RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Dark Fantasy

Dominae Mortem – Tengu Mythology

In one of my Patreon posts I spoke about exploring the origin of folklore and mythology for my Dominae Mortem novel. The idea is to look at existing spiritual creatures and monsters, and create my own version of how they came to be. Today we look at the Tengu from Japanese mythology:

Tengu are legendary creatures found in Japanese folk religion.  They are also considered a type of god (kami) or yōkai (supernatural being). Although they take their name from a dog-like Chinese demon (Tiangou), the tengu were originally thought to take the forms of birds of prey, and they are traditionally depicted with both human and avian characteristics.

Tengu are most frequently depicted in the yamabushi’s (yamahoshi’) distinctive costume, which includes a tokin and yuigesa – a pom-pommed sash.

The arc I am working on for Dominae Mortem this Camp NaNo was not planned. I knew the character but not the setting and not what’s supposed to happen. This rolled into a week long research/writing where Google Maps/Images was my best friend.

Creating a realistic location is so much work. Without a plan, I kept writing myself into a couple of impossible situations. And I did what any normal Dark Fantasy author would do… I hurt the protagonist. No one escapes the wrath of dark fantasy. So nothing at all was working according to plan.

However, one thing I knew for certain was that I had to create a Tengu. I had no idea how or who or when. Thankfully, the setting I spent so much time researching told the story I needed. As I pantsed my way through, I created a character who had a specific role and they in-turn decided to alter their destiny.

Here’s an excerpt of the transformation:

*Touma-san. Takeda-san. Naoharu-san. Do not rejoice. Your sacrifice bears many consequences. Until the Shinigami accepts her fate, the curses will remain.

Naoharu the yamahoshi is suddenly thrown into the air. A large brown bird descends from the heavens. A tobi – the Black Kite. Its claws grip Naoharu’s scalp and the bird thrusts its head into the yamahoshi’s open skull. He screeches in fear and pain. Still he lifts into the air, caught in the birds’ claws. The tobi continues to dig its head into Naoharu, pushing through the rotted brain. We watch aghast as its beak pushes out of Naoharu’s nose, stretching the skin until it seems to break. His face begins to simmer in black tendrils, melting the skin as it takes on the shape of the bird. His features transform until he is an amalgamated bird man. The tobi’s body completely sinks into the screaming yamahoshi. The residing maggots skitter out in droves. They dribble down the yamahoshi’s yuigesa as the man crumples forward in the air. We hear the popping crunch of bone. It is like the crack of thunder. Naoharu’s arches his spine as the back of his robes rip. Large black-brown wings sprout from his back. They continue to grow and grow and grow, until they are as tall as the yamahoshi.

This tori-no-otoko, Tengu as we name him, shall be the guardian and prosecutor of the Ōyashiro. The voice rumbles – As for you, Touma-san, the darkness within shall lead you to the Shinigami. Find her. She must accept her destiny.

A single breeze blows through us and Naoharu drops from the air. His enormous wings beat once with a gale of wind and he remains hovering above us. His beady eyes flit about. A bird-like screech claws from his beak as he beats his wings again. He ascends into the heavens and flutters off towards the grand shrine.

*

And off goes Naoharu to become the great myth known as the Tengu. You probably have a lot of questions about the who, what, where etc that lead to this. All shall be revealed in the final novel. Until then, it’s back to the writing. Thanks for dropping by.

The Forest

White Forest

Laughter echoes across the whispering Forest,

Nigh adolescent voices,

Swishing bare feet,

He calls to companion; “I’ll find you, honest!”

*

She spills over hedge and root, hides within the dark shrubs,

Heart beat loudly drumming,

Face alight in glee,

Silence as feet rush by; silence as branch her head clubs.

*

Forest lies still as boy halts; wonders quietly what’s amiss,

No leaves murmur,

Grass ceases its rustle,

 Low rumble from behind puts boy in paralysis.

*

She wakes in darkness, the world overturned.

The stench is strong.

Her gut clenches.

Light spills across rock and stone; fire alights bodies burned.

*

 Frigid fear tingles along spine, boy whirls towards sound,

Crimson eyes stare.

Golden body glints.

Grinning human head, sculpted metal body, feet of each on ground.

*

Hitched breath. Clamped fists. Terror consumes being, soul and all.

She sees serrated blade gleam.

He watches serrated teeth beam.

Screams reflect across tall white trees and a cavernous mountain wall.


A little tribute to my Patreon short story The Golden Man. Dark fantasy things.

Fantasy Horror writing – The Golden Man

Fantasy101

I wrote a story for Patreon. It sends shivers up my spine. I saw this story unfold before my eyes and with my imaginative mind you can imagine how this scene played out:

It was at that point that he wished Master Toburin had guided him through the fundamentals of turning invisible. As a fledgling Aziza, he was yet to gain the stamina needed to use forest magic, and his wings were nothing more than protruding bone on his bare back; but invisibility was an aptitude they could all accomplish young. Fighting the tumbling lithelillies in his belly, he slowly peered around the trunk.

A metal man stood between the trees staring off into the distance. Only, he couldn’t have been a man as his golden body flickered in the sun, much like the blades Pyre had seen the Aziza warriors use in their training. It was peculiar how the man was as still as a rock. A human looking head, dark as the Roobon trees back home, was seemingly stitched upon a golden neck. It sent a tingle up Pyre’s spine and he looked back to see if someone was behind him. Satisfied there was nothing, he turned around and came face to face with two lifeless eyes, wide and unseeing, yet boring into him with darkened pupils as red as the forest leaves.

His breath left him immediately.

And then the story proceeds towards a *shivers* interesting climax. Now this is all moving towards my short story The Last Robot on Earth and I’m playing around with a couple of genres. LRE TV presents… is a short story about a game of Man vs Machine, but you soon realize that the main character is not a man. Which I could explore into a deeper revelation of what it means to be human, and it would still remain a fun adventure reminiscent of Gamer or Hunger Games and like books/movies.

This particular story takes place in a Fantasy setting, hence the use of words such as lithelilles, which we would say butterflies, or Bloodshrub, which is a shrub with blood red leaves, and Roobon trees that are regular deciduous trees. You get more of a feel of it in the fuller short story but I think this excerpt is still pretty self explanatory.

What I’m also trying to tie in to this short story, is something I’ve always wanted to write but haven’t had the right idea to process; Dark Fantasy. In fact the draft name for this story was LRE Fantasy Horror (because I’m useless at titles) and I drew up a couple of starting points to guide the process. Honestly, I am quite happy with this final piece which I have unimaginatively titled The Golden Man.

If you would like to support my writing endeavour as a patron on Patreon, please click the link below. Rewards include a short story of your making, including the making of, sources, first drafts, revisions etc.

Patreon/NthatoMorakabi

In my research, I found this fascinating open question interview with Clive Barker, who is the man behind The Books of Blood, Candyman, Hellraiser and plenty other – interesting – horrors. Funny enough he mentions that his book signings never had kids but I remember reading the Books of Blood volume 1 back in Grade 7 or 8. I was reading Stephen King at this time too. Yeah. I know. Don’t judge me.

Nthato Morakabi

Author | Blogger | Artist | Geek

This Is My Truth Now

Fiction, Books, TV, Trips & Reviews... and introducing the 365 Daily Challenge!

rbwatkinson

Author of the fantasy trilogy The Wefan Weaves

Sean P Carlin

Writer of things that go bump in the night

Orchid's Lantern

Shedding light on how we live, what we think, and why we care.

Ricardo Victoria

Writer. Toy photographer. Random Musings

RedheadedBooklover

Just a redheaded woman who is obsessed with books

Fictive Dream

Short stories online

Heather Reviews

Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Book Hauls, Giveaways

Little Fears

Flash fiction tales of humor, horror and whimsy

thousandscarsblog

gaming/writing

Civilian Reader

(Books, Music, Movies)

A Steampunk Opera (The Dolls Of New Albion)

The writing, composing and production of a steampunk opera and all periphery topics that come along in the process

Airship Ambassador

Information for the Steampunk Community - www.AirshipAmbassador.com

Mystery Thriller Week

Celebrate the Annual Event

Miketendo64! The Place To Go For Anything Nintendo

Anything Nintendo! Covering News, Reviews, Interviews, Wii U, 3DS, Switch & Amiibo.

Henchman-4-Hire

Geeky News, Reviews and Rants from a Working Class Super-Villain