Novus Bestiary began as a set of ideas born from a love of myth and monsters. Could I compile a modern bestiary that would combine the old mythologies with new ones? What would it be like to mingle ancient sources like Homer's Odyssey, or Pliny's Natural History with current sources like Naughty Dog's The Last of Us and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter stories?
In addition to mixing and matching the never-ending myths that inspire us, could I do something interesting with modern web technology? What if we stopped settling for crowded wiki pages and brought back the beautiful visual and typographic considerations of the bestiaries of old? How long would it take me to create an entry on every single creature I'd ever seen in a book or on a screen?
The goal of Novus Bestiary is to become the most compelling bestiary of the current era. I want to combine the best of modern design with the timeless impact of these mythical creatures. I want game masters, authors, and fellow fantastic zoologists to be inspired and to bring these creatures into their own stories.
These creatures have captured the imagination of cultures around the world. Some will be familiar to you, while others will be completely bizarre and unexpected. Join me as I discover them one by one.
Who is Giles Ravensong?
In order to chronical the fantastic beasts of legend, I have enlisted the help of gentleman adventurer Giles Ravensong.
I was lucky enough to meet Giles on a family trip to northern Ontario. We were both renting canoes and struck up a conversation. He was so easy to talk to, so mild-mannered and knowledgable, we became fast friends. I did not find out until much later that he was, in fact, a walking legend.
Giles knows more about mythology than anyone I have ever met. What is the source of his knowledge? He won't tell me. Or rather, he will tell me one day that his parents were archaelogists, and then contradict himself another day, saying they were travel agents. On the surface, he always appears calm and unremarkable: a simple man in his later years who enjoys nature. But behind his light-grey eyes lies a fierce intellect and a fiercer adventurer.
Giles has admitted to me on several occasions that he has been to every country on earth, and that he has faced dragons.
I believe him.