Bestiary #010: Dream-Time Protector

2015-03-16-Baku Color

Name(s): Baku

Country of Origin: Japan

Description:

I really like Tapirs. A lot. So this chubby wonder, based on the Malaysian Tapir, makes me a very happy person.

Called a “Baku” the explanation for this creature comes from the Japanese. It might be depicted just as a Tapir. Or like my sketch, you can have elephant tusks and tiger paws. It can also have the head of a lion and body of a horse (with paws of a tiger). Because why not mix and match our favorite animals!

Now, what’s neat about Baku’s are their helpful abilities. They maintain their rotund figure by feeding off of nightmares. So they’re a jolly animal dreamcatcher.

For fans of Pokemon, these might sound and look familiar. The dream eating abilities and appearance of first Drowzee, then later Munna come directly from Baku lore.

 

Sources:

“Baku”. Monster Mythos: A Folklore Bestiary. Tiki Machine, LLC, 2010. Print.

“Baku”. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 10 Jan. 2014.

Rose, Carol. “Baku”. Giants, Monsters & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. 2000. Print.

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Bestiary #009: This Cat Likes the Water

2015-03-09-Underwater Panther Color

Name(s): Underwater Panther

Country of Origin: Native American (Anishinaabe Tribes)

Description:

I think Thunderbirds are pretty well known, but this underwater lurker is it’s deep-dwelling counterpart. Scaled, horned, and as agile in water as it would be on land, the underwater panther is a lord of it’s realm. Revered by tribes around the Great Lakes, there was nothing in it’s territory that didn’t fear it.

This was another entry that was inviting because of it’s simple design:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Underwater_panther_NMAI_GGH.jpg

Sources:

Rose, Carol. “Underwater Panther”. Giants, Monsters & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. 2000. Print.

“Underwater Panther”. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 9 Jan. 2014.

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Bestiary #008: When Rabbits Fly

2015-03-02 Wolpertinger Color

Name(s): Wolpertinger

Country of Origin: Germany

Description:

It’s like an improved jackalope!

Now unlike all of the previous entries, I don’t have any stories for the Wolpertinger. That happens every once in awhile with an entry. The monster isn’t famous for causing terror, or battling it out with a legendary hero. They’re just remembered for being…odd.

A bunny mixed with a bird mixed with a deer? Yeah, that’s odd.

Sources:

“Wolpertinger”. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 5 Jan. 2014.

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Bestiary #007: Heartbreaker

2015-02-15-Ammit Color

Name(s): Ammit

Country of Origin: Egypt

Description:

Who doesn’t love a classic? Ammit is waiting right next to the Egyptian equivalent to the Pearly Gates. The catch? If Anubis weighs your heart and it’s found wanting, he’ll toss it right into the gaping jaws of this beauty.

A cross between a crocodile, lion, and hippopotamus, the Egyptians wanted to make sure you were scared. Instead of just threatening your immortal soul’s mauling by a scary animal, they combined the three most powerful animals in Egypt into one being.

Gotta love ‘em.

Sources:

“Ammit”. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 4 Jan. 2014.

 

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Bestiary #006: I Didn’t Make This Up

2015-02-02-Teehooltsoodi ColorSo I started this project a year ago…and it’s starting to dawn on me how poorly I prepped some of the research.

Most of the creatures come from very specific entries in favorite bestiaries. And then there are some like….this guy…where all I did was punch something into google and draw my version of a picture I saw.

SO. This is called a ‘teehooltsoodi’ according to my notes. There’s an entry in Giants, Monsters, and Dragons, but it’s not very substantial. Basically, there’s a lot of work I need to do when digging into Native American myths.

Sources:

Rose, Carol. “Teehooltsoodi”. Giants, Monsters & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. 2000. Print.

Mostly this picture:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4mO1gQsDsoM/TYj5pbGmmNI/AAAAAAAAAkk/WL8dhlKUqDg/s1600/Horned%2BSerpent.jpg

Which….oh man, I didn’t research hard at all. I’ll do better in the future.

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Bestiary #005: Oh, Deer

2015-01-26-Peryton Color

Name(s): Peryton/Perytion

Country of Origin: Greece

Description:

From Atlantis, these half-stag, half-bird beauties hold a terrible secret. Though hard to detect, if you spy their shadow when they’re in full light, you’ll see the silhouette of a man.

What happens when you die out of reach of your gods? Your soul transforms into a Peryton. Haunted by their plight, their goal is to kill another human. If they can manage that, their soul will be released and they can finally rest in peace.

It’ll be left to the new peryton to wander and seek out it’s own prey.

Sources:

Borges, Jorge Luis. The Book of Imaginary Beings. New York: Penguin Group, 2000. Print.

Bestiary #004: Hungry Like the Immortal Wolf

2015-01-19-Fenrir Color

Name(s): Fenrir/Fenris

Country of Origin: Scandinavia

Description: What do you do when you discover there’s a giant wolf that will one day cause the downfall of your religion’s presence on Earth?

You tie that sucker up.

There are a lot of great tidbits about Fenrir, but I like when the gods (who will NOT go near him – except Tyr) try and convince Fenrir into chains. They figured they need him bound so he can’t cause the end of their world. They challenge him by appealing to his pride, “You say no bonds can hold you, but how do we know you’re strong unless you allow us to test you?”. They’ve tried similar tactics with Fenrir’s dad, so it’s a good plan.

Except Fenrir is not exaggerating, and he breaks out of every known chain. So now we need a miracle.

That’s where the dwarves come in. They’re very handy, and manage to come up with a supple, thin ribbon: Gleipnir. Composed of the roots of a mountain, a woman’s beard, the breathe of fishes, the sinews of a bear, a bird’s spittle, and the footsteps of a cat, there was nothing stronger.

He’s tricked, tied, and tossed a mile underneath the ground. In the process Tyr loses a hand, but it’s a small price to pay to have saved Odin and the whole Norse pantheon.

Of course, prophecies have a neat way of working out. On the day of Ragnarok, Fenrir will break his bonds, eat Odin and fight against the gods on the side of giants.

He’ll fall to Vidar, Odin’s son, but not before the damage is done.

Gotta love giant wolves.

Sources:

“Fenrir”. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 31 Dec. 2013.

Rose, Carol. “Fenrir”. Giants, Monsters & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. 2000. Print.

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Bestiary #003: Part of Your World

2015-01-15-Ichthyocentaur Color

Name(s): Ichthyocentaur, Ichthyocentaurus

Country of Origin: Greece

Description: Related to centaurs, icthyocentaurs are both man and horse, but also have a dolphin or fish tail. Generally calmer than their land-bound cousins, Ichthyocentaurs make their home in the ocean. They peacefully coexist with with nymphs and other sea creatures.

The most famous Ichthyocentaurs from mythology are Bythos and Aphros.

Sources:

“Ichythocentaurs”. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 31 Dec. 2013.

Rose, Carol. “Ichthyocentaur, Ichthyocentaurus”. Giants, Monsters & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend and Myth. 2000. Print.

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Bestiary #002: Fashion Forward Cat

Very appropriate for the winter weather, this week’s entry is the Yule Cat:

2015-01-05-Yule Cat Color

Name(s): Yule Cat

Country of Origin: Iceland

Description: It’s a giant cat that will eat you if you attempt to leave your house under-dressed for winter. Make sure that every Christmas you’re gifted new clothing. The Yule Cat doesn’t want to see any of last year’s fashion.

How large the Yule Cat is varies depending on the story. Additionally, in some tales it is the pet of the Yule Lads and their giant mother, Gryla.

Sources:

Cereno, Benito. “kolterg asked: How do you feel about the yule cat?”. Burgeoning Lads of Science. Tumblr, 23 Dec. 2013. Web. 31 Dec. 2013.

“Yule Cat”. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 31 Dec. 2013.

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Bestiary #001: A Year To the Day

It’s exactly a year since I started a little side project of mine. I wanted to cultivate a Bestiary of my own. I suppose I’ll keep it up until it no longer captivates me. That interest hasn’t waned in the past year, so I have a nice collection of beasties to share. I’ll update the monsters weekly with their pertinent information, for those interested.

Obviously, I’ve taken artistic liberties. Hopefully they’ll average more of a boon than a bust.

2014-12-30 Fauth ColorName(s): Fauth

Country of Origin: Scotland

Description: Fauth means “hate” or “horror”. It’s actually a classification of a range of rancorous Scottish fairies. They can be found in any body of water. Generally they will be green, either from clothes or scales. They may have webbed limbs and yellow manes and tails. They lack noses, so their eyes are especially sharp. Some can assume a human form and have tricked men and woman into marriage. More often, they’ll wait for an unsuspecting soul to travel close to water and drag them under, drowning them.

Sources:

“Fuath”. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 30 Dec. 2013.

Sedgwick, Paulita. “Fuath”. Mythological Creatures: A Pictorial Dictionary. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974. Print.

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