Mythical Creatures List: 5 Fiction Favorites
Who doesn’t love a mythical creature to add some magic to a novel? From dragons and sea monsters to griffins and mermaids, mythical monsters are popular in fantasy books. We see these creatures in fiction today, pulling from myth, legend, folklore, and fairytales to add drama and action to the hero’s journey.
I’ve used typical mythical creatures in my fiction before, and we all know the stories of dragons and quests, but I’ve also created a few animals through my own world building that add a little uniqueness to the mythology. Here is a list of fantasy creatures I’ve featured in my fiction novels, which may include mild spoilers (mostly just teasers) if you haven’t read the books.
Talk about a legendary creature. The griffin is an incredibly popular choice for fantasy travel. With the body of a lion and the face and wings of an eagle, you definitely don’t want to mess with this creature! This mythical creature makes an appearance in my short fantasy The Shadowed Assassin. You can also get this story for free by joining my newsletter!
Swords clashed in the courtyard below as I took aim at another Saolaran soldier. I released and watched the arrow pierce the man before he could strike one of my fighters. I reached back to take another arrow but waved into empty space. How had I been so careless to lose track of my arrow count? The door to my left burst open as Saolaran soldiers spilled through the doorway. Then, to my right, another four came running at me.
Well, if this was how I would go out, so be it. I drew my sword, ready to take down as many with me as I could, but a screech caught my attention. The griffin dropped from the sky, crashing through the four men as Cyrox jumped from the griffin’ s back to join me.
“ Need some help my beautiful, shadowed assassin?” he asked.
“ I had it covered,” I grunted, fending off the first attacker. A well-placed slice along his side and a kick sent him falling over the edge and down to the courtyard.
“ Sure you did,” he laughed, still fighting off a soldier.
The golem comes from Jewish folklore, typically made from clay or mud, and brought to life and controlled by someone. Typically they are a servant or protector for whoever created it, essentially doing whatever it was they were created for. After that, they typically just get in the way.
I took this mythical creature to the next level… as a superpower! This is a preview from Soul Collapsed, the fourth installment of the Blue Star Series. You can also read the entire prequel story by following those links above!
I spit as I stood upright, facing the golem. “Alright, you ugly piece of shit. Let’s do this.”
The golem just groaned again, his faceless form not changing. I closed the distance, careful to see where the rest of the golems were gathering so I wouldn’t get caught outmatched. When I was finally within reach of the one closest to me, I dropped to the ground and swiped my leg underneath the monster, knocking clay off of his legs.
Unsurprisingly, the creature seemed only slightly inconvenienced by his shortened legs, rebalancing as he punched forward at my head. I weaved to the left, reaching out with my arms as I wrapped them around the outstretched golem punch. I yanked, using my body weight to help remove the arm from the blob. The clay dissolved through my fingers, blowing away in the breeze of the air conditioner. No flag, but the crowd seemed to be interested again.
Mermaid or siren? Take your pick. The mythical sea creature with the head and torso of a human and the tail of a fish has been a myth for thousands of years. They even make appearances across different cultures, each with their own unique spin on the creature. Some associate them with floods, storms, shipwrecks, and luring victims, while others see them as benevolent creatures.
Wondering where mermaids are in my fantasy stories? Well, that’s because it’s new! You’ve heard some legends, but never actually met our kyrenia. You will get to meet Kinthe, a mermaid (kyrenia) in the eighth installment of the Warrior series. Check out this unedited cut from the new book The Rise of the Coilleach, coming at you March 9.
A loud, high-pitched clattering startled Kahyr. She turned back to the river as Kinthe released a pile of swords, spears, and arrows onto the ground.
Kinthe blinked, the fins on her cheeks shaking water off her face. “Will these help?”
Kahyr raised her eyebrow. “Kinthe, where did you get these?”
She shrugged. “My visitors have left them with me.”
Kahyr narrowed her eyes, not believing the kyrenia. “How many men have you lured to your home?”
Kinthe smiled, flashing her sharpened teeth. “Many.”
The oubastet is my own creation! This mythical beast is derived from many different creatures. The oubastet is a mixture of dragon and ‘bastet’, a magical monster that is similar to a large cat with bat-like wings. You might have also heard of Bastet, an Egyptian goddess of the sun. She is a warrior lioness with the body of a woman and the head of a lion.
In the Warrior series, Ouba is slightly larger than a house cat with a similar personality. Despite that small size, they are feared in the forest for their poisonous bite and their incredible ability to hunt. Check out Ouba in action with this preview of book two, The Innocent Named Warrior. You can also read a feature on him here.
Before his downward movement began, the Inesa watched a small, winged feline swoop from the ceiling and dig its claws into the man’s shoulder. As he cried, the black Oubastet sunk its teeth into his neck. The man snagged the small creature, throwing it to the ground just before his legs started to shake. The poison of the Oubastet was quick work as the man crumpled to the ground next to the Inesa, gasping for air as his lungs began to fail.
Pulled from Greek mythology, Scylla is a legendary sea monster typically seen teaming up with Charybdis, who controlled a whirlpool in a narrow strait. In avoiding Charybdis, sailors would inevitably run into Scylla’s trap. You might be familiar with Homer’s depiction in The Odyssey where Scylla plucks six men off the ship and devours them.
You can catch Scylla in the Warrior series as well, but this legend is a little different. Let’s learn a little more with this scene from The Curse of Asalie.
Morvac pointed out into the waters. “They say that the singing kyrenia will lure you into their traps, serenading you into madness.”
“But not the… what did you call the sea monster?” Baeddan asked.
“Scylla,” Fallum answered. “I’ve met some fishermen who believe Scylla was one of Alkina’s creations and that they work together to create storms in the Dour. But if you listen to the men who have been driven mad, you’ll start to believe that Scylla was actually Asalie’s creation to watch over her siblings at night. When Asalie fights with her siblings, the moons Alkina and Kohns, she uses Scylla to create storms.”
Baeddan shook his head. “I’m not sure the sun god can work at night like that.”
Fallum shrugged. “I wasn’t sure myself. But there are men who have survived Scylla. They say looking into the sea monster’s eyes is like looking at Asalie herself. It burns your mind into madness.”
What types of mythological creatures do you like to see in fiction? Share some of your popular or not-so popular mythical creatures in the comments!
Originally published at https://www.laura-winter.com on March 5, 2021.