Our final creature in the anthology, demons. Every culture has reference to them and they seem to thrive on human fear. Cave Yates is here to tell us a bit about what makes them scary:
All fears have one thing in common, a lack of control. It is the essential element to humanity that we want to preserve ourselves and others we care about. And fear, in it’s most base existence, is the lack of being able to control our fates. Whether it is the fear of heights, arachnophobia, agoraphobia, getting old, or the fear of what goes bump in the night, it is the things beyond our control that frighten us. And we spend billions of dollars as a species to eliminate and conquer those fears. Some seek therapy, some seek avoidance, some take the fear head on. But what happens when the fear fights back? For too long humanity has dismissed the existence of monsters that can prey on your deepest fear. Disbelief is not a shield, it is a bullseye.
We hope you're as excited about our upcoming anthology as we are! There will be monsters who terrify, creatures who just want to be understood, and new friends to make. Join us November 17th for a journey into the realm of fantastic creatures!
There are all kinds of lake monsters in stories and myths. Caren Rich decided to take on something different than the ordinary.
When the opportunity to write a short story for this anthology appeared I wanted to write something different, a story that could be told around a campfire. My lake monster isn’t a traditional lake monster. No water horse or Loch Ness Monster here. I can’t tell you too much but I will tell you it is loosely based on a Creek Indian Myth about the tie snake.
Have you ever seen someone who looked just like you? Author Cave Yates tells us why that's not as flattering as we might think:
The legends of the Fetch are as varied as the colors of the world. From South America to Japan they all have a hint of the doppleganger, the moving shadow, the guardian angel, or the soul stealer. And they all have some truth, all have some exaggeration. Yet in the mythology of the stunningly beautiful isle of Eire, we find the closest thing to the real story. A being from another existence, joined to you at birth, here to steal your lifeforce, and to be the death of you. Some report seeing them as old friends, some as themselves, but whatever the case it is clear they only come to you when death is near. So next time you see someone on the street you know, or even someone that looks like you, maybe keep on walking, keep on living.
Known as one of the terrors of the sea, krakens show up in many mythologies and fantasies, quite often as the bad guy. But author L. Palmer shows us a seldom-seen side of these giants:
Cephalopods are one of the most fascinating and mysterious creatures on the Earth. Giant squids do exist, yet we know incredibly little of these creatures. The Kraken, the mythical form of a squid, is usually portrayed as a horrid monster, a great beast seeking only to devour. What if they are merely misunderstood? What if they are just curious about these finless creatures called “humans” who ride vessels across the waves? What if they have quite refined manners and prefer to dress for the occasion? Answering these questions led me to Priscilla, a mermaid-educated Kraken. I invite you to meet this remarkable creature in Priscilla, The Magnificent, Flying Giant Squid, a tale mixing adventure, steampunk, and aquatic curiosities.
I know I'm excited to meet Priscilla. Are you?
Those familiar with Arthurian legend may already recognize the Glatisant, or Questing Beast. But for some, this might be a new creature. In her tale An Adventurer's Heart, Nicole Zoltack tackles this fearsome beast:
Only those who are true lovers of the Arthurian legend know of the beast Glatisant. Also known as the questing beast, the Glatisant is rather strange. Many knights like Sir Percival embarked on quests to vanquish the foe.
The Glatisant has the head and neck of a snake. Its feet are that of a hart’s. The chest is that of a leopard, but the lower torso is that of a lion. Given that it’s also called the barking beast, it’s no surprise that the Glatisant barks. Interestingly enough, medieval people often were confused by animals that they thought were mixtures of other animals. Giraffes, for example, they thought were half camel, half leopard, so they called them camelopardalis. The Glatisant is another kind of hybrid creature.
I am--you guessed it!—a lover of the Arthurian legend, and wanted to create a female warrior, almost a knight herself, who would go on adventure after adventure. Of course, she would need a great sword and also a quest. If she had to prove her worth to gain the sword, even better. And what should the quest entail? Besting a creature. Which creature? The first one I thought of was the Glatisant. Yes. The Glasisant. Not a dragon or harpy or a more traditional beast. I like to walk on the wild side. The barking side? Whichever. LOL
In the depths of the ocean dwell mysterious creatures. Among them the mermaid has held the fascination of mankind for centuries. Author Jessica L. Elliott tells us about the mermaids in her story, Talori and the Shark:
I knew going into the anthology that I wanted to write a story with either unicorns or mermaids. Since a few other authors had stated they wanted to write about unicorns, I went with my second choice. After all, what little girl hasn't at one point wanted to be a mermaid? Most mermaid stories take her out of her home and bring her to land, but for this story I wanted it to be set in her realm: the ocean. There is so much we don't know about this area of our world and who knows? Perhaps there really are mermaids living in the ocean.
The inspiration for the story came in part from my love of fairy tales and mythology. In an underwater mash-up of Cupid and Psyche and Beauty and the Beast, I explored what might happen for a plain mermaid if everything at home suddenly went wrong.
Will you explore the ocean depths with Talori and discover her mermaid world?
From ancient tales to medieval heraldry, the griffin has always been a popular creature in the fantasy repetoire. Authors Frank Luke and Julie C. Gilbert join us today with their reasons for choosing this majestic beast:
When the call for submissions was announced, I knew immediately that I did not want dragons or mermaids. They would be too popular; surely multiple people would want the grand dragon. But I looked at my own setting, Azuran, to see what fantastic creatures it housed. Story notes for unpublished pieces mentioned griffin riders. That immediately moved griffins to the forefront, but I needed more. In my research for griffins, I found old tales that treated them as riddle masters like the sphinxes. In that moment, the story idea blossomed in my mind—a griffin rider from afar carrying news of a threat, a brave knight to serve as escort, and a griffin who spoke in riddles (her riddle "he smelled like a shadow" was the first one I came up with in planning). Naturally, with griffins traditionally being fierce fighters, the action-adventure aspect solidified.
Julie C. Gilbert
As soon as I learned that a lot of people wanted to do dragon stories, I quickly switched to griffin. They’re pretty majestic creatures. They seem the sort of companion that would stand by you until the bitter end. They also have a warrior’s heart. So, it made sense to have them be featured prominently in The Golden City Captives. I really can’t say much more without spoilers, but I look forward to hearing people’s thoughts on the portrayal of griffins in this story.
Don't miss Destiny's Flight or The Golden City Captives and the griffins found therein.
One of our more original creatures is the tiny hum-fairy, from author Bokerah Brumley's Ishka's Garden.
“She settles on my fingertips, stepping down into my palm, the tops of her wings stretch out above and behind her like the ornate fins of a fishdancer, and the bottoms pool in soft, feathery puddles on my skin. She’s covered in luminescent plumage, something between a Skybird and a fairy; sentient, but not Fae. She folds her arms again and taps her foot on the fleshy part of my hand, just below my thumb.”
That’s how I describe Seesha in my short story, Ishka’s Garden. Leading up to this project, I spent time researching general mythology about fairies. I wanted to showcase both kinds. Ishka is a Fae Princess, and while my Fae aren’t pesky trouble makers, I still liked the idea of a small fairy-like creature. It’s sort of a cross between a hummingbird and a fairy—an enchanted, sentient hummingbird. For the Fae in the world I’ve built, sighting a Hum-Fairy is a good omen. They are harbingers of goodness, and all those that live in the Fae Realm are overjoyed to see one.
Are you excited to meet this little being? Me, too!
Our next creature has ties in ancient mythology ... and many RPGs.
Here is author Arthur Daigle to talk about the goblins of his short, Celebration.
The goblins of Other Place are short, stupid and mildly crazy. They live in ruins, caves, and wastelands, where rents are surprisingly affordable and no one tries to kick them out. Pulling pranks and setting traps is considered a goblin national pastime, and avoiding the consequences of their actions takes up a shocking amount of their time. They're not welcomed by civilized races due to the mess, confusion, chaos and property damage they inflict. For all the goblins' flaws they can be surprisingly faithful when their loyalty is earned and will do their level best to help a friend. Of course having a goblin's friendship is not always a good thing.
A blog about all things fantasy from the elements we all love to how to write it. Posts are from our very own Fellowship of Fantasy authors.