Fantasy Creatures Part 1

Today I will begin a short blog series on Fantasy creatures. When writing fantasy, not only does the writer have to deal with creating compelling characters, he/she has to deal with world building. What kind of time, space, geographic, and political world will the story build itself out in? Within all of these factors live ethnic races and creatures that will come across our hero throughout the story line. How does one go about developing these fantastical creatures and races? You can just make them up. I think, as a writer, this is a part that you must do. One can’t simply create a new and interesting story, for the most part, by using other writer’s imagination. Although there are exceptions, as fantasy has certain elements that are etched in fantasy lore and are fair game as far as I’m concerned. These are mainly mythical beings that transcend fantasy writing such as Elves, gnomes, dragons, etc. With that being said creating your own beings and races is difficult, but should be fun. Do research and play around with it. Make it totally your own.
This series will deal with the mythical that is public knowledge and dates back as long as our history can recall. Most, if not all, of these creatures are, or have been used in fantasy stories throughout time and are still main parts of good fantasy. What I do, if you want to be a little different, is take the creature and change some parts about it to make it your own. This way you don’t have to think too much, but make it set apart from the norm.
BANSHEE (See credit below)
You often hear the term “Screaming like a banshee,” well today we will learn where the Banshee comes from. Irish, Gaelic, Celtic, and Christian all deal with the Banshee and form what it is about that creature that we know it to be. The Irish use a term “bean sidhe” that is “woman of the fairies,” and the Gaelic “ban sith,” a spirit whose screeching and howling under the windowsills at night foretells the death of a member of the household. In Scotland, a “bean nighe,” meant a ghost of a woman who had died in childbirth wailing and crying, washing the shrouds in the nearest loch, of those who were to die.
The Banshee was thought to belong to the fairy world and dwell in fairy mounds, but to shun the society of other fairies.
The Banshee was often described as a small woman who wore white, black, gray or brown, with long pale blond tresses and had a waxy complexion. She would appear in the birthplace of the man or woman who was about to die, mostly in the early morning or late at night, and could be heard wailing from afar as she approached the house. Sometimes she would come right up to the windowpane. When she left it was often reported a sound of fluttering of wings.
Basically she was an omen, or some kind was sign that death was on its way. Christian lore had the Banshee as a demon who would wail as the souls ascended to heaven escaping the clutches of hell.
Interesting…Keep checking back as I will feature more mythical beings of legend to enhance your fantasy.
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—The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythical Creatures—All information about Banshee is paraphrased and knowledge obtained through this fine encyclopedia.


2 comments on “Fantasy Creatures Part 1

  1. Cool post. I was always afraid of banshees growing up until I looked up what their significance was. I used them a lot in my book to foreshadow danger or death.

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