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Night mare
Night Mare (aka The Nightmare[1]) is the jet black winged horse owned by the Lord of the Dead, Samhain. Its coat is black as midnight, and its eyes are as blue as rain. She flies between the worlds, and comes into Daventry to feed upon the nightshade which is her herb.[2]

BackgroundEdit

The Lord of the Dead's horse is a black-winged, demon-hearted beast. Nightmare sometimes flies to the human world of the living to feed on certain noxious plants, including nightshade. It is said those unfortunate enough to see her are glad to escape with their souls intact.

She is a magnificent but frightening beast, but is clearly no mortal horse. Only truly brave and resourceful adventurers would dare to capture such a being for themselves.[3]

Once a young knight discovered a way to tame the horse, captured it, and rode off on her back the Realm of the Dead in an attempt to save his dead lover, although he failed, and died within the realm.

Alexander centuries later followed after the knight, and discovered how to to coax the horse with the Charm the Creatures of the Night spell. He discovered Night Mare at the tops of the Cliffs of Logic.[4] Using the spell he was able to tame her and travel to the Realm of the Dead. His attempt to save the souls of his loved one's parents was successful.

Behind the scenesEdit

According to King's Questions, this creature is also known as 'The Nightmare.

According to very ancient Greek records, there are references to a female black winged horse, 'night mare' named Aganippe "the Mare who destroys mercifully"[5], a title associated with the goddess Demeter. As the aspect of Aganippe, Demeter was the destroying lunar mare of the night, or Night-Mare/Nightmare[6][7], who created destroying nightmares.[8][9] In some mythological hints, Aganippe was reborn in Pegasus. In fact the idea of the winged horse Pegasus, may have been based on the earlier Aganippe 'night mare' myth. Later legends suggest that Pegasus was born from one one of Aganippe's (a 'nymph of the fountain') springs.

Demeter's aspect of Night-Mare/Aganippe may alternatively associated with the magic lunar horse, Anion, whom Heracles once rode in certain myths.[10]

In certain myths Kore was one of Demeter's three aspects representing Virgin form (who was kidnapped and taken to the underworld), but in later myths this was transferred to Persephone.[11] Originally, Persephone the Destroyer, represented the Crone phase of Demeter (the third aspect of her trinity). Kore was separated as a separate being, becoming Demeter's daughter, and later renamed Persephone. Another one one of Demeter's titles was originally Pluto ("Abundance"), a title for her aspect as "Mother" (the second aspect of her trinity). This title was later transferred to a male god of the underworld who in later myths took the Maiden Persephone (formerly Kore) into the Underworld in later legends.[12] Both of these myths link Demeter to the Underworld (which would explain why KQ6's Nigh Mare is linked to the Realm of the Dead).

In medieval legend is the 'Night-Mare', an equine Fury who tormented sinners in their sleep, and was based on the ancient images of the mare-headed Demeter, who had a well established cult.[13]In one representation on an idol found in Mavrospelya, the Black Cave, in Phigalia, she was represented as mare-headed, her mane entwined with Gorgon snakes.

In Scandinavian myth, there was also a death-goddess Hel, who rode a winged black horse known as the Valraven.[14] These also inspired the medieval legends of the witch who could transform into a mare, 'Night-Mare'.

Even some of the ancient Pegasus legends, then known as Arion, were associated with the sacred king's or hero's journey to heaven, representing an image of death and apotheosis.[15]

Many of these legends may have all been inspiration for Night Mare in KQ6 (and would explain Night Mare's connection to the Underworld).

ReferencesEdit

  1. King's Questions, KQ6 Hintbook, pg 93
  2. KQC, 4th, 293
  3. KQ6 Hintbook, pg 43
  4. Narrator (KQ6): "A winged horse is feeding from the nightshade bush.", "A mighty winged horse the color of midnight is feeding from the nightshade bush. The creature must be Night Mare, the ones the Druids spoke about."
  5. Tarot & Dream Interpretation, Julie Gillentine, pg 4
  6. The woman's encyclopedia of myths and secrets, Barbara G. Walker, pg 780
  7. Play therapy with adults, Charles E. Schaefer, pg 236
  8. Animal magick: the art of recognizing and working with familiars, D. J. Conway, pg 245
  9. Elemental magick: meditations, exercises, spells, and rituals to help You Connect With Nature, D. J. Conway, pg 85
  10. The woman's encyclopedia of myths and secrets, Barbara G. Walker, pg 780
  11. The woman's encyclopedia of myths and secrets, Barbara G. Walker, pg 218-219
  12. The woman's encyclopedia of myths and secrets, Barbara G. Walker, pg 218
  13. The woman's encyclopedia of myths and secrets, Barbara G. Walker, pg 219
  14. The woman's encyclopedia of myths and secrets, Barbara G. Walker, pg 413
  15. The woman's encyclopedia of myths and secrets, Barbara G. Walker, pg 413, 780

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