Creature of the day
Every day, Alien draws a random fantasy creature, picked from a big encyclopedia of such beasts.
Only seen on the island of Molucca, this amphibious creature has the front of a deer, the hind legs of a goose, and a meter long horn on its forehead. It feeds solely on fish, and because the horn is thought to cure poison, it is a very rare creature.
According to medieval lore, the monoceros has a stag's head sporting a single horn, a horse's body, elephant feet and a boar tail. Its howl is horrible to hear, and it's said to be impossible to capture it alive.
This sinister fairy from northern Britain can at night take the shape of a horse, donkey or a web-footed dog. It has large bowl-shaped eyes and splashing can be heard when it walks. Usually lurking for unwary travellers, some have helped lost people.
Back when Lapp shamans fought regularly, some would craft a Stallo, which is a type of golem. Cut from untrodden peat-turf and given half its creator's life, then sent to a rival shaman. After a time of harassment, the Stallo would come forth to fight.
A huge serpentine monster in the Equadorian Amazon, the Iwanci can take the shape of a macanci, pani or anaconda. It will eat any human it encounters.
Also called a Centicore or Eale, the Yale is a beast the size of a horse. It looks a lot like a goat, but has the tusks and tail of a boar, multicoloured spots, and its horns can move in their sockets to better defend it from all sides.
Gremlins were first discovered during WWI, when things started going wrong with various military equipment. During WWII, the gremlins grew rapidly, becoming a major source of annoyance. They have a special love for interfering with radio transmissions.
This gigantic beast resembles an otter, but was originally a grizzly bear. After falling prey to the lake serpent Amhuluk, it was transformed.
Having a responsibility for the earth's minerals, the ancient Chinese dragon Fu-ts'ang is known as the Dragon of the Hidden Treasures.
According to Malian lore, Yurugu the jackal fox is the son of Amma, the creator, and represents difficulty. He sows the seed of disorder, but also of solutions, he taught humans to dance and to divine.
Stemming from a conglomerate of norse and christian mythology, the bergfolk were a part of those leaving the heavens after Lucifer's angels. Usually invisible, they rode 3-legged horses to battle and had long noses to stir their morning porridge.
The Amazon Indian master of animals, Desana appears as a dwarf covered in magical plant juices, but can also take the shape of a jaguar, lizard, squirrel or fish. Before a hunt, a shaman must negotiate with him or no game may be slain.
Originally a god in his own right by Egyptian lore, the great bull Mnevis (or Merwer) joined the cult of Ra, and holds the disc of the sun between his horns. An intermediary between Ra and his priests and oracles, he was well esteemed at Heliopolis.
In Egyptian lore, the goose Gengen Wer bore the egg from which all life emerged at the time of creation.
A dangerous giant living in the forested Zagros Mountains, Humbaba could shape-shift into a fire-breathing dragon, sporting bull horns, lion legs, vulture feet and a snake-headed tail. He was slain with the help of gods by Gilgamesh and Enkidu.
The Sumerian lama is a protective diety which will take the shape of an Apsasu when guarding Mesopotamian temple gateways, appearing like a human-headed cow or lion.
Haymehyt is the sheep consort of the ram god, Banebdjedet, and is not too widely known.
The Egyptian ram god, he controls the Nile's inundation, and is regarded as the soul and champion of the sun god Ra. He will at the behest of other gods breathe life into new creatures, and is also the patron of crocodiles.
The Eland was borne to life from the discarded shoe of Kwamang-a, the spirit of the rainbow, which Mantis, the Kalahari's god of food, rubbed with honey until the Eland was grown.
The god of the sun and wind in Aztec and Toltec lore, Tezcatlipoca could take the shape of an ocelot or jaguar. He was split into one form for each direction, and was conquered by west, Quetzalcoatl, and became Ursa Major. His emblem, and the meaning of