An early Christmas present from the DotW

Hi all:

Guess who’s not getting a Christmas this year? It’s me. (Okay, I’m getting one, it’s just short.)

Because of this, I’m taking the week off. Instead, enjoy this Holiday Zombie Apocalypse instructional video.

Thanks, Team Unicorn

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Moonstruck: Lorialets

I had to pull out my French skills for this one, so forgive me if some of the details are sketchy here…

In his Chroniques Gargantuines, the major French Renaissance writer Rabelais says that some children born or conceived by moonlight have a dreamy, otherworldly air, and are Lorialets.

To Rabelais, these were mortals with a touch of the fey. But others describe Lorialets differently–as born of the union between a woman and the rays of the moon, or that the moon incarnates itself in a woman’s body. It’s even said that Lorialets are actually descended from the ancient Roman mood goddess, Selene.

Some people say that these children need the light of the moon to survive. Pretty much everyone agrees that they aren’t dangerous, so I can’t really call them demons.

To Rabelais, Lorialets were simply human children, but not everyone agrees with him on that one. They’re also described as fairy-like, with pale skin and hair, and invisible pearly wings.

Lorialets have the power to see the future, but they rarely care to share the gift, since they have never cared about earthly things. The occasional Lorialet will come to terms with earth-bound living. They usually become dreamy artists, musicians, or writers of Romance novels, Young Adult novels, and imaginative blogs.

Sources

Pierre Dubois, Claudine Sabatier, Roland Sabatier, The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries, Simon & Schuster, 2000

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorialet (Special thanks to Google Translator)

Bouda: The were-hyenas of North Africa

The Spotted Hyena, Crocuta crocuta, inhabits m...

Image via Wikipedia

These were-hyenas come from the Berbers of North Africa. They use magical potions to shape-shift into the feral dogs during the night. While in canine form, they can still speak in human voices. So if you’re out in the desert and you hear someone calling you from outside the tent, you might want to consider checking to see if they’re sleeping beside you before you rush outside to see what’s wrong.

Now, what I want to know is this. If you’re a were-hyena, do you then just shift back at sunrise and go to your day job? What if you’re really tired from running around all night?

Sources

The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Rakshasa: Servants of the demon king

Image of demon King Ravana, who has ten heads,...

Image via Wikipedia

I can’t paint a good picture of an East Indian Rakshasa (feminine: Rakshasi) for you, since they all look different. Sources agree, though, that they are vaguely humanoid (though huge), extremely deformed (multiple heads, extra arms, that sort of thing, and generally unpleasant-looking (long tongues, big bellies). They appear in the Vedic texts (Pantschatantra, Mahabarata, Katha Sarit Sagara, etc) as your general sort of evil demonic foe. That kind of thing.

These bad boys (and girls) are strong, especially at night, and commit every sort of evil deed, from cannibalism, cutting off the top of people’s skulls to drink human blood out of, to eating food that’s been sneezed on (Oooh, eeeee-vil).

They all serve the demon king Ravana. Even though they are enemies, they seem to fulfill a purpose in the universe, perhaps as a test for heroes. They are very loyal to each other, and keep the vows they make. In their spare time, they live in a beautiful palace.

The few men brave enough to marry Rakshasi have found that they eventually mellow out and turn into beautiful women.

Sources

The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth
Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth
(Paperback)
by Carol Rose