1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Need some mythical creatures

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Lea`Brooks, May 28, 2015.

    Hola. :superhello:

    So I'm writing an urban fantasy, and in the future, all the creatures of myth make themselves known to the world. The story focuses on one specific being (calling it a golem at the moment, but it'll probably change). But I need more mythical creatures to mention. There's only going to be one chapter in which the MCs really interact with other creatures. But during their travels, they'll see many others, which I'll want to describe.

    I have the basics humanoids: vampires, werewolves, fairies, elves, trolls, goblins, and orcs. Then there's the animals: griffons, phoenixes, chimeras, and unicorns. But those are all pretty common, and I'd like to dig a little deeper than that. I've done some research into it, but there are so many and I don't know how common they are. I'd like to be able to say the name and have the reader think, "Oh, yeah, I forgot about that creature!"

    So what are some lesser but still well know creatures that I could include? :)
     
  2. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    The sort of creature that readers will say 'oh yeah, I'd forgotten about that creature.' Will vary depending on the reader.
    For example I'd considered chimera as more unusual but still generally known, but you consider it common.
    I think there's a few that fall in that category for me, but I can't remember what they are ;)

    However off the top of my head some creatures that might fit the criteria include

    Kobold
    Bunyip
    Manticore
    Will o the wisp
    Roc
     
  3. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Manticore
    Roc (depends on the reader - it's in Sinbad the Sailor)
    Wyvern
    Imp
    Sprite
    Banshee
     
  4. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ceberus
    Chupacabra

    There are tons, if u want to go further you could bring demons, spirits, gods, angels etc into it
     
  5. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks guys!

    They don't have to necessarily be well-known, just not so unheard of that they sound made up. lol

    A few more I thought of: centaur, pegasus, satyr, nymph, dragon (though I probably won't use that :p), and mermaid.

    As for demons, gods, and angels.. I'm trying to avoid using anything too closely tied to a religion or spirituality. It risks offending believers (because the creatures in my novel aren't treated very well), and that's not something I'd ever want to do.

    Good start so far! Thanks again!
     
  6. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    How about El Cadejo (S.American; one black, one white dog-like creatures who behave a bit like devil/angel on your shoulder, especially when journeying) and the Centzon Totochtin (Aztec divine rabbits who like to party; gods of drunkeness)? They're not necessarily well known enough to be recalled, but they'll make for interesting background threads and it's nice to have to look the odd thing up. Tanuki (legendary mischievous exaggeration of the 'raccoon dog' of the same name) are well-known enough now for them to strike a chord with people... as is a lot of Japanese lore, thanks to the ongoing rise in popularity of manga.

    ETA: Selkies; less common than mermaids, but recognisable still.
     
  7. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    There's also a ling list of Japanese yokai, like the kitsune, kappa, tengu, and jorogumo.
    Just remember (and this is something I definitely keep in mind for my own project) that there is a fine line between inclusion and appropriation.
     
  8. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know what that means. lol
     
  9. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Inclusion would be, basically, what you're going for, like bringing in Greek nymphs and monsters along with Celtic faeries.
    Appropriation is taking bits and pieces of other cultures and bending them into something else, like those celebrities who wear bindis "because they're pretty" or something. It strips the cultural item in question of its context and importance. A hugely egregious example would be those memes that say "Doritos are my spirit animal", or something similar. It takes the concept of a spirit animal, which is very important to many cultures, and turns it into fodder for internet stupidity.
     
  10. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I understand. :) You're absolutely right. That is never something I'd want to do. I try to respect all spirituality, which is why I'm wanting to steer clear of it in my novel.
     
  11. Blighters
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    Blighters Member

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    Just a couple off the top of my head (some of these might have been mentioned):

    Kraken
    Harpies
    Ogres
    Basilisk
    Kelpie
    Grindylow
    Hippocampus

    Sure I'll think of some more given time :)
     
  12. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Nymphs.

    You could have Water Nymphs, Fire Nymphs, Earth Nymphs and Air Nymphs.

    I guess you could also have Ice Nymphs, Tree Nymphs, Moon Nymphs and Sun Nymphs ...
     
  13. Vellidragon
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    Vellidragon Member

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    Blemmye (headless man)
    Brownie
    Bugbear
    Catoblepas
    Cat Sith
    Cockatrice/Basilisk
    Cyclops
    Doppelgänger
    Ghoul
    Gorgon
    Hippogriff
    Hydra
    Leprechaun
    Lindworm
    Mare (not the horse)
    Minotaur
    Salamander
    Siren
    Undine

    Not sure if all of these are well enough known. Be careful with the "orcs", they're a Tolkien invention and not directly from folklore.
     
  14. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Do they have to be known mythical creatures? What about making up your own?

    Lollygaggers
    Craggleworts
    Fiskeds
    Knarlits
    Crabbiewhackers
    Kinklefobs
    Doopibogs
    Knaries
    Gharles
    Pholers
    Cringlesnaps

    and so on ...

    (my favorite of those has to be the Kinklefobs!)
     
  15. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Wikipedia actually has a pretty substantial List of Legendary Creatures. Being a myth and folklore nerd, I've done some of my own research, and can vouch for most of its accuracy.
     
  16. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Honest politician.
     
  17. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    That's not even mythical, it's make-believe!
     
  18. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    Yep. NO ONE believes in those!
     
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  19. Aaron DC
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  20. Robert_S
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    Harpy
    Hag (night, sea)
    Troll
    Goblin (I believe tolkien used Goblin and Orc interchangeably, but DnD made them distinct beings)
    Ghouls
    Banshee
    Ghosts
    Will-o-Wisp
    Spectre
    Poltergeist
    Revenant
    Hydra

    ADDENDUM: There are some ethnic based critters: Draugr, Baba Yaga (might be overdone as she was in both Fables and Hellboy comic books).
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  21. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you sure you don't want to introduce some of the more obscure creatures to your audience? I'm pretty sure that a lot of people wouldn't know about the cerberus, basilisk, or hippogriff without JK Rowling ;)
     
  22. Rhys
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    Rhys Member

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    Don't know if it's been mentioned but the nine-tailed fox is one of my favourite mythical creatures.
     
  23. Bookish_Introvert
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    Bookish_Introvert Member

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    You mean the kyuubi? That's pretty specific to Japanese mythology :meh:

    Op, I'm working on my own creature index at the moment, but I've opted to create my own fantasy creations. The way I've succeeded in this by taking a page out of Stephen King's book: I only write about the things that scare me.
     
  24. Rhys
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    Rhys Member

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    The Kyuubi is one version of it, yeah.

    The OP said they wanted to dig deeper and not use the obvious mythical creatures so it just came to me.
     

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