The Devil's Lake

THE DEVIL’S LAKE

South of Potsdam is the Teufelssee, or Devil’s Lake. The Teufelssee is dead-ice, a lake formed when a glacier ceases to move and melts, leaving behind a hummocky terrain. It was formed during the last ice age about 20,000 years ago. After thousands of years, this dead ice block melted down above a water-impermeable, clay surface which filled with meltwater. It is a small lake seven meters deep, which is even lower than the larger Havel Lakes. Nearby are the Ravensberg mountain. The small lake without outlet, silted up in the subsequent ice age . The extremely nutrient-poor substrate has formed a high moor with a number of distinctive characteristics and typical vegetation.

The legend of the Devil’s Lake goes back to ancient times, and describes the area at the foot of the Ravensberges as a place of worship of the devil. The Slavic people worshiped their pagan idols here, and this was done secretly after the Christianization of the area. However, legends state the devil replaced the Wendish idol with his own image. The Wends worshiped this idol, and thus the devil became the object of their worship. They did not notice the fraud because they held their secret sacrifices each only at night. This was the beginning of the local legend of “Wendish witches” which would bedevil the Mark for centuries.

Eventually the Bishop of Brandenburg became aware of the devil worship and called an Italian monk and exorcist to extinguish the witches. The monk held an inquisition and discovered the cult rituals, and he successfully removed the image of the Devil with the support of the local population. By the exorcisms of the monk, the idol sank into the Earth, and at this point, the lake was created which did not exist before. However, as legend and folklore attest, the evil of this place never quite disappeared.

The Garou know the truth. The area around the Teufelssee is a place of the Wyrm. Banes congregate around the area. A major function of the Garou in the local area has been to purge the locale of the Banes who are drawn to the Teufelssee. The nearby area of the umbra is a secluded glen known by local folklore as the Hexenhain, or Witch’s Grove. It is generally avoided by most people – the negative spiritual energy there causes great unease. The persistent evil of the area is evidence that a Lair of the Wyrm exists, but nevertheless the Garou have not discovered its location over the long centuries.

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The Devil's Lake

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