The Fantasy Genre has long been dominated by the religions and customs of countries touched on by the Crusades. While this makes sense, with the familiar image of a knight wandering foreign lands being key to the genre itself, there has been stagnation in recent times. As such, I’ve taken it upon myself to look into the cultures of the world and find fascinating details about other mythologies often overlooked by the genre we so love, going on a bit of a tour of world mythologies.
When we were last in Central Africa, I devoted a bit of time to some of the creation myths of the region. But once the world came into being, the reality of where they lived was sure to set in. As noted a couple times before and only half in jest, nature is the real master of Central Africa and Humans have really only found ways to out-maneuver it.
And, because mythology is often crafted by the things people are afraid of or have to explain to themselves over time, it was inevitable that a place with one of the greatest rain forests on the planet would give rise to stories of cryptids and beasts lurking in the darkness. In a place where you could easily be lost in the wilderness or attacked by creatures in the dead of the night, it is no surprise that one of the gods of death of the region, Tore, is known to take the form of a leopard to personally attack.
In fact, most creatures in the region have at least one of three traits: they’re either big, shapeshifters, or hungry… go figure. Continue reading Mythology World Tour: Creatures of Central Africa