1. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    What abilities would you expect a hellhound to have?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Stormsong07, May 9, 2021.

    So in my fantasy novel, I have a military unit that rides mythological beasts. One such beast is a hellhound. Each beast type has its own set of magical abilities. What would you expect a hellhound to have?
    Some of my ideas:
    -fire-based abilities - maybe breathe fire?
    -shadowy abilities- can see in the darkness exceptionally well, can shadowtravel (aka, teleport from shadow to shadow)

    What else? I want it to be powerful but not overly so.
     
  2. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Contributor

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    I'd question this. Is Hell known to be a particularly shadowy place? I thought is was more about burning, wails of anguish and people called Virgil.

    But as I always say - it's your mythology so you can give them whatever powers you want.

    This might give you some ideas:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barghest
     
  3. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    The thought process here is...where there is bright light, there will also be shadows, no? Perhaps not in Hell, which is VERY fiery, I would assume, but if using fire in small amounts in the real world, there are also a lot of shadows cast. Typing it out makes it sound weird but it makes sense in my head, lol.
     
  4. Le Panda Du Mal

    Le Panda Du Mal Active Member

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    Darkness, not fire, is the primary attribute of hell if we are using Christian cosmology. “Hell” of course is a Germanic word- the New Testament uses “Hades” and, like the pagan Hades, the Hellenistic Jewish/ Christian Hades had different parts to it, not all horrible. It is actually not a place of uniform, active torment... some parts are merely gloomy. The Old Testament righteous are believed to have been held there until Christ descended there, between his death and resurrection, and broke them out (some of the church fathers held that he broke everyone out, emptied it completely). And of course in Dante’s description there are all kinds of topographies- fiery pits, yes, but also forests, icy plains, etc.

    Anyway as a mythological creature hellhounds have a variety of attributes but the most common role seems to be hunting sinners to drag them to hell (eg Robert Johnson’s song “Hellhound on my trail.”)
     
  5. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I like this because it goes hand-in-hand with the other common Hell imagery that is cold. Not the burning Hell-fire, but instead a frozen land of still and dark, or an anti-creation as it finds its polar opposite from that of heaven.

    The interpretation of hellhounds could be that of death, moving through shadows in a planar existence to drag selected souls down to hell. The burning hellhound is just overly common.

    You can do the summon through flame business, which mostly everyone does, but if you go with some more alternative variations of the Hell descent, you could end up with a little more interesting hellhounds that hunt in the darkness, possibly sucking the light of life out of the room in a wave of cold death.

    Fun things to play with.
     
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  6. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    Invisibility?
     
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  7. Lazaares

    Lazaares Senior Member

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    The Warcraft universe has an interesting alternative to the usual "hellhound" which is instead the fabled "felhound". In that universe, a demonic lieutenant specifically created their breed to hunt down mages (those tentacle appendages can drain mana).

    Makes me think; does your fantasy faction have any specific enemy to fight? I imagine a faction riding a variety of mythological beasts might deploy a different set of riders against certain foes. If the want to fight indoors, they might use Hell-hounds that are capable of walking on ceilings and walls. If they're battling mages, the felhounds might be able to nullify magic with a howl. That's the train of thought I'd pursue.
     
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  8. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    I wrote a hellhound before. It was a shapeshifter that could be an oversized black dog with glowing red eyes or a man. It could blend into shadows. It could telepathically speak and the voice could cause an unstoppable fear reaction. I made it so it was a sort of servant warrior class that is trained in Hell to be efficient killers (in hand to hand or gun combat) but they were also somewhat emotionless/apathetic to death and therefore were not allowed to roam Earth without a "keeper" (keepers had to be people with death magic, like necromancers). They were faster and moved with efficiency but didn't have additional strength. They were not immortal but had everlasting life. But yeah, the main gist was they were scary, emotionless killers that were mostly kept in dog form by their "owners".
     
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  9. GrittyWriter

    GrittyWriter Banned

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    Perhaps create a force field? (a fire one) or is that too much?
     
  10. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Active Member

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    In some cultures, hell is a frozen place. You could give your hellhound the power of ice and snow.

    My personal idea of hell is city traffic at rush hour in which case you could give him a very loud horn...
     
  11. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    I've been known to leave my car on a random street and just walk the rest of the way. Works great until you can't remember where the hell it is. Fortunately I know most of the parking lot attendants downtown.
     
  12. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    As someone who has lived in Houston... I can relate to highway hell:
    3809a39.png
     
  13. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Active Member

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    They can keep Houston, Dallas, and freakin' insane Austin. Austin may have had the worst freeway and town driving conditions I ever endured. I-25 down the Front Range of Colorado has become unbearable since MJ was legalized: bumper to bumper traffic from Pueblo to Fort Collins.

    Aaaaand I'm off topic since hellhounds can probably just leap over traffic. Sorry.
     
  14. Historical Science

    Historical Science Contributor Contributor

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    Lived in Fort Collins for 6 years (moved last year) and it was an awesome city but any trip to Denver sucked because of 25.
     
  15. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    I'll post this to get back on topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_dog_(ghost)
    It's where I started with my hellhound thing. It's a boarder description of black dogs as omens/myths in general. I was originally inspired by an old true crime story that involved a story of a black dog: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Walton_(murder_victim)#Claims_of_witchcraft

    Not very modern paranormal fiction but the original myths are always good to help get the juices flowing for creativity.
     
  16. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    Oh and as far as fire, I always liked the concept of "hellfire" in some urban fantasies, where it was a special type of fire with special capabilities.
     

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