Pipe Smoke, Tea Leaves

The Vodyanoi, or Vodnik, is a water spirit found in Slavic mythology. Unlike the feminine and lovely Rusalka, the vodyanoi is exclusively male and not at all comely. He often elderly, with a frog-like face and webbed hands. Like the old men they resemble, Vodyanoi enjoy leisure activities like card-playing and pipe-smoking. So much so that their help can be solicited in return for an offering of tobacco. However, the Vodyanoi is not all pipesmoke and Belote. He is a dangerous spirit, known to drag unlucky humans and animals to a watery death and, when truly in a poor mood, to break dams and destroy mills. In some traditions, the Vodyanoi is a bit of a collector, keeping the souls of its victims in lidded porcelain teacups. Vodyanoi take great pride in their collections and judge their status based on the size of their collections.