Sorry for lack of updates. Cen and I have both been busy with new work opportunities. Thanks for being patient. Hope to get back into the swing of it soon.
We’ve become quite accustomed to the idea of certain monsters. Werewolves, demons, ghosts, etc, and they all have a connotation or moral leaning attached, just by name alone. Demons and werewolves are more evil and primal, while ghosts and witches can be on a sliding spectrum, more like regular ole people. There are some creatures though, like the Bai Ze from China, that are bit more difficult to pin down.
This mystical being, whose name translates to “white marsh” is said to have told the Yellow Emperor, Huáng Dì, about over 11,000 different types of supernatural creatures in the world. Not only did it convey this information, but it also told of how to overcome any haunting or attack you might experience if you came across them. The book of this information was called Bái Zé Tú, though now, only fragments of it remain through other texts.
The Bai Ze is usually depicted as somewhat bovine with a lion body and either a human or Oni-esque face. It has nine eyes, six horns, and is said to know all that ever was and will ever be. It’s like coming across the internet and having it tell you all the information it possesses on monsters without asking. Since this knows everything there is to know about everything, you would think it would know of some interesting new positions that no one has ever thought of. Though, it could be awkward for the Bai Ze to come up to you and start blabbing about how Minotaurs and old Nessie like it in the sack without you asking.
Not every monster is the byproduct of mystical forces having a gang bang. Some are part of the natural processes of life and death, like the Ankou from Breton, Cornish, Welsh, and Norman French mythology or folklore. Rather than being a monster whose life is endless suffering, the Ankou is more of a henchman of death, who has to take up the mantle of Ankou for only one year.
This “creature” is more of a spirit, watching over graveyards, and collecting the lost souls in its area. It is said that the Ankou is whoever was the last to die in a parish for any given year. This means they are stuck collecting souls for an entire year until the new Ankou can take over so that the previous can head towards the afterlife. Of course, with most myths and folk tales, there are different versions, as the Ankou is told of as a ghoul or king of the dead.
Most depictions show this ghostly ghoul as an old man or skeletal male form with a long white hair, a scythe, cloak, and large hat to cover its face. More often than not there are tales of it pushing a cart as well, likely the method in which souls or bodies of the deceased are carried. Its skeletal head also has the ability to rotate completely, an ability to “see all”. You would think that any Ankou would be up for a random quickie with fiends of the night, mainly because they have a good deal of free time since people aren’t constantly dying over the course of the year in a parish. That being said, it would be tough trying to get attached as you would be getting to know a new one every year.