I knew I wanted my take on Beauty and the Beast to be different in its own way. Originally I thought it would only be different because of the overarching plot and the options that players would have regarding the outcome. Working on Chapter 2 though, I started to play around more with the lore of the world I’m creating.
It started with the creation of the Creature of Fomorian. People who’ve played Warframe and Dungeons and Dragons are probably pretty familiar with the word “Fomorian”. In Irish myth, the Fomorians are a mysterious, monstrous race who cause a lot of trouble for Ireland’s first settlers and the Tuatha Dé Danann. Stories about the Fomorians are vague. They don’t have one solid appearance or even history. Some tales suggest they came from the sea while others hint at an underground origin. Trying to read up on them, I found that almost every source had some variation on their origin and role within mythology. This is pretty common though in Irish mythology. Like a lot of mythology, the stories we have on early Irish myth come from the writings of Christian monks. This game of telephone has left a lot of gaps in the lore and possible alterations in the actual tales much like we see with Beowulf. Tale Foundery did a great overview of some of the basics of Irish myth that I highly recommend checking out. Irish myth reads like an incredible epic where all of the stories flow into each other. There’s strange magic and tales of heroes overcoming hardhship…or characters who decide not to deal with it and by transforming into a salmon. That happens a lot, surprisingly.
Once I decided to stop calling the Beast “The Beast” and began to call him “The Creature of Fomorian” the world really started to build itself. I brought in elements from Irish, Welsh, and Norse myth to help build it. This has also helped to solidify the setting of the story, which was originally in “vague dark fairytale land number 3”. I also put a lot of extra mini-links in the text now so players can explore the world if they want to or they can play through the story without the extra information. In these bits of flavor text, I tried to explain a bit more about the myths that I’m drawing from, especially in cases where the myths might not be well known. For example, I decided to add the Mallt-y-Nos, which is a being who is associated with the Wild Hunt and Arawn, the King of the Underworld. The Mallt-y-Nos has become one of my favorite mythological figures thanks to this project. There are a few different stories about her, but my favorite version is the one where she chases down lost souls for Arawn. In Thorns, I draw from her two main stories. While the Wild Hunt isn’t necessarily a staple of Irish Myth (I found one source that suggested something similar to the Wild Hunt, but it wasn’t definitive enough that I felt like it would be good to add) I decided I still wanted to draw on some aspects of it since a lot of European myths have a habit of drawing from each other.
This chapter was a lot of fun to write and I’m hoping to continue this trend of adding and altering mythology in the next.