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Under-used supernatural creatures:

 101 judasmartel, Mon, 2nd Apr '12 6:16:23 AM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
[up] Actual mounds of dirt. Don't get it wrong.

[up][up] Wha? I actually thought I included the tiyanak in there! Vampiric babies are not their only forms, though. Another form is that of a provincial woman looking for work in the city or something like that.

[up][up] We're talking about ant hills here. And sometimes random dirt mounts too. Can't blame ancient folk for thinking those were dwarves' dwellings, truth be told.

 103 judasmartel, Mon, 2nd Apr '12 8:37:53 AM from Philippines
Accelolita's Butler
Modern-day creatures would include the White Woman in Balete Drive.

The Wordnomnom
Draugr are heavily underutilizaed. Only one i know who uses them is Bethesda, and im pretty sure the old norse versions were magical giants that roamed the land, not tomb-bound zombies.
While the breath's in his mouth, he must bear without fail, / In the Name of the Empress, the Overland Mail.
I thought the draugr were undead sizeshifters?

 106 Madass Alex, Sat, 21st Apr '12 4:34:14 AM from the Middle Ages.
I am vexed!
I'm surprised how rarely revenants pop up in fiction. Now a days all walking dead are zombies who are either slaves to necromancers or just nom nom nom.

Tell me about it. One of the great things about revenants is that there are no consistent rules or weaknesses for them — they're essentially individualised undead based on the unfortunate person who became one. They retain higher brain function, but also suffer from bizarre, twisted and violent compulsions. Many examples spread plague and disease wherever they walk, essentially making them biological weapons.

Also, draugr, vampires and revenants are all essentially the same monster with a different name. The rules change slightly — vampires are more prone to shapeshifting and cannibalism, for example, and draugr send people and animals mad just by being in the same vicinity — but the core of the monster remains the same.

None of these monsters, in their original contexts, had easy, consistent solutions. You could fight them with steel, but in many cases that would only disembody the spirit, and then you had to deal with a revenant that wasn't restricted by their own flesh. How do you fight that? You might have to solve a problem it had in life, or you might have to seal its tomb, or you might have to consecrate the coffin. Depends. The only consistent factor is that it's undead, and it can think.
 107 Nightwire, Sat, 21st Apr '12 9:30:37 AM Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Paperclip Curator
[up]I am using draugr in my Constructed World. They are a rare occurence and not particularly dangerous creatures, but highly sought-out by Mad Scientists for two reasons:

  • Their decayed bodies are riddled with exotic diseases, thus desirable for pathological researches and biological weapons.

  • The scientists of Lobotomia's most pressing goal is to find a method for bringing back the death properly, and draugr make perfect test subjects, as they usually retain their original personality and memories after death.
You see, I used to be an awkward nerd just like you, then I became Electro.
 108 Kyle Jacobs, Tue, 24th Apr '12 2:13:42 AM from Connecticut/D.C.
Nice Guy
I don't think Incubi get nearly enough use. Also, the Hekatonkheires, Baba Yaga (although she did get some exposure in Hellboy), the Roc, and the Einherjar.
Read Remus! Has nothing to do with wolves.
Euo will do!
Serpent water-spirits: various types and names from Africa. When they're nice, they're very, very nice. When they're pissed, they're horrid. Tricksters and shapeshifters, some are male, but most are female. Most widely known is Mami Wata (although she's getting less and less snakey as time goes on). But, no less dangerous if you cross her, though. wink
"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
 110 Nightwire, Tue, 24th Apr '12 4:31:47 AM Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Paperclip Curator
Baba Yaga is awesome. C'mon, she's got a f***ing house that can walk!
You see, I used to be an awkward nerd just like you, then I became Electro.
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
The iaculus, of course. tongue
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
 112 d Roy, Tue, 24th Apr '12 4:37:53 AM Relationship Status: Getting away with murder
Oh wow, this thread is a gold mine.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
[up] Tell me about it. Plotbunnies suddenly appear in my head whenever I read this thread. It's really helpful for one story I'm working on.

Responsible adult
@Nightwire: One year, when I tried to do NaNoWriMo but failed, I came up with a plot about where Baba Yaga is now. She traded up her walking house for an entire island that roams the world on a pair of submerged chicken legs, and she took all the witches of the world there with her. The story would have been about a family who was shipwrecked on the island, and had to hunt for Baba Yaga on it against the other witches. For while she is still awesome (in the traditional sense) and terrifying, she alone among the witches is fair, and would help them home.

So yeah, definitely agreed she isn't used enough.

edited 24th Apr '12 12:34:15 PM by FreezairForALimitedTime

"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
Euo will do!
That's the joy of Baba Yaga: although she's always terrifying, she's more of a natural force than Evil for just the lulz, if you play your cards right. If you can, she gives you what you want (OK: with maybe some Literal Genie). Used right, she can be antagonist or ally. Or both. wink

Actually... so can Mami Wata, come to think. Except, you've got better odds of her being nice. Hmmm... that gives me an idea, actually...
"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
I don't know what it'd be called, but in one of my stories I've got a vampire/fast zombie hybrid which are corpses inhabited by the spirits of demons.

There's a severe And I Must Scream here because the spirit of the original owner hasn't left yet. If the body is physically destroyed the demon gets said original spirit and can do anything it wants with it. This is used as a form of permanent torture.

The vampire part is because the demons do that just for fun. The zombie part is because they're technically the walking dead, not breathing or having a pulse and all.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
 117 Crystal Glacia, Tue, 24th Apr '12 2:22:32 PM from Cedarpointland
patience, young padawan
Yeah, but this thread is about underused supernatural creatures from real-world lore, not conglomerations of things that you make up.
 118 Ralanr, Mon, 29th Oct '12 10:33:36 AM from My deep imagination
I hate my ADD Meds
I still say there should be more Oni's. But a person could just say ogre or troll instead which I personally do not like. An Oni is considered as a mountain spirit, demon or both. Hell they can be treated as gargoyles because they may ward off bad spirits.

Probably annoyed by this because it's always bad guys....and the fact that they are always guys. I don't care if it would be ugly but show us the opposite sex of the species so that we know that they exist (unless they reproduce asexually....or like the Asari)

Oh here's a creature that I don't think is used much (unless you count japanese fantasy games with western elements)

Slimes!

edited 29th Oct '12 10:33:44 AM by Ralanr

http://ralanr.deviantart.com/

My Deviant art profile, A plea for attention, cause I am bored
 119 Zarek, Mon, 29th Oct '12 6:52:50 PM from anywhere in time and space Relationship Status: Dating the Doctor
Type 40
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

Biting is just like kissing, except there's a winner.
 120 Morwen Edhelwen, Tue, 30th Oct '12 3:49:58 PM from Sydney, Australia
Tolkien freak
I actually had something of an idea for something involving Mami Wata. She's fascinating.
The road goes ever on. -Tolkien
Ecce Homo Superior
[up][up]I've seen a couple of more-or-less far-fetched explanations for why Poseidon was the god of horses. The most plausible one seems to be that Poseidon was originally the god of water in general, and horses are very good at finding hidden streams and springs. Presumably, early nomadic Indo-Europeans noticed that their horses could find drinking-water that would be invisible to humans, and decided that there was some sort of connection between horses and water.

I'd never actually heard about perytons before. They sound fascinating.
(it's David Bowie)
 122 Zarek, Wed, 31st Oct '12 5:23:45 AM from anywhere in time and space Relationship Status: Dating the Doctor
Type 40
[up]Ah. I always assumed it was because the sea foam of a wave looks (vaguely) like a bunch of white horses galloping across the water.
Biting is just like kissing, except there's a winner.
 123 Demetrios, Wed, 31st Oct '12 10:32:26 AM from Northbrook, Illinois
I make mention of perytons in my books (at least in the supplemental material so far). In the Atlantean tradition, an aspiring squire who sought to become a knight had to kill a peryton and bring back its head, and then an aspiring knight who sought to become a paladin had to kill a dragon and bring back one of its claws.
Yoko is the best part of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
 124 JHM, Thu, 1st Nov '12 6:53:12 PM from Neither Here Nor There Relationship Status: I know
Thunder, Perfect Mind
I make a kind of strange riff on the peryton in my work, but I think it might require a bit of explanation.

I had been reading Bruce Bagemihl's massive tome Biological Exuberance—it was one of the first large-scale works on homosexual behaviour and intersexuality in non-human animals—and I was struck by the description of those deer sometimes referred to as "velvet-horns" (in white-tailed deer populations) or "cactus bucks" (in mule deer): Males that, due to oddities of the reproductive system, exhibit female body proportions and oddly-shaped antlers perpetually covered in immature velvet, but are otherwise exceptionally healthy.

At the same time, I had been reading about the peryton, cherubim, and the messenger-being of Islamic lore known as the buraq, a kind of winged deer often depicted with a human face yet never explicitly described as such.

My story being what it is, an angelic messenger (of the old school) manifesting as a velvet-horn peryton seemed the only logical recourse.
American hillbilly/moutain folklore hardly ever gets any play. Know what a "dummy supper" is? Ever hear of the Wampus Cat? Or the Bottom Cat (which actually isn't a cat at all)?
 
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