Here there be dragons: Medieval UFOs

Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus

1421, Lucerne, Switzerland.

You’re a farmer, walking home over Mount Pilatus. Your name, specifically, is Stempflin.

Suddenly, you hear a disturbing noise. The flapping of great leathery wings. The ground explodes in front of you. In a shower of dirt and sod, you’re overwhelmed and faint dead away.

When you wake up, there’s nothing left of the dragon–’cause it must have been one of the many dragons that live in the caves atop the mountain. But is there… You examine the scene and find a red-colored stone. Ha! It’s the congealed blood of a dragon with many healing properties!

Sources

http://www.pilatus.com/content-n83-sE.html

Demonspotting: Leraje/Leraie/Leraikha

A lot of spirits seem to belong to Sagittarius, for some reason. Buer, Barbatos, and now Leraje. He’s a Marquis of Hell, with thirty legions to command.

Leraje’s big deal is being a Robin Hood wannabe. He’s an archer who wears green, and carries a bow and quiver. He infects arrow wounds. He loves battles and causes them whenever he gets the chance.

Demonspotting: Eligos

Eligos doesn’t sound like such a bad demon, for a Great Duke of Hell in command of sixty legions.

According to the Goetia, he “appeareth in the form of a goodly Knight, carrying a Lance, an Ensign, and a Serpent.”

He can discover hidden things (I’m always losing socks) and is able to tell the future (I could use a winning lottery ticket). He can make people love authority figures (The Goetia says ‘lords and great persons,’ but I suppose that would be politicians now).

In keeping with his soldier persona, he can tell you when wars will happen and knows all about how battle tactics will fall out.

The Greeks sure love their vampires, part 7: Empusa

There are a lot of vampires in Greek folklore. In fact, where we have one name for undead creatures who inhabit corpses and suck the blood of the living, they have a crapload of them. I’ll feature one of them today, the empusa, who really does not like swearing.

Empusa

An empusa is one of the vyrkolakoi. She’s an elusive sort of creature. I had a lot of trouble finding information on her. She might be really good at hiding. Or maybe she doesn’t bother hiding at all…

According to Rosemary Ellen Guiley, an empusa doesn’t have a shape of her own, but is a demon who takes over corpses.

I have a problem believing that because Philostratus tells a story in The Life of Apollonius of Tyana about a certain young, handsome man from Lycia by the name of Menippus. This guy met a pretty young Phoenician woman and fell in love with her. He was going to marry her, but Apollonius saw through her disguise and made her admit that she was an empusa and was going to devour him right after their wedding night.

But the thing is, what corpse is so young and pretty that a handsome guy would want to marry her? None.

I’m more likely to believe the other origin story, that Empusa was an actually a demigoddess, the daughter of the witch goddess Hecate and the spirit Mormo (despite the fact that both of these people were females). This Empusa seduced guys like a succubus, then drank their blood while they slept.

Charming.

If you think that the sweet young chick you’ve just met is an empusa, try this simple test: Swear at her. Insult her. An actual empusa really does not like that.

Of course if she’s not an empusa, try explaining that one.

Sources

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

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley