Friday, December 15, 2023

The Mischievous Kobolds

 Ken’ Niyah Johnson

According to German folklore, the kobold is a little, goblin-like animal with pointed ears and a short fuse. It also has a playful nature. He has a violent personality and gets angry when not fed properly. He occasionally sings to kids. Despite being generally regarded as genuine, it's stated that upsetting a kobold can be a dangerous mistake. A kobold can appear as a human, a fire, a candle, or any non-human animal, even though they are normally invisible. The most popular images of kobolds are of them being small humanoid creatures.

There are three different types of Kobolds: household helpers, underground and mining Kobolds, and ships and water Kobolds. The household kobold is a mischievous household spirit that usually helps with chores and other useful duties, but he also frequently pushes over people who are crouched or hides crops and domestic goods (Household spirits). Legends frequently depict underground kobolds as evil beings. People begged for protection from them in the medieval mining towns. They were held accountable for the disasters, cave-ins, and rock falls that troubled the human miners. Fooling miners into taking worthless minerals was a popular kobold trick. In the 16th century, for instance, miners may have come upon what appeared to be rich veins of silver or copper, but upon melting them, they would often find that the metal was dangerous or harmful. Those handling these ores experienced a scorching sensation. By making gifts of gold and silver and demanding that their fellow miners treat the kobolds with respect, miners attempted to win over the creatures. But according to some legends, kobolds only gave more deadly ores in return for their kindness. Kobold - Wikipedia) Title: Mine Spirit. Sea kobolds would reside on board and look after the crew and ship. While no one was looking, they would manage the cargo as well as pump water out of the hold, patch any holes, rescue those who had fallen overboard, and plug any leaks. It was also thought that the Kobolds' strength prevented ships from sinking in emergencies, thus if you ever saw them, your ship was bound to perish. Based on some stories, captains left out their best foods and wines for the Kobolds to enjoy, while in other accounts, crew members threw their captains overboard for denying their existence. (Kobold - Wikipedia) Title: Water spirits.

In German legend, kobolds are still valued as house spirits and protectors. Kobolds can be found in a lot of video games and television shows, including Dark Age of Camelot, Warcraft, The Record of Lodoss War, One-Piece, and Dungeons & Dragons. You are able to attract them to your home on Midsummer Eve, and they appreciate gifts, as opposed to most other house spirits. Clothing is their favorite item since it prevents kobolds from feeling mistreated or unappreciated.

Work cited: 

Chris. “Kobolds: The Mischievous Goblin Creatures of Folklore”. June 8, 2020.

Professor Geller. “Kobold”. April 8,2017. creatures/kobold/

Riley Winter. “Don’t Cross the Kobolds: Mischievous Spirits of European Folklore”. June 2, 2019.

Gloria Lotha and Emily Rodriguez. “Kobold German Folklore”. August 28, 2019, and February 12, 2023.

Alex Tinsdale. “One Piece and the Real Myth of The Kobold”. August 21, 2017.

For Further Research: 

“Klabautermann”. November 16, 2011.

A. Sutherland. “Kobold: Mythological Spirit of Underground: Guardian of Miners and Earth’s Treasures”. June 13, 2016.

The Cunning Wife. “Kobolds: Household Tricksters”. August 8, 2017.

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