Monsters and Strange Creatures
Monsters are tough to kill with modern means, but not impossible. Celestial Bronze levels the playing field and is the easiest way to send a monster back to tartarus. When a monster dies, it disintegrates into a pile of golden dust.
Of course, monsters don’t technically die the way mortals do. A monster can reform itself, with the length of time varying depending on how hard they die. Of course, the gods sometimes reform monsters sooner for a variety of reasons. Favors, pranks, challenges, boredom..
Arachne: A skilled weaver whom Athena once turned into a spider as punishment. Arachne had failed to show respect to the gods and was punished for her impudence to live forever as a spider, and for all of her descendants to be spiders as well.
Charon: The ferryman of the dead. Greeks would leave a coin under the tongue of a dead person to pay for passage across the River Styx. Those who could not pay were doomed to wander the earth until they found some other way into the Underworld. Wears bitchin’ Italian suits.
Centaurs: Centaurs are human from the waist up, horse from the waist down. Most are wild barbaric creatures, though one, the famous teacher Chiron, is immortal and quite wise.
Cerberus: The three-headed dog who guards the gates of the Underworld. A son of the monster Echidna, Cerberus permits new spirits to enter the world of the dead, but will not allow any to leave.
Chimera: The Chimera was one monstrous offspring of Echidna. It had the body of a goat, the head of a lion and the tail of a serpent. It terrorized Asia Minor until it was killed by the hero Bellerophon.
Chiron: This immortal centaur was kindly and wise. He trained many heroes, including Hercules.
Dryads: Female spirits of nature that live in trees or forests.
Echidna: The mate of the horrible monster Typhon, Echidna was half-woman, half-serpent. She had many monstrous children, which Zeus allowed to live as a challenge to future heroes. Her offspring included Cerberus, the Nemean Lion and the Chimera.
Fates: The Three Fates were mysterious old hags who controlled the destiny of all living beings from birth to death. They spun out each life as a thread, and cut it at the moment of death. Even the supposedly immortal gods were afraid of the Fates.
Furies: The Three Furies were avenging spirits controlled by Hades. They had bat wings, fiery whips, and are sometimes pictured with bleeding eyes, snake hair, and the heads of dogs. They oversaw some of the punishment in the Underworld, but Hades would also send them into the world of the living to punish especially wicked people. They could drive their victims mad.
Harpies: Harpies are wild, unruly bird-winged maidens, sometimes pictured as ugly hags. They stole food from the seer Phineas as a punishment from Zeus. Sometimes they carried off people to the Underworld.
Lotus Eaters: On his way back from the Trojan War, Odysseus encountered the Land of the Lotus Eaters, where the inhabitants lived in perfect contentment doing nothing but eating lotuses all day. This lazy lifestyle was dangerous because it tempted Odysseus’ sailors to forget about their journey and remain on the island.
Medusa: One of three sisters called the Gorgons, Medusa was once a lovely maiden. She had an affair with Poseidon in the temple of Athena, and because of this Athena turned her into a hideous monster. Her hair became live snakes, and her gaze could petrify any who looked upon her. Perseus later cut off her head, which was mounted on Athena’s shield, the aegis.
Minotaur: The horrible son of Pasiphae, the queen of Crete, who mated with a white bull because of a curse inflicted by Poseidon. The Minotaur was half-man, half-bull. He caused so much destruction that King Minos had his famous architect Daedalus build a maze called the Labyrinth to imprison the beast. Each year, maidens and young men from Athens were sacrificed to the Minotaur until Theseus killed the monster.
Naiads: Female spirits that inhabit bodies of fresh water such as rivers and lakes.
Nereids: Female spirits of the sea.
Procrustes: “The Stretcher.” This giant challenged Theseus on his way to Athens. He made each guest lie on a bed. If the guest was too short, Procrustes would stretch him to fit. If the guest was too long, Procrustes would cut off whatever hung off the bed. Last seen running a bed shop in L.A. under the nickname ‘Crusty’.
Satyrs: These creatures are human from the waist up, goat from the waist down. They inhabit the wild places of the earth, and are the companions of the wine god Dionysus.