Favorite Mythological Creature

Hey! Someone used my Ko-Fi link! I have offered to write about a topic of your choice if you drop me a few bucks, and someone took me up on it! So here's the post:

Dallas asks:

What's your favorite mythological creature?

This is a fun question, for a couple of reasons. First off, I have been big into Greek and Roman mythology recently. And the vague nature of the question gives me a certain latitude, moreso even than the vague nature of Greek mythology as concerns what constitutes a “creature”. For example, Bellerophon, the great hero who rode Pegasus while fighting and defeating Chimera, is a child of Poseidon. What makes this interesting is that Pegasus is also a child of Poseidon. So...Bellerophon rode his half-brother into battle, I guess? The Ancient Greek myths all seem to be fine with this.

So there's a lot of latitude. I could choose a god, or a non-humanoid, or possibly even a nymph or chthonic being. I'm going to interpret “creature” to mean “not a mortal human”. And I could wander into Norse myths or other mythologies, but I'm not nearly as familiar with the other sets of mythological beings...other than the ones most frequently met in D&D. So I'm going to limit my choices to non-mortal, non-humanoid beings from Greco-Roman mythology...and maybe a little D&D. Pegasus is a contender, but not Bellerophon.

So I'll pick one Greco-Roman creature, and one from the modern mythos that is overseen by the fearsome wizards that live on the coast.


I choose Cerberus. The three-headed hound that guards the entry to the realm of Hades. Cerberus should have been a monster. Child of Typhon and Echidna, his siblings are the Lernaean Hydra and the Chimera, both killed by Hercules (Heralces for those of you who are sticklers for spellings). But Cerberus was spared; instead of being killed, the great hero lured him to the surface, then returned him safely. And to me, this is the thing that makes the ancient myths so great: The dog is loyal and faithful and is kept alive and even honored. There is a saying, attributed—fittingly—to St. Bernard of Clairvaux: Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.

Who loves me, also loves my dog.

The ancient Greeks didn't love Hades, in any sense that we would recognize the term, but they respected him. More or less banished by his brother Zeus to rule the underworld, Hades was just and honorable in his job, even if he was a bit morose. He wasn't a womanizer like Zeus and Poseidon, he was faithful to Persephone. (We'll leave a discussion of the way that Hades and Persephone became a couple for another time...) But since the ancients respected Hades, they respected his dog as well. Cerberus is treated well in the myths. He is occasionally fooled by a treat (which, let's be honest...) but he is never unfaithful to Hades or Persephone, he is never harmed by any hero.


D&D is a modern distillation of mythology, and a heck of a lot of fun. I've been a player and DM for three or four years now, and explored most of the 5th edition creatures fairly thoroughly, and my favorite is probably not a surprise to anyone who knows me.

The Silver Dragon. For people unfamiliar with the D&D dragons, there are some basic classifications:

So by this you know that the Silver Dragon is a good dragon, meaning friendly to people with good aims. But the Silver Dragon is interesting to me because of a lot of other characteristics:

The friendliest and most social of the metallic dragons, silver dragons cheerfully assist good creatures in need.

In a campaign I run I have an ancient Silver Dragon who acts as a patron to my characters, and I love this character, I love playing her, I love having her design quests for the party.

So there you have it! Thank you, Dallas, for your request, and the tip you left in my tip jar. Until next time!

Thoughts? Tell me about them!
on Mastodon | on Twitter| on Remark.as Discuss...