Lots of fantasy books have mythical creatures. Werewolves, Vampires, Wraiths, Spirits, Dragons. No one can prove they aren’t real. No one can prove they are either.
Either way, mythical creatures will always have a place in our favourite fantasy stories, and in our writing. Some are familiar, others are based on folklore, and some are new creations!
Here are a couple of my favourites:
‘You’re not starting with dragons?’ you may ask. Nope. But they are in here. Promise.
Barely visible, Wraiths are the likeness of a living person, usually seen before death as an apparition. Sometimes, they are vengeful. According to Lord of the Rings, a Wraith is someone who was killed, but lives on due to dark sorcery, or, someone who died in dishonour.
In my current work in progress, Tales from Dragonspire, if a person dies under tragic circumstances they become a vengeful spirit. If someone has a lot of contact with magic, when they die they sometimes appear as wraiths to help lost travellers.
Wisps on the other hand hate lost travellers. They appear as a ball of light, and often lead them astray. Some say that wisps are faeries, others the torches they carry.
My MC, Arckia, will encounter dark wraiths, light wraiths, and wisps on his journey! His dragon Orik thinks wisps are good to play with, and he loves batting them with his paw!
I’d never leave out my favourite mythical creature, or my favourite dragon.
That’s him. Toothless. If there’s one movie I wish I’d written, it’s ‘How to Train Your Dragon.’
Dragons are… well. Dragons. Large reptilian creatures who can fly and, usually, breath fire.
The dragons of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ are a diverse bunch. In the first movie, dragons are the enemies of Vikings. That is until Hiccup befriends Toothless and challenges all expectations of what a Viking should be. This movie has been in my top 10 since I first saw it!
There are other famous dragons. Smaug from the Hobbit, Mushu from Mulan (another of my top 10 movies!) Draco (Not Malfoy) from the movie Dragonheart. The list is endless.
In Dragonspire, Arckia’s village live peacefully with dragons. Those bound to a dragon get better housing, near the village centre, and their clothes are made of dragonskin. No dragons are harmed: Like some reptiles, my dragons shed their skin! Not all of my dragons breath fire either. Orik, (Arckia’s dragon), is a dragon of ice, which is unusual in the village!
Dragons are friends, not food. If we can’t agree on this, we can’t be friends. Just kidding. Maybe. I don’t like stories where dragons are evil for the sake of it. To me, they are intelligent, mischievous, playful. Orik doesn’t have an evil scale on his body! (Although he did kill a bandit one time…)
Werewolves are humans who transform into wolves during the full moon.
In Twilight, werewolves can communicate telepathically. I got that from the internet: I haven’t read more than a few pages of Twilight because I couldn’t get into it.
Werewolves usually travel in packs, but not always. In Harry Potter, Remus Lupin lived among humans, whereas Fenrir Greyback led a pack of werewolves even before he allied with Voldemort. (Although you could consider Padfoot, Prongs and Wormtail Lupin’s pack.)
Werewolves are a legend in Tales from Dragonspire. A story told to discourage young children from wandering into the forest alone at night. ‘The werewolf will lead you astray and bite you. You’ll never see your family again.’ Are they real? I haven’t decided yet. Legends are usually based on something! There are regular wolves too. Nick has a tame one that Orik plays with!
If you’ve read the short story I wrote a few weeks ago, you’ll already know about the Kappa.
The Kappa is a monster from Japanese folklore. It lives in the rivers and ponds of Japan.
A type of water imp, the Kappa can swim like a fish and often has amphibian features, like webbed feet. The Kappa has a membrane on its head that contains water. If the water dries up or falls out, the Kappa dies unless it gets to water, or a human pours water into the membrane.
Kappa’s love to eat two things: human children, and cucumbers. If a human saves the life of a Kappa, the Kappa will be indebted to the human.
The Kappa was a cautionary tale for children about the dangers of rivers and swimming alone.
In Tales from Dragonspire, parents from Arckia’s village tell tales of a water spirit similar to the Kappa. The stories are designed to stop children following the river down the mountain and leading outsiders back to the dragon village!
Thanks for reading! That’s all for now. If I covered every fantasy creature I could think of, we’d be here for a long time! If you want to read more about mythical creatures, Ronel’s folklore posts cover many different topics, and are super interesting 🙂
What are your favourite mythical creatures? Do any mythical creatures appear in your work, or work in progress? Chat to me in the comments 🙂