Squids! Octopi! Aliens! What do all of these things have in common? That’s right, tentacles. Okay, aliens maybe not always, but the rest are definitely tentacled. Whether or not you’re going to have a biological tentacle, or a mechanical one, these appendages are long, limber and part of many people’s fantasies. You know what I’m talking about. Anyway, here’s our Top 10 Tentacled Beings.
Ia! Ia! Gong hei fat choy!
Merry February everyone, this Thursday passed saw GeekOut Shrewsbury return to form with a whole lot of new faces and new tricks, and I solemnly promise this will be the last Lovecraft themed thing for a while maybe. I’m here to serve everyone’s fandoms, not just to celebrate my own, but dammit if it didn’t turn out to be a good idea to ask for Lovecraft themed Valentines cards. It was also a good idea to drive considering the games I have to carry with me, but I learned some terrible things about trying to park in Frankwell.
Let’s get into the gallery…
The Pour House
So I arrived in the Pour House on Frankwell and was surprised to find more than just Murray sat at a table, easily our busiest pre-meet ever with about seven or eight of us, so it’s definitely time to start warning venues of our arrival. Also, consider this a formal request, if you’re planning to show to the premeet please at least drop a comment on the Facebook poll so that I can be prepared and prepare our venues. While it was a lovely surprise, it’s one that could limit our choices in future if we start showing up and asking for large table at short notice.
Magic, Lovecraft Letter (sans the madness rules for now) and some general D&D based conversation in warm and comfortable surroundings. Thanks to the Pour House, and don’t think I didn’t spot a few of you looking over at the games in progress. You’re welcome to join in too, and we’d love you to.
So it was a rather large crowd that travelled to Montgomery’s Tower, via my car where multiple bags of board games had been left behind during the premeet. I set up the Games Library, we bust open some games, hilarity ensued. There are a lot of pictures of Rhino Hero in this month’s gallery, but what can I say? It’s a very photogenic game.
Arkham Horror was a wonderful nightmare to set up, but dammit if we didn’t eventually slay Yig despite the curses and a wholesale failure to close a single portal, but dammit if we didn’t clear up the streets of Arkham with guns and spells and not even dying slightly (once nearly) and I absolutely need to get some bags to keep those damn tokens separated.
My dear mother arrived with a parcel for me early in the afternoon, fresh from the sorting office. I got a Hydradoodle in the very first pack. I am a happy man indeed. More information on Unstable right here.
Being the sole arbiter and judge is a heavy burden, and those of you who made use of my craft materials to create your valentines cards on the day made valiant and truly incredible efforts, Keiran’s artwork was both sickening and adorable, Charlotte’s inside message was just so wonderfully written, and kudos to Albert on your pun-work, I have to respect that. However, the winners are below…
Those who planned ahead seized the advantage, and it’s a shame that Julia’s was left at home because her hasty recreation showed promise. I simply could not decide on a third place, so here are joint second places, you earned your Lego Batman minifigures.
But dammit Vinnie, you psychotic mastermind. In he strolls at about half 6 and hands me this madness. I shall forgive Harley misuse of the term “Non-Euclidean” when describing this unending card because it’s as good a description as any. It didn’t end, and not pictured are the illusive pages 5 and 6 which require the artifact to be unwound and remade to be discovered. First prize well earned, another Lego figure and a lucky cat to celebrate the year of the dog.
March at the Movies for Thursday 29th which means we have a whopping five week gap! You have this time to swat up on your film knowledge for this month’s terrifying Big Geek Pub Quiz. And on the subject of films, a quick head count; who wants to go see Infinity War after the April GeekOut as part of a big ol’ GeekOut group?
Deep beneath the ocean, a creature of immeasurable power slumbers eternally, utterly alien in form, a great winged beast with tremendous psychic sway that spreads across the world.
Considering human beings trap small Pokemon and train them to fight, there are some terrifying entities higher up in their ranks. Creatures wrought of legend, gods and fiends, ancient and terrible monstrosities that can end worlds, or create them. And apparently they can be contained and made to fight in very terrestrial competitions.
So as I sit writing entries for my personal Pokenomicon, I find that I’m building from the inside out. Taking my combination of Cthulhu and Lugia as my central point I’m designing the rest of my maniacal menagerie from concept of that deep and ancient terror, Cthulugia. Let’s take a look at the components: (more…)
This coming Kitacon I will be arriving a day early to socialise, get some work done, and to get some gaming in before the convention comes in and cruelly steps on my chances to play, there are still some Magic rematches I owe but I never seem to get the chance because of panels and the like. Damn you Kitacon, getting in the way of me enjoying a perfectly good convention!
Anyway, first item on my docket is a one-shot role play in a system I’ve never run before. It’s an opportunity for me to learn something new, get experimental with something other than Dungeons & Dragons. I chose Pokethulhu because it combines my greatest strength – horror – with an important component of any one-shot where no one is planning on getting emotionally invested with their characters – completely stupid comedy. (more…)
Despite the interpretations of Cthulhu that have rather missed the point (or understood it and gone cutesy anyway), the cultural impact of Howard Phillips Lovecraft is unmissable even if you don’t fully comprehend what you’re seeing. Computer games seem to be the chosen platform for recreating the mythos of his particular horror style, being able to properly immerse the player in the role of someone seeing their world view broken wide open, the shadows deepen and reach into their very soul. It’s effective, and may even have a more profound impact than the original literature, but there’s still so much that has yet to be explored. (more…)
If you like point and click adventure games, then you’re going to thoroughly enjoy Gibbous – But what is it exactly? What makes this a Cthulhu Adventure? Is it any good? Join Timlah as we look through the demo of Gibbous.
What monsters emerge from the ancient nightmares of cultures long past? Well quite a few actually, but amidst the menagerie of assorted demons, half-humans, spectres, godspawn and all varieties of supernatural creatures are certain peerless legends, unequalled, unparalleled, un-third-thing that I didn’t think of.
Welcome back you lovely people, to our Top 10 Unique Mythological Monsters!
10) The Kraken
The mighty ship-sinker, the weapon of gods, the devourer of those who wander too long at sea! Of course we generally accept these days that the truth of the legend probably has more to do with colossal squid and the exaggerations of sailors, or it becomes a name attributed to any oceanic leviathan. Depictions vary, having any number of aquatic facets, like crab-claws, serpentine tails or a whale’s bulk.
The legends and writings surrounding the Norse monster generally depict it as unique, described by 18th century zoologist Carolus Linnaeus as a singulare monstrum. Now how often is it we get to go Latin in a top 10?
9) Typhon and Echidna
One is the most fearsome monster in the whole of Greek mythology, the other was his half-woman half-snake mate, Typhon and Echidna are two of the most well known monsters of their time. Starting with the man of this duo, Typhon was literally made as a destructive force to be reckoned with. Heck, this guy even ends up going toe to toe with Zeus and even manages to secure a victory over the god! Typhon is even mentioned in Dante Alighieri‘s Inferno, so clearly this destructive force is deserving of a nod, at the very least.
On the otherhand, Echidna was half of a beautiful maiden, though it was never explained which parts made her beautiful. People assume it’d be the upper half that made her beautiful and the lower half would be a terrifying, writhing snake. Well, I guess it takes all sorts to make the world go around. Echidna however played an important part in mythology: She was the mother of many of Greek mythologies famous monsters. Born in a cave, forever immortalised. But perhaps this duos biggest claim to fame comes now, as this oh so dreamy pair are on our Top 10 list. Yay..?!
Ah, everybody’s favourite alien-squid-cultist-priest-madness-driving-colossal-monstrosity.
Yes, C’Thulhu had to make our list of unique mythological creatures. He has quite the unique presence about him, able to drive even the sanest of mortals to a blubbering pile of flesh and bones. Insanity is what this creature delivers the best and he’s also been featured heavily outside of the C’Thulhu mythos of which he was derived. Indeed, he has even been seen on a few episodes of South Park.
But that’s not why he makes our list. He’s got a special place in all of our hearts as geeks and fans of horror. Plus, have you ever seen the T-Shirt of Cute’Thulhu? It’s so cute and cuddly that you can kind of forgive the massively monstrous abomination that hides behind that cute exterior. Aww… Tentacles!
How far could this list go without the mighty winged serpent of the ancient Aztec religion? Though he could adopt the form of a human, the great angelic snake that bridges earth and sky is the most legendary depiction.
Quetzalcoatl is often attributed with the creation of mankind by mixing his blood with the bones of a race that came before with the death of the fourth sun. In some stories, he kills himself by setting himself on fire, and that his burning heart becomes the fifth sun in the dawning of the current age.
Odin rides into battle on his grandson. Well that about sums that up.
In a scheme to try and avoid paying a builder, Loki the trickster god turns himself into a mare, sleeps with the man’s horse, and later gives birth to an eight-legged foal, the greatest and fastest horse in existence. This particular story is unlikely to be featured in the upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok. I hope…
Odin once raced the Jotunn Hrungnir on his grandson. He’s also been to Hel and back. You know what? The Greek gods may be overtly messed up with a family tree that’s uprooting itself just to get away from them, but can we all agree that Odin riding his grandson around is a bit disquieting?
What a word, eh? Creepypasta. I mean is this like the Flying Spaghetti Monster if he were to turn into a Halloween icon? No, a Creepypasta is a story that was shared virally, usually via website such as Creepypasta. This was one of the earliest examples and do you want to know the funniest thing about it all? Since the Creepypasta was released, suddenly lots of people have reported having seen the real life Slenderman.
Say whatever you will of the cultural phenom of the modern era of horror, which may have been more recently overtaken by scarier Creepypastas, but this was the guy that truly started the scene off. Between him and Jeff the Killer, people were locking their doors tight out of paranoia. Ah thank you media, you take something, blow it out of context and help deliver mass hysteria. Also check out Marble Hornets!
Returning triumphant from our Top 10 Alternative Santas to actually place on the list this time. The festive child-snatcher of Germanic folklore is a sad loss to common-place mythology, somehow a lump of coal just isn’t snapping kids into shape through December, but I bet if we started bringing back the chain rattling demon we could get them on their best behaviour from Hallowe’en all the way to February!
If you notice, I mentioned I was researching Krampus. One day I’ll tell you all about the ongoing saga that is my Christmas themed D&D universe and the role the Krampus plays therein, but it may have to wait until this years epic continuation.
3) The Loch Ness Monster
It’s Nessie! The UK’s most famous monster of all, but if you want to disagree with me, go for it. I’d bet that more people, no matter what their walk of life is, know of the legend that is Nessie, or The Loch Ness Monster. But what exactly was this beast? Was it a friendly creature hanging around the Loch Ness? Or was it a terrifying monstrosity, waiting to consume all of humanity with its unbearably large jaws, worse than a snapping crocodile?
Well actually, it’s turned out so far to be a fruitless search for ol’ Nessie here. In fact, all sightings to date have been exposed as a fake. There have been reported incidents where someone said they found it and it turned out to be a log. Oh dear. Still, for those out there who believe Nessie is real, I hope that the legend lives on and stays in everyone’s hearts. I hope Nessie is never found. There’s something magical about the unknown… And that’s how Nessie should remain. Otherwise, we’ll have to update this article in the future and remove Nessie.
This God of Egyptian lore is one of the most famous, yet he didn’t feature too heavily in Egyptian Mythology. It doesn’t stop him being an impressive God of his people, overseeing a job that many would consider quite disgusting and also being the guardian as it were. Plus, he’s the only Egyptian god I know of that has a song dedicated to him (Metal).
But that’s not what has made Anubis such a prominent figure within Egyptian Mythology. He was the God of Mummification and the Afterlife. That’s no small feat, as the Egyptians were firm believers in the Afterlife. With the head of a Jackal, Anubis was more or less as the band Septic Flesh puts it: He was the guardian of the damned, appointed by the gods to be their final chance. With such an extravagant outfit and holding the Flail and the Fetish, this god was all about justice. He would weigh up the souls of the departed to see if they were fit for the afterlife. If you were bad, you’d better be ready to repent for your sins… Not like that’d help you by that point.
Youngest, and most famous sister of Stheno and Euryale, children of ocean gods Phorcys and Ceto, Medusa is alone amongst her siblings for being mortal. Does that make her any less awesome and terrifying? Not even a little. Even after Perseus decapitates her, he still uses her petrifying gaze as a weapon. Indeed the only thing seemingly able to kill Medusa, was herself! What weapon is effective against a woman who can kill with a glance?
Despite what many games would have you believe (Dungeons & Dragons being the most profoundly sinful) there are not multiple Medusae. No matter that the name lends itself to pluralization rather elegantly, she is one of many serpent haired Gorgons. She’s also a legend amongst legends, leaving behind her gods, titans, and elder things, statuesque as she claims our number one slot!
Of course we’re not through. “Encore” we fantasize you shouting as we toil away at our keyboards to lavish our opinions upon you.
Legends, stories, myths and monsters are as old as humanity itself. Since we could make marks on a wall we’ve passed our knowledge and our thoughts from person to person, generation to generation. We could never narrow down our list to merely Ten, but only the deserving make the list. Here are few that we debated and decided against, but that we um’d and ah’d too long to simply pass them by without continuing their story.
Oh, Death. You and your many disguises. Who or what are you now? Here’s a small gallery of Death, the Ultimate Cosplayer.
The World Turtle
Great A’Tuin is based on some very real mythology. India, China and North America all have some variation on the visual spectacle that is the great turtle that swims the world on its’ endless journey through the cosmos. The phrase “turtles all the way down” is a sentiment used to disregard the mythology, as the idea that the turtle is supported by another turtle, which itself sits on the back of another turtle, which has another turtle between it and the one under… where was I going with this?
What other unique monsters have we missed? Who else is deserving of our esteemed list? As always, vote for next weeks Top 10 and let us know what you think we’ve done right and what you think we’ve done wrong. Is our order right? Let us know – tell us off! We’d love the discussion! Give us the business in the comments section, or on Facebook and Twitter.