Fantasy Month 2020 Blog Tag: Fantasy Creatures

Did you know February was Fantasy Month? You didn't? Yes, you should be overwhelmed with guilt right now. I don't even feel sorry for you.

I'll be doing a couple of posts to celebrate this blogging event, and I'm kicking off the festivities today with this blog tag from Jenelle Schmidt (who started the event in the first place). I was tagged to do this by J.L. Mbewe. First off, here are The Rules:

Thank the blogger who tagged you. Thank you, Jennette! And also Jenelle, for inviting me to take part in this event.

Include the graphic somewhere in your post.

Link back to Jenelle's blog somewhere in your post. How about here?

Answer the questions.

Tag a few blogger friends – and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Have fun!

I shall certainly try. You can read Jenelle's answers to the questions here. Now, here are mine:

1. In a strange twist of fate, you are transported into a fantasy realm of your choice. The catch? You have also been transformed into your least favorite fantasy creature. Where are you, and what are you?

Dangit. Welp, I choose Discworld, which is great…but I appear to have been turned into a werewolf. Now, I know what you're thinking…”What's so terrible about that? You've even got werewolf characters.” I write wulvers, not werewolves. Werewolves are incredibly overdone. If there's one thing I don't want to get turned into, it's a cliché. Fortunately, the rules of magic in Discworld are very flexible, so I'm sure I can find a solution to the problem without too much difficulty.

2. What fantasy creature do you wish featured in more stories? What is your favorite story that has that creature in it?

Hippogriffs. I first realized how cool these creatures were after encountering them in Harry Potter, and I think they're definitely under-used. My favorite story with them is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

3. As you are reading this, a voice rings in your ear proclaiming:

A hero true, a leader strong,
A quest is where you do belong,
So arm thyself, and take your stand
With an item to your left your fate is at hand.

Besides the fact that this prophetic voice is clearly incapable of sticking to a meter, what ordinary item do you now find yourself armed with? (And, for bonus points, what helpful magical properties does it now possess that will help you on your quest?)

TREMBLE, PATHETIC MORTAL, BEFORE THE KNIGHT OF THE…um…smartphone. Okey-dokey, I can make that work. No doubt this magic phone will allow me to call all sorts of useful people from other worlds to help me. Good thing it wasn't the item on my right, or I'd have been the Knight of the Empty Coffee Cup. That just sounds sad.

4. You happen across an ad in a catalogue promising a magical fantasy cruise that will allow you to stop in any three realms of your choice and explore each for several days before returning you home (and the ad promises your safe return or your money back, guaranteed!) Assuming this is not a hoax and that the tour guides will actually be able to cater to your requests, what three realms will you tour and what do you hope to see/who would you like to meet along the way?

Whoa whoa whoa, hold on…safe return or my money back? How is money going to help me if I've been eaten by a basilisk or something? Okay, fine, assuming this isn't a hoax, here's my itinerary. First off, the Kingdom of Corona, where I would spend some time visiting Rapunzel, Eugene, and their friends from Tangled and the subsequent animated series. Second, the alternate-history-shapeshifter world of My Lady Jane, because I was very fond of all the characters from that book and I would like to find out how they're doing now that their story's finished. Third…well, I really should pop into the Afterverse and make a few apologies to some of my surviving characters for how their lives have turned out, or how they're going to turn out in the future. I'd do that from a very safe distance, of course.

5. Congratulations! You are a fantasy hero/heroine about to start your adventure. You get to choose a small fantasy creature to accompany and assist you on your quest. Who/what do you choose?

A jackalope. Those things are adorable. And probably fairly useful, given their agility and their sharp antlers. Oo's a cute widdle jackalopey-poo? You are! Yes you–what? Stop judging me.

6. Elves or dwarves?

Despite the fact that there are many dwarven characters I'm fond of…I gotta go with elves, sorry. They're much cooler. I realize this will probably bring a dwarven army equipped with a battering ram to my door, but I gotta be me.

7. Do you prefer your dragons (we had to have at least one question devoted solely to dragons!) good or evil or a mix of both?

Only one dragon question??? Ah, well. I prefer dragons to ascribe to what is sometimes called “blue and orange morality,” with little if any correspondence to human values. So a mixture of good and evil would be my preference. Dragons that are essentially “good” or “evil” are more predictable; I like not knowing what to expect from these creatures. (And to those who say “But you've written two chaotic-good dragon characters!”…yeah, that's what you're supposed to think.)

8. World building is a complicated undertaking full of many details. As a reader, what is a small detail you really appreciate seeing when it comes to diving into a new realm? What is something that helps you lose yourself in a fantasy world?

This may sound silly, but I like it when an author takes the time to mention how things smell. This sense is often ignored when authors are trying to draw their readers into a fantasy world, and helps a lot with the immersion. You can't feel like you're there unless all five of the senses are somehow taken into account.

9. You have been transformed into your favorite fantasy creature. Problem is… you’re still in your own bedroom and your family is downstairs, completely unprepared for this shock. What creature are you, and how (if at all) do you break the news to your loved ones? (Or how do you get out of your room?)

So I'm a dragon, then? Who cares what my family thinks? I'M A DRAGON. This is AWESOME, and they're just going to have to deal with it.

Okay, fine, I suppose I would have to at least make an effort to calm them down a bit. And, y'know, offer to pay for the damage to the house resulting from my majestic transformation. Do you get free gold when you get turned into a dragon? I think that should be one of the rules.

I hereby tag E.B. Dawson, Christine Smith, and Ness Kingsley to join in on the fun–as well as anybody else who'd like to take part! This is a very informal event; no scheduling needed, so as long as you get a post in before the end of the month and add it to the link-up on Jenelle's site, you're good.

Comments (11)

Yes! Dragons! I wonder what Malcolm would think of your transformation?

I can only imagine, LOL.

I had the same thought you did regarding the “safe return or your money back” on the cruise question. (I’m doing the tag as well, for the record, I just haven’t posted it yet.) But I like your choices of worlds to visit; I don’t think I would have expected any of them.

Also, the one thing about being a werewolf in Discworld: if you land in Ankh-Morpork, you can probably find at least one support group that’ll help you figure out how to deal with your new species in a minimally-cliche fashion. So there’s that.

Finally, a note regarding dragon alignments . . . who’s trying to claim that Malcolm Blackfire is chaotic good??? Admittedly, I’m not 100% caught up on the series, but from what I have read, I’d have pegged him for true neutral at best, chaotic neutral at worst. (Or possibly neutral evil, but he doesn’t seem to be fundamentally inclined towards causing others’ suffering any more than he seems to be fundamentally inclined towards relieving others’ suffering, if doing either thing will require effort and not provide a clear benefit to himself.) I’d believe that Julio was chaotic good. Not Malcolm.

I was expecting WAY more people to balk at the “or your money back” clause… XD

Loved reading your answers, and I agree with Sarah, Malcolm doesn’t strike me as Chaotic Good…. but then, I haven’t read all the books yet.

Hippogriffs are awesome, and I didn’t realize that until HP, either.

Sense of smell *nods* agreed! Funny how it’s often forgotten.

Thanks for doing the tag!!!

LOL, I’m glad to hear that you haven’t gotten that vibe from Malcolm. Some comments I’ve heard from readers give me the impression that they’ve planted him quite firmly in the “hero” category…which, granted, is due in part to deliberate deception on my part, but I don’t want it to be TOO shocking when certain events from Malcolm’s past are revealed.

I mean… I WANT Malcolm to be a good guy, because he’s epic. But I also sort of see him as being… well… sort of grudgingly on the side of good simply because it’s in his best interests at the moment. He’s got a sense of, “I COULD burn the world to the ground, if it suited me,” going. Sometimes he reminds me a little of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (don’t tell Malcolm I compared him to a vampire… I’m not sure he’d take that as a compliment)… there’s that truly wonderful episode where Angelus is trying to basically destroy the world and Spike ends up working with the heroes and they’re all like, “Why are you helping us?” and he’s like, “Well, I mean… I’m a villain… but I’m not quite a world-destroying visionary… because I LIKE the world. It has PEOPLE in it.” (by which he means, “food”). LOL

LOL, that is an excellent comparison! Especially since James Marsters would definitely be among my top choices to portray Malcolm in a film adaptation. 😂

James Marsters is fabulous.

He is! I love his narration of the Dresden Files books; I listen to the audios of that series exclusively at this point.

This was great! XD And thanks so much for tagging me! (I’ve actually already done this tag, BUT STILL. I appreciate it!)

I 100% agree that hippogriffs are awesome and we need more! HP is the only series I’ve read that’s ever featured them (as far as I remember), which surprises me. With how popular HP is, I feel like more people would incorporate them. I mean, it’s an eagle-horse! You can’t go wrong with that.

My questing item ended up being my cell phone too! XD But I feel like a MAGICAL cell phone could be extremely useful! …As long as the battery holds.

You’re brave to want to venture into your own world. I’d be terrified to face my own characters. I don’t know WHY. I’m soooo nice to them. *cough, cough, COUGH*

I echo Sarah on the Malcolm thing. He seems more chaotic neutral to me, but GAH. He’s so hard to pinpoint! Whichiswhywelovehimbutdon’ttellhimthat. AHEM.

Thank you! No worries; I usually end up tagging people long after the tag is no longer a thing, LOL.

I absolutely agree; you can NEVER go wrong with eagle horses. 😂

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