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Saturday, 1 March 2014


THE NYMPHAI (or Nymphs) were beautiful nature spirits responsible for the nurture of plants and animals in the countryside and the wilds. They were worshipped by the rustic folk: shepherds and herdsmen, hunters and woodsmen, orchadists and beekeepers.

The following are stories from Greek myth of encounters between Nymphs and men. The Nymph types in most stories are interchangeable: in the story of Peleus a Nereid (sea nymph) assumes the role of an Epimelid (nymph of the flocks); in the tale of Kerambos the Nymphs are simultaneously Naiades of the river and Hamadryades of the river-side poplars, etc.

LOCALE: Mt Othrys, Malis (Northern Greece)

Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 32 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Dryope herded the flocks of her father. Now, the Nymphai Hamadryades were very much attached to her and made her their companion, teaching her to sing to the gods and to dance. Apollon, seeing her dancing, felt an urge to couple with her. He first changed himself into a tortoise. Dryope, with the other Nymphai, was amused by it and they made a toy of the tortoise. She placed it in her bosom. He changed from a tortoise to a serpent. The frightened Nymphai abandoned Dryope. Apollon coupled with her and . . . she gave birth to Amphissos, the son of Apollon . . . 

In Dryopis he established a sanctuary of Apollon. One day, as Dryope was approaching the temple, the Nymphai Hamadryades gathered her up affectionately and hid her in the woods. In her place they caused a poplar to appear out of the ground. Beside it they made a spring to gush forth. Dryope was changed from mortal to Nymphe.

Amphissos, in honour of the favour shown to his mother, set up a shrine to the Nymphai and was the first to inaugurate a foot-race there. To this day local people maintain this race. It is not holy for women to be present there because wo maidens told local people that Dryope had been snatched away by Nymphai. The Nymphai were angry at this and turned the maidens into pines."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 9. 334 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The loveliest girl of all Oechalis, dear Dryope, her mother's only child . . . There is a lake whose shelving sides had shaped a sloping shore, and myrtles crowned the ridge. There Dryope had come, not dreaming of fate's design, and, what must make you more indignant, bringing garlands for the Nymphae . . . Near the lakeside was a water-lotus flowered, its crimson blooms like Tyrian dye, fair hope of fruit to come. Dryope picked a posy of these flowers to please her boy. I [her companion Iole] meant to do the same (for I was there), when I saw drops of blood drip from the blossoms of the boughs shiver in horror. For this shrub, you see (too late the peasants told us), was the Nymphe Lotis who fled Priapus's lechery and found changed features there but kept her name. Nothing of this my sister knew. She'd said prayers to the Nymphae and now in terror tried to turn away and leave, but found her feet rooted [and she was transformed into a lotus-tree]."

For MORE information on this maiden see DRYOPE


LOCALE: Miletos & Byblis, Karia (Western Anatolia)

Parthenius, Love Romances 11 (trans. Gaselee) (Greek poet C1st B.C.) :
"[Miletos had] twain children: Kaunos, lover of right and law, and then fair Byblis, whom men likened to the tall junipers . . . Most authors say that Byblis fell in love with Kaunos, and made proposals to him, begging him not to stand by and see the sight of her utter misery. He was horrified at what she said, and crossed over to the country then inhabited by the Leleges . . . She, as her passion did not abate, and also because she blamed herself for Kaunos' exile, tied the fillets of her head-dress to an oak, and so made a noose for her neck . . . Some also say that from her tears sprang a stream called after her name, Byblis." [N.B. According to other sources the nymphs transformed her tears into a spring.]

Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 30 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Miletos built the city of Miletos and . . . [had] twins, Kaunos and Byblis . . . Byblis attracted many local suitors . . . She did not pay them much attention since an unspeakable desire for Kaunos was driving her mad. Because she did all she could to hide this passion, she kept it from her parents. But daily she was being gripped by an even more unmanageable Daimon and one night she decided to throw herself from a rock. She went to a nearby mountain and set about throwing herself off. But Nymphai, pitying her, held her back. Casting her into a deep sleep they changed her from a mortal to a deity, into a Nymphe called a Hamadryas [or Hydrias] named Byblis. They made her their companion and sharer of their way of life. The stream which flows from that rock is called to this day by local people the Tears of Byblis."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 9. 450 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[Miletos had children] Byblis and Caunus, twins, a tragic pair. The tale of Byblis shows that girls should love as law allows, Byblis who lost her heart to great Apollineus [Kaunos], her twin brother. Hers was no sister’s love; her love was wrong . . . Poor girl, she passed all bounds, kept offering herself to his rebuffs, and soon, no end in sight, her brother fled, fled from his country and the scene of shame to found a city in a foreign land. Then Byblis was beside herself with grief.
She beat herself in frenzy . . . [and] ran howling through the countryside, watched by the wives of Bubasis, then on through Caria and Lycia she roamed, among the warrior Leleges, and now Cragus was far behind her and the streams of Limyre and Canthos . . . The forest failed; on the hard ground she fell, exhausted by her quest, and lay face down, with tumbled hair, among the fallen leaves.
Often the Nymphae Lelegeides (of the Leleges) tried to cradle her in their soft arms and often sought to salve the fever of her love, and comforted with soothing words her heart that heard no more. She lay in silence, clutching the small sedge, and watering the greensward with her tears. And these, men say, the Naides made a rill, for ever flowing--what could they give more? At once, as resin drips from damaged bark, or asphalt oozes from the earth's dark womb, or, when the west wind breathes its balm, the sun unlocks the water that the frost has bound, so, wasting by her weeping all away, Byblis became a spring. Still in that dale it keeps its mistress' name, still mournfully trickles below the tall dark ilex tree."

For MORE information on this girl see BYBLIS


LOCALE: Mt Othrys, Malis (Northernn Greece)

Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 22 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Kerambos, son of Eusiros, who was the son of Poseidon and of Eidothea the Nymphe of Othreis, lived in the land of the Melians on the spurs of Mount Othrys. He had numerous flocks and herded them himself. Nymphai would help him since he delighted them as he sang among the mountains. He is said to have been the best singer of those days and was famous for his rural songs. In those hills he devised the shepherd’s pipes and was the first to teach mankind to play the lyre, composing many beautiful songs. It is said that because of this the Nymphai one day became visible to Kerambos as they danced to the strumming of his lyre. Pan, in good will, gave him this advice: to leave Othrys and pasture his flocks on the plain, for the coming winter was going to be exceptionally and unbelievably severe.

Kerambos, with the arrogance of youth, decided--as though smitten by some god--not to drive his beasts from Othrys to the plain. He also uttered graceless and mindless things to the Nymphai, saying they were not descended from Zeus, but that Deino had given birth to them, with the River Sperkheios was the father. He also said that Poseidon, for lust of one of them, Diopatre, had made her sisters put down roots and turned them into poplars until, satiated with his desires, he had returned them to their original shapes.

Thus did Kerambos taunt the Nymphai. After a short while there came a sudden frost and the streams froze. Much snow fell on the flocks of Kerambos and they were lost to sight as well as were the trees and paths. The Nymphai, in anger against Kerambos because of his slanders, changed him into a wood-gnawing Kerambyx beetle. He can be seen on trunks and has hook-teeth, ever moving his jaws together. He is black, long and has hard wings like a great dung beetle. He is called the ox that eats wood and, among the Thessalians, Kerambyx. Boys use him as a toy, cutting off his head, to wear as a pendant. The head looks like the horns of a lyre made from a tortoiseshell."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 7. 353 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Othrys and those fair uplands that Cerambus' fate made famous long ago. By the Nymphae's aid wings bore him through the air, and when the earth's great mass was whelmed beneath Deucalion's flood, he escaped unflooded by the sweeping sea."

LOCALE: Mt Gerania, Megaris (Southern Greece)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 40. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The Megarians say that the Nymphai Sithnides are native, and that one of them mated with Zeus; that Megaros, a son of Zeus and of this Nymphe, escaped the flood in the time of Deukalion, and made his escape to the heights of Gerania. The mountain had not yet received this name, but was then named Gerania (Crane Hill ) because cranes were flying and Megaros swam towards the cry of the birds."

Melinda Moon elf ears

Melinda Moon elf ears

Woman who believes she was a fairy in a previous life has her ears cut and shaped to look more like an elf Melynda Moon based new ear shape on Lord Of The Rings characters

23-year-old Canadian model had ear cartilage skinned and tips cut
Ms Moon also has a Legend Of Zelda Triforce symbol implanted in her hand Says her friends tell their children 'they know someone who knows Santa'


PUBLISHED: 11:03 GMT, 23 December 2013 | UPDATED: 13:47 GMT, 23 December 2013


Pointed: Melynda Moon paid £250 for 'elven ears' 
A woman who wanted to look like an elf has had an operation on her ears to make them more pointed.

Melynda Moon, 23, believes she comes from a different realm and was a fairy in her past life. She paid £250 for the operation that she feels will put her back in touch with her mythical side.

Ms Moon - who also had her name changed by deed poll - had the tops of her ear cartilage skinned and pieces cut from the tips to form points. This gave her ears the triangular tips characteristic of the magical figures in her favourite film, The Lord Of The Rings.

The treatment lasted two hours.

Stitches holding the whole ensemble together stayed in for a couple of weeks to allow the skin to fuse - and the result was fully 'elven' ears. Ms Moon has also had a subdermal implant in her hand which represents the Triforce symbol for the Legend of Zelda.

The model, from Guelph in Onatrio, said: 'Pointed ears are the most adorable thing, and I find the elven attire is so elegant. 'My inspiration comes from The Lord Of The Rings: the long hair, dresses and the closeness to nature.

'I have always been very close to nature. When I found out I could have my ears pointed I have never been so sure of something in my entire life.'

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Creating the look: Ms Moon underwent a two-hour operation to have her ears cut and reshaped

Before: Ms Moon's ear in its former shape

Ms Moon continued: 'I am drawn to elves because of their innocence, elegance and free spirit. They are a symbol of love and laughter.' She described the treatment as 'a bit uncomfortable the day after' and confessed that her ears 'were really swollen and sore with a slight burning sensation'.

But she added: 'It was completely worth it.
'I have a handful of people assume I am dressed up because I have put on pointed ears,' she said.

'When I tell them they are real, they look pretty confused as if they are waiting for me to say 'just kidding' - but I am not.'


'Obsession': Ms Moon says she has been a fan of mythological creatures since she was a child and believes she was a fairy in a former life Ms Moon said she had been 'obsessed with all things mythical' since childhood.

As a teenager, she said, she would use makeup and hair dye to make herself look 'elven' and even used Photoshop to make her ears look pointed She said of her operation, which she underwent in August 2011: 'I have always had fantasies about what it would be like to be something other than human, so I decided to change my appearance to look supernatural.

'Now I will never go back to being human. I just lack the glitter and wings to fly.' Ms Moon said some of her friends use her to get their children to behave around Christmas.

She said: 'Some people like to tell their kids to stop being bad because they know an elf who'll tell Santa they're being bad. 
'Then their children see my ears and realise their parents aren't joking.'

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Friday, 28 February 2014

Mythological Creatures of Fire | Mythical Fire Beasts

Mythological Creatures of Fire | Mythical Fire Beasts

Mythological creatures are legendary beasts stemming from traditions and stories passed down from ancient times. They are usually depicted as having tremendous powers and abilities. There is often empirical reasoning behind the creation of a mythological creature by ancient civilization. For instance, to prevent children from venturing into dangerous and unknown territory, to prevent theives from accessing a precious treasure or - who knows, they may really been in existence, thousands of years ago. In this article we shall specifically cover mythological creatures of fire, that is, those that originate from fire, those that produce fire and any others that are associated with elemental fire.

Illustration of a dragon: Dragons even worshipped in the Chinese religion. In Europe, dragons were considered to be evil creatures.

1. Dragon

Dragons are the most popular fire-breathing mythical creature since ancient times. Generally, dragons are characterized by their scaly bodies and vicious teeth but dragons vary in size, shape and origin. The European dragon is depicted by a huge leathery body, four scaly legs, bat-like wings emerging from the back and curved claws. In European mythology, dragons are symbolized as evil and vicious creatures.

In contrast, in China and other Asian countries dragons are thought to be majestic and very intelligent creatures that can communicate with humans and even believed to be wiser than humans. Chinese dragons differ greatly from the European ones. The major difference being their appearance; long serpent-like bodies with four legs and lacking wings though they still have the ability to fly.

In Chinese mythology, dragons are considered to have major spiritual importance and are even worshipped in the Chinese religion, Taoism as gods or angels.

Though some people may believe that dragons exist or may have existed in the world in the past, there is no evidence or proof that they may have indeed roamed the earth. It is probable that they may have lived during dinosaur times. But many people come to conclude that the dragon-like fossils may have been mistaken with the gigantic flying birds present millions of years ago.

Recent popular fantasy books such as Eragon (first book of the Inheritance Cycle) have a rich insight on dragons. This amazing fantasy novel depicts a 15 year old farm boy who encounters a strange shiny stone, in one of his hunting trips in the mysterious place known as the Spine. Later on, he is baffled to find out that the stone is actually a dragon egg! He becomes the only human dragon rider in existence and starts being pursued by the Empire and malicious King Galbatorix. From then on, he is thrown into a world of mystery, magic and he plays major roles in vicious battles fought, meets dwarves, elves and other amazing unimaginable creatures.

The Phoenix: Eagle-like with bright plumage

2. Phoenix

The Phoenix is a famous mythical firebird that has long been a sacred mythical creature of fire not only in Egyptian mythology but also in Persian mythology, Greek mythology, and Chinese mythology. It is a symbol for wisdom and longevity, which are some of the eminent traits of this mythical creature of fire. The cry of a phoenix is said to be a pleasant and melodious tune.

The mystical phoenix is said to have a gorgeous plumage with vivid orange, red and scarlet tail feathers. Some tales have it that the bird closely resembled an eagle but with long brilliant colored tail feathers. Many legends from all over the world mention an ancient bird that closely resembled and might have indeed been the phoenix.

The Indian god of mercy and compassion, Vishnu is thought to own an eagle-like bird that had a superficial and eminent glowing appearance of the sun.

In Persian mythology, the Simurgh, is an large ancient bird-like creature that is also speculated to resemble the Phoenix. The Simurgh is mentioned in snippets of Old Iranian literature for example, a classic called ‘Conference of the Birds’ by Farid ud-din Attar.

The phoenix is said to be a wise creature and its exceedingly long life-span may be a great contributor to its intelligence. At the end of its 500 year old life, the phoenix is said to collect twigs with which it makes a nest, acting as a funeral pyre, and waits for the greedy flames to devour its body. From the remains of the burnt phoenix, a new bird is said to be born and the 500 year long cycle is continued.

In modern literature, the renowned fantasy Harry Potter novels also mentions the phoenix, as the intelligent pet bird of the Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore.

An artist's depiction of a fiery jinn: Other powers believed to be possessed by the jinn include shape shifting into animal and human forms, transforming into enormous sizes...

3. Jinn

As humans are said to be made from clay, the jinn are said to be made of a smokeless fire. Jinns are said to have many powers including being able to travel extremely long distances in the blink of an eye. Jinn are said to live for thousands of years, as compared to man, who only lives to 100. Never cross the path of a jinn, as they are fond of scaring the shite out of humans just for their own time pass - after all they have a lot of time to spare. Demonic possessions can be attributed to jinn. Although it is a cardinal crime for jinn to possess humans, it still happens quite a lot. Jinn can be expelled from a possessed human through exorcism.

Other powers believed to be possessed by the jinn include shape shifting into animal and human forms, transforming into enormous sizes larger than a mountain or smaller than a gnat, flying and possible having superhuman strength. Magicians, fortune tellers, astrologists and witchdoctors are said to use the powers of the jinn to accomplish their tasks. But in exchange for the jinn helping them, they require the magician to sell their soul to the devil eternally.

Jinn are just like humans in that they have a choice or 'free will' to choose between right and wrong. As such, there are good jinn as well as evil jinn - although the jinn are more often than not inclined towards evil. It is better that one stays away from the dark arts and communication with the jinn. Chances are that once you start interacting with the world of occult, voodoo and jinn, getting out of the trap is next to impossible.

Although the jinn stems from Arabian mythology, it was made popular in western media through the story of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. This story was popularized by the Disney movie where Aladdin marries the princess, Jasmine. Aladdin was a poor boy who came across the magic lamp which contained a jinn or a genie. By rubbing he lamp, Aladdin set free the genie trapped inside thereby making him the master of the genie, who would grant him 3 wishes.

Illustration of a firebird: The firebird is popular in being pursued for its glowing feathers.

4. Firebird

Although the name firebird immediately brings the Phoenix to mind, the firebird is an all together different mythical creature of fire that originates from many mythologies.

The firebird is illustrated with a plumage of brilliant warm colored feathers that emanate bright light. A single feather of the firebird is believed to cast a bright light in a large and dark room.

It is popular in Russian mythology for bringing either doom to its captor or showering blessings upon the person who frees it from harm.

In Armenian mythology, the firebird is described as having the ability of rejuvenating the land, making it bloom with lush grass and spring flowers by singing in a musical tune.

The firebird is also popular in being pursued for its glowing feathers. Numerous fairytales tell stories of warriors going on difficult quests trailing the firebird, to either capture it or obtain its feathers.

It is mentioned in the Russian fairy tale, the Firebird, where a Prince Ivan, discovers a beautiful firebird plucking a golden apple from a tree in the forest. The prince manages to capture the bird but decides to free it when the bird proposes a deal where it offered one of its magical feathers for protection.

Picture of a chimera: With multiple body parts, 3 heads erupting from its spine - of a goat, a dragon and a lion. It had a tail of a serpant head and wings of a dragon.

5. Chimera

The Chimera was a monstrous and dreadful creature in Greek Mythology that was believed to have wreaked havoc in the mountainous ranges close to the land of Lycia, a region in Anatolia (found in southern region of today’s Turkey).

Although the Chimera has a multitude of forms that are described in various stories, it was well-known for its most hideous form consisting of three heads; one of a grim-eyed lion, the middle of a ferocious dragon and the last head was one of an oddly contorted goat that appeared to be rising from the middle of its back. It had a serpent instead of a tail that moved at lighting-speed. Contrary to its general male features, like a full lion’s mane, the chimera is supposedly said to be a female creature.

The Chimera’s appearance isn’t surprising as it was the offspring of Typhon, a huge winged half-man and half-beast with a thousand heads and Echidna, an equally gruesome many-headed serpentine mother. Added to its terrifying appearance, the Chimera was a one of the mythical creatures of fire that breathed out intense and terrible red flames of fire.

The Chimera was thought to have been wiped off the face of this earth when King Lobates of Lycia commanded the legendary hero Bellerophon, to slay it. Bellerophon mounted the winged horse, Pegasus and shot the Chimera at a safe distance away.

The Chimera is mentioned in various literatures for example; the Song of Ilion by Homer. This epic poem tells us about a few of the battles and events that happened in Ancient Greece, including the incident of the fiery ravaging creature, the Chimera.

Illustration of a mythical salamander: olden superstitions that mention that the salamander could produce fire.

6. Mythical salamander

The salamander, as we all know, is a simple harmless amphibian- not a lizard - that prowls about in wetlands. But apparently, the creature has been associated with the mythological fire lizards in some way or another. The name ‘Salamander’ comes from Greek words that means being that lives in fire and withstands high temperatures. They are also distinctly known as fire lizards in ancient salamander lore. Mythical Salamanders were creatures that were believed to dwell in fire, tolerate the burning flames of fire and put out fire. Some legends even say they were born out of fire, an element that is most destructive to all living things. One of the ancient people who believe in the fire-dwelling salamander is Gregory of Nazianzus. Also known as Gregory the Theologian, he was an archbishop of Constantinople in the 4th century. He supposedly said that the salamander dwelled in fire and could also put out the flames of fire.

In literature, if you can vaguely recall, even Shakespeare mentioned salamanders in Henry IV Part one; “….I have maintained that salamander of yours with fire any time this two and thirty years….”

In other versions of the legendary salamander myth, it is said that they were created by glass blowers who left their furnaces burning for many days and nights.

They are also olden superstitions that mention that the salamander was a man-like creature that was bred by fire and lived in fire. This comes about by the Greek word, ‘slamabeander’ or ‘chimney-man’.

However, these ideas that salamanders may be able to withstand the flames of fire and can extinguish them may have been associated with the natural behaviorisms of the salamander. These include- they have moist slippery skin which is very cool to touch. Quite a number of salamanders have the same attribute of hibernating in dampened fallen logs. When the wood is thrown into the grate, the salamanders appear to emerge out of the licking flames of fire. Benvenuto Cellini, an Italian artist who lived in the 16th century, notably stated in his autobiography, to have seen such an event of the salamander mysteriously materializing out of the fire during his childhood. Although some people may believe in this myth concerning the fire resistant salamander, a Roman author, Pliny, is said to have tested this myth by burning a salamander in fire, the results were the poor creature was actually consumed by the flames.

The Kapre: Believed to be nocturnal, appearing and moving about during the dark depths of night.

7. Kapre

The Kapre is a mythological creature of fire that is related to Philippine mythology. It is one of the rare mythological creatures of fire that is humanoid in nature. By smoking a pipe containing a sweet-smelling perfume it is believed to attract humans, specifically, females which the Kapre itself is drawn to. It is illustrated by its huge figure, around 8 to nine feet tall. Although most Kapre inhabit forestland, some are believed to be mountainous. Kapre are said to play pranks on travelers, confusing them on their route. It wears a belt that has invisibility powers to blend itself into the trees to avoid being spotted by the susceptible humans.

Kapres, lurking in the forest shadows can be identified by strange rustlings of trees or shrub without the wind blowing them and hollow male laughter echoing through the trees. Creepy, isn’t it!

This picture depicts an angry fire giant wielding a sword of fire.

8. Fire Giants

The existence of human giants in itself is a ‘giant’ of a debatable myth. But when we say fire producing giants, it arouses even more curiosity. Norse mythology talks about not only fire giants but also frost giants, but the purpose of this article is to explore mythological creatures of fire.

Although giants were all categorically labeled as impious creatures, the fire giants were thought to be less evil and less powerful than the frost giant. Fire giants were human-like but were much taller and of larger stature. Fire giants habituated around warm mountains and would live solitarily or in groups of 2 to 5.

Apart from being of enormous size, these giants were also thought to have fangs and claws, adding to the intensity of their ferociousness. The hair and beards of fire giants were akin to a glowing flame due to their bright orange shade. They would attack and defend themselves through their ability to shift their body heat into rocks, which would catch fire and obliterate the enemy.

In spite of their ferociousness, fire giants were thought to be full of wisdom, perhaps due to their lifespan, which was believed to be over 350 years.

As mentioned earlier, in ancient mythology, all giants were considered to be wicked creatures. This is supported by stories such as the classic children’s book,Jack and the Beanstalk where Jack climbs to the top of the magical beanstalk into the clouds only to be met with an evil giant that had plans of eating him for supper.

In Gulliver’s Travels, Gulliver who finds himself in a mysterious island filled with thumb-sized people, is immediately besieged and trapped as he was seen to be a giant and thus, dangerous or evil.

Cherufe, mythological creatures of fire: People of Chile thought the Cherufe was the cause of major volcanic eruptions and violent earthquakes

9. Cherufe

The Cherufe originated from Chilean mythology (from Chile, in South America) and is portrayed as a gigantic monster that lives in the bases of volcanoes, in shape of a man made of molten magma.

The long ago people of Chile thought the Cherufe was the cause of major volcanic eruptions and violent earthquakes. It was greatly feared because it was often described as a vile monster that devoured young women whole.

It was believed that if the people had food to offer the beast, it would stop causing volcanic eruptions. So to feed the Cherufe, the people developed a horrifying sacrificial system where young girls would be thrown into the mouths of volcanoes.

Other accounts of the Cherufe mention that to defeat this creature, the sun god stationed his two warrior daughters to guard against the attacks of the wicked Cherufe.

This mythological creature of fire may have arisen to explain the causes of natural phenomenon like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions for which the people of that time did not have any scientific explanation.

10. Fire serpent

Aztec mythology contains a multitude of stories depicting various mythological serpents. The fire serpent is one of the mythological serpentine creatures that are associated with fire. In Aztec mythology, the fire serpent has a name; Xiulcoatl. (pronounced: shee-oo-ko-ah-tl)

The Xiulcoatl is believed to be a representation or spirit form of the Aztec fire god, Xiuhtecuhtli. It is also associated with the Central Mexican god of fire and it was a popular symbol of fire and solar heat.

The Xiuhcoatl is described as having a long segmented body and a back-turned snout. In various drawings of the voracious fire serpent, it is illustrated with vivid red flames gushing out of its fanged mouth.

In other myths of the fire serpent, it is said to have two feathered heads- one to represent land or the earth and the other monstrous head
to represent natural catastrophes.

Thursday, 27 February 2014



Once upon a time a strong and powerful Tzar ruled in a country far away. And among his servants was a young archer, and this archer had a horse--a horse of power--such a horse as belonged to the wonderful men of long ago--a great horse with a broad chest, eyes like fire, and hoofs of iron. There are no such horses nowadays. They sleep with the strong men who rode them, the bogatirs, until the time comes when Russia has need of them. Then the great horses will thunder up from under the ground, and the valiant men leap from the graves in the armour they have worn so long. The strong men will sit those horses of power, and there will be swinging of clubs and thunder of hoofs, and

p. 243

the earth will be swept clean from the enemies of God and the Tzar. So my grandfather used to say, and he was as much older than I as I am older than you, little ones, and so he should know.

Well, one day long ago, in the green time of the year, the young archer rode through the forest on his horse of power. The trees were green; there were little blue flowers on the ground under the trees; the squirrels ran in the branches, and the hares in the undergrowth; but no birds sang. The young archer rode along the forest path and listened for the singing of the birds, but there was no singing. The forest was silent, and the only noises in it were the scratching of four-footed beasts, the dropping of fir cones, and the heavy stamping of the horse of power in the soft path.

"What has come to the birds?" said the young archer.

He had scarcely said this before he saw a big curving feather lying in the path before him. The feather was larger than a swan's, larger than an eagle's. It lay in the path, glittering like a flame; for the sun was on it, and it was a feather of pure gold. Then he knew why there was no singing in the forest. For he knew that the firebird had flown

p. 244

that way, and that the feather in the path before him was a feather from its burning breast.

The horse of power spoke and said,--

"Leave the golden feather where it lies. If you take it you will be sorry for it, and know the meaning of fear."

But the brave young archer sat on the horse of power and looked at the golden feather, and wondered whether to take it or not. He had no wish to learn what it was to be afraid, but he thought, "If I take it and bring it to the Tzar my master, he will be pleased; and he will not send me away with empty hands, for no Tzar in the world has a feather from the burning breast of the fire-bird." And the more he thought, the more he wanted to carry the feather to the Tzar. And in the end he did not listen to the words of the horse of power. He leapt from the saddle, picked up the golden feather of the fire-bird, mounted his horse again, and galloped back through the green forest till he came to the palace of the Tzar.

He went into the palace, and bowed before the Tzar and said,--

"O Tzar, I have brought you a feather of the fire-bird."

p. 245

The Tzar looked gladly at the feather, and then at the young archer.

"Thank you," says he; "but if you have brought me a feather of the fire-bird, you will be able to bring me the bird itself. I should like to see it. A feather is not a fit gift to bring to the Tzar. Bring the bird itself, or, I swear by my sword, your head shall no longer sit between your shoulders!"

The young archer bowed his head and went out. Bitterly he wept, for he knew now what it was to be afraid. He went out into the courtyard, where the horse of power was waiting for him, tossing its head and stamping on the ground.

"Master," says the horse of power, "why do you weep?"

"The Tzar has told me to bring him the firebird, and no man on earth can do that," says the young archer, and he bowed his head on his breast.

"I told you," says the horse of power, "that if you took the feather you would learn the meaning of fear. Well, do not be frightened yet, and do not weep. The trouble is not now; the trouble lies before you. Go to the Tzar and ask him to have a hundred sacks of maize scattered

p. 246

over the open field, and let this be done at midnight."

The young archer went back into the palace and begged the Tzar for this, and the Tzar ordered that at midnight a hundred sacks of maize should be scattered in the open field.

Next morning, at the first redness in the sky, the young archer rode out on the horse of power, and came to the open field. The ground was scattered all over with maize. In the middle of the field stood a great oak with spreading boughs. The young archer leapt to the ground, took off the saddle, and let the horse of power loose to wander as he pleased about the field. Then he climbed up into the oak and hid himself among the green boughs.

The sky grew red and gold, and the sun rose. Suddenly there was a noise in the forest round the field. The trees shook and swayed, and almost fell. There was a mighty wind. The sea piled itself into waves with crests of foam, and the firebird came flying from the other side of the world. Huge and golden and flaming in the sun, it flew, dropped down with open wings into the field, and began to eat the maize.

The horse of power wandered in the field. This way he went, and that,

p. 247

but always he came a little nearer to the fire-bird. Nearer and nearer came the horse. He came close up to the firebird, and then suddenly stepped on one of its spreading fiery wings and pressed it heavily to the ground. The bird struggled, flapping mightily with its fiery wings, but it could not get away. The young archer slipped down from the tree, bound the fire-bird with three strong ropes, swung it on his back, saddled the horse, and rode to the palace of the Tzar.

The young archer stood before the Tzar, and his back was bent under the great weight of the fire-bird, and the broad wings of the bird hung on either side of him like fiery shields, and there was a trail of golden feathers on the floor. The young archer swung the magic bird to the foot of the throne before the Tzar; and the Tzar was glad, because since the beginning of the world no Tzar had seen the fire-bird flung before him like a wild duck caught in a snare.

The Tzar looked at the fire-bird and laughed with pride. Then he lifted his eyes and looked at the young archer, and says he,--

"As you have known how to take the fire-bird, you will know how to bring me my bride, for whom I have long been waiting. In the land of Never, on the very edge of the world, where the red sun rises in flame

p. 248

from behind the sea, lives the Princess Vasilissa. I will marry none but her. Bring her to me, and I will reward you with silver and gold. But if you do not bring her, then, by my sword, your head will no longer sit between your shoulders!"

The young archer wept bitter tears, and went out into the courtyard, where the horse of power was, stamping the ground with its hoofs of iron and tossing its thick mane.

"Master, why do you weep?" asked the horse of power.

"The Tzar has ordered me to go to the land of Never, and to bring back the Princess Vasilissa."

"Do not weep--do not grieve. The trouble is not yet; the trouble is to come. Go to the Tzar and ask him for a silver tent with a golden roof, and for all kinds of food and drink to take with us on the journey."

The young archer went in and asked the Tzar for this, and the Tzar gave him a silver tent with silver hangings and a gold-embroidered roof, and every kind of rich wine and the tastiest of foods.

Then the young archer mounted the horse of power and rode off to the land of Never. On and on he rode, many days and nights, and came at

p. 249

last to the edge of the world, where the red sun rises in flame from behind the deep blue sea.

On the shore of the sea the young archer reined in the horse of power, and the heavy hoofs of the horse sank in the sand. He shaded his eyes and looked out over the blue water, and there was the Princess Vasilissa in a little silver boat, rowing with golden oars.

The young archer rode back a little way to where the sand ended and the green world began. There he loosed the horse to wander where he pleased, and to feed on the green grass. Then on the edge of the shore, where the green grass ended and grew thin and the sand began, he set up the shining tent, with its silver hangings and its gold embroidered roof. In the tent he set out the tasty dishes and the rich flagons of wine which the Tzar had given him, and he sat himself down in the tent and began to regale himself, while he waited for the Princess Vasilissa.

The Princess Vasilissa dipped her golden oars in the blue water, and the little silver boat moved lightly through the dancing waves. She sat in the little boat and looked over the blue sea to the edge of the world, and there, between the golden sand and the green earth, she saw the tent standing, silver and gold in the sun. She dipped her oars,

p. 250

and came nearer to see it the better. The nearer she came the fairer seemed the tent, and at last she rowed to the shore and grounded her little boat on the golden sand, and stepped out daintily and came up to the tent. She was a little frightened, and now and again she stopped and looked back to where the silver boat lay on the sand with the blue sea beyond it. The young archer said not a word, but went on regaling himself on the pleasant dishes he had set out there in the tent.

At last the Princess Vasilissa came up to the tent and looked in.

The young archer rose and bowed before her. Says he,--

"Good-day to you, Princess! Be so kind as to come in and take bread and salt with me, and taste my foreign wines."

And the Princess Vasilissa came into the tent and sat down with the young archer, and ate sweetmeats with him, and drank his health in a golden goblet of the wine the Tzar had given him. Now this wine was heavy, and the last drop from the goblet had no sooner trickled down her little slender throat than her eyes closed against her will, once, twice, and again.

"Ah me!" says the Princess, "it is as if the night itself had perched on my eyelids, and yet it is but noon."

p. 251

And the golden goblet dropped to the ground from her little fingers, and she leant back on a cushion and fell instantly asleep. If she had been beautiful before, she was lovelier still when she lay in that deep sleep in the shadow of the tent.

Quickly the young archer called to the horse of power. Lightly he lifted the Princess in his strong young arms. Swiftly he leapt with her into the saddle. Like a feather she lay in the hollow of his left arm, and slept while the iron hoofs of the great horse thundered over the ground.

They came to the Tzar's palace, and the young archer leapt from the horse of power and carried the Princess into the palace. Great was the joy of the Tzar; but it did not last for long.

"Go, sound the trumpets for our wedding," he said to his servants; "let all the bells be rung."

The bells rang out and the trumpets sounded, and at the noise of the horns and the ringing of the bells the Princess Vasilissa woke up and looked about her.

"What is this ringing of bells," says she, "and this noise of trumpets? And where, oh, where is the blue sea, and my little silver

p. 252

boat with its golden oars?" And the Princess put her hand to her eyes.

"The blue sea is far away," says the Tzar, "and for your little silver boat I give you a golden throne. The trumpets sound for our wedding, and the bells are ringing for our joy."

But the Princess turned her face away from the Tzar; and there was no wonder in that, for he was old, and his eyes were not kind.

And she looked with love at the young archer; and there was no wonder in that either, for he was a young man fit to ride the horse of power.

The Tzar was angry with the Princess Vasilissa, but his anger was as useless as his joy.

"Why, Princess," says he, "will you not marry me, and forget your blue sea and your silver boat?"

"In the middle of the deep blue sea lies a great stone," says the Princess, "and under that stone is hidden my wedding dress. If I cannot wear that dress I will marry nobody at all."

Instantly the Tzar turned to the young archer, who was waiting before the throne.

"Ride swiftly back," says he, "to the land of Never, where the red sun rises in flame. There--do you hear what the Princess says?--a great stone lies in the middle of the sea. Under that stone is hidden her

p. 253

wedding dress. Ride swiftly. Bring back that dress, or, by my sword, your head shall no longer sit between your shoulders!"

The young archer wept bitter tears, and went out into the courtyard, where the horse of power was waiting for him, champing its golden bit.

"There is no way of escaping death this time," he said.

"Master, why do you weep?" asked the horse of power.

"The Tzar has ordered me to ride to the land of Never, to fetch the wedding dress of the Princess Vasilissa from the bottom of the deep blue sea. Besides, the dress is wanted for the Tzar's wedding, and I love the Princess myself."

"What did I tell you?" says the horse of power. "I told you that there would be trouble if you picked up the golden feather from the firebird's burning breast. Well, do not be afraid. The trouble is not yet; the trouble is to come. Up! into the saddle with you, and away for the wedding dress of the Princess Vasilissa!"

The young archer leapt into the saddle, and the horse of power, with his thundering hoofs, carried him swiftly through the green forests and over the bare plains, till they came to the edge of the world, to the land of Never, where the red sun rises in flame from behind the

p. 254

deep blue sea. There they rested, at the very edge of the sea.

The young archer looked sadly over the wide waters, but the horse of power tossed its mane and did not look at the sea, but on the shore. This way and that it looked, and saw at last a huge lobster moving slowly, sideways, along the golden sand.

Nearer and nearer came the lobster, and it was a giant among lobsters, the Tzar of all the lobsters; and it moved slowly along the shore, while the horse of power moved carefully and as if by accident, until it stood between the lobster and the sea. Then, when the lobster came close by, the horse of power lifted an iron hoof and set it firmly on the lobster's tail.

"You will be the death of me!" screamed the lobster--as well he might, with the heavy foot of the horse of power pressing his tail into the sand. "Let me live, and I will do whatever you ask of me."

"Very well," says the horse of power; "we will let you live," and he slowly lifted his foot. "But this is what you shall do for us. In the middle of the blue sea lies a great stone, and under that stone is hidden the wedding dress of the Princess Vasilissa. Bring it here."

p. 255

The lobster groaned with the pain in his tail. Then he cried out in a voice that could be heard all over the deep blue sea. And the sea was disturbed, and from all sides lobsters in thousands made their way towards the bank. And the huge lobster that was the oldest of them all and the Tzar of all the lobsters that live between the rising and the setting of the sun, gave them the order and sent them back into the sea. And the young archer sat on the horse of power and waited.

After a little time the sea was disturbed again, and the lobsters in their thousands came to the shore, and with them they brought a golden casket in which was the wedding dress of the Princess Vasilissa. They had taken it from under the great stone that lay in the middle of the sea.

The Tzar of all the lobsters raised himself painfully on his bruised tail and gave the casket into the hands of the young archer, and instantly the horse of power turned himself about and galloped back to the palace of the Tzar, far, far away, at the other side of the green forests and beyond the treeless plains.

The young archer went into the palace and gave the casket into the hands of the Princess, and looked at her with sadness in his eyes, and she looked at him with love. Then she went away into an inner chamber,

p. 256

and came back in her wedding dress, fairer than the spring itself. Great was the joy of the Tzar. The wedding feast was made ready, and the bells rang, and flags waved above the palace.

The Tzar held out his hand to the Princess, and looked at her with his old eyes. But she would not take his hand.

"No," says she; "I will marry nobody until the man who brought me here has done penance in boiling water."

Instantly the Tzar turned to his servants and ordered them to make a great fire, and to fill a great cauldron with water and set it on the fire, and, when the water should be at its hottest, to take the young archer and throw him into it, to do penance for having taken the Princess Vasilissa away from the land of Never.

There was no gratitude in the mind of that Tzar.

Swiftly the servants brought wood and made a mighty fire, and on it they laid a huge cauldron of water, and built the fire round the walls of the cauldron. The fire burned hot and the water steamed. The fire burned hotter, and the water bubbled and seethed. They made ready to take the young archer, to throw him into the cauldron.

p. 257

"Oh, misery!" thought the young archer. "Why did I ever take the golden feather that had fallen from the fire-bird's burning breast? Why did I not listen to the wise words of the horse of power?" And he remembered the horse of power, and he begged the Tzar,--

"O lord Tzar, I do not complain. I shall presently die in the heat of the water on the fire. Suffer me, before I die, once more to see my horse."

"Let him see his horse," says the Princess.

"Very well," says the Tzar. "Say good-bye to your horse, for you will not ride him again. But let your farewells be short, for we are waiting."

The young archer crossed the courtyard and came to the horse of power, who was scraping the ground with his iron hoofs.

"Farewell, my horse of power," says the young archer. "I should have listened to your words of wisdom, for now the end is come, and we shall never more see the green trees pass above us and the ground disappear beneath us, as we race the wind between the earth and the sky."

"Why so?" says the horse of power.

"The Tzar has ordered that I am to be boiled to death--thrown into that cauldron that is seething on the great fire."

p. 258

"Fear not," says the horse of power, "for the Princess Vasilissa has made him do this, and the end of these things is better than I thought. Go back, and when they are ready to throw you in the cauldron, do you run boldly and leap yourself into the boiling water."

The young archer went back across the courtyard, and the servants made ready to throw him into the cauldron.

"Are you sure that the water is boiling?" says the Princess Vasilissa.

"It bubbles and seethes," said the servants.

"Let me see for myself," says the Princess, and she went to the fire and waved her hand above the cauldron. And some say there was something in her hand, and some say there was not.

"It is boiling," says she, and the servants laid hands on the young archer; but he threw them from him, and ran and leapt boldly before them all into the very middle of the cauldron.

Twice he sank below the surface, borne round with the bubbles and foam of the boiling water. Then he leapt from the cauldron and stood before the Tzar and the Princess. He had become so beautiful a youth that all who saw cried aloud in wonder.

"This is a miracle," says the Tzar. And the Tzar looked at the

p. 259

beautiful young archer, and thought of himself--of his age, of his bent back, and his gray beard, and his toothless gums. "I too will become beautiful," thinks he, and he rose from his throne and clambered into the cauldron, and was boiled to death in a moment.

And the end of the story? They buried the Tzar, and made the young archer Tzar in his place. He married the Princess Vasilissa, and lived many years with her in love and good fellowship. And he built a golden stable for the horse of power, and never forgot what he owed to him.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

two more serial stories from the not seen yet

Hi, My Dear Friends and Followers!  I have two more serial stories that I never finished.  Are you interested in either one of these?  Do you have a preference as to which you would like to start with next?

Dunes of Mars Warrior Princess

Princess Zapporah was on the way back to her home, the Fortress City called Orillia. One day earlier she held talks with the leaders of the three largest and most influential inhabitants of Mars.  Nearly 85% of the planet's population was represented there.

She sat a bit taller in the saddle, or so it seemed to her, on her six-legged steed, Tatar. She was still in the afterglow of the success she had attained as she said softly to herself, "I never believed that everyone would show, especially because I asked for the meetings. The first woman leader to bring them together. If I didn't see the other potentates myself I never would have believed it."


Aunt Dee and the Time Machine

Chapter 1

Auntie Dee's Time Machine

My nephew told me I should write my adventures down.  I never saw them as any more than a way to while away the hours.  Now that I look back on all of my travels, I suppose someone, somewhere, someday, might be interested in reading about them. My little trips were no ordinary trips.  You see, my trips were taken through time.

The unsolved mystery of the Van Meter Visitor - a winged creature with a glowing horn

The unsolved mystery of the Van Meter Visitor - a winged creature with a glowing horn

The unsolved mystery of the Van Meter Visitor - a winged creature with a glowing horn that caused terror in an Iowa town 110 years ago

A new book explores the strange legend of a winged monster that terrorized the town of Van Meter in Iowa over several nights
It was described as a half human/half animal with enormous bat wings and a blinding light shooting from its horn

The townsfolk chased the creature to a local mine shaft which it disappeared down, never to be seen again

110 years later the mystery has never been explained

A sketch of the bizarre creature that terrorized Van Meter in 1903 based on eyewitness accounts
A sketch of the bizarre creature that terrorized Van Meter in 1903 based on eyewitness accounts

A bizarre legend and unsolved mystery which has haunted a small Iowa town for more than 100 years is the subject of a new book called The Van Meter Visitor.

For several nights in 1903, the small town of Van Meter, Iowa was terrorized by a giant bat-like creature that emerged from an old abandoned mine.

The identity of this mysterious monster has never been discovered, but over 100 years later a new book is retelling the amazing tale and hoping to shed some light on what happened all those years ago.

The legend dates back to the fall of 1903, when several of Van Meter’s most well respected citizens reported a half human, half animal with enormous, smooth bat wings flying about.

The creature is described as moving at speeds the townsfolk had never witnessed before, plus it let off a powerful stench and shot a blinding light from its horned head.

Each time the townsfolk encountered the creature they fired their guns at it, but this appeared to have no impact on the creature.

On the first night it was first spotted flying across the building tops. The next evening it was spotted by both the town doctor and bank cashier Peter Dunn who took a plaster cast of its 'great three-toed tracks.'

On the third night, a man spotted it perched atop a telephone pole. Another resident who saw it, described the monster as hopping like a kangaroo, while the local high school teacher likened it to a devil.

Scared and angered by what they had witnessed, the townsfolk followed the creature to an abandoned coal mine near an old brickyard where they heard a noise from the mine.

‘Presently the noise opened up again, as though Satan and a regiment of imps were coming forth for battle,’ reads an article in the Des Moines Daily News from Oct. 3, 1903.
The unsolved mystery of the strange creature has haunted the Iowa town of Van Meter for more than 100 years
The unsolved mystery of the strange creature has haunted the Iowa town of Van Meter for more than 100 years
A photo of the '1901 Bachelors of Van Meter,' including several men who claimed to have seen the mysterious monster

A photo of the '1901 Bachelors of Van Meter,' including several men who claimed to have seen the mysterious monster

The monster appeared together with a smaller version. In a flash of bright light they sailed away, but returned in the morning when the town's men had gathered with weapons ‘to rid the earth of them’.

‘The reception they received would have sunk the Spanish fleet, but aside from unearthly noise and peculiar odor they did not seem to mind it, but slowly descended the shaft of the old mine.’

The creature was never seen again.

This amazing tale has survived and been retold for several generations now and a written version even exists in the town’s centennial book.

The new book is the work of Chad Lewis, who has written over 15 books about the supernatural, plus co-authors Noah Voss and Kevin Lee Nelson and help from local librarian Jolena Walker.
Author Chad Lewis visited Van Meter to speak to local residents about the creature and visit several historic locations including the mine
Author Chad Lewis visited Van Meter to speak to local residents about the creature and visit several historic locations including the mine
A historic portrait of Van Meter, Iowa near the time of the unexplained sightings in 1903
A historic portrait of Van Meter, Iowa near the time of the unexplained sightings in 1903

The myth of the strange creature has survived and been retold for several generations and a written version even exists in the town’s centennial book

The authors visited the quiet town and spoke to local residents who told them the stories about the creature which passed been down and they visited several historic locations including the mine.

Lewis says he has found no evidence to suggest the monster was a hoax, although be believes the facts of the story may have been embellished over the years.

Lewis told the Des Moines Register that even though he said he’s unsure what happened those fall nights in 1903 in Van Meter, seeking the answer was more important than finding it.

'It was an era when anything was possible. Science was starting to gain momentum. In fact, they had just discovered the mountain gorilla. So the beast in the jungle was real,' he told. 'People were open to the fact that anything could happen.'
The unsolved mystery of the strange creature has haunted the Iowa town of Van Meter for more than 100 years

A new book explores the unsolved mystery of the strange creature that attacked the Iowa town of Van Meter more than 100 years ago

Read more:

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

More History on Elves

More History on Elves

The ancient elves of the time of Arlathan were a race of beautiful, ethereal immortals who lived in harmony with nature. Though they were not immortal, they did not suffer from deterioration of mind or body, but of the spirit. They were constant in their traditions, refusing to change. They felt no need to rush when their lives were endless. They worshipped their gods for months at a time. Deicisions were made after decades of debate, and an introduction could last for years.

While it did not happen often, the oldest of the elves were said to reach a point where they became weary of life. They would voluntarily step aside to let newer generations guide their people. And they themselves would enter a long sleep, known as 'uthenera'. The elder would retire to a chamber that is one part tomb and one part bed. To great ceremony from all of the elder's extended family, they would succumb to a slumber they would not wake from for centuries (often never). In time, the body would deteriorate and the elder would die in truth; all the while, the family would continue to visit the chamber to pay respect to one who had made such a sacrifice.

In those ages, all of the land was called Elvhenan, which in the Elvhen language means 'place of our people.' At the center of the world stood the great city of Arlathan. It was a place of knowledge and debate, where the greatest of the elves would go to trade knowledge, intermingle, and settle millenia-long disputes.

Then the humans arrived from the north. The elves called them 'shemlens' meaning 'quicklings'. To the long-living elves, humans' lives blinked past in an instant. When they first met the elves, they were brash and warlike, and had no patience for the unhurried pace of elven diplomacy. As well, they bought disease, which the ancient elves were susceptible to, and elves began to die of natural causes for the first time in millenia. Those elves that spent time bartering and negotiating with humans found themselves aging, a disease they called the Quickening. Believing that their gods were casting them down, the elves looked upon the humans as they would parasites, and moved to close Elvhenan off from the humans for fear that the Quickening would crumble their civilisation.

Elven lore on Arlathan's fall is scant. The human world changed, clans and tribes giving way to the powerful Tevinter Imperium, which came upon Elvhenan to conquer it. When they breached Arlathan, the elves chose to flee rather than to fight, for fear of disease and the Quickening. With magic, demons, and dragons, the Imperium marched easily through Arlathan, destroying everything within, rounding the elves up as slaves, the Quickening making them mortal as they did. They called to their gods, but there was no answer, and as to why, there is but a {{{legend}}}. It is said the magisters used their great and destructive power to force the very ground to swallow Arlathan whole, removing it from the world. All records and artifacts were lost, the whole of their lore only within their minds, soon to be forgotten.

When Andraste and Maferath led their army against the Tevinter Imperium, Shartan convinced the elven slaves to rise up against their Tevinter masters, and joined forces with Andraste. The rebellion was brief but successful. Even in Andraste's and Shartan's deaths, the elves fought on, winning their freedom in 1025 TE and a new home: Maferath and Andrastes' sons gave them the southern reaches of the land, known as the Dales.

In what is called the Long Walk, elves from all across Thedas marched to the Dales. Many perished on this journey, but those that survived made a new life for their people, and siezed upon the chance to gather and revive their lost lore. They called their first city Halamshiral, meaning 'the end of the hourney' and founded a new nation for the People. In the hopes of regaining the lost glory of Elvhenan, they isolated themselves from the humans, refusing trade or discourse. They created an order known as the Emerald Knights, charging them with watching the borders for trouble with the humans.

But it was a peace that would not last.

The worship of their silent, ancient elven gods angered the Chantry, which constantly sent missionaries to the Dales. They wanted to convert the Dalish to the worship of their Maker, but the elves would not submit. And the elves' lack of support for the humans in the Second Blight added to the humans' dislike of the elves. When the city of Montsimmard was nearly destroyed by darkspawn in 1:25 Divine, it is believed the elves simply watched from nearby. It was inevitable that, once again, conflict would arise.

Both humans and city elves believe that it all started with an elven attack on the village of Red Crossing in 2:09 Glory, and the Dalish believe it was a result of their refusal to submit and rumors spread by the Chantry, but whatever the reason, there was war. By 2:10 glory, the elves had captured Monstsimmard, then they sacked Val Royeaux, pushing well into human lands. The Chantry's response was to declare the Exalted March of the Dales, conquering them with their superior numbers. In 2:20 Glory, Halamshiral was conquered, and the elves were completed crushed. The Dales were appropriated by the Orlesians, and the Chantry uprooted elven settlements and forbade the worship of the elven gods. A canticle in the Chant of Light that had been devoted to Shartan was removed after this Exalted March, and was declared heretical.

Elves who accepted the Chantry's teachings were forced to live in alienages within human settlements as second-class citizens, and became known as city elves. They slowly forgot their old ways. Those who refused became known as the Dalish, and to this day wander the lands in their aravels and tattoo their faces to proclaim their belief in their ancient gods. Keeping to themselves, they are nomadic, and never stay in one place for too long, unwanted by the humans. Their job is to seek out and preserve lost
elven lore.

I believe there is a lesson here to be learned from our own past history