Goblins and Ghost Stories

Michael Halila 1 minute read

We are delighted to announce that Korppi Games has secured permission to use materials from the Finnish Literature Society’s collection of folk tales in Goblin Camp!

I’ve talked before about how important it is to us that one of the key influences of our game is our Finnish heritage, which I refer to as Finnic paganism. This pre-Christian, almost certainly shamanic culture is now largely lost to us after centuries of Christianization. Traces of it remain in the poetry that Elias Lönnrot used as the basis of the Kalevala, but the living tradition that descends from it is Finnish folk religion. So that’s quite obviously something we’re very interested in as well.

Luckily for us, the Finnish Literature Society exists! Founded in 1831, the SKS (Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden seura) is a Finnish cultural organization whose mission is to collect and preserve Finnish cultural heritage. They actually published the original Kalevala and Kanteletar by Lönnrot, and over the years they’ve collected a massive trove of material on Finnish culture, including folk religion.

What we were particularly interested in was their collection of belief legends, or very roughly speaking, supernatural stories. These cover everything from ghost stories, encounters with various supernatural beings (including goblins!) to magic spells and wizards. The stories have been collected from all over Finland in the 19th and 20th centuries, and are an absolutely wonderful collection of folk beliefs and legends. They’re stored on file cards in giant archive cabinets like this one:

A file card drawer at the SKS archives

Here’s a sample drawer: this one contains stories on goblins, so I was especially interested in it!

A file card drawer at the SKS archives

After a lot of quality time in the SKS archive, I’ve selected several stories to use as background texts in Goblin Camp, and we’ve now secured official permission to use them. They’ve been especially fruitful for our explorations of Finnish magic, which will feature prominently in the game. Look out for some Finnish folklore in Goblin Camp!