List of Mythical Creatures page 15

Hello readers! I apologize fervently for the long break in between this and my last post. Sorry. Really.

 

This week: Ten Monsters and Beasts

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An Imaginary Creature Authority production- Zebrabird certified.

 

TARASQUE

Our first creature for today is the Tarasque, a turtle dragon man creature. It is the son of the Leviathan and the Onachus. When it started attacking boats and people walking along the shore of its river home, Saint Martha came to tame it. She succeeded and was bringing it back to town when the townspeople attacked.

It didn’t fight back and was killed. Later they felt bad that they had killed a tamed creature and named their town Tarascon in its honor.

tarasque

 

 

HOOP SNAKE

Have you ever seen that old symbol of a dragon with its tail in its mouth making a circle?

snake

It’s called an Ouroboros. One of the most ancient symbols representing unity and power, it is even found in the Egyptian Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld.

Well, the Hoop Snake is like that. It rolls around and tries to capture people. The only way to defeat them is to jump through them like a flaming hoop. This confused them and they fall over helpless.

cool10

 

 

 

KASA-OBAKE

No doubt, this is the weirdest mythical creature I have ever heard of. A talking umbrella. Yep.

fellow 28

 

 

CAPE LOBO

The Cape Lobo is a creature from Brazilian Folklore. Like a werewolf, the Cape Lobo transforms at night. But unlike the werewolf, the Cape Lobo becomes a Anteater monster. It attacks humans and sucks out their brains with his snout.cool9

 

NANAUE

From Hawaiian Folklore. As a shark with four legs, the Nanue has developed over the years to become more and more humanoid. In some versions of the legend, it is a were-shark: a human that becomes a shark.

cool8

 

 

RAIJU

The Raiju is a lightning powered weasel (or dog) from Japanese Folklore. When traveling long distances, it curls into a ball and flies around- causing Ball Lightning. It is normally calm and peaceful, but during storms it goes wild and yells, causing thunder. Sometimes in its rampage in crashes into buildings and they are promptly struck by lightning from its fur.

cool7

 

PERYTON

This next creature happens to be one of my personal favorites, for obvious reasons. It’s awesome! The Peryton is a FLYING STAG. From ATLANTIS! When Atlantis was destroyed, the Peryton population flew away, and now lives in desolate areas and mountains, hunting mountain goats. They are fierce predators of man and beast, but can be tamed.

cool6

 

 

ENFIELD

Now we come to my All-Time favorite- the Enfield. They are from Medieval Heraldry, meaning they would appear on the shields and banners of knights as they went into battle. The Enfield symbol builds on the ancient image of the Cunning Fox, clever and sometimes even magical. Some banners keep it basic- a fox with bird’s wings, but other versions got fancier and added such flairs as a lion’s tail and mane, a greyhound’s chest, and a wolf’s legs.

i know it's copywrited sorry

 

 

POLONG AND PELESIT

A pair of evil creatures, the Polong and Pelesit often work for warlocks. They attack people and can only be called out by garlic. They will repeat the name of the warlock who sent them.

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FURRY TROUT

In some areas, the water is so cold that trout are forced to grow coats of fur. That’s the story at least.

fur-bearing-trout-postcard

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The Halloween Jumbo Authority

Post © 2017 Carver Means

 

Pictures belong to their respective copyright holders and the author does not claim ownership over them.

 

This authority needs no introduction. It’s about Halloween.👻

 

HALLOWEEN CREATURES

Well, the most obvious Halloween creature is the ghost. This comes from the old traditions of Halloween as the Day of the Dead. Families would leave out food for the ghosts and sometimes even dress up as them as part of the ritual.

ghosties
giving “food” to “ghosts”, the modern adaption of the above traditions

 

 

Ghosts, as well as their fellow undead spirits, make up a huge percentage of Halloween creatures, and maybe also mythical creatures in general.

These are just a few.

 

Skeleton

There’s just something creepy about skeletons. Especially when they are alive. These can range from the comedic Dancing Skeletons to the Skeleton Wizard.

They will usually serve as horde bad guys, attacking in swarms. Easy to kill, but hard to eradicate.

Often they will serve a necromancer master or something of that sort.

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Slime monster

These are a pretty common Halloween creature, but not as common as ghosts. They are made of slime and blob around.

creepy thang

Phantoms

These creatures come and go in the blink of an eye. They are hard to see and fade into the shadows before you can tell anybody else about them.

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Floating pants

Definitely the coolest Halloween Haunt around.

seuss-what_was_i_scared_of-fear

Death’s head

They are just floating skulls. They eerily fly around and then scare all the dogs in the neighborhood.

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Bluer

These monsters live in the attic. When little children are sleeping, the Bluers will come and capture them.

blur

Swamp ghost

Don’t swim on Halloween, folks.

closer...

Witches

They use their evil magic to summon a whole bunch of ghosts and things. Then they fly around in the middle of the night turning people into werewolves. After that their whole gang of creepy monsters charges through the streets, capturing anyone still Trick-or-Treating. If anyone has the Halloween spirit, it’s these guys.

I live in your room and am always watching you even right as you read this! Turn around...

Banshee

Banshees are that creepy noise you hear in the middle of the night that sound like “Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.” They are strange and enjoy scaring everybody around. However, they also are useful. If somebody is about to die, you know that you’d better start working on your funeral speech because the Banshee will start wailing like crazy. If it sings for a really long time, you know there’s about to be a battle or a massacre and you can run away.

Banshee

Creepy dog hacker

The creepy dog hacker has a bad habit of hacking into the Internet on Halloween and posting millions of selfies on Instagram to scare everyone. They are known to work for the Illuminati.

this is my sister
Carver Means- main writer and editor

Winged Pig

This strange ghost enjoys floating around on Halloween to scare everyone. They gather in huge flocks over towns and wail.

the pork side

Vampire

The vampire is a ghost. They go back to get revenge on people in their neighborhood and drink their blood. In the last few centuries Vampirism has been contained, however in the old days it spread easily from one creature to the next, creating such abominations as the vampire rabbit and the vampire pumpkin (no I’m not making those up, they are from real folklore).

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Ghostie

These are just the typical house spirits that float around going Boo… Boo… and making noises. They aren’t destructive like poltergeists or creepy like phantoms, they are just small depressed little guys.

vat is the point ov being a world famous quiddich player

Werewolf

As mentioned earlier, part of the witches’s plan is to turn people into monsters. One of their favorite transformation to inflict is to turn a normal person into a wolf. Sometimes a werewolf will keep their old personality, which makes them quite sad because they won’t be able to rejoin their family and friends, but mostly they become monsters. The more human a werewolf is on the inside, the more wolflike they are on the outside. The ones you should really be afraid of are the almost human ones.

werewolf
This guy’s just sad.
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Fear this one.

Imp

These spirits are very weak, but there’s a lot of them. They work for witches.

fellow 11

 

Tree Monster

These scary tree-like monsters hide in the forest and bonk people on the head as they pass. They often will raid houses on Halloween and steal all the pumpkins. They regard this as rescuing their unfortunate smaller cousins from captivity.

I AM GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT

 

Gargoyles

They pretend to be statues of lawn decorations (some even disguise as gnomes) but when you look away they swarm onto your back, tearing in with their sharp claws.

great guardian Gashta's galactically grumpy great-grandpa's garden gargoyles!

 

Stringy Jack

The Cucuribita Purplus Deamonus family of spirits includes many Pumpkin-like creatures. They are supposedly all descended from a giant pumpkin that some crazy fairy transformed into a talking sentient by accident (she was going for a carriage). These are some types:

boo om nom jack o lantern maha
Jack O’ Lanterns. They earned the name because of the eerie light that glows from within their dark souls. Humans carve normal pumpkins in an effort to appease these evil spirits.
musical pumpkin
Musical Skeleton Pumpkin. These are strange creatures that long ago have become obsessed with the dead. That is why at age three they turns themselves into skeletons- except for the head. After this ritual they all cannot stop singing creepy tunes under their breath.
this is good art- hard to find among the sea of Instagram, Pintrest, and Deviantart.
In the night you can often hear the distant hoofbeats of these strange creatures’ horses. They ride through the night and freak people out by taking off their head (scientists are still at a loss how this trait works). For this reason they have become known as Headless Horsemen.

Lava Monster

While every body else is having a fun time at Halloween, the Lava Monster mopes around in alleys. He hates Halloween and Ghosts and anything to do with creepiness. For this reason anyone who comes near his house will be promptly chased away with much fiery magmatic explosions.

pouting fellow

 

Monster

Monsters are very scary and strange. They come in all shapes and sizes.

remember-this-it

 

 

Mummy

Mummies are ancient Pharaohs that have been re-awakened by evil magic. They live in their Pyramids and attack people who mess with their stuff. Their only weakness is Prairie Dogs.

mummies

 

 

Wraith

The wraith is a rare spirit. They wear black armor all over them so nobody can see them. Some can use dark magic to get allies for themselves.

wraith

Skeleton Monster

Skeletons aren’t necessarily limited to mindless minions. Some have certain upgrades- like this guy.

go10

Or this guy.

go11

And some are giant.

go1

They aren’t all human skeletons, either.

horor-horse

 

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bone-monster

 

 

Zombie

Pretty common. Just corpses reanimated by evil magic.

mine-3

 

 

Coffin Bangers

These spirits enjoy banging on their coffins (hence the name) and making a loud ruckus. They sometimes enjoy music, however, and many monsters around the world enjoy listening to them on the radio.

google has it

Grim Reapers

Like the Banshee, Grim Reapers (and their canine cousins, the Grims) these spirits float around to the doorsteps of people about to die. Their Knocker servants knock on the door, a banshee screams in the distance, and then you’re dead.

mine 2

Wight

Although “Wight” just means “human being”, some people read LOTR and made up these. See, in LOTR there are the ghostly Barrow Wights- the people of the barrow. However some people thought it meant that wights were a type of ghost and these were just Barrow ones. But regardless it became a common creature and has taken on a bit of a “ghost king” role in the phantomical hierarchy.

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Plant Zombies

In the air float around hundreds of thousands of little seeds. Like pollen, they are hard to see and will sometimes get stuck in your lungs. For this reason, in areas where the plague is common all dead bodies will get burned. Whenever a dead body is left unburied for some reason, they become a Corpsevine Walker.

Like normal zombies, they attack the living. That’s the plague’s way of spreading. They are mainly just a nuisance when it’s just one- easy to be trap in a pig pen and burn, but sometimes after battles big flocks can wipe out an entire village.

corpesvine

 

 

Ghoul

Hailing from the Middle East, these flesh-eating spirits live in tombs. However, if you wander too near their habitat, then expect a large problem of being eaten.

lakadaissical-6

 

 

Zombie Gnomes

Zombie gnomes are another type of zombie. They are gnome zombies.

oh-my-4

Living Furniture

No haunted House is complete without these creepy accessories.

 

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It actually looks just like normal furniture.

Bat

Bats are common creepy animals. They are vampires in disguise.

in real life they're actually cute

Cat

Cats were once considered holy animals, but that turned around in the Middle Ages and many cats were suspected of being Spirit Guides for witches.

yo people I am a total idiot
A black cat with his friends, a ghoul, a ghosties, and a long legged beastie.

Crow

These guys are just creepy for some reason.

untitled-battle

 

HALLOWEEN GALLERY

As part of the Halloween Jumbo Authority, I shall include a gallery illustrating common Halloween Tropes with explanatory captions.

YIKES! Let's get out of here Scoob!
Ghostly Armor. A common sight in haunted castles, these suits will either mobilize to attack you, or fade into the wall when you come near to them.
creepy!!!
Fog. For some reason this seems to turn up when things are about to get creepy.
lakadaissical-5
Cute halloween. This turns up usually in children’s movies. E.g, a ghost that just wants a friend, a witch that is actually very kind and just loves cats, or a zombie that thinks brains are gross and prefers fruits and vegetables.
go7
Haunted caves. Expect a group of nervous kids walking down tunnels with flashlights and water dripping sound effects echoing from the ceiling. Eventually there will be a monster and perhaps even an abandoned mine.
go3
Strange Effigy. This trope transcends the Haunted Realm and goes on to Action Movies. It is where the hero finds a pile of skulls built into the wall or a bloody totem pole or something.
end-4
Strange Mirrors and portals and stuff. This is just put in for creep value.
ha3
Bat attack! You’re just walking along in the woods when a whole flock of screeching bats flies down at you.
mine
Mysterious eyes in the dark.

 

 

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Staring Ghost. Unlike normal ghosts which go “boo… boo… boooooo!” these stare eerily around. Often can be heard whispering and muttering.

 

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Bed Sheet Ghost.
hoho
Frankenstein’s monster. The archetype zombie, the Monster is known for knobs in his head and scars. The “zombie walk” is also one of his classical characteristics.

 

Well, thank you for reading the Halloween Jumbo Authority! I leave you with this video:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh yes, and to honor tradition:

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Happy Halloween from the Ma-has!

List of Mythical Creatures page 15

ZOMBIE

Zombies are dead people (reanimated to work for an evil magician) from Haiti folklore.

fellow9

 

 

CATAMOUNT

Interchangeable with the wampus cat, these creatures are known for transforming into mountain lions. When not in cat form they are human. They come from Vermont folklore, and their name is short for “cat o’ the mountain.”

(There is also a real animal called the catamount)

a catamount in popular culture.jpg

 

 

BOGGART

The Boggarts are another type of Bug or Bogie from English folklore, derived from the puca of Celtic folklore, which themselves are based on Puck, (who is derived from the fauns and satyrs and Pan of classical literature), but unlike the boggle these are more associated with the home than the, well, bog.

They put pins on the stairs.

They put butter in the slippers.

They tie the horses’ tails together.

Well, some say they are brownies that turned evil after being offended. Some say they are evil spirits that can sense your greatest fear and transform into it. Some say they are evil “pixie dust” that has built up for two long, and takes on the shape of a little monster.

Who knows?

evil2

 

 

ONI

These are Japanese spirits that punish evil humans and eat people. Kind of like ogres.

oni

 

 

KAPPA

Kappas, also from Japanese folklore, are drowning monsters. Their weakness is if you can get them to bow their head down. You see, their power comes from some water in a bowl on their head. So:

“Shoe’s untied.”

“What?” (looks down) “AAARRGGH!” (faints and disappears beneath the water.)

kappa

 

 

VILA

The vila are spirits from Slavic folklore. They are basically slavic nymphs. They are spirits of the wind, sometimes classified as fairies, and enjoy singing in their free time. So, yeah. For all intents and purposes, these are nymphs.

called veelas in harry potter
Vila are called Veelas in Harry Potter.

 

 

NAIN ROUGE

OK, I’m sorry that a lot of this week’s creatures are Interchangeable Alternately Named. But that happens a lot when one gets deeper into mythology. So as these creatures get rarer, they also get, well, more repetative. But bear with me, because it’s still cool.

“Nain Rouge” is French for Red Dwarf. They take up all the normal fairy roles of Housekeeper, Shapeshifter, and hating oddly specific things, like Salt on the doorstep or horse tails with bows in them.

They spread to Canada along with the French, and in Michigan there is one specific Nain Rouge, THE Nain Rouge, who always shows up when something bad is about to happen.

this guy
This guy’s giving off a bit of a mixed message. He has red skin and devil horns, but also those North Pole elf shoes. And a dwarf beard. And a gnome hat.

 

 

REDCAP

When a poor man dies, his blood turns into one of these. So some old battlefields will have a whole swarm of these running around. They carry a long spear and will kill anybody they see. They are impossible to outrun, so your only chance is to outsmart them.

evil3

 

 

BLUECAP

The good version of Redcaps. These live in mines and warn workers about cave-ins.

fellow10

 

 

IMP

Imps are evil spirits, mischievous and mean. They are known for red or purple skin, devil horns, and a spiked tail. They have, over time, developed into minions for witches. However it is probable that they began as standard fairies.

fellow 11

List of Mythical Creatures page 14

This week: humanoids

On New Year’s Day, I made a New Year’s goal to make a complete fantasy card game with every single mythical creature I had ever heard of. After about ten cards, I got bored. Well, I had still compiled a huge list of mythological, folkloric, cryptic, and fantasy creatures, so I decided that I would publish them, in groups of ten, on my blog.

If you want to read the others, search ‘List of mythical creatures’ in the search bar to the left.

<<<<<<over there<<<<<<

 

TROGLODYTE

The Troglodytes are lizard humanoids. Examples can be found all over the place, from D&D to the Wingfeather Saga. They are known for being very unadvanced in their technology and for being evil.

 

 

 

 

FROGMAN

Frogfolk, AKA frog bros, talking frogs, etc. are humanoid frogs. Some are almost Half-Slug, with only arms no legs. These are called Dramfrogs. Other versions include Hippodramfrogs which are part horse part frog, Dramagons which are part dragon, Dramfrogbunny I think this one is obvious, and Drambirds.

In D&D, they are called Bullywugs.

 

 

 

 

 

GARGOYLE

The Gargoyle is a cool creature that lives in cities. They are, of course, named after the statues on walls. That’s because to most people they just look like statues hiding way up on the rooftops. Gargoyles are sort of like the fantasy equivalent of pigeons, living in the big cities in huge colonies.

They are masters of disguise, which led to some people thinking they turn to stone during the day.

swarm-atop-a-building.jpg
Gargoyles need to wear clothes more often

 

 

TOADSTOOL MAN

These little guys are very peaceful. They will often live in Faerie along with Sprites, Gnomes, Pixies, and Elves. In video games they are usually non-player characters, except for maybe one individual out of the race that joins the adventure (Toad).

 

 

 

 

 

ETTIN

Derived from the same root word as Ent, these are two headed giants. They are more powerful than normal giants. They are especially known for being two-headed, and the young ettins are called boggles.

cool2

 

 

GRINDYLOW

The awesome grindylows recently received a popularity boost when they were included as lake monsters in Harry Potter. They are one of the few mythical creatures that completely originated in England, and are said to drown people that come near their watery homes.

cool3

 

 

VODNICK

Also water creatures, the vodnici are strange old creatures that live in rivers, usually by waterfalls. They look like little frogs.

cool4

 

 

RAKSHASA

In original Hindu literature, these are a type of carnivorous spirit. They were adapted by Dungeons and Dragons as a race of evil humanoid tigers. The Rakshasi have been included in many fantasy settings and worlds since their inclusion as one of the first creatures to be introduced to D&D. Some settings include crocodile headed rakshasas and such, but most stick with the tiger model. In D&D the Naityan Rakshasas can shapeshift.

fellow 8

 

 

GNOLL

The Gnoll is a humanoid hyena. It’s from D&D. Yup.

gnoll

 

 

DOPPLEDANGER

These are basically strange fairies that imitate you exactly and take your place. Sort of like changelings.

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List of Mythical Creatures page 13

CRIOSPHINX

The Sphinx is one of the most ancient motifs of culture. The Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Greeks all used it. The criosphinx is one of the most ancient sphinx types, and represents Aman the Egyptian god of winds and Allfather of the pantheon.

crio

 

 

ENT

Ents are one of Tolkien’s coolest ideas. They are mentioned briefly in the Silmarillion because Yavanna is afraid that the dwarves will cut down many of her precious trees. So she asks Eru Illuvatar to create shepherds for the trees.

The name ent is based on the Old English word for giant, ‘Ettin’ or ‘ent’, and their treeish nature was based on folk traditions of talking trees and dryads.

maha 70

 

 

 

POTATO MONSTER

These classic monsters are just giant potatoes. They are not very common, but they should be because, let’s face it, they’re awesome.

cutesyness is cutesyness

 

ROLLING HEAD

Once a boy ate his finger. Then he ate his whole body except his head, which now goes around trying to eat other people. They are very ferocious and often associated with the hoop snake in the same way hags are associated with werewolves.

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BASILISK

The Basilisk is a monstrous serpent that can kill you just by looking you in the eye. They hate roosters and are hatched from toad eggs incubated by a snake. They commonly live in sewers and their only weaknesses are mirrors, like Medusa.

coolness

 

BICORN AND CHICHEVACHE

Now these are some of my favorite funny creatures, coming from French folklore. They are husband and wife and are some sort of Panther-Cow-Unicorn mix. The Bicorn eats good husbands, and so is very plump and healthy. The Chichevache eats good wives, and so is starved and thin.

The Bicorn is mentioned in Harry Potter, but does not take any sort of main role in the plot. The Chichevache is very rare, there is not even a Mythology Wiki entry for it.

maha 88maha 89

 

ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN

The Abominable Snowman is different from the yeti because, whereas the yeti is magical, the Abominable Snowman is just really awesome. He is hugely big, bigger then a giant, and can take down frost dragons, ice elves, and even unicorns. Abominables (Bumbles) are known for bouncing when they fall from a height and melting in water. They also like Ice Cream.

 

UKTENA

The Uktena are just one example of the recurring horned snake theme in North American folklore, and are associated with rivers. This river association also runs deep, as many other legends have dragons or saurs living in streams or by Sacred Bridges. The Estakwanayv or Tie-snake is a lesser river serpent, still powerful but subject to the Uktena.

There was once a very powerful race of serpents that were destroyed by the Thunderbirds, and small saurs like lizards and snakes are all that’s left of them. The little people, the Yehusari, like to ride on Uktena while going to far off villages.

looks like a bestiary illustration almost, eh?

 

 

SLIME CUBE/ZOL/SLIME MONSTER

These creatures are very common, and are often included in a Monster Mash type of thing. They often can pop into a swarm of smaller slimes when killed.

beach background

 

DROP BEAR

Koalas are cute little fluffy critters, but their carnivorous cousins, the drop bears, are some of the most ferocious monsters of the planet. They hide in trees, and when someone walks under they leap down and attack.

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THE DVERGR AUTHORITY

Almost all fantasy worlds in modern times will have one of these races: giants, dwarfs, ogres/goblins/orcs, or elfs. Most fantasy worlds will also have some kind of fairy, talking or humanoid animals, magic users,  and some sort of zombie or skeleton monster. So, dwarfs are one of the top ones.

 

 

 

Dvergr is the Norse word for dwarf, so I named this authority that because it sounds like I’m smart when I translate stuff into other languages.

 

DVERGR AND SVARTL

Germanic mythos was very influential. Elves, lindworms, and wights all come from there. The two other mythologies that stem from it, English and Norse mythologies, produced Ogres, Gargoyles, Bugbears, Trolls, Jotuns, Grindylow, Bogies, Bogiemen, Bogtocracies, Boggarts, Gremlins, Orcneas, Ettins, Ents, Hobgoblins, and others. Most modern fantasy derives from this.

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In Norse Mythology, Dvegr live in Niddaveller. However, there is also a controversy about Svartlheim, home of the Dark Elves. Let me explain. There are Svartalfar, murky elves; Dokkalfar, the Dark Elves; and Ljosalfar or light elves. To make matters even worse, elves here are commonly called alfs.

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Svartalfar are sometimes thought to be synonymous with Dokkalfar. All we know for sure is that Dokkalfar live underground (like dwarfs) and Ljosalfar live in Alfheim.

alfheim, elfhome, is in every gardenhannah4

 

Anyway, what this has to do with dvergr (dwarfs, you will recall) is that often elves and dwarfs are indistinguishable from one another, even more so than other small fairy folk because these guys come from the same mythos. Elves and Dwarfs were two mischievous creatures that were called in by Odin for judgement.

perfect

Those dwarfs that had been particularly evil were sent to keep the fire at the center of the earth burning. Dwarfs that had only been mean little twerps were sent to mine for jewels. The elves were very nervous when Odin called them up, but he said that they had only been foolish, and sent them to Alfheim to take care of the flowers.

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Dwarfs mining happily

In this story Dark Elves and Svartalfar are not explained, but the Dark Elves were probably elves that were particularly evil, and they were sent to live with the dwarfs at the core. As for Svartalfar, maybe they were dark elves that somehow escaped from their punishment and became part of the Jotun army.

hegwig extra
A common depiction of a dark elf.

 

GNOMES

Gnomes are spirits from “Renaissance Magic.” Their name comes from a root word meaning “earth dweller,” and they were originally described as shy earth elementals, sometimes guarding underground treasures or caves. In Alchemy, they were one of the four elemental spirits, the others being Salamanders for fire, Undines for water, and Sylphs for air. Gnomes, of course, were Earth.

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They are SIMILAR to gnomes, but come from different time periods of folklore. They became similar to goblins in later Fairy Tales, and began to lose their Earth Spirit status, becoming household faey and morphing with brownies, leprechauns, and kobolds.

gnome buddy

When Fairy Tales dropped away and fantasy books took their place, writers had to choose between the many different types of Gnomes. In Wizard of Oz, the “Nomes” are evil monsters that live underground (like Earth Gnomes) and cause trouble for Oz. In early drafts of Tolkien’s mythos, the Noldor elves were called Gnomes. This name can still be found in the Book of Lost Tales, published after Tolkien’s death.

 

 

 

C.S. Lewis used gnomes as underground people who hate the idea of living on the surface like flies clinging to the ground. They prefer to live down in the Deep Lava with Salamanders (notice that both of these species are alchemic elementals.) They are also called the Earthmen, and are very strange looking- some have pig heads and hippopotamus heads or tails and tusks.

dancing fellows

One cartoon series, David the Gnome, which was followed by Wisdom of the Gnomes, established Gnomes as nature protectors. Their enemies are Trolls. The whole thing was based on books by Will Huygen.

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Also, the Garden Gnome statues proved to shape the modern conception of gnomes almost completely. Google “gnomes” and you’ll find little bearded guys with pointy hats gardening. Well, that’s pretty similar to a dwarf, don’t you think? And even if you forget that and trace gnomes back to their roots, you find both are underground humanoid spirits.

 

 

 

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So, many fantasy worlds make a point of distinguishing gnomes and dwarfs.

 

 

DWARVES

In the Silmarillion, the origin of dwarves (yes, Tolkien uses a different spelling) is this: they were created by Aüle who was impatient for the coming of the elves. When Eru saw this, he let the dwarfs live, but said they would still have to wait until the elves came. So the seven dwarf fathers were put in mountains.

little fellows.jpg

When the time came, they emerged and befriended the elves and men, except for the bad ones, “petty dwarfs”. The good dwarfs, also called Khazad, helped fight Morgoth’s armies during the First Age. During the second age, not much is known about dwarves except that seven of them were given the Dwarf Rings (You know, the elves got three, men got nine, dwarves got seven, and Sauron got one*).

seven dwarves with the rings

 

*Three, nine, and seven are all magical numbers.

 

In the Third Age, the dwarven empires were having a lot of trouble with dragons and… ORCS!!! They have a giant war with the orcs called the War of Dwarves and Orcs (creative name).

 

 

Then Gimli is part of the quest to destroy Sauron, which succeeds!

Yay!

Then the dwarves fade from history.

war 3

A lot of dwarf stereotypes come from Lord of the Rings. First, their reputation as enemies of the elves- the elves hunted the petty-dwarves to extinction before they realized they were sentient creatures, so, yeah. But in later ages the two races got a long pretty well, except for a few wars and feuds.

Elf-v-dwarves

Second, their reputation as a fading race. Third, their gruff honor and stout pride. Literally, every dwarf has this same personality!

these dwarves are rather dwarivative

Just to give you an idea of how heavily Tolkien influenced dwarvish fantasy, these are the dwarves (actually Warhammer uses the “Dwarfs” spelling) from Warcraft, Warhammer, D&D, LOTR, and Magic:

 

 

 

 

Those are all pretty similar right?

 

OTHER DWARVES

The Dwelmer, aka Dwarves, Deep ones, or Deep Elves, are a “lost race” in The Elder Scrolls. They were a powerful race with lots of technology that hated magic.

somebody drew this sometime somewhere some reality

In The Chronicles of Narnia, most Black Dwarfs served under the White Witch, whereas Red Dwarfs tended to side with Aslan. Later, at the time of the Telmarines, both dwarf races fought against a common foe, however some tried to call back the White Witch to help them and some tried to call Aslan.

evil
Bottom right corner- evil dwarf attacking a badger after said badger would not let him call back the white witch. A hag and a werewolf can be seen- they were also trying to call back the witch.

Renegade Dwarfs are half human and lived among the Telmarines after the Old Narnians were driven into hiding. The Monopods are foolish dwarves who became one-legged when they angered their ex-star master, Coriakin.

fellow 7

 

Well, that concludes yet another Authority, folks! Next: either a fairy authority or an undead authority. I haven’t decided. If you have an idea of what authority you want to see next, comment about it! If not, just drop a Like. If you REALLY, REALLY like this blog, or actually even if you don’t, then subscribe.

goodbye

The Talking Animal Authority

Talking Animals are one of the most popular types of characters in fiction, and not just fantasy. Talking Animals in folklore and legends go back to Greek and Egyptian myths, where the gods would turn into animals. Odin in Norse Mythology had two talking ravens who would bring him all the news of the day.

I fell off my bike
Odin has one eye because he traded the other for wisdom. By the way, look at that derpy face the sun is making!

THE HIERARCHY OF TALKING ANIMALS

The term talking animal is hard to define. Is it an animal that can talk? Seems obvious right? But then what about creatures that look just like animals? What about ghosts that turn into animals? What about Black Cat Spirits? These are some basic classifications of talking animals:

Semi-Talking Animal. These don’t really have conversations or anything, but they seem to be aware of what’s going on. They are usually used for comedy relief or as cool sidekicks. Like Swift in David the Gnome or that parrot in the Treasure Island cartoon.

parrot

 

Normal animals. That talk. Also there will usually be a kid who learns that language and helps them, or just naturally know it from the Good Karma Power of Being an Innocent Kid. (Yeah right.) This is used all over the place.maha 60

Beatrix Potter cute village animals. They have human customs, can talk to one another, and are the perfect setting for a silly story about talking animals. It seems the humans are aware that the animals are sentient social beings, (I mean it’s kind of obvious, they wear clothes and stuff) but think it’s normal. Kind of like in Brer Rabbit.as you can see their names reflect their species

Mutants. They are humans or animals that got mutated and look like animal people because of magic or mutation or magical mutation. These are very common because they are cool: In Amulet it is a curse making all the humans in one of the cities look like animal people; the Beast from X-men is a human that becomes a beastman (at least originally), actually lots of super heroes like Squirrel Girl, Lizard, etc. turn into humanoid animals. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for example.

leon   petting zoo people

The last category of talking animals are actual separate creatures that just happen to look like a cross between humans and animals. These include Satyrs, Fawns, and Centaurs sort of, and it also sometimes includes Troglodytes and Sauroids.

sony's spiderman spinoffs may be part of the MCU after all.

 

TALKING ANIMAL STEREOTYPES

Sometimes talking animals are used to represent types of people. From this, certain animals get categorized into different roles. Most of this comes from Aesop’s Fables. For instance, the fox is always “sly,”

 

the tortoise will always be “slow and steady”,

im not a tortoise im a turtle
i’m not a tortoise i’m a turtle

 

the bear will always be kind of dumb,

maha 54maha 56believe in yourselfmaha 55

this one is clever though

the badgers remember,

 

Image result for badger narnia book

Peacocks are vain,

bob

Ravens are wise and clever, (Ravenclaw)

 

Lions are the kings of the Jungle,

funnydoge

 

Mice will always be lecturing people about how size doesn’t matter,

 

Donkeys are foolish and lazy,

 

dora the explora

And ants are hard working.

 

 

LYCANTHROPES

Werewolves are very common. In fact, they are one of the Classic Horror Movie Monsters. (The others are Vampires, Empty Armor Ghost, and Frankenstein’s Monster)

frankenstein is a human you jellyfish brained goofusi

By the way, did you know that the legend of werewolves transforming into wolves at the full moon is not in original folklore? It comes from later black and white movies. Original Werewolves were most commonly people with curses on them.

There are other types of were-animals, like were-jaguars, were-potatoes, were-bunny rabbits, etc.

hey dude this is cool

 

TRICKSTERS

Now, these are usually the Beatrix Potter kind- animals that talk and stuff and nobody thinks anything of it. Except, here they don’t act like humans in their social structure, government, etc. They are just animals. And they talk. Nothing weird about that.

These feature prominently in folklore, such as How Man Got Fire (it’s not from Prometheus), Where Night Comes From, Why Spiders Make Webs, etc.

anansi

SHAPESHIFTERS

This is also a folklore thing. Shapeshifting type of Talking Animals are usually gods and spirits in disguise. In lots of legends people get transformed into animals and then at the end of the story they turn back into humans (e.g. The Frog Prince).

edit my head to nilfheim

So, a lot of complicated situations can arise from this.

Anyway, the jotuns in Norse mythology would become monstrous birds, the Sun god Ra in Egypt would become a beetle, etc. etc. This was a pretty common thing.

fellow 5
In Nincompoop Land mythology, the chief god, Radrogrindr, transformed into a Dwarf Hampster

Another type of talking animal is the Black Cat. Everyone has probably seen black cats on Halloween that live with witches, but few know the legend behind it. Black Cats were demons that took the form of animals and worked for witches. Creepy! This idea is pretty common in old folklore, and in Norse Mythology the Fylgia is part of the soul, and takes the form of an animal. Isn’t it interesting how traditions morph? For instance, the Fylgia is half Black Cat half Spirit Guide.

fellow 6

 

The end!