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July 14, 2013, 8:57 pm

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Good Omen Chinese Mythical Lifeforms

By:

A collection of Chinese mythical lifeforms representing Good Omens or have divine associations (more entries will be added)

Below is a collection of Chinese mythical fauna representing Good Omens or have divine associations. The author wishes to re-emphasise that that this is basically a translation and compiling exercise, not a creative one.

Each life from entry below would contain the following sections:

Physical Description

Special Properties: traits from which interactions with PCs could arise (optional depending on whether the original source details them or not)

Lore: Mythical origins/how they are incorporated into Chinese culture (optional depending on whether the original source details them or not)

Translation Quirks (optional): alternative ways of translating/interpreting particular sections and other things I want to provide notes about including particular Chinese terms, other bits about Chinese culture and potential translation inaccuracies (feel free to skip this section if uninterested).

Soaring Snake

Physical Description:

A name encompassing all snakes that are able to fly as well creating fogs and clouds

Lore:

These snakes are sometimes seen as an alternative form that the semi-divine Xuan Wu, a black turtle symbolising the direction North, adopts. An alternative version has it being one of the five Divine Beasts of the Directions, with it symbolisng the middle and said to be yellow in colour.


Lord Tiger (aka Grandpa Tiger/ General Tiger/ General of the Lower Altar)

Physical Description:

A tiger-like creature

Lore:

The mount of guardian deities over a local area (a mountain, a town etc.), with itself being said to actively guard villages, towns and temples.


Pang

Physical Description:

A massive bird by all accounts. Some said that the Chinese character of Pang is the ancient version of the common character for Phoenix used nowadays. Another version has this massive bird Pang being evolved from a massive fish

Lore:

In Chinese, this bird is associated with having a grand goal (ambition) and success. In addition, with the increasing popularity of Buddhaism in China, the Garuda from Hindu myths (supposedly a massive bird whose main diet is dragons) has been mixed up with the Pang and the Golden Winged Pang has evolved out of it.


Ti Ting* (aka Shan Ting where Shan means Virtuous)

Physical Description:

A beast with the head of a tiger, the horn of a rhino, ears of a hound, the body of a dragon and hoofed feet

*“Hoof Listen” via literal translation

Special Properties:

A beast able to distinguish between all the Good and Evil as well as Wise and Foolish in this world.

Lore:

Said to be the Mount to one of the Four Buddhas, the one associated with Hell.


Three Legged Crow

Physical Description:

As their names imply, otherwise just normal crows in appearance

Lore:

It was said that they were the essences of the Sun and lived in its middle. Some records even equivalise each of them to a sun. There were a total of ten of them, born to the Heavenly King, Ti Jun and his wife, Xi He. They were supposed to rise to the sky in order, led by their mother. However, legend told that somehow they erupted into fights with each other and rose to the sky all together, resulting in a parched earth and a large drought. As a result, Hou Yi shot nine of them to death and only one of them now remains.


Pi Xiu

Physical Description:

A beast with the head of a Dragon, the body of a horse and clawed feet like a tiger’s. It also has grayish white feathers and can fly. There are two varieties of them, a single horned one and a two-horned one. The single horned ones are called Pi Xie (meaning Avoiding Evil) while the double-horned ones are called Tian Lu (meaning Heavenly Stipend)

Lore:

It was said to be a ferocious beast that likes to suck the blood from monsters (to get their essences) and will turn these into wealth.

In modern days, there are figurines and bracelets made in the image of Pi Xiu, said to bring luck in getting wealth.


Nine Tailed Turtle

Physical Description:

A turtle whose body’s diameter is over 1 Chinese foot (0.32m) and has nine tails.

Lore:

Wang Tu and his son who resided in the Hai Ning province met a fisherman holding a large turtle on an outing. They bought it from the fisherman and was about to eat it at home when their neighbour (who was a merchant) saw it and wanted to buy it from them. Their neighbour said “This is a Nine Tailed Turtle, a divine object”. Then he stepped on the back of the turtle and it was then revealed that there are four small tails on either side of its main tail. The merchant begged to buy the turtle but Wang Tu refused and ate it with his son. That night, a big wave suddenly washed ashore and submerged land for up to 3 Chinese feet (or almost 1m) in height. When the water subsided, the neighbour went to visit Wang Tu and saw that both he and his son had disappeared but their clothes remained in bed. People speculated that they had been kidnapped and killed by beings from the Watery Realm (it was believed that deep within the ocean, the Dragon Lords governed over the Watery Realm made of sentient sea life forms).


Nine Eared Hound

Physical Description:

A hunting hound with nine ears

Lore:

Movements in its ears correspond to bounties in hunts. The numbers of ears that move correspond to the number of kills (creatures brought in by the hunt).

In the Chen era, a sonless hunter by the name Chen Hong who lived in Lei Zhou (State of Lei, where State is a geographic unit smaller than a province) kept a Nine Eared Hound at home. Prior to a hunt, he will try to forecast the number of kills by observing how many ears of the hound moves. Usually, one or two of its ears will move at the minimum, up to a maximum of four. One day, he observed all nine ears moving and was excited, thinking that it will be a bountiful hunt. During that hunt, he came upon a thorny area that his hound kept on circling. After exploration, he found a huge egg with a diameter of 1 Chinese foot (0.32m) and brought it home. A thunderstorm suddenly came and the egg broke open to reveal a man with writings on his palms. His left palm has the Chinese character Lei and his right palm has the Chinese character Zhou (the two characters corresponding to the State that Chen Hong lived in)


Nine Headed Bird (aka Nine Phoenix)

Physical Description:

A creature with a bird-like body and nine human-like heads. An alternative version has it that it looks likes a duck with red feathers

Lore:

A totem worshipped by residents of the Chu Kingdom during the Warring Kingdoms period in China


Zhu Lung (aka Zhu Ying)

Physical Description:

A red serpent (a thousand li in length or 320m) topped by a male human head

Lore:

A divine being to which daylight and nightfall are attributed to it opening and closing its eyes, respectively. Its cold breath is said to bring on winter while its warm breath ushered in summer. It neither eats nor drinks nor rests.


Red Rabbit

Physical Description:

A rabbit with red fur

Lore:

It will only appear if the current ruler is benevolent



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Comments ( 1 )
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Voted Gossamer
June 30, 2013, 6:48
Only voted

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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Michael Jotne Slayer

The party wakes up in an inn around a table with wine goblets near at hand. They have forgotten all that happened the last day. As they seek to find the truth they come in contact with a man that gives them a job which pays quite nicely.
When they have finished with this rather dubious assignment they are invited to dinner by the the man...
Deja Wu?

Ideas  ( Plots ) | June 4, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp


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