Friday, December 18, 2009


This tiny creature was spotted out of the corner of my eye while fluttering about my venus flytrap and carnivorous pitcher plant display. Barely four inches tall, this pixie had twiglike wings, jointed like cricket legs and papery skin. She looked fragile, but was extremely agile both in flight and on the ground. She was digging out the remains of long dead flies from the pitcher plant and munching horribly on the exoskeletons. I can only imagine this is a delicacy of some sort, and she didn't seem to mind my presence - unlike my previous encounters with fairies who are skittish and nearly impossible to see in any detail.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Miniature Sea Horses

Miniature sea horses can be found in brackish rivers and along ocean shorelines. Check around low-tide in tidal pools for trapped sea horses but leave them where they are. They do poorly in captivity.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Merrows, Nagas, and unidentified creatures

The merrow can be mistaken for a mermaid or a water nymph, but the difference is disposition. Where both nymphs and mermaids think it amusing to drown humans, merrows have been known for centuries to be friendly toward all living things, and fishermen have been known to leave behind one of their catch as thanks to the merrow. Merrows are freshwater creatures, preferring rivers and large streams because of the territory conflict with water nymphs who prefer lakes and pools.

Nagas and lamiae are rather disputed cryptids today. Though it is true that they are carnivorous, they don't seem to harbour vampiric traits of sucking blood - an outdated myth born in ancient Greece. Very little is recorded about lamiae, and the eyewitness accounts are nearly all different. The one thing that all of them agree on is that they are human from the hip up, and giant serpent from the hip down. The lamia I have depicted here I was extremely fortunate to bump into as I was sketching the portrait of the friendly merrow. Apparently lamia are also fond of water and can swim extremely fast. I wonder if they are some distant kith to mermaid and merrows. She sunbathed for a few minutes in silence, and when I looked up to catch her eye, she shot off into the river. Clearly wary of humans as most fairies are, lamiae seem to be powerful creatures. Though the one I encountered was not intent on harming me, I would not try to anger one.

This is a bizarre nocturnal creature. I noticed a pair of them squabbling near my car as I arrived home very late one night, and it gave me quite a scare. They sounded like small monkeys, and close by. Sure enough when I looked in the direction of the noise, they stopped their screeching, and one of them disappeared into the trees. The one left standing on a branch seemed to be willing to see if I was going to try to hurt it because he didn't flee. He just stood there wringing his hands. I got a good look at him however, before he lost his nerve and followed his companion. He had enormous feet, and seemed to be primarily bipedal with a hobgoblinish stature. When he took flight, I noticed that there was a length of skin that attached from his arms to his hip not unlike a flying squirrel that helped him maneuver through the trees at great speed. I have yet to conclude that this was some member of the hobgoblin or goblin family.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thassialus, scrymnyx, kaug, and Valpatya

A possible page from our guide for the "Thassialus."

Scrymnyx are a private and discriminating race. The have little interest in dealing with humans though they live in the midst of them and can most frequently be found nesting on or near libraries and museums. They are highly territorial and have a bizarre set of rules governing the spacing and use of their lands. Invading scrymnyx are executed.

Fact: Most festivals of the scrymnyx involve potatoes, which they consider highly valuable.

Little information has been gathered about the kaug. Possibly aggressive to humans. Beware.

Valpatya can be found anywhere in North America. They share the communal proper name of "Valpatya" but individuals may allow you to call them by a nick name if you become familiar with them. They are fond of music, pretty girls, and rotten meat. Valpatya frequently speak in cryptic terms but any information you can glean from them is very valuable.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Vampires, Elves, and Redcaps

Vampires are interesting creatures. They inhabit cities, mostly, because of the condensed human population. Ancient, intelligent, virtually unstoppable and utterly lethal, vampires exist in a larger number than humans realize and are absolutely not to be approached unless you know what you're doing. Vampires have gone through an extensive evolution over the last few hundred years, though the vampires I talked to seem to still be debating the origin of the first vampire. From what little truthful information I could gather, today's vampires hold very few characteristics of the "original" vampire. Their fangs, like snake fangs, are long and hollow. The fangs release a poison that will turn another human into a vampire, unless that vampire turns out to be very thirsty and commences to drink all of their blood. The fangs, also similar to snake's, will extend only to bite, and then retract into their skulls both so they don't attract attention, and also so they don't bite themselves. In order to survive, a vampire must drink the blood of one human every moon cycle, though many vampires go overboard occasionally and will go on a killing spree. Vampires do not sleep, and eating any food is relatively poisonous to them, since they are corpses, and the food would just rot in their stomachs. Being an animated corpse, vampires have no bodily functions or fluids, and certainly no heartbeat. The popular myth of vampires being "sexually charged" is just that - a myth, since it is impossible for them to experience the effects of hormones, orgasm, or in the case of male vampires, have an erection. The vampires I spoke with seemed amused when I mentioned some of the popular vampire fiction that has been written over the years, harboring no ill will towards the writers, stating that it is easy to get caught up in the romanticism of the vampire myth, but it is still just fiction. They consider themselves predators, villains, and members of the "underworld."

Redcaps are also in the category of rather monstrous creatures who are not to be trifled with. I would not usually seek one out, but I was driving to a friend's house and I had to go down several deep and winding dirt roads to get there. I was roughly a half an hour away from the nearest town, and I passed a dilapidated old barn on a large crop of overgrown land that was roughly fenced off with barbed wire. It had rained the previous day, and so there was a light fog hovering on the ground. It was incredibly eerie, but I knew there were a number of fascinating creatures lurking around on the property. On my way home, I pulled over at the edge of the property and as soon as I turned my car off, I could hear a high-pitched yelping. It sounded excited, and it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I wasn't sure anymore if I wanted to know what was near that barn. But moments later, the thing that made the noise came up to the edge of the fence. All I could do was stare. I was very glad I'd decided to stay in the car at that point. The creature, (as I did my best to draw him above) was very much like a goblin. Indeed, I'd go so far as to say they are in the same family. Eventually, when I realized the animal wouldn't stray beyond his marked perimeter, I rolled down my window and spoke to it. It spoke back. This was incredible, because goblins don't usually speak english, from what I've heard, but I learn new things every day about the evolution of these ancient unseen beings, and it appears that many of them have adopted the native language of the land they live on, as this one did, though very poorly. He was hard to understand. He over-annunciated many of his words, and had a harsh, coarse voice. Though is was very clear that he thought about what he said before he said it. He told me he had lived here for ninety years. He only likes fresh raw meat and especially the blood. He steals clothes when he finds them and washes them in "the blood puddles" (whatever that means) and his favorite pass-times include killing squirrels and collecting rocks to throw at passing cars.

Elves, like vampires, witches, and werewolves, are of the humanoid fairy realm whom continue to live among other humans. Cleverly disguising their true features, elves look very much like tall, slender, graceful and other-worldy people. In their true form, they reveal themselves to have pointed ears and emit a soft glowing aura and translucent white skin. They appear to float when walking, having a grace and poise about them that transcends the laws of gravity. They are often solitary creatures these days, living to be up to thousands of years old. They are wise, melancholy, and often spend their time staring off into an ancient past that humans can only imagine. Most elves would prefer to avoid human interaction due to their differences in lifespan. Befriending humans becomes a painful process for elves to bear, knowing that their friend will perish in a very short time when compared to their own life. Elves know a particular brand of magic, which is unlike that of which many stories say. They do not cast spells or curses or anything like what witches do, but they may spend many hundreds of years learning what they call "the grey arts" which is a brand of - for lack of a better word - magic. They learn to control and manipulate time, space, light, earth, and their own bodies. They may learn how to control a room full of people, based on their emotions. If you sit by an elf whom appears to be feeling particularly morose, so will you, and so will the person next to you. Elves may brighten or darken the mood of a room in a matter or minutes. Elves have always been, and still are rather detached from any particular god or gods, though historically it has been documented that elves are in regular contact with several particular gods if they are called upon. They have always kept to themselves, and wait to speak until spoken to. They (traditionally) stay out of the way of humans, but this has changed drastically over the years, as many of them now seek out the company of humans. From what I could gather, this is because of a dispute with a ruling elf clan many years ago. According to their history, many elves thought of humans as weak and unreliable, when other elves had faith in the human race, and felt the need to support and help them. Their war still quietly rages on, and those who do not like humans are never seen by us.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Trolls, vegetable turkeys, and unamed fairies

This little species of fairy I'm not really sure what to call because I have no reference books or journals that tell what it is and the creatures speak a strange "peeping" language that I don't understand very well. I saw this specimen in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia in a heavily wooded area. Friendly to humans, usually clothed.

I've been doing some further investigating with the troll population over the last few weeks. Some of what I've read is true and some of it isn't. I went through downtown Richmond to see if I could get some better information. These sketches are of various individual trolls that would talk to me, or at least ignore me long enough for me to get in a drawing of them. Most of them have Swedish, Finnish, or Norwegian sounding names despite the fact that none of these trolls were born outside of the United States. This particular group were bedded up underneath a large railroad bridge. I'll get some more sketches or photographs of it as the weather improves. (But PLEASE don't go there as all trolls are not friendly to humans and may resent more invasion of their privacy.)
This is the beautiful and fantastic Dulcis holus phasianus, or more simply a "Vegetable Turkey." They can be found in wooded areas, vacant lots or anywhere that has rich soil and a bit of sun and rain. Both males and females have the general appearance of a turkey-like bird but upon closer inspection you may notice the green skin and lack of feathers. Feathers are replaced with leaves, flower petals, and insect wing like growths. Males are always a very brilliant assortment of colors while females tend to be drab browns and greens. Females may lay "seeds" in early March that sprout and grow into a plant by mid-spring. This plant will develop "eggs" which hatch in late Spring into baby vegetable turkeys.

Note: This species is a favorite dish of Green Men. Said to taste of cucumbers or radishes depending on its diet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hags, Gremlins, and Moon Calves

This creature is commonly known as the Gwillion, or Beggar Hag. She takes the appearance of a wretchedly haggard old woman with a bent or crooked form. She has a habit of luring her prey close enough to strangle or drown them. Whether or not she eats her prey is still unclear, having never witnessed her feeding. Her modern, urban form can be seen pushing old covered shopping carts around or carting large bags around the city.

This is an ancient legendary creature. Very little is known about it, and there have been hardly any sightings. It's called a Mooncalf, and it tends to vary in appearance in different parts of the world over time. I spotted this one luckily on a walk home late at night in the lot of an abandoned building in the city. Mooncalves only appear on the full moon, and give a mournful, ghostly cry. They look like malformed calves with the feet of a large bird of prey. They lead solitary lives, and no one knows what they eat, or if they're even harmful. I didn't want to take my chances, so I didn't get too close. 

Gremlins. There tends to be much dispute about these pesky creatures. They're often confused with goblins, as they can vary in form and tend to look similar. There are actually several distinct differences between goblins and gremlins. Gremlins are much smaller - about half the size of goblins, which means they're roughly six inches tall. Gremlins are not pack animals like goblins, and live in or near human dwellings. Goblins, on the other hand live deep in wooded areas in large packs and tend to steer very clear of humans. Gremlins tend to prefer large basements, chimneys, and the interiors of walls. They'll help themselves to anything they like that the human inhabitants leave laying around, or food that they leave out. I've noticed much more gremlin activity in city dwellings that are considerably messier or have more inhabitants. 
This particular gremlin I've spotted only a couple of times early in the mornings, and I noticed that he had found my boyfriend's long-missing cap and a little parcel of assorted other missing items. I'm certain he's not the only gremlin in the apartment complex, as it's very large. Since my first spotting him, I've noticed some subtle hostility, such as a tiny pile of my nails and thumbtacks being placed on the floor of my door frame, and a small string tied across the lower half of another door frame, as if he thought he'd trip the first person to walk out of it. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sooties and Green Men

A head shot of a Green Man (this one is very human looking but they vary from case to case.) Green men are originally from the United Kingdom and surrounding areas. Green Men do not like cities, buildings, or humans. They stay as far away from them as possible, living in deep forests. Unfortunately due to humans encroaching on their habitat Green Men have become bitter and angry. These creatures used to be considered benevolent or at least benign. It is best to donate some money to Save the Rainforest and leave them alone.

Sooties are a very common variety of fairy and the closest I have come across to the typical pretty pin up of a lady with butterfly wings. Sooties are nocturnal and live off a diet comprised mostly of nectar, berries from ornamental bushes, and sometimes catfood that's been left on the back porch. They also enjoy milk. If you come across a sooty it is very important NOT to pick it up or try and hold one because they are very fragile. Sooties have a skin textured like cobwebs and that is very easy to tear.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Changelings have adapted very well to city life. Due to the stressful nature of being forced out of their homes, many fairies are happy to be let humans raise their young for them as they can barely provide for themselves. Changelings are the spitting image of human children, though in their true form they tend to take on characteristics of their fairy parents such as pointed ears and teeth and a penchant for mischief. Changelings rarely stay very long with their human guardians, having a naturally rebellious nature and can be found roaming the streets alone.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Recent Findings

I've been fortunate enough to catch this creature in the act of stealing the lead from my mechanical pencils. He was surprisingly obliging in letting me draw a picture of him... although I did have to agree to let him keep one of the pencils... I recognized him immediately as what's commonly known as a dust fiend, or a "dust bunny" because of the characteristic mouse-like limbs and the fact that his fur was really the bits of dust and lint that has collected in the corners of my apartment. I had always thought these creatures were rather unintelligent and shy, but that's not at all the case. I've found my particular dust fiend to have characteristics similar to the Scottish House Brownies. This leads me to believe that the dust fiend is some sort of adaption of the brownie to the urban household.

This is an intriguing monster. Normally found in swampy Southern areas of America, the Groaker became notorious for begging the unwary traveller for anything he might have. If the traveller looks into the groaker's eyes he will be forced to succumb to the groaker's demands. Eventually the Groaker will make off with everything you have and disappear into the bog, leaving the poor soul alone in the marshlands to die. Seeing them in the city isn't surprising. People discard so many valuable things that the groaker hardly has to beg. Although people can't see these creatures, city dwellers constantly feel the effects of them even if they don't realize it.

Ogres come from all over the world, and like trolls, they feed off of the creatures around them. Being forced out of the mountains and forests, city ogres became confused as to how to survive. They've become mostly mute due to the fact that they lost contact with each other when the cities started cropping up and they were forced to split up. City ogres are mostly herbivores, feeding on garbage and local vegetation. Being quite vast in size, they tend to inhabit vacant lots and abandoned buildings. This particular ogre I caught a glimpse of behind a decrepit thrift store where it was obvious he had been nicking old clothes to make either a bed or blanket out of. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Microfairies, salamanders, Meeshka, and trolls

Here's my first group of sketches.

I haven't found a proper name for what these things are yet (they might not be classified.) For now I'm calling them micro-fairies. They're usually found crawling on other larger fairies, sort of like lice. I want to make some better images of them since they're actually kind of pretty but all I have is an old magnifying glass. If anybody can tell me where to get a microscope at a decent price I would be much obliged.

This is a common Northeastern Salamander. They like campfires and other warm places (like kitchen stoves and light fixtures.) They are dormant in winter months. (And also a tiny picture of Tin somehow got on there.)
This is Meeshka. Meeshka lives in a meat locker here in Richmond. From what I understand he was originally from Alaska and was trapped in a refrigerator truck loaded with salmon. He doesn't speak English very well but he's learning. Since Richmond is classified as subtropical (look it up, it's on Wiki) Meeshka can't go outside except on the coldest days and nights. However he is eating well and other than being homesick and lonely he doesn't have any complaints. Sometimes I bring him his favorite snack - charcoal.

Last and least is this troll. I don't have any of my reference books here but I believe that trolls originated Sweden and there abouts. (I'll have to check with Abby since she's the expert on that area) There are A LOT of trolls in Richmond. I don't think I've ever come across any in Bland but they're everywhere you look in Richmond. Most of the time they're disguised as homeless people, owing to their relatively human shape and features and since they can blend in easily with hobos in their favorite shelter - under bridges. I think these small Americanized city trolls are fairly harmless, or less dangerous than some of the more deranged homeless humans. I'll have to research their diet to determine this.

I'll have more in depth descriptions of these creatures in later posts.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Far From Watchful Eyes

Welcome to the Urban Mud Fairies Project!

Autumn Haynes and I hatched the idea to start a project. As if we don't have enough to do. But this was such a brilliant plan that we couldn't resist. 

We'll be documenting the local unseen (or should we say, unseely) inhabitants of our beloved city as we come across them, and posting our findings here. We hope you're prepared to see evidence of goblins, ghosts, and all creatures straight out of long-forgotten folklore - because they're all around you, completely hidden... that is, to the untrained eye.