I had never heard of a Liderc. In fact, there was no real reason for me to have ever learned about a Liderc, except I looked up Succubi, which led me to Lilith, which led me to Lilin. The site I was on at the time listed their monsters in alphabetical order and Liderc was right there. It had a single sentence about Liderc being shape-shifters who attached to their victims like a Succubus.
Two days later, that popped up from the depths of my brain and snuck into the development of the story haunting me. I couldn’t find the website again, but if I ever stumble across it, you can believe I’ll write it down. They listed hundreds of mythological creatures and proved an excellent starting point.
When I tried to research Liderc, I was amazed at the lack of information. (Granted, I didn’t do an exhaustive search, but still…) Apparently this thing isn’t so popular to write about, but by then it was too late for me to change my direction. I wanted a villain that was villainous, with no redeeming qualities and the Liderc gave me a great option. As it turned out, the lack of information let me create a beast the incomplete mythology of the Liderc doesn’t necessarily allow for.
Some say Liderc hatch from the egg of a black chicken. Some say it’s a tiny egg, others say it’s a special egg, and still others claim any egg from a black hen will birth a Liderc. Some stories say the egg must be incubated under a person’s arm, others say in a pile of manure. It’s unclear whether the thing that hatches is a chicken with the ability to shape-shift into a man or woman, or a humanoid that hatches from the egg. Typically, the stories concerning this version agree the Liderc becomes its owner’s lover and is attached to its owner forever.
Some say the Liderc is a spirit that comes to its owner in a bottle or a rag and brings riches. The owner of this Liderc would be blessed by good fortune. Others claim a Liderc is a fairy, but that wasn’t a widely held opinion. These creatures can take on the appearance of dead relatives, or enter the house through chimneys and keyholes, but always leave a mess when they leave.
The third, and to me the most interesting, theory is that Liderc are very similar to Succubi or Inccubi. They are little demons that steal a person’s soul, or their life force, through sexual contact, predominantly within dreams. Most stories claim the Liderc can only come out at night – though other stories refute this theory – and must disappear before the cock’s crow at dawn.
I tossed all these stories together to create my own version. Then I added a dash of vampire to the whole thing. Hungary, like Romania, is in the heart of Vampire Territory. I have no idea if vampire stories are more prevalent there, but most us choose to equate the area with vampires, so I went with it.
In Demon’s Bond, I made Liderc the origin of those vampire stories. I attached the creature to my character through an exchange of blood and sex, a very common theme in many mythologies, and gave it certain qualities indicative of a Succubus. I kept the shape-shifter qualities, the dreams and the attachment, as well as suggesting some believed methods of banishment such as birch trees, which hold enough mystical properties to allow someone to trap a Liderc within its trunk.
But I created a nightmare beast that was neither-nor. I tossed a few things into the mix, shook up the bag and then dumped it out to see what I had created. I’m rather pleased with the results. I think you will be too.