Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Water mythology

Since Beyond the Sea is being released in only a few weeks, I figured this post could be helpful. :) There are a lot of mythological creatures in the book. I did a lot of research so the creatures are pretty accurate (mythologically, that is). And of course, I added my own twists and details to make them more interesting. Here is a list and definition of some of the 'most important' ones:

  • Merrow- Merrows are what humans would call 'mermaids'. They appear human from the waist up, have the ability to breath above and under water, can see in the dark, have webbed hands, are strong and very fast swimmers with a long endurance, and of course have the classic 'fish tail'. Along with the two fins at the bottom of their tail, my merrows have a 'back fin' along what would be the back of their legs. This enables them to swim with more speed and precision. Merrows are smart, like to remain a secret from humans and enjoy a peaceful ocean. They live in caves deep under the sea and move around every seven or so years to avoid being discovered by humans. They collect shiny things, never wear shell bras and often wear their hair in braids.
  • Oceanid- From Greek mythology: Daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys.They are beautiful; my Oceanids all have sparkling, sea green eyes, are easily entertained, love music, and doing anything they find pleasurable, making them sometimes come off as selfish. Oceanids have the ability to transform into human shape and conversing with humans. They are often friends with other nymphs, especially Naiads, and like to trade 'gifts from the sea' with others in exchange for magical items.
  • Kelpie- A kelpie is a waterhorse from Celtic mythology. Out of water, a kelpie looks like a beautiful horse. My kelpies can vary in color, just like normal horses do. Unless you are a merrow or a water nymph, kelpies are a creature to fear. Underwater, kelpies still look rather horse-like with a few changes. Their front hooves transform into two powerful fins and their back legs and tail transform into a 'fish tail' much like that of a merrow. Kelpies have teeth like a dog and are meat eaters. They rise from the water and take on the appearance of a beautiful horse in order to trick humans into getting on their back. Once the human is on, they get 'stuck' to the kelpie's cold, slick coat. They are then dragged under the water and eaten.
  • Ceasg- (pronounced key-ask) a Scottish  myth about a 'water woman', the ceasg has the top half of a beautiful woman's body and the bottom half of a salmon. Here's where the myths differ: some say the ceasg will grant three wishes to anyone who captures her in exchange for her release while others say she will grant three wishes in exchange for the wisher's soul. The ceasgs in Beyond the Sea are interested in souls.
  • Adoro- A myth from the Fiji islands, this one was hard to find. Adoros are not nice creatures. They view the ocean as belonging to them and the other creatures that inhabit it and feel that humans are treading on their territory when they enter the water. Adoros will sink ships, kill sailors and send their army of swordfish after anyone who crosses into their water. Adoros are human in shape but have shark-like heads, breath through gills on the side of their neck, and have fins on their arms and legs. They can be out of the water for small periods of time.
  • Gwyrrds- Technically called Grindylows, they are creatures from English folklore. Gwyrrds will grab anyone who comes to the edge of the river, lake, pond or stream they have made a home in. They will drag their victims under the water, drown them and feed off of their souls. The only way to  kill a gwyrrd is by piercing their heart with silver.
  • Kappas-From Japanese mythology, a kappa is a nasty little creature that stands about four feet tall. They have turtle like shells on their backs that are very hard to break, webbed and clawed feet and hands, sunken in cheeks, red, beady eyes and a depression on the top of their heads that has to stay filled with water. Kappas have a very strong grip and will trick humans into the water by offering a hand to shake. Very strong for their small size, the kappa will then pull the human into the water and eat them from the inside out. They are not very intelligent and often get 'hired' by other, smarter ocean creatures to do the dirty work. 
I hope you enjoyed your mythology lesson! There are plenty more creatures in Beyond the Sea that I might add later, both under and above the sea. :)

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