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North American Folkloric Creatures in a Fantasy?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by evolution_rex, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. evolution_rex

    evolution_rex Inkling

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    Do you guys think adding mythical creatures of North America to a fantasy universe is a good idea? I've rarely seen it been done and I assume it's because people find them to have been created too recently compared to other mythological creatures, so most people including the creators of the myths (particularly that of the people who created Fearsome Critters) know it's not real while most mythologies are old enough for some level of ambiguity to whether or not they were real or if people at the time believed them to be real, so it breaks the immersion. But would including Fearsome Critters and creatures like Sasquatch be a good idea, would they work along side classic fantasy creatures?
     
  2. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

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    It could definitely be a good idea, though we should define "North American" folklore. If Native American myths, legends, and folklore count, I've used two: wendigoes and skin walkers. If you're only referring to folklore from settlers, there are still plenty of interesting creatures. Let me track down some links.
     
  3. evolution_rex

    evolution_rex Inkling

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    Yeah, mainly referring to post-colonization North American myths, however some things blend with the two, Wendigoes and Sasquatch being some examples. And if you're referring to links on North American mythological creatures, I certainly don't need them, I made this thread because I had done a ton of research on them and was playing around with the idea meshing them up with classic fantasy creatures. But I guess they'd be helpful to the overall thread.
     
  4. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

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    Ok, gotcha. In the instances where I've used them, I kept them close to the legends, with a few additions to let them fit into my worldbuilding. But I can certainly see some possibilities. Like taking the Puerto Rican version of chupacabra and merging it with European legends about vampires.
     
  5. Just because they don't exist here and are comparatively recent as folklore doesn't mean they can't have existed for centuries in your fantasy world. I say go for it, its always good to be creative.
     
  6. Swordfry

    Swordfry Troubadour

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    Sure. Sasquatch/Bigfoot could be a lone wanderer of the world. You could make him good or evil. Some believe him to have various different powers, so you could possibly use this. Just a warning, though: In my opinion, turning Sasquatch into a race has always been unappealing to me. I just like to think of him as a unique one of a kind thing, or at least the last or the first member of a failed species.

    Mothman alone would be awesome. A winged humanoid creature that terrorizes forests and bridges. Would make for a great alternative to other bridge and threshold dwelling beasts like trolls and sphinxes. Mothman could be truly neutral. Don't make him mad, maybe give him an offering, and he'll leave you alone. And according to the legend, you can give him psychic or psionic powers.

    Chupacabra would be cool too. A blood sucking imp that preys on livestock.

    You could base certain thing off of the Salem witch trials maybe.
     
  7. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

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    Wendigos have been used many times. My favorite ABC-TV movie as a kid was The Manitou.

    Currently I'm outline a book/series on the Dragons of America starting in the 1830s, and what's weird is that there's no real analogs in Native American mythology. There are thunderbirds and some lizards and big beasts, but nothing like, say, the terrasque or St. George's worm. The tricky thing will be to insert them without insulting the people. I'm going to go with them as vestigial megafauna, natural creatures that were hunted to near extinction 10K years earlier.
     
  8. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

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    There's the Piasa. Sort of a bird-dragon.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piasa
     
  9. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Wendigo was one of the three in the big fight where Wolverine made his first appearance waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the Hulk...
     
  10. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

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    I'd forgotten about the Piasa. And that mark is right where I need it. Thanks!
     
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