Once Upon A Time

@Nimueh and I thought it might be nice to have a place where we could all share some of our favorite mythologies, fairy tales, and folk lore. Consider this an all guild campfire; pull on a blanket, toast a marshmallow, and tell us your favorite stories - be they funny, scary, or sad.
I’ve noticed a lot of people’s usernames are a reference to their favorite fictions. Anyone want to kick us off by telling us your version, or your favorite aspects, of your namesake’ stories?


Omg I love this idea!

It’s funny because me and Sel takes about the two versions of Medusa’s story a while ago. In the male version she’s cursed and a killer of men but in the female version it was to protect her!

As for my username nothing really exciting it’s just Latin for Explorer! The unofficial James part is a lot more interesting as it’s part of a family name that’s been passed down the generations


I love the history of family names.
In my family there’s a weird baby naming tradition of manipulating male family members names for baby girls, and manipulating female family members names for baby boys. My parents used all their creative juice on my older sister, so I just have a middle name that’s been passed down the family line, but it’s better than being named Douglass.


AHHHH I love this topic. And your username is equally excellent for a mythology reference.

Unrelated to my username, but before Disney produced either Tangled or Maleficent, I was really obsessed with the villain of the Rapunzel story. It may have been that my first exposure to the Sondheim musical Into the Woods contributed to this obsession, but this was one of the most interesting cases in the original fairy tale of the villain having motives that could be interpreted righteously (i.e. she’s come to love this adopted child and doesn’t want to expose her to the potential harms of the outside world). I even published a story I wrote for a high school class on FF dot net that retold the story from Mother Gothel’s perspective.

I have about a bajillion other favorite fairy tales and myths, but I’ll let the thread get a little bigger before I break those out.


I have a lot of favourite fairy tales, mythological tales and so on… Echo and Narcissus is definitely a big one. But my favourite ever is actually one from an anime, and I feel no shame in saying that. “The most foolish traveller in the world”, told in Fruits Basket. It’s such a bittersweet story but it’s resonated with me from such a young age, and especially the fact that, immediately after it’s told, the characters show that while some agreed with the title, there were others they felt that the traveller wasn’t foolish at all, just incredibly kind. :blossom:

I think that also got me as a kid, because generally when you hear a story in isolation, you only have the story itself and the person telling it (and perhaps an audience) reacting. Whereas in this circumstance, a story about a story, it shows not only the story itself but also the way the story is reacted to, both outloud and in the minds of the characters who heard it. It’s a whole extra layer of depth. I like that! :cherry_blossom:


My favourite folk tale is one I remember being told in assembly as a kid. It’s about a dog called Gelert. I’ll let you guys have the joy of reading it (please, please, note the sarcasm here. It’s not a happy story).

Of course my other favourite tales are Arthurian (wouldn’t have guessed, would ya?). I love all the different versions, how it’s changed and adapted over the years and still captivates and interests people today. I love the Mists of Avalon and showing the other side of Morgana’s story, and I often wonder if there’s another side to Merlin and Vivien/Nimueh’s too (I have a couple of fanfics on it floating around in various forms).

Also, just a side note linking in with @Viviane which I thought was hilarious; one of my nicknames is Rapunzel. :smiley:

Edit: Also, there are some real fun Egyptian myths around, some of them are a little crude however so I’ll definately not post them. Look up at your own risk. But for those who know, I have one word for you; lettuce.


One of my favourite stories is from the local Blackfoot tribe who lives in my part of the province. I may have some details wrong, but this is how I remember the story. I was first told this tale in the form of a puppet show at a library program.

Napi is a trickster sort of character and the subject of many Blackfoot stories. This is the origin for The Big Rock, and why bats have flat faces.


Napi was travelling across the prairie with some of his animal friends, namely Buffalo, Deer, and Bat. It was a long journey, and the day was hot, so they stopped and rested on a large rock while waiting for the sun to go down.
When the party was ready to leave, Napi spread out his cloak on the rock and said
“This is a gift for you. Thank you for letting us rest here.” and they went on their way.
A little while later, the wind picked up, and it grew cold. Napi went back to the rock and picked up his cloak, wrapping it around his shoulders. The rock was angry and rolled after Napi, chasing him. The group ran for hours but the rock never slowed.
Deer fell behind and jumped down into a hole to avoid being squished by the rock. The hole was a little too shallow, though, and it smashed deer’s tail flat. It had been round like a dog’s before, but ever since, deer have had flat tails that stand upright when they run.
Buffalo grew tired and decided he would use his strong horns to stop the rock, but it just knocked him out of the way and kept rolling. In a last ditch effort, Napi called out to Bat.
“Call all your family and have them all fly against the rock at once!” he said.
Bat called all the other bats, and they flew at the rock together. They smashed into the rock and it broke in half, finally stopping. Napi got away unscathed, but to this day, bats have squished noses from when they flew face first into the rock. The moral of the story, the puppeteer told us, was that we shouldn’t take back gifts after giving them.


Oh this is v interesting!
I’ve been very taken with Russian fairytales lately, like the firebird story or the twin demons and/or gods of winter and death. I’m not 100% sure that the versions I’ve been reading are accurately translated or written, but they’re very interesting!
And I have a wealth of knowledge about werewolf stories. Bisclavret remains my favourite one, despite some pretty overt misogny, because the werewolf isn’t the villain, and being a werewolf is not considered a curse in that lay. Werewolf stories and legends are rather interesting in their details, like how Irish werewolves speak and other European werewolves generally do not.


Omg yes, Irish werewolves and their status as protectors vs the generally considered more vicious and bestial European werewolves is always such an interesting dynamic to see… It’s a shame that there’s pretty much no mainstream media that pays more attention to the protector types, it seems like it’d be intriguing if they were viewed on the same vein as guardians rather than as some sort of evil monster plonked into stories just as something to hunt or someone to butt heads with vampires (does anyone know where the supposed vampire-werewolf rivalry started? That seems interesting) :cherry_blossom:


My favorite werewolf-y story is a take on Little Red Riding Hood in Nightmares and Fairytales (the second volume). Definitely gory, as are pretty much all of the stories, but that one’s one of my favorites in the first two volumes.


There’s an element of that trope in the werewolves of The Order on Netflix?


I sadly do not have netflix for I am poor but I’ll definitely be giving that a search, thank you! :blossom:


I love “why is _____ like _____” stories! Napi also sounds a lot like Coyote in some of the Indigenous American stories I’ve heard, or a little like Anansi or Loki. I’ve always been a fan of those intuitive wild card characters who toe the line between “good” and “bad” in order to create more complex scenarios. Beautiful retelling!
[passes graham crackers and chocolate around the thread/fire :blush::fire::chocolate_bar:]


I don’t know much about Coyote, but Napi fits right in with Anansi and Loki for sure. Also, I have a sudden craving for graham crackers now, and all the stores are closed. Thanks for that, Hekate. :bashfacepalm:

Edit: based on some quick :thornmouth: research, you might be on the right track.
From Native-languages.org

Napi (commonly known as Old Man) is the culture hero of the Blackfoot tribe. Napi is frequently portrayed as a trickster, a troublemaker, and a foolish being, but he is also a well-intentioned demigod responsible for shaping the world the Blackfeet live in, and would frequently help the people or teach them important knowledge. Napi is assisted in these tasks by his wife, Old Woman (Kipitaki or Kipitaakii in Blackfoot). In some Blackfoot Indian legends both Old Man and Old Woman are associated with coyotes (some Blackfoot storytellers even call them “Old Man Coyote” and “Old Lady Coyote,” as the Crow Indians do.) In other Blackfoot legends Napi and Kipitaki have no particular connection with coyotes and are instead described as the first man and woman made by the Creator, who in turn made the rest of humankind.


There’s an interesting line of research that posits that werewolves and vampires were once considered the same ‘monster’, basically, because the earliest legends have the different weaknesses and strengths assigned pretty arbitrarily. I know that by the 10th and 11th centuries the werewolf was pretty distinctly someone cursed or otherwise bewitched into becoming a wolf for a certain period of time, although my knowledge on the history of vampires is a bit shakier.


It would be interesting to know whether or not the non-coyote version(s) came about before or after folks from European countries started crossing the Atlantic.


You’re welcome :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Wow, I’m so impressed by how much we’re pulling out of all these stories so far, and how we’re finding they connect to each other.


I can’t remember if this was something I read, or if it’s from the Vampire Diaries/Originals lore… or elsewhere
BUT, I remember there being a correlation between a Man cursed to never see the Sun, and a Man cursed to wail beneath the Moon. I think they were brothers… I think they both loved the same girl… I think she wanted to marry one of them, but couldn’t (I can’t remember if it was disapproval from her family, or his, or a social contract of the time?). There was another character - some sort of foil, spurned lover, or maybe a wicked father of the brothers, and that character tried to create a scenario where the brother the girl didn’t want to marry would kill the brother she did want to marry… deus ex machina somehow one brother was now mastered by the Sun, and the other mastered by the Moon.
Man, if that is not the most disconnected, fragmented story I’ve ever told.


I love this thread! For me, I love the story of Castor & Pollux so much that I wrote a (mostly finished) musical about it.


That sounds amazing! What style/genre musical is it?