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I need a name for a mythical creature

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Shreddies, May 12, 2015.

  1. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

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    I wanted to have a creature in one of my stories which is basically supposed to be a myth (the creature, not the story).

    It is (according to myth) invisible, unstoppable, does whatever it wants, it brings natural disasters and calamity, diseases and generally unpleasant things. Maybe you could reason with it, but in the end it doesn't answer to anyone. And there's only one of it in existence (in other words it's THE [Thing], not A [Thing]).

    I realized halfway through writing the original description that it was more-or-less the old concept of the Oni in Japanese myth. But the problem is there's really no other reference to oriental culture in the story (aside from my Elves, which are considered an urban legend and are a parody of cheesy, badly dubbed, ninja/kung-fu movies), so I don't know if calling it an Oni would fit.

    I know Oni sometimes gets translated as Ogre or Troll. But I want to avoid calling it an Ogre, because I have a reformed Ogre as a bit character already. And I already have Trolls as a race.

    Any suggestions? I suppose I could call it an Ogre if I just rebrand the Ogre that's already there. But does anyone know of any mythical creature that would fit here? Or can suggest a name for it? Or do you think Oni would fit?
     
  2. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    I would have said gremlin save that this creature is the only one and gremlins are normally represented as coming in packs. However some sort of gremlin?

    Alternatively some sort of beast of misfortune.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  3. ArenRax

    ArenRax Sage

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    Oni might fit as I know they were basically demons and from what you describe it sounds like a demonic god of calamity or destruction.
    Maybe Daemon could be a good name but I have no clue as to what sort of name you want.

    do you want its name to sound fierce and fear inspiring? or cute cuddly (just joking).
    do mean to name its race as it is the only one or its personal name that it has known since the beginning of its existence?
     
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  4. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I love anagrams, so I came up with Pashim -- "mishap" turned around and shuffled a bit. Would that work for you?
     
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  5. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    Had a thought - although they're usually considered sea monsters what about kraken? They are associate with maritime disasters, sinkings and tsunami's. Why not advance that a little.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  6. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    Just left the forums and remembered the gnostics. One idea of theirs was a revised Plato concepot called the Demiurge. The Demiurge is like a worker for God - he fashioned the world for God out of whatever the creator gave him to work with. And he is (though it does vary from source to source) unreservedly evil.

    Alterntively if you want a beast and not a dark near god, scourge is always a good word - I've been playing Skyrim lately!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  7. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    The Tipua from Maori myths more or less fit your description. The key difference is that the Tipua could be drawn away by giving it offerings.

    I had a similar entity in one of my stories and I called it The Bunyip. However, according to Aboriginal Australian myths, the Bunyip lives in water.

    Maybe you can call it "Dagon". The actual mythology of Dagon doesn't mean anything anymore. In popular culture, it's a broad name for any kind of demon.

    The Demiurge (in Gnosticism, I don't know much about the Plato concept) is a good deal more complicated than that. There's all kind of philosophical components to it.
    Not only that but there are also multiple demiurges (depending on which sect of gnosticism you're talking about). You seem to be thinking of Yaldaboath (also called Saklas, Samael or YHWH) who is the head Demiurge.
     
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  8. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

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    Hnn. Every time I hear 'gremlin' I think of little mischief makers who wreak havoc with machinery. So I don't think that'd fit too well.

    A beast of misfortune is an interesting idea I hadn't considered.

    I don't know if Daemon would fit very well, I think I know what it means, but it sounds too close to demon.

    No, not cute and cuddly. :) It is supposed to be a single entity, but there might be a race or two that derived their name from it.

    Huh, I hadn't considered anagrams. But I think Pashim itself is a bit too close to Pachin (one of the races in this world).

    I could give it multiple names based on the cultures the names are given from. So a seafaring culture would name it something nautical. That makes sense.

    I already have demiurges in the universe in much the same capacity. But they're on a higher tier than this creature. I never heard of the demiurge being evil though. I'll have to read up on it some more.

    Oooh! The Tipua's a new one for me, I'll have to write that down.

    I've heard of the bunyip before, but it never really struck me as anything more than a bigfoot-esque, urban legend type creature (unless I'm thinking of the Yowiee).

    I don't know about Dagon though. It always reminds me of Babylon, Lovecraft, ugly mermen mosaics, and people who have an unhealthy amount of love for their fish.
     
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  9. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    Yowie is the Australian bigfoot. The Bunyip's only consistent trait is being near water and dangerous. Other than that, it can be whatever you want it to be.

    Exactly, Dagon can be whatever you want it to be. It's also one letter off from "dragon" so it kind of conjures the image of a powerful monster or demon. I mean, I guess there is a "water" element in common with most fictional Dagons so, maybe stick that name in the "probably not" pile.
     
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  10. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    Could always take an existing name and change a few things. Add syllables, change enough so the pronunciation is different, etc.
     
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  11. The Stranger

    The Stranger Dreamer

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    for singular things, especially something that is invisible, i just like to use ideas and concepts for names. something like "The Calamity" or maybe "the Unseeable"
     
  12. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

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    Your description reminds me of a way to describe The Devil. Perhaps you would have an easier time choosing a name if their was something more unique about the character. Maybe consider what it cannot do as a way to better define the creature. Anther option is to think of a regular word that best describe the creature such as ravines, wretched, etc. and find the word in another language that looks aesthetically good to you. Hope this helps.
     
  13. The Greythrone

    The Greythrone New Member

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    Is the creature generally a large and powerful invisible beastie? or generally small and invisible? I understand that most of the people giving it names would probably not be able to tell, but due to said invisibility, the type of name you give it will be your readers primary point from which they create their mental image.

    From the conversation above it sounds like it's on the larger end, but I figured it would be good to confirm what we're aiming for.
     
  14. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

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    Big and scary. It's invisible and intangible when it wants.

    Sort of like a natural disaster with an ego.
     
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