Gargoyles are this, definitely. I mean, obviously there are notable exceptions
, but I don't see gargoyles being used very often - which is weird, because they're so cool. Beasts formed of stone that can ward off evil . . . the really cool thing is that they don't have much mythological information on them (probably because, strictly speaking, they aren't proper mythological creatures; just statues with a fantastical explanation tied to them), so you can do just about anything with them
without having to worry about accuracy.
Also, perytons are really cool and rarely used. In the few fictional things I've seen them in, they seem to go various ways, but the main idea is that they're winged stags with human shadows and (possibly) brightly colored feathers/fur. In the myth I read about them, they were man-eating creatures encountered by sailors at sea; when one of them consumed the flesh of a sailor, its shadow disappeared and it ceased to be aggressive, flying off. The intended implication was that the perytons were the souls of people who had died at sea, and after they killed a human, they're souls were free.
Unfortunately, their few depictions in fiction seem to be pegasus stand-ins. I find the "bloodthirsty sea ghost in the form of a multicolored flying deer" to be much cooler . . . even if it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for a sea-dwelling
spirit to be in the form of a forest-dwelling
deer . . . But then again, the Greek god of the sea created horses.
Mythology seems to be a consistent victim of Misplaced Wildlife
edited 29th Oct '12 6:53:18 PM by Zarek