KOSHCHEI THE DEATHLESS

Today’s myth comes courtesy of this book
which is always sort of hit or miss for me
but this time
it is definitely
…both?

so to start out
lemme just transcribe the first two sentences of this story
ahem:
“In a certain country there once lived a king
and he had three sons, all of them grown up.
All of a sudden Koshchei the Deathless carried off their mother.”
Like, what the fuck, right?
There is no explanation of who Koshschei the Deathless is
apparently this is just a thing that happens in Russia sometimes
and you just have to deal with it however you can
because what are you going to do, kill him?
Dude
he’s got deathless RIGHT THERE IN HIS NAME
I wouldn’t put my money on it, is all i’m saying

but that doesn’t stop the king’s sons from getting all heroic
so first the oldest one goes out
and he disappears
then the second oldest goes out
and also disappears
and that leaves us with the youngest
Prince Ivan
and the king is like “No prince Ivan
you are too young and a dumbass to go on this crazy mission
if you die along with your brothers I will kill myself”
and Ivan is like “No you won’t dad
you and I both know that you don’t give a shit about me
cya”

but despite the fact that Ivan is a prince
he seems not to have a horse
in fact, if I’m reading this story right
every horse he touches turns to liquid
and that’s great if you want a lot of horse liquid all over
like for a smoothie
but it’s not great if your intention is to actually ride a horse
so that’s when an old woman shows up like DUDE
I CAN GET YOU A HORSE
FOLLOW ME TO THIS MOUNTAIN
PUNCH THE TOP OFF THIS MOUNTAIN
RIP THESE TWELVE PADLOCKS OFF THIS IRON DOOR
THERE’S YOUR HORSE
DEEP UNDERGROUND
WAITING
WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER
FOR A HERO TO COME AND CLAIM HIM
and you know what?
she’s right
I know that sounded like the kind of thing a crazy person would say
but honestly, so does this whole story
in fact the more I think about it
the more convinced I am
that this old woman in this story is actually some kind of authorial insertion
and the whole thing is a ploy by her
to get people to listen to all the crazy shit she says

Anyway now Ivan has a great horse
so he rides over to a mountain
and meets up with his brothers
and they – WAAAAAAIT A SECOND
I thought his brothers disappeared without a trace
how the fuck were they so easy to find
and not in prison or anything
are you telling me these dudes have just been hanging out
for like SEVERAL YEARS
avoiding the kingdom for no good reason
getting lapdances from impoverished peasants
totally avoiding the responsibilities of – Okay I get it know

But now that Ivan’s found them
they have to at least pretend to be looking for their mom
so they all ride towards Koshchei’s place
because apparently everyone knows where that is
and they come up to a boulder
that weighs FIFTY POODS
yeah no I didn’t misspell “pounds” just now
there is a thing in russia called a pood
and they use it to weigh other things
I’m not sure how much it is
but probably no more than half a bloof
or like a dozen glurfs
anyway it can’t be much
because Ivan just picks it up and chucks it at a mountain
and apparently that’s what you have to do to advance
because then a ladder appears on the cliff in front of them
rendering his brand new horse TOTALLY WORTHLESS

so Ivan climbs the ladder
and when his filthy whoremongering bros don’t follow him
he’s like “okay guys”
and he bleeds in a cup
and he’s like “if this blood turns black it means i’m dead”
then he goes up the cliff
and into the crib of KOSHCHEI THE DEATHLESS

so first he finds a house
with a hot chick inside
and the hot chick is like “dude do you know who you’re dealing with?
this is Koshchei the Deathless we’re talking about
he is not the most mortal of dudes
tell you what
if you can lift this sword he left here
which weighs, like, a million poods
i’ll believe you have what it takes to kill this guy
and Ivan lifts that poody sword no problem
and the hot chick lets him pass.
Man, it’s a good thing that the only skill required on this quest is lifting
i shudder to think what might happen if someone asked Ivan to do math
or ballet
or tell them what the fuck a pood is

so the next house Ivan finds happens to have his mom inside
but it also has Koshchei the Deathless inside
boning his mom
and as soon as Ivan gets close
Koshchei is like FEE FIE FOE FOOD
I SMELL THE BONES OF A RUSSIAN DUDE
I STEAL WOMEN ALL THE TIME
BUT I ALSO BURGLE BRITISH RHYMES
and Ivan’s mom is like “shh dude chill out
you’ve been flying around russia all day stealing women
also I am russian
also you are russian and we live in russia
it is not unusual for you to smell something russian
just finish balling me real fast
so we can have some suspicious post-coital pillow-talk”
and Koschei is fine with that

so Ivan is hiding and listening to them be all nasty
but then they finish up and Ivan’s mom is like
“Koshchei the Deathless
where do you keep all your death that you apparently don’t have?”
and Koshchei is like “What a sensible question
I will honor it with an equally sensible answer:
my death is inside an egg
inside a duck
inside a rabbit
inside a box
under an oak tree
somewhere in … Russia maybe?
and Ivan is like “YESSSS
WITH THOSE INCREDIBLY PRECISE DIRECTIONS HOW CAN I GO WRONG”

so Ivan starts walking
and apparently this was back in the olden days
when russia was just a 2-d sidescroller
so he pretty much just has to go in a straight line to find this tree
but on the way he gets hungry
and he’s about to punch a wolf in the throat and take its meat
when its mom is like “NO DON’T KILL MY SON
I WILL TOTALLY OWE YOU ONE”
and Ivan is like “HOLY SHIT A TALKING WOLF”
and he just keeps walking
until he sees a crow
and he gets ready to shoot it down
when its mom is like “NO NO NO HEY”
and Ivan is like “AHHHH DOES EVERYTHING AROUND HERE TALK?”
and then he goes to catch a fish
and the fish is like “YES. SO DON’T KILL ME.”
then it turns into a bridge and Ivan is like “Wow
I must be hungrier than I thought.”

But Ivan’s doubts about his sanity do not stop him from crossing the fish-bridge
which leads directly to that oak tree Koshchei mentioned
and then he opens up the box under the tree
and a rabbit pops out and runs away
and Ivan is like “fuuuuuuuuck
I can’t catch that”
but then it’s okay
because that wolf he killed catches it for him
and Ivan cuts it open
and a DUCK FLIES OUT AND GETS AWAY
but it’s okay, because a flock of crows goes all Hitchcock on its ass
and brings it back to Ivan
who slices open the duck
gets the egg
and gets the FUCK out of that crazy talking animal forest.

Meanwhile Koshchei the Deathless is getting ready for round 2 with Ivan’s mom
when Ivan busts in like HAHAHA
I HAVE AN EGG FULL OF DEATH AND I’M GOOD AT LIFTING
PREPARE TO DIE
then he cracks the egg
and Koshchei dies
totally ruining his image
and then Ivan takes his mom and the hot chick and they leave

But that’s not all my friends
because it turns out that Ivan’s lazy whoremongering brothers
are also HUGE ASSHOLES
so when the hot chick sends Ivan back to her place
to get her shoes and her ring and her gown
the brothers tear down the cliff-ladder
and take all the ladies hostage
and then they go home like “Hey dad
pretty crazy how we saved your wife and found a hot chick
and Ivan is dead and we don’t know anything about it”
and the king is like “Yes
Pret-ty crazy”

Meanwhile Ivan appears to have discovered the Village People
possibly by fingerfucking the ring he took from the hot chick’s house
and they use their manly arms to carry him off the mountain
and then he goes back to his kingdom
and shacks up with this old lady to plot his revenge
cause Ivan’s oldest brother has called finders keepers on the hot chick
and one of the prerequisites to being hot in olde russia
is that you don’t get to make decisions about your body
so all Hotness can do is stall
and the way she is stalling
is by demanding that someone bring her her ring
and her shoes
and her gown
or else make her exact replicas of those things

Ivan sees this as the perfect opportunity for a very dumb plan
so what he does
is he gives the ring to the old lady
and tells her to go to the king and pretend like she made it
and only accept one ducat as payment
which doesn’t matter anyway
because ducats aren’t real money
(anything that has the word “cats” in it is not real money)
and then the next day he has her do the same thing with the robe
and then the shoes
and then Hotness is like “Well shit
guess I can’t stall anymore
time to get married”

So the marriage day rolls around
and Ivan gets all dressed up in all his finery
and manages to show up to the wedding BEFORE THE GROOM
so he gets married to the hot chick
before anyone has time to object
and then when his dad finds out what happened
he has the other brothers killed or banished or something
and everybody lives happily ever after
(or is killed or banished or something)

so the moral of the story
is that by far the safest course of action for a wandering adventurer
is to be a bodybuilder
who adheres to a strictly vegetarian diet

THE END.

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6 thoughts on “KOSHCHEI THE DEATHLESS

  1. Awesome as always.
    The only other experience I’ve had with Koshchei has been in Hellboy; not sure which version I like better 😀

  2. WAITAMINNIT.
    This moral actually follows somewhat logically from the story, with no twisting of events required… I FEEL CHEATED. CHEATED ENOUGH TO ALLCAPS ALL OVER THIS COMMENT BOX.
    Regardless, this was hilarious. And a pood is exactly 40 funt, jeez. (Or about 16kg.)

  3. Wait, I’m confused now. Didn’t Ivan already marry another hot chick in that other fairy-tale? Or is this another Ivan? Because this is Russia and every guy’s name is Ivan…

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