Episode 17 – Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em

This week on MYTH, we’re heading to the Emerald Isle for one of the biggest baddies we’ve seen so far.  In this episode, you’ll discover that if you’re not careful you’re face will freeze that way, that sometimes he really did just lose your number, and that Celtic names are complicated to pronounce.  Then, in Gods and Monsters, it’s the sexy, redheaded seductress who’ll give you everlasting fame for the low, low price of your life.  This is the Myths Your Teacher Hated podcast, where I tell the stories of cultures around the world in all of their original, bloody, uncensored glory.  Modern tellings of these stories have become dry and dusty, but I’ll be trying to breathe new life into them.  This is Episode 17, “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em.”  As always, this episode is not safe for work.

  • This is our first foray into the wonderfully crazy world of Celtic mythology.  Often, the Celts are thought to be relegated to Ireland, but the Celts actually occupied a fairly large area prior to the expansion of the Roman Empire and the migration of the Germanic peoples.  By the mid-1st millennium, Celtic culture had been driven back until it only survived on Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Brittany.  This once-unified culture split into the Gaels (Irish, Scottish, and Manx) and the Celtic Britons (Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) by the medieval period.  Because of this contraction, and the ravages of both the Roman Empire and the Catholic Church, many of the original stories from Celtic mythology did not survive to the present day.  Those that do were mostly preserved by contemporary Roman and Christian sources copying the stories of the conquered peoples.  Some part of the original stories also survived in the Gaelic peoples of Scotland and Ireland as well as with the Celtic Britons of southern Great Britain and Brittany.  As a note, the names from the original Celtic stories can be extremely hard to pronounce.  I will do my best, but if I misspeak a name, feel free to shoot me a message and let me know so I can issue a correction.
  • One story that did survive was that of the Demon King Balor.  As you may have already noticed, a lot of mythologies divide the cosmos into more or less benevolent gods (yeah, Zeus might rape your daughter, but he also fought off the Titans, who would have eaten you and your whole family) and fairly unequivocally evil monsters (like the big, stupid ice giants fighting Thor in Episode 4).  The Celtic pantheon wasn’t much different.  On one side, you had the family of the goddess Danu, who came to be known collectively as the Tuatha Dé Danann (tua-ha day dah-nuh), which roughly translates to the People of the Goddess Danu.  Here were the gods of day, life, light, fertility, wisdom, and good. 
  • Arrayed against the Tuatha Dé Danann were the unrepentant assholes of the Celtic world, who owed their allegiance to the evil goddess Domnu.  They were ruled by Domnu’s son, Indech (in-yeck), who sat as their king.  Domnu appears to have been the deep, sunless abyss of the deep sea, though it’s unclear if she was from the depths of the ocean, or if she was the void itself.  These evil bastards were sometimes known as Domnu’s gods, but were more frequently called the Fomor, a term derived from two Gaelic words that roughly translate to “under sea”.   
  • The seemingly endless breadth and depth of the ocean played in a lot of cultures as dangerous if not outright evil.  In the Norse myths, you had Jormungand the World Serpent whose release would signify the end of days; in the Greek myths, you had massive sea monsters such as Scylla and Charybdis (who will show up when we cover the quest for the golden fleece, so I won’t get into them now).  The Celts saw the world as a battle between the forces of life and fertility of the earth against the poisonous water of the deep, dark sea that could flood fields and drown sailors.  I mean, let’s be real.  Even now, the ocean is a pretty fucking scary place, especially if you take away all of our fancy technology.  It’s hardly surprising that the ancient peoples saw it as something to be feared.  Humans are not meant to live in the oceans; it’s the antithesis of everything that is life to us land lubbers.
  • The Celts believed that the Fomor were older than the gods (darkness comes before light, after all), but as was the case with most religions, they were sure that the good guys would win in the end.  As creatures of “Chaos and Old Night”, the Fomor were monsters, huge and deformed.  Some had only one arm and one leg, while others had the heads of goats, horses, or bulls.  The most famous, and the most terrifying, of the crawling chaos that was the Fomor was Balor the demon king, son of Buarainech (Boo-are-en-eck), who would become the god of death.  If that name seems familiar to you and you’re not sure why, it might be because you’re a wrestling fan.  There is an Irish wrestler in the WWE who took the name Finn Balor the Demon King.  Unsurprisingly, given his nationality, his ring persona is absolutely based on the Celtic death god of the same name.
  • The original Balor was a horrifying cross between the cyclops and Medusa from Greek mythology.  I mean, technically he had two eyes, but he always kept one of them shut.  In some versions, one eye was on the back of his head, but I prefer the version where he just kept one closed, because the other configuration is just awkward.  This wasn’t because he really wanted to be Popeye, but because like Medusa, his eye was magic, and brought death.  He couldn’t be killed by some clever bullshit with a mirror (if you don’t know that story, we’ll get to it) because it didn’t matter if you looked at him.  If Balor looked at you with his evil eye, you were toast.
  • ‘Holy shit,’ you’re probably thinking.  ‘That guy must have had a terrible childhood if he couldn’t look at his parents without fucking killing them.’  Not so, imaginary listener.  Balor wasn’t born with an evil eye.  Not even the Fomor are that twisted.  As a young demon, Balor had been forbidden by his father to enter the house where his father’s druids were making a magic potion.  I don’t know what the potion was supposed to do, but it couldn’t have been anything good (and some accounts say it was a death potion, which makes sense).  Balor, consumed with curiosity (which is always a mistake in a myth), snuck up to the house and peeked in the window.  Unfortunately for him, the window was open a little explicitly to draw the poisonous fucking smoke out of the room so it didn’t kill everyone inside, and it went right into the big curious eye that Balor put up to the window.  The potion poured into his eye, infecting it, and giving him the death stare. 
  • It was a surprisingly effective weapon, as a couple of early accidents proved that it was equally fatal to gods, giants, and demons.  The Fomor only permitted Balor to live because it was a useful damned weapon, but they made him swear to keep that creepy eye closed whenever he wasn’t killing good guys.  After a while, the muscle for the eyelid grew so atrophied that he couldn’t use lift it anymore, but that didn’t stop Balor.  When someone tried to step to the Fomor, they would put Balor on the front line of battle facing the enemy.  Since the muscle didn’t work anymore, he had his eyelid pierced with a huge iron ring.  It was hooked up to ropes and pulleys so that his allies could lift up the eyelid for him, and others would use poles to push and poke the eye to face the enemy, and whatever unfortunate assholes were across from him died horribly and immediately.  It was a pretty effective battle strategy.
  • It might be hard to understand why he needed a fucking hook to lift his eyelid.  If it was that bad, why not just use his finger?  What you have to understand is that Balor was HUGE.  His eyelid was heavy enough that it would have required the strength of ten men to lift it, and another ten to prod it into facing the right direction.  That’s a big son of a bitch. 
  • In other versions of the story, the kind of ridiculous hook idea was abandoned in place of covering the evil eye with a series of heavy cloaks.  When it was time to fuck some shit up, he would remove them one by one.  At the first, ferns would begin to wither.  At the second, the grass would begin to smolder.  At the third, trees and wood structures would get hot to the touch.  At the fourth, the timber would begin to smoke.  At the fifth, the timber would get red hot, on the edge of bursting into flames.  At the sixth, timber would start to burn.  And at the seventh, everything, and I do mean everything, in the path of Balor’s gaze would burn.  The whole land would catch fire.
  • Balor made an impact on the local populace.  What most people call the evil eye is still known as the eye of Balor in Celtic traditions, and the twisted cliff formation on Tory Island, off the coast of Donegal, is still known as Balor’s castle.  This island was considered to be the Fomor outpost on the land (since, like Aquaman and Dagon, their real home was deep beneath the waves).  It is still said by the people of Cong Co Mayo that the large rocks there are men who were turned to stone by the awful gaze of Balor’s eye.
  • Given that the guy could pretty much slaughter anyone who told him no, Balor became king of the Fomor after his father died.  He soon took Cethlenn of the Crooked Teeth, another Fomor (and based on her name, not exactly a looker; of course, given Balor’s condition and his own ugliness, maybe that was a good thing).  He and his wife had a daughter, Ethlinn, and things were good.  Well, as good as they can be for a pair of hideous monster monarchs bent on overthrowing all that is good and decent in this world.  Naturally, it couldn’t last.
  • One day, when his only daughter was still a baby, Balor got wind of a prophesy about himself.  The stories don’t agree on if he had the vision himself, or if some of his druids had the vision and told him about it, or even if the same druids who gave him the evil eye in the first place told him, but however it happened, the story reached his ears.  It wasn’t a happy story, because this isn’t a happy story.  The prophesy was simple and carried echoes of a lot of other cultures (including the Greek story from way back in Episode 1A): Balor would one day be killed by his yet unborn grandson.  Surprisingly, Balor, despite being a huge, evil demon king, decided on a course that was far less evil than Cronus did.  He has a large, comfortable tower built out of shining crystal on Toraigh (Tory) Island off the northwest coast of Ireland and has his only daughter Ethlinn locked up there to make good and sure that she never got knocked up. 
  • To make extra sure, he also decrees that none of the twelve servants he leaves there to take care of her, who were of course all women, ever mention a man’s name in her presence.  His goal was to make it so his daughter didn’t even know what a man was.  If he could have found a way to make her a lesbian, he probably would have, but he figured this was the next best thing.  If his daughter never fucks anyone, she can’t have a son; ipso facto, Balor can’t die as long as her virtue is intact.  Since he has no grandson, Balor decides he’s now immortal and proceeds to raid the villages of the Tuatha de Dannan.
  • Ethlinn grew up in the tower, locked away from everyone but her twelve servants.  Lonely and bored, she would sit at the top of the crystal tower and look out over the sea.  She would see small boats sailing along the coast, and in them were creature the likes of which she had never seen (which admittedly wasn’t hard since she’d spent most of her life locked in a tower). Whenever she would ask the women who waited on her in the tower what these strange creatures were, they would go suddenly and inexplicably deaf until she changed the subject. 
  • This went on for weeks, and the strange creatures were starting to haunt her dreams.  One face in particular, a beautiful face she had never seen before, came to her each night.  She would wake up with a great longing to meet this strange dream person.  She was sure the person existed, although they had never met.  She tried to ask the other women in the tower, but again, they stayed silent.  Alone with her thoughts, Ethlinn dreamed of the strange man’s face every night without fail.
  • Balor had, unfortunately for him, never heard the story of Rapunzel (which we’ll cover at some point, I promise) and didn’t realize that locking a surprisingly beautiful woman away in a tower is a sure way to make sure that she definitely knocks boots with somebody.  Balor also didn’t know about the Greek idea of hubris, so naturally he personally brings about his own downfall by trying to avoid it.  Honestly, he could have avoided a lot of problems if he’d just read up on other myths.  And maybe taught his daughter about safe sex.  Oh well.
  • The whole mess starts with a cow.  Around the time that Balor was locking up his daughter in a crystal tower in a bid for the most over-protective dad award, there were three brothers living on Druim na Teine, or the Ridge of Fire, off the coast of Donegal. They were Goibniu (gov-nyoo) the smith, Samthainn (sav-thain)  of no known job, and Cian (key-an) the lord of the land.  Cian owned a marvelous cow that never ran out of milk, known as the Glas Gaibheann (glass gav e lan) .  Everyone wanted this magical cow (hey, milk used to be pretty hard to come by), and that included Balor.  Being a creepy, evil dude, Balor would often stalk Cian in disguise, plotting ways to steal the cow.  Cian, however,  was no dummy, so he kept a careful eye on his magical cow.  He lead her around on a leash everywhere he went so that no enterprising asshole could steal her while he was away doing lord shit.
  • One day, Cian and Samthainn went to meet Goibniu at his smithy to have new swords made.  The Ridge of Fire wasn’t far from the lands of the Fomor, so they were often at battle warding off monsters, and their old swords were worn and shitty.  Cian, being the one with a job and money, went inside to speak to his brother, leaving Samthainn holding Glas Gaibheann’s leash.  Samthainn was not nearly as clever as his brother, so Balor saw his chance.  He used his magic to disguise himself as a red-headed child and walked up to the man watching the cow peacefully chewing her cud.
  • “Hey there, buddy.  Watch doin?  Is your brother getting a sword made?”  “Yup.”  “Are you getting one too?”  “Of course I am, kid.  I brought the steel for my new sword and everything.”  “Huh.  That’s weird.”  Balor started to walk off, waiting for the inevitable moment when Samthainn’s curiosity would get him. “What’s weird?  Hey kid, what did you mean ‘that’s weird’?”  “Oh, nothing.  It’s just I heard Cian and Goibniu talking, and they said that they were going to make themselves magnificent new swords, and they were going to use your steel to make their swords bigger and better.  They said that when they were done, there wouldn’t be any left over for you.  Did they already take your steel inside?” 
  • “Those sons of bitches!  I worked hard to save up the money for that steel!  Here kid, watch this cow until I come back.  I’m gonna go give those two a piece of my mind.  No one cheats Samthainn!”  He tossed the demon child the magical cow’s leash (and isn’t that a bizarre sentence) and ran inside.  As soon as the man hit the doors, Balor took off with the magic cow. 
  • Samthainn rushed into the forge screaming bloody murder at his brothers.  It took a few minutes to get anything coherent out of their brother, but when they did, Cian felt a knot form in the pit of his stomach.  He ran outside, and was upset but unsurprised to see that the child and the cow were both nowhere to be seen.  Samthainn rushed out behind him.  “Hey, where’s that kid I asked to watch Glas Gaibheann?  He said he’d wait here for me.”  Cian stared dumbfounded at his brother’s idiocy, then did the only thing one could do when one’s magical cow was stolen.  He went to find a druid.
  • This being ancient Ireland, it didn’t take him all that long to find one.  Since the druids were essentially a group of nature wizards, I prefer to picture them as hippies with big wizard beards.  He asked the nature hippy for advice on finding his lost cow.  “Well, you’re pretty much fucked, dude.  Balor of the Evil Eye has your cow now, and I don’t know if you’ve heard, but he’s a seriously bad hombre.  Dude’ll kill you before you can get close enough to grab her.  Sorry dude; as long as he’s alive, you’re not getting your cow back.  Better buy another one.”  Since magical milk cows can’t be picked up at your local farmer’s market, Cian decided to find a different druid.  A better druid.  A female druid. 
  • He asked around, and everyone said that Birog of the mountain was the wisest and most powerful druid around.   If you had a for real problem, she was the answer.  Cian thought that sounded perfect and went off to see her.  He told her his problem, and what the previous druid had told him.  She frowned in thought.  “Okay, friend.  Good new, bad news time.  The bad news is that the other druid was right.  As long as Balor lives, the Glas Gaibheann is his.  The good news is that I know how to kill that motherfucker.  See, there’s this prophesy that says his grandson will kill him, but he doesn’t have a grandson.  What he does have is a daughter locked up alone in a crystal tower.  If you agree to do whatever I tell you, I can help you bring that demonic asshole down and get your cow back.  You in?”
  • Cian figured that this chick sounded like she knew what the hell she was talking about so he said “Alright, I’m in.  I’ll do whatever you ask.”  “Awesome.  Put on this dress, then try on this wig and these strappy sandals.”  Cian looked at her for a long moment, but she wasn’t kidding, so he sheepishly changed into the dress, wig, and sandals.  “That’ll work.  We just need a little makeup to round it out.”  She turned Cian into a pretty lady, then sat back to admire her handy work.  “And dressing me up like a woman helps kill a demon how exactly?”  Birog smiled.  “By helping you get laid, my new friend.”
  • Satisfied with Cian’s transformation, Birog summoned up a magical wind that blew herself and Cian across the sea, all the way to the foot of the crystal tower.  Birog banged on the door of the tower and called out to the handmaids within “Help, oh please help us!  This poor Queen of the Tuatha de Dannan is being pursued by vile enemies!  Please, let us in and give us shelter or we shall surely be raped and murdered!”  The handmaids peered out of the tower from above and, seeing two women alone, Ethlinn ordered her maids to let the two frightened women in.
  • Cian entered first, and the twelve handmaids immediately started fussing about her, asking if she was hurt, if she needed anything.  About the time that one of the sharper maids started to think that something was a little off with this “queen” (who was more drag queen than royal queen), Birog entered and cast a sleeping spell on all twelve women.  She helped Cian change out of the dress and back into his manly clothes, then ushered him upstairs to meet the lady of the tower. 
  • Cian climbed the long stairs to reach the room at the top of the tower.  He came out of the stairwell to see a beautiful woman sitting at the tower window and staring wistfully out over the sea.  She looked so lovely and so sad that Cian immediately fell in love with her (hey, the Irish love a good tragedy).  He took a step forward into the room, and Ethlinn turned at the sound of his feet.  It was him.  The face from her dreams.  She wiped her eyes, worried she was dreaming, but when she finished, he was still standing there, smiling at her.  The man of her dreams had come for her.  Ethlinn realized that she loved this person, that she had loved this person for years from her dreams, and she rushed into his arms.
  • Cian embraced Ethlinn and kissed her passionately.  Ethlinn was completely inexperienced, but she more than made up for it with enthusiasm.  Locked in a deep kiss, they both rip one another’s clothes off and make for the room’s big, luxurious bed and proceeded to fuck in that wild, careless way that only happens in movies and stories.  Once they had gone a few rounds and lay gasping on the sheets, Cian asked his new love to come away with him.  Smiling, she agreed.  She sent Cian downstairs to wait for her while she packed the few things she would need from the only home she had ever known. 
  • Cian walked down the stairs, smiling (and if that song “I Just Had Sex” had been a thing back then, he probably would have been whistling it) to find Birog.  “Hey, Birog!  I’m still not entirely clear on how this brings about Balor’s death, but I met this awesome lady!  We’re in love, and she’s agreed to come back home with me!”  “Did you fuck her?”  “What?  That’s a rude fucking question?”  “I know, and I don’t care.  Did you fuck her?”  “Yeah, creepy lady.  We made passionate love.  Are you happy now?”  Birog smiled.  “I am.  The seeds of Balor’s destruction are planted (see what I did there) and it’s time for us to leave.” 
  • “Okay, cool.  As soon as Ethlinn comes down, we can be off.”  “No, Cian.  We need to leave now.  Without her.  Balor can’t know we were here.”  Cian starts to protest, but before he can say anything else, Birog whistles up her magical wind and blows both of them back across Ireland.  Ethlinn comes down the stairs a few minutes after they leave to find the doors open and the tower empty.  “He left me.  After all these years, he finally comes to me, and then he leaves me!”  She wails her despair to the heavens, but no one hears.  Eventually, the twelve maids wake up and decide to pretend nothing happened so that the big bad demon didn’t kill them all.  Ethlinn spent her days in a deep depression, staring out over the ocean and contemplating suicide. 
  • A couple of months go by, and her maids notice that their ward’s moon’s blood hasn’t come.  In fact, it hasn’t come since…fuck.  Sure enough, Ethlinn gets pregnant from the one night stand that took her virginity.  Finding out from her maids that she was pregnant, and that it meant that a small part of the man she loved was still with her and would give her a child cheered her up. In due time, she gave birth to her child, a son, and the maids finally decided that someone needed to tell Balor.  They’d been hoping it would be a daughter, and they could just sweep the whole thing under the rug, but no such luck.  Prophecy is a bitch sometimes. 
  • Balor gets the message, and flies into an absolute rage.  He storms over to the tower, and eye murders all the maids for failing in their duties.  Then he rips Ethlinn’s child from her arms, fully intending to do the same to him, but his daughter throws herself on top of the baby.  Balor’s evil, sure, but he’s not a total monster.  He just can’t bear to kill his baby girl.  He tells his daughter that the child is in danger if it stays here, which is true, and promises to send it away on the water to find a new home.  They make a small raft, and put the baby on it, wrapped in his mother’s cloak and pinned to the raft to make the baby secure, then put the child on the sea.  Unbeknownst to Ethlinn, Balor has loosened the pin to make sure that with the first middling wave, the baby will tumble into the sea and drown, thus ensuring his immortality. 
  • Weeping, Ethlinn stands watching the son of the man that she loved float out towards the horizon.  Her tears turn to horror as a large wave lifts the raft, and the tiny child, screaming it’s fear and pain, rolls into the sea.  She rushes towards the water to try and save it, but Balor stops her.  It is too late.  The baby is dead.
  • Secretly, Birog has been watching this whole thing.  She’s been manipulating events from the shadows, and as soon as the baby drops into the sea, she snatches it away with her magic and carries him to his father.  Cian had wanted to find his mystery woman, but since he’d gotten there on a magical wind, he really had no idea where to even start looking for her.  Besides, as lord of the Ridge of Fire, he didn’t really have the time to spend wandering the countryside hoping to stumble into her.  He was delighted to have something to hold on to from his time with Ethlinn, and he was more than happy to raise his son; and by raise him, I mean he had him fostered with a really good, rich family instead of taking care of the kid himself.  It worked out well, though.  Lugh, as the boy was named, grew up to be a great man, and a great hero, and a Celtic god.  He would in fact meet his grandfather Balor one day, but that is it’s own story.  His line was renowned in Celtic mythology, including such incredible heroes as Cu Chulainn, and his stories were the stuff for legend, which we will have to cover in another episode.
  • And with little baby Lugh being stolen by a witch to be raised by neither of his parents, it’s time for Gods and Monsters.  This is a segment where I get into a little more detail about the personalities and history of one of the gods or monsters from this week’s pantheon that was not discussed in the main story.  This week’s monster is the Leanan Sidhe (lee-an-an-she).  Picture this.  You’re a poet in old Ireland.  You’re parents wanted you to be a farmer, but you knew you were destined for greatness.  The only problem is, it’s not selling.  No one wants to buy your shitty poems, and you’re broke, so you do what any bad writer would do: you go to the pub to get blind drunk. 
  • You get there, and you realize that you’re still broke.  You stand there, trying to figure out what you can sell to afford a pint, when a gorgeous redhead sidles up next to you and buys you a drink.  One drink leads to several more, and you soon find yourself stumbling back to your place with the beautiful woman on your arm.  The two of you spend the night fucking like Irish bunnies, and you pass out.  In the morning, you wake up bleary eyed to find the beautiful woman still asleep in the bed next to you.  It seems like a dream, but it’s apparently real.  Out of nowhere, inspiration strikes!  You rush to your desk and write it all down in a mad rush.  You don’t know where this is coming from, but it’s the best thing you’ve ever written. 
  • Weeks go by, and your new lover is insatiable.  Best of all, you’re churning out masterpieces.  You’ve lost any desire to do anything but fuck and write, and your family is worried that you’re wasting away, but who cares?  At this rate, your work will live forever! 
  • Congratulations, you’ve fallen under the spell of the Irish muse, the Leanan Sidhe, and it’s a double edged sword.  On the one hand, this beautiful seductress will give you mind-blowing sex and unbelievable inspiration.  She preys exclusively on creative types, especially poets and musicians, and for a brief time (anywhere from a few months to a few years) she uses her magical aura to drive them to heights of creativity and productivity that they never would have reached otherwise.  Naturally, there’s a price.  The candle that burns brightest burns briefest, and her lovers’ lives are always short.  Often, the artist’s mind cannot handle the stress of so much inspiration, and he’ll go mad. 
  • The Leanan Sidhe, whose name means fairy mistress, is one of the aos si, a race of underground fairies.  Aos si literally means “people of the barrows”, and the Celts believed they dwelt invisibly in the mounds and barrows around Ireland and Scotland.  She’s a form of vampire, but a fairly unique one.  She doesn’t feed off the blood of her artistic victims, but off their energy and spirit.  The victim would waste away to his inevitable young death, and the fairy would take her lover’s body back to her barrow to collect their blood in a large red cauldron.  This cauldron of inspired, artistic blood is the source of her magic, beauty, and artistic inspiration.  It’s a vicious cycle.
  • The poet William Butler Yeats had a slightly different version of the deadly fairy.  He said that she sought the love of mortals and if they refused, she was bound to be their slave; if they accepted her offer of incredible sex, they became hers, body and soul, and could only escape by finding another artist to take their place.  He described her as draining the artist’s spirit, and blamed the early deaths on her restlessness, and her desire to move on to new places and victims. 
  • In either case, the Leanan Sidhe is a fairy, and can be warded off the same was an any fairy: cold iron and salt (if you’re a fan of Supernatural, you probably already knew that).  There are also herbs, such as daisies and forget-me-not, and woods, such as ash, that repel fairies if placed on the victim, above the victim’s door, and around the house to keep her from feeding on the poor artist.
  • My first encounter with this deadly lady was the fantastic poem by John Keats from 1819, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.  If you’ve never read it, check it out.  My favorite depiction of her, however, is the deadly Lea from the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  For those keeping track, this is the second time I’ve mentioned his books, and that’s because he does an amazing job of bringing mystical creatures into the modern world while maintaining their authenticity. 
  • So, if you’re having trouble getting that screen play to hang together the way you want, go to the local bar and find an ethereal redhead to take you home, feast on your soul, and give you the best work of your life.  It’ll be worth it, right?

That’s it for this episode of Myth Your Teacher Hated.  Keep up with new episodes on our Facebook page, on iTunes, on Stitcher or on TuneIn, or you can follow us on Twitter as @HardcoreMyth.  You can also find news and episodes on our website at myths your teacher hated dot com.  If you like what you’ve heard, I’d appreciate a review on iTunes.  These reviews really help increase the show’s standing and let more people know it exists.  I want to give a special thanks to Paul Csomos from the fantastic Varmints! Podcast for taking the time to listen and provide feedback.  If you have any questions, any gods or monsters you’d want to learn about, or any ideas for future stories that you’d like to hear, feel free to drop me a line.  I’m trying to pull as much material from as many different cultures as possible, but there are all sorts of stories I’ve never heard, so suggestions are appreciated.  The theme music is by Tiny Cheese Puff, whom you can find on fiverr.com.

Next time, we’ll be doing what Napoleon couldn’t and traveling deep into Mother Russia.  It’s the story of Ivan Tsarevich and the dread robber Bulat the Brave Companion.  You’ll learn the crying over your favorite arrow can get you a sweet horse, that freeing dangerous criminals is definitely a good idea, and that squires can’t be trusted.  Then, in Gods and Monsters, it’s the small, bearded man who will steal your identity to do your chores.  That’s all for now.  Thanks for listening.