A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern mythologies, and the Chinese dragon, with counterparts in Japan (namely the Japanese dragon), Korea and other East Asian countries.
Dragons are usually shown in modern times with a body like a huge lizard, or a snake with two pairs of lizard-type legs, and able to emit fire from their mouths. The European dragon has bat-like wings growing from its back. A dragon-like creature with wings but only a single pair of legs is known as a wyvern.
European dragons are legendary creatures in folklore and mythology among the overlapping cultures of Europe.
In the modern period, the European dragon is typically depicted as a huge, fire-breathing, scaly, horned, lizard-like creature; the creature also has leathery, bat-like wings, four legs, and a long, muscular prehensile tail. Some depictions show dragons with feathered wings, crests, fiery manes, ivory spikes running down its spine, and various exotic decorations.
The association of the serpent with a monstrous opponent overcome by a heroic deity has its roots in the mythology of the Ancient Near East, including Canaanite (Hebrew, Ugaritic), Hittite and Mesopotamian. Humbaba, the fire-breathing dragon-fanged beast first described in the Epic of Gilgamesh is sometimes described as a dragon with Gilgamesh playing the part of dragon-slayer.
The Latin word draco, as in the constellation, Draco, comes directly from Greek δράκων, (drákōn, gazer). The word for dragon in Germanic mythology and its descendants is worm (Old English: wyrm, Old High German: wurm, Old Norse: ormr), meaning snake or serpent. In Old English, wyrm means "serpent", and draca means "dragon".
A wyvern (/ˈwaɪvərn/ weye-vərn), sometimes spelled wivern, is a legendary winged creature with a dragon's head and wings; a reptilian body; two legs; and a barbed tail. A sea-dwelling variant, dubbed the sea-wyvern, has a fish tail in place of a barbed dragon's tail.
The wyvern in its various forms is important to heraldry, frequently appearing as a mascot of schools and athletic teams (chiefly in the United States and United Kingdom). It is a popular creature in European and British literature, video games, and modern fantasy. The wyvern is often (but not always) associated with cold weather and ice, and it will sometimes possess a venomous bite or have the ability to breathe fire.
Wyrm (dragon), an alternative name for the mythological European dragon.
A drake is a male duck. By different roots drake is also another word for dragon.
A dwarf is a being that dwells in mountains and in the earth, and is associated with wisdom, smithing, mining, and crafting. Dwarves are also described as short and ugly. Tales of dwarves continued to be told in the folklore of areas of Europe where Germanic languages were (and are) spoken.
An elf (plural: elves) is a type of supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore. They were originally thought of as ambivalent beings with certain magical abilities capable of helping or hindering humans, but in later traditions became increasingly sinister and were believed to afflict humans and livestock in various ways. In early modern folklore they became associated with the fairies of Romance culture.
A goblin is a legendary evil or mischievous creature, often described as a grotesquely evil or evil-like phantom. They are attributed with various (sometimes conflicting) abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin. In some cases, goblins have been classified as constantly annoying little creatures somewhat related to the brownie and gnome. They are usually depicted as small, sometimes only a few inches tall, sometimes the size of a dwarf. They also often are said to possess various magical abilities.They are also very greedy and love money.
The kobold (occasionally cobold) is a sprite stemming from Germanic mythology and surviving into modern times in German folklore. Although usually invisible, a kobold can materialize in the form of an animal, fire, a human being, and a candle. The most common depictions of kobolds show them as human-like figures the size of small children. Kobolds who live in human homes wear the clothing of peasants; those who live in mines are hunched and ugly; and kobolds who live on ships smoke pipes and wear sailor clothing.
The Neuri are an ancient tribe of lycanthropes said to have lived to the north-east of Scythia, likely in present-day Poland or Ukraine. Herodotus, in his Histories, wrote about the Neuri transforming into wolves once a year. They stay as wolves for several days before returning to their human form.
The Přemyslids (Czech: Přemyslovci, German: Premysliden, Polish: Przemyślidzi), were a Bohemian (Czech) royal dynasty which reigned in Bohemia and Moravia (9th century–1306), and partly also in Hungary, Silesia, Austria and Poland.
The Přemyslid dynasty became extinct in the male line when Wenceslaus III died, but through females the title to Bohemia passed from the Přemyslids to the Luxembourgs and later to the houses of Jagiello, Habsburg and Habsburg-Lorraine.
Borivoj I (Czech pronunciation: [ˈbɔr̝ɪvɔj]) (c. 852 – c. 889) was the first historically-documented Duke of Bohemia (c. 870–c. 889) and founder of the Přemyslid dynasty. As the head of the Přemyslids who dominated the environs of present-day Prague, Bořivoj declared himself kníže - in Latin dux, which means sovereign prince - around the year 870 A.D. His title was later translated by German scholars as "duke" of the Bohemians (Czechs). Although the German dukes of the era held the same title, the meaning of his title was in fact completely different. In contrast to the German dukes, the Czech dux denoted a sovereign ruler. Bořivoj was recognised as such around 872 by his overlord Svatopluk I of Great Moravia, who dispatched Bishop Methodius to begin the conversion of the Bohemian Slavs to Christianity (see Christianization of Bohemia). Bořivoj and his wife Ludmila were baptised by Methodius (probably in 883), and the latter became an enthusiastic evangelist, although the religion failed to take root among Bořivoj's subjects.
In the years 883/884 Bořivoj was deposed by a revolt in support of his kinsman Strojmír. He was restored in 885 only with the support of his suzerain Svatopluk of Moravia. When Bořivoj died about 4 years later, his sons still minors, Svatopluk took over the rule of Bohemia himself.
As with most of the early Bohemian rulers, Bořivoj is a shadowy figure; exact dates for his reign and vital statistics cannot be established. Nonetheless, several major fortifications and religious foundations are said to have dated from this time. In old Czech legends he is said to have been son of a Bohemian prince named Hostivít.
Libuse, Libussa or, historically Lubossa, is a legendary ancestor of the Přemyslid dynasty and the Czech people as whole. Libuse was the wisest and youngest of the three sisters and prophesied the foundation of Prague (which in Czech means: "threshold") from her castle Libušín (according to later legends, Vyšehrad). Oldest sister was called Kazi and middle sister was called Teta. She is supposed to have founded the city of Prague during the 8th century.
According to a legend, Přemysl was a peasant of the village of Stadice who attracted the notice of Libuse, daughter of a certain Krok, who ruled over a large part of Bohemia. Přemysl married Libuše, the traditional foundress of Prague, and became prince of the Bohemian Czechs. Přemysl and Libuše had three sons: Nezamysl (heir), Radobyl and Lidomir.
Beauty and the Beast (French: La Belle et la Bête) is a traditional fairy tale written by French novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and published in 1756.
The story is about how Belle, a lady that is kind and pure of heart falls in love with a handsome prince that was transformed into a hideous beast by a fairy after he refused to let her in from the rain, and that only by finding true love, despite his ugliness, could the curse be broken. He and Belle are married and they live happily ever after together.
Sleeping Beauty, (French: La Belle au bois dormant "The Beauty Sleeping in the Wood") by Charles Perrault or "Little Briar Rose" (German: Dornröschen) by the Brothers Grimm is a classic fairy tale involving a beautiful princess, a sleeping enchantment, and a handsome prince. The version collected by the Grimms was an orally transmitted version of the originally literary tale published by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697. This in turn was based on Sun, Moon, and Talia by Giambattista Basile (published posthumously in 1634), which was in turn based on one or more folk tales. The earliest known version of the story is Perceforest, composed between 1330 and 1344 and first printed in 1528.
Little Red Riding Hood, or Little Red Ridinghood, also known as Little Red Cap or simply Red Riding Hood, is a French and later European fairy tale about a young girl and a Big Bad Wolf. The story has been changed considerably in its history and subject to numerous modern adaptations and readings. The story was first published by Charles Perrault.
The story revolves around a girl called Little Red Riding Hood, after the red hooded cape/cloak (in Perrault's fairytale) or simple cap (in the Grimms' version called Little Red-Cap) she wears.
Her real name was Maisie; but the neighbors round about all called her "Little Red Riding-Hood," because of a scarlet riding-hood and cloak that her kind old grandmother had made for her, and which she nearly always wore.
The girl walks through the woods to deliver food to her sickly grandmother (wine and cake depending on the translation). In the Grimms' version at least, she had the order from her mother to stay strictly on the path.
A mean wolf wants to eat the girl and the food in the basket. He secretly stalks her behind trees and bushes and shrubs and patches of little grass and patches of tall grass. He approaches Little Red Riding Hood and she naïvely tells him where she is going. He suggests the girl pick some flowers, which she does. In the meantime, he goes to the grandmother's house and gains entry by pretending to be the girl. He swallows the grandmother whole (in some stories, he locks her in the closet) and waits for the girl, disguised as the grandma.
When the girl arrives, she notices that her grandmother looks very strange. Little Red then says, "What a deep voice you have!" ("The better to greet you with"), "Goodness, what big eyes you have!" ("The better to see you with"), "And what big hands you have!" ("The better to hug/grab you with"), and lastly, "What a big mouth you have" ("The better to eat you with!"), at which point the wolf jumps out of bed, and swallows her up too. Then he falls asleep. In Charles Perrault's version of the story (the first version to be published), the tale ends here. However, in later versions the story continues generally as follows:
A lumberjack (in the French version but in the Brothers Grimm and traditional German versions, a hunter), comes to the rescue and with his axe cuts open the sleeping wolf. Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother emerge unharmed. They then fill the wolf's body with heavy stones. The wolf awakens and tries to flee, but the stones cause him to collapse and die. (Sanitized versions of the story have the grandmother shut in the closet instead of eaten, and some have Little Red Riding Hood saved by the lumberjack as the wolf advances on her, rather than after she is eaten.)
Rapunzel is a German fairy tale in the collection assembled by the Brothers Grimm, and first published in 1812 as part of Children's and Household Tales. The Grimm Brothers' story is an adaptation of the fairy tale Rapunzel by Friedrich Schulz published in 1790.
A lonely couple, who want a child, live next to a walled garden belonging to a witch. The wife, experiencing the cravings associated with the arrival of her long-awaited pregnancy, notices a rapunzel plant (or, in some versions of the story, rampion), growing in the garden and longs for it, desperate to the point of death. One night, her husband breaks into the garden to gather some for her; on a second night, as he scales the wall to return home, an evil witch named Dame Gothel catches him and accuses him of theft. He begs for mercy, and she agrees to be lenient, on condition that the then-unborn child be given to her at birth. Desperate, he agrees. When the baby is born, Dame Gothel takes her to raise as her own, and names her Rapunzel, after the plant her mother craved. She grows up to be the most beautiful child in the world with long golden hair. When she reaches her twelfth year, Dame Gothel shuts her away in a tower in the middle of the woods, with neither stairs nor a door, and only one room and one window. When she visits her, she stands beneath the tower and calls out:
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair.
Upon hearing these words, Rapunzel would wrap her long, fair hair around a hook beside the window, dropping it down to Dame Gothel, who would then climb up the hair to Rapunzel's tower room. (A variation on the story also has Dame Gothel imbued with the power of flight and/or levitation and Rapunzel unaware of her hair's length.)
One day, a prince rides through the forest and hears Rapunzel singing from the tower. Entranced by her ethereal voice, he searches for her and discovers the tower, but is naturally unable to enter. He returns often, listening to her beautiful singing, and one day sees Dame Gothel visit, and thus learns how to gain access to Rapunzel. When Dame Gothel has gone, he bids Rapunzel let her hair down. When she does so, he climbs up, makes her acquaintance, and eventually asks her to marry him. She agrees.
Together they plan a means of escape, wherein he will come each night (thus avoiding the Dame Gothel who visits her by day), and bring Rapunzel a piece of silk, which she will gradually weave into a ladder. Before the plan can come to fruition, however, she foolishly gives the prince away. In the first edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales, she innocently says that her dress is getting tight around her waist (indicating pregnancy); in the second edition, she asks Dame Gothel (in a moment of forgetfulness) why it is easier for her to draw up the prince than her. In anger, she cuts off Rapunzel's hair and casts her out into the wilderness to fend for herself.
When the prince calls that night, Dame Gothel lets the severed hair down to haul him up. To his horror, he finds himself staring at her instead of Rapunzel, who is nowhere to be found. When she tells him in anger that he will never see Rapunzel again, he leaps from the tower in despair and is blinded by the thorns below. In another version, she pushes him and he falls on the thorns, thus becoming blind.
For months, he wanders through the wastelands of the country and eventually comes to the wilderness where Rapunzel now lives with the twins she has given birth to, a boy and a girl. One day, as she sings while fetching water, he hears her voice again, and they are reunited. When they fall into each other's arms, her tears immediately restore his sight. He leads her and their children to his kingdom, where they live happily ever after.
In some versions of the story, Rapunzel's hair magically grows back after the prince touched it.
In another version of the story, it ends with the revelation that the enchantress had untied Rapunzel's braid after the prince leapt from the tower, and it slipped from her hands and landed far below, leaving her trapped in the tower.
Rumpelstiltskin (German: Rumpelstilzchen) is the title character and antagonist of a fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers in Germany. He's an imp that helps a miller's daughter to spin straw into gold in order to win a bet against the king: the poor girl becomes queen. However, the imp asks in exchange for the queen's first child. The young woman has to guess the imp's name in order to make him disappear. A guard hears Rumpelstiltskin singing a song about himself, revealing his name, and then tells the queen. Upon hearing his name, Rumpelstiltskin angrily stomps one foot into the ground and splits himself in half.
Individual Characters & Creatures
Familiars in this section should be considered as individuals and don't share their characteristics with other ones.
An Alp is a nightmare creature originating in German folklore. The word "alp" is a variation on the word "elf". An alp is typically male, while the mara and mart appear to be more feminine versions of the same creature. Its victims are often females, whom it attacks during the night, controlling their dreams and creating horrible nightmares (hence the German word Alptraum ("elf dream"), meaning a nightmare).
Ankou (Breton: Ankoù) is a personification of death in Breton mythology as well as in Cornish and Norman French folklore. There are many tales involving Ankou, who appears as a man or skeleton wearing a cloak and wielding a scythe and in some stories he is described as a shadow that looks like a man with an old hat and a scythe, often atop a cart for collecting the dead. He is said to wear a black robe with a large hat which conceals his face. According to some [who?], he was the first child of Adam and Eve. Other versions have it that the Ankou is the first dead person of the year (though he is always depicted as adult, and male), charged with collecting the others' soul before he can go to the afterlife. He is said to drive a large, black coach pulled by four black horses; accompanied by two ghostly figures on foot.
Anneberg is a demon of the mines, known principally in Germany. On one occasion he killed with his breath twelve miners who were working in a silver mine of which he had charge. He is wicked and terrible demon, represented under the figure of a horse, with an immense neck and frightful eyes.
In occult lore the fairy Ariel is an air elemental. Shakespeare mentioned him in The Tempest, saying that with his song, he could bind or loose the winds, enchant men or drive them mad. With his control of all the powers of air, his winds circle the earth. Inhaled air is the sustaining breath of life; exhaled air carries the words, poetry, and song that communicate human ideas and knowledge. But words can wound as well as praise, condemn as well as exalt. The gentle summer breeze can become the destructive hurricane. It is for this reason that the magical symbol of air is a two-edged sword.
Asena is the name of a she-wolf associated with a Göktürk ethnogenic myth "full of shamanic symbolism."
Legend tells of a young boy who survived a battle; a female wolf finds the injured child and nurses him back to health. The wolf, impregnated by the boy, escapes her enemies by crossing the Western Sea to a cave near the Qocho mountains and a city of the Tocharians, giving birth to ten half-wolf, half-human boys. Of these, Ashina becomes their leader and instaures the Ashina clan, which ruled over the Göktürk and other Turkic nomadic empires.
According to the tradition of the Physiologus and medieval bestiaries, the aspidochelone is a fabled sea creature, variously described as a large whale or vast sea turtle, and a giant sea monster with huge spines on the ridge of its back. No matter what form it is, it is always described as being huge, often it is mistaken for an island and appears to be rocky, with crevices and valleys with trees and greenery and having sand dunes all over it. The name aspidochelone appears to be a compound word combining Greek aspis (which means either "asp" or "shield"), and chelone, the turtle. It rises to the surface from the depths of the sea, and entices unwitting sailors with its island appearance to make landfall on its huge shell and then the whale is able to pull them under the ocean, ship and all the people, drowning them. It also emits a sweet smell that lures fish into its trap where it then devours them. In the moralistic allegory of the Physiologus and bestiary tradition, the aspidochelone represents Satan, who deceives those whom he seeks to devour.
Aušrinė is a feminine deity of the Morning Star (Venus) in Lithuanian mythology. She is the antipode to Vakarinė, the Evening Star.
Aušrinė was first mentioned by Jan Łasicki as Ausca and described as goddess of the rays of the sun that descend and rise above the horizon. According to folklore, each morning Aušrinė and her servant Tarnaitis (possibly Mercury) prepare the way for Saulė (the Sun). In the evening, Vakarinė prepares the bed for Saulė.
In Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga is a supernatural being (or one of a trio of sisters of the same name) who appears as a deformed and/or ferocious-looking woman. Baba Yaga flies around in a mortar, wields a pestle, and dwells deep in the forest in a hut usually described as standing on chicken legs (or sometimes a single chicken leg).Baba Yaga may help or hinder those that encounter or seek her out. She sometimes plays a maternal role, and also has associations with forest wildlife. According to Vladimir Propp's folktale morphology, Baba Yaga commonly appears as either a donor or villain, or may be altogether ambiguous.
Andreas Johns identifies Baba Yaga as "one of the most memorable and distinctive figures in Slavic European folklore," and observes that she is "enigmatic" and often exhibits "striking ambiguity."Johns summarizes Baba Yaga as "a many-faceted figure, capable of inspiring researchers to see her as a Cloud, Moon, Death, Winter, Snake, Bird, Pelican or Earth Goddess, totemic matriarchal ancestress, female initiator, phallic mother, or archetypal image".
The Badalisc (also Badalisk) is a mythical creature of the Val Camonica, in the southern central Alps. The Badalisc is represented today as a creature with a big head covered with a goat skin, two small horns, a huge mouth and glowing eyes.
According to legend the Badalisc lives in the woods around the village of Andrista (commune of Cevo) and is supposed to annoy the community: each year it is captured during the period of Epiphany (5 & 6 January) and led on a rope into the village by musicians and masked characters, including il giovane (the young man), il vecchio (the old man), la vecchia (the old woman) and the young signorina, who is "bait" for the animal's lust. There are also some old witches, who beat drums, and bearded shepherds, and a hunchback (un torvo gobetto) who has a "rustic duel" with the animal. Traditionally only men take part, although some are dressed as women. In ancient times women were prohibited from participating in the exhibition, or even to see or hear the Badalisc's Speech; if they did so they would be denied Holy Communion the following day.
In the village square (formerly in a stable) the Badalisc's speech (la 'ntifunada) is read, in which the mythological animal gossips about the community. The Badalisc itself is a dumb creature, so the speech, nowadays written in rhyme, is read by an "interpreter". Once improvised, now written in advance, the speech reveals all the supposed sins and scheming of the community. During the speech the hunchback bangs his stick rhythmically at intervals.
The speech is followed by singing, dancing and feasting. In the evening the community eats the "Badalisc polenta" (a commercial version of this traditional food was launched in 2010). Until recently, village children would beg from house to house during the Badalisc celebrations for cornmeal to make the polenta; a Badalisc salami was also specially made for them. The Badalisc has place of honour at the feasts.
On the second day, at the end of the exhibition, the Badalisc is set free and allowed to return to the woods.
In Italian folklore, Befana (pronounced [beˈfaːna]) is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in a similar way to St Nicholas or Santa Claus.
A popular belief is that her name derives from the Feast of Epiphany or in Italian La Festa dell'Epifania. Epiphania (Epiphany in English) is a Latin word with Greek origins. "Epiphany" means either the "Feast of the Epiphany" (January 6) or "manifestation (of the divinity)." Some suggest that Befana is descended from the Sabine/Roman goddess named Strina.
In popular folklore Befana visits all the children of Italy on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany to fill their stockings with candy and presents if they are good. Or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad. In many poorer parts of Italy and in particular rural Sicily, a stick in a stocking was placed instead of coal. Being a good housekeeper, many say she will sweep the floor before she leaves. To some the sweeping meant the sweeping away of the problems of the year. The child's family typically leaves a small glass of wine and a plate with a few morsels of food, often regional or local, for the Befana.
She is usually portrayed as an old lady riding a broomstick through the air wearing a black shawl and is covered in soot because she enters the children's houses through the chimney. She is often smiling and carries a bag or hamper filled with candy, gifts, or both.
In Eastern European and Middle Eastern history, the Biting Mountain Goat was a predatory animal of the Caucasus Mountains. Travelers would often completely circumvent the mountains for fear of running into the Biting Mountain Goat. The foundation of many scary campfire stories is the nasty bruise that the goats would leave on the toosh of their victims while they were sleeping, which has become almost legendary since their extinction in the early 18th century.
A brownie/brounie or urisk (Lowland Scots) or brùnaidh, ùruisg, or gruagach (Scottish Gaelic) is a legendary creature popular in folklore around Scotland and England (especially the north, though more commonly hobs have this role). It is the Scottish and Northern English counterpart of the Scandinavian tomte, the Slavic domovoi and the German Heinzelmännchen.
In folklore, a brownie resembles the hob, similar to a hobgoblin. Brownies are said to inhabit houses and aid in tasks around the house. However, they do not like to be seen and will only work at night, traditionally in exchange for small gifts of food. Among food, they especially enjoy porridge and honey. They usually abandon the house if their gifts are called payments, or if the owners of the house misuse them. Brownies make their homes in an unused part of the house.
Cailleach Bhéara(ch) or Bheur(ach) is divine hag, a creator deity, and a weather deity of Gaelic origin. The word cailleach means "hag" in Scottish Gaelic. Legends over Cailleach vary for different regions from raising mountains and hills, herding dear, freezing the ground, and control over winter weather. On Là Fhèill Brìghde(February 1st) is the day Cailleach collects firewood for the rest of winter. Legend states that if she plans on extending winter, Là Fhèill Brìghde(February 1st) will bright and sunny so Cailleach can gather firewood.
Chuchunya is a hominid cryptid rumoured to exist in Siberia, Russia. It has been described as six to seven feet tall and covered with dark hair. Some cryptozoologists including Bernard Heuvelmans have speculated that Chuchunya may be a relict population of Neanderthal. Mark Hall, another cryptozoologist, has suggested surviving members of Homo gardarensis. No conclusive evidence for the existence of the creature have yet been presented.
Cuélebre (Asturian) or Culebre (Cantabrian), is a giant winged serpent-dragon of the Asturian and Cantabrian mythology, that lives in a cave, guards treasures and keeps xanas as prisoners. Although they are immortal, they grow old as the time goes by and their scales become thick and impenetrable, and bat wings grow in their bodies. They don't usually move, and when they do it, it is in order to eat cattle and people. One can kill the cuélebre giving him as meal a red-hot stone or a bread full of pins. Its spit it is said to turn into a magic stone which heals many diseases.
A grimoire /ɡrɪmˈwɑr/ is a textbook of magic. Such books typically include instructions on how to create magical objects like talismans and amulets, how to perform magical spells, charms and divination and also how to summon or invoke supernatural entities such as angels, spirits, and demons. In many cases, the books themselves are also believed to be imbued with magical powers, though in many cultures, other sacred texts that are not grimoires, such as the Bible, have also been believed to have magical properties intrinsically; in this manner while all books on magic could be thought of as grimoires, not all magical books could.
It is most commonly believed that the term grimoire originated from the Old French word grammaire, which had initially been used to refer to all books written in Latin. By the 18th century, the term had gained its now common usage in France and had begun to be used to refer purely to books of magic, which Owen Davies presumed was because "many of them continued to circulate in Latin manuscripts". However, the term grimoire also later developed into a figure of speech amongst the French indicating something that was hard or even impossible to understand. It was only in the 19th century, with the increasing interest in occultism amongst the British following the publication of Francis Barrett's The Magus (1801), that the term entered the English language in reference to books of magic.
A fiend is an evil spirit or demon. The name Grimoire Beast is likely referring to a summoned spirit or demon from a Grimoire as seen in the picture to the left.
Grýla, in Icelandic mythology, is a horrifying monster and a giantess living in the mountains of Iceland. Most of the stories told about Gryla were to frighten children.
The Grýla legend has been frightening to the people of Iceland for centuries – her name is even mentioned in Snorri Sturluson's thirteenth century Edda. People of Iceland successfully used her story to scare children to sleep. It was put into halt when a public decree was passed in 1746 prohibiting this practice to avoid traumatizing kids further.
She has the ability to detect children who are misbehaving year-round. During Christmas time, she comes from the mountains to search nearby towns for her meal. She leaves her cave and hunts for the kids. She devours kids as her favorite snack. Her favorite dish is a stew of naughty kids and she had an insatiable appetite. According to legends, there was never a shortage of food for Gryla.
The guivre (French: Vouivre) is a dragon-like or snake-like creature from Medieval French folklore that lives in pools and lakes. It has a long, serpentine body, with the head of a dragon, and it possesses venomous breath. It is said to be extremely aggressive and dangerous, but afraid of naked people; it will blush and look away when faced with someone who has no clothes on.
The Hercinia is a legendary Medieval bird that is native to the Hercynian forest of Germany. It is known to be a bird with glowing feathers, some described it as plated in metals of silver and gold. The radiant bird would light the way for those traversing the ofttimes treacherous paths through the dense growth of the forest. They served as guides and earned an honored reputation as a good omen for those who came upon them. They are associated with luck and hope in the darkness.
A Hussar refers to a number of types of light cavalry. This type of cavalry first appeared in the Hungarian army of King Matthias Corvinus. The title and distinctive dress (often flamboyant) of these horsemen was subsequently widely adopted by light cavalry regiments in European and other armies. A number of armored or ceremonial mounted units in modern armies retain the designation of hussars.
Ilya Muromets, or Ilya of Murom (Russian: Илья Муромец) is a folk hero of Kievan Rus', a bogatyr (akin to knight-errant) and a character of many bylinas (medieval epic poems). In the legends he is often featured alongside fellow bogatyrs Dobrynya Nikitich and Alyosha Popovich.
Although Ilya Muromets's adventures are mostly a matter of epic fiction, he is believed to have a historical prototype: a medieval warrior, and in later life a monk, named Ilya Pechorsky. Venerable Ilya Pechorsky is beatified as a monastic saint of the Orthodox Church. His relics are preserved in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra.
According to legends, Ilya Muromets, the son of a farmer, was born in a village near Murom. He suffered serious illness in his youth and was unable to walk until the age of 33. He could only lie on a Russian oven, until he was miraculously healed by two pilgrims. He was then given super-human strength by a dying knight, Svyatogor, and set out to liberate the city of Kiev from Idolishche to serve Prince Vladimir the Fair Sun (Vladimir Krasnoye Solnyshko). Along the way he single-handedly defended the city of Chernigov from nomadic invasion (possibly by Polovtsi) and was offered knighthood by the local ruler, but Ilya declined to stay. In the forests of Bryansk he then killed the forest-dwelling monster Nightingale the Robber (Solovei-Razboinik), who could murder travellers with his powerful whistle.
Ilya Muromets's name became a synonym of an outstanding physical and spiritual power and integrity, dedicated to the protection of the Homeland and People and over time has become a hero of numerous movies, pictures, monuments, cartoons and anecdotes. He is the only epic hero canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Although the remains of Ilya Muromets are supposedly stored in Kiev Pecherski Monastery, his character probably does not represent a unique historical persona, but rather a fusion of multiple real or fictional heroes from vastly different epochs. Thus, Ilya supposedly served Prince Vladimir of Kiev (ruled 980–1015); he fought Batu Khan, the founder of Golden Horde (c. 1205–55); he saved Constantine the God-Loving, the tsar of Constantinople, from a monster (there were a number of Byzantine emperors named Constantine, none of them contemporaries of Prince Vladimir or Batu Khan, and the one most likely to be called "God-loving" was Constantine XI, 1405–53).
Jack Frost is said to be a friendly spirit, but can be very dangerous because if one were to insult him he would cover that person with snow or turn them into frost.Jack is a spirit and the personification of crisp, cold, winter weather, a variant of Old Man Winter. He is also at times shown as a mischief-making spirit, carefree and happiest when he can behave as he pleases. With no obligations, he is able to flourish.
He is traditionally thought to leave the frosty, fernlike patterns on windows on cold winter mornings (window frost or fern frost) and nipping the extremities in cold weather. He is sometimes described or depicted with paint brush and bucket coloring the autumnal foliage red, yellow, brown, and orange.
In some versions, Jack Frost is friendly, but kills his victims by covering them with snow if provoked. On the other hand, other versions depict him as a kinder being who only wishes to enjoy himself and bring happiness to others. He is often portrayed as an older man, though other depictions show him as a young adult or a teenager.
In more modern mythology he is often the being that parents will warn their child of in frosty winter mornings before they go outside, as it is said he will pull tricks on them and cause their extremities to become cold.
Jarilo (Cyrillic: Ярило or Ярила; Polish: Jaryło; Croatian: Jura or Juraj; Serbian: Đurilo; Slavic: Jarovit), alternatively Yarilo, Iarilo, or Gerovit, is a Slavic god of vegetation, fertility and springtime.
The Slavic root jar or yar means spring or summer.
Knecht Ruprecht, which translates as Farmhand Rupert or Servant Rupert, is a companion of Saint Nicholas as described in the folklore of Germany. He first appears in written sources in the 17th century, as a figure in a Nuremberg Christmas procession. Knecht Ruprecht sometimes carries a long staff and a bag of ashes, and wears little bells on his clothes. Sometimes he rides on a white horse, and sometimes he is accompanied by fairies or men with blackened faces dressed as old women. According to tradition, Knecht Ruprecht asks children whether they can pray. If they can, they receive apples, nuts, and gingerbread. If they cannot, he beats the children with his bag of ashes. In other (presumably more modern) versions of the story, Knecht Ruprecht gives naughty children useless, ugly gifts such as lumps of coal, sticks, and stones, while well-behaving children receive sweets from Saint Nicholas. He also can be known to give naughty children a switch (stick) in their shoes for their parents to beat them with, instead of candy, fruit and nuts, in the German tradition
In Slavic folklore, Koschei (Russian: Коще́й, tr. Koshchey; IPA: [kɐˈɕːej], also Kashchei or Kashchey; Ukrainian: Кощій, Koshchiy; Polish: Kościej; Czech: Kostěj) is an archetypal male antagonist, described mainly as abducting the hero's wife. None of the existing tales actually describes his appearance, though in book illustrations, cartoons and cinema he has been most frequently represented as a very old and ugly-looking man. Koschei is also known as Koschei the Immortal or Koschei the Deathless (Russian: Коще́й Бессме́ртный, Ukrainian: Кощій Безсмертний or Кащик невмирущий, Czech: Kostěj nesmrtelný), as well as Tsar Koschei. As is usual in transliterations, there are numerous other spellings, such as Koshchei, Kashchej and Kaschei. The spelling in Russian and other Slavic languages (like Polish "Kościej" or Czech "Kostěj") suggests that his name may be derived from the word kost' (Rus. кость, Pol. kość) meaning "bone", implying a skeletal appearance.
Koschei cannot be killed by conventional means targeting his body. His soul (or death) is hidden separate from his body inside a needle, which is in an egg, which is in a duck, which is in a hare, which is in an iron chest (sometimes the chest is crystal and/or gold), which is buried under a green oak tree, which is on the island of Buyan in the ocean. As long as his soul is safe, he cannot die. If the chest is dug up and opened, the hare will bolt away; if it is killed, the duck will emerge and try to fly off. Anyone possessing the egg has Koschei in their power. He begins to weaken, becomes sick, and immediately loses the use of his magic. If the egg is tossed about, he likewise is flung around against his will. If the egg or needle is broken (in some tales, this must be done by specifically breaking it against Koschei's forehead), Koschei will die.
In slavic folklore there are severel sources Koschei appeares in as listed below:
A Krsnik or Kresnik is a type of vampire hunter, a shaman whose spirit wanders from the body in the form of an animal. The krsnik turns into an animal at night to fight off the kudlak, his evil vampire antithesis, with the krsnik appearing as a white animal and the kudlak as a black one. The krsnik 's soul leaves the body, either voluntarily or due to a higher power, to fight evil agents and ensure good harvest, health, and happiness.
The legend evolved from a pre-Christian myth present in Slovenia, Croatia (mainly Istria and the islands), and other countries, in which the celestial pagan god Perun is locked in eternal combat with the evil snake of the underworld, Veles. The krsnik is taught magic by Vile (fairies), and in traditional medicine has the ability to heal people and cattle. However, due to the undocumented nature of oral tradition, it's difficult to determine with certainty how much of kresnik folklore originated from Slavic mythology, and how much arose from a separate shamanistic tradition. After Christianisation, the kresnik instead was claimed to have learned magic at the School of Black Magic in Babylon, but retained benevolent traits as a generous and powerful friend of the poor.
Luot-chozjik, in the Sami pantheon, is the guardian spirit of the reindeer of the eastern Lapps. She protects the domestic herds while they were turned loose in the forests in the summer. The Sami Goddess appears as a human woman, but she is covered in reindeer fur.
Mari, or Mari Urraca, Anbotoko Mari ("the lady of Anboto") was a goddess of the Basques. She was married to the god Sugaar (also known as Sugoi or Maju). Legends connect her to the weather: that when she and Maju travelled together hail would fall, that her departures from her cave would be accompanied by storms or droughts, that which cave she lived in at different times would determine dry or wet weather: wet when she was in Anboto, dry when she was elsewhere.
In Catalonian mythology, a Marraco (Català pronunciation: [məˈraku], Western Catalan: [maˈrako]) is a dragon that said have a wide mouth big enough to eat humans whole. The word marraco comes from Basque. The Marraco was considered the spiritual father of an important leader of the time, Indíbil.
Mielikki is the Finnish goddess of forests and the hunt. She is referred to in various tales as either the wife or the daughter-in-law of Tapio, and the mother of Nyyrikki and Tuulikki. She is said to have played a central role in the creation of the bear.
In the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic based on Karelian folklore, the hero Lemminkäinen offers her and Tapio prayers, gold and silver so he can catch the Hiisi elk. In another passage, Mielikki is asked to protect cattle grazing in the forest. In a country where the forest was central to providing food through hunting, gathering and cattle grazing, it was thought very important to stay on her good side. She is also offered prayers by those who hunt small game and those who gather mushrooms and berries.
Mielikki is known as a skillful healer who heals the paws of animals who have escaped traps, helps chicks that have fallen from their nests and treats the wounds of wood grouses after their mating displays. She knows well the healing herbs and will also help humans if they know well enough to ask her for it. Her name is derived from the old Finnish word mielu which means luck.
In Buryatian folklore, Moh Shuvuu (meaning "evil bird") is the ghost of a girl who died at a very young age before she could know true love. Her bitter and anguished spirit gave rise to the Moh Shuvuu, a demon that appears as a beautiful lady and seduces male travelers. Once under her trance, she lures them to an isolated spot. She then reveals her true form of a vicious bird, attacks the hapless traveler, and cracks open his skull with her beak to suck out his brains.
Nightmare (German term Nachtmahr). Despite its current use to describe any ominous dream, the term nightmare actually refers to the states known as the waking dream or sleep paralysis, usually associated with rapid eye movement. Through early European history these states were thought to be caused by demons such as the succubi or the hags. Collectively these female night demons were known as "mara" or "mare" and from this was born the word "nightmare".
Nightmare are often portrayed as ghostly black horses with manes of flame or smoke to represent their malevolent nature.
The Ovinnik is a malevolent spirit of the threshing house in Slavic folklore. He is prone to burning down the threshing houses by setting fire to the grain. To placate him, peasants would offer him roosters and bliny. On New Year's Eve, the touch of an Ovinnik would determine their fortune for the New Year. A warm touch meant good luck and fortune, while a cold touch meant unhappiness.
The Peg Powler is a hag from English folklore with green skin, long hair and sharp teeth who is said to inhabit the River Tees. She grabs the ankles of those who wander too close to the water's edge, especially naughty children, and pulls them under the water and drowns them; in Middleton In Teesdale this is referred to as the High Green ghost. It is highly similar to the Dutch folklore figure Haantje Pik, the Slavic water spirit Vodyanoy, and the German water spirit Hastrman. Grindylows and Jenny Greenteeth are similar water spirits.
Peluda, also known in French as La Velue (meaning hairy), is a supposed dragon or mythical beast that terrorized La Ferté-Bernard, France, in medieval times. It is said to have come from and lived near the Huisne river near the town. It was said to have these poisonous stingers that it could also shoot off its body, a snake's scaly neck, head, and tail, large, tortoise-like feet, and a green color. The lore proposed that the beast was denied access to Noah's Ark, yet survived the biblical flood by seeking refuge in a cave near the Huisne River.
A Rusalka is a water nymph, a female spirit in Slavic mythology and folklore. The term is commonly translated from Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian as "mermaid".
According to Vladimir Propp, the original "rusalka" was an appellation used by Pagan Slavic tribes, who linked them with fertility and did not consider rusalki evil before the nineteenth century. They came out of the water in the spring to transfer life-giving moisture to the fields and thus helped nurture the crops.
In nineteenth century versions, a rusalka is an unquiet, dangerous being who is no longer alive, associated with the unclean spirit. According to Dmitry Zelenin, young women, who either committed suicide by drowning due to an unhappy marriage (they might have been jilted by their lovers or abused and harassed by their much older husbands), or who were violently drowned against their will (especially after becoming pregnant with unwanted children), must live out their designated time on earth as rusalki. However, the initial Slavic lore suggests that not all rusalki occurrences were linked with death from water, and, as the name suggests, red-haired women often aroused suspicion in traditional Russian societies as being bewitched, a connotation that might have come with the Orthodox faith sometime around late 15th century.
In Romanian mythology, strigoi (English: striga, poltergeist)are the troubled souls of the dead rising from the grave. Some strigoi can be living people with certain magical properties. Some of the properties of the strigoi include: the ability to transform into an animal, invisibility, and the propensity to drain the vitality of victims via blood loss. Strigoi are also known as immortal vampires.
In Basque mythology, Sugaar (also Sugar, Sugoi, Suarra, Maju) is the male half of a pre-Christian Basque deity associated with storms and thunder. He is normally imagined as a dragon or serpent. Unlike his female consort, Mari, there are very few remaining legends about Sugaar. The basic purpose of his existence is to periodically join with Mari in the mountains to generate the storms.
The Tarasque is a fearsome legendary dragon from Provence, in southern France, tamed in a story about Saint Martha. It had six short legs like a bear's, an ox-like body covered with a turtle shell, and a scaly tail that ended in a scorpion's sting.
The king of Nerluc had attacked the Tarasque with knights and catapults to no avail. But Saint Martha found the beast and charmed it with hymns and prayers, and led back the tamed Tarasque to the city.
The Vegetable lamb of Tartary (Latin: Agnus scythicus or Planta Tartarica barometz) is a legendary zoophyte of Central Asia, once believed to grow sheep as its fruit.The sheep were connected to the plant by an umbilical cord and grazed the land around the plant. When all accessible foliage was gone, both the plant and sheep died.
Underlying the myth is a real plant, Cibotium barometz, a fern of the genus Cibotium. It was known under various other names including the Scythian lamb, the borometz, barometz and borametz, the latter three being different spellings of the local word for lamb. The "lamb" is produced by removing the leaves from a short length of the fern's woolly rhizome. When the rhizome is inverted, it fancifully resembles a woolly lamb with the legs being formed by the severed petiole bases.
An ice-queen. When she was seized by the magician, Ortgis, her protector, Bibing, went to Dietrich for help. Dietrich killed Ortgis, routed the forces besieging Virginal's castle and married her. Some say that she yearned for her home in the icy mountains and soon left Dietrich who lived in the green countryside. Another version says that Dietrich and Hildebrand came across a weeping maiden who was due to be part of an annual tribute paid by the queen, Virginal, to the heathen Ortgis. Hildebrand killed Ortgis and the two heroes set off for Virginal's castle in the mountains. Dietrich, who somehow got separated from his companion, ended up imprisoned by Nitger in Castle Muter, but Hildebrand led a force to free him, killing many giants, led by Wicram, in the process.
A will-o'-the-wisp (or Ignis Fatuus, Medieval Latin: "foolish fire") are atmospheric ghost lights seen by travellers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travellers from the safe paths. The phenomenon is known by a variety of names, including jack-o'-lantern, hinkypunk, and hobby lantern in English folk belief, well attested in English folklore and in much of European folklore.
The Yale or centicore (Latin: eale) is a mythical beast found in European mythology and heraldry. Most descriptions make it an antelope- or goat-like four-legged creature with large horns that it can swivel in any direction.
The name might be derived from Hebrew יָעֵל (yael), meaning "mountain goat".
The zilant is a mythical creature of Tatar and Russian folklore. It is depicted as a winged snake, or a wyrm-type dragon. It is part of the legends behind the foundation of Kazan, and has been the official symbol of Kazan since 1730.
In Russian and Ukrainian folklore, Zmey Gorynych, a dragon-like creature, has three heads, is green, walks on two back paws, has small front paws, and spits fire. According to one bylina (traditional East Slavic oral epic narrative poem), Zmey Gorynych was killed by Dobrynya Nikitich.