“That, if I then had waked after long sleep, will make me sleep again | and then in dreaming, the clouds me thought would open | and show riches ready to drop upon me, that when I waked I cried to dream again.” If you know who today’s entry in Mythological Figures is already, unlike me you’d have answered that televised trivia show question with The Tempest and won the game: Caliban!
“Then I must be thy lady: but I know | When thou hast stolen away from fairy land… | Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love, | To Theseus must be wedded, and you come | To give their bed joy and prosperity.” The thespians among you likely already know who I’m quoting, but to everyone else take heed for today Mythological Figures considers the Faerie Queen Titania!
Today’s Epic Monster entry is surprisingly, terrifyingly historical, drawn from the mythologies of the Māori—a monstrous bird able to kill creatures as big as 500 pounds. If you said Haast’s eagle you’d be right, but we’re calling it by its ancient name: the poukai!
Since we saw Captain Nemo last week in Mythological Figures today the Epic Monsters column is keeping to the LXG theme and going after the ever unseen rogue, a fellow that drank too quickly and deeply from the wishing well before regretting his choice in the final moments of his life: the Invisible Man!
“Not a mistake has been made in the working. But we cannot prevent equilibrium from producing its effects. We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.” Bold words from a brave and brilliant man, an inventor of the highest caliber, explorer of the deep blue, and anti-imperialist hero: Captain Nemo!
The day many of you have been waiting for is finally here. Perhaps the best known Western mythological figure of all is hitting this column with his incredibly powerful fists—let’s see if it lives up to the task as we take on Hercules!
We’ve already seen her counterpart in crime but you may not recognize this pirate anyway—most people didn’t and she spent an absurd amount of her life disguised as a man. It couldn’t be anyone other than the one, the only, the inimitable Mary Read!
“A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” Which is the precarious proposition at the heart of the man, the portrait, the monster: Dorian Gray.
Remember that fellow so often shown using a sling to throw a stone into Goliath’s eye, killing him despite his opponent’s far greater size? Me too! Apparently there’s much more to this character however, so click onward and let’s dive into David.
In Ancient Egypt there once was a commoner who rose to the heights of mortal authority, acting as counsel to personages no less than pharaohs. So great were his deeds and esteem that he rose higher still after his demise, ultimately getting deified. You probably know him from The Mummy but to many throughout history he was the god of medicine and healing: I’m talking about Imhotep!
This cunning pirate championed the seas around Ireland and even stood up directly to (in the same room as and in front of) Queen Elizabeth I, taking word (and sword) to power whenever the need called for it: Grace O’Malley!
We’ve already seen her in the Mythological Figures side of this column but ENWorlder Rafael Martin pointed out that since her body went missing after her burial that surely she must be a terrifying undead. I’m inclined to agree! So it is that today’s entry in Epic Monsters features another version of the Blood Countess, one twisted by evil into something even more monstrous than the woman was as the mortal Elizabeth Báthory!
Today’s Mythological Figure is one of the most notorious serial killers in history. All told between 80 to 650 people—all of them young girls, mostly servants—are counted among the victims, and it took authorities decades to act on the murderous scourge. We’re talking about the Blood Countess: Elizabeth Báthory!