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Basic Information

The kikimora is a spirit of Slavic mythology, often portrayed as a wife to the Dormovoi, although some myths include a second variety that lives in the wilderness and is the wife of a Leshy.

She usually appears as a small woman - sometimes of unremarkable appearance, sometimes ragged, hunchbacked and ugly. Her presence in the house is far more of a mixed blessing than that of a Dormovoi - if kept happy she is said to take care of the chickens and engage in various other domestic tasks, including spinning, but she is said to be tempramental and hard to please and quickly turns to malicious harrassment of the family once annoyed. Washing the pots and pans with fern tea is said to work in some cases to appease an angry kikimora. Also, it is said to be certain death to see her whilst she is about her spinning at night - sighting a Dormovoi is usually a bad omen, but apparently the sight of his wife is far worse.

Some legends suggest that a kikimora grows up in the care of a mountain dwelling magician and is educated by his cat, but this sounds unlikely to be a general rule.

It is said that a kikimora can be enticed to move into a house by placing a doll in her image inside the structure - apparently a way in which an alienated construction worker might take revenge on his employer. We must also presume that they tend to move in with dormovoie, but perhaps are less of a problem with a husband to look after.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • The wilderness and domestic versions need not be seperate species … would this mean that the leshy and dormovoi are different forms of the same creature as well?
  • The propensity of these creatures to cause trouble for their human hosts might make them a common source of work for a Russian wizard or shaman.
  • What if your household has a good dormovoi and a bad kikimora? Or there is domestic strife under the stove and the night is disturbed by tiny voices cursing and tiny saucepans being thrown? Or the kikimora living with your dormovoi is the estranged wife of a Leshy who comes looking for her?
  • How about being a Russian magician living in the mountains and suddenly being expected to take charge of the upbringing of a tiny, partly malevolent spirit woman? Teenage kikimora angst anyone?
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