Monster Genealogy for fun and profit

So right now it looks like we’ve got (via the demonic offspring of Tiamat, ultimately): Undead, Lesser Corporeal (Gallu) Wights, Ghouls, Zombies, Skeletons (3, 2, 2, 1 HD) Non-Corporeal (Edimmu) Specters, Wraiths, Shadows (6, 4, 2 HD) Undead, Greater (via Rabisu) Liches, Vampires, Banshee (12, 7-9, 7 HD) Chaos Bred (via Kusarikku) Minotaurs, Ogres, Bugbears, Gnolls, Stone Goblins, Goblins (6, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1/2 … Continue reading Monster Genealogy for fun and profit

Bašmu

Bašmu or Bashmu (lit. “Venomous Snake”) was an ancient Mesopotamian mythological creature, a horned snake with two forelegs and wings. It was also the Akkadian name of the Babylonian constellation equivalent to the Greek Hydra. The Sumerian terms ušum (portrayed with feet, see Ninurta’s Dragon) and muš-šà-tùr (“birth goddess snake”, portrayed without feet) may represent differing iconographic types or different demons. Continue reading Bašmu

Mukīl rēš lemutti

Mukīl rēš lemutti, meaning “he who holds the head of evil”, was an ancient Mesopotamian winged leonine demon, a harbinger of misfortune associated with benign headaches and wild swings in mood, where the afflicted “continually behaves like an animal caught in a trap.” It was one of the two demons that followed people around, an “evil accomplice” also referred to as rabis lemutti (“he who … Continue reading Mukīl rēš lemutti

Urudimmu

He appears in later iconography paired with Kusarikku, “Bull-Man”, a similar anthropomorphic character, as attendants to the god Šamaš. As one of the eleven spawn of Tiamat in the Enûma Eliš vanquished by Marduk, he was displayed as a trophy on doorways to ward off evil and later became an apotropaic figurine buried in buildings for a similar purpose. Continue reading Urudimmu

On Law, Chaos, and The Balance

Before the world was created, there was raw, formless chaos. The god Marduk killed the mother goddess Tiamat and used half her body to create the earth, and the other half to create both the paradise of šamû and the netherworld of irṣitu. There are many, many lesser deities in the pantheon of gods, but they are all the same gods regardless of where on the world you journey amongst human lands. The most popular are Marduk, Anu, Enlil, Ea, and Inanna. Continue reading On Law, Chaos, and The Balance