Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Did You Know?

Do you ever get tired of the same old fairies (fey), dragons, norse gods, greek gods, roman gods?

I try to find stuff that's not completely shopworn. Yeah, I do use some of the good old standards, but I also try to bend and twist them a bit. Other writers more famous than me do the same. Otherwise, nothing would ever be fresh and new. Sometimes I disagree with certain re-interpretations, but I appreciate that they're trying to change it up.

I thought I'd post some tidbits of mythologies that I've used in my books.

The Tales of Abu Nuwas - Setara's Genie
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Throughout the seven (that's a magic number, you know) tales, I've tossed together a mixed salad of middle-eastern mythologies and just some plain old nonsense. However, things I have appropriated from the real mythologies include:

Azhi Dahaka

A storm demon from Iranian mythology. He steals cattle and brings harm to humans. It is a snake-like monster with three heads and six eyes who also personifies the Babylonian oppression of Iran. The monster will be captured by the warrior god Thraetaona and placed on the mountain top Dermawend. In a final revival of evil, it will escape its prison, but at the end of time (fraso-kereti) it will die in the river of fire Ayohsust.

My Mashup:

The Great Vizier (now entombed, waiting for something interesting to happen) had used Azhi Dahaka's blood to create a flying, fire-breathing horse. Excellent for combat, I'd imagine. Unfortunately, the Franken-Horse could only levitate a few inches and puff a wimpy flame when startled. However, Azhi escapes his imprisonment (see above) and knows this horse named Hasib is his umpteen times grandson and wants to find him.

Our erstwhile heroine, Setara tries to protect Hasib from the dragon only to learn that Azhi just wants a family reunion.


As the two horses and the djinn soared upward, some people stopped in their tracks to stare. Setara almost laughed. As if a dragon demon perched on the palace tower wasn’t enough, the sight of a winged horse, another flying horse with a girl on his back, and a genie was more than they could stand. Those who were not already running away from the tower decided now would be a good time to do so.

The ground around the tower was littered with fallen arrows and men. Some brave souls attempted to save the wounded men. However, the flames were pouring down so fast they had to weave and dodge to reach them.

She gripped Hasib’s mane with one hand and worked to load a bolt and get the crossbow in position with the other. It wasn’t working, so she let go of the mane, gripping tight with her legs. She didn’t even think about looking down. Her whole attention was focused on the roaring demon wrapped around the tower. They flew directly into the path of its flames.

Hasib fought back with flames of his own. However, he was much smaller than the dragon, and his flame was not big enough to have any effect. Setara fired a bolt toward Azhi, but it fell far short. “We’ll have to get closer!” she yelled over the roaring of the dragon. Hasib spiraled upward, taking a path around the tower. Azhi twisted his body to face the flying horses, the clearest threat to him.

Setara managed to reload the crossbow and turned the winch to draw back the bolt. She held the crossbow up, aiming along its shaft. The dragon demon’s head reared up directly in front of her. She fired. The bolt shot through the air, hitting the dragon’s head. It seemed to stick for a moment, then fell off. Setara groaned. She didn’t think she’d get another chance.

“My blood!” Azhi Dahaka cried out. Setara looked to see if the bolt had done some damage, but she couldn’t see even a scratch on the dragon’s shining scales. Of course, while Hasib circled and soared, getting a close look wasn’t easy.

She saw Nasreen turn in mid-air and begin to circle the tower in the opposite direction from Hasib.

“Good girl!” Setara called out. The mare was exposing herself to distract the dragon’s attention away from her and Hasib. The dragon twisted toward the mare and drew his head back to spray flames at Nasreen.

With the dragon’s attention elsewhere, Setara loaded another bolt into the crossbow and pulled it back. Hasib drew his legs up and shot toward the dragon. As he brought her next to the dragon’s side, Setara loosed the bolt. It bounced off his scales to no effect.

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