Category Archives: Mythology

Mythology World Tour: Lesser Known Egypt

As I prepared to dive into the topics of Africa’s mythology for the sake of tour of the world’s mythologies, I wondered whether or not I should actually cover Egypt. Egypt, being so closely associated to several empires that formed around the Mediterranean and Middle East, is one of the few places in Africa that we are familiar with in some fashion. But as I was considering it I realized that, despite our familiarity with who they are, we really have very little clue when it comes to their ancient religion.

In the west, we all know a few things about Egypt. First, we know they built pyramids and a sphinx that are iconic and have existed for so long that we wonder why we can’t get a cell-phone battery that doesn’t flake out on us in the modern day. Second, they believed cats were sacred, setting up the ground work for the internet as we know it. Third, they lived on the River Nile. Fourth, Cleopatra was, for a time, queen of the Nile, or queen of denial, depending on who you ask. And fifth, they worshipped the sun because you don’t want to anger that thing while living in the desert.

So, in the spirit of “the wisest man is the one who admits he knows nothing” I will now show you a handful of elements from Egyptian mythology that we in the west typically don’t hear anything about. So let’s begin today’s Alternate Mythology… Continue reading Mythology World Tour: Lesser Known Egypt

Why Don’t We Learn More About African Cultures?

Some time ago I stated that the fantasy genre sometimes draws from too narrow a pool and that we could branch out the genre by pushing towards other frontiers. So it felt like a fun idea to go over mythologies of the world and share some of the lore, cryptids, and beliefs that may sometimes be overlooked. I’ve given brief glances at Asia and Australia so far. Neither of them are thoroughly covered by my short articles listing only a handful of creatures from their folklore, but I can always go back to them later. Still, having covered the two of those I found myself on a continent that a lot of people know almost nothing about.

Africa: a continent sometimes mistaken for a country by the uneducated. But for most people there’s not a whole lot that they can tell you about the culture outside of a few notable examples. We all know of Egypt and a great deal of us know some of the more popular Egyptian gods. But Egypt makes up a tiny fraction of a much larger continent and you’d be hard pressed to find someone in the west that knows about the rest of the cultures there. Maybe you’ll find someone familiar with Anansi, or will know something about the figures of the North African coast, maybe have a decent understanding of Voudon (or a wildly inaccurate one), but then it goes a bit blank. This leaves one to wonder…

Continue reading Why Don’t We Learn More About African Cultures?

Alterpedia: Yara-Ma-Yha-Who

In the Alters’ World (and the series of books found here), creatures of legend reveal themselves to the world. Born through genetic abnormalities, defects and mutations, the Alters have lived for centuries as outcasts of human society, hiding their true nature from the world while colorful stories have been written by many to describe what they’ve seen. How are these creatures different from what was described in the stories? What relationship do they have with humanity? Every entry of the Alterpedia will delve into a new creature from around the world. This week we cover:



A creature of the wild lands of Australia, the Yara-Ma-Yha-Who is said to be a vicious little creature that feasts on its prey for several days as it continues a cycle of draining blood and then slowly digesting until the prey becomes another of the horrible little creatures.

All in all, typical aggressive Aussie animal behavior.

But how much of that is true? Why do these creatures continue the process of regurgitating their prey over repeated instances and how’d a creature that bizarre avoid being spotted for so very long? Today we take a look at one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures. Continue reading Alterpedia: Yara-Ma-Yha-Who

Mythology World Tour: Australia

Australia, the land of things that prove evolution is a biological weapon arms race. But the people who live there and the culture that has formed there have produced some of the most interesting creatures to be found. What sort? Well they have a range anywhere from larger beasts based on the ones you would find in the mortal plane (which is hard to imagine in a place producing 20 foot crocodiless) to wilder, more fantastic creatures born of the imaginations of people who believe in something as mind bending as Dreamtime.

Aboriginal stories range from the mundane to the truly ethereal and the average Australian’s sense of “fuck it all” gives them a wicked sense of creativity (and humor, as you’ll understand down the list). So for this week’s stop on the tour, let’s take a look at something a little unusual with… Continue reading Mythology World Tour: Australia

Introduction To Things That Want To Kill You (Australia)

Continuing our tour of world mythologies, let’s change it up a bit and move to a different continent, one that’s both more naturally dangerous and yet never produced a Genghis Khan figure… potentially because something ate him.

In the late 18th century, the American colonies did something that wasn’t exactly expected by the British Empire: they threw tea into the ocean. Now, to you and me this may sound like a minor offense, but the empire, being British, was gravely offended. By some accounts there was a skirmish afterwards and to this day we Americans only enjoy tea in ironic fashion like a nation of Hipsters.

But the end result left the British with a new found problem. You see, they hadn’t been using any of their own land for prisons. After all, who wants to live next to thieves, murderers and drunkards? So what they’d done for a long time was send them somewhere far from anything remotely looking like civilization: Georgia. This makes a great deal of sense – after all, to this day the only signs of human settlement in that region is the city looking thing you see out the windows as you come to and from their really big airport.

But with Georgia gone there was a need to send them somewhere else. That place had to be isolated, far from anything that remotely looked like civilization to prevent the prisoners from feeling human or like they mattered to the crown. It had to be unimportant to the empire so that they wouldn’t be taking up precious space from something like a tea crop or the shops where they made those powdered wigs. But, most importantly, to make sure that this place was punishment it had to be completely hostile to human life.

The answer came to them in a continent that had, to that point, only been known for being a peculiarity on sea maps that the Dutch had poked at a few times. Aside from that, very little was known about the place. After all, it’s hard to learn much when all you have are the terrified journal entries of the poor souls who’d wandered into the place like Jurassic Park. Still, before the bloodstains on the page it sounded like just the right place. So before long the prisoners were moved to their new home. Continue reading Introduction To Things That Want To Kill You (Australia)

Mythology World Tour: Slavic Mythology

Recently I told you the story of a people who have seen some shit go down in their time. They survived plagues, Mongols, ice and each other. They descend from the Slavic offspring of Vikings and have a tendency to think and act like Europe’s polar opposite as often as possible.
But why did I preface it in such a fashion? What was my goal when telling you that Russia was mirror universe Europe? Well the reason is pretty simple: it explains so fucking much of their culture.
You see, as we go on this world tour of mythologies, I’ve been striving to show you something other than the standard European folklore that has been feeding epic fantasy for as long as anyone can remember. But when coming to the Slavic states, I saw a trend that amused the hell out of me: they’re almost exactly like their European neighbors until once again they turned left instead of right. Because “fuck it” is the personality of the former USSR and always has been.
So let’s take a look at mirror universe Europe and talk about…

Continue reading Mythology World Tour: Slavic Mythology

Russia: An Introduction

So, the shit storm settled and I have emerged from it with the intention of getting back on the horse. And as I was doing before my little hiatus, I intend to put a spotlight on alternative mythologies for the sake of expanding the fantasy genre. After having dealt with some ideas out of East Asia and South Asia, I turn towards North Asia, where I find… a bunch of white people.

Ah, Russia, the drunk uncle in the Caucasian family. There’s a lot of things about the Russian people that we don’t really understand in the west. From the moment you cross the Slavic countries in Eastern Europe you will find quite quickly that people stop understanding what the fuck is going on in Russia. But that won’t stop us from doing a ceremonial war dance across from them like Kirk and Spock going after some Vulcan booty.

So when faced with the prospect of covering the culture of Russia, I decided they really deserved to have every post this week devoted to them. Because, come on, have you seen their dash-cam footage? These people are fascinating. So may I now present you with…

Continue reading Russia: An Introduction

Putting To Rest Old Rivalries

Times are hard, we’ve all seen it and we’ve all experienced it. Bad things happen to good people and that can leave some pretty heavy rifts in family. Sometimes you might find yourself at odds with a cousin, an uncle, maybe your own mother. But these are things that are thinner than blood, these are things that should be something you can get over. Maybe it’s easier said than done, but there shouldn’t be impossible to cross chasms in relationships born out of a mutual origin.

Let’s face it guys, it’s time to mend the broken fences. It’s time to come to terms over the past mistakes and move on with all of our lives. It’s time to…

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Alterpedia: Naga

In the Alters’ World (and the series of books found here), creatures of legend reveal themselves to the world. Born through genetic abnormalities, defects and mutations, the Alters have lived for centuries as outcasts of human society, hiding their true nature from the world while colorful stories have been written by many to describe what they’ve seen. How are these creatures different from what was described in the stories? What relationship do they have with humanity? Every entry of the Alterpedia will delve into a new creature from around the world. This week we cover:


Source: Ninsianna

The enemies of Garuda, the Naga is an entity of many forms and functions in Hindu mythology. Though they are often depicted as violent aggressors, the tormentors of all living creatures, they also have been known to serve the gods and bring balance to the Earth. Because of this, Naga, and the snakes they are based on, have a love-hate relationship in many parts of South East Asia, with some villages even worshipping cobras and the deities they represent.

But are they just snakes or is there something more to them? What are the Naga really? Continue reading Alterpedia: Naga

Mythology World Tour: South Asia

The fantasy genre is a domain of great imagination and potential, drawing not only from personal creations but ancient religions and mythology, but at times it starts to feel a little well-trodden. Maybe it was the bombardment of at least 12 hours of Tolkien film (great as those hours were). Maybe it was the cheap knockoffs of those movies that got churned out in their wake.

I dare you to try to remember the name to this movie.

Or maybe it’s because almost all of the stories draw from the same basic lore.

As I started with in the last entry, I’m going to continue touring other regions of the world that aren’t part of the lands involved in the Crusades and give a small taste of what makes those places interesting source material too. With our last entry I pointed out a few interesting but often overlooked ideas from the far east with lore from China and Japan. But today, I move a little south of there and look into the regions more influenced by Hinduism. It’s time to take a look at…

Continue reading Mythology World Tour: South Asia