Tag Archives: coat of arms

Mythological Beasts And Spirits: Lindworm

"Why should you deny my challenge? Is it that I have no wings? Missing these, I still can best you. Come. See how my venom stings." From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
“Why should you deny my challenge? Is it that I have no wings?
Missing these, I still can best you. Come. See how my venom stings.”
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

This is perhaps the most grotesque of the creatures in this series. It is an awkward-looking reptile, a dragon with only two legs and no wings, but “bipedal, wingless dragon” sounds more erudite. Alternatively, one might view it as a two-legged serpent. It is another of the creatures used in heraldry.

There are different ways to interpret a Lindworm. Sometimes they are shown as walking on two “hind” legs on which they balance. The forelimbs are obviously missing. This approach seems to me to be the one used in the following coat of arms.

Coat of Arms of Wurmannsquick
Coat of Arms of Wurmannsquick

My eyes were drawn to the following illustration for its bold lines and its detail and because it incorporates elements of an older style. As the credit at the lower right of the drawing implies, I believe it was drawn by an artist who goes by the name of Liza Phoenix. If I am wrong please correct me so that I can update my information.

lindworm3

Alternatively, a Lindworm may be portrayed as lacking hind legs and writhing like a snake. Its forelimbs might be used for pulling itself along and/or grabbing at prey as in the next illustration (for which I could find no credit).

lindworm2

Pictures like these used to rev my motor when I was a boy. Actually, they still do. Next week, I will mention a variant of the Lindworm.

Mythological Beasts And Spirits: Alphyn

Leonid, with eagle's talons, wingless, though, with knotted tail, Through the mist, an Alphyn sentry stared them down and gave them hail. From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
Leonid, with eagle’s talons, wingless, though, with knotted tail,
Through the mist, an Alphyn sentry stared them down and gave them hail.
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

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.

Coat of arms for the Alphyn Union, a Caldavakian alliance.
Coat of arms for the Alphyn Union, a Caldavakian alliance.

Below is a more modern rendition by William O’ Connor, a well known fantasy artist who specializes in mythological creatures.

From Dracopedia: The Bestiary by William O' Connor.
From Dracopedia: The Bestiary by William O’ Connor.

My first drawing is a bit cartoonish (actually, I have a hard time escaping this), so let’s try again…

"Turn around," the Alphyn ordered, "or your lives will soon be through." Said the leader in defiance, "I see only one of you." From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
“Turn around,” the Alphyn ordered, “or your lives will soon be through.”
Said the leader in defiance, “I see only one of you.”
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

Next post: another week, another creature.