Goblins are one of fantasy’s favorite creatures. They serve as a small, potentially humorous parallel to larger ‘green’ races such as Orcs, Ogres and Bugbears.

But, like most fantasy creatures, they’ve become a bit stale. They’ve fallen out of use, being replaced by Kobolds, Imps and such like. While I enjoy this variation, I think it’s a shame that we’ve lost track of what Goblins are meant to be.

So let’s go all the way back to the roots.


Like most of our popular fantasy creatures, goblins originated with a more fey and supernatural taint. They were creatures that lived on the verge of Midgard and Faerie, so to speak. Not gods or angels, but at the same time distinctly strange and mysterious.

Some people saw Leprechauns, goblins and such as angels who couldn’t decide if they wanted to rebel with Lucifer or stick with God, so they got put on the earth and turned really small.

Originating in Middle Age European folklore, it is not surprising that they were caught up in that Medieval confusion of popular myth and pagan legend with newer, less natural-to-the-community Christianity. While Medieval folks were very religious and scholarly about the Bible, they also loved their old paganism, and had a difficult time dismissing it altogether.

Goblins, as well as many other longaevi and fairies, came from a desire to merge the strict Catholic division between angels and demons, God and Satan, with the older, more nuanced worldview of the gods and the lesser spirits below them (nymphs, fauns and such) as morally ambiguous yet ‘better’ than humans at some instinctive level.

Even when the gods are jerks and mess with humans and stuff, they’re divine

The word ‘goblin’ was originally the title of a specific demon which haunted in Normandy. The German ‘kobold’ may be a cousin word. At any rate, the name ultimately traces back (probably) to the Latin word ‘kobalos,’ meaning ‘knave, imp, rogue.’


The legend of these little demons eventually fell into the age-old archetype of the Trickster Spirit. Goblins were all over the place, being mischievous and stealing gold. As always, the legend could fall either way- sometimes goblins were full on evil, sometimes they became helpful and wise little wrinkled fellows.

From this latter variation came the Hobgoblin, the prefix ‘hob’ referring to the classic elfish eponym ‘robert’ or ‘robin,’ and in Robin Goodfellow (the famous ‘Puck’ who made appearance in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These little Hobgoblins combined the features of the ugly goblins with the more elusive, magical elfs.

While still known for practical jokes, they became furry little men who did chores around the house, such as sweeping or ironing, in return for gifts of food (really just a Christianized version of Roman offerings to household gods). In this way they fell into the groove of Brownies, or the Norse tomte.

Individual Hobgoblins included Dobby, who sat in a cave and cured children of the whooping cough and was a valuable worker, but also played such outrageous tricks that the family moved to a different house (he followed discreetly). There was also Billy Blind, who offers advise and wisdom to humans in need.

Blue Burches was a Hobgoblin spirit who, in alternating forms of a wisp of blue smoke, a white horse, a black pig and an old guy with saggy pants, helped an old shoemaker. He was very useful to the family until some bothersome clergy found out about him and banished him.

That could be made into a Disney movie, honestly.

On the other extreme of Goblinoid spectrum we have Redcaps, absolutely murderous spirits who lives in abandoned castles on the Anglo-Scottish border (like crossroads, borders are viewed as ‘between places’ where the fey realm can soak into our world), stabbing innocent people with a pikestaff and soaking their victims’ blood into their caps.

A spirit with the same aesthetic as Redcaps (but polar opposite energy) is the Bluecap, a friendly spirit that lives in mines, leads miners to rich mineral deposits and warning them of cave-ins.


Often considered a fore-runner of modern fantasy, George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblins treats goblins as evil monsters who live underground. They are rather humanoid, with a few differences such as being invincible everywhere except their feet.

Really, Goblins would probably have become nothing more than a malevolent version of dwarfs (I can see the Redcaps as Goblin spirits and the mine-associated Bluecaps as dwarf spirits) if not for Tolkien.

Tolkien loved nothing more than to take mysterious little details from Medieval legend and explain them via his poetry and stories. One such detail is found in Beowulf, which mentions in a list of spirits (along with Nephilim) ‘eotenas ond ylfe ond orcneas.’ While elfs and Ettins (a variant of Norse Jotnar, evil giant antagonists of the gods) are well known, ‘orcneas’ are a mystery.

‘Neas’ means ‘corpses,’ and ‘Orc’ may be derived from the Latin Orcus, god of the Underworld. In light of this connection, the Beowulf poet probably meant for orcneas to be seen as some kind of evil ghost or shade, possibly based on the Biblical Rephaim (apparently a confederation of evil kings held in special confinement in Sheol for having something to do with the whole ‘Nephilim and fallen gods’ deal).

See possible instances in  Isa 14:926:1426:19Ps 88:10Prov 2:189:1821:16Job 26:5.

Alternately, orcneas may have been seen as some kind of zombies, either servants of Underworld demons or brought up from the Underworld by necromancers. Early Modern fairy tales used ‘orke’ as a synonym for ‘ogre,’ interpreting both as large, humanoid creatures who may or may not eat you. The Faerie Queene mentions a monster called ‘Orcus.’

Whatever the case, Tolkien used the word ‘orc’ in his early Elvish dictionaries as a word meaning ‘demon, monster, ogre,’ perfectly encapsulating the confusion between evil spirits and physical abominations but avoiding the undead connotations.

In his stories they became a specific race (though many elements about them were left mysterious), and he used ‘goblin’ as an English ‘translation’ (of his fictional languages) for the smaller orcs, calling the larger ones ‘hobgoblins.’

But later fantasy ignored this, treating goblins as distinct from orcs, just as they ignored Tolkien’s description of orcs as being blackened as if burnt, preferring to make them green.

So goblins were swept up into fantasy RPG as part of the ‘greenskins,’ roving hordes of monsters that chaotically destroy more civilized peoples and sometimes ride on wolves.

Looks like three orcs intimidating a smaller, spindlier goblin.

Goblins and Hobgoblins had gone from traditional household fairies to a non-supernatural race of warlike antagonists for random encounters with adventuring heroes.

So you don’t need to come up with something completely new to make Goblins, Orcs and Hobgoblins unique. All you have to do is return to their roots.

With Goblins, it might be interesting to see them return as tiny, if still mischievous or evil. It might also be cool to see more human goblins, like Dobby from Harry Potter except restore him to his original status as Hobgoblin instead of making him a house elf. Alternately, goblins that are even less human, more fey and wierd.

Personally, I’d like to see orcs put back into context as death-associated, slightly demonic underworld creatures. I want to see orcs as creepy, ancient and dark, not stupid and random. The sheer coolness of Beowulf’s orcneas is so lost to modern audiences because we see them through RPG and Tolkien, not in the light of Orcus and the immediate context of Nephilim, elfs and ettins.

And what’s wrong with a friendly, wise little Hobgoblin? Why can’t there be a wholesome little guy who sweeps and cleans in exchange for a bit of food? Maybe Hobgoblins are a more civilized race of goblins, who abandoned their evil and chaotic heritage in exchange for the peace and quiet of the cottage hearth.

Hello, travelers! Welcome to my humble abode. Please, hang up your hats, wipe your shoes, make yourselves at home!

I feel like so much fantasy could be made so much more interesting if the writers just knew mythology and folklore, instead of relying on modern sources and games for reference and inspiration.

It’s time for the fantasy genre to remember its origins.

List of Mythical Creatures page 27

Zebrabird Approved!


A five tailed leopard with one horn growing out of its forehead. The five-tailed thing is a common motif in mythologies worldwide, like the backwards-toed wildman or the winged serpent. Zheng lived in the mountains of China.


A heraldric Chimericae with the head of a boar, the body of a camel, the hooves of a goat, and the tail of a serpent.


Turns out L Frank Baum didn’t entirely create his most famous monstrous minions. Flying Monkeys were around, as a type of imp in Chinese folklore.


Heraldic creatures, with thick manes and either goat or bird forelegs. They are similar to the Griffin, though their name is etymologically related to wolves. Their tails are tied in knots and they have long snake-like tongues.


Japanese bird spirits. They block your path and climb inside your umbrellas.


Giant winged pig from Greek Mythology. He is the brother of Pegasus, and his favorite food is golden wheat.


Needle-shooting cactus monsters.


Giant dogs representing pure good or pure evil depending on the color. They are sometimes depicted as having goat hooves, or dragging a chain behind them. As is classic, they only appear at night, the good one guarding travellers. The bad one is sometimes literally the Devil, this version causing bad luck to anyone who sees or speaks to it. Other times, the Evil Cadejo kills you or causes insanity, and when killed its deathplace become a spot where no plants will ever grow again.


These tiny imps are a personification of disease (their name means ‘Cold People’). They are pale, skinny, and scrawny- as well as tiny enough to crawl into their victims nose and infect them.


Normally seen as ravens, flying over battlefields and eating the corpses. They can turn into a knight, or a half-wolf creature. This second is particularly interesting as wolves and ravens were the two creatures associated with death in battle.

Thanks for reading!

Santa Claus

Merry Christmas!

Well everybody, since last year I compiled an epic list of Christmas-related mythical creatures, I figured this year I’d focus on good old Santa Claus.

What the heck is he, anyway?



A very kind early-Christian bishop, Saint Nicholas, is famous for giving money to poor families by secretly throwing the sacks of gold through their windows at night.

As time went on, other stories became attributed to him such as calming a storm at sea, saving innocent prisoners from death, punching heretics at the Council of Nicaea, and resurrecting three children who had been killed and sold as ham during a famine.

Over time, Saint Nick became combined with another figure…



Celebrations of ‘Yule’ in Germanic Cultures have been around since ancient times. After all, in all that cold and grey there is a basic need for some feasting and fire.

The Aesir (Thor, Loki, etc.) were associated with the event, particularly Odin. According to tradition, the first toast of Yuletide was drunk to him, the second to Njord and Frey, and the third to the king. Strangely, Yuletide was also associated with the activity of ghosts and wandering Draugr. Today we have Halloween for that.


Tomte (also from Norse Folklore) are little troll-like creatures that can be either a help or a hassle for a Scandinavian home. They wear pointy red hats (like garden gnomes) and are particularly associated with Christmas. They ride around with the Yule Goat, leaving presents on doorsteps or even bringing them directly to the children.

Over time, the Yule Tomte became one character, who gradually became more like Santa- though there are differences. Instead of living at the North Pole, he lives in a local forest, or perhaps in Greenland. He is not overweight, and his carriage is pulled by goats. His helpers are the traditional farm Tomte.



After the Odin/ Saint Nick/ Father Christmas character was born, the legend began to grow. And his uniform changed as well.

First came ‘Green Santa’. Introduced into American culture in the 1700’s. Unlike the traditional bishop image, this Santa was a fat man wearing a green winter coat. Because he was a legend brought over by Dutch immigrants, he became a stereotype of New York Dutch subculture- smoking a pipe, sometimes wearing a sailor uniform. Other images simply showed him as a jolly man who gave presents in stockings.

The Dutch Sinterclass became Santa Claus.

There is lots more I would like to say- about my green brother and my father, old Grandfather Yule, and why we were both called Nicholas after the saint (whose day is December sixth) who used to give secret presents, sometimes throwing purses of money through the window.

-Letters from Father Christmas, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Though the green coat didn’t stick, it paved the way for depictions of Santa to exchange his bishop apparel for more generic winter clothes, though still a red coat.

Probably the most recognizable part of the Santa Suit is the hat. Most don’t know that Santa’s headwear is actually a nightcap.

But the hat wasn’t always around. See this image from Old Santeclaus with Much Delight:

A fur cap, and a brown beard!

Also note the reindeer. Traditionally, Saint Nick rode around on a white horse. Odin rode on his eight-legged steed, Sleipnir.

In all likelihood, the eight-legged horse was just too weird, and the white stallion was a bit over-the-top-noble for the newly emerging ‘fat elf’ Santa.

So where did the reindeer come from?

Old Santeclaus with Much Delight is the first source to mention them. When asked, the anonymous writer described magical animals resembling reindeer, which lived near the North Pole and were known to be able to fly. He said his mother had witnessed these.

Once the tale entered the public imagination, the reindeer’s number expanded from one to eight, thanks to our next influential source.



‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, yet another anonymous short story, solidified the image of Santa.

He was small, a ‘jolly old elf’ in fact. He rode in a ‘miniature sleigh’, pulled by ‘eight tiny reindeer’.

In the first edition illustrations of the poem, Santa wears a fur cap and pretty much normal (for that time) clothes.

Later editions show him with a long coat, very Saint Nicholas like.

In 1958, the year of the ’58 Chevy, Santa was bald and wore no hat. The sixties brought in orange and green Santa Clothes, and a pink sleigh.

Back to the poem itself.

Referred to throughout the poem as St. Nick or Saint Nicholas, this iteration of Santa brought in the mode of entry (through the chimney, of course) and the names of the Reindeer.

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder, Blixem.

Later, Dunder and Blixem were replaced by Donner and Blitzen. And we haven’t even reached the most famous reindeer of all…

Rudolph was one attempt at building the legend that succeeded madly, to the point that for many people, the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the only one they can name!



As seen above, Santa Claus was sometimes considered an elf. In some depictions from the early twentieth century, he made all the toys himself. But then, workers from the Salvation Army began dressing up as Santa, and Coca Cola commercials started using him for advertising.

These commercials, and popular fiction The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum, ended the idea of Santa being an elf.

But what about those other elves?

Nobody knows the precise origin of the elves. It probably has something to do with the Yule Tomte from Scandinavian mythology.

The first literature to describe them was Christmas Elves, by Louisa May Alcott. After that, the American magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book depicted elves at work preparing for Christmas. They have continued that role ever since.



Thomas Nast was a cartoonist, whose drawings of Santa Claus added all sorts of stuff to the legend.

Before Nast, Santa was generally assumed to live somewhere in Europe. Dwelling at the North Pole made him even more iconically Wintry, and also made Snowmen a permanent part of his entourage.

Santa at the North Pole

The Naughty and Nice list was also important. When Odin (father yule) wanted to know what was happening down in the lower worlds, he would send his two ravens to spy. They would sit and the chimney of houses and report back to Odin about which people were being good, and which bad.

Saint Nick would always have a sort of evil alter ego, for instance Krampus or Black Pete. They would punish bad children (in extreme cases whipping them or carrying them to Spain for punishment, in later days just giving them coal). They were the accusers.

Anyway, there was always an idea of Santa Claus distinguishing between bad and good. Today, thanks to Tom Nast, it takes the form of the naughty and nice list. The modern accusers are little demonic elves on the shelves.

The Naughty and Nice list



The King of Jingling, Kris Kringle, is one of the many epitaphs of Santa. But where did it come from?

The Christkind (Christ-child) is traditionally the giver of gifts in places such as Australia, Switzerland, and Quebec. He is sort of a Baby Jesus archetype, though many others consider him an angel. He (or in some cases she) flies around with St. Nicholas and delivers presents.

Martin Luther tried to make it the Protestant Christmas tradition, during the reformation. He hoped it would bring attention back to the true meaning of Christmas.

The Christkind was Americanized as Kris Kringle, and applied to Santa.


Well, that’s it everybody! See you next time- on Imaginary Creature Authority!






Why did A, B, C, and D get coal in their stockings?

Because they were Not E!

List of Mythical Creatures page 26

This week, we have Ten Rare and Lesser Known Creatures from Greek Mythology!

I’m sorry for the delay. WordPress did this stupid new update that made me have to start over twice, so I got really uninspired for about a month.

Hi! I’m the Zebrabird! I approve of this post! (ImaginaryCreatureAuthority, Carver Means, nor any other affiliates of this blog claim ownership or creative rights of this image. It is used only because it is cool.)




Though lesser known, the Ophiotaurus was one of the original cosmic beings. It was born from primordial Chaos, along with Gaia and Ouranos. Ophiotaurus is half serpent and half bull.

Audumbla’s husband?




These birds can shoot their feathers like bullets and kill their prey! Also, their dung is poisonous. So don’t eat it!

They initially belonged to the goddess Artemis, but when she moved into a swamp some got loose and soon spread all over the countryside, shooting their bronze, armor-piercing feathers at the locals. These ferocious avians still inhabit swamps today, but luckily have more natural predators.

stymphalian birds




Like many mythical creatures (leprechauns for instance), the taraxippoi were sometimes considered a type of ghost. This is because, in the classical cultures of the Italian Peninsula, it was a tradition to have the tombs of great heroes be the turning point of a race track. These taraxippoi would inhabit certain places and scare horses, causing them to run away. Sometimes it would be a flashing light, sometimes just a malevolent presence. These ‘presences’ were also associated with the god Neptune.

creepy horse ghost




Alexander the Great supposedly was attacked, while traveling through India (classically regarded as a land of mystery and strangeness), by a group of ferocious creatures with saw-toothed horns on the top of their heads, like land sawfish.




A strange creature, bred by a lion and a hyena, that inhabited India and Ethiopia. It particularly hates dogs, and will lure them out of the house by imitating the voice of the owner. They also imitate human voices and call out to the master of the house. Its eyes change color, its shadow strikes any dog it falls on dumb, and it uses magic to cause anything it thrice looks on to become paralyzed. Besides luring humans and their dogs, they will also dig up corpses to get a meal, ripping them apart with their one huge tooth protruding directly from their skull with no gum.

Image result for crocotta

The crocotta was said elsewhere to be the same as a hyena (ancient historians often used known animals to describe unknown creatures- i.e. the body of a horse and the horn of a goat. Later people misinterpreted these and that is where many of our legends come from), but I shall stick with the accounts identifying it as a separate thing. Another very similar creature is the leucrocotta.




These dog-headed creatures with flippers for hands once inhabited the island of Rhodes. They fashioned the Trident of Poseidon and the Scythe of Cronus.

Image result for telchines




Little finger-people created from the fingers of the Titaness Rhea. They were skilled in math, metalworking, and magic, the last perfected especially by the evil sorcerer Epimedes. Three of them were dancing warriors known as the Korybantes, who served the goddess Cybele. One of them, a forger named Celmis, was a childhood friend of Zeus back in the Golden Age, and five of the original ten were the founders of the Olympic Games!




In the far north lived the one-eyed Arimaspians, beyond them the gold-guarding Griffins. But even farther north live the Hyperboreans, whose country lies beyond the north wind. The Hyperboreans were giant, ten feet tall, because they were sons of Boreas, the god of the North Wind.

Image result for hyperboreans

Image result for hyperboreans



And one more, not technically an entire species but a lesser known character.




This two headed dog guarded the cattle of Geryon the giant.

Image result for orthrus chibi

Orthrus was the son of Typhon and Echidna, and his siblings included such monsters and the Chimera, the Sphinx, the Nemean Lion, the Lernean Hydra, the Liver-Eating Eagle, the serpent Ladon, the Crommyonian Sow, Gorgon (mother of Medusa and her two sisters), the Colchian Dragon, Scylla, the Harpies, several Sea Monsters, at least one snake footed giant, and of course the three-headed Cerebus.

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Orthrus was killed by Heracles (his own stepfather, in some myths), and it can be assumed he now lives in Hades with his bro.

On the side, I would just like to point out that despite the Disney cartoons Hades is not presented as an entirely bad guy. At least not all the time. The bad things he does don’t actually seem that bad in comparison to some of what Zeus and even Poseidon do, yet both of them are treated as good guys almost with exception.

Hades was not a particularly horrible place either. Elysium was there for heroes and great kings, the Asphodel Meadows for indifferent people, and the Mourning Fields for people who have wasted their lives on unrequited love.

Tartarus (the land reserved for the wicked and the titans and such) was technically a separate place, said to be as far below the underworld as the earth is below the sky.

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Well, that’s it! I leave you with this-

Happy Halloween!

Have a good Hallowed Evening, followers and random readers!

I hope you enjoy Trick or Treating/watching scary movies! Or if you read this after Trick or Treating, I hope you had a good time and didn’t forget to leave out some victuals on the porch for wayfaring spirits.


If not Halloween, then as the choice be thine, Happy Scarecrow Day!

my dad loves this jokehalloween.jpg

List of Mythical Creatures page 25


Most of us are familiar with the standard classical mythology creatures- satyrs, centaurs, nymphs, cyclopes, chimeras- but there are also quite a few lesser known creatures that deserve more appreciation. The next post shall deal mainly with those, but for a little free sample I present the Potamoi.




Brothers of the Oceanids (which were later absorbed into the concept of Mermaids), the Potamoi are exactly like mermaids but for their bull head. They are the river and stream gods. And plus, a mer-cow is just cool amiright?

sea cow
“Mer-cow? Hmmph! We did it first.”




Evil, short little men who walk around at night and capture children. They also steal stuff.




A vampire sock that turns into a snake and sucks your blood (from Sierra Leone).





A creature that literally has eyes on the back of its head, as well as an entire hyena face. To disguise this they wear their hair either as in long braids or all puffed up as an afro.

smARTest ARTist ARTios




A demonic pool-dwelling serpent, twisting and furious, that emerges from the depths only to find food.

pool dwelling nathagu




Looks like a normal leopard, but when it prepares to eat its mouth open huger  and huger and sucks you in.

fantastababulous beasts and whence to find them




There are two races of raksasa, the blue and the green. They have long teeth, dirty hair, and vertical slits for eyes. Their fingers are backwards, and they walk around kidnapping children. They won’t, however, eat anybody who claims to be related to them. So that’s nice at least.

two different kinds of raksasa (often translated as giants)
Two different kinds of Raksasa. The green one is a Buto Ijo and the bull-headed one is a Lembu Sura. Both like forests and mountains, though Buto Ijo will sometimes live among humans.




Though it pretends to be a futon, and looks strikingly like one when curled up, the Kumo is actually an impostor! When somebody sits on it the insectoid monster sticks out its furry legs, drags them down through a secret passage to its web, ties them up for later, and goes back to being a futon.





A zombie from China that emerges from its grave at night and sucks the blood of the living.




A giant bat with a long pointed tongue that lowers into houses and sucks the blood of people. Have you noticed that at least forty percent of mythical creatures suck the blood of humans? Must be some deep psychological fear or something.



List of Mythical Creatures page 24

Ten Creatures of All Categories!





The driver of the Death Carriage, the Ankou is a skeleton whose head revolves around looking for the people he is commanded to carry away. Only dying people see his cart pull up in the driveway or see him walk over while his horse gets a drink from your Koi Pond.

the call of the ankou




Invisible shadow creatures that suck the blood of babies while they sleep.




A type of zombie that is created when an evil person comes back to life. They are, like Nocnitsae, vampiric. When they drink enough blood they have the appearance of an empty skin ballooned to the size of an elephant. Their arch-enemies are the Kresnik, friendly spirits who guard homes from evil.




Fairy Lights, Will O’ the Wisp, Elf Fires, whatever. This is just another name for the same thing.




Forest dwelling monsters, covered in moss for camouflage. They are two legged, no arms, and will stack on top of each other to look like boulders. In this way they confuse travelers into wandering from the trail. Then they jump out suddenly with a cry of “Bllllaaaaaarggggiiieee!” I don’t know why they like to do that so much, because after scaring the person they let them continue their hike.

Mets Haldijas




Basically poltergeists. Drive people crazy and cause messes.




Spirits that live in fields. They ask riddles to farmers and if you don’t know the answer you get eaten.

Lady Midday




Always hungry and thirsty, Abiku crawl inside people and steal all the food they eat. Then they take it back to the Abiku lair and share with their friends. When the next mealtime comes around, the Abiku returns. Sadly, the person starves unless someone wise and/or completely random hangs a bell on their neck. Abiku hate that awful ringing sound and will give it up as a lost case.




Ghuls dwell in uninhabited deserts, waiting for travelers to come through. They are like ostriches, except they have one eye. And long, sharp teeth.

I know, I know. It has two eyes. I did the best I could all right? Ghul are very rare.

List of Mythical Creatures page 23

Greetings all. I realize I haven’t been consistently posting in a LONG time, and for that, I apologize. Right when I started getting a lot of followers (by my standards at least) I abandoned them all.

I hope you haven’t all left and gone on to other blogs during my absence.

The reason I’ve been so inconsistent is that I’ve been devoting all my time to the publishing of my first book- The Adventures of Gardus Ningo!

Now available on Amazon for $2.99, or for free with Kindle Unlimited until 2020 AD.

So, in repayment for my absence, I give you a special edition of the List, featuring ten ultra-obscure creatures from all three categories (Cool Creatures with Humanoid Features, Spirits of the Unknown, and Monsters) that I recently discovered.



Now, normally when we hear the word ‘pantheon’ we think of a group of gods, such as the Greek pantheon ruled over by Zeus or the Norse pantheon ruled over by Odin. Even the word pantheon means ‘of all the gods’.




(Shown- Greek, Norse, and Memeland Pantheons)

But you probably didn’t know there’s also an obscure heraldic creature called the Pantheon. Why they named it that? Who knows.

Anyway, the Pantheon is usually depicted as a fox or deer type creature, or chimericae thereof. They are white with purple stars or purple with gold stars. And that’s literally all there is to say about them. At least be grateful I gave you the collage.





A chimeric creature found in the ruins of Babylon, the Mushushu Dragon (sometimes translated as the shirrush) is part ‘dragon’, part lion, and part eagle. Mushushi are found on a couple other artifacts from Mesopotamia, but the main one is the one on the Ishtar Gate.





Shapeshifters that live in whirlpools and try to drown people.




Minuscule vampiric creatures from the Pacific Northwest, Alkuntani look and sound like mosquitoes and fly around feeding on people’s blood. They are evil abominations waging eternal war on all that is good. So in other words, they’re mosquitoes under a new name.

The only difference is these will also sometimes drill through your ear and suck out your brains. (I couldn’t  find any Alkuntane pictures- besides one that was more of a wasp- so I went with mosquito memes.)


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A god/monster from Mesopotamian mythology and folklore, Ningishzida is depicted as a Chaos archetype, similar to the Uktena or other snake beings of mythology. Though some stories depict him as bad or at least chaotic neutral, others give him the role of Vegetation God as well.

Note the bird feet and wings.




An ancient story written in the early days of this blog, the tickly tickly, involves these creatures. They are wild forest spirits, from Finland, that enjoy playing mean pranks. They are sometimes heard laughing and clapping deep in unexplored woods. They also like tickling people to death, thus its role in the above story.




A huge, poisonous stink-cloud shooting skunk found near the Great Lakes. Usually they just wander through the forest, but if they hear somebody inside a cave they spray right into it, killing the unfortunate spelunkers. Aniwye also will sometimes, though this is more rare, go crazy and start attacking houses- biting the roofs off and spraying inside.





Like most monsters, the giant squids of the Andean mountains have retreated into the wilderness, still attacking and killing with ferocity anything they can find. Some theorize they are related the the Kraken, but this is unlikely as Kraken live in the Ocean, and Huecu live in mountain lakes pretty far inland. Also, Huecu look pretty weird- flattish and pink with eyes all around it and four big ones in the center.




A giant, invisible, cannibalistic giant that rides around on an equally giant, invisible (and possibly even cannibalistic) canoe. They only way to see one coming is to keep a careful eye on the water, as you’ll be able to see the canoe’s wake.




Wild women who dwell deep in forests. They are tall, skinny, and have really long fingers and hair. All this makes them look incredibly creepy, but they are actually sweet people who take care of lost children until they can return them to their parents. The only problem is that they might accidentally squash babies while protecting them from the cold or tickle them to death, at which they cry and this eerie wailing makes other children beware of the forest and therefore not get lost, so it all adds up in the end.

List of Mythical Creature page 22


Strange things follow wherever fairies appear. For instance- the Stray Sod. A weird plot of grass (similar in concept to a Fairy Ring) that was enchanted by the fairies. Whoever steps on it completely loses their sense of direction, causing them to wander around and bump into stuff/get eaten by a monster. The fairies find this very amusing. In modern works, Stray Sod are often sentient little Feybeasts.



A traditional symbol of death. A giant black dog only seen at night. Or preferably not seen at all, as anybody who lays eyes on it dies instantly. Sometimes associated with the Hellhound of Classical Mythology and the Barghest of English Folklore, this big black dog has been known by many titles- Goblin Hound, Black Dog, Devil Dog,etc.



One of the top four common undead- falling after Ghosts, Zombies, and Lich (not counting semi-undead like vampires, ghouls, or shadowmen- nor vague categorizations like Skeleton, Wraith, or Spectre). Whereas Ghosts are just the spirit, Zombies are just the corpse, and Lich are immortal warlocks/wizards/witches/enchantresses/sorcerers/magi whose skin rotted off leaving them still alive but as a skeleton, Wights are dead bodies possessed by an evil spirit.

casper isn't a morning person


lich lord Xykon


The funny thing is, the word Wight just means a creature, or more specifically a human being. How did it come to be regarded as an undead monster? So glad you asked! See, in one translation of the Grettis Saga, the word Draug (Norwegian Undead Warriors that guarded their grave-treasures from robbers) was translated as Barrow Wights- essentially meaning People of the Barrow. In Lord of the Rings, the first modern fantasy book, they were also mentioned as such, probably Tolkien got the name from the Grettis Saga. The Hobbits run into a bunch of ‘Barrow-Wights’ (people of the barrow) living in an old burial mound. It can’t be expected for everybody that reads LOTR to know such an obscure archaic word as Wight, so they assumed Wight just meant Undead Monster.

Tom Bombadillo

DnD, following Tolkien’s lead, placed Wights in the very first edition of the game. Warcraft, Warhammer, Magic: The Gathering, A Song of Ice and Fire, and many others soon included variants of Wights. Though the original meaning of the word Wight is now utterly lost, the Undead Warrior aspect of the Draug still remains, living on through the Barrow-Wights of Tyrn Gorthad.



Well, I’m not sure this is as much a creature as a creature template or even a class, but I’ll see what I can do. Most of our modern idea of ‘Elementals’ comes from the four classical elements- Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. Each of these had a specific spirit-type associated with it in Alchemical Tradition, but pop-culture has changed most of these. Salamanders for Fire are often replaced by Efreets or Fire Monsters to avoid confusion with the non-mythical namesake. Sylphs for Air are usually represented as the archetypal Tinkerbell fairy. As for Water, Undines are pretty much unrivaled although suspiciously represented exactly like mermaids. Gnomes, on the other hand, have morphed so much into Garden Santas that any attempt to make them ‘Earthen’ is very rare, not to mention the fact it makes them overlap somewhat with the modern Dwarf. Therefore the role of Earth elemental is usually taken up by a Golem or something, besides when the element is taken out altogether and replaced with ‘Rock’. When authors feel like simplifying all this, they simply use the generic spirit image, give it four or five subspecies with different powers and decor, and call it a day.


As I look at my list of mythical creatures, I see that the next entry says Goomba.

fellow 55

I’m pretty sure they’re copyrighted, so I’ll skip to the ‘Chinese Unicorn’, the Kirin. Also called the Qilin. This mythical beast, originating as you probably guessed in China, was said to appear whenever a great man, such as a sage or a good ruler was about to be born. They are often depicted wreathed in fire, with beards and manes, and with two stubby horns atop their mythical noggins. Other than that, they range completely in description from culture to culture. Some of the earliest descriptions seem to describe giraffes. This is probably where the antlers come from, along with their ability to walk without disturbing the grass. One of the oldest stories describes the Emperor having captured a live Quilin. As time went on, and people saw no more giraffes, the Quilin changed in nature to be more mytholigized, and took on some features of the Long, or Chinese Dragon. They became holy symbols, the pets of the gods. When Europeans heard of the Kilin, they called them Chinese Unicorns, although this is goofy as they have two horns, not one. Plus, they are not very much like horses, more resembling golden lions or bulls.

fellow 54


The Caonineag, like most of the obscure mythical creatures this list has devolved into, has about a bazillion name-variants and just as many vaguely-defined magical traits. In this case, the ‘Caointeach’, by which I mean the ‘Caoidheag’, sometimes called the ‘Caointeachhag’, is a type of Banshee from the Scottish Highlands. She differentiates from the standard Banshee in that she is invisible. Or is it that she only foretells deaths within her clan? Or that she, in Islay versions, wears a tattered green shawl and can be banished by being given new clothes?

fellow wordpress blogger!!!
I honestly have no idea why this is a bunny. But it came up when I searched Caointeach on Google and it’s a cool picture that fits the mood so… Yep. Also- IT’S A BUNNY!!!


Small, armadillo-like creatures from South America, Inuyucuoy are benevolent creatures with a large gem in the middle of their forehead. These gems are reflective, like mirrors, but in the night glow red or blue (very patriotic). When young, the baby Inuyucuoy have a large flap of leather covering up the gem, which recedes as the child gets older. When they reach old age, they have a flowing beard which changes color with the Inuyucuoy’s mood. The females are feathered. According to some legends, Inuyucuoy curl into a ball when frightened, but other legends maintain they can emit a blinding flash of light from their forehead gem.



The Bird of the Moon from Hindu legends and Indian folk stories. That’s really all there is to say about that.

the man on the moon and his little pet boid


A bogeyman, usually seen wearing long coats with shells sewn onto them. They really like wearing coats. They make their homes by rivers, calling out to people and pretending to be drowning. When passerbys come rushing down to the water, the Shellycoat cackles and runs off. An overall harmless, if annoying, type of fairy.

This is a Shellycoat. Minus the coat. I could find lots of Shellycoats with no coats, and even some Shellycoats with coats but no shells, but none with both! Come on people! Its name is literally Shelly-Coat! As in, a coat that is shell-y!


A type of mischievous Hobgoblin/Brownie from English Folklore. Commonly associated with the ‘Household Spirit’ type of fairy (hence Dobby from Harry Potter).

Not necessarily relevant, but still hilarious.


As mythical creatures go, this is about as obscure as it gets before the zone of “Your Search did not match any documents”. It is literally a wagon. An eeeevil wagon. (‘,:- /

May or may not be filled with little centipede demons that might also be referred to as ‘Hellwains’.

List of Mythical Creatures page 21

Hi everybody and welcome to another post in the List of Mythical Creatures series! This list (the whole thing can be found here.) is coming to a close- I’d give it maybe five more posts- and I need ideas. One idea I have is to go back to the “Authorities” where I tackle one monster or a small group and beat that proverbial horse to death (not to advocate animal cruelty. I like animals. Especially dogs and hamsters).

If you readers have any suggestions, please let me know. In the mean time-

Ten Spirits of the Unknown!

An ImaginaryCreatureAuthority production



The Ocasta is one of my personal favorite mythical creatures. They are made entirely out of tin, making them invincible, however there are very few of them- maybe even only one, and they live deep out in the wild places of the world. The Ocasta Stick is one of the most powerful magical objects. When thrown across chasms, it creates a bridge which disappears as soon as the Ocasta is finished walking over it. It can also guide the owner to whatever they are looking for- treasure, lost cell phones, etc. The Ocasta uses it to find livers for his lunch.

the best I could find
Technically this is a ‘metal monster’ but Ocastae are so obscure there aren’t any drawings of them on the Interwebs. This will have to satisfy you.


The Sprite is a water spirit that dwells deep in forests by pools or springs. They are often accompanied by frogs, fish, and other aquatic animals, not to mention lots and lots of mushrooms. Many mythologists consider them a later term for Naiads and they are sometimes called Spriggans.

A really strange little goblin fellow. I’m not sure he was meant to be a Sprite, but I just think he’s cool.




This one may seem very weird and ridiculous, but I promise I didn’t make it up. Dracae are little mischievous wood fairies that turn into plates in order to drown people. That’s right, they transform into plates and float down the river hoping some thrifty housewife will come along and decide to save money on dishware. When she wades into water, the plates transform back to their original form and drown her.

the deadly dracae
the deadly dracae, terror of the earth



In a world populated with so many evil fairies, it is refreshing to meet the Hyter Sprites, which take the form of Sand Martins. The story originates in Norfolk, England, and although they are not given a definitive description (even the name varies- hikry, ikry,) there seems to be a general idea that when children do not return home before dark, the hyter-sprites come and find them. After a sharp admonition, they lead the kid back home.


Their qualities are not always so light-hearted, however. Some descriptions say that rather than kind spirits that lead home the lost lamb, ‘the Hyter Sprites will get you’. They are sometimes described not as birds, but as long legged blood-sucking bat/spider things.





Child-eating monsters that roam the night, carrying a long-handled net. When they see their prey, they swoop the kid up in the net and carry it off to the icy cave of the Snee-Nee-IQ to be eaten.

either a dementor or the ghost of christmas past
Either a snow-dementor or The Ghost of Christmas Future from the Muppets.



A one legged swamp spirit (associated with ‘Fairy Lights’, e.g. Elf Fires, Will O’ The Wisp) that walks around carrying a lantern with which it tries to lead lost travelers astray. Some who set off on dark, cold nights through the swamps follow the Hinkypunk and are never seen again.

i lost my leg in a freak lantern-cleaning accident




The Fuath is an evil water-dwelling creature (whose name means ‘hate’) in Gaelic folklore. There are three types: the Uruisg (the ‘normal’ kind), a lizardfolk type of creature which has webbed toes, lives in the water, and sometimes intermarries with humans, the Behir, a dragonic serpent with wings and a venomous sting, and the Peallaidh, a household spirit (I like to think of them as Dragon household spirits- maybe even a creature from dragon’s folklore- because of their association with the Behir and because it’s just a cool twist on the Household Spirit trope). The young are covered in a coat of thick yellow fur.






In Jorge Luis Borges’s 1967 Book of Imaginary Beings, a collection of folkloric creatures from around the world, the Abang Aku lives on the steps of the Tower of Victory. It comes from elsewhere, but got left behind by its comrades. The only way it can get back to it’s home is through the invisible gateway atop the tower. It wants to get to the top, but can’t unless it follows a human up. Whenever a human starts to climb, the beast wakes up. At first, it is shapeless and void, but as it nears the top it becomes more beautiful and clear. However, if the climber decides he is too tired to continued and starts to come back down, the poor Abang tumbles down the stairs and lays motionless on the first step.

little baby sea turtle




A benevolent Bull Spirit from Basque Folklore that lives in caves and hollows. When it is stormy or when unwanted dangerous enemies are intruding on his ‘range of protection’ he wanders out and kills the danger. The Aatxe is usually rather fond of the people he protects, warning them and keeping them indoors when trouble is near.

fellow 53

humanoid aatxe
And just for added coolness, a humanoid Aatxe coming out of his cave.





A huge Ogre/Troll creature, the Buggane is equipped with a mane of thick black hair, tusks, eeeeevil red eyes, and other monster qualities. They are regarded by fairies as cruel, unsophisticated, and rude, but sometimes useful. When someone annoys the fairies, they call up the local Buggane from his lair (usually a bone-filled cavern or some such monster-worthy location). Always glad for a chance to destroy and wreak havoc, and also to get on the fairies’ good side, the Buggane obliges and destroys the offender.