NOTE Legends vary from cryptid to cryptid, and those at Collinstein Academy are no different. The list below defines the different beings as they exist at the school, not always as they exist in legends the visitorhas learned.
Golem: A golem is a creature formed out of clay from Jewish legend. It’s skin is the color of whatever clay was used to form it (Emmett’s is a reddish-brown color), and its eyes are the color of its creator. It is animated by a prayer and the Hebrew word Emet is written on its forehead. Traditionally, the word is written so if the creator needs to destroy the golem, they can erase the first letter turning Emet into Met, the Hebrew word for death. Golems are protectors against lies and also have a connection with the natural world from the clay in their body. Golems grow in size and strength exponentially as a way to protect their people from lies.
Nymph: Nymphs are nature spirits from European mythology. They are very connected to the natural world and will easily move in and out of trees, rivers, mountains, and fields. Their skin is pale with a light tint of blue, green, or brown, depending on what aspect of nature they focus on. It is easy to not see a nymph in the world because they so easily blend into their surroundings. Their smaller than usual size and weight allows them to slip throughout nature.
Apsara: Apsaras were originally water spirits from South-Asian tradition, but they had a natural beauty and grace that quickly turned them into patrons of the arts and then magical creatures of the arts. Apsaras have an innate talent for all types of arts, but each tends to focus on one particular form or another. Nearly every single apsara that has ever existed is beautiful, and they are often known to use that beauty to convince others to do things for them. Their physical beauty makes their art even more appealing and it is not uncommon for creatures and people alike to become mesmerized by the works of an apsara. Apsaras usually have coppery-brown skin and dark, black hair. Their eyes can vary in color, but they tend to be dark brown.
Djinn: Djinn are fire spirits from Islamic tradition. Their primary focus is on fire and heat and as they get older, they can manipulate both quite easily. As they grow, they can learn to control their appearance and create mirages in the environment. Djinn have dark, curly hair and olive skin. They are often very outgoing and friendly, but they can be easily angered. It is never a good idea to make a djinn upset.
Satyr: Satyrs are nature protectors from Greek and Roman mythology who have legs of a goat, horns, and a small horse’s tail. They are playful and almost always happy. However, if someone really works at it, they can make a satyr angry and satyrs don’t stop holding grudges against those people. A satyr’s horns never stop growing, so a teenage satyr often has smallish horns that just poke out from their hair, while a grown-up will have large, curled horns. Their skin always seems to be tanned, and they usually have curly hair although it can range in color from brown to blond to even bright green if the satyr is feeling interested in it.
Imp: Imps are notorious mischief makers from Northern and Central Europe. They aren’t actually evil, they just like playing pranks. Occasionally the pranks get out of hand, and that gives the imps a bad reputation. They are relatively short for their age, but their main ability is to shape shift for a short amount of time. The length of time that an imp can shape shift grows as they get older, and they are able to control the shapeshifting more as well. When not shapeshifting, they have reddish skin, dark black hair and eyes, and a very large grin.
Ouroboros: An ouroboros doesn’t actually swallow its tail; but when resting it looks that way. Originally from Egyptian legends, an ouroboros is a winged snake with a body that is usually the color of the desert. There aren’t a lot of ouroboroses around, and those that are around have been alive for a very long time. Their wings are usually green and slow moving. It is a mystery whether the wings are what allow them to fly or if that is just their magic. Most cryptid scholars believe that their magic keeps them up where as the wings allow them to move, but they refuse to tell. Or they just don’t know.
Fairy: Fairies are magical creatures primarily from Northern Europe and the British Isles. They usually have rather pale skin and tend to be smaller and skinnier than others. Aside from that, though, every fairy is a bit different from the next. They all have magical abilities that allow them some level of supernatural skill or knowledge with a particular subject, but what that subject is varies.
Dryad: A dryad is a spirit and protector of trees, usually from Southern Europe. Some dryads are connected to a type of tree like oaks or beeches, while others may have one very specific tree that they guard. They tend to take on some of the features of the trees that they are connected to; a dryad connected to an oak tree will start life rather skinny, but all of a sudden shoot up and become tall and strong. Their skin often is similar in tone to the trees they protect.
Kishi: A kishi is a creature from Africa who looks similar to a person except at the back of their head is a head of a jackal. They grow to be tall and strong, and anyone who gets on their bad side will regret it for a long time. Kishis are very proud of who they are and what they do, and won’t tolerate anyone speaking back to them.
Ariel: Lion-headed creatures descended from a race of giants in Jewish tradition, ariels are strong and dominating creatures. Broad shoulders, a large body, and the head of a lion, they can be very intimidating. They will defend their friends and bitterly attack their enemies.
Naga: The top half of a naga is human in form, but the bottom half is that of a large, thick serpent. Coming from Indian and South Asian traditions, some older nagas have some limited power to cause or stop rainfall and to alter the movement of water. Young nagas, however, need to spend a decent amount of time in the water before they can start realizing those abilities. The serpent half tends to be a dark, blueish-grey color while the human half of a naga has a deep brown skin color.
Kirin: Kirins are rarely seen creatures originating from Japan with the body of a deer and the head of a dragon. They have one short horn on their heads and they are covered in scales. A kirin’s scales are silver when they are young but become rainbow colored over the course of their lifetime. Kirins are very calm, gentle creatures who can determine if someone is guilty or innocent using their horns, and they have a small amount of telekinetic ability in order to move small objects around them.
Dendrus: A dendrus is a moving tree from Central European traditions that moves less and less as they get older until they literally set down roots at which point it takes years in order to start moving again. They are very intelligent and observant of the world around them. Dendruses don’t make friends quickly and even then tend to stick with other dendruses whenever possible. They are very firm in their opinions and it is very difficult to change a dendrus’s mind.
Sphinx: Sphinxes have the head of a human, the body of a lion, and wings of an eagle. Young sphinxes aren’t able to fly, but as they get older, their wings develop further and an adult sphinx is capable of flying for a long period of time. Sphinxes are incredibly chatty, but they also talk to themselves more often than to other creatures. Because of this, most beings don’t take the time to listen to what a sphinx says, but if they did, they would find them to be funny and intelligent. Sphinxes originated in Egyptian mythology.
Yaksha: Yakshas come from South and Southeast Asian lore and are guardian spirits of trees and nature. They are proud of their long heritage and they will laugh at others who think they are equals of a yaksha. The laughter is fairly good-natured, and they only get truly upset with people who disrespect them or nature in general. They are on the skinnier side and tned to have warm, coppery skin. They don’t disappear into nature like a nymph, but rather walk proudly throughout nature.
Abada: An abada is a magical creature originating from the Congo River area in Africa. They resemble a small antelope or oryx but with two curved horns. They are very shy and unassuming. They are very useful in medicine as they can use their horns to not only diagnose an illness, but also figure out the cure.
Menehune: Menehune come from Hawai’i and are a race of small (3-4 feet tall) beings who are known to be exceptional builders and are incredibly strong. They tend to be very friendly and helpful, but are sticklers for design and quality of their work. They can get the work done faster than most others and when they see someone creating something in a wrong way, they will usually try to jump in and correct them or even take over the project altogether. Even when a menehune does this, however, they always have a kindness about them so the act is never taken too badly.
Sasquatch: Creatures from North American legend, sasquatches are large creature covered from head to toe in a thick fur. Depending on where they came from, a sasquatch’s hair can be a range of colors from snowy white to midnight black. Around other sasquatches they are loud and boisterous, but they don’t like to be near humans. They are larger than most other creatures and very strong.
All pictures drawn by Lucy Frankland