THE DOMOVIDGE MANIKINS ("HOUSE-DWELLERS")

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - PEOPLE - MODE OF LIVING
FAMILY, SOCIETY & CULTURE -
MYTH/LORE

There are tales common to many tribes which live in distant corners of Sarvonia telling of friendly, but very shy little people - the House-Dwellers or "Domovidgies" (singular "Domovidge") - who help to run their houses and farms and protect them from evil spirits, while hiding from the actual house owners. Very few people are told to have seen a Domovidge, however, so to most grown-ups they probably are just thought of as an interesting myth.

A domovidges manikin

View picture in full size Picture description. An artist's interesting interpretation of the Brownie-like House-Dwellers of "Domovidgies". Image drawn by Quellion.

Appearance. The House-Dwellers are said to be about one fore tall, quite clumsy, untidy, shaggy-haired, and, in the case of the males of the species, shaggy-bearded as well. Some folk say that a Domovidge resembles a dwarf who hasn't eaten for a month, washed for a year, and been caught in an evil wizard's diminution spell to boot... but they don't say that where the Thergerim can hear them!

Since they are secretive sorts who only appear at nights, other details about their appearance are varying or even contradictory. Some tales claim they are thin to the point of gawkiness, while others have them plump little mannikins with messy food stains on their clothing and hair. In some areas the Domovidgies are said to wear nothing but scavenged scraps of leather and fur, but other stories say they prefer children's clothing cut drastically down to fit them more elegantly. Their eyes and hair may be of any colour, even ones not normally found on sentient beings, such as purple, cerubel blue, karikrimson, or mezu-gourd orange.
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Territory. Tales of the Domovije are more common on the outer fringes of the continent of Sarvonia, such as the seacoast of Nepris or the lands above Ximax. They are rarely reported in cities, and stories usually agree that House-Dwellers prefer small towns or even quiet farming communities to larger, busy places.
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People. The House-Dwellers, as their name would suggest, live in houses. Not in houses they have built themselves, but in those of the Big People, at least so it is said. Many believe they find a quiet place somewhere in the garret or in the cellar and leave it only at night, when everyone is asleep. Once a family of the House-Dwellers has found a house to live in, they make sure that it runs well. They take care of many little things the owners often donít have time for. They donít let the mice eat the grain and donít let the corbies steal the shiny things. They watch over the animals of the place, whether barnyard or domestic, and keep them healthy. They even cast protective enchantments on the house that drive away everything bad. In return the owners of the house leave food and sometimes gifts for the House-Dwellers. It is understandably said to be a good omen to have a family of House-Dwellers where one lives.

House-Dwellers seem to put their clothes together from the pieces of the old clothes of Big People. They donít have much sense for style, or any sewing ability, and therefore look a bit like wandering harlequins. Stories vary as to what type of material they prefer, and it is of course possible that barn Domovidgies may have less choice than their manor-dwelling brethren!
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Mode of Living/Habits. The House-Dwellers have no other occupations aside from helping the owners of their house. They like being lazy and sleeping and donít like too much noise. Therefore, there are no big meetings of House-Dwellers and therefore - no real society. A family of House-Dwellers usually lives on its own and only on rare occasions sees the relatives. Young House-Dwellers, however, are told to run away during the dawn before bedtime (House-Dwellers sleep when itís light and the Big Folk are up and about ) to have fun and play games.

While no one knows whether these stories and tales about the House-Dwellers have any basis in fact, it is quite interesting that their reported activities are quite similar to those of some Brownie tribes. It should also be mentioned that in all the lands where the myth is told the people never have had any direct contact with Brownies. Also, the reports in some areas that they are clad in leather, fur, and other natural materials is suggestive of preferred Brownie attire.

This leads us to the conclusion that maybe the mysterious House-Dwellers are nothing more than shy Brownies with uncommon living habits, providing such stories actually have a base in reality. Maybe they are distant relatives of the Brownie folk. Or maybe they donít exist at all and are just a product of a dream, though, of course, we all know how "real" some dreams may be...
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Myth/Lore. There are quite a few stories about the House-Dwellers that vary from region to region. Mostly they are deemed guilty whenever something gets lost or broken, but also when the house owners find things they never actually possessed before.

In the fishing villages the Domovidgies are told to make holes in the nets, because they like animals and hope the fishes can escape from the fishermen.

It is also said that the House-Dwellers like living together with witches practicing the dark arts in houses full of strange mysterious things. Many a witch, so the stories tell, has been seen making potions and writing down spells with a fuzzy little creature on her shoulder.

It is said the Domovidgies appear to little children time to time and play with them. When the children grow up, they lose the ability to see the Domovidgies and so they stop believing in them. Later, when their own children tell them about the mysterious House-Dwellers they just laugh and respond that such nonsense just cannot exist.
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