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Der Holzhacker - The Woodchopper

Late-Coming Idea: Der Holzhacker

For a generally cheery, agricultural people, we Urglaawer sure do like our shadowy entities. One whom we have talked about in the past has yet to make an appearance at the Parade of Spirits because this entity is so shifty that we barely know where to start. 

Vorsicht! Der Holzhacker

Deep in the Dunkelgegend, at the base of the World Tree, in the darkest of the realms, there is a forest. The forest is dense, and there is a sense of enchantment combined with an eeriness that simultaneous calls to and pushes away the souls that are making their journey to The Mill. 

Somewhere among the trees and the thickets is a strange entity. No one knows what the true nature or appearance of this being is. We only know that two people could be looking at this entity and seeing a completely different facade. 

This being is known by a few names in Pennsylvania Dutch: der Holzhacker, der Holzmann, der Miessler, and in English, this being is most dramatically called The Woodchopper.

Some call the Woodchopper a shapeshifter, but we do not even know whether that is true. What we do know is that people who see him do not see the same thing. He might not be shifting his shape at all; he might be projecting  images into viewers' minds, or he might have some aspects of himself that reach out to different people in different ways.

I even use the pronoun "he" lightly here because the clearest reports use it. It is sometimes said that the Woodchopper is a Waldries, or a Forest Giant. His purpose for appearing to the journeying souls appears to be to prevent them from reaching the Mill, thereby slowing the evolution of humanity.

The Woodchopper, it is said, will appear to the viewer in a way that reflects the viewer's greatest desires. This means The Woodchopper *can take on pretty much any form*, and apparently The Woodchopper is adept at manipulation, and the viewer will either resist and plod forth to the Mill or will cave to the seeming gratification of everything the viewer wants being embodied in this being. Those who fall prey to The Woodchopper's wiles will, at least we think since no one has ever come back to tell us, go into oblivion.

How would this translate into a costume for a Holzhacker figure in Parade of Spirits? How about a multifaceted, rotating mask with different visages that be changed depending on who is viewing the character? 

If this can't be accomplished by anyone who is very crafty and artistic for 2021, this can be a new project for 2022.

Oh, and the Holzhacker is not the only dastardly being souls can encounter on their journey. There's also Die Melkern, or the Milkmaid, on the other side of The Mill, who would be an appropriate figure for any Entschtanning/Fasching parades.


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