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Jakub Wędrowycz is the protagonist of a number of short stories by Andrzej Pilipiuk, a renowned Polish writer. Wędrowycz is an elderly alcoholic, moonshine producer, poacher, amateur exorcist and fighter against all sorts of supernatural forces dwelling around Wędrowycz's village, from the aliens to ancient demons and from Russian mafia to tax inspectors.
First appearing in Pilipiuk's debut, a short story Hiena (Hyena) in 1996, with time Wędrowycz became one of the most easily recognizable characters of Polish speculative fiction and humorous prose. As of 2012[update] there are seven collections of short stories on Wędrowycz published by Pilipiuk:
- Kroniki Jakuba Wędrowycza (The Chronicles of Jakub Wędrowycz, 2002)
- Czarownik Iwanow (Ivanov the Wizard, 2002)
- Weźmisz Czarno kure (Ye Shall Take a Black Hen, 2002)
- Zagadka Kuby Rozpruwacza (Mystery of Jack the Ripper 2004)
- Wieszać każdy może (Everyone can hang (someone) 2006)
- Homo bimbrownikus (Homo moonshinicus 2009)
- Trucizna (Poison 2012)
Jakub was born around 1900. His exact date of birth is unknown even to himself. His father taught him how to produce moonshine, which would later become a skill he would be fond of. In 1912, he boarded the RMS Titanic with his father to participate in a secret moonshine society meeting, where a contest was held: whoever would produce the strongest liquid would win the secret recipe for producing moonshine out of sawdust. Due to sabotage, just after Jakub's father received his prize and was declared the best moonshine producer in the world, one of the stills exploded, causing the Titanic to sink.
Jakub doesn't have any formal education: he was kicked out of the third grade of primary school and claiming to be illiterate whenever it may come in handy (for example, in one of his numerous run-ins with the local police).
He was very active during World War II. He, along with his father's friend Semen Korczaszko (born ca. 1881) were in the legendary Ripper Team - a guerilla squad which was responsible for most Axis and Soviet casualties in eastern Poland. This team was infamous for gruesome mutilations of their enemies: as Jakub himself once suggested, "Let's tie these corpses to these trees - then we'll run some wire through their bodies and stick some Soviet flags in their hands: when the Red Army will be passing, we'll plug the wire into a power generator, and they'll wave the flags! Now that's a greeting worthy of the Red Army!".
He is known for his paranormal knowledge: during World War II he pretended to help some German soldiers (and a Hitlerjugend member) escape back to Munich, as they claimed to be in the army against their own will. Jakub saw through the lie and turned them into werewolves so "they could pass through to Munich". He forgot to mention that they could only eat on a full moon. And that they could only eat human meat.
After World War II he resides in his house in Stary Majdan (Old Majdan), near Wojsławice in eastern Poland. This house is no normal house - Jakub stores many "trophies" from the WW2. These include a gigantic arsenal of weaponry, some outfits from various soldiers, a German motorbike and many jars full of money in various currencies from all around the world.
Jakub is practically immortal - he once went to a chiromancer, who told him his life line on his palm is awfully short. Then he proceeded to break the beer bottle he was holding on a bench and started "correcting" the line which has given him a very long lifespan. He is known to have cheated death on several occasions, including smashing Death herself to pieces (by means of Panzerfaust) and breaking out of Hell causing heavy damage in the process. He was once drank to death by his own guardian angel, but it was reversed by St. Peter, who did not approve of such methods.
He is known for his unnaturally long penis - according to the stories, he must store it in his pantsleg and tuck the tip away into his boot.
Some fans place his birth in January 1901, which now would make him 109 years old.