Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The personification of a whirlwind, sometimes referred to as Vikhor'. In one story he abducts Nastas'ya of the Golden Braid, the wife of Bel Belyanin and mother of Peter Belyaninovich, Vasilii Belyaninovich, and Ivan Belyaninovich, and keeps her in a wondrous palace encrusted with diamonds and other precious stones on a plateau atop a high mountain range. There he also holds three maidens captive as the tsaritsas of his three kingdoms—the Copper Kingdom, the Silver Kingdom, and the Golden Kingdom, the tsaritsa of the latter being Elena the Fair. Each of the four palaces in Whirlwind’s realm was guarded by a multi-headed dragon that could only be placated with water drawn from a well nearby.

Whirlwind renewed his strength periodically from a barrel that contained a magical water that bestowed great strength on anyone who drank it. He also kept a second barrel, which contained a water that sapped the drinker’s strength. These two barrels ultimately were his downfall.

Ivan and his two brothers set off to search for their lost mother. Ivan finally found her, after climbing the tall mountains and passing through the three kingdoms. Nastas'ya of the Golden Braid told Ivan of Whirlwind’s secret, and by drinking of the strength increasing water and then swapping that with the strength-sapping one, Ivan was able to defeat Whirlwind, cutting off his head with a single blow, burning his body, and scattering the ashes in the wind.

Whirlwind had two servants, Lame and One-Eye, who could work wondrous magic. After Whirlwind’s death, these two served Ivan.

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