A - Z of Mythological Creatures (Just 'E' & 'F')
Told ya! I was gonna give you a bumper package. ‘E’ and ‘F’ promises to be interesting; full of adventure too. Bet you thirteen bucks that there’s quite a number of creatures in here that you haven’t heard of. But I’m not gonna yap away the flame on this one, FLAME ON!
Hmmm, how do I even start describing this one...well, Mother of monsters is one pretty good way to start. No friggin’ kidding!
Echidna in Greek Mythology is seen as the Mother of all Greek monsters, simply put. She is part woman (upper-part) and part-serpent (torso). A gigantic creature whose children include Chimera, Cerberus (Both discussed in the ‘C’ part of this series), The Sphinx, Hydra of Lernea, and Orthros (All three to be discussed in their various alphabet categories).
Echidna’s spouse is none other than the 100-headed monster Typhoon. Ha ha ha, I imagine what a nice family dinner would look like in there; It’s gonna go something like this:
(Scene opens. Sunday dinner at the Typhoons’)
Typhoon: Hey son, hand me the dragon wings over there! (Addressing Cerberus)
Cerberus: But Pa, I want the dragon wings, I caught him myself, it’s not fair!
Echidna: Now, hush dear, this is no way to talk to your Daddy, do as he says. You can have the leftover Unicorn carcass. It should make for a good digestive.
Cerberus: But unicorns suck! Dragons taste waaaaay better!
Echidna: Stop being such a spoilt brat and go eat the carcass! (Spits venom at her son, who ducks, as the blast of venom destroys a planet)
(Chimera, Sphinx, Hydra and Orthos giggle mischievously)
Nice happy family...love it!
This here is quite a story. Echo according to Greek Mythology used to be a beautiful nymph. Her only problem was, she talked a lot – like she was a talkative. You know those annoying types that just won’t stop talking. Hers was like a gift or something. No friggin’ kidding!
It finally escalated to a point where she annoyed Hera, Oooo, that’s just something you don’t do. Everybody knows you don’t mess with Hera, sister-wife of Zeus. The goddess is even meaner than Zeus in a lot of ways. No friggin’ kidding!
Anyway, here’s what Echo did to land herself in Hera’s soup. Hera who’s jealous as hell was spying on one of Zeus’ hot mamis. As you know, Zeus had loads of them. Zeus was a big pimp! So for some reason Echo wanted to keep Hera from doing that, so she engaged Hera in this long, boring conversation, which was her gift you know, till the whole deed was done. This needless to say, pissed Hera off, so what she did was she deprived Echo of her speech, but only left her with the ability to repeat whatever anyone said. Like Hera figured hey, you like to talk too much, right, well, keep talking or something like that. Lol.
So whenever anyone said something to Echo, she couldn’t respond articulately; just to repeat what that person said. Let’s just say you walked up to Echo and said, “Hey, babe, looking lovely today as usual.” Well, your guess is right, she should say right back at you, “Hey, babe, looking lovely today as usual” and then you would go like, “What?” and she would go like, “What?” and so on and on and you would just get pissed and walk away. And she would be left alone, crying her eyes off.
It doesn’t end there. You see, Echo was in love with this here dude, Narcissus, who was a mountain nymph, a real good-looking guy. In fact, he was so good looking that he eventually fell in love with his own damn reflection, and later on killed himself. Can you believe that stuff? Only in a Greek myth. But anyway, Echo loved this Narcissus like a madwoman, but Echo was too much in love with himself to give a damn about Echo or anybody for that matter. Even rejected his own lover, Ameinias.
So Echo, compounded with her own speech problem, plus being rejected by Narcissus, eventually began to fade away, until she was no more...and only what was left was her voice, which still repeats whatever people say...the echo.
These are some weird creatures I gotta say. No friggin’ kidding! Their origins are Scandinavian. Ellerwomen are fairies – who though are extremely beautiful women have hollow hearts; which means that they have no soul, or feeling, utterly cold on the inside. They usually reside in abandoned buildings.
Ellerwomen though cold and all, will often dance to the music played by invisible musicians. Don’t ask me what band is playing; only the Ellerwomen know. They just dance and dance and dance. And like all beautiful women tend to do, especially the fairy types – yeah, you always gotta watch out for those – they, via their beauty draw men to dance with them. But alas, once you join them (which you must), you will find that there is no end to the dance...
Tis the dance of death. Be wary, my child
Boom! You probably know or have heard about these creatures. Any movie or book about magical creatures you ever watched or read, chances are that it’s got something about elves in it. You know it, I know it. So quit stalling, will ya! Anyone who has read or watched any Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter book or movie has a pretty good idea of what an Elf is.
Though Lord of the Rings features elves prominently in its theme, I say that J.R.R. Tolkien depicts elves as these serious, angelic-warrior types. However, in Germanic folklore elves are depicted as these mischievous creatures who either related to pixies (wait for ‘P’), brownies (see Brownie subheading in ‘B concluded’), fairies (keep reading down), and leprechauns (wait for ‘L’) are known for playing tricks, enchanting and stealing stuff from humans. They’re generally a pain in the ass for humans. No friggin’ kidding! They would even go as far as stealing your kid and substituting it with a changeling (See Changeling subheading in ‘C’ ). They’re so mischievous, they’re mean!
Hey, elves are tiny, right; and hey, they have those pointed ears, right, and so you wanna touch them ‘cause they’re so cute and all, right?
These are basically one of those mixed creatures – the Empusae are part human, part brass or some metal. Usually one of their legs or both legs for that matter are metal.
In Greek mythology they are devotees of the goddess Hecate (She who works her will). Hecate has power over heaven, earth and sea; and was the chief goddess presiding over magic and spells.
The Empusae can basically morph into any animal or human, but no matter the shape they take, you can always recognize them by taking a look at their feet. They can’t transform their metal feet. So the Empusae will often wear a long robe to cover their feet (Hecate adorns herself in long robes as well). Empusae are pretty evil things, even though their goddess Hecate is known for bestowing blessings. The Empusae will often prowl for wanderers in country sides, and when they find them they will devour them, and leave their bones on the crossroads. Two reasons I assume will explain this action – one to strike fear into the hearts of travellers. Evil creatures as a law gain their strengths from the fear which people have of them. Second reason, which is more of a stretch, is that in ancient Greek art the goddess Hecate is sometimes depicted as three bodies standing back to back, this entails her ability to see from all directions at once at a crossroad. Crossroads are of great spiritual significance as the centre of life, destiny and decision. In the goddess’ case, her ability to influence man’s life and destiny. In the case of the Empusae, for control.
Hey, you’re a traveller, right, maybe a hitchhiker, right, and you’ve trekked for countless miles, right, then you come to this crossroad, right, and right in the centre of it are litters of human bones, right, and you’ve heard all about the Empusae, right; say you read a hub from one fierycj, right...so what’cha gonna do, huh? I’ll tell you what you’ll do...
Turn and trek you ass back home, that’s what!
These are goddesses of vengeance in Greco-Roman mythology. They are known to be so relentless in the execution of their own brand of vengeance that it is said that even Zeus himself cannot stop them.
These goddesses were believed to be the offspring of Gaea (Earth) and her mutilated spouse Uranus. However, in ancient Greek poetry, they were conceived as the offspring of Gaea and Darkness. Euripides the Greek dramatist (484 BC – 406 BC) first spoke of them as three in number.
Other ancient writers later named them Alecto (“Unceasing in Anger” or “Relentless”), Tisiphone (“Avenger of Blood or Murder”), and Megaera (“Jealous” or “Grudge Bearer”). So basically from their names, the Furies were curses personified. They embodied the punishment for the crimes committed by men. So therefore, Zeus could not withstand them.
Having their origins from blood and darkness, they once resided in the Underworld, but ascended to Earth in order to pursue the wicked. The Furies were so much feared by the Greeks that they dared not utter their name Erinyes (Like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in Harry Potter. Voldemort, I said it, Ha!), but instead addressed them by the euphemistic names Eumenides meaning “Kindly Ones” or Semnai Theai meaning “Venerable Goddesses”. Did I hear someone say, YEAH RIGHT!
You surely have some idea about these creatures! They’re basically in every fantasy or children’s folktale!
Though the very term fairy can be traced back to the Middle Ages of Europe, fairies aren’t just unique to tales from England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland. There’s a bit about fairies in every culture around the world, be it European, African, or Asian.
Fairies are usually depicted as having butterfly wings, and are usually tiny delicate creatures that are not necessary harmful. They are quite shy around humans, and will often hide themselves whenever a human is around. They’re playful beings, who are awfully romantic and corny as hell.
They are creatures of nature, and can often be found in evergreen forests, and around trees. They can be of human size to smaller, down to even a height of 3 inches. No friggin’ kidding! Like the Tinkerbelle in Peter Pan. Fairies though delicate, are quite powerful, having the ability to transform or disappear at will, as well as to cast spells. Some are even able to foretell the future.
Fairies and humans have been known to marry, but this is possible only when the human abides by the rules stated by the fairy. Break the rule once – say bye-bye to marriage. You don’t get to go to couple’s counselling either!
Fairies are almost always depicted as beautiful or handsome. They are not immortal, though they live longer than humans. They have no souls, but simply perish at death. Sad, right? I know. Fairies often transport humans to fairyland, but if you wanna come back – I mean, if all you wanna do is do some sight-seeing, joggle with some magic wands, skip ropes with teenage fairies and stuff, once you’re done with all that corny stuff, come back! If you do decide to sit down and have a drink or savour any of their delicacies, which they must offer you, and which must seem irresistible, looking all juicy and magical and stuff – if you decide to have a taste (Chances are 11 to 10 you will), you will belong with the fairies forever, you will NEVER EVER come back!
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis was one of my favourites as a kid. Especially The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where little Lucy is attended by Tumnus, a Faun – half-human, half-goat creature who having received command from the White Witch to capture any son of Adam or daughter of Eve, couldn’t carry it forth, being that his heart was overwhelmed and softened by the little girl’s kindness to him and all.
Fauns obviously are part-human, part-goat. They have the legs, ears, and horns (In male) of a goat. In Pan’s Labyrinth we also find a faun who helps a little girl; but this time, it is to achieve all the tasks that should eventually usher her into the royal kingdom of her parents, where she would reign as princess.
Worthy of note is that Pan (Greek)or Faunus (Roman) is a god depicted in both mythologies as a lustful figure having the horns, legs and ears of a goat. He was said to be a piper – this perhaps is the origin of fauns being superb musicians, like the one in The Chronicles of Narnia whose music as the book describes makes one woefully sad and blissfully happy at the same time.
Fauns are related to the Satyrs – but you gotta wait for ‘S’. Just know this, they have the ears, legs and horns of a goat, they live in country sides, and they play music like hell. And Oh yes, they’re horny bastards too...something C.S. Lewis left out of the story, but who would blame him? Try explaining about a half-human, half-goat creature that’s as randy as hell, to a bunch of kids in 1950! Hell, no!
In Chinese mythology is an immortal bird (phoenix) whose appearance is an omen of harmony and peace at the ascent of a new emperor. Its name feng represents male harmony, while huang represents the female; a ying-yang harmony – everything must be in a balance, you know and all that.
Shuowen jiezi in An Explication of Written Characters (1st or 2nd century AD) describes the bird as having the breast of a goose, the hindquarters of a stag, the neck of a snake, the tail of a fish, the forehead of a fowl, the down of a duck, the marks of a dragon, the back of a tortoise, the face of a swallow, and the beak of a cock. Phew! It was reportedly about 9 feet (2.7 metres) tall. Its tail is red, blue, yellow, white, and black, depicting the five sacred colours.
The feng is mentioned as early as the Shang dynasty in oracle-bone descriptions. The feng is said to have appeared before the death of the legendary Yellow Emperor, Huangdi in the 27th century BC. Its latest appearance however was reported in 1368, at the grave of the father of Hongwu, founder of the Ming dynasty.
The feng is said to have been a terrific singer, so much so that he is said to have a special appreciation for music. Yeah, a bird, we’re talking about a bird. In systematized mythology, the feng is paired with a dragon to symbolize marital harmony. I realize it’s all about the ying and the ying, strength and weakness, balance and all, yeah I get that, I respect that. But really, think for a sec here – you pair a delicate music-loving bird, a 9 feet delicate music-loving bird, but a delicate bird nonetheless, with a dragon, a fire breathing monster? Hello!
Its Pantheon is Norse - A monstrous wolf offspring of the demon god Loki and the giantess Angerboda (Distress Bringer). The gods who feared the strength of Fenrir, and who knew that nothing good could come of him, being the offspring of evil parents and all, bound him on a rock in the Island of Amsvartner, with a magical chain made out of a cat’s footsteps, the beard of a woman (Beat’s me!), the breath of a fish (I give up!), and other occult ingredients. You know magic; we can manufacture anything with anything.
But Fenrir is literally a big bad
wolf, no friggin’ kidding! Here’s what he does, while Tyr, a very important chief god of justice and all, is trying to chain
him, the wolf bites his hand off, snap! So till date, Tyr is known as the
one-handed Norse god. Just imagine, Fenrir doesn’t go down easy! You gotta
admire a guy like that. And to think he was actually tricked in the first
place; I mean, the Norse gods couldn’t just tie him up straight, nah! The wolf
was way too strong for that. They pretended they were his friends, and they
were out for sightseeing on the Island and all, but when they got there, they
tried to bind him. So Fenrir realizing that it was all a deception got pissed
and snapped Tyr’s hand off! Boom! Ha!
Now, according to Norse myth, the story doesn’t end with Fenrir being bound on a rock with a magical chain and gagged with a sword for all eternity and all, on a magical Island and all. Hell, no! Yes, he will remain bound, but on the day of Ragnarok (The end of the world of gods and men) he will break his bonds, and in furious vengeance will fall upon the gods. In fact, Fenrir will swallow the sun, yep! You read right, he will swallow the sun up, and then attack Odin, the Chief god and swallow him up as well! But after that much damage, Vidar, Odin’s son will stab the wolf’s heart, according to one account, or rip his jaws apart, according to another account. This here is supposed to be the end of Fenrir, the Wolf. *moment of silence*
I don’t know, I kinda like the guy. And though his destiny is all mapped out for him and all; I just got one advice for him, something my Moms used to tell me as a kid...Fenrir, don’t just swallow the sun and Odin whole for pete’s sake, that’s bad for your stomach. You gotta chew your food properly!
These were a race of people considered to be the original rulers of Ireland. These people were misshapen and portrayed as violent. Their chief god was Balor, the god of death, and they were portrayed as personifications of the powers of evil and darkness. You might say, they ruled Ireland with a fiery hand. No friggin’ kidding!
The reign of the Fomorii was extended, till another race of people known as the Tuatha De Danann (Wait for ‘T’) who descended from heaven upon Ireland, and banished them from the land. The Fomorii fled to live underneath the sea, where they now dwell in perpetual shame.
Note: In my book, I resurrect the Fomorii, where they are summoned through the darkest form of magic from the pits of the seas to resume their position as forces of evil and darkness.
They are creatures from Scottish mythology (Still Celtic), which live in the waters of Scotland. They are described as being generally green in colour, and having the mane and tail of a yellow horse, they also have webbed hands and feet.
Fuaths have no noses, but do have very keen eyes, which they use to seek out any human lurking in their watery abode. Especially, you know, the scuba diver types – they will grab them and pull them down to their deaths, using their webbed hands and feet.
Scary, huh? Well, as long as you’re not scuba diving anywhere near the waters of Scotland, like say, I don’t know, the Loch Ness or the River Ness or the rivers that comprise those areas, you’re pretty damn safe!