(Note: I know very very little about Japanese mythology and next to nothing about the actual deities, and the same with Russian pre-Christian myth. Thus I am defaulting back to Greek gods for this, for which I apologize, and anyone who knows more about the gods of either culture is more than welcome to take this over from me for anon.)
Sometime between the short program and the free skate at Yuuri’s first GPF, he gets cursed. (Don’t worry, this means that Vicchan lives, I wouldn’t be THAT mean to Yuuri.)
Not by the gods, I hasten to add, whichever his patron god is is actually quite fond of him (I say “whichever” because there are debates over whether the athleticism or the art of skating is more important, people pray to like three different gods for it and also somewhere in the world a surprised Goddess of Figure Skating did pop up but she hasn’t gained a lot of traction yet, but the Muses have sort of adopted her). But a human magician–maybe a supporter of one of his rivals, but whoever it is cursed him and disappeared, and the curse makes it so gravity pulls him down twice as hard whenever he tries to make a jump, so obviously he comes last in the GPF because he can’t land a jump.
He goes home, and he thinks and he skates and he battles the force of gravity and gets some of his jumps back even though every one of them seems to steal the breath from his lungs. He skates Viktor’s routine and collapses on the ice when it’s done, but even if the jumps were downgraded, he did them.
And back in Russia, Viktor gets a link to a video from a number he doesn’t recognize, followed by a flood of the same link from numbers he does recognize, and he decides to go help Yuuri fight gravity–and maybe break a curse.
(Of course Aphrodite has a cell phone. You never know when you’re going to need to do a bit of subtle matchmaking.)
They’re all here! I took it upon myself to create an illustration of a Mythological creature or character for every letter of the alphabet, trying to span across a multitude of cultures and creature-types. Another thing I wanted to accomplish with this project was to find some the more unusual and/or obscure creatures that don’t get as much representation in artwork. Individual Tumblr Posts with said creatures’ descriptions are below.
Again, I’ll be making this into a small run of books as a way to test the waters. If there’s more demand for a larger run, I’ll definitely be looking into it!
please be respectful of cultural boundaries when working with mermaids from various cultures and traditions, and be mindful not to intrude.
🌊 Rusalkas - slavic in origin, disturbed spirits of the “unclean dead”, ghosts of women who died violent deaths, with a penchant for drowning young men. they live only in rivers and lakes, and are known to have green hair like aquatic plants, only appearing in the night.
🌊 Melusina - a mermaid that walks among humans, but returns to their two-tailed form during baths and when they bathe their children. often a water spirit of a nearby lake or river. french origin.
🌊 Siren - greek mythology. servants and companions of persephone, whom searched for her when she was abducted. they are known to sometimes have the body of a bird, and for their song, which lured sailors to their doom. cannibalism implied folklore. have the power of prophecy.
🌊 Merrow - irish mermaid. known to have green hair and webbed fingers. particular noted love of music and their red cap, which when stolen, they will live with the thief until they find it, and then return to the water, leaving even a whole family behind.
🌊 Ben-varrey - from the isle of man, known to bless those that are kind to them with prosperity, gifts, and even the location of treasure.
🌊 Aicaya -
Caribbean mermaid, humans who become mermaids when they are shunned from their community and go to live in the sea.
🌊 Amabie - japanese merpeople, with birdlike torsos and three legs and scales. they are gifted with prophecy, usually foretelling abundant harvests or epidemics
🌊 Ningyo - “human faced fish” known to have golden scales, that brings bad weather and misfortune when caught, but when their flesh is eaten the consumer is granted youth and beauty, even agelessness.
🌊 Finman / Finwife - magical shapeshifters that disguise themselves as sea creatures or plants to lure humans, unlike most mermaids they kidnap people from the shores to be their spouses or servants. they have a greed for jewelry and coins, particularly silver, and prefer humans over other finfolk.
🌊 Sirena Chilota - considered the more friendly mermaids, caring for all fish life and rescuing drowned sailors to restore life to them. known for their human-like beauty and youth, according to legend they are the child of a human and a “king of seas”, tears are a powerful substance. from chilote mythology.
🌊 Cecealia - sometimes known as “sea witches”, they are half human and half octopus. origins in native american and japanese mythology.
🌊 Sirena / Siyokoy - the philippine version of mermaid and merman respectively. also called “magindara”, they are known to protect the waters from raiders, and protect the boy moon from sea monsters. Siyokoys can sometimes have legs however, covered with scales and webbed feet
🌊 Sea Mither - scottish/orcadian mythology, a spirit that personifies the sea during spring and summer, battles along scottish isles using storms to bring the summer about. a mother figure to all aquatic life.
🌊 Ceasg - a fresh-water mermaid, specifically half-salmon, said to grant three wishes if captured. sometimes called maighdean na tuinne (maid of the wave) or maighdean mhara (maid of the sea). scottish.
🌊 Selkie - though somewhat different from the typical mermaid, as they are not cold-blooded, have the body of a seal in the water and are human on land. in legends their skins are often stolen and they are kept by fishermen as spouses, or become lovers to fishermen’s wives who shed tears into the sea.
Kitsune, messengers of the rice god Inari, at a shrine called Mizu-Inari in Waseda, Tokyo. You’re wondering what they’re holding in their mouths? One has a key to the granary; the other one has a tama or jewel, which represents both financial and spiritual health.
I just realized that Qrow is totally a Karasu-tengu (Crow Tengu) in Japanese mythology. (One of the folklore that actually paint crows in a positive light.) They’re winged bird creatures that can shape-shift and take human form, are skilled sword fighting warriors, have great knowledge, and protect the law of the land. They are the deities called upon in prayer by desperate people (Tai) to help their children (Yang and Ruby) get back home. They also play tricks on the arrogant and vain (Winter) while rewarding and helping to train those who are modest and aim to help others (Ruby).
Story aesthetics: Japanese Snow white and Rose Red (Followed)-requested by @wormwoodandhoney
If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.)-Japanese Proverb
Once in that enchanted kingdom,there are two very special girls named Shiro-ko (Nana Komatsu) and Aka-ko (Emi Takei) ,they both loved each other and lived their lives quietly in that strange forest. Aka-ko longs for adventure beyond the peacefulness of the village as she absorbed herself with stories of wandering samurai batting youkais and women transformed into strange creatures. On the other hand,Shiro-ko plays the koto,engulfing herself writing haikus about fleeting nature,for she was timid of the busy world that is beyond their village.
One day Shiro-ko could see in her dreams,a bear-like spirit whispered to them to move off from their comforts of home to find its owner. For she felt frightened by the calling of the bear spirit and thus whispered that little secret to Aka-Ko being intuitive could feel a spirit came from that creature wandering around their village. And thus their adventure begins,to search for the bear spirit that enter in their house,towards strange perils and dangers. However they are not alone as there are two mischievous guardian spirits rooted in their bodies since the day they are born (A Rabbit for Shiro and a Fox for Aka) , to guide these girls along the way. They just need a little nudge to go to the big and wide world.
The red fox crosses the ice intent on none of my business. It’s winter and slim pickings.
I stand in the bushy cemetery, pretending to watch birds, but really watching the fox who could care less. She pauses on the sheer glare of the pond. She knows I’m there, sniffs me in the wind at her shoulder. If I had a gun or dog or a raw heart, she’d smell it. She didn’t get this smart for nothing.
She’s a lean vixen: I can see the ribs, the sly trickster’s eyes, filled with longing and desperation, the skinny feet, adept at lies.
Why encourage the notion of virtuous poverty?
It’s only an excuse for zero charity. Hunger corrupts, and absolute hunger corrupts absolutely, or almost. Of course there are mothers, squeezing their breasts dry, pawning their bodies, shedding teeth for their children, or that’s our fond belief. But remember - Hansel and Gretel were dumped in the forest because their parents were starving. Sauve qui peut. To survive we’d all turn thief
and rascal, or so says the fox, with her coat of an elegant scoundrel, her white knife of a smile, who knows just where she’s going:
to steal something that doesn’t belong to her - some chicken, or one more chance, or other life.”