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General terms for magical monsters


Does anyone have a good catch all term for monsters? I have a short story set in a post-apocalyptic world where civilization was knocked back to the dark ages by the sudden appearance of various monsters from myths and legends world wide. A lot of the monsters have been domesticated and serve humans, with wild ones still posing threats when they get too close to settlements.

I feel the word monster is too associated with something that's not believed in to be used for something so integral to everyday life for the characters. I tried using Mon as a generic short form but it brings up direct comparisons to Pokemon and sounds kinda silly to boot.


I feel the same, so one of the ways I do that is to make up a word. This helps if you have a history though, a common origin that allows you to link the monsters all together. I use anaku and anakuphim for their children in one of my worlds. So where did they appear? You can take the name of where they first popped up and add a suffix that implies children of or from here or something like that and there you go.

You could always call them mythics/mythies or legends or something.


Perhaps feybeasts as a collective term. For the domesticated ones, you could call them Tamebeasts, Perilousbeasts for the dangerous ones.
Its sort of interesting. In my world Vanity there are multiple magical races, and even intelligent dragons and monsters that are sentient and actually registered citizens in the Empire. The term 'person' is considered humanoidcentric, so the term 'chenar' is used for any reasoning, sentient being.
What is the difference between a Bear and a Gryphon. Both are wild animals that will hurt you under the wrong conditions.

What makes the creatures more than mere beasts? A gryphon perhaps was crafted from marble and given life by a god. It roams the skies hunting men who keep secrets. The only way to stop a Gryphon is to reveal all of your secrets. ---THAT is a magical beast that is more than a bear, something more than a hungry animal just living its life.

What is the origin of the monsters? What motivates them? Are they intelligent?


In addition to the ideas above: When you have a post-apocalyptic world you have a wide selection of words at your disposal. Even if it was knocked back to the dark ages the vocabulary will take a time to change because the mindset of the population will take a time to shift away from our well categorized and technological world.

You could pick terms commonly used by military officers, by the government, by journalists. You could even classify those creatures using a scale—we love ranks, don't we?—and go with something along "Level 1 Occurrence" line, blend ranks with common names like "Category A beast", etc. It gives you an opportunity to show it's not the usual medieval fantasy.

Just food for thought.


I'm currently playing with different languages and their words for animals and monsters. Mainly Swiss German and Dutch (the area the story takes place in an area with a strong Amish presence). I'm currently liking Gruwel "abomination" or Ondier "monster" or "brute".

The term needs to distinguish between the monsters and the normal animals since part of the story is about the unique properties of the monsters after death (they are radioactive and a cult is exploiting this fact by using their remains to power a nuclear power plant).