The Staff in the Tree is an epic poem set in a future landscape inhabited by mythological beasts and spirits. Through a series of encounters with these creatures and their master, a young man seeking revenge for the death of his father must learn nobler motives as he seeks to deliver this land from dark and oppressive forces.
While the topic of mythological beasts and spirits is of genuine interest to me, I think it is obvious by now that I have been using it to shill (shamelessly, I might add) my own poem, The Staff in the Tree. The poem is now available on Amazon. This week’s post is a summary of those creatures from this series which appear in my story. It is primarily pictorial (ouch – alliteration) and is accompanied by some written excerpts.
I apologize for the repetitious reference in each caption. To save time, I simply took from my media file some of the images I had included in previous posts. More details about the book can be obtained by clicking here.
The Alphyn combines various characteristics of a lion, a dragon, an eagle and a wolf, so it is a type of chimera. It has a long, knotted tail. For my poem, The Staff in the Tree, I chose to interpret it as a lion with eagle’s feet, but historically only the forelimbs are those of an eagle. In heraldry, it was sometimes used as a symbol for judgment, and it appeared on various coats of arms.
Below is a more modern rendition by William O’ Connor, a well known fantasy artist who specializes in mythological creatures.
My first drawing is a bit cartoonish (actually, I have a hard time escaping this), so let’s try again…