How Koshchei Became Deathless is a short story published in January and February of 2009 as the backup story to Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #2–3. It was collected in the Hellboy: Weird Tales hardcover omnibus in November 2014.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Part One[edit | edit source]

The story opens with an old monk sitting at a desk recording the legends of Russia.

Koshchei was a normal man of little status until he became a soldier. He was a good and fair man in battle, even towards his enemies. This bothered his corrupt captains, so one night they beat him almost to death. A dragon found Koshchei, and offered to save him in return for serving him nine years. The dragon took him back to his castle in the Thrice-Tenth Kingdom, where he worked for nine years. When the time was up, the dragon had grown fond of Koshchei and offered to teach him Magic, but Koshchei wanted to live as a man. The dragon gave him a magic shirt that protected him from all weapons.

Koshchei returned to the world and became a soldier again. As his fame spread he married the daughter of a king, but the princess resented being forced to marry a commoner. She stole his shirt had had a noble kill him while he slept.

Part Two[edit | edit source]

Koshchei's body was taken into the woods and found by the dragon. The dragon used great magic to bring him back from the dead. The dragon kept his soul separate so that as long as it remained safe, Koshchei could not die. They hid his soul in an egg in a duck in a rabbit in a goat hidden in a hollow tree.

Koshchei returned to the world, and took his revenge on his killers. His wife begged for mercy, but without a soul he no longer had any mercy to give.

Connections to Other Stories[edit | edit source]

This tale is narrated by the same monk as Baba Yaga's Feast.

Hellboy Publication Order
Preceded by
The Wild Hunt
How Koshchei Became Deathless
Followed by
Baba Yaga's Feast
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