Thursday, December 3, 2009
The Luduan has not left much of a trace as far as a cohesive description of its disposition or general character. Possibly because its purpose was so pure. They are simply truth revealers, shedders of light. They dismantle human lies and deceptions and show the truth behind the words. They were simplistic but valuable creatures. They seem to have shared the look of a lion but with a distinct regal bearing and a golden radiant sheen. They often accompanied those in power in China, their native land, assisting in the interrogation of citizens and keeping subordinates honest. Today all that remains of this cryptid are statues and carvings in the likeness of the Luduan, there to remind us all to be more forthright.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The peryton is definitely one of the neatest cryptids I have come across. It is said they are the spirits of travelers who died while far away from home. They are winged gazelles or deer, quite beautiful and colored in shades of light blue and deep forest green. Originally hailing from Atlantis, they are unique in a couple ways. One, they cast the shadow of a man rather than their own shadow. And two, although when in flocks they have been known to attack, and they are completely impervious to all weapons, they can only kill one person each. After that they are as tame and safe as can be. They are most often sighted flying over the striaght of Gibraltar.
The manticore, a potentially scary and yet pitiable beast. About the size of a pony , it has the face of a human on a lion's body with the tail of a scorpion and three rows of gumless teeth. Manticores are sometimes winged but always flightless. Sometimes walking upright like a human other times walking on all fours like a lion. This cryptid has a particular taste for humans, these creatures are always on the hunt as they are ever hungry. The Manticore can speak like a human though with a strange accent that has often been likened to the sound of a trumpet or the baleful calls of cattle. They are described as wild, foolish, emotional and gluttonous, not a very safe combination. Although we, as humans, do have the advantage of superior intellect which is our only saving grace. Trickery is your best defence should you encounter one. The manticore has been around for ages and appears in several regions throughout the middle east and Europe. Accordingly it has sparked the imagination of many. My personal favorite depiction of a manticore is in Madeline L'Engel's "Many Waters". She gives such a clear picture of the beast and shows it to be terrifying and formidable but at the same time she pulls on your heart a little for the poor foolish beast who only wants a meal. Don't feel too bad though as the manticore wasn't starving, like I said they are terribly gluttonous. Happy Travels!
Monday, November 9, 2009
An Arkan Sonney (literally lucky urchin or plentiful pig), is the Manx word for hedgehog. In Manx folklore, is a type of fairy creature which looks like a pig with long prickly hairs. They are said to bring good luck to one who catches them. For this reason, they're also called "lucky piggies". They flee from humans, and are very quick, making them difficult to catch. If however you do manage to catch an Arkan Sonney it is said that you will find a silver piece in your pocket.
The Yuki-onna is a beautiful Japanese creature. She appears on snowy nights as a tall, beautiful woman with long hair. Her inhumanly pale sometimes transparent skin makes her blend into the snowy landscape. She sometimes wears a white kimono, but in other legends she is naked, with only her face and hair standing out against the snow. Despite her inhuman beauty, her eyes can strike terror into mortals. She floats across the snow, leaving no footprints (in fact, some tales say she has no feet) and she can transform into a cloud of mist or snow if threatened.
Some legends say the Yuki-onna, being associated with winter and snowstorms, is the spirit of someone who perished in the snow. She is at the same time beautiful and serene, yet ruthless in killing unsuspecting mortals. Until the 18th century, she was almost uniformly portrayed as evil. Today, however, stories often color her as more human, emphasizing her ghost-like nature and ephemeral beauty, more of a vengeful victim then an evil creature.
In many stories, Yuki-onna appears to travelers trapped in snowstorms, and uses her icy breath to leave them as frost-coated corpses. Other legends say she leads them astray so they simply die of exposure. Other times, she manifests holding a child. When a well-intentioned soul takes the "child" from her, they are frozen in place. Parents searching for lost children are particularly susceptible to this tactic. Other legends make Yuki-onna much more aggressive. In these stories, she often invades homes, blowing in the door with a gust of wind to kill residents in their sleep, but she must be invited in first.
What Yuki-onna is after varies from tale to tale. Sometimes she is simply satisfied to see a victim die. Other times, she is more vampiric, draining her victims' blood or "life force." She occasionally takes on a succubus-like manner, preying on weak-willed men to drain or freeze them through sex or a kiss.
Like the snow and winter weather she represents, Yuki-onna has a softer side. She sometimes lets would-be victims go for various reasons. In one popular Yuki-onna legend, for example, she sets a young boy free because of his beauty and age. She makes him promise never to speak of her, but later in life, he tells the story to his wife who reveals herself to be the snow woman. She reviles him for breaking his promise, but spares him again, this time out of concern for their children (but if he dares mistreat their children, she will return with no mercy. Luckily for him, he is a loving father). In a similar legend, Yuki-onna melts away once her husband discovers her true nature.
The Yuki-onna is both illusive and a force to be reckoned with, beautiful and downright scary. This creature is certainly an interesting one, embodying all the characteristics of winter.
(much of this information was gathered from the site wikipedia.org)
Thursday, November 5, 2009
These two luminescent birds are native to two distinctly different regions but their commonalities lead me to believe they are sister species. The Hercinia is native to the Hercynian forest of Germany. A mystical and magical place that is the also home to such creatures as the unicorn. The Hercinia was well associated with the forest, known to be a bird with glowing feathers, some described it as plated in metals of silver and gold. The radiant bird would light the way for those traversing the ofttimes treacherous paths through the dense growth of the forest. They served as guides and earned an honored reputation as a good omen for those who came upon them. They are associated with luck and hope in the darkness. This is truly a creature that I would love to encounter.
The Zulu abatwa are a tiny ant-riding race of people who live beneath blades of grass. They first came about when the nature spirit Vash'Nok cried and his tears fell to the earth, burst and formed into this diminutive little race. They are very shy little creatures who only allow them selves to be seen by young children, pregnant women, and magicians. Being that they are very small you must watch where you walk because if you step on an Abatwa it is a death sentence for you. They carry potently poinsoned arrows and will not hesitate to shoot someone who has offended them. Legends have it that if you come across an abatwa it will ask you a question, something like "From where did you first see me?" to this you must respond "from that mountain far off in the distance" or " from miles out to sea" these answer will save your skin, for the abatwa are very sensitive about their size. These answer reasure them that their stature is so great they are visible from a great distance off. If you answer wrong and inform an abatwa that you just came upon them and saw them in that moment then you will meet your end by the point of their poison darts. The abatwa are a nomadic people, most often encountered when they are hunting from the backs of ants.
Friday, October 30, 2009
The Iara are the Brazillian version of the mermaid or siren. They are a purely freshwater creature, habitating lakes and streams. Iara have green hair, pale skin and fish tails. They are also known as ladies of the lake or "water queens". Sometimes playing the part of a water nymph simply accenting the scenery of a story, other times acting as a siren and luring unsuspecting male victims to their deaths, and at still other times ensaring the hearts of men without ill intent and taking them to live in their cities beneath the water. These lucky few who are loved by the Iara go on to live lives of lavish luxury where their every need and want is satisfied. In typical mermaid fashion Iaras spend their days basking on rocks, singing beautifully while brushing their hair and gazing at their stunning reflections in the water. Any man who crosses paths with these creatures should beware they are flipping the coin of fate.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Batsquatch is of special interest to me because I am currently a resident of it's only known territory; the Mt. St. Helens-Mt. Rainier region. This fearsome creature is relatively new to the legendary creature world, the first sighting being in 1980. Nonetheless stories of the batsquatch hold the rapt attention of those brave adventurers who dare to hike in it's wilderness. The batsquatch is described as being a gruesome mix between a bat and a primate but possessing the wings of a pterodactyl. Purple furred body, blood red eyes and a monkey's head with giant bat ears. Certainly not a creature I wish to encounter anytime soon, but if planning a hike into this region take care, and keep a weary eye on the skies for this carnivorous cryptid.
The spriggan is a scary creature. Normally they are tiny things, ugly and covered head to toe in plantlike growths and leaves. They vary in color from greens to browns allowing them to easily blend in to the foliage. They are gaurdians of treasure found in graves, burrows and cairns. Though small in their normal state they can choose to inflate to huge monsterous shapes and are fierce warriors. It is said that they are the ghosts of dead giants which makes them all the more forebidible. These vengeful and michevious little creatures are also responsible for bringing destructive storms upon buildings and crops, wreaking havoc on those who live there. Futhermore, like their cousins the pixies, they often steal human children and replace them with hideous plant-like changeling children. If when roaming the cornish countryside, the area these creatures call home, you should happen to come across a spriggan it would be in your best interest to run the other way.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The Jötunn (norse) or Ettin (modern English) is a two headed giant. Described as a Gluttonous Man-Eater he personifies chaos and the destructive power of nature. Somewhat closer in resemblance to our modern idea of a troll this club-wielding behemoth is defeated by Thor in Norse mythology (see picture). Though brutish in form, their minds were sharp and they were known to be wise and a great source of knowledge about by gone eras. This intelligent side of their personality is what led some gods to choose them as spouses giving them the elevated status of minor gods.