Humbaba the Terrible

The iconography of the apotropaic severed head of Humbaba, with staring eyes, flowing beard and wild hair, is well documented from the First Babylonian dynasty, continuing into Neo-Assyrian art and dying away during the Achaemenid rule. The severed head of the monstrous Humbaba found a Greek parallel in the myth of Perseus[10] and the similarly employed head of Medusa, which Perseus placed in his leather sack.[11] Archaic Greek depictions of the gorgoneion render it bearded, an anomaly in the female Gorgon. Judith McKenzie detected Humbaba heads in a Nabatean tomb frieze at Petra.[12]

There’s some potential here, if I can keep the players from snickering at his name (and sadly no, “Huwawa” doesn’t help). One of Hanbi’s get (along with Pazazu), there’s space for the demonic patron of human/humanoid reptilian crossbreeds outside of the draconic / serpentine chaos gods already discussed. On the other hand, Gilgamesh supposedly slew his non-monkey butt.

Rather than resurrecting him, maybe he’s just a model for a “Type Whatever” class of demons? Evocative setting detail, rather than a fundamental force for destruction in the universe?

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