• evgriff42

Bestiary Creative Writing - 2014 Thesis Collaboration

These are written excerpts I made for a fictional bestiary to assist my brother's ink drawing and book binding project. This was his thesis in 2014, featuring my original writing.

The entries written were inspired by the thumbnail and WIPs of these creature designs with the intent of creating the perspective of a field researcher beholding unknowable creatures and attempting to rationalize their existence through the purview of reason, and existing mythology based on the origin of their discovery.

All illustrations shown are prints of originals by Dylan Griffin - https://www.dylangriffinillustrator.com/

Inanis | The Living Void

There is a sense of familiarity to this entity. It stands like a man, but undoubtedly has the presence, the horns, and the absolute darkness in skin apparent through all these other creatures.

It doesn’t necessarily exist as a physical body, but it’s presence is absolutely certain.

It must be as ancient as space and time. How lonely must it be, to not truly be seen as something that exists because you embody the nothingness of the world? What must it feel like to occupy the empty space between all living matter, the shadow of our earthly molecules?

Despite its horns, its has no evil intention: not the devil, but neither is it God. This entity exists in between, trapped in its own purgatory and forgotten by the world that left it behind.

What I do understand is that it has the power to create. I can tell it is the father of this bestiary of misfit creatures I’ve encountered. I think perhaps it wanted to create things of its own, not unlike how it could have witnessed God creating in his own image. But when abandoned never quite understood the complex nature of creating life. In being a misfit itself, it made misfit children of its own through inexperience.

Why did it appear to me? Is it greatful that someone has finally remembered it, and the creations it tried to care for?

I feel like it was trying to share some kind of wisdom with me, but what lesson is there to be learned from acknowledging shadows of the past? Perhaps just to acknowledge them is enough. Maybe that’s the whole point. After all, what do we learn from pushing our mistakes and our demons away like they never happened?

The Watcher | Corvus Vigilans (Wakeful Raven)


Legend: I feel this creature’s resemblance to a raven is not by sheer coincidence of a black colored plume. Throughout the cultures of the world, a raven is often is depicted as an ever-watching entity, and a harbinger between the living and the dead.


Notes: They’re sighted within reach of every other creature I have depicted in this bestiary.


Habitat: They will always take the highest peak they can find. They seems unphased by any environment: mountain, desert or tropics.


Appearance: They too have that gleaming eye that seems apparent in all these other creatures. Evidently, this winged shadow may appear more like a dinosaur to some with it’s scaled neck and long horns. The resemblance to its kin is unmistakable to any who has seen them.


Diet: It scavenges on other birds. Not a pretty sight.


Scale: Maybe 20 feet? They never approached me close enough to tell.


Behavior: Through my search for these creatures, I never had a doubt of their supposed connection to the other beasts, as a trail of this massive, black beasts of flight watched over their brethren from the skies above. I’m not sure if they were a beacon for myself, or a telescope lense for someone, or something, else.

The Stag | Cervi Robusta (Oak Deer)

Regional title: Cernunnos

species: Quercus Cervidae


Legend:

The perception of this creature was transfigured over several millennia, but the local culture calls this Stag the Celtic god of the wild forest Cernunnos,” or Herne the Hunter, whose presence dates back to the 1st Century. The connection seems to be that the god is honored with a crown atop his head resembling antlers, a wild spirit, and gatekeeper of the underworld. The god entity itself is a symbol of the hunt, and because of this I am hard pressed to believe this creature and the god are one and the same. But perhaps these Stags and Fawns grown from the spirit of oak were those hunted by Cernunnos.


Notes:

The divine hunter wore a bow hand and a trumpet in his hands. The Scottish man I met traced this trumpet to a summoning call of some kind, called a Carnyx: a wind instrument of the Iron Celtic Age, they generously gave me a replica to take to Ireland. I believe this horn of warfare may have summoned these creatures to the defense of Gaul, but also allured them to the hunter.


Habitat:

because of limited forestation, this lone stag has been limited to the small preservation of great oak trees in Tomnafinnoge. The wood was said to have been made up of a thousand acres in the 17th century.


Appearance: Like a great oak, the age is visible on the creature’s dense, mossy skin. It’s face looks damaged, charred from the base of it’s head down the neck, in which see the same look of darkness flowing through its core, like a current of blood it shares with it’s kin.


Behavior: the sole creature I encountered seemed young and lost. It seems as though these creatures hibernated among the trees as spiritual guardians, dismissive of human presence. Without mating partners for them to call out to in the spring, their voices sound hollow and diminished.

Gekido 激動 | Vulpus Deitatis (Fox Devil)


Legend: Japan accepts foxes in their religion, and after tonight, I’m frankly curious why. Any elder of Japan will tell you that the creature is one of peace, at worst, it loves to trick mortals. The Kitsune ( ) is supposed to be a creature of wisdom and faith to their worshipers. Whatever I witnessed on my way back to Tokyo is not the same, but something much more sinister.


Notes: I think it may have been sent to kill me. Should I have just let the whale erase my memory? Do I know too much about these creatures?


Habitat: It’s permanent residence is unknown, or maybe even nowhere? Was it summoned? If so, by who?


Appearance: A large, canine kind of creature with dragon qualities. The only one of these creatures with a white coat, yet that blackness in its exposed flesh and feet are unmistakable, and grown antlers on it’s head are equally identifiable.


Scale: It’s not dwarfed by Fuji, but small enough that it’s required to cimb. Yet, big enough to crush Tokyo. Maybe 400 ft?


Age: There’s no way it isn’t supposed to resemble a Kitsune, but how was such a thing created? Fox spirits only entered Japanese culture around 4 AD… this creature is young compared to the rest.


Behavior: It is consumed by the same rage as the Man Eater, but the direction of it’s power is more concise. It howled several times before disappearing. Was it hunting for a man who knew too much? This sudden appearance and the cost of lives simply couldn’t have been coincidence…


Kōkai 後悔 | Animus Balena - Whale of Soul and Memory

Regional name: Bakekujira 化鯨 - Ghost Whale


Legend: I had no hope of finding anything resembling a whale, mainly because of the outrage of the whaling industry in Japan, but because the only concept I can gather through word of mouth is that of the Bakejukira, which has only one mention in folklore as a terrifying skeleton of a baleen whale. Beyond this, the creature may as well not exist, not even interpreted in ukiyo-e paintings of the Edo period. What I had discovered however, is that this may have been because the creature has a strange way with the human mind, maybe even making people forget. Yet, this whale is still treated as a guardian, as a spirit to guard the afterlife. A local girl taught me a song that her grandmother used to sing to her as a blessing of the massive fish demon. The Watcher knowingly led me to the location of the whale.


Habitat: Sea of Japan, surrounded by a stone wall a ruined pagoda, and small shrine far up the coast, trapping the beast.


Notes: Once I had arrived at the whale spirit’s resting place, I had played a recording of the song the girl had performed for me, sending it crashing above the surface, towering over me, nearly turning my boat over.


Appearance: It tries to disguise itself as a terrifying, skeletal figure, but I somehow was able to fight it’s trickery and see its true figure, the slick blake skin of it’s brethren, horns and a wide grin of baleen for teeth.


Scale: 100 ft long


Behavior: It aggressively invades the human mind with song, to erase memory, but also to calm the victim, and remove fear from thought. For some reason, it has a feeling of remorse in it’s look once I see through it. This creature has lived with it’s own memory, knowing it has taken countless others who will never know of it’s presence.


7 views0 comments