Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga is a powerful, capricious and inscrutable witch from Slavic folklore. Dangerously unpredicatable, Baba Yaga is said to kidnap (and presumably eat) young children, flying out of the night to snatch them up. More certain is that she has been present for (and personally responsible for) the deaths of many, and that she has in her command powers of a most cruel and violent nature.

Baba Yaga is an immortal hag of unknown origins. Possessing the strength of a giant, she is also capable of untold feats of witchcraft. She possesses no known vulnerabilities and is immune to most of the powers of fairies, spirits and lesser magicians. As with other witches, Baba Yaga possesses numerous amulets and talismans. She has the ability to speak with animals and can command them to serve her. She displays great power over the landscape around her dwelling, notably being able to create moats of flame and her fence of skull-topped bones. She is capable of illusion and teleportation, and flies via the use of an enchanted mortar and pestle. Her broom sweeps away traces of her passing. Her powerful witchcraft is exemplified by the countless enchanted objects she has in her possession, and in her ability to create gold and silver.

Baba Yaga notably associates with a variety of unusual entities that heed her commands: three riders garbed in white, red and black, who represent Day, Dusk and Night; disembodied hands that work at the tasks she directs; and her infamous chicken-legged hut. She can grasp spirit creatures and transfix fairies with her gaze, and accounts state that when she asks a question, she can hear whether the answer given is true. The witch is a foe of the undead.

Baba Yaga is a stickler for politeness, and known to give aid to those pure of heart. Those seeking her out of their own accord will find the path long and difficult, while those who quest without seeking her aid may run into her unexpectedly. She demands labor in exchange for requests, but gives gifts freely, and is reluctant to answer questions, as she ages a year for each answer she yields.

Notable Stories

Vasilissa the Beautiful - a young girl is forced to work for Baba Yaga by order of her wicked stepmother.
The Feather of Finist the Falcon - a young girl seeks out her lover, an enchanted prince.

Associated Figures

Koschei the Deathless - once worked for Baba Yaga, but stole one of her horses.

See Also

Witch
Witchcraft

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