Mythic Russia

Heroic roleplaying in a mythical medieval Russia

The Stone Labyrinths of Bolshoi Zayatsky — June 24, 2017

The Stone Labyrinths of Bolshoi Zayatsky

BolshoiZNorth, beyond the lands of Novgorod, and amidst the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea’s Onega Bay, lies the island of Bolshoi Zayatsky. No more than a square mile in size, overlooked by the ruins of a long-shattered tower, the west of the island is covered with 35 overgrown but unmistakeable mazes made thousands of years ago, for unknown purposes, by unknown hands. Some are rough-hewn in stone, some limned by earthen walls, others marked out with rockpiles. Each is different.

Labyrinths-Bolshoi-Zayatsky-Island7What purpose did they have? Do they offer mystical paths to different places, alternative histories, Otherworldly nexi? Are they the fingerprints of giants long since passed? Or are they prisons, within whose loops and whorls are bound vicious spirits, maybe even the Kam, ready to be unleashed by unthinking hands or ruthless minds?

Some suggest these were fishing traps, to catch the plentiful White Sea cod and salmon, yet most are too far inland. Maybe they are traps instead sifting the spirit winds, blowing relentlessly across the north? And if so, where is the catch — and who is the harvester?

The island is meant to be uninhabited, yet when there is snow, or dust, or mud, whose footprints can be seen in labyrinths, left when the setting sun’s last rays paint the stones?