The Qilin

“Fantasy is a tool to help you unearth certain truths. It is not a solution. There is never one solution that works every time. No has the pulse of the universe in their keeping. No one has all the answers. Those who never dream, who never imagine, are as blind as those who always fall back on it. They are troubled and unhappy, always worldly. Finding a balance is ideal.”
– Excerpt from The Crystal Crux : Shimmer

Since the beginning, since the first book Betrayal, Pero de Alava thought he was hallucinating when he saw a white horse flying through the air.

What he didn’t realize is that for him, the barriers between reality and fantasy were breaking down and he was catching glimpses of things most humans never see.

One of those strange and wonderous creatures from the other side in The Crystal Crux tale is a qilin.

Why did I choose the word ‘qilin.’

I wanted a flying unicorn but there is no actual word to describe one in the English language.

Unicorns by definition don’t have wings and don’t fly.

While pegasi became a thing of heraldry and myth, the legends of Pegasus are unique and singular.

There was only one Pegasus. Pegasus was a flying horse with no horn or horns. There are also several creation stories for Pegasus.

Bellerophon was a mad and murderous Greek warrior who in his infamous desire to gain a kingdom was spurned from heaven by the decided bite of an inspired gadfly.
– Excerpt from The Crystal Crux : Betrayal

Zeus sent a horsefly to bite Pegasus’ backside, causing the flying horse to buck. Bellerophon was sent falling back to earth where he supposedly died. Some tales say he wandered blind and misereable on the Plain of Aleion.

In The Crystal Crux tale, Bellerophon stole particles of dust from the clouds of heaven as he was falling. Injured and angry, he takes these particles and his beef with the gods to another unhappy fallen deity, Hephaestus, the blacksmith and/or god of fire.

Hephaestus helps Bellerophon craft five crystals made of earth’s various materials and the dust from heaven.

Alone, each enhanced crystal was capable of making the possessor mighty. But together, when all five crystals were properly aligned to form the ritual pyramid, the constructor would possess the ultimate crystal ball, a fiery bridge uniting the world of angels and demons with the world of men and monsters.
– Excerpt from The Crystal Crux : Betrayal

In Chinese mythology, there are several interpretations of the creature, but they all agree that it is a composite of several animals, most often a dragon and horse although it can be an ox or deer. It often has flowing manes and antlers.

Qilin are also associated with the kirins of Japan and kirin, although they don’t have wings, were said to possess the power of flight.

So, I basically rolled parts of all these legends into a qilin frame to create these benevolent beasts for The Crystal Crux.

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