Under-used supernatural creatures:

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126 sabrina_diamond10th Nov 2012 06:40:57 AM from inside my own belly... , Relationship Status: Wishing you were here
Succubi and banshees are hardly used as well as kelpies
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127 JHM10th Nov 2012 06:44:09 AM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: I know
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[up] I've seen succubi used on several occasions, and banshees do turn up now and then, but kelpies are pretty rare.
128 Zarek10th Nov 2012 01:12:15 PM from Night Vale, USA , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Lord of the Fries
Succubi are basically the source of the Horny Devils trope.

I can honestly only think of one thing I've seen banshees in (Harry Potter, and even then it was just a quick mention), and I can't think of anything involving kelpies. Which is kind of weird, actually; you'd think people would be all over any sort of aquatic horse thing. At the least, I would expect the media to mythtake them for generic "water horses" and use them as mermaid mounts or something.
I learned to stay true to myself by watching myself die
129 Bisected810th Nov 2012 01:52:06 PM from Where pâtissières are trained , Relationship Status: Crazy Cat Lady
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[up]I think Harry Potter mentions Kelpies as well (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them describes them more or less as they are in traditional folklore too); In book 2 Hagrid's irritated about being given advice on removing them from wells.

I'll also echo what some people have already said and say I like the old school revenants to be used more often. They're basically corporal ghosts, which I think makes them much better as characters (unlike ghosts, which tend to be more along the lines of a mysterious presence; IMO ghosts who aren't The Ghost tend to be narmy if they aren't already comedic); as villains they can show up to menace the hero in person, as protagonists they have the perfect reason to Jump At The Call and as side characters they can be as mysterious in their reason for sticking around as needed (they could be anything from a mentor, to just some guy who won't let death get in the way of running the local pub).
130 RJSavoy11th Nov 2012 10:05:21 AM from Edinburgh , Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
Reymmã
Banshees do come up as a name, but it often has little to do with the original Irish folktale, which was a ghost-like creature that would cry out whenever someone died, and encountering them was bad luck. They were always female; the name translates as "she-fairy", using "fairy" in its broad sense of any magical humanoid being.

I would advise aspiring fantasy writers to look up other cultures' oral tradition, but don't just pick up names and the appearance of the thing. Try to understand how they were used, what they might have meant, and how they fitted into the cosmology of these people. That's the key to making something genuinely new that brings the reader into a bygone way of thinking.
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Yeah, the succubus is very common. 'Sexy female demon' is pretty popular, for some strange and incomprehensible reason...
What's precedent ever done for us?
Not that I have any particular complaints about sexy demon ladies in general, but I think it's a shame that that interpretation has completely crowded out the actually demonic succubus. I can't help but feel that in general, infernal rapists should be, you know, scary. Even if they're women.

edited 11th Nov '12 2:21:25 PM by Kesteven

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Basically we've all seen the demoness who won't accept no, what we haven't seen very often is a demoness that tears your arms off when you try and push her off of you.

edited 11th Nov '12 3:53:23 PM by Vyctorian

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[up][up] Well, traditional Succubbi aren't sexy at all, unless I'm remembering incorrectly. Aren't they supposed to have the appearance of an old crone, who rapes her intended victim at night while he's been supernaturally paralyzed? Or am I thinking of something else?
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
[up]Hey, mythological vampires weren't often that hot either. Look how that one turned out.
What's precedent ever done for us?
Yeah but we still see the scary vampire often enough that the sparkly one is still something of a contrast. The succubus I have yet to see a single instantiation of that's not essentially a Halloween costume.

To be fair, wikipedia does say "Succubi may take a form of a beautiful young girl but closer inspection may reveal deformities such as having bird-like claws or serpentine tails" (or cute little horns, presumably). But yeah, that's not always the case, and the main point is that they're minions of hell intent on wrecking home lives and spreading misery and horror, not Satan's kissogram. Plus a lot of the myths are based off sleep-paralysis episodes which are generally pretty traumatic.

It also says "It is said that the act of sexually penetrating a succubus is akin to entering a cavern of ice. There are also reports of succubi forcing men to perform cunnilingus on their vaginas that drip with urine and other fluids". The latter one makes some appearances in certain... speciality publications, but probably for rather different reasons than in the originals.

edited 12th Nov '12 6:15:18 AM by Kesteven

There are a lot of examples of beings from any culture's mythology, but it's more common in fiction for these creatures to only carry the name, not the traits of what they are supposed to be. Things that I assume not to be used very often in fiction are creatures such as Gaelic fairies Scandinavian Jotunn.

In some sources, Gaelic fairies encompass all types of magical creatures such as:

Redcaps (Creatures who kill people and dye their hats in the blood of their victims), Sidhe/Aos Si (Fairies/Elves who live in underground mounds), Brownies (A type of goblin or hobgoblin usually friendly). There are lots more, but these creatures generally are categorised within the Seelie Court (Benevolent) or the Unseelie Court (Malevolent).

In Scandinavian mythology the Jotunn are the giants who reside in Jotunheim. They can be friendly or hostile to humans. Many of them are described as being pretty ugly. One particilar Jotun is Ymir, who's body parts created the world, or at least most of it, but i'm not actually sure since it has been a long time and I can't remember the source.

Sadly many people seem to use stock creatures in fiction such as elves, vampires, werewolves and trolls. They may have different characteristics but are all pretty much part of the same archetype. Everyone seems to use the same mould without looking into the original mythologies. Well, that's my two cents, would take too long to list a larger amount of creatures :S. Also, Bunyips are pretty cool.

edited 12th Nov '12 7:08:38 AM by Gravyspitter

138 chihuahua022nd Dec 2012 04:29:19 PM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
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-poke-

I'll be needing this for future reference. Namely, a collection of short stories involving various mythological beasts?

One plot bunny that just popped up is from the point-of-view of a selkie—who accidently drown a few men even though all she wants is some friendly affection.

Although that's related to an earlier idea of a lovesick siren in a national park—who flies after a hiker who only sees her as a monster.

But the first one will probably be played from another angle.

139 UmLovely22nd Dec 2012 04:44:21 PM from 2814 , Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
The Darkness Grows
Are Jenny Greenteeth or sea monks used that often?
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140 Matues22nd Dec 2012 06:15:52 PM from eye on the horizon , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
WARGLFLARG
You could always try a few Ichthyocentaurs. (Imagine a Centaur, then replace the rear legs with a fish-tail).

I've yet to read a work that ever used them.

There's also Korrigans.

Either shapshifty, speedy little ugly things, or beautiful red-heads.

Or both!
How about chimerae? I've hardly ever seen them used.
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142 Zarek22nd Dec 2012 07:28:11 PM from Night Vale, USA , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Lord of the Fries
[up][up]The Heroes of Olympus series briefly features a couple of Icthyocentaurs. Then again, if something exists in Greek mythology, that series (or its predecessor) either has or will soon include it.

For example, [up] the Chimera (singular, as the series tends to avoid A Kind of One) was featured in the first PJATO book.

edited 22nd Dec '12 7:30:42 PM by Zarek

I learned to stay true to myself by watching myself die
143 Matues22nd Dec 2012 08:10:51 PM from eye on the horizon , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
WARGLFLARG
[up]

What do you know!

That's wonderful.
What's the difference between ichtyocentaurs and mermaids?

As for other underused creatures, anything from Southeast Asian and African mythology would be my guess.
145 Bisected823rd Dec 2012 05:56:20 AM from Where pâtissières are trained , Relationship Status: Crazy Cat Lady
Always watching your back.
^They still have the front legs of a horse.
146 Zarek23rd Dec 2012 06:05:21 AM from Night Vale, USA , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Lord of the Fries
Oh, I just remembered: has anyone mentioned the Nuckelavee or Dullahan yet? Because both of those are awesome and incredibly horrifying.

The Nuckelavee is basically a deformed, skinless centaur with its human-body coming out of the middle of its back so that it still has a (cycloptic, red-eyed) horse-head on the front. It rises from the sea and produces a poisonous gas called the Mortasheen (no relation to the tabletop game) that kills horses.

The Dullahan is the inspiration for the Headless Horseman, but with a few differences: for one, he still has his head; he's just carrying it around. His head also happens to be bloated to being ridiculously huge and having the consistency of mouldy cream cheese. His horse is also missing its head; the horse's head, however, is about the size of the horse's body and rolls or hops alongside it. The Dullahan was also a Grim Reaper or Banshee-type figure, as well, because if it called your name, it meant you were going to die. However, the Dullahan wasn't bound to any cosmic rules - if he happened to see you on his way to call someone's name, he might call your name too. For the Evulz.

edited 23rd Dec '12 6:06:03 AM by Zarek

I learned to stay true to myself by watching myself die
147 LoniJay25th Dec 2012 04:42:08 AM from Australia , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
I think I did mention the nuckelavee a while ago... I've seen that in fiction twice, but strangely enough in the first one (an Eva Ibbotson book, I think) it wasn't even a dangerous monster, just a very rare supernatural creature thing.
Be not afraid...
148 joeyjojo25th Dec 2012 05:15:36 PM from South Sydney: go the bunnies!
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I remembered running into the nuckelavee on the witch's duel stage of scribblenauts and was wondering what the hell that thing was.

edited 25th Dec '12 5:49:49 PM by joeyjojo

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I first learned of the nuckelavee from The Secret of Platform 13. Where it's actually treated as a fairly majestic creature and not at all the horrifying abomination it usually is, which actually made me interested in it. I do still like the idea that's present in that book in that seeing a skinless creature might actually be lovely and fascinating because you get to see the machinations of the body in detail and sort of get to enjoy how intricate they are... though I'm not sure I'm as enraptured as the narrator.
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150 LoniJay30th Dec 2012 02:55:12 AM from Australia , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
[up] Yes, that was the one I was talking about, the one I first saw it in too smile
Be not afraid...

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