In today’s Mythological Figures post we’ve got the Epic Monster to end all Epic Monsters, it that is all things and all times yet none of the above so very certainly Lovecraftian in the extreme—Yog-Sothoth!
Today we’re going after one of the most requested Mythological Figures so far in the column’s short history, the world’s most popular mage and easily the best known seer of any crown: the iconic Arthurian wizard, Merlin!
Epic Monsters continues with the most enigmatic of the Great Old Ones, the strange entity wrapped in mystery and tattered yellow robes: Hastur! Epic Monsters is part of our weekly Mythological Figures column.
Epic Monsters: Cthulhu (5E) Welcome to Epic Monsters, a complementary series to the Mythological Figures column! These are high challenge rating statblocks built to bring a grin to the faces of GMs and strike terror into the hearts of even the most experienced adventurers. Read on only if you have the mettle for it! What better way to kick off the series than with the greatest of the Great Old Ones: Cthulhu!
Today’s entry in Mythological Figures is one of Greece’s most beloved heroes, known far and wide for slaying Medusa and having the coolest gear: Perseus! He is not however the tamer of Pegasus—read onward to find out more about the invisible-capped decapitating founder of Mycenea.
Here I was thinking King Arthur was going to be hard! For every bit of popularity the lord of Camelot has in the west, the Handsome Monkey King/Great Sage, Equal of Heaven/Victorious Fighting Buddha matches him in the east. You may know him through Goku but to most of the world he’s Sun Wukong!
The Gods of EN World have spoken and demanded their brethren, the master of lightning and storm: Thor! A lot of folks have requested Thor but I was asked to move him up the Mythological Figures queue so here he is! There is a plethora of mythology on Odinson here—check out Wikipedia or the Ancient History Encyclopedia for more information. The really important bits that get into the stats below are his belt, gloves, and of course his hammer. I really blew it out with Sun Wukong however (he'll post soon!), so today let’s focus on the build because Thor’s extremely well known these days (although as a blonde fellow and not a redhead which is strange).
Today's entry in Mythological Figures is another historical figure that’s taken hold of some zeitgeist and earned a place in today's popular culture. Julie D'Aubigny ("La Maupin") started appearing on social media last year and for good reason--she was a straight up badass.
As last week was a great example of a Mythological Figure from the perspective of transference of media between cultures (Aladdin’s unique place via the ancestral “game of telephone”), now we’re going way back to a figure even older than our first entry—GILGAMESH! As you can see from the artwork for today’s entry there’s really not a lot about him in popular culture until relatively recently, so the best depictions of this God-King are thousand and thousands of years old.
What a fantastic subject for Mythological Figures! Aladdin is our first entry from the Middle East and an interesting example of what makes a myth just that—for starters, despite being the most popular character from 1,001 Arabian Nights, he’s a late addition to the book by a Frenchman translator (who heard it from a Syrian storyteller from Aleppo, a Maronite scholar named Youhenna Diab). Incidentally as well despite what we’re all likely to think, the character was originally Chinese. This amalgamation of misconceptions and changes (from storyteller to translator to now) are one of the defining traits of a myth and what makes it a wonderful cultural artifact. Mythology is win.
The popular Mythological Figures series continues with another character for your 5E games! Born to a peasant family (although her father headed the local watch and collected taxes in addition to farming), Joan of Arc was raised inside of a territory loyal to the French but surrounded by pro-Burgundian forces (an alliance between some of the French aristocracy and England). Starting at the age of 13 she began to have visions of the saints beseeching her to drive out the English and see to the coronation of the Dauphin (Charles VII) to Reims as the rightful ruler of France.