(A table of contents is available.This series will remain open for additional posts and the table of contents up-to-date as new posts are added.)
Part Eleven: Companions From Myth
The scale of creature companions can be measured in all kinds of ways, from non-talking to talking, small to large, minor to major characters, and mundane to mythical. As we’ve progressed through the series and talked about all kinds of things to keep in mind as you go about creating and writing with your creature companions, I’ve touched somewhat on the extra considerations needed when your companion is a creature drawn straight from the pages of myth, but these unique and long-standing legends are just a bit more complex than picking up your average draft horse and shoeing them into the story. First, as stated in Part One, this series is dealing specifically with mythical creatures that do not share body shapes with your humanoid characters. We’re not talking about satyrs and minotaurs, naiads and harpies; we’re talking about chimeras and hippogryphs, dragons and phoenixes. Aside from should they exist, what their physiology is, what abilities that physiology gives them, and the general advice on writing characters not cardboard, what else could there possibly be to cover with mythical creatures?
Yes, That Research Word Again
As a fantasy reader and writer, a lot of my advice steers toward the fantasy side of things, which has brought in a lot of fantasy-oriented authors. This leads to lots of ideas and inspiration drawn from all kinds of places across the globe. As great as it is to start seeing more creatures than the standard (often) Roman and Greek mythos, writers hoping to incorporate these creatures should be doing as much research and reading as they can. Maybe you don’t plan to stick that close to their origins, or maybe your world has different circumstances for their creation, or some of their abilities/powers function differently than they do in the legends, or maybe you’re afraid that filling up with the origins will taint or diminish your ideas for what you really want to do. I still advocate for taking a look and reading some of the myths where these creatures appear. Knowing the baseline for what your audience is going to be expecting when you say the name of your creature will help you better meet or completely twist those conceptions. What’s the saying? Know the past so you can avoid it in the future?
Research will also afford you a really interesting view into how a creature has made the rounds across the globe. Have you ever looked into gorgons and naga, let alone the hundreds of different ideas about dragons and Bigfoot and yetis from across the world? There’s a global disparity in how each of these creatures are believed to exist and function. If you’re able to kind of put aside what your expectations are and open yourself up to learning about some of the variations, you may find yourself flooding with new ideas to work with, providing a welcome twist on an old subject.
Remember, too, that your audience’s knowledge of these creatures will have come not only from ancient stories, but also from modern interpretations. Much in the same way that donut has become an accepted spelling of doughnut through media and marketing, so too have pegasi and other creatures changed over the years from perpetuation of an idea that went over particularly well (think Tolkien and elves). Research will help you discern the differences that have arisen through the years between the original and the modern interpretation.
Establishing Your Mythos
With your newfound awareness from your research and before you begin writing your mythical creature, it’s your turn to decide what stays and what goes from the original sources. This creature is coming to life in your world, not our world, so the associated historical mythology that comes with the creature changes. In essence, you are creating your own sets of history and mythology taking place in the world you’ve created for your story. You get to decide how they work, where they come from, how many there are, and how their abilities/powers will work. Maybe much of it remains the same, maybe not. It’s up to you, but it needs to be consistent.
Sirens were birds who threw themselves in the ocean when Odysseus resisted their song, not the dangerous merfolk we think of now. So, metaphorically, what does “siren” mean in your world? To be more clear, what is the essence of the creature you chose within your world’s setting? What are they? What kind of creatures are they and how do they function in this world that is not ours?
Take notes, make rules, and stick to them. Just like with magic systems and deciding what kinds of creatures have the ability to talk, for your mythical creatures to work and function as believable races, there have to be certain things about them that are unique identifiers to their race that are consistent within their race. Let’s say your sirens are merfolk. This means that every time they appear in your narrative, they should be the half-fish, half-human merfolk of your world. You shouldn’t have sirens that are also elfish, nor dragon-sirens unless you’ve established that the “siren” ability to draw people with your voice is an ability that anyone could have rather than a racial/creature function. In other words, know your world! The basic ideals that create good, understandable, relateable worlds apply to your mythical creatures, too. Be consistent, know what you’re writing, and don’t deviate from the rules you’ve established.
Drawing a Character, Not a Caricature
Look, half this series has been about making sure your creature is more than just a side character or a gag. If you’re going to have these creatures, they need to be characters, too! The same goes for your mythical creatures, but with an even heavier emphasis. These creatures come with preexisting ideas and it can be very easy to just say, “It’s a unicorn! You know everything there is to know about them already! Moving on.” And sure, you don’t need to spend 20 pages explaining what they are and how they came to exist, but you do need to remember that these creatures are more than their lore. They’re more than a horse with a horn. They’re more than symbols of innocence myth has painted them to be. These are characters first and foremost.
It’s possible your creature may be the main character of your story, but maybe not. When you’re writing, be sure the focus is kept on what’s really important to the story. If that’s not the horn on your unicorn’s head, don’t start your paragraphs pointing it out. Put the focus where the focus belongs, even if that means paying less attention to this super cool creature from myth because your main humanoid character is the focus at the moment. You send your audience messages through the amount of time you spend on things: in short, just like with class lectures, the more time you spend talking about A Thing, the more your audience pays attention to It and takes note that perhaps this Thing will be important later. If it’s a false signal you’ve given because you wanted to spend time talking about this very different, very new, very unique creature instead, and it never does really “pay off” later, then you’ve created a sticking point for your audience that never resolves and never feels cathartic.
It’s an easy trap to fall in, especially since we have a tendency to describe things which are out of the ordinary and skip over the things which are not. If a character goes to the bathroom and it’s not plot-relevant, we don’t describe it. We assume our characters do certain things and that there are certain setting pieces included when we say “in the library” without always describing those. However with a mythical creature present, everything about them becomes new, shiny, and extraordinary. We’ll always describe their webbed fingers when they come on screen, or mention the sharp edges of a claw digging in the dirt. Those details can be great, to a certain extent, but it can also become overwhelming and a word sink. Keep yourself aware of the picture you’re drawing of the creature with your words. Are you over-exaggerating certain features or physiology on accident because saying, “It walked with them,” felt too understated when dealing with a sphinx?
Finally, your book is not a history lesson. Any world lore (from our world or yours) that you want to include should be fully integrated into the story, not a word-dump on the page. Just like with the tumultuous history of a key trade city, you don’t want to just give its history on the page. Integrate the information into the story in ways that make the information natural to what’s going on. And if it never comes up? Don’t force it. Conversation, action, and observation are great ways to build natural segues for your world-building, so use your imagination and ingenuity to find ways to feed those details in where they’re necessary for the understanding of the story. Be discerning and take a long, hard look at whether the information really is required. Your audience is smart; don’t underestimate them.
Summery: Rumplestiltskin makes a deal he doesn’t fully understand, and it leads to nothing but trouble.
AN: Hi, @ishtarelisheba!!! I was your Zookeeper this year! I’m sorry tumblr ate so many of my messages, but I really liked getting to know you and I hope we can keep talking! Written for the @maydaymenagerie event.
Wearing leather in a hot climate was a mistake, even
for someone with as much magic at his deposal as Rumplestiltskin. He could keep himself relatively cool, but
the air was stifling in its stillness and the sun beat down unceasingly as he
walked through the desert sands. Thanks
to the powerful magical wards around the town he was heading towards he
couldn’t just appear in a cloud of smoke as he usually would. It wasn’t impossible for him to do so; it
would just be a pain and would do nothing but annoy his host. In most cases he would enjoy having the upper
hand and rankling the person he was going to make a deal with. That was not the case in this instance.
Midsummer’s Light on the Longest Night of the Year
Taking a long walk late on Midsummer’s Night (St John’s Day for you out-of-towners) in Sweden. Even though we are not very far North, the sun never seems to really set. A magical light encapsulates you; time becomes fluid; the landscape swallows you. It is not difficult to imagine olden times when people, after having stayed up much later than usual on Midsummer’s, eaten much more fatty food than usual, and been drinking like a bunch of bastards, would dream up all sorts of mythical creatures lurking in the woods and on their very doorsteps. There should not be such long shadows that late at night, one might think to oneself walking through what feels like pure, albeit lithe, sunlight which, despite its persistence, does not offer much warmth anymore.
So if you don’t know already, I got obsessed with SLBP and Tenka because of the period Japanese costumes (I collect kimonos in real life) and the castle items (thus, my favourite part of these games are the battle events).
Tenka’s last event was an encore event with mythical/magical women theme. The six lords (the newer six) encounter a magical phenomenon or creature and after the route’s completion we got a themed costume, which are FABULOUS.
I’m a sucker for costumes and folklore so I just have to blog about this!
This event was an encore/repeat so Voltage gave us lower clearance point (4,000 instead of 7,000) and an event only gacha where we can win items, short stories and the lord’s avatar!
We can spin this gacha everytime we finished a storyline, and best part of this is there won’t be repeat item, meaning if you play hardcore enough, eventually you can get the items you want and even if you don’t,you won’t end up with, like, gazillion hideous make up (gggrrr)
Anyways, I love these kimono so much, especially the white furisode!
I’ve been planning to blog about Tenka and SLBP’s costumes, but just haven’t gotten around to do it yet. Might as well start with these pretties.
Furisode is a type of female kimono (kimono means “things to wear” so it encompasses a broad range of wafuku, or traditional Japanese garments) with long sleeves that typically reach the wearer’s ankle. It’s worn by unmarried women, but heh, more and more people just wear what wafuku they want these days, and I’m with them. The long fluttering (furi-furi) sleeves are said to be flirty and conveys youthfulness and availability. It’s one most extravagant types of kimono still worn today.
Bear in mind in the historical sengoku, this type of kimonos here had not existed/ been simplified yet, rather princesses and noble women of that period wore layered garment called Juniihitoe, a 12-layered (yes, 12!) floor sweeping, totally unpractical kimono. The colours of these layers varied and the colour sequence conveyed different meaning or message or seasons - it’s pretty complicated. Voltage designed all sorts of anachronistic kimonos for these games, but I don’t mind because they are all soooo pretty!
Anywaysss… onto Tenka’s last event prized Kimonos:
天女のお着物 = Tennyo no o kimono = Celestial Maiden kimono
HIdeyoshi’s route prize. Designed after the Sino-Japanese celestial maiden’s costumes. Who are typically depicted wearing sheer garments and or topless. I would say that out of the bunch, this is the true furisode.
九尾狐のお着物 = Kyuubi ko no o kimono = Nine-tail fox spirit’s kimono
Mitsunari’s event route prize (of course). Designed after the legendary Nine-tail fox spirit. The obi is tied in the front a la an oiran (courtesan). The outer wear is called haori / kimono overcoat.
人魚のお着物 = Ningyo no o kimono = Mermaid kimono
Inuchiyo’s event route prize. The story was there was a mermaid who fell in love with Inuchiyo (she’s depicted using Matsuko’s sprite in the event), she went to the land to search for him, and at towards the end of the story she asked him to come with her, presumably to the sea. But Inuchiyo, of course has given his heart to MC. I kinda like the story because it’s rare that Inu is the one given more than one suitors. The furisode’s not my favorite (they could’ve played more with scales and transparency) but the fin ear piece is pretty. The sleeves are shorter, so this would fall into houmongi (formal visiting kimono) category.
白蛇姫のお着物 = Shirohebi hime no o kimono = White Snake Princess kimono
Kenshin’s event route prize. My least favourite but I still love it because it’s designed after the Chinese folktale Madame White Snake, which I watched religiously growing up, ahahahah The feather boa reference and the Chinese cheongsam hybrid were clever, but oh boy, they could’ve done MORE.
白兎のお着物 = Hakuto no o kimono = White Rabbit kimono
Shingen’s event route prize. Modelled after… er, the mythical white bunny that makes mochi on the moon? Hahahaha, it’s common Japanese motif for spring/summer. Also, since Shingen is tiger, he’ll devour the bunny for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The sleeves are shorter, so this would fall into houmongi (formal visiting kimono) category.
化け狸のお着物 = Bakedanuki no o kimono = Tanuki Spirit kimono
Ieyasu’s event route prize, based on the mythical bakedanuki or tanuki spirit. My favourite of the bunch, especially since I got really lucky in the event Gacha and got my Ieyasu avatar quite early, thanks to some awesome allies ^^
That’s it for now :) I’ll post more kimono-related stuff when I have the time, or when SLBP/Tenka compels me to write because of their pretty pretty items!
What are some things you think a writer should keep in mind before beginning revisions on their manuscript?
This is a great question! I’m surprised nobody has asked it yet.
Revision is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of courage, chutspah, and balls/ovaries of solid granite to rip something to shreds after you slaved over it for months. But it is a necessary part of the writing process and to skip it is to say good-bye to your dreams of publication. Why?
Because first drafts blow.
Seriously. There is no such thing as a perfect first draft. It is a mythical creature native to the magical land of Wishfulthinkia. I don’t care if your name is Virginia Woolf and you can spout better prose in your sleep while wearing a mouth retainer than most authors will write in their lifetime. Your first drafts still suck.
And that’s why we revise. So stop arguing with me and just do it. Now, without further ado, here are some things I think writers should keep in mind before they dive into their revisions:
No change is permanent. You can try a particular scene nine different ways before deciding on which way works best. You can change a character as many times as you want and eventually go back to the first iteration. So if you’re terrified that something new will actually be worse than what you had in the first place, fear not. You are not locked into any changes you make. You have no excuse not to try something crazy or experimental.
No one is reading over your shoulder. It’s just you and the words on the page. So don’t be afraid or embarrassed to try something freaky. If it doesn’t work out, no one has to know it happened. No one has to know that you named a character “Dr. Sexy” for 78 pages before you picked a name for him.
Save each draft as a separate document. Not only is it smart to make back-ups, but if you delete something that you end up wanting to keep, you will have only to go back and pluck it from an earlier draft. Some authors even start writing the next draft from scratch, rather than copying and pasting from the original.
Join a workshop/get a writing buddy/hire an editor. Outside feedback is essential to the writing process. If you’re writing in a vacuum, you will have no idea if your story actually works for an audience, or if it’s just an echo chamber of stuff you like. Writing buddies will also help identify flaws that you never noticed because after reading your own work seventeen times, it starts to look like ancient Aramaic. Don’t make the mistake of hiding away in your basement for draft after private draft. Get feedback after every draft, or even after every chapter of a single draft.
Don’t ignore feedback just because you don’t like it. In fact, if you recoil in horror at a particular bit of advice, that’s a sign that you should probably examine it further. Question why you react to certain advice. And if you find that you only accept advice that sounds nice, well then you’re a spineless coward who should have her word processor taken away.
Work on a schedule. Writing and revising is work. Act like it. Schedule regular breaks and commit to set time periods in which you will work on your writing. Not only will this make you more serious about the revision process, it’ll help you avoid needless procrastination.
“Kill your darlings.” If you’ve ever read a single blog or book about the art of writing, you’ve heard this one. For the uninitiated: it means you need to be willing to sacrifice parts of the story that you love or that you worked really hard on in order to benefit the story as a whole. Really like that random flashback you wrote about Dr. Sexy’s time in med school, but it doesn’t actually provide any insight into the character or further the plot of the book? Cut it. Just love that plucky sidekick who is actually pretty useless and only serves to muck up already dense conversations? Give ‘em the axe. Then forget about them. Your story will be better for it.
There’s no such thing as “perfect,” only “good enough.” You’re never going to get it exactly right. That way lies madness. But you can get close. And that’s what you should be shooting for. If you embrace perfectionism, you’re never going to get the damn thing in the hands of a publishing house. You’ll just be revising till the day you die.
There is a difference between revising and copyediting and you should not do them at the same time. I know it’s hard to ignore typos in your work. You want to correct them as soon as you come upon them. To resist is painful. But you know what? Don’t. The process of editing naturally flows from the macro to the micro. Start with the big-picture editing: rewriting scenes, adding characters, revising whole conversations, changing the ending. Then work your way steadily down to the nit-picky edits: consistency of character names, making sure you’ve got your timeline straight, making sure your geography makes a lick of sense. Next work on your prose: making it sound pretty and poetic, using your writing tone to reflect the mood of a particular scene. Then and only then can you start editing for spelling, grammar, and syntax. If you start out by copyediting you’ll be wasting time in two ways: 1) You’ll be spending extra time reading line by line to catch errors that you could spend reworking the meat of the story, and 2) You run the risk of perfectly editing a chapter only to realize you need to rewrite 90% of it. So resist the urge to copyedit when you start revising.
“But that’s how it happened in real life”/“But that’s how I first imagined it” is no excuse for shitty writing. The truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense. So if the plot seems far-fetched, or if it strains belief, or if your readers say it just doesn’t make any fucking sense, don’t be afraid to change it. In fact, you must change it. I don’t care how sentimentally attached you are to the original version. The exception to this rule is of course nonfiction, in which you should never deviate from the facts because that is called lying.
I now open it up to the whole class: what do you guys keep in mind before you start revising your manuscripts? How do you prepare for the arduous task?
Can you really call the inanimate object Pokemon of Unova creative? Certainly interesting and fun. I have no issue with them whatsoever, but we've seen lots of them before. It sorta feels like that Family Guy sketch where King proposes a lamp monster for his next book because its on his desk. Its a joke there but it makes more sense in the Pokemon world. My opinion. Your thoughts?
I don’t mean that the inanimate pokemon of Unova in particular are the most creative, I just mean that I staunchly disagree with the idea that pokemon can only be designed based on animals.
Limiting the inspiration for these magical elemental creatures to ONLY animals or mythical beasts stifles creativity, is what I’m trying to say.
So, basically all magical creatures hate humans and we shouldn't approach them? Why do movies make them seem so nice lol. I wish I could talk in person so I could ask about every mythical creature that is "real" in a way. Like fae. I have so many questions.
No, not all magical creatures. Just the ones that can kill you.
I mean, The Lion King makes lions look great and huggable, but you wouldn’t approach wild lions and try to hug them.
Movies make fae seem sweet because little cute fairies can sell a lot of toys and make lots of people want to see that movie. They’re not documentaries, they’re advertisements.
At the dawn of the game, Magic the Gathering’sAlpha had the Savannah
Lion to lay the groundwork for what a top-tier White creature could be.
But in recent years the once powerful rare has lost its crown as the
king and the design has been
leveraged more at uncommon and with upside. Today I would like to
examine the history of the Savannah Lions template, which I define as a 1cmc creature with base power and toughness of 2/1.
Did You Know : Alpha
At the beginning of Magic’s history the best you could do a single
White mana was get yourself a 1/1 with Banding at common or a vanilla 2/1 at
rare. And this trend continued on for the first few years of Magic, in
Arabian Nights (as an example),
both of the 1cmc White creatures were 0/1 - Abu Jafar and Camel
respectively. Of course, it should also be pointed out that this was
during an era where creatures were not considered to be the powerful or
evocative part of the game.
What (W) Gets You…
And for all those people who aren’t history buffs out there, that was it for the power level of creatures for the first 16 years of Magic’s history. Think about that, from 1993 to 2009 Savannah Lions was the gold standard for aggressive White creatures with no drawbacks - besides the one example of Isamaru, Hound of Konda. That’s insane. And yet, I never noticed as a young kid opening packs and building 75 card casual decks to play with during lunch.
This isn’t to say that we didn’t see other 2/1 creatures for 1cmc across the game’s history, some of them were even tournament worthy in their prime, but they always came with some kind of drawback.
Then, 2009 happened; it was a gloomy day, then the clouds parted, we looked to the sky as the heavens sent us a message from above. We all squinted our eyes and adjusted to the heavenly glow, and we could finally make out what the message said…
This blew my mind when it happened. I don’t even know that I really fully understood what the release of a Core Set every year even meant at the time. But the idea that a product that normally acted as a list of cards that were legal in Standard was going to have new cards and good cards, did not compute.
I should also say, I didn’t play during Lorwyn and Alara block, so when I got pulled back in, I had no idea the power of planeswalkers. And I think that is the fundamental shift that will open the flood gates for some of the cards I am about to outline. That and the choice by Wizards of the Coast to make the game play of Magic happen far more often on the battlefield than the stack.
So while many people were drooling over Baneslayer Angel, an uncommon was about to start a new trend for what White Weenie could look like in Standard (and I guess the other formats, if that’s what you’re into).
2/1 Dude, Seriously?
Through Elite Vanguard we were given our old friend Savannah Lions (who had been out of Standard for one whole rotation) but at a lower rarity and with relevant creature typing. And like Blade of the Sixth Pride, this was going to get a bar that would easily be beaten in the coming years.
Once again, I don’t think this being the precedent for a solid White creature and it being upgraded several more times between 2009 and now is a bad thing, this was a subtle sign that the times were changing. Planeswalkers were now the face of every set and that meant that they were going to be format defining it many cases, Shock and Fireball weren’t going to cut it.
War Falcon was the next dip into the Savannah Lions template and I will admit, I only have this on my radar because it works well for my Knights Tribal archetype for my Commons Cube. This does come with a drawback for sure, but since it can naturally block with no set-up, I see it having some value.
In Theros block we were given two new creatures out of the Savannah Lions mold in Loyal Pegasus (a less better War Falcon) and Soldier of the Pantheon. Both of these rarity shift away from Elite Vanguard in each direction and it shows, the Pegasus is well suited as an opening play in a decent W/R draft deck and really nothing else. Soldier on the other hand, well now we’re playing with fire. This really shows what W can buy you in the New World Order and as a seed for Return to Ravnica block, it served its purpose.
What I really like here is the that the mold is being pulled in different directions to let the template play with different power levels in a condensed period of time. Honestly, Soldier might not be seeing play in Modern, but it’s a card I have slotted into at least two of my Commander decks.
Elite, but Better
As we move one step away from current day, we get two creatures from back-to-back sets that really spit on Elite Vanguard, finally making it become old news. Dragon Hunter and Mardu Woe-Reaper are 2/1′s with no drawback and conditional upsides. Once again - as uncommons - they’re probably not at the top of anyone’s list of best cards from either set, but they are role players and good in the Limited formats they populated.
And finally, we’ve reached the current crop of Savannah Lions; Kytheon, Hero of Akros and some Ally. I think the choice to make Gideon’s early years be in the form of a 2/1 is a nod to the history ofMagic in a fun way; it shows how far the game has come and on a story card. Granted, this time we see the template being used on a mythic rare and it has an ability and another face, but whatever.
Expedition Envoy, I see, as just a planeshifted Elite Vanguard; almost the same card, but with a flavorful creature type for the block. I’ve used it in Commander and drafted it at least once for a good White Weenie deck, but obviously its not making huge waves. Heck, it’s currently still in Standard, how I wish Allies was a thing in right now.
So, in conclusion, I really wanted to do another Magic Design History and now I have. I have a few ideas kicking around for another installment, possibly on Blade of the Sixth Pride - seriously, it’s got a worthy track record as well. But I hope somebody liked this. Until next time, thanks everyone!
This is for @inspectorwired who requested I share the links and fanfics to my new OT3 love, Victor/Yuuri/Yuri.
Admittedly, there isn’t a lot out there to be honest. It’s probably easier to find Vikuyuri (Victor/Yurio) and YuuYuri (Yuuri/Yurio)…but never fear, it is out there. And hopefully, when i get more time later in the week…I’ll be contributing to the fandom soon.
I’ve run across two names for this ship in the English fandom. Russian Sandwich and Victuurio. Personally, I’m leaning more towards Victuurio…unless we can coin a cuter name. I almost find it funny no one suggested Yuri Sandwich…lol. But for now, here are some of my top picks.
I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO COMMENT/KUDOS ON FICS AND REBLOG/LIKE FANART.
Please don’t repost artwork either w/o permission ok?
A universe alternative, this is a series of one-shots that take place during the events of the show. With kinks and roleplay dynamics (daddy/mommy/baby) to spare, it’s a really interesting take on the relationship between our favorite ice skating trio. What’s really cool about these fics is that it is made clear they are all lovers who enjoy and love one another.
An alternate universe with an alpha/beta/omega setting. Both Victor and Yuuri are an alpha/beta mated pair who long to find an omega for their pack. They come across one Yuri Plisetsky, whom thanks to certain circumstance comes to be placed under their care for one month. This fic is amazingly written, and the world building is fascinating. So far, with each update, I am delighted. This fic can be considered Yuri centered all things considered, but we get lovely POVs from Victor and Yuuri as well. Watching Yuri start to fall for Victor and Yuuri is splendid.
Mine by Emariia (Rating: M with NC-17 chapters) (status: WIP)
A magical fantasy AU with mythic gods and creatures. Admittedly the OT3 of this sort of took me by surprise, but I thrilled none the less. World building is kind of interesting, and something I want know more about as the story progresses. What I love is that you indeed feel the love between all three of them as the story progresses, and it seems like a fun fic to keep an eye on.
This is more of a feudal Japan AU type of world with alpha/beta/omega dynamics. Yuuri is a beta who has been assigned to his new lord, Yuri, an omega who is in arranged mating to Victor, a prominent alpha lord. Both Yuuri and Yuri start to have budding feelings for one another, but unfortunately, things get complicated really fast when Yuuri presents his true self. The most notably unique part of this fic is the established relationship Yuuri and Yuri..and then Victor and Yuri. Because of the show’s canon, we always see Victor and Yuuri fall into place first before Yuri comes aboard. This fic, on the other hand, gives us something a bit different in that Victor wants a real relationship with Yuri, and Yuuri wants to stay by Yuri’s side. Kudos to the author for trying to establish an equal balance before bringing in the eventual Victor/Yuuri.
You know what I’m fuckin tired of? People so entitled they think they know me better than I know myself. Like “oh, your joints hurt and you’re feeling weak? That’s the way of our body to tell us we need this vitamin” no, that’s the fuckin disease I have. Do you think I have fun taking a fuckin chemo drug that messes up with my immune system and feeling like shit every damn weekend when I could just have some vitamins? Are you for real? And same “one day you’ll meet the right person and you’ll fall in love and marry them..” Right, this magical person is going to change my entire life in one go. I will give up my independence, my routine, my repulsion for intimacy just like that, for this mythical creature that’ll come into my life. Do you even think of saying to a gay man one day he’ll meet a woman who’ll turn him heterosexual? Why would you say this exact same thing to me? Don’t you think in 27 romantic thoughts-free years of life I got to know myself a little better than you do? Why can’t people just let me fuckin be?
Its so rude that we live in a world where unicorns dont exist. Or maybe they do and their existence has been erased from history 👀 Whats your take on magical creatures, things that go bump in the night? What's your fav creepy crawler? If you could be a magical being, what would it be? (I know you're a self-proclaimed vampire lover but humor me 😛)
Um??? I love them?? Mythical/supernatural creatures of any kind are my fucking jam. My fav creepy crawler? Okay…this may get long. I personally LOVE the aesthetic of the original classic movie monsters (wolfman, Frankenstein’s monster, mummies, and ofc vampires/Dracula). I also love cryptids/urban legends (big foot, nessie, mothman, etc.). There’s more obscure, new age ones but I don’t want to make this a rant lmao. If I could be a magical being, I would be a like a new age witch, because I love them oh so much plus magic.
Slides into ask box. Tell me more about the premise of bloodweaver? Who are the main characters?
hooo boy you always ask the best questions! here we go.
premise: i would say the world of “lady knight,” except i’ve got almost nothing about it on this tumblr (check /lk if you want to see) so i’ll just say imagine a fantasy world. we’ve got gods and demons and an ancient, forever lasting war between the two, mages and corruption and mythical creatures that entangle themselves with the gods themselves - except the halcyon wild, now that is truly a myth - and humans, little humans that run around and honestly seem so insignificant when you put the whole world into perspective. except. except, when you think about it, it’s them who change the most.
but i’m getting ahead of myself.
lemme try again.
the premise: imagine a fantasy world, one that has magic and gods and demons, but before that. before the gods came to be, before the mages, when all that existed that matters are the demons and the humans and, let’s not forget, the witches. bloodweaver takes place in the northern kingdoms. i’m not too sure about the details but there are seven of them. small, petty, they’re constantly at war and there are witches who hide in the mountains. magic runs abundant, thriving in this age, so heavy in the wind that if you try you can feel the air humming around you, except nobody knows how to use it. nobody except the witches, and they have an unfortunate taste in blood and human hearts.
the main characters are, a tentative list (i only have a few at the moment, so you can’t really grasp the entire storyline unfortunately), below.
amaria freiden: resident mc and our dearest “snow white,” except she’s not everything you expect her to be. snow white, wicked red, she won’t sing to the birds. rather, she calls and they listen, because she is cursed and the world preserves its child. here’s a little secret: don’t step too close or she may just devour your heart.
reine de la tierre: she might appear only in the prologue, i haven’t quite completely planned it out. she is the queen of a growing empire in the west, and magic runs through her veins like it is blood. human, but a little different. human, but the demons call her name and you might want to keep an eye on her because she is incredibly important to the lady knight series.
torrin navaire: see above about reine. he is considered the queen’s knight, and is her childhood friend. he watches out for reine, but she doesn’t always listen to him. he knows that there is a shadow growing over his lands but he doesn’t know how to stop it. more information in a side story called “the queen and her knight,” coming never (sorry).
I’ve been working alongside Hekate for a little over a year now. It has been a very close walk full of the sort of experiences that make me feel like our time together has been much, much longer. A lot of what I know of her has been from direct interactions. Aside from the few faithful tumblr followers and almighty Google I have been very much on my own in discovering her. Even then, I have stumbled across just as much “fact” on her that didn’t settle right with me as I found “fact” that did. It’s been very confusing, at times, for someone who is so used to coming from a place of “knowing” that Abrahamic religions afford their followers. Unlike them, information is not as solid and when I don’t know something there is not some immediate elder I can ask. We don’t have a holy book to consult. Every bit of what I know has had to be through experience and my own discretion. This is what I signed up for. However, it hasn’t been comfortable all the time.
I began making a list of books I saw frequently recommended by devotees of Hekate in hopes to eventually collect and read them all. My first of these came a few weeks back. The Rotting Goddess: The Origin of the Witch in Classical Antiquity by Jacob Rabinowitz. It is a thesis, so it can be a little dense and confusing for anyone not familiar with this writing style. Even for someone who is well versed in reading scientific journals (thank you, psych major) it was a little rough at points. However, the information afforded in these pages is invaluable.
As with most things, I had mini arguments with the ink on the pages in several spots and, in the end, I have collected from the information provided only those things that resonate with me. For this reason I recommend reading it for yourself and taking what you will from the whole piece. I collect what is useful in my practice and I am a firm believer that others should do the same. With that being said, I thought it would be useful for me (and possibly others following Hekate) to have a short overview of what I read).
The origins and evolution of Hekate
Hekate’s traceable roots begin in Anatolian Asia Minor. It is among the most impressively developed of neolithic cultures with discernible links back to the paleolithic. In this setting it is reasonably safe to assume she held her power as a fertility goddess, a prominent archetype for deities in every period of Asia Minor’s archaeology (we will see further proof of this theme as she emerges into the world of Greek and Roman pantheons).
About 450 BC Alkamenes is thought to have represented Hekate in a sacred sculpture shortly before her first official cult established in Athens, leading to her transmission to the rest of the Greek world. This is the spawning point of confusion between Hekate and Artemis- a subject that is a sore one for many devotees on both sides. Prior to this, Hekate had been depicted as a more generic, Artemis-like figure only distinguishable when her name was present. It is thought that Hekate may have stepped in for Artemis when she was transformed into the archetype of virgin huntress and sister of Apollo, saving Artemis from the role of mother. The specific transfer from Artemis to Hekate is upheld by multiple references where Hekate is referred to as Artemis, but never the other way around. This echos the argument of Hekate in her oldest and most central role as fertility goddess and explains her depictions in singular form.
After her induction into the Greek pantheon, however, we see her tri-form image emerge. Always three identical goddesses (NOT maiden, mother, crone) around a pillar. Common accompaniments that aid in discerning these sculptures from other deities of the time include the torch, libation bowl, fruit, and hounds. Later the Romans will bring a more distinct image to the goddess making her easier to distinguish.
The pillar is an interesting inclusion. Whether early hekataion (comprised of a thin pole hung with masks at the place where three roads met), or later Roman adaptations where the pole gains girth and becomes much more a pillar in form, it has been an ever-present element. Very early on she was seen as an intermediary between the world of the gods and the world of men. The pole of hekataion (which was important enough to persist even when images were rendered in marble) can easily be construed as a ritual tree- somewhat like the concept of the Universal Tree- at the Center of the World with roots that are in hell and branches that reach to the heavens. The use of her in tri-form around this pole solidifies the connection between the three worlds. While it has been contended that her tri-form was meant solely for crossroads where she protected travelers (which is likely also true), if that was the case we would expect to see quads as well where four roads met and carried on.
Another goddess Hekate is often conflated with is Enodia, much more in touch with her chthonic nature than some depictions of Hekate. Enodia’s referent as “she of the road” leads to the Roman translation of Enodia and Hekate as the goddess Trivia. It is supported in many references where we see the three names used interchangeably as (likely) another evolution as the goddess stepped into new roles alongside other deities of the time.
Hekate’s role as gate-guardian also has origins deep in history. Beginning at least as early as the 6th century, effigies were set up at the doors of palaces and private homes alike for protection of those within. It’s an association that begs recognition before we move on to the more “modern” evolutions of the goddess.
Hekate was not identified with the moon until the Roman period. Romans used the Greek pantheon as a template to give life to their own religious world but, where the moon was concerned, the Greek model remained largely underdeveloped. Being an agricultural society that placed heavy importance on the cycles of the moon, Romans could not abandon this necessity; they needed a deity that fit the bill. Agriculture was considered the finest and most far reaching of human pursuits to the Romans. The deity associated with the moon would have to be a very powerful and all-encompassing one. Who else but Hekate, already given sway over the three worlds and considered a Great Mother, protectress of crossroads, doors, and those that would travel them? Long before Hekate became the lunar goddess of the Romans, she was already connected with threefold shape (as we discussed earlier). Romans possessed a three-fold moon goddess before the introduction of Hekate (Juno) so the concept of this goddess as associated with the moon made logical sense. Hekate existed alongside Juno as a secondary moon goddess up until about the 1st century BC when the two began to converge.
Hekate’s different visages from her original cult in Asia Minor through the Greek and Roman age, along with her ability to visit many realms, leads to a greater understanding of why this goddess is often so hard to trace back through history. She is frequently conflated with Selene, Persephone, Enodia, Artemis, Dike, Tyche, Brimo, the Furies, Night, and Chaos.
Of the accompanying symbols used in her imagery, there are two contradicting varieties: One a much more docile image with long torches reaching to the ground, libation bowls, fruit, and dogs resting at their feet, the other depicting shorter torches along with whips, serpents, keys, and Fury-like creatures.
This is not a mistake or a matter of vehement debate as much as it is evidence of her fluid nature and rapid evolution throughout history and into the modern age.
The Hekate of the Magical Papyri is more a theological being than a mythical one. She is ruler of the unquiet dead and associated heavily with the change-producing moon. As a goddess associated with these elements, as well as her much more ancient associations with growth, decay, and rebirth, we begin to see glimpses of the elements that led to her later demonization.
Accounts of Hekate as goddess of the witches was not an event until the 5th century and, as it should be noted, entirely literary at that time. Her involvement with witches came at a time when the role of a witch was coming under fire as well. Of course, most of us know that neither are inherently evil or demonic, but at the hands of invading powers and religion it wasn’t long before both the goddess and her witches were warped into something sinister.
It is difficult to separate the timeline between the connection of Hekate to witches and the decline of witches in the public eye- a subject we will touch on shortly- but it is an important theme to recognize. Hekate’s original rites (as far back as we are able to trace them) come from Hellenic inscriptions on the Lagina temple in Asia Minor. Her priestesses carried a sacred key in procession to honor the goddess along with eunuch priests… the rest remains a mystery entirely. Greek Hekate mirrors this protector of entrances as a universal door-warder and guardian of the gates. As mentioned before, hekataia stood to protect all who dwelt within a house or passed through its doors; it was also customary to seek Hekate’s blessing for a journey; safe return was an occasion for giving thanks. As goddess of a household, she also held necessary roles as receiver of remnants from household cleaning and purification processes. It was common for sweepings and other waste from the house to be burnt (or simply left) at her crossroads. While this was a common necessity that held no notion of “filth” in early Greek tradition, it lent itself easily to the perversion of Hekate, and other deities alike, to something darker and less desirable in favor of “new religion” later on. Her role as remover of waste, a chthonic and honored role, turned to her custody of dirt and uncleanliness in an undignified manner- being called, for the first time, the rotting goddess.
While this becomes uncomfortable and insulting for the goddess and her followers alike, it is important that we face these accusations and trace them back to their roots. Through this, we can understand the disconnect between the foul and fearsome goddess modern ideals have turned her into versus the powerful and necessary goddess we know and worship. Armed with this knowledge we can combat the negative assumptions while maintaining her power (not positivity and light-washing the goddess who is not all airy-fairy and pie in the sky, by any means) and, if appropriate, educate those who are not aware of the necessity of taking the “dark” with the “light”.
Hekate is equated with the earth and all it implies- material existence complete with the implicit death sentence that waits all life cycles. She was later slandered with all sorts of rumors of causing frenzies, madness, and night terrors. Dog sacrifice, a commonality in those times (much like offering beef, veal, or pork today), has been used to further demonize the cults of Hekate. It is simply a misunderstanding of a different time and culture used to make abnormal something that was otherwise innocuous. In the same way, the ecstasy of her rites were perverted into dark shadows of their reality- sensationalized to seem more mad than they truly were.
The (d)evolution of the witch
Hekate’s first associations with the witch were literary; the work of dramatists for entertainment purposes (far from any reality for either the goddess or her followers). Roman law reflects actual ideas of the time when it came to the word “witch”- it was much less an individual title or identity as a metaphor for a class of criminal. One wouldn’t be called a witch, because it was a myth… a figure of speech. Of course, there were people who practiced magic in these times but they had other names for themselves. So how did these ancient practitioners of magic and charms come to be associated with the word “witch”? How did their status evolve (and decline) as this process played out?
The first “witch” we find mentioned in history is not so much a follower of Hekate as she is, herself, a goddess. Circe was confident and sensual, with subtle magic in the form of seduction and influence.
From there we see the “witch” demoted: Medea, more a victim of her passion than in control of it. In place of a goddess, we see a heroine who is equipped with a bit more magic- in the form of herbalism and charms- to carry out her plans. Medea is part innocent girl, part fearsome woman, described as Hekate’s priestess. This duality is one that will be maintained in further evolution of the archetype of the witch- she is either a beautiful maiden or a hideous old hag.
Another step down is Simaitha, decended to human status and a slave to desire. More a love-struck and vengeful girl than a heroine or goddess like her predecessors, she seeks magic as a last resort to avenge her frustrations.
Subsequently, we see Canidia who is described as “every sailor’s and peddler’s girlfriend”. She is subject to passion and monstrous sexual appetite along with the degradation and sexist views these activities held for woman at the time (still common today). In further stripping of original divine status, Canidia is demoted to being used for these passions to which she is slave. She is rotting and diseased, partaker of dark and necromantic magic… she is at once falling apart at the seams and ferociously dangerous.
There is a clear progression as witches decline in status and increase in power. From goddess and inspirer of passion and confidence, to heroine and victim of passion (rather than controller of it), to Hellenistic witches demoted again to love-sick girls and the Roman witches that follow in degenerative trend as lust-crazed, living dead sex-cannibals (the book’s wording, not mine… I was just amused). In some accounts we are afforded beauty to this last evolution of witch, but she is equally as cruel and deceptive- just as bad as her counterparts, only with a prettier face. Ironically, as status and character is demoted the power is increased from simple influence to unquestionably powerful magical works. As the witch becomes more mortal, powers become more godlike. This trend only further solidifies the contempt and fear of the witch as she emerges from metaphor to individual title.
By the time the title of witch emerges in contemporary witchcraft, where we see individuals using it as a description of self rather than a concept, half a millennium has passed with increasing vilification of Hekate and witches in literary art. This same literature, in the hand of inquisitors, produced innocent victims and urged practitioners of agricultural magic to identify themselves as witches. In this way witches were forced from mythological ideals to actual living people… and we have continued to live and thrive to this day.
Hekate and her witches in the modern age
Hekate imparted her followers the sovereign science of herbalism and it is described, at the time of declaration, as the most awesome and impressive of witch activities. Many of us are aware of the far-reaching applications for the use of herbs in magic today- whether you got that from the goddess or another source it is hard to deny its effect. Originally for gathering these, a witch would go to the mountains, the streams, the woods… solidifying our connection with these areas. As witches (and society) have become urbanized we have moved to cemeteries and ally-ways. Implications of this secretive wandering- merely a necessity for seeking supplies- has brought misconceptions of the “darkness” of witchcraft into the modern age, strongly supported by the mythos of the witch in antiquity that follows behind us. This connection with the earth has waned and been turned on its head much like every other theme we see here… as society became more urbanized, even as early as the Hellenic periods, witches’ connection with the land began to slip. In it’s place came a powerful hold over nature and- at times- an assault upon it. The process of drawing down the moon, a rite familiar to many witches (followers of Hekate or otherwise), demonstrates this control. It could be further asserted, since Hekate is so strongly associated with the moon by this point, that control over the moon is extended to mastery over one’s own goddess (this is a subject I agree with, to a point, and will have to discuss in a later writing). It is also important to reexamine, at this point, the preoccupations of both fertility and death and what those mean to witches in service to Hekate in the modern age.
The development of the dark goddess is not simply a demonization and degeneration of an originally benign being, but rather an unfolding of the implications and depth of her basic aspects throughout the ages. To understand the witch today, is to understand the goddess, Hekate. Those who wish to embrace her in entirety must recognize the nymph-like generative spirit of her origins in Asia Minor alongside the Rotting Goddess of Rome.
tl;dr Hekate’s origins and evolution from ancient fertility goddess to modern patron of witches, the underworld, and baneful magic is a story that defies etymology. Her story is a victim of contradicting and empirical religious conflicts that slowly warped and turned on its head the necessary roles she played in Greco-Roman society and, with this shift, the view of witches in the public eye also suffered. Rather than arguing about which aspects of the goddess are “correct” we must recognize the validity of personal experience where history cannot be relied upon. Hekate is at once pleasant and fearsome, the Great Mother and the Goddess of the Unquiet Dead. Whether you worship her in entirety, or a single facet, respect of her full nature and understanding of her origins is required. Humans are not two dimensional and neither are our gods.
4,019 I Knight!Derek Teen and Up The abduction of Queen Lydia was probably the stupidest thing Stiles had ever done (excepting maybe that one incident with the satyr), especially as she now refuses to go the hell home. Only two people have been able to visit since she came, and none of the knights ever make it far enough to fight. Derek doesn’t care about the queen. He doesn’t care about the dragon. He just wants to be left alone, and apparently this is the only way to make that happen.
9,876 I AU-Werewolves are Known, Soulmates Mature Derek had never actually seen Stiles in his full dragon form. If he was being honest with himself, he wasn’t sure he wanted to. The first time Derek had properly met Stiles, spoken with him, he’d had a hard time not reacting to the heat of him, far too reminiscent of the lick of flames at Derek’s skin. Dragons exuded heat, Derek had known that, intellectually. They might look like cold-blooded reptiles but they were creatures of fire. Derek did not have good memories of fire. Stiles couldn’t have been expected to remember that, but it hadn’t helped that he’d focused on Derek with those impossibly wide eyes of lustrous brown and then let out of a puff of marijuana-scented breath and announced he’d take Derek instead of a sandwich.
10,812 I 4 Works I Wooing, Humor, Canon Divergent Teen and Up “Huh,” Stiles mutters, very slowly, and then realizes his fingers are tensed in a claw-like grip, tearing soft holes into the cardboard edges. “What do we have here?” The box, predictably, does not respond. It only urges him in crayon-y, no uncertain terms, to STAY OUT. Which, come on, mum and-or dad. Try harder.
17,834 I 3 Works I Knight!Derek, Fluff, Angst Teen, Mature, Explicit Stiles makes the mistake of taking Derek’s sword and now the grumpy werewolf seems determined to stop him from stealing and landing himself in jail. Stiles is not pleased. He’s also starving. (Or the one in which Derek has good intentions, but little understanding of how Dragon biology works. He just wants the cute mole-speckled kid to be safe). —– “Five meals, Scott. Derek Hale has stopped me from eating five meals. I can’t believe he’s really trying to kill me over stealing his sword. That’s so petty of him. It isn’t like I meant to steal it.” “You kind of did mean to, dude.” Scott adds unhelpfully. “But you don’t understand, Scott. It-” “Just smelled so good? I know, you’ve said that like fifty times over the past two weeks.” “This is the equivalent of him stealing my lunch money, right? Thanks to him, I didn’t have a meal this week. Or last week! He’s a bully, is what he is. A nice smelling, douchebag of a bully.”
30,481 I 6/6 I Slow Build, Romance Mature Derek/Stiles royalty AU. “5 kingdoms rule the land of Beacon, but only 2 of them actively socialize. Stiles is a dragon and Derek is a werewolf, and while their friendship isn’t forbidden, it IS frowned upon—especially because they’re both royalty who should be setting examples for the others. Rules never stopped anybody, though, and it certainly won’t stop a secret.”
32,737 I 10/10 I Fluff, Angst General Audiences Paranormals of all shapes and sizes now freely exsist in the open and cohabit towns with humans. Somehow Derek was the one para who ended up with a dragon shifter stalker. A dragon shifter stalker who is the worst stalker to ever stalk.
3,878 I 3/3 I Magical Stiles Mature Stiles accidentally opens a portal to another dimension, and a monster gets through. A 600-pound monster that acts like a puppy (but is actually a dragon). Stiles decides to call her Sally.
25,419 I Magical Stiles, Cuddling Explicit Stiles becomes a Host for a dragon symbiote under difficult circumstances, then has to learn to live with her in his head. Meanwhile, there’s a secret society after him at the same time the Alpha pack threatens everyone in town.
50,370 I 16/16 I Derek Needs a Friend, Alive Hale Family General Audiences Derek needs a friend. Ever since Kate happened he has felt isolated from the rest of the world. He just wants someone who understands him, and who doesn’t judge him based on what happened before. Now that the Ashwick Family is threatening the Hale family business he needs an ally more than ever. Apparently the universe decided the best way to help him was by sending him on a quest with Stiles Stilinksi, the new dragon egg merchant, to reunite the egg of the Dragon King with its family before war breaks out in the kingdom. This quest will either give Derek his life back, or end it once and for all.
12,385 I BAMF!Stiles Explicit An AU in which Derek flees to his family’s vacation home on the coast in an attempt to leave behind Beacon Hills and all its ghosts. Stiles is a bold young merman who likes to feel the sun on his scales and isn’t about to give up his favorite place to sun bathe just because a brooding werewolf has moved into the long abandoned beach house. Mythical creatures abound and romance is in abundance.
12,615 I 5/5 I Pack Feels, Magical Stiles, BAMF!Stiles Not Rated Stiles was kicked out of his pack that he helped create. Stiles was betrayed by his best friend. Stiles went to New Orleans to learn about his mother and his aunts life. Stiles is one of the most Powerful witches of all time. Derek and Scott miss Stiles in Beacon Hills, they only kicked him out for his own good.
186,297 I 12/13 I Slow Burn, Arena Fighting Explicit Humankind has turned arena battles between supernatural creatures into its largest form of entertainment. Stiles Stilinski is a well-known warden who comes to arena-fighter Derek Hale to make him an offer.
And if y’all don’t know the fic that Anon is talking about, it’s this one:
20,322 I Slow Build, Oblivious, Pining Teen and Up Stiles had been like any other kid growing up in the era of dragons. He’d watched the cartoons, the news stories, had the lunch box. When his screening at Beacon Hills High had come up negative, he’d been disappointed but unsurprised. His positive results were returned three years too late for it to be in any way convenient or cool. Or, the one where they ride dragons.
I hope you enjoy the fics about the dragons! May your nights be filled with adorable as fuck dragons rolling around in grass!
Why is Deamus such a small ship, it’s practically canon and there’s so many cliches that have yet to be done with this ship. Like:
• I’m part veela/mythical creature and you’re my mate
• the ministry has forced us to marry for whatever reasons
• do-over fic (background characters have lots of power to change main events)
• omg, I never noticed how pretty/handsome/sexy you are until this random event happened
• I (read: Neville) spilled a potion on you and now you’re a baby and you cry if you aren’t in my arms
• magic girl/boy superhero
• dammit Harry fucked up, so let us fix it AGAIN
• obligatory post-war angst/whump
• professor put us together as partners and now we have to take of baby. Dammit Dean, our baby will be a Quidditch fan, stop putting it in your weirdo muggle football kit!!
• the sexual tension is so thick that somebody has strategically locked up until a closet until we figure it out. No key isn’t in my pocket
• hate sex ‘nuff said
• we’re so in love it’s sickening
• I’m not jealous, all your partners suck and obviously don’t understand me and you.
• Daddy can you pass the xyz, said partner passes it over w/o a word.
• your accent makes me horny and you know it
• there’s not enough beds I guess you have to share mine
• awkward first dates/kisses
• reincarnation fic
… and much more, write my children, write damn you… please.
Your cat has a diamond on his forehead!!! CONFIRMED ETHERAL BEING.
Haha! :D Some descriptions of him I have seen in various comments/tags so
far: witch’s familiar, star cat, elder dragon,
Sweet Shalquoir, fairy cat, mythical woodland creature, Castiel’s
feline form, magical girl’s companion, and actual warrior cat