Top 10 of the best Breton legends, those to tell by the fireside

Tri martolod, Nolwenn, pancakes, salted butter, all that, yes we are in Brittany, where it rains only on idiots and where we have Quimper and a sea (cf. the jokes on the Bretons TMTC). Here. And with the Bretons there’s a really cool thing, it’s that they have lots of legends that kick ass, things to tell each other by the fire, on the beach, based on sailors and fairies. A quick tour of our favourites.

1. Ys, the sunken city

King Gradlon, a fairly revered warrior, had a daughter named Dahut with some sort of Queen of the North deity. It was at the request of his daughter that he had a city built below sea level and protected by large dykes. In Ys, everyone is super happy and very well protected against all external dangers. Except that Dahut, who was a bit hot in the ass, screwed up. Every evening she invited a man to zig-zig and she put a mask on his face. Mask which, in the morning, exploded the skulls of guys with metal blades. Uncool. But one day, a foreign prince arrives and Dahut falls in love. She decides not to make him put on the mask and even goes so far as to give him the keys to the city. A stupid idea since the prince was none other than the devil who had come to punish the princess for her sins. So neither one nor two, the guy opens wide the door of the city which finds itself swallowed up. No respect for the other inhabitants who had not asked for anything, it can be noted.

2. Azenor

Azenor was the wife of a count. She had a stepmother (her father’s new girl) who was a real bitch and who didn’t hesitate to make the count believe that Azenor had cheated on him. Not very happy, the gentleman decides to apply the penalty provided for in this case: burning his wife. Except that that day, for mysterious reasons, it was impossible to light a fire. Second option, put Azenor in a barrel and throw her into the open sea. There it works, but an angel watches over the girl and protects her until she arrives safe and sound in Ireland. There she gives birth to a child, becomes a washerwoman and makes a living. Years later, the mother-in-law who still has a little remorse admits to the count that she may have told him bullshit. So he motivates himself and goes in search of his wife, whom he ends up finding by falling on his kid who was a bit his spitting image. The three go home, happy. No, indeed, there is no moral in this story.

3. Ankou

The Bretons are not afraid of death, but they are afraid of Ankou, the servant of the beyond who rides around with a creaking cart to lead the souls of the dead to their destination. Basically, if you hear the squeaks coming closer to you, it doesn’t smell very good. Another funny thing is Christmas Eve in Brittany. They say that if, during the meal, you feel Ankou’s cape brush against your legs under the table, you won’t make it through the year. Merry Christmas.

4. Comorra

Comorre was a Breton lord who owned a castle near the forest of Carnoët in Finistère. I don’t doubt he had good reason, but anyway the guy killed his first 6 wives every time he saw they were pregnant. He ends up marrying a seventh time, with Triphine, the daughter of the Count of Vannes. Everything goes well at first, but he is out of luck, one day he surprises her embroidering a layette (a garment for newborns) so he decides to kill her. But she runs away and gives birth to a child whom she names Trémeur, a very ugly first name. Comorre still manages to catch up with her and cut off her head, but the kid is taken in by Saint Gildas, who is so nice that he also resurrects Triphine. And since he has superpowers, he also takes the opportunity to throw a rain of stones on the castle of Comorre, killing him and restoring respect, an important notion in life.

5. The fairy of the island of Loc’h

Houarn Pogamm and Bellah Postik are two young lovers who want to get married, but they are poor and they toil without being able to earn enough money to settle in OKLM. Houarn is a little fed up so he goes on a trip to see if he can get some knitting elsewhere. Bellah is a little worried so she gives him a knife that cancels wizards’ spells and a bell that lets you alert your loved ones if you’re in trouble. Next to that she keeps for herself a stick capable of carrying her wherever she wants. From there you tell yourself that the couple is a bit stupid, because with the stick they could make their trip in two seconds. And even if they were too lazy, they resell the objects and make masses of money. But hey, I’m not here to judge. In short, Houarn leaves for the island of Loc’h where lives a super rich fairy. None of those who tried to steal his treasure ever returned, but he decides to do it anyway. When he finds himself in front of the fairy, he falls directly under her spell. She offers to share her treasure with him if he agrees to marry her. The other idiot, he says yes, and finds himself transformed into a frog by the fairy. Except that her little magic bell falls to the ground, and Bellah realizes that her boyfriend is in danger. With her stick, she teleports into the fairy’s palace and discovers the fairy’s true husband, also transformed into an animal. He explains to her how to cancel the spell, what she does and which allows her to leave with her guy and with lots of booze. The good life, fine sand beaches and unlimited coke are theirs.

6. Mona, the daughter of the earth

Mona was a fisherman’s daughter on the island of Ouessant. Everyone found her hot and hoped to be able to ken her. But under the water lived the morgans, very handsome beings too. One day, the king of the morgans, who had spotted Mona and fallen in love, kidnaps her to take her to his kingdom. There, everyone admires the daughter of the land, including the king’s son who falls in love with her and asks his father for her hand. But as the father also wants to marry Mona, he refuses and forces him to marry one of the most beautiful girls in the kingdom of water. And as if that weren’t enough, the king decides to kill Mona in front of his son, to avoid problems. For that, he imagined a nice little scenario: Mona will have to join the newlyweds on their wedding night to light them with a candle. When the candle is extinguished, the king will enter the room to cut off his head. But the prince, who understood the trick, asked his new wife to hold the candle instead of the daughter of the earth. When the king comes home, he kills the bad girl. He finally accepts that his son marries Mona. It’s going well, but she’s a little tired of living underwater, so she returns home where she ends up forgetting her other life. One day, her husband Morgan comes back to fetch her, she remembers that indeed she had a boyfriend, and she follows him. This story is a big mess that again has no real moral. The characters in this legend are just big freaks.

7. King Arthur

This one is a bit more famous. Merlin uses his magic to bring Arthur into being, who will be responsible for nabbing the Grail and uniting Great and Little Britain. You know the bails, he removes excalibur from his rock, becomes king, marries Guinevere and creates the round table to meet with the knights and organize the quest for the Grail. Basically, they never managed to unlock the secret of the Grail. Lancelot who wanted to nab Guinevere was not worthy to find him. Perceval almost succeeded, but he didn’t ask the right questions. Only Galaad, the son of Lancelot, succeeded in discovering the secret of the Grail, but he died of it. It was definitely worth it.

Top 10 of the best breton legends, those to tell by the fireside
Picture credits: pixabay

8. Tremazan Castle

If the castle really exists (well it’s more a ruin than a palace today), the legend that accompanies it is a nice concentrate of WTF. The Chastels were the inhabitants of the castle of Trémazan. The father had remarried with a bitch, and the son Guirguy was working for the King of France. When he returned home after having worked hard, he met his mother-in-law on the road. And since she was a bitch, she told him a lot of nonsense about Haude, her sister. So Guirguy, not happy at all, goes home and cuts off his sister’s head. Hello atmosphere. But he quickly realizes that he has been told bullshit, so he doesn’t blame himself. Luckily, Haude appears with her head in her hands, resting on her neck as if it were normal. She explains to everyone that the mother-in-law is a bitch who likes to lie, but the mother-in-law denies everything. And as it is big nonsense this story, the bitch finds herself struck by a divine lightning. Haude forgives her brother, but since she is really dead she disappears. He will repent all his life and become a saint, renamed Tanguy. Don’t ask me why.

9. The room of ghosts

This story takes place in the castle of Trécesson, near the forest of Brocéliande. There was a room in the castle that everyone said was haunted. But one day, a guest decides to make his keke and sleep in the room to prove that he was a good man. When night falls, he can’t sleep at all because he still has a bit of a fag. At midnight, a door appears and opens. Two men come out and start playing cards on a table. Our kéké is over it, he takes his gun and tries to kill the two guys, without success because they are fucking ghosts. At the end of the game, the two players break and Kevin falls asleep. When he wakes up, he sees that the ghosts have left a nice pile of louis d’or. But the owner of the castle thinks that it’s more up to him to take them, so the two men argue, the case goes to court and I couldn’t even tell you who won, anyway it’s a legend, stop taking it seriously.

10. Queen of the Korrigans

The Korrigans are kind of elves who like to play pranks on everyone and who are a bit stubborn. Do not piss them off too much because they are capable of making you miserable. On the other hand, if you are nice to them, they will return it to you. And that’s just what happened to a guy. One day, an old lady shows up at his house. The woman is really not jojo. She asks him for some food and warmth, and accepts him even though he’s not at all nuts. He makes her a good soup and gives her a sheet to cover herself. And there, bam, the old woman turns into a Korrigan, and tells him that she is the queen of her people. She invites him to follow her to their cave where he can party all night and walk away with some of their wealth. Only condition, it must break before the rooster crows. Of course, the guy is partying so much that he stuffs his bags with riches at the last minute, and he doesn’t have time to get to the door before the famous rooster crows. He returns home with his bags but realizes that they are filled with ashes. It’s a bit of a mouthful, and we can understand that. But the queen of the Korrigans takes pity on him so she gives him a dish that fills up with food whenever you feel like it. Like that, he will never have the slab again. There we have a real moral, it’s beautiful and full of good feelings as we like.

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