Writing Demons: Mythology

In honor of Halloween, I explained the different types of demons in my writing last week.

What to write about this week?

I originally had another entry typed up, but when I really considered the progression of my thoughts from describing the basic definition of my demons, the second category that popped up was, of course, their mythology. Cause, yes, this is important to me.

I’m afraid I don’t have any real development for the non Tree demons mythology. But the Tree demons…yep, let’s get started with that.

In my earliest renditions, demons were one of four types that were created out of some kind of cosmic egg. From what I recall, demons were correlated to shadows and fire. I might have been using a bit of jinn mythology there, insofar as their nature and existence stemmed from a kind of fire that was linked, not to light, but to darkness.

Thinking of it now, I wonder if there’s a seed of useful mythology there for my non Tree demons. Maybe? Yep, I think so anyway.

In fact, the earliest word I created to represent my Tree demons’ name for themselves was Arltiäuli. Which was (somehow) created from Finnish words (hämärä, tähti, tuli) and means “Twilight Star-Fire”. See the connection to stars and shadows? That combination of fire/star and shadow was apparently an early way I conceptualized their self-identity.

At the same time, another really early rendition placed demons in this oddly tragic situation (as I wrote of it then) where they had a strong outward identity of bloodletting but their deepest cultural and species memory were rooted in moonlight and woods. It was those kind of environments that not only would seem the most comfortable, but would also resonate with how they were created; those environments were part of their nature.

And it was this woods and moonlight as a source of comfort, familiarity, and nature that became my Tree demons mythology.

It transitions through a phase of being an animal mythology at some point and even a human-viewed explanation of their mythology, but after writing the first draft of a story about a Tree demon and human falling love in the decades after the demons descent to earth and ensuing disasters, I got a better grasp on what a demon perspective on the myth was.

And as I’ve come to realize lately as I delve more intimately into my demons cultural nuances, it was a distinctly kresvyk perspective, since that was the type of demon who told the story.

I won’t go into the details of each version. I’m not even sure I could remember them all unless I dug through my old notes.

But the basic mythology, that I would guess runs through most Tree demon belief, is this:

A Forest / Woods grew on moonlight and from it the first demons and other moon creatures were born. It was a beautiful silvery woods with streams the color of quicksilver and flowers luminous as the moon. I love it and it’s visualization.

While the Woods was growing, an initial collection of twelve beings came into existence (through blood or the Woods’ stalks). They were divided into two groups of six. I’m not sure if it’s worth describing and naming them since I’ve been trying to revamp them earlier this year.

(Actually going through some notes, apparently there were eight at some point, but I’m discounting it, since it’s very obviously related to a human mythology and is probably related to the Yuetec Territory.)

But I suppose I can give some basic information. Also, make note that some of these beings may not exist later and their order and arrangement by change…when it’s published? Would anyone even care about a mythological tome of Tree demon lore and stories?? Since this is mostly background information.

Anywho…

The first six were categorized as representations of wind and woods and water and wild places. They were associated with clear, fresh scents and growing things. They were broken into:

  1. a female being correlated to dawn and innocence, her title is Ikimouria “Lighted-One”
  2. a female being correlated to animals, wind, life and the wild
  3. a male being correlated to the Tree
  4. a male being correlated to creativity, words, and language, his title is Taisukhr “the Clever”, he is also known as Eilmould “Weaver and Word-Smith”
  5. a male being correlated to the sea, passageways, and compassion (do you see how he doesn’t make sense, since there’s no water in their world? and why can’t I just combine him with the Tree one?)
  6. a female correlated to beauty, fertility and the earth, her name is Feiryavov-ryn, her title is Anireyu “the Vain One”, she is also known as “Earth Maiden” (do you see why she also doesn’t make sense? how can they have a being who represents the earth? unless I use the term in a flowery way…)

The second six were categorized as representations of darkness, shadows, twilight, hunting, the throbbing pulse of life and blood. They were associated with the night but also magic and anything to do with rawer life impulses. They include:

  1. a male being correlated to dreams and birds
  2. a female being correlated to the night, magic, craft and the new moon, she is known as the “Black Witch” or “Mirror Witch” (she is one of my favorites)
  3. a female being correlated to blood, freedom, the hunt, and the crescent moon
  4. a female being correlated to chance, order, fairness, sorrow, and the half moon, she has possible connections to the Moon’s Daughter see below
  5. a female being correlated to the stars, Fate, and the full moon, her name is Iylisuld-era, her title is Syluaer “the Star One”, she is very important
  6. a male being correlated to knowledge and power

Some time after the Woods is done growing, the Moon’s Daughter comes down to the Woods and meets a wolf. She has other adventures but the most important story is that there’s this seed of hunger that is promised the Moon’s Daughter.

This hunger seed is derived from the human-variant demon mythology I mentioned. In that version, the earliest conscious entity is Irae-eliaotr the “Sleeping One”. He has fretful dreams and is terribly alone. This loneliness grows inside him, until it eats through him in the form of a dragon and burns down the Woods.

In a similar vein, the wolf keeps the Moon’s Daughter from the hunger seed, which grows into a ravaging beast that devours the Woods into an ash that sucks the vitality and life out of anything it touches.

Seeing the Woods being destroyed, the Moon’s Daughter sacrifices herself. Her blood, which is white, forms into the Tree where the demons and other creatures of the Woods escape to and live until that is destroyed by a dragon-like beast.

I suppose it’s not the happiest mythology ever, but I get the feeling that demon mythology and history was never about being happy. There was blood and misunderstanding and fire; later there was woods and moonlight. There was a lot about embracing one’s nature, regardless of how others view you.

For example, demons, from a human perspective, would be viewed as cruel, violent, brutal, and bloody. While that isn’t completely wrong, it misses the heart of what is the root of Tree demons’ existence: quiet woods under the moonlight striped in shadows with a scent of fire that burns bitter and cold.

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