Wednesday, November 10, 2010


On August 10th, 1713, the smell of blood -lots of blood- at an almost forgotten town in the South of Catalonia/Galatea caused something ominous, spooky and terrifying being awakened from its deep underground rest. Something else was to enter battle soon.


abdul666 said...

Some here still remember the Old Alliance between Wolves and 'Great' Humans.

May the Wolf Walk With You.

Soldadets said...

Indeed... they are NOT wolves.

This scene is based on a real legend born by the Tivissa range, about the apparent proliferation of some kind of evil, blood feeding canine-like quadrupedal in that county between mid XVIIth and late XVIIIth centuries. The beast was called "dip" and has some fine parallelisms to the contemporary "tarasque" of Limousin.

I believe that many people in North America would identify it with mexican "chupacabras", however; because many of their characteristics are fully shared (canine appearance, blood feeding, nocturnal, etc.).

Perhaps the main difference between both legendary monsters is a size matter. I've understood that mexican "chupacabras" are supposed to be like medium-small sized jackals/dogs, while the Catalan "dip" was believed to be at least as big and robust as a wolf, or even a mastiff dog.

Curious features of "dips" is that they walked as if permanently lame, and their eyes glowed red in the dark.


abdul666 said...

Fascinating! Would make a great and original contribution to an authentically Galatan '18th C. Pulp' adventure.

No connection with werewolves, then?
Maybe some humans gifted with a deep empathy with wolves would be able to exchange feelings with dips?
"They walk as as if permanently lame": even across slopes? I mean, the dahu of French Alps (said to be conspecific with the Catalan tamarro) has shorter limbs on one side -thus having two morphs, laevogyrous (going around the mountain counter-clockwise) and dextrogyrous dahu (going around the mountain clockwise); genetics hotly debated, so much the more as, for obvious reasons, crossbreeding between the two forms without the help of a human experimenter is unlikely. Thus, maybe, there are laevogyrous and dextrogyrous dips, both types limping except when strictly following the corbes de nivell ?

Soldadets said...

As you pointed, Jean-Louis, my aim was to start a possible pulp storyboard on the basis of a 'real' legend. I'd like to progressively develop the story, making it run parallel to war events, and wait for a chance to make it burst -hopefully, in the worst moment! :D

In fact, there is also another pulp story already running parallel, which is that one of young Mireia. However, whilst Mireia's story runs along a path of fantasy and wonder, this one is intended to fall in the horror side of things... As a matter of fact, any of the characters appearing in my Imagi-Nation is a potential source for a parallel story -whatever the kind.

I know by no means how is to end any of those stories -and this is part of the fun to me, of course.

I don't believe a character with canine empathy was able to set any kind of link to the dips, and if he/she was materially able, I guess it would be harmful to him/she. Connecting with wolves may mean setting a link to a primal way of life, whose moral values and priorities would be no doubt different (and somehow even shocking) to Humans' own; but they still would have any, whatever these were. Otherwise, connecting to dips would likely mean entering into gloomy, absolutely evil minds, with no room for thoughts comprehensible to Humans... Although, who knows? :D

abdul666 said...

Looking eagerly forward to enjoy future developments!

Could not the bad / evil repute of the dip come at least in part from the Christian environment / control on popular tales? Fées / Fades were not 'evil' at first, but to consort with them gained a repute of being utterly dangerous, and thus implicitely anathema...

abdul666 said...

If the totally alien psychology of the dip is in reality 'ambiguous' rather than 'totally evil', this would in no way enervate the 'Horror' atmosphere of any adventure implying the creature(s). This atmosphere is wholly determined by the perceptions / preconceptions / prejudices of the other (with Christian background) characters in the 'cast'.

Btw could the dip(s) be (the embodiment / servants of) some kind of ancient, pagan, 'Guardian Spirit(s)' of the Galatan land? In such case they would, in their aloof, unpredictable way, take side against the invaders or -perhaps even more- against Galatan 'collabos'?

abdul666 said...

I don't know the background of the dip -which you quoted as recent, not far older than the historical Bete du Gevaudan; but remember how the image of the 'Fay people', initially more often than not neutral or even benevolent (such as the Lady of the Lake, or the 'Fay horse' Bayard), after centuries of Christian "denigrement" became that of lethal characters such as Goethe's 'Erlkoenig' ('Elverkonge': king of the Elves in the Danish original) or Keats' 'La Belle Dame sans Merci'...