Creatures from your culture

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Chai26
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Postby Chai26 » Jan 9 2007, 9:32

龙(Lóng) or the Chinese dragon is a very sacred creature in my culture.
It is usually depicted as a long, snake-like creature with numerous claws, it has long been a potent symbol of auspicious power and strength.

Emperors of China use dragons to decorate their palace a lot(Take the Forbidden city for example)
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Some say, he/she sucks the moisture out of ducks.

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Postby beastmaster » Apr 5 2007, 13:49

Here is one very strange creature from my country-a bugbear.
Image
It looks like this[it has many other looks].
It is something,like a hairy man with big head,horns and tail,with one eye and one leg.He is a half man-half horse.It can transform into an unnaced boy,into a dog,calf,kid.Lives only during the 'Dirty days'.Because of this Jenuary is called 'bugbear' month.It wanders from night till day.Lives in caves,rivers,desolated wells and places where ivy grows.He entices people and gets on them.He throws them from hie clifs and trees into deep pools or he tears them between the water-wheels!
You can check more here:
For Bulgarians:http://bgrod.org/Vjara/index.php?p=bogove&page=Karakonco
For Russians:http://myths.kulichki.ru/enc/item/f00/s16/a001641.shtml
For Englishmen:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugbear
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Postby Zamolxis » Apr 6 2007, 2:55

If you google Bugbear, and go to Images, you'll see this might be quite a cool creature actually, perfectly fitting with the Heroes universe.

Is it from Bulgarian mythology?

- - -

Anyway, although there are not so many graphical representations of him, here is the Zmeu:

Image

Long story short, basically he is the bad guys in most of the Romanian fairy tales - the one our Prince Charming fights with in the end, i/o the Dragon in the West.

Of course, we also have some sort of dragon which - as TT very well pointed already - looks pretty much like the WoG Gorynych:

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Postby beastmaster » Apr 6 2007, 6:47

Zamolxis wrote:
Is it from Bulgarian mythology?

Yes,it is.There are some more creatures from Bulgarian mythology,I'd like to show,but in other posts. :D .
Zamolxis wrote:
Anyway, although there are not so many graphical representations of him, here is the Zmeu:

There is also a Zmeu in Bulgarian myths.We describe it as a snake,human and bird,with wings,legs and tail and it has shining flakes.It also has unusual power.Lives in caves,high mountains and cliffs.It's also called Zmeu Gorianin and rules over the winds.He fells in love with young girls and often carries them off.Dies defeated by herbs.The Zmeu can be a protector,or a ravisher.
Image
More on these links:
For bulgarians:http://bgrod.org/Vjara/index.php?p=bogove&page=zmej
For Russians:http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%97%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%B9_%D0%93%D0%BE%D1%80%D1%8B%D0%BD%D1%8B%D1%87
For Englishmen:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavic_dragon[/img]
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Postby Zamolxis » Apr 6 2007, 22:11

beastmaster wrote:There is also a Zmeu in Bulgarian myths.We describe it as a snake,human and bird,with wings,legs and tail and it has shining flakes.It also has unusual power.Lives in caves,high mountains and cliffs.It's also called Zmeu Gorianin and rules over the winds.He fells in love with young girls and often carries them off.Dies defeated by herbs.The Zmeu can be a protector,or a ravisher.

The Romanian Zmeu does have a thing for young girls as well, only he usually steals them to make them his brides, hence the human-like form most of the time. ;)

It can also be half-human half-beast, and sometimes of large proportions (kinda like an Ogre, or even a Giant). We don't kill it with herbs. It's the Lad Charming (the Romanian "Prince Charming") who usually kills him. He's always evil, never a protecter (maybe of its own prey only). :p
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Postby Kalah » Apr 6 2007, 23:26

Haven't seen the trolls mentioned yet...

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Postby winterfate » Apr 7 2007, 2:52

The info on the trolls is fascinating. :D

So Thor hunted them down, eh? :)
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Postby Kalah » Apr 7 2007, 12:18

Actually, no. There are two different things; a troll and a jotun. Tor hunted jotuns. Trolls on the other hand enter the playing field when Christianity becomes a factor in Scandinavia. The trolls are very un-Christian, of course.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Apr 7 2007, 12:37

Aren't jotuns just giants?!
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Postby Kalah » Apr 7 2007, 21:07

Yes, but they exist in the pagan world of the vikings. They were then part of the mythical universe of Asgard, Midgard and Utgard, living in opposition to the gods, and generally considered "the bad guys".

When Christianity started dominating people's beliefs, the trolls kept their role as the opposition to God and the Church, namely as heathen creatures - or creatures of pagan beliefs. Scholars have a theory that the belief that trolls are turned into stone when the sun shines on them is an allegory of enlightenment (i.e. convertion to Christian faith); that if you embrace Christianity you will come to realize that the big, scary troll staring at you in the woods is in fact just a big ol' rock.

So, to sum up: Jotun = old norse beliefs. Trolls = Scandinavian Christian beliefs. Basically.
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Postby ThunderTitan » Apr 7 2007, 23:45

Kalah wrote: Scholars have a theory that the belief that trolls are turned into stone when the sun shines on them is an allegory of enlightenment (i.e. convertion to Christian faith); that if you embrace Christianity you will come to realize that the big, scary troll staring at you in the woods is in fact just a big ol' rock.


Didn't dwarfs turn to stone too?
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Postby Kalah » Apr 8 2007, 2:25

Sure. Same thing. Christianity considered these creatures to be part of pagan beliefs, i.e. superstition. Enlightenment and belief in the true God would enable one to see these creatures as the figments of imagination they were.
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Postby Veldrynus » Apr 8 2007, 9:29

Kalah wrote:Sure. Same thing. Christianity considered these creatures to be part of pagan beliefs, i.e. superstition.


Right. Men with wings and flaming swords, and red men with horns are more logical beings.
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Postby EDN » Apr 8 2007, 15:38

The christian culture (does is count?), Leviathan:
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Fenrir from norse culture (again, does it count?):
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Postby vhilhu » Apr 8 2007, 15:51

the most feared and ominous creature of Estonian folklore is the Kaakohuke. nobody is safe from it.

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Postby Colonel_here » Apr 9 2007, 5:12

In tartar mythology a giant snake plays important part. It is even used to be on teh flag of our capital. The snake was responsible for diseases in the city and so one of the Tartar wizards went and defeated it.
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Postby Veldrynus » Apr 9 2007, 8:48

Colonel_here wrote:In tartar mythology a giant snake plays important part. It is even used to be on teh flag of our capital. The snake was responsible for diseases in the city and so one of the Tartar wizards went and defeated it.


Why is always the snake the bad one? :disagree:
Veldryn 15:15 And Vel found a dirty old jawbone of a walrus and put forth his hand, and took it, and in his unholy rage, he slew thirty four thousand men and children therewith.

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Postby Kalah » Apr 9 2007, 11:25

Veldrynus wrote:Right. Men with wings and flaming swords, and red men with horns are more logical beings.


I didn't say it made sense by modern standards. :)

Veldrynus wrote:Why is always the snake the bad one?


Well, you could blame the Bible again, for making the snake the scapegoat of the fall of man... which could have to do with the fact that some of the gods squeezed out by the new belief preached by the old testament, were snake-gods.
What I think though, is that the snake was considered "the enemy" by lots of folks all over Europe, Asia and elsewhere, because it was dangerous. Look out for the snake, kids. They'll bite you and kill you. They're evil.
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Postby Zamolxis » Apr 9 2007, 11:56

Veldrynus wrote:Why is always the snake the bad one? :disagree:

I also love snakes. (No Vel, I'm not flirting with you)

It's maybe part of the reason why I used to love Nagas so much. Or the H3 Fortress town, with their Serpent Flies and all the other reptile monsters.

*sigh*
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Postby Gaidal Cain » Apr 9 2007, 14:19

I think Vel'd like to hear that during the medieval times, commoners in sweden often lived with (non-poisonus) snakes in their homes, apparantly to kill rats and stuff. It's the snakes which could kill men who gave them all a bad reputation.
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