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Mythological Creature Archive

Mythical Creature, “the Ajatar,’ a Finnish, female disease demon of the woods, with writing prompt

The Devil Mother, dragon of the Woods

Known as the mother of all demons. She is depicted many ways, but is an evil spirit who haunts the woods. According to godchecker.com. She is the mother of the Devil in dragon form and feeds and suckles her serpents.

Beware of her presence — her pox-ridden body is host to a myriad of infections. If you so much as peek in her direction, a swarm of diseases will descend upon you.

I couldn’t find a lot of information on this particular demon, so I will include an epic poem below for you to get more of a feel for Finnish lore. Also, I recently wrote about a different disease demon here, called the Acheri Demon, from Inuit culture…maybe any or all of this will spark your imagination.

Finnish Mythology + the heart wrenching themes and characters

Finnish folklore and myth, like those of many cultures, tell the stories of gods and their legendary heroes. Many of the myths date from pre-Christian times.

According to mythencyclopedia.com, myths were passed from generation to generation in the oral tradition, but there is one epic poem worth mentioning in this blogpost since we are talking about Finnish culture and myth. It’s called the Kalevala. Read it for free here

The word Kalevala, means “land of the descendants of Kaleva,” and is an imaginary region in Finland. The epic poem’s 50 or so songs—also known as cantos or runes—recount the story of legendary Finnish heroes and of gods and goddesses and describe mythical events such as the creation of the world.

Vainamoinen, one of the heroes in the Kalevala, and is a wise old seer who can work magic through the songs that he sings. His mother is Ilmatar, the virgin spirit of air, who is the woman who brought about creation. Another great hero of the epic, Lemminkainen, appears as a handsome, carefree, and romantic adventurer.

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Photo Credit: http://artside.unialive.com/2012/03/kalevala-tales-of-magic-and-adventure.html

Vainamoinen and Lemminkainen have certain experiences and goals in common. In their adventures, both men meet Louhi, the evil mistress of Pohjola (the Northland), and both of them seek to wed Louhi’s daughter, the beautiful Maiden of Pohjola. A third suitor for the maiden’s hand, Ilmarinen, is a blacksmith who constructs a sampo, a mysterious object like a mill that can produce prosperity for its owner.

A number of other figures become involved with these leading characters. Kuura, another hero, joins Lemminkainen on his journey to Pohjola. Joukahainen, is an evil youth, challenging Vainamoinen to a singing contest. His sister Aino, who is offered in marriage to Vainamoinen, drowns herself rather than wed the aged hero.

Another character, Kullervo, commits suicide after unknowingly “laying” with his own sister.

Marjatta, the last major character introduced in the Kalevala, is a virgin who gives birth to a king.

  • You can read about other/more Finnish lore here.
  • Here is the women’s clothing store in Finland called Ajatar, and here is their facebook site.

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 Writing Prompt

The Ajatar is waiting in the woods for her serpentine minions to arrive. She has work to do today. There is nothing like feeding time.

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Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/423408802441173767/

She gives them the nutrients that they need to survive, but also, from her body…to theirs she feeds them their orders. Each demon receives their mission for the moment. There is much to do and many miles to travel.

It is the summer solstice, the first day of summer, where the sun is farthest north. The length of time between the sunrise and sunset is the longest of the year and the Ajatar is going to make use of it. She has an ancient scroll that she holds in her pestilent hand. It drips pus onto the ancient document and she snarls as the serpents arrive and attach to feed.

A large ball of light is coming in from the East…it is about to start.

What are they preparing for?

If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how it continues in the comment section below, and as usual…happy writing!

Mythological Creature Archive

Mythical Creature, the “Aitvaras,” a Lithuanian household spirit- with writing prompt

 

Aitvaras
Photo Credit; http://amadoodles.deviantart.com/art/Aitvaras-263381339

The Aitvaras, is said to be many things…depending on who is telling the story and whether the creature is on the inside or the outside of the house. Below are three different, yet similar accounts of the same creature. All agree that you DON’T want one in your life!

Lithuanian Myth

Lithuanian mythological creatures are rarely plain “good” or plain “evil”, most of them are able to be both depending on circumstances.
*Aitvaras (plural: aitvarai) may have been the god of water and clouds. Aitvarai may take a form of a bird, a serpent or a tornado. They bring riches to the needy people (yet may take them from the greedy). Aitvaras’s riches can be useful but rarely bring happiness; furthermore, Aitvaras may start droughts by drinking rain. Aitvaras presence at home may be unnoticed but such a home would never be poor; however, the prerequisites of “creating” an aitvaras may also be bought intentionally. For more Lithuanian creatures, click here.

According to cryptid wiki, the Aitvaras is a Lithuanian household spirit that resembles objects while indoors, but outdoors appears as a dragon about two feet long, with a serpentine body and four legs.

In some districts in Lithuania, it has wings and flies through the air trailing fire. It may hatch from the egg of a 9- to 12 year old rooter, and later…if it ever dies, it will become a spark.

An Aitvaras will lodge itself in a house, refusing to leave. Its presence brings “riches” into the household, but the wealth is usually stolen from the neighbors.

An Aitvaras can be purchased from the Devil, but the price is the buyers soul. Once bought, it is nearly impossible to get rid of. If injured, it can be healed just by touching the ground.

Fiery flying serpent and part-time rooster

 

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Photo Credit; http://silni.deviantart.com/art/aitvaras-262003598

According to godchecker.com, this creature is a shape-shifting mythical creature which cunningly disguises itself as a simple farmyard rooster while indoors. But if it goes outside — whoosh! It becomes a flaming fire-lizard.

If one turns up unexpectedly inside of your house, you are stuck with it. Sorry. Be nice to it. It may bring you good luck, but it probably won’t.

AITVARAS tend to deal in the seedier side of fortune.
After yet another police raid investigating the miraculous appearance of stolen goods in your garage, you might find it less stressful to sell the house and move far, far away.

Just take care that you aren’t followed by a flaming dragon.

Writing Inspiration-

I couldn’t find much more cultural information on this creature, so I had to use my own cultural references for inspiration. I hope that is ok with you. Please write to me with any more information you may have on this guy and I will add it to this post.

“An Aitvaras can be purchased from the Devil, but the price is the buyers soul.”

It is unclear to me why you would want to buy one of these creatures, other than for revenge of some kind, but it reminds me so much of “Devil went down to Georgia,” (but Lithuanian,) the song keeps playing in my mind. Listen to it here by the Charlie Daniels Band, for some gritty folk inspiration or here by Primus.

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Photo Credit; http://www.deviantart.com/tag/aitvaras

Lyrics

The devil went down to Georgia
He was lookin’ for a soul to steal
He was in a bind
‘Cause he was way behind
And he was willin’ to make a deal
When he came upon this young man
Sawin’ on a fiddle and playin’ it hot
And the devil jumped
Up on a hickory stump
And said, “boy, let me tell you what
I guess you didn’t know it
But I’m a fiddle player too
And if you’d care to take a dare, I’ll make a bet with you
Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy…

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Photo Credit; http://itti.deviantart.com/art/Aitvaras-263077532

Writing Prompt-

You have one thing you want in this world. You want your neighbors car. Its gorgeous, expensive, extravagant and soon to be yours. You know that it is superficial and petty but really, you don’t care because mostly, you don’t want your neighbor to have it. That’s at the crux of this prompt. Jealously.

You willingly sell your soul to the devil to get an Aitvaras, and he comes to live with you. He isn’t such a bad house guest, as long as he is fed on time. He has an insatiable appetite.

The Aitvaras starts the very next day…taking. He takes things big and small…all of which are items that he wants. You don’t care about this as long as he takes the car. What you don’t know, is that the neighbor harbors the same insane jealousy for you, and has commissioned the Aitvaras to steal your diamonds. He has always hated you for your precious stone collection. Soon there is a war, with the Aitvaras, coming and going to both of your houses and the chaos surrounding the situation is at an all time high on All Saints Day..and the ghouls and ghosts are already out and about. What happens on this night?

The papers read the next day that someone died. What happened?

If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how it continues in the comment section below, and as usual…happy writing!

 

 

 

 

Mythological Creature Archive

Mythical Creature, ‘the Aitu,’ general term for ghosts of Polynesia-with writing prompt

 

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Photo Credit: http://paradiseintheworld.com/moorea-french-polynesia/

Polynesian Ghost Stories

Within the Polynesian languages, the word aitu refers to general ghosts or spirits… often malevolent. According to Wikipedia the word is common to many languages of Western and Eastern Polynesia. In the mythology of Tonga, for example, ʻaitu or ʻeitu are lesser gods, many being patrons of specific villages and families. They often take the form of plants or animals, and are often more cruel than other gods. These trouble-making gods are regarded as having come from Sāmoa. The Tongan word tangi lauʻaitu means to cry from grief, or to lament.

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Photo Credit: http://goddesschess.blogspot.com/2011/02/revisting-dna-in-polynesia-leads-to.html

There was widespread belief in ghosts in Polynesian culture, some of which persists today. After death, a person’s ghost would normally travel to the sky world or the underworld, but some stay on earth. In many Polynesian legends, ghosts were often involved in the affairs of the living. Ghosts might also cause sickness or even invade the body of an ordinary person in a possession, to be driven out only by strong medicines. The patient would be treated with strong-smelling plants such as beach pea, island rue or ti plant (Cordyline fruticosa.)

In some societies, the tattoo marks on the Polynesian’s face told a story. A spiral symbol meant that the man favored the sky world, but before ascending there the

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Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/499195939917745477/

wind his ghost had to travel to his people’s homeland, situated in the navel of the world. Different markings indicated that the ghost chose to live in the underworld. The Hawaiians believe in “aumakua“, ghosts who did not go down into Po, the land of King Milu. These ghosts remained in the land of the living, guarding their former families.

According to Wikipedia, all Polynesian societies have stories of ghosts or spirits and they play a role in their culture. William Drake Westervelt collected and published eighteen of the stories in Hawaiian Legends of Ghosts and Ghost-Gods (1915). Read it for free here. Read about the legend of Maui, the demi-god for free here.

 

 

Here are a few of short stories, for your writing inspiration!

The legend of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanic fire, is about how she fell in love with a man, but found that he had died. She found his ghost as a thin presence in a cave, and with

great difficulty, used her magical powers to restore him to life. He was destroyed again, but his ghost was once more found, this time in the form of a bird flitting over the waters, and he was once more restored to life.

Another Hawaiian legend tells of a young man who was captured by the hands of the priests of a high temple. They sacrificed him to their god, and then planned to treat his bones dishonorably. Oh no!

The young man’s ghost revealed the situation to his father through a dream, and aided his father in retrieving the bones through great exertions and to place them in his own secret burial cave. The ghost of the young man was then able to joyfully go down to the spirit world.

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Writing Prompt –

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Photo Credit: http://www.weltrekordreise.ch/p_ause_pf2.html

On the island of Tonga, there is a house. Three Aitu live there, a man, a woman and a child. They make up the Kalama family. The Kalama’s have lived in the house since it was built, because they were the family that built it. The three were killed long ago in a fire off of the property. They inhabit their old home, using it in the same way that they once did. Hanging laundry out to dry, cooking and sweeping. The new family in the house, the Iona family don’t seem to mind them too much.

The Kalama’s have gotten used to the Iona’s over time, of course, but there is one thing that is really starting to bother them. The eldest daughter of the Iona’s is starting to date. She is very beautiful and the young man in whom she is showing interest is the son of the couple who caused the Kalama’s death.

How and why did the Kalama’s die? What will happen now that this young man is constantly coming to the house? What will the Kalama’s do?

If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how it continues in the comment section below, and as usual…happy writing!

 

 

Mythological Creature Archive

Mythical Creature, ‘the Ahuizotl,’ a killing, voice throwing, Aztec water-canine- with writing prompt

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Photo Credit: http://pixshark.com/ahuizotl.htm

The Aztecs had a rich and colorful history and flourished in central Mexico from 1300 to 1521.

The Aztec peoples included different ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language.

They told amazing stories and had many myths, and folk tales. The Aztec creation story can be found here, among other fascinating tales which will hopefully jump start your imagination, but we are here to talk about the Ahuitzotl right now and he doesn’t wait.

The Ahuitzotl

According to Cryptidzwikia this is an Aztec and Mayan Mythological creature. Similar creatures are also known to the Hopi and Shasta tribes of North America too.

This creature looked like a small dog, with streaks on its head, small ears, and a hand at the tip of its tail. It had waterproof fur that often clumped up into what resembled spikes.

Scientists believed that the Ahuitzotl may have really existed and was actually an otter or a ferret.

According to legend the Ahuitzotl submerged itself, waiting to feed…into a lake or a stream and began to wail like a small child or a frightened lady. A passerby would hear the cries and rush to the rescue.

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Photo Credit: https://northwing.deviantart.com/art/Ahuizotl-347956661

Upon approaching the water the victim would be strangled until dead by the creature’s infamous tail-hand and then he would tear out the victim’s eyes, nails and teeth and eat them. It would then toss the lifeless body onto the riverbank and restart its wailing. How horrifying!

Pop Culture

The Ahuitzotl appears in The Ocean Hunter game as a surviving Elasmosaurus which lives in the Texcoco, Great Lake.

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Writing Prompt- Interview with an Ahuitzotl

Interviewer– Welcome Mr. Ahuitzotl, thank you for granting us this interview. I understand that you have agreed to this, in order to set the record straight? You aren’t a horrible creature from ancient times, you are alive and well and wish to not be viewed as a murderer, is that right?

Ahuitzotl- That’s right and thank you so much for interviewing me. I want everyone to know that yes, I did strangle the humans to get their nails, teeth and eyes…but it wasn’t out of a lust for killing, which is what my story implies. I did those things for immortality.

Interviewer- Ahhh, I see, but how do those parts of the body help in making you immortal, they are the most delicate and the crunchiest parts of the human body, but isn’t blood more life giving?

Ahuitzotl– Hahaha, yes, I like a good crunch. No, the reason that these specific parts of the body were important to me is because of the calcium, obviously. The secret to long life is in your diet. Experts say that if you want healthy bones, teeth, skin and hair…you need to have as much calcium as possible.

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Photo Credit: http://www.urbancreep.com/tag/monster-monday/page/2/

Interviewer– You’re kidding me. You murdered thousands of people with that hand thingy…(points to the Ahuitzotl’s tail)…and it was because you wanted the calcium? Why not eat their bones, or better yet, not eat people at all and just opt for drinking cows milk or eating cheese?

Ahuitzotl– You take vitamins every day don’t you? Yes, I needed their calcium, and I ate what I liked. I have no remorse for what I’ve done, the same as you don’t think twice about eating a chicken.

Interviewer– So you are just like the ruler Ahuitzotl from 1486 to 1502 who used human sacrifice to terrify visiting rulers of newly conquered territories to ensure their passive compliance to Aztec rule….he didn’t view humans as divine beings who had a soul, perhaps? Humans were disposable and as unimportant as…say, a fly or a cockroach to him.

Ahuitzotl– Well, in a perfect world, the Ahuizotl would be in charge, and I am not talking about the man. We are the creatures who could create a world without war, famine, or disease.

Interviewer– How would you do that? I’m sure all of our readers would like to know.

Ahuitzotl- None of you would exist….

The creature was then escorted in handcuffs and ankle chains back to his cell. The orange jumpsuit looked strange over his rubbery body, and his tail- hand had ben tied in a knot and was pinned to his back…it looked like it wasn’t getting enough blood or oxygen and that it would need to be amputated soon. He was one of the most prolific serial killers of all time. No remorse, blunt affect and his MO was always the same. He wouldn’t be getting out of max for a long time, but still the interviewer couldn’t sleep that night. It was the way that Ahuitzotl had looked at him, like he was a snack and nothing more.

Ahuizotl
Photo Credit: http://cryptidz.wikia.com/wiki/Ahuitzotl

The most horrifying thing of all, was that they had only about twenty or so in max and there were more out there somewhere…lurking in the lakes…waiting for their prey.

What happens next?

If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how it continues in the comment section below, and as usual…happy writing!

Mythological Creature Archive

Mythical Creature, ‘the Ahkiyyini,’ a dancing, music loving skeleton, from Inuit folklore-with writing prompt

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Photo Credit: https://chloo-m.deviantart.com/art/Ahkiyyini-18406623

The Ahkiyyini is a skeleton spirit from Inuit folklore.

According to this Ahkiyyini article, the Men who spend much of their time dancing or playing drums in life may continue to do so in death like this spirit.

To make music, the ghost uses his arm bone as a drumstick to beat his scapula, which acts as a drum or xylophone. When he strikes this improvised instrument, the ahkiyyini causes the ground to tremble and rivers to turn violent, wrecking ships and killing their passengers.

The site inuitmyths.com is fascinating and details many Inuit stories. The Ahkiyyini isn’t on this particular list, but there are other creatures worth reading about there for your story writing and for igniting your imagination, for that matter.

“The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) works hard to promote and protect Inuit culture. QIA has developed Inuitmyths.com, to provide a resource for Nunavummiut and people from around the world who want to learn more about the Inuit storytelling tradition.

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Photo Credit: http://www.creature-imaginaire.wikibis.com/ahkiyyini.php

And the same in the Inuit language below.

“ᕿᑭᖅᑕᓂ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᑲᑐᔾᔨᖃᑎᒌᒃᑯᑦ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᖓᓂᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᔮᖅᑎᑦᑎᓇᓱᒃᐸᒃᐳᑦ ᓴᐳᒻᒥᒃᓯᓇᓱᐊᖅᑐᑎᒡᓗ. ᕿᑭᖅᑕᓂ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᑲᑐᔾᔨᖃᑎᒌᒃᑯᑦ ᓴᖅᑮᓚᐅᖅᐳᑦ Inuitmyths.com, ᐊᑐᐃᓐᓇᐅᑎᑦᑎᓇᓱᐊᖅᑐᑎᒃ ᐃᓕᒃᑲᓐᓂᕈᒪᔪᓂᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᓄᑦ ᐃᓄᖕᓄᓪᓗ ᓄᓇᕐᔪᐊᕐᒥᐅᓄᑦ. “

Writing Prompt Background-

According to firstpeoplesofcanada.com, the people of the Canadian Arctic but also Alaska, Greenland, and Siberia are known as the Inuit. They used to be called Eskimos, which came from a Native American word for ‘eater of raw meat.’

Now the Arctic people are officially known as the Inuit, which means ‘the people’, or singularly, Inuk, which means ‘the person’.

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Photo Credit: http://1granary.com/interviews/ktz-inuit-hugh-devlin/

The Inuit were the last native people to arrive in North America. All the good land to the south was already occupied by hostile Indians so they settled in the Arctic. Nobody else wanted it because it was one of the most extreme climates of the world.

The Inuit are masters at adapting to their surroundings in order to sustain their people. For thousands of years, they have thrived and their myths and folklore are no different.

Writing Prompt-

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Photo Credit: https://margopfeiff.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/the-angry-inuk-nunavuts-aaju-peter-is-an-activist-lawyer-teacher-sealskin-seamstress-rebel-rocker/

This woman has a secret. She knows who caused the shipwreck of 1954.

How does she know who did it? It isn’t that she believes in the myths passed down to her from ancestors, as much as, she had heard it from the horses mouth. 

Ahkiyyini began coming to see her late at night, in 1954…under a beautiful blanket of stars, within the seclusion of the dark shadows of night…she saw him. At first he rattled his bones at her to get her attention. She had just lost a loved one and was deeply saddened. She couldn’t sleep; hadn’t slept for several nights in a row.

He laughed, for some ungodly reason, reminding her of her loved one. Her grandfather had been taken away too soon.

The laugh was the laugh of an old man with no teeth…his bones clack, clacking together as he approached.

Her grandfather had loved to dance and sing in life. She thought of him strongly then.

So strong was his presence, that she could smell his scent, and then he was there. Within reach…only bones and she screamed. The Ahkiyyini muffled her scream…pulling a ragged piece of cloth from his belt and the woman stopped her screaming. The piece of cloth acted as a portal key of sorts and suddenly she was in his world…swirling emotions and objects all around her in a tornado of chaos. He began playing his music, keeping them steady. He hit his bones together and moved about to it’s rhythm. There was still chaos and movement all around them.., but the emotions began to resonate higher and higher, neither had said a word to one another. What was the point? This experience spoke louder than any words could.

When the woman awoke the next morning. She felt light and care-free. She had seen her grandfather one last time…but at breakfast she heard about a terrible shipwreck off of the coast, with no survivors and she suddenly knew what had happened. Surely her grandfather wasn’t THE Ahkiyyini? Was he?

What happens next in this story?

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If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how this story continues in the comment section below, and as usual…happy writing!