OK, let’s get the definition of cryptid out of the way first for those that don’t know it:
“an animal whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, such as the yeti.“
So I recently saw call for writing/design collaboration around non-Eurocentric lines, and with an effort to focus on the writer/designer’s own cultural mythology.
I’m a white, European male, so it wasn’t a project I would ever try and write for, but I will be avidly consuming whatever comes from it.
Now, it did get me thinking a bit about what from my own background I could call up easily.
Weird things like cryptids seemed like a better goal than the Vikings, Saxons, and Romans I learned about in school, certainly to port into a fantasy setting easily.
With that in mind, I did a quick think of my favourites and realised a few of them have things in common: black dogs like Black Shuck or the Barghest, and large black cats like the Beasts of Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Exmoor. See the connect? Big black animals.
So it got me thinking. What is a druid is up to no good and starts using some local folklore about large black animals to scare off intruders? And then what if the legends are true, and the druid’s really up to reawakening some elder evil for some reason?
Basically, I’m going to write something about a druid, various strange black beasts (I’m going to include an elk as well as a dog and cat), and see where the thing takes me. Probably an adventure, though no more details yet.
I think it will be fun to write.