1. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri

    mythology help

    Discussion in 'Research' started by ManOrAstroMan, Jul 15, 2013.

    The urban fantasy novel I'm working on includes a magic system built around the elements. In addition to manipulating the elements and using them to cast spells, etc, supernaturally talented individuals can also communicate with elemental spirits.
    I've done a lot of research and found a lot of great info, but I have run into a couple of snags. The only ice spirits I can find seem to be either frost giants or other predatory beasties of the frozen north. Can anyone tell me of any smaller, or at least gentler spirits of ice and snow?
    There are similar issues with metal and lightning. Aside from dwarves, there don't seem to be many mythical beings associated with metal, and all I can find for lightning are various thunder giants/gods.
    Are there creatures I'm overlooking? And if there really aren't any faeries or spirits associated with these three elements, are there any i could basically repurpose to fit them?
     
  2. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,865
    Likes Received:
    10,037
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    If this is fantasy, why not create your own, or... Instead of trying to use a creature that comes from myth in whole, use parts of their qualities and re-imagine the rest. Could frost giants be scaled down and refined a bit? You may have to look to some non western traditions because I can't really come up with anything that relates to lightning and metal. They don't ring like traditional elements of western myth that would have creatures associated with them.
     
  3. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    I've actually researched mythologies from across the globe. (I use the word faerie as an umbrella term for all those mythical folk who aren't gods and beasties.) I geek hard for mythology, so i definitely didn't want to restrict myself to Celtic/Norse/etc.
    I didn't want to invent a mythical creature, because this book (aside from the magic) is set in the real world. (Seattle, in fact.) So I wanted to take existing myths and just filter them through the lens of this magic system, rather than say that Gnomes are the spirits of earth, Sylphs are the spirits of air, and Whatsits rule the element of metal.
    I do sort of like the idea of someone summoning a frost giant and it appears as a frozen Mr Conductor.
    I'm thinking I'll have to reconfigure some other type of fae into these other elements. (Pyxies being the basic elemental of electricity, for instance. They seem to carry that speedy, sorta manic vibe that works for electricity.) I'm just sort of blanking on which ones I can use.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Kun Aymara is the snow god of the Aymaran people of Bolivia and Peru. Quechua and Aymara are Incan ethnicities.

    You may be missing a wealth of Incan mythology. They sacrificed people by having whole towns march up to the tops of high peaks and leaving the victim tied up at the top to die and mummify.

    I can't find much about the beliefs about Kun or the Ice Mummies, I'll let you do more research.

    MagiStream (whoever they are) seems to have derived a 'snow ray' creature out of the myth.
     
  5. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    Y'know I have to admit, I have only sort of glossed over south american mythologies. What little I've read talked mostly about individual gods rather than groups of spirits like nymphs, the fae or the djinn. I've considered including ancient gods as high-level elementals, but it doesn't really help with the smaller, lower-level spirits.
    I will do more digging into the Inca and other South American cultures to see what goodies I can dig up!
     
  6. erebh
    Offline

    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    467
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm leaning in the side or Wrey here, I am doing something very similar and went with a hybrid of 4 Gods to create a creature that could summon a rainbow - Gods of light, thunder, colour and rain - I'm hoping I'm not overly confusing things but it is fantasy...
     
  7. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,604
    Likes Received:
    5,877
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Bah! Gods are evil. What's with this prissy rainbow god? ;)
     
  8. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    Haha, I don't know about evil, but they definitely aren't what I'm looking for. I'm looking for mythical species, like nymphs or faeries, rather than individual gods.
    And, erebh, it is a bit tempting to invent a race of elemental spirits. But as I said, this story takes place in the "real" world, so I'm using existing mythology, just retooling it to fit the framework of my magic system. I accept that some will be tweaked a little more than others, but they should still be within a few degrees of the canonical myth.
    And I am open to myths of any culture, too. I have no qualms about putting Irish faeries, shinto kami, and hawaiian menehune together
     
  9. erebh
    Offline

    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    467
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Don't worry - the Irish are good mixers, especially if there's free trip to Hawaii and Japan involved!
     
  10. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    tell me about it--a good portion of my family are leprechauns.
     
  11. jmhoffer
    Offline

    jmhoffer Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Winterpeg
    Sounds kind of like the root 'Supernatural' took. Gives it a more 'real world' feel.

    There's no need to make up a new creature if you can't find something. Alter an existing one. Imps are well known in Western mythology. Why not make them associated with ice instead of fire? Or make more than one type?
     
  12. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    Imps may work. They are known for being both helpful and harmful, and most ice elementals seem to lean towards the wicked, according to my research.
    But an imp could embody both harsh, biting frost and the sheer fun of playing in the snow.
    Brownies could work well as benevolent metal spirits, now that I think of it. How could they do all that household labor without handling metal?
    Hmm... You guys are really helpful!
     
  13. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    After some research and canon-tweaking, I think I've come up with a decent list of mythfolk to fit my elemental magic system.
    Here's a cross-section of some of the elementals recruited for these three elements:
    Metal--
    *brownie
    *redcap
    *harpy
    *goblin
    *tanuki
    *manticora
    Lightning--
    *pyxie
    *alkonost
    *simurgh
    *bakaneko
    *raiju
    *folletti
    Ice--
    *imp
    *amarok
    *banshee
    *ljosalf
    *bogie
    *barbegazi

    So what do you think?
     
  14. Makeshift
    Offline

    Makeshift Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Finland
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbird_(mythology) The term is also used in cryptozoology to refer to any sightings of giant birds larger than known species.
     

Share This Page