Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Frau Totenkinder: a force to be reckoned with in (weird) WWII

Awhile back, in an irresistible call to have an opposing faction, I mentioned that I had succumbed to the call and would be building a second faction, one to oppose the Belgian Liberation Army, for our Weird World War II gaming.  And I said I'd reveal it soon, so here now is a bit about the plans for the force.

The central figure, much like the BLA has Professor Poireau, is Frau Totenkinder.

She is far more than the frail elderly woman she appears to be.  Much more.  Her exact nature is unknown, but some truths can be guessed about her.  If she ever was human, she has not been for a very long time.  Her exact age is unknown, but undoubtedly she is older than a thousand years, and perhaps in some form or other has always existed.  She has skipped across history and human awareness like a stone across a pond.  Now is only the most recent manifestation.  This secret is known by only a few. Others would be more familiar with her as various 'wicked witch' characters from fairy tales.  But she is no fairy tale.

Frau Totenkinder is very real.  There are truths in the stories she appears in, but the shape of them is always malformed by human telling, perhaps by her design.  Her stories have central elements which betray her presence: she lures the young to feed on their youth and energy and tempts them with visions of safety in a dangerous world. Sometimes her actions are direct, sometimes she is an unseen force behind these stories.  Curiously, while in the stories she is always defeated, this is most certainly not the reality.  

Totenkinder seems to be tied to the lands and culture of Germany and has appeared many times in stories revealed by the Brothers Grimm.  She has surfaced again, and takes a more active role in events than any record indicates.  She is now the highest ranking female officer in the Nazi regime of Germany, and is commander of the new militant arm of the Ahnenebre: a small but elite force made up of soldiers with the latest technologies, but rumors of Erbschaftheld, men and women of amazing abilities, and stranger creatures besides, surround this organization.  

Allied scholars with more imagination than fear of mocking by their peers believe these stories, and propose that Frau Totenkinder could be a more serious threat than the regime she appears to be a part of.  

Inspiration for this gaming character comes from Frau Totenkinder from the comic Fables by Bill Willingham.  It is a great series with very interesting spins on characters familiar to all.  In that vein I've taken the character of Frau Totenkinder and put her in a new setting and set her lose with her own agenda, a spider in her web, controlling other characters who will make themselves known soon.


Bill said...

Oooooooh cool! Where's BigB Wolf when you need him.

Paul´s Bods said...

Totenkinder..(translation) child killer...creepy!! :-D That´s definately the name of someone who would be scrupulous..
Another good one (and she is a german mythical female) is Frau Holle...english, mother Hulda
In this part of germany it is said she hides in elderberry bushes and if you chop one down she takes revenge on you

Michael Awdry said...

This sounds wonderfully creepy, really looking forward to seeing where you go with the characters.

Laughing Ferret said...

Bill: you know I couldn't leave Big Bad Wolf out ;) He's a must.. He'll be there.

Thanks for the link Paul! Very interesting. I'm a big fan of mythology and finding out how older religion deities have made their way into being characters in modern stories and religions.

Thanks Michael! She is quite creepy and I'm having fun planning the entry of fairy tale characters into a WWII setting. Stay tuned, won't be long till the first characters get their introductions

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