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Monsters and Creatures of Myth (Art by Edward Kwong)

I spent the last thirty years trying to prove of what I learned that day when the USS Lawton sunk. This planet wasn't ours to begin with. Even the holy types will tell you that other ancient species roamed this planet long before Adam and Eve ever set foot on it. And if we keep our heads buried in the sand they will take it back. Long story short: Monsters exist.
~ Ian Thatch

Monsters, also known as Creatures of the Night, Fantastic Beasts, Night Fiends, Beasts of Terror, among many other monikers are frightening creatures that live on Earth, often posing a danger to humankind. They are usually classified as mythical beasts attributed to the supernatural, preternatural, and metaphysical.

Overview

Monsters can be found in folklore from all across the world and are an almost universal part of human society, being nearly as old or older than humanity itself. Monsters embody the many fears and anxieties humans share as a species, and vary depending on the culture or mythology from which they come from. Unlike demons, who are considered a spiritual evil, monsters are instead fantastical biological beasts or exceptionally gruesome humanoids capable of being physcally harmed or kept at bay.

Often in folklore, a monster is the result of some forbidden and blasphemous union, such as human and animal or (in some cultures) human and divine (especially gods or angels). They may also be the result of black magic or a curse given by either mortals, demons, deities or God Himself as punishment for some great misdeed; normally a taboo such as cannibalism or the murder of children.

Description

Monsters have served many purposes in history, but their main feature is arguably to enforce ethics and discipline such as warning of the dangers of engaging in unlawful or "sinful" ways, and also being an easy way to keep young or superstitious people from endangering themselves. Example being telling tales about evil water-hags or bugbears in the forest so as to discourage dangerous play near rivers or venturing too far into forests, which may of been populated by wild animals and criminals in the days of old.

Monsters also provided a means to explain phenomena, cultures and creatures that people had not truly understood and this was especially prominent when people started traveling to other lands and saw strange people and animals that shocked and perhaps even frightened them. This caused humans to become eager to share their exploits with people back home these bewildered travelers may of told amazing stories (some may also of deliberately exaggerated the stories, since storytelling has, and remains, a major source of entertainment to many).

Origins

  • Tiamat: Not just the mother of the Mesopotamian gods, this primordial deity is the mother of monsters. It's said that before she died she gave birth to monsters, demons, and all sorts of abominable creatures that roam the Earth.
  • Typhon and Echidna: Two god-like monster who spawned most of the chimeric monsters of the Mediterranean Sea, such as Cerberus, ChimeraLadon, Hydra and Orthrus.
  • Grigori: Fallen angels who mated with human women, which resulted in monsters known as the Nephilim.
  • Cain: The first murderer, whose many descendants were monsters, such as the fierce Grendel.
  • Lilith: In some writings, Lilith was treated as the mother of all vampires or monsters giving her the titles of the First Vampire and the Mother of Monsters.
  • Amanozako: A malignant Japanese deity of conformity, who does the opposite of what is expected by society, and who is ancestor to all Yokai.
  • Loki: A trickster deity, who spawned Jormungandr and Fenrir.
  • Azathoth: The Great Evil Beast which spawned the terrifying eldritch beings known as Ogdru Hem.
  • Shub-Niggurath: An Ogdru Jahad, who spawned abominable creatures.
  • Affliction: Vampires and Werewolves emerge through these, by infecting ordinary humans, who then turn into said monsters.

Gallery

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