Thursday, February 7, 2008

Elements of Fantasy: Water Spirits #1

In our modern world, most people do not realize just how scary water can be. In the industrialized world,we live in tidy homes where water is piped to us, filtered of impurities and running hot and cold. This is a very different thing from what our ancestors, and those in the developing world experience.

Water is dangerous where it runs free. Rivers run swift and cold, rising beyond their banks, seeking to drown and destroy, the sea rages and swamps give forth disease. And these don't even take into account the many, larger dangers of the many dangerous animals that make water their home.

It should come as no surprise that mankind would speak of beings whose home was the waterways, seas and springs of the world. Nor should it come as a surprise that these beings are almost always seen as fickle and often quite cruel.

Modern depictions of creatures such as Mermaids (and their lecherous male counterparts), shy away from the grisly tales of ancient peoples, in which these beings drowned and ate sailors and small children. Ondines are of particular interest to me, water elementals who only rarely pretended to be human.

I will talk more on these creatures in the future.

Above is depicted a "Reservoir Spirit" an angry faerie of an inner city reservoir. Shes a drowner of children, and is pondering taking in the sights of the city she is surrounded by...
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I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light
-- Henry Vaughan