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Mythology


Scarface

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I found this while roaming the web. Most every RPG you play has some sort of mythology in it. I thought it would be pretty neat to have a list of some of the more common and obscure names found in many rpgs.

Enjoy!

Greek Mythology

Titan

In Greek mythology, the Titans are a race of godlike giants who were considered to be the personifications of the forces of nature. They are the twelve children (six sons and six daughters) of Gaia and Uranus. Each son married, or had children of, one of his sisters. They are: Cronus and Rhea, Iapetus and Themis, Oceanus and Tethys, Hyperion and Theia, Crius and Mnemosyne, and Coeus and Phoebe.

Aspidochelone

Mentioned in the Illiad and the Odyssey, the Aspidochelone or otherwise known as the Asp turtle or the shield turtle is a gigantic monster. It uses deception, it lives in the oceans, its shell when sleeping is out of the water and can be easily mistaken for that of a small island.

There are a few reports of these beasts the first was by Alexander the great in India. A group of his most trusted men went out to an island that was said by locals to have a hoard of a dead king. The island sank within an hour of the men landing upon it. A few days later Alexander saw the huge tusked beast that they had thought was land.

Sinbad also encountered one on his adventures. Sinbad and his crew had lit a cooking fires on a small island, when suddenly the island shook the monster awoke and dived under the surface Sinbad and some of his men didn't make it back to the boats and were dragged under with the pull of the beast diving. Sinbad was later washed ashore a real island.

There is also another report of one of these creatures from a group of Irish monks on a sea voyage to America they wrote that they had encountered a creature, which looked like an island but vanished under the waves of the sea.

Argus

Homer's Odyssey (c. 800 BCE) alludes to the story of Argus by referring to Hermes as 'the guide, the slayer of Argus' (8.332). Similar references to Argus appear in Hesiod's Works and Days (c. 750-700 BCE) and many of the Homeric Hymns, including those to Aphrodite, Apollo, Hermes, and Demeter (c. 700-500 BCE). Hermes's epithet 'Argeiphontes' (ar-jee-fon-teez) means 'slayer of Argus.'

The myth's outline is that Zeus had seduced Io when Hera arrived on the scene. Zeus transformed Io into a cow to hide his infidelity, but Hera was not deceived. When Hera asked, Zeus was obliged to give her the cow. Hera appointed her servant Argus to guard the cow, and Hermes, at Zeus' command, killed Argus. The detail omitted in this summary varies depending on which source is referenced. Two prominent sources of the myth of Argus's death are Aeschylus's play Prometheus Bound (c. 500 BCE) and Ovid's Metamorphoses (c. 8 CE).

In Prometheus Bound Io, as a cow, has been wandering all over Greece desperately fleeing from a stinging gadfly ever since Hermes killed Argus. She comes upon Prometheus and relates her story in exchange for a prophecy. According to Aeschylus, the ghost of "Argus --that evil thing-- / The hundred-eyed- / Earth born herdsmen" (617-9) was the gadfly sent by "Hera's curse... [to pursue Io] ever on [her] endless round" (657-. Little else is revealed about Argus in the play, as Io focuses on her wanderings. The play presents the myth in a manner that suggests it should be familiar to the audience, revealing only the details that are pertinent to the themes of the play.

Unlike Aeschylus, who assumes knowledge of the myth and omits details such as Argus' death at the hand of Hermes, Ovid tells a complete narrative of one version of this myth in the Metamorphoses. According to Ovid, Argus had "the hundred eyes / All watching and on duty round his head, / Save two which took in turn their sleep and rest" (I.625-7). The following lines tell that Zeus dispatched Hermes to slay Argus and set Io free. Hermes sang Argus to sleep, used his magic wand to seal Argus's eyes shut, and decapitated Argus. Hera was furious about the death of her servant Argus, and "Juno [Hera] retrieved those eyes to set in place / among the feathers of her bird and filled / his tail with starry jewels" (I.721-3), creating the eyes of the peacock. Furthermore, Hera, "before her rival's [io's] eyes and in her mind... set a frightful Fury" (I.725-6).

Sources with different details for the same myth are characteristic of Greek myth, which is rooted in oral transmissions. Notice that in Ovid's tale Hera does not dispatch the ghost of Argus to torment Io as a gadfly. Hera calls upon a Fury as she does in an episode in Virgil's Aeneid that recounts Hera enlisting a Fury to torture the wife of Latinus. In Prometheus Bound, Argus is the child of Gaia, but Ovid is silent on the issue of Argus's lineage. While Ovid and Aeschylus give Argus one hundred eyes, other traditions, according to Pierre Grimal, attribute one eye or four eyes to the monster Argus. Just as there are differences in the literary preservation of this myth, representations of Argus in the plastic arts may differ. For example, Ovid describes Argus with one hundred eyes in his head, but an Attic vase (c. 490 BCE) depicts Argus with eyes all over his body (Powell 375).

Charybdis

Charybdis was once a nymph-daughter of Poseidon and Gaia who flooded lands for her father's underwater kingdom until Zeus turned her into a monster and have her suck in and out water three times an day. She lived in a cave at one side of the Strait of Messina, opposite the monster Scylla, the two of them forming a dangerous threat to passing ships.

Norse Mythology

Fafnir

The great worm who, in the Old German Tale of the Volsungs, guards the treasures of light, and is slain by Sigurd.

Nidhogg

In Norse myth, Nidhogg ("tearer of corpses") is a monstrous serpent that gnaws almost perpetually at the deepest root of the World Tree Yggdrasil, threatening to destroy it. The serpent is always bickering with the eagle that houses in the top of the tree. Nidhogg lies on Nastrond in Niflheim and eats corpses to sustain itself. It is not the only serpent whose task it is to destroy the World Tree; other serpents include Graback, Grafvolluth, Goin and Moin.

Fenrir

Fenrir (or Fenris) is a gigantic and terrible monster in the shape of a wolf. He is the eldest child of Loki and the giantess Angrboda. The gods learned of a prophecy which stated that the wolf and his family would one day be responsible for the destruction of the world. They caught the wolf and locked him in a cage. Only the god of war, Tyr, dared to feed and take care of the wolf. When he was still a pup they had nothing to fear, but when the gods saw one day how he had grown, they decided to render him harmless.

However, none of the gods had enough courage to face the gigantic wolf. Instead, they tried to trick him. They said the wolf was weak and could never break free when he was chained. Fenrir accepted the challenge and let the gods chain him. Unfortunately, he was so immensely strong that he managed to break the strongest fetters as if they were cobwebs.

After that, the gods saw only one alternative left: a magic chain. They ordered the dwarves to make something so strong that it could hold the wolf. The result was a soft, thin ribbon: Gleipnir. It was incredibly strong, despite what its size and appearance might suggest. The ribbon was fashioned of six strange elements: the footstep of a cat; the roots of a mountain; a woman's beard; the breath of fishes; the sinews of a bear; and a bird's spittle.

The gods tried to trick the wolf again, only this time Fenrir was less eager to show his strength. He saw how thin the chain was, and said that was no pride in breaking such a weak chain. Eventually, though, he agreed, thinking that otherwise his strength and courage would be doubted. Suspecting treachery however, he in turn asked the gods for a token of good will: one of them had to put a hand between his jaws. The gods were not overly eager to do this, knowing what they could expect. Finally, only Tyr agreed, and the gods chained the wolf with Gleipnir. No matter how hard Fenrir struggled, he could not break free from this thin ribbon. In revenge, he bit off Tyr's hand.

Being very pleased with themselves, the gods carried Fenrir off and chained him to a rock (called Gioll) a mile down into the earth. They put a sword between his jaws to prevent him from biting. On the day of Ragnarok, Fenrir will break his chains and join the giants in their battle against the gods. He will seek out Odin and devour him. Vidar, Odin's son, will avenge his father by killing the wolf.

Jormungand

In Norse mythology, Jormungand is one of the three children of the god Loki and his wife, the giantess Angrboda. The gods were well aware that this monster was growing fast and that it would one day bring much evil upon gods and men. So Odin deemed it advisable to render it harmless. He threw the serpent in the ocean that surrounds the earth, but the monster had grown to such an enormous size that it easily spans the entire world, hence the name Midgard Serpent. It lies deep in the ocean where it bites itself in its tail, and all mankind is caught within his coils.

At the destruction of the universe, Jormungand and Thor will kill each other.

Hindu Mythology

Shiva

The third deity of the Hindu triad of great gods, the Trimurti. Shiva is called the Destroyer, but has also the aspect of regeneration.

As destroyer he is dark and terrible, appearing as a naked ascetic accompanied by a train of hideous demons, encircled with serpents and necklaces of skulls. As au****ious and reproductive power, he is worshipped in the form of the Linga, or phallus.

Shiva is depicted as white, with a dark-blue throat, with several arms and three eyes. He carries a trident and rides a white bull. His consort is Parvati (Devi)

Vritra

Vritra was one of the asuras, perhaps the most powerful of them all. His name means "Enveloper." He was a dragon or serpent who was said to be so huge that his coils surrounded mountains, and his head touched the sky. He was the bringer of drought, and his chief enemy was Indra.

In the Rig Veda, Vritra was a terrible fiend who gathered all the waters of the world into himself and cause a drought to cover the whole earth. The world became a wasteland. In a distant land, he hid in his fortress, hording his treasure so that the world drew ever more parched. Finally, Indra, who would become the king of the gods, was born. He took it upon himself to attack the demon and release the waters. Drinking immense amounts of Soma to give him the strength necessary, he set off to find his foe. First Indra stormed Vritra's ninety-nine fortresses, razing each in turn, then he met Vritra himself. The two fought a terrible battle, and in the end, Vritra was destroyed by Indra's thunderbolt. Indra then released the waters to flow back to the world.

In later times, the story changed dramatically, giving Vritra a much more sympathetic part. There was a Brahman named Tvashtri, who had a son named Trisiras. Indra was afraid of Trisiras, and ultimately slew him with his thunderbolt. Tvashtri wanted revenge, and created the demon Vritra to achieve it. Vritra challenged Indra, and was able to defeat the god and swallow him. The other gods were afraid at the loss of their king, and they conceived a plan to free him. They forced the demon to gag, and when he did, Indra sprang forth again and the battle continued. But Indra was still no match for his foe, and was compelled to flee. With the intervention of the rishis and Vishnu, a truce was agreed upon, but only if Indra agreed never to attack Vritra again with any weapon made of wood, metal, or stone, with anything dry or wet, or at any time during the day or night. Indra agreed but still wanted to slay Vritra. One day, he was by the sea. The sun was going down, and in the twilight a huge wave washed up on the shore, spraying a great column of foam. It was, at that time, neither day nor night. Indra realized that the foam from the sea was not wood, stone, or metal, nor was wet or dry. He seized the foam and brought it crashing down on the demon, who fell dead, for the foam was actually Vishnu incarnate.

In another version of the story, Vritra was killed by the mother goddess Sarasvati

Garuda

Garuda is one of the three principal animal deities in the Hindu Mythology that has evolved after the Vedic Period in Indian history. The other two are Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of the goddess Durgha, and Hanuman, the monkey god. It is after Garuda that the Indonesian National Airlines is named. Even today, Garuda is much revered by devout Hindus for his ethics and his strength in applying his ethics to correct evil-doers.

Garuda is the king of the birds. He mocks the wind with the speed of his flight. As the appointed charger of Vishnu he is venerated by all, including humans. Garuda is the son of Kashyap, a great sage, and Vinata, a daughter of Daksha, a famous king. He was hatched from an egg Vinata laid. He has the head, wings, talons, and beak of an eagle and the body and limbs of a man. He has a white face, red wings and golden body. When he was born he was so brilliant that he was mistaken for Agni, the god of fire, and worshipped.

Garuda was born with a great hatred for the evil and he is supposed to roam about the universe devouring the bad, though he spares Brahmins as his parents had forbidden him to eat them. Garuda is also well-known for his aversion to snakes, a dislike he had acquired from his mother, Vinata. There is a story behind this hatred of Garuda's mother. As it is quite interesting it is told hereafter.

Kashyap, Garuda's father, had two wives: Kadru, the elder, and Vinata, Garuda's mother, the younger. There was great rivalry between the

two wives. They could not stand each other. Once, they had an argument over the color of the horse Uchchaisravas, produced during the Churning of the Ocean just after the time of creation. Each chose a color and laid a wager on her own choice. The one who lost would become the other's slave. Kadru proved to be right and, as part of the agreement, imprisoned Vinata in the nether regions, Patala, where she was guarded by serpents. The serpents are, according to another myth, the sons of Kadru herself.

Garuda, on hearing of his mother's imprisonment, descended to Patala and asked the serpents to release Vinata. They agreed to do so and demanded as ransom a cup of amrita (ambrosia). So Garuda set off for the celestial mountain where the amrita was kept. Before he could get to the amrita he had to overcome three hazards set up by the gods to guard the celestial drink. First, Garuda came upon a ring of flames fanned by high winds. They roared and leapt up to the sky but Garuda drank up several rivers and extinguished the flames. Next, Garuda came upon a circular doorway. A very rapidly spinning wheel with sharp spikes on the spokes guarded it. Garuda made himself very small and slipped through the turning spokes. Lastly, Garuda had to defeat two fire-spitting serpents guarding the amrita. He flapped his wings rapidly and blew dust into the eyes of the monsters and blinded them. Then he cut them to pieces with his sharp beak. So Garuda finally reached the amrita and started to fly back with it to the nether regions but the gods anticipated his purpose and gave chase. Indra, king of the gods, struck him with his thunderbolt but Garuda proved a superior warrior and defeated the gods and continued unscathed on his journey to Patala.

When the serpents got the amrita they were overjoyed and released Vinata. Garuda got his mother back but he became an inveterate enemy of the serpents, the sons of his mother's rival Kadru. Also the serpents, the Nagas, symbolized evil and that automatically invoked Garuda's hatred.

As end-piece to this myth it must be told that, as the Nagas were about to consume the amrita Garuda had just brought them, the chasing gods entered Patala and Indra seized and took away the cup of amrita. Anyway, the serpents had just had time enough to lick a few drops of amrita and this was enough to make them immortal. Also, since the celestial drink was very strong, their tongues were split and that is why, to this day, serpents have forked tongues.

Ramuh (or Rama)

In Hindu myth, the seventh incarnation (or avatar) of Vishnu. He is the hero of the Indian Epic "Ramayana" (the story of Rama). Born as the prince of Ayodhya, he faces many tribulations, chief among which is being banished to the forest, due to the machinations of his stepmother. During his exile, his wife Sita is abducted by Ravanaa demon king of the Lanka island (Ceylon). With the aid of Hanuman, Rama rescues Sita and slays Ravana, and is crowned as the king of Ayodhya.

Narasinha

The man-lion, fourth incarnation of Vishnu. Vishnu is regarded as a major god in Hinduism and Indian mythology. He is thought as the preserver of the universe while two other major Hindu gods Brahma and Shiva, are regarded respectively, as the creator and destroyer of the universe.

Mesopotamian mythology

Tiamat

In Babylonian myths, Tiamat is a huge, bloated female dragon that personifies the saltwater ocean, the water of Chaos. She is also the primordial mother of all that exists, including the gods themselves. Her consort is Apsu, the personification of the freshwater abyss that lies beneath the Earth. From their union, saltwater with freshwater, the first pair of gods were born. They are Lachmu and Lachamu, parents of Ansar and Kisar, grandparents of Anu and Ea.

In the creation epic Enuma elish, written around 2000 BCE, their descendants started to irritate Tiamat and Apsu so they decided to kill their offspring. Ea discovered their plans and he managed to kill Apsu while the latter was asleep. Tiamat flew into a rage when she learned about Apsu's death and wanted to avenge her husband. She created an army of monstrous creatures, which was to be led by her new consort Kingu, who is also her son. Eventually, Tiamat was defeated by the young god Marduk, who was born in the deep freshwater sea.

Marduk cleaved her body in half, and from the upper half he created the sky and from the lower half he made the earth. From her water came forth the clouds and her tears became the source of the Tigris and the Euphratus. Kingu also perished, and from his blood Marduk created the first humans.

"The Deep" (Hebrew tehom) at the beginning of Genesis derives from Tiamat.

Arabic mythology

Ifrit

Able to take on human or animal appearance, Ifrits are large winged fire beasts. Living in their own tribes and communities, Ifrits lead social lives amongst themselves but can also have relationships with humans. They are impervious to weapons, but they can be harmed by properly used magic.

Bahamut

Floating in a fathomless sea, Bahamut is a gigantic fish. A giant bull, Kujata, lays upon its back, and upon him is a ruby mountain. Upon that is an angel, the six hells, and the earth, with the seven heavens at the top. The Bahamut is so large that human eyes cannot bear it. This is the Arabic version of Bahamut, the name "Bahamut" is included in several other mythologies

Roc

In Arabian legends, the Roc are gigantic birds, often referred to as 'the Great', and capable of carrying off elephants for food. They are found in various stories of 'The Thousand and One Nights', and are also mentioned to by Marco Polo on his travels. Their eggs, according to Sinbad the Sailor, could measure up to 50 paces in circumference.

Hebrew mythology

Leviathan

Literally, "coiled". In the Bible, and especially the Old Testament, the Leviathan is some sort of chaos animal in the shape of a crocodile or a serpent. In other bible texts it is taken to mean a whale or dolphin, because the animal is there described as living in the sea. Later the Leviathan became a symbol of evil, an anti-divine power (some sort of devil) which will be destroyed on Judgement Day.

The Leviathan appears in more than one religion. In Canaanite mythology and literature, it is a monster called Lotan, 'the fleeing serpent, the coiling serpent, the powerful with the seven heads'. It was eventually killed by Baal. The Leviathan is also the Ugaritic god of evil.

"This great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein."

-- Ps. civ, 25-26

Behemoth

In the Old Testament (book of Job, verse 40:10), behemoth is the name for a very large animal, like the hippopotamus or crocodile. They both play a part in the Apocalyptic, as monsters that must be killed. In later Christian religion, the behemoth is identified with Satan.

Persian mythology

Simurgh

In Persian legend Simurgh is a gigantic, winged monster in the shape of a bird; a kind of peacock with the head of a dog and the claws of a lion. Its natural habitat is a place with plenty of water. According to legend, the creature is so old that it has seen the world destroyed three times over. In all that time, Simurgh has learned so much that it is thought to possess the knowledge of all ages.

Egyptian mythology

Serket

"She who causes the throat to breath". An Egyptian scorpion-goddess, and an early a tutelary deity of the Egyptian monarchs. She is one of the goddess who guards the canopic jars containing the viscera of the deceased. From this association she came to be a tutelary goddess of the dead. She is represented as a woman with a scorpion on her head or with a scorpion-shaped headdress, but also with a scorpion body and a human head. Serket was called upon to avert venomous bites and stings.

Japanese mythology

Kirin

The Japanese unicorn, an animal-god who punishes the wicked with its single horn. It protects the just and grants them good luck. Seeing a kirin is considered an omen of extreme good luck - if one is a virtuous person.

Chinese

Suzaku

The red bird of summer, guardian of the south. Suzaku is represented by a Bird (though Suzaku does hint at having properties of the legendary Phoenix which is known to die in its own flames and be reborn anew). Because of its association with the heat and fiery temperatures of summer, Suzaku is usually red in color, and may contribute to some people's conclusion that Suzaku is more like the phoenix than an ordinary bird. Red also has connotations of being a color associated with romance and love, and it is from love that Suzaku draws his strength. Suzaku has a multicolored plume like a peacock's, and is meant to emphasize its rarity and beauty, as well as its virtue as a guardian deity.

Genbu

The black turtle of winter, guarian of the north. The Tortoise is representative of endurance, wisdom, and longetivity, and is also sometimes used in terms of divination. Though in the series Genbu is shown to be greenish in color, its real color is black, due to the fact that Winter was perceived to be the twilight or end of the seasons.

Seiryu

The blue draon of spring, guardian of the east. While at times the color of Spring is usually green, Seiryu is depicted as a blue Dragon in part because Dragons were thought of by the ancient Chinese to be aquatic creatures that reside in the sea. Spring is also thought of to be a rainy season, so the color blue is also indicative of water. As one of the oldest, most powerful, and respected of all Chinese mythological creatures, the dragon was usually symbolic of authority and strength, and was usually worn as such by major figures of power or the royalty.

Byakko

The white tiger of fall, guardian of the west.Tigers in Chinese mythology represent ferocious defense like metal or steel when it comes to soldiering. They were also considered to be natural guardians and the king of all animals (and thus their protector). The white color is possibly from an original myth that stated that a piece of metal left behind at a king's grave supposedly turns into a white tiger to guard it from being defiled. White can also be a part of the symbolism of autumn, as things are still alive, but are growing "old" and gray at this time of the year.

Citipati

Buddhist graveyard demons of Tibet. They are portrayed as dancing skeletons.

Mayan mythology

Zipacna

Zipacna was a great giant in Mayan mythology, written about in the Popul Vuh, a compilation of Mayan myths and legends. He was brother of Cabrakan and son of Vucub Caquix, the Great Macaw. These three were considered by the gods to be the most arrogant of all at that time.

They therefore dispatched the hero twins, Hun-Apu and Ixbalanque to slay them. These two boys were the undoing of this great giant. The creation of the Pleiades star cluster is also attributed to Zipacna.

The story of his death is thus. It started when a band of 400 young men, spurred on by the gods to kill Zipacna, conspired a plan to slay the Titan. They first began to construct a great hut in which they could all live. They then went to a part of the forest, through which they knew Zipacna would have to pass. There, they felled a huge tree and waited for Zipacna to approach. When he finally arrived, he mocked the boys for they complained that their combined strength could not lift this great log. And so in his arrogance, Zipacna lifted the log for them and bid them lead him to their hut.

When they arrived, the 400 bid him go down into a large hole, which the boys had supposedly dug for the log to go to act as the main support for this structure. Zipacna descended with the tree and no sooner had he reached the bottom, when the boys began to hurl rocks, stones and earth down upon him. However, the giant was not as stupid as the boys had thought and he quickly retreated into a side passage the boys had dug as a cellar for their new house. The hole was soon filled with the rubbish and mud the boys had thrown upon the beast and so, thinking the Titan slain, they began to celebrate and became very drunk.

But when the merriment was at its highest, Zipacna struck. He used his mighty strength and rose up from the ground with such force, that he hurled the boys high into the sky and the hut was smashed into pieces. The boys were hurled so high, that they left the earth and now reside in the Pleiades waiting for a chance to return to the Earth. However, this did not stop the hero twins in their quest to slay Zipacna.

The boys decided to trick Zipacna as the 400 had done and so they constructed a huge artificial crab and left it by a river in a small valley. They also undermined a nearby mountain and waited for the giant to pass. When he was nearby, the twins went to him and asked what he was doing. Zipacna replied that he was seeking his daily food. The boys pointed out the great crab to the giant and mentioned that it would provide him with a hearty meal. Zipacna strode into the valley and before he knew what was happening, the twins, with the help of the gods, cast the mountain down upon him. And that was the end of Zipacna.

Aztec mythology

Xolotl

In Aztec and Toltec mythology, Xolotl is the god of lightning who guides the dead to the Mictlan. The Aztec regard him as the twin brother of Quetzalcoatl. As lord of the evening star and personification of Venus, he pushes the sun at sunset towards the ocean and guards her during the night on her dangerous journey through the underworld. Xolotl is represented as a skeleton, or as a man with the head of a dog.

Celtic Mythology

Faust

Various medeival legends about Faust and his dealings with Mephistopheles(satan). In all the legends Faust ends up losing his soul, as one always tends to do when dealing with the devils.

Apocalypse;

Rag-na-rok: ('rag-nuh-rahk) n. The Doom of the Gods, another name for it is Götterdämmerung, meaning the end of the cosmos in Norse mythology. Following this "Apocalypse of the Gods" would be Fimbulvetr, the winter to end all winters. Three of these harsh winters will follow with no signs of ending, no summers! Fights and arguments will break out, even between families, and all morals will disappear. 'Tis the beginning of the end.'

The wolf Skoll will finally swallow the sun, and his brother Hati will, in turn, devour the moon leaving the world in utter darkness.

All stars will vanish from the sky, the rooster Fjalar will crow to the giants and the golden rooster, Gullinkambi, will crow to the Gods. The third rooster, Unknown, will raise the dead.

Earthquakes will ravage the Earth, every single fetter and chain shall shatter, loosing such terrible creatures as Fenrir the wolf.

The sea shall explode with rage, for the great sea serpent, Jormungand, will be twisting and coiling in fury, preparing for his journey to mainland. Every exhalation of his rancid and putrid breath will taint the sky and soil around him, never to be grown in again. The waves caused by Jormungand's unprecedented arising will set free the ship Naglfar, and with the giant Hymir as their leader they shall all sail towards the battlefield. From the depths of Hell, another ship will set sail carrying the dead with Loki as their commander. The fire giants, led by the giant Surt, will leave Muspell in the south to join the battle against the Gods.

Surt carries a sword that burns like the sun itself and it will scorch the earth.

Heimdall will blow his horn calling Odins sons and heroes to the battlefield and from all parts of the world gods, giants, dwarves, demons and elves will ride towards the huge plain of Vigrid ("battle shaker") where the final and deciding battle shall be fought. Odin himself will seek to destroy Fenrir while Thor engages Jormungand. Thor shall be victorious but the evil snake's poison will eventually kill Thor the righteous Thunder God.

Surt will demolish the swordless Freyr. The one-handed Tyr will encounter the brutish hound Garm, and they will slaughter each other. Loki and Heimdall, age-old enemies, will meet for a final time, and they will both butcher each other. Going back to the battle between Odin and Fenrir, Odin will exhaust while Fenrir is still going strong and finally the dreadful Fenrir will strike Odin down and swallow him whole! Odin's son Vidar will at once lunge at Fenrir and with such wrath that he will kill him with his bare hands, ripping the wolf's jaws apart.

Then Surt will sling fire in every direction. All nine worlds will burn, friends and foes will perish alike and the earth will sink into the sea.

After the destruction, a new picturesque world will arise from the sea and the new world will be filled with copious supplies. Some of the Gods will survive, some won't and some will be reborn. This new world has no woe or suffering. The descendants of Lif and Liftrasir will inhabit this earth.

Others

Carbuncle

English word meaning:

1. A deep-red garnet, unfaceted and convex.

2. A red precious stone.

Ullikummi

An ancient Anatolian demon.

Lioumere

A terrifying demoness from the Caroline Islands. She has iron teeth, which possesses great magical power, if a man could get hold of one.

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Feel free to add any more myths to this list!

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Some more things!

Midgardsormr

I wyrm so huge and long that it could stretch around the world and bite it's own tail, brother of Fenrir.

Gjallarhorn:

Horn that will be sounded when the Ragnarok closes on and the Jotuns invade Aasgard. So loud it can be heard over the whole world.

Bune- In demonology Bune is a Great Duke of Hell, mighty and strong, who has thirty legions of demons under his command. He changes the place of the dead and makes them demons that are under his power to gather together upon those sepulchres. Bune makes men eloquent and wise, and gives true answers to their demands and also richness. He speaks with a comely high voice.

Bune is depicted as a three-headed dragon, being his heads like those of a dog, a griffin, and a man (although according to some grimoires he has two heads like a dragon and the third like a man).

Amemet-Egyptian-Depicted with the rear of a hippopotamus, the fore of a lion and the head of a crocodile, Amemet "devoured" the hearts of those judged guilty when their hearts were weighed in the afterworld.

Boroka- A cannibalistic witch on the Philippines. She has the head of a women, four feet like a horse, and the wings of an eagle. She is fond of eating children.

Vouivre-The Vouivre is an enormous female beast with shining green scales which gives off a low and strange musical sound as she flies. She wears a crown of pearls and a gold circlet on her tail which also ring. But most strange of all is her dragon's head with its one great and glowing ruby eye. This luminouse orb she removes when she bathes, making herself blind for just those minutes.

The Vouivre dwells in a cave and can breathe fire. It guards the treasure and devours people who come to stealth the treasure.

Balmung- A magical sword, Balmung, was made by Wayland the Smith. Odin stabbed the Branstock tree, an oak tree in the Volsung palace, with Balmung. Odin then said that he who could pull the sword from the tree is destined to win in battle. Nine of the Volsung princes tried to take the sword, but only the youngest ever got it out. His name was Sigmund. Odin destroyed Balmung in battle but it was reassembled and Siegfried used it against Fafnir.

amikiri

The strange and amazing Amikiri are a race of mainly aquatic beings who can nonetheless transform and exist on land; it has even been put forth that they may sometimes swim in the air as if it were water. They gained their name from their tendency to cut through nets, especially fishing nets, extended into the water where they swim. Whether due to overfishing or the annoyance of nets where they want to swim, amikiri tend to resent the presence of nets of any kind underwater and will slice them to pieces with their sharp claws.

They are, however, not inclined to directly attack humans and are generally quite peaceful creatures, even if their appearance is bizarre. The most common description of amikiri gives them the claws of a lobster, a snake's tail, and a head similar to that of a seagull. Some sources list amikiri as small as domestic animals such as a housecat or a dog, but others maintain that amikiri are as large as humans, although it is more frequently that they are only as large as small humans, such as children.

Amikiri almost entirely live underwater and rarely if ever are seen outside of it. However, much like other waterfaring beings, they may transform themselves into humanoids for a brief time while on land. Naturally they do not enjoy being on land for too long a time and will not tolerate being separated from water for very long.

These mysterious beings of the water are rarely-seen but always quite a wonder when they are spotted. They can be wonderful friends, as long as a respect for nature and especially their beloved waters lies within your heart.

The Lance of Longinus

The Longinus was the original name for Kimahri's ultimate weapon before it was changed for the American version. Not sure how it ended up in European/Australian/other versions of the game. Obviously a reference to the Bible, Longinus was a Roman soldier who pierced Jesus in the side with his spear. Kimahri's weapon is also a spear. The spear itself (called the Lance of Longinus or the Lance of Destiny) gained mythical status as a symbol of power for being able to pierce the divine. Legend has it that whoever possesses the lance has the power to rule the world, but if lost, the owner would meet certain death. Even Hitler himself owned the lance for a few years.

Count Bifrons: In demonology, Bifrons was a demon, Earl of Hell, with six legions of demons under his command. He teaches sciences and arts, the virtues of the gems and woods, herbs, and changes corpses from their original grave into other places, sometimes putting magic lights on the graves that seem candles. He appears as a monster, but then changes his shape into that of a man.

Domovoys and Dvorovoi: House spirits in slavic mythology

Nue: A nue is a legendary creature found in Japanese folklore. It has the head of a monkey, the body of a tanuki, the legs of a tiger, and a snake instead of a tail. A nue can also transform into a black cloud and fly around.

Nue are bringers of misfortune and illness. One legend tells of the Emperor of Japan becoming sick after a nue took up residence atop his palace in the summer of 1153. After the emperor's guards killed the creature, the emperor recovered.

Nue are also a type of nocturnal blackbirds native to Japan. They, too, are thought to bring bad luck.

More Random things:

The Skulls: All of the Skulls have names from Christanity's Seven Deadly Sins. Pride, Gluttony, Lust, Sloth, Envy, Greed, Wrath

The Cardians: The cardians come from the symbols of both:

Playing cards: Spade, Heart, Club, Diamond

&

Tarot cards: Cup, Coin, Baton, Sword

wendigo:

The Wendigo is a Canadian entity, half phantom, half beast, who lives in the forests and preys on human beings, particularly children. The belief in this horror dates back to the earliest Indian legends and it is said that the wendigo will eat the flesh of its victims. According to R. S. Lambert in Exploring the Supernatural (1955), 'Wendigos (who might be women as well as men) were believed to have entered into a pact with evil spirits, lurking in the forest, who helped them kill their victims.'

Pollux and Castor:

In Greek mythology, Castor (or Kastor) and Polydeuces (sometimes called Pollux) were the twin sons of Leda and the brothers of Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra. They are known as the Gemini (which is latin for twins)

Aegis shield -

The Aegis was sometimes seen as a shield belonging to Zeus,

but most of the time, it was seen as a breastplate worn by Athena.

Athena had made the Aegis from the hide of the giant Pallas, whom she killed in the war against the giants.

It is also said Apollo had one time borrowed and used the Aegis to rout the Greek army.

Eurytos' bow -

The bow had originally belonged to Eurytus (Eurytos) the archer and King of Cechalia, given to him by the god Apollo.

It was said Eurytus could handle the bow in such a way that he was a god amongst men

when it came to archery, and that he could easily shoot his bow at the gods themself if he so desired.

Eurytus was also the mentor to Heracles (also known as Hercules) in the art of using bow and arrows.

Iphitus, Eurytus's son, would later pass the bow to the hero, Odysseus, who would use this bow to kill

Penelope's (Odysseus' wife) suitors, who consumed his wealth with their banquets and feasts,

in his absence from his home, all the while courting to his wife in effort to make her marry one of them.

Odysseus came to his palace disguised as a beggar, and when Penelope declared that

she would marry the man who could bend Odysseus' bow (Eurytus' bow) and shoot an

arrow through 12 axes, and not one of the suitors could string the bow,

Odysseus, still disguised took the bow, strung it like it was air, and shot an arrow

perfectly through the 12 axes, the suitors was in awe at his strength and marksmanship.

Penelope removed Odysseus' disguise, revealing him to the suitors, and he then killed them using the bow.

There is a more split story about how Eurytus came to his preliminary death though,

some say that after challenging Apollo himself, (the god of archers amongst other things)

to a contest of archery, he fell to the wrath of the god for this insult, and Apollo

struck him down with his Silver bow.

Others say he was slain by his student Heracles for quite another reason, but in either case,

when Eurytus died, he left his bow to his son, Iphitus, who again, before being thrown

from the walls of Tiryns by Heracles, gave the bow to Oddysseus.

Mandau

A short sword used by the Borneo native tribe, Dayak who dip its blade into poison.

Perseus' Harpe

Perseus is a figure of the greek mythology. The Harpe was the weapon he used to slay the Gorgon Medusa, borrowed from Mercury along with the winged shoes.

Colichemarde

An old French dueling sword used in fencing practices. Later evelved in the modern Epee.

Rapier

A longer european dueling sword, optimized more for thrusting than a slashing action.

Claymore

Either of two types of Scottish sword

Gladius

A Roman legionnaire's short sword. Several modern sports and martial arts have components based upon older principles of swordfighting. Among these are fencing, kendo, kenjutsu, escrima, aikido and some variants of kung fu.

Many swords in mythology, literature and history are named by their wielders or by the person who makes them.

Excalibur

The well known King Arthur's legendary sword.

Balmung

The sword that the German hero Siegfried had won in the battle against the Nibelungs (not the Burgundians). Hagen had killed Siegfried and stolen the Balmung. In the end of the Nibelungenlied, Kriemhild used the Balmung to behead Hagen, for killing her first husband (Siegfried).

Durandal

The sword belongs to Roland, a hero of the medieval French epic "The Song of Roland".

Joyeuse

The sword of Charlemagne (Charles the Great), medieval king of Franks.

Hrotti and Ridill

Ridill and Hrotti (Rotti) were magical swords that was part of the treasure of Fafnir, which Sigurd would possess.

Dainslaif

In the tale of Hjadningavig – the Battle of the Hjadnings – Dainslaif is a sword belonging to a Danish king named Hogni that must kill or taste blood when unsheathe before it can be re-sheathed again. The sword was forged by a dwarf, possibly named Dain, since the sword's name means "Dain's heirloom". This is part of the story of Freyja's Brisingamen in the text known as the Sorla Thatter.

Gungnir

The spear or lance of Odin. Gungnir ("swaying one") was made by the sons of Ivaldi (4 dwarfs).

Mjollnir

The warhammer made by the dwarf brothers, Brokk and Eiti, for Thor, the god of thunder. It was Mjollnir that cause the lightning and thunder.

Brísingamen

The beautiful gold necklace of Freyja. The Brísingamen were made by four dwarfs, known as the Brisings. The Brisings refused to give the necklace to Freyja, unless she had slept with each dwarf. Odin was disgusted with Freyja's wanton behaviour and ordered Loki to steal the Brísingamen, but Heimdall recovered the necklace for Freyja.

Gjallahorn

The horn that would signal the coming of Ragnarok, belonged to Heimdall, the god that guard the gates to Asgard.

Aegisjhalmr

The helm belonging to Odin, which was Aegishjalmarr or "Helm of Awe". Later Sigurd would also possessed the Aegishjalmarr, because it was part of the treasure of Fafnir, but I am not certain if it is the same helmet of Odin.

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  • 1 month later...

I read it all, mainly because pretty much every single thing in there is somewhere in FFXI.

The only thing that really shocked me was the origin of the lance of longinus. I had no idea thats where it came from. And now that they mention it... The original Wolfenstien 3D had a sequal that wasn't popular, because DOOM came out right around the same time and no one cared anymore. The name of that sequal was called "Spear of Destiny." Now I understand why.

Scar, is the Lance of Longinus actually in FFXI somewhere? I thought the final verison of the relic spear is Gungnir.

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Muramasa, is what I meant, damn eyes.

also......

The Historical Masamune

The historical Masamune's familiar name is Goro Nyudo. Masamune is probably the best known Japanese swordsmith of all time, as well as a well-known philosopher.

Masamune is believed to have worked in Sagami Province during the last part of the Kamakura Era (1288 - 1328), and it is thought that he was trained by swordsmiths from Bizen and Yamashiro provinces, such as Kunitsuna and Kunimitsu.

The first famous swordsmith active in Kamakura, Sagami province was Shintogo Kunimitsu. It is claimed (in Kanchiinbon Meizukushi) that he was a grandson of a swordsmith of the Taima school in Yamato province. It is generally accepted that Kunimitsu had two pupils, Yukimitsu and Masamune. The earliest among Kunimitsu's works are those reliably dated to1293 and the latest dated 1324. Judging from the dates of Kunimitsu's works, Masamune was active from the end of Kamakura to the very early years of the Nanbokucho period.

The Soshu School

Masamune is credited with creating the Soshu tradition of swordmaking during his career. Masamune's adopted son, Sadamune succeeded him as master of the Soshu tradition.

In addition, legend has it that there were "10 Disciples of Masamune," or ten swordsmiths that continued working in Masamune's Soshu tradition of sword making, and that several already well-known swordsmiths also came to study with Masamune. The Masamune Jittetsu, as these smiths were called, worked in their own tradition as well as studying the techniques of Masamune.

Regardless of whether or not this is a historical fact, the swordsmiths working at the end of the Kamakura to the Nanbokucho periods produced works with the surface texture featuring nie, a distinguishing feature of the Masamune style.

The Beauty of Nie

Nie are areas of bright crystalline structure in the hamon (temper-line) or ji (the blade surface between the ridgeline of the blade and the hamon), resulting from the interaction of the steel during the quenching process. Masamune's style is often referred to as "the beauty of nie," putting his blades in distinct contrast with Bizen blades.

Masamune's school of swordmaking is also often characterized by the soft, flowing hamon visible on his blades.

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Muramasa is one of the most famous names in the world of Nihonto, second only to Soshu Masamune. Legends have been handed down over the years, saying that Muramasa blades will cry out for blood in the night, or that once unsheathed a Muramasa will cut flesh before it is put away. There is also the story of the Masamune and Muramasa swords dipped into a flowing stream... leaves that moved by the swords would gently alter course to flow around the Masamune while the Muramasa drew them in and cut them in half as they passed.

These legends have their basis in some unfortunate incidents that befell the Tokugawa house at the edge of several Muramasa blades.

In 1535 Kiyoyasu, grandfather of the first Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, was struck down by his retainer Abe Masatoyo. Kiyoyasu was said to have been cut in two by the Muramasa blade used by his attacker. In 1545, Matsudaira Hirotada (Ieyasu's father) was attacked and killed by Iwamatsu Hachiya, a retainer of his wielding a Muramasa sword. Ieyasu as well wounded himself badly with his own wakizashi bearing Muramasa's signature. When Nobuyasu, the son of Ieyasu, was ordered to commit seppuku by Oda Nobunaga in 1579, the blade that was used by his second to sever his neck was a Muramasa katana. The last event was after one of the generals of Ieyasu (Oda Kawachi no Kami) put his yari through the severed head of an opposing general after the defeat of Ishida and Konishi in Keicho 5. Ieyasu asked to inspect this very sharp yari, and cut himself on the blade. One can almost imagine the sigh, as he pronounced that this yari must have been made by Muramasa. It was, and that yari sealed the fate of Muramasa blades as far as Ieyasu was concerned.

Given these events and what would seem to be a curse on the house of Tokugawa by the way of Muramasa blades, Tokugawa Ieyasu banned the ownership of them.

The response was probably predictable. Some were probably destroyed, but many of the blades were hidden away, and some had their signatures removed or altered in order to allow the owner to continue using them. Others were hoarded by those who bore the Shogunate ill will... and in some cases these people were found out and sentenced to death.

Because of this unique and interesting history in the world of nihonto, Muramasa and his blades became a fixture in stories, and in theater. And these are the source of the legends that are still well known today, 500 years since the hammer started falling in the forge of Muramasa.

In particular, those who resisted the rule of the Tokugawa sought out Muramasa blades. Fukushima Masanori (a general of the Toyotomi) wore a Muramasa katana and carried a Muramasa yari. A Muramasa tachi was worn by his fellow general Sanada Yukimura. This was fairly common in the Toyotomi forces, implying that the story was already out about the fate of the father and grandfather of Ieyasu.

Ieyasu took his ban seriously, though there have been reports that he may have even harbored a few of these blades in private. In 1634 Takanak Ume no Suke Shigeyoshi, the Magistrate of Nagasaki, was ordered to commit seppuku as he was discovered to have hoarded 24 Muramasa blades.

In later years, when the opposition to the Tokugawa would eventually topple the Shogunate, many of the resistance figures and eventually Meiji government figures would carry his blades. Albert Yamanaka relates a story from this period:

A story is told of an incident in Edo Castle. On Bunsei 6th (1823), Matsudaira Geki is said to have killed three men against whom he long held [a] grudge and the sword Geki used was a Muramasa. Geki was working with 5 others in the library of Nishimaru, he suddenly got up and without a word swung his sword, at which the head of Honda Iori is supposed to have flown off at the shoulders. Toda Hikonoshin got up to run but Geki cut him down diagonally in one strke across the shoulder. Numata Sakyo was slashed across the wasit and the second stroke down at the shoulders. The three were cut down in 4 strokes. The others, Kami Goro and Mabe Genjuro tried to run but also were cut down the back and across the buttons, though the last two did not loose their lives. This will indicate the capabilities of the Muramasa blade in the hand of a fairly good swordsman.

Much like his unique reputation, Muramasa is known for some fairly unique features in his work. The first particular characteristic of his is the frequent use of a mirror image hamon. Turning the blade over, the viewer is confronted with a nearly perfect copy of the hamon from the opposite side. In this, Muramasa was particularly skilled because a smith differs from a painter with a brush, in that the smith has to guide the hamon in the way that a tugboat would guide a freighter. The hamon is responding to other forces other than the explicit instructions of the smith, whereas a painter has full control of his tool which is making the image on a canvas.

The hamon of Muramasa is usually midareba with very shallow valleys (almost touching the ha) between a cluster of gunome shapes. He is working in Ise province in the early 1500s, and it is thought that his kitae and hamon take on similar features to Nosada and Kanemoto of Mino province. Given the proximity and similarities in style, it is thought he had some interchange of techniques with one or both of the great smiths. Muramasa's hamon also shows the influence of the Soshu den, and his overall style is thought to be a mix of Soshu and Mino.

Horimono do appear in this smith's work that show a relation to Heianjo Nagayoshi, who is considered to be the teacher of the first generation Muramasa.

The other easily identifiable feature one will see on Muramasa blades is the fish-belly (tanagobara) shape of the nakago. In my opinion, only the swords of Hankei have a nakago which are so individually styled that they are instantly recognizable as works by the particular creator's hand.

It is not clear how many generations of Muramasa there were, I have read different theories with between one to four smiths. While it is the general consensus that there were at least three Muramasa, with the Nidai being the most skilled and famous, Fujishiro writes in favor of the first of the line and the second of the line to be one generation working over the course of 50 years.

Fujishiro names him as Uemonnojo with a Buddhist name of Myodai, and gives a rating of Sai-jo saku for the highest quality of workmanship. His style of work tends to be cold and hard, with more emphasis on cutting ability than outright beauty. His mei is also cut most often in two characters, and one can get a particular forceful feeling out of the presentation of his name.

Muramasa Makura Yari

The Yari being shown here has been granted a high rating of Tokubetsu Hozon by the NBTHK. It is almost impossible for yari to rate higher than this, though there are a small number of Juyo examples.

It has been made with a small size, and bears the signature associated with the second generation Muramasa. It also is accompanied by its pole and cover of a small size that would be suitable for indoor fighting. These are known as makura-yari, and were often kept by the bedside at night. Given the maker of the yari, and its build as a weapon of last defense in the household, it would seem straight forward to infer it being kept and handed down through a household opposed to the rule of the Tokugawa. Perhaps it was thought that a Muramasa would provide both the best spiritual and physical defense should the agents of the Shogun come for the owner in the night.

In terms of construction, this yari gleams with vibrant ko nie, and is made with the trademark gunome midare with ashi and valleys in between that reach down to the ha. Liberally strewn throughout are sunagashi with hakikake at the boshi, and the kitae is a tight ko-itame. The nakago is entirely original, and bears two mekugiana which are both used in its housing into the koshirae.

It is an excellent and complete relic, which in particular because of its intended use and its fine quality, verifies the legend of Muramasa in all ways.

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Murasame

murasame.jpg

The word "Murasame" means "Autumn Rain" or "Passing Shower." There was a legendary swordsmith named Murasame, whose blades were said to be blessed or cursed, depending on your point of view, with actual human spirits. Ieyasu Tokugawa was famous for giving them as gifts to favored daimyo.

During WW2, there was a Shiratsuyu Class destroyer called Murasame. The Murasame, a 1685-ton destroyer built at Osaka, Japan, was completed in January 1937. During the Second World War she was employed in several campaigns, beginning with the invasion of the Philippines. On 5-6 March 1943, less than a month after the Japanese had given up the fight for Guadalcanal, Murasame and the destroyer Minegumo took supplies to the Japanese base at Vila, on Kolombangara Island. While withdrawing after landing their cargo, the two ships encountered a greatly superior U.S. Navy cruiser-destroyer task force. In a brief battle, both Japanese ships were sunk. None of Murasame's crewmen survived her loss.

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