Fantasy Friday – Funny and Weird Creatures

Fantasy Friday

Every now and again, our fantasy worlds come up with a creature that is a little odd. They not only give our creation a little flavor but it gets our reader’s attention. Here a just a few examples of weird creatures in mythology and literature.

The Baku

A creature originating in Chinese folklore, is said to be the devour-er of dreams and nightmares and is like a Chimera in the way it is an amalgamation of different animals. In the lore of Japan, you can summon the Baku to devour the nightmares you have when you sleep but if he is not satisfied with that he will also devour you hopes and dreams leaving you empty and hollow to live out your life.

Marsh-Wiggles

Inhabitants of Northern Narnia, the Marsh-Wiggles are kind of pessimistic creatures. They have webbed feet and are rarely seen outside their marshes. The reason they are weird mainly for their appearance alone of having greenish skin, gray straw-like hair, and seem to be always covered in mud and dirt.

Peryton

This creature comes from the Book of Imaginary Beings, and is another creature that is in appearance an amalgamation of other creatures. It’s head and front of the body are that of a stag and it’s hind quarters and wings are that of a very large bird. What makes it strange and probably terrifying is that it will only cast it’s shadow in the shape of a man until kills one itself. You would never see it coming.

Monopod

This creature is humanoid in form, but stands with one leg and a giant foot, and that’s about all that is described of them. I am pretty sure that because of how the lower half of their body is set up they may be able to jump higher than the average human.

The Creatures of Wonderland

If you’ve read the stories of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, you know what I’m talking about.

Have you come across any weird creatures in your reading and writing? Let me know about the weirdest creature you’ve come across in the comments below!

Fantasy Friday – Merfolk

Fantasy Friday

When you go down the beach towns along the Outer Banks and in Virginia Beach, something you see is the statues along the road. Each town has it’s own statue that is theirs, one town has all mermaid statues. I remember passing by them every summer and love looking at the silly designs when I was little. I don’t get to go back to my hometown much, but I do miss those statues.

With growing up near the beach, you hear the old sea tales about creatures that would lure sailor to their deaths, and mermaids were usually involved. Women with beautiful faces enticing men into the water to their deaths. Normally it isn’t described what the mermaid does with the body after it drowns, but this is good! You have so much wiggle room to take it how ever you want to.

Type: Magical, Human/Beast Hybrid

Habitat: Deep Sea, Ocean

Similar to: Kelpie, Siren, Naiad

 

Fantasy Friday – Where Do Zombies Fit?

 

Fantasy FridayZombies have become the big thing over the past couple of decades, especially since The Walking Dead has taken over our TVs. Something I’ve begun to wonder though is where zombies fit into our literature, especially the Fantasy genre.

What’s In a Name?

For the most part, zombies have belonged to the realm of horror, being a metaphor to whatever we believe is “brainwashing” our society or people are blindly following. But from a Fantasy standpoint, we don’t see or use the word zombie often. Why is that?

Mainly because they aren’t called zombies outside the Contemporary Fantasy Genre. Though no matter what, Necromancers remain the same, zombies when in the High Fantasy genre are called ‘undead’.

Normally ‘undead’ is a broad term applied to creatures who return to animation after their death. Technically this term can be applied to Vampires and the Lich, but if you see the word undead in a High Fantasy story it refers to a zombie.

Magic or Science?

How a zombie returns to animation is completely up to the writer.

If the magic route is how you want to go, normally a Necromancer is somewhere in the picture, and when the Necromancer is defeated so are the zombies. On the other hand zombies can be created in other ways, general magic, or even a deity can cause the dead to rise.

With the choice of Science, take cues from World War Z. No need for a Necromancer when your zombies can run the show on their own. Here it’s a bacteria, virus, or parasite that restarts animation. But if you decide to go with a scientific approach, you have to think it through completely, but don’t forget to include the mysterious patient zero.

What They Bring to the Plot Plate

Zombies are better when used as a sort of added obstacle, than the main issue. When you have zombies as your main antagonist, you run out of ideas. When you watch zombie themed TV shows and movies they all end the same way. The zombies are still there, and you end up having to worry more about the rest of humanity than surviving the zombie onslaught. This is because there is only so much that zombies can bring to the plot on their own. Hence why Necromancers are a good to include when doing this because you have something to end the story. For me it brings a kind of hopelessness that doesn’t appeal to me as a reader.

 

But what do you think? Do you include zombies in your work? How do you include them? Let me know in the comments below!