The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at Questkid13@gmail.com

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

!!!!This is NOT a forum. Comments are to be informative and generally helpful. Clean humor is acceptable, but NOT if it detracts from the entry. This site is to help people find out more about fantastical creatures!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Naga


Description
Nagas, resembling giant snakes, vary in appearance. Some have humanoid heads and some are more snake-like, and the torso may or may not be covered in scales. They often range widely in coloring and scale patterns, but are all usually about the same size. Most will 'stand' at a height about equal to or just above that of a regular human (six feet or so), but because of the length of their trailing tails they can raise themselves up by a few feet, to intimidate foes, or simply get a better view. Their tongues are also forked like snakes. Each type of naga has a certain amount of spell casting power. Some types of nagas have four arms, making them excellent sword fighters in addition to casting magic.


Society
Most nagas worship the naga creator goddess Shekinester and her son Parrafaire, except for dark nagas, who venerate Sess-Innek.

Types
The four most common races of naga are the dark naga, guardian naga, spirit naga, and water naga. But as you can see from the list, there are many others...
Banelar Naga - purplish naga that can manipulate magic items with short tentacles around its face; named after their association with the deity Bane
Bone Naga - a unique type of undead naga
Bright Naga - chaotic evil naga that can mock sorcerous spellcasting
Brine Naga - powerful naga that resembles a sea serpent
Dark Naga - lawful evil
Guardian Naga - lawful good
Ha-naga - a massive and powerful naga lord, often worshipped by spirit nagas as a god
Iridescent Naga - chaotic good
Master Naga - Possesses seven cowled heads, wearing giant gems whose value corresponds with the naga's age.
Spirit Naga - chaotic evil
Water Naga - neutral
Worm Naga - powerful servants of the deity Kyuss transformed into nagas

Shinomen nagas
The nagas of the Shinomen Forest are an ancient race of noble creatures. These nagas have humanoid torsos and snake tails. Five bloodlines are known to exist: asp, chameleon, cobra, constrictor, and greensnake.

Nagas in the Forgotten Realms
Nagas were created by the reptilian creator race, the sarrukh, along with yuan-ti. The banelar and iridescent nagas originated in the Realms, as well as a Faerûnian version of the ha-naga.


In Hinduism
Stories involving the nāgas are still very much a part of contemporary cultural traditions in predominantly Hindu regions of Asia (India, Nepal, and the island of Bali). In India, nāgas are considered nature spirits and the protectors of springs, wells and rivers. They bring rain, and thus fertility, but are also thought to bring disasters such as floods and drought. According to traditions nāgas are only malevolent to humans when they have been mistreated. They are susceptible to mankind's disrespectful actions in relation to the environment. They are also associated with waters — rivers, lakes, seas, and wells — and are generally regarded as guardians of treasure.


They are objects of great reverence in some parts of southern India where it is believe that they bring fertility and prosperity to their venerators.Expensive and grand rituals like Nagamandala are conducted in their honour. In north India certain communities called Nagavanshi consider themselves descendants of Nagas.


Varuna, the Vedic god of storms, is viewed as the King of the nāgas. Nāgas live in Pātāla, the seventh of the "nether" dimensions or realms. They are children of Kashyapa and Kadru. Among the prominent nāgas of Hinduism are Manasa, Shesha or Sesa and Vasuki.


The nāgas also carry the elixir of life and immortality. Garuda once brought it to them and put a cup with elixir on the ground but it was taken away by Indra. However, few drops remained on the grass. The nāgas licked up the drops, but in doing so, cut their tongues on the grass, and since then their tongues have been forked.


In Buddhism
The Buddhist nāga generally has the form of a large cobra-like snake, usually with a single head but sometimes with many. At least some of the nāgas are capable of using magic powers to transform themselves into a human semblance. One nāga, in human form, attempted to become a monk; when telling it that such ordination was impossible, the Buddha told it how to ensure that it would be reborn a man, able to become a monk.

Nāgas are believed to both live on Mount Sumeru, among the other minor deities, and in various parts of the human-inhabited earth. Some of them are water-dwellers, living in rivers or the ocean; others are earth-dwellers, living in underground caverns. Some of them sleep on top of anthills. Their food includes frogs and they love milk


The nāgas are the servants of Virūpākṣa (Pāli: Virūpakkha), one of the Four Heavenly Kings who guards the western direction. They act as a guard upon Mount Sumeru, protecting the devas of Trāyastriṃśa from attack by the Asuras.


In Cambodia
In a Cambodian legend, the nāga were a reptilian race of beings who possessed a large empire or kingdom in the Pacific Ocean region. The Nāga King's daughter married an Indian Brahmana named Kaundinya, and from their union sprang the Cambodian people. Therefore still Cambodians say that they are "Born from the Nāga".


The Seven-Headed Nāga serpents depicted as statues on Cambodian temples, such as Angkor Wat, apparently represent the seven races within Nāga society, which has a mythological, or symbolic, association with "the seven colors of the rainbow". Furthermore, Cambodian Nāga possess numerological symbolism in the number of their heads. Odd-headed Nāga symbolise the Male Energy, Infinity, Timelessness, and Immortality. This is because, numerologically, all odd numbers come from One (1). Even-headed Nāga are said to be "Female, representing Physicality, Mortality, Temporality, and the Earth."

In the Mekong
The legend of the Nāga is a strong and sacred belief held by Lao and Thai people living along the Mekong River. Many pay their respects to the river because they believe the Nāga still rule in it, and locals hold an annual sacrifice for the Nāga. Each ceremony depends on how an individual village earns its living from the Mekong River - for instance, through fishing or transport. Local residents believe that the Nāga can protect them from danger, so they are likely to make a sacrifice to Nāga before taking a boat trip along the Mekong River.


A special thanks to wikipedia and to kyoht of deviantart for this slightly stolen image!

No comments: