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Vodyanoy is a male water-spirit from both Norse and Slavic mythology and later folklore, like many beings that are classified as "fairies" the Vodyanoy was considered dangerous to humans and efforts were made to try and appease the volatile spirit.

Vodyanoy is said to appear as a naked old man with a greenish beard and long hair, with his body covered in algae and muck, usually covered in black fish scales. He has webbed paws instead of hands, a fish's tail, eyes that burn like red-hot coals. He usually rides along his river on a half-sunk log, making loud splashes. Consequently, he is often dubbed "grandfather" or "forefather" by the local people. Local drownings are said to be the work of the vodyanoy - though they can also be the work of the Rusalkas.

When angered, the vodyanoy breaks dams, washed down water mills, drowns people and animals. (Consequently, fishermen, millers, and also bee-keepers make sacrifices to appease him.) He would drag down people to his underwater dwelling to serve him as slaves.