Hello writers and the ever-curious! I am ‘Kleio’ and will be your guide to mythology, legend, and folklore. I am primarily versed in the mythologies of the ancient Mediterranean, but will gladly research any questions you send my way (they may just take a bit of time between you asking and me responding).
If you are a fellow Muse and would like to contribute to this blog with a solid knowledge of any of the other mythic traditions out there (and there are so, so many), please let me know.
The ask box is open, and answers will appear between 12am and 6am UTC
He had always wanted to be a soldier. As a child he had often been sickly, coming close to death more than once, but now he was a man, and had worked hard to become strong. As the youngest in his family, he knew all too well of the sacrifices his brothers had made so that he could have the chance to grow and live up to the legacy of his father and grandfathers before him, all decorated soldiers and honorable officials throughout history. It was the least he could do, no matter how small his accomplishments might be in comparison to theirs.
In the time leading up to the war, every wall in his neighborhood had been emblazoned with posters showcasing the virile bodies of warriors for everyone to see, of Siegfried and Siegmund, the great mythical Nordic heroes, off to slay dragons and rescue demigoddesses from giant rings of fire. He, however, harbored no illusions about the life he had chosen for himself. There would be no instant glory in the dirt and sweat of the battlefield; the most valuable prize for him would be proving that he had the mettle to defend his nation and his people, the same way that his brothers had always stood up for him back when he was too weak to protect himself.
Now that the long-awaited war had started and he finally was a soldier, the days blended together in a monotony of endless routine, a mix of minuscule, stagnant gestures that piled upon each other until he couldn’t even remember the number of days he had been gone. As the armies progressed slowly into enemy territory, he allowed himself to wonder, briefly–why was he doing this? He tried to recall the various reasons his superiors had explained to him in the meetings before. It had all made so much sense, with the maps laid out across the chalkboards and tables, demarcated neatly with spots of red and blue dotted lines, but the snippets of political ideology he had eagerly digested before dissolved like whiffs of fresh air amongst the pervasive damp stench of the battlefield.
No one spoke to him in those times, except for the general giving out orders and the occasional grunting complaint from his compatriots, and that was to him sometimes worse than the actual combat part. Between the short letters his brothers sent him at staggered intervals, he would start to wonder if he had actually lived his entire life on the barren battlefield, his interactions with them simply inventions he had made up to pass the time, and if they were real, and in the same position as himself, if had they already forgotten about him as well. Even if he didn’t admit it to himself, the idea scared him. He loved his family, but had never been good at making friends. If his brothers were killed in the war, or forgot all about him–who would he have left? Who would he protect, and be protected by? He knew many soldiers carried small, crumpled photographs of their ladyloves waiting for them back at home, but unlike them he had no such ties to a peaceful life.
Sometimes he thought about the enemy, faceless and elusive, identified only by the color of their uniforms and the shapes of their helmets against the gray skies. To them, he probably was also just another dusty silhouette, just another soldier in the Kaiser’s army, shouting orders and threats in a harsh, unintelligible language. He wondered what kind of people lay beyond the front, if they had brothers and sisters and sweethearts as well, and what things they might talk about and share with him, if he could speak their language and they could understand his. The leaders had all promised that after this war, there would be no need for any more wars. If that were true, then maybe he would be able to approach the former enemy, not as the soldier he had always wanted to be, but as just another man, another citizen, trying to make his own place in the legacy of the world.
The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne (Tóraíocht Dhiarmada agus Gráinne)
is one of the most important and popular legends in Irish mythology. It is a part of the Fenian Cycle, which is a body of stories associated with the mythical Irish hero Fionn mac Cumhaill and his warriors, the Fianna. According to the legend, Gráinne is a beautiful princess, the daughter of the High King Cormac mac Airt. Ageing Fionn has just lost his wife Maigneis and decides that he will marry Gráinne, the worthiest of women. At their betrothal feast, she is distressed to find that Fionn is older than her husband, and instead falls in love with the warrior Diarmuid (some versions say this was because Diarmuid had a birthmark on his shoulder that made him irresistible). She slips a sleeping potion to all the guests and tells Diarmuid to take her away. At first he refuses, out of loyalty to his lord Fionn, but after Gráinne threatens him with geasa (curses), he relents. They hide in a forest across the River Shannon, as an enraged Fionn sends out all his forces in pursuit. Diarmuid and Gráinne evade capture several times, with the help of some of Diarmuid’s friends in the Fianna and his foster father, the Irish love god Aengus, who conceals Gráinne in his cloak of invisibility while Diarmuid leaps over the pursuers heads. According to the many variants of the legend, Diarmuid and Gráinne travel to all number of places in Ireland and Scotland. At first, Diarmuid refuses to sleep with his lady out of respect for Fionn, and she teases him that the water that has splashed up her leg is more adventurous than he is. In one episode, a newly pregnant Gráinne is craving rowan berries which are guarded by the one-eyed giant Searbhán, whom Diarmuid must fight. After all their adventures, Diarmuid’s foster father Aengus reconciles the couple to Fionn, and they are allowed to settle in Keshcorran, County Sligo, where they have five children. Eventually Fionn organizes a boar hunt in which Diamuid participates, despite a prediction that he will be killed by the boar. Indeed, the creature mortally wounds him, though he delivers it a fatal blow. Fionn has the power to save Diarmuid simply by letting the dying man drink water from his hands, but he lets the water slip through his fingers twice. It is only after his grandson, Oscar, threatens him with violence that he goes to the well for more water. When he returns, Diarmuid has already died. Accounts differ as to what happened to Gráinne after her husband’s death. Aengus takes Diarmuid’s body home to be buried by his family. Some say that Gráinne swears her children to avenge their father’s death upon Fionn, while others say she simply grieves until she dies. In some accounts, she reconciles with Fionn and his children and even goes so far as to marry him at last.
“What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie? I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky. The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing; Rush in and die, dogs—I was a man before I was a king.” — Robert E. Howard
04 of 05 - Modern Compendium: Chaos - A Waste of Desert Sand - Kishin Nayenezgani
Way back in July 2015 when I posted Liberty, I mentioned that although she is a powerful figure of belief in modern life and a prominent Kishin, she wasn’t the most powerful member of her family. Well, at long last it is time to reveal the true leader of the Kishin family – Nayenezgani.
A seminal figure in Navajo mythology, Nayenezgani is a slayer of demons and defender of all humankind – his name literally means “Slayer of Alien Gods.” He and Tobadzistsini, who in some tellings is Nayenezgani’s brother, are gods of war as well as light and darkness, but their most prominent roles are as mythical heroes whose journeys bring them into conflict with demons, monsters, and fiends. Together they act as guardians of humanity against destructive forces of all kinds.
Although not at all well known to pop culture, Nayenezgani plays an important role in the story of the Modern Compendium. In a role similar to Commander Gore of Strange Journey or Kinap in Soul Hackers, Nayenezgani serves as a guide and ally to the player for most of the game, up until the point at which they choose an alignment. As a defender of humanity against alien gods, Nayenezgani would in fact be a penultimate boss fight on both the Chaos and Law routes, while joining the player as a party member in the Neutral route.
As the leader of an already powerful family and a major plot character and boss fight, Nayenezgani is a terrifyingly strong demon. Its resistances and movepool are amongst the best in the game, and yet its level is low enough to allow for flexibility in fusion and growth. Nayenezgani is a figure that fits the tone of Shin Megami Tensei shockingly well, and I’d love to see more Native American mythology featured in the series, so think of this as my contribution. ^^
For more info on this and every other demon in the Modern Compendium, have a look at our extensive and nearly complete Data File, right over (here).
Clarke Griffin and Bellamy Blake - Hero’s Journey and True Love Mythical Arcs
First, the Iliad was a red herring. I mean, not completely, because Bellamy is Achilles (love for his sister is his greatest weakness), and there was a war/siege between Troy and the Greeks (Arkadia and the Grounders). However, my followers, the Iliad is not this seasons main literary allusion. Nope, our central literary allusion is something else, and it is a clear road map for this seasons beats, characters, and character arcs.
In this post, I will not only prove that the Iliad was a red herring, but I will also prove that Clarke Griffin and Bellamy Blake are being positioned to parallel the greatest mythic love stories of all time.
If you proceed, you’ll never unsee what I am about to tell you. Your faith in Clarke and Bellamy will never be shaken, but then you may never feel surprise in the future. Therefore, all “Ye Who Enter Here” beware that this is a spoiler.
Jason frickin Rothenberg, I and my friend, Abby @the-ships-to-rule-them-all, cracked your code! I think you’re a genius, by the way. Sorry, I’m sharing this with the world… but not really ;-). Here we go:
Navan Fort is an historical royal fortress and the stronghold of the kings of Ulster from around 700 BC. The Fort was the center of King Conchobor mac Nessa and his Red Branch Knights. It is surrounded by a bank with a ditch inside, suggesting that it was a ceremonial, rather than defensive site. The Fort was eventually abandoned, which probably was a result of the creation of St. Patrick’s church two miles away. But in 1005, the Irish king Brian Boru camped there, and in 1387, Niall O’Neill chose Navan Fort as the location for a house.
It is said that the great Irish mythical hero Cuchulainn spent much of his youth in Navan Fort before single-handedly facing the army of the mythical Queen Maeve.
One mile west of Navan Fort lies another myth site, the mysterious King’s Stables which is thought to have played a role in water rituals in the area.
like….there’s something so soothing about having a randomly generated, finite world to explore. with limited surface space you end up with a huge fucking mess of meteor craters and impromptu boss fight arenas and at first it’s kind of a bummer how much you’ve trashed the place but the longer you play the more it becomes like, a visual record of your journey from a squishy little kid in wooden armor to a mythical hero with an 18 foot vertical leap and a sword you got by personally ripping god out of the sky and murdering him
Nightflash AU: The Flash has always been a figure of mystery, a mythical hero who stops crime and saves the innocent. No one knows for sure if he’s real, that is, until the superhero decides to step out of the shadows and make an appearance at an event the city dubbed The Flash Day.
The identity of The Flash is a secret to everyone save Blaine Anderson, who immediately recognized the speedster in the red suit to be none other than his boyfriend, Sebastian Smythe.