Inspired by my own world building post, I thought I would begin a spin-off series. If you guys like it, I will keep writing.
I absolutely love mythological creatures. It probably would have been my favorite class in Hogwarts. When they announced Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them I squealed like the little girl that I am on the inside. Don’t lie. You did, too.
That said, there are some creatures that deserve some page time in our stories. This new series, Mytho-Zoology, is to help inspire fantasy writers with creatures that aren’t well known, but are just as cool.
The first place that we are going in our Magic School Bus-esque adventure is into Persian Mythology. The empire of Persia began in what we know as Iran and spread as far as Egypt, building on the bright colors of the culture and taking on the sandy geography.
The Azhdaha is, essentially, a snake that would not stop growing. It is said to be the Persian equivalent of a dragon. The snake grew and grew until God thrust it into the ocean, where the stubborn serpent continued to grow. The beast adapted to the ocean waters, growing two fin-like wings. It is said that the movement of the ocean is an Azhdaha moving beneath the waters.
Can you imagine a viper that grew to be the size of a dragon? I like to imagine that it might actually dwarf a traditional dragon.
A much simpler name to try to pronounce, but a just as majestic creature. The Huma Bird is said to fly over Persia, eternally living in the skies, unable to land. This bird is thought to be similar to a phoenix, consuming itself in fire every 100 years. It is also compared to a bird of paradise. It is a massive bird that perhaps does not even have legs.
The Huma Bird bestows fortune and having even seen it can make a person happy for the rest of their lives. To catch one is a great sin. To kill one is even worse, an omen falling upon the killer’s head that they will die within forty days.
This is yet another bird, but unlike the Huma Bird, it is the bird that took roost in the Gaokereana tree. From that tree came the root of all medicinal plant life because the Simurgh beat its wings and spread the tree’s seed across the world. The bird is rumored to have the same healing capabilities as the tree in which it roosts.
The Simurgh is said to be a bird with copper feathers and the face of a woman. It reminds me of a much more pleasant harpy. It could have the talons of a lion or the feathers of a peacock. There are a lot variations, but most are some amalgamation of bird and human.
Did you enjoy my venture into the world of Mytho-zoology? I really did. Its eye opening and inspiring for me. Traveling into the mythology of a lesser known culture is fun, no matter how short lived it felt! If you want more creatures in these lists, just ask in the comments below! Or, suggest the next mythology destination!
What was your favorite? I think I’m a little in love with the idea of the Azhdaha and it’s sheer size.