still a number of preventive measures that are supposed to help you ward off Blud. Here are just a few of them.
1. Before you go on a trip, sit down for a few seconds.
2. Some people suggest leaving the house just to immediately return, symbolizing the beginning and the end of a journey.
3. Like all Slavic nechist (evil spirits), Blud is afraid of iron. Make sure to grab a few iron nails before leaving your house.
4. Garlic and horse manure also work, but I just can’t imagine anyone walking around with horse manure in their pocket.
You know what they say… an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But if it’s too late, and you’ve already lost your way in the woods, having a sweet conversation with Blud, here are few things you can try.
1. Try to remember Christmas and Easter, and the day of the week they were celebrated. Recall everything about the celebration in tiny detail. I know that sounds strange, but there is some symbolism and sacred magic in that.
2. If your memory is failing you, you can lie down on the ground, face down, or sit on a tree stump.
3. You can also try to take earth from beneath your feet and put it on your head. (I know that’s a good one. A long shower is in order once you get home).
4. Lie down on the ground and pretend you are sleeping.
5. If you are brave enough, you can attempt to walk a full circle around Blud. That should help you clear your mind and get rid of its influence.
But no matter what you do, DO NOT jump over fallen trees, break dry branches, scream, make noise, or behave like a rude… ehh… person. That would definitely piss Blud off.
Enter the Salamanderverse, where magic and ancient myths are real, and things are not what they appear to be.
If you haven't done it yet, you can download "The Burns Path”, a prequel to the Fire Salamander Chronicles Urban Fantasy series, for FREE on my website.
The events of this 49,000-word novella occur before the Burns Fire, and it can be read as a standalone book.